Hijabi Vloggers/Bloggers

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As promised via Twitter here is my thoughts on Hijabi Vloggers/Bloggers.

So as a revert and being young I looked to the net to get ideas on how to wear the hijab and some tricks and tips.  There are a lot of lovely women out there creating all sorts of content, from how to style you hijab for school to occasions, how to manage different materials, how to wrap it so your glasses don’t make bulges, creating chest coverage from your scarf and on and on the list goes.  Basically I find any question you have you can pretty much find the answers out there.

While I wont go into crazy detail about each sister (I will let you go and see how amazing they are for yourselves), I will give you the just of why I adore them and find them so helpful.

Saima Chowdhury– She is just so upbeat, silly and happy.  I love reading and watching her stuff and it was her that made me want to try jersey hijabs ( as I mentioned in a previous blog they are so versatile, comfortable and amazing coverage!) and also experiment more with my hijab until I got a style that suits me.  Kinda like having a bad haircut and getting a great one!  Shes young, embracing hijab but also doing her own thing which I love.  Also she makes you feel like taking your time to find how you want to do it is fine, which a lot of new hijabis need to know.  If you wanna know more you can find her here http://www.saimachowdhury.co.uk/ or just write her name into YouTube.

Nabiilabee– I’ve watched her for couple of years now on and off and seen her style change and develop from newbie experimenting to confident designer. Its thanks to her that I discovered the greatness of the ninja under scarf (it covers your head and neck so you can wear basically any hijab without you skin showing, plus make you extra warm and cosy come winter time).  While I personally am not into the turban craze or really into much make up on a daily basis whether it be from her or anyone else ( we all have our own styles and personal taste), I do love her hijab tutorials and she is just adorable to learn from.    If you wanna know more you can find her here http://nabiilabee.uk/ or just write her name into YouTube.

Ruba Zai (aka HijabHills)–  Again like the previous two I have watched and loved her for quite a while.  Her style both in hijab and clothes is generally elegant and stylish.  She has some great tutorials and seems to never run out of ways to wrap your hijab.  One of the main things I adore about her is that her hijab styles always look effortless.  If you wanna know more you can find her here http://www.hijab-hills.com/ or just write her name into YouTube.

Eslimah– Now while I have only been following her for about 10 months or so I do really adore her as well.  While she has a few tutorials she doesn’t really teach you how to do hijab but is more a Muslim fashion model who is hired by different Muslim companies.  She gives you an insight into how she dresses etc, but the best thing about her is how she shares about her faith.  She is a revert and has suffered the loss of some family and friends for her decision but she is so strong and does not hide away from who she is.  Come on she is all over the net wearing hijab, she is proud to say hey I’m a Muslimah, just the same as the rest of these wonder women. If you wanna know more you can find her here http://eslimah-official.com/ or just write her name into YouTube.

I can not choose one as a favourite, they all have their own particular points that speak to me and attract me to them.  I have learned quite a bit from all of them, and while they are not the most famous of all the Muslim bloggers/vloggers I have became more confident wearing the hijab and began to love it thanks to all these amazingly lovely ladies.

As always happy to hear your feedback and questions.

Milly xx

How do you plan to raise your kids?

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To the best of my abilities like everybody else was my natural reply, but then I realized they meant in regards to religion.

This question I find kinda hard to answer simply because I dunno.  I was not raised in a religious household from which I can source ways of raising my little ones.  Yes my children are being taught to say Bismillah (in the name of Allah) before eating and then Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) after eating, which is all very similar in intentions to saying grace as a Christian.  They say hi sometimes and As-Salaam-Alaikum (Peace be unto you) other times depending if they are talking to a speaker of Arabic or one of my relatives.  We are raising them bilingual so the can speak to both sides of the family.

I wouldn’t say I am heavily teaching them Islam, firstly as they are still young to comprehend much but secondly I believe if you are over powering they will run and do the opposite.  Yes my children as both Muslims being raised by a born Muslim father and a revert mother but really if you met them you wouldn’t be able to differentiate them from Joe blogs next door.  Sometimes people seem to expect a strongly religious household but in reality its just the same as everyone else.  Since living here i have had the privilege to see into the life’s of Muslim families and while they do have Quran and sometimes you will hear them reciting Quran with their children, I didn’t find it any different than how parents read the Bible or even a story to their young ones.

I would like them to be good Muslims when they are older but while I can teach manners, respect for others and all the basis of Islam what they then do with that upbringing is in their hands alone.  Kids these days are very influences by the internet, TV and the ever changing culture of their generation.

So in summary I plan to raise them knowing and understanding Islam, to tell the truth, to respect others and most importantly to be true to themselves.

