islam

Men and the Hijab

No, I’m not going to talk about men’s hijab and how they should lower their gaze because a) I try not to be captain obvious, men should know this anyway and b) I need to find me a fella, so if all the mandem be’s looking at the floor then… what? I can’t say that? Aight. Moving on.

I struggle, I honestly do, to understand why some men feel like they need to have their say on the hijab. In my humble opinion, unless they are a scholar, or training to become someone who is dedicating their life to studying the deen for the greater good of the ummah, and they are asked for a fatwa regarding hijab… then said men should have several seats and pipe down.

I feel like dads can have a (gentle) say in it up until the girl reaches a certain age. Brothers… I mean, I think they should stay out of it too personally, but some girls have good enough relationships with their brothers not to mind hearing their views. Husbands unfortunately get a say in it, even I have to admit, but other than that, I am not sure why everyone men feel like they have the right to pass opinions on hijabs and the wearers of it at all.

I know Islam encourages naseeha in the name of caring for one another and this is why a lot of bhai log feel they have a leg to stand on when it comes to throwing hijab sermons like confetti. This is a little phenomena I like to call; Islam said therefore I am syndrome by the way. At which point I have to refrain from asking men, “tell me one thing Islam said men should do, anything will do.”

The emphasis on naseeha in Islam bothers me sometimes because generally, I hate advice unless I specifically ask for it. But also, I honestly think if God knew how appalling some people’s approach to naseeha is these days, he would revoke that license real quick.

I wish I could tell every man who would listen that hijab is hard. But unfortunately not all men want to listen. Here I am saying it anyway.

Wearing something that competely alters your appearance is hard. It makes you a target for bigots, you get catcalled anyway, mostly by muslim men for the record. Living in the west and wearing it makes you stick out like a sore thumb. It’s horrible. There, I said it. But we do it willingly anyway. Why? For God. End of.

So then, when some pillock comes along and declares in the comments section of some young hijabi’s instagram (where he should not even be loitering like a creep, by the way) that her hijab is not technically hijab because her neck is exposed, or her fringe is out, or her ankles are showing… I start to lose the will to live.

Fam, it’s not easy for young girls okay? She wants to hang on to her deen AND be young and fashionable. Would you rather she left the deen fully and focused on the fashionable bit alone? You think you, a pathetic keyboard warrior hiding behind his screen with his three-haired beard and five Islamic books on the shelf, will make her see “sense”?

Let me break it to you, it ain’t happening. In fact, she will think what’s the point and take the hijab off altogether. Can you live with knowing you made someone hate the deen because you decided to go holier than thou on them?

I am not saying what’s right or wrong here, I am no sheikh and I am not in the business of giving out fatwas, that’s your job. I am probably the worst observer of hijab there ever was by own admission. What I am saying is; everyone is trying their best. Everyone is finding their own path with the help of God and we will all reach a point inshallah where we observe it properly in a manner that pleases God. Not you. No one needs your words of wisdom. If my Lord forgives my mistakes then who the hell are you to tell me x, y and z?

To sum up, Akhi, hijab is not unlike labour pain. And we all know the rule with that one.

No uterus? No opinion.

Hello it’s me; I was wondering…

-if after all these weeks ya’ll still remember who the hell I am.

I would like to apologise for this absence and just blame work for not only taking up all my time but my energy as well. I have a writer’s block too which does not help. But here comes a mind numbinly easy post;

