Love for the sake of Allah: The Beauty of Sisterhood

Ok, before you even read this post, you have to go read this love letter from a Muslimah, and this post on the sisterhood of Islam.

“Allah will ask on Day of Judgement: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I will shade them with My shade.”

Hadith Qudsi narrated in Muslim

This whole “love for the sake of Allah” thing was not something I really understood or experienced, up until very, very recently. Now that I do know how beautiful it is, however, I am a little obsessed with how much I love my fellow Muslimahs and our community, just for the fact that we are supposed to love each other as sisters in religion. Which is why, when I read those two posts above, I couldn’t get them out of my head. Especially that love letter, made me smile all day long!

The whole notion of sisterhood and community was one of the things that actually really attracted me to Islam, once I started studying a little more in-depth. I think it was The Ideal Muslimah that really clued me in to what a beautiful community the Muslims must have, always treating each other so kindly, giving gifts just for the joy of it, lending a helping hand to any sister in need. Upon citing these things to my house-mate, who was not much of a fan of the transition I was going through, as reasons that I was seriously considering Islam, she promptly told me that I should just join a book club or a knitting group, and I could find community that way; I didn’t have to make such a drastic change.  Continue reading “Love for the sake of Allah: The Beauty of Sisterhood”

Don’t Let Them Dull Your Sparkle

Salaam!

I wrote a post way back in the first month or two of this blog, called To Give a Smile Away. I was looking through old posts to share again, and I lighted on that one; it was super short, just a thought I was having at the time, but the beautiful memory of that day when the girl so sincerely smiled at me in the mosque came flooding back to me so vividly when I re-read that post, that I thought I would not only re-share it, but actually re-write it to dig a little deeper into what exactly the situation was in my life at that time.

I then remembered another post I had written, on exactly the same topic, but a bit more long-form. This one never actually got shared with the world, it has been sitting as on Open Office document on my hard drive since August.

So I thought, with a little editing and updating, I would share it with you today. I know this is a theme that has been somewhat recurring in my writing lately (you can spot it here, here, and in some articles I’ve shared here), but for some reason it is something that is just present in my mind a lot lately: Continue reading “Don’t Let Them Dull Your Sparkle”

On Feeling Guilt

Salaam y’all.

So I am writing this on a Thursday afternoon, just as February is about to begin. I don’t know if it will get posted anytime soon, but I wanted to share some reflections that I have been having today.

As you all may or may not know, I try to make it a habit to fast every Monday and Thursday, as well as the “white days” of the month. Which means I should be fasting today; I am not travelling nor am I on my menstrual cycle, so according to me the only excuse is my own laziness.

To be a bit more fair, I started off the day fasting. I woke up around 5:30 AM, prayed a couple of extra rakat and made plenty of duas for help in these troubling political times. I ate a suhoor of some fruit and yogurt, but I was just feeling kind of off. I prodded my husband awake for fajr after I heard the athan, and while he stayed up to have breakfast and head out for a day of fishing, I got back in bed for a couple extra hours of sleep.

Upon re-waking up and trying to begin my day, I was feeling icky to begin with. And then, around 11 or so, I began to get one of the most dreaded feelings I can even describe: I was starting to get all of the warning signs that happen at the onset of my migraines. Continue reading “On Feeling Guilt”

Interfaith

I  received an email a couple weeks ago from the pastor of the church I used to attend, and it was such a beautiful thing that I couldn’t not share it here.

Firstly, he wanted to check up on me, to see how I was doing in these troubling political times. He was also asking after me on behalf of all of my old church members, who have had me on their minds lately. He just wanted to make sure I was OK, and let me know that I was in their thoughts.

This in and of itself was such a lovely email, that it would’ve been sufficient to brighten my day, but then he shared a story with me:

A few nights before (on the night of the awful shooting in Quebec, coincidentally), my old church had hosted a pot-luck dinner for the Muslim community a couple of towns over. The Muslims brought the main dishes to ensure halal meat, etc., and the church members brought the soft drinks, tea, sweets, and desserts.

The Muslims got a tour of the church, and at the time for isha prayer, the imam’s son called the athaan for all of the church members to hear.

He sent me some pictures from the event, and it actually brought tears to my eyes to see all of my Muslim brothers and sisters sitting and eating together in the very hall and with the very people I had grown up with. That my former church was taking these kinds of steps towards love and understanding in a small town and in such troubled times, really brought a smile to my very heart. Continue reading “Interfaith”

Easing into Iman

Salaam! Today I also wanted to share a little story about Valentine’s Day. And when everybody else is talking about the haraam-ness of it, you can bet that’s not going to be the moral of my story.

