My encounters as a covered Muslim sister

I was born and raised in this country. I am proud to be an American for the reason that I feel we are a blessed people even in the poorest communities compared to some of the places I have been blessed to travel to by the Grace of Allah.

However, with our modern lifestyle and civilized society as we call it, I am still amazed at the degree of ignorance that plagues our people. We have all types of technology at our fingertips and yet some of us still live in darkness.

Since 911, I have had experienced a few incidents of discrimination but they have not shaken my faith. Instead, they have made me more determined than ever. It reminds me of what Allah says in the Quran: "You think that a thing is bad for you but in it there is a degree of good Allah knows and you do not know".

While shopping in the Wal-Mart near my mother's home in the community where I was raised, I and my daughter encountered a very evil man. While going down the aisle of the store and talking amongst ourselves, a man while passing us turned to my daughter and said, " I hope you burn in Hell". I must confess that I became angry(may Allah forgive me) and I turned to the man and I replied, "Who do you think you are? How dare you talk to my daughter in that tone? You have a right to feel any way you wish but you do not have the right to talk to my child that way. Do you understand me?"

I believe that I shocked him with my clear, American English accent. However, his arrogance would not lead him to apologize. Instead, he kept talking and I replied "whatever, just do not address my daughter" and turned and retrieved the item that I was shopping for.

My daughter was so upset. I told her you have to overlook stupid people. Unfortunately, we live in the South, and some people still feel they have a right to say and do as they wish.

After getting the item, my daughter and I went to the front to check out, we got in the line. The dumb man was ahead of us by one customer. He just gazed at us with hate in his eyes and we acted like he was not there. When my daughter recognized him, she said 'mom there he is again.' I told her to just ignore him, he can't help his ignorance. He became angry and began to yell at us again. He said, "you sand niggers have no right to be in our great country, we fought for you, etc." I must say that I am a very outspoken person, always have been, and I don't take abuse from anyone. I guess it is because I am black and I grew up during a time when I saw my people oppressed in this country and I just get angry at oppressive people. I know I have to practice more patience in this issue.

I replied "You see that's what I mean. See how ignorant you are. In the first place, I am not a nigger. In the second place, I am not a foreign citizen. I was born and raised right here. You did not serve anything for me for I am also an honorably discharged veteran of seven years. Did you not learn anything from 911 they have only talked about Islam constantly since? There have been countless programs about it. There was even a program at the university. Where have you been? Do you know that most of the Muslims in this country are African-American, so when you see one just don't assume that they are foreign or for that matter that they do not speak and understand English. By the way, who gives you the right to tell me or any person what we should or should not do or be?"

He was so outraged at this point because the people were looking at him and laughing and saying, "Oh man, be quiet." He replied again that the Constitution gives him the right. I replied that he has rights as long as they do not infringe upon the right of others. My beef is not your rights are how you express them for I do not care, however I do have a problem with a grown man saying something to any child be it mine or whom ever. I feel if you have a problem you need to address it to me. He said xxxx I am talking you, you xxxxx by this time the manger came over and ask what was going on and I told her and she requested security and ask the man to leave. Before he could leave however he decided to see how brave I was with a threat of physical. I looked him square in the face and said By Allah I do not want to hurt you but if you think I will stand here and let you attack me or my daughter you are sadly mistaken, I will fight you to the death for my child do you hear me", the manager told him you need to leave we will not put up with this and this lady is not playing Mr. He said we will see. Feeling that the man was going to do something to us I purchased a carving set.

The officer came over and got a report of what happened and a description of the man, whom I was able to give details down to his brith mark on his neck. The Officer assured me that he or Wal-Mart would not tolerate such behavior and gave me an escort to the parking lot. I told the Officer that I appreciated his help and that the man had threaten me and my daughter and that if attacked I would defend myself, the Officer stated stated he understood. He replied that if he tried anything tonite that he would go to jail. He comforted my daughter whom was crying along with others that were in the store and said that they were ashamed of the man's conduct and apologized for his behavior.

I pray to Allah to give me more tolerance on this issue its just so hard to ignore some of the things sometimes. I guess that I am tired of all of this nonsense. I will try to work on sabr on these matters. However I have found that they are quite supprised when you speak english and relate truth along with history to them. It has not spoiled my feeling toward people that have a natural curiosity and those that long to understand, it is my mission to spread the truth.

Again thank you for your support and continue to give us good advice on these issues at this most critical time of trials. May Allah reward you with Paradise. Amen.