If you have any questions of your own please feel free to ask 🙂

By the way I have Twitter now 🙂  www.twitter.com/memuslimahmum  Twitter_bird

Milly x

Did people treat you differently?

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I would love to say no but sadly yes I was treated differently, by strangers as well as people I knew.  I lost a few ‘friends’ though looking back they weren’t good friends if they ditch someone because of their faith.  Also neighbours and general people in the community that I would normally smile and say morning to avoided eye contact with me now.  While I was pretty sad about it at the time, you do grow to accept it.  I remember being in Asda (Walmart in US), standing in the queue to pay and people in front of me vanished to longer queues to avoid standing near me.  My mum was like look at it positively you finished getting your shopping quicker, but I was bummed out. How could a bit of material on my head make people run away from me?

Some friends took a little bit of time to adapt but then they were cool, especially as they started to understand my thought process behind it.  Some people do not seem to see the difference between embracing Islam and becoming a terrorist, and as much as you will try to make them understand they still see it as ‘you say tomato, I say tomato’.  The worst thing I think a converter to any religion can do is to shove it in peoples faces.  I was learning so much and just wanted to go “hey you know what? oh I learned this today isn’t it amazing!” but I didn’t, I had hated being plugged with religious talk and knew its not how you go about things.  Those that are interested will either read about it or ask a person of said religion questions.  Just because your interested doesn’t mean everyone is.  I joined a reverts forum online at the time and asked a ton of questions as well as answering some, it was an outlet for everything I wanted to say without bothering anyone.

My parents were amazing, they treated me no differently and my mum even let me try a hijab on her to see how it looked from the back 😀  My brother who was about 12 at the time really didn’t even seem to notice ought was different other than my hair not showing, he would pass the room while I was praying and not be bothered, each to their own was his attitude.

Don’t get me wrong and think that I was super not caring and strong willed.  Quite a few times in the beginning especially at home in the UK I wore hat and scarf instead of hijab when the comments and stares got too much.  Plus when I visited home one summer I dawned my hoodies hood to cover instead.  I cared too much about what people thought and put aside my wants. I was always saying to myself, why are they acting like this, I’m still me!  The problem is not the people themselves generally but that they do not know much on the subject and what they do know is either from the media which is all negative and pretty conflicting in regards to the truth, or from rubbish hateful articles on the net.

I won’t go into details about what was said to me nor what I was called but needless to say some were Anti-Islamic, some racist (yes somehow I who am pale with a dash of freckles, light eyes, with all Scottish features became Pakistani, Arab and I quote kidding you not “Japani”, all by wearing a hijab) and some down right stupid.  Plus if you think that I am from any of these countries why are you calling me out on my hijab? I was starting to think I must have being followed my a gorgeous Pakistani woman from the amount of comments I received about being one.  Whether or not these people understood the difference between race and religion is beyond me and baffles me to this day.

I could could advise anyone that asks me this question regarding hijab, I would say to not treat people differently, if you are curious ask them about it, they are expecting questions.  Everyone has their own belief system and we should all respect each other.  The same way everyone has their own unique sense of style, accept and respect them.

As always I would love to hear your feedback, thought and questions 🙂

How did you start to wear hijab?

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Well as i mentioned i was hopeless at it and pins were my greatest enemy ha ha 😀

As with everything you start off trying it. I tried it as i knew it was an important part of Islam but i had my reservations as I felt stupid in it if I’m honest.  I was far from committed at first more experimental, I would wear it if we were going to the city etc but wouldn’t bother if people came to our home or I was out in the grounds of the house.  Hijab doesn’t just refer to the scarf you dawn on your head though, it also means covering by wearing modest clothes. We went shopping for long sleeved tops to begin with and I actually found wearing sleeves harder than the hijab, as I was always a vest or strap top girl so the change was hard on me.

The first few weeks take a lot of getting used to, its like being in someone else’s skin I found. Some days I didn’t bother altogether, I needed to take it slow but I was determined as I felt it was better to be modest in how I dressed and presented myself plus the women I was surrounded by did it beautifully. Yes they were wearing long sleeved full length everything but with a lot of style and integrating the latest fashions.  I had previously assumed covering meant boring, how wrong was I.

Fast forward 9 years and here I am with a large collection of scarves, a few abayas ( long black light dress), some jilbabs (like a coat) and many flowy maxi skirts and I don’t think I could ever go back.  Don’t get me wrong I love a cute pair of shorts or a low cut sequenced top as much as the next girl; and I do wear them but in the house, for occasions, family parties etc where only women see you.

