Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The reason I turned down lunch

Salaam Blogger world...

Another post today...wowow...haha  I have a lot to say I guess.

Zain, here is my issue.  I do not like to go to my husbands family home for gatherings.  The thought makes my stomach turn and I start to get pissy.  It's not that I don't love my mother in law or his family, I do.  They are sweet and kind and have accepted me into their family.....Alhamdulillah!  My issue is this....SEGREGATION!  I can not stand it and will NEVER accept this aspect of Islam.  I cant understand why I can not eat with my husband.  Why must I remain fully covered (including niqaab) when I go there?  I will tell you.  His brother lives there with his wife and family.  I, and his wife, are not allowed to uncover in front of the brothers.  So, when I go there, I spend the day in my abaya, clothes under the abaya, under scarf hair cover, hijab and niqaab and black stockings.  To say the least, I am hot and uncomfortable.  Add to the fact that I do not speak fluent Arabic and that is what the conversation is.  So I understand bits and pieces.  The brothers in one room and the women and children in the other room.  Mind you, I am still fully covered.  I do get to lift up the niqaab while eating.......that's it.

I cant stand it.  This is where I have a hard time with culture vs religion.

I miss the way my old family life was.  We all sat at ONE TABLE.  Ate, laughed, played games and were not afraid to greet one another. 

So I said, "NO".  I do not want to go.  I would rather sit here and eat my "cup of noodles" and play pogo than sit wrapped up in my "tent" for the day.

The thing is, I had my day all planned out.  I was going to do a little shopping, go for lunch, hit up the salon and maybe catch a movie.  Doing this all by myself because I have no friends here, that's for another blog.  Anyway, as I was getting ready to leave he says to me, "My mom invited us over for lunch today."...Instantly I get this gnawing in my gut like I want to scream!  "Why do you tell me this an hour before we are supposed to be there?  I made plans today."  He says, "I don't know."  Uhhhhhhhggggghhh!!!  That's when I tell him NO and decide the hell with it, I am staying home.  Not in the mood for anything now. 

Why is it like this?  I miss my friends, my family.  Why are my choices to sit in my "tarp" for the day and be ignored while people are caring on a conversation that you don't understand, or spend the day shopping and lunch by myself??!  I was always an outgoing person, full of laughter and friends.  Always doing something.  I have nothing in common with these "spoiled princesses" here.    I just would rather be by myself.  At least if I talk, I understand the conversation...haha.  If I eat at home, I don't have to be uncomfortable.

Really, I am not sure where to go from here.  Do I want to live a life of being alone?  I cant expect my husband to "entertain" me all the time. God bless him, he needs to have a life other than his wife.  I love him dearly and I know I am not the greatest, most cheerful person to be around all the time. I remember when I met him he said to me, " I cant push my culture on you."  Naive me said, "No, it's ok.  I accept it and am willing to learn".......... 

And here I am.  Smack dab in the middle of "culture" and I am the saddest I have ever been.  Hearing the Azan from my window doesn't even bring me peace.

So all of this because of a lunch invitation.............................................go figure...

**(I would pay top dollar right now to have a pack of Marlboro's delivered to my house...hahah)


  1. I feel for you...

    Always around for a chat if you need it.


  2. Thanks...I may take you up on that. This culture if starting to take it's effect on me. It feels almost as though I am "loosing it". It really make you question your identity and who you are. I just dont understand how some things are done here.....it just seems asinine to me at times. I think people miss out too much when they live in their buble....

  3. Oh man sis that must be hard sitting away from your hubby.

    At my mother in laws, we all sit together at the table alhamdulillah with hijab on, but I sit next to my husband and his niece usually.It's so comfortable for me even I don't understand a word and don't talk to anyone, even husband. Sometimes I laugh when everyone else does to make it seem like I don't feel alone and sad.

    May Allah be with you!!!

  4. Yeah, I try to be involved with the conversation...laughing when they do. I say what I can in arabic but it's not enough to cary on a conversation...haha Oh well, what to do. It's a new culture....something that I am not used too. Inshallah, Allah will guide me

  5. Why do you wear the niqab when you are eating separately from the men? That I cannot understand. Everytime I hear about converts who leave Islam they have a story very very simular to yours, it just becomes overwhelming and they throw up their hands and say forget it. You don't seem happy with your life, could you imagine bringing a child into a life that you have issues with? Islam is easy and it's the people that make it difficult. Hang in there and inshAllah do what's right for YOU because in the end we are responsible for ourselves.

  6. Asalamu alaikum sis..
    I wear Niqab, & I know wearing it needs commitment and takes time getting used to. I think its fine if you just wear Hijab and Abaya until you adjust to everything.

    It is a new way of life so take baby steps. :)

  7. @Sarah...sooo true how it is a new life! I am thinking of forgoing the niqaab for a while at least. The problem is, is that everyone only knows me with it on and I am afraid to take it off.....

