brothers, tips

Gold diggin’ Sistas

Sistaqueens, the brothas have spoken…

They are reading and soaking up all these jewels I’m droppin’.

I have received several messages from the brothas asking me how to read the ladies.

Let’s start…

You’ve met a pretty sista. She’s everything you want in a woman. She is the epitome of modesty and flyness. What more could you ask for?

But, something isn’t right. She seems to be after more. You can never please her now.

At first the flowers and candy made her happy and giddy but she seems to be yearning for something else.

You’ve met the….

GOLD DIGGIN’ SISTA!

Now let me break this down for you. Men and women are after different things in a relationship. Most men want a pretty wife (sistas stop rolling your eyes. This is the reality!) They are physical by nature so they want someone who is the coolness to their eyes. Now with that being said, most women want a brotha who has his shit together.

His finances need to be on point.

BUT…

There is a huge difference between him having his finances together and a sista being unrealistic with her expectations.

My brotha, these are the signs you should look for in this type of sista.

1. Displeased. She’s never happy. You can never please her. No matter what you do the sista always wants more. This will set a precedence for your future marriage.  Listen my brotha, everything you do at this point is out of the kindness of your heart. You DON’T have to buy her presents but you are a gentleman and you know how to woo the ladies. I whole heartedly encourage you to do these things but pay attention to her reaction. Does she say “thank you”? Does she return the favor? What makes her extremely happy? Pay attention. Pay close attention.

2. Comparison. This type of sista will consistently compare herself to her friends. If they roll through with a new car best believe she is going to want one as well. Life for this type of sista is about showing off the goods you got. She enjoys bragging and is always side eyeing other chics to see what they have. She must be the top of her game and that ain’t no lie! She has a deep disdain for other women. This distrust is stemmed from the fact that she herself has skewed intentions with you. I would also suggest that you figure out what kind of friends she has. This will tell you a lot about her character.

3. Lazy. Most of these sistas are lazy. If they had their own money they would not be after yours. They always want the easy way out and you hold that key to their financial security. Why make my own money and work my tail off in school when I can find a brotha who can give me all of that and more… Needless to say she lacks career motivation. Now don’t get this mistaken. A lot of sistas have the dream of being stay at home mothers. Please don’t confuse that with laziness. Gold diggin’ sistas use whatever resources they have to get what they want. Most women, even Muslim ones, will use their looks to get what they want. Some of us will even play the “shy never been kissed” role to get what we truly desire.

4. Perception. How does she view the needy? Does she believe in volunteer work or bettering her community? Gauge and see where she is at with this. A very good way to do this is to see how she views those on public aid. Perhaps she might even feel entitled. Like she is meant to have certain luxuries in life.

5. Interests. Figure out what her basic interests are. If she enjoys shopping every weekend on daddy’s credit card that should be a red flag. Gold diggin’ sistas give very obvious hints. You just have to be paying attention and not dismiss these red flags.

Yes, ya’ll I keep it real! OK!

Hopefully these tips helped and gave you some insight as to how you can spot these sistas out.

Like I said earlier, if it doesn’t look right or smell right then chances are it probably ain’t right!

 

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Single in Ramadan: An Action Plan

Ramadan Greetings!

The excitement is in the air. I can feel it! Ramadan is here!!!

So, we are in the midst of another Ramadan and you just realized that you are *still* single.

Time to get those duas ready…

On a serious note…

Ramadan is a time filled with gatherings and social functions. With that being said it can be a lonely time for someone who is not connected to a particular community and even more lonesome for the single Muslim.

Let me help you understand.

I grew up in a practicing Muslim family. Needless to say Ramadan is a very big deal for my family and I. My mother will only cook certain foods during that time, such as her famous Turkish bread! The house stays decorated with bulb lights and our house is never empty. As a child my house was on and poppin’ during Ramadan!

When I got married I took the same energy to my own household. I enjoyed spending Ramadan with my then husband. We would attend social gatherings, the mosque and even break the fast at my family’s house. All of that was fun and exciting but the time I valued the most was when we would sit together and pray. There are many levels of intimacy that you share with a partner. Spiritual intimacy can be the most personal and uplifting. The first Ramadan I celebrated post divorce felt strange. Even though I didn’t miss him very much, I felt the void of being companion-less and needed the spiritual energy that I could only find in a partner.

