Fear

I am rarely political in my writing, or my life. As a Sri Lankan who has been exposed to many cultures and many different types of governing I do not believe in Sri Lankan politics. No matter the colour, party or campaign message, people will suffer, politicians will prosper. That is the sad truth in this country.

A few weeks back I felt fear to live in this country for the first time. Seeing how people were allowed to hate a minority for the last 5 years was uncomfortable, the violence, more uncomfortable. The war which had ended seemed to have started again just with a different colour. But I believed it was behind us, and that perhaps we could move on from it. As always, you should never trust Sri Lankan politics.

Now I sit wondering what is going to happen to my family. As a young girl when I got threats on being a Muslim, being married to a Muslim, I was brave, I thought of what our Prophet (SAW) had to go through and wanted to face it head first. Now as a mother of two, I simply want to protect my children. It isn’t fair for them to have to be subjected to such hate simply because of my choices.

Right now everything is up in the air, and it’s like everyone is holding their breath to see what is going to become of our “democratic” country. I am also waiting, with fear that this beautiful country I love so much, may become a place where me and my family can not live peacefully.

I can not begin to explain what a helpless feeling it is…

 

Reminiscing My Marriage

My Nikkah happened some time back when both my husband and I were young. Call it naivety, call it fate, call it Allah’s plan, but we did it by ourselves just because we wanted our relationship to be halal. Young as we were, we were sure, we knew it was right and Allah made it easy for us. Thinking back I believe it was really all His plan, and if it was His plan, what happened, happened for the best. Our nikkah was known to our close friends but we kept it at that because anything more would involve our families. My family anyway does not understand the concept of the nikkah as in our culture a ceremony before God does not take place. After many years, I believe Allah felt it was time that we stopped leading a double life and pretending to be just another couple, he paved the way for us to be legally and officially married. Then came the problem…

What erupted was a whole load of unislamic nonsense based on nothing but (I would like to say folk tales but even those seem to be more valid, so lets go with) foolishness. Let me list some of the crazy things I was told,

1. She isn’t really Muslim, her blood is different.

2.Her children will be half blooded therefore cast out of society.

3. When the blood line is tainted by her it takes seven generations to get it back to its original authenticity.

4. She can not be taken to family gathering because she can not be introduced.

5. Her family can not be associated with.

6. What will the neighbors say?!

7. The children may not become Muslim.

And those, ladies and gentlemen are the top reasons why a inter-racial marriage can not take place. Or at least they were the reasons my husband was challenged with. Although I find them completely outrageous, and yes of course I was mad, I wasn’t so much hurt, I was more disappointed.

This month marks the 5 year anniversary of the events that unfolded before my legal marriage. I think what bothers me the most is that not a lot has changed, I’m still seen as a half breed, and some sort of welfare mission is a foot to “save” my children from my unislamic blood. So yeah….culture, a force to be reckoned with.

After all these years of being a revert I can comfortably say I have met every type of Muslim there is to meet. Some are bad, very bad indeed, but some are good, amazingly good that you say Alhamdulillah! for coming in to my life. So yes, while this kind of foolishness is quite common, especially in Sri Lankan culture, it wouldn’t be fair to judge everyone on it.

Peace!

 

Hijabi Question

This is a question that has been plaguing my mind for some time. It’s one of those awkward moments where I don’t know what to do, so I thought I would get a public opinion on it 🙂

Hijabi sisters, if one or some of your hairs were sticking out (you know the annoying ones at the front who sometimes refuse to stay tucked away) would you want another sister to let you know?

I myself welcome it because I’m always some what obsessive conscious about hair popping out (it doesn’t get any easier when your hair has a mind of its own). But some how I get stuck trying to decide whether me letting other sisters know would come of as rude, like I was trying to point out a fault.

What do you ladies think? Would you be ok with someone politely let you know a hair was sticking out? Let me know please.

Peace!

Give and Take

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My family had always been well off. While it lacked many things, material things were always plenty. As a teenager I was allowed to buy whatever clothes I wanted as long as it fit the family rules. This was probably the main reason I was able to slowly transform my wardrobe in to a hijab friendly one.

Growing up, no matter how much financial freedom I had, I was never happy till I met my Husband. It had always seemed fake, a superficial barricade to cover up the scars.

Now with children and our own expenses we live a budget life. Sometimes it’s comfortable, sometimes not so much. But Alhamdulillah, it’s always enough. I was thinking how the life of abundance which I had, has now transformed in to a  life of meaning. I ave my own family, my children, my husband by my side. I can pray freely, say Alhamdulillah, Subhanallah and Allahu Akbar loudly, this is my life now. Although buying clothes, or well buying anything for that matter would take a considerable amount of time and saving, I think there is plenty to be happy about.

