"Allah had His eyes on me ...
He led me down a path from where there was no turning back from, because the more I got to know about Islam, about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, [the more] it became obvious to me that this is where I wanted to belong and it is what I wanted to be."
Marilyn Mornington is a District Judge in England, an international lecturer, and writer on family law including domestic violence.
She was a recipient of a scholarship in Notre Dame Convent and obtained her LLB (law degree) from Sheffield University, being the 6th in the Bar Finals of 1976. She started practicing Family Law in Liverpool in 1976.
In 1994, she was appointed as District Judge in Birkenhead, Liverpool, and was the first Barrister to be appointed as a District Judge at the age of 40.
She was elected as a fellow of World Academy of Arts & Science. She is highly respected in the field of Family Violence and holds the following positions:
- Chair, Northern Circuit Domestic Violence Group, which has over 800 members from all over the UK and overseas
- Chair, Inter-Governmental Initiative on Domestic Violence 'Raising the Standards'
- Member, Lord Chancellor's Advisory Group on Domestic Violence
- Member, Family Justice Council
- Member, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Domestic Violence Steering Group
- Chair, Working Group on the Interface between the Civil and Criminal Justice Systems
- Chair, Kids in Need and Distress (KIND)
- Honorary Patron, Community & District Nursing Association, advising on elder abuse and nursing; since 1995
- Chair, Wirral Domestic Violence Forum
- Patron, Wirral Children and Women's Refuge, 1995-2002.
Path to Islam
For ten to twelve years prior to her conversion to Islam, she had been working on the issue of violence against women and children in general, and also among Muslims in particular. In order to understand the issue better among the Muslim community, she began to read about Islam and associate with Muslims.Yet, not everyone answers the call of truth and takes that bold step, for various reasons ranging from considerations for family and friends to social status. For Mornington, she felt there was no option since she was overwhelmed by a superior power that gently guided her to the right path.
When the prominent Muslim scholar Hamza Yusuf asked Judge Mornington why she became a Muslim, she gave the following answer:
“I have been specializing in crime against women, violence against women and child abuse now for some ten to twelve years on a policy level for the United Kingdom and I became, by no choice of my own, because of the work I was doing, closely involved with violence against women in the Muslim communities in this country, and in order to understand better where they were coming from began to read about Islam, began to read the Quran and to mix with Muslims.
I would have to say I don’t think I really ever had any choice in the matter, that Allah (SWT) had his eyes on me and that was it. From that moment on without any choice of mine I kept on meeting one person after the other who led me down a path where there really was no turning back from because the more I got to know about Islam, about the Prophet (peace be upon him) it became obvious to me that this is what I want, where I wanted to belong and it was what I wanted to believe.”
"And I also felt very comfortable with the family life and the stories of the wives of the prophet and the companions, and it was just somehow that over a period of time, and also Sheikh Hamza from your own writings and tapes that I was listening to, I realised that this was obviously the life I wanted".
Part 1 of the TV interview with Sheikh Hamza Yusuf in an MBC program
Related Links:My Search for Moral Guidance Led Me to Islam
Dad, Do You Believe in Heaven?
From a US Catholic to a Muslim Scholar (Part 2)
My Life Was Nothing But Carefully Crafted Lies
From the Gardens of Denmark to the Desert of Libya