1. What’s your favorite candle scent? Anything that smells edible. Vanilla Frosting is the one these days!
2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? Um, Mindy Kaling?
3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? None. Why would I want them as my brothers when I could have them as something else?!
4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? Dinosaur numbers probably.
5. Do you know a hoarder? Yes, me.
6. Can you do a split? Not without splitting some vessles; so no.
7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike? Fun fact; I have never been on a bike. Ever. So now I don’t know how to ride one.
8. How many oceans have you swam in? Another fun fact; I can’t swim, I just stand in the water when I go to the beach.
9. How many countries have you been to? Like four?
10. Is anyone in your family in the army? Nope.
11. What would you name your daughter if you had one? Ruqaya or Leah.
12. What would you name your son if you had one? Tariq or Nadeem.
13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test? F…
14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child? Detective Conan.
15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight? Never celebrated it.
16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series? The first and last, yes.
17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? I happen to have both actually. I am always told this.
18. Did your mother go to college? I believe so.
19. Are your grandparents still married? Paternal are no more. My maternal grandmother is now a widow.
20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? Nay.
21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is? Of course.
22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to? Al-hoban – Yemen.
23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in? Italian.
24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray? Grey and not because of Grey.
25. Is your father bald? No.
26. Do you know triplets? I don’t even know twins.
27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? The Notebook.
28. Have you ever had Indian food? Like everyday…
29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant? I don’t have any at the moment.
30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden? Nay.
31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)? Nope.
32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? Mohamed or Khaled.
33. If you have a nickname, what is it? Tam.
34. Who’s your favorite person in the world? No one. 
35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs? Suburbs…
36. Can you whistle? Not very well.
37. Do you sleep with a nightlight? No. It has to be pitch black.
38. Do you eat breakfast every morning? I have started to.
39. Do you take any pills or medication daily? I should but I do not.
40. What medical conditions do you have? Well that’s a bit personal 🤔
41. How many times have you been to the hospital? As a patient? Once.
42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? No actually.
43. Where do you buy your jeans? Wherever it’s cheap 😂
44. What’s the last compliment you got? “You’re pretty but you frown a lot…”
45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning? Only for an hour then poof; gone.
46. What flavor tea do you enjoy? Karak.
47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? One; I know.
48. What religion will you raise your children to practice? Islam inshallah.
49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real? Don’t celebrate Christmas so never believed in him but was a fan of his work.
50. Why do you have a tumblr? Why do you assume I do?

Found these online. I forget where now. Just Googled random questions because I am sad like that.

Even more Arabic sayings that will blow your mind

-or you know, Arabic sayings part 2, whatever.

Hello lovely people who have probably ceased to remember who I am. I didn’t have a massive following before but I am betting I have none now. Correct me if I am wrong for yes, this is me fishing for compliments dear reader of mine.

I have been really stuck for things to write about lately and I didn’t want to write just for the sake of making my presence felt hence the long ass absence. But, given that today is apparently my 3rd Blogaversary, I decided to make an effort! As for what to write about, then I remembered a recent post of mine that seemed to do well (5 Arabic sayings that will blow your mind) in terms of amusing the masses. Ergo; here comes some more of that good stuff, you’re welcome.

The monkey, in it’s mother’s eyes, is a deer;

القرد في عين أمه غزال

I guess this is a not so poetic way of saying; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Basically, even if you are the best looking creature to your mother, the mandem still think you butters as hell…

One hand doesn’t clap;

يد وحدة ما تصفق

This is not a challenge guys, don’t be trying it as soon as you read this! One hand wont clap is basically saying there are somethings you cannot do alone, hence it is time to brush up on your team building skills. So, all hands on deck.

Time is a sword, if you don’t cut it, it will cut you;

الوقت كالسيف إن لم تقطعه قطعك

Because making you aware of the value of time is no fun unless there is a threat for potential violence involved. Let’s be real, you are more likely to use your time wisely this way.

Stay away from evil and sing to it;

ابعد عن الشر وغنيله

I get the great advice of avoiding confrontation and going about your business but surely spiting evil by singing to it is just flirting with disaster?

The onions of the market are sweeter;

بصل السوق حالي

…than the onions at home presumably, which are perfectly fine so stop eyeing up other people’s stuff, you greedy git. Translation; the grass is always greener on the other side.

Well, I hope you enjoyed those as much as the last ones! Do let me know which ones you liked in the comments section below and share some of your own if you know some funny ones!

Follow me on social media, because my standard of comedy is just hard to find these days, guys. Links below.

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Ramadan Vibes | Day 21

So, my daily blogging, that soon turned into weekly blogging, has now become fortnightly blogging. What is up with that? I blogged for day 1, day 7, fully intending to then blog for day 14 but whaddya know it is day 21 and here we are.

