Monday, July 27, 2015


“Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts [and deeds].” [Muslim]

It's ironic how some people talk of Islam as though women have been given no rights at all and that being brought up to live with modesty, associate only with the men that matter in our lives (our mahrams), wearing the Hijab/Niqab and getting married and caring for children is like living a caged up life. What's more ironic is that the same people who portray this false image of Muslim women are the ones who are, more often than not, leading a purposeless life.

Allah has created us for a purpose- which is to worship Him- and we simply can't forget about our purpose of existence and live life to the fullest, because as they say 'You life only once'. I'm not saying that you shouldn't live life to the fullest. Of course we should because this life is a gift from Allah to us, but we must never forget our main purpose which is to worship Him. If we wake up each day with no purpose to drive us, it's natural that we'll be like the walking dead and getting through a day will turn out to be a chore. Living with no restrictions and believing that this is freedom is absolutely foolish. Why? Because everything has its limits and so does freedom. When you exceed that limit, you can never make sense of your life.

What I'm trying to talk about here is that people, women in particular, don't realize their worth. We happen to blindly believe in whatever that we see on the media and movies and we tend to believe that that is life. Well you know what? It's not. It's all one huge lie and if we fall into that trap, then Shaitan has won won us over, Na'oozhubillah.

There is a reason why I say that what you see on the media are lies. How many times have we heard of celebrities suffering from depression and anxiety, which has even lead to suicide. Think of it- these celebrities apparently have everything they need: beauty, money, status, fame and of course, their freedom. Then why do they fall into depression? Everything that they have cannot keep them happy because they are straying away from the purpose of their creation. We have been created to obey and worship Allah and this is what our hearts yearn for. It's the Fitrah in which every single person is created with. So when we deprive ourselves of this, we get depressed and in extreme cases, even suicidal.

Pictures of celebrities and models are all over the web and on newspapers and even on the media, they are spoken of as mere entertainment and sexual objects. What's more, there is an entire community behind them that is dedicated solely to carefully scrutinizing and condemning the bodies of celebrities and models when they fail to get back in shape one month after giving birth or if they wear something which clearly doesn't meet the fashion standards of the current time or if their makeup isn't right or their skin has started sagging... I mean, you get the picture. A woman has no right over how she can behave and dress. Everything should be within the framework of fashion and when society dictates the way a woman must dress or be, then seriously, that is what is true oppression.

This kind of scrutiny is allowed and even welcomed by the media but how is that when it comes to a Muslim woman who chooses to cover herself with modesty and guard her chastity, it immediately opens up a plethora of opinions where they claim that Islam oppresses women.

In Islam, we women know our worth. 

We refuse to bow down to the fashion of this world. Our submission is not to fashion nor is it to the media. It is only to Allah and this is the kind of freedom that brings immeasurable peace to our hearts.

We refuse to live by the kind of freedom portrayed by the media where the more skin you show, the more freedom people tend to think we are. No matter what anyone says, freedom can only truly be felt through modesty and people are going to respect you only if you respect yourself and your body. 

We refuse to have pre-marital or extra-marital affairs where a woman if used up shamelessly by a man she hardly knows and then tossed over like some object that is not valued. We Muslim women uphold our chastity and modesty where we are respected for who we are. 

We refuse to feel precious by caking ourselves with layers of makeup and then falling hopelessly depressed when we look at ourselves in the mirror without any makeup. The beauty standards of Islam teaches us to be happy in our own skin and we don't have to put up a fake makeup-ed face to feel confident and good.

Our freedom lies in obeying Allah, being modest and comfortable with who we are and we refuse to be subservient to fashion or men. We know our worth. 

Monday, June 8, 2015


I have been way back in updating the blog and this interview I had with Sister Samar should have been published at least a month ago but I was so caught up with some other work, I hardly had the time. Sorry for the delay Sister and Jazakallah khair for your patience and of course, your lovely interview.

You can find Sister Samar's website here:

What was your reason that inspired you to start researching about Islam?

I had always known a lot of Muslims growing up; Muslim neighbours, Muslim friends at school etc. Growing up, I felt a sense of closeness to Muslims because being brought up in a strict Christian home, Muslims were the only other people I would really see taking their religion seriously on a whole. They would pray and fast which is something my family and church did regularly. I found that most of my Christian friends from school did not take these things seriously or when I spoke to them about religion they didn't see it as something important. I'm not saying all the Muslims I knew were so religious but there was a certain respect they had for religion in general which I admired.

When I started college, I decided I wanted to fast alongside Muslim friends because I spent so much time with them I didn't want to be eating when they weren't. Also at that time the days were short so it wasn't hard at all. I fasted for about 3 Ramadans before taking shahada and I hadn't thought at all about becoming a Muslim until just before my last Ramadan as a non Muslim.

I had always wondered why Muslims believed in Jesus but don't accept him as a god. It wasn't until one day I got into a conversation with my Muslim neighbour and friend about Jesus dying for us to save us from sin that I would get any answers. He listened to me attentively and I was impressed that he wasn't offended to hear my religious views. When I had finished he smiled and asked me if I would like to know the islamic perspective? I happily said yes as I was thinking that if I understood that, I would be able to help Muslims understand where they were clearly mistaken that Jesus is a Prophet. So he gave me a book called 'The True Message Of Jesus Christ ' by Bilal Philips. It's a small book maybe 100 pages or so. I took it home and started reading it and was only half of the way through when it dawned on me that I needed to become a Muslim. I couldn't argue with the facts. I had never had any previous issue with Christianity and believing that Jesus was gods son and saviour for mankind but reading this book the islamic perspective made a lot more sense.

How long was after you started learning about Islam that you decided to accept Islam?

I think it may gave been a couple of weeks as there were a few other things I had wanted to ask about. But once those questions were answered and I continued to read more and more books I was sure about my decision. Any other Muslims I met at that time I would tell them that I was a Muslim too. I wasn't practicing, I didn't know how to pray and I was still a party girl, but I believed. At that time I knew a lot of non practicing Muslims. It wasn't until a few months later that a close friend whom I hadn't seen for a few months because she had left London to go to uni contacted me, and lo and behold, she also had been learning about Islam and wanted to become a Muslim too! I was so excited and we decided to take shahada together. So I planned to go to Leeds in a couple of weeks. At the time I really didn't understand the big deal with shahada because as far as I was concerned I was a Muslim. After taking shahada a week after my friend (she couldn't wait for me she said because it was explained to her it was better not to delay as death can come at any time) I really started to try and implement deen. I started learning to pray, going to mosque for lessons and after a few months I told my parents and then started wearing a scarf.

What was the first most beautiful thing you discovered about Islam?

