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 Hijabi Adventures

Words From An Ex Hijabi

Dating as an Ex Hijabi is very interesting and sometimes frustrating, well in all honesty dating, in general, is frustrating. I started to notice a pattern or a common theme with Muslim men.

With Muslim men, I placed them in two different categories, and honestly by the end of the first conversation it was easy to categorize. The first category, are the men who believe Muslim women have a choice regarding wearing the hijab but expect when it comes to their wives. The conversation always kind of starts the same, “Why don’t you wear Hijab” or “Have you ever wore the hijab”. I give my reasoning and for the most part, they agree with me. The longer the conversation continues it somehow circles back to me covering my hair or well modesty in general. They may slip into the conversation about how they imagine their future wife in hijab, or how their mothers expect their future daughter in law to cover.  Needless to say, that will never be me, especially not for some man.

The second category is the hijabi bashers. They never ask my opinion about covering, but assume that I hate the hijab and hijabis, which is one of my pet peeves. I have tremendous respect and love for hijabis, especially because I know how hard and the dedication it takes to wear the hijab, especially in a non-Muslim country. Hijabis get enough negativity from ignorant people, they don’t need it from Muslim men, who I believe shouldn’t have an opinion about a woman covering, but regardless you should keep your negative opinions to yourself.

You know what I find funny, the sub-category of hijabi bashers, that end up marrying a hijabi. I find that they want to date or play around with a non-muslim or someone they perceive not to be religious, but when their ready to settle down they find a nice hijabi.

Of course, not every Muslim man fits into those two categories, but the majority I have encountered do.

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 Relationships

Everybody’s​ a Vilain

As much as I like to reflect upon my love life and always see myself as the innocent princess, that overcame heartbreak, but that’s not completely true. 

My college years have definitely been eventful and left a couple of broken-hearted casualties along the way. I remember my freshman year after I accepted the internship with the US Coast Guard, I needed to get in shape ASAP. I ended up getting this guy I always saw working out around campus to help whip me into shape. 

Honestly, I was just being myself and was super surprised when I found out he liked me. Unfortunately, my motto was too just go with the flow, but that’s a terrible mentality when it comes to dating. It wasn’t until maybe two weeks in, I realized I needed to end this “relationship”  because honestly, it was only one-sided.  While I was still living a single lifestyle, he was falling for me deeper. 

Trying not to hurt his feelings, and postpone the breakup only made things worst. So, like a coward one morning I broke up with him over text, and gave the worlds most cliche excuse “it’s not you, it’s me”. We ran to each other at a party the following weekend, and he confronted me asking what can he do to make things better. I don’t really remember the conversation, but I do remember the hurt in his eyes. That moment I knew, I’ll always be the villain in his story.

Honesty, everyone is the villain in someone’s story, we’re all humans and make mistakes. I just try to improve upon myself. If he does happen to ever read this, I am sorry, and was just immature and wasn’t used to male attention. 

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. 

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 Misunderstood Adventures

Semper Paratus

I live my life by two quotes or mottos; “what’s the worst that could happen” and “fake it till you make it”. I honestly believe replaying those two things in my head makes me unstoppable. 

My first college internship was with the US Coast Guard, and I remember during the entire application process, I was thinking just fake it till you make it. They asked me several questions about my physical fitness and at that time I had no idea. The most physical activity I was doing was running late to my classes. I knew I was nowhere near military fit, but I just faked it. 

I portrayed so much confidence in my physical abilities, and of course academic attributes, I received a job offer. I attempted to get in shape before the internship, but my laziness kicked in, and I thought what’s the worst that could happen if I go there out of shape. So I went back to binge-watching my latest Netflix series. 

Shortly after starting my internship, I found out what was the worst that could happen. I was in store for an extremely exhausting summer! After week one, my entire body was sore and was homesick. Besides the workouts, just getting around was exercise! I was in the middle of nowhere, and it seemed like I was always climbing up a giant hill, figuratively and literally. My room was located on the 5th deck, and no elevator in sight. The only comforting thing was the cafeteria was on the bottom deck, and the food was amazing. 

Although my body was hating me, and wondering why I couldn’t apply for a desk job for the summer, I refused to let it show. I was determined to always be on top of my game. I was the only short and small black woman, and I just assumed they were waiting for me to complain and not be able to keep up. So, I did what I do best, fake it till I made it. I was a little G. I Keems, mastered the physical fitness and robotics, which was one of the main reasons I was there. 

By the end of the summer, I was stronger mentally and physically. I learned so much about myself and realized I can do anything, as long as I put my mind to it. Life is a giant mental chess game, and I refuse to lose. 

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.