Monday, 11 June 2007

Confusing Thoughts

“I was surprised when I heard you saying that, I used to consider you very religious”. This was what a friend of mine said to me after I had told her that I can’t be fair to advise her about her problem.

The young doctor, who accepted to put on the head scarf for the sake of her suitor, had realized that her dream in lovely life has turned into a nightmare. She was not allowed to listen to music, to chat with her previous friends especially men, and should wear more “religiously” accepted clothes apart from the scarf.
After couple of months, she called me seeking for my help as she was looking for divorce. I told her that I’m ready to help her, however, I can’t give her my opinion , I said :“I’m fed up with religious people” I said one thing which she totally agreed about “you have to choose, either to live as a divorced women or to live as a bondwoman”.
Eventually, she decided to keep on living with her husband for the sake of her family and society.

For a long time I used to be categorized as a religious person as I’m keen on learning religion and having religious philosophy, furthermore; living this life without breaking its rules.

However, I didn’t fit among the religious people as I had odd ideas in their considerations, I remember a guy who used to be my classmate in the university, he came once asking about my opinion in the college trip, isn’t it “Haram” (forbidden by Allah) as people are singing, dancing and both sexes are mixed together, I told him that, it’s not a mandatory trip, who doesn’t like it, can avoid it.
I remember how he looked at me with disgust saying “do you think so?”

The main problem between religious and non-religious people in my society is: as soon as people become religious they get convinced that they’re superior and they’ll end in Heaven while all the others are going to Hell, so they start showing disrespect towards the others!
As a Muslim keen on religion I’m quite sure this is not Islam and has noting to do with religion, yet, it’s the attitude of the vast majority of the religious people so whatever I say defending religion wouldn’t have any living proof.

Many people are unable to realize that: it took the profit Mohamed (PBUH) 23 yeas to convince a group of people in a small area about his religion and yet, not all of them were convinced.

Being religious in my philosophy means being a mirror which reflects the image of religion, and in case we don’t, that means either religion is a narrow minded philosophy as it’s not directed to the humanity in general, or we’ve failed to understand it properly.

Showing disrespect means ending the discussion before it starts, no one will go to the side of those who keep telling him that he will end in Hell; no one is ready to be considered as inferior.

It’s a fact that people teach their children the rules of religion rather than its ethics and values.

When I think about this matter, I consider non religious people, who spend time, money and sometimes sacrifice their lives, trying to help people, really great as they don’t do things waiting for a reward in the other life while the religious ones are looking for that reward.
“Gandhi” is a good example for what I’m trying to say, he represents a symbol for human liberation and peace, the great man had entirely different beliefs from the ones we have, he didn’t need our beliefs to be great. Will we sound sensible if we disrespect him?

I’m a human being, I can’t stop myself from being in love with people just because they’re different, still they’re human beings just like I , they love, they help, they give, and yet, they don’t believe in things I’m convinced about.

There is something inside me, I’m not sure what it is, it asks me about my priority, is it the religion anymore? It should be.

I’m not as religious as I used to be, still I’m believer and I’m doing my worships but not with the same passion I used to have!

I think about all what we consider as priorities; we spend our life arguing and fighting for our priorities, we’re ready to hurt the others, to sacrifice their friendship, to ignore their sufferance and sometimes we ignore all what they did for us just to prove that we’re right!
Are those “priorities” fixed? Won’t we be changed gradually? Should we sacrifice love and friendship just to convince ourselves that we’re right? Won’t e regret it later on? Isn’t it a type of stupidity that we hurt the ones who we love just to show loyalty to our beliefs?

Maybe what I feel now is just a transient matter which will end soon, I’m not sure if religion agrees with me or not, but as far as I believe; the Almighty knows it whether I say it or not.
I like people as they are, I don’t feel that I have the duty of converting them, I like people for how good and nice they are not for being on my side or for agreeing with what I think, and all what I wish is to keep being like that!
I think that we sometimes waste our time arguing with the ones we love instead of enjoying the time with them, we live this life once and we should know how to enjoy it and with the ones we love not with someone else.

The last phone calls I made were with two of those who are closed to my heart, my cousin who told me that she has stopped wearing the scarf and my dearest friend who admitted that he has started drinking; both of them were waiting to listen to me giving them one of my religious lectures, both of their actions are condemned in my religion.
I congratulated my cousin and I replied to my friend: “well done, try to enjoy this life”!

