Monthly Archives: April 2015

Why Everything Is For Sale (Yeah Baby, Even You!)

Muslim Words

ATTENTION!
Calling on my wild imagination to proceed to the front desk please!
Wild imagination. Front desk. Thank you!

I’m a purple genie in a bottle and your wish is my command. Dream of anything you like and I’ll make it come true, free of charge and with a lifetime guarantee.

View original post 1,094 more words

The “Ex” Factor: Welcome To The Single Moms Club

Published On OnIslam.com
April 2015

single mom


The ‘Ex’ Factor:
Welcome To The Single Moms Club

Ringggggg Ringggggggggg
“Hello, welcome to the ‘Single Moms’ club, how can I help?
Yes that’s correct. We work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for the rest of our lives.
No, I’m sorry, there are no support groups or training courses available at the moment.
No, I’m afraid there’s no monetary compensation either. No social life, no holidays, no bonuses and no extra perks are included in our package.
What’s the upside you ask? Hmmmm we are still trying to figure that out. But on the bright side, we do get a lot of criticism, judgmental looks and some down right humiliating sympathy! Would you like to fill an application to join the club?
Umm hello?”

I remember as a little girl, the word ‘divorce’ caused more of a shock than finding out tooth fairies don’t exist! But at this day and age, marriages reaching a sudden halt are as common as car crashes on highways; we hear about it one minute and go back to munching on chips the next. Families are falling apart left and right, and it’s no secret that the most popular assumption always puts the wife at fault. That’s exactly the moment when these divorced single mothers start feeling like they’re ‘alone’ alone, suddenly left to pick up the pieces, and walk the walk of shame amongst a society that mostly tends to assume these women must have done something horrible to deserve such a gloomy fate.

The Start Of An Inevitable Ending:

Ending it all is hardly ever an easy decision. A husband and wife don’t just wake up on a beautiful morning and say, “You know what sounds like so much fun? A divorce!”. In fact it’s a gruesomely difficult step that leaves them both scarred for a long time. No one is excited about failing, but sometimes you’re left with no other option than to let go and walk away. And as much as a wife is expected to stuff her feelings down her throat and suffer silently for the sake of the kids, sometimes she just can’t do it. Sometimes the divorce isn’t even her choice to start with! No one knows the battles and struggles that happen behind closed doors except for God, the husband and the wife.

And maybe the mother in law.
And yes probably the best friends, too.
The neighbors also since they stick their ears to the doors and listen to the fights.
But other than that no one really knows LOL

It’s so NOT a joking matter. Being a single mom myself, I know how people treat and judge divorced women. They’re practically viewed as outcasts, vultures trying to steal husbands or just vulnerable easy targets. The news sets off a danger sign flashing on their foreheads, as if they’ve become a different species ready to attack planet Earth! But does anyone really understand what these women have been through before it all happened? Is there perhaps a book named “The Upside Of Divorce’ that we can learn the rules from? Whether it’s because the husband is abusive or because the wife can’t cook or the families don’t get along, who are we to judge if the reasons are valid or not? In one instance, our beloved Prophet himself did not even ask questions….

Narrated by Ibn `Abbas: The wife of Thabit bin Qais came to the Prophet () and said, “O Allah’s Messenger ()! I do not blame Thabit for defects in his character or his religion, but I, being a Muslim, dislike to behave in un-Islamic manner (if I remain with him).” On that Allah’s Messenger () said (to her), “Will you give back the garden which your husband has given you (as Mahr)?” She said, “Yes.” Then the Prophet () said to Thabit, “O Thabit! Accept your garden, and divorce her once.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5273)

 The Ugly Truth:

So am I saying every unhappy woman should ask for a divorce and feel good about it? No! ABSOLUTELY NOT! Divorce is permissible in Islam but you know what else? It’s ‘detestable’ and for very good reasons, too. It’s the kids who pay the price, and the grandparents who drown in sorrow and the mother who is left with an even bigger burden to carry. She is faced with the ugly truth that no one could portray except those who have been down that same path; the realization that facing the world alone with a family to take care of is no walk in the park. It’s excruciatingly difficult in a way that’s just indescribable. A woman feels lost and unshielded, even if she has her family’s support. She is expected to be both the ‘strict dad’ and the ‘soft mom’ at the same time, which really confuses the kids. She spends her mornings anxious to make ends meet, her evenings listening to the kids’ demands and complaints, ‘mom, mommy, mommmm, mommy’ and then spends most of her nights scared something bad might happen or just exhausted from playing too many roles at once. It takes unimaginable strength to be able to survive that without breaking down.

