Why don't I stand up for myself - revisited !

I wrote the blog below about 1 year ago and thought it would be a good time to re-post it. I've not changed too much from that time - I think I've managed to stand up for myself a bit more and I have ventured out into the "Muslim community" a bit more (still a bit -well a lot uncomfortable). I still think that your religion should be 'private', but I do realize that being Muslim lends itself to a community lifestyle - something I have to deal and struggle with.

Anyway, read the blog if you like and comment if you like, its a glimpse into my past and present, Inshallah not my future

February 15, 2007
Assalam alaikum & peace to all
I've been thinking lately... watch out! Yes, I've been thinking why don't I stand up for what I believe in and do? For example I am not perfect...there I said it, now you all know! I've changed religions, will be changing my name soon and will kind of change my whole life to suit a husband whom is also changing for me...only fair really! Basically the religious part of me is rebelling a bit...well not quite rebelling...more like trying to find its way into my life. Ok, that sounds confusing even to me, let me see if I can make more sense of it. I struggle with being a Muslim... not a good one or a bad one...just being Muslim. Ok, I've said if only I could proclaim that to the world (a whole other future blog! ~ Yes, Im a closet or as I like to call it 'Internet Muslim') For me personally, I think religion is personal and not something you exactly need to shout from the roof tops, or really overtly show to eveyone else. See, now this is the problem...Islam is a religion of outwardly signs (hijab, praying, etc) So where are you left if you wish to not 'show' your 'Islam-ness'?? Where is right! It leaves Aayla with a big question ~ where do I fit in? If im around Muslims I feel a bit embarassed and not 'up to standard' sometimes...just uttering 'Asalam alaikum' is a huge deal for me...(its just me...Im like this) I kind of feel that I should be explaining away all of my 'sins' ie. not wearing the scarf ( Tonights "Little Mosque on the Prairie" episode, a new convert asks a very religious man why his daughter is not wearing Hijab - the guys answer 'there was a very strong wind and it must have blown away"~ Humourous...but it shows that we all end up making excuses for our 'sins' as they were.) I feel inadequate around 'practicing' Muslims, to the point that I just don't feel like I want to be around them (case in point ~ going with Fiancee to Mosque ~ just not comfortable with it...feels like I am under a microscope) So all of these feelings of inadequacy is making me think (back to my original idea) why am I not more confident in my beliefs and practices. Ok, so I do not wear the Hijab or pray all 5 prayers...does that make me any less of a believer or devout?? No, most definately not! That little piece of material on your head will not make or break you, it does however identify you as a Muslim, which right at this moment in time I am not willing to do. Oh, I could wear it and then say later on: 'I don't feel like wearing it anymore, or it's too difficult to find a job, or what will my friends, family say? " How horrible would I feel if I were to do that? So, right now maybe forever, I do not wear it... does that make me a horrible person or someone whom you do not wish to associate with? Just as a quick aside...why is it that many Muslims try to hide from these bad traits...does associating with a non-hijabi or someone who is a bit less vigilant in practicing Islam a sin, will you suddenly lose some of your own religious convictions? I'm quite perplexed by all of that... going somewhere, where there is music or alcohol served (could just be a family gathering) will that make you less 'Muslim', will you suddenly feel the urge not to practice anymore?? No, just don't drink but you can still be a part of family life or a social setting. Ok off topic but it kind of ties in with the whole 'why can't I stand up for my beliefs' theme...doesn't it?
I am a person who is struggling with life, religion, the world in general...and is everyone else! I think moral character is important, and my moral character is suffering a bit what will I do about it? Yet another one of those: 'good question, does anyone have a good answer' questions! I think the first step is this blog in itself. It's good to get these feelings better than to present it to all these strangers! I will Inshallah (God-willing) try to 'stand' up for what I believe and do! Not try to offer so many appologies for my 'sins'... Im a work in about you?

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