Category Archives: Project Hijab Posts

#‎ChapelHillShooting‬

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Keep the victims and their families in your continuous prayers.

Keep the victims and their families in your continuous prayers.

Last night I was shaken to my core.

Because last night… Hate you won.

Ignorance, you dominated.

Propaganda, you laughed.

Fear, you persevered.

Media, you ignored.

Victims of ‪#‎ChapelHill‬ looked like my friends. They looked like me.

But they were not like me, they were better.

They helped others. They strove to make the world a better place. They helped the poor and needy, children and refugees. This is how they embodied their faith, but because of the twisted lens of the media, they died for it.

Please make a dua’a for their families. Remember them in your prayers.

If you don’t understand what an American Muslim is or what they believe. Then talk to one, study, learn, observe, question, dialogue. Allow yourself to understand that the way you see the world (or the way the world has been shown to you) could be missing pieces.

But haters don’t talk. They don’t look, listen, hear. They are blind to that. They don’t have a race, religion, or culture. They simply are. And last night, Hate, you won.

Indeed to God we belong, and to Him we return.
And in Him do we never lose our trust. ‪#‎InGodWeTrust

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Is pro basketball ready for Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir?

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Is pro basketball ready for Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir?

“Along the way, she made history by becoming the first NCAA Division-I athlete to play in a basketball game while wearing hijab — covering her arms and legs with long sleeves, with a headscarf to cover her hair. (In 2004, University of South Florida forward Andrea Armstrong won the right to wear hijab after challenging a team rule prohibiting it, but she left the team before appearing in a game.) For Abdul-Qaadir’s groundbreaking efforts, she was presented with the “Most Courageous” award by the United States Basketball Writers Association at the 2011 Final Four.
But today, the same hijab that once brought Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir national acclaim has created a roadblock to her dream of playing professional basketball.
The sport’s international governing body, FIBA, has a rule prohibiting players from wearing headscarves on the court. As recently as 2009, FIBA defended the rule as one designed to prevent injuries as well as maintain a “religiously neutral” environment, identifying the hijab as a religious symbol. (FIBA has not, however, taken any action against religious tattoos, such as crosses.) More recently, the organization has backed away from the religious aspect and has upheld the rule on the grounds that headscarves are not part of the “official uniform.”

Ummah Sports

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir led Indiana State in scoring as a senior with 14.2 points per game. (Photo: ISU Athletic Media Relations) Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir led Indiana State in scoring as a senior with 14.2 points per game. (Photo: ISU Athletic Media Relations)

A lot of people would call Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir an overachiever. But then, who are any of us to put a limit on what a 5-foot-4 Muslim girl from Springfield, Mass., is supposed to achieve in this life?

As a high school point guard at New Leadership Charter School, Abdul-Qaadir shattered the state scoring record (for boys and girls) that was previously held by female hoops legend Rebecca Lobo, finishing with 3,070 career points in five varsity seasons. Lobo played six. As a senior, Abdul-Qaadir averaged 42 points per game.

Abdul-Qaadir graduated No. 1 in her class in 2009 and accepted a scholarship to the University of Memphis. That same year, she was invited to the White House for an iftar dinner with President Barack Obama during Ramadan.

In college…

View original post 3,288 more words

Guest Post!

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1463688_471068049665805_1591196164_nGuest Post by: Nabiha Siddiqui. Nabiha is in process of going to gradschool for a masters in public administration and sustainability, her interests include scientific, political, and islamic research. While her interests vary she is certain of one thing–she is always traveling.

Caution: this article is not for the faint-hearted and is intended to simply be a rant. It is not written to offend anyone…and if it does offend you then maybe you should ask yourself why.

Hi, I’m 25 years old, which in unmarried Desi years is about 55.

I have a profile on shaadi.com that I have never seen, and a marriage resume (bio-data) floating around that denote my hobbies as cooking, praying, and reading, along with some very unattractive photos that my parents decided were “shareef” enough to share, ie old photographs from my undergrad graduation and a couple others that would give the impression that I’m “fair, educated, religious, and thin but a tad-bit chubby at the same time–indicating that I know how to cook a decent enough meal for my own consumption.”

