Showing posts from August, 2010

Myth Busters: Headscarf Edition

Ok, I've totally had it! Recently, I had someone give me a non-stop lecture about how crazy I was to wear a headscarf, and that I'm 'wasting' my youth being religiously devout, and that I'm OBVIOUSLY not living life to its fullest. Below are some of the de-bunked myths which echo much of what hijabi women are judged about.

MYTH #1: Your husband, brother, or father forced you to wear the headscarf!
FACT #1: You really think this? I don't think so! Women choose to wear a headscarf, it's a matter of personal choice, as evidenced by many Muslim women who choose not to wear one. The Quran reiterates that women have a choice in their lives, from who they want to marry to choosing to educate themselves outside of the house, and regarding the hijab too! So stop blaming male oppression of women as the reason for covering up, dude!
MYTH #2: Women who wear the headscarf are living in the 16th Century! It's the year 2010 man, get with the times of female liberation!


The language of Muslim peeps

We all know that within various cultures and subgroups that there are many different languages or forms of a language (i.e. slang). Since the most common language among Muslims is Arabic (and within each country there are different forms on Arabic), I thought I'd give the low down on universal phrases used among Muslims. And hey, if you feel like practicing these, go for it!!! They are pretty easy to learn :)

As-Salaam-mun-alaikum (greeting when you see another Muslim) --> May the peace of blessings of Allah be upon you!
Wa-alaikum-as-salaam (greeting back to Muslim #1) --> And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you as well!
Alham-du-lillah (response when someone asks how you are) --> 'Thank Allah'
Inshallah! --> God willing (this is the most commonly butchered phrase among Muslims and is used erroneously quite often!!! But this is the topic of a whole other blog posting!)
Sub-hanallah! --> 'Glory be to Allah!'
Mashallah! --> Literally means &…

The 'Fast' and the Furious!

No doubt you've heard that 'Ramadan' is coming up, or the time of year that Muslims fast for one lunar month (varies from 28-30 days and is based on the sighting of the moon). This year, Ramadan is predicted to start on Wednesday August 11th, depending on when the new moon is sighted. But what exactly does Ramadan entail? Surprisingly, it's not solely about abstinence from food and water. Here are some basic facts! Food and water is prohibited from dawn to dusk (NOT sunrise to sunset!!). Dawn is when the sun startsto rise, and dusk is when the sun has completely set. Trust me, there's a time difference between the two!Serves to strengthen the spiritual connection between the individual and Allah (God)Abstinence from food and water is easy! The hard part is spiritual purity! That means no anger, ill feelings, back biting, jealousy, greed, etc towards yourself, family, friends, strangers, etc. Ramadan teaches self-restraint and patienceWe fast to empathize with indivi…

The Top 10 Reasons why...

Ok, here is it, Letterman style, the top 10 NON-ISLAMIC reasons why it's cool to wear hijab.
10. I can convince kids that I work with that I'm actually bald! 9. More reasons to go shopping! Do you really think I'm going to wear a summer pattern in the fall? I don't think so! 8. Protects from weather elements: rain, snow, sleet, you name it!
7. Protects from animal elements: aka bird dropping! (don't laugh, I stopped for a rest while biking in Vancouver and got pooped on!)
6. I like to confuse people! I swear, I get the weirdest looks when I open my mouth and speak perfect English with a Canadian accent! 5. Keeps me warm in the winter! If you know me well, you'll know I get cold easily! I haven't been as cold the past two winters :) 4. Prevents 'airplane' hair when traveling. You know, when you have overnight flights and you sleep, only to wake up without realizing a huge lump at the top of your head when your ponytail shifted. 3. I can color my hair whate…

I feel the need for SPEED!

So I bought a new bike this past Thursday, and have been doing a fair bit of riding. As a person, I consider myself quite reserved and not too crazy, yet still outgoing. But something happens to me when I get on my bike...I turn into a SPEED DEMON! I am absolutely in love with the challenge and freedom of biking! First of all, the fact that on a bike I blend in and look anonymous is a pretty sweet deal. Second, friends will agree I push myself at work, and on a bike, it's no different. I look for a giant hill or a LOOOONG gentle incline to try and conquer. Third, there's something about going full speed ahead on a paved pathway or trying out an unpaved trail snaking beside a quiet and crystal clean river. I wish I had started biking seriously sooner! It's exhilarating yet calming, and provides an outlet for my restlessness!
On the side, my old bike (double suspension, 15" frame) was inherited from dad. Not only did it weigh a ton, but even with the seat raised as high …