If religion seems to be a must

If religion seems to be a must

Which religion do you have?
I can say confidently “none”, as it is the truth.
How is that? Don’t most of us have a religion by birth?
Yes, probably many have. I had one as well but I have chosen the non-religious way.
And non-religious doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in something.
There will always be this “how to be good” thing within me.
There are times when I have the feeling as if I’m devilish, as if the devil is within me, just because I’m not written to religion.
True, my passport doesn’t contain that I am a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or whatever religion we may have on this world. And?
Am I a lower person because of that?
I never killed, I never cheated on someone, I never have stolen something, isn’t that proof enough that I’m not the devil?
The struggle for me is that I will find something good in each and every religion on this world and that I will on the other hand find many bad things also in each and every religion on this
world. So what would be the correct answer? I’m a Christian but I don’t like the institutional church, I’m a muslim but I don’t like the pressure to pray five times per day or the women suppression in some countries, I’m a Jew but I don’t like to eat kosher or I’m a Buddhist but love to eat beef?
To be religious you’re supposed to have one religion, that’s my problem.
I haven’t found the ONE religion yet and I’m not searching actually for the ONE.
Okay, you should never say never, I agree on that. Maybe one day my eyes will light up and then there is the one religion for me and I know exactly this is my thing.
But honestly, up to the day, if it may ever happen, who knows, I will stay like I am.
Wouldn’t that be a big lie, even worse than that in a religious meaning, to say now I’m a Christian although I’m not totally convinced and I’m not standing 100% behind it?
When I was a baby I got the christening which means I’m Christian because I got it but that wasn’t my choice. I grew older and I have chosen not to be a Christian anymore, I have chosen not to pay for an institution which is from my point of view not what I expect.

I truly believe in so many things, just see my name “faith”, I believe in faith, I truly believe that there is something called destiny, things that are meant to be, I believe in trust, in honesty, I vowed to my husband that I will be there for him in good times and in bad times, I can say sorry if I know I did something wrong, I am thankful for the life I have, thankful for the people surrounding me, I believe in hope and sometimes in little wonders, isn’t that enough?
And yes, I’m against so many things, there shouldn’t be hate and war and people killing each other, but all this doesn’t count as religion.
Do I not have the right to find my own path, my own way of life? As long as I am not harming anyone I think I have this right!
I believe in love!!!

Why this topic? I can explain it to you.
I’m recently married and my husband is a Muslim. This is not a problem at all for me or for him. As long as we love each other there is no need to fight about something. He lives his religion and it is going along perfectly with my way of living. We made some compromises like no pig in the fridge, no alcohol in our flat so, why do authorities think they have the right to interfere? After the wedding we’ve got our German family book. So the next thing to apply for was the Libyan family book. And here we go where the struggle starts.
To accept me as his wife they want the certificate of my religion. I’m honestly angry, i’m legally his wife, I carry his name and they start to treat me as if I am nothing.
The story has not yet an end, let’s see how we will manage it.

If anyone reading this has some experience in that, please let us know, it will be interesting to share these stories.

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The first weeks of 2013

The first weeks of 2013Just around two weeks have passed in 2013 and it feels like months already. I’m quicker back in my working routine than I thought. Where is the relaxation from before? Gone almost in the second I turned my computer on and checked the first emails. As I wrote in one of my earlier posts, I have no New Years resolutions but there’s one point I honestly have to think about. Either how I regain the motivation for my current job or how to change my life in regards to work to be motivated again, maybe another job in a different area. Let’s see what this year may bring.
It’s less than one month left until my parents celebrate their 60st and 66th birthday and if all goes as planned, my fiancé and me will be there together. At least my parents are prepared when it comes to food as I was the halal meat deliverer. We have a good halal butcher here in Munich and I carried eight kilogram of meat to them last time to put it in the freezer.
The January itself is not really exciting up to now. Besides working I meet from time to time my neighbor for coffee or tea, or for exchanging food. We made almost a habit out of cooking for the two of us, one day it’s her turn, the next mine, so that we have days off cooking and also get to know more recipes. As the weather is more than awful I spend most of my time in the flat. Even the newspapers were writing about the “depressive” weather, the last sunshine was visible in December, since then it’s only cloudy, rainy and grey sky. I’m definitely not a winter person and can’t wait for the first spring days.
The only good thing about this is that I have lots of time to read and watch the movies I wanted to watch and of course to update my blog! I’m in the process of collecting ideas and topics to write about and if someone would pay me for doing it I would say in the second yes and make it my daily job. This is more interesting and fascinating as I discover so many things I want to know more about. But for the time being this is just a dream.
My colleague told me one be careful what you wish for as it sometimes can come true. So I try to wish more, maybe I’m lucky – haha.
Never loose the faith!

