Sunday, April 04, 2010

Yard Sale Dawah

For the most part, the garden roto-tilling is done. My husband and my neighbor put up a new garden fence for me yesterday (thank you!). The winter yard clean-up is done. The mulch has been spread. The plant containers around the house have been filled with mulch and are waiting for new occupants.

Soon I will be starting seedlings on my sun porch, Insha Allah.


So, while I wait for Mother's Day - the time for planting in my gardening "zone" - my attention is turned to what else but YARD SALES!

Scouring my house for things to sell!

Yard sales - I love to go to them, and I love to have them.

I had my first one last year. I was initially a bit intimidated because I had no experience in having one for myelf, and I didn't know what to expect.

But let me tell you, when the people started waltzing down my driveway, and the money started filling my coffers, I got right into the groove! You would have thought I was an old pro. Even my husband was surprised and wished he would have listened to me and put a thing or two of all the stuff he hoardes into the sale.

I keep trying to get him to let go of some of his movie DVDs. We have never watched a movie together twice, so why keep them? Okay. Okay. They're his. I guess I wouldn't be too understanding and patient if he wanted me to yard sale some of my stuff that he perceives to be senseless to keep :)

There are many facets to yard sale-ing.

Some people love to yard sale, but other people find it difficult to let go of things. If you want a good laugh about "things," Insha Allah one day you will see George Carlin's comedy skit on "stuff."

Me? Well, I don't have a difficult time letting go of too much. I think it comes from my history of poverty. When I was a kid, we were poor. We lived in a housing project, and my mother tried to get by on the meager child support my father sent when and if he felt like sending it. Otherwise, we went without. And without ... we were a lot. There was also a problem in my house with most of the money being spent on alcohol. Therefore, food and things like school clothes took a back seat.


Easy come - easy go. That's my motto.

And that goes for people, too. I have no problem x-ing toxic people out of my life. I will put up with your fitnah for awhile, but after that, you gotta go. Oh, I may amuse myself and play your game with you for awhile before I split, but trust me, I will split after I am no longer entertained, or if you aggravate me too much.

I had to let go of my father when he wouldn't accept that I had become a Muslim. I didn't cut him off, because Muslims are not permitted to break the ties of kinship. But knowing him, I KNEW he wouldn't change his mind unless Allah swt changed it for him. So, I just left him where he was at so to speak. I called him occasionally, because I knew he wouldn't call me, and the phone calls were always cold. But I continued to call for two reasons: 1 - to please and obey Allah swt, and 2 - it was my duty. Alhamdulillah, my father died upset with me. But, Subhan'Allah, I am still a Muslim.

I could go on and on here with examples, but I think you get my point. If you assume that I have many aquaintances, but few friends, you are correct.

Allah is sufficient for me/Ameen.

Just think! If you let go of some of your stuff, you can then go to someone else's yard sale and bring their stuff to your house, lol.

The best thing about my yard sale last year was meeting my neighbors. We had just moved into the house, and had been in the neighborhood less than a year. We live on a small island that has less than 100 houses on it. Everyone knows most everyone here.

My husband and I stick out because he is the only African American here, and I am the only garbed Muslim woman here.

Trust me - they all know us :)

We know our immediate neighbors, but didn't know any of the other ones.

When I had my yard sale, I think a lot of them came to see me up close. Some of them introduced theirselves and told me where they lived. When I told one man that I ride by his house on my bicycle, he said, "Yeah, I've seen you."

Ooookaaay ...

Anyhow, the basic understanding of dawah is to invite people to Islam. You can invite people to Islam or at least introduce them to it through your own behavior and character.

My neighbors got to see that it's okay to have a Muslim neighbor. I'll willing to bet that many of them have never seen a real live covered Muslim woman up close before. Or chatted to one, yet alone been to the house of a Muslim for a yard sale.

One of them even got to drum with me!!! Below is a picture my neighbor took of me and her mother-in-law. I was showing her how to drum. You can see some of the stuff I had in my sale in my garage in the background. (We were having a joint yard sale.) I had both drums in my yard sale (posted about getting rid of them before). Anyhow, Grammy (yes, I now call her "Grammy") was so happy with the drum that her husband bought it for her :)

There was a study done awhile back where the survey participants were divided into two group: for who knew a Muslim, and those who didn't.

The question was, "Would you want to have a Muslim for a neighbor?"

The group who didn't know any Muslims responded "no," they would not want to have a Muslim for a neighbor.

The group who knew Muslims responsed that "yes," they wouldn't mind having Muslims for neighbors.

What is the carry-away here?

It's that we Muslims should make ourselves known to our neighbors and our community. Interfaith activities are a good way to do this. I also try to smile at each and every person I see when I go to the grocery store, pharmacy, etc., in my neighborhood.

