What happens when your parents compliment you out of the blue? Apart from pretending to faint and pinching yourself to add to the drama, you do a repetitive self analysis of the act that earned you this honour.
But… What happens when your parents imitate or rather follow your lead and tell your friends you inspired them? You live in a prolonged state of bliss until you meet Munkar and Nakir.
Coming from a joint family that relishes in the idea of being ‘mod muslims’ ?? where fulfilling the 5 obligations of Islam are considered enough to get you a ticket to Jannah, it was tough to take up wearing hijaab all of a sudden one summer afternoon, a year back. With cousins going into a state of shock ? and rolling their eyes at your sudden decision to maintain physical distance (no hugs and kisses or roaming hand in hand anymore) due to abiding with the newly adopted non-mehram formula and elders scoffing at you with “abhi itni badi bhi nahi hui ho tum ? ?“, I found more acceptance of my changed avataar in my friends (even non muslim ones) than I could in my own home.
With the passage of time, as siblings and elders alike started losing bets made on me about getting weary and finally taking off the headscarf, I found a new realisation and respect for me washing over them. The “she’s lost it” changed to “be like her!”, the “ama yaar hum toh bhai behen hain ? Ramzaan ke baad utaar dogi? ?” changed to “aap bataiye kaise material ke pasand hain aapko? Mai aapke liye uss market/mall se achche wale laungi/launga” and the elders too started backing off realising this was no fleeting decision. However, my moment of pride was not when the gradual acceptance built. It came when one fine day, while I was in another city and scrolling through the messages of last night on family whatsapp group, I found that my mom was wearing a headscarf in the photos from last night marriage function. Not to mention, the alpha looked another tangent of beauty in her photos wearing the headscarf! ❤
Just when I was expressing my surprise and complimenting my mom, my roommate snatched the phone and added a few complimentary phrases herself. My ammi’s non-shy “ye sab meri beti ki wajah se hua hai. Wo jo sikha de ?” blew me off.
Your parents complimenting you is one thing. Them not shying away from telling the world that their kids led them into something deeni instead of the other way round, is not just honouring. It’s uplifting. (And embarrassing!!! ??)
This is because mostly it our parents and grandparents find it tough… no wait… impossible to accept change. Especially from their younger generation. They have a very rigid outlook when it comes to religion. All our lives, at every step, they have taught us the values of deen and pointed out what doesn’t work ‘islamically-well’. All our lives we take to heart all the stories and teachings of prophets that are narrated to us out of the Quran and hadees by them and we unconditionally accept that they know the religion best. It is not wrong but blindly believing preachings of any elder under the impression that they know best is not sufficient. It can even be misleading given the amount of bidaah circulating around in our times. Hence, each one is responsible individually to educate themselves and gulp down the knowledge of Islam from all the authentic sources accessible. But it doesn’t stop here. You don’t have to keep that knowledge just to yourself but pass it around your circle beginning first with the people you live… be it your family, your flatmates or colleagues. In the most friendly way possible. So instead of putting up walls ad shutting themselves up to your daawah, they take you seriously. This can only happen when you omit the immediate need to reveal the punishments of “If you don’t follow the word of God this way ?” with “His mercy exceeds his wrath. You can always repent and begin fresh now. Don’t let your past sins hold you back ? ”
Hope you’re already cooking up plans to land into your moment of pride of being a muslim by the time you end reading this ?
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