love, personal, tips, womanhood

Words

Titled: Words

As he talks,

I listen to his every word.

Words.

Enunciation.

Breath.

Pause.

I marinate in his words.

Lips moist.

I tell him,

Brotha, lift that tongue up.

Search between the tight spaces of white teeth.

Dig for words deep in your throat.

And I remind,

if Allah revealed the Quran slowly.

Chapter by chapter,

Sentence by sentence,

Word by word,

then I will reveal myself slowly to you.

The key to my body lies lost in your mouth.

IT

_______

Sometimes I will check the statistics page of my blog. Often, it just gives me insight into my most popular posts. Hot Hijabis and Secret wife= Glorified “side piece” (over 1.5K shares!) have been two of my most popular pieces so far.

Paying attention to the blog statistics allows me to see what my readers click on most. I can also see what Google searches lead people to my page. Recently, someone searched “sweet things to say to a Muslim woman” and was guided to MuslimnLove.

I am as cheesy and they come and I let out a huge “awwwww” when I saw that.

Ya’ll both my face and heart smiled. At that moment I was filled with love.

The essence of this blog is to enhance my writing and allow a space for the Black Muslim woman to express her thoughts on love, life and Islam. I am very big on us controlling our own narrative. No one needs to speak for the Black Muslim woman but herself. Even within this I speak for my own unique experiences. I speak as a Black woman, I speak as an East Afrikan woman, I speak as a Muslim. I also speak as a woman who has lived abroad within different cultural settings. I have many platforms that influence how I view the world. I am open and unfiltered. Writing is an art and I use it to express my deepest thoughts and emotions. Art can not be censored and any artist would agree in the therapeutic importance of expression.

Words help to connect people and today not only do I celebrate MuslimnLove’s 3 year anniversary but I celebrate the sweetness of words.

Leggo! 

5 sweet things to say/do to a Muslim woman

1. Love wins. Let your heart talk. No matter where you are from, what color your skin is or how old you are EVERY woman enjoys being told that she is beautiful by the man she loves. Allow your heart to speak for you. This feels best when it’s unexpected. For instance, she is adjusting her hijab in the mirror and halal bae walks by and says “You’re pretty baby girl.” This is honey to our eardrums. When a woman feels loved she opens up in so many unimaginable ways. Open her up. Plus, everyone wants to be attractive to their partner.

2. Don’t only walk it out but talk it out. Explore her mind. Show her that there is an interest in her thoughts. Now, if you are on the brinks of a new relationship with a sister I suggest you utilize this one to the fullest. When you show an interest in what she likes then she will show even a bigger interest in you. Like I mentioned above, the mind of a woman must be opened first. To fully engage a woman you have to intellectually stimulate her before anything else.

3. Count on me. A woman wants to feel like she can count on you. Make her feel like you are dependable. When she needs to count on someone you need to be the person she relies on. A sense of stability is the sweetest thing for a woman. We love men who handle their business and then assist us in handling ours. Whether its subconscious we equate dependability with being good husbands, fathers and leaders.

4. Listen. We will talk. Talk. Talk some more. You are encouraged to listen and we will know if you aren’t listening. Interject once in a while. This proves you are actually listening. Women thrive off of emotional intimacy. Be her source of emotional intimacy. Let her know you care. Look her in the eyes when she is talking rather than at your phone. Don’t only listen with your ears, listen with your body. Take all of her in.

5. Time. I can not stress this aspect enough. Since I was a teenager I have had a saying in my life, “People ALWAYS make time for what they want to do.” Now, if you want to watch a TV show, go shopping or hang with a friend you will block out a certain time during your day to do that. Many women equate time with love. So if you aren’t making time we may think you don’t love us. This is just the truth.

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love, personal, stories, Uncategorized, womanhood

Lessons on love

I saw them walk around the edge of the water holding hands. Her chubby fingers laced into his. They both appeared to be in their mid to late 30’s. I could tell their love was new based on how his hands traced her body. Whether or not he realized it he was reading and studying her. His fingers did the work and his mind soaked it all in.

I could tell he was enjoying it. I thought how I missed having my body studied by a man.

As I watched them slowly walk by I imagined him being a very passionate and attentive lover. Words didn’t have to be spoken because he would read her body like a book of poetry. Her body was his poetry, in all of its sacredness. He would write haikus about the curve of her wide hips. He would write soliloquies about the softness of her heavy breasts. Every pause, every comma and every period would be considered. He would never rush. Every time his fingers grazed her body she would allow him to turn yet another page revealing more of herself to him. Sometimes he would even go back a page, only to slowly read it again fearing that perhaps he may have missed something. Her deep sighs would mean she was ready. He would want to take all of her in. He savored the ending but he wouldn’t finish until she gave him permission to close her book. Everyone knew you had to take your time reading poetry.