When ever my husband says you know we meed to work harder to get a life where we don’t have to worry about money, I always tell him that I would rather have this life right here, than a life of emptiness filled with money.

Peace!

 

I must not fail!

It’s been five years….

It’s been five years and still the simple act of “Spending” time with my in laws, exhaust me. I’m always left with so many complicated feelings. So much anger, hurt feelings and negative thoughts. And then of course I have to actively work to control my nafs and any other thoughts which come to my mind. Some times I just want to scream enough is enough, I’m done with this BS. But still I remind myself this is for Allah’s sake, this is for my husband’s sake, I must be a good wife, I must fulfill my duty, I must not fail this trial!

I just wish I didn’t have to get on the same roller coaster of wondering why I’m being ignored, singled out, treated like I was invisible. I wish I didn’t have to second guess myself, and I could be myself without worrying about their prying eyes. At the same time I don’t understand why they ask me to join if they are going to treat me so. I’m not wanted, I get it, so why pretend like I am for a moment and then continue to treat me like I’m not. It’s torture! I can’t be myself, I have to wear a plastic smile, I can’t cry even if I feel so hurt, I mean why can’t I even name my own child without having to hide it?! I just…..

It’s so frustrating…

That’s probably all I can say.

I just keep thinking, of all the things people have to go through in this world, this is nothing. If children can grow up as orphans after watching their parents die in front of them, I shouldn’t let sticks and stones bother me.

Peace!

Again and Again

It’s strange how I keep coming in and out of blogging. I keep desperately wanting to come back and yet falling behind.

As usual, a lot has happened. As an update, I am now a mother of two. Life is really funny in the way it works. I was so sure by the time I had children I would be free and able to completely immerse myself in my deen. Instead I have a series of complicated situations which need to be “maneuvered”. I feel like it’s been years and I’m still in the same quick sand I was.

I’m tiered of analyzing and thinking “if only”. This is my trial, this is my life. I must move on, on my own, the best I can.

So let’s home this time I can stay back 🙂

Peace!

The Absence

I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say

I’ve been absent.

Yes, been in and out of blogging during the last few years. A lot has happened and each day more “happens”. It’s sort of one of those things I keep thinking I need to do and I want to start again but something always gets in the way. The latest possible reason would be inaccessibility to the digital world! Turns out the maximum lifespan of a notebook/laptop is never more than 6 years. I was sad since my laptop has pretty much become a part of me, through it all together, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Life goes on…

Let’s see if this time I can keep myself blogging. When ever I am not, I always feel a little unsettled. I suppose that’s reasonable since this is an outlet for my thoughts and feelings, and boy to I have a lot of thoughts and feelings.

So I am back…again…

Peace!

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale

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While I have been absent on my blog (for various reasons), I just HAD to talk about this book sale.

I kid you not, it is the BEST sale/event I have been to in Sri Lanka. The sale is real, you get value for money. Very well, and I can not stress this enough, organized. And in case you were wondering, yes it can be a family outing. I definitely recommend checking it out whether you are interested in fiction, non fiction, children’s books, or just in the mood to browse.

So a little break down of what it’s like,

It’s been open since the 5th of October, and will be going on till the 15th of October 2017. It’s a 24hr sale, so yes you can walk in at 2am and expect the sale to be open. No need to rush, no need to crawl rush hour traffic, you can take your own sweet time.

It’s not the standard stall concept, so you get a shopping cart at the entrance, you can pile it with books, carry around your toddler in it as well. It’s basically an open area filled with crates of books all very well organized. Whatever you are looking for, you can find. Once your done, you have to walk up to the cashier, make your payment (both cash and card are accepted). Don’t worry about standing in line because it’s organized in such a way that you barely have to wait. Pass the security checkpoint, and then they give you a very handy service of storing your purchases with a token number, till you go and bring the car around to load your purchases.

Great children’s selection, definitely recommend it to all moms and dads, especially if you have been looking for good activity books (I know I have!). On average you could get something for about between Rs. 400 – Rs. 600. The Disney themed ones tend to be a little more.

They’ve got biographies, religion, philosophy, science, medicine, gardening, home improvement, fiction, non fiction, pretty much all aspects covered. A very good selection of cooking books, and I can confidently say, they are affordable (yes we went crazy with the cooking books). On average you could get multiple cuisine books between Rs. 500 – Rs. 1500. Just to let you know the Rs. 1500+ books are all very big, classic books written by chefs (including Michelin stars).

Adult coloring books, I feel this has been one big target because they had 3 separate areas for it and even got me interested. The problem is, it over whelms you, I spent 45mins just trying to figure out which books were the best to get coz, well there were so many and they all seemed so good! Range was between Rs. 270 to Rs. 1000.

The amount of excitement I feel for this event is a little difficult to put to words, simply because I love books, and then I love great events.

