Second letter to my daughter
BELGİN AKALTAN – firstname.lastname@example.orgDearest,
This is my second letter to you.
Disregard the first one, Aslı, dear.
Now, your name is different, but you are imaginary anyway…
You may be Ceylin
or Büşra or Kübra…
Since we are both here and staying here…
Let’s do this instead:
Darling, let’s go traditional,
Let’s make our religion
the only reference in our lives.
This is best for both of us.
This religion, dear, is the best of all religions.
It is the latest one; it is the most reformed, the most advanced one.
There is no debate in this.
As a small note, it is better to keep this superior attitude to yourself.
Do not say it aloud.
Somehow, modern times do not tolerate this overconfidence.
Behave in a way to respect other religions, other believers.
Respect, do not derogate.
Who are we to question those values that have been here for centuries?
There is no need to search,
All the searching has been done before us.
Our religion, our prayers will guide us and
will guide you in every difficult moment you may encounter…
All the answers are in the Quran.
Modern life may dictate to us other values
But let’s adhere to our traditions.
Western culture, our schools, our rapid urbanization
have ruined our true values.
Let’s go back to our roots…
Let’s learn Arabic.
Why not attend a Quran course?
Memorize the Quran verses.
Even if you may not understand them,
They have this holistic feature enlightening all of us.
I may join you in the Quran course,
because I don’t know much about our holy book.
As a mother, heaven is under my feet, my darling; it will be under your feet also.
When you, yourself become a mother.
Our mighty creator, knowing the hardships of motherhood,
has rewarded us with the greatest of gifts;
Heaven, that is.
That’s in the other life, not in this one.
Do not be tempted with earthly pleasures. They are not for us.
We should remain clean and pure,
in our thoughts and in our body.
Let’s do our prayers five times a day.
Let’s go on to the Hajj.
This pious lifestyle has so much to offer us.
Listen to your elders. Listen to your religion.
Keep your honor, dear. Honor is more important than anything else.
When I say honor you should be able to know what I mean.
Know the conservative nature of this country.
Maintain your traditional values…
Oh, just for a moment… I got emotional; I have tears in my eyes.
Whatever, I will wipe away my tears and continue…
Serve and obey your elders, your father, your husband;
Love your country and your state.
These are your golden words.
Other beliefs are not as fulfilling as Islam.
Our religion guides us, sheds light on every stage of life.
What else is left, which I might have forgotten?
I’m trying to remember.
Stay away from alcohol; it is evil.
I’d advise you not to smoke; it is unhealthy…
Do not flirt. It is a mechanism of the West; we do not do it.
Do not date.
Do not be in a car or a room alone with boys. This is a sin.
Try to dress modestly.
I don’t want to tell you what to wear and what not to wear.
Actually, I myself am in a conflict.
I strongly want to believe that this religion is not oppressive.
It should not force you into anything.
So, it should not be forcing me either,
To rush to cover my hair,
for men other than your father and your brother.
That means every time the “kapıcı” knocks at our door.
Or when your brother’s friend Burak comes to visit us.
I have known him since he was a baby.
I don’t understand how this could be considered a “freedom,”
When I am made aware of my gender,
because of the presence of a person like Burak?
I wonder how a pious gentleman would feel,
If he was forced to do a gender-related action
whenever the wife of his “kapıcı”
Delivered goods at his door,
or his daughter’s teen friend came to visit?
Something that he had to do
not to arouse the other sex into thinking evil?
I am not prepared for this kind of piety.
But I will try to find my answers.
I will talk to an imam.
I’m sure he will provide me with insight.
Then we can decide together, my dear.
I want to convey the best to you.
We will find the best in our conservative values.
See, this is not so hard.
Let’s do it…
PS: I want to thank dear A.W. for writing to me, for inspiring me and for being my reader.