Hijab

June 12, 2010

I've been giving this some thought

“Zahra permalink

good post. I scarved with intention upon conversion but as of late – I am conflicted. I do not think it “protects me” and have come to belief many of my Muslim brothers only see me as potential Fitna. I feel the need to be ashamed of my gender, the pressure to lock myself away lest I “stir the desires” and it just becomes so lame. I cover. I dress modestly – although Western (oi, I dread the immitating the kaffir lectures), I don’t act like a hootchie, have manners, etc but it never seems enough for some. I hold down a job (not enough hijab), I question sexist policies at the Mosque (not hijab enough), have a personality (not hijab enough). Good hijab in these parts is the demure, stay at home at all costs sister with nary a concern in the world outside of pleasing God and hubby. That isn’t the faith I was drawn too. It makes me sad and depressed. I want to swim! I want to go to the gym! I want to breathe. Think of how much time we spend explaining how we aren’t oppressed and think of how often within our communities we are just that – oppressed. I guess after 7 years it gets hard to keep trying to give the same old “Islam gave women rights 1400 years ago” ….while thinking “and men have been taking them away ever since). Sorry to be a downer, but it is where I am at these days.”

I saved this quote from another blog host’s site so long ago, that I don’t even remember where I got it from.  If I had to guess, though, I say it probably came from Organica’s site.  I’m going to leave it up and chew on it, back to comment insha’allah in a bit.

A Day in the Life

May 3, 2009

Woke up, prayed Fajr.

Enjoyed the quiet for a little while, read posts at Khadija’s and Lisa Vasquez’s blogs.

Gathered the children’s clothing, crept into the room. The plan was to get them dressed and get them out of the house so that the Mr FL could sleep in.  I needed to hit the Home Depot for plants, and the flooring showroom as we need to replace our carpet.  Just as I have them all dressed, I hear my dh moving around upstairs. I decide to let the kids see him before we go.  Of course, what was supposed to be no more than 5 minutes of talking to their Daddy and then kissing him goodbye turned into the usual Saturday m0rning, kiddie-and-daddy WWF.

My sons jump on him, and he pretends to body slam them on the bed. Tiny Toddler tries to get in on the action and laughs hysterically when she is lifted high in the air and then dumped on the bed for tummy kisses.  I alternate between looking on in amusement and watching “Renovation Realities” on HGTV.  We end up all leaving at the same time.  My sons keep shouting, “Don’t let Daddy get away” as we follow his car down the road for a bit.  He turns off to get gas, we keep on to the flooring store.

They sit quietly on the couches in the showroom for a bit. I am relieved.  However, that doesn’t last long. I find the carpet I want, then dither about shade selection, holding the paint chip next to this sample and then that. We finally leave the store with the samples so I can see them at home.

At the Home Depot,  Tiny Toddler fusses at her oldest brother when he tries to sit with the youngest two in the cart. “No!” she barks. “You can’t!”  I roll my eyes and tell him he’s too old to sit there anyway. He is not pleased. I pick up two plants and then struggle with a bag of mulch.  A flag holding employee sees, stops the guy driving the heavy equipment, and comes to my aid.  Chivalry isn’t dead.

We hit the grocery store, and come home.  The kids go play and boy did I need a break! I love them but running errands with lil kids is no one’s idea of fun.

Mr. FL comes home, and as we are discussing carpet choices, the little ones get into a box of EmergenC packets and make themselves drinks. And spill powdered vitamin C on the floor. Mr. FL suggests that I not wait to put items away so that they won’t make unnecessary messes.   He then scolds the oldest, who knows better. 

I help him put up a new chandelier in the dining room.  My younger son has fun climbing the ladder and “helping” his daddy.  My older son wants to go in the backyard to play with a new bubble blower he got from his grandma, Mr. FL’s mom.  I tell him he has to wait until I can go out too.  After a few missteps and alot of time spent holding my hands over my head, we get the chandelier up.  My son takes a pic of me with his dad’s phone. Man I’ve gained weight since I messed up my knee.  Mr. FL and I then spend time looking at the chandelier

These things can take awhile to put up

These things can take awhile to put up

from every angle trying to decide if it looks right and if it is correctly positioned.  This home improvement stuff always takes longer than you think it will.

Mr. FL takes down the light fixture in the foyer, but the new one we got is defective.  He takes a break before starting dinner. I clear the counter and get out the cutting board, vegetables, and canned tomatoes. He comes down and begins chopping. I head for the backyard to pick basil and oregano. Tiny toddler fusses to come with me, so I carry her out.  She has a great time picking herbs but nearly yanks the oregano out of the pot entirely.  Back in the kitchen, she insists on rinsing them for daddy.

He makes spaghetti. It’s delicious as usual.  Halfway through dinner I realize I forgot to make lemonade.

I put away the food, we sit on the couch and talk for awhile. 

I leave to pick up Mini-FL, she’s spent the day with friends. On the way, I listen to Heather Headley.  When I arrive, she’s bursting to tell me all about her day, then tears up a bit because one of her friends is moving.  On the way back, we pick up an oreo cookie shake from the ice cream shop per Mr. FL’s request.

At home, everyone has to be bathed and brush their teeth.  I put Tiny Toddler to bed first, then braid Mini-FL’s hair so it won’t tangle too much.  Younger son shrieks and struggles when I announce bedtime. Yeah. He’s overtired. I carry his fussy self upstairs, but once in the bed, he stops resisting and goes to sleep pretty quickly.

And after that, I was tired and ready for SLEEP!

Losing My Religion

April 6, 2009

 

losingmyreligionbook

That’s me in the corner

That’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion.

Trying to keep up with you…

and i don’t know if I can do it.

o h no i’ve said too much…

i haven’t said enough.

–R.E.M.

