by: zaghra savahl
Islam encourages taking care of your physical body. One of the ways to stay fit and healthy is through exercise. Globally, people participate in fitness daily, whether it be on a professional or amateur level, or as a hobby.
When it comes to Muslim Women, there are certain challenges that have been posed when it comes to clothes that are comfortable to wear when exercising.
The Fitness Clothing Industry
Fitness clothing is one of the most profitable areas in the clothing industry. In the USA alone, the Sports & Fitness Clothing market was estimated at US$47.8 Billion in the year 2020 and accounted for a 26.99% share in the global market. The Global figure is estimated to reach US$224. 9 Billion by the Year 2027. These figures are not surprising considering how essential physical activity is.
For women that adhere to a modest dress code because of their faith and religious practices, selecting suitable fitness clothing has not always been easy. Considering fitness being such a lucrative industry, marketing products would naturally be based on what sells the most. A combination of branding, fashion, comfortability, and trends have resulted in fitness clothing being produced to suit those needs, because that is what sells, regardless of whether it meets the spiritual needs of a particular group of people.
by: zaghra savahl
The winter season is in full swing and one of our favorite things to do during this time is indulge a bit into some scrumptious meals. In this edition, we catch up with the TSE employees to find out what their favorite meals are this season. Take a look below.
1. what's your favorite meal for the winter season? Jollof Rice with Thanksgiving Turkey and gizdodo
2. What do you love most about it? It's something about the holiday meal that makes it taste different. I think it has to do with the joy, excitement, and spirit of the holidays that the cook exudes when cooking that gives the meal an additional flavor of love.
3. what's the recipe or describe this meal? I prefer my turkey seasoned with butter, honey dijon mustard, and additional spices and herbs. I prefer my Jollof rice made traditional style, and gizdodo made with fried/grilled gizzard sauteed in deep fried spicy bell pepper and tomato mix.
by: zaghra savahl
Are you feeling stressed out about your monthly finances? For most of us, having a budget that balances every month can make life so much easier. This is one of the main reasons we created our essential Budget Planners – to help you through these frustrating dilemmas.
In the meantime, here are a few of our trusted tips to help you manage your Monthly Budget.
1. Write down every income and expenditure
Have you ever purchased a few items after getting paid, and then within a few days, be confused about where your money disappeared to? This happens when you’re not consciously keeping track of your finances. In some cases, it might be debit orders going off of which you’re unaware about. This is why writing down every income and expenditure is important as it provides you with a clear picture of where you are in terms of your finances. It also helps you to analyze where you might be overspending or make you aware of monthly installments where the interest rate increased. Analyzing your income and expenditure helps you to plan moving forward.
2. Plan - down to the last cent!
There’s a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that many involved in finance love to use:
...if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail...
We couldn’t agree more! Planning not only prepares you for the month ahead, but also places you in a position of power when it comes to your monthly budget. If you know exactly where your income is going to, you can be pro-active by adjusting your budget to avoid imbalances. It’s equally important to respect your money to the extent that you plan down to the last cent. Why? Because those little cents that you neglect to factor into your planning can quickly accumulate to a large amount. Those little items that you purchase which you don’t really need can be allocated to a type of savings pocket. You might not reap the benefits immediately, but over time it might save you when you’re short on cash.
by: zaghra savahl
The way Muslim Women are represented in the media differs from country to country. Factors that influence the type of representation range from the number of Muslims in a certain area, ideologies and laws of the country, true understanding of Islam and the overall social attitude towards Muslim women.
What narrative and point-of-view is the media trying to communicate to their audience?
Media is a means of communication to an audience. This can be in the form of television, radio, newspapers, and the internet. Whether it be fiction or non-fiction, there is always a message of intent to the specific target audience the media is trying to reach. The intention is important in determining the type of narrative or point-of-view that is being presented.
Western media dominates global headlines and is a powerful influence in determining perception. In 2020, Investopedia published a list of the World’s Top Media companies based on market capital. These top media companies are involved in advertising, broadcasting, news, print publication, digital media, and motion pictures. These include Netflix, Disney, Comcast and AT&T (ATT). Many Western countries, including the US, have a long history of wars, political tension and opposing ideologies with many Muslim-majority countries and this is often reflected in the media. This leads to many misconceptions about Islam in general and Muslim Women in particular, especially in countries where Muslims are a minority.