Finding halal restaurants

Finding halal restaurantsIt’s interesting about what you have to think if bonded to a Muslim.
I have no problems with all this at all and was buying halal meat in a really good shop here in Munich. For the home cooking I had no problems at all as I do lots of stuff with vegetable ingredients. For example sauces or soups where many use chicken stock or beef stock I always just used the vegetable stock. Gelatin if used from time to time can quickly be replaced by agar-agar, I quickly adapted to this and it’s not totally new as I also have Muslim friends. Alcohol is rarely found in my flat and I don’t remember to have used it ever for cooking. But what was new is to find a halal restaurant for kind of romantic candle light dinner or just a nice evening eating outside. I’m not talking about Turkish kebab which is found at every second corner, I mean a real restaurant with a menue containing starters, second courses if wanted, main dishes and desserts.
My fiancé is really easy when it comes to food and loves fish and seafood, which is ok in every restaurant, but from time to time a real piece of meat is nothing he would deny.
We agreed on eating out on my birthday and I started to search the web for halal restaurants.
Not as easy as I thought in a city which calls herself multicultural. I found a few and when checking the recommendations or websites most of them went off the list. One was left over which didn’t sound too bad and we made a reservation.
Persian food, lots of grilled meat, a surrounding which was really lovely, the only thing was that every piece of meat had the taste of lamb, even the chicken. People who like lamb won’t have a problem but guess who doesn’t like lamb at all? Me!
What a dinner…I extra ordered chicken and minced meat which should have been beef but after I had the first spoon in my mouth I stumbled. The dishes were full and there was lots of rice but what do you think the rice tasted like? Again lamb! I never experienced something like this before. The big salad I had as starter and the freshly baked bread fortunately didn’t left me starving but I was honestly disappointed. My fiancé order the biggest grilled meat dish they had and was fine, although he also told me that it was good but not something where he would jump up because it was the best ever he ate.
Nevertheless, until we find another one which is worth giving it a try we may go there again. I can order vegetarian food to be sure having no lamb anywhere.
If anyone knows good halal restaurants in Munich please let me know! I’m happy to try more.
Regards from Miss Faith

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My Islamic wedding

My Islamic wedding

What is that? Hadn’t I wrote just a few days ago that I’m so happy because I’m engaged? And now already a married wife, how quick is that?
It’s true, I married my fiancé, shortly after our return from the family visits but not in the way that we are now legally bonded husband and wife, we married in the Islamic way which is not legal in Germany.
Why did we do it?
The story started when I met him as I knew from the very first beginning that he is a Muslim and not only by birth, he’s living it. That doesn’t mean that he’s the super religious person as many think when hearing Muslim, but he’s sticking to his religion and believes in it by heart.
To go directly against preoccupied people, no, I’m not married to an extremist, Al Kaida member or self suicide Muslim, I’m married to a faithful person and to the greatest husband ever for me. And another no, he’s not putting pressure on me in any way, I am still free and still without religion.
I’m German and I know also persons around me who are Christians by heart and who believes in their religion just in a natural way, so nothing to even talk about but when it comes to Muslims you always have to justify and clarify and explain just because of the stupid extreme persons showing off something which has in my point of view nothing to do with religion. Sorry, I interrupted myself but that’s something I wanted to add.
So we did it in the Islamic way as it was important for my fiancé. You can consider it like kind of blessing. Similar to what Christians do when they went to a church. Gods mercy through the prayer and advise from an imam.
Ok, it wasn’t that easy to find an imam because I thought in first place we should choose a mosque with Arabic background but it was quickly proofed to be the wrong decision. I don’t know how often we went there in total and to how many persons we spoke but the bottom line was that a twenty something young so called imam started a speech about why he cannot do the wedding. He went so far to almost calling me ‘unpurified’, I don’t even want to write the words I heard unsaid about what he was thinking about me. My reaction was purely to say: honey, lets go, I don’t need to listen to someone like him, judging me without even being able to look at me while talking. This “imam” was looking at the wall behind me while trying to convince me that I have to regret everything I did in my life. I do not regret anything! I had good times and bad times and precious memories and memories which are not sunny and happy but in the end all this made me the person I am today. The person my fiancé fell in love with. Just later a sentence came to my mind which would have fitted: let him who is without sin cast the first stone. And I don’t even think that I have sins – I just lived, I never hurted anyone on purpose or lied about important things, I haven’t killed or stolen my neighbors husband, and so on, I just lived my life for the last thirty-five years and tried to be a good person along the way.
This is not worth talking about because we drove off and my fiancé was as angry as me.
Soon afterwards we found a small mosque nearby where people were almost enthusiastic to find the imam for us. Two old men were almost running stairs up and down to locate him for us.
A bit worried from the first experience I was waiting and then he asked us to come into his rooms.
A white haired old man with, which gave me a good feeling, a kind and calm expression on his face. The two others joined us as during an Islamic wedding you need two witnesses. It turned out to be good as the imam was only talking arabic and Turkish, so the witnesses were also my translators.
The imam was explaining what he will do, what’s the sense of agreeing on a wedding, that in their tradition a sum for the wife has to be written down and agreed on in case of the husband leaving the wife. What for sure is not a bad thing but what we – inshallah – will never need. He was so kind and asked me upfront if it would be OK for me to cover my hair for the celebration. I had a zebra scarf around my neck, maybe not the kind of cover he thought, and did it as even if I’m without a religion I have a deep respect before religious persons. Not only for the imam, also for priests, rabbis, whatever there is on the world, as long as they treat me with respect I respect them too. And he was respectful and even kind of funny as the wife has to agree three times that she’s willing to take the man as her husband and he told me that I have to say “OK” three times. He said OK, OK, OK and I repeated it.
The first time I have ever heard that as an agreement for a wedding, I know the “Yes, I do” but OK was not on my mind before. He said the prayer together with my newlywed husband and the witnesses and afterwards the three old men were congratulating us and wishing us all the best and a happy future together. The witness gave us our wedding documents and they led us out of the mosque. There we were, newlyweds, on a snowy Sunday afternoon in the middle of Munich and what should I say, I’m so happy that we did it.
It’s kind of weird as I never thought that it will change something for me but it is like the engagement day, when you don’t expect anything you will discover in the end, that these steps are changing your life. I’m called wife now from my husband and even if the legal wedding is more important for me as I will take on his last name on that day I feel like his wife already and am talking about my husband. And it has shown me another thing in life, be open-minded, don’t cut precious moments like this out of your life because you are pre-occupied. You never know how it would be unless you do it.
Keep the faith, it hasn’t to be religious but it could, just the way you feel comfortable with is the right one.