Try living in the West and explaining to the handyman it’s un-Islamic to be alone with him while he’s doing his job. We aren’t allowed to date potential grooms, let alone the mess caused by anxious parents, ex-husbands and ex-wives. All the options are downright agonizing:

  • Raise the kids alone.
  • Marry someone else and hope the kids won’t resent him.
  • Go back to the ‘Ex’ and risk failing again

Don’t Join Just Don’t Judge:

A part of me hopes this article would deter anyone contemplating divorce. Another part wishes that people would see the truth; single moms did not call the quits to find ‘happiness’, many of them just wanted to escape the ‘unhappiness’. Let’s stop digging for dirt and offer a helping hand instead. It’s high time Muslims all around the world started embracing their sisters who didn’t ‘fail’ but rather faced downfalls like everyone else. It’s time for fathers to step out of their ‘honorary guest’ roles of either spoiling the kids out of guilt or moving on and forgetting they exist all together. Things need to change. Let’s stop punishing each other for our choices and misfortunes, and be there for one another, the way God intended us to….

To all the members of the ‘Single Moms’ club, I’m sorry you had to join….

Some of us are doing the time without doing the crime and no it’s not easy. In my heart I believe we survive through the strength God gives us. So don’t worry about the children, Lady Mary raised Prophet Jesus alone. Don’t worry about ending up alone, Lady Khadija was married twice before she ended up with our beloved Prophet (PBUH). Don’t worry about the gossip, Lady Aisha went through the worst trial of all before she was exonerated. We don’t compare ourselves to these blessed women but we certainly find hope in their stories. So stand tall and stay on the right path. Raise devout Muslim kids who respect their fathers and understand just how Merciful Islam is. Take care of your loved ones’ hearts and don’t worry… Allah will take care of yours…

Lilly S. Mohsen

 

 

 

BUSTED AGAIN: Why Some Women Can’t Stand Their Men!

Published On inkoffaith.com
March 30th, 2015

busted again

BUSTED AGAIN: Why Some Women Can’t Stand Their Men!

I hear sounds of printers beeping all around the city… Women getting dressed in a rush, one right shoe and one wrong shoe…. Tripping down the stairs in a frantic hurry, driving like maniacs and honking at other cars to move along, and then finally, with no introductions, each woman barges into her husband’s office in the middle of a staff meeting and shoves this article in his face.

“It’s payback time big guy!” The wife crosses her arms with triumph.

“I’m in the middle of a meeting honey!” The husband’s face turns blood red.

“I don’t care! Last month you rubbed that “Why Men Need Four Women” article thing in my face! Well, guess what? Men aren’t perfect either!” She snaps.

“Is that by the same author? Ahhhhhh see? That’s an obvious typo. The author meant to say “Why Some Women Can’t UNDERSTAND Their Men!” The husband explains knowingly.

The wife grabs the paper to check again, and the staff members all rise to applaud their genius boss, and before you know it, the all-male business meeting turns to a marriage support group, sharing stories of how wives misunderstand everything, and are too blind to see how PERFECT their men are!

On her way home, the berated wife decides to leave this embarrassing incident on the Q.T, so she only calls her best friend, her neighbor and a couple of her colleagues at work to subtly voice out her anger.
“I can’t stand him! He thinks he’s always right! I swear behind that Mr. Perfect façade he’s really mean! But no one believes me!”

Of course only a few will sympathize because most of us don’t know what happens behind closed doors…

 What Do Women Want?

“It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it!”

That’s one of the classic statements that drive men up the wall. Many men find women very complicated they’re actually compiling a book to help them crack the female code:

“Yes” means “No”

“I’m sorry” means “You’ll be sorry!”
“Do what you want” means “Don’t you dare!”

So naturally when wives attempt to describe what they need from their husbands, some men are both cynical and confused. They have come to the conviction that they do a great job but nothing is good enough for women. So let’s take a sneak peak at what men are silently thinking when women voice out their complaints…

Shhhhhhhhh come with me….

Wife: “I don’t care about money. All I want is to be loved and respected”

Husband: And yet she wants me to show that love with diamond rings, trips to Hawaii and expensive dinners! Do you know what that requires, honey? A LOT OF MONEY!

Wife: “He doesn’t need to spend the whole day with me to make me happy. I’m looking for quality time together even if it’s just an hour a day!”

Husband: And that is why she gives me grief when I meet up with the guys once a week, even though I take her out every night!

Wife: “I just need a man I can trust and depend on. Someone who understands me!”

Husband: And when I’m all there listening and helping, she resists any solutions I give and insists I don’t understand her! Why are women so DIFFICULT?

The truth is, women aren’t complicated, they just speak a different language that is quite foreign to men. There’s a lot of miscommunication in marriages because while men operate through logical thinking, women work on pure feelings. Men have the urge to solve problems in a practical efficient way, while women just need to talk it out without being judged or impelled to make sudden changes. Wives tend to generalize and are more imaginative, while husbands are literal and very specific.

When a woman says she doesn’t care about money, she means it’s not her top priority but of course it still is important! She’s not looking forward to living in a dumpster, but will stand by her man either way if she really loves him. When a woman expresses her anger or frustration it doesn’t mean she’s blaming the husband for everything that went wrong, she just needs to let out some steam! We use figures of speech and metaphors too, you know!

A woman’s ‘five minutes’ does not literally mean 300 seconds!
Why is that so hard for men to understand?!

The Vicious Circle Couples Twirl In

Ever wondered why men are so obsessed with watching soccer matches?

