Allah · Life · Love · Motherhood · Plants · PregnancyProject

My Pregnancy Project: Into the World of His Mercy

There seems to be so much negativity going on in the world and it is constantly being shared in the media. This made me realize the importance of keeping positive for my health, and the health of our baby growing inside me. I should not find myself feeling as if I am bringing a baby into a violent world, because there is so much beauty that can overcome the violence.

When I found out about our little, big, gift I decided I would write a journal as some mothers do. Some notes on my feelings of excitement and cute stories that the baby could read one day. Who was I kidding? I am quite terrible at keeping a consistent journal, and right now I don’t have much to write about because the baby is still so tiny. So, I thought of a new idea, one that I hope I can keep up with better than I would a journal:

I plan to create a scrapbook, including pictures of things that are special to me in this world. Beautiful things about the world that bury the ugly things. Things that I can’t wait to teach my child about. While this plan is mostly for the baby, it is also for myself. To focus on seeking out the beautiful mercy that God has blessed us with. I will share my project online, so that others can see a little positivity rather than negativity, and maybe even join in on the project!

Here is my first:

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My little baby,

 You are as small as this plant. Like the plant, you started out as a small seed that Allah blessed with strength to grow. One day, inshaAllah (God willing), you will be even bigger and stronger. Even though you will be big and strong, always remember to stop to notice small plants like this one. Stop to notice the big ones too. Plants are beautiful in their own special ways, just like people are. You are special to me, and I can’t wait to stop an notice the plants with you.

Allah · Death · God · Hope · Islam · Life · Love · Travel

The Most Outstanding Year of My Entire Life


A new year is upon us, and everyone is talking about their experiences throughout 2015. I figured I might as well do the same because, for me, this year was by far THE most outstanding year of my entire life.

I will start from the beginning. At the end of 2014, in December, my Husband and I took a chance in our lives. We finished the semester of school, quit our jobs, and left the Country. We traveled for nearly three months and let me tell ya, it felt SO good! I will be forever grateful that Allah blessed us with the opportunity of a lifetime to travel for so long at once and to so many places.

We started out in London then went to Birmingham, took a train to visit friends in Burton on Trent for a day, took a bus to Norwich (my FAVORITE in England) for two days, returned to Birmingham for about a week, then flew to Spain (my FAVORITE in the world, from what I have seen so far) where we stayed in the north for a week, took a 9 hour bus south to Granada where we stayed for about a week, returned to a village in the north called Murillo for three weeks, flew to Italy spending a week there, then flew back to our original destination Birmingham, took a bus for a day to Manchester, another day trip to London, then back to Birmingham for the rest of our visit.

We returned home feeling refreshed. I am so thankful that I kept a journal while we were out and about, because I learned an incredible amount about life, myself, and my Husband/our relationship. It was such an amazing experience. The places were beautiful in their own ways, and one of my favorite parts are the beautiful people that we were blessed to spend time with. This new year, I plan to begin a post series about my traveling experiences and the people that we spent time with so please do keep an eye open for that!

Gratefully, our traveling didn’t end there! In June, we visited Thailand which is where my Husband’s Father is from. It was another amazing experience, one I didn’t ever expect. I remember being very nervous about the food there, to the point that I nearly refused going on the trip. I was terrified of what I would have to taste. Little did I know, Thai food is probably THE BEST food ever! I enjoyed it so much, and miss it very often.

Before this trip came around, the most horrifying thing happened to our family. This was by far, the most traumatizing thing about 2015. In April, my Brother In-Law went to an apartment complex to deliver pizza and was murdered. Nothing could have prepared us for that type of news, eight months later it still hurts. Although this was such a heart breaking event in our lives, it turned out to be a reality check. It taught me so very much about my life, and it was a moment for me to realize that without my faith in Allah I would be a complete mess. I would be forever ruined, and I would have lost myself. I would have fallen entirely hopeless in life.

Here I will take a moment to admire death. It will happen to all of us, and that must be something we take seriously. It can happen anytime and in so many different ways. Before the murder, I dealt with the reality of death after a co-worker committed suicide. This was a different type of death that I never dealt with before. It created so many questions in my mind and so many different feelings that I didn’t know how to deal with. I was sad, and angry. I admired the person so much, and still respect them till today. With so many questions unanswered, I just try my best to remember their smile and keep hopeful.

