Hulu’s ‘Ramy’ Renewed For Season Three

What will Season Three focus on?

Hulu’s ‘Ramy’ Renewed For Season Three

What will Season Three focus on?

By

Elizabeth Aziz
Screen grab from Hulu's Ramy Season 2.

Ramy, the hit breakout series on Hulu, has officially been renewed for a third season. The news comes about five weeks after the debut of Season 2, which premiered on Hulu on May 29th.

Co-created by and starring comedian/actor/writer Ramy Youssef, the show follows Ramy Hassan, a millennial, first-generation, Palestinian-Egyptian Jersey boy who’s trying to figure out who he really is and what life means. Set in New Jersey, the second season focused on his dive further into his spiritual journey, finding a new Islamic community and embracing a deeper commitment to his faith.

Of course, the show’s success wouldn’t be possible without its amazing cast of supporting characters. Ramy’s family includes his devoted parents, Farouk (Amr Waked) and Maysa (Hiam Abbass), along with sister Dena (May Calamawy), the infamous Uncle Naseem (Laith Nakli), and cousin Amani (Rosaline Elbay). There’s never a dull moment with his friends, Mo (Mo Amer), Steve (Steve Way), and Ahmed (Dave Merheje), all three of whom are also stand-up comedians off-screen. Last but not least is the incredible Sheikh Malik (Mahershala Ali), who steals the show throughout the second season along with his lovely and poised daughter, Zainab (MaameYaa Boafo). Together, these characters and the incredible actors who play them bring Ramy’s chaotic world to life and help move his story along in unexpected, refreshing, and sometimes strange ways. 

As is the case with most streaming platforms, Hulu doesn’t release viewing figures for its shows. However, Ramy’s received near-universal critical acclaim for both seasons. In January, Youssef made history with a Golden Globe win for his lead performance, and the series as a whole won a Peabody Award alongside other hit shows such as Watchmen (HBO), Fleabag (Amazon) and Stranger Things (Netflix). The first two seasons of the show hold a combined approval rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In a recent interview with fellow comedian Whitney Cummings on her podcast Good For You, Youssef spoke about the perception of progress and diversity in Hollywood:  

“There’s this idea that Hollywood is pushing social change, but social change pushes Hollywood. No one really wanted to green light a show about an Arab Muslim family until Trump said, ‘Here’s a list of countries that people shouldn’t be allowed to come from.’ That’s really when people who are really on the right side of things were like ‘Eh, actually maybe we need to get to know these people a little bit more.’”

Don’t forget to check out our April cover story on the star here if you haven’t already.

 

READ MORE: Hulu’s ‘Ramy’ Tackles Spirituality And Self-Identity In Its Second Season

Hey Instagram, Taking Down Bella Hadid’s Posts Won’t Make Her Less Palestinian

Instagram Took Down Bella Hadid’s story about Palestine. Her response: a repost with the caption “I am Proud To Be Palestinian <3.”

Hey Instagram, Taking Down Bella Hadid’s Posts Won’t Make Her Less Palestinian

Instagram Took Down Bella Hadid’s story about Palestine. Her response: a repost with the caption “I am Proud To Be Palestinian <3.”

By

Zainab Damji
Photo of Bella Hadid attending a Palestinian rally in 2017.

The Hadids have always been proud of their Palestinian heritage. Whether it’s Gigi sharing her favorite Palestinian food on her Twitter segment of #askgigi or Bella publicizing it in her Instagram bio, they’ve never shied away from embracing their roots. Many suggest that their father, Mohamed Hadid is in large part to thank for that.

Mohamed has been vocal about the importance of his Palestinian identity and sharing that with his children. He was the keynote speaker at the Arab Conference held at Harvard, and shared how significant it is to him that his family remains in touch with their Palestinian culture. “One of my dreams is to have my kids carry the name Palestine with them everywhere they go, because it seems like we are losing that name as we go on,” he shared, according to The National. “We want to make sure my family always carries that on.”

However, as big of a celebrity family as the Hadids may be—they’re still susceptible to attempts at being silenced, and this time it was none other than Instagram taking down Bella’s story. Bella shared a photo of her father’s passport highlighting his motherland as she captioned it, “My Baba and his birthplace of Palestine.”

As the model released what she thought was a little bit of sentimental family history, Instagram was swift to take the story down and cited that it fell under “graphic violence, hate speech, harassment and bullying, or nudity and sexual activity.”

But alas, as seen before in the past — Bella was not about to remain silent and let that slide. She took to her stories again, publicly calling out Instagram titling her post “A message to me from @Instagram…”

Bella expressed her dismay and anger over Instagram taking down her story where she was just being proud of her father’s birthplace. “Are we not allowed to be Palestinain on Instagram? This, to me, is bullying,” she wrote as part of a larger message. “You can’t erase history by silencing people. It doesn’t work like that.”

The model didn’t stop there and reposted the image on her story once again and wrote “I am proud to be Palestinian <3” in large text. She also added that everyone should remind their parents “of how proud you are of where you come from” and encouraged followers to post where their parents were born.

Hadid reposted several accounts who followed her lead and shared photos of their Palestinian parents’ passports on their stories, along with their history.

This isn’t the first time Bella has been vocal about her support and love for Palestine. In December 2017, Bella took to Instagram to speak out against Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Bella etched a long, heartfelt caption in which she said “The TREATMENT of the Palestinian people is unfair, one-sided and should not be tolerated.”

