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Ankara Kouture review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2016 by amanisma

I ordered the “Kente Empress” wrap and earring set on the 23rd of June. Initially I hoped to wear this set on Eid which was predicted to be on either the 5th or 6th of July. I figured I had enough time since standard shipment for the company stated 2-5 business days. After placing the order I get an email saying my order should arrive in 7-10 business days. I was a little disappointed as I’d already planned my Eid outfit and all that was needed was the wrap and earrings. 
Fast forward 7-10 business days, still my order had not arrived. I waited a little longer before reaching out to the company. On the 19th of July (nearly a month after placing my order) I email the company to let them know I hadn’t received my order. I didn’t get a reply so two days later I send a Facebook message to the company page. Still no reply. Finally I comment on a post asking to be contacted about my order. Less than two hours later I get a response asking for my order number. I provide the number but still no details about my package was given. I wait three days then comment on a public post again asking for details about my order. Once again I get a quick response. I get an apology for poor communication. In addition I was told my order was held up in customs and should arrive soon. 
Two days later my package arrives but it’s not the item I ordered. The picture of the “Kente Empress” is black and white. The item I received was black, white, and red. The fabric looks much different than in the picture as well. I immediately send a message and a photo about the mix up but have yet to get a reply. This message was sent 28th of July. 
When I received the package Thursday I checked the website to see if the description included “red” and the item was marked “sold out” so I was unable to click the item description. A few days later the website was marked “currently unavailable”. 
At this point I have no choice but to keep the item but I must give this company 1 star for overall dealings. Shipping was slow. Communication was poor. The icing on the cake was receiving an item I didn’t order. It looks similar but definitely is not the same.


What I ordered on the right. What I received on the left. (Photo credit: Ankara Kouture website)

Why the Yearly Request ‘Forgive me if I’ve done Something Wrong Knowingly’ Bothers Me a Little 

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2016 by amanisma


Every Ramadan social media is flooded with request for forgiveness. We ask others to forgive us if we have done something wrong knowingly and unknowingly. Now the unknowingly part I get. Sometimes we do things that hurt others and we are unaware. In these cases we, the “wrongdoer”, aren’t given a chance to apologize or correct the mistake because we simply are not aware we have done something wrong. It’s completely understandable to cover that base and seek forgiveness because it’s unknown. 

Now for the knowingly part, why can’t we apologize to the people we have wronged? We know when we backbite or slander each other. We know if we have divorced and left children behind and refuse to take care of them. We know if we cut family ties, i.e. preventing a father from seeing his children. We know know if we have fought with a Muslim. We know when we lie on someone to make ourselves look good. We know if we run a business and hurt the communities by selling alcohol and synthetic drugs. We know when we are profiting from cheap unfinished products. We know if we have instigated an issue and caused problems for our sister. We know! We know! We know! 

In these instances we are aware of the wrong, so why wait until Ramadhan (or traveling) to toss out the request for forgiveness? It seems it’s become more of a ritual to ask in this manner. It’s become expected that before Ramadan and during Hajj season there is an influx of such request. I’m sorry but I’m truly giving the side eye to the “knowingly” part. Let’s make this year we accept the wrong we do to others and give our Muslim brothers and sisters their rights. Apologies are much more sincere when we accept what we’ve done and make necessary changes. 
Here are some alternative solutions to seeking forgiveness for the knowingly examples of wrongs mentioned above: 

1. If we backbite/slander a Muslim, go to the person and apologize. If you don’t have the guts to do that then speak good of them in the same company in which you tarnished their name. If you can’t do that, then get them a gift.  If can’t do that then stay quiet. 

2. If you have a child you do not  take care of then change your life. Get a job. Support your children. There are no excuses for not taking care of your children. Asking for forgiveness only works when you stop doing the wrong that you are apologizing for. Asking for forgiveness yearly as your child suffers seems a bit fake. 

3. Cutting family ties specifically between children and their fathers. Sometimes marriages don’t last but that doesn’t mean the children must suffer. Honestly, if there wasn’t abuse involved then there really isn’t any good reason to keep a child away from their father. Reconnect the child with their parents. Allow them to figure out how they feel on their own. 

4. Fighting with Muslims. Does this really need an explanation??? We know when there is either a verbal or physical altercation but rarely offer an apology. In fact, the dispute doesn’t end there. Too many times we quarrel and the first thing we do is call a friend and discuss what “just went down” ultimately inviting others to backbite. We could handle the issue in a more mature manner. Accept that anger has momentarily taken over and follow the sunnah when it comes to removing the anger. 

