Thursday, June 15, 2006

Don't Go to a Dentist When You Need a Doctor.

One of the things that I know for sure is how loved I am by my family. Since my conversion they have spent countless hours on the internet trying to find out what Islam is all about. Of course this means I get sent numerous emails about all of the "not so desirable" traits Islam seems to always be associated with. It gets exhausting. One of the issues that constantly gets brought up in discussion is the rights of women. My family definately has it in mind that "I don't know what I am getting into."
Quite the contrary actually. I know rather well what Islam is about, and who I am as a woman in Islam. Of course my family needs to see that themselves -- something that will only come with time. This is where I need Allah to give me more patience.

One of the emails I recently received from my mom outlined some of her concerns about my future. She told me that she was meeting with a Christian pastor who had done Missions work with Muslims in Canada (I don't know the specifics but I am sure the goal was to convert Muslims to Christianity.) Glad that my mom was making the effort to ask questions and get information I couldn't say much, but was discouraged that her source of infomation was someone who obviously doesn't support the faith of Islam. I decided that the only way for me to help my mom get answers to some of the questions she had was to hook her up with the number of one of the women in the community here. A Muslima who was raised in Canada, has one parent who is Christian, married a Muslim from the Middle-East, wears hijab etc. I thought to myself "who better to clear up some of my mom's concerns than someone who is living my future life!" With eagerness I sent my mom the contact information excited that I had supplied her with a way to get some of the answers she might be looking for. Here is the chance she has been wanting/needing. An opportunity to talk FIRST HAND to a person my age who is living the Muslim life.

Last week when I talked to my mom I asked her if she had contacted the Muslima in the community here. She had said no that "the majority of her questions had been answered." I wanted to crawl through the phone line so she could see the look on my face. "By Whom??!!??" I thought.
She had spent the last week or two talking with a Christian Man about the life of a Muslim Woman....
What is wrong with this picture? I am sure that he has valuable things to say, but lets be fair! If you wanted information about throat infections you wouldn't go to a Dentist just because they work with the mouth... you would go to a Doctor and get the real information from someone who knows what they are talking about, who is experienced and can provide you with the right answers.
Why is it, that people go to the internet, or their pastors, or in this case- Christian missionaries when they want information about Islam... particularly women in Islam.

I know my family is just worried for me, and as I said I appreciate their concern and know that I am loved, but at the same time I want them to see that Islam isn't all bad. Lets face it, Christians will tell you Christianity is right, Muslims will tell you Islam is right, Buddhists will tell you Buddhism is right... we all have our beliefs and have to be aware of how that influences our perspectives on things. That being said if we are going to learn about something new, get answers etc. lets go to someone who can give us information first hand...
You wouldn't go to a dentist when you need a doctor, so why would you go to a Christian to learn about Islam?


Dr. Abdul Rehman Tahir said...

Dear Jenny
Asslam o Alaikum. Congratulation on accepting Islam a straight and middle way of life for mankind. Ur Mom will be guided to Islam if Allah deisres so. There are many books and internet sites out there on Status of Women in Islam. If you need I may provide u one. You should love ur MOM and Family even more than before accpeting Islam.

Tell her that Islam declared Jannah (Paradise) under the feet of Mother (woman) not under the feet of a man and this is the heighest status a person would desire so on the day of judgement and not given by Christianity. Women has right to get married to whom she wills and seek knowledge and go for work under the limits set by Allah- yours and my Creator.
The best would be you become a role model of Islam to your family of modesty, honetsy, loving daughter and truth seeker.
May Allah guide us to the right path and not of those who invoked his wrath. Amin

may14muslima said...

Alaikum Assalam Brother--
Inshallah my family will see truth in Islam, but if nothing more, I pray they see the beauty in Islam.

The suggestions you made about showing my family that Paradise is at the feet of mother's is something I have told them... Unfortunately the negative they read (however untrue) seems to outweigh any positive I present... Inshallah that will change.

My love and relationship with them will never change... or if anything it will get even stronger. May Allah give us the strenth to be Muslims of integrity, acting the way Islam calls so those like my family find it easy to see the beauty of Islam.

Anonymous said...

