The Dilemma I Find Myself In (Free Writing)

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I’m going to be straight with you as I always am. I think I’m in a bit of spiritual crisis. Maybe it’s not a spiritual crisis as much as it’s my feeling of being disconnected from my local Muslim community. Maybe it’s the fluctuation of iman that I am experiencing or maybe this is a phase I’m going through- a trial of sorts. I’m not sure. It seems like I can’t really find my place here. I get emails about events that are taking place at various masajid but I pick and choose which ones I want to attend…if I go at all. I often  find myself feeling disappointed .

I’m not all up in the masjid like I used to be (I attend Jumah- on occasion- and that’s about it) because I don’t really feel connected to anyone there. Similarly, I’m tired of attending  sisters events where it is assumed that we’re all the same- that we all face the same struggles, that racism, classism, and sexism are not realities in our community and that “some people” have more authority in Islam than others by virtue of their country of origin.  I’m even more tired of the way that everyone seems to accept the hierarchy without even questioning it. I’m tired of all the sisters acting like they’re perfect. One big Muslim Brady Bunch.  When someone like me- not trying to be downer but just real about life- speaks it’s like I’m raining on their parade.  So, I’ve stayed away. One sister remarked, “You just disappeared after Ramadan.” I just smiled.

I’ve been telling myself, just go to an event, take what you can from it and leave the rest. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. I feel like I’ve been surviving (religiously) only by taking on line courses, hanging out with my small group of friends, offering salah, offering du’as and reading countless Islamic books.  But I have no real engagement with the community. And I don’t think I want to. Why? I just don’t feel like my outlook, my ideas mesh well with the majority of the people I meet in my community. If I hear one more lecture where it’s assumed that all Muslim women are stay-at-home moms, quiet but subservient preservers of their husband’s reputation and home I’m going to vomit all over the musallah. For Real.  If I hear one more woman go on and on about her husband but never talk about herself or her ideas or what she thinks I might blow a gasket.  Mi nah lie.  And frankly, I’m growing weary of the pristine bubble so many Muslims pretend that they live in. Again, it’s pretending to be perfect (sisters have this one in the bag.) Pretending that we always adhere to the highest, noblest values (unlike non-Muslims, right?) when the reality is we often fall short of those goals. Many of us are struggling…how many of us are willing to say it though?

I’m just starting to wonder, can I really survive out here on my own? I don’t think so. But what will I do?

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40 responses to “The Dilemma I Find Myself In (Free Writing)

  1. ((hugs)) I don’t have any suggestions for you, as I feel my outlook doesn’t mesh well with others as well. I did want to say that I’m reading that book right now, I really like it. 🙂

  2. Assalamu alaikoum, a friend forwarded me this post because she know I would understand! And boy do I understand! Absolutely, totally, one hundred percent! And I know that sometimes it is so incredibly isolating.

    It is a great book too.
    take care
    wasalam

  3. As salaamu alaikum Sister. I pray your Iman increase and you feel this connection to Allah and the deen.
    I read your blog from time to time. However, I started to see somethings on your blogs that happened to me but I didn’t want to start a fight. It’s your blog.
    One we have to step back and evaluate ourselves once and a while. I saw this in your blog for a while and I’ve went thru it.

    1. You said you wanted to get closer to Allah(swt) a while ago; but I started seeing you go more into music. I went thru this also. I was saying I wanted to get close to Allah(swt) but then before I left the music alone, I went further into music. I read the Hadith, and I found this:”As a matter of fact, we know from the authentic traditions that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, not only allowed music in the weddings but also listened to girls singing: While listening to girls singing on such an occasion, he interrupted them only once when they sang the following verse, “In our midst is a prophet who knows what will happen tomorrow”; whence, the Prophet, peace be upon him, told them, “Cut this sentence out, and continue singing what you have been singing earlier.” There is nothing in the sources to indicate that the above permission is limited to the occasion of wedding, as some people tend to think. Okay, singing is not haram. It’s what you are singing about. Most of the music we listen to today is weird and really makes us forget Allah(swt) in the sense that we could do zikr, okay. Most of the songs today doesn’t have a good meaning. I still struggle with this. Recently, I heard a catchy tune of a song. However, when I stopped to listen to the words. I wanted to rip my tongue out. I kissed a girl!!!urgh I don’t think so! It sneaks up on you, because of the music.

    Secondly, I read you always feel disconnected from the masjid in your area. “Why do the sisters pretend to be perfect” LOL! Sister I believe you don’t know how to live and enjoy life. Don’t take this as an insult. What I mean is, maybe the sisters feel that they can just talk and enjoy themselves in the masjid. Maybe it’s a place they feel like “not worrying” about their problems. Can you imagine feeling terrible at home and going to the masjid and feeling terrible? wow! take it easy. For some of us, the masjid is like a relief and stress free. Not, that we think we are perfect. We just choose not to bring drama in the masjid. Where are your friends sister? Get some close knowledgeable friends and hang out with them, and leave the masjid for “sakinah” and let your hair out and just be with the sisters at the masjid. Even, in the church we didn’t have sisters walking around with their heads down. We would be singing, and dancing and shouting, lol! Then we went home and faced the drama. Do you think this singing and dancing was really “holy spirit” lol! Sister, this was stress relief. Since we don’t do that in the masjid. We talk and talk a lot. lol!

