My Best Friends are Kufar

Let me tell you about my two best friends. 

They know who they are. 

They came into my life at very different times, and I believe, very different reasons.

  One of my oldest friends, let’s call her Brown Eyes, went to high school with me.  Funny enough, she was a relative of someone else I was friends with, and we never really spoke until we ended up in the same homeroom class. She saw me through a lot of my firsts (first real boyfriend, subsequently the first heartbreak, first time moving away, first year at uni, and when I first met my hubby!)… And I’ve seen many of hers as well.  

 My other best friend, let’s call her Blondie (which she embraces fully, don’t worry), dropped into my life unexpectedly in the last year of my undergrad. This was also one of the hardest times in my life, because my husband had to move to another state for school.  But she filled a hole in my life and brought a lot more than I had expected. We both were in the middle of our personal growth, and we kind of fed off each other and took the best from each other and left the worst. I was looking for a roommate and she was looking for a place to live.  Funny enough, she overheard me telling someone about my problem during class (we were both food science majors, but never really talked before)… And the rest is history! 

Oh yeah, 

And they are kufar. 

For those who don’t know, kufar means “non-Muslim”  in Arabic, and if you didn’t already know,  it’s not very nice.  Honestly, I hate that word. 

 (I’m using it now to make a point) 

 We became close (my best friends and I) before I converted to Islam.  And they are STILL my best friends afterwards. Even though they are still in the states! 

Why? Isn’t their lifestyle contrary to my religious values? 

Maybe.  But they don’t bring that part of their life into our friendship.  

They’ve never tried to bring me to a bar.

They’ve never tried to make me hang out with guys (beside saying hi to their significant others).  

They never questioned my wearing hijab or hinted that I don’t have to wear it. 

They never judged me for the level of Islam I’m at right now. 

And they have always encouraged me to keep learning about my faith, even though it isn’t theirs.

They enjoy talking with me about it! 

They even say Maşallah and ask me to pray for them. 

An atheist and a  Christian have been more understanding and supportive of me than most Muslims I have met (particularly the ones in Turkey).  

And that’s why they’re still my best friends. And why (outside of this post) I won’t call them or any other non-Muslim kufar.  

Being Muslim isn’t necessary to be a good person and a good friend. 

Ramadan Mubarek!

That time of year has come around again…

It’s Ramadan!


I hope everyone has a blessed and accepted Ramadan this year.

And also I hope to make it through, since my all-day-every-day CELTA course takes up the entire holy month…

More to come!

For general information about Ramadan, check out an older post here.

Why I Didn’t Change My Name

Before you ask, yes I did change my last name when I married (because it’s a hella-cool name and half the reason I married that guy who is now my husband).

What I’m talking about is changing my name after reverting to Islam.

Some (many? A few? I don’t even know) western Muslim reverts/converts change their names to a more Muslim sounding name after their life change. Like Ayşe instead of Annie,  Elif instead of Erin, etc.  But, as my friends know, I didn’t. I stuck with the name my mother gave me.

If this sounds familiar, you can skip this post.  Ive posted over 200 things on this blog here, and I think I’ve covered this topic before (loosely), but it came up again in my life so I want to address it again.

When I introduced myself to someone new recently, they were surprised I was Muslim (after seeing my name only and meeting me for the first time).  They asked if I go by another name informally, and I said no. They were surprised, since converts change their names (apparently a lot?). 

Did I mention before that the imam that performed our Nikah ceremony (religious marriage) required I pick a “Muslim name” for the purpose of the religious stuff? Hubby got pissed, but it was too late to find another imam so… Yeah, I was Mariam for five minutes. My husbands name isn’t Muslim, it’s Turkish… So… What about him? Meh,  anyway…

Nowhere in the Quran, hadiths, or sunnah (to my knowledge) does it say to change your name. I personally think that changing your name after converting does a huge disservice to Islam. It’s as if you are forcing yourself to fit in a little box that Islam never wanted for you.  “Middle eastern” clothes, names, etc are a culture.  Islam is a religion.  Just because you converted doesn’t mean you have to wear a black Abaya and change your name to Khadija (although she was an amazing woman and should inspire us all!).  I mean,  if you want to you can… But it seems very sad.  Islam is supposed to elevate you to your best level, not change who you are.

