Working in corporate America as a woman of color demands much needed time for reflection. I used to be insecure about many things, mainly the plethora of reasons why I felt I didn’t fit in certain work situations. To this day, I partake in conversations […]
Month: March 2019
Small businesses make up for a large part of the economy in many parts of the world, and in recent years, we have seen many businesses owned by Muslim women pop up. A recent statistic showed that 26 percent of Muslims run their own businesses in […]
I remember zoning out in my 10th grade classroom, as all good students do, when my eye fell upon this poster, with a quote written in bright yellow letters, making it almost impossible to ignore:
“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.”
I found myself staring at that bright poster for quite some time. I remember thinking to myself how profound it is to claim that our destiny begins at the inception of our thoughts. Years have come and gone since then, but from time to time, I find myself reflecting back on the wisdom written on that bright poster.
The power that comes with the ability to tailor our thoughts so that we become the person we have always wanted to be, is one that should both excite and scare us! Far too often, we hold on to thoughts and beliefs that limit our full potential. Those thoughts are, in part, a result of our environment and cultures.
If those cultures and systems are toxic, then without a doubt, some of our own long-held thoughts and beliefs, could be toxic. Therein lies the power of positive daily affirmations. To undo the damage caused by the toxic parts of our cultures, we must commit to changing those negative thoughts and beliefs in to healthier ones, and we must do this on a daily basis!
The following are 10 daily affirmations that, if said and believed on the daily, will lead to a healthier mindset, and Inshallah, a healthier emotional/mental state of being:
1. I Have the Power to Love Myself Stronger Than Anyone Else Can Love Me.
If you are anything like me, then you might have spent a large portion of your life looking for love outside of yourself. Be it the validation that comes from having a great career, getting married, or having that large group of friends, your sense of being loved depended on another being or ideal. But when you stop to think, only you have the power to love yourself more because only you and Allah (SWT) know yourself better than anyone else. By reminding yourself everyday that your sense of love and self-worth is on you, you can soar past the negativity.
2. I Believe That I Can Do Anything.
Society, by nature, tries so hard to place you into a box. That box can be based on your racial makeup, or your ethnic background, and oftentimes that box is hard to escape. Yet, if you choose to believe that you are not limited by this box, and you start to think outside of it, imagine what you can achieve. You really can do anything, because the human mind is an organ meant to expand and strengthen as we grow. So believe in your ability to take on new tasks, and escape your comfort zone. Because, darling, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!
3. I Am Only Responsible for My Own Emotions, Feelings, and Actions.
How many times have you been dragged into an emotional war zone with someone? How many time have you felt that your emotions are in direct response to how someone else feels or what they believe? Hopefully, that number is low. To avoid this trap, start to tell yourself that you, and only you, are responsible for your emotions. If you often let how other people behave, feel, or think impact how you feel, you are giving away control over the one thing which is truly all your own.
4. My Body Is My Own. I Respect It, Love It, and Treat It With Care.
The world around us is obsessed with control. They want to control what we say, what we eat, and worst of all, they want to control what we do with our own bodies. Yet, what you choose to do with your body is all your own. They are choices you make. Truly respecting oneself starts with respecting our own bodies in ways we see fit.
5. I Forgive Myself and Others.
Forgiveness is one of Allah’s (SWT) many attributes. Therefore, in our faith, we are taught to emulate that virtue in our own lives. While forgiving those who have hurt you can seem difficult and, at times, unimaginable, it truly is the key to healing. With forgiveness we learn to not be hard on ourselves and others. This aspect comes with our ability to love ourselves, which ultimately makes us mentally healthier.
6. I Am Embracing My Fears, and Worries so That I Can Push for a Better Future.
We all walk around with our own demons. They hover over our shoulders and remind us of our worst fears. However, we can live a happy life if we choose to embrace our fears. In embracing the very thing which we are deliberately trying to run from, we unlock our inner strength. Remember the darkness isn’t so scary when you are your own source of light.
7. Today, I Choose Where to Devote My Energy.
Your energy is valuable. Every time you use up energy, you are spending some of its value. Therefore, by picking where you devote energy, you learn how best to invest the most valuable currency you own: your energy!
8. I Am Grateful for All That I Am, All That I Have, and All That I Have Been Through.
Study after study has come out in support of the benefits that come from practicing gratitude on a daily basis. But Islamic tradition has been a proponent of practicing thankfulness for centuries now. “…Anyone who is grateful does so to the profit of his own soul…” (31:12). When we are thankful, we force our minds to shift focus from the negatives to all the positives of our life.
9. I Deserve to Give Myself Attention and Care.
Did you know that you are your own best caretaker. No one on this physical Earth can look after you better than yourself. With this sense of empowerment, you will never need to rely on others for care, and more so, you will be able to take care of others better!
10. I Am Where I Am Supposed to Be.
This moment in your life is exactly where Allah (SWT) meant for you to be. You can make the most of it by seeing all the positives, and know that your emotional destiny is in your control!
Inshallah, if we all affirm these thoughts and beliefs on a daily basis, we can obtain clarity, and peace of mind!
