Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Religious Tolerance? Where? Not at my job...

An event happened at work today that really irked me. We had a new temp start today. Today was my coworker's birthday and we got her a cake and were cutting it in the conference room. She asked if the new temp was going to come have cake. I mentioned that I didn't even know his name. Another coworker said, "It's Abdoodoo or something weird." Turns out his name is Abdul. I don't know if he's Muslim or not, but he has an Arabic name. A different coworker said, "I hope he doesn't blow up the building or something!" Then one of my bosses said, "I thought the same thing when I saw his resume and so did my boss! He said the same exact thing!"

Really? Is that what my fellow people in the USA think of Muslims or people with Arabic names? That we are terrorists going to blow up the building? It ticked me off! They don't know I am Muslim obviously, the birthday girl knows that I am Muslim. Perhaps I should have come right out and told them and asked them not to be so rude. Still, an office is not supposed to be prejudiced about anything like race or religion! And supervisors are definitely not supposed to voice those prejudiced opinions! Not cool. Not cool at all.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Struggling For Acceptance?

Someone posted this link on a message board I visit today about a Muslimah who was worried about finding her place in Islam after saying shahadah. I can relate a bit with her. It's a struggle sometimes for me to find my place in Islam.

I haven't been to a masjid yet. I don't always wear hijab, other than in the car and occasionally in the grocery store. My family isn't Muslim. My husband isn't Muslim. My closest Muslim friends are all online and I don't see them in the read world. There's one who lives in my state but I haven't had a chance to see her in a year.

I too worry about what I may lose, as the writer of the post that I linked did. I worry that I may lose friends. I worry that I may lose family who don't understand why I left Christianity. I worry that I may lose my job if I dare to wear hijab at work (though my modest clothes have actually earned positive comments from others in my office). But I have to keep remembering that it doesn't matter if the worldly aspects of my life that I am used to are lost. What matters is pleasing Allah and doing as He commands. The more I learn, the happier I become. I love Islam!

As the linked post says, "I once thought that Islam would mean me losing things – now I see that I have gained countless blessings in this life and the key to paradise in the next."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A True Friend?

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, "Man is influenced by the faith of his friends. Therefore, be careful of whom you associate with." I am really thinking about his words carefully right now with regards to a friend of mine.

I have a friend who is honestly not being a very good friend right now. A true friend won't intentionally say hurtful things to get a rise out of you, just to see how you will react. I end up just being silent after these things are said to me because I don't want to say something to cause hurt to my friend, yet he cares nothing about the hurt that he is causing me when he says hurtful things.

This website says this in regards to choosing your friends:

"Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) who has the most noble character and dealings with fellow humans gave us a very clear and simple message and advice in regard to friendship.

How should we choose our friends? We should choose the friend that believes and abide by our religion (Islam) and gives great respect to what Allah (SWT) and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) has ordered us. And we should stay away from that who is not well mannered and gives no attention to what Islam is about or what pleases or displeases Allah (SWT), for he will surely affect us negatively. There is no good if the companion drowns us in sins and displeasing Allah (SWT).

In another Hadith, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: "The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him."

When choosing our friends we should ask ourselves first: Are they going to help us achieve the purpose for which we were brought to life? Or will they take us away from it? Will they desire for us Allah (SWT)'s pleasure or is that completely irrelevant to them and not their concern at all? Are they leading us to Paradise or to the Hell?"

My so-called "friend" is definitely affecting me negatively. His words which used to be kind and helpful are now harsh and unkind. He doesn't care if what he says hurts another person. I totally believe in being honest and would much rather someone be honest with me even if the honesty will hurt a bit. But there are ways to talk to a friend and his ways are definitely NOT how a friend should be treated. I am seriously considering cutting off all contact with him because I am growing tired of being hurt and pretending that it's okay for the sake of friendship.