The beauty of Iman (faith) and the Oneness of Allah. There really isn't anything more beautiful than that. So much depth in it. The fact that even though Allah is not a part of His creation He cares for us and we have a direct connection with him without any intercessor or intermediate.

If there are people out there researching about Islam, what advice would you give them?

Try to learn Islam from practicing Muslims or even non practicing Muslims who are sincere and honest. What I mean by that is that they will straight up tell you if the way they live is not islamic and will try to find out for you answers to your questions without just giving you an answer to look good in front of you. That goes for if they are practicing islam properly or not. Also don't blame Islam for the bad that Muslims do. Have an open mind and ask for God's guidance the best way you know how and in whatever language you speak. God knows us better than we know ourselves.

How did you talk to your family about your decision to become a Muslim?

It wasn't easy being from a religious Christian family. I simply had to sit them down and tell them. It really didn't go down well but Alhamdolillah it wasn't an extreme case where they kicked me out or anything like that. Just really uncomfortable living at home for a while. I had taken shahada in April 2002, I told them a few months later in June I think and the same year I left for uni. I got married the following year and it did help family relations a lot Alhamdolillah. My parents began to accept my new lifestyle. Alhamdolillah.

It has been 13 year since you accepted Islam. How has your journey been?

Alhamdolillah for everything. It has been good. Twist and turns, ups and downs, but that's life. As a Muslim I can go through life's changes with the knowledge that everything is a test from Allah.

What was the greatest challenge that you faced after converting to Islam?

Hm. I don't really know. I think the change in relationship between cousins is difficult, specifically male cousins because I can't treat them as my brothers anymore. I find that quite awkward and as far as I know I'm still the only Muslim in my family so that is hard. It does make me feel like an outsider sometimes but Alhamdolillah my family are very understanding and supportive. After 13 years practicing they know it's not some phase I'm going through- it's just my way of life. Alhamdolillah.

Did you start wearing the Hijab right after you accepted Islam? How was your experience?

When I told my parents I had become a Muslim, I started wearing a headscarf with my still tight clothes. Slowly I started wearing looser and looser clothes - long tunic tops with trousers, then with skirts. Sometimes I would try wearing jilbabs until I gave up trying to cover up with so many different items of clothing and stick to jilbab full time Alhamdolillah. I think it was maybe 4 years before that happened.

Was it long before you started wearing the Niqab? And what inspired you to do so?

I started wearing it about a year after wearing jilbab full time. I had wanted to wear it since my early days of being a Muslim and going to Brixton mosque and meeting so many beautiful sisters from so many different backgrounds all covered up from head to toe. I used to sit and learn from them completely in awe thinking how amazing they were and hoping to be able to have the courage to cover up like that.

Was it a difficult transition for you to go from a Hijabi to a Niqabi?

Hm. Yes and no. From my side it was something I wanted so I was sure about doing it. It was my lifestyle and lack of support in the earlier years that I think prevented me from doing it earlier. I had moved up north and didn't really know any sisters wearing it. Also at the time I didn't have that support from my husband to do so.

A question I get asked all the time is if wearing the Niqab is difficult. How would you describe your experience?

Alhamdolillah since the first day I put it on it has been easy. I made a lot of dua about wearing it, asking Allah to purify my intention and make it easy. Alhamdolillah, since the first day I put it on to try it I have never left it. I have tried all types of badly made niqab that I could barely breath to now very comfortable breathable flowing ones that I forget I have on Alhamdolillah.

Any special Hadith or Quranic verse that has always been very special for you?

In Surah At-Talaq: 2-3: And for those who fear Allah He prepares for them a way out. And He provides for him from sources he could never imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: Allah has already appointed due proportion.

I cannot stress how true this is. Anytime I hear or read this Ayah my heart just says "Yes" in affirmation.

If there are any non-Muslim reading this, what would you tell them?

Islam is perfect the Muslims are not.

And finally, how would you describe the changes you see in yourself after accepting Islam? 

Alhamdolillah I think I have a lot more patience and understanding and I don't get angry about things like I used to. I'm not perfect but I try to work on my character. Allah says to show mercy to others in the hope that he will show mercy to us on the day of judgement.

Note: If you would like to be interviewed for our blog, leave us an email on and we'll get back to you, In Sha Allah. Sisters only.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Product Name: Butterfly Niqab
Where to get it:  Sunnah Style
My rating

A lot of you who have been reading my blog will know about how much I stress on the fact that when you wear the Niqab, it becomes a part of you. Well, I mean that both in the literal and general sense. 

The thing is, I get really attached to my Niqab, so I always make sure that I buy the perfect one. Some of you might find it strange but I have been using the same Niqab for about 4 years now. I know, it might seem shocking but honestly, a lot of Niqabis I know of are pretty much the same. The Niqab I have been using for the past 4 years has been the same Niqab that I wear to the doctors, on trips, for shopping,funerals and for weddings. I've got so comfortable with my Niqab that I just don't to part with it just yet. And Alhamdulillah, the Niqab I have been wearing is perfect in comfort, size, material and just about everything so it doesn't even look worn out.

A lot of Muslimahs have asked me where to shop for the best Niqabs, and I generally recommend this website Sunnah Style. They have an amazing selection of Niqabs, Khimars, Hijabs and Abayas and some sisters have actually told me that it's the best online shopping Niqab store. Alhamdulillah, I was lucky enough to be offered one of their Niqabs for reviewing. After browsing through their amazing selection of Niqab, I finally chose the Butterfly Niqab.

The Niqab arrived by post a few days earlier and I've positively fallen in love with it! The texture, the design and the make is so elegant and it's now the best Niqab that I've ever owned :) (Sorry, old Niqab!)

I also got a card with the Duaa to be recited upon wearing a new dress along with the package. It so happens that we are so excited when we wear a new dress that we forget to recite the Duaa and thank Allah for giving it to us. And, ahem, same case with me too. I was so excited to get the Niqab that only after wearing it did I notice the card. Shukran for the reminder, Sunnah Style!

The best thing about this Niqab is that it's sort of a convertible Niqab and you can wear it in 3 different styles. The Niqab is made of two layers, the first one being the face cover and the second layer is a long fabric that can be worn in different styles. So basically it's like 3 styles in one Niqab.

1st style: 

The longer top layer can be flipped back completely so it falls all the way down to your knees at the back, depending on your height of course. This way, the Niqab serves as a Hijab too, covering the shoulders completely. I have actually tried out some 2- layered Niqabs but when I flip it back, the material sort of sticks out at an awkward angle, giving an elephant ear sort of look. Alhamdulillah, the material of the buttefly Niqab is so light and breezy, it looks absolutely perfect.

