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Second Chances

She rubbed her stomach in a slow circular motion. Her fingers grazed her belly button with each stroke. She watched her hand rub, rub and rub some more. She rubbed with such an intensity as if the touching of her protruding stomach would somehow help ease her thoughts. It was like her hand had a mind of its own. She was tired and could barely get out of bed that morning. She threw on a pair of jeans and tossed a hijab on top of her uncombed hair.

Her eyes shifted to the door.

She stopped the mindless rubbing.

The nurse called some name and the girl next to her sighed with an undertone of impatience. The office looked like you stepped back into the 80’s. It smelled of moth balls and disinfectant. A plant that needed watering sat in the corner. The leaves were starting to turn brown and curl inward. She almost felt like getting a cup of water from the fountain nearby and pouring it into the soil, if only it was as easy to nourish the pain in her heart. Her soul needed watering. Everything around her was moving in slow motion, except for her thoughts. Her mind was racing at a mile a minute.

She had two options.

It was plain and clear.

Keep it or don’t keep it.

She knew what it meant to keep the baby. She would probably never get married. Her family would be shamed from here to eternity and her life would essentially be over. A form of suicide but the worse part about that was she wouldn’t actually be dead. She would still be living and going through the motions of life.

She would rather be dead.

Again, plain and clear.

Getting rid of the baby meant that she could go on as if nothing happened. This would be a hard secret to keep. She didn’t feel like her heart could bear to hold it. She had never been a liar and the thought of murdering her baby made all the blood rush to her head. She felt faint. Her eyes closed as her head fell back and rested on the wall behind her. She whispered “Allah” under her breath. This was a call for clarity mixed with a yearning for forgiveness. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Babies were never a mistake.

This baby was a manifestation of their passion. She loved him. He loved her. She knew exactly when she got pregnant but she was still in denial when she missed her period two months in a row. Your mind will convince you to believe anything. Afterwards, he rolled over and wrapped his big arms around her. She kissed him. He always liked to whisper in her ear after they made love. He would tell her how beautiful she was and thank her for giving him a piece of her love. She could always tell if he was being honest by the look in his eyes. The room was dark and strips of moonlight crept through the blinds. She looked at him and he didn’t blink. He knew she was looking for sincere eyes. Even as dark as the room was she could still look into them. His eyes were deep brown and bright as ever. His warmth radiated around her. She was nestled in him and at that moment in time she didn’t want to be anywhere else. Her eyes closed and she could hear him falling asleep. His breathing pattern slowed down. She rubbed her fingers through his beard. He still held her tightly as he fell asleep. This was love but you couldn’t convince their families though. She never understood why old people acted like they had never been young and in love. She swore up and down she would never become like them. They both pleaded with their parents to allow them to get married. By that point he had approached her father three times and each time it ended with a rejection and a culturally appropriate request not to return. She knew this hurt his pride but he was a man and would never admit it. They were going to be together regardless but like everything in life she knew there would be consequences.

She knew this was a possibility. Every time you lay up with a man you risk the chance of getting pregnant. This was basic knowledge but she got caught up with him. It started off innocent and sweet. She held onto her virginity the way good Muslim girls are taught. By the time she reached twenty-five it was getting harder to maintain herself. They would meet up at events, then that lead to dinners and eventually he began inviting her over to his place. In the beginning he even gave her his bed as he crashed on the sofa. At the thought of this she laughed under her breath at its stupidity. Shaytan did his work and had them both thinking they were in control. The first time they had sex there was a sense of remorse and guilt. Afterwards they immediately turned away from each other as though nothing had happened. The shame of sin had kicked in. She rolled out from under the covers and quickly put her clothes on. She couldn’t believe it had happened. As she left his house she could still smell him on her. She had held onto her virginity for all those years and to lose it that quickly almost seemed unfair. She had never felt so dirty but he ignited a flame inside her body that could only be cooled by him. It felt natural. She would try to ward off the flames of desire and sometimes she would succeed but when they became uncontrollable she needed him. Every time they vowed to never to repeat this sin but one thing led to the next and before she knew it she’d be wrapped up in his bed sheets once again. This is what had led her to this point.