On a side note, things are not perfect at home but all of are making an effort. We'll see how things go. Insha'Allah all will work out for the best.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In Allah's Hands

A friend on Facebook posted this quote today:

"At times you may think everything is going wrong. Yet you don’t realize that Allah is setting everything right." -Naseer

I have to keep this in mind. There are a lot of things right now that seem to be going so wrong in my life. But I must hope and pray that it is Allah's will and He will be leading me to something greater than I can see right now.

I had an argument with my husband and father-in-law over the dishes on Thursday. It wasn't pretty but I stood my ground. My husband sided with my father-in-law...again. It is what it is. However, I have to give my husband some credit for sweeping and mopping the bathroom floor last night. That was a real surprise! But my father-in-law is avoiding me like the plague. After the argument over the phone with him yesterday he took off and didn't get home until 3:00AM. Hearing him come in woke me up and I couldn't do back to sleep because I kept expecting him to come barging into the bedroom wanting to "talk" about it. (Meaning, I expected him to come in yelling about how I'm unreasonable or something like that. He does tend to choose odd hours when he wants to discuss things...like when people are at work or trying to get ready for work or something.) All day today he's been hiding out in his room, which makes it impossible to talk to him about yesterday. Oh well. When he comes out I am ready to talk about the situation.

On a positive note, I have an interview for the Credit Analyst position Monday with my boss at 3:00PM! Please make dua for me that I may get this position! A raise plus the hope of Fridays off...what more could a girl ask for? There is only one other person who applied for the position and she has no experience in the credit department, which gives me an advantage. The job description mentioned that they were looking for a person with one to two years of experience in credit, which I have. We'll see what happens. Just like my home life, my job life is also in Allah's hands. If it is His will that I get this position, He will help it to happen.

The temperature is nice and cool outside today! Fall is coming! Alhamdulillah! I enjoy the cooler weather, but it makes me miss living up north. I know I won't see blankets of snow down here in Georgia like I did when I lived in Fargo. Oh how I miss Fargo! I know...that sounds weird. Do people actually love Fargo, ND? I do. Bring on that cooler weather! I'm ready!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday and Progress

Assalamu alaikum, everyone! Today my boss approved my request to apply for the credit analyst position! I honestly do not know who else has applied. One lady I thought was certainly going to apply told me she wasn't interested in the position. I can honestly only think of one other people who might be interested in it. At this point it's a waiting game to see who all applies and how the interviews will go. I am still torn about this. Working in the Credit Department is haram enough and getting promoted in the Credit Department may be worse on the haram scale. Yet, there are benefits...like possibly having Fridays off and a raise to better support my family. Should I take it or not if it's offered? May the will of Allah prevail in this situation and that the best person for the position is hired.

I am pleased to say that my husband is making some progress at home. Sunday he finished the laundry that I had started, which was nice of him. He also did it without me asking for his help! Alhamdulillah! I was very pleased that he showed initiative and pitched in without me having to ask for help. No decision has been made yet, but I am very glad that he's making an effort. Now if only his dad would do the same...

I wanted to ask all of you a question though, especially any of you who may be reverts. The next day after performing salat, my legs ache as if I'd done squats in the gym! I know I'm out of shape (isn't "round" a shape after all?) but I didn't expect my thighs to ache so terribly the day after. How long will it be before that aching goes away? I know the more I can perform salat the easier it will be, but that muscle aching isn't pleasant at all! Talking to a friend on the phone today, I learned that I'm not the only person who has experienced this aching in my legs the day after. It makes praying difficult the next day.

I am going to wear my new dress to work tomorrow. I am looking forward to it. Eventually insha'Allah I will have the courage to wear hijab to work. The dress is this one: Almudena Maxi Dress in the Dark Slate color. It's extremely comfortable and I really like it! It does need to be ironed though so I will have to do that tonight.

I want to start sharing more information about Islam with my husband. Can anyone recommend some easy topics that I can research and share with him that won't overwhelm him or cause him more worry about my reversion? Your input is most appreciated!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Weekend!