This is how this style looks from the front and behind:

2nd style:

The top layer can be pulled down so it covers the entire face including the eyes and because the top layer is so long, the Niqab comes all the way down on the front, reaching down to the midriff. The top layer is made out of a thin material so you can still see everything perfectly well even with the Niqab covering the eyes.

3rd style:

This is my favourite style and this is what make this Butterfly Niqab so unique from the others. The top layer is flipped back halfway and the hem if brought forward towards the eye or forehead, creating a really elegant wavy effect. So now, Alhamdulillah, I have the perfect Niqab to wear on special occasions :)

What I look for most importantly when getting a new Niqab is the fabric because if it's not good, then the Niqab will be unwearable. I live in a country where the climate is really humid so the Niqab material needs to be soft and breathable and this Butterfly Niqab is made of Korean chiffon and it so comfortable and lightweight to the point that you hardly even notice that you're wearing the Niqab. Being a Niqab for nearly 10 years now, believe me when I say that not all Niqab can make you feel this way. Some materials are so scratchy that it starts irritating the area around the eye and forehead and sometimes, the fabric gets worn out so soon that you start sneezing. 

Another great feature of this Niqab is that the eye opening is neither too small that you have to scrunch up your eyes not too big that you have to keep adjusting it every few minutes. This Niqab stays perfectly secure once it is tied so you don't have to adjust it often. 

And finally, I have noticed that Niqabs worn for special occasions and functions are really too glamorous with embedded stones and vibrant embroidery. I find this a little too attractive and it brings in too much attention when you actually wear the Niqab to take attention away from men. So this is exactly why I have worn the same old Niqab for functions and weddings. But with the Butterfly Niqab's wavy effect style, it is really a perfect occasion Niqab, if I can call it that. It's not flashy, but at the same time, it's beautifully elegant in a simple way. I couldn't have asked for anything better! Alhamdulillah!

This Niqab is a little costly at over USD 20 (at least for me), but trust me when I say this sisters- it's totally worth it. And if you use one Niqab for as long as I do, then it's going to be an investment worth it. Plus, this Niqab can be worn in 3 different styles so it's like 3 Niqabs in 1.

Sunnah Style have a range of other beautiful Niqabs in different colours and styles, so check out their collection here

You can check out their Abayas, Hijabs and Khimars on their website here

Jazakallah khair Sunnah Style for giving me the opportunity to review this Niqab!

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for an honest review and was not compensated in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Why are those who choose to veil looked down upon but those naked, praised?

So who are these women covered from head to toe, are they oppressed and burdened as depicted in the morning paper or are they women who embody serenity? Are they enslaved under a patriarchal system or at peace- as free as they can be.

There are three main types of Islamic dress relating to women when in public:

  • Headscarf (Known as Hijab): This is the most common type where the woman is fully covered with only the hands and face visible. 
  • Niqab: This is normally a dull coloured gown that covers the whole body except the eyes. 
  • Burqa: This is like the Niqab but the eyes are covered too or sometimes thick netting is used in the eye area- just enough to see. 

They are worn in the presence of men who are classed as Non-Mahrams- You can read more on them here.

Less than 0.2% of Muslim women wear the face veil. The most common reason is to devote their efforts towards attaining the nearness to God. There are Islamic traditions where some women completely veiled themselves from social life; It is not simply covering up, it is a practise that entails embodiment of complete servitude. This means as an individual you adhere to Gods manner 110%- a life full of complete honesty, integrity, fairness, kindness, forbearance, humility, compassion, selflessness and forgiveness. However this is not the intention of some, for them it’s emulating the wives of the Prophet ﷺ (out of love) or veiling their beauty from strange men.

Top ten replies of a survey asked to 100 Muslims and 100 non-Muslims

Undoubtedly the Niqab has an Islamic basis, Islamic texts make it clear that the ‘hijab’ is compulsory for Muslim women to observe. However scholars have differed as to whether the Niqab is compulsory or an optional act of virtue.

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters, as well as all believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public]: this will be more conducive to their being recognised as decent women and not molested, And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” 
Quran 33:59

To understand this difference further please see my additional post: What is the Niqaab?

Now, we are at a period of time where the Niqab is portrayed as something barbaric, oppressive and suppressive of female empowerment. Media campaigns have been launched, brainwashing the average Joe, and now many countries have banned the wearing of this garment, while others have considered banning or limiting its use.

Looking closer at the issue, why is it that we alienate those who choose to veil themselves and applaud those who wear the bare minimum. If having freedom of choice is female empowerment, surely the Niqabis should be respected too. As much as you may argue that men enforce the Niqab, it’s also men who use women for sexual objectification. Its a simple fact. Societies at large applauded Kim Kardashian for her recent bare nude pictures – but really, is this what we’ve come down too?

J.D. Unwin, a behaviourist of Cambridge University, studied 80 primitive tribes and 16 civilized nations in regarding sex and culture. He concluded ‘that the cultural behaviour of any human society depends first on the inherent nature of the human organism, and secondly, on the state of energy into which, as a result of its sexual regulations, the society has arrived.’ From his findings, low level culture was found in tribes insisting on sex without marriage and high level civilisation was found in tribes insisting on pre-marital chastity. Therefore limitation of sexual opportunity is key in reduced rates of rape, harassment, oppression and abuse of women.

This does not necessarily mean every woman should veil but looking at society around us, its difficult to deny the truth. And it certainly does not mean the veil will prevent all cases of rape and molestation but the idea of modesty- not only protects you but society too. G. A Parwez proposes that, ‘in both primitive and modern societies, it can be evaluated that observing modesty plays a key role in the development of a purer richer culture’.

A question of choice 

Furthermore, regardless of the many connotations the niqaab holds, should it mean that a woman’s freedom of choice should be taken away? Modern societies are based on the emphasis of democracy and human rights, from which, every person has the right to freely practise their religion. As the Niqab has a religious facet, it goes against this core human right.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion… either alone or in community with others and in public or private..” Article 9 ECHR

Therefore whilst claiming to protect Muslim women- a ban would make life intolerable for those who wear the Niqaab, by forcing them to choose between defying their beliefs and leave the house or not leaving the house at all.

It should be noted that even amongst Muslims there is disagreement on the veil but differences in opinion are respected. Its unanimous that the Niqaab does have a place in Islam, the Prophet’s ﷺ wives wore a Niqaab. As they are the Mothers of the Believers, they are also role models for Muslim women, so some Muslim women wish to emulate them in every respect. Let’s look at some common questions and issues raised:

Common Questions

It is oppressive – Muslim women who choose to wear the Niqaab do so out of their own free will, believing it is an act of worship and a form of liberation from the objectification of women in modern society. In fact, preventing Muslim women from practising their religion is what is truly oppressive. When it comes down to being oppressed, the problem is not the Niqaab but the man, it is him who is possessive.

