Wednesday, August 19, 2009
My dad is a sheikh (Islamic scholar) and an Imam (leader of the mosque)
My siblings and I are his kids.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
If not, it's the equivalent to being the preacher's daughter/son (or rabbi, minister, guru , or what have you)
Lots of pressure.
My dad never wanted us to live near people from our "community" (I put that in quotes because we live nowhere near these people to call it a "community"), i.e. Bangladeshis.
So we stayed in little old Mexicantown to this day.
He was always afraid that we would be influenced by the wrong crowd or people would judge our family and think that my dad is "too strict" or "too lenient" depending on which side of the spectrum you're on.
Or people would think both.
It's not to say that my siblings and I did not rebel against certain things here and there. But in my opinion, for the most part, my dad is a very- wise- not- strict- not- lenient- just- your -average -kind -of-guy-that-wants-the-best-for-his-kids dad.
So where is the pressure, you ask?
Well, you know how some parents are REALLY REALLY hard on their kids when it comes to school. They want their kids to get the best grades possible, get into the best universities, and get a degree in a prestigious profession. They are constantly nagging their kids to do this and to do that and saying that they are not studying enough and wasting time hanging out with friends.
Well my dad is like that. Kind of.
Like I said, he is a sheikh and an imam. He has a lot of Islamic knowledge about..... well... Islam. Duh. And he has studied the Qu'ran (holy book of Islam) and narrations from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He has a lot of knowledge and expertise in that area, masha'Allah.
And well, to get to the point, we...really...dont.
The balance is off.
I mean we do.
But we dont.
Basically we have the basic knowledge but there is so much more we could and should learn.
For example,the Qu'ran is written in Arabic. I don't speak Arabic. Don't understand it. But I know how to read it. And so I can read the Qu'ran.
But when you read the Qu'ran you cant read it any old way. You have to read it in a particular style known as Tajweed. Meaning it has to be read with the proper pronunciation, precise articulation, and appropriate enunciation.
And well, it's extremely hard to do that and it's even harder to learn.
And to my dad, we're all idiots when it comes to Tajweed (minus my brother, but he's still an idiot too, but for a whole nother set of reasons. And that's a story for another time).
We are imcompetent and we spend way too much time watching T.V., going on the internet, blogging, facebooking,working, eating, sleeping, etc.
It's like a preacher getting exasperated because his kid can't recite passages from the Bible.
In his opinion, there is so much more we could be doing.
And he's right!
Hopefully my siblings and I will get to that point one day. God willing.
However, it's not to say that sometimes when he sits down with my sisters and tries to practice Tajweed, I hide in the basement or feign PMS. LOL. =)