Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2008 by covertly

The hijabi sat on the edge of the seat. She liked to do that. It was easier to get off the tram, as opposed to taking the window seat and having to push past people when she wanted to deboard. Two people sat across her. There was no one sitting next to her. She also liked wearing dark colours, this hijabi.

She noticed a woman with some baggage come near. She was obviously going to try to maneuver her way to the empty window seat. The hijabi, to save her the trouble, shifted to the empty space beside her, making room for the lady.

The hijabi looked up.


The lady said it oh-so-slowly, paying attention to the pronounciation of the letters, making sure it all came out nice and clearly.

“No worries.”

The hijabi looked away, quite amused.


Drawing closer to Allah (Hadith Qudsi 1)

Posted in Hadith Qudsi with tags , on October 7, 2008 by covertly

I love reading and reflecting upon Hadith Qudsi. I thought it might be a good idea to start a series on them. The hadith will be posted in no particular order. The following is one of my favourites.


On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah the Almighty said:

I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.

 (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah)

Why the Outbackbedouin?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 by ladysakeenah

In a time where one is unconsciously impelled to the influences and cultural norms of the western society it inhabits in. In a land down under; where a relatively newly established nation welcomes the coexistence of freedom and opportunity whole heartedly. In a community where Islamic ideology is as diverse as the colours of the spectrum, four young ladies strive to exist.

They are the outbackbedouins; Bedouin in the sense of a nomad with no attachment to either this life or any one group of Islamic thought. However, free thinking and knowing they are not, as these combined is only a fallacy.

They are merely searching for no more than companionship in their self imposed obligation to communicate their thoughts and possessed knowledge from the Quran and the Prophet to the world, not only for the greater good of spreading the deen, but to uphold their own.

So join these ladies when you’re in the quest for inspiration, enlightenment, public debate, entertainment, or nothing more than a place to transmit knowledge of truth; that is Islam.

The Camel Head Hijab

Posted in Hijab on October 2, 2008 by confesteem

Being a hijabi for over fifteen years now, I have observed and tried many different hijab styles…but it wasn’t until my recent visit to Turkey, that my attention was drawn more closely to the camel head hijab trend, AKA the cone head hijab.

I’ve heard of this bizarre style as being a common fad amongst girls from the gulf regions, but it didn’t take too long for it to somehow seep its way into Turkey…and now into Melbourne! Initially, I figured that perhaps the hump meant that some girls just had a mass of gorgeous hair wrapped up there; but apparently it’s rarely the case.

I can understand the reason and the benefit behind how the gulf girls have grown this massive hump. I was told it sometimes contains an inflated airbag and often a reservoir of stored water, which helps them adapt to the extreme weather conditions, while also protecting their brain cells from melting away under the brutal gulf sun. Like really, the camel head title does make some sense to me here.

So then what’s up inside the turkish humps?

One time I asked a friend about the above question and she told me that the hump had some great uses for her. She was able to put under it her spare change, lays, tights and one photo of herself, along with other important accessories that sometimes just didn’t fit into her handbag. Ajeeb?

However, upon contemplating on this question further, I began to believe that the hump may actually represent  a secret symbol that says these girls are “single and available.” Or it could just be that some girls want to feel like a princess for once, like every girl does! You know, like those princesses in some fairytales, wearing the cone headgear attached to bits of silk material that drapes down onto their ball gowns…

…Or maybe not quite.

Looking back…

Posted in Events with tags on October 2, 2008 by covertly

I’d have to say this year’s Ramadan was probably one of the best I’ve had, alhamdulillah. The taraweehs had to be the highlight. Especially my last taraweeh; the imam had an amazing recitation mashaAllah, and knowing that this was the final performance of this amazing sunnah prayer for the year (if not forever) made the prayer especially emotional.

I like to think of Ramadan, in a way, as a project. I set goals for myself and try to achieve them, and to continue to do so post-Ramadan. Although I didn’t achieve everything I wanted to, I did manage to achieve much, alhamdulillah. But it feels like the sun has set, and won’t rise again until next Ramadan.

I can only hope that my intentions were sincere, and that Allah has accepted my worship. My wish is that I have left Ramadan behind not only with a broken heart, but with a clean slate.

