Friday, September 26

Practising Non-Muslims

Quite bizarrely but pretty impressive all the same, two mates of mine have recently begun praying five times a day and fasting during the month of Ramadan respectively. Ordinarily this wouldn't be anything to write home about, but in this case (as some of you clever people may have already guessed from the title), these two friends happen to be non-Muslim (but don't worry, they're not Northerners).

Now I won't be a religious snob and declare how these guys have now seen the light; I have no idea how long these respective practises will last, and in any case it takes more than just actions to become a Muslim (a fact my friends are more than likely aware of themselves).

Their reasons vary too. For the first, regular meditative prayer brings a certain structure and discipline to their life. The latter fasts out of sympathy for their Muslim friends and brings them all closer together, an effect Muslims are all already well aware of. I don't think the reasons actually matter that much though, and I won't dwell too much on the why out of respect for what they're doing.

Nevertheless it is interesting to see non-Muslims take practical cues from the religion, and possibly something we'll see more of as Islamic culture becomes entwined in its Western host here (have non-Muslims started taking out Islamic mortgages yet?). And although they don't all actually pray themselves, I've had close non-Muslim friends remind me of my own during those times I forget.

And finally is it a bit ironic to see non-Muslims manage things many Muslims struggle to do themselves, even though they have a potent belief as the main reason to do it. Again I'm not sure the reasons matter, but it does make a heck of a good reminder for the rest of us.