So while I did change my lifestyle (I. E. No more drinking, no hanging out with guys outside of work requirements, now wearing hijab), I didn’t change myself.  My clothing style is the same, if not less revealing.  My name is the same.  My hobbies are the same.  I am still me.  But I’m more than me now,  I’m me 2.0.

And me 2.0 doesn’t require a name change.

Hijabi problem #99: I am oppressed

I am a hijabi (wearer of the hijab)

And I am oppressed.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term hijab, let me clarify (but most of the world probably is by now). The term hijab technically refers to a scarf, but the way it is understood by Muslimahs (female practitioners of Islam) is a little more inclusive.  When we (muslimahs) refer to hijab, or call ourselves hijabis, we are referring to a style of dress which includes a scarf on the head in some fashion, and a certain etiquette by which we live our lives.  Different cultures will define proper hijab in different ways…some more “conservative “, some more “liberal”.  While I feel comfortable in the way I physically wear my hijab and socially practice it, I don’t feel the need to judge others on theirs. Is mine perfect? Hardly. But I consider myself a hijabi none the less.

And like the media loves to trumpet, I certainly am oppressed.

My attire doesnt stop me from physical activity (hiking, swimming, riding bikes, etc).  My dress doesn’t keep me from being fashionable/feeling beautiful (quite the contrary, I’ve never felt so good looking in my life!).  My social etiquette doesn’t keep me out of the work place or secluded at home (I’ve worked with both men and women with no awkwardness, and I’ve gone on outings on my own).  I’m not oppressed by my hijab.  But as a hijabi,  I am oppressed.

I’m oppressed by you.

Not you, specifically, dear friends.  You support me and my right to practice my faith, my way.  I love you all! By “you”, I mean the traditionally “western” concept of hijabi oppression.

Being glared at on the street and whispered about; constantly fearing a violent outburst from a stranger keeps me at home.  The current fashion of see-through blouses and crop tops makes it hard to dress myself.  Requiring I remove my hijab before I can work keeps me out of the workforce and dependent on a man to care for me.  You consistently, relentlessly telling me I am not a strong woman because of the choices I made for myself makes me feel secluded and weak.

I did not oppress myself.  I would not choose a way of life that makes me feel poorly about myself.  The only thing about being a hijabi Muslimah that is oppressive is other people’s attitude towards me and the difficulty of living in a society that doesn’t want me in it.

So when you see us on the street, don’t cluck your tongue and shake your head.  Smile.  Nod.  Maybe a little wave of “hello”.  Make us feel included.  Makes us feel welcome.  If you are so concerned about the oppression of hijabis, maybe you should stop doing it.


I got 99 problems but my scarf ain’t one.


*light-hearted notes below
1. Like I said before, not everyone does this. If you are reading this and are a hijabi supporter,  hey girl/dude! You’re the best!
2. The new style of “shirt dresses” is great for hijabis and am all about that fashion trend right now! Yes!
3. No, I don’t expect everyone to bow down to hijabi style and not wear sheer shirts and crop tops.  You do you, boo. We just want some fashion options that aren’t boring black Abayas*.
4.*if you like boring black Abayas that’s OK too. 🙂

Bathroom Monitor

So apparently there’s a new movement in the US about transgendered people using the bathroom?

I guess it creates jobs because we will be needing a ton of bathroom monitors?

I was discussing this with my friend(s) and I thought it would be an interesting blog post,  since I normally don’t post much on social commentary and Politics.

OH boy! An opinion piece!

So, my feelings on transgendered people using the bathroom of their choice… Who.  Flipping. Cares.

If you look like a chick, use the chick bathroom.  If you look like a dude, use the dude bathroom.  If you are a guy in a wig and heels living the feminine life and you want to use the ladies room because you identify as a woman, I honestly could not care less. There are stalls in there for a reason.

Maybe that makes me a bad Muslim, but I don’t expect other people to live their lives by my standards.

But what about safety?

Maybe I’m confused, but the last time I checked… Transgendered was not a synonym for pedophile, pervert, or deviant.  If someone identifies as or wants to be another gender doesn’t automatically mean they want to rape you or molest a child.  That’s a whole different thing.  Could there be overlap? Well,  sure… Just like any group of people can have some bad seeds.

For example, a friend of mine told me about a man who said they were transgendered (lied), went into the ladies room, and attacked a young girl.

