Posted in Motherhood, Religion


“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands…” (Holy Qur’an 24:31)

Eight years ago when I made the decision to wear my hijab, there was a certain worry that came with the decision; I lived in a society where very few Muslims existed and out of those Muslims, none of them wore the hijab full time. I already stood out as a black girl in a predominantly white community. So, as you can imagine, wearing my hijab was not the easiest decision. As anyone would, I worried about how people would see me and relate with me. However, it was a decision and a way of life that I had thought long and hard about and I was ready to commit to, regardless of society’s views.

Fast forward to a couple of months after having my daughter… My mum returned from Nigeria with various gifts for us including the smallest hijabs for my daughter. I thought they were the cutest things, especially as they made her chubby baby face look even chubbier. I also saw it as an opportunity to introduce the hijab to her at an early age hoping that when she came to make the commitment at a later age, it would be much easier for her than it was for me. Just like every mother, I wanted to set her up to succeed in every aspect of life and it felt good to think this was another step towards achieving that. As far as I was concerned, it wasn’t any different from emphasising the use of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at a young age so that she hopefully grew up to be courteous.

Every time we went out, I’d dress my daughter up and made sure she had a matching hijab to her outfit. At the time, I didn’t really have a lot of places to go aside from the familiar places within the Nigerian Muslim community; mosque, visiting family and friends. These places were my safe haven; they were filled with people who knew the true meaning behind the hijab and understood my intentions for my daughter without me having to explain myself. And just like me, they all thought she looked cute in her hijab and liked the idea of getting her accustomed to it in the hopes that it’d make life easier for her.

Things changed when I ventured outside of my safe haven. That morning, we had a doctor’s appointment and as usual, I got my daughter ready making sure that her hijab matched her outfit. As I parked the car and struggled to get the car seat out of the car, I couldn’t help but feel like I did eight years ago when I first left my house wearing a hijab. I was worried. I worried about how my baby might suddenly be viewed because she was dressed differently. I almost wanted to take it off but this was an important step for me. This was a step I’d hope that my daughter would take one day. If I was too scared to take it myself, how could I expect her to do the same?

To my surprise, everyone that came in contact with her saw just how amazing she was (and still is). They saw what I saw; a beautiful and smiley baby girl. Those that commented on her hijab had nothing but positive things to say about it. Like me, they appreciated the fact that it matched her outfit and actually thought she looked ‘cute’ in it. They especially loved the little diamantes that were attached to it. I immediately felt at ease and all my worries were almost forgotten.

However, every so often, due to different reasons, these worries come crippling back and I cannot help but think about my daughter and her hijab. Now at almost 3 years old, the hijab has become a part of her. Although she doesn’t understand the meaning behind it, it is something she is comfortable wearing and chooses to wear most days. I hope that when she comes to the age of understanding that it is something that continues to be a part of her. But with that hope, comes the question; when does she stop being a baby, a person and instead, becomes a threat because of what she chooses to wear on her head?

Till next time


Posted in Religion

Ramadan Prep.

Hi everybody! It has definitely been a while- I made the decision to take a loooong break because I felt it was needed. I won’t go into it now but I plan to do a separate post on self-care/mental health soon.

Today’s post is about Ramadan!!! Two years ago, I had the best Ramadan ever. I came out of it feeling renewed and accomplished. You know that feeling at the end of an exam, that feeling of ‘I tried my ultimate best’? That’s the way I felt. I’m hoping to be able to achieve that again, so I’m looking back at the few things I did.

  • Make a list- I don’t know about ye, but I always find that Ramadan always seems to come at the best time. It comes around just when you need it. I found that I had so much to talk to God about but I could never remember it all when I was actually praying. So, I made a list. A list of all the things that I wanted to discuss with God. This way, nothing was left out.


  • Be present- For most of us, we don’t always have the opportunity to take time off during Ramadan. So, we fit it into our everyday lives. To be honest, I quite like this because it allows an easy transition after Ramadan; it allows us to continue with the acts that we have taken up during Ramadan after Ramadan. However, because we are fitting it into our daily lives, it is easy to go about the day fasting without actually thinking about the act of fasting or the reason behind the fast. Being present earns us more reward and allows one to really connect with God.



