My Hispanic Muslim Legacy

Khadijah Rivera’s Conversion Story:

What Islam means to me. To be qualified is to know GOD?

I was raised as a Roman Catholic from a very strict and practicing Hispanic family. To even think of leaving the aristocratic Catholics was considered a sin. I had been raised by nuns in Private schools. They taught me that one did not have the luxury of questioning the Bible or even the Catechism that was engraved in our memory banks as children. I once had the audacity to ask my teacher why we did not study the Bible her answer was a blunt: “You might misinterpret it” As an adult I once asked the very same question of priest and once again I received a similar response. In other words, they had led me to believe that only qualified officials of the church could not only teach but also understand “God’s Word”. How sad I thought and soon after I began to search for an answer.
The strongest component of Catholicism was the belief in the Trinity. It believed that there were three Gods of equal weight in the heavens, and that upon birth we inherited a Mortal sin. So, right from the start we were sinners and needed repentance or a sacrament to clear away this sin. As a parent it was hard not to question if the smile of innocence behind an infant could hide a deadly sin. What if the infant died before performing the Catholic rite of Baptism? Did that mean he/ she would go to hell? And if Jesus Christ had not died in the cross for the sins of Man did that mean that we would all have Fire as our ultimate destiny? But even as complex as they made religion to be Reverting to Islam would be complicated by my childhood training that Jesus Christ was my savior and salvation. To pray to anyone but him would be blasphemy. I therefore studied several religions when I left my church and its rigid teachings. But they were all Christian and not much different from the original one. Of course, they all believed that the papal aristocracy was nonsense and I praised them for that. But they could not justify Jesus Christ in a sensible nor logical manner. Point in fact ask three Christians of different denominations to explain the Trinity or better yet, ask them if Jesus is the son of GOD? Ask them what version of the Bible they read and you will also find astonishing variations. I actually turned away from religion completely for many years and became a leftist. I left the religious dogma and found a replacement.

A replacement to religious dogma?

In my college years I opened up to a radical way of saving the world. I believed that if we could promote change in the political realm, then we could bring equality and economics that would ultimately change and save the physical world. I was an American activist going from marches to study groups of Dialectical Materialism, Maoism and Socialism. All this journey proved was that I was still empty for it left a gap in my very existence. I had one thing in common with the Christians and one thing opposite the ones I was attempting to emulate. :” I loved God!”. I just needed a vehicle to surrender.
For years I watched closely the events in Iran and yet the student movement that I was following could not afford me a way to make change in that country. I joined student marches and met with like-minded idealist. While we sat in brain storm sessions planning our next poster spread in Manhattan, an old man sitting on a rug in Paris dictated a revolution. He told the dictator Shah of Iran to leave because he was coming back to Iran, and guess what, he left! I began to study this man’s political assessment, but the more I read about what he proposed to resolve in Iran the more I understood the religion of Islam. At no time was I looking for a new religion as I was a diehard Christian who was not even practicing it. But this became a turning point in my life . I had to evolve as a human, in order to evolve as a Muslim.

Surrender to GOD

Therefore, on October 22,1983 I took my vows of submission as a Sunni Muslim with sincerity to ONE GOD. Allahu Akbar. I have been a practicing Muslimah for over 22 years and have never regretted it. In fact, in the face of tyranny and prejudice I have become stronger and more resolved to not only raise a family of Muslims but alas to become a Daii and spread the good word among Hispanics. After the tragedy of 9-11 many Muslimahs removed their veils for fear of assaults. I was destined to die a Muslimah if need be, for my only defense was faith! Al Hamdulilah Neither did I remove the veil nor hide, I stood up and went on live Television to speak to Hispanic on Telemundo and the noted Christina Show from Miami. I had become modest, but resonant Muslimah. Rather than roll over I made uproar about the injustices done to Muslims.
The faith of Islam has brought me strength in the face of adversity and inner peace which I never had. It was not difficult for my extended family to accept my newfound faith. But for my immediate family it was very difficult. I lost all my non-Muslim friends that I had grown up with, but found an extended family in Islam. I no longer pray to a saint in order to request intervention with Jesus Christ, son of God!. I now understand that if I follow the true teachings of all the prophets and the Ten Commandments that there can only be ONE GOD. “Thou shalt not bear false Gods before me.” Therefore, my destiny with Islam is fulfilled. I worship Allah (swt) directly, as it should be.

Marriage / Matrimonial

  • Looking to get married? Finding it difficult to remarry?
  • What is marriage? What are the roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives?
  • What is Islamic Sexuality and Halal Intimacy?
  • Matrimonial Service for Latinos (to provide assistance/information/support to our special focus group.)

(coming soon!)

  • ¿Estás listo para el matrimonio ?
  • En busqueda de casarse? Es difícil volver a casarse ?
  • ¿Qué es el matrimonio ? ¿Cuáles son las funciones y responsabilidades de los esposos y las esposas ?
  • ¿Qué es la sexualidad islámica e Intimidad Halal ?
  • Servicio Matrimonial para latinos
  • Información y Talleres Prematrimoniales y del Matrimonio

(pronto disponible!)

Marriage Support/Apoyo

Invite/ La Invitación


Surah Al-Imran (3), Verse (110)

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.

Sois la mejor comunidad humana que jamás se haya suscitado: ordenáis lo que está bien, prohibís lo que está mal y creéis en Alá. Si la gente de la Escritura creyera, les iría mejor. Hay entre ellos creyentes, pero la mayoría son perversos.

Learn more at our dawah page

Modesty/La Modestia


Surah an-Nur (24), Verses 30-31




 Learn more at our Hijab page!

Di a los creyentes que bajen la vista con recato y que sean castos. Es más correcto. Alá está bien informado de lo que hacen. (Quran 24: 30)

Y di a las creyentes que bajen la vista con recato, que sean castas y no muestren más adorno que los que están a la vista, que cubran su escote con el velo y no exhiban sus adornos sino a sus esposos, a sus padres, a sus suegros, a sus propios hijos, a sus hijastros, a sus hermanos, a sus sobrinos carnales, a sus mujeres, a sus esclavas, a sus criados varones fríos, a los niños que no saben aún de las partes femeninas. Que no batan ellas con sus pies de modo que se descubran sus adornos ocultos. ¡Volvéos todos a Alá, creyentes! Quizás, así, prosperéis. (Quran 24:31)

Obtenga más información en nuestra página de Hijab!

Our Team/ Nuestro Equipo

As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu! / Greetings of Peace,

“We work one-on-one with non-Muslim women, support new Muslims in their “evolution” and help one another in Islam. While doing so, we always bear in mind not to be judgmental, seeking knowledge from all that is good and honorable. We try to live each day as if it were our last and therefore, strive to win the hearts and minds of those that seek the answer to life in Al-Islam. We place humility and charity above all. We keep steadfast in our prayers and live ever mindful of Almighty Allah and praise Him in every moment of our lives on this Earth.”  Sr. Khadijah Rivera


PIEDAD, began as a support system for new Muslims from a Latino background in the mid 80’s. It was a grassroots effort early on. The organization sought to remain independent of other organizations, simply because it wanted to maintain that personal touch. Sr. Khadijah Rivera, was keen on helping the voiceless and was absolutely in touch with the common folk.  Today, we are continuing her journey of faith and hope. Read More

P.I.E.D.A.D continues its dawah mission by embarking on a non-profit mission of calling to Islam and helping sisters empower themselves in this world and in the hereafter through knowledge of deen and other personal development programs.

Visit our About Us page!