Hands up – we’ve all been caught with a foot in the sink at school doing wudu or carrying around that water bottle that your friend wants to take a swig out of.
We get it, things can get a little uncomfortable sometimes, and we’ve all struggled trying to explain these situations to others! In this week’s The Tough Stuff we’ll be discussing ways of expressing our Muslim identity with a question from one of our wonderful readers:
“Since I was in high school, I’ve noticed that whenever I am out with my friends I sometimes feel uncomfortable telling them I have to go and pray, do wudu or that I’ve got to skip lunch out with them in Ramadan because I am fasting. Don’t get me wrong, I love praying, fasting and hanging out with my friends – I just don’t want to feel like a burden. How do I explain this to them?”
Super Sister’s response:
Thank you for your question! Before I go into sharing some of my experiences and advice, I am sure that anyone reading this has also gone through a similar struggle growing up. We know that trying to explain something so close to your heart, such as faith, can be incredibly daunting sometimes.
That being said, it doesn’t have to be!
The single best way to get past some of those awkward moments or uncomfortable situations is to simply tell your friends! In high school I used to come up with all sorts of excuses to go to pray until one day I decided that there was absolutely no need to. They asked me if I wanted to go to the canteen with them (how cool) and I simply said that I had to pray first. From then on, it became easier and easier to explain things like wudu, Ramadan and why I chose to wear a hijab and they were so interested in it all! We all know healthy friendships are built on support, understanding and honesty – that includes being open about Islam as the beautiful faith that it is.
As for strangers in public – I guess it will never be easy to give a crash course on Islam with a foot in the sink but remember that the more people understand these basic principles of the faith, the more common it will become and the easier it will to be to explain concepts that are close to your heart. So don’t let them leave thinking you like putting your foot in the sink every lunch time. Rather, let them know you’re doing this to purify your body and prepare your mind to meet your Lord in prayer.
By the end of high school my friends would be so excited for Ramadan, would remind me how many minutes I had left to break my fast and how many minutes left until I could pray. Your friends could be the best support system during your time at school – it only takes letting them know one lunchtime.
Have any questions for Super Sister? Share them over on our Instagram and Facebook pages and Super Sister will be sure to get back to you!