The Great Dowry Debate: Cut It or Up It

If you’re Muslim and have any sort of connection to the Internet then I’m sure you’ve heard of Deen Squad. Deen Squad, comprised of Canadian students Jae Deen and Karter Zaher, take popular rap songs and remix remake them with “halal lyrics”. Their version of Fetty Wap’s Trap QueenMuslim Queen , at the time of this post has over 1.4 million views on YouTube and has catapulted them to Internet stardom.

Deen Squad has been making their way through the current popular rap catalog putting their own “halalified” spin on monster tracks such as OMI’s Cheerleader, Drake’s Know Yourself, and Desiigner’s Panda. O.T. Genisis’ Cut It has been been making its way around the globe as one of this summer’s most popular tracks. True to form, Deen Squad released their own version of Cut It addressing women’s dowry. The song boasts lines such as:

Her dowry way too hide she need to cut it.
All of the Akhis been broke. All of us tryna get married.
We’re all tryna find righteous sistas, but we’re always just dealing with parents.

Oh boy.

So apparently brothas are meeting sistas who want extraordinary dowries? I don’t have any friends (that I know of) who want/wanted a milli for dowries but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Here’s the problem though, all the blame CAN NOT be put on the sistas. Every brotha isn’t broke. And every sista isn’t asking for a small island. Are we to believe that all the men are broke and all the women just want those dolla dolla bills y’all? Yes we marry someone for their righteousness and taqwa (G-d consciousness), but I have yet to figure out how to pay rent with righteousness. And what do sistas have to say about it?

Enter Miss Undastood.

The Queens – emcee spared no feelings in her rebuttal to the Deen Squad. The sista has bars. And while her punchlines may be funny and witty, her response introduces the other side of the Great Dowry Debate and raises some valid points. Some brothers are trying to get over, and unfortunately some sistas are falling for it. Brothas approach sistas with the intent of marriage and only have Qur’anic recitation to offer. Bet he won’t offer Baqarah, just Falaq and Nas. (I kid you not, when she said that I HOLLERED). Brothas promise certain things as a dowry and don’t follow through. (I need to look up if a sista really had to take a brotha to court in order to get her dowry. If that’s a true story……bruh…….). Nonetheless, Miss Undastood highlights not only hypocrisy that has crept into the Great Dowry Debate, but she also makes note of the sistas’ importance to the relationship itself.

From housework to childbirth, put some respect on our name.
I’ve heard of sistas getting rocks. I’ve heard of sistas getting socks.

The issue of dowry comes up often and there seems to be a constant debate between the sexes causing a severe imbalance. If a sista has a certain standard of living that she is accustomed to, you can’t fault her for choosing to be with a brotha who can maintain that standard of living. Furthermore, all Muslim women do not have that train of thought. There are sistas who will consider a brotha who can only accommodate a certain standard of living, but brotha you have to come correct. You can’t come to a sista with no goals, no plans, no job and expect her to just fall into your arms.

But I’m in college. I’m broke. 

You very well may be, however within the next year or four (depending on your academic standing) you will have a degree  and the expectation is that you will find employment from which you can support your family with. Yes I know the job market is terrible but your goal isn’t to be unemployed. Your education is an investment and serves as a good reason as to why you are marriage material.

Sis, I didn’t go to college.

And that’s fine. College isn’t for everyone. However you have to support yourself somehow, yes? I don’t know your particular skill set but I do know that if you’re looking to support a wife and eventually a family, you need income homie.

Sis I’ve been in between jobs. It’s hard out here for brothas especially in this economy and….

I hear you brotha. If you can’t support yourself let alone a family, then maybe you shouldn’t be looking for a wife right now, ya know? I know you have physical needs but bruh, you’ve got financial needs that need some attending to before you start asking about dowries.

Truth be told, maybe the sista is just out of your league. It is what it is. This needs to be analyzed on a case by case basis though. Every sista isn’t trying to break your bank. And if you present yourself to her correctly, she may be willing to work something out with you. There are many a sista who married a brotha who didn’t have a boat load of cash. She had a modest dowry and she and her husband have built wealth together. That DOES NOT mean, brothas, that you should step to a sista and her father like “Aye, I’m broke. I may get money later. Marry me anyway.” Furthermore asking women to lower their dowries is suspect when we see brothas ballin’ out, chains swinging, rims shining and so forth. Once again, all brothas aren’t ballin’, and all sistas aren’t expecting you to be.