Hope. That is one of the biggest lessons that I learned this year. After my Brother In-Law passed away, I realized what hope really is about. Never before did I pay hopefulness any respect or even realize how important it is. This topic is a whole post itself, so I will save it for another day. The point is, hope is so important in times of difficulty and in times of ease. The death helped me learn about hopefulness in times of difficulty, and soon after I learned about hopefulness in times of ease.

Growing up, just like most girls, my dream was to get married to a handsome man who would treat me like a princess. When I turned 18 my dream came true, all thanks due to God! Shortly after that, I realized that my dream didn’t end there. My dream was actually much more extensive than I thought. I wanted to have a baby that would be ours, a child that my Husband and I would be responsible for, one that I could spend my life mothering. Those were the important goals in my life along with the most important thing, being the best worshiper of Allah that I could be.

Here I am, two years after our simple picnic wedding, with the sweetest news. The blessing of a little one growing inside my body. A new sense of hope. I prayed and prayed and depended on the hope that I placed in Allah. Now, I thank Him. He is truly the only reason why something so amazing could happen.

“Recite in the name of your Lord who created. Created man from a clinging substance.”

-Quran: Surah Al Alaq, 96:1-2

That is about it! Here I am, at the end of 2015. Happy to be alive, and happy to have learned all that I learned this year. Alhamdulilah (praise be to God)! I look forward to 2016, and pray that we are blessed with many more meaningful years to come; amin!

Feminism · Muslimah · Women

You Independent Woman🚺


I came across this picture, and felt so confused. If we are raised to hustle like men and to never depend on men, when do we get the opportunity to be women?

Feminism is a very interesting thing to me. It is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” As a woman I agree completely with the rights of women and the respect that women deserve, however I often find myself in disagreement with the “equality to men” aspect. Some might understand that as if I think that women should not have the same rights, such as voting, as men. That would be incorrect, as I strongly believe that women should be allowed to do what they will.

My disagreement comes in at the point where a woman finds herself competing with a man who wants to care for her. Entirely disregarding the ability that the man has to provide for her, because she has always been taught to be independent. My questions is; where is the line drawn? When are women allowed to be the compassionate, caring, beings that we were created to be? When are women allowed to be independent, yet allow themselves to be cared for?

I find that our society supports women to not only financially provide for themselves, but to reject any offer they receive of a man providing for them. It is nearly a shame for a woman to be a housewife or a stay-at-home mother because society makes her feel as if she is nothing, simply because she takes care of her home.

So much in our human development comes from our experience at home and women have great power in being able to chose what the environment of their homes will be like for their husband and children. This is such a beautiful responsibility that has the ability to empower and strengthen women, if we allow it to. If we do not strip ourselves of our rights, to be the compassionate and caring beings we naturally are.

Independence is another beautiful ability, but I believe that it should be embraced carefully. I am proud of the women who have gone through situations in their lives where they had to step up and provide for their families. They are so strong. Also, I understand that in this economy it is difficult for a family to get by without both parents working. These situations are not ones that I am including in my opinion. I am simply standing up for women who chose to stay at home, and for the women who feel they must work because of the pressure they receive from society.

We have been taught to think that our independence is all that we have, and that we must always guard it. Therefore, we have created shields again men who try to give us our right to stay home. As if they are our enemies. Someone trying to hold us back from being amazing. This is what we are taught and this is why we find ourselves unhappy at the thought of staying home. But it’s okay, it is okay to be the one who cares for the home. “Home is where the heart is” and we women have the ability to be the representation of the home. This is an outstanding job, one that I wish society gave more credit to.

Allah · Education · Islam

GUEST POST: Balancing Islam and College Life

I’ve been so blessed with a beautiful cousin who is amazing at writing. This is a post by her. Enjoy!

Let me start off by saying that the intention for every action we do must be totally for Allah’s sake so if we look at our daily lives from eating, to learning we can get blessings in just performing what we see as typical mundane tasks. There’s duaa’s for sleeping, teaching, eating-(even a specific duaa just for milk-“Oh Allah bless it and give me more of it”) and countless other actions. However; one of the most important actions and what I will be focusing on is learning.

“O my Rabb-(Lord)! Increase me in knowledge.”-(20:114)

Ameen! May Allah always increase us with beneficial knowledge. One way I incorporate Islam with my college life is by Duaa. I swear to God there are miracles in this world. Dreams really do come true and miracles are real. I have seen them with my very own eyes countless times. One duaa I read constantly is the duaa for when something is becoming difficult for you;

“O Allah, there is no ease except that which You make easy. If You please You ease sorrow.

