Yesterday as I walked into our apartment building the door to the ground floor flat was open. I could hear a male voice reciting the Quran followed by the voice of a small child. The child made a mistake and the male voice sounded agitated. He recited again and the little voice repeated – wrongly. Then smack. Sniffle. Recited. Repeated correctly. Suddenly the door shook a little and I further froze in my already frozen state. Behind the door was another little boy I had met many times before – hiding from the tutor.
Later, Achelois talks about her childhood experience.
Mr. Abdul Rahman never explained the Quran to me and at that age I didn’t understand Arabic at all except for the few Arabic expletives my mum would pronounce in utter frustration with us. He never even highlighted the verses that can potentially teach young children concepts of morality or consciousness about God. I now see that a small indication towards the stories of the prophets of Islam could have been very interesting for children which could be supplemented by various books on the lives of the prophets. Needless to say I finished reading the Quran in Arabic when I was 9 and my younger sister was 7 years old but we learnt zilch. The day we finished the Quran we felt liberated. No more Mr. Abdul Rahman and those sleepy, boring evenings endlessly repeated verses in a language that was completely alien to us.
This leads to a question: If you could only read the Quran but not comprehend it, then what kind of Islam did you follow?
I was almost 28 years old when I found out about concubinage in the Quran. A few years before that I had learnt about inheritance issues, status of men in Islam, divorce, polygamy and other similar prickly concepts. I was raised with a different set of morals [...]
Finding out that men could have sex with slaves without marrying them was the biggest bombshell for me. I also learnt that if I had a brother he would have been more equal as a child than I could be; he would inherit more and would be the patriarch, the ‘maintainer’, even if younger than all the sisters. I also found it extremely hard to accept that men were allowed to strike their wives; it really doesn’t matter to me if they are allowed to beat them black and blue or if its with a toothbrush – striking is striking and even a soft slap is injurious to the fragile ego of a woman which hangs in the balance of marraige. Then I learnt women could only ask for divorce and can never give divorce. Polygamy is still the sore spot for me as you all may know by now.
Finally learning about Islam sparked a self-conflict. She could listen to her humanity and continue with her haram thinking or distressingly follow a religion that presented her with immoral and, often, asinine prescriptions.
Her decision, so far, has been different than mine.