During the same month, Bella also attended a Free Palestine protest in London. According to TeenVogue, Bella was on her way back to her hotel after an event when she saw the protest and decided to join, still dressed in her floor-length deep-red gown and a bold red lip! Pictures of Bella at the protest quickly circulated over social media, with many people showing their support for her.

Bella also frequently reposts informational posts in support of Palestine on her stories, including the most recent topic of discussion: Israel’s plans to annex the West Bank.

With all of that being said, one thing’s for certain—on or off the runway, Bella Hadid is a fierce, powerful woman who’s ready to take on the world.

READ MORE: Muslim Directioners, Rise Up: Gigi Hadid And Zayn Are Having A Child

Hasan Minhaj Breaks Down The Yemen Crisis On ‘Patriot Act’

The episode in which was banned across Saudi Arabia last year, makes rounds on social media for its relevancy on Yemen.

Hasan Minhaj Breaks Down The Yemen Crisis On ‘Patriot Act’

The episode in which was banned across Saudi Arabia last year, makes rounds on social media for its relevancy on Yemen.

By

Nawal Qadir
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

The crisis in Yemen, while only recently trending, has been ongoing for years now, and comedian Hasan Minhaj has not shied away from it. As he does with most issues, Minhaj vocalized his concerns for the country on his show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, as a sub point during his episode covering Saudi Arabia, as the episode’s named. 

Minhaj gave a comprehensive run-down on the situation in Yemen, highlighting how the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman, commonly known as MBS, escalated the tensions in the country to its current boiling point. 

READ MORE: Here Is Everything Happening In Yemen Right Now

 

 

Now, the entire episode can be found on Netflix (in volume 2 of the show), but let’s talk about why it’s so important. Minhaj’s look into Saudi Arabia, and the atrocities it so commonly commits, is an incredibly lacking take in Western media, when considering the fact that it’s coming from a Muslim man. It’s accepted in the West, and America especially, that Saudi Arabia isn’t a friendly state to human rights, but what is most often overlooked is how destructive Saudi is to its own community. 

As Minhaj points out in the episode, the relationship that most Muslims across the world have with Saudi is a confusing one. We accept it as the hub of our religion, yet most of us are vocal of our opposition towards the country. Minhaj detailing the latter fact is incredibly important on a platform like Netflix, whose main audience is Western countries, given that much of the Western world’s perception of Islam and it’s followers is borne out of Saudi’s actions. 

By creating a space where Muslims can openly converse about their feelings towards a country that’s meant to serve as the center for their religion, Minhaj offers a chance to flip an outdated and largely untrue script. The one that says that most Muslims stand with Saudi Arabia in its oppression. 

In truth, most Muslims claim to Saudi extends as far as it being the country that houses Mecca, and we tend to be as outraged at Saudi’s actions as the rest of the world. 

What’s more, Minhaj’s show offers a reliable source to center the conversation about Yemen around. He truthfully depicts the major roles of, not just Saudi Arabia, but Iran and America in the crisis. 

The attention that’s been surrounding Yemen on social media lately, while important, is largely incomplete. Yemen isn’t just starving, it’s being starved. The conditions are born out of three major conflicts, propagated by three major countries who are all comfortable destroying Yemen as long as it continues to promise benefit for them. Minhaj’s show addresses these faults head on, laying the groundwork for genuine advocacy for Yemen to take place. If you haven’t already seen it, take a look because, believe me, it’s worth your time. 

 

Major Clothing Brand SHEIN Appropriates Muslim Prayer Rugs And Clothing

“It is not acceptable to cherry pick a culture or religion and rename their items to your liking.”

Major Clothing Brand SHEIN Appropriates Muslim Prayer Rugs And Clothing

“It is not acceptable to cherry pick a culture or religion and rename their items to your liking.”

By

Mareena Emran
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

If you pay close attention to big market fast fashion brands, it’s quite apparent that cultural appropriation has existed for far too long. Just this week, fashion retailer brand SHEIN was exposed on Instagram for not only mislabeling South Asian clothing as sleepwear, but also misrepresenting Islamic prayer rugs, an important item used by Muslims to worship and complete the daily five prayers.

The prayer rugs were marketed as everyday household items, calling them fringe carpets and labelling them as Greek. They even had images of the Kaaba, the holiest site for Muslims. Because of the importance of prayer rugs, it’s absolutely necessary for them to be handled with care, but SHEIN’s false advertising of the product angered Muslims all across the platform (and rightfully so).

The reviews under the prayer rugs were appalling, with many customers saying that they’ve used the “carpets” for their pets and coffee tables. 

“For a customer to unknowingly buy this, step over it, and use it for decoration is not only a form of disrespect, but it’s also a form of cultural appropriation and they basically exploited their naive customers, who aren’t informed of what an Islamic prayer mat looks like, into making a quick buck,” said 19-year-old college student Nilo Gardezy from Arizona. “It’s not a coincidence that they stole this exact design that’s on almost 90%, if not all prayer mats.”

These items off of the SHEIN website were initially found by Khadija Rizvi, a student journalist based out of the United Kingdom.

Rizvi has been keeping a close eye on the website for a while, saying that she “was baffled” when seeing that the website advertised South Asian clothing as a normal pantsuit without any explicit indication that the marketed outfits have Desi origins. She initially posted this information on her story and many took notice of the issue.

As for the prayer mats, one of Rizvi’s followers brought it to her attention, and after looking on the website once again, took the product to her Instagram to make a detailed post. 

“As a journalist, and activist, I believe that it’s my duty to use my platform to raise awareness of the corners that people sometimes overlook in society,” said Rizvi.

