Tag Archives: Religion

Dawah By Dong*

In this title I am talking about the men who are intent on spreading Islam with their man-parts, by dating and eventually converting poor, misguided women in the West.

I hesitated to write this post, despite my passion on the subject, because I, myself, was involved with a Muslim man when I converted to Islam. I’ve mentioned this before and am mentioning it again in the interest of full disclosure. I didn’t convert for this man, however, as evidenced by the fact that I rejected his marriage proposals, broke up with him soon after converting, and moved out of state to escape him, my family, and my old life in order to re-discover myself in my new, chosen, identity.  I had also been bumping up against, discovering, and delving into Islam for four years before this relationship so the brother was not my first introduction to the religion. InshAllah he will get reward though because he did help me cross that final threshold.

I also hesitated because I anticipate that this will be, possibly, an offensive topic for many out there because I very rarely, and I mean rarely, meet women who converted on their own, without being in a relationship, or already being married to a Muslim man. I identify myself as someone who came into Islam by myself, although in fact I do wallow in a gray area between due to this relationship. I can neither disregard nor completely credit the contribution of this brother for my being Muslim. But I generally count the two years between my conversion and my marriage as sufficient to identify myself as someone who came into Islam without being married to a Muslim man. You may disagree with that as you wish.

Many, many converts cannot say the same thing though, and I fear that I will marginalize or degrade their decision to convert by what I want to say in this post. I do not mean to. There is nothing to say that your Islam is less valuable because you married your husband before, or soon after, you converted.

My object of disdain is the Muslim man who dates easy, empty-headed women and then uses the leverage of “I can’t marry you because you’re not Muslim” to break it off when the poor girl gets too clingy. And who justifies his rutting around by saying that he believes she is interested in Islam and he wants to guide her. But then uses aforementioned excuse to break it off when he tires of shagging her.

And there are men who date women who aren’t even interested in Islam and then, when both are invested in the relationship, put pressure on their girlfriends to convert because he won’t marry, and make babies with, a non-Muslim. This is a very sad and unfortunate situation because the women are forced to choose between losing the man that they love or converting to a religion they don’t believe in.

I would be surprised if you, the reader (assuming that you are Muslim and you travel in Muslim circles,)  had never known of, or heard of, a situation where this had happened. The woman breaks down and “converts,” the man marries her, they pop out a few kids and 10 years down the road the woman is miserably unhappy with being a Muslim, covering, and dealing with the expectations so they divorce. It’s a bitter divorce, and of course she leaves Islam, and a year later the kids are going to Friday prayer with dad and Sunday school with mom.

This is why dawah by dong is fatally flawed even though it is the primary method by which many women convert.

Obviously I am ignoring the simple fact that offering his man-parts to ‘ze ladies’ is haraam. I’m ignoring it simply because they do.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Muslim men with non-Muslim women. And very, very, very few of them plan on marrying these women. They’re just playing around until they save enough plata to bag a virgin from their home country. The kufar women are simply for getting his rocks off before then. Sometimes the man is afraid enough of Allah that he marries the chick Islamically so that the sexy-times are not a sin, but the final outcome is the same.

Raise your hand if you’re a non-Muslim and you’ve heard that Muslim men are skeezes? Heck, raise your hand if you’re Muslim and you’ve heard, or seen, that Muslim men are skeezes?

*raises hand*

But behind this are a number, a large number, of women who met their husbands at work/school, became romantically involved, learned about Islam, converted, married, spawned, and are living happily ever after as content Muslimahs. MashAllah.

But oh, oh, how many failures there are. How many men there are who use it as an excuse. Even as an excuse to marry a SECOND wife. To “help” some woman who is thinking about converting, or recently converted, stay on the path.

Because God knows that we women aren’t strong enough to keep a religion without a man around to remind us.

And what a noble cause this gentleman is embarking on: saving the converts of the world, four women at  a time.

Spreading the good word of Islam with his “sword.”

Enough.

Islam is beautiful enough to spread without blackmailing a woman into it.

Women are competent enough to discover how to be a good Muslim without a man to teach her.

And if you are interested in Islam, contact a local mosque. Or go ahead and ask that dreamy-eyed brown boy in your organic chem class about Islam but don’t, do not, absolutely do not tie YOUR Islam to him or anyone else.

