Hijab

I have had some unpleasant experiences and not wearing a hijab has played a part in those experiences. From where I was brought up, wearing a hijab was not a priority or rather, I was told that wearing one is compulsory after completing haj (which I haven’t and only see myself doing so way later when I am older). However, as I grow up, I see others my age wearing one and eventually learnt that wearing one is actually deemed mandatory.

So I made an effort to mix around with those who don the hijab to understand things from their perspective (since I was brought up with similar but maybe slightly different teachings). However, during those times that I try, I felt less than welcomed.

It seems that not wearing a hijab has some certain negative connotations like being less pious, less understanding of Islam etc. so I end up having to prove myself a lot more that I do have basic Islamic knowledge and that we share the same practices (fasting, praying, etc.). Though.. I am equally guilty of such a bias, seeing them as lack of understanding of current affairs of the world (since they are very heavily focused on the after life), closed-minded (follow ‘popular’ practices of the Prophet but unable to apply the same principle across other similar situations) for instance.

Such biases divide us when we should instead be sisters of the same faith. In general, from a religion perspective, wearing a hijab has positive connotations while not wearing hijab brings with it negative connotations yet I don’t see reason for this. This suggests a superiority for those wearing a hijab over those who do not. Clearly my experiences do not support this. Some people of a different faith have better character.

So is the hijab just form over substance?  I would like to believe not but here’s my investigation and finding reason on this issue.

What does the Hijab represent?

Modesty. Basically everything you do should transmit to the opposite gender than does not call for the wrong attention.

From the article,

This includes “lowering our gazes” and respect other men or women by not eying them from head to toe (i.e. checking them out) – yet Malay men still catcall and Indian Muslim men still give uncomfortable stares.

Similarly, the physical Hijab establishes healthy distances of physical contact (not even a handshake with the opposite gender!). – handshakes are important gestures in the business industry so i guess this means muslim women are never to be seen in this industry?

Lastly, this modesty must also be manifested in the way we dress. – but baju kurung or rather, current fashion hugs the body in a certain way that I would not call modest.

Why wear one?

To Please Allah

Quoted from the article :

“After telling Muslim men to lower their gazes, the Holy Qur’an reminds women: “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that they should not display their beauty and ornaments, except what (ordinarily) appear thereof.” (24:31) In line with this Qur’anic verse, we do not display our beauty simply because it is the command of our Lord!”

  • ‘what ordinarily appears to be’ is defined as the face and hands though isn’t it arguable that the hair is what ordinarily appears to be too?
  • Nevertheless, it is a commanment and hence, Muslim women are to submit themselves to his will.

Prevent Female Exploitation & a source of protection

Quoted from the article :

“But what Muslim women realize is that our beauty is sacred and certainly not for any random man to gawk at for pleasure.”

“Regardless of where the blame lies, there is only one way by which a woman can guard herself against such evils, and that is why Hijabi women conceal their beauty in public as much as possible.”

  • Ok so beauty is dedicated to a religious purpose and furthermore, protects one from the potentiality of sexual harassment. I respect that.
  • However, even when covered, some Muslim men still “checks you out” and this renders the very idea of donning the hijab moot
  • Given recent happennings of ISIS (which inflicts terror on others in the name of Islam), there are some violent assaults of women with hijab

Preserving Beauty for that one partner

“Often labeled as “jealousy” by so-called Western “relationship experts”, this kind of respect and preserving oneself solely for one’s partner is actually the key to lifelong marital happiness and success.”

  • hijab fashion do become the main mode of conversation (at least among those I tried to mix around with) and made me question whether it is actually a fashion statement that attracts attention rather than removing, hence, contradicting its original purpose.
  • Other than preserving oneself, there are various other factors that contribute to a successful marriage. I have seen marriages of some Muslim women who wear the hijab struggling.
  • Is it erroneous to think of a marriage and define it solely by satisfying the other party in the beauty deparment?
  • Wouldn’t you rather learn to deal with any forms of jealousy rather than avoid it?

Judged for worth and not appearance

“A woman who observes the Hijab is freeing herself of society’s immoral and disrespectful expectations of her. A female who conceals her beauty has granted herself the power to say to the world “You know what? Everything about me besides my beauty should matter to you.””

  • not sure how my hair represents beauty even when i am modestly dressed.
  • I’m sure the society (which also consists of women) does not have immoral or disrespectful expectations just maybe more in industries where beauty is important (eg. modeling, entertainment) and furthermore, no one is forcing you to submit to their expectations. Even a non-hijab can refuse accepting such expectations.

So I have questions for most other points except for one where it is to submit oneself to God’s commandments. The articles are an eye opener but imma give myself some time to ponder over these questions..

References :

Why Wear the Hijab?

Women > Veiling > What is the Hijab and Why do Women Wear it?