Rizvi’s post ultimately garnered the attention of nearly 43,000 users, with beauty influencer Nabeela Noor even taking notice. 

“I did not expect my post to blow up the way that it did, I shared my own outrage and it turned out that tens of thousands feel the same way,” said Rizvi. “This led to the items being removed, we did it together.”

SHEIN has made a comment on the situation, but has yet to make a formal apology. I mean, after religiously appropriating Muslims, AND misleading customers into buying Desi clothes as sleepwear, it’s the least they can do.

“I definitely believe that brands need to be held accountable, big or small,” said Rizvi. “It’s not acceptable to cherry pick a culture or religion and rename their items to your liking. I think SHEIN taking down the prayer mats is a step in the right direction, but nowhere near what we want to achieve.”

Rizvi, along with many of her followers feel the same way, with some even going as far as to making petitions. One petition made by 16-year-old Ummay Rabbab has already gotten around 4,000 signatures in less than 24 hours. 

“I found out about the SHEIN situation through social media, as I saw everyone posting about how it’s very disrespectful and harmful to the Muslim community,” said Rabbab. “After seeing it, I immediately started to look for ways that I could stop SHEIN from profiting off of the prayer mats. This led me to create a petition, and before I knew it, people were signing and sharing it around.”

Rabbab’s efforts have extended even further, reaching out to SHEIN via email and persistently messaging the brand over socials.

“They apologized over Twitter, but their account doesn’t even have a fraction of the amount of followers they have on Instagram,” said Rabbab. “I’m trying my best to get SHEIN to publicly apologize on Instagram, and until then, we will not stop.

READ MORE: Dear Non-Black Muslims, Your Silence Is Deadly

But even after making two, *very generic* apologies, and taking down the prayer mats from their website, the Desi clothing continues to live on their website, being purchased by hundreds of unknowing customers everyday. It doesn’t just stop at Desi clothing, but even pieces like Kaftan dresses that are traditionally from Arab origins. 

Now tell me, is a Kaftan being called a “tribal print split back draped longline dress” appropriate? If you dig even deeper, listed on the SHEIN website are outfit pieces with Islamic calligraphy written on them that are ALSO being marketed as tribal. It’s outright disrespectful and it needs to go. 

SHEIN is only one example of how large companies can exploit the clothing of certain cultures, and can even go as far to appropriate religions too. SHEIN, if you’re going to sell South Asian and Middle Eastern clothing, perhaps think about getting some South Asian or Middle Eastern models. Just a thought.

So, after all of this, my biggest takeaway is that I personally need to be more mindful of the clothing I buy. I am absolutely guilty of buying shirts that have Chinese characters on them without the full meaning, especially when I was younger. The characters on my outfit were probably appropriating the Chinese culture and I had no idea, and now that it’s happening to the clothing I personally wear, I now understand that this is a real issue. 

In the future, I absolutely want to do more research behind the companies that I purchase my clothing from, and SHEIN is a company that I believe needs to make changes to the clothing options they offer on their website. 

UPDATE: 7/5/2020

SHEIN has released a formal apology on their Instagram page following the outrage of the Muslim community on social media. 

As many continue voicing their frustration with the company, Rizvi and Noor have responded to SHEIN with messages of optimism.

“Thank you for your statement and I am sure others will be pleased to see it too,” Rizvi commented. “I hope this leads on to careful reviews of all your products and a safe open dialogue with your customers. We can all move forward together in a positive way.”

Noor commented similarly, revealing that she had spoken with the company directly in hopes to catalyze change.

“Thank you for your statement and commitment to change – and a thank you to George, Head of the Brand for having an open dialogue with me about this,” Noor commented. “I will continue the conversation and hope that this will serve as an opportunity for growth and a deeper sensitivity and appreciation for all communities.” 

SHEIN stepping up to apologize is definitely putting them in the right direction in terms of acknowledging that there are faults with the merchandise they sell on their website, but there is still so much more to be done. Here’s hoping that they keep their promise in taking further action in making SHEIN a more culturally and religiously aware company.

Five Influential Muslim Philosophers You Need To Know

Muslim philosophers, inspired by their enormous exposure to new knowledge, set to work on a vast project: interpreting all previous world philosophies through the lens of Islamic revelation.

Five Influential Muslim Philosophers You Need To Know

Muslim philosophers, inspired by their enormous exposure to new knowledge, set to work on a vast project: interpreting all previous world philosophies through the lens of Islamic revelation.

By

Sameed Shariq

 

The Golden Age of Islam – typically around the 8th to 13th centuries – saw Muslims lead the world in science, culture and the arts. Due to expansion under the Abbasids, Muslims were the first to have access to discoveries of the natural world across cultures. 

Muslim philosophers, inspired by their enormous exposure to new knowledge, set to work on a vast project: interpreting all previous world philosophies through the lens of Islamic revelation. In this effort, they hoped to determine the relationship between spirituality and reason, thus integrating the two into a single coherent system which made sense of the natural world and man’s place in it.

Here are five of the most influential Islamic philosophers who embarked on this quest to understand reality:

Al-Farabi (872 – 950)

Al Farabi’s writings pertained to science, cosmology, mathematics and musical theory alongside philosophy. Diverse fields of study were common among the Philosophers, who believed acquiring all sorts of knowledge was an essential part of their quest to understand the nature of the universe. 

In his consideration of the Aristotelian concept of a ‘First Cause’, which describes a perfectly beautiful, indivisible initiator of the universe, Al-Farabi found a logical basis for Tawhid (the Islamic principal of the oneness of God). Through his commentaries of Aristotle, he preserved the original Greek texts for future generations and influenced prominent philosophers like Ibn Sina.