** I’ve been trying helplessly to write this post for the last few months, it might sound confusing as I feel confused!


Treasure of Baghdad said...

I respect the woman who puts on the scard out of satisfaction and desire. But women who put it on for the sake of others are not on my list of respected people because they are not wearing it out of belief. They do it out of either fear or satisfaction of someone else. That someone else is also stupid because they think by forcing women to wear it, they are doing God a favor! Even God Himself said "La Ikrah fildeen" so why they keep doing it?

I think it's your friend's problem from the very beginning. She should have talked to her fiance before they got married. He is a backwards man, but she is not. So why she put it on if she is not convinced?

A&Eiraqi said...

Dear B.T
Your opiion might take us so far.
It's a fact that many Iraqi women are pleased to get a husben living outside, weather we agree with it or not, they look for a better life and it' the only way to get, if you ask me or I ask you, I know both might disagree with it but it's going on and in fact I can't criticize them for looking for a better life as they imagine getting it by marriage as there is no other way.
The second fact is many girls in our society consider putting the headscarf is a postponded destiny not a rejected matter.
Whatever she say before marriage and whatever the promises she get, life after marriage is different and of course she didn't see him in person to know everything and that takes us back to the first point.
I absolutely agree with the point of (la ikrah fildeen) but unluckily there are many stupids who think that forcing their wives or children daughters to wear the scarf is something good they do for Allah.
I agree that she did the wrong thing, of course she had her causes, and yet, she made another thing which we can't judge now by accepting going on not for happiness but for the sake of te society.
It's abit complicated but I respect her and all those who do their best to go out of the horror they live in, it'll take us very long time if we want to discuss this matter.
All the best brother

Sheko Mako said...

Dear A&E and Treasure,

"La Ikrah fi Addin".
unfortunately this verse is not applicable on Middle Eastern, especially Arab societies. religion in our communities is an identity, not a personal choice. In Iraq, for example, you will be regarded as Muslim, Christian, Jew or Mendi with your first breath in this life and it is written on your IDS until you die. unlike in Western Democratic cultures, you can not chosse your religion so freely and when you do so you will be disgusted by your family and cursed by the society and you might be killed if you do so.
Islamic theology and literature is very difficult to be confined and restricted in a frame of personal relationship between God and the person himself and that is exactly our dilemma


Marshmallow26 said...

Hello AEIraq,

Well, I don't know if I can leave a comment regarding this subject as a Christian I guess I have nothing to do with, but I have one question: why do young femails (4, 5 year old) put the scarfs too?
Are they convinced with something or committed to someone or that is some sorta shotgun??

Thank you

A&Eiraqi said...

Dear Shako Mako
I agree with you that in our countries people are not free in choosing their religion but it couldn't be more than words onto papers, no one can force you to pray or to do any worship.And you're also right that it might cause problems with the family and that what I ment by wasting our time arguing.

Dear Marsho
How come that you're not allowed to leave a cmmont, who cares about what religion you follow, you're Marshamello and that what I care about, maybe I took it more from Islamic point of view as I am Muslim but it's more about society and the way we live (I's all about our life) LOL.

You're point is quite stong and right.
I will sound stupid if I say the poor young children are convinced, they're forced even if they're happy with it as they don't know what life is and what it means.
Poeple try to "Protect" their daughter from life so they force them to do so.
They know that if their daughters grow up they'll never accept it, others go farther trying to make their daughters get married earlier to "protect" get rid of them and avoid any problems "love" the might face.

Best wishes

Don Cox said...

I think a religion has three main parts, and people try to mix them up. First is the metaphysics - how many gods are there, who (if anyone) created the universe, do angels exist, is there an after-life, etc. Second is the ethics - being kind and honest, not murdering people, etc. Third is the customs - special clothes and diets, sacred buildings, special days, marriage customs, etc etc etc. Each of these three parts is independent of the other. You can have very good ethics while believing in any number of gods from zero to hundreds, for instance._____I think a "religious" person is anyone who thinks a lot about such topics, not somebody who wears some particular garments. And certainly not anyone who wears a funny hat.

A&Eiraqi said...

Don Cox
As we agree ; religion is a relationship between someone and God.
If someone would like to wear something we have to respect that.
I'm working in a hospital where Indians wear their Sari or Turban, Jews put something on their heads and Muslim Ldies wear scarf, it's up to them.
I don't think putting the scarf over the head is funny.
If we consider them less than us just because what they wear that means we are either racists or narrow minded.

