Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Good" Muslims

I watched my favorite Sunday news show again and then checked out their website. I wanted to find more information about the new Gallup Poll about U.S. Muslims.
I found the report here. I urge you to download the PDF and not just get the distilled information through the filter of the media.
While I was searching, I also found U.S. News & World Reports' Secrets of Islam.

This is a good biography of our Prophet Mohammad. Why do I like it? It is simple. Is it all true? Not sure. Read it and see if you like it too.

I was just sent this site, which looks pretty good.

I'm going to be passing on these links to someone new I met.

When I was flying south, I was too hurried in my departure to think much about the flight itself until I was actually in my seat. I had been fasting all that Monday as I scurried around: cleaning, washing clothes, and packing. I had not known I was flying out until that morning, when I had learned of the sudden passing of my lovely friend's daughter.

So, I sat in my seat breaking my fast with Mr. Boo when my seatmate arrived. It was a man. I was chowing down that chicken sandwich I had prepared earlier. I was wondering how rude that seemed, but when he pulled out his sandwich I relaxed. I did not, however, talk to him---this was partly because I was eating, but mostly because of my hejab.

My hejab reminds me that I am Muslim. Maybe I would act worse without it. I think I would, actually. The hejab is that string wrapped around my finger to help me remember something important. It signals those in the mainstream that I do not share the same code of conduct as most. I want more modesty and I want more respect.

Time for take-off. I calmed Mr. Boo. I looked out the window and saw the lights below. My older children. My mom. My friends. The man who had refused to pick up his phone all day. My problems. All the problems of each one of those points of light. Maybe, in addition to the lives, there were deaths below; deaths like the one I was mourning.

I sighed but couldn't calm myself. I pulled out my Ahmed Ali translation of the Quran. It was my first time reading Quran on an airplane. I read of Prophet Musa/Moses and how he was helped deliever those sufferers to a new land.

Eventually, the lack of sleep and stress exhausted my energy reserves. I slept. I probably snored. I awoke when it was time for drinks. I got my version of a mocktail: cranberry juice with gingerale. Still, I did not really talk with the man siting next to me. I didn't really even look at him.

What made me strike up a conversation was the descent. I get very nervous when I've almost arrived at my destination. I feel like God could take me right before I get my desires fulfilled and I get anxious. When I am in that heightened state, I talk too much. I did then talk to the man next to me.

We talked of the reason for my trip. I learned how his job made him face mortality every day. He shared how his mother's stroke had changed his entire way of life. The wheels touched the ground and I could say, "Alhumdulillah."

Later, at baggage claim we saw each other again and said, "goodbye". I had this handsome Tunisian carrying Mr. Boo's carseat. LOL! So, I was following him and unable to say more.

Guess who contacted me the next day? It was my seatmate. Yep. He had been able to look me up and wanted to send me a note. I sent one back. We corresponded. Eventually, we talked.

He had been charmed by my interactions with Mr. Boo. He liked the calm I exuded. He had never married and has no children. He is my age; 40 years old. He lives in Orlando just a stone's throw from my best friend down there.

I did not see him again. I thought about it! I had no plans for my last day there. He invited us out. I said, "no," and gave him the spiel about Muslims not dating. Oh, ya, he isn't Muslim.

Instead, I was a, "good," Muslim and headed to my former workplace that morning. It was a little chillly. I was going to hang out until an opportunity presented itself. I sat down on my former leather couch, which I had donated to the school when I left in July. This was in an alcove away from everyone. I was going to go on my laptop and get an azan clock for my lovely friend's family.

Apparently, some staff member at the school...and this WOULD be a Muslim...complained. It wasn't proper, they said, for a NON-staff member to be in the building. Yes, I gave up having fun with a nice guy so I could be kicked out LITERALLY PUT OUT ON THE CURB by "good" Muslims.

I can't really regret not meeting up with him. At the time, I had already been falsely accused of stealing and spying by the man here. I didn't have a lot of hope for him, but I still had a hope the size of a grain of sand. For me, as long as there is any hope, I hang on.

There were incredible new allegations upon being picked up from the airport. Totally weird. Totally strange. Disturbing. What he said was strange enough to trouble my mind so that I needed to play Quran throughout the night. That was the, "good," Muslim man.

I was told that we could talk in the days ahead. I tried to set a time with him over the next week and we never met. He was not available yet he didn't want to say we were over, which is what I felt. On Friday, nine days after I last saw him, I finally sent him a text message freeing myself.

I freed myself for what or for whom? I don't know.

I've been talking to my former seatmate. I've just seen him online and sent him the links.

Last night, I went out to dinner with a Muslim man here. We had talked previously and he seemed caring and kind. After dinner, I called to say I got home fine and he asked my bra size.


Time for the job hunt.

The husband hunt is too tough.


BARAN said...

salams sister.I read the story..pity u.dont worry,good muslimah belongs to good muslim.U wil find one soon.insyaAllah.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Baran,

Nice to see you here for the first time. I read your profile and saw you are a Muslimah studying medicine, mashahallah!

