Capsule wardrobe

Capsule wardrobe

I know I am not the only one that is being tempted by all the great post holiday bargains out there. However as I have grown older, I am not just buying clothes just because they are great deal. I am checking for things like fit and quality and will I wear them in my actual life? For instance, I hate to iron so a lot of my clothes are wrinkle resistant. Also, closet space is not unlimited so that is also something to take into account. I also look into things like environmental impact and how socially conscious are the companies being with the source countries.

Another great way to minimize your wardrobe is to get rid of one item when you bring one in. Generally if I am tired of items after a couple of seasons or they never really brought me joy, I will first let my coworkers or friends/family go through them and the rest I donate. You can also try to sell on sites like depop or consignment shops.

The concept of a capsule wardrobe is part of the new minimalist/conscious lifestyle gaining ground. The idea is that you have a set amount of pieces in your wardrobe and you can’t keep purchasing additional items. Each season you are allowed to overhaul the pieces to see what fits in your life at the moment. This eliminates a lot of those “I don’t have anything to wear” moments because you already have pieces that you love to wear and you know will fit you well. This movement is about freeing up your time and money so that you can enjoy the more important things in life.

Tackling fear

Source: Tackling fear

Tackling fear

The last few weeks have been pretty stressful for Muslim Americans, especially for those that are visibly identifiable as Muslim. It’s hard to turn on any news channel and avoid seeing any kind of coverage about Muslims. Even school lessons were not safe as a Virginia school was almost shut down over an Arabic calligraphy lesson, apparently calligraphy is now associated with terrorism. I know personally,  I couldn’t tell if a patient was sizing me up when I walked into a room, would they continue to listen to my advice or leave the practice? I was stressed out and had some trouble sleeping for a few days. Then I decided enough was enough. I would not cower to some unidentifiable fear. Somewhere out there, an Islamophobe was also cowering in fear of me. This fear can lead to a vicious cycle that can be hard to break out of. It leads to a  cycle of paralysis and can also block feelings of compassion.

Muslims should live fearing one thing and that is Allah, fear that our deeds will not be good enough in the next life. All other fears are inconsequential as they are dealing with this world and nothing is guaranteed in this life. All I can do is pray for my and my family’s safety and take as many precautions as I can but ultimately my fate is in God’s hands. All I can do is live life.  I hope that we can all overcome our fears of the “other” in this nation and start a conversation and open a much needed dialogue. If any of my readers have any questions about Islam, please post them and I can try to answer them to the best of my abilities or direct to a qualified scholar.

Holiday fashion

Those of us living in the West are in the middle of holiday season. With that comes the endless holiday parties, which begs the eternal question, what will I wear?  Depending on your comfort with bling, you can go all out with a fully sequined jumpsuit or add a subtle shimmer through details on your pieces.

 

imageThis skirt from hijabefy has a beautiful pearl design. The material had a bit of stretch to it and is very comfortable to wear.  They are based out of California and also carry matching pearl hijabs that takes the guesswork out of matching. They also carry long sleeved sequin gowns that are quite elegant.  Check them out at http://www.hijabefy.myshopify.com.

A sequined long skirt with a neutral top can also bring the right amount of sparkle to an outfit. If bling is not your thing, try a skirt that has a fit and flare shape with some strappy heels.

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For the gal that is looking for comfort and fashion, check out some wool pants with a subtle sequin detailing on the side.

This season is about all things merry and bright so bring that sparkle to your outfit!

Talking to kids about Islamophobia

Lately, I and the Muslim American community, have been on edge. I have decided to continue to wear the hijab and have felt none of the threats that others have been facing thankfully. The majority of people in this nation are good, kind hearted people. However,there are always the perverted few that mess it up for everyone else. This week, I had to sit with the kids and explain that some people do not understand the true message of Islam and may try to hurt me or us. They couldn’t imagine why people would hate them for who they are. They have been blessed to live in a multicultural area and have never felt discrimination. We have taught them that God created us all lovingly and only wants us to love His creation and to live in a dignified manner. To give charity, pray, be honest in all dealings, to help others. This is the Islam that they see, they have not seen the twisted version that has popped up in the last few decades that seems to get perverted with each crazy group that comes up. I had to explain that someone might come and shoot at us when we are at the mosque bowing down to God or when they are in class. Someone might randomly attack us at the mall. That we cannot control some things in life but that they should remember not to blame God if something bad happens. That we have been blessed with so much and sometimes hardships do come to the best of us like it did for all the Prophets. That they should always trust He is listening to us and that there is justice in the Hereafter. Never to abandon their faith, that is what the Shaytan wants. I am guessing this is how our fellow African- American mothers must speak to their sons about the ugly truths about being black in America, not to walk with hoodies on. We are facing much love and support as a community but we must also tread carefully.

