Dear reader, names are changed to protect the innocent. Thank you for your time and comment on the first of hopefully many posts on growing up around Muslims of varying stages of growth. For sure faith rises and descends. It’s called life, but….
……Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar La Ilaha illa Allaah.
Finding that quiet space just out of the midst of the revelries of kids playing, block parties, music volume fading as we depart after a day of amusement parking. To keep the distant sounds within ear view, but not loud enough to be an interruption makes it very clear how set apart I am from many of my fellow human beings. It is my joy to once again face my Lord in salaah, grateful to be among the few blessed to realize the importance of remembrance of whence we came and whereto we are headed. This same event is viewed differently by even the people who share my household….
Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar
“Oh, no, not again” moaned Jasmine. “Seems like I just made salat, and it’s time again.” She pulled herself up from her comfortable spot on the couch and made her way to the bathroom. Maybe if she took long enough the salaah would be over. Dad didn’t make too much fuss over her missing salaah yet. It was hard enough on her as it is because life was “too hard” for her, he reasoned with his current wife. Jasmine’s mother had moved away from the house and Islaam when she was still only two years old. She does go to visit her mother a couple weekends during the month. That is where her confusion comes in. “Mommy says that all of Daddy’s praying and covering and all those rules are just too much. They don’t have to do all of that just to say they are Muslim. So what if she listens to music and wears anything that she wants? At least she doesn’t eat pork.” Jasmine rehearses these words over and over in her mind. She can relate to these words because most of the people she knows who say they are Muslims don’t care about all of those rules that her dad and his wife are calling oh so important. But since she has to live with her dad, she just goes along to get along. “Just two more years, and I’ll be old enough…” she promises herself.
Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar
“Time to pray again!” shouted Ruqayyah. “I’m going to pray with Daddy,” she announced to her sisters. “Whatever” they reply not even looking up from the you tube videos on the phones. Ruqayyah loves the feeling of standing next to her dad. She knows that she can do this right now because she’s only five. In time she will have to join the women’s rank in the rear. But for now she is taking full advantage. And why not? After salaat her dad gives her the biggest warmest hug and she could just live in his arms forever. The fact that her mother is not with them makes her a little bit sad, but since she still has Daddy things are okay. And whatever Daddy is doing she loves to do with him. They talk about Allaah, and it makes sense to her that Allaah made her and everything that she can see. Before she goes to sleep she makes sure to pray for her mother. “Oh Allaah let Mommy come back so we can be together again and make salaat together.”
Alaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar
“There just has to be more to life than all this praying,” Saalihah thought to herself. She dared not let on that she had problems understanding just why her dad and his wife were always praying. They told her they do it because Allaah says to do it, and it is a big part of being Muslim. Dad’s wife holds salaat over her head. If Saalihah makes it with her, then she is nice, but if she would rather keep watching a video on her phone, she acts meanish. They say we are going to meet with Allaah Who made us, and then we’ll have to answer why we did what we did. Saalihah was almost 14 and she knew that soon she would have to make a choice that may shape the rest of her life. For sure it would determine her place in this family.