“What would you like?”
“Oh, no, that’s ok. I don’t drink.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t drink.”
“Why? Because of religion?”
“I don’t understand.”
“Here, have some.”
“Oh, no, that’s ok. Sa7tain. I’m fasting right now.”
“Um, I sometimes fast on Monday/Thursday.”
“Why? Is it a religious thing?”
“I hope so.”
I used to have these moments of dialog, these brief cultural exchanges, these explain-your-beliefs conversations all the time when I lived in Toronto. It is absolutely weird and freaky that I still have them in Jordan, and usually with fellow Muslims.
Hmm.. I am not surprised, religion is a cover to some – it’s better off just not replying back – there’s no need for it anyways :/
You’re so not kewl, Nas…how old fashioned…how uptight…how…umm…conservative…
get into the groove… drink … smoke … and don’t forget to be a gentleman and light up for your gf first… these are some of the koolest things in town! …
on a more serious note, at the end of the day …practicing is a personal ‘thing.’..a personal choice…but being completely clueless is a self inflicted, personal insult…and so far from cool!
chikaP: yeah but sometimes, certain social settings dictate that you do.
Iman: lol, i don’t think anyone has said “get into the groove” since 1974 😀
anyways, yeah, it is a personal thing, and i dont care what other people in that regard. but having to explain things is just odd. it’s like you’re supposed to be singing to the choir, but the choir has no idea what the song is.
LOL, I can tolerate such ‘exchanges’ from non muslims but it’s a different thing when it comes from fellow Muslims. My favorite is when a Muslim person asks me why I wear hijab. Recently we had this family over whose teenage daughter asked me if I wear hijab because I wanna show that I’m arab, HUH? It wasn’t like she was accusing me of anything, she was genuinely questioning the purpose. I just sighed and said “yeah, that’s it”
loool.. Yeah, as much as I try to avoid explaining that i do this or that for religious reasons, I just find myself forced into giving a brief explanation when the person’s eyes just pop out thinking it’s odd.
I once was invited to a potluck my advisor was hosting at his place, so I, the hijabi, took along my jilbabi friend (just to be clear: I don’t have a problem using or having these labels being used to describe me).. and once we arrived, my advisor’s wife, out of kindness, insisted we take off our shawls, and my roommate take off her jacket! I told her we feel comfortable the way we are, but she just had this really wondering look on her face. Then I thought, it is a freaking hot summer day, and I bet the woman thought we’re weird, so I had to explain.. da da da da da.. But still, I thought she didn’t get it anyways.
And guess what? when I went to the potluck gathering the year after, she asked me if I’d wanna take my hijab off.. loooooool. I bet she never got it first place!
Iman sums it up:
Youâ€™re so not kewl, Nasâ€¦how old fashionedâ€¦how uptightâ€¦howâ€¦ummâ€¦conservativeâ€¦
Being religious has become something fawned upon. You are closed minded, stupid, a tool, not modern, and you don’t fit in!
Nas you should not be totally surprised that you hear this in Jordan,on the contrary. You see in Canada, you may hang out with your friends at a bar, they may ask questions why you are not drinking they might even make fun of that, but at the end they’ll respect your choice and just let it go and you’ll still be freinds. In the land of posers (Jordan) it doesn’t work like this. I personally totally respect the choice of a muslim women not shaking hands as far as she’s not one of those who don’t look at you when you are speaking to them.
It is funny how people of a Levantine heritage born in the US are more proud of their background and cultural identity than posers of these countries.
Oh Nas you like Kerak? You like Mansaf? Yay shu kteer hafartali
There is no need for dialogues like these. some religious practices can not be explained. thats why its called faith to begin with.
For example, I do the 7 sins but i still do not eat pork. it disgusts me for some reason and I can’t explain it. I am totally clueless as to why i don’t eat pork, and I could care less if people think of it as a self conflicted, personal insult.
to some this is hypocrisy, but to me, its a personal choice. and so if I fast on mondays, or if I drink alcohol but not eat pork, then its my choice that doesn’t need any justification.
