Muslim Women’s Day: Sisters in The Nation of Islam

ProfessionallyI’m in marketing and was offended when a story in the pipeline for Muslim Women’s Day got delayed because “it’s not a widely-known holiday”. Because I’m taught to rise above emotions into the thinking of God, I realized that it is my responsibility to spread the Good News and represent as a Muslim woman. I don’t need to wait on anyone or expect anyone else to do the work. I will say, I am happy my job will share a story on a Muslim woman. It’s just that comment was an ouch that I turned into an opportunity.

Documented Journey covered eight stories of eight beautiful sisters who are embracing their Islam. Sit back in your chair and join us on our journeys.

* My Journey in Islam is TransformingSister Zakiyyah Maryam’s Islam is ResilientAllah’s love for His girl, Sister Terrika MuhammadI Am Covered Through TrialsSister Fatimah: The RevolutionaryWearing a garment is naturally beautifulSister Sharanda Died Three Times to LiveWho and what is your reflection?


Thank you for visiting Documented Journey.

Accepting a transition begins a new journey.

Sometimes it takes awhile to move on from a loss. Have you ever accepted losing someone, but couldn’t move on without knowing what happened? I have.

I loss a Sister who means so much to me in January 2016. After meeting Sister Ta-Neesha on Twitter, I always wanted to know more about her, but at first I did not know why. We would talk off and on, but each time we would converse, it was more than small talk, always a meaningful dialogue. Saying we took turns, seems so off… However, we’d literally helped one another at different points throughout our journeys to grow closer to Allah (God) and there’s no way that I take any of it lightly because by the grace of Allah she has helped me with my Islam.

If you’re not familiar, Sister Ta-Neesha went missing on January 12, 2016. Eleven days later, it was announced that she was found in Markham’s frozen pond. I actually just realized it was eleven days that we did not know what happened with our Sister. In the time that she was amongst us, she would always acknowledge the time 7:11. This just made her going away more meaningful and very significant. If you were looking from the outside in, it seemed as if 7:11 was a corny thing that she did, but it actually gives insight into her and messages for each of us as individuals. Eleven is an angelic number is all that I will say here.

After a year of praying and reflecting on the evidence that was presented from our conversations and online, Allah allowed me to meet two people who knew her more than I could and that’s what brought me closure. It’s interesting how life works. Sometimes you don’t actually know why someone is entering your life, but it allowed me to learn so much more about Sister Ta-Neesha and even myself. It helped me to understand what happened to her the day she went missing. I may never have the full clarity, but today on her birthday I am able to say I accept what happened to her. Accepting the loss has helped me start this new chapter of my life.

I’ve shared this to say, you may not always understand why a loss happened in the time that it occurs. However, eventually you’ll receive the understanding that you need, if you’re working towards it.

I did not know parts of Sister Ta-Neesha would be like holding a mirror up to me. Sometimes we meet people to show us glimpses of ourselves (the good, the bad, and the ugly). I’m not saying I got to see all three levels of me in her, but I related to her in many ways. We shared experiences across the world and somehow a lot of our dreams were one in the same. I’m happy to share our birthdays exactly one month a part.

Happy Birthday Beautiful Neesh, who lives on within others. I love you forever my Jamaican Sister.


If you’re interested in knowing what happened when Sister Ta-Neesha X went missing and how she was found, learn more here. For other reflections from those she impacted, read here.

* Sister Alisa Renee * Sister Ebboni X * Sister Emunah X * How are le brain waves?

Muslimah Appropriation unCovered

“I want to cover my hair, but I don’t want to be disrespectful”.

-Sister to Sister

To all of my Sisters who share this concern, I want you to know that it’s not disrespectful if you decide to cover your hair.

I titled this post (thanks to an accountability partner who actually gave me the title) “Muslimah Appropriation unCovered” as a play on words. It’s not appropriation because you aren’t taking anything without permission. You already have God’s, the Author and Creator of Life, permission to cover. So let’s uncover why it is not disrespectful and then cover.

It does not matter what your beliefs are. Choosing to cover your hair is one of the best decisions that you can make as a woman. Even if this decision is only for one day, it’s very impactful and it’s an experience that you will never forget.

Before you continue to read, I first want to share if you don’t believe in the scriptures, that’s fine. I just want to provide additional understanding of why I choose to cover my hair. Let’s not focus on beliefs, but more-so on our experience of covering and uncovering our hair.

