Thursday, 7 June 2012

My Favourite Day of the Week

I want to tell you about my favourite day of the week.  Now, most people would think it would be Friday - because it's the end of the work week.  But no.

Others would think Saturday because there's no work and one more day before Monday.  But again, no.

Maybe some would think it is Sunday - a quiet day to sleep in or go some where.  Nope.

My favourite day?  My favourite day is Thursday.

Thursday? you say.  Yes, Thursday.  Why?  Well, let me tell you.

Every Thursday for the last two months there has been a small halaqa taking place beginning in the early evening.  There are anywhere between four and seven (now six) of us awesome Muslim women in our area that get together, learn more about our faith, the rituals and the reasons, and enjoy each other's company.

To me, this is an entirely new experience I went to a couple of halaqas down in London, and while I loved them, by the time I made the two hour drive home, I was often angry and resentful for reasons I couldn't quite explain.  S hated when I'd go because he knew the mood I'd arrive home in.  This was most certainly not the mood I left the halaqas in - calm, spiritually refreshed.  Over time, I came to realize that the anger and resentfulness was actually jealousy - I was jealous of my sisters in Islam that lived in London that had that experience regularly, when due to gas prices, travel times, life in general, I could only get that experience maybe once ever six months - if not less.  I did stop going, but it had nothing to do with the jealousy or anything other than the price of gas and it not adding up with the funds in my bank account!

And then people started to move into the area.  And by people, I mean "brothers coming up from the city began bringing their wives and children with them."  That in and of itself was (and is) an entirely new phenomenon.  From the time I started working where I am now, I would see brothers there.  In the beginning I'd ask about their wives, or co-workers would ask for me (though at the time I didn't know it).  The answer was always some version of "my wife does not want to come up here because it is too far from the city and there is no community up here, so they stay in the city and I go back home on weekends."

My thought to this was always "if no one comes, how will we build a community?"  Well, eventually, the brothers did start bring their wives and now we have a tiny community in my town.  There's a larger (albeit still small) community just north of us, but we won't get into that...

Anyway, right now, we get together, pray Asr, and are reading "General Introduction to Islam" by Sheikh Ali Al-Tantawi.  We read one chapter a week and then one of us summarizes it and leads us through it and then we discuss it. Though usually we discuss it while summarizing it.  I mean - we're women.  Not talk?  Not likely!

You may be thinking "the others are already Muslim,  Why are you reading an introduction book?"  Well, here's the thing - even if you are born something, that doesn't mean that you necessarily have learned about it.  You do it because it's what you know.  You pray a certain way because it's the way your parents did it and the way that they taught you to do it, so you do it without questioning.  But sometimes, along the way, what you learn is cultural and not religious.  No matter where you live in the world, culture is going to be ingrained in whatever faith you practice.  Take Christianity as well - how I learned to practice in Canada is not going to be the same way that someone in South Africa is going to learn how to practice.  Heck, how I learned in rural Canada is not going to be the same way that someone in urban Los Angeles is going to have learned!  And so, together, we are learning more, or maybe relearning or reaffirming, about our faith.

Thursday evenings I come home feeling happy, calm, peaceful, and spiritually renewed in a way I've not felt before.  I look forward to Thursday nights and talking with my friends - new friends, who in a weird way don't feel like new friends, but just friends I haven't seen in awhile.

I love Thursdays!

1 comment:

  1. I love thursdays too!!! <3 lol It's an awesome lil group we have! xoxo Cindy