Keeping Up With the Khans

Showing off is one of the diseases of the heart that every Muslim should try to avoid.

Showing off is one of the diseases of the heart that every Muslim should try to avoid.

**Disclaimer: The last name in the title is not a specific family, it is just a common Muslim name used to illustrate a point (it was also close to Kardashians which is why I selected it).**

It is the last ten days of Ramadan and I am terrified. Why is that? There is the strong possibility that even though I strove very hard to commit good deeds during Ramadan, there is a disease of the heart that could essentially wipe those good deeds away. Now what can possibly be so harmful that is can obliterate a whole month’s of hard earned good deeds?

It is called ar riyaa. For those of you who don’t know this term, it is an Arabic word that means to be a show-off. Specifically, it is someone who does something in order to gain the praise of others.  In this day of social media, it is easier than ever to fall into this without even realizing it. In fact, in American society, we are encouraged to step with our best foot forward. Just take a look at what rappers say and you can get the gist of what ar riyaa at a superficial level is. It is all about their swag, their game, how many people of the opposite sex want them, etc. However, this post is not about rappers. This post is about American Muslims. Muslims who strive to be better people and may not even realize when they are showing off. Sometimes, we Muslim Americans can overdo even good deeds and fall into the trap of showing off.

Now what does Islam say about showing off? Why is it so bad for us?

According to a lecture by Suhaib Webb, the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ said, “The one who prays and wants people to see them has committed shirk. The one who fasted and they want the people to know about their fasting has committed shirk. The one who gave sadaqah (charity) and wants people to know about their charity has committed shirk.”

The Prophet ﷺ even said that  it’s so dangerous that it’s like the black ant on the black rock in the night with no moon.

If you question why showing off is harmful, just think about how you feel when you see someone else showing off. Yes, you are happy for that brother or sister, but doesn’t a part of you think to yourself with an eyeroll, “yeah okay hot shot.”? How does that promote the sisterhood or brotherhood that Islam wants to foster in our community? Even non Muslim communities are not really too kind about people who show off. There are terms like “keeping up with the Joneses” and countless stories of regular people eyeballs in debt just to show people they have a fancy house, car, clothes, etc. This disease of the heart transcends time. It was present in ancient times as well as present day. In fact, even the ancient Greeks created stories of tragic heroes whose downfall was hubris (pride) which is one of the rooted causes of showing off.

So this is why I get scared, I am human and I like to share snippets of my life with all of you. I like praise too, However, do I like that enough to literally wash away all of my good deeds? Not really. I don’t want to be the next Kardashian in the sense that I want people to emulate what I do unless it is for the sake of Allah (swt)’s pleasure. So this Ramadan, please pray for me and for yourself that we don’t trip ourselves up with this very human flaw.

Hijabi Obsession: Polka Dots


Ever since I saw the cute polka dot dress Kate Middleton wore in a gentle nod to the late Princess Diana to debut her darling baby boy, polka dots have been every where! While not all of us can be princesses, we can all certainly look like princesses in some gorgeous polka dot pieces ourselves. Here are my favorite hijabi polka dot pieces that you can rock to get that timeless classic look yourself this summer:

Hijab-ista Polka Dot Hijab

Hijab-ista does the cutest green ombre polka dot hijab

Hijab-ista never fails to disappoint me when it comes to their quick shipping and excellent customer service. You can imagine my excitement when I saw this ombre green polka dot hijab! It’s perfect for summer and combines two of my favorite trends: polka dots and ombre.

Haute Hijab Polka Dot Maxi Skirt

Haute Hijab creates the perfect summer polka dot maxi skirt

My next favorite comes from the design house Haute Hijab. This darling polka dot skirt reminds me of something Audrey Hepburn would wear on a hot summer day in Paris while rocking her signature kerchief around her head and some cool sunnies to finish off the look. What do you think of the polka dot look? Let me know in the comments below!

Forgiveness In Islam


Forgive others in this life like you want God to forgive you in the next life.

I have a terrible confession to make: I hold grudges too long. I don’t know why, but even as a child I remember thinking about different ways I had been hurt by people and writing them off quickly. In fact, my childhood best friend nicknamed me The Grudge! It was only recently I realized just how self destructive this flaw can be. I am writing this post to tell you lovelies that holding grudges; no matter how justified you are, is not good for your mind, body and soul. I hope that the way I dealt with my flaw will help you too.

Let’s start with dealing with hurtful people. While you are right to feel hurt, if you hold a grudge against the person who has hurt you, you only hurt yourself. There is a popular saying that: “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies.” I can attest to that fact. Every time you revisit what a person has done to hurt you, you allow that person to hurt you over and over. Does it really feel better to discuss that pain over and over again? For me, it only made me sad and upset. The other thing to note is that by allowing this person to hurt you after the fact, you are indeed allowing them the pleasure of hurting you more. You are better than that. Don’t give hurtful people that much power over you.

Forgiveness is not a weakness, it is empowering. This is why the best of Creation, Muhammed (saws) forgave those who hurt him in his life. He forgave Hind (ra) for being ruthless after his beloved uncle Hamza (ra) was killed, he forgave the Quraysh even after their boycott lead to the death of Khadija (ra), etc. When you forgive, you actually free yourself from the hurt that the other person caused you. That same childhood best friend (she is a very wise lady mA) told me that when you forgive someone, it is like setting a prisoner free and realizing that prisoner was you. You will find yourself at peace after you forgive someone.

