Saturday, July 23, 2005

Too Strong to NOT be a Muslim


My dirty southern roots got ta be showin' now!

I remembered this one just so I could blog it, y'all.

Yesterday I got to work half an hour early, masha'Allah. Incidentally, I ran into one of my students, Mario, with his mother, grandmother, and 3 of 4 sisters on the bus, and it was really nice to see them. I enjoyed talking to them- they're one of the pleasant families I got to deal with last year. I digress as usual.

Anyways, so I get to work, and there's a repeat couple who've been in the restaurant this week a lot. Seems like every time they come in, I serve them. Their names are Mannaka and Heinrig. I think. He's a Ghanaian adopted Dane; she's an American Black. They're models doing fore-work for a modeling show to be held at the Westin Rio Mar later this season. I've got some students who might be in their show, which is a bigole deal and has like the top 5 agencies coming to see.

Anyhow, I was scooping Henrig some gelato and happened to ask him how long he'd been loc'd; he told me two years. I said (admittedly, without thinking- doh!), "Oh, same as me!" He was like, "Oh, let's see then!"... and I was like, oops, sorry, I'm muslim.

Know what he said?

Wait for it...

waiiiit forr iiiit...

he goes, "Oh, no! You're much too strong a woman to be Muslim!".

I was indignantly, politely shocked and offended. He seemed such a reasonable person until that moment. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, TOO STRONG TO BE MUSLIM?!?! I went on to explain that I'm single, the only muslim in my family, and that he's absolutely right in that I'm way too strong to be oppressed (if you know me, then you know).

But wait, it gets better!

I was doing my weekly Sardy morning talk wit mah Mama, when I recounted this whole story to her. Before I could get to my reaction, you know what she said? Know what my own mama, she who knows my strengths and weaknesses from the womb, guess what my mama said?

"... You know, maybe he's right."

ASTAGHFIRULLAH AL AZIZ. I sputtered for a second there. Doubly indignant. And told her so.

Then she said, "Well, it's not so much the religion as the culture."

Hoo boy.

It is truly a scary thing for me to have been Muslim for six years and have my own mother still thinking around the same stereotypes she had when I started my journey to Islam MORE than six years ago. I don't want to convert my family, I don't. If they don't see the fulfillment possible in Islam, then let them serve God in their own ways. Allahu Alem. BUT. DO learn more about something you know is so important to me. DON'T listen to what I tell you with one ear while it leaves your head out the other. Please. When my family tells me about something that is important to them, I go and find out more about it so I can know what's up with them. It just kills that my parents can't do the same for me. At least Toto and JW know the score. I hope. Now I'm not sure.

Do I really want to stay with them now after this? Am I making it more than it is? I dunno. Islam is important to me. From Qur'an tawhid to salat to marriage to arguing with God and myself so I can get it right. I keep forgetting that people find it hard- darn near impossible- to understand that.

I'm just miffed and indignant and disbelieving about the whole incident- not SO much the guy in the restaurant, as my mother. I don't think I can write coherently about it anymore. I'll probably come back to the topic. Insha'Allah. Holla if ya hear me.



  1. This has little to nothing to do with your problems and won't help you in any way, but if it makes you feel any better your blogs have made ME want to read more about Islam... I don't think I'll be converting, though- as MY mama wouldn't like that one bit either, and even though i am about to be 23 soon, the woman still scares the shit out of me! i really respect your boldness and your committment to your beliefs, the whole conversion must not have been easy... it's probably just hard for your mother to accept and if she takes a concrete interest, then she'd be admitting to herself that this is a permanent life-time choice you've made, but she'll come around when she's ready. from your other blogs she seems like a nice, reasonable and smart lady...
    oh, and i have decided that instead of creating my own blog I am just going to comment every day in yours ;P he he he... only kidding, relax!

  2. Very interesing. You have written beautiful piece. Inshallah I will come to the blog quite often in future