They tell you that to just focus on yourself. The instructions are to become a good Muslim. You pray and you fast. You do not talk to girls or smoke or hit the clubs. You remain virgins while focusing on your careers and education. First you get the bachelors degree because no parent wants a salary of less than $80,000 a year. Every parent you know insist that it is for the best that you save up money and get ahead in your career development.
You listen because you love your family.
I do not often tell others now that my parents rarely kissed or hugged us as children. In today’s heavy judgment on parents of all types, I fear that the ways in which my parents showed their affections would be misrepresented as cruel or negligent. Instead, my parents (surely like their parents before them) were reserved in a classic South Asian manner. Not once had I ever been told that my parents loved me; not once were we hugged for no reason. Still, not once have I ever doubted their love.
The realization that this should be strange or abnormal did not come to me until I was a college student. More than one of my friends used the phrase “I love you” on a regular basis when hanging up the phone with a parent – I simply said goodbye and hung up. Though no one accused me of disrespect, at the time I felt the acute difference between my white friends and me – their parents loved them unequivocally. My own parents were often demanding: I should be thinner, fairer-skinned, smarter, more talented, and so on. As a college student, going through the ups and downs of life away from them, I wanted nothing more than to hear that they loved me.
I am a Muslim woman and I chose to have an abortion. There are a few things you should know about me: I consider my religion to be the defining aspect of my life; I am an active member of my community, particularly in the area of women’s education and empowerment; and, I am a wife and mother who is nursing her baby while pursuing a post-graduate degree. I also do plan on having more children in the future, God willing.
I also want to make clear that I do not promote abortion as means of routine contraception, particularly in a world rife with sexual promiscuity, but I do believe that under certain circumstances, Islam does and should permit it. I have chosen to write anonymously about this experience in order to respect my family’s privacy, but I am prepared to deal with the potentially harsh criticism and judgment a writer inevitably opens herself up to when publishing a deeply personal story on a hotly debated issue. I am laying bare my story for one purpose: to offer up some benefit and insight to other women and couples who have been through an abortion or are considering one.
It started with a wink.
My husband David and I met on Match.com when he showed up in my weekly report of new guys on the site matching my preferences. He had an awful profile picture (think: taken with a cell phone camera in a moving car), but I loved everything else about his profile, from the description of himself to what he was looking for in a partner. So, I virtually winked at him. He sent me a message the next day
Fast forward 16 months and I was moving to Chicago as his bride.
It sounds easy enough but my road to the altar was a long and arduous one.
Dear Love InshAllah:
I am a virgin, and I really don’t know what to expect come wedding night. I’m definitely excited (one of the greatest understatements of all-time lol), but I am just so utterly clueless as to what I should do to blow the mind of my wife-to-be!
I’ve never kissed a girl let alone done anything to have had any experience whatsoever in the female-pleasuring department. I have never dated. I don’t watch pornography or anything like that, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so given that it’s haraam. But I am at a total loss as to what I should do once my wife and I are alone.
I promise I’m not a lonely creep who lives in a cave. I just had good parents who raised me religiously since I was young. Promise
I have a great relationship with my parents, but I am too shy to even ask my own friends for advice on this issue let alone people like my mom and dad! So I’d really appreciate it if you could give me like a list of things that I should and/or from the moment we are alone to the “main event” itself. Are there any common things that most girls like? Things that, perhaps, they’d be too shy to mention directly? Also, are there any things I should know not to do or say? Misconceptions about girls and their sexuality, etc.? Any reading material you’d advise?
Clueless about my wedding night
Ms. Sunshine replies:
Our 4th parody Valentine’s Day card!
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