Marriage was what she wanted. It was what they both wanted from the beginning. She blamed her parents, her community and cultural bullshit. Islam was easy but Muslims made it hard. She was being pushed away but she needed her community. She needed to be reminded of where she came from. Hindsight is always 20/20, no doubt. She understood the consequences of her actions. Actually, they both understood the consequences of their actions but she was the one who carried the tangible manifestation of what they had done.

No one had explained these things to her though. Everything she learned about sex was from her peers and TV. No one actually sat her down and explained sex and its implications. Sex was always seen as a shame. As a woman you were not allowed to admit that you had the desire to be desired, even if you were within the confines of a marriage. It was often discussed with brides the night before their wedding in hushed voices behind closed doors. Some people said this was related to Islam but she had been educated enough to know that this was a cultural understanding. In Islam, women were sexually liberated and their needs were always acknowledged.

The door opened and the plump nurse walked out with a clipboard in her hand. She lifted her glasses and looked at it puzzlingly. She uttered something with exaggerated syllables that didn’t sound even remotely close to her name. She didn’t care and didn’t even bother correcting the nurse. She made eye contact and acknowledged her presence without words. Worried that the shame she was carrying deep inside her womb would surface she quickly averted her eyes to the floor.

Her mind had been made up.

______________

I remember when a friend of mine disappeared. I remember the pain and worry I felt when I couldn’t find her. Her number changed, her Facebook page vanished and I lost contact with her for nearly three years. I had heard that she got caught up with a brother and decided to take some time to recover from a failed attempt at getting married. Years later, I bumped into her and to my surprise she had a toddler strapped on her hip. I remember she looked happy and I was overjoyed to see her after years of not being in contact. I found out that in those years she had a son and had finally decided to come out and be part of the Muslim community once again. She said she did this for the sake of her child. She couldn’t raise him on her own and needed to be around other Muslims.

At the time, I had a mix of emotions. I was upset and hurt. I didn’t understand why she had to go into hiding but I began to understand the hard decision she had to make. She was all alone. My mind shifted to the feeling of loneliness she probably felt and the fact that she had very few people to confide in. I wanted to be there for her because as a young Muslim woman I understood the struggle of being single and alone. The reality remains that it is easy to get caught up and you have to be diligent and mindful of Shaytan and his tricks. I admired her courage for coming back but I admired her even more for keeping her child under cultural and religious pressures.

Muslim women who get pregnant out of wedlock need to be encouraged to keep their seeds but there is no way this can happen without collective community support. As women, we have to give each other a break and understand that it is very easy to judge a person when you haven’t been put in the same predicament. Each one of us navigate a different road in life. Life is full of challenges and we all face circumstances different from the next. I have witnessed Muslim men bring their pregnant girlfriends to the mosque. Absolutely no shame in their game and they aren’t reprimanded.

Let a sista repeat…

I’ve actually witnessed Imams encourage these men to bring their girlfriends to the mosque in hope that these women will convert to Islam. Yet, when a Muslim woman gets pregnant she goes into hiding or gets an abortion. Sometimes she leaves Islam all together. What about the child? What about her spiritual wellbeing?

The double standards are for real and I refuse to accept them.

The dehumanizing associated with Islam needs to stop. Muslims are people and fall into sin just like any other group. When did religiosity and infallibility become so closely intertwined? As sincere Muslims, we all hope to stay on the path of truth and righteousness but in reality sometimes we take a detour or some of us just take a break and get off the path all together. We would rather trample over each other and judge a person when they are having a difficult time getting back up. So rather than offering a helping hand we kick them down even further when they make sincere efforts to get back into our communities. What happens when Allah has allowed a person to come back? What happens when He has ignited their hearts once again? Lending a helping hand to a person who has fallen victim to life doesn’t mean you agree with their actions it simply means you are empathizing.