You and I, DO NOT have to explain anything nor its required to. It just seems muslims after 9/11 have to justify everything they do, especially while conversing with non-muslims, as if they are obligated to or a shame what they do and what have you.
simply, It is not.
World, please give muslims a break!
you are a shame on muslims, you are not a muslim…
You are what the west considers a “moderate” muslim…
Ya akhee el 3alam kalla7at..mkayyef 3la sharfak doing the 7 sins?
Sab3ak o sabe3 elli zayyak…
And relegion is having a huge comeback everywhere in jordan, maybe not in abdoun or der ghbar but everywhere else..
Again san7ak ya bilal..
hahaha true that
OK now try being the non-religious guy/girl having a snack in ramadan/a beer/a ham and cheese sandwich. Believe me your head might explode because of the nonsensical lectures you will be hearing from taxi drivers/office mates/friends/acquaintances/random people coming off the street etc…
That’s just being inconsiderate and insensitive on your part …
I don’t live in a Muslim country yet, during the month of Ramadan, my co-workers and colleagues generally respect that fact and will not eat in front of me…
This may sound weird from an American Jew on the other side of the world, but I know just what you mean. “Where’ve you been all day?” “It’s the Jewish New Year, I’ve been at services.” “Oh, what’s that?” Fortunately most people are courteous, but sometimes I find it hard to put into words what has been a part of me all my life.
At least you are able to eat out without worrying so much about halal restrictions! 🙂
lawrie, what u said is exactly my point. its hard to put into words what has been a part of our daily routine, all our life.
at some point I used to explain all my religious practices including fasting to my fellow american co workers (i currently live in the US). sometimes ridiculed in front of my manager. I used to take dates and milk with me to work, can you imagine the strange looks i used to get? what makes it worse is that I drink liquor occasionally/socially on days other than ramadan. so it didn’t make sense to them, let alone to one’s self.
and then I was like so what, I don’t have to explain what i do so others can accept me, whether to muslims or non-muslims. if I drink liquor 335 days of the year, but refrain in the 30 days of ramadan, then thats my choice. its a personal faith, ramadan is something i love to do. its beyond the expression of few words.
i know I am being blunt here, but seriously its frustrating how because I am a muslim, I feel the pressure of justifying or explaining everything i do. We do not need to justify our personal approach to faith.i love my faith regardless.
if there is a woman who fasts ramadan every year, but doesn’t wear hijab, then it won’t make her less ‘islamic’ or less of a muslim. she can be a better muslim, better than myself for all i know. its her personal way of approaching faith.
so Nas, next time someone offers u a drink, and u say ‘no I’m fasting’, and they still don’t get it, go ahead and tell them ‘…yeah, and someday, I will be walking in circles around a black cube in the middle of the desert!’
lol, I’m not religious but I don’t drink, and I had similar conversations in Toronto. Friends would order a beer, and I would ask for a coke, and the waitress would draw a blank. “A coke ?!!!”.
I also learned not to ask for a ride from a friend who had just been drinking. Seems common sense, but somehow it didn’t hit me until I was in a van swerving left and trying to put on my seatbelt !
Why does it say (type here) ? Did anyone try to type elsewhere 🙂
I Hope that one Day we can get off our opuim dependence!
sorry i forgot this thing ,im currently living in the Uk, And im a genuine athiest the funny thing is that people here sre surprised of me sharing some beers with them or not fasting in ramadan so i guess people already know about our customs and relegious stuff, so stop this bullshit about them being surprised about it!
As if you’re the only muslims they have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!
common get a life!
??! what? 😀
ummm, he said:
so he’s actually talking about Muslims in a MUSLIM country… so yeah, it is freaky… and yeah … it is weird…
and very pathetic!
no i meant some of the Comments and Replies Not about nas
i guess there is some exaggeration in the way some people described how europeans or north americans react to seeing s muslim refusing to drink alcohol and fasting in Ramdan!
