Families drift at the Hospital Bedside

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Akward!

Heart pounding

Mouth dry

I want to sit here and talk to them

But my limbs and tongue refuse to try

Years of their harshness has led me to this

At the bedside of my mother

in a place we can’t dismiss

I tried to make it easy

I promised that I’d try

But my hope to make peace is futile

as I failed the task to submit and comply

Encouraging Muslim Women to be present in the media

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I’ve been doing a lot of different media interviews for a while now and the same issue always comes up which is people struggle to find Muslim women willing to do media interviews.  I’ve had a lot of sisters approach me saying that like to but often don’t have the confidence, so I did this little video to show others what happens. If you are interested and want to know more email iamshalina@live.co.uk

A year in the life of Shalina Litt 2014 what did I achieve then?

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Facebook has almost become like a visual diary for me, so immediately when I thought about recollecting my events over the year I headed straight for it.  So it looked something like this:

January

  • I took my first selfie!
  • I did my first Video Blog
  • I discovered Brendon Buchard (if you don’t know who he is check him out :))
  • I was featured in Marie Claire Magazine
  • BBC World News about Hijab

February

  • Read Foundation Tea Party
  • Attended my first WOMENS NETWORKING HUB
  • I had the pleasure of been at the Oxford Union to be featured on Al Jazeera TV ‘Head to Head’ with host Mehdi Hassan who was interviewing Mona Eltahway

March

  • Finished delivering a talk to South Birmingham College courtesy of Muslim Women’s Network with Salma Bi Event Entitled Muslimah role models
  • I put up my Selfie with no make up courtesy of a nomination from sister Sadi :)
  • My son was given a surprise party by his mommy

April

  • Attended the screening of my good friends movie
  • Appeared on Sumaira Farukh’s TV Show on PTV and Channel 99

May

  • Attended Muslim Womens Network Event about Mental Health
  • Went leaflet posting to Support Sharon Thompson my good time friend

June

  • Attended a Balsall Heath Forum Event where I sang ‘Man in the Mirror’ and was presented with an award
  • Attended the ‘I AM ME’ Event hosted by Apache Indian with an old school friend
  • Delivered a talk at Saltley School and sang to the school leavers
  • Celebrated eid with Sharleen West and did my famous commentary of Coventry Rd rubbish
  • NTR aired a documentary did about me been a woman in Islam

July

  • Hosted Human Appeal Charity Appeal on Unity FM
  • Read Foundation Charity Appeal on Unity FM
  • Attended the Palestine Protest
  • Delivered a speech for Sakinah Counselling Alongside the London Dawah Boys
  • Organised a Birmingham Event for Sakinah Counselling at La Favourita’s
  • Celebrated Eid
  • BBC Radio Ulster Talking alongside Taj Hargeys Niqab Ban Caimpaign article in the Daily Mail

August

  • I did the Soil Bucket challenge for Gaza
  • Appeared in Asian World Newspaper
  • Appeared in Eastern Eye Newspaper
  • I met Betty Makoni at the Womens Peace Meeting

September

  • Brit Asia TV about Islamaphobia with Sanya Gardez

October

  • Left Unity FM
  • Invited to Qatar

November

  • Attended my best friends wedding
  • Big Sleep Out

December

  • Boys to men concert
  • Launched Special Madrasahs
  • Sky News

Its been a busy year so it seems! I look forward to 2015 where I hope that my evolution of self will continue to be a benefit to those around me God Willing

Big thanks to those who have given me so many blessed opportunities for 2014 you know who you are!

Peace Out

Shalina Litt

I was never the victim in their eyes

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I was so confident something would happen.  I’m not quite sure what exactly, but something.  Sat in a circle on our chairs everyone’s faces were dark with the weight of what they knew.  Confronted I was sure he would deny it all, so I took a great leap of faith with my counsellor by my side.  Only 15 years old, and while some may call it naive, I saw courage and strength.  My counsellor had prepared me, and thought it was very optimistic that all of the family were so interested.  And so the moment came, someone asked, ” Did you abuse her then, did you sexually abuse her”?

