Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: women

The Years of Being Covered

Just like any Muslims around the world, Ramadan is an important month for me. Not only does the month of Ramadan mark the time in which the Qur’an was first revealed, but it was also the month when I decided, for the first time ever, to don a headscarf or a hijab. It was a stepping stone that changed my life forever. It was an oath I made to Allah SWT and for the next 11 years, it has given me an amazing journey that I never regretted.

I gave a detailed account on my other blog on how and why I finally decided to wear a hijab. To put it simply, a hijab for me is an act of obedient to Allah SWT. That is the only primary reason why I wear it until this very day. All other reasons, e.g. protection and identity, are secondary.

But I cannot deny the fact that the hijab is my identity. It defines me about who I am. A Muslim. There is no god but Allah SWT and Muhammad SAW is the Messenger of God. This is the very identity that has led to questions, judgments, abandons, sympathies, curiosities, or even stares. But this is also the identity that has changed perceptions and broken stereotypes. This is the identity that forced me to defend what I believe in, more than my nationality. More than anything else.

Hijab is also about modesty. Or Haya in Arabic. It is about being modest outwardly and inwardly. It is not only about the covering of the hair or your whole body. It is about how you act and present yourself. This is by far the hardest thing to achieve. I do not think I am modest inside out. There are many aspects I have to sort out. There are many things I have to fix. I do not even think that I can represent any respected hijabi sisters out there. I am far below that.

Indeed, I am not a perfect Muslim. I am not and never claimed to be religious. I do not and will never preach you why you do not pray. Or why you do not fast. Because there are still flaws inside me that I need to fix. Before I can correct somebody else, I have to make sure that I am free of those flaws. I have to be judgmental and critical about myself. That is what hijab has taught me all this time.

Hijab is my choice. It is my freedom. No one and nothing in this world can ever change that. Not even Islamophobia. Taking away my freedom to wear a hijab is a clear and definite sign of oppression. Period.

Preciously Hidden

Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them. Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.

— Muhammad Ali, a legendary Muslim boxer, giving advice to her daughter.

A Woman

A woman worries about the future
until she gets a husband,
while a man never worries about the future
until he gets a wife.

— Proverb

Hahaha! This made my day! 🙂

Modern Muslim Woman?

A few days ago, a friend posted a link on Facebook. It’s from CNN titled: A portrait of a modern Muslim woman in Indonesia. The title of the news seemed to be interesting to me. What kind of woman did CNN pick this time?

I was not happy with the CNN’s choice, to be honest. This woman, Alia Wahid, was described as "a modern woman who also happens to be a devout Muslim" by the CNN. In the video, she’s seen socializing and drinking (alcohol) with her friends, a very typical Jakarta woman I have to say. I wish CNN could pick a smart "real devout" Muslim woman who has made contributions to the society.

At some point in the video, she was asked why she drank alcohol, when Islam prohibited her to do so. And she answered it by saying, "I’m a Muslim, but I’m not practicing it fanatically." OH MY GOD! Come again?!?!

First of all, Islam that I believe prohibits me to drink alcohol. Maybe she believes in different thing. I don’t care about what she believes in. Her relationship with God is entirely her business. But her reason was so lame. So she labeled me as fanatic. She labeled other Muslims who don’t drink as fanatics. How about those Christians, Jews, Catholics, or even atheists who choose not to drink? Does she label those people as fanatics too? Why can’t she just say that she’s a Muslim but she doesn’t practice the religion perfectly?!

I was not happy with her answer AT ALL. And I quickly commented on my friend’s post, criticizing about her ability to answer that simple question. I was so surprised that when I opened Facebook the next day, the same Alia Wahid who was on that news, replied my writing! Hahaha! What did she say?

never rely on what is implied…. good to see a bigger picture. you can’t only see the edited version and make assumptions. i have my reason, you have your reason.

So, she blamed CNN for editing the video. But the part where she answered the question wasn’t edited at all. I was kinda puzzled and I think she just didn’t know what to response to my criticism. CNN, please, next time… pick a smarter woman, okay?

A Noble Man

None but a noble man treats women in an honorable manner, and none but an ignoble treats women disgracefully

— Tirmidhi

Keep that in mind, boys…

Totally Fake

Read this article, titled “At The Beach With Nancy Ajram” and found some surprising facts:

  • Lebanon has one of the highest rates per capita of plastic surgery in the world
  • 1.5 million plastic surgeries are performed in Lebanon each year. An estimated 20% of them on men.
  • Lebanon is a country where banks will give women monetary loans for plastic surgery but where up until last year women could not open bank accounts for their children
  • There are more Lebanese women living in Lebanon than there are men

And I can see more fake faces on TV nowadays. I actually wrote a little bit about it in my other blog, focusing more on the Arab female singers. Al-Arabiya published a slideshow of the before and after looks of these Arab stars. Some of them looked sooooo different!

