I’ve been meaning to reveal this part of my identity for a while now but I guess I haven’t really talked about it.
For me, growing up in a Muslim family was strange. When I was younger, we were a pretty well assimilated Americanized family. We had weird non-Muslim things in my house like Christmas lights and even a Christmas tree. This was our normal and I never seemed to question it.
My father was the one who always put up the Christmas lights. He was also the one who praised Jesus when we went out to see my cousins.
I didn’t seem to question it but years later, I found out how embarrassed and ashamed my Mom felt.
My Mom, growing up has played a huge role in my life. Growing up, she always pushed me to a better Muslim. I always saw her pray. She prayed five times a day. Pretty much never missed a prayer unless she was really sick. She was the one who put me in Quran school when I was five years old so I could read the book fluently in Arabic. She also taught me Urdu and wanted me to learn about my culture and heritage while my father wanted us to be as American as possible (whatever that meant).
For me, being a Muslim has been a weird experience. I don’t think I was too close to my faith. I’ve read the Quran from beginning to end a couple times. These days I try to read a little bit of the Quran everyday. I actually keep it on my desk next to my textbooks where I study. It’s been an interesting conversation starter. I like how sometimes people touch it, feel it, and read it. Who knows what it might inspire?
Ironically enough, I started volunteering at a local Christian maternity center. I told my mom about it and I’d always talk about how anti-abortion I was. Little did I know, that my mother had a secret.
She told me some things about my past and how controlling my father had been.
I forgave my mom for what she told me. She’s my best friend and I don’t think it’s fair to judge someone like that. She revealed some other things to me and I guess let’s just say this:
If my Mom did not have faith in God, I’d probably not be alive today.
I’m really grateful to God for my existence. My Mom got her strength and willpower from Allah.
This is why I’m Muslim.