Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I am moving insha Allah on Saturday from this house to an apartment, but something in my heart is making me very excited about it. I want a fresh start. I want to leave these bad memories behind. I know it's not the house itself, but I had many negative feelings associated with this house because this is where everything from the last year transpired. I am excited to go back to the complex where my husband and I first lived together.

My husband and Lisa have been married one year this past Sunday. They got married on the 19th on November 2005. I didn't know until Dec. 26, 2005. So a year ago at this time my life was a completely different. I was clueless as to what was going on in my life. It's hard to look back, but I never would have thought that I would be here a year later and feel the way that I do. I am always amazed at Allah's plan. I wonder where I will be a year from now? Insha Allah the following year will be better than this one. This past year wasn't all bad if I have to say.....I've learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about my strengths and my weaknesses. I've learned how much I love my life. I love my family. I love my husband. Most Importantly I love Allah. I love Islam. Allah has put me in this situation for a reason and I plan to benefit others through it. I never thought I'd be here, but I am and I am still breathing. Alhamdulillah!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I have a confession to make......yes I am friends with Lisa and all, but I do not like her being with my step kids without me being there. That might sound strange to a lot of you, but that's the truth. I am very territorial when it comes to them. Yes they are not my kids. Yes they are her step kids too. Yes she has a right to have relationships with them as well, but I can't help my feelings. I guess in a way I feel that because I have to share my husband, I am not willing to share my kids and step kids too.

They always assure me that I don't ever have to compete with her as far as they are concerned because I will always be #1 to them, but deep down it still bothers me and I am insecure about it. I confess that since they came back I kindda have detered them from going to her house or for them to be with her without me there. The strangest part is that I invite her over when they are with me so her and her son can be with them, but maybe I did it so she can see how close they are to me. Maybe I did it to validate myself. Maybe I did it to show her that I am important in my husband's life. There are lots of reasons I probably did it.

Yeah yeah.....I know what ya'll are thinking. Bad Vena, but at least I am being honest about it. I recognized what I was doing and I recognized that I was wrong so this weekend I let go of my ego and I apologized to my hubby for being that way and I dropped the boys off to spend Sunday with my hubby, Lisa and her son. Hey that was a big deal until I realized that it really wasn't a big deal and it didn't take anything away from me.....if anything I think my husband respects me more for it because he understands how hard it was for me. I didn't mind her being with the entire family if I was there. Isn't that bad??? I know it is. I can admit that it is wrong. I guess I felt that I had to be there to watch what was going on, but I'm glad that I let go of that way of thinking.

I am not that kind of person. I am nobody to go trying to control people's lives, feelings or who they do or don't get close to. I am not a dictator.....I am their friend. Even though they call me their evil step mother (haha) I know they love me and I love them and I want what's best for them as I do for my own kids. I decided that what I wanted was for the kids to spend time with their dad and if that means that they will have to be with him and her....without me, then so be it. Who am I to stand in the way? Right???? Right. So cut me some slack cause I got it on my own.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This past tuesday was my day with my husband, but when I began cleaning the house as I normally do I kinnda went into a deep cleaning mission. You ladies know how that goes. You start out intending to clean and you end up making the mess even worse than when you started. There was no way I was going to have the house finished in time for his arrival so I did something I normally wouldn't have done. I texted Lisa and asked her if we could switch days. She had monday and I was willing to trade my tuesday for her day on wednesday. This meant that she would have two days and I would have two days and then we'd go back to our regularly scheduled program (just kidding).

Anyways before she could reply my husband called to see how I was doing. I told him that I had texted Lisa to ask her if she could switch days. He asked me why I wanted to do that and I told him it was because the house was a mess and I didn't want him to come home to it looking the way it did. He said he didn't mind and to just leave the days as they are. I told him no no I can't and we'll just switch the days. He said, "wallahi I don't care." But again I told him I prefer it this way....besides I would have him for two days in a row and that may bring back memories of when I had him all to myself. He finally agreed, but he said he wanted to meet with me and the kids anyways before heading to their apartment and that he had something to give me.