 

Ibn Sina (980 – 1037)

While often hailed as the father of early modern medicine, Ibn Sina also published a great number of highly influential philosophical works. His commentaries of Aristotle were critical – one example of which sees him reproach inductive reasoning as a means of defining a fact. Instead of solely drawing on one’s experiences to infer a truth, Ibn Sina proposed a method of examination and experimentation. Thus, an early form of the scientific method was born. 

Ibn Sina also followed Al-Farabi’s lead to comment on the question of being and the existence of God. He distinguished between existence and essence to develop an understanding of the soul. Through his ‘Proof of the Truthful’, Ibn Sina argued that God’s existence was necessary as there would need to be an agent-cause that imparts existence to an essence. Historian of philosophy Peter Adamson describes this as one of the most important medieval arguments for God’s existence.

 

Al-Ghazali (1058 – 1111)

Sufi Imam and jurist Al-Ghazali preferred to think of himself as more of a theologian and mystic than a philosopher. His inclusion in this list is important, however, because even though he sought to refute past philosophers’ rationalisation of the Divine through logic, he also utilised their methods of reasoning to do so. 

Through his ‘Incoherence of the Philosophers’, Ghazali claimed that by using the Greeks’ philosophies of metaphysics as the foundations for their own, philosophers like Ibn Sina had committed heresy. Ghazali claimed that ideas such as God’s existence being necessary were contradictory to revelation. It was not natural laws that governed causation, Ghazali said, but God’s rational will that enables the universe to operate in a way that we are able to make sense of and decipher rules for; Godis not fixed by these rules, so attempting to prove His existence through them is futile. 

Ghazali’s argumentation was widely celebrated and marked a major shift against the rationalisation of revelation in the Islamic world. 

 

Ibn Rushd (1126 – 1198)

Ibn Rushd was a highly proficient judge, physician and philosopher from Cordoba, Spain. By his time, the mainstream of Muslim thinking had shifted firmly away from Aristotelianism to Ghazali’s Asharite school of thought. Despite a valiant effort to defend the pursuit of philosophy in his systematic rebuke of Ghazali, Ibn Rushd’s ‘Incoherence of the Incoherence’ didn’t hold much clout with his co-religionists by the end of his life. 

In fact, his philosophical works survived not in Arabic but in Hebrew and Latin translations that ultimately earned him fame in the West. There, he became known as ‘The Commentator,’ the immensely important guide to the teachings of Aristotle.

 

Ibn Khaldun (1332 – 1406)

A venerated Islamic scholar, social scientist and historian, Ibn Khaldun is credited as the pioneer of the philosophy of history. By approaching history empirically and treating sources critically, Ibn Khaldun developed a method for historiography that refuted myths and falsehood. His most famous work, ‘Muqaddimah,’ identified critical issues made by his fellow historians and proposed a scientific method to the field that is practiced in varying forms to this day. 

These Muslim Philosophers form a cornerstone of our Islamic intellectual and cultural heritage. The pursuit of knowledge should be celebrated, especially where it serves to develop our relationship with our spirituality. Within Islamic philosophy we find questions which underpin our most fundamental beliefs as Muslims. Questions that ask us to think critically and innovatively, to strive for truth and understand our world and ourselves. It is imperative that we face them and continue to ponder reality and spirituality through the lenses they provide

READ MORE: What The Heck Is Going On With Lindsay Lohan?

What The Heck Is Going On With Lindsay Lohan?

The Mean Girls star has been getting herself into some interesting situations.

Iconic celebrity and actress Lindsay Lohan has recently been popping up in the world of Muslim news for a strange array of interactions. From ghosting the crew of Ramy in the middle of filming season two, and supposedly dating the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Lohan has been getting herself into some interesting situations.

It’s no surprise that Lohan’s name has been circulating around the Muslim community. Back in 2017, she began making comments about converting to Islam, and since then, multiple news outlets have been keeping tabs on her, including Emirates Woman and Step Feed. Even celebrities have been observing her strange behavior, with Russell Brand making public statements about Lohan’s religious affiliations.

With all of these questions surrounding her commitment to Islam, Comedian Ramy Youssef was looking forward to casting Lohan in the much anticipated second season of his show. After ghosting him, the role was handed to Mia Khalifa.

In an interview with E! News, Youssef explained his experience of contacting Lohan, saying, “We had an idea that it wasn’t just her, but we were interested in this idea of people that you don’t really think are Muslim. We actually cast Lindsay Lohan, because Lindsay had this whole thing about converting to Islam. And so we had cast Lindsay and I talked to her and she was down, and then, you know, like Lindsay does, we just kind of stopped hearing from her.”

Ghosting Youssef is only the start, as it’s rumored that she even has a weird friendship with the infamous Crown Prince of Saudi, Mohammed bin Salman, otherwise known as MBS.

According to an exclusive by Page Six, Lohan and MBS have been getting very close, “flying her around in his jets and showering her with presents — including a gift-wrapped credit card.”

Not only has she developed a strong relationship with the Saudi prince, but she apparently also has ties to UAE royalty. This rumor follows her decision to settle in Dubai in 2014 after facing legal troubles in the United States.

“While Lohan was ready to shed her party-girl image and start anew, many weren’t prepared for the transition. Either way, she knew she wanted a new beginning — and that’s exactly why she went to Dubai, as the focus on pop culture icons doesn’t appear to be as vast,” according to an interview with Showbiz CheatSheet

Her ties with the UAE became apparent when she took over two islands in one of Dubai’s biggest projects: The World. Her decision to wear a hijab during a 2018 London Fashion Show also had the attention of the media.

