Culture Clash!

>> Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So, I'm currently doing an alimah course and subhanallah I learn new things everyday. My problem is that I live with parents whose minds work totally back home, yes I'm talking about India. They are just so stubborn and want to stick to their own ways (picking and choosing what they want to believe) When I tell them that they are doing something wrong (against Islam) My dad would be like, "you think you know more them me?' type of thing. And this hurts me so much! I mean they are my parents and I love them and I want what is best for them but how can I give help to someone who doesn't want it? 
I'll give you an example of what happened once. So in our culture, when someone passes away, all the men and women gather (seperately) and pray for the person. But this 'gathering' isn't even included in Rasullulah's (SAW) sunnah. The women end up talking, (backbiting etc) the old women cant sit on the ground so they sit on chairs which disrespects the Quran when people are praying on the ground. you know what I mean? There is more harm done then there is good. Why cant they just pray Quran at home and send it to the person who passed away? Its between you and Allah right? So anyway, my dads aunt passed away and he was asking me to tell my friends to come to this gathering to pray. So I told him that its not allowed and he started getting angry and telling me that I don't know anything and what not. So what should I do the next time something like this happens?  
- alimah in training

SubhanAllah, you're doing an alimah course! Nice one! (: I hope Allah continues to increase your knowledge, ameen. I do understand what you're on about. When culture clashes with the right thing to do it can be uneasy and downright difficult, right. Because the 'right' thing to do since you've been a child is to simply do as culture does. But as you grow and mashaAllah, your mind grows, you learn how some culturally 'right' things - aren't truly RIGHT. If you're catching my drift. :D

Okay, so when you tell your Dad something and he's maybe not so willing to know: can you sort of understand how he's feeling though. He doesn't want his daughter to tell him what's right and wrong - maybe it's in his nature. And you should understand that - mashaAllah he's your father. (:
It must hurt when they don't take your help, but there's only so much you can do. They must choose as well. That's all about being human too - freewill, right. Talk to your parents as much as they will tolerate. Give them evidence. Tell them that in what you're studying, it's telling us to do otherwise.
You already know this, I'm sure, but never forget to give them the utmost respect and show your love to them, inshaAllah.

See this as a test from Allah, and any test from Him will only benefit you and make you closer to He who created you, inshaAllah. Don't see this all as a negative thing, as it's sort of training you to keep a level-head, disciplining yourself while staying true to your values as well.

Culture is an important part of an identity but everyone should know that religion comes first - because Islam is what controls our life, rather than our life controlling our Islam.

This reminds me of when someone I know started to wear the Hijab, mashaAllah. Her father was, of course, very pleased with her. However, whenever she took it off in the house, he used to tell her to wear a headscarf. His culture obviously told him that girls should cover in the house as well. She was actually infuriated about how backdated and outrageous this was. But she quietly tied her headscarf before going to get her Qur'an translation and showed her father the evidence that she doesn't have to cover in front of her Dad. He couldn't say anything to that, so simply let her be. No arguments, no disobedience. Just the facts. 

Innalillahi wa inna alayhi rajioon
I'm sorry to hear about your Dad's aunt, may Allah forgive her sins, ameen.

You could try to give the evidence in a way which he doesn't feel as if you're trying to be better. So you could find the evidence which suggests anything otherwise to what your family is doing, and show them the page and be like, 'I saw this, and we do this, maybe we shouldn't do it any more.' However cheesy it sounds: you are all in this together...
And see what sort of reaction you get.

The main thing to remember is to always remain calm. Have a mantra in your head whilst you talk to your parents about these things, 'Stay cool, calm, collected. Respect. Respect'.

Most of all, out of anything that you can do - pray for your parents. Please, sister I urge you that there can be no limit on prayer for your parents. You will both be rewarded in the end, inshaAllah.

I pray all the best for you, inshaAllah.

Don't worry, because Allah's testing you. He loves you. He want you to call on Him. Never lose hope in your dua.
Just keep praying, and inshaAllah - keep smiling. (: So smile! :D

4 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Unknown April 5, 2011 at 12:06 PM  

What a wonderful post, mashAllah. <3

Anonymous,  April 6, 2011 at 7:11 PM  

Aslaamu Alaykum
I was wondering ..
How is it wrong for older women to sit on chairs if they cant sit on the floor?

Little Auntie April 6, 2011 at 11:52 PM  

That's a good question, Anon.

I just want to make it clear that we PURPOSEFULLY chose not to comment on the 'fiqh' of this question (because actually scholars disagree in the first place on reading Qur'an for the deceased- whether that goes to the deceased or not), but we only wanted to address the issue of when we learn something that contradicts what our parents think.

Anonymous,  April 7, 2011 at 8:25 PM  

Ok Insha Allah, thanks for clearing that up :)

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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