Friday, June 16, 2006

Hello World

I wonder if anyone actually reads my blog these days... that's what happens when you don't update for a month... oh well.

Some things have bothered me or interested me lately, and some of those I'll keep to myself (mostly the complaints). But some things are encouraging...

I work with a few Muslim brothers, in this building, and you can never tell how dedicated one is. But when I started wearing the scarf, declaring to the world my faith anyway, it got a little bit of attention. Now there is a brother here, who has talked to me a couple of times about Islam theologically, and has invited me to have dinner with his family. He has two twin daughters, neither of whom, nor his wife, wear hijab. They like Islam, he says, they just don't wear the scarf. He wants to introduce me I suppose as an example, somebody a little bit older than they who thought Islam was something special--special enough to seek it out and change, disregarding society in that way. And to don the scarf, ignoring remarks and cultural norms, to dedicate myself to religion in a way that is kind of rare to see, especially not being born into it. So I may be meeting with them sometime in the near future, inshallah. He's told me that he wrote a few articles for Arabic newspapers about Islam. Right now he's just taken the PE (professional engineering) exam, which is pretty important in the engineering field. He told me though that if he passes he might go to graduate school for engineering... maybe... or Islamic studies. :-)

Second thing... we had a bad thunderstorm here a few days ago. Before it started, I'd gone to the masjid to pray maghrib. And it started raining just as I got there, and so of course we prayed isha in jama'at as well. Then I met a sister--Amira--who sort of unofficially invited me to some party or something in September (I can't keep up with these things lol). And it was pouring down when I left but I wanted to go home, eat dinner, and go to bed. So I start driving home... and it's raining... and I come up to this big-ish intersection wondering why there is such a line up of cars going the way I am (I was on the side street), and I notice that the power is out!! And the police are directing traffic! (I am so grateful for cops that direct traffic in the rain during thunderstorms. People just don't understand the concept of a multiple-lane 4-way stop.) So I get through the intersection and start cruising down the street... all the streetlights are out... until I get to my apartment... all the power is out... I didn't even go upstairs. (What's the point, I'm just going to get wet and couldn't see anything inside anyway.) Definitely couldn't cook. Now, I thought maybe I'll go find someone to hang out with, lol.

During the prayers I leave my phone in my car, but my bro's girlfriend had called a few times and they weren't doing anything so I called them at this ponit to see what's up, and I head out to Holly Springs to see the fam. Out there, though, a something had been hit (always neat, because it flashes this teal turquoise color...) and power was out in most of the neighborhoods I passed until I got to my parents' where they did have power! Pretty cool, alhamdulillah. So I fixed dinner there and had the conversations I described in my last post about Brit getting married and all.

So when I finally go home, my roommate is watching TV with her friend and these two guys I don't know. So we talked about the storm a little bit and the power going out (she'd slept through it). I'm not sure how it came up but she asked me about praying, one time. She knew I went to go pray roughly at sunrise, and apparently thought that we (Muslims) pray to the sun. She asked if we prayed outside or if there were windows in the mosque so we could see... lol.
So I tried to clear that up and explain the 5-times a day and why. There were more questions from her though her friends weren't so interested. Of course I jumped, I love to talk about it, haha, and did for a little while before finally going to bed.

My roommate herself isn't all that bad, you see. It's her friends I'm starting to think that bother me so much. As it is, I'm looking for places to move... inshallah something good will turn up soon.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Ya know, the problem with Blogger is that whenever a person leaves a comment on your blog, even if you reply to that comment you're never exactly sure that same person has returned to read the response. So, I decided to seek you out and read your blog :)

I like what I've read so far. What I'm immediately struck by is the fact that even after a year of being an official convert to Islam, you are still trying to carve out your own niche. That's something I can completely understand and relate to, not as a Muslim, but as a Christian, for one, and whatever else I've tried to be, secondly. When I was learning about Islam, and honestly considering it, I came across an article online that really turned me off from the whole idea. Namely, the article discussed how this girl, in her 20s-30s, wanted to convert to Islam, but she had a few conflicts with it. First, she didn't like how Islam viewed women and men's relations with women and she wondered if it were possible for things to somehow be different; secondly, she confessed that she worked at a job which didn't allow her the ability or time to pray five times a day, and she wanted to know if it were possible to somehow make these prayers up later in the day. She asked an imam these questions and he told her that she must either completely dedicate herself to Allah or else. This really turned me off because the imam showed no compassion nor sympathy for the working girl's plight. She wanted to serve Allah, wanted to be Muslim, but one or two things prevented her from pursuing it to her heart's delight and she was reprimanded for it. It's like being chastised for wanting to be a good person.

I bring this up only because I read about you actually making it happen, making your life fit within Islam, and yet I also read about how some of the cultural items, such as clothing, don't exactly fit your life. Perhaps I'm wrong.

Anyway, this comment's long enough...

If you would like to email me, please do so. (I'm not shy) :)