Minor doe, these things happen.

I hope all your Ramadans are going swimmingly well inshallah. Mine is going aight alhamdulilah. Something feels missing though and I can’t put my finger on what.

For the most part I have been good. I’m keeping up with my reading of the Quraan- compared to previous years when I would fall behind. My salah is slower and more focused. Astagfurallah I am flopping in terms of making it for fajr on time. I am that human who sleeps through 4 alarms but wake up for the 5th one which is there to wake me up for work.

I don’t even know what that says about me as a person. May Allah guide and forgive. Maybe that is why I am feeling so down. Part of me wishes I wasn’t working for the whole of Ramadan so I can stay up and worship without feeling like I need to go to bed so I can wake up to work on time.

Another part of me is relieved that I am working during Ramadan as this helps pass the time. In fact, despite the 19.5 hour fast, I have felt that fasting has been Alhamdulilah pretty easy this year. Bar the weekend when I literally feel zombified with all the free time…

Except it is not really free time as I have deadlines hovering atop my head like a black cloud. I have timed signing up for a course very poorly in that I did not account for how stressful I would find it to meet deadlines in Ramadan. I am sure there are millions of students who have to do it so I have no grounds to complain, huh?

To sum up this weird and self centred rant that has done nothing to enrich your reading experience (for which I apologise, but not that much coz you are still reading so clearly you are getting something from it) …

– I am feeling slightly empty inside. My life feels devoid of emotion, but more importantly devoid of purpose. You know how people have dreams and ambitions? I have none. I have tried and tried to think of what I want to do with my life but I am coming up with nada. I am very good at my job Alhamdulilah. But I don’t know if it enriches my soul.

When people hear this they tell me to go and chase my dreams. But if I don’t know what they are, which direction am I supposed to start running? Then of course I feel guilty for feeling any of this stuff at all coz well, people are dying and starving all over the world and here’s me with my first world problems like sob-sob.

Anyway, spare a prayer for little ole me during the last 10 days. God knows I am in need of some clarity in my life. I wish this post could have been more positive especially that I have been granted the honour of seeing the last 10 days when so many others have lost their lives before getting to this point. But, it is what it is hey?

Ironically, this time last year I was urging everyone to stay bright. Subhanallah how times change.

Ramadan Vibes | Day … 7!

Ok, so, blogging daily for Ramadan turned out to be an epic fail didn’t it. Maybe a weekly task would have been more realistic. I haven’t blogged since writing about Day One. Honestly, I do not seem to have the time. My sleeping is all over the place. I literally aim to stay up until Fajr, which then leaves me only a few hours to sleep before waking up for work- which I perform in just fine, thank you very much for your concern, Katie Hopkins.

Anyway, not much interesting has happened to me in the previous few days per se, I am honestly just trying to treat this Ramadan like it will be my last, in case it actually is. Last year, I feel I wasted a lot of time on YouTube videos of a non-Islamic nature…

…wait, that makes me sound like I am up to no good on YouTube, let’s rephrase that.

I basically would follow all these vlogs of YouTubers, envying their lives, because that is what social media leads you to do. This year, I am using YouTube for Islamic lectures that I listen to whilst waiting for Fajr and Maghrib. I have found a few non patronising speakers that I can relate to- whose words and lessons I feel comforted by. So that’s good!

To stop this post being as non-eventful as it is turning out to be, I thought I would examine some of the things I was writing around this time last year to see if I am in the same frame of mind today.

“Anyway, given the emotional wreck that is my mind lately, I just felt like binging last night, being healthy be damned so I did just that. I had like an Iftar party.”

Wow, I wrote that on the 7th of Ramadan last year, I am happy to report that my mind does not feel like an emotional wreck for now, a thousand times Alhamdulilah and may Allah keep it that way. As irony would have it though, I did have Cheetos for my Suhoor yesterday.

