Resurrected: This was written in Febuary 2003. I am posting it here in it’s original form. 

As Salaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu 

This is Intisar. Originally from Chicago. Made a mini hijrah to Virginia 4 years ago. i have not been active on any of my list for a year now. Please for give me for taking so long to write out my hijrah story. I originally wrote this about 2 weeks ago and thought I sent it to the list, but silly me did not realise I had written it in my nephew’s email, until today, when he saw it in his sent folder…lol. Some things have been added and deleted since then but it’s still written poorly. It may be written sloppy, because my daughter just woke up the minute I sat down to write this…lol (that was written 2 weeks ago, but it’s still sloppy, because she woke up and I am holding her now…subhanallah!). 

amma baad 

A little over a year ago my family made a sudden hijrah. After 911 my dh realised that maybe his Government job was not good for him as a Muslim. He resigned (after a lot of post 911 drama on the job) and took a TEFL course. This all happened the last week of November 2001. We made intentions to make hijrah to Saudi, but after meeting the Principle of an International School in Bahrain, we packed a few things and left a lot of things behind, in Febuary of 2002.. We went to Bahrain on a 2 year contract. We were aware that it was a majority rafidah country, but we figured it was a step in the right direction and we wanted to get our foot into the Gulf, with hopes that dh would have enough experience in 2 years to land a job in Saudi. The Bahrainis are very nice people. Great adaab, but lacking severely in deen. We met many ‘nice’ people, but were starving to be around good company in the Islamic sense. It was very difficult for us in Bahrain.

For starters we had no car. Also, dh’s contract did not include airline tickets (he had a crummy package), so the school gave him an advance so that we could all come. According to his contract they would take out the advanced money over a period of 24 months. However, after his first check they decided to take out the money in 3 installments, so that his account could be settled by the end of the school year. This left us with barely enough money to eat, but alhamduillah it worked to our advantage in the end. One weekend my dh went to visit some friends in Saudi. They did not like us living in Bahrain and took dh around to different job prospects. Alhamduillah he received several offers, but was hesitant to accept them because he is very strict about honoring his contracts. I asked him to pray istaqarah and to ask Allah to make a way for us to accept the position in saudi without going into the haram (and of course I was making much dua!).

Alhamduillah, the school told my dh that his contract was only good until the end of the school year and that he needed to sign a new contract for the next 2 school years (I think this was to cover their butt for something because the contract we signed said that he would finish out the school year, but would have to do 2 more complete school years. So we knew it was really 2 1/2 years but it was on ONE contract NOT separate contracts).  Well this was the answer to our duas. Dh did not renew his contract and he accepted the Saudi job. He did not tell the school he worked for until the last day because we feared they would make things difficult for us. When he told them he would not be coming back, they gave us 24 hours to be out of their flat. they took our passports and had our 2 year Visas canceled, which gave us 2 weeks to get out of the country. At this point I was 6 months pregnant and had not had a doctors appointment (but had been to the emergency room). we moved out of our flat and checked into a hotel to await our Saudi visas. We were under the impression thast the visas would be ready ‘anyday now’, because they had asked us NOT to return to the States because it would be easier coming from Bahrain. I was anxious to get to Saudi and get settled so that I could prepare to have the baby. As I was high risk in my 1st pregnancy due to diabetes and hypertension. 

To make a long story short, we ended up stranded in Bahrain, with expired visas and no money, and a huge hotel bill, for 2 months!!! I was having complications in my pregnancy that sent me to be admitted to the hospital 2x before I was finally admitted 3 weeks early for a cesearean. I was really trying to hold off having the baby until we got to saudi, but we had no word on the status of our visas. Family and friends were asking us to come home. a lot of people were very disappointed and some even disgusted with my dh for ‘putting us in that situation’. All along we just kept making dua. It seemed as though nobody understood us, not even the muslims. They thought we were nuts and should look for a job somewhere else. One night I got really sick and the ambulance had to come get me (we had no cab fare). The doctors found nothing wrong with me and probably thought I was majnunah.They gave me a c-sec and 3 days later the visas were ready!!! Masha’Allah, la hawala wala qawatta illah billah! Allah is truely the Best Planner. You know Allah made everything so easy for us after that. We had no money and a huge dept. We had already been sent thousands of dollars from our mothers and some brothers in Saudi (American and Saudi). At one point it was really sad because dh did not have any money to come see me in the hospital and my oldest daughter missed me. I was ready to come home, but dh was like it’s not time for you to check out, so just be patient because we don’t have the money to buy diapers, clothes, or anything (or cabfare to come get me). One must really believe that Allah is Ar Razaq, because dh found in his bank account enough money to come get me out of the hospital, buy the baby a few things, get her passport, pay off the hotel, and get us to Saudi! Allahu Akbar! Now by the time we got to Saudi, we did not have 1 Riyal but we didn’t care…we had finally made our hijrah! 