Make it your own. And then marry him.

But this method of spreading Islam needs to stop.

Though I doubt it ever will.

I’d flay the skin off my son if I ever caught him doing this, although I would support him giving a Quran, advice, or the number to the local masjid to the pretty young thing who approached him in organic chem.

But I’d make sure she wanted Islam for herself before I consented to a marriage.

Brothers, be responsible.

Ladies, be smart.

And please forgive me if I have offended anyone, it wasn’t my intention. I just had to get this off of my chest.

 

 

*I apologize for such a crude way of putting it, but its apt.

 

Addendum: There are many good, righteous brothers who seek to marry converts because they like the idea that a woman, who was interested in Islam, became a Muslim and they want the reward of helping her learn Islam. Sometimes they help a woman, who has approached them with questions, and the relationship becomes romantic before she converts and after she does they then marry. This situation, from my experience, is the majority of the cases of how women convert to Islam. Its close to the line but doesn’t cross it, and may Allah bless them.

My husband married me after I had been Muslim for 2 years and he is happy to say this whenever anyone asks. Alhumdulillah.

Convert Truths Blogival- Shades of Grey

I was having a wonderful conversation yesterday with a good friend of mine who is much like me; a convert married to an Egyptian with similar religious leanings. We were talking about ummahs in different parts of the US that we had lived in or had friends in- what these ummahs had, what they lacked, and what we’re thankful for (a lot) in our local ummah here in Minnesota. We agreed that the Twin Cities definitely has the best ummah that we’ve ever lived in (alhumdulillah) and we posited that it might be the best in the entire US, in terms of size, amenities, and general brotherly love and cooperation.

Get ready, this blog post is really just a long commercial for why you should move to Minnesota.

Just kidding.

But you should.

When I read Nicole’s intro for Convert Truths (link here), I immediately felt a sense that all of her topic suggestions applied, and yet really didn’t apply to me, if that makes sense.

We’ve all been through the die-hard newbie phase; the abaya and niqab phase; the astughfurlillah phase. It’s a good phase, really, an earnest phase and we all generally go through it with sincere intentions.

I think its a necessary phase when it comes to a convert’s need to figure out who she/he is in terms of being a Muslim and still being oneself. Many people need that phase to remove themselves completely from their pre-Islamic mindset, to break from the routine.

I had that phase, my friends, I daresay that I was even a bit of a know-it-all for awhile. So obnoxious.

But eventually I grew out of it; eventually I was able to reconcile who I wanted to be as a Muslim while still retaining my individuality, as most converts are also eventually able to do. But I’ve been Muslim for coming up on 6 years now and I reckon that it took all 6 of them to get where I am today, and God only knows how much different I will be in 6 more.

What I can say is that having lived in Egypt made a huge difference in me as a person entirely, not just religiously. It doesn’t make me the go-to expert on all things Egypt, but I SINCERELY recommend that any convert lives for at least one year in their spouse’s home country because you learn so much about where your spouse comes from, why he/she acts, reacts, thinks, feels, and leans a certain way. Its a meeting point between you and him/her. If I could, I would make it mandatory.

Like I have that power. *flexes muscles*

Friends, it also gives you a bit of street cred with the mosque men/women from your spouse’s Backhomeistan, and it makes you a lot less obnoxious when you expound on why Backhomeistan is such a wonderful place, paved with gold, filled with super deeni people who are loads better than the western kufaar you have to deal with everyday; mostly because you probably wouldn’t expound on that because you’d know that Backhomeistan is actually only about 3% paved with bad asphalt and 99% culturally Muslim.

Seriously. See what I’m saying? Its terribly important.

Especially when it comes to mosque street cred with the Backhomeistan crew. And it ain’t just us converts, either. Western-born Backhomeistanians deal with the same exact side-eye from the crew if they’ve never lived in Backhomeistan, so try not to take it personally if you DO get side-eye when you try to sit with them.

Which brings me to a really, really important piece of information for new converts, old converts, any converts dealing with side-eye from Backhomeistanians in the mosque:

And I’m going to say this very baldly;

Stop giving a fuck.

Your religion is not FOR them to side-eye or front-eye or judge in any manner, mostly because many of them really have no more information about it than you do. See my reference to Backhomeistan being 99% culturally Muslim. They know the basics but unless they are scholars, they’re learning along side you.

