Monday, July 16, 2012

Ramadan is Coming!

Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakato,
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you,

I just wanted to make a pre-Ramadan post because things are about to get REAL real quickly.  I am so excited for Ramadan this year!  What a great time to grow in Islam and get closer to Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala (glorified and exalted be He).

I want to start having some Ramadan traditions this year -- since I live in the U.S. and am a revert and all, (and I don't know many other Muslims) I think it would be nice to have an activity that makes me feel more involved and festive-y.  Crafts maybe?  Make some cute lanterns, a banner, a garland?  Invite the neighbors to Iftaar (I saw that idea on the internet, so cute and nice, masha'Allah (God has willed it)? I dunno though, because when I fast, I don't have too much energy.  It can be challenging to keep up with chores, do homework, and study the Qur'an when your brain is muddling by on a few calories from the iftaar (after sunset meal) you ate the night before.

Here's some cute crafts that I could make in sh Allah (god willing):

My spiritual goals for Ramadan:  I want to learn two new surahs a week.  That may sound ambitious (or not, I dunno) but my summer classes are over soon, so ins ha'Allah (God willing) I'll have enough time to do more memorization.  I also want to work on my Arabic and read the Qur'an in Arabic.  In sha'Allah!

Lastly, Ramadan Kareem to anyone and everyone out there!  Hope you all enjoy a blessed month from Allah (swt), insha'Allah.  :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Day at the Beach :)

My Day at the Beach :)

Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakto ~
May the peace, mercy, and blessing of God be upon you~

Today, my husband and I enjoyed a relaxing day at the beach.  The weather was gorgeous, and there's a lake not too far from our home.

I got a few leery eyes at my unique beach apparel -- I guess these people aren't used to seeing a covered gal at the beach ;).

Seeing as I don't yet own a "birkini" (I plan on getting one soon), I just wore a breathable black maxi and basic tee, and relaxed with a trusty Jane Austen novel.

I love lazy summer days :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

What is hijab?

Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatallahi wa barakato~
May the peace, mercy, and blessing of God be upon you~

I recently started covering (alhamdulillah (praise God)) and I decided to do a post on what hijab is, because before I educated myself on the subject, I really had no idea.  Being a revert, you begin from the ground up.  And I'm the sort who doesn't accept anything unless I learn it myself.

One day, I was doing a Google search and randomly happened upon the I Love Hishma blog.  I have no idea how, it was for something completely unrelated, if I remember correctly.  Anyway, after I read some blog posts, I really felt the need to research the hijab more fully.  When I looked into religious verses, this is the conclusion I came to.

Is hijab mandatory?
You betcha.

What is hijab, anyways?
What I consider hijab is based on revealed scriptures:  

"And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision (lower their gaze) and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed." 24:31

And secondly,

"O Prophet, enjoin your wives and your daughters and the believing women, to draw a part of their outer coverings/cloaks/jilabib around them. It is likelier that they will be recognized and not molested. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." 33:59

And lastly, hadith:

"Ayesha (rad.i-Allahu `anha) reported that Asma’ the daughter of Abu Bakr (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) came to the Messenger of Allah MHMD while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asma’! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands." [Abu Dawud] 

From these three evidences, one can deduce that hijab must 
a) consist of a headcovering that covers the chest
b) a loose outer garment -- i.e., jilbab -- that is not see through nor form fitting

c) not show anything except face and hands

That is all :)))

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beautiful Things

I love Islam, with my whole being.  Subhan'Allah -- praise Allah (SWT) that I have been led to Islam.  


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Term Paper Simplified...

Sooo, about that term paper...

It was enormously long.  And more or less unreadable if you have taken the class (Literary Criticism), but in short:

A vacuum was created after the Cold War for an ideological "other"* in the political landscape of Europe, and North America.  In France, Muslims filled the void after they came to be viewed as a threat in the 1970s, after Muslims in the Eastern European/Turkey region were said to have supposedly been planning a genocide of Serbs.  After this, the political climate in France demonized Muslims.  Certain fringe groups sent out pamphlets warning of the dangers of Islam (1970s to 80s).  An anti-Islamic view has been used as a platform for many politicians since then, and has led to the much-publicized anti-hijab and anti-niqaab legislation.  Recently, the politician Marine Le Pen called supposed Islamic threats "nauseating," and "disgusting."  (Of a murder of a politician that occurred -- that her political party claimed was committed by a Muslim, although evidence said otherwise.)s

