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

Well done Sister. I will pray for you and your daughter's protection from all forms of evil. May Allah continue to protect you , your daughter and all our Muslim Sisters who constantly face such abuse in public places.

Location

Atlanta

Wow! May Allah grant us all with the courage that Sister Hajar displayed. And may Allah protect all innocent Muslims and non-Muslims from hatred and senseless acts of violence. Pray for peace!

Location

the US of A

Masha Allah, you are a wonderful example to young Muslim girls like myself. Your courage has strengthened my resolve to continue wearing hijab as i have now been doing since 911. As a black British Muslim I too face a lot of verbal abuse but insha Allah I will now have the bravery to continue in following the commands of Allah. Ma asslam and thank you!

Location

UK

As-salamu Alaikum Sister, I know how you where feeling at the time of the incident i'm also an African American Muslim and an similar situation happen to me at Kmart, but it was the cashier. I too had to let her know that I speak english very well and that I was born here. Ignorance is just as bad here in the mid-west.

Location

Springfield,Illinois

Sister,I applaud your courage before ignorance. Ignorance is the most dangerous condition we face, followed by avarice, in this world. I pray your daughter is not terribly scarred by this ordeal and, insha Allah, that she will always remember to fear no man, for Allah will always guide and protect her.Allah's blessings and peace upon you both, and all of your family, and upon all of us who are obligated to speak the truth and honor Allah forever.

Location

California

Salaam alaikum Sister Hajar,You did the right thing! May Allah bless and protect you and your family. You had the courage to stand up to that man's ignorance. Alhamdulillah, you gave your daughter a fine example of a brave Muslim woman!

Location

Atlanta, GA, USA

As Salaamu Alaikum,You are a very brave sister and a good mother, Alhamdulillah. May Allah Protect you and your family.

Location

USA

Good on you Sister... stick up for yourself! You have every bit of right to freedom of speech as any "red-neck" male. Allah gives us freedom; its only tradition that trys to make us lower than man. I would however issue caution that some men are dangerous and vindictive when made fools of in public, so please be careful of yourself and child... that man will not forget you and may bide his time in getting revenge. Be vigilent. Your story does show me though that it can be a lot safer for Muslim women NOT to wear hijab in western countries, due to others blind ignorance, as it makes us a target for agression & hatred. I dont wear hijab, but many of my friends do. Even in NZ 2 Indian friends have been banged on the head from behind (by a Maori woman) while out shopping and 1 White NZ friend (now living in UAE where she prob feels safer) was spat in a supermarket by a woman with an accent (possibly American); and all for wearing hijab in public places.Salams to all.(And if u read this Ameera... come home; its safer in NZ than UAE or Egypt at the moment!)

Location

NZ

Subhanallah sister, you did what was necessary to protect yourself and your child and dispel ignorance at the same time. It is not just a male's right to stick up for Islam and spread knowledge but also a woman's.I applaud you.

Location

Baltimore

In the name of Allah:Dear Sister Hajar,Please be careful and mindful of your tongue. If you are married, please allow your husband to deal with the foolishness of men. Like you, I also live in the South. I too am an African-American muslim of eleven years. There are many people who are foolish enough to "make good" on their threats. Thank you for standing up for us all! May Allah bless you and keep you.Salaam,Sr. Sylvia

Location

Memphis, Tennessee

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