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AminahStar

USA
Topic initiated on Saturday, August 02, 2003  -  1:12 AM Reply with quote
Non Muslim Countries


As salam alikum,

I am finding that living in non-muslim countries can be difficult if you do not have a strong spiritual foundation.

Here are some of the problems I have faced or am facing:

1) Lack of information

2) Lack of support from others

3) Constant staring (when covering my head, this is especially a problem in Japan!)

4) Lack of halal meat

...and the list goes on and on!


I would like to discuss these issues and possible ways one can stay on track.

Allah Hafiz

Aminah
ayesha

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, August 02, 2003  -  3:01 AM Reply with quote
I have lived all my life in Pakistan and may not be able to fully comprehend the problems that you might be facing.

I however, believe that in this era of IT, things must have become easier than what they were when we did not have such facilities. Although filtering of information is imperative especially when it concerns information regarding our religion.

As far as covering your head is concerned, I suppose you would just have to get used to the fact. Once you are comfortable with your attire (even if it has a stark contrast with the people around you), the world will be comfortable with you as well. It is probably easier said than done but all we can do is to try our best.

I have had a chance of traveling a little and find the 'halal food' problem to be significant sometimes. However, I always think that it must be easier for resident Muslims as they would have fixed places where to get halal food. So it poses a bigger problem for the travelers. Your post makes it look different from what I thought. What are the problems that you face? Is there no Muslim community where you live (or Jewish)?

Lastly, I would like to add that with tests comes the reward. We have to keep working around the problems that we face. If apparently, we cannot find a solution, we can always hope to be rewarded by God for compensation.
AminahStar

USA
Posted - Saturday, August 02, 2003  -  3:31 AM Reply with quote
I am coping with the problems now. Some of these problems I have had in the past, I just wanted to know how others are coping with them as well. I wanted to start a nice discussion.

One thing that helps when people stare is to smile. If they see you are happy and are comfortable with way of dress, they tend to not stare so much.

Japan does not have many muslims, but, Alhamdulillah in this city there are many, and many halal food shops as well.

I am a revert to Islam and spent most of my life in America. I came to Japan six months ago for marriage. In America I found it very difficult. I had an opposing family, no way to get halal food. All I had was the internet to help me learn.

Now that I am married to a muslim, I find things less difficult. I now have real life examples that I didnt have before. I think being surronded constantly by other muslims is very positive to spritual growth, and this is especially difficult for reverts if they are not in big cities.
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, August 02, 2003  -  10:23 PM Reply with quote
This is a good discussion that you have started. This will indeed help others learn ways to adhere to good values in times of difficulty.

Did you know that Muslim countries have their own kind of problems?

Yes, Halal food would be available; people won't stare at you for your attire; on every corner of the road, there would be a mosque; five times a day, you will hear Allahu Akbar [the Lord is great] but the most desirable things would be missing.

The spirit of faith would be missing; concern about the Hereafter would be missing; the noble ideals of life would be missing. A materialistic race would be at full pace and every new generation would yearn to outsmart each other in the realms of luxury and worldly comforts.

In Muslim countries, it is you who has to decide to act upon religion; who has to set the priorities right—Hereafter on the top and the worldly engagements below in the hierarchy.

The situation is worse when it comes to Muslim ladies since they are usually under pressure of the society. We indeed need role models for Muslim ladies to follow; role models like you and other Muslim sisters who have the courage to learn and propagate the truth.
ayesha

PAKISTAN
Posted - Sunday, August 03, 2003  -  10:12 PM Reply with quote
Sister Aminah

I have great respect for reverts. Mainly because of their courage to acknowledge and accept the truth despite their circumstances. The kind of courage missing in the Muslim countries as has been correctly pointed out. When I look around I see the younger generation following the western culture such vehemence as was never thought possible. Being born Muslims somehow has taken away the quest for knowledge regarding religion rather than anything else.

If you were to study our culture closely, we tend more to follow what our elders have taught us rather than seeking knowledge with an open mind. This is not the way Muslims were supposed to be. They were supposed to be enlightened, tolerant, knowedgable, humble and most of all seekers of truth.

On top of everything else, we have a system of education where no analytical skills are developed in children. Personally, I believe, this is the best gift that we can give to our children; to be able to think, analyze, appraise, and follow what they then deem right (this does not concern only religion but all walks of life).

These are not the only kinds of problems we face.

I am glad to hear that you are now living a life that you always wanted to live. I hope your path becomes easier for you still.

Best regards
safia

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, August 04, 2003  -  2:18 PM Reply with quote
Sister Ayesha
you have very accurately discribed the Pakistani society. I have lived here all my life & I can understand its shortcomings well. You are right that we follow what our elders tell us & we dont research at all!! As i grow older i realize that we have been practicing many wrong & unislamic things.
Living in this so called Muslim society is not as easy as it looks. Since i started covering my head people ask such rude questions & stare in an even dirtier way than they stare at other women. which is very difficult & annoying ofcourse.One may hear Azan being called out 5 times a day but almost no mosque offers a place for women to pray. Hows that for a Muslim country??!! We dont even have segregated functions where men & women can enjoy seperately.These are just some of the difficulties faced by Muslim women in Pakistan. I wish that we were a more Islamic society then we are now...
AminahStar

USA
Posted - Monday, August 04, 2003  -  11:15 PM Reply with quote
I did not realize how many problems you must face in a muslim country! It is so amazing to me that you get dirty looks even in Pakistan for covering your head.

