I don’t belong here, they say…

I am in a small village town. It is not small as in tiny with few houses, It is small as in a small town with next to no modern amenities but bigger than a typical village. I call it Villtown. You can see it as a reverse of fortune in a way, from a number one City in the world with everything you can get of the worldly-wise and deen-wise to a world’s backyard village no one ever heard of except for the fact that it has in it a university, the only thing that makes it bearable for me.
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Conversation with a Catholic Lady (6)

Earlier in the week, I met yet another bible peddler who might have thought me an easy prey for her Gospel. I was on the bus and she asked to sit next to me and I obliged as normal. Right away she started a conversation with an opening that goes “You dressed like this because you are a Muslim” referring to my full-covering hijab and I answered, “Yes” and she continued, “You are right in dressing like this because, us Christians as well cannot pray without covering our hair”.  I looked at her properly, I don’t know what she was wearing underneath, but she was covered in a large woolen shawl, of course her head uncovered, she is a blond and Polish looking lady. She continued talking about how from the outside you can tell someone who has a deep spiritual connection with God and so on.

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Bible Peddler Harassment – Recent encounter (3)

I have not been meeting that Ethiopian lady bible-peddler because I have had to change my travel route temporarily, not specifically because of her but due to unavoidable circumstance. I did intend on changing my route If it means not running into her again but not exactly possible for now. But then, I did meet another bible-peddler on a different route the other day and I am very sure she will never approach me again. I was on my way home, mid-day, this white little old Lady was coming from the opposite direction to me, she stopped to talk to me and I obliged to see what she’s got to say. I was under the impression that she wanted to ask me for direction. So, I eagerly looked towards her in anticipation. To my utter amazement, she started ranting on about something, I did not understand her from the beginning of her rant but towards the end, I heard her clearly saying “…and you will go to hell, the bible says”. That is it, another bible-peddler and this one is even saying the bible says, I am going to hell, my anticipation towards her wane off immediately.

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Bible Peddler Harassment – A trip down memory lane (2).

Personally, I was once accosted by a group of bible peddlers who were parading on one of their yearly events that takes place at most university campuses in my country to evangelize students. It’s a week long event and the Muslims also have their version they call “dawah week”. That fateful day, I was out in town with a brother on an errand, the brother was galloping ahead of me and I was behind counting my pace, as I could not possibly catch up with his strides. My mind was focused on the errand I was going for, oblivious of my surrounding, all of a sudden I heard noises around me and I found myself surrounded by these group of Christian students singing and dancing. One of them reached her hand out to pull at my hijab saying, “Give your life to Jesus and be saved” or similar, I was shocked and frightened at this sudden attack; I reaped the corner of my hijab she was pulling off her and bolted away from them. They did not follow me as their parade was on the opposite side of where I was going. Unfortunately, the brother I was with was already out of sight unaware of what was happening. This type of actual harassment was common place back home then, possibly still. A more recent one I read about occurred at a premier university back home, a lone Christian female student was bold enough to actually go inside of the mosque on a Friday during Jumah to deliver the message as they call it. The fact that she entered into the home territory of the Muslims to lambaste their beliefs was shocking and the sheer audacity of it, unbelievable. There were speculations as to if she had some forces backing her in her action, otherwise she must not be right in the mind, else how to explain the audacity.

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Bible Peddler Harassment – A trip down memory lane (1).

A recent or shall I say current encounter with a bible peddler triggered decades old memories of such experience from back home. This bible peddler is a woman trying to force her self on me, telling me to believe in Jesus and all. I have encountered her twice already and I don’t think she is giving up easily as much as I am trying to avoid engaging with her in any way. I intend to write about the encounters and how I might take her on if I decide to. Typically, I don’t like to engage a non-Muslim on religious talk; my dawah is silent but sometimes you might have to talk under the right conditions but definitely no debates, it’s a waste of time and could trigger negative emotions that are better avoided. But first, I will go down memory lane of my experience from when I was a child with no particular understanding of religions and their differences, long before I made a conscious decision to follow the deen as faithfully as I could not just following what I met in the family.

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Peace amidst mosque commotion

I love the mosque and I love going to the mosque not for anything in particular, just for the fact that it is the mosque. For me going to the mosque is not just about praying or attending talks or meeting people, it’s about getting away from everything, taking a rest, seeking solace in the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the mosque. I am able to put the whole world behind me sitting at a corner in the mosque freeing my mind from everything else, even myself. Most of the time when I go to the mosque, I really don’t like talking to people beyond saying salaam, I like to just be by myself with no interference from the people, this way I can fully enjoy the peace and solace I seek in going to the mosque. Sometimes, I don’t plan on going to the mosque when I leave home but my feet somehow take me there. This happened last week, I found myself at the mosque, I prayed Asr and waited for Magrib. Even though it was late, I did not feel like going home, I wanted to sleep at the mosque because I was so much stressed out that the thought of going home gave me panic attack. I wanted to revise my hifz too because my memory seems to be leaking somehow. I met a friend there, she too was not planning to come to the mosque but somehow found herself at the mosque early enough for Magrib. Meeting her at the mosque was good because I was able to clear a misunderstanding we had over the phone earlier. I eventually went home as much as I would have loved to stay the night the mosque, that won’t happen until last 10 days of Ramadan.

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