‘Made in Naija’ or maybe ‘Made in America’…..

As Salam Alaekum all, We are a few days into the second quarter of 2013 and a lot has happened already. I have had such an amazing time – it’s been humbling, inspiring and exciting all at the same time, phew! My friend, Jamila and I went to a Quran retreat last weekend and it was simply amazing! It was such a life changing experience – speaker after speaker made me cry while reflecting on my relationship with Allah, the Rasul (SAW) and the Quran. It was as if all of them were sent to me by Allah. One of the sessions on Day 1 was about idol worshiping and just as I was thinking that had nothing to do with me since I did not think I associated partners with Allah, the speaker started to break it all down and the tears began to stream from my face – she talked about how we disobey Allah just to satisfy his creation, how we attach our joy, pain and anxiety to the promises or disappointments of his creation, and how we worship our careers, spouses and children. I was truly moved, in fact I spent a long time awake that night thinking about the things I am attached to, the things that cause me joy, pain and anxiety. I realized that I don’t spend as much time thinking and getting excited about meeting Allah as I spend on meeting the man of my dreams. I was truly ashamed. But I vowed to make amends, please remember me in your dua. Okay, now that we got all the sober stuff out of the way, let us get to the other part of this amazing weekend. Hmmm! By the end of the second day, my idea of Mr. Right had suddenly changed from a tall dark and handsome “Made in Naija” guy in a well ironed dress shirt over a nice pair of jeans or formal pants to a nice and cool looking “Made in Arabia” brother in hooded kaftan! Yeah, those brothers did one good number on me!!! Before this weekend, I had never dreamt of being attracted to anyone not from Nigeria, it was just not something that appealed to me. Plus I like dark skinned men. But watching these brothers so interested in the deen really changed my mindset. I was so impressed and inspired. The married ones seemed to love their wives, the fathers among them took turns in caring for their little kids, they didn’t seem to just abandon the kids for their wives alone. And yes, the single ones seemed so engrossed and interested in the whole agenda of ibadah. By the time I went to bed on the second night, I was officially color blind. I could have married one of them right there and then! If I thought my color blindness was going to be cured by the time I woke up on Day 3, I had another thing coming. Guess what? Three of the scholars that spoke on Day 3 were white American Imams who reverted to Islam. Oh! They were so awesome! You should have heard them speaking Arabic like they were natives. Apart from increasing my color blindness, they really made me feel so ashamed. People like me who were born into Islam don’t know 10% of what these brothers have learned and are now practicing within such a short period of embracing the deen. Anyway, these brothers made me add “made in America” to my list. I am really excited that color of a man’s skin will no longer be a factor in my search insha Allah. I feel really good about my chances now (smiles). Singing and dancing – something is waiting on the other side of this door! I know there will be drama from my parents if and when I show up with my made in America or Arabia brother, but hey! I will cross that bridge when I get there. Let me just celebrate and toast to this wider pool of prince charmings first! As Salam Alaekum Warahmattullah Wabarakahtuhu

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