Monday, July 11, 2005

Everything Is Relative II

Me: Something's been freaking me out.
Him: So what else is new?
Me: Am serious.
Him: Something I did?
Me: Something you said.On Friday.
Him: On Friday?So why didn't you bring it up before?
Me: Was afraid you'll say something that'll freak me out even more.
Him: Getting good at that am I?
Me: You have your moments.
Him: So what is it?
Me: In Meena Salam. In the bookstore. You said I read too much about religion.
Him: So?You're always saying I read too much about work. Don't notice myself having quiet hysterics about it.
Me: Am not having quiet hysterics. Am trying to have a mature, grown-up discussion about your religious beliefs.
Him: Tayeb.
Me: What did you mean by imaginary restrictions to reassure ourselves?
Him: You showed me a booklet called fiqh elkhala'a.
Me: Yes.
Him: Don't you find that ridiculous?The Islamic way to go to the toilet?
Me: Yes.It was ridiculous but how is it reassuring?
Him: Think about it. To feel God is so interested in you that He cares whether you enter the bathroom with your right or left foot.Whether you eat with the right or left hand. Every detail of your life is watched over by this compassionate being out there. You're never alone.Some people never want to be alone. They don't want to make any decision. So they picture a mother figure kind of God holding their hand every step of the way.
Me: So you don't believe in any restriction at all?So why do you tell me it's haram to smoke?
Him: Because it's bad for your heatlh.
Me: No you said it's haram - as in God doesn't wish me to do it - so your God is a mother figure too.
Him: Smoking is bad because your body reacts badly to nicotine. God created your body. If He had wanted you to smoke He would have changed your body chemistry so it thrives on tar & nicotine. He could have made nicotine your sustenance, not your poison. You don't need a fatwa to know smoking is haram. Nature says it is. And God is Nature. Now does Nature care if you enter the bathroom with the right foot or left?God just cares that you do what benefits yourself & others. And it's up to you to figure what that is.If you don't you will pay.
Me: God is Nature?Are you a pantheist?
Him: La zindeeq.
Me: Seriously you don't think God provided any Guidance?
Him: Sure He did. He gave you a brain didn't He?
Me: I mean something from God.
Him: Your brain is from God.
Me: So why do we have Holy books?
Him: Those are words but you still have to teach yourself the language or they will tell you nothing.
Me: So you don't believe in Divine Wisdom?
Him: All wisdom is Divine.
Me: So why do you pray?
Him: Congregational prayer is good. A group of people get together & perform the same rituals. They bond around a set of decent values. It creates brotherhood. A good brotherhood. Ini uhibuka fi allah kind of brotherhood.
Me: So you don't believe in praying on your own - just between yourself & God.
Him: Sure but when I want to pray just between me & God it doesn't have to be a certain time or a certain place or a certain ritual. I can pray anywhere anyhow. The point of organized congregational prayer is the community spirit. Everything in Islam is like that. Umar Ibn Ekhattab used to say :"A3tooni ma yinfa3u elnas u3teekum ma yusaniduhu min elshar3."And there is a hadith:"Isa'alooni fi umoor deenikum wantum adra bidunyakum".
Me: I was right. You did freak me out even more.

to be contd.

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32 Comments:

Blogger haal said...

Loul, you are freaking me out :) I think K. is pretty good and has a nice approach to God...and he is expanding his vision of religion...separating religion from God (no?), Yet remaining in the politeness of the rituals and the politeness of the 'historical aspect of islam.'

7/11/2005 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Yes, I think K's approach to God and religion is more of Haal's style.

7/11/2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

haal,

"Loul, you are freaking me out :)"

Does he have to be so practical & down-to-earth about EVERYTHING even faith?1+1=2?What happened to imagination?To mysticism?To Love?

Typical, typical Taurus.

Mohamed,

"Yes, I think K's approach to God and religion is more of Haal's style."

Yes but unfortunately for him Haal is already taken & he's stuck with me:)And am stuck having to figure him out.

7/11/2005 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

la'a that's not what I mean, Haal is indeed taken. Just that K sounded familiar.

You two are actually great together. You obviously feed on worry, if you didn't worry so much you'd feel that something is wrong so you start worrying, no? and he's a good catalyst for your worries :)

7/11/2005 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

"You two are actually great together. "

But not because he's a catalyst for my worries:)I think it's because he doesn't worry as much so he has time & energy to deal with my worries.Also I don't seem to intimidate him when I freak out like I do other men.

