“I think a lot about what it means to live a life surrounded, perhaps even defined, by boundaries.”

I think a lot about what it means to be Muslim lately.

I think about it as I quietly excuse myself from a meeting that runs throughout the dusk prayer time, meaning there’s no way but to awkwardly whisper, so as to not break the mood, “I’m just going to pray for awhile…” I think about it as I look around and belatedly notice, yet again as it often seems to be the case here (too), that I’m the only Muslim in the crowd or group – both professionally, at work, and personally, among friends. I think about it, what this means, as I find myself asked, not for the first time, “How halal(-adhering) are you?” I think about it as I, for instance today, excitedly told a female colleague-friend, within earshot of random others, “I love your new hairdo! I have short hair too-“ placing my right hand on my head – only to realize that my second statement is now irrelevant. I think about it whenever I find myself among friends who have to accommodate my dietary restrictions, changing lunch or dinner plans because the restaurants that come to their mind are those that serve dishes I can’t consume. I think about it whenever I find myself in a place that makes my headscarf-covered head stand out awkwardly, causing me to stop short, suddenly remembering and thus sometimes, policing myself. I think about it whenever I attempt to consider the hypothetical possibilities of romantic entanglements, only to weigh outcomes.

I think a lot about what it means to live a life surrounded, perhaps even defined, by boundaries.

“I think the headscarf, for me,” I confessed to Eldest Sis not too long ago, “is a reminder of the boundaries present in my life. Sometimes I forget …but others would remember, because there’s something on my head that represents something… Whenever that realization hits, I think to myself, “Ah, this is as far as I can go-“ …but is it a question mark, or a period?”

I think a lot about what it means, these boundaries. Are they meant to restrict – or do they exist to challenge?

Are they ever-present to remind me that I can be one thing, yet still be many things – or is their purpose to remind me that I can go as far as I would like to… but within limits? Are they meant to deprive – or do they exist to appease?

I think a lot about what it means to be Muslim lately.

(I have no answers)

Advertisements

Don't Hold Back! Share Your Thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s