I’ve been ruminating on my waning connection with mainstream Islam. Ever since we came to the United States, I’ve been slipping away from ritual practice. The events of 9/11 pushed me to the brink of apostasy. I’ve been sitting on that prickly fence ever since.
Islam keeps pulling me back, in unexpected ways. Last week, as I put my grandson bed, his mom said, “Read Qur’an on him. He likes it,” so I read a few suras, surprising myself that I remembered how to do so with tajweed.
The child lay quietly, and a little smile settled over his face as he gazed into my eyes. I kissed him, said I love you, and good-night. He was asleep almost before I closed the door to his bedroom.
I do not call myself a moderate Muslim. I dislike the word “moderate” because it calls up the notion of immoderate Islam, or extreme, thus giving legitimacy to what is often called extremism, or fundamentalism.
I also dislike the word “fundamentalism” because it implies that its followers observe the fundamentals of their religious beliefs, and that’s far from the truth.
I’m not a “progressive” Muslim, either. That word implies that those who came before were not civilized enough to develop the religion to meet the needs of modern life, as if Islam needs to grow from a state of immaturity.
So what kind of Muslim am I? I don’t know anymore.
Am I a “reformist” Muslim? What’s that? Did you know that there is now a Reformist Qur’an available?
Did you know that the number 19 has been analyzed and found to reveal a code of some sort that lends credence to Islam’s claim of authenticity of the Qur’an?
I keep these ideas at arm’s length for now, but they are interesting. What do you think? I’ll study them; perhaps they will resonate with me, and I’ll feel secured in faith once again.