Thursday, July 28, 2005

My conversion to Islam, Part 1

I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school, and a strong Catholic. One of my classes was Bible as Literature. Public schools weren't able to teach religion, but they could teach the Bible as though it were a piece of fiction, or literature. Truth be told. It was a class on Christianity and never was the Bible taught as fiction. Anyhow, i wanted to understand my religion better and finally read the bible so i took the class. To make up for the classes predominant focus on Christianity, we had a field trip which was designed to enlighten us about other religions so we went to a synogogue, a mosque, and a hindu temple.

Something happened to me in that mosque. The hindu temple was cool also and i did make a brief conversion to hindu buddhism when i was 19 but it didn't affect me only affected that hippyish sentimentality i had going on. But that's another story.

In the mosque, we were told to remove our shoes and wash our feet. High school being what it is - a bunch of hormonal teenagers attempting to be cool but truly clueless - most of the kids were making fun of the ritual. I, however, found it positively spiritual. The decor itself took me to another world, a world i found fascinating - I've always liked the exotic...

Anyhow, after we sat down...girls on one side and boys on the other I immediately felt different. We (boys and girls) are different and it was nice not to have to sit next to a boy i couldn't stand or one i secretly had a crush on.

BTW...the woman giving the lecture was blonde haired and blue eyed...and unhijabbed. I don't know why that matters, but i find it interesting today and even back then.

She spoke of how Muslims did their prayers in Arabic. How they went on Hajj. How they prayed facing "that direction" as she pointed to a window that looked out onto a Colorado plain - that, she said, was Mecca.

When she spoke of Hajj and all the pilgrims in white, making their pilgrimage in the hot desert heat, thirsty and tired, when she spoke of how Muslims pray five times a day, how they don't eat pork or drink alcohol... All i could think of us one word. Purity. I thought Muslims lived pure and simple lives and really devoted themselves to God. I thought Christians were the only ones to believe in God (and Jesus) but I still didn't learn that Muslims believed in Jesus as this point...that too would come later. What i realized that day was that Christians don't really devote their lives to God in most cases. Only a few have actually read the Bible (mostly older generations), and even though the Bible forbids alcohol, pork, premarital sex and so much more - they still did it and to boot - eat a big ham on Easter! They talked the talk, but they didn't walk the walk. That is they said they were Christian and believed in what it stood for, they just didn't do anything that Christians were supposed to do. That was me included. When I began asking why, people told me it's because that is old fashioned...the way it used to be. I wondered how God's rules could be considered old fashioned and out of date. Wouldn't he have updated us with a new book or new son? But they were adults and didn't like my questions so i eventually stopped asking.

I loved this new religion i heard about. Out of everything i learned that day and saw, it was the only one where the people truly devoted themselves to God. I loved that and admired it and had respect for Muslims every day since then. In fact, i remember sitting there in that mosque looking out that window envisioning what Hajj would look like as my friends and classmates filed out of the room. I wished I was a Muslim. Once i heard that the prayers were done in Arabic, I assumed that Islam was only for Arabs and unless you were Arab and spoke Arabic, you could not be Muslim. If i had known people could convert to the religion, i would have converted that day. My conversion would occur exactly 15 years later, unfortunately. Not unfortunately i converted but unfortunate that i didn't know you could convert earlier because I wouldn't have made many of the mistakes I made along the way and would have been Muslim 15 years earlier and would have led a cleaner - not that mine has been a life of debauchery but still - and I would have led a simpler life. But Allah guides us when he wants. Maybe I wasn't ready to submit...Allah knows best.

My next introduction to Islam was 9 years later when i was 24...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I'm finally done with that big project i was working on. Yay! That means i have about a month to get caught up on everything i want to do. The inlaws are coming in a month so there are some things i want to do before they get here since they'll be here for a while. One thing about procrastination that's good. Just sometimes it pays off. For instance, i was dreading the 676 page book i was supposed to review and had only read about 60 pages (it's one of those dense nonfiction ones) but when i emailed the editor saying i was going to miss deadline...he emailed back saying, "well actually i double assigned it so can you do this other one (400 page fiction one)?" Oh yay, yes, yes of course. Yay for me. Stress all gone.

