Monthly Archives: January 2012

(not so) Great Expectations

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Salaams everyone!

I’ve gone underground for a bit while trying to get myself used to the change that I’ve made in my life…

I wear a abaya now… there isn’t any going back… which means, weddings, social events, educational events, conferences, work… it or a similar loose garment stay on. I mean, I thought about it… I really did, but it hit me the other night, when I was about to run outside to the car in my hoodie and skinny jeans… and then stopped, I don’t dress like that anymore.

 

 Alhamdulilah.

It’s seriously going to take some getting used to, but I will say this it is much different than I expected it to be.

I expected a lot of stares… people looking at me differently, especially the people that see me every day… whispering among themselves discussing what could have made me put on my abaya. I was expecting someone to say something to me… to ask how I could have gone from skinny jeans and wedge boots and a nice top to a black cloak that enveloped my whole body.

Instead, it was this:

I was in the bank one of the days… waiting in line to see a teller, and this old couple behind me started talking to each other about blowing things up using dynamite.  I ummmm definitely stepped away from them… slid away from them is more like it, I so didn’t want to be in on that conversation!

Another day, I had to make a stop at the gun store (because that sounds totally normal). I was taking my brother’s rifle in for repairs and figured I’d also take the opportunity to handle the pistol that I had wanted to buy and see if I liked how it felt in my hand.  Imagine the scene if you will… Me in my abaya, big sunglasses, stilettos, and an sks rifle in my hands as I get out of my car and cross the street to go into the store… oh also, I was definitely carrying my sequinned wallet 🙂 I walked into the store and this old white guy came running in after me within about 2 minutes. He screamed, “Are you guys okay? People like her shouldn’t be allowed to carry!!” The guys in the gun store’s heads snapped up from what they were doing, “That’s the beauty of the 2nd amendment sir, people like her especially should be able to carry so that she can protect herself from people like you. Now I have to ask you to leave, we don’t serve people with your attitude here.” It was a magical moment, I was super nervous before going in, and while they were serving me because I was afraid that they’d look at my Abaya and Hijab and see an enemy, instead, they saw a fellow American who deserved to be stood up for. I began to relax, and asked to be shown suggestions for how to carry my gun concealed. “Well that cloak you’re wearing, your abaya I think it’s called… that’s the best decision you could have made in deciding to carry concealed, you could literally have 6 guns on you and no one would be the wiser. It was a fantastic decision.” The guy that was helping me had spent time in the UAE and both loved and respected our religion and culture.

I wasn’t prepared to be complimented after I put on my abaya. I wasn’t prepared to be told that my confidence was shining through my face, nor that my cloak was incredibly beautiful, nor to be asked if there was any way for me to get some and sell them locally to some of the Christian women who wanted to dress more modestly.

I had thought that I would feel more comfortable walking publicly in my abaya… but I never realized how free I would feel. It has boosted my confidence just as my hijab did so many years ago. I feel like now I can say what is on my mind, I can think, I can speak, I can protest or support and the only things that I will be judged for are my words.

All praise glory be to Allah, I am free… at last.

Alhamdulilah wa salat wa salam a3la sayidnia wa nabina khatm il mursaleen Muhammed wa a3la ahli wa sa7bihi saleeman katheera.

I ask Allah to bless me and guide me and to never leave or forget me for even the blink of an eye. Without the mercy of Allah swt, I am nothing and I will never be anything. I ask Allah to forgive me my transgressions both intentional and not and to always bless me with the rememberance of Him, the Quran, the Sunnah of Muhammed pbuh and the examples of the sahaba. Strengthen my iman so that I can be counted amongst the highest level of the believers… al mu2mineen. Ameen.

On Wudu

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I often times look at wudu as a time for me to mentally as well as physically cleanse myself and prepare to make salat.

A lot of times, my wudu takes more than a few minutes to make. I have a german shepherd puppy and so every time I get ready for salat I am making wudu 7 times to purify myself from him. So let me tell you, I’ve got lot’s of time to think! and to mentally purify.