Focuses more on commandment of the Quran – http://www.muhajabah.com/whyhijab.htm

Focuses more on the history – https://www.al-islam.org/hijab-muslim-womens-dress-islamic-or-cultural-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi/why-hijab

 

 

Understanding Brexit

What is it?

Britain’s referendum on whether to leave the EU.

Why?

Main issue is immigration. Europe has been the main driver of a surge in immigration into Britain over the past decade.

These immigrants mostly come from other countries (mostly post-Communist countries in central and eastern Europe) relatively poorer than the UK) which have gained accession into the EU. They seek more prosperous conditions to live in and eventually settled on Britain. Poland is the 2nd-largest source of immigrants to the UK, behind India. It is these ‘accession’ countries that were a major driver of European immigration to Britain in the past decade.

A related issue is the subsequent eurozone crisis which impoverished some historically wealthier countries like Spain, Italy and Portugal. As unemployment increases in these countries, they start to look to other EU nations for employment and the British labour market was relatively easy to break into.

The influx of immigrants sparked anti-immigrant sentiment with a majority of Brits believing that immigration levels should be reduced. This argument is dominating the case for Brexit.

Which politicians are on which side?

Remain

Conservative PM, David Cameron

Leave

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Nigel Farage (focused excessively on threat from immigrants)

Conservative former mayor of London, Boris Johnson

>Believe that Britain can’t reduce immigration without leaving the EU, pushing Brexit to one of their top priorities.

Current poll status?

Remain has a majority by a very small margin. Hence, to close to call. Polls may not reflect actual results.

Implications if Brexit occurs?

It could trigger a currency crisis due to impact on Britain’s economy. It is estimated that value of British Pound could fall by 15% and since British companies tend to price their exports in foreign currency, that would mean more expensive exports and therefore, dampening exports. This results in a trade deficit. To finance this deficit, foreign investors would be required to pour billions into the British economy

People of Gibraltar (2.5 sq mile peninsula at tip of Spain) that has been under British control for >300 years. Spain really wants this territory back but its people (who are British citizens who hold British passports) were adamant that they remain under the control of the Brits and not be a part of Spain (not even a shared sovereignty). Gibraltarians are likely to vote remain due to the economic prosperity being part of the EU has brought to them. If Brexit occurs, Gibraltar would also be out of the EU. Gibraltar would not be able to reapply to join the EU since it is not recognized as a sovereign state. Also, Spain may then try to reassert its claim on Gibraltar or tighten border crossing restrictions/ close the border altogether.

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/23/12012962/brexit-eu-referendum-time-polls-close-chart

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/eu-referendum-2016-poll-results-7699714

Here’s the Brexit Worst Case Scenario

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/23/12005364/brexit-vote-gibraltar-britain-spain

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/23/12005814/brexit-eu-referendum-immigrants

Am I rude?

Hi,

This shall be my designated venting of frustrations diary (instead of this being a channel for discussing foreign affairs and expressing my views and engaging in critical thinking where my home environment lacks.. A lot). I am making it official right now. Pop the champagne! or rather, orange juice!

Accused with being rude followed by a hard slap on my face

So apparently, only just now, i was accused for being rude because of the tone of my voice and after a few exchanges of words or expletives i somehow got slapped in the face. I find this unreasonable and violence should never be a solution to a conflict (not never just that there are definitely better ways to reach the same end without violence as the means.. like how US should never have gone into Iraq) We’ll leave that till another day. Right now, let’s look at what happened.

A: I bought something.. Subway
Me: Really? For me?
*Goes to fridge to see it*
Me: One whole meal?
B: Just take and stop asking la
Me: *Continues on asking*
A: *Continues on answering*

Quietly in a separate conversation,

Me: What’s B’s problem?
A: Don’t know.. (smiling while watching tv)

B: *talks about eating maggi*
A: *commenting about putting a lot of chilli in the maggi*
Me: Just eat and stop asking la

B: What is your problem *storms into my room and pulled my hair*
Me: WHY?!
B: You very rude you know yada yada yada
Me: yada yada yada
B: *slaps me in the face*
Me: WHY! (To A) Are you gonna let her do that? Is it right to just slap and somehow I will change?
B: *walks out*
Me: Are you that incapable of explaining yourself and your actions?
B: See la
A: Please.. People can hear.. Just don’t…
Me: No, this will keep happening until we solve the root cause of the issue
A: *explains about my tone of voice being too harsh and stuff*

2 issues. First, I wasn’t being respected when she just raised her voice,telling me to just stop asking and just take. I will not be silenced and will speak when I want to speak. I have lived most of my life being oppressed and to do/ not to do whatever other ‘authority’ figures say. I have gone a long way learning that my views deserve to be respected as with any other individuals so I will say what I think and I expect my opinion to be respected. Meaning, you can disagree and both of us agree to disagree. Second, respect has to be mutual and earned. When she disrespected me, I merely gave her what she gave to me. I know it’s unnecessary but if she’s mature enough to know that I did that just to spite her, she would back down and clearly she didn’t. So yea, I’m living with immature adults.