    I used to “judge” the ummah according to my “little” understanding of deen. However, I didn’t want people to judge me. One day a light came on in my head “Amina, who do you think you are? I ask myself, hum! of all the Muslims in your area, do you think you are the best one? lol! Do you think you are the only one with problems? do you think you are the only one striving to do good? hahaha! I was a mess. Don’t get me started on my poor African-Americans vs them foreigners, lol! You know once I got over my self worship and kicked my own walled down. I’m doing fine. I realized that the sisters sometimes didn’t talk to me because they didn’t understand the language. I started talking to sisters “first” and found out most where good, and would do anything for me, when they knew I had a problem. I talked to everyone. If I went to a new area or masjid. I just didn’t sit down on my imaginary throne, lol and waited for them to come to me. I introduced myself, told them I was visiting from such and such place. Then I noticed how little some “foreign sisters” didn’t speak English, but was happy to talk to me anyway. I was able to weed out the bad ones and leave them silently. I started to understand how African-Americans tend to be over sensitive about race in America, and how we judge people according to race in this country. I had a friend who was warned about African Americans on her flight from an Arab country. I could’ve went off. I just showed her around the country, and now she thinks she is the master of “Soul food” lol! I actually took her to Harlem, she was happy and eat like a “pig” lol! Now, she is always asking to go there to eat. I didn’t say anything to her. I just took her there one day and didn’t tell her where we were. After I asked her if she enjoyed herself? she said “yes” and then I told her where she was, she was totally shocked. Home girl has gone back to eat a few times without me, lol! Figure that!!!

    You can’t solve the worlds problems and dont try too. Do what you can for you first, go back to how the early Muslims added and deleted some lifestyles. They really did take the good and left the bad.

    Minneapolis is has a lot of different Muslims. Do you ever talk to them? Kill people with kindness. I found food I liked from each Muslim country that represent the Muslims in my masjid. I ask sisters from the country how to make it. I haven’t been turned down once. I make them feel happy too, because I always compliment them on how good the food they prepare me was. Okay, I’m a bit of a drama Queen. I make them feel like real Queens, like it was the best food I’ve tasted. We laugh, eat, chat, and they started opening up to me. I found out that some people need someone to listen to them too. This is my country, so, I know how it’s ran more then they do. I found a lot of the sisters didn’t know where to go too.

    Please African-Americans get over the us(AA vs them(Arabs/Indians/Pakistian). Especially the Arabs, lol! These people “fight” each other. We think it’s just us. How many times have you really seen a native Saudi married to an Egyptian? or a Jordanian married to a Kuwaiti? The Arabs fight each other and discriminate against each other as much and worst then they do us. Somali the same thing, lol! Triblism and Clanism, man please. Those people who can’t rid themselves of Asabiyyah is not from this Ummah. Oh, some of us African-American suffer from Asabiyyah too. You know what. I believe what energy you put out, will return to you. Good high energy, you receive it back. The Prophet Mohammed was so smart, alhamdullilah. A smile is charity. How many times did you smile and a person cursed you out? You see. Give the energy and get it back.

    I pray this helps. I’m at a good place now. I’ve learned how to live and let my hair down. If you can’t sit down with the grown sisters. Grab up some of the young sisters in the ummah, take them skating, or to the park and listen to them talk. Share ideas with them and listen to their “little problems, that they think is so big” lol! I have more fun with the little sisters to be honest. They are so honest and open. Remember we complain about not having someone to talk to, but we don’t talk to the younger sisters under us also. We are too busy being “Self appointed Queens or Divas” urghhhh I hate that word.

    Sorry for taking so much time. I felt like this and alhamdullilah Allah(swt) has helped me and guided me. I pray for this for you also.

  4. sistafromanotherplanet

    If ever I called anyone a kindred spirit, I was wrong. You are my ultimate kindred spirit and we never even met! You and I are on the same page reading the same sentence on the same word so much that it is spooky! You are in MY HEAD all the time! I’m warning you girl get outta my head it’s a scarry place!
    I have been feeling like this. I don’t know how I’m going to make it alone either. I sometimes think about leaving Islam, but I really don’t think that is the answer. Short of starting our own “stuff” which may create a whole other issue, I don’t know what else to do. I feel like two left shoes around other Muslims so I don’t go around them. I am really and truly unconventional in many ways. I question things a whole lot and I see where that is frowned upon. I have a mind I am going to use it. Isn’t that what it’s for? If it makes you fell any better you are not alone on this one.

  5. Serenity Love Divine Earth

    We all go through these ebbs and flows. You can’t be 100% happy with something 100% of the time. I will tell you what you already know… Take the best part, or the useful part.

    Peace

    PS: BTW I love your blog!

    • Serenity, I think iman does that. I’m just wondering if it’s not an “iman issue” but more like an issue of community engagement.

      Kalimat, I sometimes wonder if my expectations are too high. Maybe I’m expecting something from the masjid and people that simply cannot give. It’s not like I think sisters should sit there and talk all of their business. It’s very difficult for me to feel connected to sisters- who claim they love me, for the sake of Allah- when they can’t even be real about who they are. But you know what, it’s not all about the sisters. It’s about the Muslim community in general. I’m just not feeling it lately…I don’t know.

      Solace, thank you so much. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t concerned with connecting to my community. I wish I could just do my thing independently and not worry about it but I can’t. *sigh* I need a community.