My Husband’s Hands

February 18, 2009

His hands throw our children in the air and tickle their tummies.

They thread chunks of chicken onto kabob skewers so he can grill us up some dinner.

His hands pull me in for a hug when I’m frustrated or sad.heart-in-hands

They put up curtain rods, they sometimes wash the dishes, they hold the door for me when we go out to dinner.

They have never struck me, or threatened to strike.

They have never closed around my neck, never yanked my head back, never shoved me into a wall.

Tell me, are his hands so rare in the world of Muslim men?

Get Yourself a Handyman

October 7, 2008

I’m very grateful to be able to say that Mr. Foreverloyal is handy around the house.  He  has taken apart and fixed a garbage disposal, a washing machine (turns out there was a bobby pin in it, don’t know how that got in there), and built a loft in our garage so that we could have more storage.

It saves alot of money, but nevermind that.  There is something really appealing about a guy breaking out a circular saw, drill and level and building a structure from scratch.  It’s almost primal, makes a woman feel like her man is a manly man!

It was also so cute to see #1 son imitating  his dad.  While Mr. Foreverloyal was building, his oldest son was in a corner of the garage with his toy circular saw, pretending to cut a scrap piece of 2×4.  It’s good to know that insha’allah, my sons too will grow up and be able to build and fix things.

He’s got plans to build a small retaining wall in the backyard and rip out a small dead evergreen in the front.  Me, I need to order the tulips and pick up some mulch.  Every great handyman needs an assistant to help with the details.

Are you following Shaytan?

September 6, 2008

“Whoever doesn’t have a sheikh, the Shaytan is his sheikh….” 

It’s an interesting little saying.  It has been thrown out to those who do not have a scholar/sheikh from whom they get all their knowledge about what is right and wrong in islam.  It seems to be used in an effort to get people to shut their brains off and find someone to follow, and quick! 

There’s just one teeny little problem with it.  Following this logic, we would have to conclude that the Prophet, prior to receiving revelation, was following shaytan.  All the people who came to islam by reading the Qur’an and its (people’s best attempts at) translations? Following shaytan.  If they die two months after their shahada, without finding a sheikh? Well, they were following Shaytan all that time, right?  And we know what happens to people who do that.

Even if you want to find a scholar sheikh to follow, how do you choose someone to follow?  What force is operating in your life while you are making your decision?  If this saying is true, then you guessed it:  the one who has led you to your guide is none other than the Shaytan.

Doesn’t seem right to me.

Never bought more than two pair of shoes at a time ever in life before.

Solitary

August 26, 2008

Abu Sinan recently made the following controversial statement: I am not a fan of the Muslim community, anyone who reads my blog or posts for long will realise that. I have made it clear that I remain a Muslim despite the seeming attempts of the Muslim communities I have been a part of to rob me of my love of Islam.  http://abusinan-sayf.blogspot.com/2008/08/i-am-not-fan-of-muslim-community-anyone.html

I don’t know that I have ever actually felt that way, but I have had related emotions.  Feelings of not being altogether welcome as a black person in a predominately southeast asian/arab immigrant masjid.  Feelings of not being fully accepted because I wasn’t a salafi.  (Found out there was a rumor going around that my husband and I were sufi, which was apparently akin to devil-worship amongst those doing the yapping.)  Ticked off as a woman used to equal accomodations, that I had to use the rear entrance of the masjid. (This was especially unsettling after 9/11.  The rear of the masjid faced a wooded area.)  Annoyance at being expected to shut off my brain and accept another human, and not even the prophet, as an infallible source of islam, not to be questioned lest I be called a kafir, hypocrite, or maybe just someone skating toward hell.

With experiences like that, and the ones Abu Sinan has apparently had, one can just decide to throw in the towel.  Show up for Friday prayer and ‘Eid, and that’s it.  Keep from expressing doubts or a difference of opinion for the sake of keeping the peace or just plain ol’ not being bothered.

The problem with that, though, is that it keeps like-minded people from finding community in each other.  Sometimes after a much-needed break, it’s necessary to reach out.  Take the risk of being tsked and shushed for having an opinion, for being a little different.  You just might find a few people in that crowd nodding.  Wouldn’t it be refreshing, comforting, wonderful to have a place to belong?  Afterall…

Making the way in the world today

Takes everything you got

Taking a break from all your worries

Sure would help alot

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

To someplace without alcohol, of course.  Pretzels are fine though.  Maybe some green-tea smoothies and butter cookies, too.

What do you think?

 

* You may be interested in Jeffrey Lang’s Losing My Religion for a bit more on this topic, or https://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/check-your-brain-at-the-door/ for my related ramblings.

He Did it Again

August 16, 2008

The master variety?

The master variety?

So dh decides to make dinner and asks if we have any mushrooms.

“No, but I can run to the store and get you some.  What kind do you want?  Do you want some of those brown mushrooms or–”

“White mushrooms. Those are the best.”

*Foreverloyal raises eyebrows*

Mr. Foreverloyal ( standing firm and defiant, daring me to say anything): “That’s right, White Mushrooms are the Best!”

Me. “humph”

I did go get the mushrooms he wanted though.  Who am I to argue with White Mushroom Supremacy when it means I don’t have to make dinner?

Bear

July 29, 2008

*the scene:  Mr. Foreverloyal and I are watching “Man vs. Wild” on the discovery channel.  The host, Bear Grylls, picks up a piece of fox poop and starts talking about what information that gives about his current environment.

Me: Yuck!

Mr. Foreverloyal:  What?

Me: Blech.  I thought he was cute up until he picked up that bear poop a few months ago.  Just when I start thinking he’s cute again, he has to go and pick up POOP!

Mr. Foreverloyal:  Good.  I don’t want you thinking he’s cute.