  • Take full advantage of your time- Be conscious of your time and try to do something productive with it. Although busy, I find that I am most productive during this blessed month. I tried to fill gaps in my day with different acts of worship. For example, I used to get public transport back and forth from work, rather than sitting on the bus for an hour in total doing nothing, I used that opportunity to read my Qur’an. This might not work for you if you need complete silence to read. However, I am sure there are other acts that one can fill that time with such as saying ‘astaghfirullah’. Remember every little helps.


  • Have a realistic plan- Each year I set goals for Ramadan, each year I struggled to achieve them until two years ago. I was able to achieve them two years ago because they were realistic. Do not mistake realistic for easy. My goals were realistic but they were also challenging. Don’t plan to finish the Qur’an 10 times when you struggle to finish it once in a year. Know what your capabilities are and plan with that in mind.


May Allah make it easy for us, allow us to get the best out of this Ramadan and give us the opportunity to see many more.

Till next time



Posted in Empowerment, Religion


Bear in mind that if all the people combined together to grant you some benefit, they would not be able to do it unless Allah has determined it for you. And that if all of them combined together to do you harm, they would not be able to do it unless Allah has determined it for you. The pens have been set aside and writing of the Book of Fate have become dry.” [Tirmidhi]

If anyone told me that I’d get married in 2016, I would have literally said “LIES”. Having just called off an engagement that year, getting married in that same year just wasn’t a thought that I entertained.

2016 was a rollercoaster of a year for me. It started off great. I had just moved to a new place which I was really happy with. I was planning  ‘my dream wedding’ which was to be held that December. I was picking flowers, bridesmaids, colours, styles. The biggest worry I had was finding a venue big enough for all my 300+ guests.


Fast forward to a couple of months later, I painfully realised that the wedding I had spent all that time planning was not one that I wanted. So, I called it off. With that, came several different emotions. The most prominent being pain. I felt pain like I had never felt before. With pain, came loneliness. No matter how much everyone tried, no one completely understood how I was feeling.

Then, came Ramadhan. The month included in-depth discussions with the only being who I felt understood how I was feeling. Every day I had a list. A list of things that I wanted to discuss. He (God) became my best friend. I wasn’t so upset anymore. I started to actually laugh. Not pretend to laugh. I made peace with the whole situation. It was now in the past.

I was back to my old self. I prayed to God and asked him to give me whatever He thought was best for me. I entertained the idea of getting married at some point. There was no rush. Maybe 2017. Maybe 2018. But definitely not 2016. That’d be ridiculous!

A couple of months later, I was planning my dream wedding with a man that I was 100% sure about. No second thoughts. No circus. No bridesmaids (sorry girls). Just our family, close friends and God. I was the happiest I had ever been. And all the pain that came with 2016 almost became irrelevant. I got married in December 2016, to the man that was meant for me.

But if anyone had told me I’d be married in 2016, I’d have said ‘Lies’.

So, what did I learn? I learnt…

  • We plan but He plans best.
  • What it really means to have faith.
  • What’s yours won’t pass you by.
  • There is light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Always listen to yourself.
  • When one door closes, another one opens.

I made plans to get married in December. Then, I was like ‘nah, this doesn’t feel right’, so  I cancelled it. I took a leap of faith, knowing there would be consequences, but not knowing what was ahead of me. Then, God was like ‘here you go, this one is yours’. So, I was like ‘alright then’.

Thanking God for 2016, I walked into 2017 a married woman.

Till next time


Posted in Religion

The Good Muslim..

Hi everybody,

The biweekly posts don’t seem to be working. My last post was a month ago. I’m sorry, I really am…  Uni is taking over my life BUT I’m going to try a little harder to be more consistent.

Today’s post is going to be quite short. A couple of weeks ago,  while having a conversation with my housemate in the kitchen, my prayer alarm rang on my phone. I excused myself and left to go observe my prayer. When I was done with my prayer, I went back down to the kitchen. When she saw me come down, she called me a ‘good Muslim’. She compared me to her friend who was not a ‘good Muslim’. Her friend, who is a Muslim, doesn’t wear the hijab like I do and she does not excuse herself to go pray as soon as the prayer is called.