Once they reached a hill the woman stopped and looked out at the water. Her curly hair was moving in sync with the wind. Some ducks were splashing nearby and the sun sat perfectly in the clear blue sky. He walked up behind her and gently placed his arms around her waist. I could see he was whispering in her ear. I imagined what he might be saying. Her face eased into a smile. She closed her eyes as he brushed his lips against her cheek. She leaned back and shifted her weight onto him fully assured that he was able to handle it. They walked in slow motion while taking gentle steps. Both of them were oblivious to the runners, bikers and strollers that zoomed around them. There was an air of impatience to the people who passed them up. I just watched them both and thought to myself what it truly means to be in love and oblivious to the rest of the world.

I came up with one answer, absolutely wonderful.

_

I have been in love twice. I’m speaking about being madly, deeply, i-cant-think-about-nothin’-else type of love. The feeling of being warm and fuzzy inside when you see the person. Oh, and I can’t forget the “butterflies”. You haven’t truly been in love until you’ve experienced that. For real.

But, I digress.

I am a Black, Afrikan, Muslim woman.

I am a strong woman.

I am also…

A woman who loves to love. I am a woman who loves to be loved. There is nothing weak about admitting that. I actually view it as a strength. Love is one of the only things that can make you both vulnerable and powerful at the same damn time. This is the effect that love can have on a person.

I am close to turning thirty, God willing. For some women, thirty is a stepping stone and almost a dreaded right of passage. Many feel that there are certain things that a woman should have by the time she hits thirty. One of those things is a stable relationship. The powerful women who raised me made it clear that my identity and self worth was wrapped up in so much more that a societal dictation regarding female aging.

Lately, I have been reflecting and thinking about my experiences with love so far.

For me, both times were wonderful and I learned lessons about myself in each of those relationships. One thing I have definitely come to understand is that inexperience brings a sweetness to love. I was nineteen the first time I fell in love. I gave him a very sweet and innocent type of love and with the right person it could have been a beautiful thing. At that age it was so easy to follow the inclinations of my heart without hesitation. Part of being young is thinking that you can overcome anything. Life has a way of working itself out though. Allah knows what we do not.

As you get older you become realistic and begin to fully understand life. The second time happened ten years later and I was at a very different phase in my life. I still fell hard and enjoyed every minute of it. I was in deep, but unlike most, I was not in denial. I savored every minute of daydreaming, random texts and lingering conversations on the phone. I knew that being that much in love with a person carried its risks. I was ready to accept all of that. Our love was pleasantly unexpected and intense. I appreciated it for the experience and the lessons I learnt.

Remember, many people have never loved, been loved or fallen in love. Consider your experiences a blessing even if they end before you would like. There is a place for everything in your life, including love. What is meant for you now may not be meant for you tomorrow.

Give thanks for life.

Give thanks for love.

Give thanks to Allah.

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love, personal, sex

Chastity Check

He had no shame.

I think that made the situation worse.

He said it so nonchalantly like it was normal practice.

I asked him the question I have asked most brothers I am interested in.

“Have you been in any relationships outside of your previous marriage?”

He looked at me and nodded.

Sadly, it didn’t surprise me because this seemed to be the reality for a majority of brothers my friends and I encountered.

Brothers who acted a hot stakin’ mess…

Sex before marriage, babies out of wedlock and not even hiding it in the slightest.

What makes matters worse is many of them are not reprimanded.

Jummah by day and the club by night.

Posting it everywhere for folks to see.

Listen, I ain’t got the time…

Ya’ll know I keep it real all day everyday.

There are many brothers looking for wives who were once caught up in the dunya. Now a sista ain’t judgin’. I will give a brotha a chance if he is deemed as worthy and approaches the situation with a sincere heart.

The key is to step correct.

With all that being said it is very disheartening meeting brothers who have not held onto their chastity.

If it is expected from women it should also be expected from men as well.

All this mumbo jumbo about how it is difficult for a man to control himself is absolute crap and I don’t use that as an excuse.

All single Muslims regardless of gender are sexually frustrated in an over sexed society.

Now I am not being biased here because I know many sisters have also been involved in premarital sexual relationships as well. I am positive that the number of brothers outweigh the sisters by a long shot.

I give mad respect to the brother who holds himself together for his future wife. I have come across several of them. May Allah reward you. Truly, you are a gem.

Like I have mentioned, if the fear of fornication is not enough to deter you from premarital encounters then the fear of contracting one of the 3 H’s (Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis) should be enough.

Thirty minutes of gratification for a lifetime of misery.

You can keep that!