Me & my ex were too similar. Both worriers. It was a case of itlam elmat3oos 3ala khayeb elraja:)

See this is why the whole arranged marriage thing doesn't work for me. Because when people try to set you up they try to find someone like you. And what I obviously needed all this time was someone who was nothing like me!

7/12/2005 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger Al Sharief said...

loulou,
Well, there is more than anxious tone on your concerns reflected in your write up. Unless you confess (to yourself) that you "feed on worries" & you love It, then Mo may be right you & K would be great. May be.

Interesting approach by K to God & religion. Almost opportunistic. Why not? God wants everybody to benefit from his blessings But without separating God & religion and as long as “Ikhlaass” sincerity is there.

But I say your concerns are valid. &, I think you were right -- Again. Why did you freak out even more?? Your Second thoughts are even more uncomfortable... & it may has nothing to do with God & religion...
But Even organized religion requires sincerity and transparency
in rituals and in believes.

7/12/2005 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

"Again. Why did you freak out even more?? Your Second thoughts are even more uncomfortable."


If I differ with people on something like politics for example then that is an area where am on solid ground. I have strong opinions & I feel able to defend them. Then my instinct would be to convince them, not to doubt myself.

But religion & faith are an area which is very important to me but at the same time I feel lost in.It is always there in the back of my mind. And I had an assumption that it will work out in the end, that it will come to me, that it was a matter of time. Sometimes I'd be distracted by life or I'd just get lazy & procrastinate & stop searching for a while but I always come back.

If you feel unsure or confused or ignorant about something & you come across someone who IS sure or seems to be you instinctively look for reassurance from them. You try to 'inherit' some of their confidence, to learn something. Especially if it's someone you respect & feel close to.

But he didn't reassure me at all. He made me think what if there IS no answer?Or if there is one but I never find it?See I never considered this before. It was a shock.

And I was afraid to speak to him again because I didn't want to receive anymore shocks before I had time to absorb the first one.

He didn't convince me so I can't feel as confident as him but at the same time I don't have a counter-argument to offer to him or to myself.This is the source of my discomfort/worry.

Am not worried that it will affect our relationship. We're both openminded enough to agree to disagree sometimes.

It's my personal inner battle that am preoccupied with right now.He doesn't know about it yet. I asked him to explain his beliefs not to help me with a personal crisis of faith. I wanted to hear what he really thinks without pressuring him to be careful of my feelings or whatever.And I guess I got what I wanted.

Be careful what you wish for.

7/12/2005 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger haal said...

Hey you people, what is this 'haal style'. Do I now have a brand name for myself.

So, Mohamed, you think K's approach is my style? really, I dont think so. I am not that practical when it comes to religion. I am not a 1+1 person=2. But all I am saying is that he doesnt really have to believe in everything being said around him. He prays, which cool, and just find his own understanding of God. As for being an opportunist, (didnt someone said that), or not, well, I dont think so. He is just too practical I guess, and deep inside maybe, is just expanding his views and doesnt really want to make a fuss out of this faith issue because it is 'a waste of time.'

I am actually not really understanding where you stand Loul, re/ faith and religion and God. Are you a strict believer in everything sheikhs tell us, or books of figh el moush 3aref eih say.....? Am I right. Plus, you dont pray, right? Which is not good or bad, but just adds to my image of you as being a floating person, in search, debating, more into finding rather than strict rules...etc and thus, I am perplexed why are you freaked out from K.'s approach to religion, I thought it was like yours....

7/12/2005 04:39:00 AM  
Blogger Al Sharief said...

I wish you comfort!!! & Life that is full of Faith and harmoney...
BTW I never intended to restrict Faith only to a religion, it could very well apply to an idea, to a person, and to K.

Don't you love Fayrooz when she sings: Al Mahabba La TaaTy ela Zateeha & Al Mahabba La Taakhoz ela min Zateeha. Faith is also full of selfassurance.

'I never considered this before. It was a shock.' Now that you are realizing this possiabilty??

7/12/2005 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

haal,

"Are you a strict believer in everything sheikhs tell us, or books of figh el moush 3aref eih say.....? "

I don't consider them holy & above criticism. I believe they're attempts by people in other times & places to apply religion. Some things in them maybe useful to us but we still have to adapt them to our own circumstances.

But this doesn't mean I reject the whole principle of fiqh & sharia & think it's a waste of time.

