Wake Up, Make Up, Repeat – How Instagram is Killing our Expectations and Standards #MalikahsMind

More and more, I’m seeing the SAME exact thing on IG. Literally. On my explore page, I find myself thinking “Am I looking at the same person?”, when I’ve actually seen pictures from 3 different accounts. That’s how similar everyone looks. Blame it on the IG algorithm, but this is definitely a more prevalent issue, now more than ever, and will get worse with time to come.

Malikah’s Mind – 2018 #GOALS

Hello there,

I hope you are doing well! Happy New Year! Wow, 2018 is here!

I thought I’d share some of my goals for 2018 with you all! In no way is this an all-encompassing list, but these are some major themes that represent a lot of my goals within them, inshallah.
And let me know some of your goals, too, that way we can be accountable to one another 😉

Malikah’s Mind – University Life – Nursing 101!

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well!

Recently, I’ve been getting many questions about university life and especially about nursing! As I am almost done my final year of nursing school, yay yay yay, I feel like I can finally give some sort of advice about it. I am planning on doing a blogpost about my university experience while living at home and all the fun that commuting entails, but I wanted to do this one first. Just keep in mind, I am answering these FAQ according to my experience and the university that I attend, so this may not be applicable to all nursing programs!

So grab a cup of tea or coffee and find a comfy spot and let’s get started! If there is anything I do not end up addressing in this post, feel free to message me on IG (@hijabiheroes) or even email me (malikah@hijabiheroes.com)!

Dear World, I’m Crazy…

Dear World,

I hope you’re doing well.

I’m writing to you because it’s been a while since we last spoke. It’s also been quite some time since I last thanked you for all that you’ve done, for me, and the rest of us that inhabit you. You’ve come a long way.

Unfortunately, there seems to be an epidemic that is plaguing the world. I’m sure you can think of a number yourself, like greed, corruption, racism, poverty. I wasn’t satisfied when I thought of these. There had to be something that was the root cause for all of this madness. And in fact, the cause is madness.

You see, people have all become crazy. Being crazy is such a popular trend right now. Probably the most popular, with avocados and snapchat selfies being close runner-ups.  Some crazy for power, others for money, and others are crazy about themselves. Some are crazy for their ideology. They let their mind take over and their craziness consumes their thoughts.

But, if you look back in history, being crazy is really not all that new. It’s been there from the start. Then why such a surge in madness now? Maybe people knew how to control it better? Or maybe, without social media, everyone’s craziness was confined in their own rooms and homes.

I’m not here to hate, just to appreciate. These feelings of craziness, I want to deflate. I mean, I’m all for being crazy. It’s our craziness that has taken us to the moon, allowed us to build skyscrapers taller than we could ever imagine. It is this same craziness that has allowed us to eliminate disease from the world. Yet, it is this same craziness that has brought us so much grief.

In a world of #hashtags and profile photos to empathize with justice, we have forgotten the true essence of caring and compassion. We sit behind computer screens, like I am doing right now, and we articulate ever so eloquently, thinking we have done our part because now our ‘feelings’ have translated into a Facebook status.

It may be the tire sneaking in, but my eyes are heavy. They feel like they’re so sunken into my socket that one more tragedy won’t shake out a single tear, yet they’re so delicate and hopeful for change. I’m not sure what it is, but this craziness has crept into my soul.

I’m really not sure what to do, World. I don’t want us to stop being crazy. But how do we do it in moderation? I mean, why aren’t we crazy about each other? Crazy with love, compassion, empathy, and kindness? Where did we lose sight of what to be crazy about? When did our values shift?

Dear World, I just want you to know, that I’m crazy. I’m crazy because I want to love one another instead of hate. I want to support one another instead of fight. I want to welcome one another instead of ban. And I want to live with one another, with peace, harmony, and justice.

And, a little bit of craziness on the side.

Yours truly,

Malikah aka HijabiHeroes

🎀~Where Style and Modesty Save the Day!~🎀

Malikah’s Mind – 16 Favourites of 2016!

