Stories & Articles

Hear Me Out

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Hear Me Out

*First up on stage, the infamous duo: desires of the heart, and whispers of shaytaan.* – You try to lower your gaze and keep your distance, but the chattering starts, “There’s no need to make a big deal of things. So he’s a boy, so what! All the girls here talk to boys. Don’t be so shy. You’re suffering from low self-esteem, and this is a great way to build it. Plus, look at him!” You glance up – just one glance, you tell yourself, it’s ok. “He’s really cute, isn’t he? It won’t hurt if you just smile at him, go on. It’s just a smile now – maybe he’s having a hard day and your smile will make him feel better.” Almost without being aware, you smile.

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The Hardest Year

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The Hardest Year

I used to say that the eleventh year of my life was my worst one, but now I know that I needed to go through that year in order to be who I am today. That year was the year my family moved to a new city. It was the year my mom returned to university for the first time since I was five years old, and the year my dad had to constantly travel overseas to visit his sick father. It was the year my grandfather died. But believe it or not, the thing that had the biggest effect on me was that it was the year that I made the change from Islamic to public school.

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Summer of Contemplation

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Summer of Contemplation

It was a summer of contemplation for me. Turning the idea over and over in my mind was like turning over new soil for better cultivation and growth. Not every young woman made such a shift but evidently, it had been written. I thought about Islam every waking moment of every day.

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Cleansing Tears

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Cleansing Tears

It was difficult to distinguish between the tears streaming down my face, and the warm, comforting water flowing out of the showerhead. Quietly sobbing as I bathed had become routine for that week; it was the only outlet in my day where I could mediate the painful battle that ensued between my heart and mind. Just weeks earlier as I poured thoughts into my journal, I convinced myself that I would wear hijaab in two more years when I was done with school. As I flipped through those journal pages, the increments of time I had given myself to wear hijaab kept getting shorter and shorter.

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Before Hijab, I Was Scared

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Before Hijab, I Was Scared

Before hijab, I was scared. I was scared of what people would think, I was scared of what people would say at work, I was scared of scaring away potential husbands, I was scared of losing friends, I was scared of not being beautiful anymore and standing out of the crowd. All of these things stopped me from wearing hijab sooner, and now I wish, so much, that I had done it sooner. Because I could have saved myself from a lot of fitnah and lot of confusion had I done it sooner. Over the years, all those fears got smaller and smaller, as one fear – and one love – got bigger.

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