Posted in Misunderstood Adventures

A Conversation with an Atheist

I typically try to stay away from conversations dealing with race, politics, and religion, especially with people I barely know. In my opinion, those conversations never go well, and rarely does either person change their mind; both parties leave frustrated and upset.

Unfortunately, I had this one co-worker who loved talking about all three! He was Republican and Atheist, seemed to really enjoy the fact that I’m a black Muslim woman. You could see the joy on his face starting a controversial conversation. For the most part, I ignored him and enjoyed watching my other co-worker go back and forth with him, who happened to be a devout Christian. Occasionally I’d chime in and remind them both to calm down, and how it’s an inappropriate conversation for the workplace.

One day and one very ignorant comment got under my skin. I normally don’t let his comments get to me and definitely never wanted to give him the satisfaction of reacting to them, but on this day, I just had enough. He starts off with is normally commentary about God not existing and religious people being stupid, but this time he adds, “I hate when Muslim Women call themselves feminist”.It was like he saw my face and in his head he said bingo! He goes on to elaborate, saying comments along the lines of you can’t claim to care about women’s equality if you support an oppressive religion. Pissed was an understatement of how I was feeling, it wasn’t a surprise he felt that way, but I was officially fed up with all of the comments.

I gave him a brief lesson on Islam, and how he sounded beyond ignorant and offensive. I tried to keep it short, my main objective was for him to know, that no one cares about his small-minded opinion, and he didn’t have the right to dictate who is or isn’t a feminist.

One thing I found interesting about him, he always complained about religious people trying to convert him, but in reality, he was doing the exact same thing. He never respected a different perspective or belief. It seemed like he was trying to convince us all to be atheists and then we’ll have this utopian world.

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 Hijabi Adventures

Questions to a Hijabi

You know sometimes I miss being a hijabi, it was like being a part of sisterhood in a sisterhood. An unspoken bond, that only women in hijab will truly understand. The crazy thing is I even miss all of the silly questions I used to be asked. At the time they used to drive me insane or make me feel self-conscious, but now it just makes me laugh at all of the ignorance.

Some of my favorites questions were: Do you sleep with that thing on your head? Do you shower with it on? How do you get your hair done? Why do you get your hair done? Those never really bothered me and honestly, I was asked at least one of those questions once a week. Depending on my mood dictated how sarcastic my response would be.  The funny thing was I did feel like I was covering 24/7 as a black Muslimah. I would wear my hijab out during the day and then at night going to bed, I’d wear my satin scarf. Regardless of that fact, I was still annoyed being constantly being asked those questions. 

On the other hand, the questions that actually offended me were: Are you forced to cover? Did you get that scarf as an initiation into your terrorist cell? Is that a symbol to show that you’re married? Questions all along those lines. I can’t say it was necessarily the questions that bothered me, but regardless of my response some people just looked at me with pity. Like oh, this poor girl is being oppressed, and that was the furthest thing from the truth.

Looking back at it now, I realize I learned young that there’s a lot of ignorance in this world, and I can’t let that affect me.

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. 

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 Relationships

Let’s Talk About Sex

I have struggled for years about my relationship and beliefs when it comes to sex. I was raised to believe that sex is reserved for marriage, or at least between two people who truly love each other. I placed so much value on my virginity, to the point I tied it to my self-worth and esteem. As an adult, I’m slowly learning it doesn’t matter! I’m way more than my sexual encounters! I remember in a book I read, it said women were created to be desired; that line has always stuck with me, but I still can’t figure what it means to me. 

I just know as a young Muslim woman, I’m going through my own sexual revolution. I’ve spent so much time concerned about waiting until marriage, or not letting my number get too high. Appearing to be innocent, or a good girl worthy for marriage, when at the end of the day none of that matters! The conversation needs to be about consent, safe sex, respect, and mutual satisfaction! 

I personally believe when it comes to sex, do what makes you happy! This is a personal decision only you can make, and too many people get the decision stolen from them! The scars of not being able to make that decision last a lifetime. 

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

The Misunderstood Afro Muslimah

You know I never took the time to introduce myself as a blogger, and just dived right into my content. I am the Misunderstood Afro Muslimah, navigating through my early 20s and making lifelong memories. 

I am a young black woman in America, and truly am bicultural. For a long time, I struggled with my identity and beliefs. I was raised to believe I was Muslim first and then black, but I learned quickly society sees my skin color first. Sadly, so do most of my Muslim brothers and sisters. I also questioned a lot of things in my religion. Especially regarding wearing hijab, modesty, male/female relationships, and just religion period, that no one gave me a satisfactory answer. 

As a result, I started leaning towards my black culture but learned Christianity is embedded in Black American culture. I honestly knew nothing about Christianity, and felt completely lost! Especially during my first semester in college, attending an HBCU. I saw at the start of any major week event, was a church service. It seemed like everything around me was founded on Christian values. 

I realized it was time to educate myself and cultivate my own faith and values. I learned and studied different religions of the world and not just the 3 monolithic religions. I came to the conclusion all religions have the same goal, to be a good human being. They’re all just different guidelines and rules to achieve that end goal. Although I still prefer Islam the best, I have respect for all of them. 

I have grown and learned to embrace being an Afro Muslimah, who is often misunderstood. I live my life the way I want to, and often times not according to the Sunnah or hadiths, but my goal is to be a good person and make a difference in the world.