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who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 9:00 am

Dear Blogger,

As I listened to this morning's sermon on radio, I couldn't help but wondered if I was less of a Muslim woman just because I drive a car and I walk ahead of my husband many a times. At least that was what the preacher (ustaz) was trying to say. I might have misinterpreted his message but really, I've heard of some local religious officials who promote the ideal Muslim woman's characteristics and behaviours as those enforced in Saudi Arabia.

Man... You have no idea how many issues I have with Saudi's idealisms. Not just with its "protection" policies of its women there. Saudi Arabia may be the guardian of Islam's two holiest mosques, but that doesn't mean its brand of Islam is the ultimate perfect one for the rest of the world to follow.

Many, many years ago when I visited Mecca and Medina, instead of feeling protected, I felt even more violated. My freedom was almost non-existent. I couldn't go to the shops nor to the Grand Mosque (which was just outside my doorstep) without a male relative to escort. I was in my 20's yet I was treated like a child. I could be charged criminally as an adult but I couldn't be an adult woman. In fact, I wasn't even considered a person!

So what really makes a person a Muslim? A Muslim person, not a Muslim man nor woman. I don't have any concrete answers. This is still a learning journey for me. What I know is theological idealism should be practiced alongside innate common sense. That's why we are blessed with souls within our unique physical state.

I have much respect to Muslim converts. Unlike many Muslim-born people, the converts (muallaf) found God at some point in their lives. For many Muslim-born people, Islam was by default and we appreciate its beauty and messages less because we thought we didn't need to go look for a faith anymore. For some like me, faith and God has always been there but at different intensities throughout our lives. Perhaps that's how God intended it for me. I wouldn't have lived any other way.

So, today, think about faith. Did you find faith or did faith find you?


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