Marriage sure does something to a girl... We bought a new vacuum and i tell you, i haven't been this thrilled for a long time. I have vacuumed 3500 or so square feet in the last two days. Love it. How sick is that? I used to love buying a new outfit or a bag full of books from a great used bookstore. What has happened to me that a vacuum is as exciting as that? Eek........!

I'll be blogging a bit too. I'm gonna post my conversion story up in segments per Chai and Apple Pie's request - i really enjoyed her Pakistan trip segments. The only thing i need to figure out is how much i want to one but the hubby knows the "whole" story. :-) It's a pretty complex process i went through. That'll be coming soon though...just as soon as i revacuum the house one more time. LOVE that machine - such power lol. I really need to clean the house too and do a bunch of errands.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Annoying People

You know, everytime i talk to my mom about Pakistan or visiting Pakistan, etc, i always get the same "You CAN'T go there!" She hasn't exactly met my husband for reasons out of our control (i'm protecting him lol) so i'm sure she thinks he's backwards, rides a camel, controls me, and well looks like a terrorist since he is "from one of those countries" as she so kindly puts. Now i love my mother although our relationship is not a normal mother-daughter relationship since she didn't raise me and in reality doesn't understand me at all. The last time we talked, our conversation went like this (Now also understand that I was Muslim before i even met my husband...i met my husband because i was Muslim so she can't blame him for my religious differences, thank God):

Mom: I don't understand all this religion stuff, but do you Islams believe in God?
Me: Yes Mom, we believe in God. We even believe in Jesus, but we don't believe Jesus is God - it's the same as what I believed before.

(I never believed Jesus was God...i believed he was a savior and the entrance to heaven, but he was never God, I did think he was the son of God in a figurative, not literal sense. I still don't know where my mom stands on religion. I know she believes in God but in what way isn't clear.)

Me: But Mom, we aren't Islams. Islam is the religion, like Catholicism. And Muslim is the person, like Christians.
Mom: Okay, so Islams do believe in God.
Me: Yes Mom, Islams believe in God.
Mom: Good.

Okay, so you see where i'm at and what i'm dealing with. It all goes in one ear and out the's this way with the majority of my family except my brother who puts his opinions straight out there: "We don't talk about religion in this (his) house. It's good for you but not for us." Okie dokie. There is no real understanding or even attempt at understanding the religion i chose for myself anywhere in my family. I long ago gave up. My Dad did have some conversations at my shadi - i don't know why it's easier for him to talk to others about and not me but as long as he's getting it from somewhere, i'm okay with that. I can remember many interesting comments coming from family members that still apall me such as:

"You look like one of those Iranian terrorists now." after sister first saw me in hijab. Ummm sis, which Iranian terrorists? "All of em." Okie dokie.

"Religion is old fashioned. I'll believe it when i see it. It's stupid to wear that thing on your head and running away from the dog when you are gonna pray." sil

and the many many times i beg and plead for no pork, they serve it just to spite me i swear. The list can go on and on but i'm getting sidetracked.

Who i am mad at is that these idiotic stupid little London bombers from Pakistan. Now my mom has more ammunition, less understanding, and more fear for her wayward daughter. Why oh why did they have to be Pakistani?

Another idiot who makes me mad: Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo (I recently moved from Colorado...thank God)

a few excerpts:

Facing mounting criticism, Rep. Tom Tancredo on Monday refused to apologize for suggesting the United States could target Muslim holy sites if radical Islamic terrorists set off multiple nuclear attacks in American cities.

"It's a tough issue to deal with," Tancredo told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. "Tough things are said. And we should not shy away from saying things that need to be said."