5. Telling lies on others to make ourselves look good. All I can suggest is stay calm and speak the truth. May Allah protect us all from hypocrisy and telling lies. Ameen

6. Can this be the year the Muslims stop selling alcohol and synthetic drugs? Aside from the clear evidence from the Quran telling us its wrong, statistics prove drunk driving is the cause many deadly accidents. Also there are many videos online showing reactions to the harmful synthetic marijuana K2. Now, I’m not saying selling real marijuana is any better but I mention the K2 because it is legally sold in many convenient stores along with alcohol. This is knowingly harming others. There isn’t any good that can come from either of these substances. 

7. Profiting from cheap products. If I purchase a pricey abaya from a Muslim business there is no reason I should have to literally retrace every single stitch because it’s falling apart. That shouldn’t happen after the first wear. On top of that having a “no return” policy. Come on! This is not right and if we sell any type of product then we should charge according to the quality. High quality should be high priced. Enough said. 

8. Instigating problems between Muslims. This goes along with backbiting but I’ll just say this, we should not be going back and forth with the “he said she said”. Such a mentality should have ended in grade school. Let’s solve our issues with each other and leave it at that. Let Islam make adults mature again. Ya Allah, Ameen! 

I know we all make mistakes. This is what makes us human. All I am trying to get across is that we refrain from being of those who act out certain rituals depending on the times of year. Let’s try to be better people for the sake of being good and pleasing our Creator. We all do things that unknowingly hurt others and for that I ask forgiveness for as well. As for the pain we knowingly cause let’s try to correct those faults instead of throwing yearly requests that feel a little phony. Especially if we don’t change our ways. May Allah make us all more sincere and courageous…Ameen 

Tips On How To Respond To A Woman In Hijab

Posted in Uncategorized on February 4, 2016 by amanisma

Tips on how to respond to a woman in Hijab. 

In a world where women seem to be wearing less and less clothing, seeing a woman covered can be quite alarming. The startling effect may be especially intensified in a town where the Muslim population isn’t so high. One may wonder how to respond when seeing a hijabi (Muslim woman wearing my hijab). Here are a few tips that’ll keep life smooth: 

1. Mind your own business. This is the simplest thing one can do when they see a woman in hijab. Her decision to wear hijab isn’t up for debate. Whether one acknowledges a woman in hijab or not, she will still wear it. If your dislike for hijab is so strong the best advice I can give is : Mind your own business 🙂 

2. Save negative comments. It’s not necessary. Negative comments won’t make a hijab wearing woman suddenly decide to remove the hijab. Blurting out “it’s too hot for all of that!” is just so childish. I couldn’t wear someone else’s hair sewn or glued to my scalp but you won’t catch me speaking nonsense every time I see a woman wearing a weave. I actually think some weaves look nice but the unnecessary commentary about what I can’t do won’t leave my lips. It’s so pointless. I just can’t begin to explain how ridiculous one appears making such comments. Remember, no one asked you. 
3. Don’t ask silly questions. Honestly, I don’t mind questions as long as they are respectful and make sense. If you want to know why I wear hijab you can ask me. One can only learn by asking questions. What really gets me is when someone wastes my time by asking a silly question like “do you shower with that on?” Or “do you wear that to sleep”. Let’s think about this for a moment and analyze why such questions are in fact petty. Firstly, what would happen if you showered with clothes on? A hijab is just an article of clothing. Do you shower with your pants and shirt on? Asking if one showers with hijab is basically the same. As for the “do you wear that to sleep?”. Think about it. If you’ve seen me on more than one occasion wearing a different hijab why would you think I wear the same hijab to sleep, in the shower, etc? It just doesn’t make sense and I’m totally giving you the side-eye if you’ve ever asked such a question. 

4. Keep your hands to yourself. Unfortunately, some find snatching a woman’s hijab off comical. It’s only fair that a warning is given that not all hijab wearing women will take this lightly. Touching my hijab is assault. I will react. Please don’t. 

5. Don’t stare. Staring is still rude. Yeah we know we look different. We know what the media says about us. Still, We.Are.Human. When I step out my only desire is to conduct business without catching a creep staring me down with an evil glare. It’s weird. At least if you are going to stare respond when I say “hello” otherwise prepare for a stare down and trust me, I won’t lose. Muahaaahahaaahaha!!! Just kidding. But for real, don’t get caught staring and expect a meek reaction. Staring is weird and rude. 

