Don’t start imagining me as a lady wearing a black burqa with my head covered, along with a veil on my face revealing only my lowered eyes for the world to see. Nor am I the lady with a flashy, slightly different coloured burqa, head covered in a manner that aids in visualizing the trendy hair bun underneath, my face glowing with the pleasure of being religious yet hip. Neither am I the one with the matching coloured head scarf, full sleeved and full length fitting inner wear underneath the most gorgeous short revealing dress you have ever seen. And so forth. I could go on listing many more types of Muslim ladies that I am not. So what’s the point here? I am not condemning these ladies. Nor am I saying that I practice my religion better than them. If it’s not better, I hope it’s not worse either. What I mean to say is that I am simply following my religion the way I understand it. And they are following according to their interpretation of it. I have no right to judge them and I wish they would stop judging me. Because ultimately it’s a matter between God and me.
I am usually not a person who writes on religious beliefs. Simply because I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough to preach something that I myself am trying to understand every day. But, on and off, I have been provoked and there comes a time in everyone’s life when you decide to answer back. I have always been against preaching because I believe everyone’s religious beliefs are too personal to meddle into. One doesn’t have the right to tell someone how they need to practice their relationship with their God. It’s like going to a complete stranger and asking them to behave in a certain way because it’s what you think is the best possible way to behave. I know some people do that and it’s necessary to behave in a particular manner in public. For that, we have the Holy scriptures, the underlying of which is humanity. Of course to understand the embedded meaning in the ancient language, you need some guidance. But how can you be sure the person guiding you knows the ultimate truth? So who do you turn to? Whose judgement can you trust the most? I believe that your inner being won’t lie to you. So instead of seeking help outwards, look inside you. Does your religion teach you to misbehave, harbour hatred or turn to violence? Will your God have wanted it? Isn’t He the most Merciful and most Forgiving Being? How can one believe that the Supreme power could ever want you to harm someone? Doesn’t He always tell you to follow the right path? Do you honestly believe that taking an innocent life is the right way to Heaven? Are you so blinded by the power of the extremists over your mind and soul that you cease to look at the basic message of your religion? How can any religion possibly lead you so astray from humanity? If it’s possible, then why are you still following such a religion?
I am, and will always be following my religion because I believe it’s not possible that the Almighty would want me to go against my inner calling. I know that when I flinch at someone’s crude remarks, He approves of my dislike towards the negative forces. When I speak up against any religious attacks, He encourages my intolerance towards disrespecting anyone’s religion (Hindu, Muslim, Christan, and every other religion). When I search up the net, outraged by the verses about killing non-believers, He quenches my thirst for reasoning instead of blindly following. When I go to Church, Gurudwara, Mandir, Masjid with my friends, He trusts my unwavering belief in Him nevertheless. When I stand in poojas, bhajans or Masses with my eyes closed, He knows that I am thinking about Him only. When I walk down the road in my jeans, He understands that I still try to be modest. When I let my hair flow with the wind, He knows that I don’t do so in disrespect of His wishes. I believe He understands me better than anyone else. He knows why I am not sticking to the orthodox ways, He knows what it is to live in these times and yet follow our religion. It’s not just about the veil or the five times prayers anymore. It’s about adjusting with times without losing focus of the real meaning of all religions (Ultimately we all worship the Supreme power and follow the religion of peace and love).
So here I am. You won’t be able to recognize me on the streets. I am just another face on the road. As you cross me you wouldn’t know that I don’t leave my home without offering my prayers and reading a verse from the Holy Quran. As I sit with my friends gorging on the pizza, you wouldn’t know that I had fasted the whole day because it’s Ramadan. As I get my jeans wet while walking in the water at the beach, you wouldn’t guess the reason behind not folding them up to my knees. As you see me clinking cheers and drinking from my glass, you wouldn’t know it’s just a mock-tail. You will see me helping a old man cross the road, making a child smile, carrying the grocery for a lady, picking up the rubbish, feeding the birds, extending a helping hand, protesting against the wrongs, cheering for life, smiling, laughing… You will see me in my version of being a Muslim. You will see me being Human.
Originally Published @ hfalki2.wordpress.com on 5/24/2014