Marriage is not difficult but Muslims make these things more complicated than they ought to be. If two young people express interest in each other why aren’t we allowing them to get married? Then we wanna get mad and judgmental when folks get caught up in certain situations. The older I get I hear of far too many people getting caught up simply based on the fact that their community or parents didn’t allow the marriage to progress. This is a huge problem in many Muslim communities. It usually falls into these two categories, either the brother isn’t financially ready (so the family rejects) or the family doesn’t agree with interracial/intercultural marriages.

In addition, we need to teach our young people about sex. In an ideal world and according to Islam abstinence is taught but in reality folks are getting it in. Young Muslims need to properly understand sex and its implications. Contraception, STD’s/STI’s and pregnancies need to be discussed with a culturally sensitive approach. There needs to be no shame associated with this. If we aren’t teaching the youngins’ then they are learning elsewhere. Expecting people to navigate the roads of life without proper guidance is absolutely unrealistic. Our communities need to take some responsibility.

You will never know the inner struggles of a person. Kindness and empathy always overpower.

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Ice Cube & Jummah

Recently I was having one of those days.

You know the ones when you’re really feelin’ yourself.

Outfit was on point, weather was nice and I had a fly cheetah print hijab on. Not only that but it was Friday so I was in a really good mood.

There was nothing more I could ask for. My red car glistened in the sun as I drove down Stony Island Avenue. In my Ice Cube voice “It was a good day.”

I was thankful and blessed.

You couldn’t tell a sista nothin’…

I was on the south side of Chicago and I decided to go to jummah nearby. I rolled into a mosque I was somewhat familiar with and soaked in the sermon. After jummah, I gave the greeting to the familiar faces I saw put my shoes on and made my way out.

I was walking back to my car. I crossed the street and headed towards the open parking lot. First thing I noticed was that my car was blocked in by two vehicles. It looked like it would be a game of Tetris trying to get out of that lot. I thanked Allah under my breath for having a small car. I was strategically parked at the end all the way in the corner.

I pulled my keys out of my purse as the gravel crunched under my shoes. As I opened my door I heard someone say “Asaalamu alaikum sister.”

I looked over and realized there was a brother sitting in the car next to where I was parked. Like myself he was patiently waiting in the post-jummah traffic jam. He poked his head out of the window and smiled.

I returned the greeting and kindly smiled back before closing my door.

It was mad hot outside. I got in my car, started the engine and rolled down the windows.

“I like your car.” He said. I couldn’t tell if he was looking at my car or at me because of his huge sunglasses. One thing though, I could tell he was slightly nervous by the almost unnoticeable quiver in his voice.

“Thanks, its a good car. Very reliable” I said shyly.

I could hear the reggae playing in his car. He turned the music down.

“I’ve never seen you here before. So you come to this mosque often?” He asked.

I knew where this was going but I thought let me not shut the brotha down right away. He had the guts to initiate conversation and he did so after jummah for that matter! Plus, it would be kinda awkward ignoring him as I was stuck in the lot. A sista couldn’t run even if she wanted to.

Plus you already know the deal…

Muslim men say Muslim women (specifically hijabis) are hard to talk to. Muslim women say Muslim men never attempt to initiate conversation.

“Naw, not really. I was just in the area and decided to stop by. The khutbahs (sermon) always seems to be relevant here.” I said.

I looked in my rear view mirror to see if there was any progress. The cars were still empty. I guess folks were trying to get their Friday blessings in and putting extra sunnah prayers in.

I could see him in my peripheral. His body language indicated he wanted to say more. During the eleven minute hiatus he told me about his family and profession.

As folks headed back to their cars and the sound of engines echoed in the parking lot he said this, “Sister, I’m really just looking for a wife. I know its forward of me but I have to start somewhere. No better place to meet a sister than at the masjid after jummah, right?” This came out of his mouth with such sincerity.

