Monday, November 14, 2005

So, what's with the new name?

To be honest, when I first created my blog, I was still relatively new to politics & I was tempted to title it "An Opinionated Khoja Girl." But for some reason, I just chose "Progressive Muslim Thoughts" because that's what I thought I was trying to be - a "progressive Muslim". Over the past year and a half, I have learned that the word progressive means so many different things to different people and honestly, I don't even know what to term myself.

All I know is that I'm a Shia Muslim on a journey trying to figure out who am, what my beliefs are and what I want to do with my life. The new title of my blog is actually what I titled my honors thesis where I explored the heritage & identity of the East African Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri community.

In addition, on Saturday, I was grateful to be part of The Qunoot Foundation's first conference, which was titled "Exploring the Layers of Our Identity" which was a great success alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah). I was so proud of the co-founders Mohamed & Zahir who are my dear friends because they created a crucial platform for Shias & Sunnis to come together & talk about some really tough issues that don't take place in public spaces. I thought it really went well and my sentiments echo what most people probably fell. However, I will truly know when I compile the responses from our evaluation forms.

Yesterday, I was re-arranging stuff on my bulletin board, and most people are disturbed by what I have on it: the Balfour Declaration, a bloody picture from Iraq, Palestine, something on genocide & poverty. But I now have 2 new additions that make me smile and give me hope: the blue program from Saturday's event & the post card for the Qunoot Foundation's next conference in April on Imam Hussein - who the Shias revere as a 3rd successor to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

I regard Zahir, who is one of ther co-founders as a brother, friend, mentor & more. Through Qunoot, I have become close to amazing people like Mohamed (my friend from Minnesota & the other co-founder), Saba (Zahir's wife), Zuleqa & Khizer Bhai (one of the cutest couples I know) & Shenaaz (Zahir's sister). And in a way, they all fill up a small part of the gaping hole in my heart, for which I'm very grateful.

These past few weeks have been really overwhelming for me because the more I learn & interact with different people, the more I realize how much I don't know who I am and what I want from life & it's really emotionally draining. Since I moved to the US almost 6 years ago, so much has changed in my life & I feel like the ground under me is constantly shifting & sometimes, I crave for it to stabilize. Ah well, Inshallah (if Allah wills), I will pass through this phase of my life smoothly.

To my loyal readers: thank you for the support you have given me this past year & I hope you will continue to tag along with me on my journey.

"The spiritual path ruins the body, but subsequently restores it to health.
It ruins the house to reveal the treasure, and with that treasure it builds better than before." ~ Rumi