Monthly Archives: June 2013

I Don’t Get It


My husband just texted me not too long ago saying that his boss called him and fired him.

He worked there for a total of three days.

He got the job on Wednesday, after being fired last Friday from a job he worked a whole week at. That was the food truck job he was so excited about. It came without warning, in the form of a termination letter given to him along with his paycheck. No other explanation was given other than “it’s not going to work out”, no matter how many times my husband asked for one. Since we were left to guess, we decided it must’ve been either because the boss did a background check and found out about his record, or because he’s Muslim (Bashir said his phone played the adhan aloud one day and his boss remarked about him being Muslim the next). Of course, we will never know for sure.

When Bashir got the call today, he was told the same thing: it’s just not going to work out. This was especially disheartening because after the interview (which was Tuesday), the boss wanted him to come in the next morning to “try him out”. He told the boss that day when he came in that he would have to leave right after lunch as he had another job interview scheduled. The boss told him, “I think you don’t need to worry about that interview”, and so he was hired.

For three whole days.

This is not the first (or even second) time this has happened. Since we’ve been married, there have been plenty of jobs he was let go from without explanation. There have also been some he was fired from, because of his criminal record (at least those folks were decent enough to offer an explanation). There were also those he was fired from because he did something wrong, and then there were those he quit for various reasons, like we’ve all done at times.

All in all, the longest job he ever held lasted two years. Most of them lasted a few weeks or months, rarely enough time to even file for unemployment. Between those roughly 40 jobs he’s worked, have been extended periods of unemployment. The longest one lasted several years, mostly at my request because we were both tired of the uncertainty and I thought it would be less stressful if he just stayed at home with the kids, and I just paid the bills off my salary.

That worked until we split up last year, when he had no choice but to support himself. Part of that included financing a car so he would even have a way to get to work. He had just started his job, so I co-signed to help him get the financing. If that car doesn’t get paid for, it falls back on me….and right now I can’t swing those payments and his insurance along with everything else. I know, that was my choice and the price I pay for it, but there’s still a bigger picture I’m trying to understand.

What makes it hard to understand is that what has actually happened in Bashir’s employment history, is not consistent with who he is as an employee. Naturally, I tend to believe that people who lose jobs over and over are poor workers. I believe that hard workers can keep a job for a while. The problem is, my husband IS a hard worker. I’ve worked with him before at some jobs, and visited him at plenty of others. I see how he cleans, interacts with customers and gets along with coworkers. He is the guy that should be able to keep a job until HE decides to move on. Yet, his experiences have not been consistent with that, and I know his criminal record can only account for so much of that. So in the glare of this huge inconsistency, I seek the answers:

…Why can’t he just have a job for years like anyone else? Even plenty of ex-felons manage to pull this off, even if it means working at minimum wage. It really feels to me like the majority of what’s happened with Bashir’s jobs have been outside of his control, and in spite of his dedication. That’s why I am asking Allah, why is it this way? It just doesn’t make sense?

Islamically, I know I have the right to be fully financially supported by my husband. If we were going by the book, I would be able to use any earnings of my own as I like. I never got caught up on that. It never mattered to me what my husband brought to the table, because I married him for who he is as a person, not what he could do for me.

What is saddening me is that it seems like he is being prevented from doing for himself, in spite of his drive and hard work. His own bills are only a few hundred dollars a month, but he can’t even cover them without consistent work. Is it really too much to ask that Allah let him have a simple means of rizq that won’t go away anytime soon? It doesn’t have to be much. It doesn’t even have to fulfill my rights. Just enough so that he can take care of himself, and I can take care of what the whole family benefits from (house, electric, food etc).

Bashir has in shaa Allah an interview today with a pizza restaurant, a setting he has a lot of experience in. Also, his Muslim friend tells him there is an opening in his company for a driver (not sure what industry, but Bashir has experience there too). I am hoping something comes through for him. If it has to be where he works a few days or weeks here and there, and that’s how his bills get paid, then we have no choice but to accept it. But having a job that lasts at least a few years seems such a basic and simple thing, I wish I could understand why it seems Allah goes out of His way to prevent it from being something Bashir can have.

I admit, the ongoing nature of this situation has me feeling and thinking ways I would rather not. Though Bashir has his flaws, his ability to be a good worker is not one of them. He was always good about being punctual, congenial, and keeping his place of employment in top shape. I don’t feel he deserves this, or for it to have gone on this long. Yet it’s happening, and I wish I knew why…so I could know how to best support him and our family while it’s the case.

