The recent news-breaking net worth of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos places him top of the list for the wealthiest people alive today – with many even calling him the wealthiest person ever. However, the media oftentimes forgets to mention a certain black individual in history whose wealth easily eclipses Bezos’s Mansa Musa, the 10th ruler of the Malian Empire.
After the Amazon CEO overtook Bill Gates in first position in 2018, his worth seemed to skyrocket at a baffling pace. But he is still way behind the African Muslim king who – according to many historians – is considered to be the richest man of all time.
“Even adjusting for inflation, Forbes believes Bezos’ fortune is the largest ever tracked,” writes Jonathan Ponciano on Forbes, declaring the 56-year-old to be the ‘first person ever worth $200 Billion.’
On the contrary, taking into account inflation over the centuries, Musa is recorded to have amassed at least $400-$415 billion, more than twice that of Bezos. Nonetheless, Musa’s contemporaries and some modern commentators, including Time’s Jacob Davidson, believe his wealth was simply incomprehensible. “Contemporary accounts of Musa’s wealth are so breathless that it’s almost impossible to get a sense of just how wealthy and powerful he truly was,” Rudolph Butch Ware, West African historian at the University of California, told BBC.
Under Musa’s rule, the Mali empire stretched over several neighboring areas and became one of the most prosperous and largest African empires. The lands were laden with abundant natural resources – mostly gold and salt, which were also major contributors to the emperor’s wealth. In contrast to what it stands for today, he turned Mali into an advanced center of Islamic learning in the world.
Relatively unknown in the world outside Mali before his pilgrimage to Mecca, Musa made sure his journey went down in history like none other before. “He brought a caravan stretching as far as the eye could see,” says TED-Ed writer Jessica Smith. This 4,000 miles journey was eyewitnessed by numerous absolutely in admiration of his wealth as he distributed insane amounts of gold all along his route.
King Mansa Musa l of Mali wealthiest man in History.— 🇹🇷 Ayşe (@helya125) September 7, 2020
During his Haj to Makkah, he came with 60000 people, 80 camelsand 2 tonnes of gold.
King and Sultans of the Muslim world did not say : "l'm rich "
They said; Allah gave me this wealth to use gor Allahs purpose. pic.twitter.com/5Rdyo9OADU
As a result of Musa’s immense generosity on the city of Cairo, where he made a pause to meet the Sultan, the value of gold greatly deteriorated. In an attempt to even out the disruption, he bought it back from the people of the city – with the added inflation, becoming the only person to ever control the price of gold. A little hard to believe yet completely true.
Mansa Musa left more than just his money for the people to come, it was merely a small fraction of his rich legacy. He is a significant figure in black history, which is why the declaration of Jeff Bezos as the richest man ever came as a shock for several. People are still tweeting their disapproval of the situation, labeling it as an attempt to whitewash history.
This is how they rewrite history 🧐— Ali (@theinfamouscpa) August 27, 2020
Mansa Musa was estimated to have over $400 Billion https://t.co/hkYxAFT6T6
Weren’t you the same institution that somehow labelled Jeff Bezos, a white man, the first person ever to have over $200 Billion when it was clearly Mansa Musa? While giving us tips on how to achieve racial justice, kindly do a better job in trying not to erase black history https://t.co/tl5wmHjxPY— pariahnation (@pariahnation737) August 29, 2020
Bezos is the only billionaire amassing $200 billion in the present day, that’s true. But he is in no way closer to the top billionaires of even the 20th century. Generations following Musa did not exactly maintain their status, however, this legendary king and his undeniable assets make him deserving of defending his crown of the wealthiest man ever. These figures and events from history should not be replaced with such ease.
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The much awaited live action remake of Mulan has now become a sour topic of discussion as Disney fans across the world are angered since finding out the movie was partially filmed in the Xinjiang province—where it is reported that over 2,000,000 Uyghur Muslims have been detained in internment camps.
This comes after Disney’s CEO claimed filming in Georgia would be difficult due to its pro-life laws. “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully,” he said.
This is not the first time the movie has stirred up chaos and received calls for boycott. Last year, the film’s lead actress Liu Yife, who plays Mulan, sparked controversy over her comments supporting the Hong Kong police’s treatment towards pro-democracy protestors and activists.
