It’s finally Eid! After thirty days of tirelessly fasting Ramadan has come to an end. Eid is always a bittersweet moment, the bliss of not hearing “not even water?” again, but the sadness of knowing we will have to wait another year to witness this month over.

This Ramadan I definitely learned a lot! Not necessarily about Islam, but about myself (see previous post).

I wanted to share three things that I hope to remind myself for the next year, and I hope they will help you too. 🙂

1. “My life is a struggle between my need for acceptance, my fear of rejection, and a desire to not care at all.” This is a quote that I read, and it resonates with me a lot. Something that is hard on anyone is when people hate you because of certain things that you love about yourself. One thing that I pride myself with is that I know a lot of people, and I’m an easy person to have a conversation with. Hearing things like “she’s too out there” is something that really hurts me! It is not easy to let what others say about you not bother you. For me, what I hope to take away from this month is just accepting that no matter what, people will always disagree or hate, even on the things that we love about ourselves. It’s important for me that I recognize my strengths as a person, and use them to thrive.

2. The second thing I hope to take away from Ramadan this year is being content with my own self. Loneliness is something that I think everyone struggles with. What I’ve learned from good friends of mine is that the most important thing in love is to not waste our precious time waiting on someone who may never show up. I aspire to be the girl who goes to the movies alone and has a lovely time with herself, and even though it will take so much time to get there, when I finally achieve this self-love I know it will be great!

There is a poem from the book Milk and Honey that I really love,

“I do not want to have you

To fill the empty parts of me

I want to be full on my own

I want to be complete

I could light a whole city

And then

I want to have you

Cause the two of us combines

Could set it on fire”

I read this poem almost two years ago when I bought this book, and only really realized the meaning of it this ramadan.

3. The last thing that I will talk about in this post is that IT’S OKAY TO CUT TIES! “You’re so nice” used to be something that I took as a compliment. It still is, just depending on the context. Sadly, being nice and people taking advantage sometimes goes hand in hand. What happens in a toxic friendship is that one person is not as invested as the other. I just left a really toxic friendship, and even though the person is great, us together as friends wasn’t great. It takes courage to leave, because it means cutting out a large part of our lives. If a friend tries to control you, or makes you feel bad about yourself, they are NOT your friend. Allah tells us how important our friends are, and even though we sometimes try to fight out, our friends really do shape who we are. In one of my first posts I talked about how you should always try and stand with the smartest person in the room, and try to be their friend. Why? Because you are bound to learn something from the smartest person in the room. All relationships are investments, and when you look at the world like that it really changes your point of view.

I hope all of our fasts, duas, and good deeds were accepted this month. I leave you with one last thing, and it something I tell myself everyday. If Allah is the most merciful, most forgiving, who am I as his creation not to forgive?

 

even in my dreams I can’t win – a ramadan reflection

even in my dreams I can’t win –                     a ramadan reflection

I thought long and hard before writing this post. It’s a very personal one, and it’s not a topic that people often talk about. When I started my blog, I made a promise to myself that I would talk about the good and the bad, because that’s the only way I can stay authentic to myself. I hope this post finds whoever is reading it well.

A couple nights ago I heard a story about a Quran teacher in New York who molested four of his female students. Imagine going to learn Quran, but getting molested instead? I’ve been thinking non-stop about this story, but in a weird way it has brought me comfort.

The story itself isn’t what comforted me. What happened is absolutely disgusting. However, knowing that even the most “religious” of people, someone who has memorized the Quran and knows it well enough to teach it, has demons and skeletons, too. This Ramadan has been especially difficult for me because there is this constant feeling of guilt that stays with me. All of the mistakes I’ve made, all of the things i’ve done, they all stay with me. It sometimes makes me feel psycho just thinking about everything, and I get angry. Angry at myself, but also angry at God. I ask myself questions like why did this happen? Why to me? Why was I put into this situation? And even though I know it was a test, the feeling never leaves me. I get so angry that I just want everything to stop. To make it stop I have to forgive myself, and even though in my mind I have, in my heart I know I haven’t.

For me, I think the hardest thing in Islam is to obtain true Taqwa. Taqwa is when you see a path filled with thorns, but you still take the path, you just dodge and pass over the thorns. We, as Muslims and as human beings, always WANT and TRY to dodge the thorns, but sometimes it is inevitable.

The biggest thing that I wanted to work on this Ramadan was setting myself to a higher standard. I know what I want, and I’m determined, but I often find myself slipping. When Ramadan started I wrote down goals that I wanted to accomplish, and I have not accomplished any of them. I keep giving myself excuses for each goal, and even though I know that they are silly and unreasonable, I still accept them from myself. Ramadan hurt me this year because it showed me just how flawed I am. I’ve learned that it’s my personal nafs that is the monster, not always the shaytan, who I always blame my sins on.