It’s a really discouraging feeling. Ya Allah, please help clarify what’s going on, and please take care of Bashir’s needs like You do for so many.


A Beautiful Time of Life


Today is the beginning of a new journey, in a sense. Today is my first official day working full-time from home. It is also the first day of my husband’s new job. The timing couldn’t be better between the two, because with both of us working now again we have managed to avoid childcare costs since I no longer have to commute.

I will be returning to the office sometime after my maternity leave, but I don’t expect to do it all at once. Perhaps I will start going half-days first, and when Shukurah is closer to 6 months old in shaa Allah I can do full days there again. By that time we should have enough budgeted for any childcare needs for her and Jabiyr, since the older two are now at the age to be able to be home after school without an adult.

I never planned on working from home, but the truth is my pelvic symphysis problem was getting worse. The pain started at 8 weeks gestation, but at that time it was only uncomfortable and annoying. As the weeks progressed my ability to do certain things became more limited. Over the past month, it’s gotten to a point where my husband has had to help me bathe, get up the stairs, and he basically has assumed all the housework. Too much going up/down the stairs hurts me. Too much sitting (which is what I couldn’t avoid working in the office) hurts me. Too much walking hurts me. There are so many things that aggravate the condition, and I knew that the only way to more easily finish the rest of the pregnancy (which I am not yet halfway through) was to stop doing as many of those things as possible. So I talked to my manager yesterday after what had been one of the worst weeks of chair-sitting pain, and he approved me to telecommute for the remainder of my pregnancy. I will get whatever paperwork I need from my doctor at my Monday appointment.

So for now, I spend the majority of my time laying on my side (making sure to keep my legs parallel) in bed. I do get up for small things and I try to do some light cleaning/organization when I can, but when it starts to hurt I stop. I imagine I will be spending a lot more time online in the coming months because of this, and I suppose there’s not going to be a better time to write the story that has been percolating in my dreams either.

This also gives me more time to reflect on things and thank Allah for the blessings that have been coming. Like I said, my husband started a new job today. He will be making authentic Puerto Rican food on a food truck. He has been talking lately about wanting to get a food truck and do something like this, but at least now he gets the chance for some experience with someone who he vibes well with. That doesn’t always happen in the restaurant business. Plus he gets to learn some cooking from his heritage, as he is half Puerto-Rican himself but missed out on so much when his dad passed away during his early childhood.

The biggest blessing this week was of course finding out I was pregnant with our daughter. It’s been such a momentous thing for both Bashir and I. I think in some ways, the way losing our first daughter Nadhiyrah had hit him so hard, he lost hope in himself. The grief has been so deep all these years that it’s been hard for him to talk about her at all. I think he believed that when Allah took her away, it was like He was telling Bashir that he wasn’t good enough to raise a daughter, and that just made him give up on himself in a lot of ways. Now, having Shukurah is like a second chance, and Bashir is showing energy and hope I didn’t know he was capable of having. Something special is happening in him, and it gives me hope for us too. I’ve been making dua for weeks that Allah help him with his 3 biggest character flaws, and there have been improvements. Shukurah is making these changes worthwhile, I can tell.

And I’m not exempted either. I carried around a lot of incompleteness all these years that is now being filled knowing that I will raise Shukurah in shaa Allah. One of the biggest things for me, when I was going through the painfulness of the polygamy, was wondering how things might have been different (read less difficult) if somehow Bashir and I had not been put back together, and I had managed to move on eventually with someone else. Of course I had thoughts that if that could’ve happened, I might have had the daughter I always wanted with whoever that would’ve been. Yet, now that it is Bashir and I having this little girl, there is a “rightness” that can’t be matched about it. Only he and I went through Nadhiyrah’s loss together. Only he and I have longed for her and felt an emptiness where she should be in the years since then. Only he and I could appreciate what it would mean to hold another little girl in our arms again. And masha’Allah, that’s exactly what we’ve been given. I can’t imagine any other outcome with any other person feeling this blissful, and for that I’m so thankful for the way everything has gone- despite the hardships it came with.

And that’s another reminder that we really don’t know what’s coming, especially when things are looking bleak and hopeless and too heartbreaking to bear. We want out, we want ease, and we think we know what’s best for us. But time and again Allah shows that those who persevere, who turn away from the illusion of the circumstances and back to Him, and who nurture sabr, those are the ones who are ultimately gifted with outcomes that could never be imagined or matched. Alhamdulillah!!!