In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate

In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate
Al-Quran (30:30)

So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[Al-Imran 3:8] "[Who say], "Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The suspense of Anxieties untold!

Twice this past week I have been asked by my professors to tell my story as an introductory exercise in which the whole class participates. Usually they just ask us to "introduce" ourselves not to tell "our story." What story?! They can't be really serious?! of course I just did the usual and stated my name, year and major; the end! I was the first one and I hesitated to state the obvious, the "interesting fact" about myself, "I'm Muslim!" 

I was surprised at my anxiety towards expressing the "obvious" and defying the awkwardness around my “Islamness.” I was particularly fond of my own custom of introduction of ME {Weird but true.}  For example, most Muslims in a class try very hard to be unnoticed or not talk about Islam or even give that “OTHER” perspective other students voluntary do shamelessly (i.e. some talk about their “experiences” if you know what I mean). Today for example, my teacher spoke about Spain and how Spain had the most anxiety built around sexuality because of the moors.

That made me cringe and I contemplated whether I would let it slip or challenge it. It felt as if the room just froze for what seemed very long and the students just awaited for me to snap or make a slight gesture of discomfort. I sometimes imagine others waiting for me to become “enlightened” in class and rip this “rag” off my head. I simply giggle to myself of such an occurrence.

When I finally inquired if she could please elaborate what she meant sexual anxiety in Spain was due to the moors. The way she turned to look at me almost seemed slow motion that resembled an intense melodramatic soap-opera scene. I noticed she omit the subject of the moors and directed my inquiry to  an effect of social stratification done by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand which then later was “translated” to sexual anxiety when they arrived to the Americas. I was glad she elaborated rather than build this resentment towards Muslims  and it end it there. I wonder if that really was her point but I doubt it and moved on!

I suppose it was not difficult to dismiss my "bias" taking into account I was in a class full of “liberated” feminists. At the end I felt bad for making it awkward for my professor.  Some might argue these classes are useless but I have gained much. These classes only serve to prove how Islam facilitates life and indeed is the solution to all things. Yes that was an absolute- which is not possible to these social theories.  It’s a preventative measure but only time will demonstrate to them how that is so. They fail to recognize that because to them there is “no such thing as truth-absolute truth!”  Or as this young man once emphasize to me how he was a “free thinking agnostic.[1]” Their motto is “Accept all yet reject all” May Allah guide them and us Ameen!! 

[1] {While at Farmer's Market buying a cinnamon roll the baker guy greeted me with Assalamu alaykum (islamic greeting). I hesitated to return the greeting because was unsure if he was muslim ( he had a beard) and he replied he had studied Islam but he was a "free thinking" agnostic.}