Reflections

Taking stock, as you do from time to time, I find myself reflecting on just how out of step I feel with the world at times.

I look around me and see all kinds of people, all manner of ways of being, people I genuinely love at a deep level, and yet, I am tribeless in so many ways. I don’t fit in. I’ve never fit in. And even if I did I probably didn’t feel it.

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Striving, as we do, to live an ethical life, we can get pulled in so many well-meaning ways. There are plenty of well-meaning, kind, nice, ethical people out there. And yet, as Muslims we have to be it in a different kind of way.

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There are the obvious things like, not attending places that serve alcohol. As a result that puts us completely out of the social sphere of most non-Muslim people I would rather like to hang out with. We don’t do the pork thing, which seems to perplex some (really, it smells like burnt tyres… go without it for a month and see). We don’t freely mingle with people of the opposite sex – I know, I know, how do we survive at all (families do mingle, just not singletons) and then there’s music. Yes, we don’t really go for music either, although some Muslims are OK with it, it certainly isn’t the centre of our lives to which we all dance gaily around.

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See? Mixing can be problematic, and I suppose no matter how hard we try it always will be.

Most of the time I am OK with this. I am OK with being me and walking the path I see as right whether or not everyone else is walking somewhere else. And I have my babes, and resident squatter who calls me ‘wife’ – I have my tribe.

I just wish sometimes it was a little larger…

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6 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. Assalamu alaikoum,I often feel the same way. It seems strange to me sometimes too when pele who I relate to straight away becuase of shared intst or expression might look back at me with no recognition at all because what they see is first and foremost a Muslim and therfore something alien. Now after over a decade kf being Muslim, I still cant get used to that.

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  2. Your words resonated with me this morning Debbie. Whilst I’m not Muslim, I feel very strongly about the alcohol bit. Here in Australia so much of what passes for socialising and entertaining revolves around drinking – and drinking to excess – which I loathe. It’s such a strong cultural norm that any avoidance of it leaves me with little opportunity to join in. This is especially so with my husband’s work colleagues. For the last 15 years and in three different companies, his colleagues have been mostly childless, and their idea of fun is to either hit the pubs or have parties where huge amounts of alcohol are consumed and people behave really outrageously (leaves me feeling like a nun). Now, I find myself almost completely excluded from these events and sometimes it does feel very very lonely. I totally get what you’re saying. I would love to be part of a tribe too where we shared values and ideas of fun and socialising but boy, I haven’t had much luck finding it. Hard work in our incredibly consumerist, shopping focussed, alcohol driven, exhibitionist driven society! And I don’t think it’s as simple as finding a knitting group – of course they exist, but they are where we go as individuals – can’t take the family along. I need – and I’m hearing you need too – something more encompassing than just a group that shares one hobby. Bah!

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