Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Born Feminist​

As a little girl, I always identified as female before anything else. Above all of my other characteristics, religion, and ethnicity, I knew being a woman is my superpower. 

I don’t recall at what age I realized I was a feminist, but I believe I was born one. 

I remember when I started attending public school and would share my strong feminist views, people would assume it was because I was Muslim, and came from an oppressive home. Honestly, that’s the furthest thing from the truth, my father has always made me feel like the most powerful and brilliant person to walk this earth. 

What made me a feminist, is viewing television, reading books, and any other media outlet, that sent me a subtle message that I am not equal to a man. What made me a feminist is learning history and realizing every society has underestimated or belittled women’s strength and intelligence. What continues to make me a feminist is being a young woman, and society constantly telling me my number one value is my physical appearance, and no matter how hard I strive for “perfection” I still will never be enough. 

Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, culture almost every woman at some point in their lives, unfortunately, had a man belittle, disrespect, take advantage, mentally or physically abuse them. That’s why Women’s Rights and  Women’s History Month will always have a number 1 spot in my heart. I constantly see women’s accomplishments being overlooked or belittled, but in reality, especially women of color, we have double or triple the number of obstacles any man will ever have to face. 

I’m a powerful Young, Black, and Muslim Woman, and no matter how many obstacles life continues to throw at me, I’ll always keep getting back up, but just a little bit stronger each time.

HAPPY WOMAN’S HISTORY MONTH!! 💕

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Not Black Enough

As a child, I was extremely quiet and passive-aggressive.  Al Humduillah, I grew up and started speaking up for myself. As I talk to my younger brother about his middle school experience, I can’t help, but sit back and reflect on my completely different experience. 

I actually don’t have too many fond memories of middle school, it was an awkward adjustment period of my life. Wearing the hijab, and a modest uniform did not help the situation either. One memory that has been sticking out lately is the time I had a substitute teacher in Music. 

He was an older Black American man, really laid back and the majority of the students loved him. He was leading a discussion about music that our parents play in the car. So everyone is pretty much participating and having fun, cracking jokes. I attempt to participate, but before I get a full sentence out, he cuts me off.  Informing me that I’m foreign, and my people don’t listen to regular music. 

I was way too shy and quiet to speak up, and say, “no, I’m black, I am just Muslim”. At that point, I remember feeling so embraced and a sense of not belonging anywhere. I wanted so desperately to blend in, and not always stick out as different. Now I realize how idiotic and toxic his statement truly was. Instead of embracing me, and taking the opportunity to potentially learn about a new culture; he just shot me down because I didn’t appear “black American enough”. The saddest part is, he’s not the only person who’s made me feel that way. Even though I grew up in a black community, I still was made to feel like a minority amongst my own people. 

Posted in Relationships

Fire Sisters

Most of my relationship posts tend to be about a failed love, missed opportunity, or just bad timing with some man. I do have several other successful and prospering relationships, not romantic, but just as special. This one, in particular, is going on four years strong, and each day we become closer; with my freshmen year roommate. 

Initially, it was just a very friendly roommate relationship, but second semester something changed. We became true friends, that blossomed into being besties. We both were experiencing so much for the first time together, and we helped each other grow along the way. 

We have two very different strong personalities, with different backgrounds, but our differences brought out something special in one another. Once we truly got to know each other, we realized we have the most important things in common; mutual respect and a desire to be successful. 

This woman is beyond dependable, and always right there when I need her. She has a strong exterior shell and firmly believes in tough love, and we share mutual mentality no woman left behind! Over the course of our friendship, we’ve been through some crazy trials and tribulations both individually and together. Each test brings us closer together, and we are no longer just friends, she’s my sister. We may not always agree with each other’s choices and the way we handle situations, but we are always there to support and help one another to be the best versions of ourselves. Most importantly gladly give a nice kick in the ass to one another to keep moving forward, until we set this world on fire, with our names in the ashes.  

Posted in Trap House Chronicles

Princess in the Trap House

My first semester living on my own off-campus was an unforgettable adventure. During the search for housing, I wasn’t too picky because I was aware it was only going to be for a semester, and like most things my mindset was “what’s the worst thing that can happen”.

I moved to a not so desirable neighborhood. If you walk a few blocks forward you were by Johns Hopkins University, but if you walk a few blocks back, you were in the hood. My street was filled with vacant and boarded up homes, but I saw the potential of the neighborhood. 

