Religious rituals & taking things literally

One thing I’ve noticed as a diff in approach to religion b/w me & my family is while I tend to take lots of everyday things literally & perhaps for that reason & bc of my history of religious rituals being hijacked by my OCD [see my post on Religious OCD & me:, I now tend to think of why religious rituals are the way they are in the first place & try to *not* take them literally / at face value

I know many other folks think this way too for various reasons & my own approach is v much informed by disability & gender justice & trying to not get obsessed w doing stuff perfectly again. & then extending that lens to think abt “who does this ritual leave out?”

A small example is drinking zamzam water when doing health related or other prayers. There’s nothing wrong w this ritual exactly except that zamzam water is not accessible to everyone, financially or otherwise. Attributing unique spiritual properties & blessings to a difficult to obtain material resource really rubs me the wrong way re equal access to the divine.

I also have issues w when my parents want me to drink/eat something w dum/ruqya from some random “holy” person. I ask them to do it themselves bc their prayers as ppl who know & care abt me are holier to me personally than some random person who likely holds patriarchal views anyway.

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