Monthly Archives: December 2013

The pain will stop when the abuse stops!

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The pain will stop when the abuse stops!

Some people were abused when they were children. It was out of their control. And when they recognised they were in pain, they tried to ask for help only to be silenced!

The journey of reclaiming your self worth begins. The movies tell us, the books tell us, and everything else that we bump into tells us it will be ok, but in reality it never works out that way.

What actually happens when the ones we love let us down? Time after time I meet people confused and in turmoil trying to understand why they always get things wrong!

The most common failure occurs in relationships. When we almost welcome a form of abuse to be initiated again and again and again.

But why would someone do that to themselves! It seems the answer can only be found when the one that has been hurts finally accepts that the failure to feel loved at a time it was most needed was not accomplished and blame is not the answer, rather forgiveness and acceptance is.

The beginning starts when the people who have been abused acknowledge and accept how the abuse determines their behaviour. Once this is accomplished the journey of self empowerment can begin, by learning to say no to what is often known all too well will only cause a lot of pain.

When an Asian woman marries a Black man!

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When an Asian woman marries a Black man!

Can you imagine the look on people’s faces when I say it, “yes, their dad is AFRO CARIBBEAN”. Some look like they’re about to have heart failure, whilst others come straight out with it, “you go girl! Wish I was that brave”. I learnt very quickly that my circumstance was either admired or secretly detested.

It seems the union of two races coming together tests the very thing that distinguishes racists from non-racists. And not only did I learn this as people often had me mistaken for been mixed race myself, I would soon see the challenges my own children would face.

Everywhere we went questions would begin, almost as though a level of distress would be caused until people had us figured out or put in their little boxes. My son would come home upset because the Pakistani’s would test his level of Pakistaniness by asking him to speak ‘our language’, whilst the Jamaicans indulged in the same behaviour setting challenges to affirm a level of acceptance ‘one of us’!

It takes a lot of energy to accept who you are, especially when you fail to connect in identity, speech or clothing with anyone. I looked Asian and was expected to behaviour with everything that belonged to that group. When in fact for some reason my soul was far more attracted to a group that was a lot darker than my original skin tone.

As time has evolved I have met beings that resonate with me the same having gone through the same trauma’s of life. I learnt very quickly that music played a large determining factor that shaped not only my attitudes and beliefs but my very desire.

Today I see the power of music transforming a generation that struggles to acknowledge who they truly are as they engage in the very dialogues that I once was a big part of.

In conclusion many lessons can be learnt and for me the greatest lesson of all was from an ayat in the Quran (40.13) where it says,

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”

It isn’t an easy task, especially if you don’t even know you are racist, but the outcome is definitely a great one, that being when you are liberated from an oppression of the mind you didn’t even know existed.

I am who I am and I’m no longer ashamed or influenced by what you think of me. Contentment comes from knowledge which empowers what you’ve been force fed at a time when you had no choice.

Bursting with Goodness!

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Bursting with Goodness!

I guess releasing the shackles that weighed me down, really do leave me feeling as light as a feather. I feel like I’m dancing and surrounded by light, jumping up and down for Joy. I’m attracted to nothing but goodness for myself and Praise be to Allah it feels good.

There were certain people in my life that shadowed me with their clouds, casting a darkness over me, that drained every last bit of optimism out of me. An encounter with them would usually leave me drained, and my soul would retreat to a dark corner.

Time and time again, I would forgive and forget the pain inflicted on me, all because of what? Because I didn’t take responsibility for the fact that I had the power to change things, especially when I knew all too well that things weren’t going to change.

Walking away for me wasn’t as simple as I would have like it to be. I had to revisit a place I hadn’t been for a long time, all because I’d spent my time believing in other people. I had to re invest all of my love and energy to myself.

It truly felt like cold turkey at first, left to face the questions and answers of my true self. Over time I learnt and became familiar with why I was so sad. But that change in direction was really what I needed. “Allah does not change the state of a people until they change themselves”. It felt like my change of attitude was rewarded with a change of people that slowly began to enter my life.

The day finally arrived when with all certainty, I was strong and able enough to walk out of the darkness into the light. And God do I feel ALIVE! Mashallah! I want to eat good, feel good, look good and rush towards nothing but pure goodness and positivity.

Goodness is all around you, so I urge you to change what you have the power to. It isn’t an easy road, but you are definitely worth that investment of time and energy, what you waiting for?

Who Da Man!

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Who Da Man!

I finally found someone to be my wakeel, mashallah! And what is that you might ask yourself? Well if a woman in Islam is without a Wali (Father, Brother, Uncle, Cousin) to represent her affairs, than she will usually end up having to appoint a wakeel to take this place.

According to Islamic texts she would go straight to her local masjid, and he would do so. Now my personal experience has been a very unfortunate one, and fed up of wakeels not understanding their role, for a while I accepted that without one, Allah would always manage my affairs.

Time has taught me that many sisters have left themselves open to abuse when they feel there is no necessity to implement this practice of Quran and Sunnah. The result is quite often not a good one. Therefore I feel it is important we highlight 2 points for sisters to continue protecting their honour and safety from predators or people who are negligent.