My housemates, definitely added to the adventure of my already exciting setting. It was a four-level home with about 6 bedrooms, and I had about 8 housemates. In the basement lived a couple with a giant mean dog! The woman was in her late 40s, while the man was about 25 years old, and they argued every day all day! Upstairs initially seemed a little calmer, but I soon met the rest of my housemates. A young pregnant woman and her mother lived in one room. They had a revolving door of drama, disrespectful house guest, and sticky fingers. Next door to them was an aspiring boxer, who owned these 2 kittens, who I absolutely fell in love with. He was always nice and respectful; plus pretty much let me play with the cats whenever I wanted. The room directly below me, that was my favorite housemate, and we actually became good friends. He was the landlord’s son and was a recent grad. We both shared an amazing sense of style and had the same mindset when it came to life.

As for me, I lived on the very top floor and considered myself a princess trapped amongst the ratchets. For the most part, I barely interacted with my houseguest, because I was always either on-campus or just stayed up in my room. I would hear all the chaos going on below me and knew to just mind my business. Even though I would never put myself in that situation again, I do have a lot of fond memories.

Posted in Being Unapologetically Misunderstood

Roaring 20s

I have this hidden fear deep down inside, but on the surface, I have a very nonchalant attitude about being a mediocre borderline bad Muslimah, but when I lay my head down at night I do reflect on all of my haram actions. I can’t help but wonder, where my soul will end up in the hereafter.

When it comes to Islam or religion, in general, I have so many questions, but most go unanswered, or just simply with Allah(SWT) knows best, and just have faith. The problem is my faith is very weak, and I don’t think I have complete trust in anything. I look at the imperfect world around me and watch so many innocent people suffer for one reason or another, with no tangible solution insight, and can’t wrap my mind why God, let’s all of this happen.

Overall, I understand Islam is guidelines to live a healthy successful life, but some of the guidelines I am well aware I’m disobeying, and don’t see the harm. My father says, I’m just young and rebellious, but once I get married and have children, I’ll settle down and become a proper Muslimah and follow the rules. 

But what if he’s wrong, and this is more than just my roaring 20’s and actually it’s the blueprints of how I plan to live the rest of my life. I’m a good person and plan to make a positive difference to society, I’m just a flawed Muslimah. Islam is in my heart, I just don’t practice everything that it preaches. 

Posted in Being Unapologetically Misunderstood

Merry Christmas

It wasn’t until about third or fourth grade, when I realized Christmas was on December 25th. I was aware of the existence of Christmas, but honestly, I was blissfully ignorant of the relevance or anything about it. A lot of people find that hard to believe since I grew up in a Judeo-Christian country, but my parents kept me in a tight Muslim bubble.

As a little kid, my parents never let my brother and I watch regular tv around Christmas time, and we just watched our VHS tapes; later I realized it was to avoid all the Christmas specials. 

Honestly, it wasn’t until my teenage years, that I realized what a big deal Christmas is. I started watching Christmas movies, listening to songs and just learning the whole culture. Although all of those things entertain me, I have no desire to celebrate the holiday. 

My family and I have grown our own Christmas tradition, we forget every year that everything is closed. So, we scramble to figure out what to eat and go to the movies. I enjoy my day of sleeping in, and not having to be bothered by the stress of Christmas, but Merry Christmas to all of my readers, who do celebrate the holiday. 

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Cheers to Twenty Three

When I was a child, I had my whole life planned out. I thought by the age of 23, I’d have my degree, married, or at least in a serious relationship, and starting my career. Now a week away from my 23rd birthday,  I’m still I school and painfully single. Honestly, for the past few months, I have been depressed and disappointed about turning 23.

Then a huge dose of reality finally hit me, I’m only turning 23! I’ve barely scratched the surface of my life and need to stop living my life according to this unrealistic timeline I made up when I was 12. Each year is a new opportunity to grow and mature, as well as making mistakes. For 23 I’m going to embrace all of the mistakes and embarrassing parts of my young adulthood and learn from them. Realizing they’re all unique stories to the novel of me. I’m finally done running from all of the pain that haunts me, and starting to fight it head-on! I’m a year older and stronger, CHEERS TO 23 🥂

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

What I Want.

I want to unapologetic guilt-free blissfully live my life! I want to stop thinking about what I am supposed to do and just live my life. I want to stop feeling guilty and thinking about the people I’m disappointed with my decisions. I want to stop looking at my body with disgust, looking at all of societies imperfections. I want to be able to fall in love with whoever I want without fear of breaking religious and cultural restrictions. I want to be able to share all the pain in my heart without hearing “this is God’s will” or “God will get you through this”. I want to be able to share my beliefs, without being told I’m wrong. I want to stop always having to be a strong black woman. 

Maybe this is just too much to ask for, or I should say fuck it and do me; my constant internal dilemma.

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Being Black & British

I recently had the privilege to do a blog collab/ interview a Black British blogger, and I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I do!  

