Monday, August 22, 2011

A Discussion with my Husband

Some of you who are in the same Facebook group as I am will know why I even brought up this topic with my husband. I don't randomly bring things up like this but a topic came up in that group and it made me a bit upset. Took a bunch of self-control to stay out of the discussion (for the most part) but I had to share with my husband - I talk to him about anything even things I should shut up about.

Someone in that group usually visited a certain Sunni mosque until they started charging 5$ to park! She and her husband decided not to attend there (what the heck is with forcing worshipers to pay to go to the mosque?!) and had been going to a Shia mosque nearby a few times. She was asking if it was ok.

The discussion quickly turned ugly but I won't go into detail about the group.

I was a bit upset about how the discussion went on the board so I decided to discuss it with my husband. Sort of to vent a little my frustrations, I guess. Not always a good idea because my husband is "traditional" in his beliefs... And he's not good at expressing himself either.

So, the discussion with my husband ALSO quickly turned ugly in a very similar way. He threw in a bunch of stereotypes about Shias that I found offensive even if I'm not Shia (I don't consider myself Sunni either though btw) and basically, based on all sorts of ignorance and exaggerated because of his difficulties in expressing himself clearly, he said he wouldn't pray with them and it was close to coming down to them barely being Muslim ("but still better than non-Muslims"). I was kind of appalled.

After calming down and clarifying things, we figured out that he actually would not mind praying with Shia in a Sunni mosque if they were to come - he'd feel perfectly comfortable welcoming them. So it wasn't a problem of not feeling like it was OK to pray with Shias in and of itself. Simply, my husband would not feel comfortable going to a Shia mosque because he knows there are differences between what he follows and the Shia and he doesn't know what the differences are exactly and wouldn't want to be confused or led towards something that contradicts the belief system he has accepted.

He went on to clarify that he doesn't have anything against going into a Shia mosque with a group of Sunnis and so he accepts their mosque as a place of worship. And he said that he didn't know how they prayed but that if it was the same as Sunnis, for just a prayer (without the khutbah, which he'd rather not stay for because of the possible differences) it would be OK to pray with them.

In the end, it was a bit of an "afraid of the unknown" type of situation.

I don't know much about Shias myself, but I think I helped clarify things (like not most of them thing that Ali "stole" the prophecy from Muhammad, a stereotype that left a really negative impression). And hopefully I made him a little bit more aware that what he started off saying was really close to judging and putting himself in the place of Allah, something I know he doesn't want to do in any sort of way.

What I learned from that was that I need to calm down sometimes! We were in Walmart when we started to talk about this and within a few minutes, I was storming off away from him in the store, ready to just grab the stuff I needed and get the heck home! He's taking Ramadan and the spirit of the month seriously and it allowed both of us to learn a little something. :) Alhamdulilah.

13 Comentários:

jana z. said...

my husband once told me that he wouldnt have married me had i been a shia and if i ever declared myself such he would have divorced me...yep thats what he said

Salma @ Chasing Rainbow said...

It's so funny to me because as a girl growing up in a Pentecostal/Catholic family I saw the good Christian/bad Christian divide.

We are all Muslim. We worship the same God. I pray that we all go back to the basic truth.

When I was a Christian I worked for a Catholic homeless organization. We had a chapel, and held daily mass. Everyday, I saw the homeless Muslims come in to pray their 5 prayers there. I know this is a bit difference but imagine.

This was dawah...they opened my eyes.

Maybe I am wrong, but prayer comes from the hgeart, not where we offer prayer.

Sorry, I am new to your blog, but just wanted to give my 2 cents.

Salma @ Chasing Rainbow said...

Oh, and a blessed Ramadan to you.

Zu hu ra said...

I have had so many conversations like this with my husband. I hope that we can make a difference in raising the next generation to be more open-minded both toward diversity among Muslims and in our wider communities.

HijabRockers said...

It's funny when we go to Mecca to perform Hajj, everybody could mingle and worship together, no problem. If you watch the prayer time, you could see lots of different 'styles' of praying. But still, they could stand beside each other no prob. =)

But each to their own believes, and everybody has the right to believe in something as long as it's according to the Quran and Sunnah.

