The daily chronicle of my family as we embark on our quest to relocate from New York to Cairo... the impending journey to get there and the daily lives of myself, my husband and our four children... and other random thoughts while living in Cairo!

Looking to make contact with other Muslimahs who are like myself with small children living or will be living in a foreign country.

I invite you to share the experience with us as we try to make this happen!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where has sisterhood gone?

I've been reading a couple of blogs here and there and one or two made me reflect upon the current state of our sisters today... where has our "sisterhood" gone?

Some people naturally become close or gravitate to one another for many reasons: culture, color, school, choice in clothing (fashionably modest to unmodestly "how-is-that-Islamic-wear"), kids, neighborhood and such- but when we ONLY to speak to each other because of culture or color, how is that Islamic?

I know when I first reverted and attended my first few gatherings at my mosque, it wasn't exactly friendly... I was one of two actual Americans who attended there- and I felt it. There were some sisters who made me feel welcomed but others didn't even bother to give salaam and some would look and then look away. I notice these days that alot of sisters are just too much into this "clique" thing. I even read "either you're in or out"... how is that Islamic? I tend to gravitate away from drama (we have enough of that just trying to get through the day) that might be going on with any sisters but I don't exclude or include someone because of the color of their skin or the region they hail from... to me that's just plain stupid.

Love and respect your sister wherever she may hail from: Bosnia or Boston, Morocco or Maryland, Canada or California, Germany or Georgia, Turkey or Texas, Somalia or South Carolina- we are joined by a common bond and we should love one another and show no indifference towards each other because of our culture, native tongue or hue of our skin- we are Muslimahs first and we should conduct ourselves accordingly.

And on that note, I love all of you... MY sisters, from wherever you may hail for the pleasure of Allah!


Umm Travis said...

I love you to for the sake of Allah, and may He whose sake you love me for, love you!

As for that sisterhood stuff, well I love having a mix of sisters, cuz thats kinda just how my personality is! That is one of the cool things about Rehab, when you watch the people coming out from the mosque they seem to be from everywhere! It reminds me of Dubai, and I loved the mix there. Here, I have some Egyptian, some Western and I really miss having the variety. But I do need the Western folf to make me feel a little normal, that I cant deny. The Egyptians, or born Muslims, or those not living in the West sometime cant relate to me - doesnt mean I ont love all my sisters, I do, but you know what I mean - we need some familiarity. But not ALL. That would be boring LOL

Empress Anisa said...

Umm Travis... salamz!

Of course, I know what you mean about needing someone from your region who can relate to you- I feel the same way but I have noticed that alot of sisters ONLY want to be their own kind and pretty much "snub" every other group. And when you have gatherings, everybody is huddled up on their own little camps with no interaction really amongst the groups- that's just sad.

Myself, I move between all the groups... some like to chat with me because I'm a revert like them, some because I'm American, others because they like my kids, some because I'm married to a Pakistani... that one I don't get but it's true.

I show no indifference to any- naturally as friendship goes, you create a bond with some that you can't with others but all get my salaam, hand shake and/or kisses when we meet! And I love our
'girls day out" when some of us hook up at this Afghan sister's house and she cooks her native food and we all bring something from our "neck of the woods"- talk about interesting... and yummy! lol

hijabee said...

That's a beautiful message empress anisa. The world would be such a better place if we all followed it. Sisterhood and brotherhood while rooted in the essence of our deen are things that are so overlooked and ignored these days! Inshallah I love all my sisters for the sake of Allah and pray that He will unite us here and in there hereafter.

Yasmin said...

Salaam sis, lovely post. I ask myself that question sometimes, too. I love all my Muslim sisters no matter where they are from, what color they are, etc. Ive had crazy experiences with sisters looking down at each other because they weren't like them. SubhanAllah. Its horrible how sisters treat other sisters these days. I remember one instance where I went to the mosque, I said salaam to one of the sisters, she returned the salaams. Then she asked me if I was African and I said no, then she just turned away from me and didnt talk to me for the whole time. I was a bit insulted. Its like just because Im not where your from, you aren't going to talk to me. I made me think what is this world coming too. May Allah unite us all.

Empress Anisa said...

Yasmin, salaam, my sister!

