Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Can't We Be Friends?


As I said yesterday...I have met a woman who is Muslim and have attempted to form a relationship with her of some kind.
I had read the book The Faith Club and it inspired me to want to have that kind of relationship with women of different faiths. I have never had friends other than Christians and I want to have friends of different faith backgrounds.
I knew I lived near a local Mosque but I don't know anyone who is Muslim...so several weeks ago a man walked by me in the grocery store...he looked like Jesus. I mean the way he dressed and wore sandals...he was Muslim and while the Hubby stood beside me I told this man about the book that I had read and that I had hoped to meet two women of different faiths than mine. I asked him if he knew of a woman who wouldn't mind me asking her questions about Islam. He turned out to be the Imam of that local Mosque and he said his wife would be glad to speak with me and I gave him my phone number and he gave me hers. One week later...she and I met at her home.
My Hubby and I had gone to a reception that day and it had run longer than we had expected. So, because of the late time and the fact that I didn't want to be late to meet her...we came straight from our previous engagement. That would mean My Hubby would drop me off and then he would need to pick me up. We met the Imam outside his apartment building and I told My Hubby that I shouldn't be later than a half of an hour! He watched me walk away with the Imam. Boy was that sentence a mistake! Turns out during the reception My Hubby had turned my cell phone ringer off...and I was not a half of an hour instead more like two hours!
My poor Hubby called me four times...while thinking of me sitting in a chair with a bag pulled over my head and a video camera taping me! He went over and over in his head what he was going to tell my brother the cop!
It is so funny to me now...but he really was worried and then ashamed that his imagination was terrifying him and then scared for me. All that completely went away when he saw me and then it turned to "I am so mad at you Ronda... I am going to kill you!" He felt a little sorry when I said I did not know my phone had been turned off!

I haven't talked about this in the blog because I just don't know what to feel about it yet....I spent two wonderful hours speaking with this woman about her faith and I was thrilled she was so patient...we have exchanged emails. She explained in great detail the five pillars of Islam and the importance of Mecca. She was very patient and kind. I was so excited and hoped she and I would be great friends! However, my feeling now is that she probably isn't interested in a friendship but rather in giving me the information to prevent me from spending an eternity in hell...which don't get me wrong I am grateful for but I really do think I am okay!
She never seemed offended when I asked questions ...and as I said she was very patient! I was very impressed with her faith. She has emailed me and asked that we meet so she can return the book (a copy of The Faith Club) ... I am disappointed because I don't think it will go further.
I haven't any feelings of judgement for her however I have felt a little judged by her at times!
My hopes in going to the Mosque (which was not the Mosque that they attend) was that I would learn more and I did. It was an open house to learn more about Islam...I thought that sounded perfect! It just wasn't the best of experiences...more about that tomorrow!

19 comments:

Scary Mommy said...

Good for you for exploring. Your poor husband!!!

I think religion is so interesting, and have always wanted to take some sort of class but have never followed through. And I'm Jewish (by birth, more than practice,) so you can cross that off your list. :)

Diane said...

You have impressed me many times since I started reading your blog... none more than today :). Not because you were curious or wanted to learn about another religion and culture. But because you actually REACHED OUT... you put aside any fears, insecurities, or worry over how you'd be perceived, and you did it. I'm in awe. And I'm proud to call you my friend (bloggy or otherwise ;).

Blicky Kitty said...

I'm so glad to hear about more people inspired to do this. It sounds as though you might not have clicked as friends with this lady and some Muslims are more strict than others. I have had a bunch of muslim friends because my mom rents rooms in her house and she lives near a university. Most of them are men. They are truly very sweet all solicitous to my mom. They call her their American mother and stop in and check on her. They also do things like shovel her walk in the winter and carry her groceries in (something her american male tenants and my stupid brothers have never done). Only one was sort of a jerk (he is an imam) and thinks he's better than others because of his faith, but I've met Christians like that. I like a lot of things about their faith -- like how they acknowledge Jesus Christ as a prophet of God but I think the fundamentalism has a lot of the good aspects of Islam. I will never agree with any of them about womens' issues or homosexuals but I've always been impressed by their willingness to debate. If you're interested I have a link about the Ayan Hirsi Ali book (an amazing read!). Thanks for a great post! We all need to get over our fears about Islam and your doing your bloggy bit!

