Have you ever looked back at situations in your life where you would like to have said or done differently? Sometimes there are things i’d like to add if i had a “do over”? There are times I’ve let shaitan entice me to say the wrong things (Astagfirullah). Some instances Allah allowed my fitrah to go into auto-pilot and handle the situation properly without me even having time to think about it.
Often I find myself reminiscing on events that took place many years ago that I either wish i’d handled differently or am glad i didn’t say what was REALLY going on in my sometimes bizarre head. Some are substantial events and some are trivial. Although even when i can say that i kept my cool and did the right thing, when i’m alone, i find i’m inflicted with a sort of Turrets Syndrome. I walk around the house arguing at the walls: “…got the nerve to laugh at the way I’M dressed….hmph!…..you’re walking around looking like something my cat coughed up!” WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH ME? I DON’T EVEN HAVE A CAT.
Either way, the problem with all of this is that these clips from the past tend to playback in my mind at the most inconvenient times. Can anyone guess when? That’s right, during SALAH. I know it’s just shaitan once again trying to distract me from worshipping Allah. And yes, i know this means i need to strengthen my kushoo'(concentration). I’m working on that too. Yet i feel the need to purge these thoughts in order to permanently delete them from the recycle bin in my head.
So this next part might get a bit negative. Maybe you’ll wanna stop reading here…..Oookaaay, i warned you:
1. My aunt died several years ago from Cancer (from Allah we come, and to Him we return). Before she passed, the family was sitting together and she mentioned plans to go to some church to see rev. Al Sharpton.
MY RESPONSE: “Hmm.”
WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID: “I’m planning to go to the masjid on Friday, insha’Allah. I’d love for you to come with me. The Imam gives a very inspirational talk. You’d enjoy it. I’ll pick you up at noon.”
May Allah forgive my weak iman and never again allow me to feel shy about this deen.
2. To the man at the gas station who so rudely looked at me dressed in my black hijab and said, “(bleep!), You goin to a funeral or somethin?”
MY RESPONSE: “I’ll be going to your’s if you keep talking to me.”
WRONG ANSWER, COULD HAVE SAID: “I’m dressed this way because it’s prescribed by Allah (swt)Who in all His Glory and Knowledge knew this day would come and that because of clothing i’m wearing, the only thing you see and can comment on is the color i’m wearing. That must mean i’m doing something right. ”
3. When i worked in a small retail shop, a Christian woman who frequented the shop usually with her husband, began a conversation with me under the guise of wanting to learn about Islam. But it turned out to be her telling me that Muslim women let their men do whatever they want, like having more than one wife.
MY RESPONSE: Firstly, women nor men make the ‘rules’ in Islam. The laws of Islam are prescribed by Allah the One and Only Lord. Secondly, as far as polygamy is concerned, how sweet is it to know that if your husband DOES take another wife, he must treat you equally and fairly; such as, if he buys one something he must do the same for the other. Outside of Islam, you don’t even KNOW if your man has another because he’s sneaking around and being deceptive. And he surely won’t treat you fairly.”
WHAT I OMITTED: “AND i saw YOUR man in here last week buying his GIRLFRIEND diamond studded earrings. Where are YOUR earrings?”
4. (This is a looong time ago. And even though it’s before I took Shahadah and Allah has forgiven me….) To the cab driver that picked my sorry behind up in the late night when the buses had stopped running and I was stranded far far from my destination. You were trusting enough to take me aaallll the way to where i told you i was going and i had the audacity to run out without paying you. To you I am truly sorry. If I ever see you again in life, i’ma pay you.
*footnote: But i bet it taught you to make folks pay half up front for long distance fares. Again, sorry. I was a big butthead back then.
5. While in the grocery store with my children, minding my own, buying some tortillas, a young lady and her girlfriends passed by snickering. As they got to the opposite end of the aisle she proceeded to say “(bleep), i thought i was looking at Osama bin Laden.”
MY RESPONSE: “Osama is a MAN you idiot! Can’t you at least use enough brainpower to think of something more original and intelligent to try and belittle me with?”
