muslim women fitness, The Muslim Orange

Fake it ’til you make it

It’s true when they say 90 percent of life is in showing up. Lately the amount of effort it takes to go from fast asleep in bed to ready and out the door is increasing exponentially. My girly six-pack is disappearing, I don’t have as much energy, and I have been slaaaacking on exfoliation. Then there is the whole spiritual malaise thing. That is troubling all by itself.

So, another LIST. Yes, I’m a fan.

  • Pray, on time, everyday insha Allah.
  • Exfoliate like it’s going out of style…use that body scrub woman!
  • Ab work everyday with Mr. Stuck in the 90s YouTube man
  • Walk three times around the block before maghrib (equivalent to one mile)
I can’t believe it, I walked three times around the neighborhood block with my sister tonight and my legs are actually a little sore. Three times. Around the block. I’m so out of it!

No more dreaming.

No more calling like a crow for a boy, for a body in the garden
No more dreaming like a girl so in love, so in love
No more dreaming like a girl so in love, so in love
No more dreaming like a girl so in love with the wrong world

The Muslim Orange, Uncategorized

Dunya Depression

I want to be that girl again.

I want to be that girl who wakes up with light in her steps and a supplication on her lips, who effortlessly slips into running shoes and hits the pavement and flies over excuses, misgivings and ghosts of the past. The girl who has enough sense of self to touch the ground with her forehead and submit five times a day, who can trade in her chai latte for a page of the Quran during Ramadan.

I want to be that girl who edits entire sequences in her head at night, who sleeps with one arm outstretched to a notebook and pen so she’s ready the moment inspiration strikes. I want to be that girl who can copy edit in four languages. I want to be that girl who doesn’t let a moment slip by, wasted.

I want to be good again. I want to be me again. I want to be me, instead of simply wanting to be wanted.

The Muslim Orange

The Hirsute of Happiness: The Care and Feeding of a Single Muslim Woman

I just got divorced today.

That being said, let’s talk about marriage. And girly stuff. 😀

It sucks being alone, I get it. The crying yourself to sleep at night, the daydreams of hand-holding and long walks, waking up alone, eating alone, being alone, driving alone. You are awoooone. Got it.

Girls, let’s pretend I’m your fairy godmother (shirk? biddah? Is this hypothetical even halal? Who knows, ask your mom) and I’m about to grant you your wish. I appear to you in a sparkly puff of garam masala as you finally slip under the covers in your pajamas (after several hours of Facebook-stalking all the MSA brothers, wondering if any of them are husband material. Hint: They’re not. Let the poor dears finish school and find a job, for crying out loud.) and you gaze at me, amazed!

Before you can call the cops, I tell you I’ve found you the man of your dreams. Better yet, you’ve already been nikkah-fied. You’re married! We’re fast-forwarding all that ceremonial hooplah because he’s going to appear right next to you, in this very bed, right now!

Your reaction? Languorously arranging your perfect tresses upon the pillow with a smile of contentment? Yeah, right. Instantaneous. You whip up outta that bed and make a beeline for the bathroom. You don’t know whether to reach for the razor, or the toothbrush, or the hairbrush, or those waxing strips, or squeeze in a few crunches on the bathroom floor. So you make a desperate grab for the toilet brush to knock yourself over the head with and end your misery.

You may laugh, but to some extent, that would be all of us single sisters as a whole.

Single Muslim ladies, admit it: We slum it big time. We can get away with it because the world doesn’t see our bodies. But don’t WE see our bodies? Isn’t that enough of a reason to get pretty? And one day, that man you’re going to marry?

It’s part of our deen!

Truly, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” (Quran 2:222)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “From the acts of nature are five: circumcision (for men), removing pubic hairs, trimming the mustache, cutting the nails and plucking the hair from under the armpits.”(Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Narrated by Anas ibn Malik: A time limit has been prescribed for us for clipping the moustache, cutting the nails, plucking hair under the armpits, shaving the pubic region: that it should not be neglected for more than forty nights. (Sahih Muslim Hadith 497)

Nowhere does it say, do all these things ONLY when you FINALLY get married. Whenever that may be. And how hard would it be if you found yourself married, never having implemented a set hair removal routine, or exercise schedule, or nutrition plan? Pretty overwhelming, right?

Purification isn’t just an outward set of hygiene habits, you have to be reverent about what you put into your body as well. All those walks that you dream of taking with your beloved, how often do you walk by yourself? Get a hobby, woman! Have something to offer when you do get married, insha Allah.

I present to you, and myself, a List.

  • Pray. Turn that pretty face to Allah. Thank Him for making you so pretty. Ask God to help you.
  • Educate yourself. Brush up on your Quran and tajweed and try to learn the meaning of what you are reciting. Read good Islamic books and articles (NOT just the ones about marriage!)
  • Walk. Move. Do yoga. Play frisbee. Get out of the house and do something physical. Plant a flower. It’s up to you. It’s addicting. Once you start, you can’t stop. You will look and feel better.
  • Go TSA on your food. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. You think that grizzled TSA agent is going to let you through security with that heartstopping  yogurt container of nihari? I think not. Eat pure foods that mostly grow out of the ground, not another animal. View sugar and caffeine as the poison they are. If you’re tired and have the luxury, take a nap. If not, at least substitute your caffeinated beverage of choice with pure honey. If you drink soda regularly you are going to get a lumpy butt and no one will want to marry you. Don’t do it. Soda is so-dumb. (ba dum dum!)
  •  If you follow the above steps, your skin is going to be glowing. Or it would be, if it wasn’t hidden underneath all that hair! Save the whining about your south Asian/Arab/Iranian blessed pileousness and invest in a good waxing, shaving or depilatory kit. I tend to favor waxing and if you’re a little more financially secure you can invest in going to a licensed esthetician who will save you a lot of work. Make sure she is a stickler for cleanliness: using brand new strips and no double dipping the wax stick. Thus, emphasis on the licensed. The advantage of going to someone who works out of their home is usually flexibility on payment. Talk to her and see if you can set up something monthly at a discounted rate.
  • Floss.
  • Wear nice clothes. That includes underwear.

I know we’ve all heard it, even from our own mouths: “When I get married, I’ll…” Don’t make your life an if-then statement. There is only now and what you do with it. Are you going to slum it forever with the hope, I’ll start taking care of myself when I’m married. That is super unfair. What are you going to contribute if you can’t be happy, content, and self-fulfilled on your own first?
Live like you’re already married. You may find it could lead to just that, insha Allah.