"Plus, you dont pray, right? "

I don't pray regularly but that's because I lack self-discipline & have a crazy schedule. I can't wake up for fajir for e.g. So I do it qada'a whenever I wake up.At work sometimes am too lazy to pray duhr because I forgot to bring a headcover with me so I wait & go home & pray duhr & 3asr together.I mean I try.Just not as disciplined about it as him. All 5 times on time at the mosque.

"but just adds to my image of you as being a floating person"

But K. is not floating at all. He thinks I spend too much time floating. He keeps telling me batali falsafa.

"debating, more into finding rather than strict rules.."

3arfa there is a top that am crazy about. Great color, perfect fit, makes me look skinny, good price, goes with a pair of pants I love & have had for a long time but couldn't find a top to go with.

The problem is it's too revealing. The first time I put it on my first thought was la haram. Now am not the kind of person who is shy or self-conscious about my body at all.When I go swimming at the ladies club I'll wear the most indecent bikini in the world without a second thought. And am not shy to change infront of other women.

So it's not a matter of shyness or a matter of style. Or even of family. My family doesn't care what I wear. North Africans are very open about clothing.

So the reason I can't bring myself to get this top even though I really want it is because on some level am afraid God will be angry with me if I wear it in public.

I actually only started the whole shopping online thing because I was trying to find a similar top but less revealing.

There's a hundred other little things. Like when I fight with my parents or upset them I feel HORRIBLE.Even if I believe I was in the right, all the religious upbringing about how God is angry with you if your parents are just keeps haunting me. I actually can't sleep if one of them is pissed off at me. I can't take it. I feel CURSED.I'll go wake them up in the middle of the night to say sorry.

When he was talking about eating with your left or right hand he made me a little nervous. I always have to say bismillah before eating & el7amdullilah after. Was raised that way. And I force myself to finish my food because I feel it's 7aram to throw it away.

He would probably think all these are silly restrictions to reassure myself.

So you see this is my floating - I can't completely accept all the rigid rules but at the same time I can't completely reject them.Don't have the guts.

What I hope is that oneday I'll settle this one way or the other. Either I'll accept them completely & lose all the doubts & become one of those devout Muslims Mo was talking about. Or I'll find an alternative philosophy/argument that will make me not care about them anymore.

"I am actually not really understanding where you stand Loul, re/ faith and religion and God."

Did I explain it better now?

7/12/2005 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

AlSharief,

"Don't you love Fayrooz when she sings: Al Mahabba La TaaTy ela Zateeha & Al Mahabba La Taakhoz ela min Zateeha."

Yes!

"Life that is full of Faith and harmoney...
"

And you are a thoughtful & eloquent writer:) Thanks for your time & contributions. You're giving me a lot to think about.

"Now that you are realizing this possiabilty??
"

Not sure yet.The first reflex is to struggle harder against it.

7/12/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Lou, why do you wanna wear something decent in the "ladies club"! I think you should get this top. It'll make you feel better for a while. Wear it with K and see if he'll compliment you, or tell you "this is too revealing".

So, on the surface (atittude wise and rituals wise) he is more disciplined than you, but deep down you are more disciplined and inline with the more traditional notion of God, and right and wrong? Interesting. You are really two opposites. That never works btw!

Sorry if I'm being too judgemental here. Take my words with a grain of salt (hint hint: I'm feeding your worries).

7/12/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger haal said...

Floating doesnt mean 'not religious' or a negative thing. It, to me at least, means contemplating on religion rituals, practices, ideas,...etc, and I consider it a positive thing mainly because I consider myself like this--different degrees.

I now understand your point and your 'fears', but I don't think you should. maybe you are a little judgemental, or sudden;y felt 'scared' lest K. will push you further where you dont feel comofortable, and maybe your image of someone who 'prays' and suddenly says what he said, made you taken by surprise.....maybe he is an opposite reflection of who you are......

I dont know, but I personally think religion, god,..etc is very subjective and very hard to be changed....maybe toned down if it is an extreme. But in K.'s case, and your case too, I think it is normal. So I think. It is not like K. is totally away from god, but just 'away' from your perspective....

7/12/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Twosret said...

Loulou,

I think it might be a good idea for you to develop and grow spritiually on your own. I would say in general you need to feel complete as Loulou and not to expect K. to help you inherit confidence. I would encourage you to leave a scarf in your office because it sounds like you are unhappy for not praying regulary.