      Yursil, um…okay…

  6. Amina.Ahmed you can be very pleasant to all the sisters, but reality is you are going to have very little in common with the majority if you are looking for a friendship and not just “my sister in Islam”. My suggestion is to socialise outside of the masjid with other muslim male and females you get on with (this could be a community itself). The masjid is a place where women are keeping up apperances, invite some over to dinner, dvd and chat about your weak points. Soon they will open up, but whether you will enjoy their talk is another thing.

  7. Aynur and Saha, thank you both for stopping by and for showing your support. It really means a lot to me. (And I’m not just saying that 😉 )

    Amira.Ahmed,

    Walaikum salaam sis.

    On point 1: I have to say, I’m disappointed that the first thing you want to point out is about listening to music. I have mentioned on several occasions that I do not wish to have this discussion on my blog anymore because I find it counterproductive. I’m really tired of us arguing about minutae when there are so many other MORE IMPORTANT issues around. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this comment you will understand why music is not the main issue here. However, I did want to point out to you that at my highest, most spirtually sound level, when I was very active in a vibrant, affirming community I was STILL listening to music. There are very few things that take me from the rememberance of Allah. I’m not saying this to sound arrogant but I think this is a blessing. Of the things that do take me from the remembrance of Allah- music is not one. Am I suggesting that others indulge in music? That’s a choice for the individual to make. I’ll deal with myself.

    Point 2: When I am writing about sisters pretending to be perfect I am not talking about the times when they are just relaxing, shooting the breeze. I am referring to how sisters behave as if they always, at all times do the right thing, think the right thing, and live 100% according their understanding of Islam. What happens is that we have a bunch of people hiding their struggles and pretending they have everything under control, pretending life is perfect instead of talking about their issues and helping each other work through them. THAT is sisterhood. By contrast, what I think happens is many sisters have this “pious, perfect Muslimah” facade they wear in the masjid but outside of the masjid things are different. I find the behavior disingenuous. I also think the “pious, perfect Muslimah” facade leads sisters to pounce on one another in the masjid (under the guise of reminding or advising a fellow Muslim) as soon as someone steps outside of the perceived bounds. How many sisters have been run away from the masjid because of such behaviors?

    LOL, where are my friends? Wow, don’t you think you’re being a little condescending here? Go back and read my post. I said I hang out with a group of sisters of like mind. That doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t want to be part of the larger Muslim community. In some ways, it seems like you’re saying I shouldn’t challenge any of the sisters I should simply go away. Wow! Isn’t the masjid for everyone? Why is that the Muslim community can’t seem to evaluate itself? When people do offer critiques they’re dismissed as the crazy ones, accused of trying to start fitnah or are told what you’re basically telling me- “the problem is you.”

    My post wasn’t really about African-Americans vs. foreignors. Frankly, I feel like the topic has been discussed ad naseum on so many blogs. I just wanted to point out that: (1) We have issues in the Muslim community related to race, class and gender. Trying to avoid them has only made the problem worse. (2)The struggles facing Muslims are not always the same. The social, historical, spiritual and other contexts are different for different people in the ummah. A one-size-fits all solution doesn’t work for everyone. As someone who does not fit in the cookie cutter realm I have a right to encourage the inclusion of everyone. Furthermore, I am no longer interested in sacrificing my mental and emotional health trying to get some immigrant Muslims to understand that I am not a depraved human being. (If some African-American Muslims want to do that I say go ahead). I don’t want an imbalanced kind of relationship where I endure insults and disrespect in order to help someone “understand.” Yes, I can dialoge with anyone about issues but I am not their racial whipping post either.

    I’m very aware of all of the different kinds of Muslims in Minneapolis. I DO interact with people and I DO have my group of sisters I bond with. But you know what, I am not a “kill ’em with kindness” kinda gal. Consider me a “call people on b.s.” kinda gal. Sounds harsh, I know, but as I already stated, the older I get the less time I have for nonsense. I don’t accept people’s ignorance in any other area of my life, why should I do so in the Muslim community. I have compassion, yes, but my patience only goes so far. (I can admit I need Allah’s assistance in that area. May he assist me!) In my heart of hearts, I want to see our community heal. If everyone is burying their heads in the quicksand, how will that ever happen?

  8. I can totally identify with this. I am experiencing it myself – I have no interest in mixing with the community I live in for much the same reasons as you.

    I have a few close friends that are pious in my opinion, I stick to them. Other than that, I am not really worried about connecting with anyone.

  9. BismillahirRahmanirRahim
    Salamu’alaykum,

    “We only need one friend. One who gives us more than we need and who gives us strength, so we are able to trust. One who gives us strength, so we are able to keep that trust, and to keep peace in our hearts. One who gives us strength, so we are able to hold still with ourselves. Why do we seek more friends? Why do we seek useless friends?”

    -SN

  10. Sistafromanotherplanet, I looked at your blog shortly after I wrote this and I was like, “Dang!” We truly are twin souls. I’m happy you understand where I’m coming from. After reading your entry I realize we are SO on the same page. You hit the nail on the head when you talked about questioning not being welcome in many Muslim circles. I question ALL THE TIME. I didn’t leave the church (where questioning was frowned upon) only to come to Islam and be told that I have to buy what people tell me wholesale- even if that person is a scholar or sheikh. My faith actually becomes stronger by questioning. I also have thought about leaving too but I love this deen so much. I know Allah is putting me through this for a reason. Some people want to shut me up but I ask myself, what if Allah made me a “questioning type of person” so that I can used those skills to benefit myself and the ummah? As Tariq and others are saying, I’m not a koolaid drinker. 😉

  11. Assalaamualaikum-

    I wish I could say something eloquent about what you wrote. The type of superficial behavior that you describe is real. I think it is largely motivated by fear on the part of individuals who want to maintain face and rank within the community.