Even though the start to my Ramadan has been rough, I hope to end it right. For me, coming to terms that expectation to achieve an extraordinary spiritual high this month is unrealistic for me. Understanding that I won’t be getting epiphanies on the regular, and knowing that my struggle is REAL and VALID is how I hope to end this Ramadan. I hope to end it by knowing that the habits I’ve built over the past 19 years in life are not going to be broken in 30 days. I hope to end Ramadan by forgiving myself, others, and starting fresh with my own relationship with myself. The entire dynamic of Ramadan changed for me this year. It’s not just about how many Juz I read, or how many nights I pray Qiyam anymore. It’s about learning to invest in myself, it’s about discovering what forgiveness is, and about acknowledging the flaws of my nafs.

strength

strength

a few months ago when i created my blog the vision i had for myself was so much different than it is today. the reason that i created this page was for me to have a platform that i can unfold my thoughts, feeling, and creativity with the outside world. i felt like i had found myself and i was ready to give myself to the world. these past couple weeks i have been so unmotivated. no particular reason, just detached and uninterested. i think that i was so wrapped up in the idea of that I had “found myself” that i started to change myself to become this person in my head. honestly, i don’t even know if any of this makes sense – but i am writing this tonight because i am energized. tonight i feel soft and golden and beautiful and good and so i am embracing this moment and writing these little reminders that i hope will inspire you because they inspire me

  1. you become less, so you can become more
  2. be humble and de-emphasize yourself
  3. stop explaining you who are
  4. invent the present
  5. fondness will be reciprocated
  6. celebrate the moments you have with people, even if friendships with these people break off
  7. you’re multidimensional
  8. don’t apologize for how you feel
  9. someones prettiness doesn’t make your prettiness any less pretty
  10. “verily with hardship comes ease”

Ugly Sweater Party

This weekend my friend Amarra hosted an ugly sweater potluck party and it was amazing!! It was such a fun way for everyone to get together and have a good time. As muslims it is sometimes hard trying to find a balance between deen and the holidays, and this was the perfect way to celebrate our love for this season!! Everyone brought delicious dishes and the mood was so homey and perfect. We played games and of course had an ugly sweater competition. I am proud to say i had the UGLIEST sweater of them all. We also wanted to try the mannequin challenge before it became too out of date!! Watch it above!

 

Holy Grail Products

Everyone has their top pick of favorite makeup products. It is always a challenge finding products that work right for you, and your needs. The products that I am sharing with you are products that I find go above and beyond and perform exactly how I want them too.

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  1. Two Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep Matte Bronzer – I personally use this bronzer as an eyeshadow. I use it in my crease, on my lid, and as a blending color. It is such a beautiful brown, not too light, and not too dark, and looks amazing on my skin tone. It is so pigmented, lasts all day, and smells like hot chocolate.

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2. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Champagne Pop – I have tried the Anastasia glow kit, Makeup Forever HD highlighter, Benefit stick highlight, and the MAC highlighter, and nothing compares to this! I only have to use couple swipes with my brush, and I start to glow. The other thing that I love about this highlighter is that it actually stays on. I find that a lot of other highlighters look really good when you first put them on, but an hour later it looks like you never even highlighted. I 100% recommend this highlighter.

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3. Urban Decay Perversion Water Proof Fine-Point Eye Pen – If you are like me and struggle with eyeliner, then you know that liquid is the worst. It is so hard to wing you eyeliner using a liquid pen, because it makes it so much easier to mess up. This felt-tip eyeliner pen is absolutely one of the best I have tried, and it makes winging you eyeliner 1000 times easier. It is a true jet black, and stays on forever. I fell asleep wearing this eyeliner and when I woke up it still looked as good as when I first put it on!

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4. Urban Decay Gwen Stefani 24 Hour Lip Liner in the color Ex-Girlfriend – This stuff is seriously amazing. It lasts for so long, and is the perfect color. It isn’t too red, too pink, or too brown, but the perfect shade. It isn’t too dark or too light either. I wear this all over my lips, with my Nivea lip-balm, and my lips look and feel amazing! You can eat and drink with this lip-liner and nothing about it will change. I have very chapped lips, especially in the fall and winter time, and it does not dry out my lips at all. img_0832

5. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater – This will forever be my favorite product. It has so many uses, and does such a good job in every single way that it can be used. You can use this as a setting spray, and it will make your makeup last all day without looking cakey. If your skin is irritated, you can spray this on and it will calm it down instantly. If you need to quickly freshen up, just a few squirts of this and you will look and feel amazing. It smells so good, and it only sells for $7. It is my holy grail item that I can’t live without!

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Fantastic Four Face Mask

When it comes to our skin, I think it is safe to say that we all want what is best. No one likes irritated skin, or break outs. It is tough dealing with our skin when we experience these things. Everyone has different skin types, from oily to dry, and some methods might not work for others. This mask uses four key ingredients that work well with every skin type, all in one! These ingredients are all antibacterial, and help to get rid of any unwanted and gross bacteria on the skin. The ingredients are

  1. Turmeric – Turmeric is a powder spice that has many different healing properties. Turmeric is known for helping with inflammation, acne, bacterial and is an antiseptic. In this mask, the turmeric is used  is used to reduce redness and help fight acne.
  2. Coconut Oil – The job of coconut oil in this mask is to moisturize the face, and to kill any bacteria that is on the skin. Coconut oil is known as an antimicrobial and will help stop further grown of any bacteria on the face.
  3. Lemon – Lemons are used in this mask to help  brighten the skin, and kill any bacteria on the skin.
  4. Honey – Honey has tons of antioxidants that will help the skin. In this mask, honeys job is the give the skin a glow and clean out pores.

Take the desired amount of each ingredient and mix into a bowl. I used half a spoon full of turmeric, half a spoon of coconut oil, two squirts of honey, and two squirts on lemon. Wash your face, and then apply the mask. Leave the mask on for no less than 15 minutes!!

Enjoy!