I’m going to be straight with you as I always am. I think I’m in a bit of spiritual crisis. Maybe it’s not a spiritual crisis as much as it’s my feeling of being disconnected from my local Muslim community. Maybe it’s the fluctuation of iman that I am experiencing or maybe this is a phase I’m going through- a trial of sorts. I’m not sure. It seems like I can’t really find my place here. I get emails about events that are taking place at various masajid but I pick and choose which ones I want to attend…if I go at all. I often find myself feeling disappointed .
I’m not all up in the masjid like I used to be (I attend Jumah- on occasion- and that’s about it) because I don’t really feel connected to anyone there. Similarly, I’m tired of attending sisters events where it is assumed that we’re all the same- that we all face the same struggles, that racism, classism, and sexism are not realities in our community and that “some people” have more authority in Islam than others by virtue of their country of origin. I’m even more tired of the way that everyone seems to accept the hierarchy without even questioning it. I’m tired of all the sisters acting like they’re perfect. One big Muslim Brady Bunch. When someone like me- not trying to be downer but just real about life- speaks it’s like I’m raining on their parade. So, I’ve stayed away. One sister remarked, “You just disappeared after Ramadan.” I just smiled.
I’ve been telling myself, just go to an event, take what you can from it and leave the rest. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. I feel like I’ve been surviving (religiously) only by taking on line courses, hanging out with my small group of friends, offering salah, offering du’as and reading countless Islamic books. But I have no real engagement with the community. And I don’t think I want to. Why? I just don’t feel like my outlook, my ideas mesh well with the majority of the people I meet in my community. If I hear one more lecture where it’s assumed that all Muslim women are stay-at-home moms, quiet but subservient preservers of their husband’s reputation and home I’m going to vomit all over the musallah. For Real. If I hear one more woman go on and on about her husband but never talk about herself or her ideas or what she thinks I might blow a gasket. Mi nah lie. And frankly, I’m growing weary of the pristine bubble so many Muslims pretend that they live in. Again, it’s pretending to be perfect (sisters have this one in the bag.) Pretending that we always adhere to the highest, noblest values (unlike non-Muslims, right?) when the reality is we often fall short of those goals. Many of us are struggling…how many of us are willing to say it though?
I’m just starting to wonder, can I really survive out here on my own? I don’t think so. But what will I do?