Photo Attribution:  Ed Yourdon - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arabische_vrouw_loopt_op_straat_in_Ca%C3%AFro,_-27_december_2008_a.jpg

Comments

May the blessings of Allah (swt) be upon you, sister. I'm glad to know you were able to talk back to this horrible person and have the situation dealt with. Sadly these things are not countered as well where I live in, Calgary Alberta Canada. My father is a "taxi driver" and on many occasions, persons threaten to murder him, his children, and wife. They say the most horrible and such things. In addition he can't call the authorities because they don't do anything. They always ignore our pleadings for help. The only good persons seem to be the ones that know us. I've dramatically reduced the time I used to spend with non-muslim friends before 911; this has lead to much less hate experienced by me. I occassionly think about the magnificent Allah (swt) and the Rasul, Prophet Muhammad (peach be upon him, this gives me much satisfaction. I will pray for your well-being in this world and the next. As-Salam-WaUlaikum to you and your daughter.

Location

Canada

The south also has great 2nd amendment laws. Go get yourself a firearm to protect yourself and your family. Most southern states allow concealed carry of hand guns as well. Contrary to popular belief the 2nd amendment is not only for uneducated rednecks, it was put there exactly for this reason. To protect your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Location

NJ

Assalamu Alaikum. I was just looking through the Sound Vision catalog and noticed your story. I live up North and it's just as bad. All I can say is just ignore others and continue on. I'm proud of how you handled your situation. It shows how much strength you have and being a Muslim you need all the strength. I hope insha allah everything becomes better and I pray that others will become less ignorant and realize the beauty in Islam. Again sister, I admire you very much. Insha Allah eveything will become better. Wailaikum Wasalaam.

Location

new york

Way To Go!!!That was very brave of you , but I would have done the same. I am a teen and I just started to wear the hijab. I know what you mean when you said this man was stubborn. We used to live in New Orleans for a period of time, but even now,in Northern LA, I totally know what you mean. Once again , Great Job!!!

Location

Louisiana

I admire your courage, Sr. Hajar. If anyone were to abuse my daughter I would probably do the same. She is only 5 now but she might decide to wear hijab and become the target of someone's ignorant comments.I recall an incident in November 2001 where her own grandfather shouted insults at us. My husband is Syrian American and also 6'1" and my father was afraid of him, so he didn't threaten bodily harm. Even though my husband is light skinned, my father considers him a "sand nigger" of sorts. It's horrible when strangers attack you but when it comes from your own family? I was too stunned and my husband threw him out of the house.Reading about your experience has emboldened me. When I was in my 20s I told people off, then in my early 30s I went into a shell. Who says life doesn't begin at 40? Anyone who so much as looks cross-eyed at my daughter, son or me had better beware.Allah bless you and your daughter.

Location

Rochester, NY

Asslamo alikum sister! thank you.Islam is powerfull and it is about the truth.educated outspoken muslims are much needed now,because the whole world want to know about Islam and Muslims and we have to tell them in the language they speak and understand.you are such a fine example of how our women and men should handle a situation like that.may Allah bless you and all of us.

Location

new york

Dear Sister, As-salaa-alaikumI am so proud of how brave you are in facing such difficult situations. I, like you am a very outspoken person and I am learning to be more patient when dealing with people who are filled with hatred. However, I feel that unless we are brave, stand our ground and voice our views we will never progress forward as Muslims living in the West.I agree with you that there are some parts of this country which are more difficult for us to express our views and practice our beliefs but I pray that all muslims living here do not waiver in their faith when challenged with adversities.

Location

Seattle, WA

As Salaam AlaikumMay Allah protect us from evil American's Ameen.This article literally made me cry, I am sad that American's still don't get it.

Location

NEW JERSEY

Asalamu Alaikum,it is a sign of hypocrites to see the truth and be afraid of it,and it is part of faith for us muslims to see the truth and uphold it.may ALLAH give you more courage and faith to defend yourself. Bisalaam.

Location

nigeria

"To Gain Respest-Give Respect" is what I say...I respect your courage and determination and would urge other Western Muslims to do the same.There is no doubt that September 11th have changed peoples perceptions worldwide towards Islam and Muslims. We as British and American Muslims need to stand firm and guard our religions values.Igorant people will unfortunately, will always be around no matter where we are, but to to do what you did will determine them to stay a far away as people, these such low class, ignorant, selfish, undetirmined people should never have rights to do what they do but with the help of sisters like yourself, we will no doubt hear less of it...may I also just take this opportunity to thank the SOUNDVISION team for their commitment and dedication in providing an excellent informative website for Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. I have been a visitor for almost 4 years...I wish them all the best for the future and just hope to see it get bigger and better each and every year.

Location

BRISTOL

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