1) Find a good wakeel who has references in the community and is known for looking after sisters correctly (treating them like their very own daughters) and not just marrying them off to the first available brother

2) If a brother is interested in getting to know you a little more, let your wakeel do the ground work for you first. He can do the bit that often feels like a job interview. Only when the wakeel gives you the green light, can you enter into round 2 of getting to know a brother with Wakeel present at ALL times.

3) If a marriage breaks down, remember speaking to you is a privilege that brother lost, and your wakeel should be re introduced as a mediator.

Success comes from worshipping Allah and not your own desires 🙂

Where will you be, what will you be doing when its your turn?

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Where will you be, what will you be doing when its your turn?

Standing outside of the bedroom door I froze. I could hear his mom sobbing and speaking to people consoling her. I stood outside of his room, tempted to push the door open with only one thing on my mind. What did his room look like?

I chickened out and went down stairs, full of admiration for any that chose to sit there. I saw his brother and dad. “Don’t cry Shalina, don’t cry”! But no sooner did my eyes fall on them I grabbed them and we sobbed on one another’s shoulders.

It was only 10 years earlier that we had been at the same house mourning the death of his sister. She died at the tender age of 24 years old. Things had never quite been the same since. I am very saddened to see two of my cousins die at an age we never anticipated.

May Allah Forgive them for their sins and grant them Jannah alongside my father, Ameen

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
“Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return”

Sex and Marriage!

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Make it Halal!

“Come on now sister you are better than that”! This statement amongst many others are one of the many I’d love to tell quite a few sisters who are recently relating stories to me about various ways they have ended up getting married.

One sister told me it was something she chose to do, now who can argue with that! I was baffled for quite a while trying to understand why I was still very upset to hear that a sister would allow herself to be limited to nothing more than being a sexual object that is used and left whenever its function was necessary.

This morning I came off the phone having finally found peace with myself about an activity in Islam that is given a green light, OR SO IT SEEMS!

Most of the women that embarked upon this type of relationship would sooner or later come to me crying telling me how one form of abuse had escalated to a progressive collection of unhealthy power and abuse games until someone waved the white flag, usually the women.

I chose to deliver one clear message to my sister on the phone who cried to me about what had occurred between her and her lover. I turned the conversation round and relayed to her my situation. I told her I met someone and blah blah blah, we all know how it goes… She was totally shocked saying why would you, and are you sure this is you? I eventually shared with her of course this wasn’t me, it was you! And your ability to love me more than you do yourself is where the problem lies.

So what does Islam say about protecting ourselves from this type of behaviour? Well it is very clear, Allah has prescribed exactly what a woman needs from her husband, and if he can’t do any of those things than he needs to keep it moving.

I see many sisters forfeiting their rights whether they be financial or remaining a secret. None of these things are healthy for the self, and as much as someone may argue that, “if that’s what makes her feel comfortable then let her do so”. I say let her ‘holistic well being’ be restored to its fullest first, that is what needs to take precedence over everything else! If the she loves herself enough she’ll be able to make decisions that will benefit her rather than oppress her.  And only those who have walked that path will fully understand what I mean by this.

So if you are that sister or woman I will leave you with two of the most powerful quotes that changed my life.

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” Quran 13:11

‘…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.’ (Quran 2: 216)

More than I asked for!

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More than I asked for!

I remember exactly all the thoughts that ran through my mind, when I first decided to do an interview with Sky News. I wanted to change the immediate thoughts we usually have when we see a veiled woman. “She’s from another country, she’s oppressed, furthermore she’s clearly unintelligent!

As the interview began I took a deep breath and made my intention. All I wanted to achieve, was to defend something that had given me spiritual gratification like no other experience.

I decided to look at the media attention about this topic differently. Rather than imagine a bunch of people out to attack me and manipulate the image of ‘the veil’, I looked at the attention as been an opportunity to feed people’s appetite for knowledge and understanding about something that appeared so alien to a community.

Shaista Gohir and Shaheen Ashraf from the Muslim Women’s Network were inundated with phone calls asking for comments about the topic. After learning about my views they happily started putting various media opportunities my way. And in a short space of time, I embarked on a media crash course that would very quickly help me realise that my naivety would soon be gobbled up and spat out by certain media groups that meant no good for me.

After 2 months of exhausting any opportunity to honour my intention I now sit back and look at what has unfolded. I feel the need to mention so many people who really looked past my confidence and saw that behind the scenes I was spiritually and emotionally starting to feel the weight of this all.

Unity FM, Rukhs, Hannah and Andli Litt, Shaista Gohir, Anisa Kissoon, Shaheen Ashraf, Najma Hafeez, Sharon Thompson, BBC Sunday Morning Live Samiyra Ahmed, Huffington Post, Independant newspaper, Channel 4 Darshna Soni, Gavin, Sky News, Marie Claire Magazine, Arshia Riaz, Ruchi WM Radio, Mehdi Hassan from Al Jazeera TV and finally the Dutch Film crew who are working on a 50 min Documentary that gives an intimate look into who I am!

In the end I realise that if you don’t stand up for what you believe in, no one will.

Please see the link below to see my media interviews:
https://iamshalina.wordpress.com/in-the-media/