Now while it worked out for me I know a lot of Muslimahs who don’t wear hijab and while it is a part of being a Muslim and Allah (Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) requires it of us, I don’t believe it is the most important part by far.  Wearing it or not does not in my opinion define whether you are a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Muslim, especially at the beginning.  Some people rush and tick every box straight away but then lose faith and stop practicing Islam altogether.  Yes hijab is a requirement but i think you if you wear the hijab but then don’t pray or fast for example then really what is the point?  I know women who dress the opposite of modest but their faith is out of this world and they practice Islam much better than me.  I am not saying they should not strive to wear hijab but rather that at the end of the day its whats your intentions are that matters.

As you grow as a hijabi so does your personal style and taste.  My arsenal of ways to wrap my scarf is ever increasing, especially thanks to YouTube tutorials and also the crazy amount of scarves available now.  Recently I got Jersey scarves from online and they are amazing (to say they are soft is an understatement) and the owner is just lovely.  They have fast become my favourites not just because they drape, give amazing chest coverage and look gorgeous on but because you don’t really have to iron them ha ha.  Yes I can be lazy sometimes but as a mum of toddlers sometimes you need practical and if it can look fab at the same time even better 😀

Fellow Muslimahs do you have stories of how you started wearing hijab? If so would love to hear them xx

As always I’m always interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on the topic and any questions you might have 😀

*In case any of you are interested, the Jersey hijabs I mentioned are from http://www.al-madinahijabs.com, I have ordered a few times from there and its my go to for Jerseys, would totally recommend it.

How did you find Islam?

Ok, so I’m gonna tell you how i reverted to give you a little bit of a backstory.

I was 16 and the complete opposite of religious, i drank, i smoked, i wore hipster jeans and low cut vest tops, had tattoos and i was just wild and hungry to “live life” as a lot of teenagers who are eager to grow up are.  If you told me to sit i would run just to be defiant.  So i get this friend and while I knew he was an Arab, I really didn’t find any major differences than any other foreigners living in the UK at the time.  He was a student at Uni and was a valuable source and insight to uni life.  while getting to know him i learned bits and pieces about his country and his religion among other things.  Long story short, he was telling me once about what he does and doesn’t do as a Muslim and i found myself generally interested and wanting to know more.  So I search engined ‘Muslim way of life’ and began picking up little bits, mainly scrolling through until a word would catch my eye and id read a wee bit.  I ask my friend for information as well but while he answered my questions he said if your really interested you should read a book in English about it as i don’t want my loose grasp on the language to misinform you. some time passes i have a book and have decided i want to be a Muslim.

My friend and I have meanwhile got pretty close and are pretty into each other.  Between hanging out with uni folk and my new interest in Islam i found myself not wanting to drink, then not party.  shortly after i took my Shahadda at my parents house. My parents were totally cool, they raised us Atheist and whatever you wanted to believe in was up to you.  fast forward a few months and I’m in love with my Arab friend and I’m telling my mum that i want to marry him.  she had gotten to know him in this time and both her and my dad adored him but still i was 16 and she was hesitant. but not long after she supported me and she helped choose a dress.  We had a simple wedding with just my family and some close friends. We then traveled to his home country to meet his family and to have an Islamic wedding ceremony with his family present.

I wont sugar coat it and say it was easy, culture shock doesn’t cover it but i just seen it as an extension of the man i loved and was gonna give it a go and see.  at this point i haven’t yet began praying as in how you are meant to but i did speak to Allah (Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) sometimes and was still eagerly learning.  I was being taught some small Arabic chapters of Quran so i could begin praying and i was eager to try hijab ( scarf you wrap around your head to cover your hair), as everyone else wore one.  I was rubbish at it, scarf wouldn’t do as it was told and pinning it in place! If my head had been full of water. I’m sure it would have been flowing out all the holes i made in my head.

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Looking back i think i was quite slow on becoming a Muslim but that was what was best for me, my own pace.

Hello world!

Hello I’m Milly 😀

New to blogging and if I’m completely honest with you don’t exactly know what I’m doing. But I like to write, love to share and I’m always interested to hear other peoples experiences, so here i am giving it ago.

Quick summary of Moi….I’m 25, married with kids and a revert to Islam.  Trying to balance life is crazy, I have responsibilities and titles like “mummy”  and “adult” to live up to, but at same time I’m growing and changing as a person, as a woman.

I got the idea to write a blog as a lot of friends (Atheists, Christians and Muslims) ask me questions regarding my becoming a Muslim and then subsequently marrying a Muslim Arab man and moving to his country.  So I am gonna try and give an insight into the changes in everyday life eg hijab, prayer etc, but also the differences I’ve experienced in how i perceive life as a result.

If you have questions of your own feel free to comment and I will try to answer honestly as i can 🙂