“And tell the believing women”

Posted in Hijab with tags , on October 1, 2008 by scheharazade

 “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed” The Holy Quran (Al Noor:31)

Only 2 days post Ramadan, it still takes a second or two for me to register that I can now rejoice in a morning cup of tea.  As I make my way to the kitchen I can hear the TV unit blaring the familiar sound of Mehmet Ali Birand, a Turkish anchor man for one of the national TV channels of Turkey. Taking a bite out of some of the bogrek left over from the first day of Eid, my ears perk up as I  hear the hijab ban is making the latest headlines once again.

 I turn my attention to the stove which is conveniently hosting freshly brewed tea.  As I pour my tea; first the brew from the kettle and then the boiling water from the pot (Alaturko style) my mind begins to wonder to a quote I read a few years ago in TIMES magazine.  They had a spread on the various and often conflicting lifestyles of modern day Turkey. The first page had images of Istanbul’s night life scene only to be followed by an interview performed with a Turkish Muslimah who chose to wear the prescribed attire of a Muslim female, aka Hijab. I don’t remember much of the details of the article except one sentence that stood out amongst all the other words she had quoted when probed on the difficulties she faces on wearing the Hijab. She replied “A meter long material I choose to wear on my head has become such a crisis for them but are they heedless in rememberance that they will be shrouded in seven times this length and be returned to their Lord to answer the oppression committed against us”.


Many see the Hijab issue as one of huge polarity given that Turkey is home to approximately 70 million Muslims. However there are many underlying pressures which prohibit the pro Islamic party AKP from reversing the Hijab ban.

Earlier this year while I was in Medina in the Prophet (pbuh) mosque waiting for the muazins call to prayer the sister next to me began speaking to me in Arabic, I responded with my onlyarticulate Arabic sentence “ La Atta-Kalam al-laghah arbiah” which in my own thoughts translates to a dismal “No I am unfortunately unable to speak this eloquent language of Arabic which I desperately want to learn”. Knowing what the next question would be by intuition I told her “ana Turki”. What she did next was something I experienced more than once during my Umrah. She pointed to my Hijab and asked me why? Her dark eyes were inquisitive and her smile slowly faded in the midst of her face acquiring a complexion of huzn (sorrow). Her hand had moved from my Hijab on to my cheek and she repeated her question “why?”. Confidently  she assumed since I have Turkish heritage I will be able to answer her question and make it clear once and for all why the Hijab which was welcomed in every Muslim country pre-eminently  Saudi Arabia was an issue in an akin Muslim country such as Turkey? Why was it a cause of such controversy and hardship?


The language barrier only allowed me one answer and that was to request her to make dua, which she whole heartedly did as she raised her hands towards the sky and begged of our Lord who is As- Samir to allow happiness to come after sorrow for her Turkish sisters she so deeply emphasised for.


Ameen I responded in the universal language of dua while the takbeer of the Azan began to be recited for all of Medina to respond. Ameen the sister replied as I remembered the promise of Rasullulah who assures us the dua of the oppressed is unfailingly answered.





I’m not sexist…I mean racist!

Posted in Ala Turka with tags , on October 1, 2008 by confesteem

Parents always want the best for their children; and I’m sure most of us know from experience that there is always wisdom and a good reason behind something they dislike or disprove of.  

Or maybe not always?

It has become increasingly apparent to me that sometimes parents come up with the most witty and wacky reasons, of very contentious nature, when the topic of marriage is popped up, especially when the prospective spouse talked about is an 3arab!

Take for example my father, who gets flustered at the thought of his daughter marrying an ajnabi(stranger). An ajnami means he could very well be a wahabi, AKA ‘sapik’ by dad,who wipes over his socks during wudhu, forgets to fold away his prayer mat after his salah and eventually tricks us into having the best walima in our very own garrage! 

My mother on the other hand thinks she’s all cool with the idea, though she sometimes has trouble differentiating between the words sexist and racist, in the midst of her excitement about me getting married, she is always able to respond with “I’m not sexist…I mean racist!” so long as he can neatly align his shoes with the rest of ours outside the front door, before entering the house.