Monday, November 27, 2006

kitchens and islam

Last night I walked through the door with arms full of groceries to find out that we have a kitchen! I was so excited, there may have been dancing… (after a few trips from the car bringing in all the groceries and nice clean clothes!)

So we have a kitchen, sink, cabinets, counters… mm… and I spent several hours putting stuff away (something I actually enjoy doing. It’s like therapy), and then put up some more Christmas lights ☺.

Sounds like a good evening, yes? But the best was getting to visit with a man and his wife from Niger (which I found out is pronounced nee-jhair) who were having a late Thanksgiving dinner with my Smith family. I came up for pie, and got to listen to Ahmadu talk about his culture and religion. He is Islamic, along with almost all of the rest of his country.

It amazes me to see how devoted they are, and how much respect they have for it. He only said the name Mohammad once, and he followed it with Peace be upon him. The other times he just referred to him as the Prophet. He never mentioned Allah, except to say that in his sect of the religion (Sunni), they do not believe in the prophets, but only in god. We sat and listened and questioned as he talked about their history and traditions.

At BSM a week ago we had a North Africa night (I got to wear a Punjabi), and one of the things Lainee told us was that as women in that culture it was viewed as suggestive to look at a man’s eyes. We tried to talk to the guys without making eye contact and it was so difficult.

One thing Ahmadu said was that in the temple, the women have to pray behind a veil, separated from the men, and that is to enable the men to focus solely on the prayers. Also, something I didn’t know, was that the women also cannot pray aloud, and that this is also to keep the men’s minds pure. I hadn’t ever thought about this in that way, but Randy mentioned that the bible also says that women are to keep silent (which I do think is meant to be kept in context). I hadn’t ever considered, though, that that might be the reason behind Paul writing that. I don’t know that it is, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless.

The Islam and Sikh religions seem so close to Christianity, but still they’re so far. They are more devoted, which is a terrible thing, and they believe so strongly. Still, for all their devotion, they are missing out on everything that means anything. They don’t know the I AM, who is all holy and powerful, but also who is Love and Joy and Peace. They don’t know the Beloved Creator of their souls. They don’t see His love in the sky, or His beauty in the stars and flower, or His patience in the waves.

Yet even though I can see all this, I am not on my face before Him 5 times a day. I don’t know all of His words by memory. Just because I don’t have to. I should want to, and sometimes I do, but sometimes (most times) I live like the spoiled child I am, taking everything for granted.

And on that cheerful note, I have to go. Closing time ☺!

1 comment:

crickl said...

The kitchen looks nice all dressed up in lights! Is there an oven and a sink too??

I like how you call them 'my Smith family'

Now be nice and take your vitamins. No arguing.