Monday, April 9, 2012

About my religion...

Yes. This time, an actual religion post. Let the chaos ensue....and you're free to skip this lovely rant/vent.

I consider myself more spiritual than religious, though what that exactly means, even I'm not quite sure (as dumb as that sounded, let's just act like it makes sense for now, okay?). Born and raised a Muslim, I've had little time to explore my personal take on this religion I follow...except within the past few years or so. I've found that, at least for now, the rituals contained within Islam are...pointless, excessive, and/or just not for me. Not right now...

Therein lies the problem. In Islam, Muslims are required to believe and follow five "pillars". One is Shahada, the profession of faith, to say "There is no God but God and Muhammad (SAW) is the Prophet of God", give or take a few translations on that last part ("Muhammad is His Messenger" "His Apostle", etc.) Sure. I got that one. Next is Salat, to pray five times a day. That's where I come up hella short...

The other three pillars of Islam are fine for me...Fasting, Zakat (giving charity), and Hajj.

So what's my beef with Salat?  I have nothing against praying, but I just can't do the whole ritual that is Salat. Yes, yes, I know, the ritual takes about five minutes. Five times five; twenty-five minutes out of the day for prayer. Is that so damn hard? No, it's not. But for me it is. Not because I don't want to...but because it doesn't feel right.

It. Doesn't. Feel. Right. At all. Puts me in tears. Makes me an emotional train wreck of pathetic goodness.

Try to think about that. Let's start from the beginning: I'm struggling with who I am, practically everything that makes me so clashing with the rules that make Islam what it is. And to top it off, I've learned of my gender identity as something that clashes enormously with Islam. No matter how happy I will be to learn of myself, I will forever have issues with myself for as long as I'm uncomfortable with the realization that I'm at odds with my religion. So yeah. Praying is something I don't want to deal with right now. It doesn't help any, if not makes my feelings worse. So can I please just focus on myself for a few more years while keeping my thoughts full of God, at least?


Well, then. That's just peachy.

Do I like being a Muslim? Yes. It's a religion that makes sense to me. But apparently, I'm not really a Muslim because I'm willingly and knowingly not doing one of the five pillars of Islam, even though, sure, I hope to get back on track with it in the far (and hopefully not too far) future. But, hey, that's no enough for some people, no matter what I think...

My mother, in fact, told me I'm going to have to pray. When she does, I do. And when she eventually goes back to the Netherlands, she told me I'm going to have to pray with my father and brother. Which is funny, because she was just trying to slap the sense that "just because (she) tells me what to do, (I'm) old enough to make my own decisions" shit into me not too many days ago. Apparently, this isn't included. In her words, it's something else entirely. Perhaps it's because I still live with my parents.

Fine. I think it's stupid, but fine. I'll let my emotional burden swell while I'm forced to pray with my family.

Just peachy.

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