So many Muslims are concerned with female sexuality that we are not looking at the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on the proper way to tie your hijab in order not to distract a man we need to be discussing why many Muslim men of marriageable age are, quite frankly, not seeking spouses.

They are getting their needs met in other ways.

Why get married, financially support a wife when you can get booty on the side?

What is truly the incentive?

For some men they see no incentive with taking a wife when they can get what they want for free.

Just like a brother doesn’t want to marry a sister who has been around the block I have no interest in marrying someone who has “been around”. I think many sisters should stick to this approach when dealing with potential suitors.

Don’t settle.

Western culture correlates manhood with sexuality. Many men have fallen for this gimmick and this includes Muslim men.

Then I had this thought…

As a Muslim woman why am I not entitled to be open with my own sexuality? I am not talking about sleeping around here and being reckless with my body. Why am I not able to simply state that one of my motivations for getting married is to fulfill my sexual desires? As a woman even the mere mention of the word “sex” will throw most Muslims into cahoots and a fatwa frenzy. Though as a man its absolutely acceptable to be adamant in regards to his needs.

I think I smell something here called a …. DOUBLE STANDARD!

In many cultures you are not considered a “woman” until you are married and have been intimate with a man.

Bullshit.

What is so wrong with having preferences and being vocal about what you want and more importantly what you don’t?Quite frankly, I am disgusted by consistently being defined by a man or in relation to them. As women we are our own entity and deserve to think and speak for ourselves.

Sistas, sexually emancipate yourself and understand that there is nothing wrong with being honest with what Allah has placed within all of us…

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brothers, love, mosque, personal, segregation, stories

Black + Muslim + Woman

“It’s because you’re black.”

He repositioned himself in the chair, then looked down at his cup of coffee and grabbed the handle. I could tell this conversation made him uncomfortable.

He was from the subcontinent but had the swag of a black brotha. He said he was having a hard time find a sister from his background because he couldn’t relate to them.

“I’m sorry, it’s just my family wouldn’t be happy…” He said this apologetically while taking a small sip from his drink.

I looked at him from across the table before proceeding to give him a piece of my mind. But then I stopped myself.

Why was I shocked?

I thought about how this would have played out totally differently if I was a white girl, and laughed under my breath. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand my white sisters have their own set of problems when it comes to marriage. With that being said, I firmly believe that Black women get the shorter end of the stick. Bottom line.

Muslims like to boast about how Islam is such an accepting religion. We refer to the Prophet’s (pbuh) Black companions, such as Bilal, all the time. The stark reality is that many Muslim communities across the U.S. are blatantly prejudiced, insular and unwelcoming to Black folks. The rhetoric we hear in Friday sermons – being brothers to one another and one united family – is often absolutely hypocritical.

As a result, many Black Muslim women remain unmarried and chronically single.

I know many of these sistas.

I am one of them.

In many communities, Black Muslim women are viewed as the most undesirable women as far as marriage prospects. Black people are plagued with stereotypes and generalizations, and these attitudes have seeped into the fabric of our communities. Growing up in a predominantly Arab community, I understood racism at a very young age. As a girl, I was told that Muslims should marry from their “own people.” I realized early that I would not find a husband in that community but thankfully was able to disassociate my negative experiences with my understanding of Islam.

But the question still remains: who is accountable for the horror stories involved with being a Black Muslim in certain communities?

I hold the leaders responsible. Muslims are notorious for sweeping serious issues under the carpet, turning a blind eye, and pretending as though problems such as racism do not exist. We would rather focus on interfaith dialogue than address intrafaith issues or admit that we are the source of some of our problems.

Community leaders need to properly address race relations specifically when it comes to marriage. The Islamic concept of equality needs to not only be spoken of but actually implemented through the support and encouragement of interracial marriage. Leaders need to take a hard look at the demographics of their mosques and address diversity gaps and segregation. Open dialogue and constructive criticism is the key when it comes to addressing this crucial issue.

Like the brother I met over coffee, I know there are many Muslim men out there who prefer chocolate sistas but refrain from venturing further with those prospects due to family and cultural expectations. It is ok to have preferences when it comes to potential spouses but at the same time one must be open to new possibilities.  If your preferences are solely based on race, that’s a huge problem. Remember that Allah might send you what you need rather than what you want.

Don’t block love. An open mind and receiving heart will never lead you astray.

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brothers, love, marriage, personal, tips

SSS

I know a lot of single sistas.

A lot….

They are smart, beautiful, college educated and all around wonderful women.

But for one reason or another they remain chronically single.

I call this condition SSS.

Also known as…

Single Sista Syndrome.

The symptoms might include the following:
Loss of excitement when meeting new brothas.
Consistent complaining and mood swings.
Comparing oneself to others within the same social circle.
Overconsumption of food items containing chocolate.

