The thoughts of an American Muslim and mother of four raising her children in small town USA with her Egyptian husband.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Is the middle way the road less traveled?
I struggle to find my way through the maze of choices in this life every day. I kinda feel like I am stuck with either going to the extremes of the issues to be accepted by one group or staying with the middle path and having both sides disapprove. Now I'm not saying that approval is the most important factor in my decision making process. To be honest it rarely even factors in, unless we are talking about my husband which is another post entirely.
So, I guess what I am asking is where has the middle path gone? Does it exist? I feel inspired to keep looking for it when I hear someone such as Haza Yousuf speak... But I feel I rarely see it in my actual life. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places, who knows.
Something I struggle with is whose opinion to take when I am seeking an answer to a question that I feel is unclear in my knowledge of the deen. Let's take pigs. I have heard with my own ears learned men saying that the FLESH of the pig is what is forbidden so gelatin is OK because it is made from BONES. No, I'm not kidding you. Now on the other extreme I have had Muslims flip out when they saw Layla's Piglet toy. "Oh!!!!! A pig!!!! Is that a pig your daughter has?!?!?!? HARAM!!!!!" Where is the middle path people? No, I won't eat gelatin. But yes I will give our daughter a stuffed pig if it makes her happy. On second thought, let's not start on toys that look like living things... Oh I don't even want to try and unravel that one with you! So, I just want to ask have you noticed the following...
**If a new sister puts on hijab but has an American twist on it people will tell her it's not "proper hijab". If that same sister puts on jilbab and khimar people will tell her she's too extreme and she doesn't have to wear all that.
**If you get a loan and buy a big house the Muslims will come to visit you, ooggle over it and say masha'Allah about 70 times during thier visit. Then, behind your back they will criticise you for dealing in interest. However, if you buy a smaller house they will say masaha'Allah to your explanation of not dealing in interest and then behind you back go on about "How can he shove his whole family in that horrible little house??? His poor wife!"
**If you are a mother and you bring your kids to the mosque people will be irritated with thier behavior. If you stay home they will chastise you for never going to the mosque.
**If a brother marries an attractive woman (especially from a different nationality) he will be criticised for only choosing her based on looks. If he marries a sister who isn't so attractive everyone will be gossiping about what's the secret reason he would marry someone unattractive??? Money, a good job, dating her before marriage and her family forced him???
**If you support the Muslims in places like Palestine too much you will be accused of being an extremest. If you don't you will be abandoning the ummah.
**If you like to go to the movies, listen to music, read popular literature... You will be too Western. But if you unplug the TV and never spend another penny on popular movies or music... You are extreme.
You see where I am going with this... Right? I guess the Muslims are never happy. But also we can't seem to find a middle ground and leave people alone about it. Why is that? And what can we do about it? Just thoughts people, just thoughts...
I am a mother to four wonderful kids and the wife to one wonderful Egyptian! We live in a small town in the Midwest and work in our small businesses. I am also a Waldorf preschool teacher and childcare provider, a backyard chicken lady, a part time homeschooler, and a generally crunchy mama (think hijabi in birks).