Yes, I see this same exact thing happen- how silly... and sad. Like I mentioned before, it's definitely "noticed" when we have gatherings like lectures / speakers and everybody comes out to the masjid. It's a real turn-off.

In the beginning when I first reverted, I considered not going to that mosque anymore because of this but I said I wasn't going to let the ignorance a few deter me so me, being me, shunned them at first and talked to others and made them feel less than they thought they were- eventually they came around- not exactly the right approach but it worked.

As they say, "Why can't we all just get along?!"

Aalia said...

Asalaam `alaikum! I'm now one of your Bloggie followers, masha'Allah! Your Blog is awesome!!

Empress Anisa said...


Wasalaam... welcome to my world! I love reading your blog as well.

Umm Ismail said...

i think it not color or culture it could be a language barrior. but as we know all too well As salaamou alikum is universal Among Muslims. And I felt the same thing when i converted and i begun to stop caring but it does get lonely, but i have met sister online and in person that are nice and some seems like they could have met u or not. but that them sisterhood is a wonderful thing when sisters Act upon it. and Try to keep fitnah free or mind there business. Or whatever the issues Sister hood is the Sunnah we have to make the effort. i have a 3 call policy after 3 calls or im's or email after 3 times its yr turn lol


Umm Ismail said...

I also find that sisters like to chat with me because i'm married to an egyptian and i have been to Egypt. And we get to chatting about when i will go back such and such which is nice. but it makes me feel would you have eever talked to me if I had not Gone any where.

Empress Anisa said...

Salaam my sister... no, actually where I go even the Arabs who can't speak much English understands English spoken very well- but it's not just them, it's all of them (groups) everybody just huddled together with no real interaction. Not saying you have to spend the whole evening talking to people but at least the effort to be integrated- we are Muslims first before our nationalities!

And yeah, I like that 3 call rule... gotta remember to implement that one when I move, Inshallah! lol

Sa'diyah said...

Assalam aliakum sis,

Masha'allah your blog is coming along and you're getting pretty good at writing. BTW I always thought you blended pretty well with the peeps at the masjid...I on the other hand always feel strange when I go to show how we all might be feeling the same thing, but not realizing it.

Empress Anisa said...

Welcome to my other world, Mamacita!

Yeah, see goes to show how we might be feeling and others don't know it- I always thought YOU blended well when you come to the masjid and you've been there way before me... I thank Allah for "cool" sisters like you!

With writing, felt kinda strange in the beginning but decided to "go with the flow" of the brain still without giving out too much- feeld nice to able to jot it all down...

As always, kiss the little women for me!

Francesca Najea Lujan said...

As-Salaamu-Alaikum Sister Anisa,
I made hijrah to Morocco from NYC and I am so glad that I found your blog. We have a lot in common. When I first became a muslima, (13 years ago, alhamduliah!) I wasn't well-received by the sisters at my local masjid. But, I prayed and prayed and prayed to find some genuine Sisterhood and found it at The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, on 113th Street and St. Nicholas in Harlem. I really miss the sisters and the Imam from that community now that I have moved to Morocco. Please stop by there and feel the love, before you leave NYC.
I look forward to hearing back from you about when you'll visit and I'll tell my closest homegirl to look out for you, she is also from Queens. I hope to hear great things about your life there and your journeys.
Fi Iman Ilah,

Empress Anisa said...

Sister Najea-

Inshallah, I'm going to try to get over to your old stomping ground to meet the sisters there... I'm out by JFK so it'll be a ride- but I'm always looking to meet good Muslimahs!
I pray, Inshallah, that this move is a success as I plan to set up camp there for awhile, Inshallah... can't wait for this part to be over!
We need to definitely keep in touch!

Empress Anisa said...


All of a sudden, I feel like I know you... would your closest homegirl from around the way be Rasheedah???

Hijabi Apprentice said...

I've seen the "snub" implemented and it is SO haraam! Alhamdulillah I haven't really connected with any of the sisters at the masjid in my current city but I have met a handful of wonderfully sweet sisters in this state that I have true sisterhood with. Also, since I have gotten married I inherited wonderful inlaws and friends of my hubby. I love my international mix of sisterfriends.