Sherine Ahlam

Pictures taken from Al-Arabiya.

Girls’ Education

I just finished watching a TED video presentation by Sheryl WuDunn titled Our Century’s Greatest Injustice. Again, I’m not too keen on writing so I’m just going to write some interesting issues she made in bullet points.


  • More girls were discriminated to death than all the people killed on all battlefields in 20th century
  • Girls aged 1-5 die at 50% higher mortality rate than boys in all of India
  • Women and girls aren’t the problem. They are the solution.

If you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country, you’re not going to get too close to the top ten

— Bill Gates, when he was in Saudi Arabia, referring to the Saudi women that were not fully utilized.

  • It may well be that the highest return on investment in the developing world is in girls’ education – Larry Summers
  • When you educate a girl, she tends to get married later on in life, she tends to have kids later on in life, she tends to have fewer kids, and those kids that she does have, she educates them in a more enlightened fashion. With economic opportunity, it can be transformative.
  • Research shows that once you have all of your material needs taken care of, there are very few things in life that can actually elevate your level of happiness. One of those things is contributing to a cause larger than yourself.
  • We have all won the lottery of life. And so the question becomes: how do we discharge that responsibility? So, here’s the cause. Join the movement. Feel happier and help save the world.

The presentation reminds me of a quote made by Queen Rania of Jordan:

If you educate the women, you educate the family. If you educate the girl, you educate the future.

So, are you ready to discharge that responsibility? 🙂

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid

She was the wife who believed in me when others rejected me. When people gave me the lie, she affirmed my truthfulness. When I stood forsaken, she spent her wealth to lighten the burden of my sorrow.

— Prophet Muhammad SAW

Aisha RA: the Mother of the Believers

Among the Muslims the most perfect, as regards his faith, is the one whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well.

— Prophet Muhammad SAW [Tirmidhi]

I just love to read and hear everything about Aisha RA, the third wife of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW. She made a great contribution to Islam and became a role model for Muslim women all over the world, including her participation in the politics. Her loving and compassionate relationship with her husband and their fondness to each other is also something I really love to read; how she used to treat him and how he used to treat her.

(As I’m too lazy to write right now, I’d put some interesting aspects about her and Prophet SAW in bullet points)

  • When the Prophet SAW was asked who the most beloved person to him was, he answered, “Aisha”. And when he was asked who the most beloved man to him was, he answered, “her father”. [Sahih Bukhari Vol. 5, Book 57, No. 14]
  • She’s the complete example of what Muslim women should be like. She’s very charitable and generous, as well as soft-hearted.
  • She contributed greatly on preserving the Prophet’s sayings and actions to be set as an example followed by Muslims. There are 2210 hadiths narrated by her.
  • She possessed a great knowledge about Islam, as said by Abu Musa: “If we, companions of the Messenger of God, had any difficulty on a matter, we asked Aisha about it.”
  • The Prophet SAW once said, “Whoever wants to see a woman from the women of paradise, then let that person look at Um Ruman RA.” Um Ruman is Aisyah’s mother. Her parents definitely made a good example for Aisha.
  • The Prophet SAW asked his daughter, Fatima, “Do you love what I love?” and she responded with a yes. Then he said, “Then you must love this woman [Aisha].”
  • The Prophet SAW one day said, “O, Aisha, I know when you are angry or pleased.” She then asked, “How do you know that?” The Prophet answered, “When you’re pleased, you say, ‘Yes, by the Lord of Muhammad SAW’ but when you’re angry, you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Ibrahim AS.’” [Sahih Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 73, No. 101] I just love this! This was how she displayed her anger towards her husband! No screaming, calling each other’s names, arguing, and other things you could possibly think of. What an amazing woman she was.
  • The Prophet said, "The superiority of Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid to other kinds of food." [Sahih Bukhari Vol. 7, Book 65, No. 330]
  • Whenever the Prophet would leave for the mosque, he’d kiss his wife.
  • The Prophet SAW and Aisha RA used to share utensils together. She’d take a drink from a cup, then she’d give it to him, and he’d drink from the same place she drank. She’d also eat some of the meat and she’d give the plate to him. Isn’t it wonderful? He would let his wife ate first before him. In today’s world, we call this “ladies first”.
  • The Prophet SAW used to recite the Qur’an to Aisha during her menstruation period
  • She used to participate in the battles of the Prophet SAW, collecting arrows or bring water to the fighters.
  • On jealousy, she said: “I never felt so jealous of any woman as I did of Khadija, though she had died three years before the Prophet married me, and that was because I heard him mentioning her too often, and because his Lord had ordered him to give her the glad tidings that she would have a palace in Paradise, made of Qasab and because he used to slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat among her friends.” [Sahih Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 73, No. 33]
  • During the Prophet Muhammad SAW’s last illness, he’d go to Aisha’s apartment and he passed away with his head in her lap.