Thinking Out Loud....

Exactly a year ago I launched this blog. Now, what were the reasons and why now that you can read all about it here, I am not here to talk about that right now. Today, during this anniversary and in the event of past and recent circumstances, I find myself required to share with you, for few minutes some of my thoughts... compelled to think out loud.

Awkwardly enough today I don't have anything prepared on a piece of paper and I care less of the structure of this post. So why not start with the relevant question. 2014.
I designed my blog, launched it and wrote my first post not far from where I am sitting here right now, just across the neighboring parking lot, in a small apartment, sharing one roof with 3 other students, the longest conversation I've had with any was when I assisted the young fellow to order his chicken from St-Hubert.

When I look at myself 12 month later I am conflicted. I am now one month into my second PhD year, published two papers, grateful for that, I was able to step over some barriers this past Fall, my directors are pleased with my progress and so academically speaking, I did OK and God willing it will remain that way.

Surely I did not write this blog to brag about all of the above... Nope....

William Shakespeare quotes: 
"Love that we cannot have is the one that lasts the longest, hurts the deepest, but feels the strongest"  

At an early age we are taught to go to schools, to learn about sciences so to speak and to grasp the fundamentals of math because it is the language of Engineers (and society can't function without them so yeah even if only one or two young fellows in the class will attend a faculty of engineering, not more than three will pursuit a career in medicine why not make them all suffer with hardcore math and science.. anyways we'll leave this for another discussion). I hated every second of my language classes because I found them "useless", to be fair, I was never convinced otherwise. We were told that numbers matter, equations mattered.... We learned how to exploit our intellectual intelligence and neglected our emotional intelligence.   

Basically, I've been lied to all this time...

But that's not my point here. Inside that class, we will have future lawyers, dentist, artist, athletes (not because of the system but rather of individual effort... leave that for the same discussion later on...). What troubled me the most as a result of the recent events (for reasons that I find not fitting to share to prevent exposing any clues about the identity of the second party), I was never taught how to Love? What is Love? How to seek Love? 

Our Holy Quran discusses "Love" in each of its areas in: man's love of things, human love, man's love of God, the negatives that God does not love, God's love for man.... I wasn't taught the Quran when I was young and I admit that I am responsible for abandoning the Quran. The beauty of the Quran in my opinion is that it is universal, applicable in any space or time and is presented to the human in a matter that requires him or her to reflect in order to taste the meaning of its verses.Here is my dilemma. 

When it comes to relationships with the opposite sex, I am weak and admit it... afraid. I am 24 years old, my martial status is single (and that is not an open invitation), simply because I lack the knowledge as to how to behave and co-exist with the opposite sex as a Muslim male. At first, I thought it was because I was raised in a Western society at an early age, but to realize the severity of this issue, shockingly for me, when I moved to the Middle East. Now we may debate, it is not the case of one problem one formula, so let me be specific, let me discuss about my small town in Lebanon (I am hesitating to state the name... leave that to another discussion as well). Anyhow, the point I am trying to make is that if we claim that Islam is a holistic way of life, then certainly there is an answer for every question, for every scenario... unless that is not the reason why I couldn't find an answer to this mysterious emotion we call Love ... unless we are neglecting something, have been neglecting and we continue to... Till this day, my answer is, culture. 

My explanation as to why my host culture does not offer me an answer as to how to love, what is love and how to seek it, is because once again culture, with it's traditions, taboos, social habits and history is interfering. Now "interfere" may be a harsh word, feel free to comment below, let this post be the subject of a profound and serious debate. 

I am not convinced that in Islam, love between two opposite sex can "always" be arranged by parents, I believe that marriage is a choice. You may agree with me with this claim but differ with the examination, stating that we never said it was otherwise and that I am exaggerating. I am not convinced and disagree to acknowledge that the female is entitled to one shot and that the male should seek for a female with N discrete criteria's. What is the barrier here, Islamic rulings or culture? Let me make myself clear here, I am not declaring a state of emergency, nor am I requesting for a freedom of sexuality such as in the Western societies, but rather a freedom to Love, to seek love and to explore Love... this ladies and gentleman, unfortunately was the topic of a serious discussion in multiple occasions in the classrooms, universities and friendly reunions in Canada, where we weren't presented with the solution, because lets face it, it is not a deterministic problem with a single solution. We were asked to reflect, to listen and to discuss under one platform. Never,was it the subject of study during my senior year in Lebanon, or even the topic of a Friday sermon, or the substance of study of our scholars...

Anyhow, these were just a few words during a moment of contemplation... If I am wrong, please provide me the evidence, I am asking for it, because tonight, I am simply thinking out loud.

One Love 


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