Am I a real Muslim?

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

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7 thoughts on “Am I a real Muslim?

  1. So well written Hanadi Falki, you writing as pure as your heart. I loved the article on muslim women.
    Looking forward for more such posts.

    1. Thanks a lot for your encouragement Neha. I have embarked on this journey of understanding my religion and its beauty. I will surely share my experiences and do my bid to clear the negativity surrounding my Religion 🙂

  2. Your version of being Muslim is very interesting. However there might be some things that you are doing unintentionally that may be leading to some harm in the society. Unfortunately most people do not understand the religion and the reason behind most of the practices. Hence end up blindly following the acts of their parents and fore-fathers which was exactly the problem with all the generations and corruptions in every religion. Coz if one person does something based on his interpretation of religion he might be leading many of his descendants following it blindly (especially if the person is known to be a good person by the peers).

    Now think about it, many people choose their interpretations of Islam / Hinduism/ Christanity etc to justify their extremist activities. Since they are respected enough people blindly follow them. There are many things we do not understand so we start practicing our version of it.

    Now fortunately we muslims are promised that Quran will not be corrupted till the end of time. Hence we can be sure atleast one source of ours is correct. However many things in Quran needs proper context to understand it. So normally you have two choices, you do what you feel like and if you get a proper understanding of why something is mentioned in Quran then you follow it. Or you do what the Quran says and unless you understand that it is not said in literal sense and that you are allowed to act against it unless specific conditions that you relax it and follow otherwise. Which one of these would you prefer? Well given the promise of non-corruption of Quran I would like to persue the second choice.

    Now to bring back why I said all this stuff. Lets talk about Hijab. It is clearly mentioned in the Quran what is definition of Hijab for men and women. It is concrete enough that you are not sinning even if all others are not following Hijab. Now men are asked to lower their eyes which is one of the major requirements of men’s hijab. Similarly is a condition for women (explained in detail in Quran). Now even if you don’t want it is quite possible that others will be sinning because of you if you do not follow the hijab.
    Even though your intentions are clear. Allah clearly knows much more than us and hence have given us advice according to it. Suppose I am to distribute free guns to some tribes in a jungle to save themselves from attack from wild animals. And it is quite clear that they can be used to kill innocents. Am I at sin? Well I am a provider of sin here even if my intentions were pure. I cannot turn a blind eye to the law and give our free arms and ammunition to people. Because the law makers are more knowledgeable than me.

    Hope you take my comments in the right spirit, I do not have any intention to hurt your feeling or have any doubt on your noble intentions. However sometimes ignorance is not bliss and you might face its consequences in the hereafter.

    1. Your example is enlightening. I know I still have so much more to learn about my religion and I do so day by day. Today’s lesson came from your comment. Thank you for that 🙂

  3. Such a relief to know someone shares my belief and interpretation of being a Muslimah. Hanadi it is heartening to learn thar our generation is now much more tolerant of each other’s beliefs and the future is much more promising. I would want my girls to grow up in an easier world, a freer society and a love that holds no bounds in heart, soul and mind.
    I really enjoyed your read.
    And would continue haunting your blog as and when time will allow.
    May Allah bless you always.

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