Will you believe as your forefathers believe?

Peace and blessings everyone.

When I write, it usually comes from a place of anger or annoyance, irritation or contemplation. Today, I write from a place of great sadness and hurt. Sadness and hurt that I feel lonelier than ever, isolated from my family and friends.

Ramadan, for many Muslims born from Muslim families, is a time to share. Share time, together, in rememberance of God and of this religious experience lived together. As a very new Muslim convert, and more importantly as a progressive Muslim convert, I feel isolated from the mainstream conservative and moderate Muslim  community.

One aspect I did not expect was the isolation I would come to experience from my family members. I come from a family which have had many challenges forcing them to open their minds including a queer father and a cousin with a mental disability. We have experienced much heartake from the society at large and we had to learn to stand tall with one another, to have eachother’s back. As I write, today, I have learned that they no longer have my back and, even more disheartening, that they have identified my conversion to Islam as no longer having theirs.

The Qu’ran has this verse, 2:170, which says “Whenever someone tells them: ‘Follow what God has sent down;’ they say: ‘Rather we will follow what we discovered our forefathers were doing,’ even though their forefathers did not use reason in any way nor were they guided.” [translation T.B. Irving]

I would not say that my forefathers did not use reason, but perhaps that their reasoning did not lead them to the same conclusions mine did. I love my family, I really do, I even have a number of tattoos to that effect. I have no intentions to change them or convert them (I have no intention of changing or converting anyone), I just ask for support and respect, the same that I support and respect them all, regardless of their personal choices or lifestyles.

We were never made to be one homogenous people. We are different and I believe that our differences are God-made, all of them: our race, culture, language, religion, dis/ability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, social economic background. I believe that God chose for us a specific path within which we need to navigate and learn to become better human beings, part of which includes respect and love of others who differ from you.

The Qu’ran states at 49:13 “O mankind, We have created you from a male and female, and set you up as nations and tribes so you may recognize [and cooperate with] one another. The noblest among you with God is that one of you who best performs his duty; God is Aware, Informed” [translation by T.B. Irving]

I am hurt to see that some of my family members will not have my back, but my sadness comes from another place altogether. More than everything, I want them to know that I still have their backs, whether that means standing up against homophobia/heterosexism, supporting the rights of people with dis/ability, talking against violence made to women or speaking out against rape culture and victim blaming/silencing. Those issues reach out across cultures, races and religion, and you can stand with me, a Muslim, or you can get out of my way, because nothing, and I mean NOTHING will stop me from ensuring those issues are heard and dealt with. Including, but not limited to, those few of you who wish I would be quiet, because now, it’s a Muslim speaking. It IS a Muslim speaking, it is a WOMAN speaking, it is a young French Acadian Canadian Female Muslim Queer-spawn talking and you WILL hear me! Because I am loud and “innapropriate” and I have no intentions of ever changing!

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8 thoughts on “Will you believe as your forefathers believe?

  1. God be with you also. The family conflict is being resolved a little at a time, God is merciful and is bringing us closer at times goes by.

    As per hijab: I have no problem in anyone wearing hijab. After wearing it a while, I know that even if I chose to return to Christianity or turned to any other religion, my veil would remain. I feel thoroughly happy in it and which everyone could experience the love and joy of ownership of their own body and the securing presence of God in their lives. If you have been lucky enough to find that feeling, don't ever let anyone tell you you can't have it whenever YOU want! May God's peace be with you always! xo

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  2. God go with you. I hope that the family conflict that you're experiencing will be resolved soon, if they haven't been already.

    Power to you! Keep standing up for what you believe!

    BTW, regarding hijab: I'm a Protestant gal who wearing hijab — a scarf wrapped in a typically Muslim style vs. a Christian chapel veil or Jewish tzunit — but only in private. I don't wear it for modesty, obviously, but wear is because it makes me feel more centered and reminds of the God above me. I'm considering going to wearing it publicly with a cross necklace (nothing against Muslims, but I'm Christian, so I'd like to avoid being mistaken for Muslim as much as possible) once I move out. Thoughts?

    -Christine

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  3. beleive in yourself, the stephy i know is a fighter who doesn't let anybody push her around 😉 They will see someday that you have found your religion. Best of luck and love in your journey
    -mel

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  4. Walaikum Salam Sister,
    I do not wear the headscarf for modesty. I want to wear the headscarf for identification. I have a pride flag patch on my bag which I carry every day to show my support for my Queer brothers and sisters. I do not HAVE to wear the hijab nor do I believe in the Hijab being modest but I want to wear it, because while it is not an ultimate sign of my Muslim identity, it does help introduce my islamicity to others around me and sometimes break down the stereotypes. 😀

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  5. Salam Sister

    Your so pretty! I'm a blue eyed blonde american revert (12 yrs). Understand the Muslim community is full of issues and I'm afraid it's difficult. Sister hijab is NOT Islamic. What keeps it alive is Arab culture. I hope you keep with your American identity because I'm afraid reverts find themselves neither here nor there. It's easier in the long run to practice your religion without making a public statement. I was sold the same info you are now receiving regarding modesty. No need to wear a headscarf to be modest! Pre Islam women and men of Arabia covered their heads to protect from the heat and sand but the women of that time were immodest and exposed their bossoms. Allah asks in the Quran that the woman would lower the scarf to cover her chest. Just type: Hijab cultural not Islamic in YouTube. There is info to explain it all. If you want to wear one anyways it's your choice of course.

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  6. In the ground or on the ground? Haha! As far as on the ground, if you mean prostrating, it is a sign of complete submission. “Islam”, the word itself, means submission to God. So prostrating in prayer shows our complete devotion and submission to God 🙂

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  7. Best of luck in this situation. Hopefully, time will tell that it is only temporary and everyone will realize that you are still the same as before.

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