Hanger or Belt.

By Shireen Qudosi for Muslimreformers.com

I was about 6-years-old and living in the suburbs of Germany with my parents and my 12-year-old-brother, Omar. My brother and I did what any other siblings did at that age – we fought a lot over stupid things. And I did what most younger siblings do – went and complained to my parents.

Except one night my dad wasn’t having it. As I ran to the kitchen and desperately pleaded my case to my mom and dad, my dad reacted thunderously with a temper he was well-known for having. He went to the hallway closet, opened the closet door and told me to choose between a hanger and a belt.

I had to choose, or else he would and it would be even worse.

I took a few minutes to decide, trying to think of how each would strike Omar’s still child-like body and which would hurt him less. I thought of Omar being lashed with a belt, thinking it would be too much of a blow with my dad’s height and strength. A hanger will hurt less.

My dad took the hanger, took Omar to the room, and shut the door.

We were living in Germany as refugees from Afghanistan. We had learned the language and assimilated to the local culture. But some things didn’t change.


Shireen Qudosi is a Top 10 North American Muslim Reformer. She founded Qudosi Chronicles shortly after 9-11 when she noticed a widespread failure in honest conversations about Islam. Since it’s launch, Qudosi Chronicles has developed a broad and diverse following that has helped spark Muslim reform. Shireen is half Pakistani, half Afghan and a Sufi American Muslim who feels strongly that Islam is fated for an evolutionary leap in consciousness. And that leap is necessary in order for a global world of people to take the next collective step in advancing human dignity and excellence.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.

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