Wednesday, July 29, 2009

how did you people get here?

Apparently a lot of people need to find halal skittles.

The top Google terms that lead to my blog are "halal skittles" or some variation of it. Searchers will happen upon "Halal Skittles".

The second most popular search term seems to be "you like my biodata" which leads to this post. The link is no longer active, but here it is on youtube if you're curious.

Another search was "BUY BEAUTIFUL HIJABS" (the person searching this topic was clearly very excited about this); the search leads here.

The creepy people Google "Asmaa ON Canada," or my full name. I feel stalked when that happens.

The nicer searches involve things like "amazing hadiths" which directs people here, or "Allah's tests" leading them here.

Some funny search terms have been "is poetry halal" and "how much does tarek love hala." That brings the searcher to "Halal Love Poem."

In conclusion: I am google-able!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm not going to lie, today started off very suckily for various reasons.

But then a woman said to me through tears "thank God for people like you." And today doesn't seem to be that sucky anymore.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

why Arabs cheer me up

I'm having an especially lousy and stinky day, but this made me laugh hysterically, thus making my heart feel better:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grocery Bag Lady

I decided to do an inventory of my purse today. This is what I found.

My wallet, keys, cellphone, cellphone charger, mp3 player, camera, chapstick, a lighter, a peanut butter sandwich, an apple, a peach, 2 mini cucumbers, a water bottle, empty coffee mug, a purple notebook, an umbrella, a spoon, two pens, and Nivea lotion.

I'm not going to lie. That's pretty impressive for one normal-sized purse.

Monday, July 13, 2009


As cornily stereotypical as the title of this post sounds, that's exactly what it's about. I went to a segregated Egyptian wedding last night, and thus this post is born.

For those of you who know Arab women, you know that they like to go all out for weddings. By "all out," I mean wearing relatively revealing and fancy/sparkly dresses, coiffured hair, make-up, crippling heels; the whole shebang. And I completely get it - most of these women are in hijab every day of their lives, so the opportunity to dress-to-kill is snatched up in a heartbeat.

I'm personally not a big fan of the overwhelming sparkliness & fanciness of Arab weddings, but I will admit that Arab women definitely know how to party it up. I'll leave the rest to your imagination, so I don't expose too many of our secrets.

So I was in this room, and I looked around and realized that there was an astounding amount of beautiful women all around me. I turned to a friend of mine and said "wow, the world is seriously missing out on all this beauty." I first said it in a humourous tone, but that statement really made me think about what it meant to purposely cover one's natural assets.

I've been a hijabi since I was 11 or 12, so I've become very accustomed to not being gawked at for my looks (not that I'm saying I would be gawked at, or that I'm especially good-looking...moving on...) I've become used to the idea that I'm the proverbial wall-flower in the realm of all-things-beauty. Whether I like it or not, I'm on the sidelines of fashion (regardless of how fashionable I might be - which I'm not at all).

What I'm trying to say is that it dawned on me just how much hijabi women give up of this material world for Islam. Sometimes we forget how much we give up just because we're so used to the idea of being covered. We give up being at the centre of attention, we're relegated to the "religiously observant" category of people who are sometimes silently scoffed at. I don't think we're generally considered beautiful.

But regardless of how good it might feel to be physically appealing, I'm so happy that I'm able to remove myself from that. It's really priceless how I can get ready in literally 5 minutes in the morning and still look put-together, even if I'm having a bad hair day. It's good to not have to worry about make-up running and smudging. It's good to not be concerned that my feet will kill after a day in heels. In short - it's good.

Of course there are definitely more fashion-forward hijabis out there who need to match their hijab pins with their shoes and purses and cell phone cases. But even those super stylish hijabis give up so much to be closer to Allah.

And this point is paramount when you see how physically beautiful these women are, but still willing to cover their beauty for God. Only then do you realize how much inner beauty they have, too.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Near the end of June, Neda was shot in the chest and died on the street. I watched the video of her death on youtube shortly after it was posted. I couldn't write about it til now because every time I thought about it, I felt nauseous and didn't have any of the right words. I still don't have the right words to express how the suddenness of her death affected me. Watch the video at your own risk.

For days afterwards I couldn't think about anything except dying. I kept picturing myself being hit by a car or being attacked and having my soul taken back from me in the middle of the street - with an audience, with very little dignity. Just suddenly, without warning, while I'm on my way home from work, or crossing the street to buy coffee. It could all be over in a matter of seconds. I would be only a sad memory to the people I love.

And I'm not ready. I know that no one will ever claim to be ready for death. But when I say I'm not ready, it's not because I'm too young, or because I haven't achieved the things I've aspired to. No, I'm too ashamed to die.

If I die now, in the middle of writing this post, I will be surprised if the angel of death wraps my soul in a sweet smelling cloth or calls me by beautiful names while we ascend towards the heavens. I will be surprised if my grave is made to be expansive, or I feel free from the shackles of this world.

If I die now, I have nothing to show Allah for my life. And I can't stand the thought that every pain I've felt in this world will not be relieved when my time runs out. I can't stand the thought that my sins may not be forgiven because of my insincerity and arrogance. How terrible does one have to be that Allah, the Most Merciful, the All-Forgiving, won't forgive his or her sins?

I'm not scared of death. Rather, I'm afraid that I won't get to see His face, that I won't get to breathe in the air of Jannah, that I won't be able to drink from Al-Kauthar so I'll never be thirsty again.

Our Lord, honour us in life and death, accept our silent repentances, ease our judgment and admit us into Your greatest honour of all - jannah.

Monday, July 06, 2009