(Copied and Pasted from my previous site)
Organized Religion really has a way to invade one’s entire life. People tend to go heads over heels over ancient texts to seek advice for their lives which take place way into the future in a time when these texts are outdated.
This is true for Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.
The Following is a list of the detailed structure I was taught as a Muslim growing up. Please keep in mind: I am a man, male. Therefore I have different and possibly less rules than a woman would. We will start from popularly known ones, to lesser known ones. Here goes:
- I would have to pray five times a day. Each prayer would have its own time of the day. If you did not maintain these prayers within this time frame: You were late. Praying late or missing prayer without any accountable reason is a sin (keep in mind you’ll have to answer to God after you die so… yeah. He’ll look at all the awesome things you did in life; like cure cancer, save a rape victim, stop a human trafficking ring, save lives during a hurricane, and then point out all the prayers you missed in life, with dates and everything, and you’ll burn in Hell for it. Unless you repented for them in life. Very Reasonable).
- Each prayer would have their own number of Raka (the process of standing, bowing, and bowing on the ground. That entire process is one Raka.) To maintain these specific prayers properly you would have to do these specific amount of Raka. God Forbid you pray Maghrib quantity of Raka during Dhuhr.
- Before praying you would have to do a wash called Wudu. This wash covers your arms, hands, and overall head. You HAVE To do this wash before touching an (Arabic) Quran (I don’t know why Arabic gets special treatment if it’s all God’s word) and while praying. If you fart, shit, piss, bleed, curse, show off a part of your body you’re not supposed to show (like too much skin), fall asleep (Fall asleep leaning back mind you since that’s the sign of purposeful sleep): You have to do this Wudu again because you are now impure. I don’t know how this specific wash of your feet, arms, and head somehow cleanses your butthole, your cut, or your… hole of urination hehe. But somehow it makes sense. (I remember when I was younger all my cousins and I would somehow have Wudu ALL DAY. Haha, talk about humanly impossible)
- Along with Raka, each prayer has their own intention/niyyah/oath declaring which prayer you’re doing and how many raka you’re about to do. Ohhhh Lord
- I could not pray with an image of a face on a clothing I have… Yes… you heard it right. Because I have Darth Maul’s face on my shirt, I could not pray… I had to change my shirt. Why? Because imagery of faces represented Idolatry. (Seriously, where the fuck do they get this shit?)
- I have to fast once a year for 30 days. During this fast I can’t eat, drink, bleed, have sex, think about sex, curse, get angry, and… courtesy of my aunt for scaring me at a young age: miss any Homework or do bad in tests.. Because those are sins as well (haha that was funny when I realized she was just trying to scare me into good academic progress)
- During Ramadan everybody gets religious (Oh boy that deserves its own blog post.) Everything has a dua. There is a Dua for before fasting during sunrise to declare your fast (what is the point of this declarations, can’t God read my mind?), there is a Dua for when we break our fast
- We have to pray extra at night…. 20 Raka.. And if you’re unlucky enough to go to a mosque… THEY RECITE STRAIGHT OUT OF THE QURAN
- You’re supposed to break fast at sunset. Now all in all, I do respect, value and even observe Ramadan fasts. I’ll try to do it semi properly too (refrain from eating and drinking, everything else is open season.) Therefore when I do try to fast, I try to fast until sunset. Here’s where it gets silly:
- Leading mosques around the world have set out calendars for approximation of when each prayer takes place (including Maghrib the sunset prayer which determines it’s time to break fast). They even have that for Ramadan. So when the calendar your family follows says the sun sets at 7:15, you bet your ass they won’t do it a minute earlier. They find the most reliable time source (not the fast clock you hope they follow, but the 5 minute behind cell phone clock) and they sit there, pray, and wait. Even if the sun is already set at 7, NOPE. They want 7:15. Even though, in original times, Prophet Muhammad had no clocks, just the sun to tell him when what prayer is: NOPE these mothafuckas be using a CLOCK! (As you read that, please read that in the most Kevin Hart-ish accent you can imagine.)
- For some reason I had to learn how to read Arabic. Okay maybe I do know the reason: To read the Quran. But for some reason I had to learn to read the Arabic Quran when I could easily read the English one and actually understand the content. And… wait for it: I had to memorize the Arabic Version of the Quran or parts of it.. well at least enough to get by in prayers. Because for some reason reciting the English version just isn’t valid. No no no God doesn’t care if you intend sincerely to worship him he wants it all in Arabic. (Has anybody seen My Super Sweet 16? The MTV Show about the young privileged girls who would throw extravagant birthday parties with extravagant gifts and be unhappy with specific details like the red color of her new ferrari f50 versus the pink color she so wanted? Yeah that’s what God Reminds me of.)
- Dietary Restrictions… This requires its own post, but ohh boy here goes:
- Halal/Zabiha Food: When you slaughter an animal you intend to eat, you should slit its neck three times while reciting God’s name. If an animal is not killed this exact way, it’s not Halal.
- No Pork. (I understand some health risks of Pork, that apologists of Islam definitely rub in our faces, but come on: how is eating pork because I want to distance me from God?)
- No Alcohol (again, I understand. Too Much alcohol can have dire consequences. But come on Allah Can’t I just have a beer with my boys?)
- I had to shave my armpits every 15 days, and my pubic hair every 40 days. I understand the logic behind this: hygiene. Now with all my criticism of Islam I must say some of their suggestions like the Wudu and these things do promote good hygiene. But for some reason Allah made it semi-mandated for men to do this. Not a suggestion “please be hygienic” which I do respect. I even value my friends who promote good hygiene. But imagine going to jail for not brushing your teeth? Yeah..
- I could not eat with my left hands. Why? Because that is the hand I wipe my ass with. Islamic requirements. Enough said.
- I’m not allowed to dance, at least in a way that attracts sexual attention (I guess Allah the creator of the universe doesn’t really understand the difference between sexual and sensual. Hmm. This makes it hard for me as a Latin Dancer)
- When I see an attractive woman, I have to lower my gaze. I also have to avoid women due to gender segregation due to preventive measures against … SEX.
- That leads to another phenomena: social gatherings are gender segregated. This leads to shaming of any interaction boys and girls have, even cousins. Once again this is a dense topic and requires its own post.
- This is debated in the Islamic world: but for some reason I grew up not being allowed to touch dogs let alone own one. Now God must be a total asshole for making puppies soooooo cute yet we can’t touch them without our prayers being tarnished. I mean look:
- Not allowed to get tattoos. (You know, imagery, idolatry, that kind of bullshit.) Unless you want to have writing that praises God.. But that means you can’t be a sinner with that tattoo, since you’re sinning while basically you know…. repping that Allah Swag in your tats. (Ever heard of the person who never lets their significant other get a tattoo unless it’s their name? OMG THAT’S GOD!)
- Have sex before marriage… Enough said. (So If you get married to someone, and he/she is bad in bed… well tough luck) (Again.. This is so dense it needs its own post.)
This is but an abridged version of my long list of requirements in my Halal lifestyle. There may be more that I don’t remember. Are there any in your life you find ridiculous? Please write it in the comment section below!