Here are the reasons why I cover my hair:

  • It’s God’s law.
  • Respect
  • Protection
  • Modesty

First, God and both The Bible and Holy Qur’an provide instructions on women covering their hair.

Sisters your hair is an adornment.

1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel

Adornment: something that adds attractiveness; ornament; accessory

Our hair is not just hair. It’s a part of what makes us attractive to a man. When covering your hair, as a woman you’re noticed for your mind and not just for your physical beauty.

what message am I sending? 

I am approached with caution and care when my hair is covered. However, I will admit that the way I cover my hair also makes a huge difference.

If I cover my hair in what I refer to as  a “relaxed” or “fun” way, I tend to blend in with the group. 

However, when I wear a draped scarf to show I’m a Muslim in The Nation of Islam, I get the utmost respect that I demand with my presence alone. And I honestly don’t blend in. I don’t share this in a boastful way; it’s a very beautiful experience each time. 

 

 

**I can’t share why I cover my hair without touching on the headpiece. The headpiece is valuable it makes me feel like a very angelic being, a god. I literally feel as if I’m being elevated with every moment that it’s covering my hair. My headpiece speaks without me saying a word. It tells the world that I am a follower and I stand with The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under the Divine Guidance of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. They instantly bring life, so every time I speak, even when I’m not wearing my headpiece, I better be a light for those I come across. As I stand, I better be a reflection of grace.

Although, it is way lighter than an experience of wearing a scarf, it isn’t light weight to be in a headpiece. I put my life on the line to earn the right to wear a headpiece, Brothers and Sisters of the first (phase of The Nation of Islam) sacrificed their life to make the headpiece a reality. So although I’m still here physically, every time I’m wearing my headpiece, I stand for them. There are many who don’t desire to see me in this stance, so with every opportunity that I get to wear it, I am killing the devil inside self.

The headpiece also helps me with accepting my natural appearance. When I look in the mirror and see nothing, but face *laughs*, it truly brings a smile. Not only does it help me to love me, I know I am pleasing Allah when I’m embracing the headpiece.

It represents acceptance, beauty, courage, healing, and life.

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My headpiece is important to me because when I wear it, it is the most beautiful I’ve felt inside. It has given me an abundance of reasons to live. The headpiece is freedom, justice, and equality.

From a casual covering to a draped scarf to a headpiece, they all may be modest, but they each have a message. I appreciate each covering, but I’d rather wear the headpiece. It’s the protection I need.**


You see the difference? What do you want to reflect? What will you stand for?

When I walk in a room where Brothers are engaging in conversation that may not be elevated, Brothers will instantly apologize and change their topic. Sometimes they’ll even ask how I’m doing. Regardless if they stop to speak with me, the fact that they acknowledge me by being willing to “level up” their thoughts and tone scale, honestly makes me happy on the inside (especially when these are Brothers I don’t know). It also lets me know I have a huge responsibility as a woman. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches: “A nation can rise no higher than its woman”. Sisters we are the standard. When men see us rise, it lets them know it’s also their time to step up to the plate, according to how we serve (and I’m not talking about food – how you serve yourself).

This next point may sound crazy, but my family and friends are also cautious with their language. If they slip with a curse word, they apologize. I don’t expect or ask them to do this at all. They have always been really respectful of what they are saying around what some calls my “innocent/youthful ears”.

Plenty of men have offered or just went to hold the door for me or carry my belongings, walk me to my car, (Brothers who don’t consider themselves to be Muslim and who don’t attend a mosque) just because of my hair covering. It’s like I’m wearing a sign that reads “get that door Brother” *laughs*. Honestly, at first, it’s feels weird when you notice chivalry still exists, but once you come to realize you deserve it and this is the way life is supposed to be, it becomes something you enjoy and prefer.

If there was any fine print with this post it would read, “Sisters, every Brother isn’t going to hold the door or your belongings for you or care that you’ve walked into the room. People won’t always think to protect you. We already know that without covering our hair. However, this just means that he does not have the knowledge of self yet. *smile* There can’t be expectations when it comes to covering.”

destinystrong-6 Last, I feel most confident when my crown is on my head. I feel and know I am free, despite how anyone may attempt to make me feel any other way. I am modest, not just in my appearance, but also in my mindset. How I communicate is very thoughtful. I have to admit that I’m not always the modest version of me when I make slight adjustments to how I cover. I don’t compromise. I just get relaxed at times and it’s honestly a reflection of my actions. I know that I’m a work in progress though. God is not done with me (his wonderful book), yet. I am so thankful for His patience with me. Most importantly it’s not just about covering my hair. I cover my entire body with loose fitting clothes. There’s power in this Sisters, but that needs an explanation for a different post.

