Earlier this week our office printer started acting up, called the printing company who sent through their technician to fix everything up.
As he was working with the printer, we’re making idle chitchat about business, politics, the zuma stuff etc. He notices a few elderly folk (some friends of ours) dressed in Islamic garb and jokes that they must be the big bosses. I humor him by saying yes, and this is how our conversation went.
Technician: You indians are always very united eh, always hiring your own type & looking after your communities
Me: Yeah you could say that, but it’s more the Muslims – not all indians are Muslims and not all Muslims are indians
Technician: how so?
Me: We as Muslims look out for one another no matter what color skin they are.
Technician: I see, also your families – you guys live with your parents even when you grow up and its totaly normal! Also when you get married you still stay with them
Me: Ya we do, its for the free food! – na seriously as Muslims its our duty to look after our parents.
Technician: But after you’re married you can move out and stay on your own
Me: Yes you can, but in our religion we are taught that they key to paradise lies under our mothers feet. So we MUST look after our parents no matter what because we can do all the good in the world but if our parents aren’t happyÂ and taken care of then our God is not happy and that means no entry paradise for us.
Technician: Yeah i get what you are saying, in Islam the women can have more then one husband right?
Me: No no no 🙂 – the man can have more then one, up to 4 wives.
Technician: Ya us Christians too, my father back home has 3 wives
Me: Ya but does he treat them all equally?
Technician: How do you mean?
Me: Well if you have 4 wives, and you buy one a car, then you have to buy all the other 3 a car too. If you buy a house for one, then the same house or same value house to be bought for the others!
Technician: eish (wow) thats going to be quite expensive!
Me: Also your time must be spent equally, one night with each one.
Technician: But what if the one night the wife is having her period, then what?
Me: well you don’t have to ‘sleep’ with her, you can just spend time or if she wants, she can allow you to spend the night with another wife
*note: I’m not sure of the sharia ruling of this, but i did recall the hadith when Sauda the wife of our prophet gave up her night so he could spend it with Aiysha if i’m not mistaken*
Technician: So Islam is very similar to Christianity
Me: Yes, very similar – we also believe in Jesus
Technician: Jesus too!? but you dont believe he is the son of God right?
Me: Correct, we say he is a prophet – but our prophet Mohammed is the final prophet
Technician: So what about Jesus
Me: Jesus was a prophet before Mohammed but he did not die, he will return to the world one more time – don’t you guys believe this too? – Anyway when he returns he will be a follower of our Prophet.
Technician: That’s interesting
*we continue talk a bit more about arb stuff on learning Arabic, work, printers etc.
As he leaves, he asks “How much does an English Quraan cost?”
I say I’ll bring one tomorow to work and he can have it at no cost.
The next day he popped by the office to collect an english copy I received at a Yusuf Estes dinner.