Are we all guilty?

Are we all guilty?

Lately, I have been feeling like I need to apologize for being Muslim. Every time I hear about a crazy act of terrorism in the West, especially in the US,  I pray for the victims but I also pray that the psychopath carrying out the act does not have a Muslim name or background. When 9/11 happened, I was devastated personally that this happened in NYC, my hometown. My husband still has trouble dealing with that day as he was working a block away from the towers. I was also scared to walk around in public with my hijab and was lucky to have a very big and brave friend walk around with me until I started to feel safe again. However, there is a big difference between then and now. Back then, President Bush, leader of the Republican party, clearly stated that the majority of American Muslims are not guilty and are a peace loving people. “Its teachings are good and peaceful… the enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists..”

Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a very vicious political campaign where the candidate that can spew the most hateful messages gets the higher ratings. We have a mainstream political candidate that is questioning all American Muslims and wants to shut down mosques and a 24 hour news channel that is constantly attacking Islam and all Muslims. This is what the terrorists want. They want it to be an “us against them” mentality. They do not believe that different people can live together peacefully in a civil society. Living together in peace means that their hate filled rhetoric does not make any sense. The United States was built on a premise that no other nation ever had before, that all humans are deserving of a place to worship freely. What will this great nation look like if this is taken away?

 

Fall fashion

Source: Fall fashion

Fall fashion

Hope everyone had a lovely thanksgiving holiday! I don’t know where the time has flown this year, I can’t believe it’s almost December already! This fashion post can almost be a fall/winter post.

This year, it seems that skinny jeans are heading out and making way for more modest fit pants like flare jeans and palazzo pants. 0ade4a90-c9ac-4d0b-b40a-0257534d9539I do tend to dress more comfortably so did not wear heels but heels are a must to make this trend more fashionable.

Another trend is the blanket type wrap that is popping up at most retailers. They are so cozy and warm, perfect for this time of year! They come in a variety of colors and textures so they can be worn in almost any part of the country.

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Plaid is always a staple every fall. There are a few trendy updates to this classic to make it more 2015 such as lace or bedazzled shirts but I have been sticking to the tried and true classic and adding a vest to give it a more polished look.

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Jewel tones are a perfect complement to this season and can be worn to reflect the beautiful foliage seen this time of year.

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A dark lippy will add a nice touch to any fall outfit. Fall is a great time to try a lot of comfortable trends!

Why Islam means to peace to me

Undoubtedly the recent cowardly attacks perpetrated by a bunch of cowards has caught our attention this past week. Muslims for the umpteenth time are being questioned why are we not condemning these attacks? The media does not want to cover our side of the story, the side of the peace loving Muslims who do not believe that aimless violence is the answer. No one is interested in covering the stories of all those that donate their time and money to helping those less fortunate. There are many experts out there and many fatwas that have been denouncing all sorts of terrorist acts that you can google, all I can explain is how my faith brings peace and joy to me. Islam means peace, it was sent by our Creator so that we will be able to return to our natural state of being, our fitrah, because when we go against this state, humans get sad, lonely, afraid. Our creator has spoken to us to let us know even though we can’t see “Him” yet, we can look for His signs in the creation. He wants us to know there is always a Divine plan for us and that we shouldn’t dwell on our future, our health, our problems, our money troubles and to let go of our fears. We should place our trust, or tawakkul, in Allah only. Ibn Rajab Al- Hanbali said, “the fruit of tawakkul is the acceptance of Allah’s decree. Whoever leaves his affairs to Allah and then is accepting of what he is given has truly relied on Allah. Al-Hassan and others among the salaf defined tawakkul as ridhaa (acceptance)”. This doesn’t mean that we sit around and do nothing all day because we have faith Allah will take care of us, it means we put our best efforts in and then leave it to Allah. There are some great lectures out there on this difficult concept. Allah says in the Holy Quran many times that we should rely on Him alone and He is the best disposer of all affairs. Our only worry should be on doing acts that please Him alone and not for showing off  for others. We should be honest and upright and generous. I know that following this idea of relying on Allah alone and doing good deeds and acts of worship is a struggle for me, my true jihad. I have also noticed that the more I rely on Allah, the harder the test gets so I get worried to unlock that next level of getting closer because I know that the tests get harder and harder. Unlocking these levels lead us to an inner peace that no amount of money can buy. I pray for peace for all victims and their families and not to let those who attack us to allow us to fall into despair.

Praying for others/ making dua for others)