Being born into a Muslim family, raised in a Muslim society (Pakistan) for most of my life is a blessing in more than ways. It however is also a very non-diverse experience (if you know what I mean…). I however migrated to US based on Job requirements and other factors. Being thrust into this melting pot of cultural racial and socio-economic diversity called America has been quite a rollercoaster. Before 9/11 I was looked at as just another person of faith with his own nuances. 9/11 changed it all. Needless to say that the change in attitude is very understandable. Having said that, it was at times really hard to breath in this land of the free. I however have not experienced any real persecution that many in the Muslim community have faced- I have indeed been blessed. Apart for the first few months when me and my family had to face some angry attitudes some harsh stares etc. I have also had some very positive and humbling experiences, which I fondly narrate to my fellow Muslims, when I get a chance. For instance as a Muslim, I am required to pray 5 times a day and on Fridays ensure that the I pray the afternoon prayer in a congregation (In a Mosque). Once my colleagues in the office found out about my prayer obligations, they have not only been respectful of the prayer timings, rather in many situations they have reminded me that I (in my laziness) will miss the prayer if I don’t get up right now! An even more humbling experience was when one of my colleagues even went so far as not only to find me a quite place in the office to pray; rather he cleaned the area where I was to place my prayer rug. I can safely say that that the trials and tribulations of the past 10 or so years in the US of America, have given me greater appreciation of what it is to be a Muslim. And indeed has made me a better Muslim.
More information about text formats