 

Although many have speculated that she has connections to UAE royals, not much is actually known. What’s more fascinating is that no-one knows where she is either. News outlets have suggested that she still resides in Dubai, but others have reported that she has already made a return to the United States. In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Lindsay went live from Oman.

 

So, we have to ask ourselves one more time, what in the world IS going on with Lindsay Lohan? It’s a mystery that probably only she has the answers to. Whatever it is, we’ll be sure to keep a closer look. 

READ MORE: Has Rumi’s Poetry Fallen Prey To ‘Spiritual Colonialism’?

This Is How I Educated My Parents About Racism

There comes a time when enough is enough. Generational gaps and desi mentality/mindsets need to be broken.

This Is How I Educated My Parents About Racism

There comes a time when enough is enough. Generational gaps and desi mentality/mindsets need to be broken.

By

Nabeeha Asim
Photo - Getty Images/ Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

In many brown families us kids know we are not allowed to talk about certain topics in our households. Sometimes if we do we are seen as disrespectful, badtameez, a brat, or even someone who cannot control their tongue. In some desi and brown households, if not all, politics is one topic that should be left unscathed for many reasons. Either your parents are too stubborn about their own stances or simply dismiss the discussions and tell us to quietly make dua. Although dua and supplication is a huge anchor to change, there is action that needs to take place. 

You can’t leave your camel in the street and ask Allah for it to not wander away, you must tie your camel down and then ask Allah to protect it, and in this case you have taken the action, intent, and supplication route to a better outcome. We cannot just put faith and trust in Allah we have to do our part to educate ourselves and then take action upon our intentions. 

There comes a time when enough is enough. Generational gaps and desi mentality/mindsets need to be broken. Here is a guide on how to have a conversation with your parents or relatives:

 

 

1. Start the conversation.

It all starts off with actually initiating that conversation. I know it can be uncomfortable and anxious to talk about these things with your parents who have grown up in a completely different mindset but be open to the conversation and they will be too. Don’t negate or overpower their thoughts and opinions. 

By starting the conversation you may be seen as loud or too opinionated or to your family you may seem like you are arguing but actually initiating the conversation shows them how much of an adult you are. Relax, take a deep breath and say Bismillah and know that what you are about to do is for the betterment of this dunya and our akhira.

 

2. Debunk the cultural myths

We know our parents and family members have innate and fixated opinions on matters that seem too political, however, we need to debunk the false claims and accusations that take place. Don’t insult them and their Whatsapp groups because they see that as their main source of factual evidence. Introduce them to your sources. Your sources are not necessarily more accurate but it might just be that they are more credible. Ask them what they think about your sources and maybe even compare backgrounds of sources. Sometimes fighting disinformation can be an uphill battle especially when false information starts making convincing stories and headlines. We need to be able to stop the false information from spreading. 

It is important to show them not all perspectives and stances they have grown up with are correct and necessarily still relevant. Times have changed and so should they. 

 

3. Bring in Quranic Hadiths and Ayahs

Do your research beforehand. Don’t scramble on sight trying to find links, ayahs, and hadiths to prove to them that Islam stands for Justice. Our easiest factual support is our Quran. We see examples such as: 

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, acquainted.”

[Surat An-Nisā’ (4:135)]

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do”

[Surat Al-Ma’idah (5:8)]

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”

[Surat Al-Mumtahanah (60:8)]

And hadiths such as:

“whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart- and that is the weakest of faith.”

Our parents will become proud of the fact that we know and listen to our Quran with the evidence we use to support our stances. 

 

4. Have an open ear to what they have to say

Listen with the intent to follow up with questions or facts that could maybe help show them what they think versus what is actually right. There are always opinions that are too stubborn to change and that’s fine as long as you listen to what they have to say, they feel appreciated nonetheless. 

It’s also important to show them you care about their opinion and you don’t just want to give them a lesson about human rights. It gets a little tricky here because you have to make sure you don’t over-do it. However, if you do get a little carried away allow yourself and your family members to step away from the discussion and come back to it at a later time. It’s important to match your body language with your tone of voice so that you are able to have a clear-cut conversation in which you civilly come to a conclusion or solution. But don’t forget when you do walk away from the conversation you should try your best to always come back to it as it will show them just how important it is to you. 

 

5. Have an honest and open discussion about why you think it’s important to talk about such topics

For me, personally, I have always been passionate about politics and I stress this to my parents on a daily basis. Every job, a nurse, journalist, news anchor, engineer, doctor, business man, social workers, lawyer, social media influencers, etc., will have to encounter human rights. Express to your family and your relatives that your job as a human being is even more invoking of standing up for your basic human rights. Me becoming a journalist is my passion and my dream and that is why it’s important to have open conversations that involve change to your own households. 

 

6. Make it clear that Islam talks about action, consequence, and intention within the chains of justice and mercy.

Make sure you relay to your family that in Islam we seek our actions with our intentions and if our intentions are set and clear then we must take a call to action. We have to actively strive to make a change and put that change into motion by incorporating Islamic teachings into our day to day lives. Just making dua is not enough and our Quran teaches us that as well. Islam is a religion of peace, yes, but it is also a religion of mercy, justice, and action. 

 

READ MORE: Who Is Stealing From Whom? Contextualizing The Protests

Here Are 18 Black Muslims You Need To Follow On Social Media

Does your Instagram feed reflect those posts you share on your Stories?

