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, December 22, 2008

Care for a little sisterly advice?

Let's see... I don't even know where to begin- Hmm, we'll start here with: pretentiousness, self-righteousness, arrogance, humiliation and superficial behavior have NO PLACE IN ISLAM. Over the course of the last few days, I've seen sisters belittle each other- and I found it to be quite disturbing. One can TRY to relate to the plight of another, but as stated before by me in other blogs, unless you've actually been the receiving end of that EXACT situation, regardless of what it might be, you will be able to SYMPATHIZE or some may EMPATHIZE but you CAN NOT understand the full magnitude unless you've been there yourself.

I think we should all know by now that it's okay to agree to disagree with certain issues that people might hold near and dear to their hearts- we all will never see eye to eye on certain issues, and that's okay- it's to listen, try to understand and offer a possible solution but not one that seems to belittle the situation or argument... that just leads to more division and resentment- and with each resentment, there is usually some form of retaliation... and that is a normal human reaction. To be human is to err, none of us are perfect, but to willingly cut your sister down to make yourself feel better IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. If you've offended your sister with words or your actions, you should seek her forgiveness- it's not about being the bigger or better person in the situation but as Muslimahs who supposedly follow the doctrines of Islam, we should not let things separate us- I kid you not, I can almost feel the bitterness and resentment out there... and that's UNISLAMIC.

Also, let's not generalize people's situations- it's just another form of belittlement. Yesterday was yesterday and today is a fresh slate: don't reference yesterday's infested sore on your blog with post that have nothing to do with the previous agrument(s)- don't beat a dead horse... let the ignorance lay where it is- if someone didn't see it, good because that display of contempt is nothing to be proud of.

Your sister has the right to defend herself! If points or inferences are made about an idea or statement that was made, a sister should be able to defend her statement- maybe she IS wrong or lack understanding in your plight but all the same she has the right to be heard- do not delete the comments. Someone out there might be able to explain to her where she is wrong or missed the point of your argument- you can't have that exchange if their words are deleted. By all means, if some donkey comes along from the outside looking in, spewing total ignorance, then delete them without hesitation. Do it in the spirit of fairness- people aren't always going to agree but someone out there with a similar view may become enlightened when some points of the argument are explained- nor should you "pick and choose" whose comments you'd like to publish if someone's view doesn't strike your fancy....

Maybe some will read this and say who asked her... or I don't care about her outlook on the situation- but we as Muslimahs SHOULD care about each other regardless of what race or creed we hail from. We are all responsible for our actions and words and on the Day of Judgement, we all will surely answer for our deeds...and if you could care less about what I said above, I will say this to you- FEAR ALLAH... full stop.

I love all of you, my sisters, for the pleasure of Allah regardless whether you are white, black, purple, green, magenta, grey, yellow, blue, ugly, stunningly beautiful, short, fat, tall, skinny, scarred or flawless!

Now, can we ladies climb back into the sandbox and play nice? As always, all comments are welcomed! ;)

23 comments:

Umm Travis said...

assalamu alaykum - in all fairness... the point i was trying to make IS actually what ended up happening, so to me, it is somehow kinda funny.

I do get that people have been "victimized".. but from an outsiders view looking in, the most amount of racism I have EVER SAW IN MY LIFE is what has appeared before your very eyes. It is like nothing I have ever saw before, wallahi.. and frankly if such ppl get out of America and look at the way many of their brothers and sisters are being treated, they just might count their lucky stars, Allahu alim. For some of them, they are not only treated like trash, but they dont have any government legislation to protect them.

To be honest, the news, media and music makes the situation a whole lot worse for African Americans. Many of us have come to fear the African America women and her attitude... it is way beyond opposing victimization, and extended into a whole new kind of racism. Which, I guess you might expect from kaffers, but from Muslimahs? I would think they would be more grateful and stop crying themselves such a big river.

And the bottom line, in my opinion, is that if someone were in fact a good muslim, they would NOT see colour of skin as any different from hair or eye color. Not for themselves and not in others. And if that is living in a bubble, that alhumdullah for it, because I really wouldnt want to be any other way ;)

Empress Anisa said...

