I spent the entire day locked in my room writing my second qualifying paper. I have a draft due to turn in on Sunday. I heard a loud assured knock on my door. Mind you, Im sitting in my pink Pajamas all day, (still am). I ordered from Halalco almost three weeks ago. Everyday I came home with some faint hope that Id get a nice surprise in the mail. So, the joy must have been plastered over my face as I answered the door in my pink pin-striped PJs and black fluffy slippers with my delivery. I signed for it on that magical electronic signature thing. The delivery guy commented, You look like a kid at Christmas. I was so excited, but it wasnt Christmas. It was like a Muslim holiday of Eid.
I ordered all this stuff a month ago, inspired after watching some videos on You Tube.
I was procrastinating late at night and saw this clip from some kids at Davis.
Extreme Muslim Makeover: Home Edition
After watching the video, I realized I wasnt keeping it Sunnah. I fell off on the essential oils, no longer owned a Qiblah compass, and didnt have the miswak, and I couldnt find my dhikr beads. *
I felt like my room wasnt Muslim enough. People have been in my room and said it looks like Rock the Casbah. I brought back a bunch of interesting things from my travels. Sure, I got the Kaba picture, the 99 names glitter picture, prayer rugs, a hookah, a calendar of Mauritania boys and the white sheets, ahemI mean prayer clothes.** So, for days I searched on line, for black Abayas, big scarves, big gigantic prayer clothes, miswak, necklaces. I searched for all the things I find in Muslim peoples homes. I looked for the arsenal of cultural representations that say, Hey Im doing something Islamic. Sort of like the slippers to walk in the bathroom, or the water battle that in the bathroom.
Still, I felt like I had to Sunnahtize my life. What is Sunnahtize? A word I just made up. For me it is a slow process of beginning to incorporate aspects of the Prophetic traditions. Sunnahtize by adding Muslim traditions, cultural patterns, quirks, or objects that make you pretty cool. Just like the slippers in the bathroom thing. Or that Quran as the highest book in the house. Or it is hanging that little tiny Quran that you cant possibly read on your rear view mirror. Or it is that Allah necklace that says hey Im a Muslimword. Or it is that hijab or extra long beard. # Sort of like going to that shop and the Quran or nasheed tape playing in the background. ## Years ago, I used to never understand what they were saying, but hey I thought that sounds pretty nicecool.
You can even Sunnahtize your lingo. Saying things like Akhi or Ukhti (Brother or sister) MashaAllah Alhumdulillah, and Subhan Allah. (It is as God wills it, all praises due to Allah, Glory to Allah) all the time, If you are super fly with your Sunnah-slang, you got all sorts of expression. InshaAllah kheir, (If God wills it will be good) Barak Allah fik (Gods blessings in you). Youll call people Habibi and Habibati. (My love)You may even say Yaani (It means).If you are super Sunnahtize, you may even develop a Pakistani or Arab accent, depending on who you spend the most time with.
Sunnahtize can mean a lot of things for different people. Sunnahtize by adding Muslim traditions, cultural patterns, quirks, or objects that make you pretty cool. Some of us Sunnahtize by listening to Islamic music with clean lyrics, people like Sami Yusuf, Mecca2Medina, Tyson, or Sidi Yassir. Some of us Sunnahtize by attending every Islamic talk, lecture. Anyways, Im making baby steps, realizing Sunnahtize is really about making myself a better person. That requires inward change and not just outward symbols.
*Essential Oils because Muslims arent supposed to use alcohol; Qiblah the direction to Mecca; natural toothbrush made from the root of an Arak bush; Dhikr means remembrance. Muslims use them to remember Gods Attributes sort of like how Christians use a Rosary
** Kaba is the Holiest Muslim site located in Mecca ; 99 names of God that are mentioned in the Quran; hookah is a tobacco water pipe; Prayer clothes are extra modest gear for Muslim women.
# Hijab Head scarf worn by Muslim women
## Nasheed is Islamic music