Well, they weren’t transgendered then… Were they? Does that mean we need to police for LGBQ people too since they will be around the sex they are attracted to in the facilities? Do we need to ban all Muslims from the US because some are terrorists? Do we need to deport all Latin people because some are here illegally? I don’t think so…

But what about exposing their bits (transgendered females who have not changed their anatomy)?

First off, there are stalls in the ladies room.  There is no need to whip out your dingaling in a ladies room. If you are pretending to be trans so you can wave your pee pee at women, you will go to jail.  That’s called public indecency.  If you actually are transgendered and uncomfortable with your body,  I don’t think you’ll be whipping out the family jewels to share with everyone.

But what about hijab?

If you know about the rules of hijab (which I’m not here to argue about, these are the rules I know and apply to my life), Muslim women are advised to cover from head to toe with only their face, hands, and feet are shown.  So, if a transgendered person is using the bathroom or locker room with you,  what are you to do?

Well, if you honestly can’t tell if they are transgendered, then it isn’t your problem sister. You can’t be expected to do a cup check on every large female to make sure they aren’t a man.  Islam is about intention, and if you unintentionally take off your hijab infront of a man because you thought they were a woman, I honestly believe you are in the clear.

If you don’t feel comfortable, then you will have to make due with a plan B for your un-hijabed self.  Yes it sucks. Yes it’s not fun.  But it’s the world we live in. Our hijab is our responsibility and noone else’s.

But it’s all a lie!

Are you transgendered? If the answer is no, you can’t say if they are lying or not. You don’t know. You can’t know. You don’t have their experiences to base your opinions off of. There is a reason sympathy and empathy are two different words.

I mean, I’m honestly more frightened of people in an islamaphobic sociey carrying weapons all over the place than I am about a man dressed like a woman (or visa versa), but that’s another story for another time.

Allah rahmet eylesin

So for those who follow me on Instagram, you’ve been expecting this post.

For those that don’t (and shame on you!), hubby’s grandfather died Saturday morning.

To make a long (and personal) story short, he was diagnosed with cancer about a month ago.  That and being 89…this didn’t come as a surprise.  But that didn’t make it any less painful.  He spent his final weeks at home surrounded by family,  and that’s what matters most. 

We got the call Saturday morning only 10 minutes after they realized what had happened.  We quickly ate breakfast and hit the road to get to the köy (village) and make arrangements.  I’ve only been to two funerals in Turkey, and both have been köy funerals… So everything I am going to describe may be specific to village life.  I wouldn’t know otherwise.

Firstly, these funerals are conducted the day of death… So getting everything ready ASAP is critical.  We called the number for the city service that handles deaths (not sure if you would call it a morgue) and waited in the small house with the body draped in a sheet. Visitors came (mostly family, some neighbors) and said başımız sağolsun, a condolence. Eventually a big white truck came and a man prepared to wash the body and prepare it for burial.  No embalming necessary.

In Islam there is a special washing required for the dead as a type of purification for burial.  This service is provided by the city and is done in the truck (which resembles a moving van).

In the meantime, the women were served tea and snacks by the ladies of the house.  We huddled by the soba on this particularly cold day and talked about grandfather’s final days.  After the body was washed they prepared the casket (a simple wooden box) with a green drape over the top with an excerpt from the Quran written in Arabic (the ayah about everyone returning to their maker).  While the men carried the casket to the graveyard (religiously, women are forbidden from going at the time of burial), the women covered their hair and began to pray.  And there was a lot of praying.

It was then that I learned more about how to use a teşbih (pic on instagram).  There are certain phrases you recite a certain number of times, and the string of beads help you keep count.  All of the women recited these phrases (for example : Bismillah ar rahman ir rahim, la ilahe illallah, and estağfurullah) for over an hour while the body was being buried.  When these things are said in this manner, the angels write it down in the name of the dead and ease their suffering in the grave.

In Islam it is said that you can suffer in the grave before you go to heaven or hell, to cleanse some of your sins.  When someone prays for you it can lessen your suffering.

We followed these hours of prayer with the töbe prayer, which is in Turkish.  The men had other rituals and prayers to perform graveside, but I didn’t see them.  There were many personal recitations of Al fatiha and finally some songs that were sung (one about dates and one about a butterfly? I’m not positive).