My first instinct was to say ‘thank you’ or the usual ‘I try y’know’, but then I thought about it again. Yes, I do wear the hijab and I do try to pray as soon as the prayer has been called but these are only two out of  several obligations that we have as Muslims. So, how can one say that I am a ‘good Muslim’ based on two things that they have seen me do? And how can it be implied that a person who doesn’t do these two things is a ‘bad Muslim’?  Having thought about this, I started to tell my housemate that she shouldn’t brand people solely based on the acts that her apparent to her. We do not know what happens behind closed doors.

There are people who might not appear to be the best of Muslims but their struggle to gain the love of their Maker is far greater than those who may appear to be the best of Muslims- Mufti Menk.

Later that evening, I reflected on my conversation with my housemate. I realised that my housemate only did what we all tend to do. We judge. There is a lot of shaming in the Muslim community these days. I guess my friend could be excused as she isn’t a Muslim. Not that non-Muslims should be judging. But what excuse do we have, as Muslims? Shouldn’t we know better? The world already makes it difficult to practice our religion, why do we make it harder for ourselves? Who are we to decide who a ‘good Muslim’ is? Who are we to brand someone a ‘bad Muslim?’ What right do anyone of us have?

Several Muslims have told me that they feel isolated from their Islamic communities because of the way they have been treated by other ‘religious’ people in the community. These acts are not necessarily verbal or physical. Sometimes, all they have to do is look at you. You know that look- the one that makes you want to put your head down in shame. The one that makes you avoid going to the masjid. I think it is important that we realise how our actions affect other people. There is a huge difference between encouraging and judging. Wearing your hijab and staring down at someone for not wearing it is not encouragement. Wearing your hijab and talking down to a person for not wearing it is not encouragement. Wearing your hijab and rolling your eyes in disgust, is not encouragement. Deciding to not acknowledge a person because they are not on the same ‘level’ as you, is not encouragement. It does not make you a ‘good Muslim’. In fact, I think it says otherwise. We each have our own struggles. It might be a good idea to focus on yours rather than pointing out everyone else’s.

Yes, my housemate’s friend does not cover. But her relationship with Allah is between herself and Allah. It’s not my housemate’s place to judge and it most definitely isn’t mine. We either encourage each other or we mind our business.

Remember that actions are always judged according to intentions. What are your intentions?

Till next time


Posted in Religion

What’s your interpretation?

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms……” (Qur’an 24V 31).

Hi everybody, I hope ye are all doing well.

I thought of my blog yesterday and had my topic planned. However, after looking through my Instagram feed today, I felt the urge to write about something completely different.

Over the past couple of years, the hijab has become more and more popular alhamdulillah. This is mainly due to social media. Social media has made the world smaller. It has increased the length at which information travels and how fast it travels. Many young girls and women have taken to the internet to share their passion for hijab and fashion. We have several hijabi YouTubers, Instagrammers, bloggers, vloggers e.t.c. It’s great! These women give hijabis someone to relate to. They serve as reminders to young girls everywhere. They also serve as role models.

So, what’s the issue? Why did I feel the need to write about this? Well, my news feed reminded me of an issue that has been bothering me for quite a while. Each day I visit a social media site, I see a different ‘interpretation’ of the hijab. The ‘interpretation’ isn’t so much the problem, but the fact that the interpretation does not meet the requirements of the hijab. You cannot expect to pass a test where you do not fulfil the requirements. So, why should it be any different for the hijab?

‘…they should draw their veils over their bosoms…’

For the purpose of this post, I’m going to focus on this quote  ‘…they should draw their veils over their bosoms…’. ‘They’ in this context is referring to the woman. God tells us to draw our ‘veils’, our scarves over our bosoms. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of ‘hijabis’ not meeting this requirement.

