Saturday, April 8

Islamic Wavelengths

Religion seems to be particularly important for those currently looking for partners. Religion is also a pretty vast statement - I never quite understand those that say they want someone who is religious or even that they are religious themselves, since that's quite a vague description if you think about it. Rather than being religious or irreligious, or deciding the level of religiousness that is absolutely correct or valid I think in reality most are looking for some kind of "Islamic compatibility".

A while back a friend of mine termed this "Islamic Wavelength" in reference to someone they would want to be with being on the same one as they were. In the same conversation we discussed what that meant for each of us (well, not quite since the conversation was cut short).

I guess one of the easiest ways to define this wavelength is by a person's level of practice - so whether they pray five times a day or wear a hijab and so on. For many these things are enough since it shows a likemindness at least on a practical level.

I think in the real world it's not as black and white as this though - for example there are those that will not leave the house in case they miss a prayer and those that, for example, go to watch a film and pray in the cinema if they have to. These two both have similar levels of practice, but would we say that they are on the same Islamic wavelength? I'd say no.

There are also other aspects of this wavelength on which we can match or mismatch:

  • Practicality; as discussed above.
  • Consistency; "I pray when I can" vs "I pray without fail".
  • Extremity or Moderation; for example having or not having close non Muslim friends.
  • Curiosity; those that feel they are as religious as is practically necessary against those that are always looking for new views.
  • Academic Stance; considering religion as a theory as well as practice as opposed to those that just feel it's purely the latter.
  • Spirit or Islamic Focus; a bit difficult to explain but contrasting one who is politically active versus one who is not might give you an idea.
To be clear we're not discussing which of these are right or wrong, since the assumption is that this can't really be decided on above a personal level. And of course the above list isn't exhaustive - there are millions more items and then an infinite number of variations for each.

But then we start to realise that this isn't just the situation with religion. However much of a part religion plays in our lives, there are non religious characteristics which fall under the larger umbrella of general compatibility. And if you think about it, the issues with finding someone Islamically likeminded are just a subset of the issues with finding someone likeminded, fullstop.

And if that's the case then it kinda follows that we should deal with the specific religious case just as we do the general; that is, to be open minded, flexible and see a person as a whole rather than just a sum of parts. So person A doesn't pray, but perhaps you'll admire them because they're charitable? Or say someone fasts each Ramadhan without fail but puts you off since they're not really just with their friends?

Sure, there are some things which we will never compromise on and we each have a right to hold importance to these things but generally I don't think anyone has a particular Islamic Wavelength; or at least not one they can define with pencil and paper.

And even if they could how definitive would it be? After all, if it's possible to be happy and successful with someone who, in theory, is the complete opposite to you in the character, personality or even physical stakes, why can't it be exactly the same with religion also?