Here Are 18 Black Muslims You Need To Follow On Social Media

Does your Instagram feed reflect those posts you share on your Stories?

By

Mareena Emran & Zainab Damji

(From Left to Right) @villageauntie, @mustafabriggs, @ayesha.sow, @mustafathepoet, @shahdbatal

In the wake of support for the Black community on social media, we compiled a list of some of the most influential Black Muslims you should follow on Instagram and other social media sites. From beauty vloggers, songwriters, athletes and more, here is a growing list of Black Muslims you need on your feed:

 

Angelica Lindsey-Ali @villageauntie – Sexual Health Educator

How often is it that you see a sex health expert in the Muslim world? Intimacy and relationships expert Angelica Lindsey-Ali is one we should all look up to. With sex being a traditionally taboo subject in conversation, Ali’s mission is to educate young and old Muslims alike about topics surrounding relationships.

“My mission is to reclaim them (connections with elders). We owe it to ourselves, our sisters, our daughters. I am striving to be a guide back to the ways of our foremothers,” (Muslim Wellness).

 

Amina Hassan @blackish.gold – Content Creator

From the dynamic text posts, to her wonderfully aesthetic travel photos, Amina Hassan’s feed is full of power. If you’re ever feeling down, Hassan knows just the right words to get your spirits lifted once again, she shared in a tweet:

i used to be afraid of changing my mind bc i thought it’d make me look weak & inconsistent but i’m actually just so much better off admitting that yesterday me was trash & that she doesn’t have to exist tomorrow”

Hassan’s activism has spoken volumes across the black community, with her Instagram profile amassing over 72k followers, and she’s even got some black revolutionary texts linked in her bio.

 

Mustafa Ahmed @mustafathepoet – Poet, Singer, Songwriter

If you’ve streamed songs by the Weeknd or Camilla Cabello recently, there’s a good chance that some of those songs were written by Mustafa the Poet. Canadian songwriter Mustafa Ahmed began his rise to fame back in 2014 after a string of recognition of his poems, where he gained national attention after Drake reposted some of his work. Since then, Mustafa the Poet has been writing for some of the best in the industry. 

Not only is his work notable in the music industry, but he’s also had a history in filmmaking, producing and releasing Remember Me, Toronto in early 2019. The film revolves around the hip hop industry in Canada, discussing hard topics of social class and gun violence.

Mustafa the Poet continues posting his written work on his Instagram page, with his most recent pieces touching on his personal life. 

 

Jibreel Salaam and Mohammad Hassan @youngnmuslim – Podcasters

Jibreel Salaam and Mohammad Hassan are here to share dope Muslim stories through their podcast series “The Young and Muslim.” With their mission of inspiring Muslim culture, community and growth, their content encourages self care through strengthening faith.

“If there’s something that COVID-19 & Ramadan has taught us, it is to be in the moment & appreciate the fact that you are here today – Alive. Remember, somebody wants to be where you’re at. So appreciate what you got, until it’s gone,” Salaam shared one in an Instagram post.

 

Neelam @neelam_ – Rapper

Neelam Hakeem isn’t your everyday female rapper. The multitalented 33-year-old started off as a modest fashion influencer, but quickly expanded her horizons as she dived headfirst into the world of Rap. Receiving praise from those along the likes of Diddy and Will Smith, Hakeem has been a fierce advocate for women’s rights and social injustice through her music.

Hakeem’s advocacy remains steadfast to this day, with her speaking out on her Instagram feed, stories, and IGTV to document her support for the Black Lives Matter movement through self-recorded talks and sharing relevant videos. Hakeem also recently dropped an Instagram post with snippets of her 2019 music video for her song ‘Mass Incarceration’ alongside anti-racism graphics.

 

Shahd Batal @shahdbatal – Sudanese-American Fashion Influencer

Hijabi beauty vlogger and face of ASOS’ Ramadan campaign, Shahd Batal is a 23-year-old taking the world by storm. What started off as a secret YouTube channel during her first year in college has now amassed a large following of 277K subscribers.

Batal’s following extends across multiple platforms as she sits at 379K followers on Instagram, using it as a forum to share daily fashion and beauty inspo to the masses. Speaking to Cosmopolitan Middle East, Batal describes her style as “versatile, comfortable, and elevated.”

 

Husain Abdullah @habdullah39 – Former Football Player

Hussain Abdullah, former football player for the Kansas City Chiefs, has dedicated his feed to all things football and family. His posts range from wholesome photos of his time with his children, to throwback photos on the field. With his active presence on the platform, he takes the time to reflect on his life as a Muslim through occasional text posts and poems.

In an interview with The Players’ Tribune, Abdullah said, “I am a devout Muslim. As such, I am required to be a benefit to society. Being a good husband to my wife and a good father to my children — these acts are my responsibility as a Muslim.”

His life in retirement has been a journey to self improvement. After accumulating five concussions during his career, he had to make the hard decision to quit the sport that he loved, but continued to speak on his experiences on Instagram.

 

Aysha Sow @aysha.sow – Model

Aysha Sow is the jack of all trades – the NYC based Guinean model and natural hair blogger has curated the picture-perfect (pun intended) Instagram feed complete with different natural hair looks, the occasional golden-hour, dewy skin selfie and more. 

Despite her niche being natural hair styling, Sow dips her toes in fashion, beauty, and skincare ever so often. More recently, Sow has also used her Instagram platform to speak about the Black Lives Matter movement and share resources. 

