The Muslim Girl’s Guides

The Muslim Girl’s Guides are informative posts about general topics and are meant to provide advice and helpful information. Have an idea for a guide? Let The Muslim Girl know here!

The Muslim Girl’s Guide…

***to Friendship

Today’s Muslim Girl’s Guide topic is friendship. Many of you might be thinking that you already know how to be a good friend, but today’s guide to friendship will be talking about some of the pitfalls many of us face when trying to be good friends.

So let’s take a look at some of these pitfalls so that we can become better friends.
Backbiting

So many of us engage in this, many times without even realising. We think that if we’re friends with two people, it’s okay to share what one of them told us to the other. Don’t do it. Regardless of whether the two people are friends or not, don’t share things that your friends have told you to other people, friends or not. You wouldn’t like it if things you told your friends started circulating without you knowing it, so don’t engage it.

So much drama starts this way, especially since girls tell one another not to tell anyone else what they’re about to tell them, and then that person goes ahead and shares it anyway. Regardless of whether the person tells you that it’s a secret, don’t share. No matter how good of a friend the other person is to you and no matter the fact that you tell them not to share, the story will probably get out and it will be revealed that you spilled the beans. So don’t ruin a friendship by spreading stories and just keep them to yourself.

And if someone tries to share something with you about a mutual acquaintance, don’t pass it on any further.
Jealousy

Sometimes we’re friends with someone, yet we can’t help but covet their clothes, their accessories, their family, their friends, etc. This can poison a friendship.One one hand, you claim that they are your friend and you love them, yet on the other hand you long for what they have. Be content with what you have and don’t be jealous. It will somehow seep into your relationship and affect your actions in how you interact with you friend, so try and nip it in the bud.

Not everyone has everything, so don’t get caught up in what they have that you don’t. Be thankful for what you do have.
Boy Trouble

This is probably one of the biggest pitfalls of friendship for girls growing up nowadays. Regardless of how you choose to interact with guys, you can’t deny that many friendships have been ruined by girls fighting over boys.

It’s an age old saying, but boys really will come and go. Your friends are there to stay, so don’t get caught up in who got caught looking at a guy or who has a crush on a guy. It may seem like a big deal, but it’s not worth ruining your friendship over so just leave it.

As girls, we often get caught up in categorizing our friends. She’s just an acquaintance, but she’s a friend, whereas she’s my best friend. Naturally you’ll be closer with some people more than others, but don’t get caught up in giving your friends titles. Treat all your friends equally, and with kindness. Buy gifts for them. Introduce them to your family. Love them.

We often spend more time with friends than our family in this day and age, and so it’s important to choose our friends carefully since we tend to become like those we spend the most time with. If you want amazing friends, be one yourself and treat them how you would like to be treated.

Hope you found this guide on friendship useful. Keep smiling, beautiful girls!

With love.

****for New Hijabis
So before we begin the Muslim Girl’s Guide for New Hijabis: congratulations on making the decision to wear hijab! It’s a monumental and life-changing decision that has huge impacts on your life. So congrats on taking this step, and may Allah reward you for it!

The hardest part of the process of becoming a hijabi is done: making the decision.

The rest of it isn’t difficult, but it can be a bit tricky to navigate the new terrain of life as a hijabi and so this guide is meant to make things a little easier for you and provide you with some tips and tricks. So let’s get started!

*(insert scarf image here)
Scarves

Scarves are probably the first thing on your mind as you transition into life as a hijabi. But there’s no need to fret! There has been an explosion of scarves on the retail market over the past few years, and so finding scarves of every colour, shade, shape, and texture is so much easier than it used to be a few years ago. Whether you’re prefer square hijabs or rectangle hijabs, you won’t need to search any speciality stores to find ones you love.

My favourite place to shop for plain hijabs, in every colour of the rainbow, is Pearl Daisy. Amena’s shop is the first place I check when I’m looking for a specific colour, especially when I want to match it to a particular outfit. Her prices are reasonable as well, and the quality of the scarves is wonderful! I plan on doing a full review on Pearl Daisy’s scarves so keep checking back!

For patterned scarves, I love shopping at H&M and Forever 21. Both carry a selection of lightweight, patterned scarves that come in an array of textures. Both of their selections change with the season, and so they’re not really good if you’re looking for a specific colour. But if you’re in the mood for some florals during Spring and Summer, you can be sure that they’ll be both carrying it!

*(insert underscarves image here)
Undersarves

Some hijabis get by without wearing underscarves, while for some it’s absolutely crucial! For some, the benefit of an underscarf is keeping your hair from constantly coming out of your hijab and keeping the hijab secure. Depending on the kind of hijab you’re wearing, you might be okay without it. But I find with silk or satin scarves, an underscarf is important to keep your hijab in place. They also come in handy when pinning your hijab down.

You can find in many Muslim clothing stores and stalls, or you can get them online. Pearl Daisy also sells them, and has a wide variety of different colours and styles to choose from.