Besides the fact that yelling and swearing at the TV is not a punishable crime as opposed to say, roaring at the kids, men generally like to keep score. And they relate to the rules that are clear and simple…

Win-Lose

Black-White

Yes-No

Whatever lies between the two options is a grey area that doesn’t really register in male brains as significant. So if you’re having a conversation with a man and you don’t adamantly and deliberately stress on the fact that he’s RIGHT, don’t be surprised if he gets offended. I mean, in a black and white world, if you don’t think he’s right then you obviously think he’s wrong! Which means the score is 1 to nothing! It’s not that men are arrogant or in denial, they just need to win, and they work more efficiently through encouragement. They need their wives’ approval and appreciation because it motivates them to be better and give more! On the other hand, if men are constantly criticized or are being told what to do and how to do it, they start feeling blamed, rejected and eventually give up, even when that’s not the intention of women at all!

Oh my God! There she goes again giving excuses to the men! You’d think a female author would support her own kind every once in a while! Holy!

 Time For Men To Step Up!

(Girls you’ll need to cover your ears now. This section is strictly for men!)

Even though women are emotionally stronger and have great powers at their disposal (two beliefs supported by Islam and psychology), it still doesn’t take the heat off husbands. It takes two to make a marriage work or fall apart. There’s a reason why many wives are frustrated these days, and it’s not because they’re drama queens. Women have needs that some men obviously don’t understand. Many husbands already spend time at home and make big deals of special occasions and are very much willing to help but their wives are still unhappy. It’s not what you do but rather it’s how you make your woman feel.

As years go by, the rush in a marriage settles down and is replaced with a sacred bond of understanding. A husband needs to remember that his wife isn’t out there to make his life miserable; she’s actually on his side! With days filled with commitments, responsibilities and distractions, women need to feel acknowledged. They need to feel loved and appreciated even if it’s with little daily gestures like a warm hug. If you really want to score big with your woman, give importance to those simple acts of love like getting her a rose for no reason at all or giving her a compliment when she looks tired. Try to maintain scoring one virtual point everyday instead of doing a big gesture every six months and then say ‘Hey, I sat through an entire musical for you last summer, that should earn me enough points for a whole year!”

Yeah it doesn’t work that way.

You can take the space you need and do the things you love with your guy friends and all but in return leave your wife with a reassuring feeling that you love her and miss her. Women are strong and capable and independent but deep inside they’re also soft and sensitive…. All they need is a genuine feeling to keep them going.

The beloved Prophet (PBUH) was a very busy man. Not the normal ‘I have a business meeting’ or ‘Come on it’s the Champion’s League’ kind of busy, no he was literally the one man carrying the hugest burden of ‘changing the world’ on his shoulders. Yet he was the softest, most loving and most tender husband of all times. He gave time and attention to his wives, helped with the housework, mended his own clothes and actually listened when his wife had a problem. One time Lady Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) lost her necklace on the way back from one of the battles and our beloved Prophet (PBUH) asked the whole army to stop and look for it. How considerate was that?

In his last sermon, Prophet Muhammad dedicated a whole part of his speech to remind men to show love and respect to their wives and give them their rights. He continued saying, “Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers….”

That said, let’s pause and watch husbands today….

Most wives carry the burden of raising the kids, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, driving the kids’ to soccer practices and art classes, besides having careers of their own, keeping up with a busy social life and maintaining their figures and beauty. Yes we are strong but we can’t be super women all the time! What happened to husbands that some of them won’t even bother taking the initiative to lighten that burden? Of course some men help out but others do it condescendingly as a favor. Women are overwhelmed, anxious and tired from the expectations that perhaps they put upon themselves, but it would certainly be nice to feel appreciated for their tremendous efforts. Why does it seem to us that some men’s teeth hurt when they give their wives compliments?

To every husband who had the self-control and open-mind to reach this sentence 🙂

Look at that woman sleeping beside you… Remember who she is…?

She is the same women you dreamt of day and night, cherishing the thought of making her happy and loving her forever. She is the one who stood by you through thick and thin… gave you children whom she dedicates her life to raise well and fills your home with love and tenderness. This is the young woman who left her parent’s protective bubble to come live in your arms… She is the one her dad trusted you with, just like one day you’ll give your daughter to a stranger and hope he will treasure her every day till the end of time. She is the princess that walked into your life to help you, love you and face the obstacles of the unknown with you, hand in hand. Perhaps she’s flawed, yes, but so are you. Perhaps she nags and whines and acts up sometimes. True. But if only you knew that it takes just a warm hug to make her heart melt and tame even her wildest temper. This woman needs you… she needs your love, support and attention. You don’t have to give her solutions or turn the world upside down to make her happy…

All you need to do is look at her…

Really look at her, absorb her and acknowledge her…
Take that extra minute to reassure her you’ll always be there to cherish and love her no matter what happens…

In the end, it’s making her feel like she’s the best wife ever is really what makes you…

The greatest man alive…

Lilly S. Mohsen