May 26, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall?

The glitter is settling over the new 2010 Miss USA, Rima Fakih. She was thrust into the spotlight for several reasons. She is the first Arab-American to ever hold the title, and secondly she been photographed in some less than tasteful positions. The photo of her pole dance was the favorite of the media.

Now as a Muslima I didn’t associate her with my belief and practice of Islam. Miss Fakih said in an interview with Tony Cox on NPR, “I am born into a Muslim family; however, I’d just like to say that my family is not defined by religion.” Further, that her, her sister and their family celebrate both Christian and Muslim faiths…and “prefer to be called Lebanese, Arabs or Arab-Americans.” Just as Miss Fakih does not represent or speak for me as a Muslim, I can't speak upon her actions.

Although she acknowledges both of her faiths, it was the connection to being a Muslim which secured the most media attention. And as the saying goes, any attention is better than none at all! For the record I don’t agree with that saying.

Now in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia they also have a pageant. However, this one is very different and it is called The Miss Beautiful Morals." The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants’ commitment to Islamic morals…It’s an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman’s body and looks, “ said pageant founder Khadra al-Mubarak. In theory this sounds like a great idea…but why do we need to make a competition between women at all?

I was wondering since it seems as if pageants will forever be a part of this culture and vast other cultures. What makes someone beautiful? And for my female readers and especially the sisters…would you enter, or have you entered your daughters in “beauty” competitions? As always…the male viewpoint is welcome here anytime.

Some of these competitions stress they are building self esteem. But it is my opinion that being paraded in front of judges and given a numerical score… is just the opposite.

I know by nature, as women we enjoy feeling and looking attractive. The problem for me is when beauty becomes the substance and essence of a person. It does not look like pageants are going to fade into the horizon in the immediate future. The most I can hope for my fellow sisters (Muslim) or not, is that we are beautiful as we are…and should never place the judgment by some panel to validate us.

May 19, 2010

It's a Beautiful Morning!

For me, my faith feels more grounded at this time of the day…the moments quietly waiting for Fajr. This is when my heart feels most at rest.

The precious Surahs of the Qur’an are being recited in my mind. The worries of yesterday have not yet spilled into my thoughts.

It is during this solitude, I am aware that Allah by His Mercy is among the lower heavens listening to the supplications being offered from humble servants. It is in these still moments, that I experience absolute tranquility.

It is during this time that my soul is being fed, helping me to continue throughout each day. Like an unexpected storm, I never know who, or what events, will enter my day trying to weaken my faith. I keep Dhikr close to me. It is both my protection and my happiness subhan Allah.

The scrapes and bruises of heartache that have been placed on my spirit do not change me. It is a small price to pay, for the greater reward that I am striving to attain insha’Allah.

“And let not their speech grieve you O Muhammad (pbuh), for all power and honor belongs to Allah. He is the All-Hearer the All-Knower.” Surah 10:65

The day has come in…and only Allah knows what it holds. But for now, I am stronger and better than the day before insha’Allah.

Good morning world, you look wonderful!

May 6, 2010

Not My Style

I admit I enjoy reading blogs. Seeing a glimpse into the mind and thoughts of a person has always intrigued me. I am not speaking in a psychological interest, but just how people of varying cultures and lifestyles see and experience life on a day by day basis.

When I started this blog, it was for the intention of journaling my life as a Muslima. I share some of my frustrations and joys of life here in the West. That has not changed. For those who have written me asking why I don’t talk about more ‘titillating’ topics, the answer is easy---it is not my style.

Those topics would be of no benefit, except the possibility of increasing more followers. Alhamdulillah yes, I could easily write about the hot buttons for discussion. The mention of co-wives, sexual frustrations for non-married Muslims, internet sex, pornography, marrying non-Muslim men ---all of these topics would attract readers.

I have read some blogs by Muslims that explore these matters and for those who learn from them Alhamdulillah---Allah knows best.

While I love the input I receive, and welcome continued suggestions (within limits, smile) I will leave those subjects for the experts. It is so very easy to venture into fitnah without our knowledge. As respect for my brothers who read my blog, Subhan Allah I would never discuss a topic that would make them (and primarily myself) uncomfortable.

Sure there are some who will say ‘We are all adults…that is what’s wrong with the dunya, we don’t want to face what is happening today!’ Yes, we are adults, however, we all know that kids are computer savvy. So I try and edit a little of what I discuss.

Insha’Allah I try and remember the taqwa of Allah swt in everything. So if you are looking to read some sexy stuff…mixed in with Islam, it won’t happen here.

I respect everyone’s choice to express their writing in a manner that is comfortable for them. Personally I find intimacy is best when expressed between husband and wife, now that can be very sexy! I don’t have a husband but, insha’Allah one day I will. Until then my thoughts on those matters are happily in my mind, with no need to be expressed.

…Hey, there are some Notes from Nazeeha, which will remain private. Love you all for the sake of Allah, and keep the comments coming.