Umm Travis- I didn't see racism in that disgusting diatribe- what I did see was an outlook and the varied opinions of others turn into a resentful, hurtful situation. If I'm mistaken, your idea was to avoid the issue- in my years, avoidance never solved any problems. And absolutley nothing there was kinda funny.

And why would some people need to leave America to see how their sisters and brothers are treated? We have Al-Jazeera and other news outlets of sorts that we can turn to and we do see what's going on in the rest of the world with our fellow Muslims.... and "they" should think their lucky stars for..?

Don't bring government into this as that scope though shouldn't be, is quite limited in protecting all Americans as it should.

Yes, I heard that argument before- how whites fear African American women and their "attitude"- ya know all the neck-jerking and rolling the eyes but do you understand what has made most this way? The history of situations that most have been AND are STILL subjected to has made them hard- some suffer from this more than others... but let's take an example: African-Americans or I'll say "Blacks" because this extends to all us of color wherever you might be in the world, with slavery and the still unequal treatment here and abroad- what about the Jews and their holocaust? Situations like these shape people into who they become- some have it a little easier than others and some can let go. And people here in America whether you chose to acknowledge this or not, are not treated as equals- point blank. This includes Latinos and Natives as well. With people becoming so "bent", is that a new form of racism? Yes, it is but again when you're beat down long enough, some just take, some fight back, others just become bitter. And please enlighten me as to why "they" should be more grateful and stop crying a big river? Please elaborate your point.

As I stated before, and I maintain, we ALL see a person's color to say differently is an absolute farce... but it's that the ONLY THING YOU CAN SEE, than you have a problem. Jerks come from every race and creed and I select whom I deal with not based on the color of her skin, her region she hails from or her economic status but her outlook on life, her behavior as a human being and its always a plus if she so happens to be a Muslimah.

Your race or creed is not something any of us can escape- it's to embrace who we are but also never forget that WE'RE MUSLIMS FIRST AND FOREMOST.

And you can't live in a bubble if you really want to understand the lives and situations of all people out there- alot of people live in their own little "utopia" but when their faced with the harsh reality of life outside their "box" they see they never really knew people at all.

I love you, Umm Travis, my sister, for the pleasure of Allah! Our exchange is to bring understanding and I hope my words have explained what I'm trying to convey.

Empress Anisa said...

Oh, see an error- I meant to say why should "they" thank their lucky stars....

Umm Travis said...

I think ppl need to see how others live, thats all. I really do. I never saw ppl treated the way I do here in the middle east - muslims of all ppl - and I am sure its worse in places I havent seen.

In America at least ppl have opportunity. Some other places they dont. Here in parts of Egypt - they drink WASTE water. That to me is something to cry about.

And to see it on the news sister... huh... thats nothing compared to seeing things over and over with your very eyes. I didnt think the things I saw happen to ppl of race, religion and education happened in the world still in this day and age... but they do! No one can understand or put their situation in real perspective until they see something different.

And yes, this is one thing I see too - Jews, indians, Palestinians, everyone!!!! - single parents - handicaps - everyone in this world is abused, victimized and discriminated against somehow by someone. I really cant understand how the african american is all that different than any other group... but I guess I never will cuz I am just ignorant white chick.

My opinion is - some ppl deal with it differently. And that is what makes all the difference. How CERTAIN ppl have dealt with it, well, to me, thats ignorance.

hijabee said...

Empress Anisa,
You have indeed spoken the truth subhanallah, you've beautifully expressed everything I wanted to say about this topic. Again, this clearly show how we as muslimas wear our hijabs on the outside but are totally naked when it comes to the hijab on the inside. Islam is not about our clothes, it's about our behavior, it's about truth and not silence, it's about supporting the truth, not supporting our friends when they err. I guess the Jihad of the Nafs will remain our greatest jihad! Arrogance and ego will be our biggest ennemies and as long as those are present in the heart, true Islamic behavior will be absent! As our beloved said" whoever has one grain of pride will not enter Jannah". I will always be amazed by human beings I guess, certain things are just hard to understand. Subhannallah. Sister I love you in Allah for these true words you have spoken and inshallah I will always love my sisters in Islam who strive towards the right path. May Allah unite us.