And I had a “wedding” piece of cake afterwards 😉

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Do I have to explain my life?

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Do I have to explain my life?
I recently asked me this question as I found myself in the situation of always explains that it’s not like that, that it’s different, that it’s not as they think…
What was it about. It was because I met my fiancé who’s not German. Even worse, he’s also not fitting into the European picture as he’s from the unknown continent Africa. Mystical stories about people there are in the heads of the common German or even in the heads of the common European. And for my story it’s even worse. Not only that he’s not European, he’s also a Muslim. All cliches existent, you can be sure I heard them already.
Where is he from? From Libya. Oh god, you will soon be sitting completely covered on a camel in the desert. Yes, that was exactly what I planned for my life was my answer. You can only reply in a sarcastic way to stupid comments like this.
But what I realized in myself was that each time I was asked about him I was already answering in a defensive way. Yes, he’s from Libya but he doesn’t want to marry me for a residence permit. Yes, he’s Muslim, but he’s open minded and it’s ok for him that I’m not religious at all. Yes, he has a big family in Libya but they will not influence him not to marry a non-muslim.
I saw myself acting like this and questioned myself. Why am I answering like this? Am I thinking the same way, are these my hidden fears? Definitely no. We talked hours over hours and are both completely aware that we led different lives up to now. I’m living on my own since years and was raised so freely. He was always close to his family and surrounded by them. As long as you are unmarried it’s normal to stay with your family whereas for me it was normal to leave when earning the first own money and to start a life on your own. Religion plays a big role in his life, which is even bigger as we are at the moment within the holy month of Ramadan. Whereas for me religion was present in an easy way from childhood into the teenage years and as adult I decided that Christianity is not my path and I signed out officially. So I am without any religion at all.
But, and this is what we realized very quickly, even if it seems so different from an outside position, we are not too different. My family is so close to me. We are not living together, not even in the same city, but if we don’t hear from each other like we are used to we feel incomplete. There are never more than two days without contact and news or changes or questions are discussed with my family before anyone else will know. And for the religious part, even if I don’t have one it doesn’t mean I’m unbelieving. I have values in my life, which I’m believing in, most of them already taught by my parents, who still are Christians, but I see them as values of life itself. Being honest, truthful, good to others, not cheating, not stealing, not lying, never harm anyone, don’t kill, don’t do something to others which you never want for yourself, and, and, and…
These are common values in life which also exist in each religion.
He met me like this, I found so many good things in different religions but I also found parts in them, where I cannot say that I agree on them. What I try is to live in the most valuable way I’m able too and to find inner peace with myself. Wherever this way leads to, I will see. And he is completely with me as he knows that I’m not worse than one with an official religion. You will find good and bad people everywhere, this is no proof.
He is him and me is me and we are happy that we found each other – so more more explanations why, how, when and where!
Maybe I write some day sitting on a camel, who knows…