I am going to give you some tips and pointers on how to combat this loneliness so you can make the most of your Ramadan.

1. Admit it. Dude, just face it. This is your reality. You are lonely and it is OK. Remember, its normal to want a partner. Like I always say, there are very few creatures that Allah created who live happily in solitude. The first way to address a problem is to admit that one exists. You are sick of being single. It’s not all its cracked up to be. Now, lets figure out solutions to combat how you are feeling!

2. Social Life 101. Take your social life to new heights. There is so much to do during this month. Find some other single Muslim folks and figure out what’s going on in your community. Find someone who you trust and lean on them when you feel lonely. There is no excuse to feel like you are “alone”, especially during Ramadan. Along with that, utilize Facebook and crash some iftars or lectures if need be. Even if you have to go to an iftar by yourself I recommend going! Unlock that social butterfly!

3. Keep Lookin’. Now if you are serious about finding a spouse then Ramadan is the best time to do so. You know Muslims come out the woodwork during this month! Keep them eyes wide open. Don’t blink. Attend more social gatherings, community iftars (breaking of the fast/dinner) and religious events. You never know, perhaps your future spouse is lurking around. Also, be sure to look your best during this month. Sistaqueens, pull out them fancy hijab. Make sure your eyeliner and eyebrows are on point! Brothas, wear your best oils and put lotion on them ashy ankles! Not only do you want to look good in the state of worship but you never know who is checking you out. Remember, I KIR (Keep It Real)…

4. Masjid hop. Attend a different mosque. Visit a community you have never been to. Praying in congregation will help lessen your loneliness. Do not isolate yourself. That’s the worst thing to do during Ramadan! This is a time for community involvement. Stay busy doing something.

If you are someone who has your social life on point then I highly recommend that you reach out to those who who need a little push.

May Allah reward you and allow you to take advantage of this blessed month…

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For the love of music

Single in the City

Love, InshAllah

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It was really cold. I was starting to get annoyed.

I was on the platform waiting for the morning train. I looked down at my watch then quickly stuffed my hand back in my pocket. “Four minutes late…” I muttered to myself.

Anyone from Chicago can testify that our winters are horrendous. No matter how long you live here you will never get used to winter in the Windy City. I always complain about how my “African blood” can’t handle this harsh weather, yet through all my fussing I can never leave the city that I love so dearly.

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brothers, marriage

Broke Brothas

Money…

It’s important to most women. A majority of us need to feel like we are going to be financially secure within a relationship. The idea of venturing into a marriage with a brotha who is not financially stable is scary for the most part.

Now, I have realized a couple things. Sistas, take notes because this might change how you view brothas who you deem “broke”.

Let me break it down for you. I put “broke brothas” into three categories:

Broke dreamers. These brothas are really hopeful and bright eyed. They are hard workers and always on the grind. You will find them doing random jobs or working on some “big idea”. They have goals and aspirations but can’t seem to get it movin’. He would give you the world if he could. One thing to remember is that you will always have to have a steady job if you decide to stick it out with one of these brothas. Most of them are sincere, honest and trying their best. They just can’t focus and get to where they want to be. You just need to realize and expect tough times. Sometimes they just need a sista who can give them direction. If you are up for the challenge there are many of them lurking around. I advise you to determine what he wants out of life before starting a relationship.

Broke smarties. These brothas are the ones who are in school. I’m talking about the future engineers, doctors and intellectuals. These brothas have A LOT of potential. Most of them are turned off by the idea of marriage because they know they aren’t stable enough to support a wife and potential family. Also, they have been rejected by many sistas because they ain’t got no money. Most want to be married but remain single due to the financial constraint. His money is going elsewhere right now. College tuition, textbooks and ramen noodles are just to name a few. He’s broke as a joke. He wants to be married. He’s just waiting for that one sista who will see past his bank account. They are lurking all over campuses and MSA’s (Muslim Student Assocation). You might even find one in your local library gettin’ his study on. If you have the ability to be patient with a brotha you might be able to benefit from him later on. Remember what I said earlier. Don’t block love. Also, best believe once he graduates those sista will be on him!

Broke jokers. Now these brothas right here… They have been broke a long time. VERY LONG… What makes this bad is that he is perfectly comfortable being broke. They are always scheming and trying to come up with a cheap way to make money. These are the brothas who might take you out and if you pay for dinner they wouldn’t budge. They pretend like they have more money than they actually do. More than likely they will have the latest kicks on and their rims will be shining. They are show offs. Flaunting around the little money they got. Sistaqueen, it’s all a facade. ALL OF IT. It’s easy to get stuff on credit. Remember that.