Trust me there is some places in Europe that you feel yourself in Karadchi or in turkey
So i Guess they’re over exposed to our relegious customs and Traditions!!
Like Iman, I find it humiliating! I mean, what do you mean you are Muslim and you do not know the basic rules of Islam? I would personally consider it an insult to my intelligence.
Are they really ignorant about their own religion, or is it just a show they put on in the hopes of being looked at as ‘cool’ people?
How pathetic! It makes me wonder how far down people with no principles or standards can go trying to impress other people (Who most probably are lamer and even more pathetic)
Ammar, if you live in europe (UK) in a place that looks like karadchi, and people are all aware of your customs and religious practices, then its good for you.
I live in the US in a place that looks pretty much like america.
We are talking about personal experiences here, we’re not generalizing or exaggerating. I meet ignorant people on a daily basis, but now it doesn’t bother me anymore, because I stopped trying to explain what I do as a muslim, as if its a shame to be one these days.
and like what iman pointed out, its frighting that some muslims in a muslim country -like jordan- still get that ‘O’ look on their face when they see you refraining from drinking or refusing to join their bandwagon! everyone handles faith differently, so some people just need to relax and let go 🙂
ok i heard the word cool and religion used too many times in the same sentence that i think i developed a nose bleed from it. is it a perceived lack of “cool” in terms of ur religious affiliation (i wouldn’t give the benefit of belief to anyone) that makes u use it that much ?
either way whatever you guys are saying is normal standard run of the mill kind of chatter, you fast or abstain due to ur own personal choices and reason, so yeah even replying with am a muslim implies so sort of condescending behavior since what you are trying to say is that if i didn’t follow “religion” i would be doing that. while replying with I just don’t drink, or I don’t feel like eating seems more of a freewill behavior rather than decree sheepish following.
either way thats my 2 cents and if it makes your faith stronger then go ahead and flame away
So let me get this straight. It’s alright for you to judge non-practicing Muslims based on their lifestyles and choices, however, they do not have the right to even ask you why you do not drink? Not only that, but you also have the right to be condescending when you’re offered a drink? Sorry, I really respect everybody’s choices with regards to religion (I respect the fact that you’re religious) but I just don’t get it. If you feel so offended by people asking you why do you not drink, then why bother going to a place that serves alcohol in the first place? By going to such a place, you’re practically agreeing to whatever atmosphere or anything that is on offer.
It’s like going to a mosque and asking Muslims why do they pray.
And finally, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time, and I can’t help but notice how you almost always demand some sort of award for being the only religious person in the room. Allah himself said that when you do good (and gave Zakat as an example) that your left hand shouldn’t even know what your right hand gave in order to depict just how discreet and humble you should be while practicing your religion. While these posts indicate otherwise honestly. Ok, I understand that you are religious, but all I am saying is that you worship God in order to achieve a higher purpose (which is ultimately a promised paradise after Judgment Day), so do not expect people patting on your back all the time just because you are religious.
To make my point sink, “Al kabed 3ala deenouh, kal kabed 3ala jamra”, if you understood this so much, you shouldn’t have even found such conversations “freaky” or “weird” in the first place.
Tolerance is a two way street. The same way you want people to accept your choice in being religious, you should also respect their choice in not being religious. Had your friends actually made fun of you practicing your rituals, this comment would have been entirely different (I have actually attacked so called liberals who make fun of girls wearing the Hijab), but unfortunately, you were the one passing judgments here and not them.
