Tag Archives: dreams

The spaces between


Picture by Danilo Rizutti

Assalam alaikum wr wb, sisters and brothers,

So I’m on my way out of the city of my birth, never to call it my home ever again. My husband is happy and excited, well, because he loves me, bless his heart.

Me, I’m caught between excitement and fear. Sometimes, even anger.

I’ve been wondering why I feel so powerless. I wonder where the tide of life has taken me as if I were so much driftwood.

And anger fools me into thinking that I will gain power again, by rage and intimidation.

But that’s not true.

The fact of the matter is, I made a choice – and a truly blessed one it was too Mashallah. As with most choices, there are changes. I always knew these changes would come. I just didn’t think it would come so quickly and they might even hurt a little.

After some reflection and prayer, I’m at peace with my choice now. I‘ve started to notice things about my beautiful city – the tall buildings, the hundreds of different kinds of people.  This afternoon, I watched the patrons of a roadside cafeteria with fascination for a good half hour, making up stories about the uncommonly well-dressed delivery boy and the smoking colleagues.

I’ll miss these winding streets, so familiar I could drive through them with my eyes closed (I won’t, I promise). I’ll miss these strange but familiar people, from all over the world, just as confused and in-between as I am.

I’ll miss my mama in the morning, grinning so wide her drenches almost fall out, standing in the yard waving my dad goodbye.

I’ll miss my silly older brother and his Xbox and obsessive TV watching.

I’ll miss daddy, bionic eyes, slow driving and all.

When I’ve finally learned to love you as you are, it is time for me to leave.

So long, Dubai. I’ve loved you since I was a child. And I always will.

Wassalam and Fee Amanillah,

The Happy (though tearful) Muslimah.

Things I’ve always wanted: 7 children

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem

Assalam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatahu, people reading this blog.

Yep. I’ve always wanted to have precisely seven offspring Insha Allah.

As in my issue. Give birth to seven squealing little halal piggies with my own frail little body.

Not all at once, of course. At a suitably paced distance Insha Allah. But still. Seven.

I’ve never questioned this need. I’ve never tried to mitigate it to myself or family, though I frequently tell proposals in order not to scare them off that I will be talked down to four. I suppose I can be, though I will not be pleased about it. And I imagine myself, a middle-aged mother with four kids, feeling somehow our family is incomplete, that there were three more children somewhere in heaven with our family name on them.

There is something spiritually satisfying about the number seven. Maybe it’s because there are seven levels of Jannah.

But there are also five pillars in Islam and six principles of Islam, I hear you say. True. But I still like seven.

I made this decision when I was barely older than seven myself. I think I was around 11.

I remember my brothers asking me why I wanted seven children. “One for each sin?” was the best I could come up with.

I’ve always wanted a big happy noisy family. I suppose being the youngest child by donkeys’ years; I’ve always felt like I was an only child. Like I had to solve life’s mysteries by myself, contend with my parents by myself, do  my homework by myself, choose my clothes by myself, flirt with boys by myself (that last part I didn’t mind. And that last part didn’t happen.) No sisters to talk me out of bad decisions. No sisters to weep with, fight with, to accuse of stealing my favorite hijab. My life always seemed controlled, surgically precise, carefully hemmed in by forces beyond my control to keep out the mess of the real world.

Of course, then I left the home and the world flooded in and I was knee deep in BS wondering what would have prepared me for this.

Maybe it would have been a lot of little brothers and sisters. I’ve noticed you learn to compromise and improvise in a big family. Money is usually tighter than it would be, so imagination is the greatest Xbox. And the whole wide world doesn’t seem so scary with a brother or sister by your side.

Those sound like incredible tools to have, tools I’m building slowly and painstakingly in my adult life.

Or maybe I want to stay young.

When I was with my niece, she focused my concentration to the present moment with laser precision. The whole world was new to her and seeing through her eyes, it was new to me too. She was a destructive little devil – she liked taking things apart with little thought about how to put them together again. She was also unconditionally loving and a little reckless. She was my little terror.

Maybe I want seven children so that by the time one leaves childhood, there will be another and another and another. And the youngest will be the most spoiled and the whole family’s teacher.

Of course, if any mothers are reading this, they will probably be spewing bile, eager to let me know how messy and crazy motherhood is, diapers, illnesses, public tantrums and all. Yeah. I can see. But I don’t understand why that’s as bad thing. Leaving out the diapers, my parents are just the same.

I still want seven children Insha Allah.

Wassalam and Fee Amanillah,

The Happy (but as yet single and un-pregnant) Muslimah