Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Religious Tolerance? Where? Not at my job...

An event happened at work today that really irked me. We had a new temp start today. Today was my coworker's birthday and we got her a cake and were cutting it in the conference room. She asked if the new temp was going to come have cake. I mentioned that I didn't even know his name. Another coworker said, "It's Abdoodoo or something weird." Turns out his name is Abdul. I don't know if he's Muslim or not, but he has an Arabic name. A different coworker said, "I hope he doesn't blow up the building or something!" Then one of my bosses said, "I thought the same thing when I saw his resume and so did my boss! He said the same exact thing!"

Really? Is that what my fellow people in the USA think of Muslims or people with Arabic names? That we are terrorists going to blow up the building? It ticked me off! They don't know I am Muslim obviously, the birthday girl knows that I am Muslim. Perhaps I should have come right out and told them and asked them not to be so rude. Still, an office is not supposed to be prejudiced about anything like race or religion! And supervisors are definitely not supposed to voice those prejudiced opinions! Not cool. Not cool at all.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Struggling For Acceptance?

Someone posted this link on a message board I visit today about a Muslimah who was worried about finding her place in Islam after saying shahadah. I can relate a bit with her. It's a struggle sometimes for me to find my place in Islam.

I haven't been to a masjid yet. I don't always wear hijab, other than in the car and occasionally in the grocery store. My family isn't Muslim. My husband isn't Muslim. My closest Muslim friends are all online and I don't see them in the read world. There's one who lives in my state but I haven't had a chance to see her in a year.

I too worry about what I may lose, as the writer of the post that I linked did. I worry that I may lose friends. I worry that I may lose family who don't understand why I left Christianity. I worry that I may lose my job if I dare to wear hijab at work (though my modest clothes have actually earned positive comments from others in my office). But I have to keep remembering that it doesn't matter if the worldly aspects of my life that I am used to are lost. What matters is pleasing Allah and doing as He commands. The more I learn, the happier I become. I love Islam!

As the linked post says, "I once thought that Islam would mean me losing things – now I see that I have gained countless blessings in this life and the key to paradise in the next."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A True Friend?

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, "Man is influenced by the faith of his friends. Therefore, be careful of whom you associate with." I am really thinking about his words carefully right now with regards to a friend of mine.

I have a friend who is honestly not being a very good friend right now. A true friend won't intentionally say hurtful things to get a rise out of you, just to see how you will react. I end up just being silent after these things are said to me because I don't want to say something to cause hurt to my friend, yet he cares nothing about the hurt that he is causing me when he says hurtful things.

This website says this in regards to choosing your friends:

"Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) who has the most noble character and dealings with fellow humans gave us a very clear and simple message and advice in regard to friendship.

How should we choose our friends? We should choose the friend that believes and abide by our religion (Islam) and gives great respect to what Allah (SWT) and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) has ordered us. And we should stay away from that who is not well mannered and gives no attention to what Islam is about or what pleases or displeases Allah (SWT), for he will surely affect us negatively. There is no good if the companion drowns us in sins and displeasing Allah (SWT).

In another Hadith, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: "The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him."

When choosing our friends we should ask ourselves first: Are they going to help us achieve the purpose for which we were brought to life? Or will they take us away from it? Will they desire for us Allah (SWT)'s pleasure or is that completely irrelevant to them and not their concern at all? Are they leading us to Paradise or to the Hell?"

My so-called "friend" is definitely affecting me negatively. His words which used to be kind and helpful are now harsh and unkind. He doesn't care if what he says hurts another person. I totally believe in being honest and would much rather someone be honest with me even if the honesty will hurt a bit. But there are ways to talk to a friend and his ways are definitely NOT how a friend should be treated. I am seriously considering cutting off all contact with him because I am growing tired of being hurt and pretending that it's okay for the sake of friendship.

On a side note, things are not perfect at home but all of are making an effort. We'll see how things go. Insha'Allah all will work out for the best.