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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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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, 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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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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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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