I met with him after the girls got off from school. First thing he gave me was the spicy falafil sandwich I asked him to order for me from the store we met at. NICE!!!! Second thing he gave me was $100. VERY NICE!!!! And the third thing he gave me was a big and beautiful hand-picked flower that he had in a styraphome cup just for me. EXTREMELY NICE!!!!! SUPER SPECIAL!!! WOW!!! What did I do to deserve all that? Masha Allah what a wonderful gesture.

When he was about to leave I told him that the flower was an even better surprise than the $100. Subhan Allah we women really are easy to please. At least some of us are. Wallahi I prefer the hand-pick flower over the most expensive bouqet of roses.

So the next day he came home and the house was spotless alhamdulillah. It was a great idea switching days. So last night while we were lying in bed I asked him if he prefered two days there and two days here or if he prefered one night there and one night here. He said he prefered every other day cuz he missed us too much in the two days he was away. What a perfect thing to say.....even if it wasn't true. I know my husband doesn't lie though. He doesn't say anything that he doesn't feel so I can always count on what he's saying is sincere masha Allah.

The part that I am confused about is that when I thought of him being here two days in a row I wasn't as excited as I thought I would be. I think I got used to having my days without him. I use those days to do what I want to do. I use them to invite friends over or to go over to friends' houses. Those days I don't worry about being home before he gets home or having to cook and clean.

Do you think that I like that part of polygyny to have my own life aside from him? Or do you think that I have just become accustomed to him being gone everyother day for the past year? I don't know, but I was really thrown off by my emotions. I expected to feel one way, but instead I actually felt another. Subhan Allah!!! I hope I am not one of those women who are never satisfied with what they have. I sure hope I'm not. I love being with my husband. This is not to say that I am not happy that he will be home. I am thrilled he will be with us, but what is it??? I'm confused!!!!
Alhamdulillah one down and one to go. The oldest of the two boys was enrolled in school today and the younger one is being enrolled tomorrow insha Allah. The same day my husband and I had argued about him possibly having another child in the future I forgot to mention something else that took place. My husband gave his ex and ultimatum...." Put the kids in school by Wed. or I will come get them, enroll them in school, and either call CPS or hold child support payments." I know it was harsh, but he didn't know what else to do.

Anyways alhamdulillah it worked and he wasn't playing either. I think his eyes finally opened that day. Many members of the family and friends were starting to question why they were still out of school so the pressure was on from all sides.

I know my husband has good intentions, but it's hard for him to follow through sometimes with his work being so demanding. He is no longer self-employed so that has an impact on his ability to come and go as he wishes. I don't think he fully realized how far this may have gone until he saw the stalling.

Alhamdulillah the first steps were taken. Next step is to do something about the girls. Now this is a greater challenge, but insha Allah it will be done. Please pray for the well-being of these kids. Please don't get me wrong.....their parents love them dearly, but sometimes decisions we make for our kids may not actually be in their best interest. I do have to clarify though that as far as my step-kids Islamic knowledge my husband is the one who put the time and the effort into that. He is very strict about their prayers and learning the Quran and he teaches them a lot about the deen masha Allah, but his only problem was having someone there to help them follow up. He can't be with them all the time....they don't live with him so he is limited as to what he can do. My husband cannot enforce rules in her house unless she is willing to comply.