But my dear brothas, be very careful when you make these generalizations. Every sista isn’t out to get a check. Every brotha isn’t of pure intentions. Yes, some sistas may have more pricey dowries as the Deen Squad mentioned, but at the same time some brothas also aren’t doing right by the sistas and are just cheap, as MissUndastood so eloquently reminds us.

Check Miss Undastood’s response here:

 

Seriously though, did a sista really have to take her husband to court to get her dowry? TO COURT? My goodness….


 

Non-Black Muslims Don’t Want To Marry Me. I Don’t Care.

A few days ago the recent apology of ICNA President Naeem Baig was posted to Facebook:

naeembaig

Mistake, eh?

When I first heard about the questionnaire and the apology that followed, I must admit I wasn’t necessarily vexed about it. The apprehension and down right refusal of some non-black Muslims to marry black Muslims is an age old issue that has plagued the Muslim community for a looooong time. Truthfully, the discussion on interracial relationships isn’t unique to the Muslim community as it’s quite the hot topic in the African American community. Br. Naeem’s reminder speaks toward the racial unity that Islam teaches. However when cultures come into play, opinions change and folks don’t truly want to get to know you.

When discussing interracial relationships, especially in the African American community, we have to look at the different factors. It’s one thing to be attracted to someone from another race because you just thought they were fine. However, when a person intentionally seeks a mate from another race with the assumption that it will some how make them superior, then we must examine the self hate and inferiority complex that is fueling their decision.

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Uh huh….

Truthfully, I’ve been hearing African American Muslims make note of the fact that many non-Muslims don’t want to marry Black Muslims, more often Middle Eastern women and Black men. I’ve see multiple conversations/memes on Facebook expressing black Muslims wishes to marry non-black Muslim mates. It’s a constant thorn in a few people’s khimars and kufis. How do I feel about it? Honestly…

I Don’t Care.

Listen, I love my Black Men. I was raised by a Black Man. I grew up with Black Boys who became Black Men. My friends are married to Black Men. In-sha Allah I be will too. I’m part of a community that encourages Black love. Our Black Men support and protect us. Even with all the societal issues we as black folks have I LOVE BLACK MEN. Now this isn’t a shot at men of any other race. Actually this ain’t even about you. It’s about me and mine. I have such a love for my people that if no other race on the planet wanted me but Black Men, I’d be quite alright. And miss me with the “well Black Men don’t want Black Women” rhetoric. I see and know too many Black Men having beautiful Black Babies with Black Women. Although the images like the meme above may promote the idea that we as Black Women are being overlooked by our brothas, I’ve been thoroughly corrected by Black Men who say otherwise.

There are those who will read this and probably say “Sister, in Islam, we are all equal. You are only creating more division.” Oh please. If all Muslims truly lived by that statement we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place. I’m not saying we don’t need to have a discussion on racism in Islam. I’m saying that I don’t need the validation of men outside of my community in order to feel loved. So what if a *fill in your choice of non-black* muslim man doesn’t want to marry me. I’m quite comfortable with my melanin-filled brothas over here.


My headwrap is NOT a fad.

I am not a Turbanista. I know that may confuse many folks given my style of headwrap, but i’m not. Hear me out.

I’m going to be honest. I don’t like the term “turban” when referring to my head wrap. Honestly when I think turban, I think this:

sikh

Or this:

malcolm2

Within the last 5 – 7 years or so, the word “turban” has become synonymous with wrapping ones hair up with fabric. However, turbans in different cultures have different meanings. But that’s not what this is about.

While the term “turban” doesn’t sit well with me, it’s the mentality that has seem to come with it that truly bothers me. If you search #Turbanista on Instagram you see an array of gorgeous women with beautiful headwraps on. You see how tos, tutorials, all that goodness. It’s a beautiful sight. But when it comes to the Muslim community in America, this new term “Turbanista” actually does damage as well. Why?