Hey Salaam everyone!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2017 bring you lots of happiness, health, prosperity, and blessings 🙂

I’m not gonna lie, 2016 was NOT the year I thought it would be. 2015 ended on a great note, and I was so beyond excited for 2016, thinking it would be my year! However, as many people can say, 2016 was Felicia, and to her we say BYE. Okay…maybe I’m exaggerating just a little, but I do feel this to some extent.

As I was thinking about this new year, I saw something on Instagram (s/o to Subhi Taha though) that said (paraphrased), “If you complain about how 2016 was, you were obviously blind to the 365 days or just ungrateful for everything”. This really struck a chord with me. Here I was complaining and just thinking about how I was so ‘miserable’ because 2016 ‘sucked’ and how I’m just not doing anything during the winter break except working. This really opened my eyes. Alhamdulilah. Praise to the Almighty. For I have been able to breathe, sleep, rest, study, learn, laugh, love, and LIVE these past 365 days that encompassed 2016. And for that, I must be eternally grateful.

Hence, I really wanted to compile a list of 16 of my favourite things that happened in 2016. They are in no particular order, but coming up with this list really made me happy and smile at all of the wonderful times 2016 has brought. Obviously, these are the good things that happened. I’m not overlooking the fact that there are days for you and days against you, and both of these days are a test for you (Imam Ali (as)). A lot of things happened in 2016 that I wish didn’t – I lost a lot of loved ones in my family, friendships have left (but new ones formed), and just a lot of things I wish I could have been more positive about. This upcoming year inshallah, I can work on being more positive about every situation.

For now, I hope you can enjoy reading my list and I encourage you to come up with your own. Some of these things are so minuscule, yet have just made me genuinely happy. Alhamdulilah, Alhamdulilah, ALHAMDULILAH :))))))))

  1. Just because this is number 1, I should start with JANUARY 1, 2016! I spent the entire day with my eldest brother in Central London, UK and we had a blast! We explored random places, these Nigerian girls in the elevator told me I was very pretty in hijab, and we were able to catch up after being a part for so long. – January 2016London-6
  2. When one of my bff’s Kulsoom invited a bunch of us over to watch Documentaries. Random, kinda? Awesome, totally! It’s honestly so nice to have a good group of friends where you can laught and chill but also talk about serious issues. It’s so refreshing, honestly. – January 2016
  3. Our annual Family Day celebration at my uncle’s house (yes, Family Day is a real holiday in Ontario, Canada). It was the big family celebration and if you know my family, we can definitely get loud and crazy. We are good at games and even better at cheating.
    And, it was with my Late Uncle (please remember him with a small prayer or Surah Fateha) – Feburary 2016
  4. MIST Toronto Regionals – It was my first time being Competitions Manager and although it was very hectic, it was also super fun. I learnt a lot about myself, how I work in teams, especially as a head of a large team, and things that stress me out. All of which, has helped me become a better person – March 2016
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  5. Hitting 10K followers on Instagram on HijabiHeroes (currently at 16.6k) because 10 GRAND is a lot of people and I’m just a little girl – April 2016
  6. Spent the weekend with my Grandma and cousins from Orlando and went to a volleyball tournament and Demetres and of course, to MODAH! Honestly, that weekend was just nostalgia of my childhood – May 2016
  7. Getting my braces off! #BraceFaceIsFinallyBraceFree after 3 very loooooong years! HALLELUJAH – July 2016
  8. IMFDF and interning backstage for Cover Me Beautiful by Hakeemah, a muslimah stylist! I was her intern for a REAL LIFE fashion show, and I got to hang out with so many cool ladies on a yatcht! – August 2016
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  9. Random Bashosh cousins reuinion dessert with some lovely FL and UK cousins. We pranked our cousin’s husband by telling the waiter it was his birthday and having everyone sing him happy birthday. The snapchat vids were lit – August 2016
  10. Disney. Magic Kingdom. Need I say more?! – August 2016
  11. My Brother’s Engagement and the entire Orlando, FL trip because BEACH. I went to the beach after 5 long years, ate italian ice, and many Wawa runs. Oh yeah, and I gained a sister #TRUE – August 2016
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  12. Okay, last Florida Moment – Playing Carbles (mix of Cards and Marbles with a super cool board) with my cousins, sista sista, and a bunch of my brother’s friends until 5 am because, why not – August 2016
  13. Road trip to Washington D.C. and visiting all of the National Monuments. There was so much history there and it was so awesome to see – August 2016
  14. Philly, Philly, Philly! Stop 2 of the #SibsTakeTheUS trip did not disappoint. Love this city and of course, their cheesesteaks – August 2016
    (In case you couldn’t tell, August was hands down my favourite month of 2016)
  15. Passing my exams (with A’s alhamdulilah) for Semester 1 of 3rd year of University because YA GIRL was stressing and I had no hope and even less motivation – December 2016
  16. Last but not least, I guess a favourite would be last night. New Year’s Eve. We didn’t watch any fireworks and we even missed the countdown to 2017, but honestly, it didn’t even matter. Because last night I laughed like crazy and I’m thankful for the friends I could do that with. And I bussed from work to my friend’s house, and from her house straight back to work today. Oh yeah, and tricked some people on my Snapchat that I was at the airport for a one day getaway heheheh  – December 2016