Almost every time my thoughts go back to a discussion of the afterlife that I had with my little brother and more specifically about the trials of the grave. The line that repeats in my head every time was, “Diana, you don’t get it, so many people don’t, 3adhab il qabr (the torment of the grave) is over some of the littlest things… not performing your wudu to perfection is one of them.” And that is always a reminder for me to perfect my wudu every time.

And while I’m doing so, I’m also thinking. The other day as I went from my hands to my mouth to my nose and so forth I couldn’t help but wonder, why these parts specifically? Why don’t we wash our chest or our stomachs as we perform wudu? And may Allah forgive me if I’m wrong but I began to think that maybe we are cleansing the parts of us that we may sin with. Our hands for doing wrong with them, our mouths for speaking in a manner that is not befitting us, our nose I’m not so sure about, but our face and our eyes for the sins we have committed with our eyes maybe in looking at something we shouldn’t have or in viewing injustice ans being idle about it. Our heads to cleanse our thoughts, our ears to purify us from the sins we committed by listening to haram or maybe again hearing about injustice and doing nothing, and our feet for taking us toward sin. Allah a3lam (Allah knows) if I am right or wrong but I think it’s something worth considering the next time you make wudu, are you purifying yourself from a sin that you could have avoided?

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thank you to those of you who read my headache post and responded, I truly value your input.

I go now in peace and love!

Alhamdulilah wa salat wa salam a3la nabina Mohammed wa ahlihi wa sa7bihi saleeman katheera.

Oh Allah I ask that you guide me to the straight path and forgive me my weaknesses, I ask that you have mercy upon me even though I do not deserve it. That which you will for me Oh Allah is sufficient for me.

A3udhu billah

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Have you eve had something happen that you just can’t logically explain? I had this situation come up yesterday when I was praying isha and the spiritual/religious part of me cannot reconcile with the scientist in me… I still can’t figure out what to think.

Here’s what happened.

In my second rakaa when I was making sujud, I made a short dua to Allah to increase my imaan and to strengthen me. As I was doing the ta7iya I started feeling this pain…

It was horrible. I was nearly in tears. It felt is if someone had taken an axe and split my skull open from the very top; and at the same time, poured napalm down my throat and ignited it. I closed my eyes, trying to will the pain away… I seriously thought I could, and it just got worse.

Pounding in my skull.

Tightening and burning in my breathing passage.

I got dizzy…

So with my eyes still closed, I finished the ta7iya slowly, stood back up and began the third rakaa.

Now, let’s not forget I’m a scientist, so what was going through my head at the time? “Where is this pain from? Am I actually hurt previous to this? No… Am I having a stroke? That’s the smell of burning hair not feeling burning in your throat…. Where is this pain from!?! Nerves shooting off? But why in more than one place and more than one sensation?”

That was the science thought, I was without answer.

The spirituality went to work. I remembered that the shaytan comes at you in every way, this was instantaneous to make me stop praying and tend to the pain and try to breathe.

That made me decide I HAD. To finish this salaat. In my head after reciting the Fatiha, I knew I must seek refuge in Allah SWT, the first Surah that came to mind was al Falaq, “Say: I seek refuge from the Lord of the dawn, from the mischief of created things, from the mischief of darkness as it over spreads…” (not the complete Surah) and although the pain waned a little, it wasn’t enough. And I remembered that Iblees was of the Jinn… So I recited Surah aNas “Say I seek refuge from the Lord of mankind…. From the Jinn and mankind” after that I said: ya Allah have mercy on me, your mercy is more than I deserve and what you will is sufficient for me.

Next rakaa, the pain is fading, I go into the sujud and am feeling as if I wasn’t just in so much pain I wanted to die.

I can’t explain it… Logically there are no words.

Spiritually, I believe what I thought happened did. Inshallah I’m right and Allah SWT had mercy on me. Inshallah he always will. What are your thoughts?

Alhamdulilah wa salaat wa salaam a3la nabiyna Mohammed wa a3la ahili wa sa7bihi saliman katheera.

Oh Allah grant me your blessings and your mercy in my pursuit of understanding why I am here.