I was just thinking about how ironic it is that I feel more comfortable wearing the hijab and working on increasing my faith in America, than I do in my home country, Sudan. In Sudan, a lot of women wear the head scarf for cultural reasons, not religious so when people see me wearing the hijab strictly for Islamic reasons they kind of crack jokes at me. I remember last summer was the first time I wore the hijab in Sudan and I had more troubles there than I did in America subhanAllah. Whenever my mom’s cousins or other men who weren’t my mahrams would come to our house I’d rush to put on my hijab as soon as I saw them and they’d sort of laugh at me and tell me that I was being over religious and that they were just like a father to me. I feel like people in some Islamic countries sometimes take Islam as though it’s a culture and not a religion. I was surprised that women in Sudan didn’t go to Friday prayer and people again laughed when I asked to go. They told me only old women go to Friday prayer. I went to taraweeh prayers during Ramadan last time I went to Sudan and there weren’t many women there, let alone women my age.
I feel like Muslims in Muslim countries should be more appreciative of Islam, but I don’t think they really are. Many take hearing the call to prayer 5 times a day for granted and don’t understand how amazing it is to have a mosque on every street corner. We don’t have that in the West. I would love to hear the call to prayer, but right now all I have access to is the athan on my lap top. When I came back to America from Sudan 2 summers ago, I was relieved that I was around my Muslim friends and the Muslim community that understands that Islam is special and that imaan is precious and needs constant care in order for it to grow and not fade.