Now I wouldn’t say every single book is available. There are a selection of titles. You can check their site for more information. Overall I can say there is something for everyone.

There are 6 days left and I really feel everyone in Sri Lanka, well at least Colombo (it’s been raining crazy) should go and have a look.

Peace!

P.S. For all comic book lovers, they have a lot of special compilations and anniversary books of characters as well as arcs (both DC and Marvel). It ranges from about Rs. 2000, but well worth it.

 

Muslim Women

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I am a Muslim woman
Feel free to ask me why
When I walk
I walk with dignity
When I speak
I do not lie

I am a Muslim woman
Not all of me you’ll see
But what you should appreciate
Is that the choice I make is free

I’m not plagued with depression
I’m neither cheated nor abused
I don’t envy other women
And I’m certainly not confused

Note, I speak perfect English
I’m majoring in Linguistics
So you need not speak slowly

I run my own small business
Every cent I earn is mine
I drive my Chevy to school & work
And no, that’s not a crime!

You often stare as I walk by
You don’t understand my veil
But peace and power I have found
As I am equal to any male!

I am a Muslim woman
So please don’t pity me
For God has guided…

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Confusing Behaviour

My Husband often says I am a confusing person, and I don’t disagree at all. I think it is mainly because by birth I have a lot of traits which I’ve inherited from my father, and these traits although I try my best to control some times seep out. I call it my dark side, makes it sound interesting but it’s more like a massive battle in my head. Sometimes it feels like I’m crazy because I would think and re-think every situation, analysing it according to Islam and what is right and wrong before I come to a conclusion. Of course in between I get Shaithan talking, then my Nafs trying to jump in, so yeah it’s a lot going on in my head. Now that I read what I wrote, maybe I am crazy!

Most of the time the issues that have happen to me don’t help. My head says a lot of “They never smile, why do you need to?” or “They said this to you, and now they think everything is fine?” As a result when ever I go to my Husband’s place I have a silent battle with myself every step of the way. I fight with all my might to find some common ground to talk on, find some joke which I understand, find some word in between the sea of Tamil to provide me with some context. When I get home I’m exhausted and that’s when my dark side is most powerful.

I try to be a wife who doesn’t complain, maybe I’m not, but I try  to be. I think overall I deal well with what I’ve got and don’t trouble my Husband for anything unreasonable. In all these years I’ve never asked him to fight for me or go against his parents for my sake. I’ve never asked for an apology or expected one. I’ve tried my best to be open as possible so that maybe they would get to know me and think ‘Hey! She’s not all that bad’. But see what happens is, in his place there is always some incident where I am some how pushed to the shadows, some hypocrisy which was forced on me but doesn’t apply to their own comes to light, some facial expression that tells me “No, it is not acceptable for you to be anything but what we say”

To them I am not a revert, I am not a Sinhalese, I am not a working mom, my parents do not exists, my brother does not exists, actually my whole family does not exists, finally, my lack of knowledge on the customs of being “Muslim” does not exists. This gets difficult when I get a call about work, or I get a call from my Mother while I’m there. It also gets difficult when I speak fluent Sinhalese and the children there ask me how I am so good at it, even before I answer I see my Mother in Laws face filled with the expression of “Stop!”. I accidentally naturally answered “Well because I’m Sinhalese” causing confusion in the child. The child says “But how come you are Sinhalese? Your a Muslim.” And that’s when it hits me that they too don’t know the difference between a race and religion, and of course that there are such things as reverts. My Husband buried the topic but my heart had already sunk by that time.

So yes, when I am there I fight with my self like my life depends on it. I do it for the sake of my Husband and because I think it is what Allah would want of me. But in the process my heart acquires bruises which I can’t heal immediately, bruises my dark side uses to fight back in my head. I don’t have anyone to talk to about these kind of things so I naively mention them to my Husband and of course it being his family he gets defensive, and I get hurt that he so easily dismisses my feelings and values theirs so much more. He always asks me to understand their situation, to know that they have not been exposed to the same things I have, and that they have a very closed mind set. But my dark side says “Why isn’t it fair then? Why do you have to take everything and pretend to be what they want? Why does he not bother to tell his Father to act like you are not a wall? Why does your father in law take your child from your hands with out even acknowledging your existence? Why?”

All questions I can’t ask, and if I do I’m sure my Husband wouldn’t understand. I don’t think a person who hasn’t been shut out, discriminated against or had mud slung on their character can understand what it’s like. It’s probably what causes tension in many marriages involving reverts. I’m not so sure about what I’m suppose to do. If I stop suppressing my inner thoughts it will be a whole load of ugly. And yet if I go on like this no one is going to be happy.

So yes confusing behaviour. I am a confusing person. Only because I am trying to do the right thing.