Sister Soljah
February 27, 2004

So I made it to the mosque...5th day of Muharram and well sometimes I feel like Islam is a mix of culture, tradition, and religion. I'm trying to just stick to the religion part. Pounding of the chests is something I'm not comfortable doing (yet?). I feel and I think, but publicly displaying my sorrow is not something that fits me. And especially with the recitations being done in Urdu and Arabic - I feel lost. I wish I knew these languages and it is something I am going to do in time in sh'Allah. In all honesty, this is the hardest part of Islam. Not understanding half of what is going on around me and frustrated because I can't learn enough, fast enough. As soon as I have a grip on it, I realize I know nothing.

The lecture was interesting though. Non-violence. Ghandi, MLK, and Dalai Lama were part of the discussion which is good. As a person who has studied religion so thoroughly (and half the time lost in the confusion and questions), I tend to compare religions and thoughts a lot. I guess growing up Catholic just made me question everything because I didn't agree with the church a lot. I was thinking about that today since yesterday was Ash Wednesday and usually I would have been walking around with ash on my forehead, but now it's a hijab on my head. Who would have thought that instead of Lent, i would be prostrating in prayer? I sure didn't. It's been strange.

I was also thinking of Mardi Gras and how pagan it is and its roots being Catholic and how pagan Catholicism is in general. Funny feeling though.

Ah...back to non-violence. It's ironic that I found Islam through my political thoughts and quite honestly I didn't find the sprituality of Islam until later. And that is when I found it to be the most non-violent religion. I read the Bible and then the Quran. Allah is compassionate where while reading the Bible, i found God to be violent and almost hateful. Crusaders come to mind too. We all believe in the same God (well except a few) but if Christians read the Quran and Muslims read the Bible, I think some peace may just be possible. In sh'Allah there will one day be education and understanding between all .... Until then I can only pray for such. If everyone were educated, everyone would be revoloutionaries.
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

A recent convert to Islam...finally found what I was searching for. I am a writer and love to read and learn. I also love travelling and getting to know new cultures and ways of thinking.

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