    I think many of us know that there is no safety net in the community for those who don’t fit into neat Muslim packages. As someone who has felt like a Sister Outsider for most of my life I suppose that I have gotten comfortable with the fact that I have to negotiate the fragmented aspects of life and try not to let it drive me completely mad.

    What I wonder is what the community we want would look like? Is there a way to find a way through the disappointment or negation to articulate a community that would affirm us? Things I would like to see:
    a) new paradigms of Muslim womanhood and REAL support for us sisters on different paths (although I am married this includes single women and professional women). Expanding the definition of protect and maintain to something beyond the domestic sphere to allow for structures that support outside of the husband/wife role. Sister Seeking hinted at this when we were talking about the pressure to put on the hijab with little acknowledgment of what support is needed.
    b) real discussions of economic issues and money issues. I’m tired of the silent suffering in our communities around issues of personal finance. Discussions that go beyond discussions of riba. I’m sorry there are Muslims with bad credit, expensive student loans and other financial woes. There are Muslims w/o jobs.
    c)Taking mental health seriously. Yeah, I got my copy of Don’t Be Sad (no diss to the book) but we need more than a book.

    Sorry to be long winded you just got me thinking!

  12. I can really identify with what you wrote above, but I took it even further. As you stated, I found that using my free mind and questioning was something that was not allowed. I explored and I found that there are far more issues which are documented in the link on my name. Go through it. Look at each documented item. Do you REALLY believe in all of those things which are documented from Muslim and Bukhari?

    But when you ask questions, people will look at you as if there is something wrong with YOU. Ever tried to ask yourself about the things you immediately shift out of your mind? I would hear things over the years and privately cringe at these issues but ask myself WHY do they make me cringe? How was I as a college educated person in the 20th century supposed to believe some of the ridiculous claims made in some of the hadith (and sometimes even the Qur’an)? Does the sun set in mud (18:83)? Does a merciful God REALLY make it permissible for Muslim men to rape captive women? Muslim MEN get women galore in Paradise. What do women get?? Why does this seem to be such a male centric religion? But these questions are not allowed. You are written off as a “dumb bint” that is from the “crooked rib”. You should just continue to be a woman and not use your mind.

    And although we are told that women are supposedly equal in Islam, we see that the women in our communities are treated like crap. Beaten, abandoned and often left alone, yet the very men doing some of these things are the ones giving the khutbahs and are the featured speakers at some islamic conferences. THAT makes me want to VOMIT

    More and more Muslims and children of Muslims are looking at these things and can not reconcile it with facts and plain common sense.

    Sister, I am struggling with the entire concept of religion.

  13. As Salaamu Alaikum Jamerica,

    There are literally thousands of coverts like you and I who are undergoing an incredible amount of soul searching right now. No one really has the heart, or maybe the courage to say it (except you of course), but what we are seeing on a massive scale is a “quiet apostasy”. Without any kind of fanfare, converts are slowly easing away from Islam altogether because it simply did not live up to how it was sold to us.

    I had an opportunity to discuss this matter with the author of the book you have cited, Dr. Jeffery Lang, this past summer, and we both agreed that the convert segment of the Muslim “community” in America is suffering a profound spiritual crisis. Have you noticed that many of the Muslim coverts that you used to know are no longer around, and if you do happen to see them on the street they no longer look the same? That is because they have left Islam, and feel in some sense that they were duped. What were we told when we accepted Islam?

    1) All Muslims are brothers and equal in Islam. Then after accepting the religion it turns out that some of us (Arabs) are more equal than others. Or we find out that many classical Islamic scholars assert that “Arabs are Superior” to all other Muslims.

    2) We were told that not only does Islam mean “peace”, but that in fact it is the most peaceful religion in the world. Then the madness of 9/11 happens, and 7/7 in England, and the Madrid bombings, then suicide bombings all over the place, and we began to experience cognizant dissonance. What we were sold is not reflected in reality. Every where there are sizable Muslim populations there is also carnage and mayhem. Any rational, thinking person is going to begin to have doubts.

    3) We read so much about the ideal Muslim marriage full of happiness and bliss, and then once we enter Islam we get trapped in a cycle of multiple, loveless “stranger marriages”, along with learning about the B.S mut’a and misyar couplings (both of which essentially mean TEMPORARY “marriages””. The question becomes, why didn’t we learn about all this shit before we became Muslim? The answer is that it was hidden from us. We were given a picture of Islam that conformed to a western mind. It is only after you enter the religion that you learn about perpectual warfare against the “kuffar” and all these strange, anti-women and racist teachings. These teaching claim that women are deficient in intelligence, and that generally they must be trapped in the house all day long.

    3) Most importantly, we American Muslim converts, especially African American converts, were simply not permitted to carve out a cultural space of our own. Other than the W.D Mohammed community, it seemed that we were always picking up other folks’s isms and skisms, i.e salafism,shism,sufism,Malaki,Shafi,Hanafi,Hanbali etc. Everyone else could have their own culture but when it came to us, everthing was “bid’a” “shirk””corruption” and so on and so forth. Even with the W.D. community, if you weren’t born into it, it was almost impossible to get down with because it was a cult of personality, simply too bizzare and unappealing.