As a muslim who have had the support of my family all along, I am so ashamed to say that sometimes I do not realize what a great opportunity I have. You are the example of "if allah wishes and you want it too, he will guid you". Your blog has boosted me in so many ways and I have sent it to all my muslim freinds. (I am looking forward to meeting you)
Thanks for reminding me and allah bless you

Anonymous said...

Your mother needs more time for reflection. Allah says in His Glorious Book: Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance
There are several other verses ‘Ayahs’ in the Holy Quran that emphasize the need to choose what is best whether words or means of debate, ways of solving problems and anything that has to do with relations with others. Therefore, If we have an opinion, whether as a Muslim or an Islamic caller, and we want to attract others to our religion, we have to study the idea we want to present and the method we are going to use, to ensure that words will open the receiver’s mind and heart, so that he/she will be convinced in what we say.
That is why we find the first Ayah talks about wisdom, which is using the right words for the right person. If we want to talk to someone we have to study how she/he thinks and her/his social and psychological circumstances and then use the appropriate words that do not create problems.
We also have to resort to beautiful preaching that opens up on the hearts of those we are talking to; we have to argue in the best way, without any verbal violence. Tell him/her that we have different thoughts. So let us debate in an objective and calm manner, in our search for the truth between us. Searching for the truth is a journey. This is what Allah taught us in His Book when he wanted the Prophet to discuss with the unbelievers (people who do not believe in Islam) in matters of truth and falsehood. Although Muhammad is the Messenger of the right and truth he used in his discussions with the unbelievers a method that respects their humanity. We read in the Quran: {we or you are rightly guided or in manifest error}-{وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَى هُدىً أَوْ فِي ضَلالٍ مُبِينٍ}(سـبأ/24). - . Was the Prophet in doubt when he said this? Of course not, but he wanted to give the other a feeling of assurance to attract them to engage in the journey of finding the truth. This is the meaning of wisdom and the way that is best. We need to respect the other, and not curse or damn him or her. We should always use good words that enter directly to their minds and hearts. Use the methodology that suggests that you have a common factor like believing in God although we might differ in detail: Say O followers of the Book! come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught with Him, and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah; but if they turn back, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims.
You should first establish the common factors before you deal with the points of difference. This is the same way that should govern human relations. The husband or wife with one another, or with their children, relatives and neighbors, or with the society at large.

Abou Abdalbarr

may14muslima said...

Wa Assalam Alaikum to the last two individuals who wrote comments... I will address each of them individually. To the anonymous reader, Alhumdulillah you have been inspired in some way. All praises and credit to Allah. Inshallah He will keep you strong in your faith and motivate you to make Da'wa. Thank you for the words of encouragement...

Brother Abou Abdalbarr--
What you wrote is correct, and I thank Allah for your wisdom. May I just clear up any possible misunderstandings... My feelings in the last blog were just that-- feelings. Although I write about the frustrations that i have, they are not things that I articulate to my family. I am definately aware of the need for my need to be patient with my family and show them love above all else. I know that debate, and religious jargon won't be as effective as showing them peace, strength and love.

ARG said...

I always remeber my friend Abdul Haq Baker, former Amir of the Afro-carrabian dominated Brixton Mosque, used to to put it more starkly than a dentist/doctor comparison.
Does it make any sense to ask a white man what its like to be black?
Anyway Jenny these are testing times! Just keeeep smilling :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,
Congragulation on converting to Islam, I born as a muslim but my parents never practice Islam so in my chilhood and teenager period I did not know anything about the faith I belong to, beside my family are very wealthy so I had evrything I want and desire but when night time comes there I felt am lonly and my ending will be very bad I known for sure that i will be one of the Hell people, I spent many yeara searching for the truth I attended Jew, Christian, Hindu, Boda places I studied all thier books but I could not find peace I felt am like an animal who eats drinks and enjoy life and I get mirred to a true muslim to left me from my wealthy lost life to peaceful poor one but I swear it is the richest life I lived in and Allah reward me for my patianess and am now now my true path have a peacful nights and richer then before spirtualy and financialy and my parents practising Islam and went to Hajj and tht is because one good person My Housband and because I asked Allah truly to guide me, my sister be pataint with your mom show her the true Islam by be better then before check on her daily tell her how much you love and miss and wish to walk paridise path with her but don't rush thinks and my story is a prove for you