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Posts Tagged ‘hijabi fun’

Stylish Hijabis

Wrapped up in style from head to toe. So sometimes I want to dress like this because she looks stylish, beautiful, is my little sister’s buddy and is all covered.

In Islam, hijab allows us to identify ourselves as being on a spiritual path, but we can also be on a spiritual path and have flair,” she said. “The terms are not incongruent. Hijab defines us not only as Muslim women but as women. We don’t want to look ugly. We just don’t want to be sexually provocative.

During the winter I, sometimes, don my collection of long coats instead of my jilbab. People are more accepting when they can relate to the outfit. Sometimes it is a brand or a style, an accessory. Then I read some pervert’s comment on the original article and say hey my abayas are better.

But then look at  the dude in this picture he is still staring at the niqabi sisters!! So you gotta do whatever you do to please Allah, forget men.

This week coast to coast there were two articles highlighting Muslim women fashion in two major newspaper the LA Times & the NYT. They were both fun to read. Maybe typical but refreshing because they were ordinary women, with personalities that shone through the words on paper. Thank you to the writers, fellow Los Angelenos Lorraine Ali and Elisabeth Greenbaum Kasson for making their articles upbeat. So many journalists pretend to be building bridges but take off with a juicy tidbit and spin the original story into something ugly.

I do this because I want to be closer to God, I want to please him and I want to live a modest lifestyle,” said Ms. Ahmed, who asked that her appearance without a veil not be described. “I want to be tested in that way. The niqab is a constant reminder to do the right thing. It’s God-consciousness in my face.

That is what I think about hijab- constant state of readiness for salah, so a constant state of worship.  I do it for myself- yes, in the beginning it was absolutely about modesty and all the whys but on my tenth year anniversary of wearing hijab, I can say I do it selfishly, for my end with my Creator.

If I ever chose to wear niqab it would be to humble my ego for Allah, to squish my vanity. The sacrifice of facial expressions would be so huge because I am a really expressive person. Some people have poker faces; me, my emotion play out on my face pronto. I communicate with hand gestures and expression more than words-yeah one of those people. The sisters that do niqab are cheetis- to use a very Lahori term- strong, FIERCE ala project runway! May Allah accept their worship.

So with my iman I yo-yo between the two ends of the covering Muslimah spectrum. Admiring both, styling on the fence with my abaya and hijab.

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Fcode by Farah Alshamsi

Fcode by Farah Alshamsi

Fcode by Farah Alshamsi

If you have the trillion dirhams for them then find out where to get them on Khaleej Times Online.

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I joined the sisterhood of the traveling hijab– what an awesome experience. The hijab was beautiful and reading the journal – a private meeting with sisters of the ummah that I had never met; may Allah make us friends for His sake.  The hijab is about to leave the building- may whoever wear it next be blessed. ameen

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For the first time in my life I am a part of a committee as in BC, DC , kitty party. What is a BC? you make ask. A group of women gather together to pool their money into a ‘fund’; every one puts in x amount of money into the ‘pot’ ie. $500. One lucky sister gets the to take the kitty home. ( Every month a different woman takes the money until the round in complete)

Here is how to set one up –

  1. Gather like-minded women you trust- usually works well with at least 12 women- one for each month
  2. Decide the amount of the “fund” ie. $12,000
  3. Decide the amount of contribution. For example- if the fund is 12,000 then the participants can choose to give the whole $1000 a month and take $12,000 when it is their turn OR they can have a partner and contribute $500 each and take $6000 when it is their turn.
  4. Appoint one coordinator who reminds people of the dates and amounts. This person is also in charge of gathering all the checks and giving it to the lucky sister.( Don’t do cash, as its harder to take care of and bills may turn out counterfeit)
  5. Decide at the beginning of the session who will receive the money in which month either by lottery or by request.
  6. Decide a fun activity for the participants to do when they get together ie. In our BC the gal who gets the “fund” hosts a dinner at her house. Others go out to restaurants or have speakers come in or take a class together whats ever works.