You could cut the air with a knife.  I don’t remember anyone sitting next to me, however I do remember the faces in the room.  Waiting for his answer was like a man standing in front of me with a gun, would he fire a blank, kill me or walk away.  “yes he said I did”.  Quite a lot of people burst into tears, including his wife, who I felt it most for, If I’d have kept quite I wouldn’t have put her through so much.  The echoes of the past that still live with me today.

So what next?  How did this family react, did they react even? The answer is a shocking NO.  NOTHING, no shouting, no beating no screaming.  For me it just seemed like business as usual, and little did I know what lay ahead of me.  All the preparing my counsellor did went down the drain. Cause what took me years to learn is that been abused was the least of my worries.  It was how my family responded that lead me further into a world of abuse, vulnerability, guilt, denial, acceptance and forgiveness to free myself from a harsh reality.  I never was a victim in their eyes.

The 2nd wife, sabotage, secrets and spirituality

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Some say its fine, whilst concealing a venom about sharing their husband.  They marry as 2nd wives holding no protest to the circumstances.  Whilst in some cases they prepare for battle to be the best of wives to the point of elimination of the 1st party.

I’ve heard testimony upon testimony of wives who have felt ill treated because a second wife has been discovered or simply exhausts the righteousness and piety of the wife that does volunteer into such a marriage.  As my own journey of been a Muslimah plateaus I’ve discovered a dark side in the world of Islamic polygamous marriage as my dependency on a group of people loosens.

For Many Muslims who embark on what may be considered as a puritanical version of Islam they are all pointed in one direction, Salafi Publications.

At first I too held them with the highest regard, but this changed very quickly as I soon became exposed to personal trials and trials of others that were left in dismay as their eagerness to be on the right path was abused.

Probably one of my controversial posts yet, but with women been abused, children witnessing this chaos in the name of Islam, speaking out is the least I can do.

The journey of the woman that is guided to Islam but their self worth and self respect is low is unfortunately prey to a bunch of brothers who abuse their power.  The evidence is seen in the mental health of the woman and children who are simply left to pick up the pieces of their lives.

The journey of the man however is a very different one, they can marry, impregnate, abuse and divorce the a woman, only to go on and do the same, while the woman is left divorced, with children and financially at a disadvantage as she swims against the current that pulls her under.  Is this Islam you wonder?  No! This is merely a bunch of men who read out of the books of scholars and then go on to marry of women who have fallen in love with the eloquence of their speech.  This woman doesn’t have the opportunity to discover a true picture of a man from the brotherhood because his dirty marks from past relationships are covered up by those who choose to remain silent in the name of righteousness?

The Secrets that are concealed between them are such that sisters would go behind the backs of one another having secret marriages, forfeiting their financial rights dismissing their husbands duty to provide while the government pays for them to swim in a pool which is nothing but an illusion of bliss.

Finally there remains the spiritual enlightenment that is maintained by the one that guides us to this beautiful religion (Allah SWT).  Had I remained attached to those I’m told are closest to the truth I’d probably be an atheist.  Fortunately for me through prayer and guidance I’ve been blessed with the company of those that have also embarked upon the same ship I had previously sailed on.  With their own tales to tell Allah has brought us together reaffirming that depending upon Quran and Sunnah is not our fault, it was moving with a small group of people who clearly have lost sight of how those in power should manage a community that will go on to either sing their praises or close a door to them.

The intention behind this post was not to avert people from Islam or a particular aqeedah (belief), it was in fact to remind people that obedience is to Allah and not mankind.  When the truth is revealed to you Allah has told us to Complain to him and not the people, so that is what I did.  In doing so Allah blessed me with those that have asserted my faith, however I’ve also established that my silence was a crime as it just made room for those to abuse to keep on abusing, so May Allah accept this as my act of Ibadah (worship) speaking out in the hope of reminding my dear women and sister of Islam, that if all isn’t right, and you’ve exhausted your patience, do not oppress your self by remaining silent, seek justice, even if it is against yourself.

“Truly you DO NOT BELIEVE until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”