Nicole Aeschleman no longer celebrates Christmas, no longer eats pork and does not drink alcohol nor does she leave her hair uncovered. For over a year she also did not speak to her father. Aeschleman, an accomplished family law attorney in San Jose, converted to Islam after meeting and falling in love with her husband Nabil Michraf.
Though it is not common for a baptized Episcopalian to embrace Islam, roughly 20,000 Americans convert to the Muslim faith every year. Nearly 15,000 of the converts are women. They are drawn to the religion for a variety of reasons. Aeschleman was drawn to the religion after spending weeks of drinking, partying and dating. She admits that the fast-paced lifestyle was not for her. “It was not a good time” says Aeschleman.
It was shortly after this phase that she met her Moroccan-born husband, Michraf while taking a Summer law course in Strasbourg, France. The couple formed a friendship and maintained contact through email. When next they met in Nice, Aeschleman knew that she wanted to marry the man who she calls “the most wonderful man that I have ever met.”
Aeschleman wanted to know more about the religion and researched it much the way she was trained in law school. She eventually became a Muslim and married Michraf, but not before using her expertise in family law. Aeschleman, a graduate of the Santa Clara University Law program, wrote a unique marriage contract for herself and her soon to be husband. The contract allows for her to divorce Michraf if he ever attempts to keep her from studying Islam, forbid her from working or take on multiple wives.
Since converting to Islam, Aeschleman has left the law firm McManis Faulkner & Morgan to open her own practice. She has taken on several cases assisting Muslims persecuted or discriminated against because of their religion including a high profile case in San Francisco where a ballot initiative was proposed banning circumcision. Aeschleman represented the Muslim community, arguing that the ban would infringe upon the religious customs of Islam and the Quran.
Aeschleman currently has her own family law practice in San Jose and remains active in her community, providing legal advice, clinics and seminars.
1550 The Alameda, Ste 330
San Jose, CA 95126
[Sandra Marquez] [Legalinfo360]