It appears that Disney did not just turn a blind eye to the atrocities that are taking place in Xinjiang – but rather actively cooperated with the authorities that are widely accused of crimes against humanity, with social media users highlighting the official thanks to eight Xinjiang government entities including The Xinjiang Public Security Bureau in the film credits – the bureau that is directly responsible for enforcing the harsh treatment and ethnic cleansing of Uyghur Muslims, such as inhumane torture, slave labor and forced sterilization of women.
Mulan specifically thank the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang uyghur autonomous region committee in the credits.— Jeannette Ng 吳志麗 (@jeannette_ng) September 7, 2020
You know, the place where the cultural genocide is happening.
They filmed extensively in Xinjiang, which the subtitles call “Northwest China”#BoycottMulan pic.twitter.com/mba3oMYDvV
Isaac Stone-Fish of the Washington Post said “Why did Disney need to work in Xinjiang? It didn’t. There are plenty of other regions in China, and countries around the world, that offer the starkly beautiful mountain scenery present in the film. But in doing so, Disney helps normalize a crime against humanity.”
Visit our Carrd to learn more about what’s happening to Uyghur Muslims, donate to the cause and sign petitions to create change.
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For American Gen Z Muslims, 9/11 is a most perplexing day filled with mourning and unfounded guilt.
There’s something peculiar about pleading with your parents to let you stay home from school to avoid the inevitable stares of your peers; this experience is an annual occurrence. Every year on the 11th of September, American Gen Z Muslims collectively hold our breath in anticipation of the inevitable glares and stinging remarks. When the pledge of allegiance blares from the intercom that morning, you know the extended moment of silence will follow, with it the thick layer of implication that shrouds the room with every awkward glance from a classmate.
Marketing your patriotism seems like the only way to survive. Shrink your Muslim identity so that maybe you’ll be spared from the gruesome monster that is Islamophobia. These are just two of the rules in the ‘Guidebook to Being American and Muslim’, an instruction manual Gen Z Muslim Americans have memorized almost as religiously as Surah Fatiha.
But on September 11th, all rules fly out the window and your guidebook becomes a shield. Walking the tightrope between amplifying your condolences for the victims of the attacks and begging people to understand that ‘American’ and ‘Muslim’ are not mutually exclusive terms.
Anti-Muslim hate didn't begin on 9/11 but it created the structural & institutional framework for our communities to surveilled, spied on, profiled, tortured, entrapped. On the ground, we were spat on, mosques were burnt down, children were bullied and our women were harassed.— Rowaida Abdelaziz (@Rowaida_Abdel) September 11, 2020
Terrified to proclaim your exhaustion from constantly defending your humanity, because what if they call you a terrorist? What if they attempt to invalidate your Americanness because you happen to bow your head in prayer the same way that those men did?
So instead of standing up for yourself, you blanket yourself in an American flag hijab and look down in remorse when they make the same ‘Allahu Akbar’ joke as they have the past three years.
They seem to forget that I’m the daughter of a veteran. They seem to forget that my grandfather served over 20 years as a firefighter. They seem to forget about my uncle’s service in the police force. They honor them until they read the roster. Why? When they hear the stutters in my Teta’s broken English, they seem to forget that she came here for hope, not to deconstruct. When they see me cry for the lives lost that day, they seem to forget that I am an American too, that I was not yet alive 19 years ago and how could I have anything to do with the devastating loss of life?
Why do they seem to forget that you can mourn a terrible tragedy without turning those who share the faith of the perpetrators into accomplices?
I am afraid to speak about Islamophobia on a day like today. I’m afraid of being labeled as insensitive in the face of lost life. But nobody worries about sensitivity when ignoring the thousand upon thousands of civilian Iraqi and Afghani lives lost in the resulting wars. Nobody tiptoes around their Islamophobic remarks while scrolling past the endless hate crimes devastating Muslim American communities. And you definitely don’t censor your hatred even though you’re sitting next to a Muslim American that lost a loved one on 9/11 too. In the words of poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, “If you need me to prove my humanity, I’m not the one that’s not human.”
I’m not here to defend the evil, senseless violence of September 11th 2001. I am here to make it clear for what seems like the thousandth time that Muslim Americans lost just as much as you on 9/11. Islam does not condone murder, and blaming an entire demographic based on the skewed actions of a select few is just as ridiculous as blaming all Christians for the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, who also used alleged divine guidance to justify their own violent actions.
This year, let’s all stand together and mourn the lost lives of our fellow Americans… without displacing your pain on a group that’s hurting just as much as you.
