Thursday, June 28, 2018

Ramadan Reflection 2018.

(A little late in posting this, but better late than never!)

If I said that I had a productive Ramadan, I would be lying to myself. This year was a pure struggle. It was difficult, unproductive, and challenging. I went into this year thinking that I wanted to have a peaceful and serene Ramadan. It was peaceful in a sense that I tried to avoid people and the masjid and it was serene in the sense that I was alone for iftar and suhoor .

To be honest, I didn't have a productive Ramadan AT ALL. I just wasn't feeling it. I wasn't able to do half of the things I did last year, not because I couldn't but because I just wasn't feeling it. I forced myself to do as much as I could, but this year, I had no drive. Some readers are probably judging me and thinking "she is so ungrateful", "she can do it so why shouldn't she..." etc.. and yes I agree with you! But there are a lot of things that I don't include in my posts. I don't share much about my private life and what goes on so that is why it is easy for many to judge me. Buttttttttt.... I honestly could care less, lol. Judge if you want, ultimately, I am the one living this reality and Allah knows all the highs and lows I struggle with on a daily basis. The one who judges hold no merit in our lives because have they been there for us? Have they been the one to call us to see how we are doing? Do they e-mail or send us a text to check up on us? Probably not ..so remember sisters, people who judge you are just background noise and have inner conflicts with themselves that they refuse to pay attention to thus they look at others to make themselves feel better.

Anyway,
Call me taboo for expressing my honest feelings but I feel like everyone on social media takes it way too far with their Ramadan experience. Posting pics of iftar gatherings, posting videos/pics of themselves galavanting around the city after praying Taraweeh hashtagging #ramadanlatenights #suhoor/iftaarwithfriends...so on and so forth. I feel like Ramadan has become such a cultural and commercialized practice that if we dare have an unproductive Ramadan we are seen as a bad Muslim who is lazy and not a good believer.
Let's be honest with ourselves, though. We are only human beings and expecting to excel 24/7 365 days a year is absolutely impossible. Ramadan is no exception. We WILL have those Ramadans where we failed ourselves and where they just didn't affect us as much as it affected the next person beside us bawling their eyes out during Taraweeh. We WILL have those boring, lonely Eids that make us feel depressed and sad, we WILL have many moments of despair and low emaan during AND after Ramadan. This is normal. Yes, our community leaders always stress the importance of making the best of each Ramadan because we don't know if it will be our last. This holds a weighty truth but we also need to remember that we are not robots or machines. We can only try our best even if it means not being as successful as we were the year before. What matters the most, is that we tried our best. Allah is not an evil God nor is He out to get us or punish us (reminder to myself first and foremost). Allah just wants us to try our best and to give what we can; little or a lot.

The reason I decided to share my experience is that I know I am not the only one out there who didn't have a productive Ramadan. Those who are single and living with non-Muslim parents, those who have to work 8-hour shifts, single mothers who have to work and take care of children, and there are countless scenarios that I could go on and list, are some reasons that could hinder or affect our worship in the blessed month.

To be honest, this Ramadan made me reflect on my many flaws. I found myself getting extremely irritated (more than usual) with people and I just had a low tolerance for things I normally try to tolerate. The two months leading up to Ramadan were exhausting mentally and emotionally and it just followed me well into Ramadan. I was trying to take a breather yet I was also trying to keep the momentum up with the holy month. Alas, I was burned out by the middle of Ramadan and as I sit here waiting for my last iftar, I can't help but feel a sense of relief and a sense of disappointment.

I remind myself and all the readers that Ramadan should not be just a monthly emaan sprint. We should always remain consistent and balanced throughout the year. Even if it is reading one page of the Qur'an every day or watching one Islamic lecture per week, or even just saying a simple Salam to a sister and telling her a good word can be more beneficial than doing absolutely nothing all year and everything in one month. Consistency and intentions are key. I know how hard it is to keep up our daily routines all year round, especially if you do not have many Muslim family/friends around you to support you every single day. While it is a luxury to have this in our lives, in the end, we die alone and we will be in our grave alone, therefore, we need to depend on Allah and ourselves to get us through the good, the bad and the ugly times.

