marriage, personal, stories, Uncategorized

Hot Hijabis

He saw me from across the room. I pretended like I was distracted so he wouldn’t approach me. In my peripheral I could see him making his way through the crowd. I turned around trying to use one last-ditch effort. Perhaps he would not think its me is what I thought to myself…

Then I remembered I was the only one wearing a hijab. A bright fuchsia one at that.

I laughed under my breath.

My efforts didn’t work because I felt him coming up behind me. I turned back around.

“Heyyyyyy!” I said smiling and trying to look pleasantly surprised.

“I haven’t seen you in a long time. Where have you been?” He asked.

He smelled good and my mind was starting to wander.

I took a deep breath in and reminded myself to focus.

“I’m good. The usual, busy with work and stuff,” I responded.

He took a moment, looked down and studied his hands. Then looked back up at me.

“You know, I understand you got this religion thing going on. You should still let me take you out. Just a nice dinner or something…” He said.

This was going to be the second time I refused his offers.

I took a deep breath in.

He still smelled good…

____________________________

Many non-Muslim men have a fascination with Muslim women, especially those of us that cover. Living in a culture where it is culturally acceptable for women to walk around scantily dressed it is strange for some to see women who independently choose to dress modestly.

Folks fail to realize that you can be pretty hot in a hijab (a term used to describe the dress code for Muslim women. This includes the headscarf).

I meet an array of people working in a busy emergency room. Many times my patients have asked about the significance of my hijab. Interestingly enough, most of the questioning is done by men. One man told me that he was drawn to the idea of a woman covering and only showing herself to people who would honor and respect her.

I can dig that.

I’ve had many non-Muslim men approach me and many of them step up correct. Remember, men are hesitant when approaching women to begin with. If you have a hijab on most men are going to be extra cautious because they are unsure what is culturally acceptable. They might compliment your hijab or spark up a small conversation in order to get to know you. Sadly, many of them have been far more respectful towards me than my Muslim brothas.

In my situation (and many other SistaQueens I know) hijab has not been a deterrent for men. If anything it attracts men who have a spiritual and conscious mindset towards you. Now if you are talking about the Black community hijab does not deter men at all! Head covering has always been a distinct part of our culture.

So, would I ever consider marrying a non-Muslim man?

Never.

I’d rather stay single my entire life. May Allah forbid.

Have I thought about accepting one of their offers?

Certainly.

But…

You see, with this whole marriage process you have to think long-term. I’m talking marriage here. The rest of my life. My companion. My lover. My baby daddy. Now, I need you to be gettin’ your prayer in! I need you to fast with me during Ramadan. I need to be able to discuss Islam with you. I need you to push me when my iman (faith) ain’t where it is supposed to be. If you’re not Muslim how can I expect that from you?

Once you realize this it is easy to make a decision and narrow your focus. This life is full of temptation. Do not fall victim to your desires.

Now a SistaQueen ain’t judging. If you have taken the risk of marrying a non-Muslim man I know you understand the consequences that accompany that. (SN: For those of you who think this doesn’t exist then wake up and smell the humus!) You’ve probably lost friends and your community. It’s hard to find a place where you feel welcomed. Always remember Islam and Allah. Do not let the reaction of people deter you from Islam.

Again, I remind you the key is to think long-term when it comes to relationships and marriage. Short term gratification is easy to find.

You are a SistaQueen. Know your value.

Wear that crown proudly…

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Me, Myself & I

If you haven’t heard of the book Love, InshAllah – The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim women then you are sleeping under a rock! I am delighted to be joining their blog as a monthly columnist. Check out my column “Single in the City” and my first post “Me, Myself & I”.

Love, InshAllah

Editor’s note: Writer Ihssan Tahir is coming on board as a LoveinshAllah.com monthly columnist! Look for her column, “Single in the City,” the last Wednesday of the month.

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I’ve learned many things since my divorce. It has been a time of self-reflection and discovery. I am a firm believer that there is a lesson to be learned in all situations; this includes the good and bad.

The most profound – and difficult – thing I’ve learned is to be alone.

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The pitfall of segregation

Since I’ve been looking for a husband I’ve met plenty of suitors. Many of them have been married to non-Muslim women at one point or another. I have been trying to come up with a practical reason as to why this is taking place within our communities. Some seem legitimate while others are just nerve racking.

Typically if I am speaking to a brother I will inquire as to why he chose a non-Muslim woman over a Muslim. I usually get one out of two responses:

1. There were no Muslim women around.

2. Ya’ll are too intimidating and expect too much.

Let me break it down for you right here, right now.

At first I would get all “sista girl” on them and start going off. I would stress the point that I knew so many single, beautiful, educated Muslim women. Why go anywhere else? I beat that one into the ground.

Him: “Well, where are they at?”

Me: “EVERYWHERE!”

Then I realized everywhere was actually nowhere. That epiphany made me feel kinda dumb. In what setting are we allowed to freely mix and get to know people with the intention of getting married? Besides awkward matrimonial mixers and friends trying to hook you up Muslim men and women don’t stand a chance.

