Monday, March 06, 2006

Sharing the secret

This past weekend was no good. For some reason I thought there was a discussion about a book I had read Friday night, but it turns out it was really scheduled for this coming Tuesday. Salatul-Isha was at 8pm, though, and I wanted to be there for that because afterwards there was a lecture about 'how to pray.'

But I had gone home to have dinner with my parents. The night before I had watched a special on the Quran with them, and I think I was trying to discuss it, and a little about Islam. Anyway, somehow I got into talking about my beliefs (which of course are wrong, according to them) and an argument ensued. Now, by my thinking I got out before it got bad. But that wasn't how my dad saw it. He raised his voice to me once, and continually interrupted me (wouldn't let me finish a sentence about anything) while I was trying to explain myself. So ultimately I didn't really get much across to them, but apparently they felt "offended" and thought I was "gullible" to actually believe a scholarly perspective that... well... the Bible had been changed! And, of course, I was denying God, which is apparently a trait of my generation, kind of like the hippies.

See me rolling my eyes?

There is no getting through, whatever I say is misinterpreted, misunderstood. But I left before too long without any nice words (I was being fussed at, and just opted to leave instead of fussing back.) Found out upon arrival that the event I was going to was really on Tuesday, so I proceeded to the mosque for the night prayer. On my way, I get a call from my sister. My parents had called her, they were having a very difficult time with something. (Can you imagine if I told them I was Muslim? Whoa.) My dad revealed that he had even considered throwing me out of the house.

Of course, you're getting this from my perspective--but I promise that I did not yell or say anything that was deliberately insulting or offensive. I just suggested evidence which claims Jesus is not the literal son of God or in any way divine. So to be honest, I don't think I did anything rash to provoke my dad's wrath.

But apparently he had thought that through, and both parents were wondering what was up with me--as though I reveal every detail of my life to my sister. I guess she calmed them down some, and I explained how nuts they are. Then I ended the convo so I could go pray, and I went to visit my sister afterwards.

The prayer was not so great, really, because I was not quite in time (after making wudhu) to get into the musallah so I was in the gym and there were kids playing basketball and stuff behind me, and lots of ladies sitting around chatting. Very noisy, and hard to hear the imam over the speaker. But alas; I think that's how friday night prayers normally are. And to be honest, to see the women so crowded, if there were the same number of men (and not one more) they would be crowded too.

But the lecture/q&a was very nice. The first time I actually saw the imam of this mosque!! Would you believe that? And they opened the women's section up so I had no problems seeing at all, and didn't even have to wait to ask a question. As soon as I asked almost, I got the mic, while all the guys had to wait because there were so many of them. I was 1 of 2-7 sisters there (some kept coming and going), and honestly, I got a lot of attention. I guess they didn't want to be accused of not letting sisters ask questions, and it played in my favor. :-)

But afterwards I called my sister and went over to her house--in my scarf. She had figured I might have converted a while ago, but with the scarf it seemed more official I guess. And we talked about Islam for a while, some reasons I chose it. She had had some Muslims neighbors for a little while, and knew some of Islam already.

While she was okay with my decision, the scarf didn't go over so well. She had a less optimistic view than I of how the family would accept it, and strongly suggested I don't wear it at all. Essentially, it makes or would make some of my family feel uncomfortable. Imagine that. So I'm supposed to dress in a way that makes them comfortable, eh?

Anyway, the next day I apologized to my parents (I didn't get home until 2am) and from their responses, definitely didn't get the vibe that it was okay to bring this up again. They just don't get it, and now I'm afraid to tell them again. If my dad kicks me out... oooooh!

And I spent the weekend without the scarf, more or less. I tried a combination of hats with small scarves around my neck, but it doesn't feel right at all. But I feel like a total failure that I couldn't, or wouldn't, wear the scarf while out with them. I really don't know how to tell them. :-(

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