East or West?

Blogging gives us such a realistic picture of the rest of the world. The thing that stimulated this realization was a post at Temetwir’s blog. He presented a scenario of the result of drug use and the impact of societal ignorance of such issues. It astonished me for a couple of days thereafter, for a couple of reasons. First of all, living in the West, and only being aware (barely!) of the politics in Muslim/Arab regions, I always perceived those regions as being without much of the sociological ills prevalent in the West, or to contain such problems to a much lesser degree. Here, we know to watch out for our kids being seduced by drugs, drink, and dodgy relationships. Muslim/Arab countries have mosques all over the place, with the adhan being called loudly enough that everyone is aware of the time for prayer; living in the West, we must make the conscious effort to remember the times for salaah. Nobody knows better than me how easy it is to get caught up in frivolous work and literally forget to pray (astaghfirullah). We think it may be easier to dress in Islamic garb “over there” since we will blend right in…but that may not be so…

Secondly, when our kids fall into drug addiction here in the West, our parents usually try to see where they went wrong in the raising of their children. They blame themselves, they blame the kid’s friends, the schools, the drug-pushers. Eventually, they get over the denial, and try to help the child (who may well be an adult) into recovery. And they almost always say, “If we had stayed in Pakistan/Jordan/Indonesia, this would never have happened!” And sometimes they say, “That vacation to Pakistan/Jordan/Indonesia made them this way.” Which always astonished me.

The perception of Islam being easier to follow in Muslim-dominant regions seems, however, to merely be a myth–perhaps precisely because parents and society is not on guard for such problems, and more likely to sweep issues under the rug. Perhaps, they perceive such destructive behavior as “just a phase” that the person will overcome? Perhaps, they don’t realize the terrible impact on society of such destructive behavior? Its such a waste of the vast potententials of living in the East!

So, from the perspective of living a truly Islamic lifestyle, and a life of true potential, which would you say works best: living East or West, and why or how? Or is it simply a matter of the grass always being greener on the other side?

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3 Responses to East or West?

  1. alzubra says:

    Its not really a matter of where you live, but its matter of controlling your nafs. And some people can control themselves better and like it more in the East, because of the things such as adhan and always seeing Muslims, etc, wheras others like the idea of giving dawah and being under pressure to keep their imaan strong in the West. But, for the weak who blame everything on the West and don’t want work on themselves and their kids, then its no use where they are. 🙂

    On a personal note, I would prefer living in the East. Not just anywhere in the East, like Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but Makkah or Madeenah. Not just because its Makkah and Madeenah, but because I know its better for me. And for others, living somewhere like Dubai still is better for them then living in Britain or America, sooo its up to the individual. 😉

    Sorry for rambling big sis. I’ll shut up now. 😉

  2. Did I tell you that you make a lot of sense for one so young? Co-signing everything you just said… 😯

  3. Umar says:

    Evnironment is one of the major element that defines you. To jacket your faith in a Western Environment you need a weatherproof coat. If you dont possess one, then stay away from the rain unless you wanna get soaked!

    Makes sense?? To put it simply..
    We take influence from the cultural & social surroundings. Living in West & leading an Islamic Lifestyle means staying constantly on guard & the level of vigilance depends on the intensity of your faith. That is why the definition of ‘Modern Muslim’ varies depending upon a variable select of views & practices practicing by an individual. Unless the will & strength of belief to guard your islamic faith/lifestyle is there, West is the place to live where u can top-up your religion with the advances of sciences & humanity.
    If, however, you are only as strong in your faith so as to rely on the protection of your surroundings to help u lead an islamic lifestyle, live in the East. Yet, it must be understood that strength of faith/practice of religion comes from within and the one induced externally only lasts as long as the inducting element is there. No wonder, poeple loose or fade their identities when immigrating West. These are the ones who dont mind getting soaked in the rain.

    So wrap yourself well in the weatherproof jacket of true faith and weather its the heat of the east or the freeze of the west, your will survive.

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