Anyway,  once the men returned everyone was given food and drink.  The women were given gifts of headscarves (which isn’t weird or pushy, it’s normal).  We sat together for a while and talked, visited, and tried to console each other. Finally, as the sun went down we all went home.

Allah rahmet eylesin. May Allah accept grandfather to jannah.

‘Tis the Season to Make Aşure

As the onslaught of winter holidays are preparing to commence in the US, Turkey has a few unofficial holidays of their own.  While you may be spying colored leaf decor, pilgrim hats, and probably a few Christmas trees, in the states…in Turkey you will be seeing tons and tons of aşure!


Aşure (Ah-shur-eh), or Noah’s Pudding, is a dessert that I personally adore.  Sweetened with both sugar and fruit, aşure is a sure sign of the changing season. At least, it is right now.

Along with being a dessert, this is also the nickname of the Muslim month of Muharram (the first month on the islamic calendar- which operates by the moon phases).  For this reason, the months change over time- so in 10 years we may be preparing aşure around Easter rather than Christmas!

asure ingredients

  But I digress.

This dessert comes from the ubiquitous story of Noah (or Nuh) and the flood.  While Muslims and Christians don’t necessarily agree on how big the flood was, we can all agree that there was a guy on a boat for quite some time.  At the end of that time, there was only so many ingredients available to prepare much of anything.  With what remained, Noah prepared aşure.  There is a lot of significance to this month that you can search for on your own, I’m sticking to the dessert!

When one prepares aşure, they prepare A LOT.  That’s because you share your dessert with the whole neighborhood!  Invite over your closest neighbors, say some prayers, read a little Quran, then eat!  Later, load up a tepsi (tray) with as many bowls as you can and distribute them to the neighbors on your block.  More likely than not, you have some coming your way as well!  Just last week we visited Amca and his family, their aşure flavored with orange and clove felt like being back in the states again.DSCN3030

My favorite part of eating/making aşure is that everyone does it differently. While the base is pretty much the same, how people chose to flavor it can vary. Some people put figs and apricots, others put orange and apple.  Rose water? why not. Clove? Bring it on.  And the toppings sprinkled on top are always a treat! It literally took us one entire day to prepare the toppings.  Cracking, blanching, toasting, and pulverizing your own almonds and walnuts is not an easy task. Oh, but the reward…asure toppings

Without further ado, here is our recipe for aşure.  It makes a huge stock pot worth, so if you don’t plan on sharing with a dozen people- feel free to cut down the recipe.  Change it as you like!  We prepared the beans the day before.



1kg whole bulgur wheat

2c dried chickpeas

2c dried great northern beans

2c rice

1kg sugar

3 apples, peeled and diced

3 mandarine orange rinds, diced finely

1-2c raisins

2tsp cloves

1tbsp rose water

hot water



toasted sesame

toasted almonds, pulverized

toasted walnuts, pulverized

pomegranate seeds

toasted pine nuts




1.Soak the dried beans separately for several hours until ready to cook. Add a generous hand-full of salt to the water.

2. Wash the bulgur wheat very well*, then cook in a pressure cooker until done.

3. Remove the bulgur and place in a large stock pot. Cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker until soft.

4. Cook the beans and rice separately in standard pots, until soft.

5. Put all of the legumes and grains, drained, in the same stock pot, add sugar. Meanwhile, boil the mandarin rind twice, removing any undesirable bitter flavors.

6. Fill stock pot with water until everything is submerged, plus two or three inches more.

7. Add the fruits/rind/clove and bring to a boil, letting everything mush together (its ugly but delicious). Add the rose water after boiling and stir it in.

8. Try and maintain a pourable consistency with hot water. Serve with garnish, hot.


*you know, go ahead and wash everything well.  EVERYTHING. Even the raisins.  Any residual color compounds can make your dessert ugly and discolored!


Ramadan is coming!

downloadAnd I am so excited!

For those of you who are not familiar with Ramadan, it is the 9th and holiest month of the Muslim calendar.  Similar to China, Islamic months are based off the lunar cycle rather than the solar cycle like our present day Gregorian calendars, which is why these months change a little every year (moving backward, so next year it will likely start early June I believe).   But this year…it starts tonight!

  Check out my Ramadan post from last year to get all the details about what one does during Ramadan and why it is special!