“The one thing I looked forward to last night, was a reunion with my tea which I split up with since the beginning of Ramadan as by the time we break our fast it is too late to drink tea, given I need to be up early for work the next day. Hurrah for the weekend. I didn’t need to be anywhere for the weekend so I had me a date with my cup of tea and it was glorious”

I actually made every intention to make myself some tea post Iftar this weekend but somehow after eating and cleaning up the table and driving Pops to taraweeh, I no longer feel like making tea. I mean if someone made me a cuppa I would have it gratefully, but making myself one does not appeal. Yes, I know how spoilt that sounds, ok. Don’t judge me in Ramadan. Sad face. Alas, it’s Sunday night and not even like I can make myself one after Iftar, as I have work tomorrow and my sleep is already all over the place.

Oh well, how’s everyone’s Ramadan going?

Ramadan Vibes; Day 1

Ramadan Mubarak ma peeps.

So, I guess I am late to the Ramadan posts party. But, honestly not much to report on this end. I wondered whether I would blog or not this year. I did last year and I enjoyed it though, so I thought I would give it ago this year too. I don’t know how committed I will be but lets go with the flow.

Today was hard. There, I said it. I wasn’t hungry or thirsty but I had a splitting migraine that made me knock out straight after coming back from work. I had planned to use that time for acts for worship but I literally couldn’t for the pain. I read though that if sleep is used as a means of restoring energy to fast better it can be an act of worship too so Ima take that defense and run with it…

Working during Ramadan is both a blessing and… not such a blessing. Sure the time passes like mad, but you are exhausted by the end of it. That said, come weekend I dunno what to do with myself.

Anyway! I am rambling. Things I want to focus on this Ramadan include; Duaa like crazy, gaining some perspective; my uncle passed away this weekend and honestly this is making me wanna treat this Ramadan like it is my last one. Finally, I am on the hunt for Islamic lectures with a heavy psychology influence to listen to, because I find them relateable and light hearted. If any of you peak Arabic check out lectures by Mustafa Hosny on YouTube. A friend reccomended him and I am hooked. He has a way with words may Allah s.w.t. reward his efforts.

Food-wise, I planned to be healthy but then I had carbs and ice cream. The consolation being they were not monstrous sizes; I couldn’t if I wanted to! Consolation no. 2 is that suhoor is bananas, dates and water #checkmeout !

I pray your Ramadan is going swimmingly well inshallah and may all your duaas be answered in a manner that comforts your heart. Please remember witty ole’ me in your prayers. All I want is peace of mind.

My Hijab (non) Story

They say when you are stuck for things to write about, write about what you know. That is gonna be the premise for this random post. I need to write because writing is like therapy for me, but sometimes thinking about what to write can be a pain.

Sometimes I think, ‘ooh, this would be a good idea for a post,’ and then you find that no one really responded to it (see last post for reference) but oh well. Writing is therapy and I write for myself first and foremost, then you guys. Because Justin Bieber told me to love myself and I take good advice on board, always.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s get this halal* show on the road.

I am assuming that you all know what a hijab is. If not here goes some wisdom, sharpen your pencils and get ready to take down some notes. Hijab is the Arabic word for barrier or partition. It does not literally mean headscarf, thought that is what we have now become accustomed to calling the headscarf.

There are 101 million debates with regards to how and when and why you should wear the hijab etc, and everyone tries to impose their ideology on others. My theory, and I stress that this is MY theory that I acquired from my reading and research on this topic, is that the purpose of the hijab is to protect your modesty.

This is how I practice hijab; I wear a headscarf that covers my hair and chest area. I went through a phase of wearing an Abaya; a long black billowing dress that covers a multitude of sins God bless it. However now, I wear loose, long clothing with my headscarf instead.

I don’t wear see-through clothes or tight clothes. I wear baggy stuff that has my mother accusing me of looking like a bin bag because she is a charming lady. I wear jeans which is another debate altogether, but I wear long tops with it; up to the knees. I don’t show any hair when I wear the scarf, so no peek-aboo fringes etc. I don’t wear the hijab in a turban style because this exposes the neck and I don’t see this as hijab personally.