The French justify the stigmatization of Muslims through two ideas:  secularism, and xenophobia.  Secularism is the belief that governments should operate entirely outside of the realm of religion.  This, applied in France, has led to the justification of the banning of hijab, as it is said to represent a "threat" to French society.  The irony is, the French government heavily subsidizes French schools -- most of which are Catholic.  So clearly, Muslims are being targeted. Xenophobia is the fear of the foreign.  This is part of the culture of France, and is actually a part of their education program. Young students are taught that it is perfectly natural to be scared or suspicious as things deemed foreign.  One of my sources was actually a Jewish-American woman living in France who was assured that she was not an immigrant, "because she was white, and middle-class."  So really, xenophobia is used as a way of justifying racism against Northern African and Middle Eastern immigrants, as justified by secularism, as justified by anti-Islamic politicians.  All of this leads to strong anti-Muslim sentiments and the laws to back these sentiments up.  And this, my friends, is all part of "French Nationalism."


*An ideological "other," in terms of literary criticism, is basically idea that exists in direct opposition to another idea.  So, in racial terms, white people sometimes view people of color as an ideological "other:"  something that is unknown, foreign, and exists in opposition to them.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

End of the Semester Blues...

Ohhhh mannn.  It's that time of year again.  Finals week + a bunch of 10 page (minimum) papers = exhaustion and I'm a grumpy gills.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing about this is because I'm actually writing one of my term papers on hijab for my Literary Criticism course (which by the way, should actually count as a foreign language, too :P).  So I plan on sharing this paper, or a shorter, more readable version of it, when the time comes.  Insh'Allah.

The focus of my paper will be specifically the legislation against wearing hijab in France, and secularism, and what exactly that all means.  So stayyy tuned!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Designer Spotlight: Rabia Z

I just discovered Rabia Z!  She's an American-Afghani hijab-esque (I say esque, because not all of her pieces are full  on hijab) designer.  Rabia specializes in "moderate" hijab and abaya design, which I don't  exactly agree with, but I still think a lot of her designs are beautiful, and they aren't sell your kidney expensive.  Her abayaat have a sort of sporty, modern feel with the stretchy fabrics and color-blocking.  Very on target, especially for younger hijabis.

My favorites:

 I love the one below the most! >>>

She also has a sportswear line, 'Ruby':

I like the Ruby pieces, but I think you would have to be careful when ya style them.  Baggy baggy pants/and or maxi skirts for this girl.  :)  Or, just for comfy clothes under an abaya....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If I were...

Hello everyone!

I decided to create a blog, to share with the Islamic community.  I want to write about things I know, things I want to know more, books I'm reading, Islamic fashion, and bits of my life.  To get started, here's a get to know me quiz....

If I were a month, I'd be June
If I were a day of the week, I'd be Tuesday
If I were a time of day, I'd be late afternoon
If I were a planet, I'd be Venus
If I were an animal, I'd be a horse
If I were a direction, I'd be the east
If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a tiled Moroccan table
If I were a liquid, I'd be a mango smoothie
If I were a gemstone, I'd be an opal
If I were a tree, I'd be a Mimosa
If I were a tool, I'd be an inky pen
If I were a flower, I'd be a daffodil
If I were a kind of weather, I'd be sunny breezy ocean weather
If I were a musical instrument, I'd be a violin
If I were a color, I'd be grass green
If I were an emotion, I'd be serenity
If I were a fruit, I'd be a strawberry :)
If I were a sound, I'd be the rain
If I were an element, I'd be beryllium
If I were a car, I'd be a mini cooper
If I were a food, I'd be chicken and dumplings
If I were a place, I'd be the Lebanese Mountains
If I were a taste, I'd be your favorite home-cooked meal
If I were a scent, I'd be amber
If I were an item of clothing, I'd be a onesie
If I were a body part, I'd be an eye
If I were a facial expression, I'd be coy eyes
If I were a song, I'd be "Fishing in the Dark"
If I were a pair of shoes, I'd be bow flats

What would you be?

Taken from Pixie of ilovehishmatheblog