I understand that we are all struggling and no one is perfect. I mean, my hijab is not where I want it to be or where it should be according to the teachings of the Qur’an. The above quote is at the back of my mind daily and I try each day to get my hijab to where it ought to be. This could be the case for many hijabi role models out there, but the titles of their videos and posts can be misleading. It is possible that they could be on their hijab journey and have not reached their final destination. That’s absolutely fine. Like I said, I’m in the same boat. However, wearing a version of the hijab and calling it hijab when it doesn’t meet the set conditions is rather misleading to people who do not know better. The requirements are quite clear.

Do whatever you want with your hijab, but just make sure you meet the requirements. If not for yourself, but for the thousands of young girls that are following you. I’m not judging, I’m worried.

The hijab is not a fashion statement, but a form of worship.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

Till next time


Posted in Religion

Ramadan Reflections..

Hi guys,

Today, I am going to talk about Ramadan. At 23, this isn’t my first Ramadan. However, this is the first Ramadan that I feel that I really understood the significance of this holy month. I mean, I was extremely excited for the month. That doesn’t usually happen, I’m generally more worried about going without food for the 30 days and trying to find an outfit for Eid. But this time, the excitement was real. I had my goals set out and was determined to achieve it. I was so focused, I almost forgot about Eid. So, I decided to reflect on a few things I realised this past month. Here goes;

There is no greater peace than the peace I felt during *tahajjud–  Personally, tahajjud has always been a struggle. I am a very difficult sleeper. It takes me ages to fall asleep. So, waking up to pray after just having gone to sleep, then going back to sleep only to wake up for work a few hours later did not seem like fun. After thorough testing, I can say that I was right. It’s not fun! I wake up tired and wanting to go back to bed. But I still get up the next day to do it again. There is a peace that I felt standing up in prayer at 1.45 a.m. I do not know what it is. I think part of it was knowing that it’s just Him and I in that moment. Most people are asleep. There are little or no distractions. There is something beautiful about that. Just thinking about it, puts a smile on my face :).

Ramadan tested my willpower – I found that Ramadan really tested my willpower. That’s the whole point of Ramadan really. It is learning to restrain yourself from acts that you shouldn’t be taking part in, whilst also increasing in good acts.  Waking up for tahajjud was one of the major tests for me. This is the first Ramadan that I consistently woke up for tahajjud. Some days, I found getting up easy. Other days, it was a struggle. For me, it took an immense amount of willpower to get up on those days. I was so tempted to just go back to sleep.


Another major one for me was the voluntary prayers. In Islam, we have prayers that are obligatory and ones that aren’t. Although some prayers are not obligated, they are highly recommended. I’d normally pray my obligatory prayers, but the voluntary ones were a bit of a hit and miss. So, one of my goals this Ramadan was to always pray the voluntary prayers. This was fine for every other prayer EXCEPT Maghrib. We break our fast at Maghrib. Generally, I break my fast with some water and fruit, and then I go to pray. After that, I have a proper meal. I cannot explain how difficult I found the Maghrib voluntary prayer. It sounds so ridiculous. Like, I would have been fasting for about 19 hours or so and would have had no problem doing it. I might have been a little thirsty, but I wouldn’t have been hungry. Maghrib comes in, I break my fast with something small, generally water and fruit and I pray the obligatory prayer. Then, it comes time for the voluntary prayer and it’s a struggle. Like, why?! It took me an immense amount of willpower to pray one of the shortest prayers.

“Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you” *Hadith Qudsi- This hadith isn’t new to me. However, it really resonated with me during this past month. Mainly because I was making small efforts to move closer to Him. I really felt much closer to him. Closer than I expected to feel. Closer than I felt my deeds were worth. Does that make sense?

I really do feel like I have achieved a lot during this Ramadan. I hope you all have too. If you haven’t, it’s not too late. There are still a few days left. Eid Mubaraq in Advance 🙂

What did you learn during Ramadan? I’d love to hear about it!

* Hadith- sayings and the doings of the Prophet. Used as a source of guidance for Muslims.

*Tahajjud-  Recommended prayer that is done after the last prayer and before sunrise.

* Maghrib- it is performed when the sun sets.