…but I don’t bash people who do show fringes or wear tight clothes with the hijab etc. You know why? Coz the haram police recruit like 10,000 members on a daily basis that do this everyday anyway, they don’t need one more member, because everyone is going through a secret battle and they don’t need more judgement added to their mountain of stress, because I am not God, only his opinion counts really, as far as I am concerned. And honestly, everyone is a grown up and they know deep down what the right thing is to do, they don’t need to be told. That said if anyone comes to me for hijab advice, I would initially check they were not brain dead, before imparting what little I know.

Anyway, here’s my non story.

I moved to the UK when I turned 12. This is the age most girls wear the scarf back home so I knew I wanted to wear it then. However, I went to a school where I was 1 out of 5 “brown” faces in the entire school. To cut a long story short, I saw racism at a very young age and my God was it ugly. Given that teenagers are also basically Satan’s minions,  I was petrified of being targeted for bullying and so delayed my scarf wearing until “things calmed down.” My parents, also worried for my safety, supported this decision.

Soon 9/11 happened and things basically went from bad to worse, though there were more ‘brown’ faces at my school now including girls who wore the scarf, I saw many-a-hijab being pulled and many-a-girl being called Bin Laden’s offspring. I remember a hijabi skiving P.E. once, something EVERYONE did at some point in life coz P.E. sucked ass, and this girl literally said; I love how she gets to miss P.E. every week coz of that tea towel on her head.

So much hatred- it made me feel physically sick.

Honestly though, at this point I was delaying wearing the scarf because for four years of high school, all anyone  saw was me and my lion’s mane; my hair, so, seeing me with a ‘tea towel’ on my head, was going to induce some comments that could potentially damage my non-existent self esteem.  My supportive parents were becoming a little antsy at this point as well, you know why? Because the Asian community excels at talking about things that don’t concern it, like how ‘your 16 year old daughter is not wearing hijab still!’

Anyway, I wore the scarf at long last when I went to college, it was a new phase and not everyone from high school was gonna be there and this gave me the boost I needed to wear it. Honestly, it felt good. I was a late hijabi but I was embraced by the hijabi community like one of their own, by that I mean they always lent me pins when I lost mine #sisterhood.

I see all these inspirational videos on the internet about hijabis, like the BuzzFeed one I linked saying things like; I am a hijabi but I do this and that and there is more to me than the hijab etc. And it’s cool, I guess, I mean do I make an extra effort to smile at you on the bus, even when I am in a bad mood, because I need you to believe that I am not what they say I am on the news? Sure. It’s sad, but I do it for the greater good.

But honestly, here’s my I am a hijabi list and it sure as hell won’t change your life or inspire you but if it makes you laugh, then my work here is done.

I am a hijabi and;

  • I wish I made the most out of my hair when I wasn’t a hijabi- hair straighteners were not really a thing when I was growing up and I feel robbed.
  • You would honestly have to bribe the crap out of me before I tell you how often I brush / wash my hair. Let’s leave it at that.
  • I watch all these hijab tutorials on YouTube and think I am so gonna do this and end up looking like a nun when I do ultimately reverting back  to the style I have worn since I was 16!
  • I honestly thank the lord for the extra sleep I get in the morning thanks to wearing the headscarf (and not wearing make up) but don’t worry, I am pretty I promise #Mashallah.
  • I take the hijab seriously; as in if I am having a bad hijab day, I will drive home at lunch and wear another one because it will bug the crap out of me otherwise.
  • My mum and I play this game where she hides all my black scarves because ‘they don’t suit you!!’ and I go out and buy some more.
  •  My favourite thing to do is make a hijab out of any fabric I like so neck scarves in H & M have made their way onto my head many a time.
  • Once, I had my scarf pulled by someone who did not know better (not all the way off but still) and honest to God, my main concern was that my hair was not straightened and really did look like a pissed off lion’s mane. Naturally, when it all sunk in, I did worry about all the other connotations of having your scarf pulled; dignity, honour, etc.

So there you have it, my Hijab non story.

*this is a play on words, not a fatwa halalifying the consumptions of road, do not eat the road because I said so please.

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