Below are a few common misconceptions portrayed in the media, as well as what the reality is:
by: alexandra yun
Four years ago, on January 27, 2017, President Trump signed the Executive Order that banned foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. After it was announced, outrage arose through social media which led to some protests happening. Airports were the main area of protest in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.
President Biden proclaimed on his first day of office that he would be reversing the executive order signed by President Trump that banned immigrants requesting to come to the U.S. from majority Muslim countries. On March 8, 2021, the State Department announced that those who were denied entry to the USA would be able to resubmit their application.
Though the majority of Americans are accepting of the slight reversal, others say it’s not enough for them.
Iman Awad, deputy director of Emgage Action, a Muslim advocacy group in Washington D.C., spoke on NPR about how more needs to be done in order to combat what President Trump put into place.
“The Muslim communities are thrilled that he upheld his promise to our community, but we need to recognize that more needs to be done, specifically through congressional action, to ensure that no future administration can abuse the presidential authorities we saw Donald Trump abuse,” Awad stated.
by: alexandra yun
Let me start off by saying that I don’t look like the stereotypical Asian. People can typically tell that I am mixed, but thanks in part to my half-Cuban side, my ethnic features are not noticeable enough for people to know that I am half-Korean. I need to include this disclaimer before I continue because although being white-passing sometimes allows me to have different experiences from other ethnic minorities, the hurt I feel is the same.
This past March was tough for me. Completely and utterly tough as I witnessed so many accounts of young and elderly Asians being targeted, discriminated against, abused, and even killed because of their ethnicity. The rise of Asian hate crime in America has jumped to nearly 150% in 2020. We all witnessed the rise of this at the beginning of the pandemic when President Trump had called COVID-19 the “China virus”, spewing discriminatory and hateful language toward the Asian community. This, of course, incited others to also explicitly express their hatred towards this group of people. Since, things just continue to spiral out of control with people physically assaulting Asians, even killing some.
I’ve had friends check up on me to make sure that my family and I are safe, and though while that touched my heart, it is disheartening to know that they even needed to reach out for such a reason. Similarly, I have personally texted several of my Asian friends to make sure that they are okay and safe. Even Asian acquaintances that I had only joked around with and never had serious conversations with, I made sure to check on them to make sure they were safe. The most disheartening call for me was the call I had to make to my Korean grandparents. I insisted that they should not go out as often, initially, because of the pandemic, but now because of the increase in hate crime towards people who look like them. I even pleaded with them to not speak Korean as much when they are out and about. It was hurtful for me to ask this of them. Given that this is their native language, it is their primary way of communicating with one another. And while I don’t speak much Korean, I do try my best to say certain words to them so they can better understand me. How do I tell them that they can’t speak their language because they could be targeted for a hate crime? Why should I even be doing so?
By: Alexandra yun
Women are making up the future. But we’re focusing on the Muslim women who are letting their voices be heard and setting a new precedent for the next generations to follow, grow and expand. It’s all about breaking the boundaries and these five women are doing just that. Some may be more well known, but we wanted to highlight women who were making the difference.
Let’s walk through some of the trailblazing Muslimahs making up our world today.
1. Asma Elbadawi
Asma Elbadawi was born in Sudan but raised in the United Kingdom. Growing up, her love for basketball grew, but she faced many hardships and setbacks; one of them being her wearing a headscarf. She fought much criticism about wearing it on the court, but she was able to focus on her goal of getting the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA) rule overturned. She continues to fight the battles on and off the court with the use of poetry and spoken words as seen on her Youtube channel here.
2. Zehra Abukar
Zehra Abukar was crowned the winner of the Miss Muslimahs USA pageant in 2020. Representing the state of Maine, she was born in Turkey but moved to the states in 2014. Entering into the competition wasn’t something she ever expected herself to do, but through winning, she has found a way to use her voice to empower and uplift other Muslim women out there.