Ramadan is no different. It has become such a cultural practise to highlight Ramadan as being a time to have iftar/suhoor with family ...Eid parties with family...going to the masjid with family....etc... but in reality, family will leave us...and then what? Will our family be with us inside our grave and helping us during the day of Judgement? No.
We need to stop making Ramadan out to be some big fam jam and we need to detach ourselves from this idea. The reason a lot of us struggle during Ramadan, myself included, is that we think Ramadan is only meaningful if we have lots of iftar parties and taraweeh late nights at the masjid with family. I always feel sad whenever I see people posting or talking about Ramadan with their families and maybe that is one of the times I actually feel alone as a convert. I guess that is my own fault because I should not associate Ramadan = family gatherings and happy times to eat and get fat. Ramadan is a time for reflection alone with Allah. I should feel grateful that I have that moment and chance to be in touch with my creator while others are being in touch with their families and their stomachs. I should be thankful that Allah wants me to spend one on one time with Him instead of wasting my time talking about nonsense over food with family and not even having time to make duaa before maghrib because I'm too busy helping family cook in the kitchen. I need to remind myself that the whole purpose of Ramadan and after Ramadan is to gain independence from the creation and gain dependence on the Creator. Wow, it's so easy to say this but how difficult is it to actually understand and apply this?

Ramadan has left us, yet the struggles continue.....
Ah well, this is life.




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Life Updates: Chapter 12 - Being Chinese....??!


For as long as I can remember, I always shied away from embracing my Chinese roots. Actually, I don't really think I "shied" away from embracing my Chinese roots because it was extremely clear that I wanted to have nothing to do with my ethnicity. NOTHING. Those who know me personally would find this post entertaining and they might even be proud of me!
I have come a long way to being able to admit that I am, in fact, Chinese. 

I have actually told people that I am Korean and some people nod and say "wow, really?" while others totally believe it and wouldn't even think twice, lol. Then I say, just kidding, I'm Chinese. I don't think I'm lying, because maybe somewhere down that ancestry tree (too bad I can't find out because I don't want to pay $200+ to get my DNA tested by ancestry or 23andme), I have some of that Hanguk blood in me. Afterall, Chinese and Korea did share some serious history back then for a long while, right? PLUS , I do have a Korean last name and in Chinese, my last name means the same thing as it does in Korean! So there must be some correlation there..

......Ok, but isn't funny that my blog is named "One Chinese Muslimah"? 
Sometimes, I feel like I have deceived some of my readers because I have received quite a few e-mails asking me about Chinese culture and telling me how much they love it *lolz*. I apologize to my dear readers if I have deceived you, and my blog name is not clickbait I assure you! I am still on my journey to self-discovery and I will one day fully embrace my Chinese-ness. Until then...let me not get ahead of myself here and go to the extent to say I am proud to be Chinese. lolz. 
Step.
at.
a.
time.

And so the search began...

I was born and raised in Toronto (pronounced ToRRono) and even though Toronto is in Canada, it definitely has its own culture. Toronto is definitely somethin' else. The variety of cultures in Toronto is so rich and there are so many things you can choose from! I think this is why I had such an identity crisis growing up. I wanted to be everything but Chinese. I had cornrows like Alicia Keys, I wore Italian jerseys, I owned several pairs of Air Force Ones and Celtics and Raptors jerseys, I would (still do) obsess over ghormesabzi and rice with barberries, I fully enjoyed (still do) eating out of a big pan of rice and meat on the floor with my hands and I still can't say no to ox-tail with rice and peas!! I always loved cute things and I still have an obsession with Hello Kitty (does that make me Chinese? But Hello Kitty is Japanese...) and the list goes on!!

