The thoughts of an American Muslim and mother of four raising her children in small town USA with her Egyptian husband.
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.
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).