This past weekend I was a vendor at a sisters event. I was actually contacted by the organizer to come because she has been given my henna business card. I was told that it was a 6 hour event promoting sisters businesses. There would be a tele link with a woman in Saudi and a fashion show. I asked her how many people usually came, and she was sort of vague, but it sounded ok so I agreed to do it and send via paypal my booth fee.
A week later I emailed her asking how many other vendors where going to be there. She wrote back and told me that another henna vendor would be there. So I called her and said if that is the case perhaps I should just not come, because I can't imagine there will be enough business for the two of us. At that point she assured me that last year there were 2 henna vendors and they had lines all day. So, I still went.
Well let me tell you... it was not anything like I expected. There were 10 total vendors there including me. No one showed up until 1 pm (it started at noon). When it was time for the tele-link the organizer MADE us leave our booth and go to another room to hear the lecture. We sat there for almost an hour and heard nothing because they got the time wrong. At that point I was not a happy girl. We went back to the vending area only to have everyone pulled out again for the fashion show. Now we were not forced to go to this, but it only really benefited the sisters selling clothes and all of the sisters attending (perhaps 30 at best) were gone for another 40 minutes watching that. Finally about an hour later we were all FORCED to go back to listen to a lecture by a brother they must have called to fill in for the tele link. There goes another 30 minutes. So all total I might have been able to vend for 4 broken up hours. I did 4 kids and 2 adults. I make $30.
This event was a 3 hour drive from my house. I was gone from 7Am to 10PM. When I wrote to the sister to express my disappointment she ignored me. At the event she told me it was the will of Allah that the event went the way it did. Yes I can accept that, but it was her words that convinced me that I should go. I've written to her twice and she has not responded. I tried to dispute part of my booth fee in paypal but they don't deal with disputes on non item payments. Of course she responded to that right away.
I'm not only disappointed that I wasted my time and money, but I'm really disappointed that sometimes you can't trust other Muslims to own up to what they said and did and make it right. This was supposed to be a very 'salafi' event, and now I can see why some people have a problem with that term. Some people really give it a bad name. That is really sad. The Salaf would never have acted like this.
So, I have to let this go and just move on. I'm grumpy about it, but I'll ask Allah to forgive me for any bad feelings I have about it and leave it behind. May Allah guide us all to be honest and accountable for ourselves.