Thursday, April 9, 2009

Muslim Safe Sex

We all have a school kid from our past who haunts us. Call him a bully or call her a mean girl, but it's that pest at recess who needled you. It's the creep who never let you have good answers in class. She's the one who put down your words, your clothes, your hair and tried to lower your self-esteem.

When I lived in the Virgin Islands during eighth grade, I was one of the only white girls in my school. There were four of us in the middle school, but you can't really count Heather, as she thought she was black. I stood out and often being the stand-out means being ridiculed.

This one girl, I'll call her L., was one big bossy mama. She was in my face from the first day. She was cute and smart and wanted to be sure that no one else was cuter or smarter. She was threatened by my sudden apperance in her class. For weeks, she treated me as a lower life form.

Then, one day she blurted out, "When I was in New York last year for school, I got this treatment. Now it's your turn."

I felt sorry for her.

This week I went through my old yearbook. I really wanted to find my former best friend. I went to Facebook and typed in names. I love Facebook! I found my former best friend's sister---still haven't heard back from her. Then I found the girl who, at age 12, had given birth shortly before my arrival on the island. I wrote to her.

She wrote back and YES she is a grandma now. I asked her about various people. I asked about my former best friend. I asked about Maxentius---DANG! He was a honey! I asked about the girl Maxentius liked better than me. I asked about the prettiest girl (Top Model pretty). I asked about the other two white girls who were my friends (not Heather, as we never clicked). I asked about my former nemesis.

When I asked about L., I really thought that I would like to write to her in kindness and let her know that I understood her troubles adjusting to New York and then back home to the Carribean. I was going to....

but you know what?

Maxentius is married with two kids...but not from Marigold.

The prettiest girl went to jail for embezelment.

The other white girls' fates are unknown.

My former best friend left the island.

And my former nemesis died.

She what?

Ya, she died.

L. died and left behind two children. I was shocked a bit. Afterall, I hadn't expected anyone to be dead. We're too young, right? We're like 40 or 41.

I had to ask, "How did she die?"

The answer?

She died of AIDS.


I was almost fainting.

Sure, people die of AIDS. I know. I even had a former highschool classmate of mine die from AIDS long ago. But, he was a gay guy. Gay guys die from AIDS not women.

Stupid. It's what we want to believe but it's stupid. Anyone can contract an STD and that includes AIDS.

It really got me thinking.

Before I got married in 2007 to Mr. Florida, I took an HIV test. I knew my conduct, but I wasn't 100% sure that who I'd been with hadn't been with someone else who...GOSH this is hard to talk about! OK, so you get me? I wanted to be sure. I took the test and I was alhumdulillah fine.

Since I got back? I have not been to Planned Parenthood again. This is dumb because this means I have not had an annual exam. I have therefore not had another HIV test. I should.

Then, because I'm a hypochrondriac, I almost passed out from the thought that I could have contracted AIDS. My great imagination can be my worst enemy as I create storylines in my head of events that never happen.

Over the last months, I've worried I had ectopic pregancy, appendix about to burst, tumor in my jaw created by my cell phone, colon cancer, strep throat, polyps in my larynx, tetanous from nicking myself with the razor, strokes from stress and probably more I'd like to forget. I truly know this is nuts how much I worry about my body. I think this all stems from having my body taken from me in the years of sexual abuse I endured from my former stepbrother.

Don't freak. I'm not coming to terms with this past abuse as a new thing. I've dealt with it and gotten counseling for it. I speak about it openly. If I do, then someone else knows that you can be abused as a kid, and grow up in shame, yet come out OK in the end. Alhumdulillah, I am OK.

But, I do know that I have to work diligently to keep my body as my own. I have to remember that love isn't love when a man demands what isn't right. I have to guard against using my body to gain acceptance.

Islam is so helpful in this. I get to clothe my body so that only kind eyes can see my true shape. I get to set limits that keep me safe. I get to say, "No, " to lots of things that could hurt me.

Islam doesn't say that I have to abstain from sex. It only says that I need to be in a marriage to experience it. It's ludicrious to say that anyone should practice chastity. THAT is impossible as a long-range plan. Islam says, "YES!" to sex and that we all need to marry as soon as possible to satisfy those urges. If a Muslim is not able to have sex within a marriage, then there needs to be fasting until that is feasible.

Did you know the things which should never be delayed in a Muslim society?

Burial of the dead

So, the Muslim version of abstience is much better than that version taught in schools. It says that you must not enter into any of the activities which lead to sex outside of marriage. The schools are preaching abstience to boyfriends and girlfriends who go out every Friday night and kiss goodnight and then touch and then WHOA!

Muslims need to stay away from dating. Yep. Only meeting for marriage is allowed. We are not allowed to be alone together either. It's that slippery slope. Shaytan fools you into thinking that you are only going to sit together and talk or watch a movie. Eventually, you don't just talk. Eventually, the movie ends. Then what? Then there's that moment when you could do more and Shaytan will be there with you...whispering

just holding hands
just one hug
just one kiss on the cheek
just one kiss on the lips
And it's really ripe for the picking: you and a man, who you really like, are sitting there together alone. And there is not going to be enough blood flow going to your brain cells. You are in danger. Even if you avoid it that night, you will revisit the next time where you left off. You will increase the levels each time. Why? Because biology is a strong pull and Shaytan pushes you the rest of the way.
And I feel badly that L. was convinced about safe sex. A condom is only useful if you use it. They don't remove themselves from the package. They must be used from start to finish. I just don't think that happens in reality. Shaytan whispers again...
just once
just a little
just a little more
one more time
I'm not sure what L. did or didn't do. God knows. She is no longer alive to tell us. She is no longer alive. She is not with her kids. She is not with anyone. No one was worth what she went through. There is not one man who is worth dying for.
Her body was hers and no one told her. She was this incredibly angry young woman when I knew her. She must have had this really soft side under that tough shell and that soft side needed to be held.
I think we can all understand that moment. We all have that moment when we would die for a kiss.
But would you?
Practice, "Muslim Safe Sex". Don't even be alone with a non-maharam man. Realize that this is the best protection there is. It doesn't come in a box from the store. It's comes in a book called The Quran from Allah.

1 comment:

egyptchick7 said...

I was just re-reading this...WOW about L. It's amazing what happens to people from our youth...thankfully at my age of 28, I haven't known of many dramatic events among people I knew. You said and re-clarified that anyone can die from AIDS- I recently read that straight women are the most likely to get it- not gay men as many believe ( most likely due to the spread of AIDS in Africa by men who refuse to use condoms with their wives, I think)...