Wearing your scarf for the first time may not be easy, but it’s definitely liberating. I’m happy to share my first experience in a later post.

How can covering your hair be disrespectful when it is a sign of respect? I hope you feel empowered to cover your hair when you choose and as you choose. Also, there are a lot of women who admit they are Muslim, who aren’t always seen covering their hair. So how can anyone who is Muslim say anything to a woman, who may not say they are Muslim, for covering her hair when they themselves may possibly be disrespectful to their beautiful selves and what they say they believe. Zero judgement. Just truth. We all have something we’re working on. The only time it’s disrespectful is when you wear something that is a representation of something else. If you’re not in The Nation of Islam and following The Teachings, don’t wear a headpiece, just as I wouldn’t wear the uniform of anything that I’m not following.

If you decide to cover your hair, feel free to do so in whatever way makes you comfortable. Don’t worry about what others will have to say or what looks you get. There is always going to be someone judging you even when your hair isn’t covered. If you need anyone to ask questions as you begin your journey or just to share your experience with, you have a Sister here.

why-i-wear-my-headpieceFor another perspective of why a Sister covers her hair, here’s a short good read, “Why I Wear My Headpiece” by Sharien Muhammad.

 

 


Join your Sisters on National Hijab Day (February 1) or any other day to cover your hair. Your crown makes a better you!

nationalhijabday

**Updated Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dropped Seeds

10150743_10154028785780175_5727764396702081476_nTa-Neesha and I met around the time of Saviours’ Day 2014. I was given her number by the Captain in Toronto, to see about making arrangements to go down together. We were both processing at that same time, but had not met, she was a few months before me. We were in touch by phone for weeks before we actually met in-person the day we left for Detroit together.

In my opinion she was misunderstood by many, (myself included, at times) but she was an extremely beautiful soul with pure intentions. She was passionate but very gracious and you could hear the excitement in her voice. She always had a story or experience to share, teachings/scripture to discuss and dreams or desires to share.

We also nearly lost our lives together coming from Detroit, img_7549 after an 18-wheeler lost control and crashed a few meters in front of us. She was chillingly calm about the whole thing. After comforting me the first thing she did was get out of the car and bring the clearly shaken up truck driver some water.

She inspired me the same way. Also me and her being the only new and younger sisters in years to be processing in our city was a blessing from Allah. We spoke a lot about the problems in our city and ways we could fix them. She was always eager and cheerful about going into the fields when she was around.

One thing I noticed for sure was how much she was loved. I knew she was heavy on social media and knew people across the nation, but after her passing I realized how many people she really touched and really inspired. She was loved all over our Nation.

I know that life in itself is precious and all of ours have purpose. I don’t know exactly how yet or why but she was someone very special.

I believe she dropped seeds in the hearts of many of us.

-Sister Ebboni X


Read more reflections here.

* Sister Alisa Renee * Sister Emunah X * How are le brain waves? * Accepting a transition begins a new journey

The One Who Transcended

I first met Ta-Neesha on Twitter. She gravitated towards me, it was almost as if I knew this girl all of my life. She sent me a direct message and we talked for a little while, then we exchanged numbers.

She texted me immediately and the first thing she told me was about a vision she had. She had a vision that we were living in the last days and Allah sent myself and her to help people who were suffering, I was shocked at what she told me and I couldn’t believe how close I felt to someone I barely knew. As crazy as it sounds every thing she said felt real. I instantly told my mother about our conversation because it was strange. My mother is a person who is very conscious and is very in/tuned. My mother explained to me that Ta-Neesha was special but she couldn’t quite figure her out like most of us couldn’t.

Mind you we had never met this girl in-person, but we could feel the god-like essence even over the phone. Our friendship continued and I would call and text Ta-Neesha every single day, she became my big sister. We would talk about FOI we wanted to marry and how our children would grow up together and how we would live next door to each other.

There would be times when I wouldn’t hear from Ta-Neesha for months, I didn’t really know what was wrong with her I just figured she was busy. We became more distant and we would text here and there… I knew something was wrong with her psychologically, but I didn’t know what.

