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Beautiful Du’a


Beautiful Du'a

My friend sent me this beautiful Du’a that serves as a great reminder to be content with what He has planned for us. I, for one, need a lot of help with finding this kind of patience.


As we enter February tomorrow, it will be four years since I reverted to Islam. Forgive the negative tone of this post. Bear with me. It’s there for a reason.

I’ve just been reading my ‘Two years on’ post and, subhanAllah, it’s amazing how things change.

Back then, I thought I was done with all the hardship. I thought the hardest part of becoming Muslim was the reactions of my non-Muslim family and friends. I thought that once I was over the initial steps of putting on hijab, learning how to pray, getting used to fasting, I’d be sorted. Continue Reading »


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I came across this article by Yahya Ibrahim, ‘The Sunnah of Love’. It brought tears to my eyes. The descriptions of the love between the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and Aisha (ra) are just gorgeous. They were not shy about exchanging the most tender of words. To them, a tiny gesture of love would come so naturally, yet be so deliberate in its intention to show deep devotion. Continue Reading »

A Shameless Plea


Image    I have just completed an Access to Arabic and Tajweed course at Ebrahim College in Whitechapel, London. In 30 hours, I have gone from being just about able to stutter through about half of the Arabic alphabet, to being able to pick up the Quran and read (albeit slowly). Alhamdulilah this, for me, is an amazing achievement. Continue Reading »


I had to share this video here. This brother’s story is so nice, and he tells it brilliantly. The feelings he describes, about feeling ready to take the jump into Islam, asking Allah for a sign, and his parents’ reactions remind me so much of what I went through.

Enjoy! It’ll make you laugh and cry. MashaAllah.

 

 

 


The Right to Hijab

In April 2009 I started to cover my hair. In April 2009 I thought I started to wear Hijab. But Hijab is so much more than the scarf Muslim women wear on their heads. For non-Muslim readers (and perhaps as a reminder to Muslim readers), I wanted to share my thoughts about my relationship with Hijab.

Hijab refers generally to modesty and in fact we commonly misuse the word when we use it specifically to refer to a scarf. Certainly, simply wearing a scarf to cover the hair does not automatically mean that you are wearing Hijab. It’s easy to make this mistake though, and I have made it many times myself, and I’m sure I still do from time to time. This is why here I won’t simply describe myself as wearing Hijab, but prefer to talk about my relationship with Hijab as something changing and fluid.

When I first started to cover my hair I wasn’t thinking too much about my other clothing. Yes, I knew I should cover with only my hands and face exposed, but I never thought about how to do this most effectively. And admittedly I now look back on photographs with the same stomach-churning regret that comes from the emergence of that embarrassing childhood snap. In the early days, some outfits I chose, I would not now class as Hijab. And it’s this which makes me realise that my relationship with Hijab has changed and grown. I understand it more. I get it. I have experienced the logic behind it. I love it. My relationship is still developing, but now it means so much more than the headscarf; I can say now that I am much more conscious of head-to-toe Hijab.

But why? What difference does Hijab make? For me it’s not necessarily about detracting attention away from myself as a female. In fact for me sometimes Hijab does the opposite, especially when I’m in areas where fair-skinned, blue-eyed hijabis are few and far between. But this is attention I can handle….after all, it’s only the face that gets it, and it comes more from intrigue and sometimes confusion (I know this because it comes just as much from women as from men).  But for me Hijab means safety, protection, and feminism. I can genuinely say that I feel safer walking the streets of London than I ever did before. Even if that’s a late-night walk from the train station. I feel tough, which might sound weird considering it doesn’t quite fit with the idea of what’s feminine, but let me explain. When I get dressed, choose my outfit and secure my scarf with plenty of pins, I do this for Allah. The way I dress is part of my worship. So if I walk out of my house in a state of worship, and remain this way until I return, then it makes complete sense that I feel protected when I walk alone: the Angels surround me, Allah watches over me, and whatever happens to me is only by His Will. In this state I am also protected. From what? Well, unfortunately not all men are able to avert their gaze. It is my personal choice to avoid what I think is a very uncomfortable feeling when you realise someone is undressing you with his eyes. NB: This is not to speak unfairly about men….and not all men do this…but I’m sure most women will have experienced what I’m talking about. And isn’t it better to just avoid this entirely? If you don’t believe me, next time you’re on a crowded tube and a woman in a short skirt and low-cut top gets on, just watch the eyes of the men around you. It’s the nature of man, whether they realise they’re doing it or not.

As my relationship with Hijab has matured, my love for myself as a beautiful, feminine part of Allah’s creation has also developed. I realise now, for the first time in my life, that I have no hang-ups. I am no longer constantly worried about how my figure or my hair looks compared to this celebrity or that superstar. I can genuinely say that, alhamdulilah, I am happy with myself. And that is down to Hijab, for sure. Because now when I’m out and about I might admire the odd scarf or handbag, or pair of shoes that I see on another woman, but that’s all extrinsic. I don’t have to beat myself up about that. And all the intrinsic stuff, the stuff that people really judge women on is reserved only for those who already know me and judge me on so much more. For anyone who’s ever suffered from real insecurities, you can only imagine what a relief that is.

But despite everything else falling into place, one thing that still baffles me is why people have such a problem with Hijab. For those who can’t see why women have to cover and men don’t: Well, for a start, men are instructed to dress modestly and you will see this in Muslim-majority countries. Yes, they don’t have to cover as much as women, but if I could explain using the following analogy: If you’re in a swimwear shop looking for bathing suits for a man and for a woman, what do you expect to see? Without giving it a second thought, you will pick up a pair of trunks for him, and a bikini or one-piece for her. Why? Why aren’t you choosing a bikini for both? Or matching trunks? A stupid thought, right? Right! Because you accept that men and women are different physically. They have differing physical adornments, so require different swimwear to protect their modesty. Well, in Islam, we just think that those adornments extend beyond simply the reproductive organs. We believe that much more of the physique can be considered as beautiful and therefore worth protection. So if you accept differing swimwear, is it really such a leap of the imagination to take it one step further and accept different rules for clothing in general? And it just so happens that generally people only object to the head covering on Muslim women……whilst Nuns are more often than not admired for their devotion to God. Hijab really is not something new and unique to Islam…..so why all the fuss? Now the answer to that requires a whole different topic, which I won’t go into here.

Sisters in Islam, continue to work on your relationship with Hijab. Never neglect it. And sisters in humanity, just try it one day…..I am sure you too will see the wisdom behind this beautiful guidance we have been given.

And Allah (SWT) knows best.


So, it’s the second day of Ramadan here in the UK, and it has to be said that the days are pretty long. Yesterday, I travelled home to my parents’ to spend the first few days of my summer holiday here. Alhamdulilah, it’s my third Ramadan and Allah has made fasting easy for me…..I don’t suffer the headaches or severe hunger pangs which some people contend with each year and although I do miss the odd cuppa in the afternoons and spend alot of time thinking about what I can have for Iftar, I would never describe myself as ‘starving’ (as many of my non-Muslim friends assume I must be).

But what if we didn’t even have the prospect of Iftar to look forward to? What if the abundant spread wasn’t awaiting us? What if we couldn’t quench our thirst with ice cold water at the end of the day? Of course, our brothers and sisters across the globe are experiencing this feeling right now. And our attention is particularly focussed on Somalia this Ramadan. I came across some moving pictures here which really put into perspective our temporary abstinence from food.

Alhamdulilah, we are Muslim and during Ramadan we have the privilege of experiencing empathy with those less fortunate than ourselves. Let’s not lose sight of this when we are tempted to break our fast with full plates.