Many people are familiar with fasting during Ramadan…and many also ask me:

Don’t you hate Ramadan?  I mean, you have to fast

The answer is no!  I LOVE Ramadan!  My only worry when it comes to fasting is not that I will be in discomfort, but that I will not be able to overcome my physical struggle to focus on my spiritual side.  I guess you know that a faith is right for you when something that appears to others to be a chore is something you look forward to.  I hope to do some additional posts this month about religion and faith, and how it has affected me personally- including opinion pieces about the role of religion in society/ government, etc.   Last year I wanted to post every day about what I was doing during Ramadan…but that ended very very quickly haha- this time I will aim for one or two a week, inshallah!

I may post a little about other things- but I want to aim the majority of my efforts towards my spiritual side during this Holy month… if that is boring, I’m sorry!  You may get a little bored this month…. 😉

Difference(s) between Christianity and Islam

Having been a Christian for the majority of my life, and having attended a christian school for ten years of it, I like to think I know a lot about Christianity.  On the other hand, I spent roughly three years studying Islam independently, learning as much as I could about the religion that belonged to my husband…and now me.  With this background I am frequently asked about the differences between Christianity and Islam…and although I’m not a scholar on either of these topics, there are nine things I have gleaned from my studies that I usually mention in every discussion about religion that comes up.

  Disclaimer: Anything wrong that I say here about Christianity or Islam is my own mistake, and does not reflect the religion in any way.  Anything true that I say here is thanks only to God, who has blessed me with the ability to learn and understand

1. Christianity is older than Islam.

The first and most obvious difference is the age of the faiths.  If you consider Jesus’ (salallahu alayhi wasalam) birth to be the year 0, and his death to be around 32AD, then you can consider Christianity to have started somewhere in that time. Islam, however, was founded by Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasalam) around 500 AD.  Several hundred years after Jesus’ death/ the founding of Christianity was when Islam came about.  However, something I find very interesting in my studies is that, if what I read is true, no one claimed Jesus to be the son of God until nearly 500 years after his death…around the time of Muhammad’s revelations from God. Even further, this fits well with the intent of Islam, which was to clarify that God has no son, which is what modern Christians believe.

2. The original sin

Both Islam and Christianity agree that there was an original man and woman (english: Adam and Eve) who lived in a beautiful and rich place (aka Garden of Eden), free of sin and whatnot. However, the events that transpired there are significantly different between religions.  According to Christianity, there was a tree within the garden with fruit that would give you the knowledge of good and evil if you ate from it…and God told the original humans not to do so.  However, satan in the form of a snake approached Eve and tempted her into eating the fruit and bringing it back to her husband, Adam, to also eat.  For this reason they were expelled from the garden, and now all humans hold the burden of sin for all eternity (giving way to the necessity of salvation).  However, in Islam, the tree that was forbidden was the tree of immortality, and from that they should not eat (please note that God did not call this tree Immortal, it was Satan that used this term in order to tempt the humans).  Satan approached BOTH Adam and Eve together, and tempted them in equal measure. Although they were expelled from the garden for their transgressions, God (in his infinite compassion and mercy) forgave Adam and Eve of this sin, and all of humanity is not burdened with this original sin.

3. The heart of man

Given what we just discussed, it is now clear why Christians believe that everyone is born with sin in their hearts.  Due to the original sin, all humans are born with an evil desire in their hearts- and it is only God’s grace that lets us overpower them.  In Islam, though, humans are not cursed with this original sin.  Mankind is not born with dark hearts, on the contrary, Muslims believe that everyone is born with the desire to do good, to be good, and to seek out God.  It is the sin that lurks in the world that can cause us to turn away…but it is not our nature.

4.  Sacrifice for sin

So, with this curse upon mankind, Christianity explains that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for this plague.  Without accepting his sacrifice, we are burdened with the price of sin- eternal death in hell.  Since Islam doesn’t adhere to the idea of original sin/ the curse of sin, there is no need for a blood sacrifice.  However, animal sacrifices may be performed as a show of piety and faith in Islam.  For instance, during Kurban Bayram (the sacrificing holiday), Muslims sacrifice an animal as a recollection of Abrahams willingness to sacrifice his own son at the command of God (but similar to both faiths, he did not).

Just to be clear, when Muslims sacrifice an animal there is a special ritual that must be done, and the animal must be slaughtered humanely and with no suffering.  The meat is to be distributed, 1/3 is for yourself, 1/3 is for your neighbor, and 1/3 is for the poor amongst you.