In my city in Japan there is a mosque, but no place for women, although in Tokyo there is a beautiful mosque that has a place for woman. In USA I used to go for eid prayers and friday prayers. I miss it sometimes, but I feel I am better off now.

Allah gives us all tests of endurance, and now I understand that even in muslim countries these trials can be equal to or surpass what I have faced.

friend
Jhangeer Hanif

PAKISTAN
Posted - Tuesday, August 05, 2003  -  12:44 AM Reply with quote
This life is supposed to be a test for all who are sent in this world. Nature of this test varies from person to person and for one person over the time of his life as well. Understanding this important aspect of human life (test and trial) makes this life so meaningful! And also enable us to face dauntlessly all the adverse winds.
Bhavittre

PAKISTAN
Posted - Saturday, November 26, 2005  -  9:46 PM Reply with quote
a nice discussion………
sobi_05

USA
Posted - Monday, November 28, 2005  -  3:32 PM Reply with quote
Wa lakum salaam sister Aminah,
Like others said, it is a very nice and useful discussion you've started. I've been living in USA for a few years. And in the beginning, i've faced some problems epecially in adjusting in a new culture, but Alhamdulilah everything is settled down. If now i've to go back and live in Pakistan, it would be very hard for me. And the reason is the freedom to follow my religion that i enjoy here.
There is no societal or family pressure like back home. You think what your religion say before making choices. This leads you to research, which Quran stresses upon. Since living here, i have been realizing the aspects in which our society back home differs from the islamic teaching. Take the very small example of doing your work yourself. We have read in our text books numerous examples of Prophet ( peace be upon him) doing his work by his self, yet people in Pakistan take it a dishonour to sweep in front of their house and clean the disgust. Here, you would find even a doctor mowing his lawn, and sweeping his drive way without any shame. The result is a more just society here having a dignity for humans regardless of their status as Prophet Mohammad ( pbuh) last sermon said.

Another thing which i enjoy immensely is being able to go to mosque every friday prayer, listen to Khutba ( friday sermon), meet other muslims, espcially reverted ones. I feel a part of community.
And as of speaking of mosques, i think it is not necessary for women to pray separately from men in mosques. I heard of a hadith ( saying of Prophet Mohammad pbuh ) which describes more reward for men standing in front rows and for women standing in back rows while praying. So men and women can perform pray in one room having men standing in front rows and women at back.

As of Halal meat, this is a problem in many areas here. We used to travel 3-4 hours each way to get Zabiha meat and stock it for a couple of months. Then i found a place which would fedex our meat at our door step. Now we have found a Christian slaughterhouse in our area. We go there and slaughter our animal according to Quranic directive, and than the slaughterman do the rest for us. Allhamdulilah it has become easy for us. We still cannot dine out, but i guess then that home cooked food is safer and healthier and less burden on pocket too .

And there are a lot things besides religion you need to learn when you move to a new country but i am not going in to those right now.
Take care
Rakhtal

PAKISTAN
Posted - Friday, December 02, 2005  -  11:17 PM Reply with quote
We go there and slaughter our animal according to Quranic directive…….
---------------------------

What are the Quranic directives?
oosman

USA
Posted - Saturday, December 03, 2005  -  2:35 AM Reply with quote
Wow, can you tell me where you fedex the meat from. I could use that!
sobi_05

USA
Posted - Monday, December 05, 2005  -  5:28 PM Reply with quote
quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We go there and slaughter our animal according to Quranic directive…….
---------------------------

What are the Quranic directives?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pronouncing Allah's name just before slaughtering and letting the animal bleed completely is the Quranic directives of slaughtering the animal. If you happened to watch the slaughtering on Eid e Baqar, it is done according to Shariah.

quote:

Wow, can you tell me where you fedex the meat from. I could use that!

Well brother, there is a store in Atlanta which post the meat in dry ice. There web site address is almadinaga.com
But depending on your location in US, it may be costly. I find it, though, better to get meat at my door rather than to drive for hours.
Rakhtal

PAKISTAN
Posted - Monday, December 05, 2005  -  7:58 PM Reply with quote
Quote: Pronouncing Allah's name just before slaughtering and letting the animal bleed completely is the Quranic directives of slaughtering the animal.

Quranic directives- what are the Surat and the Ayat numbers?
sobi_05

USA
Posted - Tuesday, December 06, 2005  -  8:11 PM Reply with quote
See following suras and Ayas in Quran.

5: 3
6: 118,121, 145,
16:11

For a detailed discussion on this topic, may i suggest a link http://understanding-islam.org/related/scategory.asp?catid=16

I hope this would help you.
sobi_05

USA
Posted - Tuesday, December 06, 2005  -  8:15 PM Reply with quote
Ooops im sorry, it is ayat 115( instead if 11)in sura 16.

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