I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I sometimes feel frustrated with all of this. In the spirit of sharing the good, the bad and the ugly – it hit me big the other day. Not surprizingly it came right when I was feeling calm, in the rhythm of things, and as if I was rising above it all.
The details of what happened are not that interesting. Suffice to say I became irritated, and I was snapping at people, feeling sad to be by myself, and frustrated with everything that I am still struggling with on this path.
And most of all, I felt like I was failing at Ramadan! Just a week into my first Ramadan and I was not being nice and kind, and I had lost my perspective.
Its times like these I think, how crazy is this?!?! How can I be Muslim? Not that I think Islam is crazy. I think Islam is the most logical and common sense choice in the world, and converting is the smartest thing I have ever done.
But when I was making the decision to follow Islam and during my times of frustration – like the other day – it hits me that I am a western career woman of middle age (though I certainly don’t feel old!) with no husband or children, and 6,000 miles from my family.
Thus, with the wonderful and strong emphasis on family and community in Islam, I wonder, “What am I doing? How can someone like me ever really be part of the Ummah? And how will I ever learn everything I am supposed to learn?”
As usual, I then stop, take a breathe and remember that Islam embraces anyone who chooses the straight path, and believes in one God, Allah (SWT), and Muhammad (SAW) as his messenger.
And it occurred to me that my own predjudices and pre-conceived notions of what a Muslimah is supposed to be – or, more precisely, what kind of Muslimah I am supposed to be – are probably the biggest barriers on my journey in Islam. I have to remember what others have said to me, “Be patient, keep learning and be yourself.”
So I will always keep trying. An unlikely Muslimah perhaps, but happy to be trying.