January 31, 2010

The Hearts Rhythm

Where does my heart go when I abandon it? When it is intentionally starved of love and affection…yet is must remain beating to an unsure rhythm that keeps me alive.

Fragments of promises made and lies revealed are located in my mind. I keep them as reminders of what happens when I trust.

I can no longer keep my hand extended, hoping to feel yours giving me protection and comfort. May I have patience to stay firm in my beliefs while moving forward in my time, at my own pace.

Please let me never hear the words of future plans that have no foundation to build on. Today is all that I can trust, and all that I can give you.

Where does my heart go when I abandon it? It goes to a place of constant fear and worry. I feel it tighten inside my chest as if warning me of more hurt to come.

I miss conversation that is shared by two. While words have power, they can never give the intimacy of a human voice.

My heart can not trust anymore. My guard for my heart is more secure than ever, it is my responsibility to protect me…I refuse to automatically believe someone because he or she is Muslim.

It is not the faith that I question, it is the actions, which have earned this response…there has been enough damage done to my heart and my spirit. I need to rest and not react.

Where does my heart go when I abandon it? Insha Allah it turns to Allah subhana wa ta’ala…its creator. All praise to you Allah for hearing the silent cries and pleas that come directly from my soul…and giving me all that is best for me. Insha Allah I will take better care of myself Ameen.

January 27, 2010

No More Vacancies

So has my mind changed about marriage? The answer is located somewhere within this post. Let me first thank all who read the first post “S.O.S. to My Brothers!” Your comments gave me some insight and after re-reading, I thought a follow up might be welcomed.

What I learned was some brothers are very supportive and even empathetic with the status of the unmarried sisters within the Muslim community. But the situation is still unchanged.

The increasing ratio of women to men doesn’t seem to be helping the situation. The sisters chances for finding the brother best suited for her, may take a little longer than anticipated...have patience and never give up believing.

Alhamdulillah fortunately I do not believe in chance. I place my trust in Allah subhana wa ta’ala. I know He will forever guide me to what is best for my life as a Muslima. The question remaining now is, what do I do in the meantime?

Recently I have spent way too much time thinking about marriage! Yes I know it is half of my deen, but right now, that half is not in the immediate future. Alhamdulillah what if marriage doesn’t happen for me, does my purpose in this life cease to go forward? No…on the contrary, while I am “single” this time is best spent increasing myself in Taqwa. Raising my level of iman and sabr (patience) because this is what is most important.

Do I still want to get married? Yes. This means complete submission. I have to know without a doubt, that if there is a brother out here for me Allah will bring us together. There are no stipulations attached to Allah’s plans for his servants, only that I (we) trust Him only and obey.

Smile, I will never say “I refuse to be a co-wife, or “I am woman enough for him.” These are statements born out of fear and possibly insecurity. How can a woman deny her husband what Allah has ordained? Or, why would a husband agree to his wife’s demand of monogamy? Allahu A’lam…a gentle reminder I (we) will have to answer for all of our actions and thoughts. Marriage does not equate to the ownership of a person’s heart. Loving for the sake of Allah wants… what or who is best for the other person.

So I have decided to evict the ghosts of marriage, which have been residing inside my mind these past few weeks. In there place will be time for me to become a better Muslima insha Allah. I keep my heart and mind open to all possibilities. If my future husband is out there, know that I am striving to be the best I can for Allah swt and the ummah.

There are no longer any vacancies in my mind, to ponder over thoughts which I have no control.

January 23, 2010

Islam, My Journey, My Faith

You can ask me what I had for dinner yesterday, and I will stop and think. Ask me at any time…on any day, when I reverted to Islam and the answer comes quickly to the surface of my mind.

Before I tell you when, I will answer the question of why? I was waiting to die. No, there was no illness of my body. My heart and soul were dead. My body felt like it existed without purpose.

It was not a morbid feeling; I just didn't connect spiritually in my mind to any faith. My family (who will remain private) and I were raised under the religion of Catholicism. Smile, I was that girl in the plaid school girl uniform for 12 long years! I was finally free when I attended college.

Believing in God, and knowing God I believe, are very separate concepts. I attended church on the obligatory holidays. I would drop my coins in the faded gold box that was firmly welded to the candle offerings table. Kneeling down I closed my eyes and prayed to any and all saints to help me!

College life, married life and divorce---were basically lived without a firm grasp on faith. I was always spiritual (or so I thought) but, did not claim any one religion as my own. It was only after having my son, that I contemplated something more,a desire to be better and to find something greater in this world.

I was a stay at home mom doing my best to raise a "good person." To give my son unconditional love, and provide him the opportunity to give back to this world. The strange thing for me was I could teach my son how to pray, however I was unable to teach him about faith.

One day while I was doing my routine housework, I started watching a documentary about the fastest growing religions in the world.

Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism were the featured religions. When the history of Islam was featured, I thought this is it! My heart literally changed its rhythm. I can’t explain it…it can only be experienced. My eyes cried over the sound of the Athan (The call for prayer) until I could barely see the screen. I remember going to the p.c. and searching frantically for this “music” I had heard. Smile, it was not music but, worship to Allah.

The year was 2007 and I said my Shahada and became a Muslim. I have a faith that is more important to me than anyone and anything in my life! Life for me revolves around Islam, not the other way around. I have lost some friendships but I will not, compromise my beliefs for anyone.