5. Who was Jesus

According to Christianity, Jesus was the son of God, born of a virgin for the purpose of ultimate sacrifice.  According to Islam, Jesus was a beloved prophet, born of a virgin, who worked miracles and healed the sick.  Jesus was never crucified, according to Islam, but instead someone similar in appearance was taken.  The Christian story of the resurrection explains how Jesus appeared as a gardener outside of his own tomb, with the stone rolled away so that he could escape.  Similarly, Islam says that Jesus did appear as a gardener after the crucifixion, but in order to not be discovered.

6. Forgiveness and Heaven

In order to achieve forgiveness for your sins and ascend to heaven when the time comes, Christians say you must accept Jesus as your personal savior, acknowledge his sacrifice, and then you are basically set.  Islam, however, says that there is no sure way to be forgiven and enter heaven.  Indeed, a hadith explains that even a man who prays and fasts and gives his due may stop doing these things on his last day…and not enter heaven.  Conversely, a man could murder, drink alcohol, lie, and cheat his entire life, and pray on his final day with a pure heart, and enter paradise.  It is only God’s decision who enter heaven and who does not- all we can do is the best that we can.  Only a pure heart with good intention can enter paradise, if God so wills it.  Doing acts of kindness and good deeds in your life while staying away from evil is all that a Muslim can do to curry favor with the Almighty.

7.  Hell

Either way you look at it, hell is a horrible, terrible place. There is not much difference in the descriptions of hell, but there is a difference in what it is there for.  In Christianity, if you go to hell you are damned for eternity, and you will never escape.  In Islam, hell is a place you go for your punishment…and when the punishment is over, you enter paradise.  Inshallah, all Muslims will eventually go to heaven, once their term is completed.  I have seen different opinions on if everyone goes to heaven eventually, but God is both fair and merciful, and I wouldn’t think it wrong to hope that everyone, regardless of faith, will see paradise one day.

8.  Intentions

As described in point 6, doing good deeds is critical for the life of a Muslim.  Even the intention of doing a good deed, if not completed, still counts as a good thing for you.  Having the intention of doing a bad deed, if you don’t follow through, is also good.  God commands Muslims to do things for the right reasons (e.g. praying to be seen as pious by others doesn’t count as good..but doing so as a command is), and intentions play a huge role in the daily lives of those following Islam.  In Christianity, any bad thoughts or feelings are seen as a symptom of a sinful heart and are counted as a sin against you.

9.  Logic vs Faith

In verse after verse, the Bible praises those who have faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  (Hebrews 11:1)

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind (James 1:6).

Christianity emphasis believing, even when there is no evidence there.  In fact, the one who believes despite evidence to the contrary is held in the highest regard.  However, Islam encourages the believer to seek knowledge.  It is true, the first command given from God to the Muslims was to read, and to learn.  Learning and education (not just the religious sort) is a requirement of every Muslim- man, woman, or child.

Read! In the name of your Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) Who created— created man, out of a leech-like clot: Read!  And your Rabb is Most Bountiful Who has taught (the use of)  pen.  He has taught man that which he knew not.” (Qur’an, 96:1-5)

“He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding.”  (2: 269)

Many ayat are ended with praising “those who learn”, “those who think”, “those who know”, etc. This is one of many reasons that Muslims do not feel the disconnect from science that many churches often proclaim in Christianity.  Science, in Islam, is not against God, it is proof of Him.

These are only some of the differences between Islamic and Christian doctrine…but there are also many similarities.  If you liked this post or found it helpful, let me know and I can post more about Islam and Christianity.

Mocking Others and Arrogance

Ten years ago, five years ago, yesterday… This is a problem I really struggle with.  Being American, we have a culture of joking that often involves mocking others, and I am one of the guiltiest people for using this style of humor. Additionally, I have a terrible habit of enjoying the blessings Allah has given me as far as skills and whatnot, and being arrogant about it, even if I don’t voice it.  I hope this video is a good reminder to those like me that all Muslims are equal in the eyes of Allah, be you revert, born muslim, hijabi, non-hijabi, black, white, asian….the only thing that separates us is fear of Allah (Taqwa). Inshallah we are all blessed with a great fear of Allah and live our lives accordingly.