Looking back at an interview she did in 2019, Sow has always been a vocal advocate for Black folks. When speaking to SHEER about ways the different ways the beauty industry can be more inclusive and diverse, Sow said “HIRE MORE BLACK ARTISTS, MORE BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS, MORE BLACK MODELS, MORE BLACK DIRECTORS, MORE BLACK PRODUCERS, MORE BLACK WRITERS. HIRE MORE BLACK ARTISTS PERIOD.”

Sakinah and Zakiyyah Rahman @aint.afraid – Artists

Sakinah and Zakiyyah Rahman are the duo you won’t want to miss. This “multi-talented double dose of dopeness” are artists and activists who aren’t afraid to do their thing, and their music revolves around topics of empowerment and religion.

We are one of many beautiful, spiritual, cultural faces of this country,” the duo shared in an Instagram post.

 

Aysha Harun @ayshahuranBeauty Vlogger

Canadian beauty vlogger Aysha Harun’s page is exactly what everyone’s feed needs: flare! From makeup tutorials to skincare routines, and even fashion tips and tricks, Harun does it all. In a piece published by On the Dot Woman, “she decided to fill the void, representing as one of the very first hijab-wearing, dark-skinned Muslim gals to take the online video world by storm.”

Not only is Harun an amazing makeup artist, she is also a lifestyle content creator. When scrolling through her page, you’ll find that she loves posting with her husband, and can rock loungewear like no other.

 

Yasin Osman @yescene – Cartoonist

Toronto-based Yasin Osman is a photographer, cartoonist, and early childhood educator whose creative projects know no end! Quite the storyteller, Osman has used his skills and passion for youth empowerment and visual media to found #ShootForPeace — a photography program where he sits down with the children of Regent Park in Toronto every Sunday to explore self-expression and the art of photography. 

Osman recently self-published his webcomic “Grandpa Ali & Friends” into a comic book which is expected to be released sometime this month.

 

Hakeemah Cummings @hakeemahcmb – Stylist

Modest Fashion stylist Hakeemah Cummings created the first modest fashion styling service in the USA. Talking to Haute Hijab, Cummings says her interest in styling piqued when she attended the Haute and Modesty Show for D.C. Fashion Week in 2013.

Cummings has collaborated with over 50 brands to date to provide her styling services spread across different mediums such as for fashion shows or photoshoots. 

Cummings’ business is called “Cover me Beautiful” and the inspiration behind the name is shared on her website, where she says “because being covered is beautiful.”

 

Ikram Abdi Omar @ikramabdi – Fashion Model

British model Kiram Abdi Omar has made strides in the fashion world. From being the first hijabi model to feature on the cover of Vogue, to starring in the Nike hijabi swimwear campaign, Omar is an influencer you absolutely can’t miss. Omar’s list of covers also includes Burberry, Hello! Magazine, Dazed Digital and many more.

Her multifaceted career isn’t limited to just her modeling. As seen in an array of published pieces, Omar is a budding chef, henna artist,” and even a YouTube stylist.”

 

Manal Chinutay @chinutay – YouTuber/ Influencer

YouTuber Manal Chinutay does everything from lifestyle content to makeup tutorials, and when it comes to her Instagram page, you’ll find the most adorable photos of her son Adam. With a combined following of over 600k on Instagram and YouTube, she’s taken over the world of modest hijabi fashion.

Not only does she have a personal page, but she also runs a shop page with a wide variety of beautiful scarves and a page dedicated to her house where she covers all things home and interior.

 

Mustafa Briggs @mustafabriggs – Writer and Lecturer

University of Westminster alum Mustafa Briggs is an all round master of storytelling. From reading, writing, speaking, travelling and even translating, Briggs has taken his career abroad to, “explore and uncover the deep rooted relationship between Islam and Black History,” (Sacred Footsteps).

Briggs rose to international acclaim for his lecture series, “Beyond Bilal: Black History in Islam” in 2019, and has explored spiritualism through his work on Sacred Footsteps. His most recent online lecture explores the tradition of female scholarship within Islam, serving as, “as an inspiring blueprint for Muslim communities the world over.” 

Through his Instagram feed, Briggs documents his worldly travels alongside his wife, Yasmina, and continues enlightening the crowd with his inspiring captions. 

 

Najma Sharif @overdramatique – Writer

Somali-American writer Najma Sharif is the master of all. With her work being published on networks including NBC, Paper Magazine, and even Vice, Sharif has published over 30 dynamic articles across numerous platforms. 

Her website describes her as someone who “is dedicated to telling stories that amplify the most marginalized people.” It also says “she’s interested in creating challenging work that complicates how we think about and navigate the world. Her writing and public speaking centers Black Muslims from the diaspora, technology, fashion and Black womanhood.”

Sharif’s feed is a colorful blend of far too relatable memes and super cute selfies, but she’ll always keep it real with her insightful commentary and reporting on worldly issues.

 

Alhassan Umar @ally_deen – Public Speaker

Alhassan Umar, better known as Ally Deen, “is a spoken word artist and motivational speaker with the aim of spreading the true image of Islam and enlightening people on life issues.” His poetry is seen all over his page, expanding on topics of self contemplation and worldly affairs. 

At the recent wake of the BLM activism, Ally Deen took the time to reflect on society during this time. “I live in a place where the unfortunate stick together, where the oppressors continue to scramble, continue to find ways to make mice run for cheese. But little do they know that mice want more than cheese.”

His constant words of encouragement will inspire anyone to get up and make a change in the world.