  8. Converting to islam didn't mean that you have to leave your culture. I suspect the intention of muslim men who want to marry converts. I believe its mostly to control their wives by blackmailing them on the name of Islam.

  9. where's the 2nd wife at? how come she can't go to the in-laws with your husband and you go do what you want? i live in jdah and i get pissed off all the time.sheesh goodluck. and just wondering is that you in the pic? fun pic!

  10. Oh sis. I feel for you. Not just with this issue but with the him 'looking for a second wife' thing.

    I'm in the same boat (revert, wear niqab, arab family-in-law, hubby looking for a second wife).

    On the niqab thing...I do the same when eating where his male family might see me I sit with my back to them and lift up my niqab. It's not ideal but better than eating with it on.

    If he didn't give you notice and you'd already planned stuff then what do they (husbands) expect! Ugh, men!


  11. If the women are completely separate why can't they wear 'house clothes"? Or is it not separate 'enough'? That sucks. I have a friend who has to cook in niqaab because the set up of her house (open plan kitchen) is such that when we visit we aren't separate enough. I'm not used to sitting indoors with niqaab on! Maybe once you resign from your job you could do an Arabic course? :-) Salaams

  12. Salaam Everyone....I am going to try to answer your questions...lol
    First off.... I dont wear my niqab when I eat. I wrote that I lift it up to eat. Lifting up means flipping it all the way up the entire time I eat....
    Wearing "house clothes" is not acceptable because we are still in the same area while we visit. Just seperated to eat.
    As for the intentions of my husband to control me...nahhh, he is nothing like that. He is Arab, yes. He is very jealous and wants to be protective. He isn't controling. I still leave the house and live my life.
    As for a second wife....Mafi second wife. Not yet....Alhamdulillah! LOL

  13. salaams sis
    I'd be so pissed if I had to sit there like that.
    Why do you have to wear niqab?
    When I wore it, I didn't wear it around family in their homes.

  14. Arabs have seperate sitting quarters for men and women...they just do, unless they live in a dinky house or apartment, and jealousy is NOT love, sister! It is a form of ABUSE, don't get them confused, and can often be used as control in a relationship. Try to THINK HARD about it...I think you still in honeymoon stage. In all religions these are considered bad traits ect..you know what I mean. My arab husband was very jealous in the begining of our marriage [one of the reasons we fought]. Now he knows how to control it, it's called love and trust[maybe he secretly doesn't love me lol]...he used to use the phrase "I trust you, but I don't trust them [MEN]. sure, whatever. so, when we moved to jdh, I for sure thought the jealousy would end..."NO", it did not. Not even with all the black garb covering me and segregation. I too had a job I could go to with a driver picking me up, no problem with that. Abuse is abuse, and I know at least a little about it,I took classes on it...but my husband is a slooow learner...I won't even get into the forms of child abuse in this country[ear twisting,name calling; hamarr, kelb..sheesh, girl think harder on this. You're lucky, no kids. your blog is fun to read:I'm neglecting my housecleaning. al-determined

  15. @ amina and al-determined..... Yeah, I get pissed I have to sit there but it is what it is. I am lucky to have a good husband that loves me. As for the abuse...not worried about that. My husband feels bad if he my feelings get hurt in any way and does what he can to always make me smile and laugh...alhamdullilah.. As for the jealousy..I like it. I lived in a marriage for 13 yrs that there was no jealousy. We both had our own lives and he would joke to his friends "20 bucks and she is yours" So...needless to say, its nice to have someone protective and loving to me. As for the honeymoon stage.. Maybe we are still in it a little bit. We have been married for a yr now but I will be 34 next month. I am in no way "an innocent bride" I know marriage and I know how things work. As for the child abuse issue, yes, i have personally seen pinching and ear twisting and hitting with a shoe. Sad really.

  16. i get your point...i have a friend that couldn't handle her husband not being jealous of her...she complained he didn't love her. o.k.? they ended up divorced and she went on to marry someone else who was a tad jealous...he cheated big time on her..my sister thinks he still is cause he goodlookin...lol, but i don't. your ex had some issues with his self, wierd...you might need some healing from that trama. trama, not drama. wow.sad.
    as for the life style here...if i can handle the heat and it does get hot in the kitchen..i know you'll be fine. al-determine

  17. Salams 1st wife, I'm American Muslim born and raised. I wear niqab probably for the same reasons as you, my husband would be so hurt if I took it off. When we go to my families house for Eids, or dinners ect. if there are male family, like brother in-laws, cousins ect. my husband still perfers I wear it. Last Eid dinner we all sat around after eating and played Taboo, Niqab and all. I've always been very outgoing, and I am a people person. If it easier for you not to cover your face and your husband does not mind, then do what is best for you. It's a lot for new Muslims to get used to and you're still learning. Take it easy and focus on what is important. Learning Prayers, Quran, doing proper worship. Establish your Iman. Everything else will come in time.


Life is too short to be hateful. Just because you disagree with something, doesn't make it wrong. I welcome your comments but please refrain from being hateful. :)