Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

American Christian + Pakistani Muslim = FUNdamentalist Hijabi?

In honor o’ Saint Patty’s day…oops…I mean cuz Yaz asked, here’s wassap with my family. My dad (a Pakistani Muslim) traveled all over the world (as a teacher, then a sailor, then a waiter, then a cook) and ended up in the US where he met my mom, an American Christian. Since they’re both optimists, they married, each thinking they were going to convert the other. And time has passed (as it is wont to do) and surprisingly, my dad’s still Muslim and my mom’s still Christian, and now they‘re both cynics. he he.

My bros and sis and I are all Muslim. If you ask my mom why, she’ll say it’s because my dad forced us. That’s just because she’s sore about being the only Christian in the house. If you ask us why we‘re Muslim, we’ll say it’s because my mother’s church made no sense to us and Islam made all the sense in the world. I went to church as a child more often than I went to the masjid, cuz my dad worked very long, hard hours and we kids were with our mother all the time. I still know more about Christianity than many young Christians do, including the hymns.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

He is trampling on the vineyards where the grapes of wrath are stored

He has loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword

His truth is marching on!

Glory, glory hallelujah… (Teacher hit me with a ruler. I hit her on the bean with a rotten tangerine and she won’t do it anymore!…Yikes, who said that?)

And no, my parents are not divorced. The first thing I hear after I tell people about my parents is: so, how long have they been divorced? Which one do you live with? I think this is because the average person cannot fathom how my fundamentalist Christian mother and my practicing Muslim father have stayed married for over 25 years. It takes a lot of patience, and to be quite frank, that advice that I would give people is NEVER MARRY OUTSIDE YOUR FAITH!

Believe me, my parents made it work, but they are the are the only inter-faith marriage I’ve seen succeed, and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of failures. The kids are usually really messed up, especially concerning religion. Come on, who are you to believe when both of your parents tells you that the other one is damned to hell? It’s really confusing, and religion remains of a bone of contention forever. There’s no solution, if the kids go with the father’s religion, the mother gets angry. If the kids go with the mother, the father gets cheesed. And when the parents fight about religion every Friday or Sunday, respectively, the kids get traumatized. I speak from experience. Now you guys know why I’m so weird.

Hmmm, I think this started out as a story and has ended up as an earnest appeal to all the Muslim bros: NEVER MARRY OUTSIDE ISLAM! I’m deadly serious, please don’t do it. There’s a horrible chance that you’ll end up with kids with Muslim names and non-Muslim values, because the mother is always the primary educator. If you care about Islam, invest in a good religious instructor for your kids, viz- their mother!

Now you ask, if an inter-faith marriage is so bad for the kids’ religion then how come you’re a gung-ho Islamic? How did your dad save you? Answer: My dad didn’t save me, my Lord did. I have no one to thank for my faith except God. Not even myself. I had nothing to do with it finding Islam. Islam found me and hit me over the head (with logic, not force) and was like, “You dummy, you know this makes perfect sense, quit avoiding it!” So I was forced to accept some painfully obvious truths and here I am, here we are, all of us sibs Muslim, by the Grace of Allah. (by the skin of our teeth, he he…Astaghfirullah)

(Aniraz is trying juggle again and there are neon balls bouncing dangerously in my direction. Fire in the hole!)

Our house maintains a tense religious cease-fire. I won’t call it peace, because like India and Pakistan, the two religious factions are always trading shots over the border. We take humorous, and sometimes not-so-humorous jabs at each other and sometimes it gets laughs, sometimes it draws blood. (figuratively, not literally, thank God) It’s not the best situation in the world, but Alhamdulillah, we’re dealing with it I ‘spose. But yeah, prayers on behalf of my inter-faith family are always welcome. Boy this has gotten really long. I’ll end it here. Gotta go make a cookie delivery. Peace!

Your Jesmopolitain Cosmoplantery Leader,

Sensei

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