This duaa saved me from failing Math. I swear I got D’s and F’s on every one of my math exams-(except the first exam I got a C) but after reading this duaa, and attending all classes, and finishing all my homework with 100’s I managed to pass the class with a C. Now if I was able to pass Math of all subjects with a C-even though I basically failed all the exams-if that is not a miracle then I don’t know what is!

Also, just this past semester I was getting a D in Earth Science but after reading this duaa and meeting with my professor during his office hours for help every Tuesday and Thursday Alhamdulilah I brought my grade up from a 68% to an 82%.

Alhamdulilah I am blessed with going to a school in which a majority of the population is Muslim. Just this past semester alone, 4 out of my 5 classes Literature, Art, Science, and Sociology had at least one other Muslim in it. I never realized it but there is such a beautiful feeling of support among the Muslim students. One example is when I was at the bus stop sitting alone on the bench when a student passed by and nodding his head-gave me salam. At first I was surprised but then I felt happy because somehow Islam makes you connected to perfect strangers in that a random person can pass you by and wish peace and blessings upon you. Islam truly is a beautiful religion. The connection it draws between people is phenomenal. In my Freshman year I was still new to the NEIU campus and therefore was still figuring my way around the different buildings so I always ended up praying on the lawn behind a tree near the entrance to the campus. So on September 4th, 2014-(only reason how I remember that is because I started a journal of everything I do in College) I had just finished praying Dhur in my usual spot-behind a tree-a small area with a prairie-looking field on one side and flowers on the other when I see someone standing on the sidewalk across from me. . .

“Were you praying?” he asked

“Yup. . .” I said wondering what was wrong

“You know they have a masjid on campus right?” he asked

“No, Really?”

“Yeah, you’re a Freshman right?” he inquired

“Yup” I said

“Yeah me too. I’ll show you the masjid. You can pray there Monday through Friday. You have class on Friday?”

“Yeah I do.”

“Good, I think they even have Juma’a, and there’s dividers so the women can pray in the back.”

“That’s great!” I said.

“What’s your name?”


“Oh mine is Muhammad.”

“Where are you from?”

“My mom’s Somalian & my Dad’s American.”

“Where’s your dad originally from?”

“Oh he’s a bunch of things, German, Polish, Irish, and Swedish and my Mom’s half Somalian and half Yemeni. Her dad’s Somalian and her mom’s from Yemen”

“Do you speak a language other than English. Do you speak Somali”

“No, I can understand it, but I can’t talk back.”

“Oh, that’s cool that your parents are different. I’ve never heard of an American marrying a Somalian.”

“Yeah, my dad first converted to Islam then he married my mom.”

“Oh did he convert because of your mom?”

“No, I’m sure he knew about Islam before he met my mother.”

“Oh that’s great mashallah.”


By this time we were at the Student Union building which apparently had the masjid.

“The masjid is upstairs.” he said

So upstairs we went and sure enough there was a small room hidden in the hallway and when I looked through I saw a man praying and behind him were dividers where I saw the corner of some lady’s hijab where she was making sujud.

“This is great!” I said. “I’ll definitely be coming here to pray from now on. In fact I was starting to get worried about where I’d pray during winter time!”

Literally, when I was praying I thought,

Uh Oh! What about when there’s snow on the ground? Where will I pray then?

And Subhanallah! Allah answered my question right after that thought crossed my mind!

“But I’ll definitely be coming here to pray inshallah. Thanks!” I said walking away.

“You’re welcome!” he responded.

And I swear from that day forward I have been praying in that prayer room ever since. Can you IMAGINE how many blessings Muhammad is getting for every prayer I pray in that room just because of the fact that he showed me the meditation room? That is the beauty of Islam-you can earn abundant rewards for the tiniest of actions.

So I manage to balance Islam with college life by taking the time out of my day to pray in the prayer room. Also, since I had classes on Friday of Freshman year I managed to attend Jummah salah as well. I never felt so spiritually connected to Allah and my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters than sitting in Jummah at 2pm every Friday listening to the Khutbah-(Lecture). The Imaam Mashallah was a Hafiz-he memorized the entire Quran and he would give the lecture and lead the prayer afterwards. I attended my very first Jummah at Northeastern on the 26th of September 2014 at 2:00pm. Some important notes I took from that lecture were;

-Muslims have a dynamic relationship with Allah

-It is a blessing to take the time out of our day to be closer to Allah and set aside time in worship and remembrance of Allah

-All Muslims gather together to fast and pray all at once. What other religion on the earth does that? Islam is a religion of unity-Allah says in the quran ,

“And I have not created Jinn nor mankind except to worship me.”