Aalia said...

Asalaam `alaikum :-)

I bet I know who you're talking about... ME! Yup! Anyways I guess my intention to bring the truth out kinda went the wrong way... I don't like others telling ppl that NO THEY AREN'T THIS or NO YOU DO NOT KNOW because how do THEY know what a person has done or how they identify as?

And when I see other Bloggers attacking Sisters and agreeing with very hurtful and attacking comments towards them, of course I am going to say something -- especially when I know that person IRL.

But anyways... you're right, today is a new day -- start fresh. I don't think bad of anyone, I just didn't see ppl being fair and felt the need to speak up.

PPL are entitled to their own opinion and express it, but when it crosses the lines into attacking or calling down another person, ESPECIALLY a Muslim, then I wont stand by either in real life OR the internet -- because Allah sees ALL.

But just to make sure things stay nice, I am going to erase my Blog Post about the situation.

No one pressured me to do so, and out of all the comments (shown and not shown), only one person felt the need to use foul language and call all of us names.

Empress Anisa, jazaki Allah khair for this post, I can see it very clearly now :-)

I am not one to be afraid and say I made a mistake in how I handled things. Astighfor Allah!

Time to make it right!

Umm Travis said...

You know what, I really cant handle this anymore. I will just apologize for any wrongdoing on my part or if I offended anyone.

Myself, I grew up in a single parent household and was deemed unworthy by the townsfolk because of that. I was the child of a handicapped woman, and spit on and made fun of because my clothes were from the Salvation Army. I was abused mentally, physically, emotionally AND sexually because of my status in life. My mother had to go on welfare cuz she lost her job, and I spent my whole friggin life trying to overcome all of that. And inside it has torn me apart. But when I see other ppl in this life, I feel that nothing NOTHING I suffered can compare to what other ppl have suffered. And I will continue to fight for the best quality of life, and try also to raise my children to be polite and not think of themselves of victims in any way, no matter what MIGHT happen to them. People need to take responsibility and DO SOMETHING rather than just verbally abuse others and think they are so unique. They are not. This world is harsh for all of us... that is my humble opinion, and I am sorry if others cant agree.

And another point - if muslims are so offended by how they are treated living in a KAFFER country, then get out. I was not even a muslim and I knew something was wrong with that way of life. I owned almost nothing and sold it all, just to buy a plane ticket out.

People need to overcome their difficulties and not just cry about it. All my life I heard about this issue, and your all right - I dont get it. Cuz whenever I was unhappy, hurt and abused, I did something about it. Something productive. Thats all I am saying.

Empress Anisa said...

Umm Travis- darling, there is no need to be hostile- and if u choose to call yourself an ignorant white chick than so be it-subhanallah, I DID NOT TELL YOU THAT. I implore you not to use such terms when addressing me- I don't think along those lines so using terminology like that is fruitless.... whenever I dislike someone I'll say "dumb broad" or "stupid chick" maybe even "ignorant donkey"- I don't throw color into the equation.

Being you listed all the hurdles you've suffered in your life would you like to say I know exactly how YOU FEEL? How could I? My Mom wasn't handicap, I wasn't abused on any of those levels, certainly didn't wear clothes from the Salavation Army and I wasn't spit on... I can relate to your past but I can't say I know how you felt back then and obviously you still have some issues with- but correct me if I'm wrong, you trying to work out "all the wrongs" you dealt with in your past equate to Halal dealing with whatever hand she might've been dealt in her life? Have any of you ever asked her about her story? Her story could be the same as your past... I don't know and you don't know. But I don't think she's not doing anything about it- she's raising awareness- and we all need to be aware of each other's plight.

Now, getting on the uh, issue of seeing the issues on the news and seeing it first hand, obviously we all can't see every situation in this world first hand- we're not all-seeing, all-knowing... only my Creator is. So, you lived places and seen wrongs committed to people- same happens here in the nation that is the leader of the free world- maybe in a different capacity but wrongs against humanity all the same. I can't see everything or anything other than what I hear from people living there or in other countries or on the news just like you can't see all the ills that take place in this great nation called America.