Thank you for sharing these moments, and every other moment with me in 2016, and the years before, and inshallah the years to come. Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you all and of course, my outfits 🙂
I cannot express my gratitude enough to everyone for supporting HH, and inshallah, we can keep growing from here.

Lots of love and well wishes for the new year,

Malikah <3

🎀~Where Style and Modesty Save the Day!~🎀

Malikah’s Mind – Why I’m not “Aesthetic”

Let’s face it. These days, Instagram has become a portfolio to showcase your best selfies and highest quality photos. Each photo must be meticulously edited and your account should be cohesive, so you can be “aesthetic”.

I have no problem with those who take pride and enjoyment from making their Instagram feeds creative. I think it’s quite awesome that people can express themselves in so many ways and this is their form of art. I am in no way throwing shade or trying to single out any person. I’ve just been feeling like this for a little while, and I wanted to share it with you.

The only thing I see is that this is becoming the norm. The spontaneity, personality, and genuine nature of Instagram are being lost.

Malikah’s Mind – 20 Things for the 20’s

Hey hey!

I hope you are all doing well! Haven’t done a Malikah’s Mind post in a while, and you know there’s always lots on my mind LOL.

I just turned 20 a couple days ago, well, I’d like to consider it having my 10th birthday, twice. You know, I’m like twen-teen. I like that.

So, in honour of completing two decades of life, I thought I’d write out 20 things that I want to remember for the upcoming decade of the 20’s (dun dun dunnnn).
These are obviously things that are daily reminders, things you can remember at any time or any age, but I do think they are quite relevant to my life at the moment. And I definitely think they’ll be needed for the next years to come.

Being 20 is so different than being 25 and being 29. You are at complete different stages of life at these ages, and all the rest in between. I want to keep these things in mind for the years to come, to ground me and remind me of the bigger picture.

Well, here goes nothing!

1. Remember God, in times that are good and bad. Always.

2. Be grateful, always. You have a roof over your head and clean water, you’re better off than many others.

3. Appreciate others. Compliment someone everyday. It’s nice to feel loved.

4. Look in the mirror and smile. Even if you’re not happy with what you see, you can see, and that’s something worth smiling about.

5. Sleep, for yourself, and others.

6. Watch what you eat. No need to diet or go crazy, but your body deserves some love.

7. Social media is a highlight reel, don’t compare it to your raw shots.

8. Be kind to everyone. This is totally cliché, but you don’t know someone’s battle or their story. Nor have you walked in their shoes.

9. Be brave and have courage.

10. Don’t shy away from commenting on people’s lives, pictures, outfits, etc. What’s wrong with admitting you like something or think someone looks good?

11. (continuation of above) When did we stop appreciating others and finding everyone to be our competition? Someone else’s success doesn’t hinder your own.