On the dress code issue :) I understood that you don't know K. for a long time. Every man from the M.E. is conservative in his heart. I wouldn't test this dangerous zone early on in the relationship. I have to see the top to give my opinion but, there is a fine line between sexy, feminine and cheap looking. If it gives you an image of being a sex object vs. a beautiful, feminine young lady than you have the answer for your question :)

You are obviously a good daughter that loves her parents and that is part of why you can't sleep if they are upset with you. The same goes with your relationship with God. You might want to consider writing your questions and concerns down and search for a repuitable modest Sheikh.

You have to be at peace with your faith and comfortable in your own skin spiritually. You sound like you have good faith already so I'm not even worried about you :)

Stay cool

7/12/2005 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger doshar said...

loulou, take it easy girl. this is a big issue, relax a little bit and don't over react and over analyze right now. time will make things more clear as in situations as such and just see what you both want out of life in the long run, and see if boths paths could coincide. take care

7/12/2005 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Mohamed,

"Lou, why do you wanna wear something decent in the "ladies club"! "

Well why not?The point was that am not a physically shy person by nature. If I limit myself in dress code it's only for religious reasons not because I feel there's something particularly special or unique about my body or that it will take something from my sense of self-worth if people see it. Mish 7ayaklu mini 7itta ya3ni.

So in situations where there is no religious reason to cover myself it's not really much of an issue for me what I show. Like around other women or at the doctor's for example.

"Wear it with K and see if he'll compliment you, or tell you "this is too revealing".
"

Wear it to see if he'd get jealous you mean?I wonder if he would?I should wear it & go sit alone in a bar:)THAT should get a reaction:)

He seems to like the way I dress so far. Doesn't seem to make him uncomfortable.He's protective yes but I haven't seen him get jealous yet. Haven't given him a reason to.

"Take my words with a grain of salt (hint hint: I'm feeding your worries).
"

That is NOT funny!It's cruel. Take it back & apologize:) Shame on you. Playing with my poor nerves:)

7/12/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

haal,

"It is not like K. is totally away from god, but just 'away' from your perspective.... "

Maybe am just jealous he's so sure of his perspective & am not.

7/12/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

twosret,

"I think it might be a good idea for you to develop and grow spritiually on your own."

You're right. This is my problem & not his.

" I have to see the top to give my opinion but, there is a fine line between sexy, feminine and cheap looking."

Oh it's not cheap-looking at all. It's very elegant. It just shows a little more than am used to showing in public.

"You sound like you have good faith already so I'm not even worried about you :)
"

Thanks for the vote of confidence:)

7/12/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

doshar,

thanks for your input. You're right.I'll try to stop having 'quiet hysterics' like he said.

How have you been btw?How come you don't blog anymore?

7/12/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger doshar said...

i am ok thanx, been in alexandria for a while, so i just get on line for a very little time.
loved your comments at cairo's on terrorists strike again and tworset's too!

7/12/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

"Take my words with a grain of salt (hint hint: I'm feeding your worries).
That is NOT funny!It's cruel. Take it back & apologize:) Shame on you."

Well actually I was serious, and I only said that I'm feeding your worries so that you don't take me seriously. Serious.

"Wear it to see if he'd get jealous you mean?I"

No, that's definetely not what I mean. I hate that stuff. What I mean is 1) you wanna wear it and enjoy it, so go ahead and do it for a while, 2) in the process notice his reaction. Is he happy that you're happy, is he too conservative with appearance (which he seems to be), so in this case, how will his reaction be; harsh words, looks from under his eyeglasses, orderly tone to go change. Good relationship ice breaker you know.


Hey, how come you're taking all that advise from everyone (including myself). Just do your thing. You rock.

7/12/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Mohamed,

"Well actually I was serious, and I only said that I'm feeding your worries so that you don't take me seriously. Serious.
"

You really think opposites never work together?

"in the process notice his reaction. "

Just out of curiosity what would your reaction be if it was your partner?Would you like it or would it make you uncomfortable?

Personally if I notice other women admiring him it makes me smile.I'd tease him about it.A girl I know told me she wants to have his babies. And I found it hilarious. Told him I know a girl who thinks you have good genes.

So long as it wasn't him admiring other women am happy.I think girls in general are like that. It's quite normal for me to be with a guy I know my friends find very attractive or for my friend to know that her bf/fiance/husband was once our collective crush.

