I’ve been tagged!

December 31, 2007

I was tagged by http://curiositykilledthatcat.blogspot.com/2007/11/ive-been-tagged.html Courtney

The rules of the game are:

A). Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog…

B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself…

C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs…

D). Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven random/weird facts:

1.  I have a glue gun and I’m not afraid to use it!

2. I don’t like the teletubbies.

3. I’m in the middle of making sheers and curtains for the master bedroom–first time doing window treatments

4. I love butter pecan ice cream.

5. I read a book about colors, and learned I am a Winter.

6. I like sparkly things

7.  I sometimes do a runway walk down my hallway and then pose in the mirror at the end.  (Pretending to be Nazri from Project Runway 3)

—I will tag:

http://www.ericabunker.com –Erica B.

http://organicmuslimah.blogspot.com/ –Organic Muslima

http://blackwomenvote.blogspot.com –Shecodes

http://www.roslynhardyholcomb.com/ –Roslyn Holcomb

http://caribmuslimah.blogspot.com/ –Jamerican Muslima

http://ummadam.wordpress.com/ –UmmAdam



I’m one of those people that likes to decorate for ‘Eid.

I started off with just lights, but this year I wanted to up the festive factor around here.  So I decorated the mantle.  I draped black satin on it and placed amber/gold mosaic candles, a clear footed bowl with pinecones and amber floral pebbles.  I put a glass vase with silk eucalyptus, gold glitter berry stems and a white accent in the center.  To top it all off, I placed gold glitter letters spelling “EID” on one side.

We’ve had some visitors.  Some people like the arrangement, but one person saw it and said, “Oh, we are celebrating Christmas now.”  He wasn’t trying to be rude, his sense of humor is just a little dry sometimes. 

But his statement brings up an important issue:  How do American muslims celebrate Eid?  And how should we?  (The man who made the comment is not american.) Muslims from muslim-majority countries have the luxury of not having many of their practices questioned.  There is not alot of drama surrounding how they celebrate their holidays, weddings, etc.  And there isn’t for American muslims either, so long as we adopt the practices of Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, for example.  Should we decide to hold to some of our own traditions, we have to expect comments or downright opposition.

I’m American.  On major holidays, my black american ancestors roasted turkeys, made cornbread stuffing, green beans, hams, roast beef, and mashed potatoes.  Since I am muslim naturally I don’t eat ham.  However I may roast up a turkey or serve roast beef with au jus.  I do not have to eat kebabs and samosas on eid.  By the same token, I will hang up party lights, and decorate mantles, tables,  shelves, and other flat surfaces with candles and greenery if I wanna.

Now, don’t misunderstand.  There were no spruce wreaths, evergreen garlands, or poinsettias.  I do not have lighted reindeer on my lawn, there is no “Eid Tree”, and I did not hang up any stockings by the fireplace with care.  I have not warned my children to be good lest Sayed Claus substitute coal for presents.

With the american muslim community still somewhat young, this is one of the many issues we have to navigate.  I remember a sister starting to “explain” the fact that her daughter had a red dress one ‘Eid.  I imagine she either expected comments or had gotten them already.  I cut her off and told her it was a pretty dress, and that just because red is associated with Christmas it does not mean that we are barred from wearing it on ‘Eid.  But then, it was a—*gasp*—western-style dress.  I’m sure if it was a red shalwar khameez or a traditional arabian dress with lovely beadwork, it would not have occurred to her to defend it or anyone else to question it.  I know I’ve seen my share of red shalwar kameez on ‘Eid over the years.

American muslims, in my humble opinion, need not adopt the cultural practices of others to be “real” muslims.  We must leave behind anything that conflicts with Islam, but we are free to keep the rest.  As I was tellling my husband the other day, Did the Arabs of the prophet’s –sallalahualaihiwasalaam- time, upon their conversion, completely change their cultural practices?  Did they say, “Oh no! We used to eat such and such when we were unbelievers, we must invent all new dishes to celebrate ‘Eid!  We must change our style of shoes!  All jewelry must be melted down and redesigned!”  If I had to take a wild guess, I’d say no.  They left their old religion behind, but they did not throw out their entire culture.

American muslims get to keep some of their culture too.


 Women throwing themselves at a sista’s husband.  Why?  Well, they figure since he’s white he can do better.  They’re going to give him the chance to dump his black wife and their children together so he can get with a woman with less melanin.

UmmAdam is more patient than I. Masha’allah.

A message to all the women trying her:  have some taqwa. (I’m going to keep my less pious comments to myself.)

Not Quite Right

December 24, 2007

My bean pie recipe needs work.  I had a recipe for pumpkin pie and the author said that white beans could be substituted.

The pie tasted pretty good, but it wasn’t GREAT.  When it comes to bean pie, nothing less than great will do.  I suppose I will have to go to the NOI site and hunt down a proper recipe.

The History of Bean Pies

December 17, 2007


 Me, I love a good bean pie.  You always know when you are at a black american muslim event because there will be a tableful of the unique confection, sometimes more.  Over the years, many variations have developed.  I think the classic is still my favorite.


We do not need to support black people on the basis of our shared heritage.

Marrying “Interracially” doesn’t mean someone is no longer black.  But be aware, that it also can mean that they take comments like “I hate white people, they are  are _____” personally.

Don’t Even Front

December 14, 2007

xmastree.jpgSome of you miss Christmas.  Admit it.  The livingroom tree decked out in lights and tinsel, baking and decorating cookies, coming down in the morning for your presents.  Main street joined in the festivities.  Sparkling lights and evergreen garlands, red ribbon and pinecones everywhere.  It’s ok.  Breathe. It doesn’t mean anything.

 I always enjoyed Christmas growing up, and I grew up muslim.  We didn’t do trees or garlands or lights.  For me it just meant a nice break from school.   I’d spend my days curled up with books and playing with my siblings.  We might enjoy watching a “Charlie Brown Christmas” or some other cartoon, but we didn’t really give alot of thought to Christmas otherwise.

A few years back I went shopping with a friend of mine and her toddler.  As we came into the department store, we saw a nice display of greenery, gold ribbons and glistening ornaments.  I remarked, in passing, that it was pretty.  She disagreed, and then when on to add a few more comments.  I was like, “Uh, yeah. Riiiight.”  I imagine she was trying to prevent her child from seeing anything at all beautiful or positive about Christmas.  I suppose the goal is to make her less likely to want to change religions when she gets older.

No muslim wants their child to grow up and leave the religion.   But I don’t think that false bravado and lying is going to help with that.  We can acknowledge that the decorations are beautiful, it doesn’t mean that we want to celebrate the holiday.   You can admit that you miss caroling with your family.  It doesn’t mean that you want to leave islam. I think she was extra defensive because she grew up Christian, and so the Christmas season and all that comes with it tugged at her heart.  The sight of all that evergreen, and the sound of “jingle bells” coming through the speakers, I suspect, triggered fond memories of Christmas morning, presents, letters to Santa or whatever else she used to do.  The fond memories then set off alarms, and her outburst was the result.

When my kids and I go to the mall around Christmas, they like to look at the pretty wreaths and trees.  They pass by Santa at the “North Pole” display, knowing he’s some guy in a suit, and that there is another guy in a similar suit the next town over, and all over the country.  My daughter wonders aloud why the parents are lying to their children about who he is.  I shrug.   I don’t see how a lack of Santa myth would hurt anything, but then again, I’m just passively enjoying the sparkle.