Asalamu Alaikum!

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Youtube Hijab Videos

These are my two favourite hijab videos on Youtube. I spent hours looking for the best ones to post. I find that most videos drag on for 8+ minutes. What on earth is there to talk about for more than 3 minutes!? It only takes me less than 3 minutes to put on my hijab. These two videos don’t have any of that crappy intros, cheesy music or overly excited¬†pubescent girls.

I’ll load more once I can find descent ones to share. Let me know what you think.

NW

Mind, be still!

I couldn’t control my mind while praying taraweeh tonight. My mind went everywhere and nowhere. I thought of all the things that I shouldn’t while praying. For example, the Imam and his beautiful voice and how he cries so beautifully when reading the Quran and dua’a. Oh, and he’s a beautiful man too – I’ve peaked behind the wall a few times (I’m shaking my head as I write this) – more on the beautiful Imam in a bit.

Right now people are eating zahuur and I can’t eat. Everything is spicy and I have a weak stomach. I’ve eaten two samosas and I can only imagine how my stomach is going to react during Fajr prayers. O_o

I need to learn how to tame my mind during prayer. I spat towards my left a million times – still had no control. The shaytan bothered me to the point where I was struggling to listen to the Al-Fatiha. SubhanAllah! I had to scratch my nose – there wasn’t an itch. I had to wipe the sweat off my brow – there was no sweat. I tried to focus on one thing but it started to form shapes – I’m talking about the dots on the carpet. I think you get the point. If I could say something to the shaytan, I would say: “Listen, interrupt me whenever you want but NOT when I’m before my Lord!” *angry face* Then, I would put the Shaytan in a headlock and choke it. I’m angry at myself more so than anything else. I let it get to me.

Now back to the beautiful Imam – I hope he’s single.

I have to go pray Fajr – be right back!

NW

Hijab Anniversary!

Today is my hijab anniversary. A year ago I made the decision to wear the hijab. Hmm the decision wasn’t entirely mine – keep reading. After recently traveling to war torn Somalia where I was forced to wear it – as in “you better put the hijab on in Dubai before you reach Somalia or you’ll be beat!”. Well, I wouldn’t say forced but the action was heavily influenced by mother. I couldn’t stop thinking about my mother’s words as I boarded the flight from Amsterdam to Dubai. Experienced a little bit of a culture shock – I’ve never seen so many covered people in my life! There I was with my funky curly hair and a scarf wrapped around my neck – I like to call modest chic. So, I march into the washroom and threw on an abaya (the long Islamic dress) and the hijab. Feeling a little awkward, I put on a little more make-up and glossy red lipgloss. The message: I’m a Western Muslim woman.

I leave the washroom and head over to the check-in. They greet me with “assalamu alaikum”. Hold on! I didn’t get this before. Ahh now that I LOOK like a Muslim, I’m greeted as one. I get it…It all makes sense!

I wore the hijab for a month in Somalia and as soon as I landed in Dubai on my way to Toronto, I did the reverse. Went in the washroom and took it off. Fluffed my hair a little, threw on that uber-chic scarf and painted my lips red.

As soon as I got home from the airport I felt as though something was missing. Ah yes – the hijab! I went through all the holiday pictures and noticed that I look fabulous wearing the hijab. So, I told myself that I would wear the hijab as long as I didn’t have to compromise my personality. I wanted to know how I can be ‘me’ and wear the hijab at the same time. That meant hours of Youtube ‘How to wear the hijab’ videos. I wasn’t convinced. I didn’t want my hijab matching my bracelets, or worse, the stitching of my outfit.

One morning, I fluffed my curls and headed to my sister’s school to update their registration. Oh sh^t! They go to an Islamic school. Oh man, did I feel out of place! My mother and I take a seat in the waiting room and wait for the Brother Principal Imam Man to call us into his office.

He takes one look at me and says in a very strong Pakistani accent “You veear the heejab and I give you job”. He offered me a teaching position but the only condition was that I would cover up – I accepted! You have to understand that I had just graduated and was terribly broke. Being the person that I am – I took it as a sign (I’ll fill you in later on my terrible teaching experience).

So, thats how my hijab adventures started. Mind you, I’ve had weak moments where I took it off but those feelings soon subsided.

Here’s to a year! InshaAllah many more!

NW

Broken Heart

Did you know that elephants can die of a broken heart?

I recently read a tweet that stated this bizarre fact. So, I decided to google it and I came across an article in the Guardian. The article is about a 72 year old Indian elephant named Damini. One day, another elephant was brought to the zoo and placed near Damini. The other elephant was younger and pregnant. Damini naturally started to care for the pregnant elephant. As soon as the elephant gave birth she was taken away from Damini. Upon losing her companion, Damini’s behaviour started to change – she wouldn’t eat, lost interest in her activities, stared into space, cried, and eventually laying on her side with her trunk curled up – she fell ill and died.

The loss of her companion eventually led to her death. The actions following the departure of the other elephant mimic actions displayed by humans at times of loss. Have you ever lost anyone – a family, friend or a lover? Do you remember that heart aching experience followed by strange mood swings? Another article in the ¬†NYTimes states that humans can also die from a broken heart. The information taken from a 2005 New England Journal of Medicine “described 19 patients, mostly older women, who developed classic heart attack symptoms after suffering severe emotional stress”. In all the studies mentioned in the article, all conclude that sudden or dramatic loss can lead to cardiac arrest without the underlying signs of heart disease.

You’re probably wondering why I chose to write about this in my first blog. Well, the day I decided on starting my own blog was the day I visited a cemetery for the first time. I had recently lost a young family member and had never got around to going to his burial site. Upon entering the site I was told to say a little prayer (To Allah we belong and to Him is our return). I took a deep breath and repeated the prayer while I stood above his grave. While muttering the prayer -I started to sob. The light sobs turned into heavy crying. I felt pain at the pit of my stomach and my chest tightened. The flood of emotions gave my soul a grave awakening. Why was the mother so calm? She told me not to cry but instead pray for him. How can she NOT cry? Its her son! Then it hit me! She’s content with the loss. She has realized that he has returned to Allah. She hasn’t lost any weight nor has she experienced a change in her mood. Her spirit was as happy as ever.

What if everyone who has ever lost a loved one had more faith in God? Would the number of heart attack decrease? Maybe we all just need to occupy ourselves with something when someone passes. I think great loss doesn’t always have to come from physically losing someone – I think that a great love gone wrong has the same affect. Ever broke up with a long-term partner and felt strong chest pain? My friend, you might be experiencing cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome.

I would love to hear about how you have loved, lost and lived. Leave a comment or email me: Nahi.writes@gmail.com

NW.