Well here it is my very first Eid and guess where I sit? At home instead of at Eid prayers. Today here in Nova Scotia we are having very bad weather. All the schools are closed as is our local community college. We got just enough snow to cause problems, what is worse though in the gusting winds that run up to 8o km an hr.
So what are we going to do this first Eid. Well my dear daughter has opened her Eid present. I got her a board game, so maybe we will play that. My daughter will probably wear her new abaya around the house and I’m wearing a new scarf. For food lets see I think I will make up some of my daughters favorites…all Canadian of course.
I am feelig a bit disappointed because I was so looking forward to praying in congregation. I really wanted to feel apart of this Muslim community to which I now belong. So here I sit instead, perhaps I will go and visit some blogs this morning so I can feel the spirit of Islam that I can find here online.
I think I am learning this new faith of mine:Islam. For me the transition from one faith to another sure has some bumps in the road. Some suggestions for those who are doing the same:
- try to do so it a community of believers who can nurture you. Doing it on your own as I am doing is a very difficult road. I am finding that I have many questions and the Internet is not the best place for answers.
- give your family time to adjust to the changes in you. Don’t expect them to be happy about it over night. Remember they knew you when.
- give yourself time. You don’t have to be perfect over night. I am thankful that Allah is kind and full of mercies.
- dont become a I know it person, seek advice, counsel and want to learn more and more.
- get a mentor: have somebody in your life you can turn to when you have questions or need advice.
For me so far these things are working. For me the hardest part of this walk for me is the isolation from a community that think the same as I do, that could nurture me, being a lone single in small town Canada is hard. Now I am off to Rocks in My Dryer to see what works for other people in their lives.
More and more as I learn about this new faith that I have embraced I see so many things that I have not left behind as I leave the Mormon faith ( The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Really there are many similarities.
Here are some:
- I still believe in prophets, just no longer in a current one, or in Joesph Smith. I follow the teaching of one who lived long ago, and brought us the Quran. His name is Mohammed(PBUH).
- I believe still in revealed scripture, but my Book of Mormon has been replaced with my Quran.
- I still follow dietary rules. But instead of the Word of Wisdom (no tea, coffee, alcohol, drugs, smoking) I eat halal(slaughtered properly), stay away from pork, and don’t drink alcohol or smoke.
- I still believe family is very important as believe that women and men have defined roles in life.
- I still believe all people have the right to choose religion. We are not about compulsion.
- I still follow time entrenched rituals. But my temple attendance and garment have been replaced with my prayer mat and praying 5 times a day.
- I still dress modestly. In fact now I cover more. Before I was covering the signs of my faith ( the garment). Now I cover me. I wear my hijab and long clothes knowing that I am doing what is right.
- I still believe that when it comes to the bible that not all of it is correct.
- I still give. My tithe has been replaced with Zakat.
- I still pray. Now I pray more and enjoy the direct connection to the Creator and Father of All. \
I have been learning much as I embrace this new faith of mine, doing so in iolation of being a country girl has its challenges but Allah has been aiding me each step of the way. I am learning that in Mormonism I was given a foundation that would later help me embrace this faith of mine. Was Mormonism wrong? For me, yes, for others it is there faith and just like the one I live today they live and act on thier faith hour by hour, day by day.
Last night my daughter who is 11 came home last night and told me that her teacher introduced a book in class as there next major chapter book to be read as a class. The book follows the life of one young Muslim girl in Afghanistan. So Rachel shared with her class that we are Muslim, she also said she would bring things from home that Muslims use. So she came to me and asked me if she could bring my prayer rug ( I only have one.) and a couple of my different style hijabs. I said yes.
So this morning she asked if she could wear her hijab to school. This is a first! My daughter likes hijab but was fearful of wearing it to school. She is only Muslim female student in town. So today when she asked I was quick to say Yes. So she picked her pink hijab and wore it to school. I was so proud!
She came home from lunch to tell me her morning had gone well. She had a chance to show the class how one would use a prayer rug, what wudu is, and why a Muslim woman wears hijab. She said her classmates were very interested.
Tonight I got a call from her teacher telling me that my dear daughter had done an amazing job and brought what it was like to be a muslim child to life for her class. She asked if I could send in any more resources about Islam that I thought the class would enjoy. I said I would if I could think of things that would benefit them. So if you had a chance to share Islam with a group of 10 and 11 year olds what would you share?
For me I am so proud of my daughter as a new muslimah that she shared her faith with her class. Oh and as this book will take them all through the month of November and Early Dec, the teacher wants Rachel to teach about Eid (something Rachel has yet to celebrate herself yet) so I guess I better get looking for resources on teaching her about the upcoming Eid.
Last night here it was Halloween. What is a new muslimah supposed to do when she has raised her child always doing Halloween? For me I am finding it hard to live here where so much is haram. You know the stuff that wont bring you closer to Allah.
You see Halloween has its roots in Paganism, and yes today’s kids going door to door around your neighborhood begging is not the same as the old rituals yet to participate is to give in to stuff that really isnt the best choice. Last night I gave in. You see I have a 10 year old daughter who isn’t sure she wants to be Muslim, after all the only Muslim she sees now is me. My mom is also a Holiday lover, and goes overboard for them all. Being this close to her does not help me increase my deen. I feel a bit at a loss in this new faith of mind, and some days like last night I find myself feeling bad. Feeling caught between two worlds, anyone else ever feel this?
It is this caught between two worlds that has me a bit scared. How can I really increase in faith, when I am so isolated. I find myself really missing the Muslim community of Toronto. At least there I had Muslims around I could learn from, here really I have no one, so much for being a rural Muslimah. My daughter has no friends now that are Muslim, unlike Toronto when her best friends were.
I have recently found myself online more and more seeking learning and community but even that is hard to find. I did find an online Arabic class so I think I am going to start that soon, I really want to be able to speak and read it. I am reading several blogs by Muslimah bloggers so expect to see a blog roll here soon not only of Muslimahs but of my other passion everything frugal. So visitors, if you live in the west,or are a revert like me how do you balance things? How did you make that transition?
Last year was the first Pink Hijab Day, this year it is an Global Day, and we so need it, breast cancer effects women in every country. Today I will proudly wear my pink hijab. For me this is personal as I lost my gram 2 years ago to breast cancer. Breast Cancer effects thousands every year. Early detection is key so make sure you self test. For more info on this awful disease please visit here. So are you wearing pink?
this is me in pink for the day….
so where is your pink today?
One of the lessons I have learned in this last year as I have journeyed into Islam, is that there is much that is shared by Islam and the rest of the religirous world. First like Jews and Christians we beleive in one God…one no other. For me that offers me a direct connection.
Second like Christians we accept the writing of all the early prophets, and we use the gospels as well, most people don’t realize that these are accepted to Muslims as scripture. WE call those that follow them “People of the Book”.
For me many of my favorite verses are in the Psalms. For years I was a young woman of the book. I attended seminary, I worked hard to learn my faith yet it left me yearning more and for me I found what I needed in the Quran. For me it brought me to God, to Allah. Do I think those that follow the book wrong?
Maybe, maybe lam, but as is said in the Quran Islam is not a faith of compulsion. People of the Book and Muslims in the old days for several centuries were able to live in peace, and understanding. So it hurts when I see such a lack of understanding and teaching, For me I pray for more one on one dialog, more one on one understanding, and then perhaps we can get to what I think God would want, living side by side in peace…all of us worshiping one God.