It is a great way for ladies to socialize and save some money. Women can also ask for the kitty at a time when they most need it ie. an upcoming wedding in the family, vacations, a trip to the ‘maikah’ (their parent’s home) or any other reason when they don’t want to ask their husbands for spending money.  This tradition is very common in the subcontinent. Credit cards are a very new phenomenon in there. And bank loans for women who don’t have a steady income are non-existent. So from the villages in Gujrat to the mega city of Karachi, women from all strata of society indulge.  One friend of mine renovated her kitchen with the money. My neighbor asked for the first take and bought a car – INTEREST free and paid it off in a year!!

I had my reservations at first. Why do I need to do this? I can always get an interest free credit card and buy what ever I need or just try to save some money in a drawer. That reminds me of Maasi- my mother’s maid, who saves her money under her mattress only to have her druggie son steal it. I have dual degree in Accounting and a BBA I should be able to save money in a bank account somewhere!!  But I know myself- I am not good with cash, I ‘ll lose it or spend it or give it away (when I feel guilty). Credit cards never give me the feeling of accomplishment – mostly I make impulse purchases and later get buyer’s remorse. Thank God for my husband’s policy of paying off credit cards at the end of the month. I think when you save up for something it means more to you. It has VALUE.

The choice I had to make was should I ask to receive the money at the beginning or at the end. The beginning would work well for people who have a hard time getting a loan or even a credit card. I decided the end will work for me; this way whatever I buy or save for will have value because I actually waited for it for a whole 12 months instead of the instant gratification we all have become accustomed to.

Anyways, since I am the lucky sistah this month, I get to host the party at my house. All ladies means No hijab!   To offset the gossip fest and to remember God when He blesses us – I asked a lovely sister to speak. Maybe we can make zikr together… Alhamduillilah (Praise the Lord) now I don’t have to stress about my sister in law’s wedding in July- I saved up enough for the tickets to the East Coast, her wedding gift, and shopping!! Now to cook some Persian food…

Here is my menu :

Pita Chips and Hummus (Not really Persian but it’ll do)

Herb Salad with Pomegranate with Tahini dressing

Herb Salad with Pomegranate with Tahini Dressing


Kashk-e Bademjan based on my favorite Persian restaurant in Sacramento Scheharzade

some people like it chunky but I prefer it really smooth and smothered in Olive Oil.

  • 6 small eggplants, peeled
  • 1 large or 2 medium yellow onions
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped (dried mint also works here)
  • few cloves garlic
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 cup of  kashk- this is whey- I buy the B.B. brand from small Persian store called Mom and Pop’s Deli
  1. Roast the eggplants in their skins until they collapse- I do this in our BBQ to give them a smoky flavor or you can use a touch od liquid smoke in the oven; peel, then proceed as below
  2. Fry the onions until golden brown.
  3. Remove all  but two tablespoon of the onions from the pot.  Add the mint to the onions. Continue to fry until the mint is fragrant, and the onions are medium-dark brown and starting to crisp a bit. Remove and set aside; use this for garnish.
  4. Add garlic until it pops. Return the rest of the onions and eggplants to the pot. Add the tomato and season lightly with salt & pepper (the kashk is quite salty, so be careful).
  5. Use a mixer, mash the eggplants until smooth
  6. Add one cup of kashk, whip until mousse-like. Re-season, if necessary.
  7. Garnish with extra-virgin olive oil and the fried onion/mint mixture.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature with pita or use as a delicious side with your koobideh and tahdig.
Tahdig with Potatoes & Zaresh
( Dr. Z’s, my mum-in-law’s best friend who spent quite some time in Tehran as a newlywed taught me how to make this but I added my twists to it – ofcourse!)
Tahdig with Potatoes & Zaresh

Tahdig with Potatoes & Zaresh

and finally my habibi’s favorite Koobideh Kebob

Koobideh Kebob

That is recipe is another post by itself since it has evolved over the course of my marriage.

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