Sister Soljah
May 18, 2004
 
What does Sister Soljah mean?

Some people have gotten to my blog by Google searching for this answer and I've also had questions as to what it meant so i figured I'd put it out there.

It was an old nickname of mine. There's a song that my friends used to say reminded them of me. It was called Even After All performed by Finley Quaye. It can be found on the soundtrack of Around the Fire, a Rasta/Hippy movie.

Before finding Islam I had to go through a lot of religions. Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Rastafarianism, Sufism, all the -isms essentially. I even looked into Hasidicism (loved the curly locks and hats)...okay it isn't an -ism so I couldn't do that one - and I liked Jesus too much to give him up as most hippies do- many fashion themselves after him hence the hair and Jerusalem Cruisers (Birkenstocks).

And yes, I was a little hippie granola chick too. I was a serious vegan for a couple months too. One of my favorite t-shirts back then had pictures of animals and said "I don't eat my friends" and I refused to wear or eat animal products. I was a tree hugger (environmentalist) too. Then came the hippie chick stage. Jerusalem cruisers became my choice footwear or Doc Martin's or thongs. I often wore indian styled shirts that you see many hippie chicks running around in with baggy patched jeans. I love granola and yogurt and indian food. I loved sleeping on the floors of my friends places and bucking the system. I chanted with Buddhists and ate off the floor with them. I wore Doc Martins to protest rally's - back then i protested everything - I once laid down with my friends in front of a bulldozer to stop them from tearing down a building I/we had strong feelings about. I'm a little more picky now. I took many roadtrips in response to reading On the Road by Jack Kerouak and slept on trains in Europe. I dreamed of going to India or Morocco as it seemed the perfect place to find oneself, but well, being a hippie chick doesn't land you primo jobs. I played poker for money and worked in the finance field slaving for the man and that's the only time i sold out. Believe it or not there's lots of us (hippies/rastas/grungers) in that field so don't take their words to heart. I wrote funky artsy coffeehouse poetry and recited it with zeal in the flavor of Avant Garde at local coffeehouses. It used to be that I could be found on any given night at a place called "Sancho's - A thinking place" - that's actually it's name - it's a little hippie dive bar. I played my three songs (John Lennon - Let it Be, Bob Marley - Redemption Song, and Bob Dylan's Tangled Up in Blue) on the jukebox and ran the pool table all night long with my friends. I loved bohemian film and dreamed of living in parks in Paris as Hemingway did trying to squeeze out a novel. Next was the Sufism stage which ultimately led me to Islam. The wanderer still lies within, but she has tamed a bit, okay- a lot, since converting. I had to change absolutely everything. How I got here, I sometimes wonder. I mean I was a free spirit. It's hard to be a free spirit when you get tied down with rules and a hijab. But anything for Allah. My love of God was always there and in a way all of it was in search of Him.

Many wonder when I'm going to get out of my Muslim phase and into another. For me it's not a phase though, it's what I was searching for for those ten or so years. And I think I already went through all the interesting phases. Getting too old for all that now anyhow. That was a realllllly long tangent so back to the original point.

In basic terms, the name Sister Soljah breaks down to this:

Sister = female Muslim (it used to have a different meaning but now it works in the Muslim sense - did i tell you about the Black Panther phase?...lol...and I'm white)
Soldier = people i used to hang with called me a revolutionary in heart and soul
Soldier was spelled Soljah (originally SoulJah) because I'm a soulful soldier - using the mind for combat not physical strength. Jah comes from Rastafarian...it means God in Rasta. So Sister Soljah means a soulful Muslim soldier for God. Yeah, it doesn't work so well Islamically, but well it's sentimental for me and multifaceted which is a good word for me.
 
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A recent convert to Islam...finally found what I was searching for. I am a writer and love to read and learn. I also love travelling and getting to know new cultures and ways of thinking.

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