And if they are scholars, and they’re still giving you the side-eye without welcoming you and try to help you, then they have a LOT more to learn.

But in reality, at least in many mosques I’ve been to, halaqa-time is Backhomeistanians Social Hour so really, the side-eye is less about religion and more about culture. Which is where Backhomeistan street cred comes in handy.

Now, lets go back for a second to my first paragraph, the one about Minnesota being an awesome place to be Muslim (alhumdulillah) (told you, long commercial for Minnesota); I feel blessed to have lived here and to have come into Islam here.

Are there mosque politics? Abso-freaking-lutely. You can’t get a group of people together WITHOUT some sort of interpersonal politics- religious, work-place, friendly, or otherwise. Its human nature, so try to not take it seriously.

Plenty of sisters I know have stopped going to the mosque here because of these politics, or because of snide things said or enacted by a group of other sisters.

This is sad to me, because they are ways to get around it as long as you are able to let it roll right off your back and, as I baldly stated above, stop giving a fuck.

For those of you who are having an issue with mosque politics, feeling burned by the side-eye, or out-casted I would like to give you a checklist:

  1. Check YOUR intentions. What are you going to the mosque for?
    • Socializing? I don’t blame you for it, where else can you socialize with other Muslims without having a core group of Muslim friends?
      1. Try another mosque, sometimes that’s all you need. If there are no other mosques then open up communication between you and the other women/men. Communication is KEY because they may only be giving you the side-eye because they don’t know you, and they can’t know you unless you talk to them. Yes, its shitty of them not to make the first move and welcome you, but if they are Backhomeistanian they may already feel out of place and uncomfortable around westerners. Sometimes it just takes breaking the ice and you find that they realize they were wrong about you and you were wrong about them. You can’t know until you try. Honestly, I’ve bull-dogged my way into a group of Egyptian women (after living in Egypt for a year, they became a lot more open to me because I LEARNED how to interact with Egyptian women. I TOLD you its important to have that street cred.) and now they’re pretty wonderful. You don’t HAVE to have the street cred, you just have to try. If they still ice you out, then they are not worth it.
    • Religious talks/classes/prayer.
      1. MashAllah. Why do you care what they think then? Go for the Islamic knowledge and fuhgeddabout the other people.
      2. Your local/only mosque is a different sect/leaning than you? That’s a toughie, especially when you have few options. Move to Minnesota.
        • Ok, I’m joking. But really, I don’t have an answer for that beyond trying to find a good online community. Internet friends are just as important as real friends, only you can’t hug them.
    • All of the above, but the men/women like to cause drama and you’re tired of it.
      1. What type of drama? Can you ignore it? I promise you if you stop giving a fuck what they think, and focus on why you are there, it should be better. Just because Islam is perfect, doesn’t mean Muslims are. Focus on why you’re there; focus on Allah.
  2. Check YOURSELF, and I mean this sincerely. Drama is many times a two-way street. If you take a step back, stop responding, stop back-biting about the other person to those people who are on your side, and the other person continues their rain of drama upon you, eventually it will become obvious that the only person continuing the beef is them. Focus on your reasons for being there, and ignore the drama-whores. They’re like bullies, if you stop rising to their taunts, they get bored. It may be hard, but remember that Allah rewards the person who backs down from a fight even though they are right. I’m too lazy to look up the hadeeth, but I’m pretty certain that reward is Paradise.

Of all the mosque drama I have ever encountered personally, most of the above advice should suffice. If it doesn’t, feel free to email me your issue at mollyannelian at gmail dot com.

Maybe I can start a Dear Abby column and call it Dear Amina.

I think this blog post is not what Nicole was looking for.

Plus I don’t know how to wrap it up. I am so off my blogging game, see why I don’t blog much anymore?

I stopped giving a fu— ok, I should stop swearing, sorry.

In reality, the Muslim blogosphere is no longer what it was then because we, the dinosaurs, grew older, wiser, and, at least in my case, tired. Many of us came into Islam around the time that blogging blew up and so we dove into this new media with the desire to work through our issues, our growing pains, and our creative labors online.