    4) finally I guess, as Dr Lang points out in his book, there are teachings in both the Quran and hadith that just don’t sit right with us, or are in fact scientifically absurb, like sexual slavery, men being able to beat their wives,slavery itself, animals being able to talk, monkeys stoning one another for adultery (bukhari).

    5) Or how about this one, “Islam is not divided out into sects and groups like the Christians”, then you learn after you join that there are scores of sects literally at war with one another, calling one another “deviants”.

    I too am struggling for answers, but none are forthcoming.

  14. @ Jamerican

    WOW! Thanks for posting this. I haven’t been to a masjid in about two years and counting. Can’t take it anymore

  15. Assalaamualaikum
    @Samah

    Because of some of the comments above I need some clarification. I read you post as being about issues in our community especially about silences about the things that are affecting people on a deep level.

    I did not read it as an attack against the rationality of Islam, the questioning of the existence of Allah subhana wa ta ala or the Prophet Muhammed (p.b.u.h), or another lame comment about Arab superiority. I am just concerned because what I heard in your post was a call for spirituality not a retreat which some here are forcing onto your honest and from the heart post.

  16. Salaam Alaikum,

    I am six years in as a Muslim and I have been struggling for over a year. Community is important when you are an “outsider” and ours, like others, is more about appearances.

    A few years back we moved into this big old church – huge main floor. One man essentially forced the women behind a five foot wall and made it clear any “pious” woman wouldn’t want to be seen by men to possibly cause fitnah – so the number of us who were fighting for sight and sound would shut up. I was stubborn and idealistic about the true way it was and prayed outside until they cut a window for us to see if we chose. I have lost the will to fight , however, as we get more and more about who scurries away from the window the fastest, stays the quietest (doesn’t participate in discussions), ignores men who ask a direct and necessary question, and acts like they won’t take a breath without their man’s permission. Seriously last week a non-Muslim couple came to our Mosque and one of the head guys asked the one sister who was there “can you talk to this woman?” she meekly states “ask my husband” who promptly states “no, she is of a different culture” to which another brother nearby said “yeah, my wife doesn’t want to talk to her either, she is from a different culture”. Well sister one is born and bred Rocky Mountains and comes from a Christian culture of hospitality so I don’t know what culture he thinks she is from. But it speaks to how we have devolved into a competition over who is the biggest voiceless doormat. I am sorry and mean no offense to sisters who think that the path to heaven is solely on your spouse’s pleasure with you, but if I thought my path to heaven was based on my husband’s pleasure with me, I would have stayed a Southern Baptist. Sisters from back in the day were far from meek and mild. I can’t reason how no one remembers or honors them. It is as though the time of the Prophet doesn’t apply to women who come after. This is what bums me out the most. I think women had a very good deal when people lived up to the spirit but centuries of men walking us backward have pretty much stripped us of all of that. I have been sick for two weeks and keep telling myself to fake it until I make it – maybe I need that for my faith to. Only God knows. I have got my hubby who tolerates my “raging feminism” and one good western convert friend in the same spiritual boat as me. It is enough to get me by.

    Anne

  17. Salaams sis,
    Thank you for posting this.

    I feel that disconnection, I’ve just moved to a new city where there are Muslims with very different orientations. I’m not just talking about the immigrant/Black divide, but also education and class differences within the Black community. And like you, I’m not that typical housewife who goes around not questioning.

    It is not always easy to relate to sisters in the community. Nor are there many outlets to help sisters feel like integral parts of the community. Nor are there halaqas that provide a space for sisters to grow together. It may take being proactive to find sisters of like minds. The problem is that many of us stop going to the masjid and when we need each other most, we can’t find each other. I’m guilty, many years had passed since I had been to jumu’ah.

    I have so much to say, which I hope to when I revisit your site later this week. I agree with Samira, I think people are trying to impose their own paradigms on your reflection.

  18. So, you the kind who only like to hear nice things? No one should have another opinion that you “don’t agree” with? Do you ban others with different opinion other than yours? Oh, go Mama! I can gurantee you will start going off on me now. LOL!

    If you do I’ve proved my point. Some people want to control everything; when they can’t, they ban you and insult you but yet they stay lonely. Yes, control issues is just that. Control issues. Only Allah(swt) has control over everything.

    Most people who don’t know how to see the glass half full don’t know how to live life. Everybody should see the glass half empty like them. If you don’t submit to their wishes they go all postal on you. LOL!

    I hear you girl!!!

    May Allah(swt) make it easy for you.

    Will you accept this comment? If not, you have this illusion of being open, but you need the image of being in control and having yourself together. You might be smart book wise but you are bursting thru the seams from the illusions you created.

    Let’s see. I can guess your type, Divorcee a couple of times, control freak, no one should disagree with you, or you cut them off and out of your life. Read all your comments since blogging. Not one was something “not in agreement” with you, those get deleted and not published. LOL!

    I do pray for you, because I used to be like that. A woman threw crap on the Prophet Mohammed everyday, yet, when he didn’t see her, he asked about her and went to see her. Yes, even our own Prophet Mohammed(saaws) drunk some “Kool-Aid” and the relationship was one sided. Would you go after someone who threw crap on you everyday? People are people and who knows how Allah(swt) will guide a person with our “kindness”

    Waiting for your fans to throw swords at me now, if you publish this comment. At least I know you would read it. Wallahi, I’m not trying to pick on you. I do wish you the best, but we can’t always have something to say when people don’t agree with us. You want honest opinions in life, not, girl it’s nothing wrong with you, even though you know yourself something aint right.