Disclaimer: This article is in no way meant to subsitite for medical or mental health advice from a trained and educated mental health professional. Muslim Girl encourages those who need help to seek it, and encourages the use of resources such as therapists, social workers, […]
This March 27th, 2019, get ready for the 3rd annual #MuslimWomensDay! This campaign, pioneered by MuslimGirl.com, is dedicated to celebrating the often overlooked or misunderstood narratives of Muslim women. This year, we zero in on the theme of “Muslim Women Talk Back to Immigrant Life” to […]
This Women’s History Month, we’re elevating and celebrating the women who broke barriers and showed the world what they’re made of.
Whilst research has long supported the truth that fewer women pursue careers in STEM than men, this norm is changing slowly but surely. According to a Stanford study, women only count for a quarter of STEM-related positions, a statistic that has long been associated to factors such as “stereotype threat,” a situation where a negative gendered stereotype affects performance evaluation, or implicit bias.
Despite this, the women on this list have shattered baseless stereotypes and biases to dominate STEM, and given futures generations of young Muslim women the role models they deserve. So, which STEM Muslimah reached for the stars and had a galaxy named after her? Which phenom graduated med-school at an age when most undergrads are still getting used to their course loads? Read ahead to find out:
1. Anousheh Ansari
Buzz Lightyear who? Anousheh Ansari is an Iranian-American astronaut. She studied electrical engineering at George Washington University, as if that wasn’t enough, she can add co-founder of not one, but two, tech companies to her already impressive list of accomplishments.
2. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil
What do you get when you combine someone’s love for the stars and physics? Say hello to Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, a renowned astrophysicist. Born and raised in Turkey, she came to America to further her studies at Texas Tech University. She continued on to earn her PhD from the University of Minnesota. However, this STEM powerhouse didn’t stop there. She truly reached the greatest of heights when, whilst studying for her PhD, she discovered a new galaxy that was named after her. If you ever look through a telescope, maybe you’ll get to see Burçin’s galaxy.
3. Layla Shaikley
Shaikley is an MIT alum, who co-founded her own software company, WISE. The company focuses on creating routing software. This is just one of her many accomplishments, as she has also spent time interning with NASA, and working on robots intended to reach Mars. Not only is she breaking stereotypes of women in STEM, but she also created the video “Muslim Hipsters: #mipsterz,” to break social stereotypes about Muslim women.
4. Dr. Hina Chaudhry
Dr. Chaudhry is the director of the Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine department at Mount Sinai. She is currently working on research in gene therapy, and has been published multiple times. This medical powerhouse is also the founder and Chief Scientific Office of the biotech company, VentriNova.
5. Maryam Mirzakhani
Mirzakhani is the first Muslim woman to receive a Nobel prize in complex geometry and dynamic systems. She was born and raised in Iran, moving to America to continue her education at Harvard University. She continued her career in mathematics as a professor at Stanford University.
6. Sameena Shah
Sameena was born and raised in India, completing her Masters degree at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi. She currently works as the director of research at Thomas Reuters and has published over two dozen articles of research. In 2009, she was the recipient of the notable Google India Women in Engineering Award.
7. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is a biodiversity scientist who received her PhD from Exeter University. Thanks to her many accomplishments, she made her way onto the Forbes Power Women list in 2016. She didn’t just prosper in science, but extended her accomplishments to becoming Mauritius’ first female president!
8. Hayat Sindi
Sindi is a Saudi biotechnologist who received her PhD from Cambridge University. Whilst she has stated that many people told her that her religion and gender would be the reason she wouldn’t succeed, she proved them all wrong when she was accepted into Cambridge, and advanced her career to the heights she had dreamed of. She is currently working on the impressive feat of creating a device which will pick up on the presence of diseases through body fluids. Her focus is on helping developing countries, which is why she has co-founded Diagnostics-For-All.
9. Afghan All-Girl Robotics Team
You may have heard of this determined group of girls on the news when their requests for a U.S. visa to compete in a Washington-based robotics competition was denied twice. These girls, ranging from ages 14 to 17, did eventually compete in the international robotics competition, and won a silver medal for their innovating design at the First Global Challenge robotics competition in Washington. For persevering in the face of repeated rejection and hardship, this group of courageous and determined girls is well-deserving of their place on this list!
10. Iqbal Al Assaad
At age 14, Assaad wasn’t your ordinary high schooler. Why, I hear you ask? She was already in her first year of medical school, that’s why. At the age of 20, when most kids her age were adjusting to life as an undergrad, this Palestinian phenom had already graduated from medical school. She intends to use her considerable talents to help the Palestinian cause and offer aid to those suffering.
Edited by Manal Moazzam.
In the Holy Qur’an, there’s a verse that states, “…We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves […]
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and the interviewees. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MuslimGirl.com. When Saif Khan was dealing with the loss of his half-brother, he turned to his local […]
Welcome to #MuslimGirlAnon, your one-stop spot for all the advice you could need! Every week, we crowd-source the very best advice our #MGClique has to offer about issues plaguing our girl gang.
Need some advice? Write to email@example.com, and we may just feature you!