The brother had a point.

After much thought I realized I wasn’t mad at him. He was simply doing what he needed to do in order to find a partner. He made his intentions perfectly clear.

No disrespect involved.

I know y’all ain’t gonna admit it but we’ve all scoped the scene out after jummah, Eid prayer and at lectures.

Stop frontin’…

You see, the way some men approach women makes us feel violated at times. Most women have felt like that at some point or another.

I didn’t feel violated or grossed out after our conversation ended. My dignity and self-respect was still intact.

Then I thought about how a couple of years ago I would have totally written this brotha off. I probably would have flipped my cheetah hijab, said “astagfirullah” under my breath, given him an eye roll (maybe with a neck roll for added emphasis) and zoomed off in my mini red car. Getting older, wiser (hopefully!), and experienced has honestly allowed me to see the “human” in people.

Many Muslims like to view themselves as the ideal Muslim (at least in public) but no one realizes that this is something we all aspire to become. We all want to reach a level of religious perfection and utter obedience.

But what does being a “good” Muslim really mean? Why do we deny ourselves the right to emotionally express our human needs and then equate that with religiosity?

It just doesn’t make sense to me. Acknowledge your basic needs as the human that Allah created you to be.

It’s not a weakness and at that moment I realized that,

I could not fault him.

I could not ridicule him.

I could only empathize with him.

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Mix it up…

Recently, I did a matrimonial singles mixer at ISNA’s (Islamic Society of North America) annual conference in Washington, DC. Besides it being a complete disaster (due to the consistent lack of diversity) I had fun for the most part bettering my interpersonal skills (notice a sista is being all positive and shit). I’ll be the first to admit they are awkward and nerve wracking. You’ll have that butterfly feeling in the pit of your stomach the entire time but believe me there are ways to combat this or at the very least conceal your nervousness. Here are my tips and pointers on how to handle yourself at these mixers:

1. Not alone. Remember everyone is there for the same exact reason you are. Everyone is on the quest for true love. You are not alone on this search. Don’t allow your ego to get the best of you. Some people think that attending these functions makes them appear “desperate” or as popular culture states “thirsty”. If wanting a husband labels me as thirsty then give me a tall glass of water because I am parched!

2. Keep it 100. Be real. Don’t play games and pretend you are something that you aren’t. Most people can sense a poser from a mile away. You want to attract the positivity in the place so be honest first with yourself then others. There is nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward but no one likes a liar.

3. Casual Convos. Now, most of these events are meant to be easy-going. Pretend like you’re going to a business lunch. Hell, do whatever you need to do in order to edge off the nervousness. Most of the time “speed dating” will be incorporated into the event. This involves sitting with a potential suitor for 3 minutes and having a brief conversation. I beg, let me repeat beg, for you not to bring up certain topics within this short time frame. These topics include anything related to annual salary, perspectives on Islamic rulings, or clothing size. I know these sound pretty unrelated but I have heard of folks brining up these topics during speed dating sessions. Take it easy within the three minutes. Bring up some light conversation such as where you are from or even the weather. This will lead to other topics and maybe even a follow up date.

4. Dress Simple. This is mainly for my Sistaqueens up in the building. Don’t walk in the joint looking like a pancake face. Now, I’m not saying don’t wear make up but keep it simple and classy. A little eyeliner and some blush will go a long way. Typically when I go to these events I wear a simple dress or skirt. I refrain from heels because you want to keep an accurate height for the brothers checking you out. Now onto the brothers… For the love of Allah please iron your shirt. I suggest you be fancy and pop a crease into that sucker. Make yourself presentable. The sisters will be checking your clothes out so please be on point. Make sure you’re groomed as well (beards, clean nails, etc). We love beards but don’t be coming into the place with a jacked up beard. Smell nice, brush your teeth and smile often.