My family is very small, and is not what I would call practicing Catholics. My announcement that I was a Muslim…came over dinner and was greeted with complete silence. I mean crickets chirping…but as time passed and my mother and son (who is 21) saw that I was very serious, still said nothing. My son is accepting and my mother feels I am “sad and unhappy” or going through a phase. You have got to love her. Smile, well at least I have to love her.

That is all I will say about them for now. I love them deeply and will always make supplication for my mom and son to accept Islam insha'Allah.

Each day I love more, and learn more. Does Islam assure me happiness? No, but it does give me the freedom to be a stronger woman. I wear my hijab only to please Allah. There are no Muslims in my family and I am not married. So the question if I am being forced to cover…is a happy and sincere no.

My beauty and femininity are not displayed for the public, or defined by what the fashion magazines say is beautiful. In fact my makeup routine consists of a clean moisturized face and vanilla scented lip balm. Okay, when I am feeling particularly special...I will break out the kohl eyeliner.

My hijab is not worn as a political symbol. The way I tie it...or the pins which may adorn it are not the issue. More recently increasing government pressure is mounting to ban the wearing of the hijab and veil.

It is beyond comprehension how a group of non-Muslim elected government officials can speak for the choices made by Muslim women!

They say "don't judge a book by its cover." Maybe someone should tell these government leaders and their supporters...Don't judge the Muslima for her cover.

January 14, 2010

S.O.S to My Brothers!

Save Our Sisters… yes I am coming to the source. Well I am coming to my brothers. For those who follow my blog, you know I don’t like things complicated. So I want some honest feedback on this matter. Don’t worry guys it won’t be used against you in future writings, (smile) I promise.

The last few days I have been meeting with perspective husbands. Alhamdulillah according to the principles of Islam I am seeking to complete the remaining half of my deen. Now that sounds both serious and technical. It is serious…insha Allah this is a man that I pray will be with me in this life, and in the Hereafter.

After sitting and talking for a short time (there was a guardian in the home) with each brother a decision was made whether to continue the process, or decline. Let’s just say there were no further meetings arranged. My criteria for a husband are really simple…it’s the bits and pieces of life that weigh heavy on finding him.

As Muslims we can’t date, so we have our Walli or guardian arrange for us sisters to meet the brothers interested in marriage. This is where the fun begins. It seems difficult for the man to fully grasp that “marrying” is not or should not be the end of the process. Ladies want to feel a connection, and yes we can usually tell right away if there is a spark. I am not speaking about the romantic aspect of marriage, insha Allah that will come after time.

Bothers I wasn’t born a Muslim and thus, my Walli is not in my family. How does a man who has never met “me” search for my future husband? I have spoken to several sisters and this is a very disheartening issue. Yes we can go to a Masjid and insha Allah the Imam will help find us someone…but, no one is getting to know the sisters! I give my bothers credit; I know they are capable of holding a conversation with a sister without crossing the line into the haram. But come on…a guy will research the specs for a future car or new gadget for weeks comparing all the facts before making a decision. A sister says she is interested in marriage, and they simply put out a call to all available parties.

Don’t your sisters deserve better? Why are we only a consideration when the fear of sex outside marriage is looming in the air? Alhamdulillah I am asking that the brothers recommend only, who they know very well. Want for your sisters in Islam, what you wish for your daughters or your blood sisters. Jazak Allah Khairum for the brothers who are sincerely helping us in our quest. Okay I will step off of my soapbox and listen. Insha Allah this will give me some insight into this marriage process….hey and please don’t be shy. As brothers do you have some of the same worries as a sister?

P.S. For the brothers I met, may Allah (swt) grant them the best of wives who are good for them!

January 2, 2010

The Invisible Muslima

Somewhere in every country; city and village there is a section of Muslimas that are not being represented. I call them the…”Invisible Muslimas” I am one of the invisible.

I have noticed when the Muslim woman is spoken of or depicted…the image is that of the young woman barely out of her teens. She struggles between carving her own identity as a Muslim woman, and feeling the not so subtle pressure of her family and culture to marry and start her family.

But in between younger woman and the elderly…is where I fit in. Perhaps there is a secret society that I am not aware exists. I mean come on…”All my Muslimas who are in there 40’s and 50’s stand up! (Sound of crickets) Each generation needs her own special group of friends, a sisterhood who relates to one another. In general Muslima or not, women have always been supportive of each other and their friendship a treasured gift.

Unless, and please let me be wrong, that a sister who is beyond 25 suddenly becomes horrified to reveal her true age. Trust me I understand that society places emphasis on being young and age defying…but ladies let’s face it if we continue to feel that being older should put us out to pasture…then our life will cease to exist.

This term “cougar” are you serious? Have you seen a cougar in action…they target their prey, and when it (He, in this case) is not watching….they pounce and go for the kill. Alhamdulillah I am not a cougar seeking any prey to drag back as a trophy.

I am a Muslima that is a little disheartened by our issues not being addressed. But, since there is no Muslima over 40 in existence (wink) insha’Allah I just might elaborate on a few thoughts that have been on my mind, and share them in my blog through out the year. Who knows maybe I will spark a revolution…where Muslimas and all women will be accepting of themselves no matter how old. At the end of the day it is our heart that defines us as women. Masha Allah we are lovable, sometimes impossible and often wonderful at any age.

…I don’t feel so invisible after all.