COULD HAVE CAUGHT UP WITH HER IN THE NEXT AISLE AND SAID: “Now i know you said that to be funny and make yourself feel better than me, but Osama is a man. Do you know any Muslim women? Do you know why we dress this way? Would you like to ask me about what you don’t understand rather than mock me?”…..Or something to that degree.
6. To the man on the street who, in 96Degree weather, asked me…well made more of a proclamation, “Aren’t you HOT?”
MY RESPONSE: “Of course i’m hot. It’s 96 degrees out. Aren’t YOU hot?”
I WANT TO ADD: “THE HELLFIRE IS HOTTER”
7. The last time i visited my mother in my home state my EX showed up after years of forgetting he has a son. He was arrogant and disrespectful to my family who has always showed him hospitality and respect even when he didn’t deserve it. He arrived with an entire grill of GOLD TEETH.
MY INITIAL RESPONSE BECAUSE THIS JUST BLEW ME AWAY: (Holding back laughter and then tears when i remembered this is the guy i once chose to marry and have a child with)
“Muslim men don’t wear gold.”(Not even knowing if he’s still a practicing Muslim, i just couldn’t think past the neon lights coming from “goldman”)
DURING ONE OF MY TURRETS ATTACKS: “OhmaGawd! Are you KIDDING? Is this what a man’s midlife crisis looks like? YOU’RE 46 YEARS OLD. How much did you pay for those? $200? Well that’s $200 more than you’ve invested in our son in the past 12 years. And how long have you had them? A week or two maybe? That’s a week or two more than you’ve spent with our son in the last 12 years. Way ta go Buddy. Great way to earn the Jannah-NOT. “BE A MAN, MOOKIE!”
Ok, did that sound bitter? I’m moving on because i can go on and on with this one. So…
7. Lastly, this is about the man on the bus who after introducing himself to me (for whatever reason) decided to go into a drunken tirade of insults for the entertainment of the other riders when i kindly refrained from shaking his hand:
WHAT I WAS ABLE TO GET OUT BEFORE HE BEGAN INSULTING ME: “In Islam a women doesn’t shake a man’s hand and a Muslim man doesn’t shake a woman’s hand. It…” (this is as far as i got b4 i was rudely interrupted)
ALREADY HAVING A TESTING DAY, I’M PROUD THAT I STILL REFRAINED FROM SAYING: “HOLD UP! Now I was trying to be respectful to your drunken (BLEEP) only because you’re old enough to be my father. But I see you ain’t got no sense. You’re here cussing me and my faith just because I won’t let your tired, nasty, stanky drunk (BLEEP) rub up all on my arm. I don’t know you! You’re not my brother, my daddy, my uncle, my son, nor my granddaddy! You’re a drunken (BLEEP) with no respect for yourself or others. So what makes you think you have the right to feel me up on a bus? Cause it’s a custom? Who’s custom? Do you even know HOW it became a custom or what the significance of shaking hands is? NO! You’re just a slave to your own vices who for some asinine reason feels he’s entitled to get off by touching on me as a reward for telling me your name. Shaking of the hands comes from the concept of shaking off the sins of the other person. It’s done MAN TO MAN & WOMAN TO WOMAN. So next time you want to entertain the passengers on the bus leave me the (BLEEP) alone, cause next time I’ma let my brass knuckles do the talking for me. And if you have anything else to say-DING (pulling the cord, ringing the bell) say it to my (BLEEP) as i walk away cause this is my stop. You (BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP).
Having said this, I’m reminded of a Hadith that pertains to defending one’s self. I can’t remember the narrator or the source. I’m not even sure which companion it was. It may have been AbuBakr but i’m not sure. He was standing with the Prophet (pbuh) and someone was verbally abusing him (AbuBakr). While this was taking place the Prophet was just silently smiling. Finally, AbuBakr defended himself by arguing back and the Prophet stopped smiling and walked away. When the Prophet was asked why he smiled when they were being abusive yet walked away when he defended himself the Prophet said that while AbuBakr was silent and patient, the Angels were cursing the abuser. But when AbuBakr argued back, the Angels left. So the Prophet left too.
This is a reminder to me. I shouldn’t allow these silly situations to use up so much of my energy and attention. If someone curses me, stay cool and let the Angels curse him back, insha Allah.
Ok, i’m done. I’m going to have to counter this post with something very positive, insha Allah.