So I’m sure a lot…or some…or maybe none of you, are wondering about the name change. Over the past few months I’ve felt like my original purpose for starting this blog has changed. I was going through my earlier entries and they mostly all fell in line with the theme of working out and fitness, which is definitely a thread I will continue. However, I felt the title was too restrictive as of where I want to take my blog now. Most days I felt like I couldn’t write on Running Muslimah unless I had worked out, and I recall in previous entries apologizing for writing about stuff that was “off-topic.” (Well, maybe ‘on paper’ I apologized once or twice. I apologize a lot in my head.)
So why The Muslim Orange?
My main inspiration was my friend Ify Okoye, over at Muslim Apple. I’ve known Ify for a long time, relatively speaking, back in the days when she was still Zainab. (My mom still calls her that, and I still have her saved as Zainab Okoye in my phone, but don’t tell her that…oh wait, it’s on the internetz.)
Truthfully, I can’t remember where I first met Ify! But this is what I know to be true: hours of conversation in our living room back in Maryland, our normally recalcitrant cat, Tiki, coming up to her and sitting on her lap without any provocation, playing basketball at the elementary school gym the masjid would rent out for the girls, going to my first AlMaghrib class with her when I didn’t have my driver’s license and Ify would drive me to class with her and drop me back home. She single-handedly burned the entire Amina Elahi tafseer series to CD for my mom. Ify is truly an amazing person.
Even though it wasn’t that long ago, I just remember everything piecemeal. I remember we were on our way to the hearing of yet another Muslim being accused, (I want to say Alexandria, VA, but I’m unsure) and when we got there we heard from someone inside that the courtroom was already filled. While the car idled, she showed me her driver’s license so I could see how her name was spelled. (I vaguely remember being skeptical about her name, I think that is why she had to whip out the hard evidence.)
Years later when I was visiting Maryland, I stumbled upon her while I was walking around the lake near my dad’s house. I was just dumbstruck because I had just been thinking about her, and here she was sitting on a picnic table right in front of me.
A few weeks ago I called her while stuck in traffic in downtown Orlando, and we didn’t hang up the phone until I arrived home, got out of the car, entered the house, and then found myself doing the “gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!” dance while I paced my bedroom. At which point I had to hang up, finally. We had attempted to say goodbye at least three times during the course of my drive home but we kept picking up a new thread of conversation.
She’s just one of those people who it doesn’t matter how many years pass in between seeing or speaking to them, once you do it’s like no time has passed at all. Ify is seriously just an all around cool person.
So in a nutshell, the title is a little shout-out to her. Also, I like oranges. They’re full of Vitamin C and make me happy. Of course, all fruit are Muslim, because they are on the fitrah. 🙂
Here is one of her more well-known posts: The Penalty Box: Muslim Women’s Prayer Spaces
Other writings: Muslim Matters Author Profile: Ify Okoye
And of course, Muslim Apple 🙂