Only difference is Muslim men can marry non-Muslim women when they’re fed up.

We just remain chronically single.  So, where would I like to meet my future husband?

The mosque…

I think things are far too segregated. It’s not conducive to finding a spouse. The chances of that happening are next to nothing. I have been to some mosques where the segregation is absolutely ridiculous. How in the heck am I supposed to meet anyone if I am behind a curtain with the door closed on the balcony?! If hookups can’t happen in the mosque then what else is a Muslim man or woman to do?

I still do not have the answer to that question.

So, I ask the Muslim man this: If a majority of you are marrying non-Muslim women then who are we supposed to marry?

First off, if Islam is important to you then you would never consider marrying outside of the religion. Any attempt to do that means that Islam ain’t all that important in your life. If that’s what you want to do go ahead Brotha. I’m not passing judgement. Just don’t start crying and threatening a divorce when the kids are running around in Halloween costumes and she’s reminding you that it’s time to mail out Christmas photos. She wasn’t Muslim when you married her. You can’t expect her to give up her customs and traditions. If you really cared all that much you would have married a Muslim woman from the jump. When it’s just you and her it’s fine but once you throw kids into the mix it’s a totally different story. Real talk. Also, give her the rights she deserves. Just because she isn’t Muslim does not mean you can treat her just anyway. Karma baby, karma…

We all know it is hard to be single but you have to think long-term when it comes to marriage. You must view marriage as an enhancement in your life. Sure you are going to have your rough moments but don’t go into a situation blindly. Never expect anyone to change. As Maya Angelou said “The first time someone shows who they are, believe them.” Words of wisdom.

Think wisely. It’s your life.

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So, it begins…

This blog is not intended for the faint of heart. Rather it is geared towards Muslims who have an interest in discussing love, relationships and sexuality. Perhaps you might be a single person on the quest for love, happily married or still healing from a divorce. This is a welcoming and non judgmental space for all. Welcome.

I am a woman on a mission to find a Muslim husband and lately I’ve realized that there is no space to openly discuss my experiences. So, I’ve created my own. Welcome to MUSLIMnLOVE. This is not a space where I will attempt to explain Islamic rulings. This point needs to be stressed. I am in no way certified and that’s why we have imams and scholars. This blog is based on my experiences, joys, and struggles with being a single Black Muslim woman.

Time to break it down…

The single sista: I understand your struggle. I know you have had your share of bad encounters and awkward sit downs. It’s just the rules of the game, right? You’ve probably heard people say that you have to kiss a ton of frogs before making it to your prince. That’s absolute bull shit. Some of these brothas are just plain whack. I know you wish they would just stop playing games and get with the program. Well, I’m here to share my stories with you. Some are funny and others not so much. Sit back and put your feet up. We have a lot to talk about, SistaQueen.

The inquisitive brotha: You want an insight. An insight into the mind of the single Muslim woman. Perhaps you are looking for tips and pointers. I’m here to help you with that. As a Muslim woman I know its intimidating to approach us but believe me we aren’t about to approach you! So, that kinda leaves us in a conundrum. You know what I’m talking about. Those awkward stares at the ISNA bazaar or  trying to hook up after MSA meetings. I know, it’s not working for you. You just don’t know what the average Muslim sista wants. It’s ok, I feel your pain. So, take that kufi off and get those fruit loops out your beard. You’re ready to learn.

The Salafi: I’m not quite sure why you are reading this but I welcome you into my world! I know you’ve probably said “astagfirullah” under your breath about a dozen times now. It’s ok, I know you are curious. Aren’t we all? Don’t mention it to your bearded gang or niqabi clad sisters. They might ask for a daleel or something. It’s our secret. It might be difficult for you to handle my frankness and if that’s the case I suggest you stop reading now. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for you having a massive heart attack. I have enough on my plate to worry about.

The non-Muslim: You’re probably wondering how we get married. I’m not going to lie because our marriage process is somewhat involved. Parents, dowry’s, cultural crap… Yes, it is a lot. Hopefully I will help you understand and perhaps we’ll reach a point and you’ll see that “courting” isn’t really so different from dating.

Now that we are done with that let me introduce myself! I have been divorced for three and a half years. Such is life, right? I work as an RN and my specialty is emergency medicine. I also have a passion for health care reform so I do a lot of work with those who are under insured or lack health coverage all together. I am a 20-something year old SistaQueen from Chicago. I am of African descent and refer to myself as a daughter of the diaspora. By now you can tell that I am Muslim. Even though I don’t like labels I would probably classify myself as a moderate. This blog is a branch off my Facebook posts.

My family and friends have been encouraging me to blog about my experiences of finding a husband. I have been very candid about this whole process and I intend on remaining so throughout this blog. I appreciate honesty and openness so I hope you do as well.

Let the fun begin!

-MUSLIMnLOVE

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