Salam and waddup our female homies!

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UMI is so proud to present its new blog series. We’ve been planning and structuring our blog set up for months and have had hopes in its beginning from UMI’s inception. At UMI, we value research based perspectives, forming power groups, and breaking down hard concepts through enlightening mediums. So it only makes sense that our blogs mirror our values. 

We are excited to provide you a new twist on blogging and an enlightening perspective on Muslim Hijabis. In a world where Muslim women are marganalized and made to fit a certain stereotype, we are ready to shed light on the varying perspectives of  visibly Muslim women. These blogs are not to explicitly mention the “Hijab and I” perspective, rather it is meant to give voice to those who are normally overshadowed by the media and other stereotypical ideas the plague our Muslim society and our global society as a whole. There’s more to us than the hijab and our community, our own hijabi’s need to hear that! The possibilities are endless.

Representation matters and it’s about time we open an ear to each other’s experiences and share our own. Hijab and wearing it is so nuanced it can no longer be compartmentalized as a personality trait. A phrase like “All Hijabis are [insert trait]” sometimes creates a defeating feeling because it boxes you into a standard that you may not have, may not be striving for, may be struggling with, or doesn’t fit your persona at all. 

We’re ready to take back the narrative because the one thing that hijabi’s have in common is they’re wearing hijab. We don’t know the reason, we don’t know the feeling, we just don’t know. We can only speak for our own experience. Personally at UMI, we know we get excited seeing other Hijabis doing stuff we never imagined doing ourselves. We know we feel a sense of comfort when we see other Hijabis like us. We know we feel empowered by the mere existence of other Hijabis. But that’s just our experience, we’re curious to hear about your experiences too!

We took a survey in the community to assess how well received a blog that includes the perspective of at least three Muslim Hijabi women or research based posts and we were not disappointed!

“It would be interesting to have both [blogs that incorporate research and/or three women’s perspectives]. The topic would be written from experience and each experience is different. It may help a person going through something to share other experiences so others feel more like they’re not alone.  If research can be tied to an experience, it would back it up even more. As women, we like to connect through our experiences in life and learn from each other. Well that’s my feeling about it. 😊😊😊” – Runa N., Pharmacist and mother

“I find that [blogs] are usually very useful in helping me understand different ideas or even perspectives better because you are getting a window into someone else’s life experiences.  These types of blogs are usually my favorite. Due to my being a woman I love to read about other women’s experiences. I think it would be great to get the perspective of three different people. It would help in being able to look at ideas in a different way.” – Lamis A., Educator and mother

“It would [be interesting to read blogs that incorporate research and/or three women’s perspectives] because then you know that it actually happened and it would make it more real if that makes sense.” – Maha A., College Student

“I do feel that the female Muslim voice and perspective is highly critical. Personally over the years, women’s issues have carried a whole new meaning and importance to me. I think questioning assumptions and stereotypes that we don’t even realize we have about ourselves is really important. This self awareness is important for our deen because “من عرف نفسه عرف ربه” (whoever knows himself knows his Lord).

Also, research is very critical because it also brings us to adjust our understanding and assumptions. For example, some of the ISPU studies I have read have surprised me and can have a huge impact by first adjusting our understanding. For example, a study was done about the use of masjid space for each gender. They found that women actually use the masjid as much as men. I would never have assumed this bc men must pray jummua and are encouraged more to pray in the masjid. This new understanding changes the way I would design and program spaces in a masjid design or renovation project.” – Nadia Y., Architect and mother

“I feel like we need more sources to learn more about women like us with the same struggles and experiences. I’m more of a podcast type of person so I love listening to podcast like Dearborn girl, unswtnd + Unfltrd, and my newest favorite UMI Power Talks. All these podcasts give me that older sister vibe, where I can learn from people like me and relate to. But I would read the blog like I said if I got the email and the title was intriguing I would click and see what it’s about instantly.”- Maryam R., College Student

“I believe it will be interesting to see the female perspective and try to relate it to myself as a female.. Allah created us different, we think differently and act differently if we are compared with males. That’s why, pertinent life experience might not be found through reading blogs written by males. I would like to know about people who are struggling in the same areas that I’m struggling with” -Shymaa A, Community Educator and mother

We hope you enjoyed reading other women’s thoughts on this and pray we get the pleasure of seeing you again. Let us know in the comments topics you’d like to get discussed, if you have experiences to share, or if you’d like to contribute to the blog!  Also, let us know, what are your thoughts about points mentioned in the article?

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