MixMax said...

" I remember how he looked at me with disgust saying “do you think so?”
Typical for some people, that look of disgust when not agreeing on something you say!!! ironic!

" Many people are unable to realize that: it took the profit Mohamed (PBUH) 23 yeas to convince a group of people in a small area about his religion and yet, not all of them were convinced."
Wonderfully put, and the proof is the chaos after the death of the prophe (PBUH)

Another brilliant post, my brother, question: after all this celirification, you don't need to be confused

Thanks again for sharing

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

Very nice post , really liked the topic..
i agree with most of what u have written.. i liked what u said about ppl having their own differences.. the most important is being kind and respectful.. and even in our religion, the most important is how u treat others, not just keep praying put leave an ill impression with other ppl..
i dont know why it took u months to write this, i found it v interesting and i think that each one of us would go through these encounters in life..

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

I ve been away from the internet for a while..
what a lovely verse about Baghdad,i ve just noticed the arabic words recently added..
v touching indeed.. ashat eedak..

A&Eiraqi said...

Dear Yasmin and Max
Thanks alot for your words.
I feel confused, yes I do, I used to walk alone in the street while the electricity was off to see group of men sitting together chating and laughing or quitely mentioning jokes about Sadam and sometimes criticising his policies, few meters from them two families are sitting togther laughing also despoite the hot weather, children playing together and despite the hard life despite the differences they were togehter.
The used to disagree about religion, sector or whatever but it was rare to see quarrels for such things.
Nowadays, it's everything, they are ready to fight for such things, we lost the mocked peaceful life we used to live.

When I was younger I used to be so argumenative and discuss every religious matter for hours, but I never lost someone.
Nowadays; I'm scared, we are losing each other, we're unable to enjoy the time with the ones we love, we leave scars in each other without thinking about them.
The point behind this post is more about the last few lines rather than the rest.
Maybe it's a type of negativity that whenever someone criticize me now I keep quiet =, on the hope that I dobn't lose him.
I know that this commont is confusing as I'm confused.
I'll be off for a course next two weeks, I'll not bother you with my posts and commonts meanwhile.

Konfused Kid said...

you always impress me. dude you are a great writer. some of the other bloggers i have to please for the sake of personal friendships but you are simply beyond praise. in both arabic and english.

Té la mà Maria said...

please visit, thank

Truth About Iraqis said...

Truly a divisive issue that is the boiling pot in the Arab Middle East today.

I think I agree with what BT wrote: I, too, respect a woman's pursuit of things that do not harm the public interest. If a woman feels donning the veil puts her closer to God, then so be it.

However, I cannot condone the actions of a young woman who dons the veil because of social stigma, peer pressure, etc.

Unfortunately, in the Middle East today, it is mostly peer pressure and fear of social ostracization that pushes young women to wear the veil.

One question I have for them, is why wear the veil when you are praying in a room by yourself?

Is God so ashamed of your hair that you must hide it when seeking to be one with God?

"Because a man might pass by and see the woman's hair," has been a common answer.

"What if the room is sealed or in the middle of the desert, or there are no men there," I asked.

My query solicits a blank stare.

Veiling is the number one religious issue in the Middle East. Not Palestine. Not the occupation in Iraq and the 800,000 who have died there.

Not the dire economic living conditions of 80% of the Arab World.

No, the Muslims will die out if a woman does not wear the veil.

In Egypt, the minister of culture or arts, I think his name is Farouq Husni or something, he said that the veil was the symbol of regression.

They wanted to lynch him as an apostate. The man simply meant that those who seek to IMPOSE the veil on others are also pursuing agendas which will take us back several hundred years.

Which is true. The West is experimenting with Cold Fusion and terrabyte information transfer, and we are discussing why a woman should cover her hair.

I wish more people would live the way the Prophet lived. He advised us to love our neighbors, do to do well in this world, to discuss, not argue. To speak calmly, not with anger.

To dispense with anger and violence.

And the first convert to listen to him and adopt Islam was a woman, Khadija, 15 years his elder, a woman who was not a virgin when he married her (she had been married before).

And the first martyr in Islam? Also, a woman.

Siiiiiiiiigggggggggghhhhhhhh .....