Follow Friday: Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF

Ascia AKF is a Kuwaiti blogger who shows us you can have great style all the time…even pregnant!

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a good day today inshallah. Well even if you aren’t, the bright spot is that today is Follow Friday on Hijabi Life! The hijabi blogger for today’s Follow Friday lives in Kuwait and is a masterful mix of bold, bright and beautiful ensembles. Ascia AKF, aka Ascia Al-Faraj exploded onto the blogger scene and is credited with bringing the turban style into a mainstream staple. Ascia AKF’s blog, The Hybrids follow the fashion diary of not only herself, but her husband Ahmad too. The couple calls themselves “hybrids” since they are both of mixed heritage. The results are just stunning mashallah.

An expert at deftly layering clothes, Ascia AKF’s look is more of a citizen of the world. She combines high low fashion in a way that is not only accessible, but transcends age, ethnicity and even gender. Even during her recent pregnancy with her newborn son Adam, we never saw the lovely hijabi blogger ever resort to scrubby looking sweatpants (which makes me love, yet hate her haha!) even during her last trimester. A big believer in the idea that your mood affects your style, Ascia AKF has said, “When I don’t want to talk to anyone I wear black clothes and black dark eyeliner so no one would enter my world of thoughts. On the other hand, “sometimes I would wear colors with the best accessory and bright colors to express my mood.”

Ascia AKF doesn’t purport to live a charmed life even with all of her successes as a fashion designer and blogger. Ascia is very open about sharing her own struggles as well as her style. She shared her troubles of fertility with her fans last year as well as the sadness she felt with losses in her life. However, she still continued and continues to inspire us all. If there was ever a blogger who was proof of how there is ease after hardship, it is Ascia. She lives up to her namesake’s name.

While I am not a devotee of the turban style for my own personal hijab style, I think @ascia_akf (her account on Instagram) is just a wonderful account to follow for modest fashion ideas. What are your thoughts? Do you have a hijabi blogger you would like me to cover in the next Follow Friday post? Let me know.

Are Taking Selfies Dangerous?

Keep Calm and No Selfies

Taking selfies can be more damaging than you think.

I have an addiction. No I am not addicted to drugs, or alcohol, or anything that is traditionally deemed as destructive. However, deep down I know I have an addiction that could possibly be destructive. I am addicted to taking selfies. At first, I was all about just taking pictures of friends and families just to capture the moment. But it was when I was ruining happy moments to take selfies that I realized that my hobby of taking pictures has gone too far. Who am I really posting all my selfies for? I should be actually basking in the fun moments with my family versus taking a multiple pictures only to “delete” most of them and keep only the ones I thought were the most flattering.

My moment of realization actually came with seeing the movie Divergent. In the movie, there is a group of people called Abnegation who are kind and think of others. They deny themselves “pleasures” in order to stay connected to feeling empathy for others. One pivotal thing I noticed was that this group of people did not spend too much time looking in the mirror because they felt it bred vanity. When I saw this scene, I felt a moment of realization. I was spending way too much time worrying about how I look, taking selfies, and getting ready than I did about my fellow Muslims in Syria and all over the world. As I was trying to connect via selfies, I was actually disconnecting with reality.

Time recently reported how a teenager almost committed suicide when he came to realization that he couldn’t take the “perfect” selfie. Danny Bowman told The Mirror: “I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t I wanted to die,” Bowman told the Daily Mirror. “I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life.”

I am opening up about my addiction with you lovelies because it is one that is spreading in our lovely Ummah faster than you can say bismillah. Like any new technology, there is good and bad that comes with it. The one nice thing about Instagram and selfies is that it has definitely normalized hijab for Americans. It has also served as inspiration for many sisters in the community who want to dress modestly, but also want to look stylish as well. However, the negative aspect is when you start to worry you are not “stylish” enough, harass your loved ones to take a ton of pictures of you, and you interrupt a perfectly lovely meal just to take snaps of yourself with food. I am not judging anyone. This post is about me. I am ashamed to admit that this is me. However, I do want to change. I have decided not to take pictures of myself no more than once a week. I have also promised myself to treat myself kindly. I know I may not be a super hijabi fashionista, but I try to be a good mom, wife and valued member of the community who helps others.

In fact, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf gave a khutba at MCC recently where he said that selfies should really be called nafsies (nafs is the term used for a human’s base desires and instincts). Do we really want to give in to our nafs on a daily basis? I know I don’t and I will try my best to stop myself from this selfie tendency. Here is what the Shaykh has said:

The end is coming and people will do anything to occupy their time to avoid the inevitability of Death.

People are completely distracted and they are not present in their lives.

People completely fade away as we are living in a very trivialized civilization.

The Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) has warned: the “The intellects will be removed from people”; these are our Prophetic traditions.

Do I really want to be one of those people whose intellect has been removed? I personally was scared when I heard this. I am so very lucky to have scholars locally here in the Bay Area to remind me, but I am writing this post to remind you. Let’s remove this selfie addiction and replace it with something more positive, like Suhaib Webb’s “Rug Life” if we feel the need to take a picture.

While I am still working on my digital addiction, I know it will take time. Granted, this is more self diagnosis than via a health professional, but I know it is something I need to change. Do any of you feel like you have the “selfie shakes” (when you literally start itching to take a selfie)? Let me know in the comments below.

Follow Friday: @Honeyfordays aka Hanan


Hanan aka Honeyfordays is the epitome of California cool.

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful day inshallah. As you know, today is Follow Friday where I recommend a stylish hijabi on Instagram to follow. Today’s Follow Friday hijabi @honeyfordays (Hanan) is not only stylish and beautiful, but she also gives back to the community. I had the pleasure of meeting Hanan at the Fashion Fighting Famine San Francisco show in Jan 2014. I can vouch that she is not only stunning in photographs, but also very beautiful in real life too mashallah. @honeyfordays was modeling for FFFSF while I was MCing the show. I personally think it is wonderful when we see have hijabis who are trying to make a difference in their local communities. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to connect too much that day since we both were focused on making Fashion Fighting Famine SF successful, but I was struck by her poise and beauty in person for the brief moment we did meet! Actually, it was nice to meet a whole collective of stylish hijabis in the Bay Area overall. However, when @honeyfordays was on the runway you could literally hear a pin drop because all eyes were on her. She rocked her outfits like no one else because she has an effortless beauty about her.

@honeyfordays not only has killer style, she is a fresh faced beauty that can pull off dramatic eye makeup or trendy lip colors without looking overly done. Whether it’s a smoky kohl eye or a velvety plum lips, @honeyfordays can make trendy makeup looks more accessible. I love following her Instagram account if only to get ideas on how to wear makeup trends well. She is not a big accessory girl, but when she does wear accessories you know it. From bejeweled headbands to cinched belts, she wears accessories to complement HER, not her outfit.

Make sure to check out @honeyfordays on Instagram and while you are there, feel free to add me too @hijabilife!