I believe he would have taken the boys to live with him, but he does not want to seperate them from their sisters who are very close to them. This would break their heart. He doesn't mind taking them all, but the chances are slim that they would leave their mom. They could not leave her alone. Maybe when her husband comes from overseas that will be a different story because they do not get along with him (supposedly), but our door is always open and they are more than welcome.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A while back I had intended to write my story of how I came to Islam and never did so I decided tonight is the night. Here goes....As most of you know I am Egyptian. I was born in Egypt to two Egyptian parents. Both my parents are doctors, but my dad joined the American Air Force as a Forensic Pathologist when I was very young and that's how we ended up in the states. My parents immigrated to the US and I was basically raised between the U.S. and Germany (military dad got stationed there). I did live in Egypt though from age 5-9 when my parents divorced ( best years of my life). Anyways back to the subject.....My parents were not religious. My mom used to talk to me about the hellfire and Allah, but as a teen I wasn't very interested and just did what I wanted to do anyways. I was a baaaaaaaaaad girl. AstagfirAllah I drove my mother father too, but I was living with my mom for the most part so it was really hard on her. By the way, my parents married and divorced one another twice. Once when I was 5 (that's why we moved back to Egypt) and the second time when I was 12. My younger brother and I lived with my mom, but we got to see our dad often. He was living in the same city until he got stationed in Germany. I know my mom didn't want me to commit sin because it was haram, but my dad was a different story he didn't want me to do what I was doing for his own reasons which had little to do with religion. I was raised in a good family.....please don't get me wrong, but we weren't a religious one.

Anyways my dad moved to Germany with his non-Muslim fiance who was only 10 years older than me, married her there and I soon followed. After driving my mom nutts and running away numerous times, she sent for my dad and he came and took me with him to Germany. This was one of the hardest decisions my mother ever made. I guess she felt that this was the time he needed to be there and try to control me. Well that didn't work. My step-mom and I just didn't get along so to keep the peace my dad got me my own apartment downstairs from some Coptic Egyptian friends of his. They were actually his landlords too. Anyways I was very close to them and loved living by myself downstairs. What 16 year old rebel wouldn't????? Anyways BIG MISTAKE on my dad's part. As if things couldn't get any worse.....they did. I made BIG MISTAKES. May Allah forgive me.

This went on for a couple of years and I drove my dad nutts. He says most of his grey hairs are from me. He now has a full head of grey, but my step mom contributed a lot to that as well. So I just lived......Went to high school and did what teens do.....screwed up!!!! I met my military ex-husband my last year of high school. I was 17 and he was 20. He was security police and very very handsome masha Allah. I was immidiately infatuated and thought it was love. He asked me to marry him 2 weeks later and to make a long story short......after I graduated my mom saw that I wasn't leaving him and so she had to act fast. She told him that if he wanted to marry he would have to convert......Are you willing? He said yeah and he believed in Islam, but he wasn't practicing and neither was I so it was just words to us to get us what we wanted; married.

So we got married and even before then he was not very good to me. I think I stayed with him because I didn't want to go back to my parents. I guess I figured this was a way to be free. WRONG!!!! Anyways we had two beautiful baby girls together and were married for 5 years. I forgot to mention that when I married my ex my mom was becoming more religious and at that point had been wearing the hijab for a while. Way to go MOM. If it wasn't for her du3a then I wouldn't be where I am today. I started praying when I was pregnant with my first daughter, but it was not on time and I still made biiiiig mistakes. Sometimes I would pray all five prayers all at once at night. Who knows if it is even accepted, but alhamdulillah it was the start to my hidaya. I got better as time went on.

After sept. 11 is when my life took a spin I didn't expect. That day I remember I left my ex at home with the girls and I left the air force base where we lived to go get my eye brows waxed (a3uthoo billah) and on my way back to the base I noticed something very wrong. What should have been a 10 minute trip back to the base ended up taking me an hour. Traffic was horrible and all I could see were military hummers and tanks going off the base. Then I realized that he was at home with the girls and I was positive they had called him in to work, but he couldn't leave till I got there. While I waited in traffic....I listened to what was happening on the radio and was horrified. Finally I made it home and he zoomed out the door to work. I can't even remember when he made it back home. I was in utter shock that day and I couldn't keep my eyes off the TV screen. That was the day my life was changed. That day Islam was in the limelight and it made me think. I knew Muslims....True Muslims couldn't have done such horrible things. This is not the Islam that I know. Well I really didn't know Islam, but I knew this wasn't it. So what was it? Why did they do this? Why? Why? Why? At this time I guess I had a need to connect with Muslims. I needed to say hey this isn't Islam right??? Why? I don't know, but I did. I tried going to the masjid, but I didn't find what I was looking for there.