6. Be respectful and respect you shall receive. That is the bottom line. I respect those who respect me. You don’t have to like the way a Muslim woman CHOSES to dress show respect. You can say “hello” or not. Either way is fine with me, but please don’t stare and make rude comments. It is possible to have a civil interaction. Opinions concerning another’s lifestyle aren’t always necessary. Let’s keep it polite.  

 

Ban Muslims from entering the United States, eh Trump???

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2015 by amanisma

Ban Muslims from entering the United States, eh Donald J. Trump???  What do you plan on doing with American born Muslims??? The Ignorance has gone too far indeed.   

Source: Ban Muslims from entering the United States, eh Trump???

Ban Muslims from entering the United States, eh Trump???

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2015 by amanisma

Ban Muslims from entering the United States, eh Donald J. Trump??? 
What do you plan on doing with American born Muslims???
The Ignorance has gone too far indeed.

Reflections on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2015 by amanisma

While reflecting upon Domestic Violence Awareness Month I’d like to make this post about what it was like discussing this topic. As I mentioned in the very first post about my experience, I sensed a very high level of anxiety. Once I made the post public the nervousness did not subside. I questioned whether it was the right thing to do until I began to receive messages on Facebook from other women who had similar experiences. It was at that point that I forgot about how anxious I felt. As the messages continued I felt more and more compelled to speak up. It wasn’t easy but I felt it had to be done. When I heard stories about women who died at the hands of their abusers I felt nothing but the need to continue these posts. 
Although much of the feedback was positive and from women who had the courage to escape their abusive mates there were some negative responses. Some left very nasty comments on my posts. Profanity and racial slurs were thrown at me. Although my posts were aimed at spreading awareness about domestic violence some individuals did not appreciate that. I could only imagine they themselves are abusers or the ones who defend this type of behavior. Regardless, I did not let it stop me from discussing an issue that affects so many around the world. 
Throughout the month I came across many posts about domestic violence and was very pleased to see more community leaders speaking up but honestly I think it should be more. Now that this issue is brought to light we can not continue ignoring it. Too many are suffering in silence. Too many are afraid to speak up. Too many feel there is no point in speaking with an Imam because they have been let down in the past. Too many feel the ill treatment is a better option rather than bring “shame” to their families. This type of thinking is problematic and we have to be the ones to change the way domestic violence is viewed in our communities. 
With that being said, I strongly suggest we continue to discuss domestic violence in the Muslim community. As mentioned in a previous post, we have the best example of how to treat our spouses. Violence has no place in the home of a believer. Now that the discussion is open let’s not close it because Domestic Violence Awareness month is over. The purpose was to spread awareness and encourage those currently in an abusive relationship to seek help. There is help. There is a life of peace. There is a life without your spouse using you as a punching bag. There is a life where you do not have to walk on eggshells out of fear of an explosion. There is life of happiness once you decide abuse is not acceptable. 
In closing, I would like to remind all of my readers to take what you now know about domestic violence and remember we all have a role to play in helping those who are oppressed. May we all be protected from violence in our homes. May we all feel the need to defend those who live under such circumstances. May we all stop closing our eyes when know of abuse. May we all speak up and end the silence on domestic violence. 

  

What NOT to do during Jummuah Prayer

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30, 2015 by amanisma

I’m sure every Friday we expect to go to Jummuah prayer and have this amazing spiritual enlightening experience. But many times it’s not like that. We find ourselves having to be extra patient and think happy thoughts when others seem to not know the does and don’ts of the Friday Prayers. Here is a short list of what NOT to do during Jummuah prayer. Feel free to add to the list.
1. Enter AFTER the Khutbah has begun and greet everyone. Please wait until it’s over. Talking during the Khutbah is like talking during your prayer. Don’t do it.
2. Answer your phone. See #1.
3. Ask people questions. Even though you may feel it is extremely important to know who speaks the same language as you or where someone is from please don’t. It’s not that important.
4. Talk over the Imam and make attempts to finish his sentences. This is just plain annoying. This makes you look like a “know it all”. Just don’t. 
5. Shush other people’s babies for cooing after you’ve done 1-4. Really?!?!? Really?!?!
6. Greet the masjid with two rakah in an extra loud whisper. This is a silent prayer. Silent. 
7. Recite over the Imam as he is leading the salah. Ok Alhamdulillah Masha’Allah you know the Surah. This is excellent but your loud whisper is distracting everyone. One Imam. One. Let him do it. 
  

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