For me I live blogged a tumultuous, horrible, wonderful, amazing, and painful year in Egypt, and before that the first ten months of my marriage in the US, separated by an ocean from my husband. I could not have made it through that without my blog, and my friends who commented on my posts and commiserated with me. Thank you all for that, by the way.

Maybe Twitter has replaced my blog for me, because I can air my grievances out immediately, in 140 characters or less, or in a long, run-on set of tweets.

Maybe when I pop out a mini-me I’ll go back into live-blogging that child’s first smiles, farts, spit-ups, and steps. I don’t know.

Maybe right now I’m just at a contented point in my life. Alhumdulillah. Happy, comfortable, completely and totally bourgeois. I go to work. I cook. I shop at Target. I fill my car with gas. I dig myself out of the million tons of snow we seem to have gotten this winter (seriously, will it ever STOP?!?). I hang out with my wonderful friends and family.

I’m… happy. Alhumdulillah.

And I think I would make a very boring blog.

Am I getting boring? Honestly, I’m exhausted. I forgot how much work this blogging thing was.

So.. snappy wrap up?

I’ve got nothing. Check out my checklist though, see if you think it would apply. See if you think its a bunch of bull-hockey. Give me things you think should be added.

We’re works in progress, all of us.

And everything we do.

Calling All Converts

I’m looking for converts who have written their conversion stories or are willing to write their conversion stories and would be interested in having them posted online.

The website I work for is dedicated to non-Muslims who are seeking information about Islam and new Muslims who are looking for support. One of my assigned sections is conversion stories and so many new Muslims and/or seeking non-Muslims have found inspiration there.

Would you like to be the inspiration for someone?

Email me at mollyannelian [at] gmail.com and I will reply via the official editors email.

Come Mista Tallyman, Tally Me Banana

Daylight come and me wanna go home.

So I have some great and greater news! Which one do you want first?

The great news is that I finally left the seething pit of hell that was Global Education. Man was THAT a barrel full of monkeys.

Quite literally, I worked for monkeys. Everytime I went to work there was a new person working there until finally there was only one of the original staff left, the only one I trusted and who had my back, and a new boss-monkey who everyone hated and who I despised.

Boss-monkey was simply rude to everyone, including me, and finally I had had enough. I got to the two-month mark, had them tally me bananas, took my salary which I was almost not sure they were going to give me, and decided to never come back. Right after I had decided I found that the owner of the company had, just that day, fired without explanation the last staff-member I actually liked. I got out just in time because I’m sure that had I needed to try to get my bananas from boss-monkey he definitely would not have obliged.

So, yay! I’m free, I’m free, whoop whoop, I’m free.

And the even GREATER news is that the day after that I got a new job! A totally awesome job in a totally awesome place doing totally awesome work alhumdulillah. For real, ya’ll.

I am now an Assistant Editor on a prominent Islamic website focused on dawah. I will also write a bit for them as well inshAllah. Alhumdulillah rabiy-al-ameen!

I originally had to decided to say which one, however for now I have decided against that. Also I hold a few views that are not officially sanctioned by the website and I really don’t want to have to censor myself on my own blog.

I think I will also be published on a small number of other websites through connections, but Allahu alem.

Either way its a HUGE first step towards being a (sorta) recognized writer plus I’ll get experience editing which is so important. Alhumdulillah for everything.

I only have two issues: getting to work (its a 90 minute commute) by shuttle which has no shuttle pick-up point in a place that is easily accesible for me. Its incredibly exhausting and disheartening. God, what I would do for a car.

Oh! I’m also hoping, inshAllah to get involved with a radio station offered through a sister-site to my own and to have my own show! Ya rabi! I think this job has really opened a lot of paths for me and I’m so happy.

I slammed a window (Global Ed) and God opened a very large door.

Those are some nice bananas, eh?

White Men and Shotguns

A white man with white supremacist connections shoots up the Holocaust museum and the media forgets to mention the fact that most white supremacy groups are heavily tied into Christianity.

I’m totally not saying that Christianity is terroristic but had this been a Muslim who did it everyone would be up in arms about Islam being a hate-filled religion and all Muslims hating Jews.

There’s a double-standard here. Can someone please recognize it?

Also looking at serial killers, mass shooters, and wars: the scariest shiz on earth is a middle-aged WASP  man with a gun.

