Friday, March 13, 2009
Being religious without being plastic...
Can it be done? I always have the feeling that I am one of those converts who just sounds plastic when they start talking deen. Have you ever noticed how silly it is when a person who doesn't really mean it is all, alhamdulilah, masha'Allah, and so on? It is very rare that I meet a person who can tell a story about God in their life without sounding like someone bearing witness to a tel-evangelist.
Have you ever wondered if seeming a little fake is just the nature of being a convert? Or maybe the nature of being religious in general... Maybe it's because along with the religion we try to adopt the culture. Or maybe I'm just over-critical. I try hard to be myself... Sometimes that is strict, sometimes I am pretty relaxed... And I think that I probably make some converts pretty uncomfortable with it sometimes. But I try to be upfront with my views.
It's one of the things I think we all have to work on in our lives if we want to progress as a religious group beyond practicing the deen within the context of a culture. I mean, if we are all just putting on the good Muslim mask doing what we think other Muslims expect us to do, saying what is widely accepted... How will we ever progress?
So I propose that we should all do what we believe. You have a cultural background that you can keep if it doesn't conflict with the religion, and that's OK. And if you are uneducated and not sure... Find an answer. Don't just become a convert doll saying the things you have heard when someone pulls your string. Own your answers. Own your deen. And hopefully you won't feel plastic at all, ever.