Sister Ta-Neesha (3)During her last days she would text me things asking me to pray and to repent for my sins, I listened to her and always took what she said seriously. I knew something was wrong with her but I knew that Ta-Neesha was special in her own way. We stopped talking for awhile and she started pushing me away I would ask her what was wrong but she would respond “just wait and see”, I didn’t understand what she meant at the time but now I know.

She knew that she was here for a reason and a season, those words “just wait and see” always resonate in my mind. I now know that she was an angel sent to us for a reason, to give us a message and leave. Somethings can’t be explained but I know that I met Ta-Neesha, the one who transcended .❤️

– Sister Emunah X


Read more reflections here.

* Sister Alisa Renee * Sister Ebboni X * How are le brain waves? * Accepting a transition begins a new journey

Sister Ta-Neesha, Example & Role Model

1888671_10153830231815175_282293801_nOur beloved Sister Ta-Neesha (peace be upon her) was not only a beautiful strong minded sister but was a God fearing woman.

We met through Twitter about 5 years ago and was inseparable since. She’s was so kind, caring, honest, funny, and made sure we talked about The Teachings for at least 30-40 minutes with each conversation we had. She loved The Teachings! She always told me “seek refuge in Allah” whenever I had a problem or needed help dealing with things. I’ll never forget the times we shared on the phone and she would try and use my “Country Alabamian Accent” as she called it. We would laugh in tears.

She was honestly like the big sister I never had and as she would say “soul sisters”. We talked about everything we would conquer in the world when we finally met in-person. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. Sister Ta-Neesha was special to me and I’m sure to others in so many ways. If I had the chance to say one last thing to her I would say:

“Thanks for being an example and role model that you could be as a Black Woman in The Nation. May Allah be pleased. Much Love Beautiful.”

-Sister Alisa Renee


Read more reflections here.

 * Sister Ebboni X * Sister Emunah X * How are le brain waves? * Accepting a transition begins a new journey

Who and what is your reflection?

What will people describe you as when you are returned to Allah (God)? The words that come to your mind are a reflection of who you are.


Sissy Ta-NeeshaWhen you left, I seen positivity, nothing but uplifting words because that’s what you did for many.

You made me appreciate life more and you’ve helped remind me of the importance of what it means to reflect. You reflect The Teachings and found many ways to do so on and offline. You complemented others when they complimented you. Still to this very day, you continue to be a light, an angel for many of us.


Although, there’s so much I want and have to say, I just want to share the words of others. Click their names to read their reflections.

Sister Alisa Renee 
Sister Ebboni X
Sister Emunah X

How are le brain waves?

Thank you Sisters for contributing. This means so much to me and I love you dearly.

How are le brain waves?

Sometimes connections you have are with those who are far away. And there’s a lesson they have for us across the other side of the world if only we listen to the inner god in them. Sister, I love and thank you for being a reflection.


Sister Ta-Neesha 1Today, I’m not going to let my “brain waves weary”, that’s what she used to say.  But I am going to search for me in her.

She reminds me of me. The judgement from a lack of being understood with a beautiful and free-spirited personable personality.

I don’t recall our first initial conversation. However, I do remember the first time we had a real exchange on Twitter in 2014. She reminded me of myself. She lived far from the mosque (one of the struggles we both share) and those who she had a connection with were Sisters who lived in the U.S., which she did not. 

She was literally someone who could get along with anyone, if only people tried. I know her as someone who did not judge, but who was discriminated by many. She was so supportive and selective with her word choice when dealing with others. I could tell how much she grew in a year timespan.

In 2015, I realized how much we were alike and how we would turn the tables in uplifting one another. Turned out we both needed one another at different times. She was one of my accountability partners.

From the support that we both offered, we then began to share what we planned for our future. We discussed heartbreak, marriage, mostly having a nation of children within our homes. We were alike in so many ways.

fullsizerenderSad that I lost our messages in my phone. There were so many reminders, words of encouragement and personal stories, but I’m happy that I can go online and see glimpses of her again.

Sister Ta-Neesha, my Jamaican cultured Sis with a Canadian accent, I will like Buju Banton “rule our destiny”. This is one of our favorite songs that we shared, a lot of power in it, I encourage you to click the link for a listen.

You are missed.
You are loved.
You are remembered.
*In your voice* Thank you kindly beloved.
Your reflection lives on.
Le brain waves are on a high plane.


Read more reflections here.

* Sister Alisa Renee * Sister Ebboni X * Sister Emunah X * Accepting a transition begins a new journey