In my very first year as a Muslim, Valentine’s Day fell literally three months after my shahada.

I remember having a conversation on Skype with my husband (then fiance), and asking if we were going to do something special for Valentine’s Day. He gently explained to me that because we are Muslims we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, and he personally doesn’t believe in it because, as he puts it, “he loves me every day.” Continue reading “Easing into Iman”

Comfort is Relative: Reflections from my Journey to the U.K.

Salaam all.

So, you may have noticed that I have not been so active the past week or so, and this is even my second late blog post this week. And it’s not even the right post for a Friday…

It is because I was on a short little trip back to London, U.K. where I was living and studying before I came over here to Algeria to wait with my husband for the rest of his U.S. visa case processing time.

The minute my plane’s wheels touched the ground in Gatwick, a huge smile began to spread over my face. I turned my phone on- internet, good service, I could call my mom or write a blog post, consult a map or do whatever I needed to do.

I get to my hotel: hot shower, running water, a soft, fluffy bed, carpet on the floor and a clean space in the kitchen. Heating quietly working in the background, a nice view of north-west London houses from my window.

As I travel around the city, everywhere I look I can see God’s blessings that I have taken for granted my entire life, but that I had been missing for the past six months in Northern Africa; cars that drive safely, sidewalks that you can actually walk on without falling into a pit or running into a parked car, people who don’t stare at you, men who don’t approach you even when you are dressed in a jilbab out with your husband.

Beauty, diversity, creativity, excitement, life. Continue reading “Comfort is Relative: Reflections from my Journey to the U.K.”

purple flowers on white background, text "Dealing with Illness An often untold detail of my convert story"

Dealing with Illness: An often untold detail of my Convert Story

Salaam everyone! Today I want to write about something that is actually a big part of my journey to Islam, but not actually something I talk about a lot.

Around a month after I got home from London, had already  (Skype) met my fiance, and begun to study Islam, I got very sick.

It started with about a week of nick and head pain, that I just chalked up to my system being a bit out of whack from travelling, and perhaps sleeping in an odd position.

Then I began to get migraines. I’ve always had migraines, every since I was young, but these were particularly bad, and lasted for days at a time. One day, I got one that was so bad I couldn’t even speak, and my mom finally caved in and took uninsured-me to the emergency room. Crying and shaking uncontrollably, my mom had to hold my hand to help me sign the papers to be admitted.

They gave me an IV of morphine, and laying in that dark, quiet room, for the first time in weeks I felt some relief. They kept me in for a few more hours and another round of morphine just to make sure I was doing better, and then they sent me home. Continue reading “Dealing with Illness: An often untold detail of my Convert Story”

gold polka dot notebook with red and pink flower necklace, text "Muslimah According to Me: Q and A"

Muslimah According to Me Q and A: Responses

Ok, so from all hundred and something of my followers and however many liked the original Q and A announcement post, I only got one question.

Side note to this sister who sent the question-you are wonderful and I certainly appreciate you!

But at any rate, I am guessing that my lack of questions means either I am doing a really great job sharing my story and explaining my thoughts, or really no one can be bothered…I’ll just keep thinking the first one is the truth! Continue reading “Muslimah According to Me Q and A: Responses”

blue sky, sun beaming through clouds, text "God Works in Mysterious Ways

God Works in Mysterious Ways

Ok y’all—as this website is nearing its six month anniversary, I just had to write a quick little post to share some of my feelings and reflections.

The biggest thing that I have learned from this blog is that God really does work in mysterious ways.

I started this blog with the intention solely to connect and share with other converts to Islam.

But within the first couple of weeks, I had many different people from different religious backgrounds telling me how much they relate to my experiences and writing. Continue reading “God Works in Mysterious Ways”

black coat, dress, hats hanging on rack, text "A Hijab Transition"

A Hijab Transition

Ok y’all, so I wrote around a month ago (well actually I wrote that quite a few months ago and just got around to posting it a month ago…) about a bit of a decision I have been facing lately, and I wanted to write a quick post to share how things have changed since then, and the answer I came up with to my own question.

As you may remember, I was looking to upgrade my modesty a bit, feeling like I was ready to take the next step on my hijab journey, though not quite sure about which direction to head in.

Well, one day while I was out and about with my husband, it dawned on me…  Continue reading “A Hijab Transition”