In a world of black and white, good and bad, religious versus non-religious, some Muslims fall within the shades of gray.
Call them what you will, modern-day Muslims or even "moderate Muslims" - which is, however, considered quite problematic since it implies that being moderate is an exception rather than the norm... but that's the topic of an entirely different post.
Regardless of the terminology, such Muslims redefine what it means to be a practicing believer as they refuse to restrict themselves to mainstream norms and stereotypes.
If you feel like this applies to you, here are eight things you will probably relate to:
1. "Too halal for the haram squad and too haram for the halal squad"
This basically sums up the entire "modern Muslim" experience. You are open to socializing with all types of people from different religious backgrounds.
However, this sometimes makes you feel like the odd one out in your group of friends, either for being too religious or not religious enough.
2. Your "haram squad" keeps trying to make you join the dark side
Your non-religious friends' life goals secretly include making you join their club.
From dragging you to parties you're not even interested in, to going all out in convincing you to try alcohol, they seem to think your "haram" side is in there begging to be triggered... regardless of how many times you try to convince them your beliefs won't be fazed.
3. People make you feel like you're the last of a dying breed
Thanks to the endless stream of stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Muslims, people seem to think that practicing Islam and having a fun personality are mutually exclusive.
As a result, you often hear comments along the lines of "I didn't expect you to be so chill," or if you wear the headscarf, "You're pretty cool for a hijabi."
But hey, it's always a good feeling to pleasantly surprise someone with your openness...
4. You often find yourself explaining opposing views to the people around you
You are the way you are simply because you understand that faith is way more complicated than some people make it out to be. You see the logic behind many of the arguments surrounding religion, even if you don't agree with them.
Your deep understanding and tolerance of opposing views makes you the perfect person to explain different opinions to the people around you.
5. You sometimes feel like a spokesperson for Islam
In non-Muslim or non-religious communities, you are viewed as a representative of Islam and are treated as the go-to person for all-things-Islam.
You are more than happy to educate people and positively represent the religion, but truth be told, you sometimes feel like you can't catch a break.
6. Your beliefs don't stop you from pursuing your goals
It's all about finding the balance between your beliefs and life's little pleasures.
7. Finding a partner is all the more challenging
As if generally finding one's match wasn't hard enough, you have to also deal with the struggle of finding someone who is almost at the same level of religiousness as you... and we have already established that you belong to a dying breed.
8. You're always the designated driver
If you don't mind partying but simply don't drink, you probably always end up as the squad's designated driver, especially if you are the only non-drinker in the group.