MashaAllah, the other day I was reminded of how beautiful a community can be, and what a value it can bring in the lives of its members.
And hold fast, all together by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make his signs clear to you: that ye may be guided. [Qur’an 3:103]
Our local Muslim community is spread out over the metro area, sometimes causing hardship to gather niche communities, like homeschoolers, in one place. Alhamdulilah, the other day we were able to join six families just to chat and offer support.
Our humble Muslim homeschoolers group has beens struggling to get traction to establish a reliable and beneficial group since the metro area has people spread over roughly a 900 sq mile area and has less-than-standard public transportation for a metropolitan area. At times it can feel defeating to try to make plans only to have to cancel for low enrollment.
On the other hand, the last few workshops and this most recent casual chat session have been inspiring. To meet other moms that value something just as much as you do, even if it puts them in a difficult situation is uplifting. Being a Muslim in the west can bring challenges alone, then add another niche segment of homeschooling, and it can feel downright lonely from time to time. It’s easy for Muslim homeschoolers to just blend in with the secular homeschooler crowds simply because we don’t have the population size to make programs happen on our own.
Care Bear is a perfect example. With her splitting her time between her dad and me, then her main activities being secular in nature, it’s easy for Islam to get put to the back burner. Alhamdulilah, her closest friends are all Muslim so she doesn’t feel completely alone. There are boys at both fencing and her homeschool co-op that have shown her extra attention and while I feel comfortable explaining our views on dating and male/female relationships, it’s just an extra step. It’s also good for her to manage relationships and standing up for what she believes is right. Still, a mom is left to wish for more Islam-centered activities and relationships.
Gathering together with other like-minded families, even just to share coffee and stories of our days, is an energizing activity. We may not agree on everything, and it’s natural for some conflict to come from any group of people over a period of time, but those bumps in the road are worth it to build that sense of community. Even if we don’t benefit directly from it, in sha Allah our kids will.