It is backwards – The Niqaab is not part of a short-lived fashion trend. It is a religious garment and act of worship which is not subject to time and therefore, does not become outdated. In fact, the Niqaab is gaining much popularity in modern societies, especially amongst Western convert women.

It is intimidating – While the Niqaab may appear intimidating to some people, it is not worn with the intention of being threatening or frightening. People are often intimidated by what they have no knowledge of, and the Niqaab is a piece of clothing which should not warrant fearful reaction. Underneath the Niqaab is a person simply trying to practise their religion. It is interesting to note that other forms of dress and appearance are no longer considered intimidating, as they have become accepted by the wider community. Tattoos, extremely short dresses, revealing clothes, body piercing and outlandish hairstyles are all examples of this phenomena.

Form of male domination – Wearing the Niqaab does not in any way suggest that women are inferior to men. Claiming that the Niqaab is a symbol of male domination goes against the fact that many women voluntarily wear the Niqaab, some even wear it against their husbands wishes.

Barlas 2003 said Female inferiority was not an ideology in Muslim societies, but Muslims had family laws that were based on male authority. The purpose was to lead the family in to a rich and respectable family. Islam does not disallow women to work or take charge, but emphasis on men was placed to show there is a duty.

Anti-social – There is nothing in the Niqaab that prevents a woman from interacting with other members of society, or from participating in the community. In fact, neither the Hijab nor the Niqaab are required when among women only. Every woman who wears a Niqaab is a unique individual, and it is unfair and inaccurate to make a sweeping judgement about all such women based on one item of clothing they have in common. Community values necessitate that people should not be judged by what they wear, nor discriminated against or mistreated, based on their choice of clothing or appearance.

It stops women from contributing to society – Wearing a Niqaab does not stop a woman from contributing to society or from pursuing higher education. Many women who wear the Niqaab are very highly educated, or lead very successful careers. From the very advent of Islam, Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was and still is renowned as one of the greatest Islamic scholars to have ever lived. The fact that she wore the Niqaab did not, in any way, hinder her from becoming such a prominent scholar or from teaching the men and women of her society.

It is a security risk – Niqaab are no more of a security risk than a motorcycle helmet, big fashion sunglasses, or a big beanie, and can be removed when identification is required for security reasons. Of course, the request for removal should be done by another woman and not in the presence of men (where possible).

So to conclude, when you come across a woman in a Niqaab, always remember that she is an individual, she has her own interests and personality. The moment you paint her with the same brush as Fox News, all you do is distant yourself from interacting with another human. In the modern world we are all striving to be ourselves and live amongst each other, its important to understand that religious belief is not mere opinion, it is very dear to some people. So if a woman chooses to wear a veil as part of her religion, then honour and respect that. But if you suspect that a woman is wearing a veil out of oppression, then be there, and support her. It helps no one in pointing the finger. Many women who practise the Niqaab are in serenity, no one should have that taken away from them. To finish this post I have shared some snippets of thought from a few Niqaabis. Enjoy!

Some Snippets

The niqab is a religious symbol and wearing it is considered by many Muslim women as an act of worship. Certainly the niqab is a spiritual journey that not many will take or understand, but those women who choose to wear it, believe that it brings them closer to God, their Creator.

Personally, Muslim women wear the niqab to build a stronger and closer connection with the Almighty. It provides you with a sense of safety and protection. Not only that, it lets others know about your religion, and that is where the pride comes from. Alhamdulillah we are blessed to be Muslims and I love embracing that through wearing the Niqab. Also, due to the huge amount of fitna nowadays, I feel safeguarded and modest in my Niqab.

See me for me, not my beauty.

Because its her choice. :) Muslim or not, a woman has the right to choose what she wishes to let others see, and if she wishes to guard her modesty entirely by not allowing others to see her face then that is perfectly acceptable.

Because personally, I felt that the Hijab wasn’t enough. Its like covering the ring but flaunting off the diamond.

Being an active student of knowledge for the past few years, my ‘image’ became less important and the person inside became more prominent, something I really needed to focus on. I simply understood the beauty of modesty. In actions, in words and in physical covering. My beauty should be for my husband only, I refuse to be looked upon like I’m some prey, and even hijab wasn’t enough to keep perverted eyes away. Sacrifices were definitely worth this feeling, and I have never felt more at peace in my life.

You look at me and call me oppressed,
Simply because of the way I’m dressed,You know me not for what is inside,You judge the clothing I wear with pride,

My body is not for your eyes to hold,
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mould,I’m an individual. I’m no man’s slave,It’s Allah’s pleasure that I only crave,

I have a voice so I will be heard,
For in my heart I carry His word,“O ye women, wrap close your cloak,So you won’t be bothered by ignorant folk”.

Man doesn’t tell me to dress this way,
It’s law from God that I obey,

Oppressed is something I’m truly not, For liberation is what I’ve got, It was given to me many years ago,With the right to prosper, the right to grow,

I can climb mountains or cross the seas, Expand my mind in all degrees,For God Himself gave us liberty,When He sent Islam, to you and me!

A re-post from

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I received this story via email on how a sister started her journey of wearing the Niqab and how much it has changed her, even beyond what she expected. SubhanAllah, it's absolutely inspiring, particularly for those sisters who want that extra push to wear the Hijab or Niqab. So here it is:


“In the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful”

Assalaam alaykum to all my sisters,

I have been asked by someone to write an article on how I come to wearing a niqaab. So here goes!

I am a 28 year old practising Muslimah and most of my family are practising. We have had an Islamic upbringing and I wore a scarf from a young age all throughout high school, which was never an issue because everyone would wear one. Between the ages of 20-27 I would have days where I didn’t feel like wearing the head scarf so I would go out with friends uncovered... the tight jeans, high heels straightened hair, perfume and makeup you name it. I would go out with friends and have a so called “good time.” I never went clubbing or drinking- that was pushing it too far I knew my limits. You could say I was weak on the deen. I’d pray the odd salaah here and there but still that did not change me.

After 6-7 years of that, one day I sat down and thought to myself is this it? Is this my life? For how long am I going to be like this? Surely Allah can’t be happy with me! These men chase me but don’t marry me, they want a haram relationship with me, is that all I’m good for? At this time I felt so low and depressed, stressed and ashamed of myself of the life that was so easy to live because when it’s wrong it’s always easy.

Being around the company of friends I had at the time did not help either, so I distanced myself from almost all of my friends. I felt this at the time because my relationship with Allah was non-existent. But the best cure and the best medicine for depression and stress was the one Allah gave Muhammad s.a.w and gave to the entire ummah and he says: 

So exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord and be of those who prostrate [to Him]. (15:98)

And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death). (15:99)

This is the cure, this is the medicine. I knew what I had to from then on.