*(insert pin image here)
Pins

Pins are necessary for keeping your hijab in place and not moving all over the place. Some girls prefer having a pin under the chin for when they lay the fabric down on their head. You can use safety pins for this, but often the fabric of your scarf gets caught in safety pins which then ruins your hijab!

My favourite solution to this are no-snag hijab pins; they’re designed in such a way that they prevent your scarf from snagging. They aren’t the prettiest, but are easy to tuck under with layers of fabric. You can find some here.

For more colourful and pretty pins, you can find them almost anywhere! Some girls use broaches, while some choose to stick with straight pins. You can find colourful straight pins at Wal-Mart for cheap, and they last forever!

If you’re looking for jazzier pins with some design, again, you can check out stalls at Islamic conferences or online hijab retailers. You can even check out Etsy and Ebay, as they often have beautiful ones that are very inexpensive!

*(insert clothing image here)
Clothing

Clothing might be the something else that’s on your mind as you make the decision of hijab. Some of you might even be wondering if you have to wear abayas or jilbabs to follow the criteria of modesty. This is a matter of personal opinion, and you will need to decide what works for you and what you personally believe in.

My personal belief is that modesty and fashion are not mutually exclusive, and so my suggestions for where to buy clothes are based around this belief that you can look stylish, yet be modest at the same time.

Now, you might be wondering if you have to chuck out your old wardrobe completely in order to transform it into a hijabi wardrobe. No, you don’t! There are so many ways to modify non-modest clothes so that they can become modest.

One of my favourite ways to do this is add a cardigan on top or a long-sleeve t-shirt underneath. Voila, instant coverage! If you’re into maxi skirts or dresses, then those are easy to modify and make more hijab-friendly, since they cover up so beautifully anyways. For some suggestions on how to style Maxi Skirts, check out my post here. If you’re not into maxi skirts or dresses, then simply wearing short dresses as tops, on top of pants is another way to stay covered but still be cute!

If you are looking to purchase a whole new wardrobe or even some new clothes, my favourite hijab-friendly (and budget-friendly!) shops to shop at are: H&M, Forever 21, Zara, and Target. All of these always carry cute clothes, that can be easily modified by adding long-sleeve t-shirts, trousers, or cardigans to make them modest. I’ll be doing a review on all the hijab-friendly stores I just mentioned so watch this space!

Modesty and Confidence

These last two things might seem paradoxical, but in truth, they’re not. Both of them are equally important.

Whatever you wear, however you choose to wear your hijab, whatever pins you use to keep it all in place, be modest. The whole point of hijab is to be modest, and there is no point of covering up your hair and neck if your actions aren’t humble. So don’t use the hijab as an excuse and think that your work is a Muslim is done; be the best person you can be.

Be modest, but at the same time, be confident. And by confidence I don’t mean ‘strut-your-stuff-down-the-runway- confidence, but courage and fearlessness.

The transition to becoming a hijabi isn’t an easy one. The people around you may or may not be supportive. Sometimes the ones you think will be supportive will be aghast at your decision and try to convince you otherwise. Sometimes the ones you think will mock you will cheer you on and tell you how happy they are. People may change how they interact with you; it might be the people closest to you or the people you see randomly.

But don’t let all that bog you down. Stand by your decision to be modest. Explain it to people. Be proud of yourself. When people ask you about your hijab, answer gracefully and humbly. Keep your chin up and keep smiling.

More important than the clothes, the scarves, the pins, the accessories, etc. is your desire to be the best you can be for Allah.

Be true to your intentions to please Allah and may He reward you.

I hope you girls found this guide useful! If you have anything you’d like me to add or address, feel free to comment or ask me on the Ask The Muslim Girl page!

With love.

***to Self-Esteem
Day in, day out, we are constantly told by the media and by society that we are not beautiful enough, that we are not good enough. With women placed on an extremely high pedestal where they only seem to be valued for their bodies and not their brains, it’s no wonder that so many girls lack self-esteem.

The whole day we are bombarded by ads that remind us that we are not the right size, the right shape, the right colour, or the fact that our noses are too big, our eyes too small, our hips too wide, our skin too dark, and so many other things. We are told that we need makeup, no, that we require it to even be considered beautiful, to even step out of the house. It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle with self-esteem issues.

Everywhere we are surrounded by images of people we may know who share their faces and bodies with us on social media, showing us how beautiful they look, so that we are always aspiring to be something we’re not, so that we are constantly not pleased with ourselves. It’s no wonder we begin to loathe ourselves and our bodies; it’s no wonder we have low self-esteem.

As a girl who grew up in the West and among Western ideals of beauty, I am the first to admit my low-esteem. Even as an adult as I consciously try to reject the perfect ideals of beauty that surround me in society, but subconsciously they still slip in so that I am constantly measuring myself up to other people.

We need to stop this.