So now that we spoke about forgiving someone, how do you do it? If you can, let that person know you forgive them whether it is in person, a call, or even text. Say that life is too short and that you forgive them and that you also hope they forgive you. One thing to note is that you should not have expectations from this person to respond. In fact, if they have hurt you, they may very well continue in their campaign to be hurtful. But you can be rest assured that you did everything you could so that you can meet God on your terms. In Islam, the way you treat others in this life is how God will treat you in the next. What better way to meet God than as a forgiving person? We all want God’s mercy, but how can you expect his mercy if you are not merciful with his Creation?

Lastly, it helps to focus on the bigger picture and help others. Volunteer, give to charity, or even spend time with your family. It helps puts things into perspective. What are your tips on forgiveness this Ramadan? Share them with me in the comments below!

Online Review and Giveaway! The Taffeta Tree

The Taffeta Tree

The Taffeta Tree sells a variety of stunning hijabs like this beautiful NEVA scarf.

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful Ramadan so far inshallah. Since it is Ramadan, I am sure a lot of us are spending more time in the masjid or at home donning a hijab even if we don’t wear one normally. Or, if you are a regular hijabi like me, you want to look your best while you are doing extra acts of worship. So what is a girl to do? One quick way to help look your best this Ramadan is to refresh your hijabi wardrobe with a few new hijabs. Since there are not many hijab stores where I live, I tend to resort to buying hijabs online. While some sisters are nervous about online hijabi clothing, I have found most Muslim vendors are not only legitimate, but go above and beyond for their customers.

The online hijab store The Taffeta Tree decided to send me a few scarves to try out. Please note that I will always let you know when items are gifted to me, and I will not review all companies who gift me items unless I absolutely recommend them to my readers. The hijabs that were sent by The Taffeta Tree were not just stunning, but also very comfortable. In fact, I am wearing the NEVA shawl in Ocean Blue as I type this blog post. I was also sent a jersey hijab in Dark Purple, and two vicose hijabs. All of them are light and easy to wear. They are also true to the pictures posted to the site. They ship items using Priority Mail, so if you live in the United States, you can be rest assured to get your package fairly quickly. Make sure to stay up to date by following the Taffeta Tree Facebook page here.

All in all, The Taffeta Tree should be a shopping destination for all hijabis. In fact, I love my scarves so much, I want to give one away to a lucky Hijabi Life reader! If you are on Instagram, make sure to tag @hijabilife in your welcome Ramadan photos and you could win one of the beautiful hijabs sent to me from The Taffeta Tree! I hope you all enjoy your Ramadan and wish you luck in your Ramadan goals and this giveaway!

5 Tips On A Productive Ramadan

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan is an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. Make sure you take advantage while you can.

Ramadan is a time where Muslims all over the world refrain from food, drink, and physical relations during daylight hours. While most people tend to focus on the food aspect of Ramadan, this holy month is a great opportunity for Muslims to transcend animalistic needs and instincts and focus on spiritual growth.

I know I tend to gain weight in general (even during Ramadan), so I will make sure this year to keep my body healthy so that I can focus on my worship versus slaving away in the kitchen. We all know that Ramadan is not easy, but here are some of my own tried and true tips to ensure you have a productive Ramadan this year too!

Avoid Negative People

We all have toxic people in our lives. They are the people who are naysayers, make fun of your goals, or just plain don’t like you. Well, try to avoid those types of people this Ramadan. Not only will it make you happier, there is an added bonus of avoiding the huge sin of backbiting. It will also help you hunker down and focus on achieving your goals for Ramadan too.

Eat Suhoor (pre fasting meal before dawn)

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Researchers have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. Can you imagine the benefits of eating a nice balanced suhoor before you embark on your fast? I plan to alternate between oatmeal plus fruit with egg whites and veggies. Eating suhoor ensures you will have the energy to the face the day of fasting and free your mind to reflect on deeper thoughts.

Have a Plan

While these tips are generally helpful, we should all have specific goals in mind for Ramadan. Is it to complete the Quran? Pray every night of tarawih at the masjid? Whatever your goal may be, make sure to map out a plan of success. For example, if you want to complete the Quran, break up the Quran in blocks each day to read. If you want to be at the masjid every night, make sure you plan out your meals and arrange for things in your home to be taken care of. Whatever your plan is, ask for help so that you can reach your Ramadan goals inshallah.

Avoid Idle Talk and Engage in Dhikr

When I am fasting, I find it easier to avoid the typical chit chat. I am still friendly, but avoiding unnecessary conversations has kept me from being distracted from what I really wanted to accomplish during Ramadan. Another bonus is that I have found that I am super focused on my work at the office and that leads to efficiency which is a win win. Doing dhikr also keeps remembrance of Allah close at hand too.

Go Easy on Iftar (post fast meal)

While its normal to want to binge eat after you break your fast, try to avoid over indulging. While traditional foods for breaking fast are deep fried, just eat a few dates and drink some milk. This way you can pray without having a bloated belly! After that, you can try some light protein with a few veggies. That way, you get healthy nutrients and you can avoid losing lean muscle mass.

I hope these tips help you have a productive Ramadan inshallah. From my family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Ramadan!