A week ago my sister was telling me about a friend of hers who I’ve known for over a year. Said friend is known to be the partying type, always out late, socializing, doing things a 15 year old shouldn’t. So we were talking about her and then my sister told me that this friend prays everyday and is very religious.
My first reaction was: what? religious? yeah right.
And then I felt really really bad.
Since when did “being religious” become so black and white? Why is it that someone who drinks can’t pray? Why does “becoming religious” mean giving up anything that makes you happy? And I don’t mean getting drunk and having flings. I mean getting a manicure, wearing something fitted and fabulous, hanging out with guys – why has Islam become this?
I don’t know when I become the kind of person who saw Islam as a black and white package: if you drink, you aren’t Muslim; if you pray, you should be really pious all the time. Religion is complicated. It’s a personal struggle. It’s making a thousand decisions throughout your lifetime – and it’s not always doing the right thing.
Sometimes we mess up. Does that make us less of a Muslim? Does that mean we’re going to hell? Or will God love us for trying?
Kudos to my sister’s friend. She’s only 15 but she prays – I should have been amazed, not judgemental. Who am I to say who’s religious and who isn’t?
Islam isn’t halal vs. haram, or a list of things you should or shouldn’t do.
It’s a journey, a package with a million surprises, and most importantly, it’s different for everyone.