It's just plain good dawah!

So, gather up your "stuff," put on your hijab," and do some yard sale dawah. I guarantee you a wonderful day!


Rukhpar Mor said...

I like this!!
About the letting go stuff, I have been feeling like letting some people go as well. My aunt once said to me, "If your personalities are not matching, and you are only feeling worse after your conversations with them, then just let go of them" and so I have been trying to do that for awhile. It's not that we don't always get along, but it's more like sometimes they end up either insulting me or putting me down and I always end up feeling sad for days *Sigh

But, yes, Da'wah with our manners is the best Da'wah though I don't always do it=( My parents and I fight a lot and so I think our neighbors are scared of us. Astaghfirullah @me!!!!

American Muslima Writer said...

Rukhpar Mor: Insha'Allah you will drop them, that is not friendship to feel sad for days after meeing with them, the opposit shoudl happen you feel happier thats what friends are for, to cheer you up.

As for your parents I'm sure you knwo or have been told before but always try to remeber your parents holding you for hours when you were a baby crying, taking care and having patience with you when they didn't have to be so kind. Parents are always trying to help their children be better people than they were. I'm sure some of your conflict must come from this. Try to make your feelings known with repsect and Quietly, your parents will have a higher reguard for you if you show them respect and calmness.

Insha'Allah Allah helps you.

American Muslima Writer said...

Congrats on the new fence Saf!
Oooh sounds liek your house is about to get decked out with lil green plants! (once the seeds germinate!)

YARD SALES!!! I LOVE THEM!! I LOVE TO HOST THEM! I used to help my parents run theirs, and I'm still nagging at them to have some more and clean out old stuff! Isn't it fun to see some stranger walk off lovingly holding your stuff!

SubhanAllah it's fabulous you can let go so easily of stuff, and although people are more difficult and depressing to get rid of, in the end you feel more free. May ALlah reward you greatly though for trying to maintain ties with your father.

Ah small town Island life, sounds fabulous, and masha'ALlah with it being so small and you getting around so much it really is good dawah on your part! Good thing you are so cheerful!

I know what you mean I feel bad when i see a group of non-muslims staring at a group of dower looking Muslims and I purposly walk by them with a radient smile so they have a better impression...
Some women even commented how they liked the decorations on my abaya. They said, Wow I didn't know you could make so much black seem elegent and pretty. But I always try to wear colorful hijabs. My mom once said it seemed less depressing, so I save my all black ones for the Middle East where it is more common.

Part of being a good walking dawah is to not only have a friendly attitute but a good grasp on the basics of Islam to explain when people ask questions. My first years knowing Islam i got lots of questions i couldn't answer and probably looked dumb... Now I just start in cherrily withthe blessings of Islam :D

Get it on Drummer Ladies!

Hope I can visit you someday :D

C said...

Asalaamu Alaikum

I've had a few yard sales as a muslim.

I'm amazed by muslims who can smile all the time as dawah..I know its sunnah but I just can't do it all the time. What if you're having a bad day?

Its good that you can easily let go of stuff. Most people who grew up poor end up being hoarders terrified of having nothing again.

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Rukphar Mor: Friends who insult you or put you down are toxic. Get rid of them! Some of my old "friends" were like this. It was like a slap in the face. I was left standing there asking myself if I was crazy, was it just me. To add insult to injury, I had others defending the insulter and and put-downer. "Oh, they didn't mean it that way." or "Oh, you are too sensitive." on and on. There's an old saying that goes, "Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining." As for your parents, American Muslima Writers gave you good naseehah.

Salaams American Muslima Writer: I can relate to it being easier for people to ask questions when they meet a friendly, open Muslim. And yes, lol, the basics are necessary.

Salaams C: Try forcing yourself to smile when you're having a bad day. Who knows? Your day might improve! It has happened to me. We had an old saying in a recovery group I was in: "Fake it until you make it" lol. Works for me most of the time. And OH! I know what you mean about hoarders. I have a friend who grew up in poverty and will not let anything go. Her house is stacked up with boxes that are unpacked from her many moves. My old psychology teacher used to say that "people use 20% of their stuff 80% of the time." So true! And I saw on a TV show that if a person hasn't used/worn something for a whole year, they don't need it and can probably get rid of it.

Rukhpar Mor said...


Thanks for the naseeha, Safiyyah and Amerian Muslima Writer.

I know how it is when people defend the other party. It's cruel especially since you are already hurt and that's the LAST thing you need to hear.

As for my parents, I will definitely need to figure out a way to let them know but with respect and patience(sigh) and InshAllah they and I will be able to have a great relationship in the near future INshAllah=)