  19. @Danielle “But when you ask questions, people will look at you as if there is something wrong with YOU.”

    ITA. My experience with asking questions has been with my hubby, and it hasn’t went over well. Any time I ask a question he gets defensive and says we’re not supposed to question anything. One example of this was I was asking him why do we add steps to getting wudu when the Qur’an explains exactly how to do it? He said if we question our faith, then we’ll lose it. That’s not how I look at it, if I don’t question then what’s the difference from when I was Christian? Since that totally does not make sense (to me) and we were always told to just “have faith”.

    I’m accused of trying to “Westernize” Islam, as if the US is “evil” and “corrupted”. I do think that there are aspects of our culture that are messed up (like kids dating early & having sex, drinking, etc.) but I wouldn’t say on a whole everything is messed up.

    @ Struggling Too – and then the people who are leaving Islam are just thought of as having not had any faith in the first place, that they weren’t “really” Muslims.

  20. Amira.Ahmed,

    I think it was completely out of line for you to get personal. I did not insult you in any way so I think it’s wrong of you to do that to me. I’m not going to argue with you and I certainly won’t trade insults.

    For the record, the only time I delete a comment is when it has nothing to do with a post. It’s a shame you think that I would be petty enough to delete someone’s comment simply because I didn’t agree with it. Could it be that the people who comment agree with me? After all, I am not the only one out here who thinks the way that I do.

    May Allah bless you. Ameen. Have a good day/evening.

  21. @ Margari Aziza Hill and Samira

    The reason you may feel that the comments went off track is that Jamerica used Dr. Jeffery Lang’s book as a graphic, which goes into the many underlying reasons some are feeling estrangment from the Muslim community.This to me is simply not an issue of “community involvement”!

    When a writer with the insightfulness of this blog’s owner says

    “I’m just starting to wonder, can I really survive out here on my own? I don’t think so but what will I do?”,

    or

    ” I think I’m in a bit of a spiritual crisis”,

    to me that means they’re hurting. I have found that independent writers and thinkers, those who refuse to accept something just because somebody said it, are having a rough time right now! This includes myself. THERE’S NOBODY IN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY I REALLY WANT TO TALK TO. And I would imagine that most of the women Jamerica comes in contact with are weak-minded, submissive, and unquestioning, almost completely UNLIKE herself. I’m sorry to say it, but the masjids are the abodes of the kool-Aid drinking, half-retards.

    @ Amira.Ahmed

    I think you were too personal here, stick to the subject at hand.

    @ Samira

    “Another lame comment about Arab superiority”

    I came across this last year, you need to read it.

    http://singularvoice.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/salafi-imam-we-must-believe-arabs-are-master-race/

  22. @ Aynur
    It is sad that your husband feels that way because many verses in the quran encourage us to reflect, think and question our surroundings. I actually believe that questioning has strengthened my faith because i found the answers (and that is not necessarily through reading fatawa’s). We also need to question interpretation of the quran by sheikhs and not be blind followers.

    There are social problems in every culture, i find that Muslims in the West tend to glamorise Muslim countries without being critical.

  23. Salaam Sis- I hear you loud and clear- life is in the details- and you point to some of the finer details of being Muslim while at times not being considered “enough”by someone else’s perception… It is as hard to fit in as it is to stand apart- and in as American Muslims- our combined histories set us apart in somethings and allow us to fit in other areas- but the “American” part can be distracting for some/many…

    Allah tests us in an unknown variety of ways- and those tests are personalized in a way that we understand the trial, while the person next down the line doesn’t/may not see it as a trial…

    My only advice, having been in that boat numerous times and in numerous locations on the boat; just sit for a moment without action until the waters settle and you can see clearly Allah’s Path for you in particular…not the path others may want to guide you into…Allah knows you better than anyone on this planet and will not give or take on someone else’s opinion…

    May Allah give you fortitude and patience to see you through this particular tunnel that He has set you upon…

  24. Salaam alaikum Amira.Ahmed,

    Following the principles of forbidding the wrong and encouraging the good does not mean that we can transgress the bounds of good adab. In that spirit I want to remind you that we should all keep our tempers in check. The tone of your last comment makes me wonder about that spiritual development you were talking about. You gave some advice, and it was up for the person to take it or not. That does not mean that you can insult someone or make aspersion on their character. I hope you take a deep breath and chill. If you cannot, I think this is probably not the blog you should visit. It could be bringing out the worst in you.

  25. Struggling,
    I’m not going to speak for Samah, but I don’t think you should either. I know hundreds of Muslim women who are not kool-aid drinking submissive robots, myself included. And I know that Jamerican Muslimah does have other sisters who relate to her struggles, questions, and still remain in the religion.

  26. @ struggling too-I am not familiar with Lang’s book. I think my comment went beyond thinking this was simply about “community involvement” as my main objective was to think about what types of shifts need to occur within some Muslim communities. I am not censoring anyone’s reflections here I was just trying to get a clearer sense of Jamerican’s feelings more than the specifics of other people’s comments.

