Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Unapologetically Black

None of what is going on is new to me. I’ve been a black woman my entire life, and have always known the realities and the inherent burden that it brings. I’ve experienced racism, sexism, prejudices, and much more, just based on the fact I’m black, a woman, and Muslim. I’ve become numb to a lot of tragedy that faces my brothers and sisters, and the reality I’m not immune to any of it.

I use this blog as a light-hearted way of speaking about my experiences, but right now I’m at a loss for words. I’ve been waking up lately heartbroken and overwhelmed, it’s a daily decision to stay informed or to give my mind a break from all the news. There are currently a lot of long-overdue conversations, but it’s exhausting for us who’ve been having them all along.

Right now I’m seeking ways to be involved, make a difference, and let my voice be heard, but watching my people being murdered and then having to fight for their lives, my life to matter is traumatic! Being woke is exhausting and I just need to take care of myself to have the strength to continue this fight.

For this Juneteenth, I’m going to enjoy all the beauty and joy of being a brilliant, strong, and regal Black Muslimah. Celebrate my people and the strength I’ve inherited from my ancestors. At the end of the day, I’ll forever be proud and love being born a black woman.

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

A Fitness Journey

As we all know by now, I have a love-hate relationship with my body. I’m always searching for this perfect figure or maybe a nonexistent magic number on the scale to make me happy, but my New Year resolution is to get back in shape and eat healthier. Whatever size or weight I end up with that’s what it’s going to be. I need to learn to love my body the way it is, and not some unknown expectation. 

I’ve said all these beautiful words before, but this time feels different. I have real fitness goals and I’m doing it for myself, no longer seeking some outside validation that I’ll never receive. So, the first step was my diet. I simply wanted to cut down on my sugar intake, and for me, that was juice and sodas. I increased my daily amount of water and tried to only drink one cup of juice a day. I’m also a late-night eater, I get the hungriest around 10 PM and would eat a full meal and then go straight to sleep. That needed to end immediately, so I try to stop eating at 8:30 PM. I had to reduce the amount of junk food I eat as well if I wanted to obtain a healthy diet.

After I got a nice flow with my diet, it was time to focus on the fitness component of this healthy lifestyle. Initially, I only had one goal, to run a mile in seven minutes or less. So, after I did my cardio for the day I was pretty much done. The closer I came to reaching the goal, the more I wanted to push my body to get stronger. Then the stay at home order hit, and all the gyms closed and I came back home with my parents. That was definitely a setback and lost my motivation to continue with my fitness goals. Then one sad night eating junk, I realized I didn’t want all my hard work to go to waste. 

So, that next day I ran my mile and made my little brother do some home workouts with me. I increased my water to a minimum of eight cups a day and at my last meal by 8 PM. I reduced junk to twice a week, and juice only once a week. My body and skin started to show that my hard work was paying off, but more importantly, I started to feel good and proud of myself. I found joy in working out, it’s no longer a chore, but a therapeutic release.

I can’t say now I’m in love with my body and the way I look, but I am done trying to be fit, thick, or whatever else I wanted to be for some external validation. Honestly, up until a couple of nights ago talking to one of my best friends, I didn’t even feel like I was accomplishing anything, but I am. I’m sticking to this healthy lifestyle and proving all of my negative thoughts wrong. 

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Two Years & Counting

I’ve officially been blogging for 2 years!

This past year, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, which is an award for blogs that promote positivity. Honored and shocked is an understatement of how I still feel, not only do I have people reading my words, but it is also a positive space for others. Thank you so much again, Zaza for nominating me, even though I did not win I am beyond honored and grateful. 

As I reflect back to all I’ve written this past year, my favorite is definitely “Not Black Enough”. Middle school is where I began writing in the first place and that’s an experience I often think back on and helped inspire the theme of my blog initially.

In addition to working on my blog, I’ve had the honor to be a featured blogger on the Hijabie Hood. Through that experience, I was able to connect with other Muslimah Bloggers all over the world. Not only did we gain inspiration and unique perspectives from one another, but it was nice to be apart of a sisterhood of fellow bloggers. I will always love and treasure that experience. 

Hands down my favorite part of my blog is reading all of the comments, emails, feedback, and support I received over these past 2 years. Each time I get a notification a huge smile comes across my face! I’m still in disbelief that people read and care about all of my crazy adventures. Thank you all so much for your support and love!! I’m excited about this next year and the continuous growth of my Unapologetically Misunderstood family!! 

HAPPY SECOND BLOGIVERSARY!!! 

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Happy Birthday to Me

Chapter Twenty-Three has officially concluded, and in summary, I accepted I’m a wonderful chaotic put together mess.  

Now it is time to truly flourish and embrace the unknown of what this next chapter will bring me. Once I finally threw out the ridiculous timeline of my life and just live for me and enjoy the moment; I was finally able to grow and learn to accept every part of my journey. Even the moments, I wished never happened, but it’s part of my story. I learned the power in my words and that I need to stop filtering and trying to make my thoughts come out cute or nice. The raw ugly and unfiltered truth would have saved me from some painful situations.