5. Rules. Lastly, follow the rules of the matrimonial event since each event has a different set up. Some of them allow you to exchange contact information on the spot while at others you have to go through the organizers. Don’t be whack and think you’re too cool to follow the law. Nothing is more embarrassing then being escorted out my security. Ya heard?

Singles Mixer Survival Package:

* Mints or chewing gum

* Perfume

* Tissues/lotion

* Pocket mirror

* Cards (in order to exchange information)

*  A good attitude!

Lastly, I recommend everyone to attend these events with no expectations. Just go and have fun!

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brothers, marriage, tips

Sweet as the Sunnah: 5 ways to hit on a Muslimah

Imagine this scenario:

It’s morning rush hour and you are waiting on the platform for the express train. Train pulls up and the doors spring wide open. The train is packed, as usual, with folks drinking their morning coffee and bopping away to music on their iPods. 

You grab hold of the bar and rest your back on the door. 

Just another morning…

Midst being lost in your thoughts and everything you have to do you look up and notice a Muslimah sitting across from you. She looks up from her book and shyly smiles. You awkwardly smile back. 

A million and one thoughts are running through your head. You want to spark up a conversation but you’re not sure exactly how to go about it. You don’t want it to come off as though you’re tryin’ to mac or be disrespectful. 

You’re counting down the stops to your destination and at the same time trying to scheme a plan to talk to her. 

Let me start off by telling you this…

Yes, we are Muslim women but at the end of the day we are women. Most of the guys who hit on us on a daily basis are non-Muslim. Occasionally it would be nice to be hit on by someone who you can actually envision a future with…

Before any mac daddy stuff goes down check out her hands. Women are more likely to wear wedding rings as compared to men. If she’s married most likely she will have a ring on (not always though).

Now this has to be done the right way though. My brotha, you have to be respectful and most of all legit when you try to hit on a Muslim woman. They say it typically takes a mere 15 minutes to figure out if a woman is interested in you or not.

Here are some helpful tips that will help you navigate the mysterious world of Muslim women (you can thank a Sistaqueen later). Remember we are talking marriage here:

1. Wise Words. Pick your words wisely. Nothing cheesy, or straight up rude. Remember women love to be spoken to gently and we pay attention to every word that rolls off your tongue. If you decide to start off your macing with a question make sure its open ended because this will lead to a conversation. Remember, mates should always start out as friends so you want to see how good the conversation is. She might clam up and not be open at first but give her a little space. Most Muslim women are a tad bit reserved.

2. Da Digits. Don’t ask for her number too soon. Ease into it my brotha. When brothers run straight for your number its a huge turn off. You start the conversation off and let her steer it. If you are really diggin’ her vibes find out a way to leave her your number. This will make her more comfortable and most of all put the power in her hands. If you guys were talking about work for instance come up with some lame excuse such as, “I know this great networking event coming up next month. Here is my number you can call me and I can give you the info.” Now if the interest is mutual then she will give you a ring.

3. Islam it up. Always relate the conversation back to Islam. This is a major turn on. You’ll have the sista “mashAllah’ing” you in her head. Compliment her hijab. Tell her you wish other women valued modesty as much as Muslim women. Don’t overdo this though because it might come off as fake. You want her to know that Islam is an important part in your life. “Yo sista, that Nawawi’s 40 hadiths is off the chain. You peeped it lately?” See it’s that simple. Islam all day err’ day.

4. Body art. Now I can not stress the importance of body language. Open stance and good eye contact are just a few signs that you are interested. I must tell you that most Muslim women like a brotha who lowers his gaze from time to time. This shows us that you have control over yourself. So look up and then cast your eyes downward. This shows you are listening but at the same time giving us the respect we deserve. Lean into the conversation. Make her feel like she is the only person in the room. Speak with confidence and without hesitation. Now onto the rules of touching. Remember like I said, earlier on I am by no means giving fatwas (Islamic rulings) here. The issue of touching (handshakes, hugs, etc) vary from person to person and their level of practice. Personally, I would tell you not to touch the sista in any way or form. More than likely you will cross a personal boundary and this could turn your sweet macing session into a sudden disaster. All that hard work for nothing…

5, Make her smile. Most women like to laugh and we value a brotha who has a light sense of humor. Remember before we access our compatibility as mates we are venturing into the friends zone. Crack a joke. Make the conversation light. Don’t go into it asking for her wali’s information. So many brothas jump into asking for your wali. Now of course we understand that things must be done Islamically but slow your roll.