BECAUSE IT AIN’T NEW. NONE OF IT.

aretha sparkle

The Queen of Soul herself

Black women in America have been adorning their crowns with head wraps for centuries — Muslim and non-Muslim. It’s a way for us to embrace and express our African heritage. Being the descendants of enslaved Africans and historically and constantly being denied the knowledge of our origins, we had to fight to study and learn where we came from and apply it to our American culture. For many black Muslim women, specifically those in the community of Imam W. Deen Muhammad, we wore and still wear our khimar in a fashion that expresses our identity as Black Muslim Women. We wear our khimars in funky fashions, design our own clothes, wear amazing colors. etc. We are creatively and modestly embracing of our heritage.

AND WE ARE VILIFIED FOR IT.

mom

Before there was Yuna, there was Pamela (a.k.a. mommy).

While many Muslim women are starting to embrace the new “turban” fad or wear their khimar in a “hip hop bun”, we’ve been doing it for years. Let’s be clear, me and mine were looked down upon, criticized, told we weren’t real Muslims, and all other types of foolishness because of how we wore our khimar by non-black and even other black Muslims. I’ve had a classmate in college who didn’t think I was a “real Muslim” because of how I wear my khimar. I’ve had sisters completely ignore me when I give them the Muslim greetings of peace, because of my khimar and my melanin. I was made to feel like I wasn’t a real Muslim because of my khimar. Now all of a sudden it’s “edgy” and “trendy?” In a time where the national image of Islam fails to include the descendants of those Muslims who came over on slave ships, seeing clothing and khimar styles that we were chastised for being celebrated on the bodies of others bares a stark resemblance to the cultural appropriation of black culture we see happening in mainstream media.

Listen, I am all for Muslim women expressing themselves and embracing their respective cultures via their khimar. Yes I know black women aren’t the only women in the world who cover their hair, but we’re talking about Muslims in America. Get creative and funky with your khimar, but do not ignore the women who were doing this back before our generation even existed. If I compliment you on your headwrap, don’t get cocky and tell me “oh I’ve been doing this for three years, so I’m really good at” (yes someone said that to me), because I’ve been doing this for OVER 20 years and I guarantee you I can go in the bathroom and  in 5 minutes come out having it flyer than yours. Give respect where respect is do.


 

Music Legend Prince Passes at 57

prince

This is the type of news we all fear. The death of a legend.

His Royal Purpleness, Prince, passed away at the age of 57. While initial reports said a dead body was found at the icon’s Paisley Park home in Minnesota, it was later confirmed that it was the legend who’s body had been discovered.

While information is still scarce, we know that he was recently treated for the flu earlier this week. No word if that may have been a contributing factor to his death.

The world is collectively trying to process this information and mourn at the same time. My condolences go out to his friends, family and all the fans.

Man, this hurts.

“The Birth Of A Nation” Teaser Trailer Released

A moment we’ve all been waiting for. The teaser trailer for the much anticipated Nat Turner biopic ” The Birth Of A Nation” has been released.

Watch it NOW:

 

I’m so anxious to see this film i can barely sit still. Judging from the brief 1:56 minutes we just, this film will do justice to a figure that many know nothing off. Kudos to you Nate Parker.

The Birth Of A Nation hits theaters October 7.

(Re)NEW DILLA – Sun In My Face

I’m really looking forward to next week’s release of J Dilla’s posthumous The Diary. We all know Dilla the producer, but this will be a great chane to reacquaint ourselves with Dilla the emcee.

Adding more icing to the cake, Dilla’s estate has decided to release Jay Loves Japan this May. In addition to its original track, this re-release will also feature a track my Blu and Miguel.

Check it out below:

Maxwell has returned!! (Audio)

Today is great day for R&B. One of everyone’s favorite crooners, Maxwell has dropped a new single and it is BEAUTIFUL!! This is Maxwell’s first single and album in 7 years and I’m thoroughly looking forward to blackSUMMERS’night July 1st as well as his tour beginning June 18. Maxwell will also be headlining the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this year.

I remember Maxwell’s first TV appearance on Rosie O’Donnell when her performed with no shoes. 20 years later, and he’s still giving us beautiful music.

Listen to the new single here: