5:41 PM

Old Friends

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Some may wonder from the last post why I have this problem with letting people in my life.
It has to do with all the old friends I used to have.

First growing up I didn't have many friends though the few I had were the ones that I still have now 10 to 15 years later. When I gained weight around 5th grade I had a few friends and I used to be popular but suddenly I wasn't popular and sometimes people pretended to be my friend then a few days later wouldn't be. For 6th grade I moved across town and since i was the new kid no one wanted to really get close to me. I spent that whole year without any close friends. Only once did this girl try to be friends with me and I was so excited that everyday when we walked home from school together I would invite myself to her house thinking she wanted to always have me at her home. One day I was like do you want to go to your house or mine and she was like neither i don't like you and never have. She just wanted to know my secret thoughts about the people in class. She spread everything I said around school and then i had even less friends. The next two years I finally found a clic of kinda nerdy/music/artist/loners. We were pretty close but I was really nervous to invite myself to anyone's house after what happened in 6th grade. From 9th to 12th grade I really mainly kept to my clic and we added and subtracted friends now and then. After school finished and I was involved heavily in Islam and meeting with my fiance (now hubby) I didn't have time to really deal with friends too much. I had my roommate and her issues and that was plenty for me. Eventually I got to Lebanon and it took me about 6 to 8 months to find the Muslim Foreign sisters there.
They were very welcoming. They were all Asian and were in a group called Sahariat. I learned Fiqh Shafi from them and started learning the Companions of the Prophet. Soon after that one sister invited me to a new group of women who were all westerners (Americans, Europeans, Hispanic) and they had lessons each week too! So I began to go to their lessons too but I didn't have a best friend only two groups of acquaintances. One sister from Sweden invited me a few times to her house after classes and soon it became a weekly thing for maybe two years. Yet nearly each week I wondered if she really wanted me to come or if she was just being polite yet each week she'd invite me again so I'd assume she liked me. One of the Asian ladies and my Swedish friend we found a NEW group of really mixed Muslims from the world but all the sisters followed one ideology- Habashi (Association of Islamic Charitable Projects). SO now I had three groups and really they didn't all HATE each other but they kinda back-bited each other constantly and it was really stressful to have to choose between each group. They eventually at one point had all their Halikas on the SAME DAY at the SAME time. So I was forced to choose. I chose religion of course and had to go with the Habish because they were teaching me the fundamentals of the beliefs of Islam. So the other groups were a bit miffed at me and I wound up not calling them for a while. I was happy with my friends but I only got close to the Swedish woman and a Latvian woman.
When the war started in Lebanon 2006. I left for a few months. When I came back everything was mixed up. A lot of people had left the country for good. Others wouldn't return for a few more months. I stayed away from all groups for about 4 months. Then slowly I began visiting my old friends one by one and they would invite me to the lessons and I started going to a mix of lessons again. It was then I was preg. with my 2nd child and I started wearing niqab too. My Swedish friend had stayed in Sweden and wasn't coming back so I felt very lonely again. Though I visited other friends and enjoyed my time I didn't have a best friend. Through the Western group I met one of their daughters who was 17 at the time and she loved books like me and we hit it off. But i was to leave for UAE within a month. We visited each other a lot and she even helped me pack up. I was sad to leave everyone in Lebanon but I was a bit relieved too that I wasn't torn between groups.
In UAE I was given contact numbers for meeting new sisters and it took me a while before I called a few of them. Of course things went well and alhamdulliah they are still in my life. But they live far from me so I only can see them every few months for a dinner. I didn't contact any of the habish here because I wanted to concentrate on my troubled marriage (which is better now) and taking care of myself with the preg and then my two kids. I didn't want to be torn again between choosing friends based on geography or sects. So I've met a few sisters here and there and they've given me numbers for more sisters to meet but once again I'm to scared to all them. As you can see from my last post this Canadian Sister is the one who really brought me more out of my shell but I will always have this problem not just with meeting people but of trying to decide if they are bothered by me visiting them a lot or trying to become best friends with them. Now I must decide whether to take the next step and continue to meet with these sisters who I went to the Moulid Party with. They are Sufi, but I'd be visiting them more to just be friends. I'm just worried because the only one who I felt my soul connecting with was the Canadian who might be leaving soon. They were all nice but I didn't feel that tug on my heart to embrace them. I've always tried to follow my heart and I find myself a very good judge of character and can usually spot someone I'm going to be friend with a long time just by the first look we exchange. Should I use the other contact numbers I had gotten and try to contact more people who I might be more comfortable with or should I just keep trying to embrace this group?
The old friends of my past continue to stay with me and effect my future....

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