“An activist without spirituality is just an agitated person.”
Hazel was born into a Catholic family and after researching for over two years,
accepted Islam at the age of eighteen. She was awed by a conversation on the
attributes of God between Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah.
Feeling as if she had never known God more intimately than in that moment, she
took her Shahadah (Islamic declaration of faith) right away.
Hazel is the daughter of Puerto Rican and Mexican parents and is committed to
seeing the growth and deepening of Islam across Latino American communities. She
is currently exploring the fusion of Latino culture with the ideals and values of Islam
through a local association known as the Latino Muslims of Chicago. In the ever-
growing mosaic of Islam in America, she is interested in the creation of an authentic
Latino Muslim experience. She considers herself an active student of knowledge,
having intermittently studied under some of the West’s most prominent and learned
scholars, and currently exploring traditional paths of Islamic knowledge.
While Hazel has committed herself to learning and working on behalf of the Ummah (community), she is an ardent believer in the statement of Ali (may God be pleased with him), “The deepest expression of gratitude is service to His creation”. To this end, her long-term aspiration is to see reform of the American criminal justice system, whose dehumanizing practices have corroded so many souls. She’s also interested in the prospect of forensic science becoming more popular in Muslim-majority countries throughout the world.
Photo by Iffat Syed