I love how Allah has blessed me with the ability to incorporate Islamic practices into my daily routine. I know some Muslim students are not as fortunate as I am. It really does just fill me with peace whenever I enter the prayer-room or MSA Meeting, to be surrounded by Muslims really boosts the imaan.

Alhamdulilah attending the MSA Meetings and Sister’s Halaqas have been a tremendous spiritual spark for the soul. The MSA used to meet every other Thursday of the month Freshman year but this past semester-(1st semester of Sophomore year) we’ve had 2 meetings so far, the last being an end of the semester MSA Fall Fest Potluck. As for the Sister’s Halaqa’s we met up every other Tuesday at 3pm-Activity Hour on Campus. Both the sister’s halaqas and MSA meetings were blessed with beneficial Islamic knowledge and we talked about how to manage balancing out Islam with the hectic life of college. Muhammad-(the same person who showed me to the prayer-room turned out to be the MSA Vice President) always brought up a hadeeth that went in line with the topic of that particular day. For the first MSA Meeting on October 13th from 3:30pm-4:10pm the Hadeeth was;

The Messenger said

“Be in this world as though you are a stranger or a wayfarer.”

Meaning-True success is something that is continuous. For example; if you teach a kid a surah, then every time they read it you get hasanat.

The last thing on my list of how I keep productive with Islam while I am in college is that  every Friday I read the translation of Surah Khaf while I listen to it being recited alhamdulilah. This helps with understanding the Surah like you would not believe. Allah loves the actions that are frequent and continuous even if they are small. To him, the fact that you focus always focus on at least one Islamic action every day is what’s important. The benefit of reading Surah Khaf on Friday is that Allah will send a light from one Friday to the next. And Allah knows how much I am in need of a bright shining light in my life. Especially in this dark and dangerous world.

O my Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer)! Bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; grant me honorable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations); make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss.” -(26:83-84).


My name is Shamsa Islam and I live in Chicago Illinois. I am 21 years old, a Sophomore at Northeastern Illinois University and am majoring in English and minoring in Psychology.

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Education · God · Hope · Love · Voice

The Sunday Paper📰

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Alhamdulilah, all thanks is due to Allah! We have had such a great opportunity to spread the peace that Islam represents in our little town in Wisconsin! Recently, my Dad and I were interviewed by the local news paper for an article concerning how we feel as Muslims towards terrorism and how we feel with all of the “Anti-Islam” hate going around, especially through the media. Here is a link to the article for anyone who may like to read! Also, please keep an eye out for recordings that I will post from our brand new radio show beginning this Saturday inshaAllah!


Art · Artist · Education · Simple

Why I’d rather be an Artist than have a degree. 🎨


In front of one of my largest paintings, a door.


I’m probably writing this slightly due to the frustration of finals but the story goes back to a few weeks ago when I was driving to school. Looking at the clouds in the sky I found myself wondering why it was that I was on my way to class and not somewhere else I would be enjoying much more. Why am I going to school? The obvious answer is because I am trying to earn a degree. A degree that will take years to accomplish through our school system. Not to mention it will also cost a fortune, add an XL amount of stress to my life, and reduce my availability to live life. I tell myself it will be worth it one day, as many college students do. Because then, I will qualify for a job that cost
ed me a fortune, a job that will add an XL amount of stress to my life and reduce my availability to live life.

What would happen if people went to school because they wanted to be properly trained to help people, or educate people, or to simply gain knowledge? If there was no earning involved -no degree, no large salary- would you still go to school? What would happen to our society, if this were the case? Here is my hypothesis:

People would be more generous, more independent, more easy going due to the massive stress reduction, more hands on, more simple, more hardworking, and they would live a much much much more meaningful life.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt tempted to lie about the “small” degree that I have chosen or the fact that I have chosen to complete a degree from a community college rather than from a University. The temptation to lie to them is there because they could be one of the many individuals who will lecture me for hours on how a community college looks low or how my chosen degree isn’t good enough because it isn’t a Doctor or an Engineer degree. While these are two admiring degrees that are held by amazing people, it is not my interest and I should not be looked down upon for not choosing one of the two.