Till next time


Photograph By A. O’Brien

Posted in Empowerment, Religion

Do you know your rights?

“O you who believe, it is not legal for you to inherit women against their will…” Quran 4:19

I was talking to a friend the other day. During our conversation, she disclosed that a friend of hers was basically being forced into marriage. Her friend is being forced even though she has made it very clear that she has no interest in the guy or the marriage. Her friend won’t report it to the authorities because she doesn’t want her parents to get in trouble. My friend is terrified that her friend is going to go through with it due to the pressure being put on her by her parents.

In trying to find a solution, the two girls sort help from a sheikh. When I was told this, my spirit lifted. I had hoped that the sheikh would be able to give her reasonable and knowledgeable advice and maybe even talk to her parents on her behalf. Instead, the Sheikh told her that she needed to do what her parents were asking of her. He pointed out that Allah has commanded us to please our parents and to always listen to them. So, for that reason, she should go through with the marriage.

Now, this angered me (I seem to be getting angry a lot lately LOL). Yes, Allah asks us to treat our parents with utmost respect and to listen to them. This is completely understandable when you think of the role our parents play in our lives. I mean, parents go through a lot for their children. BUT Allah also gives us the RIGHT to say no when we are offered marriage. It is a RIGHT that we are given and nobody should take that away from us. When He who we worship gives us that right, nobody should be allowed to take it from us. Not even our parents. He tells us to respect and listen to our parents EXCEPT when they push us towards that which is Haram.

For a marriage to be successful in the eyes of Allah, the requirement of offer and acceptance has to be fulfilled. The man asks and the woman can either say yes OR no. She has to be willing to go into that marriage, not forced, not coerced. It is one of the obligatory conditions that have to be met for a Nikkah to be valid and Halal. If it is not valid, it is obviously not halal.

SO, what’s the point?
I feel like religion is being used to manipulate people into situations that they do not want to be in. We are told that we are expected to listen and respect our parents, which is true. BUT they conveniently leave out the fact that there are times when we have the right to do otherwise.

I guess the point of this post is for young girls/women to come to the realisation that they do have a right to say NO. GOD gave you that right for a reason. Because He knows YOU are going to be in the marriage, not your parents. And saying that you want to go into a marriage just because you’re told that the Qur’an says you have to please your parents is not a valid reason. I know it’s hard but it’s really up to YOU. I just want you to know that you can say no. It’s your God-given right. YOU need to decided whether you want to exercise the right that Allah has bestowed upon us.

I pray that Allah strengthens anyone in this situation to do whatever is best for them.

Till next time


Posted in Religion

Hijab equals Deen?

“O Prophet! Say to your wives, your daughters, and the women of the believers that: they should let down upon themselves their jalabib.” Quran 33v59.

I want to talk about the idea that hijabis are perfect role models of Islam. In doing this, I will also talk about the idea or the assumption that a girl who does not wear the hijab, is not religious.

First and foremost, I want to applaud anyone that does wear the hijab for the right reasons. It is a massive deal and you should be proud of yourself for fulfilling one of our many obligations as Muslimahs. This post is not to bash hijabis. As a fellow hijabi, I know how hard it can be. So, my aim is not to put hijabis down or to put down the effort that goes into achieving this goal.

The other day I was having another one of my many discussions with a friend. She told me that her family were basically pressuring her to wear the hijab and were judging her relationship with Allah by her decision not to wear the hijab. Up until she told me this, I was like “you know what parents are like, they just want the best for you”. But something about it didn’t sit well with me. The idea that a girl who does not wear the hijab couldn’t possibly be religious or the idea that a girl who wears the hijab has to be the most religious person is completely wrong.