    I did skim the post you mentioned previously but honestly it might be that I am too detached from the heated debates about salafi teachings to be very engaged.

  27. Salaam Jamerican:

    Your post (as well as others) inspired me here:
    http://muslimahcomments.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/on-isolation-belonging/

  28. Salaam Jamerican,

    Okay girl! I know you and I’m close to you. I’ve seen that you have grown because you posted my comment. Good!
    Now, do make dua and remembrace of Allah(swt)much okay little sister. Start by learning the Arabic language as you will find a lot of translations is mis-translated. Study Sahih Hadith. You don’t need a lot of people around you. It’s best to get sisters who love studying the deen.

    I had to and still fight with myself to learn the Arabic language. You really must block out a lot and stay focus. I started with music with you, because the Prophet Mohammed said it brings hypocrisy okay. We know the Prophet Mohammed(saaws) wasnt a liar, so, we can accept what he says. We really have to believe Allah(swt) and the Prophet Mohammed(saaws) knows best. Agreed? Okay, he has instructed us, that we can be assured on the first 3 generations. Agreed? Okay, the Prophet Mohammed(saaws) taught for 23 years. That means educatiing on Arabic language to better under the Quran is important. Once you start learning the Quran and sound Hadith, and leave the music and tv alone, along with making zikr of Allah. It will get better. Insha’Allah.

    Shaitain wants us to forget Allah(swt) and he makes fair-seeming attractive. Anwar Al-Awlaki is good to listen too. Iman goes up and down.

    We lack so much knowledge of deen so don’t spend too much time thinking about things that will only cause more harm to you. No one can truly understand the deen without knowing the Quran in Arabic.

    Don’t get caught up in what the ummah isn’t doing. Did you read the signs in the last days? The Prophet Mohammed(saaws) talked about the end of the ummah as we read. However, he did say “a SMALL” band of Muslims will stay true to the deen. He never said “ALL” so I’ve never known him to be a liar, so, he is right. Samah, we will be responsible for “ourselves” so focus on learning Arabic and dont forget to do duaa.

    We have two angels recording our deeds. Bloggers have made it easy for the angels to record what they think and do. When this blog is shown to you on the day of judgment, you should pay close attention to what is written. We will all be witness to it, and we will be ask about what we said also.

    I didn’t mean to be mean to you. I actually did it for shock to see if you would publish it. Also, to make you aware everyone, even people near to you can read it. You said “you are not close to anyone in your local masjid” how does that make us feel. When you are around us in the masjid, do you think we are all acting “perfect” come on sister. We all have problems. If one of the local sisters you “hang out” with wrote this. How would you feel?

  29. Amira.Ahmed,

    You are NOT close to me. If you were you would call me, email me or talk to me in person not insult me on the blog or try to “test” my personal growth. Where do you get off? Someone who is close to me would not do such a thing.

    I have no problem saying to sisters what I have said here. (In fact, I have already). I certainly wouldn’t care if another sister discussed the issues she was having in the community on her blog. You know why? Because I KNOW I am not one of the sisters who pretends to be perfect or shuts down others because they don’t tow my interpretation of the religious line. What I call for is an acceptance of the diversity in our community- including diversity of religious interpretation.

    Lastly, if you were close to me then you’d know I attend more than one masjid. You wouldn’t automatically assume that I’m calling you (and whomever you is in your group) out.

  30. Sorry to everyone else for not responding to your individual comments. If you haven’t noticed, I’m very bad at doing that. LOL. Man, there’s so many (I’m not complaining though)…where to start?

  31. Okay Shahidah.

  32. Salams Samah,
    I’m reading Amira Ahmed’s comments and I am having a hard time believing that she’s for real. I think 90% of the off the wall comments on our blogs are from trolls.

  33. I also can’t understand what Amira Ahmed is saying. Really, the logic is just so choppy.

  34. Sister Seeking, Miriam, Mary Ann

    As salaam alaikum Samah

    * Excited and waving*

    : )

    Samah, I’m a convert too. I’ve been Muslim for over a decade. I’ve experienced a few movements, tragedy, heart ache, milestones, achievements, joys, and triumph along the way. I’ve gone through stages of confusion, indecision, apathy, despair–maybe even despondency in regards to my decision to be a Muslim. I’ve made mistakes Samah… some times MAJOR mistakes Samah…

    I REFUSE to sit up on some high horse, and dictate to you or others, some “magical” formula. I understand that this is real life.

    I know this may not mean much, but from one believer to another: I understand. I care about you. I wish no harm upon your well being, and I hope that you find some how, some way, what your heart, and spirit longs for.

    I too have felt disconnected from the “ummah” for some time now due to: the acceptance and tolerance of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect; misogyny; racism; and exclusiveness. I have given up. I also no longer wear hijabis, which puts me in the “bad Muslim” box with both Imm’s and Bam’s.

    I’ve decided to NOT disregard the natural laws of self preservation, and reciprocity. I’ve decided to NOT honor unbalanced emotional contracts with ANYONE.

    I’m so sorry I have no wisdom to offer…

    I’ll pray for you. And if you ever care to talk, you have both my personal and work e-mail recorded here.