Growing up, I was always surrounded by a diverse group of friends. From elementary up until high school, I was never a cliquey person EXCEPT in grade 9; all my friends were Chinese and then I went through this phase in grade 12 where I would listen to Chinese songs and hang out at bubble tea shops. That was short-lived and I soon went on to explore many cultures in order to assign myself an identity. The only "positive" thing I associated the Chinese culture with was Jackie Chan kung-fu movies and all the Ip Man film series.

I explored the hip-hop culture, the Caribbean culture, the Italian culture, the Arab culture, the Persian (Iranian) culture, and many more. I was never really into the Canadian culture though because I hated hockey, I didn't like beer, bacon was/is nasty, and I never really said "eh" (but I do say "sorry" a lot).  Whenever people told me I looked mixed, it was like music to my ears. Even to this day, when sisters ask me if I am Korean, Japanese, mixed or even Afghani (lol, yes..) deep down a part of me screeches with joy *lolz*. I never wanted to "look" Chinese and I guess you could say this is/was a problem.

The reason I am writing this is not only to address myself but to also address the issue of being ashamed to embrace your ethnic identity.  I admit that I fall under this category of being 'in denial' and being ashamed of my ethnicity but I know that Allah created me this way and whether I like it or not, I need to accept the fact that it is physically obvious that I am East Asian.

All my life, to me, being Chinese was something shameful. I just couldn't fit myself into that Chinese stereotype. Let me make a list for you and let you in on what I did not want to be a part of:

1. Driving rice rockets (modified sports cars with bumpers, rims, full blown exhausts , and fancy paint jobs) - though, shamefully, I did have a short moment where I totally was obsessed with street car racing because of that stupid movie that we all know about *rollz eyezzzzz*
2. Being part of that "rich- everything brand name" club (although I also did have a phase where I became obsessed with brand names *lol*)
3. Going karaoking every weekend
4. Binge drinking while playing card games
5. Being a size -00000.000000oooooo
6. Obsessing over material wealth and always saving face, never admitting shame or having humility!
7. Being a doctor, lawyer (although I do take a great interest in law), surgeon, or accountant
8. Being good at math ( I still use my fingers to add and subtract sometimes...)
9. ALWAYS. SHOWING. OFF ! (wealth, status, material things, and EVERYTHING from the size of your pinky finger to the colour of your grey hair )
10. Stepping on people to get to the top (I guess that is not really a culture though)
11. STINGINESS (audhubillah!)
12. Loud yelling with no shame in public places (i'm loud but i don't yell in public!)
13. Obsessing over what other people think of you (this did become an issue because of my parents)
14. The "if you are rich", you are successful mentality
15. Eating pork feet , pork intestines, pork skin, pork everything (EWWW!!!!?!dutty swine) 
16. Ridiculous feng shui, silly superstition practices.
17. Gossiping (but what culture is not free from this?)
18. Being judgemental (but who doesn't judge?! Let's be real)
19. Only hanging out and accepting Chinese people as your friends
20. SO Superficial & SO hypocritical

These were just some of the things that I didn't want to associate myself with. When I think about the Chinese culture, I can't help but feel a huge culture shock/clash. I don't feel like I belong in their culture. I am a total foreigner when it comes to Chinese culture. I remember the many times I went to Hong Kong and even though I physically looked Korean/Japanese Chinese, I felt like a foreigner from a Western country who was fascinated by the plethora of Hello Kitty things, all the street shops opened into the wee hours of the morning and massage-beaded seat covers in the taxi cabs! Well, I technically was a foreigner from a Western country, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Disassociation with my Chinese roots continued up until recently. I still prefer to identify myself as South Korean. I give myself Korean pseudonyms. I can cook jjangmyeon (minus the dutty swine). I visit Galleria Korean Supermarket at least 2-3 times a month. I am even trying to learn Korean. I guess you could say, things are getting pretty serious with my South Korean obsession. There are a lot of things in the Korean culture which I can relate to and that I really do appreciate. All the East Asian cultures are very similar and their cultures are very rich in history. That makes me a little bit more open-minded to learning more about Chinese history, I guess..

