Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Questioning Yourself

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

Sometimes, when Im sitting all alone. Or Im driving by myself, my mind goes flying away on its own without my permission. Like right now. Im all alone in my room, on the bed, with the laptop in front of me. Having had crammed my way thru the past two weeks with research, I just can't go on with it right now. I just want to think about other things. I just want to do something that will make me happy again. But I always torture myself by doing the opposite.

Sometimes I wonder.. where is my life going? What is going to happen in the next 5 years? Am I really on the right track? Don't get me wrong, I have no doubts whatsoever with my religion. I don't doubt my responsibilities as a Muslimah. And I don't doubt the necessity to be an agent of dakwah.

My questions are concerning the 'other' part of my life. The dunya part.

I was once questioned about my decision to further my studies. My niat was questioned, and I did falter a bit. "Why on earth do you want to do your PhD? Why do you want to torture yourself for 4 more years just to get approval from men?" "Why do you want to prove yourself worthy when you know you can work, get money and still be happy" Why why why.

People questioned my motive, they questioned my sincerity, and they questioned what good it would do for whatever cause.

Acknowledging the importance of Islamic scholars and how important they are to the development of Islam, and putting that explanation aside, I'm going to give you my opinions on this matter.

I always thought that education was something people treasured no matter in what segment of time. I thought education and knowledge was something precious and those who were given opportunities to learn were those who are the chosen ones. Not many are given this opportunity, so those who got to do it were special in some way or another.

Reading about history, there were times where communities refrained females from education. They were not allowed to be too smart. Females who were knowledgeable were told to keep their mouths shut, and act dumb so that the males don't feel threatened by them. They were told to pet the man's ego by acting like they didn't understand the 'language' of men.

Females in the old English times were mainly treated like they were important for one thing. Marriage. And the community branded in their heads that intelligent women don't get good marriages because they will always be rejected by men who are threatened by them.

Now I ask you readers to come back to this time. Do you think the same thing is happening today in our 'modernised' world where the importance of higher-order-thinking skills are stressed upon? And the higher the qualification, the higher respect they are given?

I say yes.

I am talking from my own experience, so I'm very glad if there are others out there who do not agree with me.

When I first got the news that I was accepted to further my studies, I was beyond ecstatic. I was so excited to share my news with everyone. Being in an era that puts importance in education, I expected that people would be as excited as I was. Don't get me wrong, many were happy for me. But there were those who gave me reactions beyond what I expected.

"Laaa.. kenape sambung study lagi? Brape lama lagi tu? Tak nak kawen ke?"
(Translation: "Whaaaat? Why are u furthering your studies? How long is that going to take? Don't you want to get married?")

I was speechless.

And then there were times when people say to me how difficult it would be for me to find a life partner who is sekufu with me. "Adoi, lagi susah la awk nak cari laki" (Translation: "You're gonna have a harder time finding a mate")

I have also had the experience of being rejected by men who backed off when they knew I was doing my PhD. And the reaction from people were "Ha, tu laa. Sape suruh sambung blajar" (Translation: "Serves you right, who told you to go further your studies")

Why do I feel like PhD is an word that people are allergic with when the person doing PhD is a female who is single? It's as if it's not the right way to go and females who actually choose that path will be condemned and put aside. It's as if they will be given the cold shoulder and cast aside when men are looking for prospective life partners.

That is when you start questioning how worthy you are and start looking for all your faults as if all of it is your fault.

And you still say the view of the world on females and education have changed? Seriously?

After so many negative responses, you cannot expect a lady to not be a little offended and a little affected by what people say. Reluctantly, you start questioning your life and the path you decided to take. And you have this sudden urge to just leave everything and quit.

Today is one of those days. Today was a tough day.

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