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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tips, womanhood

Womanhood and the Muslimah

As soon as she opened the door I was met with the smell of simmering spices and warm food. I carefully took my boots off trying not to get snow on the plush creme carpet. I was greeted with kind and familiar smiles as I walked into the house. It was a typical December evening in Chicago. The kind of weather where your face went numb if you stayed out in the cold too long. I was relieved to be behind closed doors. Both my body and spirit were marinating in the warmth that surrounded me.

These type of gatherings were rare when the temperature reached subzero digits, so naturally I looked forward to the comradery of sisterhood, laughs and good spirits. We talked about various topics which included work, school, politics and of course marriage (for those of us that were married) and dating ventures (for those of us who were on the prowl).

The conversation shifted to womanhood and it left me with several thoughts.

What does it truly mean to be a carefree, spiritual and emancipated woman?

I’m talking about a woman not burdened with societal and cultural baggage. Many would say this is not possible in Islam, but I disagree. Throughout the last several years of my late twenties I have found solace not only in myself but, simply put, being myself.

There is a huge difference between the two and I believe many women use other people or standards to define who they are. Respecting your individuality is a huge component in becoming the woman you are destined to be.

I can not say this without paying attention to the reality that there are consequences to being a woman without inhibition.

Most people will misunderstand you.

Period.

Every time I hear Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” I often imagine her supplicating this song. If you closely listen to the words it is a prayer. She lays her problems in front of Allah and pleads for Him to aid her. She reminds Him that “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good”. As most know Nina was a woman who, herself, was often misunderstood by the world.

So, I thought as a woman these are the main points of judgement many of us face (irregardless of your ethnicity or religious affiliation) at some point in our lives:

*How you dress.
* Your relationship status.
*What you say.

These three things will be the judging ground for society. If you allow they will ultimately rule your life. You, as a woman, must endure it.

Men will use this as a means to see if you’re suitable for marriage and other women will use this as leverage for comparison. Being a woman, particularly a Muslim woman, means that you must adhere to certain expectations without fault. Men on the other hand are given the leeway to have fault. This is a privilege of manhood.

This is just the way the world works. Again, a reality you must accept.

You will often be misunderstood. If you are single (by choice or circumstance) folks will not get it. They will question if something is wrong with you or perhaps why no one wants you. Additionally, you may wear hijab, may not or perhaps you only cover some of the time. You will not only be judged on the frequency of when you wear it but how you wear it.

Or perhaps you are the type of woman who is strong willed, vocal and firm in your opinions. You are often, again, misunderstood. People will tell you to tone it down. You may even be reminded that men don’t like women who “talk” too much. Reality is that most of these men are insecure and use your strong personality as their excuse. Perhaps this will lead to you changing fundamental parts of your character to fit into what society wants of you.

Keep in mind that there are ways you can combat these stigmas. Walk at your own pace not following the steps of someone else. Our identity should not be solely wrapped in how society or Islam views us. As women we should all be the sole definer of our lives.

I am all woman. I am all Muslim. I am all Black. I am so much more.

Be true to your womanly ways and never apologize for being you.

 

 

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