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Dunkin’ Donuts receives backlash for alleged employee misconduct in a now viral video uploaded by Muslim TikToker Zahra Hashimee.
Better known by her TikTok handle @Muslimthicc, Zahra has quickly gained over 2.7 million followers for her lighthearted short-story videos and for talking openly about her faith.
After pointing out a mistake in her doughnut order Zahra was later surprised to find a large slice of bacon placed in her hash browns. The video has amassed over 700K views and over 6000 comments calling on Dunkin’ Donuts to issue a formal apology.
Comments from former and current Dunkin’ employees insinuate that this may have been a purposeful microaggression committed by a disgruntled employee. The comments claim that the prep areas for bacon and hash browns are far enough apart that there is rarely a mix up with the two.
Dunkin’ Donuts has yet to comment on the incident.Earlier this week a video submitted to TMZ appeared to show an altercation between another Dunkin’ employee and customers who claim the employee threw a bag at them through the drive-through window.
READ MORE: Meet Mohamad Zoror, The Macaroni Vine Guy
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I never thought I’d end up on a “halal” dating app.
To me, Minder always felt like a knock off version of Tinder and I wasn’t sure how to feel about that, especially considering how unsettling the whole “dating” concept is for me as a somewhat-conservative Muslim woman.
Yet there I was, setting up my profile, trying not to get my hopes up but still hopeful.
Initially, I loved Minder. There were so many potential guys to choose from – I went from having 0 standards and willing to settle for anyone who would slightly understand my religion and culture, to being picky about what height and “religious flavor” I was willing to match with.
(Spoiler alert: I’m still single and maybe I deserve it for swiping left on all the guys who are 5’4 even though I’m 5’4 myself)
Despite being picky, I still had quite a few matches and at times it got overwhelming having to keep up with all these different conversations, many of which were clearly not going anywhere.
I also ran into a few surprises, I got catfished, I was told off for using slang, and unmatched with because I picked “Shia” as my religious flavor.
One of my rules for swiping was that I never swiped right on guys that had shirtless photos on their profiles, it was a turn-off and I couldn’t take them seriously.
For whatever reason though, I made an exception when it came to this one guy named Mahdi. He was local, owned his own business, and I found him really cute. His bio was a mess but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and still swiped right.
I messaged him the day after we matched, and right away with each message I began to realize that something was off.
For someone who supposedly grew up in the states, his English did not sound like it at all. He also had a picture with a car that had a German license plate, which I thought was odd for someone who lived locally (unless it was just a rental, or he’s super-rich and has a house and car abroad *we love that*).
His profile also mentioned that he spoke several languages, which I found out he couldn’t speak through our conversation, and he also said a lot of narrow-minded and ignorant things that made me end the conversation altogether.
At one point, I think he genuinely must’ve copied and pasted his message straight from google translate without making any changes to it, and it was very obvious.
I was convinced that something was off so I did a reverse search image (I know so extra of me but I just had to find out).
And look what came up:
His name is Amin Elkach. He’s a Morrocan athlete/model in Germany.
His real name is not Mahdi, he’s not afghan, he’s not a business owner, he doesn’t live in VA, and he most definitely can’t speak English.
Unfortunately, he unmatched before I could report him and is still out there cat-fishing. If you run into him tell him he looks like he could be a Morrocan model in Germany!
Another instance I ran into was this excuse of a man who got annoyed because I used slang at one point, and I guess you shouldn’t do that when you’re discussing taxes?
I have so many problems with everything he said in those messages, I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but I’ll leave it at this; it’s him, it’s not me.
I don’t have screenshots for my next point, but on my profile, I purposely chose to show that my “religious flavor” as Minder likes to phrase it, is Shia.
Even though I don’t believe in sectarianism, there are others who do and there are a lot of misconceptions and prejudice towards the Shia label. For that reason I chose to disclose it on my profile, in case someone had a problem with my label, they could simply avoid me from the get-go and save us both time.
Yet many of the guys I matched with apparently didn’t bother reading through my profile before matching, so a few of them messaged me afterward to let me know that they’re unmatching because I’m Shia and they’re looking for someone Sunni.
I was most offended by the guys who matched, proceeded to waste my time with a dry conversation, then realized my profile says that I’m Shia and then unmatched.
