I think I mentioned how busy I’ve been.

With May being South Asian Heritage month, it’s to be expected. Throw in Mother’s Day and an Islamic Society of North America/Canada convention, and yup, I was real busy.

From May 7th till May 18th (that was yesterday) I had only one day off, and that was Saturday May 10th.

It was funny, while driving along the QEW to the ISNA headquarters I had a brief thought: What if I just kept going! GASP! What if I ran away!


It was a very brief moment.

Duty kicked in and I took the appropriate turn off and showed up right on time, as usual.

Punctual beast that I am!

I think that’s a sign of burn out.

Alhamdu lillah, I didn’t get totally burned out, just a little burned out.

Yesterday, when I finished the children’s program for the 8 – 11 year olds, I thought, alhamdu lillah, I’m done. I can relax.

Only problem was I got a blazing headache that loads of coffee wouldn’t fix, and I realized that my body was screaming at me that I was just tired.

So I said goodbye to my friends: Sheema Khan and Shahina Siddiqui, two of the feistiest feministiest Muslim women you’d ever encounter! And I headed off home staying alert.

My son knows me so well! He said, “Mom! You always complain about going to these things when you’re tired and then you come back and say you had a FANTASTIC time!”

I did have a FANTASTIC time!

I met my old friend Dawud Wharnsby Ali after many years! He’s a singer, a sort of troubadour! And just an all round wonderful person!

We’ve worked on projects together in the past and even though we have different creative processes I recognize the excellence in him, and I think the feeling is mutual.

I went to Sheema Khan’s session on dealing with the political mainstream, and predictably it delved into the issue of hijab.

I said to Sheema afterwards, gee, can’t we get over the hijab business?? I mean who cares? It’s just a piece of cloth! It’s clothing that’s all! And I told her as far as I’m concerned I just ignored this fabric on my head and said what I wanted to say irregardless.

She agreed!

Her and Shahina and I were sitting around the table in the lunch room talking and catching up and Sheema and Shahina talked about the double standard! That the men are always focusing so much on how the women are dressed! And Shahina said, “Yeah! What about the way the young men dress!” And Sheema agreed saying that the ‘low-riding’ jeans that some of the young men were wearing were the worst! Especially during the prayer!

I had never experienced the problem before. Besides, I thought, weren’t the low-riding style out of date?

(My son swears they are and he’s up with the current trends!)

Little did I know that I was about to experience EXACTLY what they were referring to!

It was so weird. Moments before I had a bit of a moral dilemma. This lady in front, the back of her neck was showing, just a smidge where her hijab rode up a bit above the neckline on her dress. Should I tell her? But then the prayer had started, and she wasn’t accountable for what she didn’t know. And I couldn’t break my prayer to adjust her clothing, so I just thought leave it. Maybe mention it after to her so it didn’t happen again. If I were her, I’d want to know. But then all thoughts of her small breach of Islamic dress etiquette were about to run out of my head!

The nice thing about the ISNA headquarters is that they have a very unobtrusive partition between the men and women’s prayer areas! It’s a very low translucent glass barrier with gaps in it! We women definitely feel part of the congregation when we’re praying! No stifling cubby hole with bad air circulation like you find in some masjids!!! AAArrrgh!

Anyway, I was in the first row and we were praying Zuhr, and I happen to look up after getting up from the second or third prostration and what do I see but a man’s butt crack from across the hall in the men’s section, very obvious, so easy to see! Really! I wasn’t looking for it! But how do you miss a three-quarter moon staring at you from across the room???

Oh my! One quick glance and I averted my gaze! I looked down! And I thought what kind of an idiot wears such low rising jeans, that three quarters of his butt is showing (not even just a small plumber’s crack for goodness sakes!) and doesn’t he feel the draft on his butt cheeks!!??

But then I told myself, “Whooaah! Don’t judge.”

Low rise jeans are not designed for prayer and particularly for prostration.

And the guy wearing them is probably not used to coming out to these things and probably had NO idea his backside would be exposed in such a manner!

Good on him for at least coming out to get some information.

Maybe his heart was in the right place even if his pants’ waistline was not.

And as one of the other sisters pointed out, there’s a reason why the last row in the prayer hall is the most prestigious for women!

Actually during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) they had somewhat the same problem. There were many men who could not afford long enough clothes, so sometimes when they were getting up certain, ahem, parts of them were exposed. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised the women to delay getting up from their prostration so as not to see things better left unseen!

Interestingly enough, he didn’t banish the women from the prayer hall! And he didn’t even erect any sort of barrier! He only asked them to take their time lifting their heads from their prostration!


There are some things you just can’t unsee! LOL.

But on the whole, the experience at the convention was wonderful!

So many Muslims trying hard to be good!

And I did storytelling on Saturday night, and alhamdu lillah, I was in good form!!! (If I say so myself!)

Got to tell an ancient story from Al Azhar university that I don’t often get to tell because it’s so Muslim only Muslims would get it! About a bunch of sheikhs with their noses out of joint!


I could feel the audience listening with bated breath! And then I told a romantic story. There’s not enough romantic stories in a convention like that!

I did a session on storytelling the next morning–bright and early! 9:30 am! And wow, people actually came!

Alhamdu lillah, had a great time! Hope to go again!