I got a job 2 years ago so that took up most of my time even on my days off I was too tired to go out so that saved me from doing the wrong things. A couple of months after Ramadhan started, it was a good starting point for me; I’d make the effort to pray and fast and stay away from the haram. In Ramadhan, I’d make dua and repent for the things that I had done, I wanted Allah to forgive me so bad. I just wanted to start again and forget that life I lived, I wanted to be happy and the only way I would find true happiness and contentment was going to be through pleasing Allah. I started covering more and praying often, I’d miss Isha sometimes if I finished work late but I got there eventually. 

Anyway my cousin was planning his big day to get married and it was exciting, I wanted to get married as well lol! So now you know what my duas included, from then on for Allah to bless me with a righteous god fearing husband who will help me along the way to Jannah because that was my goal. So this next part people might judge me but hey we’ve all been there and done that so here goes.

June last year I met my husband who is a revert. He has been practising for 10 years SubhaAllah, may Allah continue to guide him and make him even stronger and protect him from the evils of the dunya Ameen. So we got to talking and got along like a house on fire. He was looking for marriage and so was I. He taught me and shared a lot of knowledge with me in the time we spoke to each other, I was actually ashamed of myself because Allah blessed me with Islam from the day I was born and I abused it to my advantage and on the other hand there was this man that came to Islam 10 years ago and he was so passionate about the deen, it was a way of life for him he studied so much to get to where he is today SubhanAllah... may Allah increase him in knowledge Ameen.

Everything I learnt and all the information gathered from this man, I went away and acted upon most of the things but other things took time. He would talk to me about covering and give me advice that was going to benefit me in the hereafter. Funny thing is though most of the women in my family cover up and wear niqaab and I thought it was a beautiful thing and always said when I get married I’m going to wear it for my husband, but that’s all nice but my intention had to be for the sake of Allah not for the sake of my husband. I made dua to Allah to guide me in that matter of taking the step to wearing the niqaab. I thought about everything at that time like when I go out now all these men look at me like I’m a piece of meat, come ask for my number and so on and I thought why should I sin for all them men that look at me and that my beauty should be hidden away and guarded for the man that I will one day get married to.

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful” [Al-Ahzaab 33:59]

Beginning of July I woke up one morning and felt this strong feeling that it’s my time to wear it I want to wear it and it’s the right thing to do so I got in my car, went to an Islamic shop and bought a niqaab. I cried all the way home because the feeling was unreal. I came home, prayed 2 rakaat nafil and made my intention and put it on. The feeling and the adrenalin rush that rushed through me was unreal. I was overwhelmed by this feeling Allah had blessed me and guided me. May Allah guide me on the right path and give me the strength and the blessings to continue on this path Ameen.

I remember that day I rang my husband who I wasn't married to at the time and said I’m coming to see you I have something to tell you. He was at work at the time so I was just going to a drive by and stop for a couple minutes so when I got there, I saw him standing on the edge of the road. A million and one things went through me, like what will he think what’s he going to say, so I pulled up and opened the window to the passenger and he smiled at me and said to me "You look beautiful mashaAllah."

Couple of weeks passed and I was getting used to wearing the niqaab. I never felt so much peace and contentment in my life. I wasn’t depressed or stressed. I was happy for once SubhanAllah. My family were very supportive and I had a proud mother, to see her daughter change her life around I can only begin to imagine how she must of felt. I would go out to work, go shopping, do everything normal but the difference- I was just covered up. I would get different reactions off people. Some people would stare and others would utter nasty racist words. Why not come and talk to me and ask me about what I’m doing? I will make you understand. Why should I have to compromise my religious beliefs to please other people, when it’s not harming them in any way? The funny thing was a lot of these ignorant people were Muslims. It would hurt but each time I contained myself and carried on and just think it’s not their fault. There are just ignorant and under educated about Islam. However never once did I regret my decision that I made. I was pleasing Allah and that’s all that mattered.

"And We created you in pairs" (78:8)

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. (QURAN 30:21)

And Allah has made for you from yourselves mates and has made for you from your mates sons and grandchildren and has provided for you from the good things. Then in falsehood do they believe and in the favor of Allah they disbelieve?
(QURAN 16:72)

Friday 25th of October after Jummah Salaah, me and my husband prayed our nikaah in my local masjid. A;l my family were present and supportive and happy that I found somebody that will look after and protect me and help me in the deen. 

11 months on and I am still married Alhamdulillah. I’ve seen big changes in my life. I’ve gone through trials and tribulations and I’ve stayed firm on my beliefs, Alhamdulillah. I am where I am today through patience. 

Life is not easy but none of us will get away without being tested. I ask Allah to test me in dunya and not in my deen. Allah says in the Quran in Surah Baqarah:

“We will test you with something of fear, and hunger and loss of wealth, and souls and vegetation. And give glad tidings to those who have patience. Those who if in any difficulty or trial, or tribulation occurs to them or happens to them, they say: ‘Verily We are from Allah and to Allah we return.’ They are those who will receive prayers from their Lord and Mercy and it is those who are guided.”

I give all my sisters sincere advice. P
lease try and change your ways and follow the Quran and Sunnah. The dunya is the lowest place, a prison for the believers and paradise for the non-believers. That’s why you will see it’s so easy and exciting and thrilling to get caught up in the worldly life because Shaytaan's promise is that he will lead you astray. He will lead you to the path of destruction, because Shaytaan knows Allah has promised him the hellfire, so he wants to take as many people with him as he can and most of the people in hellfire will be women. The Prophet s.a.w says 

“I was shown the hellfire and the most of its dwellers were women” (Hadith Bukhari) 

Who says you can’t be a covering, believing Muslimah in this society and wear a niqaab? Let me tell you I still feel beautiful everyday. Even more so with a niqaab on. I integrate fully into British society, I go to work and do the things that every normal person does so if people would just have that perspective and not judge me based on my exterior, my niqaab should not be a barrier. See me for the person I am beyond the niqaab. I am a practicing Muslimah striving to seek the mercy and blessings of Allah; He has bestowed blessings upon blessings upon me and has always helped me when I have been in dire need.

My Sisters in Islam don’t let the shroud in your grave be the first time you cover up. It will be too lateto ask Allah for forgiveness and guidance. May Allah protect us and guide in this world forgive us and accept our efforts and may Allah accept this message I deliver. Forgive me if I offended anyone. Strive to be the best you can. We are all Amanah from Allah so guard yourselves. We're all precious so aspire to be like the wives of the Prophet. Take them as your role models and In sha Allah, He will shower endless blessings onto you.  