We are still settling in but had no problems adjusting. I was in Qur’an Tafeeth School until I had to get my Gall Bladder removed two months after my cesearean, subhanallah! That’s a whole nother story, but i’ll give you the short version for now. We had only been here about 2 months and I really didn’t know anyone that well. Both Khadijah (in Oman) and Omm Rafiq had connected me with another american sister, who lives about 30 minutes from me. I had only met her once. One night I got really sick, just like the night in Bahrain before my dd was born. Well the next day my daughter got her foot stuck in my nephews bike and sprung her ankle, so we took her to the emergency room. I was still sick and dh feared that I may be having post cesearean problems and told me to get checked out, as I could not hold any food down and was in intense pain. The hospital admitted me (you can basically get admitted for a headache here) and the next day they discovered muliple gall stones (which was more than likely the problem when I was pregnant but when they did the ultrasound they were only checking around the baby and did not discover the stones). I kept my 2 month old baby with me in the hospital (and got so much help…they have these ‘watchers’ or ‘mamas’ here that are assigned to live in the room with long term patients and take care of them. they would come check on me and help me with the baby even though they weren’t assigned to me) and my dh took the next day off and kept Ali and Saudah. When my American (Umm Muhammad) friend found out, she asked us to bring the kids to her. I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy because i didn’t know her that well and was pleased to see people reach out (still on my hijrah eutopia), but sad because my children have only been with me or my dh. Well the sister got sick and you wouldn’t believe the out pour of support that came. Really, i’m afraid that we offended some of our neighbors, because when they found out I was in the hospital EVERYONE WE KNEW, asked if they could keep the kids.  It turned out for the best because a sister with 7 children that I had only briefly met once, watched them. It was funny because 2 Saudi sisters were on there way over to the sisters house who had the kids to help her out, but before they could get there another sister showed up and got them. All this happened without my knowledge alhamduillah because I probably would have been worried sick.You would have to know me and my children to know how I felt. We are never apart, but this family treated my children like their own. My daughter would even run to the husband when he came in from work and ask him to take her to the play ground. When she came home she asked where was her brothers and her ‘other’ father…lol.  Anyway, the operation was a success, alhamduillah. They let me keep the baby with me up until the morning of the operation and then the sister and her dh came to get her. The hospital gave them a hard time because her dh was not the baby’s father (they are strict like that). Alhamduillah I had a very good surgeon from Sudan. May Allah reward him. He gave us his home number and jawwalnumbr in case we ever needed him. well we did. He came in on his off day once just to do a minor operation on my toe and TOOK US HOME!!! Everyone has been really good to us. When I came out of the hospital I had big huge complete meals, appetrizers, salads, desserts and all made and delivered daily for 2 weeks! I still don’t know to this day who sent them. 

~~~~this is taking longer than I thought because I am chatting with 4 different People…all on this list!!! so excuse me because I keep losing my train of thought and I’m sleepy…lol~~~

 I also have my nephew Ali with me. He is in the Saudi government school. He is the only person in the school that speaks English besides the Mudeer. Alhamduillah he got 1 jayyid jiddan (B) and the rest Mumtaz (A) on his Shahadah (report card). He was put in 3rd grade, which is 2 grades behind, but alhamduillah. I just put my 3 year old in Rowdah. she likes it but cries every morning getting on the bus, but is ok once she gets there and she is happy.Masha’allah, in just one week school has turned my already loud daughter into an even LOUDER child. She screams EVERYTHING from the top of her lungs (As salaamu Alaykum Saudah… WA ALAYKUM AS SALAAM WA RAHMATAULLAHI WA BARAKATU!!! kayfa Haluki Saudah? ALHAMDUILLAH!!! lol masha’allah it’s cute but getting a bit anoying).  I just started Madrassah Ummiyyah and am in 2nd grade.It’s kinda like night school but not as late.It takes you though the Saudi Public School curriculum.There are no conerstional arabic classes near me so this is better than nothing. My nephew helps me with my homework because he is in a higher grade than I. A lot of people asked me about ramadaan and Eid. To be honest it was not the same for me. I am use to going to the masjid everynight of Ramadaan, to break fast and pray. here it is different. Because everyone here is muslim there is no need for islamic centers, which function in the states as a means to form a community for the muslims. here they have their own families. The masajid here are small, because there are so many, so it would have been difficult for me to pray there with a baby and a toddler. So I did not pray at all…which mad me sad, BUT alhamduillah I could hear everything because the masjis is around the corner from me walhamduillah. The eids here are also different. In the States you go to the prayer and there is usually some community festivities later. Here it is similar to what the kufar do on thanksgiving and Christmas day (not in a bad way). They usually go home and expect guest or go visiting family. At night they may go out and do something fun, as evidence from the packed amusement park that we went to on both Eids.  

Also I read on one of these list a question about how much should one save for hijrah. i can’t speak for all, but I can tell you our situation and it all boils down to tawakkullah. My dh had been out of work for 2 months when we made hijrah. we had no money. Everytime we got some money it had to go to something of neccessity, like food. We left our house for the airport with no money. When my friend that came to the airport found out I had no money, she gave me the last $40.00 in her pocket, walhamduillah. As soon as we arrived in Bahrain that $40.00 got spent on entry visas. Don’t know what we would have done without it. May Allah bless and reward her and allow her family to make hijrah…aameen.We are still broke! Dh has a decent salary alhamduillah, but we have debts and live paycheck to day after paycheck…lol. Well, this is long enough so I will end it here (plus now i’m talking to a 5th person online…lol you all know who you are).   

I thank Allah for facilating this hijrah and I ask Him azza wajal to make hijrah easy on all the Muslim families stuck in the land of the kufar, that desire hijrah…aameen.

I know many people like to read hijrah stories so i give permission to all to forward this story to those interested. 

Umm Saudah