As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is that on October the 1st or 2nd depending on which part of the world you live in, marked the beginning of the Islamic New Year. This is also known as the month of Muharram. It is a time that is celebrated by many, and it is also mourned by many.
As with many religious faiths. Islam also has many sects. The two largest sects are known as the Sunni and Shia sects. The Sunni sects believe in the caliphate system, where the companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad are his (PBUH) rightful successors. Whilst the Shia believe that the family of the Prophet should be the rightful successors
Whilst writing this, my aim is not to become intertwined with the details of faith, but to shed some light on my own experiences. My family is predominantly belonging to the Sunni sect. However, we also have a large part of our family belonging to the Syed Shia sects. My grandmother's family from the Shia, and my grandfather from the Sunni sect. This carried through to my own children, where their father is formerly belonging to the Shia sect.
During my time living with a Shia family, I always felt pressured to practice the Shia path of Islam. This would be through various rituals, prayer and also observing the month of Muharram through mourning. Through the Sunni path we would observe remembrance for 10 days. This was a time of deep grief for the holy family. Women were raped and tortured, there were deep bloodshed's.
I remember feeling a sense of deep confusion, which path: Sunni or Shia? What is right? What is wrong? I found that rather than following a specific path, to simply embrace all faiths. To practice through a spiritual lens. I have remained open in this sense because I don't want our children to feel the confusion that I had to go through. As the children grow older, I have to admit I kept holding on because I wanted the children to follow my parents path which is the Sunni path. I realized that this was not healthy for my health. They deserve to learn about both paths because it is a part of our family history. As the children grow older, I am grateful they too embrace spirituality, and a love and respect for all persons and faiths. I am grateful for this,
In the same sense, I think about all of the sectarian violence that is perpetuated because of belonging to a certain religious group. I think - is it necessary? Do we really need to have this kind of violence? I then relate this to my own experiences and this idea of letting go. Our sense of humanity arrived before any sense of religiosity.
The Sect Question:
If as a religious person we are supposed to love all, then is it not a stark contradiction to engage in barbaric sectarian violence?
If there is so much bloodshed in the world already, does it make sense to bleed the self?
A question to share.
My thoughts with love & kindness! :)
Dedication: The thoughts of this being are dedicated to our holy family.
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand written on October 3rd 2016.
Image 1 - Page link
Image 2 - Page Link
Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)