***Respect The Letters***

                          ر* ط* ل*  د

Aka RTL (Rho Taw Lambda)

Author’s note

Throughout my stories, you will notice that the characters are not perfect. There are flawed. There is a great tendency for many Muslims to paint the Believers as no sin makers. We need to be realistic and admit that we are humans and that sinning is our second nature. We learn from them and they make us better Muslims. I will give you another detail about me. I used to be a sorority girl, so that has inspired me to write this story.
“This sisterhood must uphold the upmost traits of the Muslimah on campus! Am I crystal clear?” I yelled to the crowd of sisters staring at me during chapter.
“Yes, sister Rokeeya.” They replied in unison.
“What is the third sentence of our moto?” I asked in a challenging tone.
Sister Dhara raised her hand. “Yes, sister Dhara.”
“Learn Purity from Maryam (aleihi salam).”
“Good! I doubt some of you reflected on that this weekend. Respect the steps of the Muslimah that we are trying to follow. And respect the letters, our letters and what they stand for. ” I paused to search for their shamed eyes.
“I move to adjourn the meeting.” I said with a dry tone.
“I second.” Another voice in the group let out.
“Chapter is adjourned. See you next Thursday night insha Allah. Behave yourselves.” After my last words, the sisters dispersed quickly to their room. I am sure there are secretly calling me names inside but I don’t care.
Over the weekend, there was a fraternity party on campus and some of sisters were invited. They know my position on mixing with men who are not mahram to us but they promised me that they will be careful and not act like fools. After all, there are the images of our group of sisters. Our sisterhood has a variety of Muslims sisters from strict to lax behavior due to the way they were raised as Muslims by their families. Some of the sisters belong to different Madhab and some did not belong to any Madhab. The bottom line is that we all considered ourselves Sunni or Shiite Muslims.
To go back to the story, the attending sisters got “tricked” into smoking hookah with the boys. I have a felling they wanted to be corrupted anyways. The herb in question was actually something that rhymes with Marie Jane. That and peer pressure were not a good mix leading to the boys becoming wanderers with their hands. I will spare you the details but zina (fornication) definitely happened. I am so appalled by their behavior! I normally chaperoned the girls at mixers because I don’t have a choice, and it is 2012! On campus, some people already consider us unsocial. That weekend I decided to visit my family. Fatou was not available either but the girls promised with Homayra on the lead that they will act like there are supposed to. They promise me that they will be on their best behaviors.
We do not wish to create a bid’ah or imitate other with the Greek stuff but our organization was put together by Muslim sisters Alumnae of the school that believed that a group of sisters that taught each other how to read the Quran el-Karim would be great. By the same token, the sisters will bond and foster great relationships that will help them not fall off the wagon with the distractions of college life. Lord knows that the company one keeps plays a major role in the way one turns out, good or bad.
Anyways, the Alumnae built us a house on campus that they furnished and took care of the paperwork. In the Muslim world, we are called ر* ط* ل* د  . In other words, Raw Taw Lam Da. Our purpose is to: Recite The Letters, Respect The Letters, and Read The Lecture while being classy and chaste Muslimahs. In the Greek environment, we are known as RTL (Rho Taw Lambda Ρτλ). Our motto is:
“Learn Patience from Asiyah (aleihi salam),
Sincerity from Aisha (aleihi salam),
Purity from Maryam (aleihi salam),
Loyalty from Khadija (aleihi salam),
And Steadfastness from Fatimah (aleihi salam).”

I am having a tough time leading the group as the President taking into account that I did not become a “saint” up until 5 years ago. I have had a smeared past that I try to hide from these girls. They think I don’t know what there experiencing now. I have been there. I just have better priorities now. Allah is my first and foremost priority. Everything I do and strive for is to please him. For that reason they see me as a jerk. One time, I even heard a sister in her room say that I need to get laid. May be she is right but it won’t happen until I am married. As I am lost in my thoughts, Fatou tried to get my attention.
“Hey, you okay?” She said worried.
I have not zoned out again! I hate these momentary lapses I experience quite often. “Yes, I am fine.” I attempted to let quickly. I continued “We have a lot on our hand with these girls.” I sighed.
“That is true.” Fatou rolled her eyes. Fatou is the vice-president of the sisterhood. She is still pure unlike me. I really admire and respect her. Her point of view is very valuable to me, too. We grab our Qur’an, planners, and pens and leave the sisterhood’s living room to join our bedrooms.
Back in my room, I am torn between the implications of the members smoking weed mean. Not only we risk being kicked out campus and our charter removed, we also face slander, and my leadership questioned. Bad news travel fast. Right now, noone outside the fraternity and us know that drugs were consumed on campus. I need to talk to the president of that fraternity but I can’t do it alone. I need someone to come with me. Fatou will think that is a terrible idea but this sisterhood means everything to me. If it was not for this sisterhood, I would have… I can’t finish my sentence.

To be continued


Papatia Feauzar
Author of “*Between Sisters, SVP!*”


6 thoughts on “***Respect The Letters***

  1. MashaAllah! I can’t wait to read the remaining parts of the series. I really love the fact that you acknowledged our weak nature and where you’ve been in the past. Jazak Allahu khayr.

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