Positive Youth Development

So as part of the Youth Mentor Programme that I signed up for, I learnt about the Positive Youth Development Framework which is definitely an eye opener (more specifically, how deficient I am of the form of nurturing that allow me to discover my potential). Then I made a silent promise to myself that I must be a better bigger sister than B for my dear mentees.

Signing off,
*Got over it cos it is not worth my energy on something immature*

 

Channel to vent some frustrations

Hi,

Here writing because I need to release some frustrations, about how some people can be annoying.

Judging people and extrapolating their abilities just from one single incident

Sounds like a primitive point, but often practised especially in particular cultures. I don’t know why or how such a mindset can still go on and continue even in a more educated world like the present itself.

It is definitely wrong to judge someone just based on one particular action that the person takes. Hell, no one is ever in a position to judge another being without fully understanding the person’s circumstances. We can only accept and advise. The rest is up to the person.

I was a victim of being judged and of course it sucked. But what was more disappointing was the fact that I did not stand up and defend my actions and defend myself against her “accusations” of my abilities.

Oh please tell me where I can learn to defend and protect myself from all these situations of “jumping to conclusions”, creating false stories just to make sense of the situation….

Importance of support when you’re bashed by someone important (making you feel like you’re bashed by the world)

So when one is apparently incapable of defending oneself, the next best mechanism is for someone else to step in to neutralize this accusation.

Turns out, i didn’t had that, when someone is indeed right there…

It is not right to expect things from others (trust me, it never feels good when you expect things from others. Most often leads to disappointment and at the worst, you start to lose faith in humanity. I don’t wanna go there again. Also because I have seen the best versions of people and I’d like to believe that is better way to see people). However, she was in a good position to neutralize this accusation but did not.

How do we deal with these people who are ignorant of what is happening around them and their role in such a situation above?

Feels good to write it out

Signing off,
“Looking for enlightenment”

Detox Day #8

Hi,

This has to be fattest day ever. Ate 2 full meals which are so freaking good I don’t know if I do not regret it for it has been a long time since my family had a hearty meal or if I should regret it for killing my stomach maintenance protocol.

BF: 1/2 pandan cake. Before going for ice skating. It wasn’t as pleasant as at Kallang probably cos of the little children skating around with their usual reckless behaviour. >< They are just very agile and quick such that it could be difficult to maneuvre oneself around them.

L: 1/4 scallop spag, 1/4 white fish w baked rice and 4 chips at Manhattan, 3 cut carrots and 2 broccoli too. Hmm doesn’t sound that bad.. I felt bad after that upon knowing that the family was gonna have dinner out later on so I said no to ice cream! 🙂

D: Here it goes… Mediterranean Pollock – 2 fish baked in mediterranean salsa with salted pumpkin and mashed potato. Salted pumpkin really packs a punch. Delicious but too much flavour for my tastebuds. Fish was awesome. Mashed potato awesome too! Had the chocolate exxxtasy and drank like 1/8 of it – another one that packs a punch.. I call it “Diabetes 101”. Had some of the choc layered mousse cake and red velvet fusion. Very very decadent. I still prefer light.  But the thing about this meal was that I didn’t regret any single bit. Each dish is like a new experience. Fish & Co. you did it again!

Hmm, I’m thinking that I should change the way I deal with food. Previously, as with my family members, we usually eat little like way little like rationing our food everyday unless we go out and eat which is when we splurge. More like pamper ourselves on those occasions. This seems like a good virtue to live by but whether it is healthy or not is another issue too. Eating very little everyday allows for a sedentary lifestyle while maintaining a gd weight but we all know a sedentary lifestyle is a nono healthy aging. Well, at least for me, I’ll do both. Eat little and do jogging 1x a week and yoga on alternate days.

Signing off,

Detox Day #7

Good morning!

Had a 45 min slow jog this morning upon waking up. It felt great right after, felt a momentum picking up – like “what’s next”.

BF: 1 milo drink, 1 raisin bun – didn’t feel like eating anything right after running so I decided to just skip this and eat lunch later.. Couldn’t wait for an official lunch so had a raisin bun for brunch.

L: Rice with spinach and sambal goreng, snacks, 1 tea with milk – portion is legit, small.. with veggie being the larger portion. Mini kudos. Had some snacks afterwards and my teh..

D: 1/2 cuppa blueberry cereal w flaxseed – this was at 6pm. I couldn’t wait! Sis wants to order…. I wanted to say no but I could not deal with her complaints after so I opted for a cheap option of baked beefballs. Cos I crave for something savoury. Good or bad? Had 6 baked beefballs and some of those snacks..