Thanks for reading and for giving me some hope. For real...I'm dissapointed in Muslims as much as I am happy with Islam. I just wish there wasn't such a gap between the two.

Faith Confusion said...

Wow, I can't believe he asked for your bra size....what a horrible man!... and shame about the nice man from the plane.... you're a good woman to be so restraiined with temptations abounding. I will enjoy reading your blog.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Faith,

LOL, I really shouldn't be surprised any more at ANYthing a man says or does. Seriously, if you took out the word, "horrible" in your exclamation, it would be more to the truth: what a man!

Thanks for coming by and reading. I will enjoy having you along for the ride. Let me know if you need the window rolled down.

Umm Omar said...

They say hijab is a type of "uniform"...just like an officer is more officerly in uniform...
the guy asked you for your bra size??? What a jerk.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Umm Omar,

I like your officer analogy.

Ya, that bra size comment is NOT flying well with you ladies.

Frankly, I am more upset by my sistas in Islam who kicked me out of the school.

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Yosra:

LOL - the guy who asked you your bra size. Was his name Yasir? lol (he asked me mine). Hmmm. Seems he gets around.

Like the sister above said, "good Muslim men and women are for each other" - Allah (swt) will send you the perfect one :)

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Safiyyah,

LOL, Yasir must be the cousin. This guy was NOT Yasir but vaguely resembled him.

Here's an interesting plot twist (which I'll leave for only those who actually read the comments): I bumped into a former co-worker on Monday. She mentioned Mr. Boo's dad and I had to say that I'm divorced. The way I get out of the glums of that moment is by saying, "So if you know anybody...?"

Well, she called me tonight and she DOES know somebody. He is really old! In his 50s! But I am having dinner at her house tomorrow in order to meet him. We'll see. Allahu alim. I'm hoping he's a cute 50 like Sean Connery was and not a doddering 50 like Abe Vigoda.

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Yosra:

"Really old, in his 50s"

l0000000000000l - I laugh because I am 60 years old!

As a really old woman, permit me to let you in on a secret: the outside package of a Muslim man doesn't really last. But, the inside package always will. If he's a 30 year old deadbeat, he'll be a 60 year old deadbeat. The problem with us sisters, sometimes, is that we have the illusion that we can change these deadbeat brothers with our love.

I remember when I was in my early 50s and a sister wanted to introduce me to an Arab brother in his middle 60s. I was totally offended at the time. Looking back, I can now see how this sister really loved me. She knew all of the fitnah and abuse of my marriage. she just wanted me to have a husband who would love and value me. But no - I thought I was a hot sister in my early 50s, lol.

Perhaps a more mature gentleman will be exactly what you need, Yosra. Someone who knows the value of life, of deen, of companionship, someone who values marriage and family. A role model for your little Boo. Some to care for and protect the both of you.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you or anyone else accept any old body.

Yosra,I was in my early 50s when I got divorced for the first time in Islam. I was very distraught and desperate. Imagine being my age and trying to find a husband. When a brother found out that I was in my 50s, I was automatically excluded. Without him knowing ANYTHING about me! I was considered too old. And I was too old to have children. I wasn't a young fertile baby machine. No one wanted me. In my desperation, I married TWO DEADBEAT brothers. One marriage lasted less than a month and the other less than a year. I settled for less (my inner woman told me they were deadbeats) because I wanted to be loved and cared for. I so desperately wanted a husband. In my jahiliyyah, I never had problems finding a man. Why was it so hard in Islam? Ah, the memories of the depressing Eids and masjid functions as a divorced woman :(

This story has a happy ending, Alhamdulillah. I kept myself "right" the whole time, despite all the fitnah. I constantly asked Allah (swt) to grant me the wisdom of learning the lessons that He was trying to teach me. Alas, after three years, Allah (swt) opened the heart and mind of my first husband and he asked my imam if he could have me back. Subhan'Allah! Now, our marriage is much much better. We respect and value each other. I don't know what lessons my husband learned while we were apart; that's between him and Allah (swt). But, I can tell now that he DID learn something :)

I share this with you and your readers in the hopes that it will help some other sister.

Sisters: trust Allah (swt)! He loves us more than anyone else does. He will ALWAYS bring us the best if we trust Him. We need to be patient and live between the hope and fear.

Yosra - be sure to let us know how the sit-down turns out :) (Sorry for the mini-post)

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Safiyyah,

Wow! What a lesson! Thanks for writing :) Seriously, I want the comment section to be a very welcoming space for kind-hearted, like-minded folks.

You are just a dear, wallahi. Alhumdulillah that everything turned out for you.

Everything does turn out for the best, if we just let it. Thanks for the reminder.

I'll see what happens. I am open to what is and what can be.

Anonymous said...

Yosra I think yur totally blessed.

The fact that you have a faith so strong that makes you so positive and happy and insh'allah out of despair is absolutely AWESOME.

Yes finding a man is tough. I'm curious do you have a wali and if not, why? cuz that can be a huge assest.