Look, fry it up any way you choose-there's nothing wrong with being proud of being Black, White, Asian or Latino but when you use that pride to suppress and oppress others than that's something to be addressed.

And if you look at my post, I didn't agree with everyones behavior- where I saw and felt each person was incorrect that's what I addressed in my post- neither one was completely right- can you tell me I indicated otherwise?

And about teaching your children not to feel like victims regardless of WHAT happens to them is a very tall order, Umm Travis. I will teach mine to have mercy on those who hurt you, and seek the proper kind of justice if need be to address what has been done. I will also teach my children to understand that we as a species come in many different colors and cultures but none are less than the other- approach all people with an open heart and mind and they in their ignorance treat you differently than leave them where the hell you found them- which is what my parents taught me.

And about leaving kaffar countries, sounds ideal but seriously? I'm sure we know all people aren't afforded the luxury of doing so for too many reasons under the sun to list....

I don't know whether sisters are doing anything productive or counter-productive to correct whatever ills they've suffered but I will say open unbiased dialogue should be the starting point- we can all learn and possibly grow from it.

Umm Trav, my sister, we're ALL unique that's what makes us ALL special- wouldn't the world be boring if we were all the same? But it is to remember, we are united under the gender of being female for those non-Muslims who read these blogs and the rest of us, our bond goes even deeper as we are sisters in Islam... again first and foremost. Now, if I have said anything to offend you accept my apology and I will tell you anything you've said has not offended me.... I have nothing but love for you! :)

Hijabee: I, too, love all my sisters who strive to follow the correct path- may Allah never let us be of those who stray....

Aalia: I commend you for your gesture of trying to clear the air by erasing your post- that's a start in the right direction!

Halal Honey said...

Empress Anisa
Man...look what I started! I never meant for any of this to get so ugly and to be dragged out this long. My intentions for my posts on race and nationality in Islam, on racism, etc. was to raise awareness to these very important issues. I have clearly stated my stances on all of my posts and in all of my comments, and I do not take anything back. As far as deleting comments go, after 100 of them, I felt that it was time to take some action. I do not like comment moderation, so my decision was to delete certain people's comments because some will not stop, and will continue posting and posting their comments until they feel as if they have "won the debate" or whatever. People's behavior's have been silly. I will say that I have def. let the opposing argument and commentators have their say. But it's gotta end at one point or another right?:) Anyways, sorry for all the fuss. Like I said, I stick by all that I have said regarding these issues I have posted about and the debates I have been in with some women in the comments section. So that's that.

Btw, can you believe I got over 200 spam comments on my blog this morning? And I bet you can guess which posts they were on!!

Empress Anisa said...

Halal dahling... I would never ask you to change your position on what you feel- I wanted to raise awareness that if we are going to give people their say, post all comments not some, ya know what I mean? If a certain person kept commenting than shut the whole thing down- accept no ones comments as it appeared she wanted to reply as to what was being said about her (as you posted those) and not giving her the chance to defend herself... that's why I sent you that comment to shut it down and talk about something else-I knew it would just continue and continue and continue... and look what has happened? More bitterness and ugliness brought to the surface.

Your post I feel was taken out of context and turned into something quite ugly- my personal opinion is to let sleeping dogs lie and start again!

Keep posting your awareness of self- like I said, some women out there might find refuge in it and there's nothing wrong with that.

Fair enough, Mamacita? ;)

Halal Honey said...

I told the sister if she had anything new and beneficial to add to her argument that I would post her comments. She did not, so I didn't post them. Instead she went on to personally attack me and others so I said khalas, I'm not gonna even respond. Others had really important comments (imo) and touched upon subjects and made points that I did not. So I left their comments. May Allah (s.w.t.) forgive me if I have done anything wrong, because I know that I am far from perfect.

Millz said...

This was a really great post, Anisa. From everything I've been reading a lot of people have taken other sister's views totally out of context. It seems like everything got completely out of hand. I guess this is one of the dangers of blogging, you can't READ someone's intentions or emotions. I'm sure if that was possible this whole thing wouldn't have gotten sooo crazy.