My brotha, now you are ready to test the field. Rejection is always a possibility. Don’t sweat it because it was her loss. Best believe you will find the one.

Let the confidence inside you radiate! Remember, you got this!

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Does he HAVE to be Muslim?

I have received several inquires about my updates. I have been busy relocating and transitioning jobs. I am in the vibrant city of Brooklyn.

No friends, I am not married! Though, who knows what the future holds. Like I always say be open to new possibilities and ventures.

So I had a recent conversation with some of my sistaqueens that I want to share with you.

We were pondering this question:

Would more Muslim women be married if it was permissible to marry non-Muslim men?

Many of the women I asked firmly agreed. Surprisingly only a handful of them disagreed. Most in agreement had personal stories to back up their claims. I heard a multitude of stories about sisters meeting men at work or in other places but having to end things due to them not being Muslim. One sister in particular told me that she met a man at work and he was a very devout Coptic Christian. He was drawn to her modesty and behavior. He had all the qualities she wanted in a spouse (minus the fact that he was not Muslim). Obviously the relationship didn’t go any anywhere but she said she often wonders where it would have gone might they have taken things further.

Many of the women I asked claimed that they were treated with more respect when approached by non Muslim men.

Sadly, I could believe this.

The horror stories I hear about Muslim men (not all) will have you run the opposite direction. For real.

The bad part is Muslim men twist Islamic rulings to their favor and use it to legitimize their rachet behavior. As a Muslim woman empower yourself by knowing the religion in and out.

It always amazes me how Muslim women are expected to stay within an expected line of behavior but brothers act a damn fool. Getting married to two or even three women without telling their first wives.

Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts I have been approached by several married men who have not informed their first wives of their quest for another woman. This always leaves me to wonder if this is a common behavior among Muslim men.

I equate polygamy on the down low with cheating. It’s dishonest and breaks up a relationship real fast.

Sistaqueen, if he does it to another woman then best believe he will do it to you.

Baby, you are NOT an exception.

Taking advantage and misconstruing Islamic law is big sin. May Allah have mercy and guide us all to what He loves.

But then I thought about this…

If thats the case then why aren’t non Muslim women married?

I’ve grown up with the thought that mainstream culture doesn’t respect marriage and has a deep fear of long term commitment.

Especially men.

I am a firm believer that a majority of women regardless of ethnicity, faith or social status desire marriage. Many would beg to argue but women desire long term commitment. Always. If not then something is wrong.

It doesn’t make us weak. It’s just how we were built.

Could it be that non Muslim women don’t desire marriage? Is the idea of being with one person for the rest of your life a turn off?

Lastly, I think its important for folks to know that very few Muslimwomen in their right mind would choose a non Muslim brother over a Muslim one. We are talking about your life partner and the father of your future children.

I’ve heard of several Imams on the East Coast marrying Muslimwomen to non Muslim men. Whether or not you are in agreement with this we all must acknowledge that there is a Muslim marriage crisis happening in the Western world.

Things like this just happen due to our circumstances as Muslims in a majority non Muslim country. No one wants to stay single.

And if you ask a sistqueen herself the streets are rough. TheMuslim brothers that are readily available are either married, “not ready” or messing around with non-Muslim women.

So this leaves young Muslim women in an unfortunate position.

My last words to you are…

Take caution to the tricks of shaytan, make dua to Allah and lastly getcho’ man!

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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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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…

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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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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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