I am beginning to learn that Chinese culture should not be associated with its individuals. I think because I have seen so many Chinese people (thanks to family members) who have tainted my impressions about the Chinese culture, I was associating the people with the culture. I think they should be seen as two separate things. Just like Muslims, Islam is perfect but Muslims are not

I mean, obviously, there are many flaws in the Chinese culture and there are beyond miles of dirty shirk (May Allah protect us all Ameen!) but I noticed a lot of admirable qualities that the Chinese culture teaches. For example honour, family, modesty, dignity, discipline, and being hard-working are extremely important qualities that Chinese people value. I know these qualities all stem back from thousands of years of rich history and how dynasties upon dynasties and ruler upon ruler caused its people to mould into a certain way in order to survive. Though I don't know too much about the ancient history of China, I do know this much is true: many traditional Chinese people are loyal, modest, honourable, disciplined, and kind.

I think many cultures have a lot of richness to them and once we learn about them with an open mind, I think it is safe to say that we will allow ourselves to embrace and even cherish some of the positive things each culture has to offer.

I know there are many people out there who find it hard to embrace their ethnicity all because of their negative experiences, their upbringing, and of course the media..but I assure you, somewhere deep down inside of you, you want to know more about where your ancestors came from and even embrace their positive qualities! Some qualities may even help improve your daily lifestyle as a Muslim. I know being disciplined, hard-working and having dignity can definitely benefit me as a Muslim. In fact, I think we can all learn a thing or two by how much the Chinese culture emphasizes discipline and hard-work. Even if I wasn't Chinese, I would probably find these qualities praiseworthy.

Allah has created us with such diversity and given us all different kinds of cultures to embrace. I guess it is the time I finally open myself up to that and try to learn more about my culture and appreciate the few many good qualities there are. I may not be fully there yet, but I am taking small steps to reach there insha'Allah.
(Disclaimer: and of course, for those who take things literally - embracing good qualities of a non-Muslim culture obviously means not to embrace their shirk and their immoral, negative qualities! Come on! Use your common sense !! )

"And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." (30:22)


Friday, March 30, 2018

Sunnah Style : My HONEST review..




Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu!! So, I recently wrote (well not so recently but recent enough) an honest review of my Tansim collections abayas and my experience with them. Overall, the experience was pleasant, but there was definitely room for improvement. I decided to review my niqabs from Sunnah Style because, well, why not? I know I have written quite a few posts before about my experience with wearing the niqab. I want to let my readers know that I am no longer a full-time niqabi because I live with my parents and I am not brave enough to cause harm to myself and let myself be kicked out and live homeless on the streets because I want to exercise something that, in my opinion, is not obligatory. I do not open any room for debates about this topic because there are differences of opinions on this matter; just because one sister sees it as obligatory, another may not and there are ample proofs to support both sides. So to those who take the opinion that niqab is fard, you do you, imma do me. 
Allah is the ultimate and final judge, you ain't aight? Aight. 

Now that that is out of the way, let's commence this long overdue review.

Now, I attend a halaqa every Sunday (the sisters who know me from the masjid and read this review, know exactly what I am about to write about lol) and that is the only time I wear my niqab (and whenever I go to the masjid or whenever there is a congregation of random Muslim men flocking in groups for some unknown reason where I deem uncomfortable. For some reason, Muslim men seeing my face makes me more vulnerable and violated than if some next non-Muslim man. Call me weird, but that's just how I roll. 

Sunnah Style has been my occasional go-to place for niqabs and abayas. I won a giveaway from them a few years back and I chose a khimar (which I reviewed here ) and a niqab. This was a while ago and since I moved back to Toronto, I purchased another abaya which I gave away because it was too see-through to my standards and the material snagged and I purchased two new niqabs (the purple (I had another purple one in the US from my giveaway purchase but I gave that way) and dark blue one - blue one not seen in this picture because I was too lazy to take four pics of me in a niqab and edit them.) The blue niqab and the purple (narrow no-pinch) one were on sale and that is basically why I bought them. I don't think I will be able to bring myself to pay full price for these niqabs anymore (unless they cater to women with small nose bridges and small faces.) 

