Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not everyone is paranoid

I'm not.

And unfortunately it's difficult for me to deal with people who are, or who otherwise demonstrate irrational fear or rely on conspiracy-theorist types of news sources.

I don't believe that there are "masterminds" out there secretly controlling and manipulating the world, making "prophecies" that have any hope of coming true. And I don't take hearsay as valid information on which to form an opinion.

I don't really know how to describe why, if I spot Amatullah at the masjid, I try to run out as soon as I can before she spots me. There are a few things she likes to talk about. She wants to know how to explain to non-Muslims that "your government did that," when they ask about 9/11. (????) She also wants to know how ready I am for a husband, and did I read that book by Laura Schlesinger yet called Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (no.) She occasionally asks how school is and how much longer I have--always the same answer, I'm busy, and 2 more years. LOL. She also like to talk about how she teaches her kids. But here's one that is causing my recent frustration in talking to her: communing with Allah.

I don't even know what that means. She's been saying for a while how we were raised Christian so we know how to pray better or something... I don't get it. I was terrible at praying before I came Muslim. I would lay in bed and try to think of things to be grateful for, before asking some kind of request. Thanks for this, this, this, this... and can I get this...? I don't think I was especially close to God, I never really did much praying in groups outside my family, no Bible studies or prayer circles....

WHAT? You didn't go to prayer circles?

I don't even know what a "prayer circle" is. I wasn't the most active Christian in the world, you know...

But weren't you active in the Christian groups on campus??

No, why would I be? Campus Crusade is known to have the best parties on campuses all over the state--what does that tell you? I didn't say that, of course, but really. She's acting like I must naturally have an identical background to her simply because I was Christian, and like I apparently am better at praying than everyone else because I was raised to be so close to God. Whatever. I don't want to be rude so I don't say anything while she gives me this look of disappointment. You don't have to be a Christian to know how to pray. I didn't learn how until I became a Muslim and I am so grateful for that. I can make up my own prayers as I go along (by prayers, here, I'm pretty much only talking about supplications, or du'a) but I have the prayers of the Prophets, the prayers of Muhammad, and have tried to learn how to pray, how to supplicate. I don't rely on experience with "prayer circles" or anything like that, I don't (though she does, apparently) have a need to pour out my heart with a list of gripes and complaints to send up to God daily, and that isn't at all how I look at my religion--a chance to complain.

She talks about Islam as though the only thing is just getting closer to God. We were having a discussion about the Khilafa and I was agreeing with her about the importance of building a strong foundation in understanding God, but I'm starting to think we have a different idea here. To me that means time spent worshipping God, reflecting on His Greatness, learning His attributes. It's not self-centered time asking for things.

It's really irritating--I'm not sure exactly what she thinks I am, some younger version of herself perhaps, but I'm not. I don't have the same tradition in Christianity that she has and I don't see Islam the same way. I try not to meddle in how she does things but I'm annoyed that she keeps trying to meddle with me. How dare I run out of the masjid after fajr to get some sleep, instead of listening to Riyadh us-Saliheen with her? I got that impression from her this morning. And last night...

I just don't see the point of her constantly telling me I need to commune with God like this is some bizarre cult I've never heard of, and I can't stress how much it's starting to bother me. I want to worship God, not just complain. And I see that as much more comprehensive than putting my face on the floor and thinking about all the things that went wrong in a day.

The many impressions I'm getting from her just don't make sense, but she keeps acting disappointed in me. I shouldn't say that bothers me, exactly, it's just that I think her "expectations" are the standards to which she holds herself. And she's not really the kind of person who makes me want to show up at the masjid, so I can be fussed at for my disregard for what "masterminds" "predict" about Islam or my disinterest in compiling a list of grievances before prayer, or for my belief that Muslims actually got prayer right for once, and I'm going to go along with their way instead of anything else I've been able to come up with.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Salam Amy

How are you? I have definitely NOT heard of 'list of greivances', that is defintely something not mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah. Sounds like she's still clinging in to SOMETHING when she was Christian, Allahu Aalim.

Wasalam
Hamayoun

Aliocha said...

Hi, again!

I have a question for you.
Please feel free to tell me: "That's none of your business, that's my personal life!"

Have you ever been a Christian? Why?(or why not?)