And while all these things happened on Minder, I also tried MuzMatch at the time and my overall experience made me feel overwhelmed because I didn’t feel like I could keep up with everyone. I also felt like beyond the basic biodata, the apps didn’t really help much in getting to know the other person. I just felt overall disappointed and like I wasted so much time that I’m never getting back. Not to mention all the creeps I ran into on the app.
While my overall experience was definitely not good, and the apps didn’t really help me find anyone, there are people who find each other this way.
I’m not sure what differentiates those who find success on these platforms from the ones who don’t, but I know that it is possible for some people and that there plenty of nice and genuine guys on the app who don’t lie about who they are.
For me personally, the experience wasn’t worth the time I put into it, only to find myself right back where I started. But if you’re thinking about trying out these dating apps, I’d say definitely give it a shot, but don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t get you the results you want.
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None of us need to be reminded of our current situation; this pandemic has taken the world by storm, affecting many far and wide. And while a lot of people have it worse, this can be a frustrating time for college students.
With classes going online for many of us, we now have to learn how to navigate a virtual university environment while dealing with so many other things that may be going on in our lives. Such collective efforts in curbing the spread of this virus are vital, but that doesn’t mean that our feelings of confusion and disappointment aren’t justified. Even though a lot of things seem like they’re out of our control right now, we can still work towards learning the ropes of managing our stress in these circumstances. Here are some things that worked for me!
1) Make a routine (and stick to it!)
It’s very easy to lose a sense of routine when you’re learning online — especially if your classes are pre-recorded. A routine is very important to maintain a sense of normalcy and create a productive working environment.
2) Craft your workspace
All of us learn best in different ways, so it’s only natural for us to have different set-ups that suit our working style. Some of us prefer more screens, while others prefer notebooks. I know I love having a journal and a physical calendar but my friends prefer apps to manage their productivity. Make your workspace a place that naturally puts you into work mode: it could be a corner in your room, your dining table or the outdoors! The bottom line is you know what works best for you, so be sure to craft your workspace accordingly.
3) Practice self-care!
From taking regular breaks in between studying to playing video games, netflixing or going all out with a home-spa set up — make sure you’re making time for yourself! Your regular academic course load is challenging enough, coupled with our given circumstances, it’s super important that we take out time from our day to relax and do the things we like!
4) Maintain social connections!
Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t be social! Just like you would in school, make sure you’re keeping your social life going. Whether it’s through video calls, online games or virtual movie nights. And if being on your screen all the time gets you tired, look into planning a socially distant picnic with your friends! There’s so many ways to maintain your social relationships!
5) Talk to your parents/roommates
Before you start this Fall, try to sit down and have a conversation with your parents, siblings, roommates or anyone that you will be sharing your living space with. You can discuss expectations and draw boundaries to prevent any disagreements or miscommunication in the future. This can include talking through household responsibilities, privacy or setting a quiet time; this is a perfect opportunity to express how they can best support you! While it may seem trivial or irrelevant, I think it could prove really helpful in making your study-from-home life productive and stress-free.
READ MORE: Meet Mohamad Zoror, The Macaroni Vine Guy
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American rapper Kanye West was met with backlash from the Muslim community afer naming two of his latest shoes with Adidas after the archangels in Islam.
Adidas unveiled the edition earlier last week: the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Israfil and Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Asriel, unleashing a series of negative reactions from Muslims worldwide.
Israfil and Asriel (commonly spelled Azrael or Israel) are two of the four archangels of Islam. Israfil is usually depicted with a trumpet that will be played to mark the end of the world, and Asriel – the Angel of Death – is charged with the duty of carrying the souls of deceased individuals. Both are significantly respected in the Islamic faith.
Yeezy shoes, which are the most recognized urban shoe collection, also contributed largely to West’s billionaire status, as stated by Forbes this year in April.
Nonetheless, several took to social media to display their objection asserting the rapper was “making a mockery of Islam” and that something should be done about it.
Out of all the names Kanye West | Adidas decided to use such a high rank angel name in our religion Islam "Israfil" https://t.co/yMMfhNcaAn— Abdukadir Ugas (@AbdulkadirUgas) August 22, 2020
Even after more than 10 days since the initial announcement, Muslims stay firm on their decision to have these names changed. The criticism of the rapper on account of disrespecting the religion led to the launch of a petition to channel advocates of the cause in the right direction. Among other things, the petition demands an immediate renaming of these trainers or to cease their production altogether.