“Itâ€™s alright for you to judge non-practicing Muslims based on their lifestyles and choices, however, they do not have the right to even ask you why you do not drink?”
first of all i wasnt judging the non-practicing muslim. ive been asked by non-muslims why i dont drink while in toronto and i dont mind or care explaining why. what im saying in this post is that its just weird doing the same to a non-practicing muslim…because even a non-practicing muslim knows why i dont drink; in other words, they dont need the explanation. they’ve made a choice and ive made a choice. i dont pry into why they choose to drink or ask for an explanation or judge them. i believe its a personal choice and everyone is responsible himself. so what’s the problem with that?
Moreover, this isn’t a post, or a snippet of a conversation where anyone is judging anyone.
“I canâ€™t help but notice how you almost always demand some sort of award for being the only religious person in the room.”
I don’t believe I do that. Or do you feel that every time i talk about religion i’m automatically assuming sort of higher ground? I talk about religion because it’s a big and important element of my life. if that disturbs you, then ignore those posts or this blog all together.
moreover, you seem to talk about religion on your blog more than i do! at least on a personal level. but if you want to believe what you believe of me, that im some sort of radical judgmental holier than thou muslim whose on a vigilante verbal campaign to make non-practicing muslims suffer and pay for their choices, then you’re free to do so 🙂
that’s choice 😉
“Thatâ€™s just being inconsiderate and insensitive on your part â€¦
I donâ€™t live in a Muslim country yet, during the month of Ramadan, my co-workers and colleagues generally respect that fact and will not eat in front of meâ€¦”
I find this one bad sign of our understanding to fasting. Always hated it when I was asked if its ok to eat infront of me. Why shud anyone consider me? when im doing it for myself, why shud others help me in doing it? (by not eating infront of me)
I find it too stupid this law in some muslim countries to stop eating in public till sunset. this law is just about hypocricy. I fast for myself,,to show my God I love him. donno why shud anyone care about this very private thing…
Nas bro, I pay your blog a visit every couple of weeks (hence my usually late comments to the posts I decide to.. comment on) and I always close down my browser window after a 30-minute backward skim-through earlier posts I missed; I close it down with surge of good-envy “ØºØ¨Ø·Ø©” how you manage to deliver upon what you want with simplicity.
Now I’m not going to cross-reference this comment with an old post of mine on my blog, but in contrast, it took me 17 paragraphs in futile attempt to capture the essence of what you have put in this post through a I believe is a hypothetical conversation rather than actual (thought it might will be)
And on a lighter note, I applaud your response to commentator number 22.
TO SOO MANY OF YOU i wont bother to name you all………… yes some of what you say is true, we should not have to explain ourselves but the sad point is we should because just the fact that someone is BORN muslim or arab doesnt mean that they KNOW about their religion. After I converted I married into a Lebanese family and when we went to visit the first time, due to the political situation,my husband shaved his beard. I wasnt going to take off my hijab but he asked me to wear the shorter triangle hijab not the long cirlce on. Even with that the older brothers were like why are you making yourself old wearing that thing, take it off. Well, you know what? Who cares!!!! let them say what they want! And in the states the same thing. We are free to dress as we want.
Secondly, yes I have to say this, I am sad to see that many of us are half muslim in that we chose to submit to Allah selectively. what a shame. Ya akhi either you submit—- or you dont sahih?? What is this nus nus nonsense?? I will pray but ater maghrib lets go out and get boozed. & sins my Ass. What an embarassment!!! And you want to call yourself a muslim in front of others and then they say yaaaa ya know,,, those damn moooslems, they bla bla bla…
Where is your self respect ya akhi? well, i guess as in deen it says,,,, you will follow them to the point that like a lizard you will follow them into their hole.
instead we should have pride in ourselves and stand up for what we know is right, and choose what is right, and submitt to what Allah swt has asked us to do. Not until then will be be seen with respect!
And not until you explain religion and the reasons why you are fasting, or wearing hijab, to non muslims will their silly notions and fears start to go away with understanding, and open up doors of communication. You have to start explaining your religion when you have a chance, why should we cower and be ashamed???
those are my ten piasters lolol.