It never occurred to me how difficult the marriage process was until I hit 25 and realized that everyone around me was getting married through matrimonial banquets (a form of “halal” speed-dating), matrimonial websites, and rishta aunties…unless you were lucky enough to interact with a single-Muslim that you got along with at work or school and the brother was respectful enough to send a rishta (chances: 1 in 75,000), or you were betrothed to your cousin in the homeland and that pretty much gave you the freedom to do absolutely nothing with your life and gain 20 lbs in the process. No disrespect to those who marry their cousins, my brother married our cousin–but they are relatively accomplished and attractive…

Up until 5 years ago matrimonial banquets, matrimonial websites, and rishta aunties were looked down upon because you were probably “dark” or “fat” if you went through those means of acquiring a suitable life partner. Even nowadays people try to dodge the question “how did you meet?” And if asked, you know immediately to make up a lie like “Oh he saw me at an Al Maghrib class and he’s a very nice respectable brother who asked for my wali’s (male guardian) number right away because of the over-pouring noor on my face and blah di blah blah blah.”

Yeah, not likely.

It’s not all attractive profiles and speed-dating that makes this rishta business so entertaining, it’s the awkward meetings and inquisitions that are truly inspiring! From “how do you feel about music in television commercials?” to “how religious are you?” to “how do you feel about polygamy?” Yikes!

And then you have mothers of short, chubby, brown dudes that want “fair, tall, skinny, hijabi/non-hijabi, educated, valedictorian, chef, tailor, Dalai Lama-esque, housewife-material, and it’s good if she’s religious and cultured too.”

I’m not saying all aunties are like that and all rishtas are shallow phonies, there are a handful of decent people as well, and I’ve also seen my share of picky girls who have certain criteria that they will not overlook when considering a rishta: from having a minimum height requirement, to mandating a beard, to only considering doctors to marry, there’s shallowness everywhere! I swear, if I had a dollar for every time a friend asked me “how do I ask him nicely to lose weight?”…
Shake.
My.
Head.

But the point of this rant is that it’s just NOT fair! This system is terrible for those of us, brothers and sisters, who are simply looking for a decent life partner without compromising our self-respect and values. Oh, and God forbid if you find a good Muslim outside of your culture, or a convert…but that’s a rant for another day.

Because of such difficulty and an endless number of frustrated single sisters and brothers, I am forced to ponder time and again: what can be the solution to this problem? I have thought long and hard, but have yet to come up with an easier process of getting married. I don’t think the problem is only with Muslims; I have non-Muslim friends that have turned to online-dating and matrimonial banquets, set up through churches, synagogues, and temples that have joined sites like Chemistry and Match.com.

By the way, if you find my profile on shaadi.com, know that it’s not me and it’s probably my dad…

Signing off,

Single and scared to mingle.

PS- please don’t tell me you’re marrying for Deen if the basis of your interaction is due to the paleness of her skin or his medical degree. You know who you are…

How I Came About Hijab #ProjectHijab

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Guest Post by: Bushra Rashid. Sister Bushra is currently a third year in undergrad as a Psychology major at the University of Texas at Austin. Her hobbies include reading and blogging with a goal to inspire others and bring them closer to Islam. Inshallah, she is planning on going to graduate school for Clinical Psychology and one day medical school. 

The fact that I would represent Islam intimidated and frightened me because what if I couldn’t live up to those expectations? What if I was not worthy yet? But I was, I am, and I always will be – I just had not realized it yet.

The fact that I would represent Islam intimidated and frightened me because what if I couldn’t live up to those expectations? What if I was not worthy yet? But I was, I am, and I always will be – I just had not realized it yet.