Then one day while I was shopping off base with a friend at a store similar to IKEA.....I saw them. Two women I never met, two women who if I ever run into again I would never know it was them, two women who didn't even look at me, two women wearing hijab. I was dressed soooo unislamically. I wanted to say as salamu alikum to them, but I was too shy. What would they think of me? They would never think I was Muslim. Look at how I look. I felt really ashamed and sad. I really wanted to talk to connect, but it didn't happen. They probably didn't even speak english. They looked turkish to me so they probably only knew how to speak turkish and German. I didn't lose hope though.

That night I made du3a in my own way and asked Allah to bless me with a Muslim friend. Subhan Allah!!!!!! A week passed and I was shopping at the base exchange store down the street from our housing when I saw a woman in the kids clothing wearing a HIJAB!!!!!! YA ALLAH!!!! YAAAAY! I was thrilled, but still I wasn't sure if she spoke english. Then I quickly realized that she must speak english... she is on an American Air base. So I took a chance. On this day it was cold out so I was dressed more appropriatly so I said, "As salamu alikum" she smiled and replied "wa alikum as salam." That was the start of my finding Islam.

Now look at the list of things she and I had in common.......She had two daughters, and so did I. She married an american and so did I. He converted to marry her as did my ex. She wasn't always relgious just like me. My husband was shipped out for 6 months after sept.11 and so was her husband (at the same time....we met while they were away). Get this she lived in the building behind my building and I never even knew she was there. Even her phone number and building number were very close to my own. The strangest part of all is.... we were born August 15 but on different years. She is a couple of years older.

She and I talked and talked and talked. We had so much in common. She invited me over later that day. We spent a lot of time together and she discovered that I really wanted to wear the hijab through our talks, but that I was too afraid to take the step. She never pushed, but she encouraged me. My mother encouraged me too. She told her to tell me that if I wear the hijab, she will buy me new Tempting mom, but I couldn't do it for that reason. I wear or not to wear!!!!

This friend taught me a lot. I didn't know music was haram before I met her, or pictures, etc. I didn't know who the Companions (rah) were or what nasheeds were. I didn't know we couldn't have statues. She flipped my world!!!! I felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to start, but I knew that I didn't want to die not having worn the hijab. I asked my ex if it was ok for me to start while he was away and he gave me the green light and there you have it.

I did it. It was nerve wrecking, but my mom told me something that helped make it easy.....she said that if you do something to please Allah then Allah will make the people pleased by you, but if you do something to please the people then Allah will turn the people against you. So there you have it. That was the start of it all.

When my ex came back he didn't like the changes and I was taking in so much so fast that I didn't like how we lived anymore. We didn't have anything in common. By this time we had moved to Alaska and I was (I think) the only Muslim in my area so I had no support. There was nothing there and I was a showcase. People were not mean, but I was still on display because it was rare to see someone with hijab on an air base in alaska of all places. Anyways the wedge between my ex and I grew bigger. I wanted Quran and he wanted MTV. We were going down two different paths so I made istikhara and Subhan Allah......Here I am!!!! And alhamdulillah Allah put me where I am because his life is an utter mess. My life may seem like a mess, but I know it could be worse and that I have much to be greatful for. Alhamdulillah 3alla ni3mit al ISLAM!!! Alhamdulillah for the blessing of ISLAM!!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

My husband and I fought last night because I told him that if he and my co-wife have a child then I will probably pack my bags and leave. I know a lot of you are thinking that this is wrong, but you just don't understand how screwed up all of our kids are. We have 8 kids between the two of us. Alhamdulillah mine aren't completely screwed up yet, but if things continue the way that they are my kids will follow.