Just the one thing that I don't understand though is why is it necessary to NOT see color in order to be a good Muslim? I'd rather have someone see my color but also see beyond it and get to know me as a person. A colorblind society is no fun. Personally I like acknowledging and learning from people's differences.

Umm Ismail said...

As salaamou alikum, I try to keep it simple and get it over with I tend to cut folks off like a bad habit. Either due there actions or Attitudes or even Views that by no means Reflect Islam. Maybe its wrong but i don't have time for BS. I will give my sister her rights but that's it because some people will never be ment to be your friend, or even on the Same page.Allahu allim... Fitnah is a Disease that is spreading and we have to shut it down Or we will fall Victim to it. I'm not Anti Social but i do understand why some sisters are because of Issues with other Women or have had issues. Because we don't know how to act half the time.. Idle Talk is the devils Play Pin !! If Keep tp are own Business and mind it , then maybe we can succeed and learn to want for or sisters as we want for self. "Respect" Honor" :being Mindful of our Tongue" Etc..
The best book i Keep reading is My Advice for Women By Ummadillah Wadiyyah... it pin points it and Attacks our issues with Quran And Sunnah. We as women Must learn to Grab or tongue and tie it in a knot lol so to speak. I had my share and done my Share may Allah protect form our Selves, and be guided and Stand firm in Sisterhood. Ameen
I speak to my self First before any one else.... Because I definitely need it Masha Allah!!

Ummismail

Empress Anisa said...

Millz- yes, people like to use that term colorblind meaning not to see a color but ALL people do see it but they don't practice any prejudices against those colors... e.g.: If I were walking towards you in the street, what would be the first thing you see? Okay, I'll give the benefit of doubt, that I'm a sister? What's the 2nd thing you'd see? BOD again, that I'm big? What's the 3rd thing? BOD again, maybe my height... but eventually you will notice my skin color, how could someone not? Am I transparent? lol

I maintain there is nothing wrong with acknowledging someone's color or culture for that matter as we're all different- I don't cook or handle things like a Tanzanian, a Moroccan, a Candian, a Bosnian, a Russian and the sorts... this is what makes ALL us UNIQUE and SPECIAL and we're connected under the umbrella of Islam, Alhumdulillah. I know when I get together with my sisters from my masjid for our all-girl luncheons, you look around the room and you see various skin tones and ethnicities, MashaAllah... all of us bring a little something different to the table but we're all sisters, Subhanallah... and to me, that's beautiful!


Umm Ismail- Salaam 'Alaikum sis! Well, to be honest with dropping people in general, my rule has always been you have 3 times to commit a major offense and then you're out... over the years I just started cutting people at the 1st offense and my hubby called me on it- and he was right. So back to the old rule- and yes, there are people we're just not meant to be friends with...

Hajar said...

Assalamualaikum dear sister,

To be blunt, I only know bits and pieces of the story. Nonetheless, I find your post enlightening. ^

Going a little heavy here ... Ever since I started blogging, I've gotten to know some of the most beautiful sisters ever. Knowing that these very sisters share a common aim in becoming better muslims is all that mattered. Sure, we have our differences, we make mistakes, but at the end of the day do we do a self-reflection of our actions?

Questions that I ask myself are: When I acknowledge her as my sister, does that give me the right to judge her? On what basis do I accept her as my sister? To what extent do I really recognize her?

Stay united sisters. :)

Empress Anisa said...

Hajar- yes, we shouldn't ever judge our sisters... but you said you only know bits & pieces of the story- the sisters were being very disrespectful to each other- and I tell you, I was disturb by it so much so it compelled to compose that post.
We are already under a microscope as a group and one sister received over 200 spam comments in regard to that same tirade on her blog- another sister received one by an outsider who condemned and fun of the very same sisters... their comment was partially funny but in seriousness, I said to her as a comment that "You see how WE are depicted to those who look to mock us anyway"... and that's true.
We have to stay united and remember we have our differences but we're still all one (and I hope some sisters feel that way)

Empress Anisa said...

Oh Yes, Hajar... wa alaikum assalaam- and thanks for stopping by! (bad manners)(lol)

Hajar said...