But men seem to get uncomfortable if their partner is getting any attention.They take it as insult somehow.Why?After all it just means people are complimenting your taste no?

"Hey, how come you're taking all that advise from everyone (including myself). Just do your thing."

Taking & giving advice is good. I like it. Nice to hear what other people think. And you guys are such nice thoughtful people too:) If I didn't find some of what you all say interesting & useful I guess I wouldn't keep coming back for more would I?

7/13/2005 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Me, I would give her hell.. hehe.. Sarcastic words and looks from under my eyeglasses (although I don't wear one :), and then when I'm fed up, just ask her to wear something else. Would make her feel like shit for wearing it ya3ny!

But then again, that's if its worn too often, and if its to be noticed by others. But NOT if she's so self-conscious and wants to wear it just a couple of times to enjoy herself.

"But men seem to get uncomfortable if their partner is getting any attention. ... it just means people are complimenting your taste no?"

Yeah, I used to be told. "Aren't you proud that everyone is complimenting me for how sexy I am?", huh. Well, if I was dating a show girl, then yes.

And yes, I think opposites don't work together. Too much of opposites that is. Opposites attract, but they don't work.

7/13/2005 08:16:00 AM  
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7/13/2005 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Mohamed!!

"Well, if I was dating a show girl, then yes.
"

Yasalam! So if other men look at her that makes her a showgirl? And if other women look at you what does it make you?A showboy?

It just so happens that he gets more attention than me.Girls who normally ignore me suddenly come up & talk to me & act really friendly when am with him & I know it's just because they want to talk to him.But I still perform the introductions & watch him turn on the charm & I don't complain. I think he works too hard & am trying to make him get out more & socialize & enjoy himself.Like to see him relaxed & in a good mood.

Don't even say anything when he runs into girls he knows from Sweden & they throw their arms around him & kiss him!Tell myself it's a different culture there & that sort of thing is normal.

So far I don't give him a hard time about any of it. But if he starts to give me a hard time over the same issue then he'll find out pretty fast that two can play at that game.

"Opposites attract, but they don't work.
"

It depends on what kind of opposites. Some opposites complement each other & some clash & bring out the worst in each other. To me love is finding my other half. That means he's got to have the qualities that I miss in myself. Having given up on being perfect alone am trying to be perfect together. Or at least to balance out into something better than I would be alone or he would be alone.

7/13/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

"It depends on what kind of opposites. Some opposites complement each other & some clash & bring out the worst in each other. To me love is finding my other half. That means he's got to have the qualities that I miss in myself. Having given up on being perfect alone am trying to be perfect together."

Sounds good.

7/13/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Mohamed,

Sorry if I was too aggressive. It was uncalled for. You were only giving your personal opinion & I asked you to. Of course I respect your right to do what you think is right.

Guess you brought out the feminist in me like Doshar would say. Now if I go & take it out on him he will yid3i 3laik:)

7/13/2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

la'a I agree with you actually. Well, except for that showboy part. If I wear hotshorts and go seek women's attention, then yes I'm a showboy.. But otherwise I agree with you.

And you explanation of opposites being together sounds good to me. Everything is relative.

7/13/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Cool. Glad we got that cleared up. Yalla. Have a nice day. Must try to get some work done - assuming I can keep my eyes open. This blogging stuff is addictive isn't it?

Noticed that I never get any work done when I've been up all night. Yes. Did it again last night. So much for my vow:)

7/13/2005 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Twosret said...

"Did it again last night. So much for my vow:) "

heheheee you need to trust mama Twosret more :)

7/15/2005 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger ألِف said...

"And I force myself to finish my food because I feel it's 7aram to throw it away."
but that's a good thing..I do the same, and not for religious reasons.
I do it because I can never forget the day when I was 5 or 6 and was leaving tiny 'fatafeet' scattered around my plate when my father told me how whole nations would love to find just one of those fatafeet I was throwing. That was in the eighties, at the height of African starvations.

When someone tries to get at me for eating with my left hand I turn it on them by asking whether he who created the right was different from him who created the left.
I eat with my left because it's more often free and, when in the street, is cleaner :)

"Trust those who seek the truth. Beware of those who find it" - attributed to André Gide

7/22/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger N said...

I just started reading your blog, been through a few posts, but this one is really worthy of commenting. Your man is very wise, and you're very lucky. Rabena yekhaleehoolek :)

7/30/2006 02:14:00 PM  

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