Assalamualaikum my few readers,

I really don’t know where to start. It is the 26th day of Ramadan, the month of forgiveness. I knew this Ramadan would be quite life changing for me a few months ago…

I had a friend, more like an older sister to me, who I could share anything with. She was really beautiful mA, probably one of the most beautiful women I will ever meet. When I was in 7th grade, she started wearing hijab. I saw so many people look at her in awe as her face glowed with so much Noor. She looked even more beautiful than she did before. I myself looked at her with so much inspiration, admiration, and most of all respect. Here was a 15 or 16 year old girl who had so much courage and love for Allah that she decided to cover her body and hair for His sake. And there started my interest and love for the hijab.

Years passed, high school came and went; my love for Allah always there, but a little drifted at the same time. A close Muslim friend of mine and I would talk about Islam sometimes, and I remember there was a day where we both said that we would start wearing hijab in college inshaaAllah, because even then we loved it. I then started college, away from my parents…alone, but not alone. I bought my first translation of the Quran – The Meaning of The Holy Quran in Today’s English by Yahiya Emerick. A wonderful translation, mashaaAllah, recommended to me by a good friend. I became more involved with MSA, I made new friends, and went to new places. The summer of 2012 after my first year in college, Ramadan came. That Ramadan, I guess it was after I had talked to my friends a lot about Islam and after I had done lots of research of my own, I began thinking about wearing hijab again, very seriously. I did not start covering right then because I felt as if I needed to make sure I wasn’t going through a phase, and that there were a lot of things I needed to fix about myself first – like praying five times a day. I would discuss hijab with a few close friends, who would always give me the utmost encouragement. I would watch them put on their hijabs, I would notice how they behave, and for some reason, sometimes when they would do something unexpected of a “perfect hijabi”, I would be glad because it would remind me – Hey, they’re only human. Hijab or no hijab, they should still be treated the same way. The fact that they even wear a hijab is what makes them beautiful. Wearing hijab shows that they want to be close to Allah, that they do it only for Allah’s sake. Just because you are hijabi, does not mean you won’t make mistakes. They are human, why should we expect more from them than we do a non-hijabi? I was afraid that wearing the hijab would make people expect so much of me. The fact that I would represent Islam intimidated and frightened me because what if I couldn’t live up to those expectations? What if I was not worthy yet? But I was, I am, and I always will be – I just had not realized it yet. One day, I was told by a wonderful friend to “just start hijab, and the rest will come along with it.” May Allah reward her for telling me that, because I think those are the words that pushed me the farthest towards hijab. As the busy year went by, Islam would still be discussed almost every day when we would get a break from school work. My heart began to want to be closer and closer to Allah. I would see other people start hijab and wish it was me. Alhamdulillah for those thoughts… Allah was bringing me closer to Him. I even made it my New Year’s resolution to start hijab in 2013. I began watching hijab tutorials, videos about hijab, and preparing my wardrobe. My appearance wasn’t a problem for me. What I was most afraid of was what people would think and how they would react. “Would they think I changed all of a sudden?” I had to trust in Allah and hope they wouldn’t. After my sophomore year of college was over and summer came, I felt like I didn’t accomplish too much. Yes, I had remembrance of Allah the majority of the time, but it didn’t show as much in my actions as I had wanted it to. But what stuck in my head was, “just start hijab, and the rest will come along with it.” So, I decided to start hijab this Ramadan, because not only is it the best time to start,  but it is what will push me closest to Allah. To be able to be reminded of Allah constantly by wearing hijab is a privilege I no longer wanted to miss out on. To be able to do something – solely for Allah’s love and for His sake – can only be perfect and can only make me better.

July 19, 2013, just one Ramadan after I started to seriously think about it, I began my life as a hijabi. And it feels amazing. Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah! I told my mother I was going to start hijab, but she didn’t know exactly when. Alhamdulillah, she was very supportive. That day, I just put it on and went out without telling anyone for a few days that I actually started, not even my family. Then slowly, when I felt 100% ready to take on the challenges of hijab I began to tell people; family, close friends, and then Facebook friends.

I could have never taken this step without my amazing friends who remind me of Allah with their appearance, speech, and actions. I love you all for the sake of Allah, and I pray to Allah to be able to be with all of you in jannah. Please make dua for me.