So the pink and the beige coloured niqabs I purchased them online when I lived in the US. I purchased the no-pinch ones because I have glasses and the description (which you can find on their website https://sunnahstyle.com/36-no-pinch-niqabs) said it would be suitable for those with glasses. Let me just do a pros & cons list so I can save you from reading my boring review (because who bothers to read long reviews, right? I don't..anyway)

PROS:
-a wonderful collection of beautiful colours
- material is breathable
- the forehead part is nice and wide so it doesn't show your brow hairs (which to me is basically like showing your hair - and eyebrows showing looks so funny lol)
- I like how long the niqab is (down to your chest - and that is regular length)
- long tieback which I like
- the narrow no-pinch one is good if you have a higher nose bridge and wider face 
- great customer service, replaced my old beige niqab (which came in the mail snagged) with another beige niqab (the one worn in this post - which snagged again, unfortunately) without charging me

CONS:
 - pills easily
- I only wore the purple one twice (didn't even wash it) and it is already starting to pill (is that why it is on sale? lol...)
- I really dislike how uncomfortable the no-pinch niqabs are, I have to constantly fiddle and fix it while I am in my halaqa and it is a big distraction.
- If I don't tuck the no-pinch niqab under my glasses, basically you can see half my face (nose included lol)
- the (second) beige one snagged (again) and I can't wear it at all anymore! :(
- snags easily, very easily (if you are like me who have dry skin around your fingernails because of the harsh Canadian weather, you better watch out, your niqab will get caught on your dry skin and basically it will turn into a roll of thread)
- these niqabs are basically not made for anyone who is East Asian or anyone with a small nose bridge or a small face
- the narrow no-pinch one is slightly better but already starting to pill.
- quite pricey for the quality ($ 12 (sale) - $28)

OVERALL: 

Honestly, I really don't enjoy wearing these. Good thing I only wear them once a week, cuz if I wore them full-time, I think I would stop wearing the niqab just because of how uncomfortable these are. BUT, the one amazing thing is the long tieback and the long front part which covers the eyebrows but other than that, they snag and pill easily and they are far too wide for my face. If I tie it tighter, they pinch my eyes and I look like I have been crying all day because they make my eyes puffy. I will not be repurchasing unless they reformat these for sisters with smaller faces and smaller nose bridges. Until then, does anyone have any recommendations where I can find niqabs for small faces/small nose bridges? Without having to travel all the way to Malaysia? lol....
But guys, maybe I just don't know how to wear a niqab properly, though lol.. I wouldn't be completely close to the idea of trying Sunnah Style's basic niqab (not the no-pinch ones) but again, I don't want to risk paying for it and then it turns out even worse!

 I apologize if my review is brutally honest, but I do see how a lot of sisters enjoy these niqabs because they probably fit better on their faces. But for me, they don't and they snag and pill easily which is really sad because these niqabs are not cheap. I really do appreciate Sunnah Style and their mission and the modesty they are trying to provide for sisters. But modesty should not come at such a big price tag.  A lot of sisters can't afford half the items on their website and though I understand their quality is 'good' to some extent and they are trying to make a living as well, they should really consider making the BLUE line a little more affordable. The BLUE line is supposed to be more affordable but an abaya priced at $45 plus shipping is still expensive for someone who is a single mother of 3 and trying to make ends meet. I won't even go into the regular-priced abayas. Again, I apologize for being honest, but I hope that my honesty will help them improve and reconsider a few things. I have attached some pictures below of the niqab and the pilling & snagging in which I am talking about.






oh' snag! Can't wear this anymore :(

oh' snag!

can you see the pilling? 

more pilling..

May Allah forgive me if I said anything wrong or offensive and forgive me my many shortcomings. Ameen.

