Surah of the week

" The originator of the heavens and earth! When He decreeth a thing,He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
(2:117)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Since putting on my hijab a month or so ago, I have noticed such a difference in my life, the way I feel, the way I walk and carry myself, and the others treat me. I want to talk about all of my experiences on my blog and I have tons to share with you guys in my little month as a hijabi which by the alhamdullilah! I am feeling so comfortable and confident! The first part of my post will start with the sudden interest in my nationality.

Part 1: What I have noticed since wearing a hijab, regarding race and ethnicity

Salaams. Did you all notice when you started to wear hijab that people took more of an interest in you? Maybe its me but I am bombared with all kinda questions regarding my religion, race, and ethnicity. The funny thing it normally starts with someone asking me what country Im from and then I say guess. DO you know what the most responses are...drumroll please.....PALESTINIAN! LOL. this is followed by indian or just arabic. LoL. People are soo interested in my country. where you are from, when did you come to america. Keep in mind I do not have a accent of any sort. The funny thing is Iam black,irish, and native. No one ever guesses that.My mom is black and irish and looks more irish with her red hair and face full of freckles.I have some too and sandy brown hair. Before I wore hijab people always ask my sis and I are we mixed and usually they think spanish. Now with my hijab everyone thinks I middle eastern. My skin complexion looks like this muslimah, maybe a little lighter.


Ok the part that is annoying about the whole things is and maybe this is a stretch but people are utterly shocked when I tell them Iam black and irish. You can almost hear then wanting to say you dont act or talk black. Example, I helped this older couple the other day at the pharmacy and they were very sweet.

Customer: "honey are you are so sweet, we have been coming here for over 20 years and no one has ever went out of there way to help me and my wife like this."

Me: "its my pleasure, anytime".

Customer: "honey what country are you from?"

Me:" America,sir." (keep in mind I know what he's getting at)

Customer's wife: " No sweety he means originally?"

Me: " I was born and raised here, as well as my parents"

Them: "Well you are absolutely beautiful, soo pretty and so is your scarf."

Me: "Thanks thats so nice."

Them: "Whats your nationality or ethnicity?"

Me: "Im black and irish"

Them: (Utterly surprised) " Really I would have never guessed!! Well your still beautiful"

Me: Thanks?

My point is they were very sweet people and I appreciated the comments, I just feel like people are so surprised at what I really am and I wonder does it go beyond the skin complexion because black people can be light skinned too. LOL. I think its a combination of my features and mannerisms. I have always been called white girl by other black people due to the way I talk and my features. ( I have always hated this because what these ignorant people were saying in essence, is because I am polite and courteous and speak properly,I am white?) My point isnt to get into a racial debate here. My family is extremely mixed, I have many white aunts and uncles and first cousins that look completely caucasian.
My point is normally some one is asking me where Iam from and telling me how pretty I am, and let me tell you now that I wear hijab the compliments roll in daily!!! Its soo crazy to me! I think I get more attention now and the complements are just wonderful ( I know, so vain) Seriously people are like you are soo pretty! Iam like thanks, a couple people told me I look like a princess or goddess. Yes really. LOL. My point isnt to brag about how good looking I am. The point is that I have noticed more compliments now than before and that everyone thinks I am middle eastern and when I say black and irish, its kinda like well your still really pretty. Its like if your really pretty you have to have some exotic background or story...I just think its interesting. Indian people always ask me am I indian or arabic. White people dont guess as much they just say where are you from and black people always say what are you mixed with?? They are all shocked at my answers and for different reason I suspect but I just want to know exactly the logic behind it. My new indian coworker, I asked her why she thought I was arabic and she said I dont know, you look and act arabian so. hmmm.....I dont know what that means...but I wanna get to the bottom of it. LOL


10 comments:

Jaz said...

Salaam alaykum!
I know what you mean, the general public usually thinks that
a) only Arabs wear hijab
b) Pakistan is an Arab country
so, the idea that you are American, and black or white or something "normal" like that won't cross their mind lol

Pixie said...

Inspired Muslimah: LOL they did this thing on BBC in England where they gave people genetic tests (these people you thought they were %100 Saxon white). This one guy said this black skinned footballer couldn't possibly be English and when they did the gentic tests, the footballer tested more Saxon and the "English-man" more African despite their skin colour. That's why race means nothing when it comes to nationality:D Alhamdulilah neither matter to Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala.
I hate people being all racist or nationalistic in and out of Islam. Grrrrrrrr.... It is one of the things that phases me.

Mona said...

Some people are so narrow minded. What's with the STILL pretty? Ugh. At least you're opening people's minds to the idea that different races, ethnicity and religions can look different than they assume.

*~Ange~* said...

all the time! before hijab i was like everyone else. after hijab i always get asked where im from. its funny what a pice of material can do

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

I'm so glad that you've noticed changes, and positive ones, since wearing hijab. I always tell sisters who are interested in wearing hijab that their lives will be different, even in how others treat them and perceive them, but they never fully understand me until they go through it themselves.

I always remember in school that when people would be sitting in front of me and cursing, even the most dirty mouthed of dudes would turn around and apologize to me for their behavior and for me havin to hear that LOL

Inspired Muslimah said...

Jaz:Yes its true and I am learning what little people know about other religions and nationalitys. I dont have problem answering questions as long it doesnt have a insulting undertone.

Pixie: That is soo funny!! I havent seen it but I love BBC because they always do neat documentaries and stuff. And I agree with you about race and nationality and you cannot judge where a person is from because of their skin complexion so its best not assume. I may just start answering them " Im muslim" and they will go no what are you? and I will say A MUSLIMAH!!!! Thats all you need to know. lol

Mona: Thats exactly how I felt about the "still pretty" comment and yes your right, I think i am opening the dialogue on race and religion because for the most part the comments and questions have been respectful.

Ange: That is funny, LOL. Are people suprised when you tell them? Yes its funny what a piece of material can do because Iam noticing soo many changes in my life in so many different aspects.

Lazeena Umm Yusuf: Yes sis, everyone told me and nothing prepares you for the change, I soo agree with you. It has been a totally positive one, so alhamdullilah!

M.J. said...

i completely agree about the race thing... i never really realized how rampant discrimination was because as a white, blue-eyed girl i never really was discriminated against. things changed though when i put on a scarf and i was so surprised!
anyway i dont get the "you're still pretty" thing about you being part black. look at halle berry!! she is at least partially black and one of the most gorgeous women ever!

Ahxuan said...

salam sisters

in singapore, i was always mistaken to be a malay since the majority of muslims are malays. When I speak mandarin, ppl get a shock... somehow we still have a little bit of racial discrimination here but most ppl are nice.

Adventurous Ammena said...

nice post masha'allah... I know what u mean though, when I first wore my scarf in a city where I knew noone I also got 'the looks' and questions. People never believed me when I told them I was english (living in Canada) one woman actually argued back and forth with me that I was Irish by how I spoke... The most I usually get mistaken for is north african (Algerian or Moroccan) which is weird.. *still* beautiful eh? cant change those old white folks :D bless em

Inspired Muslimah said...

M.J. Isnt she gorgeous! and I bet you have noticed a difference in how your treated. That was honest answer sis!

Ahxuan: I know waht she mean?

AA:I think ASSUMPTIONS are soo funny! Not really,but sometimes

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