12. Likes and followers only mean so much.

13. Spend time with your parents and family, and never take advantage of them.

14. You’ve made it til this day, and all the things you thought were the hardest in your life have been conquered. You survived.

15. You will learn the people that will stick by you no matter what. These people don’t have to tell you everyday that they’re thinking of you or that they love you, but when it counts, they surely will.

16. You’re never too early for death. Remind yourself that.

17. You are very nice to others. And you give them many chances. They may take advantage of this but stay calm.
“You do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.” – Prophet Muhammad (SAWW).

18. People come and go. Even those you thought never would, sometimes they will leave. It’s not your fault.

19. Sometimes, you can be really kind to people, and they’ll never like you. And sometimes, you can push people away, but they’ll always come back.
“We have those that will love us even if we cut them into pieces, and those who will hate us, even if we feed them pure honey.” – Imam Ali (A.S).

20. Lastly, birthdays aren’t everything. You are special, every day. Love yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know what other advice you would want to give your future self in the comments 🙂

Thank you for the love and support, always <3

Malikah

🎀~Where Style and Modesty Save the Day!~🎀

 

Malikah’s Mind – Ramadhan Goals

Hello there!

I hope you are all doing well and the fasts are also going well! I know they’re long with these hot summer days, but inshallah we can do it! 🙌🏽💪🏽

As we are still in the beginning days of this blessed month, and to fully maximize on its benefit and greatness, I wanted to create some goals for myself. These are aside from deeds such as giving charity, reading and understanding the Holy Qur’an, and getting closer to God. These goals go beyond that to focus on my inner self and how to become a better person, inshallah!

I urge you to also introspect and find areas you wish to improve and better yourself! There is no better time to do so and we all know the reward will be even greater, so it’s really a win-win situation 😉

Malikah’s Mind – Monkey See, Monkey Do 🙈

Hey there!

Hope you are all doing well! Thank you once again for the amazing feedback from the #HijabiHeroes Spring edition post! I’ve already been asked by some people to be a part of the Summer one, which is awesome! If you want to be included in that one, please send me a message or comment below, and I won’t forget to add you in!

Today’s post is another instalment of my Malikah’s Mind series! A lot of you liked my last post, so I hope you like this one too!

Recently, I’ve found that I’m getting to be quite forgetful. I know I have many things to do, many commitments to fulfill, and many blogposts to write 😝 Yet despite being fully aware of my responsibilities, I can never remember them all. As we live in the age of information overload, we are constantly being bombarded with information. Whether it’s TV ads, pop-ups on webpages, or even the ‘Promotions’ tab on your gmail inbox, there’s always something in your face, telling you about something or the other. When this happens, we tend to lose sight of what we need to know or remember, and quite literally!

Malikah’s Mind – Staplers and Giving without Appreciation

Hello hello!

I hope you are all doing well! Sorry for the delay in this blogpost! It really should not have been delayed, but I guess I got into the Summer mood too quickly 😎

Now you may be wondering, what’s Malikah’s Mind?! Oh gosh, is she really starting another series?!?! Not to worry, I have simply renamed my Reflection series to Malikah’s Mind! I thought the name was fitting for the out-of-the-blue thoughts that so often pop into my mind, such as my reflections! But, this also broadens the category for a wider spectrum of random writings hehe. Inshallah, I hope this series is helpful and insightful, and I plan to be posting more ‘reflections’ in the future!

I have been wanting to write this post for a while now, as it really summarizes how I’ve been feeling for quite some time, especially over the past couple of weeks.

We meet people all the time, and those people stay in our life for seconds, minutes, weeks, or years. We are often motivated to do things for other people, whether it be out of selflessness, gratitude, or kind nature. We do these things for others because we believe it is the ‘right’ thing to do. However, we also do things for other people because we would want others to express the same kindness to us. Going a step further, we strive do things for others without expecting reciprocation. This behaviour is not easy to emulate, but should ideally be our routine practice.