Layoff the snacks b**** – is what I should tell myself.

I should also chant to myself “Less is more”. Indeed gosh.. It’s as if I deserve all this stuffing when I don’t

Signing off,

 

Detox Day #6

Hi,

Woke up early to get to the dentists’ and found tt I have a cavity. 😦 gonna fill it up in 6 months (decided to take up the challenge to maintain size by brushing more holistically – it is just hard to get more coverage for the last tooth)

BF: 3/4 cup of blueberry w flaxseed cereal – Was a quick one since I don’t wanna be late for the dental apptmt and wanna get out asap.

L: 3/4 cup of blueberry w flaxseed cereal with some spinach, 1 orange choc Milano biscuit, some snacks from the bottle of crackers, 1 muffin, more snacks – I had late lunch at 1pm and ate the last 2 at 4pm. I knew I didn’t need but I was bored… Emotional eating I see.. I guess the books are just not as interesting.

D: Planning not to eat since I binged over lunch.. Or maybe have some fibre.

I should not have too much food at home. But on the second thought, I should to exercise greater willpower to abstain from them when I don’t need them but for training my mind to realize that it is not food that I need. Still figuring out how I can deal with this……. articles articles articles.

43.2

Signing off,

Detox Day #5

Helloo,

Woke up very early only to be persuaded to go Johor for breakfast and such…

BF: 1 roti canai, 1 teh susu. Typical size of my meal im those fit days.

L: 4 thin cut banana fritters, 2 keropok lekor, 1 muffin, some snacks frm the bottle. This was an improper lunch but we missed the proper lunchtime so…

D: Proper meal consisting rice, sambal goreng, bayam and belacan. Very satisfied w the mix – fibre, protein, carbo. Oh had some snacks after and 2 orange choc milano cookies 😦 I just had to try it. Gonna go bathe myself in guilt tmr…

I think to further boost my incentive, i will post my weight here at the end of every day. Overall, cld exercise better self restraint. Onward Z and Happy New Year! 🙂

Signing off,

Detox Day #4

Hi,

First of all, Happy New Year’s Eve! And typically, to take advantage of the half day off we had a family dinner but of course before blabbing what I had for dinner, here are the usuals-

BF: Double cheese sandwich. Spinach in between ’em cheese. Yumm. Find this the perfect combi ever since Mount Elephant Pancakes as Tassie. It’s like love at first taste between Spinach and I. Parfait. Ok other than that, I am very sure I snacked some crackers.. hmm.

L: Half a burger. This is a leftover of Dad’s. Wendy’s is indeed different frm other fast food outlets. Firstly, it smells different. There is this fragrance from the bread that immediately makes one know tt it is Wendy’s. 2ndly, grilled and not fried so the patty is a lil healthier? Well i don’t taste the carbon tt other burger patties usually have. 3rdly, keeping in mind the first 2 points makes you more assured of a better fast food choice (though we know fast food is still fast food) oh wow long story short, been forever since I ate a burger so this one may be said to have blown my mind. Got the bang for the buck!

D: Half Mapo Ramen, 2 salmon mayo sushi. Mapo Ramen tastes like tt all the time so I have no comments on tt. Salmon mayo’s presentation cld be improved.. Other than tt, despite the small dinner, it wss v fulfilling. Idk if it’s the effect of sharing or having more people ard you when you eat tt makes you more conscious of what goes into your mouth. Bit of both i guess..

Overall, disappointed w BF because i know i put in tt much effort because it felt like i deserved it from refrainig myself from eating anything from 10pm omwards (another rule placed by myself. Glad to have followed it through till now) Lunch was not balanced. Note to self: force oneself to eat tt 1 serving of veggie. Dinner was perfect.

Based on my findings, some additions or changes to be imposed… Again, no desserts. Be contented after main course. Walk away from the snack bottle. Choice of food is impt since I won’t be running for a while. Choose wisely becos my decisions will impact the future..

Detox Day #3

So.. Imma get straight to the point for this.

BF: 1/2 cheesecake, 1/2 pita bread, green tea latte — Not sure about the calories but it’s satisfying. Not too full and just nice.

L: Kimchi Dumpling Ramen, small popcorn — was relatively ok w this. I did not finish the dish which was what I usually did before uni.. Hmm that was supposedly the size of the stomach that I should get for this petite size. So yeap, satisfied with this!

D: Snacked a lot of those small prawn crackers, 1 lopez — planning to eat the lopez.

Seemed little but the BF packs quite a lot of calories given that the latte was from Starbucks (’em sugary drinks). I mean.. After the coffee at Aussie, I’m sorry to say that Starbucks is secondary to tt. Overall…. Could do better in terms of healthy food but good where I did not overeat and consume more than I needed. However, to remind myself not to snack regardless.

Signing off,