By all means, I am not directing the whole 'being judgmental' thing on you. Instead, I am thankful for your post, reminding us sisters to be at peace amongst ourselves. ^

Also, I am aware of those comments and the fury behind it. I guess I wasn't able to comprehend the chain-of-events. And I agree with your statement. We only injure ourselves by becoming a reflection of the mockery.

LoL. Think I'll be stopping by more often than not. Insya'Allah. :)

Empress Anisa said...

Hajar.... after I read what I wrote about "but you said you only know bits & pieces" that you might've thought I was taking that "somewhere else"... sorry sis! What I was trying to do was "fill you in" sorta with telling you in a "nutshell" how they were being disrespectful to each other... nothing else! After I looked at it I said Eek! that doesn't really look right- see how the choice of words can change it all?

Pixie said...

Empress Anisa: don't worry, I am not offended by your comments, sis. I got your comment. Actually your suggestion on that sister's blog was very good since moderating comments when people needed to defend themselves against false accusations and bad behavior was necessary and your suggestion was very Islamic. I myself found that blog was not beneficial to participate in since I had become attacked and was not allowed to defend myself and then, well, all that one is open to is attack back, and that's not very Islamic is it so I'm out and hurt and just sad for us all. Your suggestion is perfectly right, since insults to my person certainly had nothing to do with the topic, and weren't the behaviour I was expecting from my sisters (and yet they made their way on the blog and none of my defense of myself was allowed there for any reason). Jazzakllah kheir for your suggestion. It might have helped the situation. I certainly wouldn't want to silence the sister operating the blog, but I don't want someone to call me down for my race and say my experiences don't account for anything when they DO for me and others. We all have different experiences but we have more in common than we have differences as sisters in this ummah, and in no way does any difference negate that we behave with Islamic manners towards one another. BTW I do have the right to moderate comments with obsene language and insults to character, derogatory terms, or incoherant spam. I agree that every blogger has this right. As Muslims though, they have no reason to insult one another by calling them names, such as colonist, child... ect.

Pixie said...

Halal Honey: that is unture. I saved ALL my comments and I did not attack you or any other sisters though you have said words about me THAT WERE NOT TRUE, or allowed others to say them, such a colonist, or called me a liar, astighurfurallah, for posting an ayah from the Qu'ran and I did, and I have at least four witnesses before you erased the comment. How is the Qu'ran ever of no benefit? THAT is WHY I was offended. If you said, Pixie, you cannot comment on my blog, then hey, that would have worked for me, and everyone could see what you really meant, but erasing my comments that were in a defense of myself, or Qu'ran? And allowing others to insult at the same time? I told Dada she wasn't welcome to comment on my blog until she apologized for calling me a colonist so... Since I consider that an untrue stereotype of caucasions and a derogatory term in the way she meant it. This is the behaviour that I have a right to say is unislamic. From now on, say what you mean. I CAN respect that.

Empress Anisa said...

Ms. Pixie... of course, you have the right to moderate comments on your blog- as I stated, if someone is spewing total ignorance, than do so but if ur sister is trying to get her point across (as you were) don't delete them. We all can do what we like- but as I said, in the spirit of fairness, ya know what I mean? :)

Empress Anisa said...

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Assalaam 'Alaikum sisters... I have decided I will not post any more comments on this topic- I feel enough have giving their say including the 2 main parties involved. I do not desire this blog and post to become a continuation of the disgusting diatribe we all witnessed.

We should all remember, going forward, to be mindful of our sister and her rights, how we protray our sister, ourselves and especially Islam. As we all know, that display was NOT in accordance to the guidance or teachings of Islam- and yes, we should ALL be ashamed....

Also,let's not forget that we are the representatives of our beautiful, glorious religion- I'm sure those on the "outside looking in" especially those who look to mock us had a delightful time reading all the nasty, divisive comments while we picked our sister(s) to pieces... we're ALL sisters whether we like it or not if you follow the doctrines of Islam and if you feel differently, you need to check yourself.

We need to remember above everything else that we're MUSLIMS FIRST AND FOREMOST and in the future, conduct ourselves accordingly.

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