Tancredo is known for his fiery rhetoric on immigration and other issues, but his words are coming under more scrutiny because he has started traveling to test the waters for a possible presidential candidacy in 2008.

Okay, now this thinking and attitude drives me crazy for a few reasons. First, he's an idiot. If they bomb Mecca, they are going to have every Muslim after them. That would call for all out Jihad for all Muslims. You would have just taken every peaceful Muslim and turned them into Jihadis. He obviously thinks that all Muslims are terrorists or innocent Muslims don't matter. Facts are facts: 99.99% of Muslims are good. Yeah, that .01% really sucks (and we hate them too), it estimates to about 200,000 bad ones i think was the last Newsweek estimate. So he thinks that it's okay to destroy the religion for the rest. Does he know what full out jihad would look like? What an idiot. And this is what we have to look forward for the elections next year. We think Bush is bad...dear oh me.

The full CAIR article about Tancredo is here.

Why oh why is there so much stupidity in the world?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Why do i do this? I have had a project for a month now with a deadline of this coming Thursday. I began yesterday. I've sat down to do it several times prior but always found something better to do. Granted, i have a lot going on right now and a lot to do and for some reason that stuff gets priority (in reality, it's harder work). I can find some very inventive ways to procrastinate.

There's always something that needs to be done, cleaned, read, written, blogged, whatever. Everytime i sit down to work, i don't. Like right now I'm blogging when i should be working. I did get about 12 pages of material done but that's nothing compared to what is left and now i'm back to procrastinating...and once my focus is gone, it's gone.

Earlier i made time to go to the library - to pick up a few movies, a book i don't really have time to read, and a recipe book which i won't have time to mess with for at least a few weeks - but still, i went. Then on the way back, i realized i had something i needed to return to the store, so while at the store i may as well pick up those gifts i've been meaning to pick up for various people so i did. Oh, and then of course i should look at the home stuff cause the empty room really needs to be fixed up before my inlaws come so i look at that. By the end i've wasted (well not entirely...i really needed to get those gifts out) a couple hours. Then i think, well since a good portion of the day is already used i may as well just get everything done that i need done so i head over to Target to pick up some essentials and DH calls.

DH: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Going to Target."
DH: "For what?"
Me: "Stuff for that room."
DH: "You know what you are really doing?"
Me: "Yeah..." (laughing) "I'm procrastinating."
DH: "Yup. I know you don't wanna work but you will feel so much better when it's done."

He's so right. I would feel great when i'm done cause then i'd be free to do what i really want!

Why am i this way???? I hate the feeling i have when something is hanging over my head and this project has been buuuuuggging me bad so why not just sit down and do it? UGH...i never learned time management... Sucks to be this way.

Okay, I'm off to work, really... after i make a chai, order a book from the library about how to manage my time, then i'll work. Oh, but I should call DH and see how his day is going. Oh, and then i need to call the plumber. I better do that first before 5 oclock. Hmmm, i should get dinner started then too. Yeah, and then i'll get to work.

Help me and my insanity! How do i learn to just sit down and do it?

PS. The sad part of this equation is that there is another project looming after the current one and it includes a six hundred page book i must read and review within a week. It's nonfiction and with footnotes and stuff. It's a neverending bitter cycle.

PS 2: The only good thing is quality is never sacrificed. Once i get towards the end, i get into the project and involved and do it well. It's just getting there that is the problem.

Monday, July 18, 2005

click on the nose


I heard about this site years ago when it first started but where i lived didn't have much going on it as i heard it from some friends in San Francisco where it started. Anyhow, my brother loves it and told me about it and then got DH hooked and now i'm hooked. It's great for getting rid of stuff and of course shopping. :-) Speaking of which. We looked at something yesterday and when we got to the house, the cutest little Asian boy opened the door and took a look at me and gave me the biggest hug. It was so precious...he must have 4 or so. Too cute. Free hugs rock...especially when they are for no reason at all.