Society looks down upon those whom are Artists or Writers, simply because they do not get paid as much as a doctor would. I should never be made felt that I am not good enough because of the degree that I chose, and neither should anyone else. Artists and Writers are just as amazing as Doctors and Engineers. The only difference is, who is happier? Here is my experience:

I was always told that being an artist would not pay the bills and that always seemed true, until I traveled to Spain and witnessed those whom paid their bills and lived off of the living that they earned from their paintings. This was so shocking to me, yet so beautiful. And here is the beautiful part; each of these people lived in homes that were just big enough for their simple needs. These homes were two of the most gorgeous homes that I have ever seen mostly because each aspect of the home was meaningful. They lived in these homes with their loved ones and raised their children in the same environment… At that point, I asked myself “could it be that all along, artists could live off their income as long as they lived simply and other people just understood it as if they were poor?”

Now, please understand that I am not being irresponsible. I understand that living a simple lifestyle can be
extremely challenging, and that living off of a higher earning can make life much easier. But I also understand that a high salary involves long days away from your family and away from life in general. Then, when you get paid your big wage you find yourself with no time to enjoy the money that you have worked so hard for. It’s just a endless circle in the treadmill of consumption which results in a unhappy life.

Recently I have began selling things that I sew or crochet, and paintings that I paint. Let me tell you, the feeling is outstanding! When I sold my first painting, I made sure to set the $20 aside for something special. I waited, remembering the hard work that the $20 came from. I ended up using the money to buy yarn to make a blanket for someone that I love. Forever when I see that blanket, I can know exactly where it came from and the hard work that it took to produce it. This gave me a sense of thankfulness that I haven’t found elsewhere. Seeing my hard work pay off while being independent and doing what I love, it made me grateful and gave me such a huge amount of appreciation for those who are self employed. I wish more people tried this, even just as an experiment. Maybe then, we can begin to learn the reality of life and what it has to offer us.

And, all of that, is why I’d rather be an Artist than earn a degree.

God · Hope · Love

Same Old Love ❤🎶

Music has become a huge part of society, even though the majority of mainstream music is complete rubbish these days. I remember how incredibly important my mp3 player was to me when I was younger. Full of the All American Rejects and Eminem. I had to have it playing, constantly. Maybe that’s another reason as to why I don’t find mainstream music as entertaining as I used to, I got too full of it?

Lately, I find myself simply enjoying the beat or mocking the lyrics. However, every once in awhile, a song that seems to be rubbish is actually saying something worth listening to. Like, Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love”…My gosh, such a catchy song that gets stuck in my head every time! At first, it sounds like another break up song, and that is pretty much what it is but if you look at it from a different perspective, it is an outstanding reminder. Take a peek at the chorus and see what you get out of it:

“I’m so sick of that same old love, that ****, it tears me up
I’m so sick of that same old love, my body’s had enough
Oh, that same old love
I’m so sick of that same old love, feels like I’ve blown apart
I’m so sick of that same old love, the kind that breaks your heart
Oh, that same old love.”

So yeah. She obviously sick of that same old love and I don’t blame her, especially since it’s making her feel like she’s blown apart. Here is my perspective; this “love” that we experience, this “love” that we think is true, isn’t. That might sound harsh, but let me explain myself. If at any point and time the love that we have for things or in relationships makes us feel like our hearts are broken, we are loving wrong. I’m definitely not talking about a situation where (may God protect us) you love someone, and they have passed away, therefore you are saddened. That is a much more in depth topic. I am talking about the situations that we humans are dealing with on a regular basis, specifically if we are not married.

“Loving” someone to the point that when they have wronged you or have left your relationship, you find yourself feeling lost is actually very dangerous. Our love for others should be for the sake of God. Which means that through God, you love the individual. That means that God is always first, and always in the middle. If we love that way, Allah (God) will be in our hearts so that if you were ever hurt by the loss of someone or something you will never feel insanely lost or blown apart.

People are torn apart on a daily basis because of their relationships with others, or their relationships with things such as money. So many people commit suicide, because of wrong connection that we have with people and things. People and things should not have the ability to tear us apart. The solution is, to be aware! Be aware of how we love, and always check to make sure that we love for the sake of Allah.

This is obviously such a difficult thing to do, but it is essential. We cannot go through our lives allowing ourselves to be thrown around by something that we think is love. It is beautiful to love, and love should feel beautiful! We should love each other, but we should always love God most.

May He, The Most Merciful, allow for us to stay in control of our love and our hearts. Amin! ❤