Today is my 24th birthday and entering Chapter Twenty-Four I’m looking forward to what new and crazy adventures I can get into.  I’m entering this year proud of myself, for finally being honest and stop expecting perfection. I learned there is a lot of fire burning within me and I haven’t been making proper use of it. So, for this next chapter, I’m going to use my fire as a source of energy to help me become one step closer to achieving my goals.

Happy Birthday to ME, the chaotic beautiful mess, let’s see what this next journey around the sun can bring.

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

A Decade in the Making

You know as I scroll through social media, I see a lot of people doing the #10year challenge; and I can’t help but reflect on my past decade.

During my last year of middle school, I was seeking an escape from those awkward years. I can remember counting down to my eighteenth birthday because I thought life would become so much easier for me, that’s a huge joke in hindsight. But I was constantly overwhelmed with emotions and felt like I had no real outlet to release them. 

So my secret journaling began. I started to place all of my negative emotions on paper. I would write poems or short rants of whatever was one my mind. I would sit in my room, play music and write my heart out. I would share wild stories and talk about secret loves that I knew would never happen. I guess you can call it a diary, but it never seemed that way to me. 

My journal became my truth, an unfiltered version of me, that wasn’t shy or in fear of judgment. I often look back and reread my journals and love seeing how my words and thoughts have truly matured with me. How over the years I’ve healed from some insecurities and began to have faith in myself. It’s bittersweet to read all of the pain I’ve felt over the past ten years, but it reminds me of my strength. 

I know the day I started writing in a random notebook, that young teenage girl never would believe our thoughts and words would evolve into a blog. But here I am turning my random journal entries into blog posts. 

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Muslimah in the Middle

I used to really love the show Malcolm in the Middle, mainly because I identified well with Malcolm, the main character. The middle knows it all child, always looking at situations like how did I get here. I never really felt like I belonged anywhere, and just kinda felt like an outsider. I always somehow stood out, even when I desperately just wanted to blend in and go with the flow.

I feel like my middle school years was definitely a time period that helped shape me into the woman I am today. I don’t have too many positive memories of my experience and don’t think that highly of most of my classmates. I started off middle school optimistic and excited to finally be around my people. The school was majority Black American, and during all of my years in an Islamic school, the students always felt the need to remind me that I am Black American. 

So, to my surprise, my new classmates did not consider me to be Black American, but instead I was foreign. I realize I was the only hijabi in the school and most of them knew very little to nothing about Islam. So, with lack of knowledge comes ignorant jokes at my expense. Once again I felt like the outsider and did not belong. 

Now as an adult, I no longer have the desire to want to belong, due to me realizing it is extremely overrated. A lot of the cultural and religious values I was raised to believe, I now question and forming my own values. Through my experiences, I’ve learned that we often segregate ourselves and cancel experiences based off of our differences. So, I’m trying to live my life with more of an open mind, but I am still guilty of self-segregation based off of differences.

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Just As I Am

For the majority of my life, I have been obsessed with my weight! I’ve either been too skinny or too fat, but never did I look in the mirror and was happy with what I saw. Besides my obvious insecurity about my skin, which I speak about in “Diary of a Problematic Brown Skin Girl”, I also have body image issues and am exhausted of always feeling like I’m not good enough.

I’m always seeking to have a new body, either a past size or a future desire. I can’t remember a time looking at a picture of myself and feeling satisfied. Well, I’m officially exhausted of not feeling like enough. I’m done trying new diets to obtain a different body, because at the end of the day, who am I trying to please? I say it is for me, but if I am being truly honest with myself, it’s for outside approval that will never be granted.

As much as I wish I could just erase this toxic mindset I’ve developed over the years, it’s just not easy. It’s working progress with truly loving oneself. I use daily body positive affirmations. I replace all of my critiques with compliments, while I stare at the mirror examing my body, rather than focusing on my flaws.

Hopefully this time next year, I will truly feel the confidence I fake in public. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy all my meals and just focus on being happy.

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Happy First Anniversary

Never did I think I would start a blog, and let alone fall involve with being a blogger. I initially started this journey not expecting anyone to actually read or care about what I have to stay. I thought only my friends and family would occasionally read to be supportive, but it’ll just be some online diary I rarely tend to. As a pleasant surprise, that isn’t the case.

Through each post, writing out my experiences, I’m discovering my voice and realizing my words and opinions matter. The goal of my blog is to share a different perspective of being a young, Black, and Muslim woman. Express how there’s no standard experience, and regardless of my appearance, both are part of my identity. 

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Misunderstood Afro Muslimah, and I couldn’t be prouder of my blog! I’m so honored and grateful to all of the people who’ve taken the time to read my posts. Thank you to all of my followers and readers; y’all have left some wonderful, thoughtful, and heart filled comments throughout the year. I’ve received emails from people sharing similar experiences, or just continuing the conversation past my initial article. I’ve had the privilege to speak on a panel in London, about my post, Diary of a Problematic Brown Skin Girl, and that was truly out of my element, but one of the highlights of my blogging experience. Also as a novice blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to be a guest blogger and do collabs on other bloggers website.

This has been a wonderful year and so excited about the future endeavors of me and my blog! Thank you again to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey!!

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 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.