You are all in my duas and I love you all for the sake of Allah!

Note: If you would like to share your Hijab or Niqab stories or experiences, send us an email on and share your story to inspire Muslimahs all over!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Alhamdulillah, we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview another Muslimah revert for our blog and the response, support and encouragement we have received through all the interviews are just amazing, SubhanaAllah!

I've had emails from new reverts to Islam asking for advice and for a young girl who was thinking of accepting Islam and all the answers from the interviews we've had has helped immensely because it would definitely have related a lot to reverts. Jazakallah khair to everyone who has contributed through interviews and guest posts because honestly, so many people have benefited from it, including myself. Alhamdulillah.

So, here is a wonderful interview we had with Sister Imaan (Faith).

Tell us a little about yourself and your life prior to accepting Islam

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
My life before islam was empty to say the least.
I was raised in a Christian household and had always had a very strong belief in God and knew that He was always there. I called myself a Christian but to be honest I didn't know what that really meant and I would never reference Jesus(A.S) in my prayers or see him as any power or authority.
My mother would always have us go to church and I'd come back unmoved, and somehow I knew that that wasn't right. So I'd research other religions and even went to different churches and religious gatherings hoping to feel different, but I never did. My dad on the other hand never went to church and would say that he didn't need to gather with crowds of people in order to praise God. From that I'd ask myself what does it mean to be religious, and can I just do whatever I want and still make it to heaven? I had so many questions about life and my existence. "Who am I?" "What's my purpose" "if I died a billionaire or a hobo on the street, would it really matter?" "If not, what matters?" "Why do I exist?"
I was very lost and even depressed because nothing meant anything. I would kind of float from one dream (job, goals etc) to another hoping to find satisfaction. I never did. My life had no substance, meaning or purpose. I thought that having the nicest clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, cars, houses etc were something to strive for, that somehow having money and being an "independent woman" would give me meaning and purpose. But it was honestly exhausting.

Describe your journey to Islam

Eventually after years of contemplation and internal debate about Christianity, I decided to stop going to church because I felt myself losing faith in God and saw a lot of hypocrisy that made me want no part of the Christian faith.
But I felt really guilty because I had this consciousness of God. So I prayed and said "God, I know You are there, and I believe in You, but I just can't go to church anymore. If there is a way for me to pray to you, please guide me to it."
Years went by without me really being active in any religion, but I'd pray and knew God was with me. As time went by I met (by amazing coincidence) a bunch of foreign muslim students. I had never (knowingly) met muslims before and they were a bit strange to me, yet I would always find myself with them. I was so drawn to them and eventually loved them all so much because there was something truly unique and special about them. I didn't understand what it was until (after asking them countless questions lol) eventually I realized it was because of their religion.
During Ramadan 2013 I would cook for them a watch them break their fast and I knew that this was the answer I'd been looking for. I knew that Islam was the true religion Alhamdulilah.
I just felt this comfort and ease being around them that I knew I didn't have a choice but to be a Muslim.
I then decided to tell my family about my decision to be a Muslim and I gradually started to learn about it.

What were the greatest challenges you faced after accepting Islam and how did you deal with those?

There were many challenges. I moved back to my mum's house and SubhanAllah it became really difficult for me to learn and meet other Muslims.
I taught myself how to pray etc and literally was just reading, reading and reading lol.  I was mocked and sometimes insulted by strangers for my decision to be a Muslim which hurt, but I never took it to heart because strangers were exactly that, strangers.
But when my relationship with my mum became difficult I almost broke because no matter what I did or could do to please her, it was not enough unless I left Islam or didn't display my Faith. I realized that Islam was not only a huge change for me, but for my family and others as well, and I can only hope and pray that Allah (swt) makes it easy for us.

Alhamdulilah, as much as externally there were so many battles, my heart still felt comfort and ease because I knew I was on the right path. And the more I was being challenged, the more I sought refuge with Allah. The more I learned about the Deen, asked Allah for guidance and looked to please Him and Him alone In sha Allah. The ayat "Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace" [Al-Ra'd (13):28] really affected and helped me get through a lot of the sadness I experienced at the time.
But also just the gratitude I had to Allah (swt) for having answered my prayer and to have given me a life that I could actually be passionate about and be happy in. I couldn't really be that sad because Islam is such an amazing gift Alhamdulilah. I love the ayah "And he found you lost and guided you" [Adh-Dhuha (93):7]. SubhanAllah!

How did taking the Shahadah for the first time feel?

SubhanAllah :) Because I'd been learning on my own for so long (because I wasn't able to find anyone around) I had mentally taken the Shahadah. But Alhamdulilah I met an Arabic teacher who said I had to take it publicly. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but SubhanAllah, when I took the Shahadah with the Imam and he started praying for me, I cried! It felt so official and real Alhamdulilah!

Who are your role models today and why?

My biggest role model is our beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessing be upon him). It was through reading about him and the kind of person he was that I truly fell in love with Islam. His piety, compassion, love (and so many other qualities) made me want to be just like him. Reading about the challenges he and the Sahaba faced because of their belief in Allah(swt) gave me so much strength and made me realize that my difficulties were part of having Imaan. Alhamdulilah, the stories of the Sahaba and the Prophet are such a blessing for the Ummah because it's through them that we find comfort and ease in knowing that Allah chooses whom He wills and has them go through hardships and ultimately those hardships are for our own good because you really find closeness to and true love for Allah. Alhamdulilah.

Why did you choose to wear the Niqab?

In developing my faith and learning about the Deen, I fell in love with the Niqab. I'd met a few women who wore it, and SubhanAllah it just made sense to me. What I'd loved about Islam was its consistency. The prayer, the fasting, the etiquettes etc were all really consistent. The Niqab has this beautiful uniformity and consistency that was a little lost (from what I had seen) in the Hijab. My heart (I think with my heart) knew that the Niqab represented the essence of Islam and what it means to be a Muslim woman. Its embodiment of elegance, modesty and goodness was something I couldn't ignore.

Was it a difficult choice for you to start wearing the Hijab and then move on to the Niqab?

Not really. Wearing the Hijab was easy, and I honestly thought I'd be one of those "Hijab fashionistas" lol. But through learning about the Deen and living it, I realized the true essence of the veil, and what it means to be a modest woman. One day (just after Ramadan 2014) I'd been playing with scarves and wrapped it around my head like a Niqab, I liked the way it looked and said I'd go out like that just 1 day. Lol I fell in love with it and I've never not had the Niqab on since that day. It's so amazing!  It's hard to describe the spiritual freedom in wearing the Niqab Alhamdulilah.

Any special Niqab/Hijab incidents you would like to talk about?