The media and the world has corrupted our brains to the degree that we think that we are not beautiful unless we are a 6 foot model with a waist the size of a grapefruit. We think that size zero and fair skin are the epitome of beauty. We think that we are not as beautiful as the girls we see on our screens. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

You are beautiful.

I’m going to say this one more time, you are beautiful. The girl in the mirror. Not the girl on your TV screen or laptop screen or phone screen. You.

Learning to love yourself is a difficult and long road. One that is made difficult by all the images of so-called beauty that surround us. But those images aren’t real. You are.

We all need to stop looking at other people and look at ourselves. You are who you are because God made you that way. And He made you beautiful.

Allah made you the way you are and by hating yourself or the way you look, you are insulting Him. Because God doesn’t make mistakes and by drowning yourself in self-loathing you are telling God that you don’t like what He has created.

None of us are perfect and we need to stop trying to attain perfection, since only Allah is perfect.

So the next time you feel a bout of self-loathing hit, take a moment to write down all the things about yourself that you love. Do it on a piece of paper or a sticky so you can stick it on your mirror. Begin each day telling yourself that you’re beautiful. Look at the list often and remind yourself of the attributes about yourself that you love. Own them.

It sounds cheesy and simplistic, but it’s a simple way for all of us to rebuild our self-esteem, one step at a time. Because if you don’t tell yourself you’re beautiful, then society definitely won’t. And if you won’t love yourself, no one else will.

Don’t hate what you see in the mirror and don’t be ungrateful for the way God made you. Love yourself because Allah loves you.

Keep smiling, beautiful girls!

With love.

**to Social Media
In today’s age of social media, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. Lots of young Muslims today have the mentality that if their parents can’t see what they’re doing on social media, then everything is good. But I’m here to tell that that’s wrong! Just because your parents don’t know what you’re posting, tweeting, blogging, hashtagging, etc. doesn’t mean that Allah doesn’t know. So check out the tips in The Muslim Girl’s Guide to Social Media to see what some of the dangers can be.
Be Nice

This might be very obvious and some of you might even me chuckling at this, but it is so important. Many people use the internet as a way to lash out at people on various platforms, whether it’s Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., especially because they don’t use their real name in their activities online. Using a fake name does not give you the right to bully people or call them names or abuse them in any shape or form. It’s an old saying, but it still applies today: if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Online bullying is so prevalent today because people think that they can say whatever they want online because people can’t see who they are. Whether it’s to someone you know or someone you’ve never met, be nice.
Quit being the Haram Police

I talk a lot more about this in my 10 Ways to Stop Being Haram post, but it bears repeating in this one too. It goes hand in hand with the ‘be nice’ tip above, but being Muslim does not give you to the right to go out and call people out. You don’t have the right to judge, only Allah does. So if you’re concerned about a friend or family member, shoot them a private message or talk to them in person. Don’t shame them on their wall or in front of their followers. If you can’t share your opinions in a mature and sensible way, then keep them to yourself.
Keep Your Distance

Many young Muslims today keep their distance with the opposite sex in person, but it’s a completely different story online! Again: just because your parents don’t see those private messages or those tweets you send, doesn’t mean Allah doesn’t. Be aware that Allah is watching all that you see and do online, in what you might think is a very private forum, so be careful to maintain your distance and be respectable. Use social media to communicate, but still be mindful of your limits so you don’t cross them. It can be so easy to get caught up in a fun conversation that seems all fun and jokes via Twitter or Instagram, but you could be flirting without knowing it.
Know When to Back Out

Online, everyone’s got an opinion and it’s so much easier to express it when you have a different name or picture up so no one knows it’s you. And everyone on the internet loves to give their opinion, whether it’s about Islam, current events in the media, politics, faith, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to defend something online, but discussions online can quickly turn into ugly arguments so know when it’s time to back out. Backing out does not mean that you are conceding to the validity of the other person’s argument, but sometimes it’s best to take a step back rather than start swearing and becoming aggressive.
Take a Break

This can be the hardest thing to do, especially since with we’re all so connected to social media via our computers, smartphones, and tablets. But try to take a break from it! It can be easy to become consumed by social media and spend your whole day on Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest, but it’s important to remember that social media is not a replacement for life. It’s just an outlet.

So don’t let it replace your life and don’t live your life simply on social media. Put the phone down and put the computer away and take some time to enjoy the company of people around you and the world around you. It can very difficult not to eat a meal with a group of friends and not want to instagram it or see a beautiful scene of nature and not want to tweet about it, but try. Our life on this planet is measured in finite moments so don’t waste those moments on social media.

With all that being said, the intention of this post is not to say that social media is the root of all evil. Alhamdulilah, social media has done some amazing things and has raised awareness on some profound issues. It’s a way that we can stay connected with family and friends from all over the world. It’s a way we can continue to invent and reinvent ideas. But there are some problems with it, which is why I hope this guide on social media gives you some easy tips to use in your life.

Hope you found this post useful! Keep smiling.

With love.