 (Disclaimer: ALL things stated here are my opinion. If you don't agree then that is not my problem. I don't write to please others and I don't write to lie to myself or others. My opinions expressed in this post are solely for the sake of Sunnah Style trying to improve and cater to sisters of all shapes and sizes and for the working, struggling class sisters who can't afford decent-quality, modest clothing. If we are not honest with ourselves or with others, then how can I or we improve?) 

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Most Despicable Trait.

Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [rahimahullaah] said:

Envy is the most despicable trait. The first deed of disobedience through which Allaah was disobeyed in the heavens was Iblees’s envy towards Aadam and the [first deed of disobedience through which Allaah was disobeyed] in the earth was Qaabil’s envy toward Haabil.

[Source: Zaadul Maseer’ [Tafseer Surah Al-Falaq]- by Ibn Jawzi (rahimahullaah)]

Monday, February 19, 2018

Life Updates: Chapter 11 - Why I HATE Social Media

I remember the days when I used to post on Instagram tidbits of my life. Little things from my every day life that I appreciated and thought to share with the online community.

I remember when I finally downloaded Snap Chat for the second time (because the first time it took me too long to understand how it worked so I just gave up) and gave it another chance. I remember how exciting it was to be able to share with others little snaps of my every day life. Adding Geo-filters and going out of my way to snap what I was eating, where I was shopping, and who I was with felt like such a fun activity. I wanted to share with everyone my "happy" life. I wanted to show everyone that I am "OK" despite my situation and that I was having "fun." I would do it just because I wanted others to think that I had an exciting life and things were going well for me. I wanted to show others that my life was not stagnant and that I always had places to go and people to see.

What a deception! I was in fact not OK, nor was I happy and the fun only lasted temporarily. At the end of the day, it made me really think to myself , "why am I living my life as a lie? What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to impress?"

I would see other people posting snaps of themselves travelling, enjoying time with their husband and family, dining with their families and having "fun" too.  I wonder if they were living life as a lie as well? I wonder what really happens behind the camera lens. Don't you guys ever wonder?
Is what everyone portrays their life to be on the online world ACTUALLY what it is?

I have seen so many non-Muslims and Muslims documenting and posting pics and videos of their "perfect" life. Always laughing and smiling and taking selfies with their man or with friends. Always dolled- up and having somewhere to go. Dining in at the fanciest places and shopping for the latest trends. Life looks so lavish and fancy online. But I wonder, what is really going on in their hearts? Are they really satisfied with life? Is their marriage REALLY perfect? They MUST be right? Because they look SO HAPPY?! I guess I will never find out because it really isn't my business and quite frankly, I could care less lol. To each their own. If you want to show the world your life and your love, go ahead. If you don't care about evil eye, then go ahead. Things may seem happy-go-lucky now, but things are never permanent and this fleeting life is only temporary. This is what I remind myself every day.

That is why I deleted SnapChat and I will only download Instagram from time to time to share my blog update and check out some accounts here and there. It just became too much of a fitnah for me because it made me feel unappreciative of the things that I have. The smallest of blessings could be the biggest to others yet whenever I would see other people's "blessings" it made me feel self pity and that my life was so boring. AstughfurAllah !

Like, let's be real, though, if you were really happy with your life, why share it? Happiness is a sacred feeling and it deserves to be kept safe and hidden from other envious eyes. The more happy you think you are because you are sharing your personal life with a bunch of random strangers, the less special those moments become. I remember when I used to post things on Snap Chat, instead of actually enjoying the moment, I would think to myself, "I better get a photo of this and show everyone this exciting moment!" Trying to capture the moment so I could share it with others and show everyone how "exciting" my life is. I mean, there were points where I would actually take videos and photos of things I was doing because I wanted to share the life in Toronto and what kind of things there are to do here, but eventually it turned into mainly just posting so I could show people that I wasn't a complete loser and had a life. lol. I wonder how many people share the same reality?