3. Amani Al Khatahtbeh
Continuing with winners from the Miss Muslimahs USA pageant, we would be remiss to not talk about the woman who started it all: Amani Al Khatahtbeh. She started the beauty pageant as a way to celebrate Muslim women and have them feel beautiful without feeling the need to sacrifice their morals and religion. The standard beauty competition in America usually has a bikini round, which is something some Muslim women would not be comfortable with as it contradicts their beliefs. Not only was this a chance to celebrate these beautiful Muslim women, but also to show off their achievements and accomplishments around the globe. For more information, you can check out their website here
By: Zaghra Savahl
Have you embraced Islam but unsure of where to start when it comes to learning more? Or maybe you’ve practiced the Deen your whole life and want to increase your knowledge? Or are you a non-Muslim genuinely interested in learning more about Islamic Beliefs?
For those that were raised Muslim, the foundation of Islam often gets taught from a very young age. It is common to find that children learn about Islam and its teachings even before they start school. For those who found Islam later in their life, particularly during adulthood, the knowledge and practice can be intimidating and overwhelming. Embarking on a journey of Islamic studies can be daunting, but with the right guidance, it will be the most rewarding experience of your life.
Here are a few guidelines to help you get started and to keep on track.
By: Zaghra savahl
When fashion model Halima Aden announced in November 2020 that she quit runway modelling, her reasons gave rise to some important discussions about Faith and the Fashion industry. The first Hijabi supermodel stated that many of the tasks that were required of her during her fashion career were incompatible with her Islamic Faith.
At what point have you compromised too much of your Faith and what should you do when you`ve reached that crossroad?
The Fashion Industry is a global economic powerhouse with a variety of career pathways that include marketing, promotion, design, sales and many more. In Islam, many of these pathways are acceptable if they do not contradict any Islamic principles. There are also many areas in Fashion that are strictly prohibited as they involve doing work that is haram. It is for this reason that many Muslims have found themselves on a precipice when it comes to their Faith and knowing when to walk away when they feel they are compromising their values.
Go back to the beginning. Who are you aiming to please?
Throughout Islamic history, there are many examples of Muslim women who owned businesses and thrived in their careers. The most famous example is that of Khadija (RA) – the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It is well-known that she was a successful businesswoman. Islamic principles are all about balance and moderation.
Therefore, pursuing a career while being steadfast in your Faith is possible, providing it does not tilt to the extreme where certain aspects of your Faith become compromised. Muslims believe that if you do everything for the sake of Allah (SWT), the rest will take care of itself, including working towards a career you are passionate about. If you start and sustain your career with the intention of pleasing Allah (SWT) and you continue to place your Faith first and everything else secondary, the decisions you make will become clearer.
By: Zaghra savahl and gina klaff
The Qur'an, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through the Angel Jibreel (AS), serves as a gift to humanity – a source of guidance, healing, cure, and infinite blessings. Together with the Hadith and Sunnah (sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)), Muslims reflect upon its meaning and wisdom to attain a fulfilling life and prepare for the Hereafter.
“(Here is) a Book which We have sent down Unto thee, full of blessings, That they may meditate On its Signs, and that Men of understanding may Receive admonition.” (Chapter 38 Ayah 29)
The Holy Qur'an
The revelation of the Qur'an took place in stages, spanning over approximately 23 years and coinciding with various incidents. These incidents provide context to the Ayahs (verses) as it was revealed. These Ayahs are the direct words of Allah (SWT) that has remained unaltered since its revelation. In its sacredness, these Ayahs provide holistic benefits to those that not only recite, but also contemplate its meaning.
The Qur'an contains 114 Surahs (chapters), each divided into Ayahs. Muslims cite the revelation of the Qur'an, that first occurred during the month of Ramadan, as the most important miracle in Islam. It serves as proof of the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW) who Muslims believe was the greatest human to walk the earth. They follow his Sunnah (ways and practices) to achieve piety and closeness to Allah (SWT). In this way, the Qur'an can only be fully understood together with the Hadith and the Sunnah.
Although the Qur'an was first revealed orally, it was only later that the Qur'an was compiled through scribing and memorization as a means of preservation.
The first revelation of the Qur'an was the first Five Ayahs of Sural Al-Alaq (Chapter 96):
“1.Proclaim ! (or Read !) in the name Of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created--
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.