Getting rid of paint...

Since a couple people wanted to know here is how you dispose of paint...

1. Buy from a auto part store a product called "oil dry" - it looks like kitty litter.
2. Mix that into the various cans of paint and leave it alone until it turns to solid form and dries out (leave the lid off).
3. It should turn clay like - now you can toss it out.

Having it disposed of professionally costs a couple hundred dollars and many cities sadly don't offer the service - something i plan on working on!

PS. If you have full cans - Habitat for Humanity will accept donations. Also, for other items you may need to dispose of has some tips...

Saturday, July 16, 2005

More on housecleaning...

Updated my blog finally with some new links and books i'm reading. If only my house were so easy to organize. Ick. DH did a great job with the garage and i did manage to get a big box of hijabs and other islamic clothing ready to send out to a sister. Trying to figure out what to do with broken turbahs...anyone know? I also finally figured out how to get rid of one will take it for under a couple hundred dollars and the previous owners left us about 20 quarter filled cans. But you can't throw them away and no one recycles it here. A nice guy from one of the places told me how to dispose of them cheaply and still environmentally friendly. If you need to know how let me know...

Back to cleaning...............

Still pouting about the bed as i made it this morning lol. Looks like half of you do make it and half don't but i would like to note most make it only because it's proper or only do it for appearance's sake - for other people, the reason i do it - DH likes a made bed and in truth so do i at the end of the day. I just wish there was someone else to make it.

Friday, July 15, 2005


I hate making the bed, absolutely hate it. I think it's a big waste of time and that five minutes could be better spent. Before marriage, i made my bed but it was simply done and i bought a certain type of bedding for that reason - it looked good if it was made imperfectly. I had a bunch of pillows thrown at the top to cover further imperfections of my bedmaking. But since being married, i do make the bed every day. A clean house takes on new meaning when married and two styles must merge and compromise...

But i wanna know something. I am under the belief that most people don't make their beds. I think most people do what i did, pull everything up and make it look neat but they don't tuck in the corners and arrange the pillows just so. So tell me, do you make the bed everyday? only when visitors are coming? And tell the truth! You will help in ending a long term debate.

Not in the name of Peace

This is a cool site. I got an email yesterday with the link. The purpose is to unite Muslims who don't condone violence in the name of Islam, but instead promote peace. Check it out and add to it!

link: Not in the name of Peace

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Went to Paris!

So i was pouting about how my husband got to go to Paris without me and well he took me last night! Yup, we spent the day at Rue Cler eating great fresh fruit and tarts! Strolled along the cobblestone streets and drove to the coast and enjoyed the beautiful seaside. It was awesome! And then I woke up. :-/


Link: Female Muslim runs for mayor!


So a huge gigantic (are they all this big???) IKEA store opened up here in Atlanta. We finally went and my oh my that is one big store with lots of cool stuff. And cheap! Some of the furniture isn't of real good quality but the kitchen stuff and food rocks. Them cookies sure are good. :-) Once you get in there you can't leave. It's crazy how it's set up. Pretty happy about having one here though. I always liked the catalogs and now i have the store. Their organizational stuff and kitchen stuff rocks. Exciting post i know. lol.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bad Husband!

Very very very very bad husband! A few weeks ago i posted about Nice Husband but now it's a post for a very bad husband! While in Germany - he's been there for a week and a half and is finally on his way home right now Thank God!- but anyhooooow. He went to PARIS - as in my favoritest city in the whole world and didn't bring me. So instead i got to be his guide and give him and his colleague directions and info on halaal restaurants in the area. SO NOT FAIR! It was only a day but - Bad bad bad husband! BUT i do know he's gonna bring me home a nice little gift to make up for it aren't you mari jann?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Terrorists Suck!

