It’s really really disheartening when you have this feeling deep down in your heart of being inadequate in certain capacities only to have people constantly confirm it again and again. You can’t even be mad at them, knowing that they’re oblivious to your internal turmoil.
I’m babbling now, and I only ever do that when I don’t want to address an issue head on.
I have always fought an internal and sometimes external battle with my faith, life and religion. I know to some people, these three are supposed to be one component intertwined together but for me, they seem to exist independently most times. The challenge for me has been striving to reconcile all three so they make sense.
Let’s take each component one by one
– Faith: I’m a firm believer in God. I unequivocally believe that there is only one God, although everyone seems to have a different way of serving Him.
I do have a relationship with Him, it’s sometimes a painful one, as a result of my numerous sins, especially the greater ones( I know they say sin is sin but trust me, I feel more guilty about some stuff than I do about others so… I don’t know) *shrugs*.
– Religion: I’m a Muslim. I was born one. I believe that God wanted me to be a Muslim and that’s why I am one today. The God I believe in doesn’t make mistakes so this was His intention and for this reason, I will remain a Muslim for the rest of my life.
– My life: is not the perfect embodiment of a true Muslims. I am quite happy with myself as a person and a human being for the most part. But as a Muslim, I tend to fail miserably. This brings me to the beginning of this post. I try ( not my best to be honest) to be a good Muslim but only I know that, and a handful of those close to me but it doesn’t show to people on the outside. You might wonder why this bothers me so but it does. As a Muslim, one of the signs of a true believer is that people must be able to tell that you’re a woman of faith just by looking at you, speaking to you without necessarily knowing you. Cue the head scarf and the way of dressing attributed to Muslim women. I don’t wear a scarf. I flirted with the idea during sec school and in Uni but it didn’t go further than that. I envy and respect women who do wear scarves and I ask myself sometimes why I can’t have that kind of resilience and self discipline( never been a big attribute of mine, I should know). I also know that most Muslim women who don’t wear scarves also feel the same way I do because I’ve spoken to other ‘bad’ eggs like myself. They remind me of my inadequacies in my religion and this in turn brings a feeling if guilt. So when I told colleagues at work earlier this week that I was looking forward to Ramadan, I got the usual classic response I always get when I tell people that I’m a muslim. Shock, disbelief and confusion. I can see it coming, but it still doesn’t take the sting out of it.
What made it worse us the fact that I’m certain I had told some of them before that I WAS a Muslim and, my name is a Muslim name but these things obviously do not count ( sigh).
I keep getting people tell me “Oh, you don’t look anything like a Muslim!”, “I would never have thought you were a Muslim”, “So how come you don’t behave like a typical Muslim“. I get the impression that they think they are paying me a compliment but each time I hear these things, it’s like a knife twisting into my heart and I am constantly reminded that I’m doing something wrong here. It also makes me sad that we’ve become so stereotypical that people expect Muslims to behave in a certain kind of way which is not altogether endearing to others. It’s like if you’re bubbly, friendly to people, then there’s no way you could ever be a muslim. Like seriously???
I know what I need to do, start wearing a scarf, stop wearing tight fitting jeans, short dresses etc. But I haven’t. I’ve known what I ought to do since I was a teenager but I’ve never done it. What’s even more alarming is that I don’t think that I want to… Yet. I don’t know what I’m waiting for… A revelation maybe, I honestly do not know but what if I never get the chance…later?
I try to say my prayers, I would like to think I’m honest, a good friend, mum and wife. I do what I can to help others, don’t like injustice and try to do things in moderation. I love music( not very Islamic), I love going out… Parties whatever( again not very Islamic). I do like my jeans slim fitted and yes, I wear short dresses sometimes ( exceptionally unislamic). Fortunately, I don’t drink or smoke and it’s really because I’m trying to achieve some kind of balance. If I’m falling short in all these other areas, then I have to make up for it elsewhere. Atleast this is what I discuss with God in my mind when I’m trying to explain my apparent disobedience and my justification. I like myself, but I don’t think my personality suits my religion. Something’s got to give.,. I’m not sure what yet…
We are in a meditating mood now and I’m trying to set my mind like so( hard to do when I was still reading fifty shades if Gray a few days ago knowing fully well that Ramadan was just around the corner) * see what I mean?*
I’m going to work on being good these next few weeks. So all you’re going to get from me is these kind of confessions if I may call them that. I’m in soul cleansing mode, I’ve set myself a test, let’s see how I fare ……. My eternity might be riding on it.