When I started wearing the hijab, I had to select what I imitated. I did a lot of my own research to identify what was appropriate and what wasn’t. Wearing the hijab is a process in itself, and it isn’t just about covering your hair. It has to do with how you carry yourself, how you speak and how you act. It is basically being modest in every way possible. Sometimes, people that wear the hijab, including me, forget this. Nobody is perfect and we all have goals that we are working towards. Wearing the hijab does not automatically make a person perfect. It is only ONE of our obligations as Muslimah. A person manages to fulfil one of the obvious ones does not make them perfect. As Muslims, we should always strive to improve ourselves. I wear the hijab, but I still have a lot that I have to work on. The same thing goes for the Muslimahs who do not wear the hijab, yet. You cannot base their relationship with Allah, on the fact that they do not wear the hijab. You do not know what is in their hearts, you do not know their relationship with Allah. A person who does not wear the hijab might have achieved other obligations that a hijabi isn’t.

Being a good Muslim does not start and end with the hijab. It is definitely an important part, just like every other obligation. I can also understand the importance that is placed on it as it is one of the most difficult ones especially in the society that we live in. However, one easily forgets that it is only a part of our obligations as Muslims. A person who has managed to achieve this obligation should be very proud of themselves. But they shouldn’t use that as a reason to put down anyone that hasn’t achieved it. This is not a ‘Why I do not have to wear the hijab, to be a good Muslimah’ post. In as much as wearing the hijab does not necessarily make you the perfect Muslimah, not wearing it doesn’t make you the perfect Muslimah either. Yes, it is what is in your hearts that matters. However, it is still part of your obligation as a Muslimah. It is still a compulsory act that every Muslimah should strive to achieve. I hear a lot of ‘I pray my 5 times daily prayers, Allah knows what is in my heart’. Yes, Allah knows what is in your hearts, but Allah didn’t say wear the hijab depending on what’s in your hearts.

To my sisters who wear the hijab, keep striving. And to my sisters who do not wear the hijab, keep striving. May Allah make it easy for all of us 🙂

Till next time


Posted in Religion

Because we’re sisters…

The other day, a friend of mine sent me a text telling me about something “beautiful” that had happened to her that evening. She was on her way home, when a bus drove past her. On the bus was a hijabi (a Muslim woman that wears a hijab), and as the bus drove by, the hijabi smiled at her. Like most people would, my friend was trying to figure out whether or not she knew the lady who had just smiled at her. At this stage, the bus had gone and my friend had actually forgotten to smile back. Fortunately for her, she managed to catch up with the bus when it stopped at traffic lights. She made eye contact with the hijabi and she (the hijabi) gave her the warmest of the smiles. This time, my friend smiled back.

This little story of hers actually made me smile, as it reminded me of one of the beauties of being a hijabi. Many times, I have had the same thing happen to me. It’s quite a beautiful thing to pass a stranger and have them smile or utter the words “As- salam alaykum” peace be upon you, to you. You could be having a bad day and it could be just what you need. A smile goes a long way. The hijab allows people to recognise you as a Muslim. It also allows fellow hijabis to recognise you as their sister in Islam. You have an automatic connection to sisters all around the world, not just sisters from the local mosque. You have sisters that understand you on a different level. These sisters understand the personal struggles that we go through every day, as hijabis. I’m sorry, but only a hijabi can understand the betrayal you sometimes feel when your scarf decides to go all AWOL on you. On the other hand, only a hijabi can understand the protection and inner peace you feel from wearing the hijab. With social media, you don’t even have to meet a sister, to be accepted as a sister. There are so many sisters that I have connected with online due to the fact that I recognise them as sisters and vice versa. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying one has to wear the hijab in order for one to be accepted as a sister in Islam. You don’t even have to be a Muslim to get a smile from us. However, wearing the hijab instantly allows other Muslims to recognise you as a Muslim.

Personally, being a hijabi makes me feel like I am a part of something much bigger than I am. Wearing the hijab can be difficult, but little smiles from fellow hijabis are a reminder that I am not alone in my struggles. It’s amazing because sometimes I forget. I’ve been wearing the hijab so long that it has become a part of me. When I go to put it on, I don’t think about it. It has become a subconscious habit. But when a random person smiles at me, for no other reason but the fact that they recognise me as their sister in Islam, I remember. I am reminded of one of the major blessings of wearing the hijab. Alhamdulillah.

Thank you to my friend/sister, for reminding me of how lucky we are to be Hijabis.

Till next time