Tiffany said...

It IS very hard to intertwine faith. My husband has made friends with a local Jehovah's Witness, and they come by our house every Saturday. He and my husband sit and discuss their respective faiths....but I do feel like it always borders on each trying to convince the other. But at least they do it respectfully and delicately.

One thing that has always struck me is how so many of us, no matter what we call ourselves or what faith we claim...we all love the same God. Our differences come down to what we think that looks like in our walk of life, and how we feel about Jesus. Which, admittedly, are big differences. But still....we CAN unite around our God. So we should be able to coexist better than we do.

Rhonda said...

That is amazing to me that you would have the courage to do this. Good for you, Ronda! Even if it didn't work out as you had hoped, you did it. And maybe the third person will be more excited to learn about you and your faith and not just share her own.

Jennifer said...

Hi Ronda--Just a thought, but maybe if you want to connect w/ new friends, start from a place you have in common--like hobbies or whatever--and then once you got to know each other better you could share the commonalities and differences of your religions? In any case, it sounds like a very exciting and interesting experience. I look forward to tomorrow's post!

Ronda's Rants said...

Scary Mommy...thanks I am hoping you will share the Jewish holidays with us in your blog!
Thank you, Diane...most days I just feel I am muddeling through!
Blicky Kitty, I would be interested in that link! I have read The History of God by Krane Armstrong which I do like for information.
Tiffany, You are right! God is God and we may all be surprised in the end. Our faith is personal but I hope we can be respectful of each other!
Rhonda, Gish I don't know about courage...that doesn't sound like me at all!
Curious and friendly maybe...but I am not the fearless type!
Jennifer,
You are 100% correct in your thoughts and I am now going more that route...it needs to be an authentic relationship... I think I may have come off as having ulterior motives!
Thanks for all your input...I was worried about this post!

Mamahut said...

Curious and friendly....that's why we love you.

Tabby @ ♥I Choose Bliss♥ said...

The fact that you reached out to her is simply awe inspiring! Way To Go!

manic mariah said...

Wow, that is cool that you actually did it instead of just thinking about doing it.

amelia bedelia said...

that is very interesting, ronda. tell us more! the story about your hubby was hysterical!

KeepinUnity said...

i think what your trying to do is very brilliant,inspireing and enlightening,i dont think i could be so openminded espescially when thers the feelings of being judged,im at collage with a judgemental lady,its written all over her face n whilst im tryin to continue to be polite to her i soooo feel like challangeing her allot! love n blessing to you ronda,i myself am a spiritualist! xox

jill jill bo bill said...

You know I love you. I am praying for wisdom and opportunity for you. I agree with the idea of establishing a relationship with the women and learning about their faith.

Debbie said...

Don't give up. I am sure you have met lots of women of your own faith that you didn't connect with the first time. There is someone out there to meet this need for you.

Hippie Family... said...

oh that is so interesting!!! I can't wait to hear more. We have our whole street is catholic, and one lutheran family moved in then some mormons down the street and we all ended up starting a book club and talking and now I can't imagine my life without them.. but I would love to know more women of other religions and I never thought that they would just want me to go their way to save me...

Brenda said...

I'm fascinated by all of this! Can't wait to hear about your visit to the Mosque

Blicky Kitty said...

Here's the link with a discussion of the Ali book (called infidel). She's an amazing person and her autobiography reads like an adventure novel.

http://blickykitty.blogspot.com/2008/08/infidel.html

I'm really looking forward to reading any future discussions you have about this! Thanks again for the great post.

Dawn said...

That is great! You are an amazing lady!

x said...

Great post, can't wait to read more. Me and my fiance are from different religions.

Ever since he proposed to me with a gorgeous diamond necklace from www.idonowidont.com we decided to have a mixed religion wedding so that both our faiths are intermingled.

The story about your hubby is really funny!