 

Youssef Kromah @youssef.kromah – Author

Award winning author and poet Youssef Kromah has touched the hearts of many with his uplifting and motivational posts. With his posts framing inspirational quotes and lighthearted photos, Kromah has expanded beyond Instagram to enlighten his followers of spirituality.

 

Hulu’s ‘Ramy’ Tackles Spirituality And Self-Identity In Its Second Season

Hulu's 'Ramy' season two focuses primarily on Ramy Youssef’s lack of self-discipline and his internal struggle with faith.

Hulu’s ‘Ramy’ Tackles Spirituality And Self-Identity In Its Second Season

Hulu’s ‘Ramy’ season two focuses primarily on Ramy Youssef’s lack of self-discipline and his internal struggle with faith.

By

Mareena Emran
Photo from Hulu's 'Ramy'

The highly anticipated sophomore season of smash-hit comedy Ramy hit Hulu’s streaming service on May 29th and, unsurprisingly, was both a critical and commercial success. Jam-packed with hysterical scenes and new characters—including Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as Sheikh Malik, and a cameo appearance from actress Mia Khalifa— Ramy season two brought home an overall critic rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Expanding upon season one’s themes of spirituality and self-identity, season two provides viewers not only with more of Ramy’s struggle with his deen, but more profound exploratory storylines revolving around Ramy’s family members, including the now-iconic Uncle Naseem. 

While season one mainly centered around Ramy’s tumultuous journey of navigating adulthood and identity, season two focuses primarily on Ramy’s lack of self-discipline and his internal struggle with faith. Throughout the series, viewers find that, while Ramy’s lack of introspection gets him into trouble, his fragility and knowledge that he is not the “ideal” Muslim makes him relatable. 

 

After failing to “find himself” while traveling abroad, season two starts with a dejected Ramy returning home from his trip. Defeated and more lost than ever, he spirals into a deep depression. As he isolates from the world and falls back into old habits, he reveals a much darker side to himself, juxtaposed with the more lighthearted and youthful Ramy of season one. 

Queue Sheikh Malik, played by Ali, the leader of the Sufi Center across town. In an effort to redeem himself, Ramy asks the Sheikh to be his spiritual guide. Sheikh Malik, a cool, level-headed man, agrees to teach Ramy the ways of “living halal” and becomes a role-model inspiring Ramy to make an effort to change.

 

Initially, we see a seemingly changed Ramy. However, his spiritual demise begins to unfold as his inability to understand the consequences of his actions takes a toll on his relationship with Sheikh Malik. 

Frustrated by Ramy’s behavior, Sheikh Mailk scolds him on multiple occasions: “discipline, Ramy, it’s a muscle; be the solution to your own problems,” are just two of the first lessons the Sheikh struggles to get through Ramy’s thick skull (and honestly, very thick hair). 

Malik’s brazen, yet charming, personality is perfectly portrayed by Ali, and through urging Ramy to set his path straight, he gives the audience a wake up call of their own. 

But while Sheikh Malik’s character development was well-executed, interestingly enough, Uncle Naseem’s was notable as well. Although one of the more unlikable characters of the show, episode nine of the season is focused on delving into Uncle Naseem’s character and how his seemingly dominant masculinity is actually quite fragile. 

In fact, nearly half of the season focuses outside of Ramy’s story, and instead, concentrates on wider cultural issues, including gender roles, stereotyping, the struggles of being a double minority, and  the challenges of achieving the American dream.

But despite Ramy’s efforts to change and become the Muslim he envisioned he could be, towards the end of the season, we see Ramy right back at square one, letting his actions get in the way of fulfilling his ultimate goal of reconnecting spiritually with himself and Allah. Ramy not only lets down the Sheikh, but ultimately, himself. 

This disheartening realization is amplified in the last episode, in which a narration playing from a radio connects Ramy’s originally comical comment on “washing between the toes” to his continual feeling of emptiness, exhibiting how Ramy himself ironically lets his selfish desires get in the way of his happy ending. 

From raising much needed conversations about spirituality and culture, to exploring profound themes about taboo struggles, all while maintaining the cheekiness of Ramy’s character, Ramy season two is not only binge-worthy, but is sure to leave fans in a state of reflection and awe.

READ MORE: Ramy Youssef: Millennial Muslims’ Favorite Conversation-Starter Is Back

British Vogue’s Latest Cover Star Is A Black Hijabi Supermarket Assistant

“I hope the country will have a new appreciation for supermarket workers.”

British Vogue’s Latest Cover Star Is A Black Hijabi Supermarket Assistant

“I hope the country will have a new appreciation for supermarket workers.”

By

Sara S.
Photo - British Vogue

British Vogue has paid tribute to those working on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom by featuring three female key workers on the covers of its July issue.

One of the cover stars, 21-year-old Anisa Omar, is a supermarket assistant working in the London King’s Cross branch of Waitrose. 

Anisa was photographed by fashion photographer Jamie Hawkesworth, who has previously photographed Gigi Hadid and Kate Moss. 

Anisa says being photographed by Jamie was a “big deal” and that she thinks it won’t really “sink in for a while – maybe not until I see the magazine displayed.”

“Before the pandemic, my job was not really that big a deal, but now it’s like we’re important.” Anisa, whose siblings are also part of the Waitrose team working to keep the UK running, says, “it’s nice to feel appreciated.” 

Anisa acknowledges the shared “kindness” she’s seen over the past few months and hopes this new appreciation for supermarket workers continues on into the future.

The United Kingdom is one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 279,000 known cases and at least 40,000 deaths.

The new issue of Vogue UK was published on Friday, June 5th.

READ MORE: What’s With The Islamophobia In Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’?