Q: “Dear MG, I kissed a guy and it was my first time. I feel so guilty and gross. I know I could have done worse but I’ve been raised to never even be alone in a room with a man and I’m not really sure how this happened. I don’t know what to do now. I want to keep seeing him, but I don’t want to do anything I’ll regret. How do I keep it as halal as possible?”
A: “I hope I stay anonymous. I believe this happens way more than anyone would like to admit it does. I totally understand the guilt and the feelings that come with all of it. Personally, I believe the best way to make sure it won’t happen again is by setting boundaries, not just for the person with you, but for yourself especially. It can become extremely destructive once you realize you don’t have boundaries and will start doing things you’ll later wish you hadn’t. Don’t be so hard on yourself, because at the end of the day, you’re only human. You got this! And to all the other women and girls who might be the in the same situation, you’re human, and that’s okay.”
First and foremost, you are a human being. I think we need to remind ourselves that humans have desires and free will, no matter how you were raised.
A: “Tell him how you feel, and that you would love to keep talking to him and getting to know him in a halal way. Maybe introduce him to your parents and other friends? But that depends on your family. If he truly cares about you, and is interested in you (in a halal way) then he will take it slow and take your needs and beliefs into consideration. If not, then he is not worth your time :)”
A: “First and foremost, you are a human being. I think we need to remind ourselves that humans have desires and free will, no matter how you were raised. If you are a heterosexual young woman, it’s completely natural to want to engage in sexual activity with the opposite sex. I can only speak to you as a fellow sister, who also struggles with my own desires: you have to ask yourself, do I really like this guy, or do I simply want to satisfy my sexual desires? Do I see a potential future with him? If you don’t, that’s fine, but it would be purely naive to think you can be platonic friends after this incident. If you choose to have casual sex with this young man, then I advise you to get on the Pill, and educate yourself on birth control and STD prevention through the Planned Parenthood website [Actually get on the pill, nikkah or not]. You’re still a Muslim, either way.”
– Suad Patton-Bey, Age 23, Mississippi.
A: “If you really want to continue this, talk to your family about marriage. You can get engaged, and probably wait for later, for marriage. However, you will have to repent for the sin of kissing! May Allah accept your istighfar and grant you whatever is best for you in this world and the hereafter.”
– Shajia, Age 20, India.
A: “In all honesty, the best way to keep it halal is to try avoiding contact with him. But Allah has made human attraction a natural thing, and if you really want to keep seeing him, maybe avoid seeing him physically. In that case, FaceTime and text would be the best way to communicate and maintain a friendship with him until “those” feelings go away, or reduce. If you feel like those feelings are only being intensified, then the only way to keep it halal would be marriage (depending on how old you are), but that’s a whole other situation. If marriage isn’t an option and those feelings are still there, then breaking off the friendship and just being acquaintances is probably best. Good luck, and remember that Allah is the All Merciful and Forgiving.”
– Sa_Lam, Age 16, Michigan.
A: “Salam sister. Tell your parents about this guy as soon as possible (you can leave out the kissing part for now if you are afraid of harsh reactions). Warn him to tell his parents as well, and that both families can meet and acknowledge that you are getting to know each other. Any guy who likes you and is serious, will be ready to talk to your parents. If he refuses, then there is no point in meeting him/dating him as it may lead to haram. Also, this might indicate that he may not even be sure about his feelings towards you. Always look at words & actions; they go hand-in-hand. When one is missing, rest assured that there’s something weird going on, and you might end up getting hurt. May Allah guide you, and protect you always.”
Many girls have been in this situation, and the fact that you’re feeling guilty does show that you never had any bad intentions with your actions.
A: “One thing I must say is that if a guy really likes you, he will respect you like the queen you are. He will agree with your decision to not kiss, touch, hug, or whatever else you’re comfortable with doing, or not doing. I think as women, we’re taught to compromise our values to get guys. But I have learned that those who weren’t willing to respect me and my values were the ones who weren’t worth my time. And I thank God for taking those guys out of my life. In regards to keeping it “halal,” I would say try to spend less time alone. Hang out with your friends more, and if you need alone time, you can always have that time in a public place like a park, or restaurant. You can also just hold hands, or hug (if you’re comfortable with that.) Best of luck. Just remember to NEVER compromise your values for any guy.”
– Alexis Solares, Age 23, California.
A: “First of all, I know it’s hard not to, but don’t feel too guilty. Many girls have been in this situation, and the fact that you’re feeling guilty does show that you never had any bad intentions with your actions. You did it as an act of love. Share your anxieties with your partner, tell him where you stand, and where you would like this relationship to lead. If you both have the same goal in mind (marriage at some point), then I think it’s fine if you do keep seeing him. But again, make sure you set some rules on what you’re comfortable doing in this relationship.”
– Tasneem, Age 23, Dubai.
By Shaykh Furhan Zubairi, In today’s current social and political environment, being Muslim is truly becoming a challenge; it’s a struggle. It feels like we’re living in the times that were described by the Prophet ﷺ in a number of different narrations. The Prophet ﷺ […]