*If these symptoms last for more than 5 years please contact your nearest mosque, wali or closest married girlfriend.

Now, I am all up for Muslim women being proactive when it comes to their love lives. I know my transparency makes many people uncomfortable. I like to look at myself as following the sunnah.

Yes, yall following the sunnah!

I am exemplifying the example of the strong Muslim women that have come before me.

And this includes taking my life seriously and knowing what I want in a man…

Women need to be open as to what type of man they want and not be shy when approaching these subjects. Cultural implications have led to many Muslim women across the world not taking an active role in their search for a life partner.

Shyness is one thing but not having a voice in YOUR affairs is another.

By no means am I negating the importance of having a male guardian. I am simply stating that YOU need to take ownership instead of sitting around and doing absolutely nothing. Yes, as Muslims we understand that qadr (destiny) is already predetermined but please remember that we play a significant part as well.

My sista, this is your life. Don’t allow others to dictate the important matters that will ultimately effect you in the end.

Now I will admit that I have been a victim of SSS.

Personally this was due to several factors…

Being a Black SistaQueen raised in a predominantly Palestinian community my chances of meeting someone were pretty slim. Tribal mentalities, pride, and the risk of having nappy headed grandbabies was enough to deter the brothas that even expressed the slightest of interest in me.

Now miracles happen all day errrrr’day!

But…

At one point I realized that I needed to take charge. Let it be known that I want to get married because I was not about to stay single forever.

Queens need kings, right?

Don’t be ashamed to have a standard. Don’t just marry the first fool that passes you and compliments your hijab. You will be with this person for the rest of your life and if you can’t see longevity then I suggest you reconsider.

The fall of my first marriage really put things into perspective for me. Many people in the community I was raised in look down on divorcees and if you’re a woman they’ll give you the shovel to dig your own grave.

Just know, that your self-worth and value should never be dependent on a man. YOU are an independent entity that deserves to love, be loved and bask in that love together forever!

I realized what I wanted and wasn’t ashamed to go after it, regardless of what people thought. I encourage you to do the same. Just be ready for criticism and judgement.

My sista, love is a beautiful thang when you find the person who is most deserving of you. Don’t be cold and harsh because there are many decent brothas out here looking for the same thing as you.

In 1987, LL Cool J admitted that he needed to be loved, but truth is that most men don’t express that emotional side.

Like I always say keep an open mind and a receiving heart.

We got this!

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love, stories, tips

Soul what

He told me he believed in soul mates.

I looked at him over my glasses with skepticism.

“Soul mates…” I whispered to myself inquisitively.

Not me…

This is something that I have thought of over and over again. It’s a frequent topic among my SistaQueens. The idea that you are made for someone and someone is made specifically for you. Some people are on a search their entire lives for this.

Absolute rubbish.

I like to consider myself a romantic. To be more specific I exude romanticism with a sprinkle of realism.

I firmly think there are many people out there you can be compatible with. Compatibility and “soul touching” are two different things. Sooo, what is “soul touching”? This is a term I use when you meet someone and you have an automatic connection. This does not only apply to romantic relationships but friendships as well. I can count on one hand the people I have met who fall into this category. The number of brothas would probably make up two fingers.

Once I met a brotha and he said he didn’t get the “feeling” when we would talk. I inquired and asked him what feeling he was referring to. He said “You know the feeling when you meet the one…” I was stifled and quiet for a couple minutes. “Do you expect fireworks to go off?” I asked. He looked at me and said nothing. Overall, it sounded like he watched too many Hollywood movies and his expectations of love were unrealistic. Of course there are some people you are not going to be drawn to and there are some you just aren’t connected with. When you are searching you must KOM (Keep an Open Mind) and be open to potentials. Love can come through many different avenues. Be open and receiving. Do not block.

Soul what that you don’t get whatever feeling you’re supposed to feel. If you’ve never felt it how do you know what it even is?

Sometimes I think people confuse lust with this type of love. Physiologically, your body goes haywire when this happens. There have been CT scans that show the stark differences between a person’s brain when they are in love as compared to when they aren’t.  Your body releases “feel good” hormones called endorphins.  If you are interested read this. It’s reasonable to see how most people would confuse the two. In my experiences men fall victim to this more than the ladies.

Of course I have met brothas who look good.

Real good…

These physical indicators never faze me for the most part. Now don’t get me wrong a Sista still daydreams from time to time! I am human.

Difference is I think long-term when I meet someone. All this other junk is temporary to me. I want to really get down to the bottom of things.

One of my constant prayers is that God gives me an open mind and a receiving heart while I am on this search.

Refrain from allowing societal expectations of love to dilute the reality of relationships.

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