“This is highly offensive to the Muslim community. Having the names of angels, which we revere highly, on a shoe which is used to walk on the street is a huge form of disrespect in all Muslim communities. We demand that Adidas cease all production of this shoe immediately, issue a sincere apology to the Muslim community and consult with a representative of the Muslim community to bridge this learning curve so this doesn’t happen again in the future. We are a big demographic of sales and to turn a blind eye to the insensitivity of our pain is a poor business decision,” it states.
People signing the petition also encourage others to boycott the brand until adequate measures are taken by both Adidas and West. However, Yeezy Boost Israfil is still selling out while the Asriel version is set to be released the following month.
This controversy strikes the rapper amid his run for the White House challenging President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. And he already faced around five states ruling him ineligible for the ballot, somewhat weakening his campaign.
The year 2020 served to be quite eventful for West and may take a turn for the worse. Seeing how the global Muslim community is coming together in light of these findings, he along with Adidas will have to do something about it pretty soon.
READ MORE: Meet Mohamad Zoror, The Macaroni Vine Guy
To avoid similar inconveniences in the future, West along with other celebrities should avoid dragging religious figures and essential cultural aspects in their art. These acts of cultural appropriation can displease a lot of people even when no offense is intended. Regardless of the purpose behind naming these shoes after two archangels, Muslims ended up being deeply offended. And despite everything, both West and Adidas are consistent with their silence on the matter.
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Comedian and infamous Vine personality, Mohamad Zoror, is making headlines yet again for his iconic 2014 macaroni vine after rapper Cardi B alluded to the video in her and fellow rapper Meghan Thee Stallion’s new single, “WAP.”
A few days after the song’s initial release, Zoror posted a TikTok captioned “run me my money!’ reacting to Cardi’s verse in which she raps “macaroni in a pot, that’s some WAP” and cites a Genius lyrics annotation that states that the line is “likely a reference” to his Vine.
Amassing nearly 4 million views within four days, Zoror’s TikTok was met with thousands of users commenting that they “immediately thought of him” when they heard the track and encouraged him to collect his bag and “get royalties” for being referenced in the song.
There’s even been comments made on the original Youtube reposting of the Vine, stating “who came back to watch this because of Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion?”
But as excited as Zoror’s fans were about his Vine becoming relevant again, in an interview with Muslim.co, Zoror revealed that he actually “wasn’t surprised” by the mention, as Cardi B has referenced the Vine in previous tracks.
“A lot of my friends sent me messages saying ‘go listen to Cardi B’s new song, listen to the last lyric’ and I was like, I already know where this was going,” said Zoror.
According to Zoror, Cardi B alluded to his vine on both her first album, “Gangsta B**** Music Vol. 1,” and more notably, in her chart-topping track “Drip.” The reference to Zoror’s Vine is made in the first verse, in which Cardi B raps “mac n’ cheese in the bowl, how it sound?”
Zoror’s ability to influence mainstream music has fans saying that the Vine star has “contributed to culture” and has “created a metaphor that has impacted the language of an entire generation.”
But while Zoror’s infamous Vine may be a cultural staple, being “the Macaroni Vine guy” has its downsides. According to Zoror, he finds that he is oftentimes identified by that Vine only, stating that it “gets repetitive” being introduced by peers as “the one who did the Vine.” Zoror also shared that he finds that people will try to befriend him or take advantage of him because of the size of his platform.
But despite the negative impacts of his fame, Zoror stated that the Vine has ultimately helped him not only expand professionally, but has allowed him to leave a lasting impression on pop culture.
“[The Vine] opens up opportunities for me, not others. For rappers to use that in songs, I like that… my perception [of being known as the “macaroni vine guy] has changed, especially when I started seeing how my vine is used in pop culture or even day-to-day as a reference,” expressed Zoror.
Though the reference of Zoror’s Vine in “WAP” may be subtle, the song goes to show that the ability for creators to impact mainstream media is not. Zoror’s reach from Vine to TikTok to high-profile artists like Cardi B truly shows not only the lasting impact of the meme video revolution born by Vine, but the impact creators can have on anyone, even celebrities.
Since his Vine days, Zoror has changed his content style and expanded his media presence onto Tiktok. But even long after Cardi B’s love for alluding to Zoror’s golden vine in hit singles wears off, Zoror will undoubtedly remain in the Meme Hall of Fame as “the Macaroni Vine guy.”
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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 @ayshahuran – Beauty 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.
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.
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.