We cannot force people to accept what we believe coz 'hedayat' could only be given by Allah. Doesn't matter how much we argue or debate or even be violent towards each other, but if it's not the time for that person to receive the 'hedayat', then it's still not the time.

In an Islamic discussion, one must gives proof from Quran, hadith and history. In a debate, everybody wanna win and will start saying sumthin out of Islamic context and leave the debate with grudges.

Eventhough I'm a born-sunni- Muslim, I don't criticize much about other people's believe. I prefer to make du'a for hedayat for me and others. After all, we're all Muslims. We only have each other in time of hardship.


Mona Z said...

People get so weird about this. I'd love to join the group if it's open to anyone.

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

i too am totally against the ignorant hatred towards shias that some sunnis show . . . A lot of sunnis consider them kafirs because apparently shias believe that Imam Ali A.S. is God. . . After searching a lot over the net, i did find some sections with beliefs that might be considered shirk. . . But then again, you will find some groups with absurd beliefs in among the sunnis.

My own personal beliefs of God being present in everything is considered shirk.
I guess ppl need to accept that beliefs come from the heart and from God Himself.
Plus if we try to decide who is a kafir and who is not and which belief is right and which is not, arent we trying to take up God's place? Isnt that the biggest shirk we can do?

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

what you've told is a most beautiful example of dawah. :) i personally feel dawah is not teaching the Quran but living in a way that ppl pick up the Quran by themselves to know what belief has made this man the way he is.

Karima said...

I am your newest follower! I found this article very interesting, I am a muslim revert and feel I am more open to peoples beliefs. My husband was a born sunni and your husbands views seemed to mirror image what my husbands repsonse would have been! As another comment states this is similar in the christian religion too - some christians think down on different christian beliefs. I would love it if you were able to pop by my blog/s too, inshallah, Karima x and

Becky said...

This is one of the things I don't get either. It actually struck me how passionate those beliefs were, even where you are in Canada, because here in Denmark, it's really not that bad.

I took my secondary education (high school/college) at a school where about half were of "non-Danish origin", so about 35-40% of my class members were Muslims (that was probably where much of my interest in Islam started, as I've had class mates tell me they werent' surprised when I converted to Islam).
Anyways, I think about 60% were Sunnis and about 40% Shias (a few more Shias in percentage, than the world average, as many of the Shias were Iraqis who had fled Iraq in the 80's and 90's due to Saddam's harassment). But there were never any issues. Always a huge focus on we're all Muslims, we all believe in Allah, and if there's any discrepancies between us we'll let Him judge between us on Judgement Day.

As far as I know, the biggest differences in prayer is that Shias regularly gather the afternoon prayers and the evening prayers, so they pray 5 prayers, but only 3 times a day. Also, they pray using a prayer stone from Kabbalah, which is where the Prophet's grandson was martyred (if I remember correctly).

Candice said...

I read about an Islamic school in a nearby area and from what they were saying, it's Sunni and Shia together. And of course they pray together, learn together, etc. The curriculum is more Sunni-based but the Shias can pray the way they were taught by their parents and I don't know how it *actually* works out (if there's any negativity between both) but I love this idea and truly hope it works as well as it seems to. Immigrants are the ones with the idea that they can't be together... It's really too bad.

khany said...

since the shia are the minority muslim group in most countries the sunni majority finds little practical benefit in increasing their awareness of real shia beliefs and practices. this was certainly true in my home country, pakistan, where the shia constitute about a fifth of the population.

if you are interested, one place to begin learning about the history is <a href="> after the prophet</a> by leslie hazelton. the book is written by a "nonbeliever" and has a discernible shia bent. notwithstanding, the narrative is gripping and you will hardly want to put the book down before you are through it. the book focuses on the early history rather than belief and practice.

Taahira H. said...

I think it's vitally important for every Muslim to do research into the sects of Islam and to fully understand what they believe in. Your husband (and every Sunni who feels animosity towards Shias) should do research into the differences so that they can actually hold an intelligent debate.

My mother converted from Islam to Sunni Islam, and then from Sunni Islam to Shia Islam. So I grew up knowing the important differences between the sects and why one is more correct than the other. That being said, I'm a big advocate of intra-faith unity and dialogue.

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