I guess we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to ask ourselves, what is the purpose of me sharing my life online? Is it to benefit others? Is it to make them feel happy? Sad? Jealous? What is in it for me? Will I get reward for posting my daily activities online? Will my posts invite envy to me and my family? Or will everything I post be against me on the Day of Judgement?!

It is hard to think about these things deeply at the time when we take the photo and upload it. We are not really thinking about whether or not it will be beneficial or harmful. We are just living the moment and we are excited to share with the world our lives! I totally understand that because when I was active on social media, I didn't really think twice.

But.....
Let me tell you from the side of a person who watches other people's snaps and who browses other people's Instagram accounts. I guess it depends on what someone posts and the context they are posting it in. Sometimes I feel happy. You know, happy for those who experience joy after they have been through hardships; it allows me to have hope with my situation and gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing at least somewhere, someone has received their ease. When people posts photos with a meaningful caption allowing the followers to understand their journey and where they came from, I can't help but hit that 'like' button. Those who post for a reason, hoping to reach out to others by sharing their experiences in life, well, these people I can genuinely feel happy for. On the other hand, there are just some posts that add no value to my life. There are some posts that are made to make you feel miserable about your own life and there are some posts that are made to make you feel ungrateful. This is the reality of social media and if you are thinking that you don't react this way then  good for you - masha'Allah. But let me tell you, majority of people who creep on social media react exactly the way I have mentioned.

At first, you can approach social media with an open mind and an open heart but as you begin to go on it more and more, you become addicted and overwhelmed and you see that everyone has the things you don't have and then it gets to you. Then eventually, you cave in. I can't speak for everyone, but for myself, I know that it makes me feel ungrateful and it makes me feel like I need to prove to people that I am somebody I am not. I need to show the world that I am happy even though I am crying inside from pain. I feel like I need to tell the world that I am OK but in reality, the only person who I need to tell that I am OK, is myself.

Social media, to me, is deception and lies. Somebody can be sharing the most exciting life or their account can be flooded with beneficial Islamic reminders, yet we do not really know who the person is behind the device. Of course, there are exceptions here and there but the general population probably is somebody they are not who they say they are.

Sharing your life with a selected few close friends and family is understandable and I truly believe those individuals are doing it to keep their family updated and to share precious moments with loved ones. But when I see people sharing their entire life story from A.M to P.M with completely random strangers, I wonder what is the purpose of this? I have seen some sisters who share their family on social media and I try to understand maybe from her point of view she wants everyone to know that you can be a niqabi and have a happy family and be free from oppression? But then I think, but why do you need the whole world to know by putting you and your family in danger? I mean I can sit here all day and wonder this and that but in the end, I will never know and only Allah can judge and He knows best. I would even like to say it is none of my business, but it really does become MY business when someone chooses to share their intimate family life to the public. Right?

The point of this post is to basically let people know why I hate social media and why I refuse to use it to share my life with friends let alone random strangers. It is not for me and if it is for you and it makes you feel happy, then alhamdulillah - you do you . Social media, to me, makes me depressed and I feel like it is so pointless because all it is is some kind of social competition to show that I have this and you don't. It makes me always want more and it makes me ungrateful for the things that I already have. And if you are already in a weakened state of emaan, it will just bring you further down. I still have bad habits and download Snap Chat and Instagram to see what is going on with people's lives but I limit myself now and every time I see their posts, it is always the same things and nothing has ever changed. It is entertaining, though. I guess that is why I still check in from time to time lol because it has become nothing but mere entertainment for me now.

Do we want to live our lives entertaining others? Why make our lives some spectacle for thousands to see? I guess at the end of the day before you share your life and post about you cooking your husband a low carb gluten-free, vegan dinner, or your Starbucks order ask yourself if you are doing it to benefit others? Or are you doing it to entertain others because you are so bored and unhappy with your life? Do you need to show others your happiness in order for yourself to accept your own happiness? Is that what true happiness is ?

Be honest with yourself and figure out the answer and you will be surprised.
#micdrop