First shared – 17 June 2008 – MPV-Atlanta
My father is not particularly religious, but he has always been spiritual. A higher power has never been a question for him and he has never been apologetic to anyone about that one belief.
My dad is one of the reasons I was able to comfortably question everything around me, including my faith. It was always important to him that our family think about why we did things. Tradition was important, but it did not take the place of contemplation. Dad was one reason why I could comfortably move into Islam and be proud of the path I had chosen.
When I was a new convert and getting a lot of uncertainty from all sides, it was my father who helped hold onto my proverbial bike seat and steady me until I was more sure of myself. He showed his support of my decision and told me to be sure of the decisions I had made, especially since it was clear to him I had done so through my own self. Dad kept reminding me of keeping my mind on my higher power and inspirations I found inside and outside Islam.
My dad even went as far as to show his support by stating he could be my “backsliding, Muslim father” who definitely believed in God and had no problem accepting Mohammed as a prophet. The other things involved in making Islam a religion, he said, were more than he was willing to step into and constituted his “backsliding” persona. As strange as this exchange may seem to some, this support gave me the ability to move forward from being stuck on my spiritual path to moving, once again, along that path.
The quirkiness of my father may be hard for some to understand, but he has an unwavering faith that has helped solidify my own spiritual foundation. His faith is an inspiration and something I hope I can pass onto my own children.
“God has decreed you shall worship no god but God, and your parents shall be honored.”