I believe that my family is a great example of the conservative theory. I was raised by both of my parents who have been married for over thirty years. There was myself and my two sisters that also comprised our household. We lived in Saudi Arabia growing up and are followers of Islam. My father, Mahdi was a geography teacher on the college level, from which he has since retired. My mother taught middle school science. My older sister has been married for over five years and has one three year old child. I am currently attending college and studying finance and my younger sister is attending college and studying accounting.
Being part of the Muslim community is part of the conservative nature of my family. We choose to try and live our lives according to the five pillars of Islam. These are the beliefs that the religion was founded upon. The first pillar of Islam is that Allah is complete and supreme oneness and that Muhammad was the great prophet. This one pillar is the foundation for the way that my family chooses to live our lives. We choose to participate in a culture where we are governed by Allah a will to do what is good and morally just. The second pillar of Islam is the establishment of daily prayers.
Daily prayers are very important in our culture. They are the communication that we have with Allah and the way that we are guided in how we are going to make decisions. As a follower of Islam we pray five times per day. The third pillar of Islam is concern for the needing. This includes being willing to sacrifice to help others who are less fortunate than we are. It is important in my culture to give to those who are needy and to help them as much as we possibly can. Islam teaches not being selfish and wanting worldly possessions but rather being selfless and always giving of oneself to others.
This means that it has never been important to me or my family as to whether or not we are wearing a certain brand of clothing or whether or not we have certain processions. It is not important for us to try to keep up with mainstream society in an attempt to fit in as we believe that our riches are destined for another time and another place. We value saving and are conservative in our spending and shopping habits. The fourth pillar of Islam is self purification through fasting. Fasting is a big part of our beliefs and we are conservative in this area as well. We fast during the month of Ramadan from sun up until sun down.
This is to teach us discipline. There is no stronger conservative value than discipline as when we are disciplined we are able to make decisions without feeling the pressure of the outside world. The fifth pillar of Islam is to make a pilgrimage to Mekkah. The pilgrimage to Mekkah is important as we are traveling to the divine spot where Muhammad heard the words of Allah that he used to write the Koran. One of the biggest differences in the Islamic culture that we are a part of in comparison to most other cultures of today is the beliefs that we are taught about dating.
Muslim teachings teach us that we are not to date until we are in the confines of marriage. It is against our teachings to go out on dates or to have premarital sex as these behaviors are considered worldly and a poisoning of ourselves and we are to be a temple to Allah. In our culture we start a dua when we want to start dating. This means that we ask Allah to send us a mate with whom we will make a good match with. We believe that Allah’s divine wisdom will allow us to meet our perfect match. I believe that a man and woman are created to be able to find the one perfect match for you who will give you spiritual unity and peace.
When someone in my family is looking for a partner with whom to share their life with, the whole family becomes involved. It is still important to find someone who we are going to connect with and get along with and having a person chosen for us is not a way of controlling who we date but rather a way of keeping us from making the mistake of bad relationships and having to suffer through the pain of heartache. The overall idea is that by keeping ourselves pure and clean and not being in a physical relationship with anyone we are able to find a partner who truly is the best match for us emotionally.
We also are able to find the one true partner that Allah has created for us by not letting physical attraction or other decisions get in our way. We remain pure for those who we are going to marry and yes this does mean that we do not believe in premarital sexual intercourse or sexual relationships in any way. My family is very conservative in the area of dating as both my sister and her husband and my mother and father are part of marriages that were arranged. My family also does not believe in divorce.
We believe that if you truly are with the person that Allah has placed you with then there is no reason for divorce from that person. Growing up following the practices of Islam has made me a much more conservative person than most of my peers. I believe that those who commit crimes should be punished to the full extent. One heated subject for today’s culture has been the idea of corporal punishment and I am in favor of this practice when it is used for the correct reasons and within the realms of the law.
I feel that this is the conservative approach on this topic, following the adage if you “can’t do the time then don’t do the crime. ” I also am against abortion which is another topic of heated debate today. Abortion is something that is not allowed through the practices of Islam and something that would never be okay for me or anyone in my family. Homosexuality is also popular today and in the faith of Islam it is not allowed as it is considered a true sin. However it is also a sin to perform any type of sexual act outside of marriage as sexual acts are supposed to be for the purpose of creating a family.
My family has not had children out of wedlock. My family has always worked hard to uphold themselves to the moral standards of Islam. Some of this has been difficult as I have always had to think of the moral debate to a subject and how I could justify my decision within my faith. I was raised to be respectful to my parents and could not have said some of those things that I have heard other students talk about saying to their parents. I have always been raised that without my parents I would not be anything and that I needed to uphold the utmost respect for them and their decisions in life.
Even when I have disagreed with things that my parents have said, I will still give them the respect of listening to their decision without question. I have always known that my family was different from the other families that I have been witness to since moving to the US. Since we have always practiced Islam and since I grew up in Saudi Arabia I did not realize that we were so much more conservative than other families. Being a part of a conservative family has taught me many things, including that I have values and principals that I am not willing to let down for any reason.
I want to follow the teachings of Allah and I want to preserve a culture that I feel reacts in a better way too many of the controversial issues of today. There are all kinds of issues that have to be dealt with on a regular basis when someone is growing up in today’s culture. In a way it is nice to not have to worry about some of these issues as they are behaviors that are not permitted by Islam therefore they are behaviors that I have never thought about being involved in. I do not date and I am a virgin and therefore I find that I am a part of a subgroup within the US culture that is unique in itself.
Stating that I am simply conservative might be an understatement as I believe that Allah has better for me and that I should uphold myself to the highest moral standards in order to be able to please him and find my end reward later after this life has ended. I also believe that I have been taught unique values which have carried over into my conservative way of thinking. I was raised by both of my parents who are still married and I have watched my older sister attempt to have the same life that we did growing up. I am hopeful that one day Allah will speak and that I will find my mate and be able to fulfill my life as well.