My advice: If you’re thinking of hijab, make sure you do it with the sincere intention of doing it for Allah and for Him only. Don’t wait too long – who knows how many years, weeks, days, or even seconds we have left in the dunya. Aim for Akhira and pray that Allah guides you.

There will be another post soon about my first day and the different reactions I got. Please comment if you have questions and jazakallah khair for reading

You read more of Sister Bushra’s work at her personal blog here: http://bushrashid.wordpress.com

The Secret Life of An American Hijabi

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Hipster Muslims Made for Jannah. (photo credit America Muslim Memes)

Hipster Muslims Made for Jannah. (photo credit America Muslim Memes)

#SecretLifeofAnAmericanHijabi Is a work of fiction-it is not based on any Real Life persons only Real Life problems. Also beside the catchy title THIS IS NOT BASED ON THE TV SERIES.

“Is your hijab so big because it’s full of secrets?”

Secrets? You could say that, but you know what they say about a girl and secrets. You’re telling her and her best friend.  So consider yourself my new bffle because I’m about to share a whole lot of secrets.

First things first though, let’s clear up the air. As a hijabi with years of scarf wearing, long sleeve hunting, loose shirt abiding experience, I’m not about to sugar coat anything. But let’s start with the basics: The questions everyone asks…all the time.

1. Do you shower with that thing on?

That thing is called a scarf. It’s really quite an innocent piece of clothing, but when you hop in the shower it transforms into a head soaking-ultra head warmer that also massages, shampoos and conditions my Rapunzel like hair-NOT. This is wonderful question and if every hijabi got a penny for each and every time she was asked this she’d probably be able to pay off her medical/grad school loans-Not kidding. But this question really makes me question whether common sense has actually somehow been lifted from our communities. Honestly! Like, I’m glad we have so much technology to do our work but when we’re starting to put common sense on hold it might just be a problem. And if you really can’t reason this one out, ask yourself this, why do you need to know my personal showering habits? It’s creepy.

2. Are you bald?

Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. But the fact that my hair keeps popping out around the side of my face and you-being the wonderful person you are-keeps pointing it out, might just mean I do have some kind of hair type thing on my head. I’ve had awesome friends who theorized that I might be hiding a wild side beneath my quiet demeanor and modest dress wear; a mohawk or some kind of special buzz cut and I honestly didn’t want to let them down, but the truth is….

3. Do you guys date?

Nope. Moving on…

4. Who made you wear that?

Well right now I’m wearing Burberry-I’m highly inspired by Emma Watson’s fashion style and yesterday-oh wait, you’re not talking about my coat.

I chose to wear hijab. I choose to dress modestly. I choose to follow my religion.

I know, you’re like ‘whaaat? I thought they forced you to wear that. Aren’t the men of your kind oppressive and you can’t do anything-and that is the symbol of anti-women rights that dominates every aspect of your sad, restrictive life!’

Slow down there righteously angry person! (Also, for those of you who think the above sounds outrageous, you’d be surprised at what I’ve heard). I usually respond to this with a sad sigh for humanity, but not today friends, today I will address the question. First of all, after all these years can someone-anyone-please define who “they” are? I always get this from people, ‘what will they say if you take it off? What will they do?’ But to this day no one has ever told me who “they” are, and while being moderately curious, I could care less. These anonymous groups, whoever they are, sound awful. And ladies, I’ll let you in on a secret: any man who wants to have an oppressive, backwards attitude towards women will find any means to do it. Sure, men can use modesty to oppress women, but they can (and usually do) use immodesty to oppress as well. . Why else would the makeup, plastic surgery, and weight loss industries be such huge successes?

Second: There’s this craftily painted horrid misconception about Muslim men. (Thank you media! Owe you one!) When you see a long beard on a middle-eastern/Asian man you think ‘EVIL!SCARY!FREEDOMHATER!” but when you see Dumbledore and think “Awe, Harry’s wise, old mentor.” See the problem? Muslim men adorn beards for many of the same reason Muslim women adorn the hijab. They’re not scary or frightening because of the way that they look. You know what this reminds me of? That old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover.” Now, let’s all take a deep breath and try that?