  35. Sister Seeking, Miriam, Mary Ann

    A poem I wrote during my better days…

    Al-Wadood
    By Mary Ann Cole-Dia

    Unattainable
    Unexplainable
    Irresistible
    More than you can dream
    Absolutely unequivocally supreme

    Beloved and beyond
    The greatest name you ever song
    A never ending horizon glowing in praise
    Filled with the unbelievable
    The unthinkable
    In praise of Allah’s name

    Satisfying
    Fulfilling
    Amazing feelings
    The greatest light
    The greatest night
    Beauty beyond your wildest dreams
    Giving you such great love covering your every need

    Spacious
    Gracious
    Upon that holy thrown
    You would go mad with passion if you’d truly known

    Crave it
    Savor it
    Pray for it
    You can’t produce it
    You can’t attain it
    It’s only something you get

    Inhale it
    And it’s so irresistible
    You’d die for it
    Cry for it
    Fight for it
    Irresistible absolutely supreme

    The giver is great than the gift
    Once you feel it kill your ego
    You will hope, desire, and wish
    To be in complete subjection
    To your master your greatest love
    You are haply enslaved you can’t get enough

    No one can buy it
    Passion doesn’t define it
    No one can invent it in a lab
    It’s overwhelming it could cause you to go absolutely mad
    Mankind most earn it
    And if the giver wishes he gives to who he feels deserves it

    Come and get just a taste
    Submit to Allah and Allah alone
    Worship Allah as if he see’s you
    Submit and prostate your face
    Bow down in submission
    Be a true slave
    Run to him hurry don’t wait

    Hear him speak through the Holy Qur’an
    Close your eyes and open your heart
    Allow him to tear up your ego
    To rip out your pride
    To burn up your carnal desires
    That you hide deep inside
    Listen to that recitation closely
    It’s the only education
    Receive Allah’s mercy its purification

    If you only knew
    That Allah is greatest
    That Allah is Al-Wadood
    If you only knew how much Allah loves you

  36. Sister Seeking, Thank you for that wonderful poem. Mashallah.

    Zze, thank you for the link. I think, instead of blaming the people who don’t feel comfortable in the masjid for the feelings, the article starts with the prophetic model. Love that approach rather than the denial.

  37. Asalam Alaykum sisters. Jamerican, you know I think the solution is just to realise all sisters are just human. Striving for their interpretation of perfection. At the end of the day Allah knows best and in him we should find comfort. I can see the discussion from everyone’s point of view, even Amira’s.

    I feel for reverts who come into Islam expecting so much more. I was born in to Islam and I still struggle with the contradiction between our faith and its practice. I’m slowly coming to terms that people today are no different from those alive during the time of the Prophet. We suffer from the same diseases of the heart, that is why Allah sent and preserved His Guidance, because he knew we’d be lost without it. I think we really believe that once you become a muslim/ah you should just get it right.

    I feel that what we are really missing is a little Adab. we just don’t seem to know how to deal with each other with kindness. That for me is one thing I am really trying to learn from the Sunnah of the Prophet. Amira, you may have a point that Jamerican has to break out of her mould, take some more chances and not give up so easily but when your sister starts out her blog by saying “I think I’m in a bit of spiritual crisis”, trying to shock her out of what you perceive as her reverie and LOLing whilst doing it will just plain hurt. Maybe it’s because we’re in cyberspace and can’t see the recipients of our words.

    I am sad that I don’t really have any close Sisters around me either. for me its because I only started practicing a couple of years back and woke up to find everyone else in their cliques. I’ve also moved around a lot and I have little free time because I have to work, so I can’t really make it to masjid events etc.
    But I pray to Allah everyday and slowly it’s happening.

    Jamerican, You may not relate to the sisters at the masjids because you are products of different environments, but look at how many sisters who understand your POV that you have met online. This in itself is a blessing. May be you can build a network on that. As for the sisters you can’t connect with, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. As Amira said, they probably have their on issues they are dealing with, smile at them and love them for the sake of Allah,you really don’t have to agree with them.

    But personally what I think we really need is more Adab in our lives. And also to remember why we chose to be muslims. If our decision to be muslims is a sound one then Insha Allah we will always pull through. Make dua to Allah he is our Source and has power overall things and Make dua that when he sends the solution you won’t miss it as well! I will also pray for you sis.

    I’ve gone on for too long. Salam.

  38. As salaamu alaikum sister, I am actually right this very moment going thru the exact same thing , I just can’t seem to meet path’s with a sincere sister to connact with ,I mean in my personal opinion the bond of sisterhood is important and I actually take it quite seriously , I have been burned by sisters a few times , to where my guards are up from time to time not often just sometimes , so much as so my zawj suggested that maybe if I try something different or change my approach perhaps I would find sucess in this area , so doing much prayer to Allah(swt) on this topic sisterhood and trying to bond and connect with sisters , I began to read and admire some blogs whose authors was sisters , then starting a blog of my own I really havent had any success in the way of connecting with sisters, with that either , I’ read and post on many admired blogs and some sisters dont even respond, Masha Allah. I have who I consider a good friend who is a muslimah , however I dont follow as she follows so I often feel treated less than , and I know if she and I wasn’t child hood friends she probably wouldn’t talk to me at all. I’ve noticed that some sisters that find that if you dont dress , follow , or attend the same type of mosque they do , they wont be bothered . So in short sister I totally agree , know that you are not alone , we must keep Allah (swt) in the forefront , knowing that all things are done thru him he is our Ar- Razzaaq, we must remain patient and steadfast . keep your head up ukhti, make dua for me as I will make dua for you , Insha Allah , ( sorry it’s so long) smile . Assalaamu alaikum

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