Please Follow her Blog and Social Media

Blog: https://therconnect.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/itsrutho

Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.co.uk/therconnect/

For people who are not familiar with your content what is your blog about? 

My blog therconnect features three components: Lifestyle, Travel, and Poetry. Lifestyle gives my readers the lowdown of my daily experiences by documenting my personal stories. Travel is my travel adventures the good, bad and ugly. Here I feature my honest perspectives different destinations including photo diaries, itineraries, and travel reviews.

Lastly, I write poetry! Here you can check out my work and find something that relates to you. My blog aims to hopefully provide relatable experiences to all my readers.

 Where in the UK are you located?

I am from London, England. 

  I noticed during my time in London, most of the people in my generation, millennials, do not consider themselves to be Black British, but their ethnic origins. Is there a shift in England about being considered Black British?

Well, I think there are two reasons for this explanation. Firstly, some Black people were not born in Britain. A lot of people I know lived in their homeland country and relocated at an early age. They consider themselves to be more in touch with their ethnic origin which makes sense as they would identify better. It also stems from feeling a sense of pride of where you are from. More recently now Black people are taking more pride in their culture from food to speaking their own language too.

Another explanation is although there are a Black British people actually born in Britain they consider themselves to be African/Caribbean due to the way they were raised. The way African and Caribbean people are raised to White British people differs, especially if their parents were raised in such way leading it to be passed down to each generation. I also feel that even when Black people are born in Britain we still get asked: “where are we really from?”. It seems like some people cannot comprehend Black people can be Black British. To a certain extent we are a product of our environment, being from and raised in Britain will influence us and forms a part of being that person.

 How do you identify yourself?

I was born in Britain, so I identify as being Black British. I feel a lot of things relating to being who I am stem from being British. I say this because if today I packed from Britain and moved to Nigeria it will be a shock as I am not completely used to the culture as I have not lived there.

However, I can never abandon my African roots they play a major part in being who I am. I would say I am Black British, but I will proudly say I am Nigerian. My identity majorly stems from being Black which I take major pride in so how can I not consider myself African?

 How would you consider the Black British experience?

Great question! This question is kind of difficult, to sum up. The Black British experience varies from what area you are from. For example, I am from London where there are a lot of Black people due to it being the largest city in the UK. The Black British experience has somewhat become more positive as I constantly socialize with Black people and we are able to learn so much from each other. However, someone living in a different part of Britain such as Huddersfield (Yorkshire) experience can differ from being black. On the other hand, no matter where someone is based in Britain we have something in common…we are black!

We deal with microaggressions whether it is someone stereotyping us because of the colour of our skin or giving us funny looks it happens here. Britain is still racist (no matter how it is for people to believe) people think because not everyone is shouting insults it doesn’t exist it does!

Let me not scare you though Britain is great obviously is needs improvement like everywhere else but there is so much stuff for Black people to do. There is an increasing amount of entrepreneurs and black people in high position. One thing I love about Britain is that there a lot of different opportunities.

  Do you feel there is racism between other races of color, or do you feel a sense of unity?

Unfortunately, yes! I think even people of other races consider black people to be the bottom of the barrel still to this day. However, the younger generation seems to be more unified as people of different races spend time socializing and learning about each other. Therefore, the stereotypes or racist attitudes the older generation does not filter to the younger generation.

Posted in Afro Muslimah's Love Stories

Confession

I have this one amazing friend who’s always there for me. I consider him to be my personal unsung hero. We became friends working together with one summer, and the friendship grew stronger each day. I knew he had a crush on me, but I continually placed him in the friend zone. It’s not that I didn’t have mutual feelings, I just knew I wasn’t in the emotional space to be with him. I felt like he was perfect and I was an emotionally damaged mess.

I felt bad for hurting him and knew it was selfish to keep him around and not reciprocate the feelings, but all of my attempts to cut him off was breaking my heart. It was a love I couldn’t explain, and barely fully understood my feelings. I knew I truly loved him and all of the weirdness that came with him, but never wanted to ruin the friendship. I felt the shift when he finally started to get over me and just accepted the friendship. Little did I know, in my subconscious, I was already starting to love him more than a friend. 

It wasn’t until I was leaving for England, that it truly hit me, but I knew it was too late and I missed my opportunity. He was happy with some new girl, and I was happy to see him happy. Even though I did not like her, and didn’t approve, I knew it was best to keep my opinions to myself. While I was away, I knew he was trying to cut me off, but I became determined and refused to let that happen. 

He’s one of the few people I can truly be my complete self with, and never worry about being judged. He’s my best friend, that I’m kind of in love with, and I don’t think he has a clue. I spent so much time pushing him away out of fear of letting him get close, but somehow he pushed back harder and is one of the few people who has the potential to break my heart.