That's stating the obvious right? I'm sick of these so called Muslims blowing innocent people up and innocent Muslims (I'm sure at least one Muslim was killed or seriously injured...has anyone seen how many Muslims are in Europe..the Pakistani population alone?) up in the name of my religion. It just makes me sick! I'm sick to death of terrorists...that does go for Al Queda, George Bush, Tony Blair, and also those who blew up the Fed Building in Oklahoma City. What the hell is wrong with people that makes them feel they can just kill innocent people for their own personal cause. Not God's cause or Islam's cause...they are killing for their own evil purposes. When will Muslims speak out against these infidels and go to war against them and save the religion from being desecrated any further? Why don't we personally fight them? We know Bush and Co aren't really fighting terrorists as doing a business deal. If we are to stop this insanity, good Muslims must fight the bad Muslims and change the face of Islam. Why aren't there any fatwas issued against terrorists? What would the prophet do? Would he sit by and let the religion get desecrated? I don't know, but it seems like a time for Jihad. Time to go to war with those bad Muslims who are desecrating our religion murder by murder.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My Childhood

I was tagged by Dawn with this:

Here are the rules to this meme game: Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross pollination effect.

1. Liza
2. Marie
3. Sandy
4. Dawn
5. Wayfarer

Next: select new friends to add to the pollen count. **No one is obligated to participate & anyone else can play**. If you've already been tagged by this one, sorry! :)

1. Leila
2. Sume
3. Dictator Princess

What 5 things do you miss about your childhood?

1. Summer trips to Mom's

My Dad raised me and was strict but each summer I would visit my mom and it was like visiting a friend. We had so much fun laughing, sitting by the pool all day reading Teen magazine and giving each other manicures. Each summer she'd take me to the county fair and we'd ride the rides until we were sick and play games until our arms were filled with stuffed animals. We'd also make our annual pilgrimage to the Oregon coast and fly kites, find seashells and cool pieces of driftwood, and just play in the waves. It is the only time as a kid that i remember actually acting like a kid.

2. Innocence

I miss that feeling of not knowing that the world could be a very ugly and nasty place, that racism, hatred, closemindedness and all that ugliness is there more than we ever wanted to know. I miss loving my country and thinking everyone was good - well except for strangers - those were the only bad guys - well, and parents. ;-)

3. Dreaming

The feeling that anything is possible and believing you can make it come true. Somewhere along the way we lose that don't we. We think "there isn't enough time" or "i'm too old now" or whatever excuse we have. I know i used to want to be an astronaut, a writer (that one worked out), a famous actress, president of the united states - i totally believed i could do it until adults started saying that these are out of my reach. Believing in yourself is harder as an adult than as a kid i think.

4. My sister

My sister died when i was young and i hardly remember her. But i miss her terribly.

5. Riding bikes until dark

I used to love riding around the neighborhood with my brother and our friends all day just exploring. We'd stay out as long as we can. We knew when dusk hit, our fun was over and bathtime and bed was coming.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Summoned by the angels...

The other morning I woke up at dawn to the sound of an angelic voice and music. At first I thought I was dreaming and since I was alone, hubby out of town, I wasn't sure what was going on but then an overwhelming fear came over me. Oh no, I missed fajr and I was being summoned by the angels for Judgment Day. I didn't know what to do. I sat up and looked around and everything looked the same but I was terrified to leave the bedroom. I sat there wandering what i was supposed to do. Should i go face the music or run? The voice stopped. Relief. Okay, it must have been something outside. Then it started again. Uh oh, it's really here is what i was thinking. I muster my courage and walk down the stairs following this angelic voice....

It's coming from a box. What is an angel doing in a box? What I found is a little mosque thing that recites the adhan five times a day that Sister Scorpion gave me a year ago but since it's been in storage, the batteries are low and so it has since taken on a mind of it's own and not even the adhan is just sounds like an angelic voice with music but the words aren't clear. Let me tell you - I have never been so scared.