5. Why don’t you just do what you want?

Right, okay good. Now we’re getting somewhere. Hijab is what I want to do and here’s why. I want to be okay with who I am physically but that doesn’t define who I am or what I can do. I don’t want society to tell me how to dress. I don’t even want me to tell me how to dress (goodness knows how much I’ve erred in the realm of personal fashion-lets all please forget when colorful tweed was totally in). In Islam, women dress in accordance to God. Covered, modest. But this doesn’t mean their voices are muted. Rather, women are an honored and integral part of society. And man is not equal to her in creation, rather they are complimentary in strengths and weaknesses, but they are equal in front of God with their deeds based on faith and sincerity. This is what fuels my choice. This is why I choose hijab.

8. Do you know what freedom is?

You guys, here’s the thing (particularly to the girl who literally grabbed my shoulders in the locker room in junior high and shouted this at me). Every time you see someone wearing hijab or practicing their religion in public (whatever that might be) go and thank them. They’re protecting your first amendment, your personal rights. Each day someone tells them what they should or should not be doing as a “real American” and each time they respond by showing everyone that a real American has the freedom to choose.

Until next time,

Your secrets are safe with me.

Xx A

Necessary Accessories: Hijab And Medical School

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Necessary Accessories: What I learned In Medical School [<—This is the link]

Sister Nusheen Ameenuddin kindly shared with us a link to her article about the role of HIJAB while in medical school.

Many of us are students pursuing professional degrees in all different fields and we often wonder: how might wearing Hijab might affect our future plans?

Sister Nusheen shines light on her personal experience with Hijab. How she over came fears of hypocrisy and negative reactions by building a relationship with Allah (SWT) through Qur’an. And how her future career as a doctor played a role in the importance of her identity as a muslima. Please check out her article via google documents on the attached link!

JazakAllah khair to sister Nusheen for sharing this with us! May you be rewarded for all the hearts you strengthen! Aameen.

H&H

#ProjectHijabUpdate: THANK YOU!

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As salaamualaikum!

I hope everyone is having a most blessed Ramadan! Alhumdulilah our initiative started last Ramadan to inspire and support sisters who need help taking a step towards modesty continues to support many people. I truly hope you are all benefiting from #ProjectHijab as a means of support as you go through your personal journey of modesty; physically and spirtiually.

Since beginning the project the articles written by myself and dear friends have reached almost every country in the world! I am so happy to say there are thousands of views from US and UK but also France, Sweden, Qatar, Turkey, South Africa .. and 60+ countries around the world. It is safe to say that the topic of hijab and the  goal of modesty reaches a GLOBAL community.

Even since project Hijab the articles are viewed daily. Our goal was to help one person and insha Allah it seems that the series has reached many hearts.

The Project Hijab Series was also nominated for the Brass Crescent Awards last year and become a runner up, alongside several amazing Muslim blogs. This was a great honor for this series and all the efforts put into the series by various authors who took the time to share their personal experiences with you.

HandbagsandHijab is blog dedicated to spiritual growth in all it’s forms and for a young woman Hijab is definitely built into the growth whether your are just starting to adorn hijab or have been wearing it for years and years or if you have worn it multiple times, each story is different. Each day is test, a lesson, an experience and a blessing. When you choose modesty you are not choosing to hide yourself, but rather “reveal your dignity” and I suggest if you have not already, to take advantage of these lovely articles.

That being said this page is not exclusively about Hijab, and this Ramadan I will be sharing personal Reflections from Quran. I hope you can enjoy the upcoming series and share it with friends. It will be just as personal as #ProjectHijab was, only it will encompass topics including and beyond modesty.

If you are here exclusively for the #ProjectHijab articles, you can search them under “categories” and you will find them all arranged there.

JazakAllah khair for visiting this page. I genuinely hope you benefit and enjoy reading and share with family and friends!

May you all have a blessed Ramadan.

H&H