Welcome to my blog!

This blog is an honest look at what life is like for this particular American convert to Islam. We're taught in Islam to cover our sins, to not air them, for fear of lessening the severity of sinning. In this blog, I may relate past indiscretions from time to time. This isn't to make light of them, but in the interest of educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike as to the realities of life as an American convert, I present my mistakes honestly. I make no excuses for them, nor do I claim that they were okay to make. I am not perfect, and I make no pretenses as to that. If others can learn from my past, know that Islam, and religion in general, is open for people no matter what mistakes they've made, then I will gladly air my sins when needed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Changing perceptions.

I have a special thing to post about!

I have a regular customer, Bill.  He's been coming in for a few weeks, and he's really cool to talk to.  So, like everyone, he was curious about my hijab and why I wear it, and why I'm Muslim.  I've been explaining things to him, slowly, and he's been wonderful in realising that his misconceptions were just that, and changing his way of thinking.

I've explained to him about hijab: it's about respect for God's command for me to be modest, first and foremost, and if a woman is wearing hijab as a religious garment (some hijabi's aren't Muslim, or even religious) for any other primary reason, then she's wearing it for the wrong reason.  Wearing hijab has to be for God first, then yourself, then other people.  I've explained that I wear it because I choose to wear it, and that no man can force me to, that no matter how unIslamic my actions might be, no one can force me to not do them; it's between me and God.

I've explained that covering my body is to keep men from treating me like a sex object, to force them to confront me as a person, to think about my thoughts and my ides and my accomplishments, rather than my breasts and my hair and my hips.  I've explained, also, that it is a man's duty to lower his gaze around a woman, no matter how much skin she's showing.  I can be dressed in a string bikini, and it is the man's God-commanded duty to look away, to not ogle me or treat me any differently than a woman all covered up.  My covering up is not to protect men from their own sexuality; that's their responsibility, just as it's my responsibility to look away from a man if I find him too appealing.

So a week ago Bill was in, and he told me that he was going into Barnes & Noble and saw a hijabi, and he went up to her and told her that he'd used to think that the hijab was ugly, that women who wore it were oppressed, were forced to by their husbands and fathers.  He told her that then he'd met me, to which she replied that she'd seen me before and knew who I was, and that I'd explained what hijab really meant, that it was a form of self-respect, of respect and love for God, and that men had little to nothing to do with it, and that now he found hijab to be very beautiful.

He said the young woman was almost in tears, and told him she was so thankful for him telling her that, because all she normally got were dirty looks or remarks about it.  She was so glad that someone not only understood, but had taken the time to ask.

I felt awesome when he told me that.  I'd made a difference, you know?  Changed just one person's perceptions, and when Bill's talking with others, now he'll be able to correct them in their assumptions.

I felt more than awesome, especially when he told me that now when someone started talking about the "poor oppressed Muslim women" around him, he can tell them no, in fact, when treated as Islam commands them to be treated, Muslim women are pampered queens.  I've explained to him my right to an orgasm, to foreplay, to however many children I may or may not want, to however much help with the house and children that I want, and that it's my husband's duty to pay for it all.  For every right my husband has over me, I have the same right over him.  He has to pay the rent, the bills, for food, education, clothing ... and whatever I make from my job, he can't touch, and I don't have to pitch in to help because that's his God-commanded duty. I get major brownie points for helping, and as a decent human being, I ought to be helping out if he can't pay for it all on his own, but I'm not required to.

And this inheritance business, with men getting twice what women get?  Men are responsible for all the children and unwed women in their family.  What women inherit or earn, they keep for themselves, whilst men have to spend their earned and inherited money on their families.

Let me illustrate this for you:

Say we both earn $4,000/mo.  So, month 1 of our marriage, my husband and I are even.  However, we have rent, say $800/mo.

Me: $4,000
Hubby: $3,200

We also have a car payment, say $500/mo.

Me: $4,000
Hubby: $2,700

And cell phone payments, say $100/mo.  I already had my phone, so I'll pay my own, but we got the Internet in our new apartment, say another $100/mo.

Me: $3,900
Hubby: $2,500

Month 2!  We're both up $4k, and our fathers have passed away, leaving their kids an equal amount of money: boys, $4,000, girls, $2,000.

Me: $9,900
Hubby: $10,500

But let's take out the monthly bills, which come to $100 for me, and $1,500 for him.

Me: $9,900
Hubby: $9,000

Hm.  Let's see what happens month 3:

Me: $13,800
Hubby: $11,500

Month 4:

Me: $17,700
Hubby: $14,000

Do you see where this is going?  Yes, I will always inherit less than my husband, but I will also always have more money, because he has to spend his money on me, and I don't have to spend any of mine on him.  Add in a clothing allowance for me (most scholars agree that a husband must buy his wife at least one new outfit a year), education for the children and myself, and him, a maid if neither of us has time to clean the apartment, a babysitter if we feel that our kids would benefit from one, possibly having one of his unmarried sisters, or his widowed mother, stay with us, and really, men inheriting more than women makes a darn lot of sense.

So, really ... Yeah, I'm proud that my da'wah paid off.  ^_^

NOTE: Actually, I've learned that in most cases, women inherit either as much as or more than men do.  Muslims inherit from spouses, aunts, uncles, parents, etc., and the amount depends on the number & gender of people doing the inheriting, and in very few cases do women inherit less than men.  :P


  1. Wait a sec - you were talking about foreplay and orgasms with a man in the middle of a restaurant??? Wow...

  2. This is Pixie from I love hishma. The article you asked me to post the source of? I got it off of my friend's facebook page but I will ask her for source if she remembers:D

  3. Asalaam Aleikom, sister!
    Thank you so much for explaining this. I have never seen it form this point of view. At first, I just thought it was saying that a man is valued more than a woman- you have the knowledge and it makes so much sense. Thank you so much!!

    Also, I love that you educated someone- especially since he is a man. InshAllah, he will educate more people and it will pass on.

  4. PS I didn't comment on the money part - which maybe I should have - because I'm already 'educated', so it was no surprise :D

  5. @ caraboska He'd asked about it, I think; you know, the whole, "A woman must respond if her husband calls her to bed, no matter what" thing. That's when I got into the equal rights over each other bit, and how if I called HIM to bed and he refused, the angels would curse him until morning, just like they'd curse me, and on to no, I really shouldn't refuse sex for no good reason, but he HAS to please me, so it's a give-and-take. If me obeying my duty results in him failing his, or vice-versa, wouldn't it just be best to wait until later? I wasn't just, "Hey, let's talk about SEX!" :P

    And about the money part, I'm starting to think that a lot of the time it goes unexplained BECAUSE the people who understand it, well, understand it, and it doesn't cross their minds that others don't, or that others just hear about the inheritance from fathers.

    @ Pixie Hi, sweetie! Thank you so much for looking into that for me! *hugs*

    @ Sherika You're very welcome! This was one time when I enjoyed doing math, lol. I'd wondered about the inheritance a lot, as well, and then I started looking into it more, and after I realised that women don't have to pay for anything, it started making more sense to me. Then my imam was talking about the instances where women receive as much as or more than men, so I added in my note at the end. Education FTW! :D