Last May, I went to a leadership retreat, and it was a really eye-opening experience (I wrote about my experience here). Before the retreat, we were all told to bring one item that represents us. We didn’t know why or what for, but we knew we had to present this in one way or another. I thought long and hard, and I ended up bringing a stapler.
Yes, a stapler.
A stapler brings things together. It creates a solid, unified packet out of loose pieces of papers. I like to think that I bring people together. I also would like to think that I bring ideas together. Makes sense.
But, a stapler cannot function without, of course, you guessed it….staples! Therefore, I cannot do what I do, whether it is school, work, HH, or community related, without my staples. My backbone, my supporters, the people that keep me going- these being my wonderful family and amazing friends. When credit is given to me, it should really be given to them.
But what does this have to do with anything I talked about earlier?
Well, people also use a stapler as and when they need it- and rightfully so. A stapler does not have a special place in one’s life, or heart, or room. It stays in a desk or drawer, is utilized when needed, and thrown back in until next time. And sometimes, that’s how I feel. I will always be there for you, no matter what. Whether we talk everyday or barely say hello- if you need me, I’m there. And I won’t ask for anything in return.

This is the part that’s really been troubling me lately. I used to think I was great at this! A pro, an expert… always willing to give and be nice to people, even if they didn’t show me that same kindness back.
Giving to others, doing nice things, saying kind words- that’s the easy part. The hard part is forgetting about the favours you’ve done for others. The hard part is being caring and good-natured even if the person you are showing this behaviour to has done the opposite. We have to live our lives and do things without the expectation of gratitude or thanks in return. This is where true sincerity comes from.

This reminds me of of treating others the way you want to be treated. We should be able to treat others kindly regardless of whether or not they respond to you with the same respect or high regard. It is very easy to be nice to someone who has also been nice to you in the past. It’s an easy transaction, right? You give me one thing, so I give you one thing back. However, we struggle when it comes to giving someone something – a kind message, thought, or gesture- when that person does not reciprocate or show appreciation toward your action.

So again with the idea of treating others the way you would like to be treated… treating people the way you want to be treated is something that you have total control over. But what we don’t have control over is the way those around us treat each other. Our wish for society is that everyone treats those around them with the same respect and kindness we would like for ourselves. This is much different from treating someone the way you want to be treated, because you can’t control the way others act. Pure, genuine behavior is having the desire to see others treated with good will. I heard this in a lecture by my local Imam, Sheikh Jaffer, and it really struck a chord with me.

It’s easy to not want to be nice to someone who has wronged you- it’s human nature. Why should you show affection to someone that seems to have no interest in you or your life?! But we forget, well, I forget, that this is opposite to the teachings of our Holy Prophet (SAWW). He always treated everyone with kindness, even if it was the people that taunted him or threw garbage at him. He never changed his behaviour, or forgot his morals- he had the same composure when interacting with his enemies as he did with his friends.

And of course, there is the famous quote by Imam Ali (AS) that so beautifully illustrates this message and summarizes this entire blogpost in one sentence:

“Be Like a Flower, that gives it’s fragrance, even to the hand that crushes it.”
~ Imam Ali (AS)

Hence, we should give with open arms and open hearts. We should give because we want to give and be kind, not because we are expecting kindness in return, but to just simply be kind. And we should allow anyone to receive the beauty of our kindness. Even if the action is not appreciated by the individual, and they show no gratitude in return, we should not change our attitudes, or allow it to prevent us from being kind to them in the future. Of course, your reward will come and your efforts are not in vain. Being a better YOU is already payback and a half, because at the end of the day, you have to live with yourself and who you are.

I’m speaking to myself first and foremost, and then reminding myself again, and again. When we allow these thoughts of doubt and mistrust to linger with us, it really hurts us more than anyone else. This really demotivates us and makes us waver from our genuine intentions. At the end of the day, you are responsible for what you do or don’t do, and what you say or don’t say.

Be kind and give freely. Regardless of whether you get a “thank you” or a nice action in return.

Sorry for the rambling and randomness.

Much love,

Malikah

🎀~Where Style and Modesty Save the Day!~🎀