I am so excited that the weekend is here! Alhamdulillah! Today is going to be a busy day. I have some housework that needs to be done here and then my daughter and I are going to my mom's to help her shave her cat's matted stomach and then give the kitty a bath. It should be an interesting time. I am going to give her a call and ask if I can bring my oldest cat and do the same with him. He's got some nasty knots on his backside and won't let me groom them out. (He will bite the fool out of you if you come near him with a brush or comb.) So Dragon and Katie are going to get shaved and bathed at my mom's today if I can do both.

Yesterday the dress and hijab I ordered online came in! I love them! My husband hates them. He says he doesn't want me to ever wear hijab and says the dress is too long. Most of my skirts and dresses are ankle length and this one comes to the top of my feet and he complains that's too long? It also has long sleeves and most of my tops have long sleeves as well so what's wrong with this one? Is it the fact that I ordered it from an Islamic website? I don't get it. Still, I like it and I am keeping it. I plan to wear this outfit to Muslim Day this year at the beginning of October insha'Allah!

I am almost over my nasty cold. I still have a bit of a cough but most of the sinus drainage and stopped up nose have cleared up. If I can kick this cough I'll be back to normal.

I've been struggling lately to get in all five prayers. Most days I just get in 2-3, and doing them at the prescribed time isn't always easy. I don't often wake up early enough to pray Fajr before dawn. Dhuhr takes place when I am at work so I usually make that one up when I pray Asr. Asr takes place on my ride home. Sometimes I will pull over at my mom's house (which is on the way) and pray there but not always. And Maghrib and Isha tend to get skipped because I still haven't prayed with anyone else in the house. I have no doubt it would be easier if I lived in a home where others understood the importance of the daily prayers. I know it will come in time and insha'Allah all aspects of Islam will get easier as time goes by. Still, I am impatient and want it all now. Patience....

On a side note, one of my co-workers put in her 2 week notice last week because she got another job. I applied yesterday to fill her soon-to-be vacant position. I'm torn a bit on whether or not I really want this position. Honestly, my whole department is haram. I work in Credit. Currently I am a Credit Clerk. She was a Credit Analyst, which would be a promotion and a raise for me if I am selected to fill her spot. On a positive note, she works Sunday-Thursday and is off on Friday and Saturday. If I had every Friday off...I could actually go to a masjid for Jummah! The idea of that excites me! I am making dua that I will be selected to fill her spot. The raise would help my family and having Fridays off would give me time to further explore my faith. Please make dua that Allah's will shall prevail for me in this situation.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ick

I'm sick. Bleh. Not fun. My sinuses are driving me batty and I have a horrible sore throat. It's not fun. Today was really tough at work. It was very hard to keep driving on through the day but I really didn't have a choice.

My husband, much to my surprise, has been making an effort to do more around the house over this past weekend. He finished the laundry that I started on Sunday and even put it away. I was surprised and pleased. Yet the pessimist in me wonders how much longer he's going to help out around the house. We'll see how things go. For the rest of the week he's going to be working double shifts though as his district manager is coming for the all important visit on Friday. I really hope he is able to get everything accomplished before his DM gets there. Otherwise, I truly do fear the consequences.

Today at work I turned an app on my cell phone and listened to recitation of the first 185 verses of surah 2 in the Quran. It was nice to hear even if I don't speak enough Arabic to understand what's being said without reading along. Listening to the recitation calms me down if I get frazzled and helps me to focus. I enjoy it.

I know it's just barely 9:00PM but I am going to go to bed. I am exhausted and need to get some rest. Being sick is no fun. I hope my co-workers don't catch it from me! I'll just hide out in my cubicle at work and try not to breathe on anyone. May Allah heal me from my cold and sinus issues.

Also folks, please make dua for a friend of mine who had eye surgery today. May Allah heal my friend and bring good vision back to him. Ameen.