There had been a few incidents with my mum that were unpleasant especially with the Niqab. But over all, its been a really good experience (Alhamdulilah), because I've found peace and comfort in it. And I've had complete strangers actually tell me that I look really peaceful Ma Shaa Allah :).

Talking to your family about accepting Islam is always the first greatest challenge. How was it for you and how would you advice new reverts to go about the situation?

It's only natural to want to share goodness with the people you love the most. And Islam is such an amazing gift that it's impossible not to want to share it and talk about it. But I've learnt that not everyone wants to hear it. And the best thing to do is establish your faith and relationship with Allah(swt) and let that change and transform you. Let people see Islam in your actions and not just your words. It takes lots and lots and lots of effort and patience but In Shaa Allah, Allah sees your efforts and what your heart contains, and He will guide whom He pleases at the end of the day.

It has only about a year ago since you reverted to Islam. How do you feel you have changed within this year?

I'm definitely a more peaceful person both internally and externally. Taqwa (God consciousness) is a beautiful thing because it has helped me actively try (and it's a struggle everyday) to have patience and to be conscious of my words and actions. I (In Shaa Allah) try to be kinder to people and more empathetic. I feel more connected to humanity because Islam has forced me out of my shell and be a lot less selfish. But mostly Islam has given me clarity. A lot of the fog and uncertainty that I'd felt for many years has been lifted Alhamdulilah.

What do you think about the rights Islam gives to women?

Well Islam is not man made. So how can it possibly oppress women when even animals have rights in Islam? It's always crazy to hear people criticize Islam and say things like that when in reality it's the women who are not Muslim that are oppressed, if not physically, then definitely psychologically and even emotionally. I know because I thought I was free before, going out clubbing, interacting freely with the opposite gender and doing all sorts of other things had me thinking that I was free, but really I was oppressed, sad and depressed. It's like this global competition between girls (and guys), and who ever gets the most attention from men (or women), the most Instagram likes and twitter followers somehow has found value or is valuable. Women are trained to think that the lighter your skin, the smoother your hair, the bigger you butt etc the more beautiful and valuable you are and only then will a Kanye put a ring on it. But in reality even the women who fit that mould are so sad and empty inside. It doesn't matter if she has a beautiful sensitive soul that just wants love and acceptance. It doesn't matter if she's an intellectual and is spiritual and that she really couldn't be bothered with the high heels and pencil skirts because those things just hurt anyway.
The same goes for guys, it's like the nicer the car he has, or the more money he has, only then will he be able to have not 1 or 2 but countless Kim's or Beyonce's on his arm. It doesn't matter if he's a good man, or if he's sincere, or if he has a caring, sensitive and philosophical side and would rather find peace and sincerity in someone instead of be used for what he has.
It's a sad a vicious cycle of vanity, arrogance, disrespect and mistrust that so many young people (even born Muslims) are having to face.
So yes, Islam gives and upholds women rights and gives those who submit to it the freedom to just be human. It gives us all what we are so desperately searching for... true happiness and contentment. Alhamdulilah.

Non Muslims have the misconception of the Hijab and Niqab oppressing women. What are your thoughts on this?

Well I have to ask; what is the true oppression?
Being valued and judged for your beauty, external appearance, and having no one really care that you are a smart and passionate about who you are and what you believe in because they'd rather look at you and not listen to and truly value your words? Or being valued, understood and listened to not based on the shoes or lipstick you have, but rather the thoughts and intellect you possess. Who truly is the free woman?
And contrary to popular belief, the Hijab/Niqab is not about making you "unbeautiful" but rather it's about giving you the kind of beauty that cannot be seen, but rather felt. That's definitely not oppression.  Alhamdulilah.

Finally, what is it like to be a Muslim?

Being a Muslim in one word is Freedom. Freedom to be who my Creator has created me to be. Freedom to not follow the norms of the society and search endlessly for meaning in the meaningless. I used to live and pray for the day I'd be an "independent woman", and honestly I can say that me finding Islam and living in submission to Allah (swt) has given me that independence. Living independent of this world and in dependence of the One who created it is true Freedom. Alhamdulilah :)

Note: If you would like to be interviewed for our blog, leave us an email on and we'll get back to you, In Sha Allah. Sisters only.

Friday, January 9, 2015


Interview with sister Ameena Nour. MashaAllah, this is a really entertaining and insightful interview we had with a Muslimah revert from US. Jazakallah khair for offering to be interviewed and may Allah make your words a means of inspiration for those reading.

How was your life before accepting Islam?

I was raised as an agnostic. We went to church about once a month but more for the free coffee and donuts and nice people not God. My mother (divorced family) always gave us a lecture about questioning all of religion because she didn't know if it was "true". But it was also taboo in American Christian culture to question the inner workings of Christianity. So I was stuck. I wanted to know WHY. I was living in sunny California (Hollywood culture in the extreme!), I graduated high school (2007) and didn't know what to do next. Of course being a "good girl" I started university. Before Islam, my life was ordinary but quickly deteriorating. In university, I found myself making more and more poor choices. Poor friendships, poor relationships, and poor social activities. I had guilt after doing these that I knew I was missing something big in my life, I thought perhaps maybe it was God, so I started looking into many different religions (Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, even Ba'hi)...

Why did you choose to become Muslim?

I didn't choose to become muslim. Let me explain. I wanted to be at peace in my heart. While I was looking into different religions, I would watch lectures on YouTube from the various "Leaders" of that faith. I spent maybe a week on Christianity, maybe a week on Judaism and so on, but one day I was watching an anti-Islam protest on the news (Oct 2008) and a thought came to me like "Islam is not like THAT, it's beautiful." This thought scared me because I hadn't been researching Islam, I really didn't know much more about Islam than any other American that watches the news. I immediately went to YouTube and googled I think "women in Islam"... I watched a 20min lecture from Ahmed Didat (spelling?)... At the end of the video he was saying if anyone thought they wanted to take Shahadah to come up to the stage, about 4 women came up. I swear my heart practically ran out of my chest and tripped over itself in desperation to be there. It wanted to take Shahadah so bad I literally cried out in shock from the physical pain. I was amazed by this reaction but completely trusted my body so I repeated Shahadah with the video, and just started reading and reading about Islam. I really recommend and the forums are great. I like to think I didn't have a choice, because it was already my destiny from Allah. SubhannahAllah. And I am so glad I trusted myself and my intuition.

Wearing the Hijab is a huge step. Was it a difficult change for you?

Honestly it was not hard for me, because I had read a great article about who deserves to see your beauty. BUT my mom went nuts, to put it nicely. She had a very difficult time accepting this change in me. Cause it was literally an overnight change. I admit looking back I was very hard on her because I was just as mad at her for NOT blindly accepting this change. It was a hard time for me and my family but I would wear the hijab at school, and out running errands, but would take it off around my mom or before I entered the house so she would not see me.

