Earlier tonight – or, well, considering it’s 5:59am currently, yesterday – I was asked by an individual I had been seeing for a while if, it had been possible, if, we both lived in the same country, I would consider him as a potential suitor for marriage.
I didn’t even have to think twice before answering with an abrupt “No.”
You see, he wasn’t Muslim. That was the only and most significant reason.
He prompted me further, asking, what if religion wasn’t an issue?
I thought about it for a few seconds before answering with a, “Yes, probably (though due to several hurdles I had previously been through with him, I added that he would really need to work hard to make it up to me first).”
But the answer, long story short, was a yes.
However, these were all hypotheticals which would never be occurring in the realm of possibility, and hence, I was very calm, during this exchange. I’d been through it before, with an intensity multiplied by a 100.
It brought back one of the topics I don’t quite revel in speaking, or even thinking about.
The price of religion.
You see, I’m not the most religious person out there. I hope to be, yes. I could have been, yes. But in this current moment of time, I am not (although I do have every intention to be, in the near future – and I’m not just saying this to please anyone, per se).
But religion has cost me a great deal of happiness along the way. Of a variety of potential happinesses, even. Individuals I have come across, with whom I could picture a life with. Individuals who could be a best friend, a partner, a husband and a father in, all in one. And yet, because of a difference in religion, it is close to a near impossible task. And so, I keep on searching for that one person, since I am not one to settle, knowing that I have already met the perfect match, but, alas, it has rendered useless to me. In addition, how does one recover and move past, settle down with another, knowing that the one who is meant for them, is still right there. So close, yet so far, goes the saying, am I right?
Here, I am not speaking of the cheesiness of ‘love.’ I am speaking of individuals with whom one’s personality may fully compliment, and flourish. Of those adult, logical and mature decisions which push one’s heart to the side to form decisions which would pull them away from a potential happiness merely because it is the right thing to do.
Religion has interfered with my personal life time and again. Story of my life, I like to call it. Although, maybe religion is considered as part of one’s personal life. I’m not quite sure, I assume they do overlap.
Nevertheless, I stand by my aforementioned statement.
I am not the most religious person, and yet – and yet – religion is primary to me and my path in life.
There was an instance, once, not too long ago, when my mother questioned my faith in religion. She would ask me if I even believe in a God anymore.
Oh, how I wished to laugh in the face of such a question. Because there is so, so much absolute sorrow behind it.
I was seeing someone once, who was not Muslim. The first and only serious relationship of my life as of yet. And every single day – I kid you not, every single day – I would be despondent over the fact that I would not be spending my life with this man.
We spoke about religion quite often. The consequences of it, the sense behind it, all that. And not once, not once did I question my religion. Not once did my faith waiver. I was not guilty of such a thought, even.
Boy, would my mother be proud to know that.
I’m not quite sure why, though, to be entirely honest. Maybe it is my belief in God, holding steadfast. Or maybe, it is because this is all I know, and all I care to know. This has been reinforced in me ever since I was a child, from the fact that the words to our 5 daily prayers are on the tip of my tongue, regardless of when I last prayed, or the numerous Islamic classes I was sent to during my childhood and teens, against my own will. However, that is a topic for another time.
All I know is, that before any individual person, my primary relationship, is with God.
All I hope is, I don’t live to regret it.
And yes, I do realise how preach-y and cliche the second last sentence may sound, but, alas, it is the truth. To all those I favoured less than Him, I am truly, completely, sorry. Here’s to hoping your scars heal long before mine do, because mine don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.