This gives you something to think about. Look at each case individually. Sistaqueens, also remember never be 100% financially dependent on a man. Even if you marry someone who is really banking remember that money can disappear just as quickly as it was made.

Make your own way.

Don’t follow his.

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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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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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marriage, tips

Whatta Man

I’m an old school hip hop head. I was jamming out to some old Salt-N-Pepa and this song got me thinking.

I did promise that this blog would consist of pointers geared towards the brothas. Well, today is all for you! I know it is hard. You are really trying to figure this all out. Muslim women come off as intimidating. At the end of the day we are still women and desire the same things as non-Muslim women. I especially feel for those of you have converted to Islam. Muslim women are a totally different ball game!

So, you really want to know?

What are Muslim women looking for? What do we really want in a Muslim man?

I am going to give you an idea. Get your pen and paper ready…

  1. Handles the business. We want a man who can handle his stuff. He should have his finances right and be able to provide for a family. Now before you start rolling your eyes or doubting yourself keep in mind that we ain’t asking you to be a millionaire. A majority of us have jobs and don’t need you as a main source of income. We just need to know that you can handle the finances. Women need to feel financially secure.
  2. Follow the leader. There is nothing more attractive than a man who has excellent leadership qualities. He is solid, confident and just. He knows when to consult wifey. He is firm yet understanding. We want to be sure that when an issue arises you’ll have the answers. Even though you are a good leader it’s a very fine line between having a whacked ego. Don’t be shy to consult us for advice. He is ambitious and has a plan. These men are the ones who get the ladies. We are drawn to them.
  3. Mushy Gushy. Most, not all, women like a brotha to be affectionate and caring. I know know societal factors indicate it’s not very masculine to show affection towards your wife but a smart man understands the importance of this. Hold her hand, gently touch her or kiss her. Show her that she means the world to you. Sometimes this can be as simple as saying “I love you” when she least expects it. Most of us will say we want a sensitive man but then we talk crap about you when you cry all over the place. I love me a sensitive brotha who is in touch with his emotions. An experience slightly changed my opinion. I knew a brotha who would cry after Bollywood movies. All the time… Ya’ll know where that went…
  4. All ears. We love to talk, talk and then talk some more. You need to listen. Listen intently. Not while you are on Facebook or playing video games.  I know you don’t really care that I had the most awful hijab day at work. Most of the time we are not seeking advice, we’re simply letting steam off. This is all part of the female psyche.  It might not be important to you but she is important to you. Listen to her ramble because it’s part of the package. After she is done say something along these lines, “Honey boo boo pie, I am so sorry you had a bad hijab day at work. I think you look great, as always.” Look at her when you say this. Not at the T.V.
  5. Only one. Nothing is wrong with being a tad bit possessive or jealous. Most women want to feel like they are the only one. This pointer is based on circumstance though. Since there are some brothas and sistas involved in polygamous relationships there are exceptions to this rule. This piece of advice is geared towards those who are committed strictly to one another. Don’t have casual relationships with other women since this leads to suspicion. The “only friends” excuse is mumbo jumbo.
  6. The “S” word. She has needs as well so approach her correctly. Sexuality is often defined by the individual but most women approach sex in a totally different manner than men do. We often like is slower and at our own pace. Do not rush or get too eager. Be open with your communication when it comes to what she likes or dislikes. She might be shy to tell you what she wants. NEVER assume that because you are enjoying it that she is as well. Have an honest dialogue and be open to pleasing her. Good sex is a very fundamental element in a successful relationship. Allah gave you the tools now use them correctly my brotha!
  7. Presents. We lovvveeee gifts. Random gifts and surprises make every woman happy! Also, it gives you extra brownie points. You never know you might need a favor, right? The exchanges of gifts soften the heart. I’m not talking diamonds or cars here. It’s the simple stuff such as flowers, candies, etc… I call these “everyday gifts” because we save the big gifts for Eid.

Once you know and understand these concepts it’s really not that difficult to keep your woman happy. It’s the brothas who don’t know who complain about women being difficult creatures from another planet.

Now you know…

Spread the knowledge…

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