How did you feel the first time you wore the Hijab?

Of course the very first time I tried to put on "the scarf", I had no idea what I was doing. I had a little scarf about 6 inches wide, and a few feet long. And I have a rather large noggin'. Anyway, I just started wrapping it around and I used like five safety pins and at least twenty straight pins to secure it but like my neck was still showing and I couldn't breath easily I had wrapped it so tight.... Needless to say I went and bought a proper longer scarf and went about practicing putting it on while watching YouTube tutorials. If you really want to do it, you should learn from others on how to do it easier.

Wearing it felt natural but many people stared so I was nervous about all the attention because I thought I was doing something bad because I thought Hijab was about not seeking attention. I have since learned the beautiful difference between seeking attention yourself (as American culture teaches women) and others giving you attention without you asking (simply cause you're doing something different). I will admit I also wanted to wear hijab to be... Well arrogant honestly like "look at my scarf, yep I'm Muslim, yep you're not, aren't you jealous??"
I learned that because I was new to the Hijab, I was more aware of the scarf and people looking, but also people in my area never saw a Muslimah before so they stared out of curiosity AND lastly the people that saw me the day before stared because they didn't know WHY I had changed.

Why did you choose to wear the Niqab?

Saudi Arabia was different than the US, to say the least. My mom had been to Saudi in the early 80s and was full of the stories of the area and how horrible it was, especially for the women. (my mom's not Muslim and she had all the stereotypes).
I went as a Muslim but not a very good one. I was so happy to hear the Athan, and see the stores close for prayer, and see the women and men dressing so modestly. I was happy for this. Then I went to Mecca.....
MashaAllah. Let me tell you. There are tons of people from all over the world there at any given time. But some of these people did not get the memo on modest dress. Most I think it was a lack of education about it but the men and women that work in Al-Haram were more than able to explain it without offending. I asked about why all the Saudi's wear the niqab. The answer ended up making me think a lot about what I was doing in my life and what I could do better for Allah.
I have gone through much to much of an inner dialogue to type out. But I could never shake the feeling that I was supposed to wear the niqab. So I did. And I'm so peaceful and so happy.
It's still hard to wear it in the USA with my mom but I did wear it in France ( well the airport at least) (niqab ban my tushy).
After converting, marrying, and covering, I have been blessed with so much peace and happiness. I have even lost a lot of weight (50+kg/100+lbs).

What do you think about the Niqab and how was your experience wearing it?

I remember being with a Muslim sister maybe a year or so after taking Shahadah, shopping at a Muslim grocery/clothing store, they had a small scarf and accessories section. I remember pulling out a single layer NIQAB. I joking held it up and was like look at me! My friend started laughing. I said "oh women who wear THAT are crazy!"

Let's fast forward a little, after I married my husband, he was living/working in Saudi Arabia so I moved overseas to Saudi. This was the first time I'd seen the niqab, seen women using it. It took about three months before I got up the courage to ask my husband what he thought of me wearing it. Alhumdillah he said "I would like that, I didn't think you wanted to wear it so I never asked." I bought a Saudi version with two layers, I even got gloves too so I could really get the point. I wore the niqab for almost a year whilst living in Saudi, till we moved to Algeria (my husband's home country).

You wear the Niqab part-time. Any particular reason for that?

I had moved to Algeria and then moved to the US again shortly there after to give birth to my first baby. Since I was living with my mother again (husband working in Algeria) I couldn't bring myself to wear the niqab in front of her. Though she had by then at least stopped complaining about my Hijab, Mashallah. I moved back to Algeria (April 2014) and didn't put the niqab back on while learning about Algeria culture more. I actually started wearing it again just last week because I missed it and felt Allah would be happy with me to wear it again. I do really love the niqab, MashaAllah.

Any advice you would like to give any non-practicing muslims reading this?

If you mean not practicing the niqab, I would advise you too look at what you can do extra, because when our deeds are weighed on the Day, I would urge you to do every little good thing you can to make sure your good deeds will out weigh the bad. For me, it an extra cloth on my face, for you, it may be different. I'm pretty lazy though so one little cloth extra is much easier for me.

If you mean not practicing, in the whole, I would like to remind you that no one knows when they are going to die. We've seen to many people die unexpectedly, "in their prime". You have the choice now, right now, so why not choose to do something Allah would be pleased with.

3 things every non-Muslim should know about Islam

1) Women are so important and honored its pretty ridiculous. In a good way.
2) God is the one the only and the reason for the seasons!( given its Dec)
3) Islam encourages us to seek knowledge and answer our questions about our religion and life. Other religions want you to have blind faith, to not question why. So I encourage you to ask! You will realize Islam is the truth.

There are lots of people out there who want to accept Islam but something or the other stops them. What would you say to give them that extra push to take the Shahadah?

As the Nike commercial says "Just do it!" Also you may die, so do one thing Allah would be pleased with. And keep learning. Read Qur'an. Read the sunnah. You may realize that you are already Muslim in your heart that saying it in front of others wouldn't change you too much. Be honest with yourself.

What was the greatest challenge you had after accepting Islam?

I needed to be patient with my family, my mother particularly. And I had to learn how to make prayer a priority. I went from "praying" once a week, once a month at church to being commanded to pray 5 times in one day. I was/still have to remind myself to take the 5mins to please Allah.

Was there anything in particular that you were skeptical about before accepting Islam?

Jesus as God, as so many. But also the issues of women in Islam and violence towards others in Islam. Alhumdillah we have the internet these days and all the information and points of view are available from Sheikh Google. Lol.

Any advice for the youth of today?

Learn to seek knowledge from "credible" sources. Mtv and Vogue magazine are not that credible. READ. READ. Read. Learn to listen to the educated not the masses. Ask yourself "Am I doing this thing because the Prophets would do it or because my friends would do it?" And be good to Allah and the Prophets (pbut).

How different is your life after accepting Islam and what changes do you see in yourself?

I have peace in my heart. I know I am following the truth and by striving to live a sunnah life, I am living a life that has benefit to me, my family, and my society. I am not arrogant lazy or self centered now, mashaAllah. I am more productive and organized, MashaAllah. I know what my job is, what my benefit is and what I can do to be helpful. It's a peaceful life. ALHUMDILLAH.

If there is one Quranic verse/Hadith/advice you could give to any non-Muslim reading this, what would it be?

I would say Surah Fatiha is very important. I would encourage you to read it line by line and truly contemplate what it says. I would also say if the non Muslim comes from a Christian background, I would encourage him or her to read Surah Ikhas and Surah Mariam (the Quranic story of Jesus's birth).

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