Shouldn't a man take care of his responsibilities before he goes and adds more to them? The fight started when he told me that just as I have the right to have a does she. No one is arguing with that, but he cannot take care of anymore kids. He barely takes care of the ones he has now. The first four are lost subhan Allah. Just so you have a glimpse of what he has on his plate.....he has 4 kids 2 who have been out of school for 4 years who are now 15 and 16. The 12 and 11 year old have been out for 1 & 1/2 years and a year prior to that. The older ones play mommy at home to the boys and the all the boys do is watch TV and play on the computer all day or they get bored. One boy is overweight and one boy is ADHD and has special needs and hasn't been on his meds in a year and a half (this is a huuuuuuge subject we won't even go there). That is not the half of it. Anyways then you have my kids.....They have a warpped idea of marriage and they barely see my husband or spend any quality time with him. This is not even touching the base of the kids problems and trust me that I wouldn't be exaggerating it either, but I do not want to backbite or hurt anyone's feelings by giving any more details should they run across this blog one day.

Anyways then my husband has the nerve to say that it is her right. Well I wanted to scream and maybe I even did scream "STOP MAKING BABIES YOU CAN'T TAKE CARE OF!!!" I am tired of this. Does he want a bunch of children just so he can say he has a lot of kids or does he want to have quality kids who contribute to society and to Islam? Won't he be responsible for the people his kids become due to the way they were raised? Trust me he will have a lot to answer to.

Fathers play a very important role in their childrens' lives. All you men need to STEP UP!!!! If you can't take care of the responsibilities you have now then stop adding more for your own selfish desires. It's not fair!!!! Am I unreasonable for saying this? Is it really just the responsibilty of the mothers to take care of the kids and raise them? Are men only there for financial support? How involved were fathers during the time of the Prophet (saaw)? My mom made me feel bad when I told her. She said that men are not there to raise the kids and that's what the mother is for. She said do you want the men to go out and work all day then come home and raise the kids too? I know my mom is a sensible person so was she right? Should I stop bugging my husband about his involvment with the children? Were we just brainwashed in these times to believe that men play a greater role than they actually do in the lives of the kids? If a mother is an adequate mother is that enough? I don't know. I am confused.

But of course I blew the whole thing out of proportion and again asked my husband if maybe we would be better off apart to which he laughed. He laughed because he knew that this is the week before that time of the month and this is the time I usually ask him for a divorce. Weird!!!! How can I stop doing that? Do you think I will be accountable for that? Sometimes I really can't help it. Isn't that the wisdom behind women not being able to get divorces as easily and the reason why men cannot get a divorce from their wives when they are on their menses? Subhan Allah how complete this religion truly is!!!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Insha Allah Hubby and I are moving from the house we were renting for the past year back to the apartment complex where we use to live. Insha Allah we are moving to be closer to my daughters' school and to be back next to our favorite masjid alhamdulillah. When I first married my husband we lived in a two bedroom apartment then we moved to a three bedroom in the same complex and now we will move back insha Allah, but into a four bedroom. I am glad about the move. I feel that this house just has sad memories for me. This is where things were changed forever between my husband and I and our lives were turned upside down. Alhamdulillah 3alla kul hal and I am just looking forward to a new beggining. Going back to where we used to live is a good starting place.
I have lots of questions roaming in my head about polygyny...... Here are some that strike me.....

#1 Is polygyny harder for the first wife, the second wife or is it pretty much even? And in what way is it easier or harder or the same for either one?

#2 Would either wife stay in a polygynous marriage if they knew for a fact that their husband loved the other wife more or does each wife just secretly hope that she is the favorite?

#3 Do you believe a man can love two women equally or does he have to prefer one over the other?

Should any of this really matter? Probably not, but I know I often wonder about this.