Getting All Religious Up In Here

A fabulous Canadian convert living in Abu Dhabi, Aalia, just posted about a few random things and whether men are allowed to beat their wives in Islam.

People like to say that “in the west people don’t know about Islam” and “non-Muslims are so ignorant about Islam.” Yea, thats true. But I gotta tell ya there’s a whole helluva (pun intended ya’ll) lot of MUSLIMS from MUSLIM COUNTRIES who are ignorant about their religion.

I have blogged countless times about separating culture from religion because what I see being practised a lot of times is cultural teachings that have no ground in the truth of Islam.

Wife beating is one of them.

Can you find Muslim men who beat their wives? Oh yeah.

Can you find Christian men who beat their wives? Absolutely.

Can you find men from every country on earth who beat their wives? In droves, people, huge droves.

I’ll lay it down for those of you who don’t know:

Islam does not condone wife-beating

(any of you who know me personal -hint: family- should know that I would never have joined a religion that condoned it nor would I stick around for it.)

My homegirl Aalia laid it out in a way that I couldn’t have said better so I will cut & paste (with her permission):

It is not generally permitted to hit one’s wife, and the overwhelming instances of hitting that take place in marriages are not only HARAAM (sinful) but entails abuse, wrongdoing (dhulm), and going away from the example of the Messenger of Allah [Prophet Mohamed] (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaama), who often instructed his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) not to hit their wives, and who said, when he heard about men who hit their wives, “The best of you are the best to your spouses, and I am the best of you to their spouse.” The wives of the Prophet, including A’isha (Allah be pleased with her), relate that he never hit any of his wives.

Narrated Mu’awiyah al-Qushayri: “I went to the Apostle of Allah [Prophet Mohamed](sallalahu `alayhi wa salaama) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139)”

Another example of what the Messenger of Allah [Prophet Mohamed] (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaama) said, “Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?”

So, there. If a Christian guy beats his wife in America, is it because he’s Christian? Or because he’s a wife-beating asshole?

If a guy who claims to be Muslim beats his wife, is it because he’s Muslim? Or a wife-beating asshole?

Its that time again

source

Check out cool Ramadan pics from around the world courtesy of the BBC.

Happy Ramadan!

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan Mubarak-ho!

Tomorrow Ramadan will start inshAllah, and I’m not sure I’m ready. Not not ready for the fasting, but not ready for the iftars and the suhoors and the expectations that come with them. I don’t know whats normal here, what foods I’m supposed to cook, how much food I’m supposed to cook, etc. All of my Ramadans thus far (all three of them) have been in the US where I only had to worry about feeding myself, and I’m not sure about anyone else but I personally am quite easy-going in terms of food. If I only fed myself a TV dinner I was quite alright with that but somehow I don’t think Mr MM would be very happy.

He says that I can just keep cooking like I normally do, and I’m lucky because he focuses more on the spiritual aspect of Ramadan rather than the traditional aspect: feasting until you can’t move. He scoffs at the Muslims who make 20 different courses of food and spend ridiculous amounts of money on sweets and meat. He’s all about the prayer, mashAllah, not the ostentatiousness. Yay for me, alhumdulillah, that means I’m not expected to cook for half the day. I’m lucky like that. But when it comes to us holding an iftar here in our home, well… I’ll be dead in the water.

And in the back of my mind I’m thinking about the iftars I was invited to and the iftars at the mosque and my cooking just doesn’t quite match up with that. Hopefully things will move smoothly for me and I’ll be able to fulfill both his expectations and my own. And I’m looking forward to spending Ramadan here in Egypt; in the US I had to mold my fasting around life whereas here life molds itself around fasting, which is great. It will be a big difference.

Anyways, I’m wishing all of you a blessed Ramada filled with love, family, happiness, and the acceptance of your prayers.

May it be a joyous time.

God bless.

* All Arabic words like iftar and suhoor can be found in the Glossary of Terms.

Some notes on Ramadan:

Fasting: nothing to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset, this includes no smoking and no chewing gum as well.

Fasting lasts for 30-31 days and at the end is a big celebration called Eid al-Fitr which lasts for three days.

Those who have a medical condition, are pregnant or nursing, or may be somehow harmed by fasting are not supposed to fast as the religion prohibits causing harm to yourself.

The meaning of Ramadan is to remember God and pray.