Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Salma Hayek is so with Islam

Asalamu Alaykom,

I love Salma Hayek.

Sure, I envied her in Desperado.  

Two words: Antonio Banderas!

I liked her in Frida 

and in SpyKids.

But now?

I just love her.

Kind of started loving her  here.

And now?

I love her more---

more than her sweaty Spanish co-star.


Click here for the story of her breastfeeding a hungry baby.


This post continues to attract a lot of traffic which leads me
to believe that web surfers are interested to know just HOW connected to Islam Salma Hayek is.

Well, her grandfather was a Lebanese Muslim man who immigrated to Mexico.  Lebanon is not known for extreme observance of Islam.  It's a very Western society closer to the French than to the Saudis.

By the time her oil businessman father Sami married, he chose Diana Jimenez Medina, a Catholic opera singer.  One interesting side note is that her mother's last name "Medina" is the Arabic word for "City" and therefore might mean that her mother's Spanish ancestry actually has Arab roots as well.  Spain, after all, was ruled by the Moors for hundreds of years.

Muslim men can marry Non-Muslim women.  Obviously, a very devout Muslim man would not chose a singer (of any faith) to marry so that tells you that he wasn't strict in his religious observance.  At the time of an interfaith marriage, the Non-Muslim women must agree to raise any future offspring as Muslim.  By Islamic teachings, Salma Hayek would therefore be Muslim from her birth.

Her name, "Salma," means "peace" and it comes from the base letters S (Shin) L (Lamedh) and M (Mem) that the world "Salam" and "Islam" come from.  That her father chose an Arabic name for his daughter does suggest that he is still connected to his Lebanese heritage.

However, by all accounts, the home she grew up in was not a Muslim household.  She attended a Catholic boarding school (and was subsequently expelled).  Sending children to Catholic school isn't unheard of among even devout Muslims.  On the other hand, sending to a Catholic boarding  school indicates that you want those nuns to take over every moment of your child's life in their formidable years.  That is something that the average Muslim family wouldn't want.

She has stated that she's fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and Arabic.  Knowing Arabic is a must for practicing Islam.  You can't be a praying Muslim without knowing the language.  However, you can know Arabic and not be Muslim.

She chose a Non-Muslim man to marry.  While Muslim men can marry Non-Muslim women, it doesn't work the other way around.  When she had a baby girl, she named her daughter, "Valentina Paloma," which is very far from any Arabic counterpart.

She loves dogs----and even dogs sleeping in the bed with her.

This is a huge red flag that she doesn't have much to do with Islam.  No observant Muslim keeps dogs inside their house as their saliva is seen as unclean.  To receive a lick from a pet dog means you have to do a ritual washing to rid yourself of their impurity.  You literally can't pray without taking a shower first.  Also, it's said that keeping a dog in the house chases away the angels from guarding you.

So, why did I name this post "Salam Hayek is so with Islam,"?  I had marveled at her ability to see a malnourished baby and breastfeed it.  This is very Islamic.

In the Quran, it is stated to breastfeed a baby for two years.  Either the mother nurses the baby or another woman, a "wet nurse,"  is given the responsibility.  This milk relationship is a very real tie between the families.  If a woman breastfeeds a child enough to fill their stomach five times, then she is considered a kind of mother to the child.  The wet nurse cannot allow a marriage between any of her own biological children and the child she suckled.

Even today, in Egypt, where I live, there are times when a mother's milk isn't coming in and a baby is rushed to a neighbor's house for a feeding.  This is seen as normal and not strange in any way.  The mother who has milk would never refuse such a noble calling.

For her belief that she could help a suffering baby with her milk, I believe that Salma Hayek still carries with her a very real connection to Islam.  It doesn't mean that she now considers herself Muslim.  Yet, she can't deny that her actions that day were Islamic.

She was seen as doing something strange that day.  Muslims are strangers to the world.  The press coverage of that moment was huge, even though what she was doing was a very small act of human kindness.  She never stopped to question whether it was right or wrong; she simply did as the core of her being directed her.

God bless Salma Hayek for that.


egyptchick7 said...

I love her too...but I don't get how she is "so with Islam" when she breastfeeds, or takes another baby in her arms ...that's so "christian" too, no?

Anyway, who is her sweaty Spanish co-star? Javier Bardem? I loooooooved Frida :)

egyptchick7 said...

Oh just re-read your post again. It's antonio banderas. He was cute, not so much anymore. D'oh!

Umm Omar said...

I did see this in the media here, and was surprised, actually that she did that.
It is very sad that all over the world babies are hungry because their mothers are so malnourished, they can't produce any milk for them.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom EgyptChick,

Most importantly, we must discuss Antonio Banderas. Not cute any more? Ohhh, say it isn't so. He's one of two foreign heart throbs I have held dear for many a year: him and Akshay Kumar.

I was a bit shocked by Frieda, to tell you the truth. NO BODY warned me of the nudity. Yikes! That was a serious flesh-filled film! Loved the acting and cinematography, though.

OK, so Islam...Islam in to submit to God. It is the way. When Muslim submit to God's way, it is Islam. When Christians submit to God's way, it is Islam. My take on it, anyway.

Everyone is free to think their own thoughts on their own blog. I pay a lot of money for this blog! OK, no I don't. I don't pay a thing.

Asalamu Alaykom UmmOmar,

Thanks for commenting. Ya, it is surprising. It surprised me. And I am a total La Leche League, breast feed for two years kind of mom. Love that she just did what made sense.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog, I kind of a agree and disagree thanks..

Anonymous said...

I just saw Akshay Kumar...Bollywood star?.

Anonymous said...

yes and a very snazzy one may i add ;)