A couple of weeks ago, I got to hear about a blog called One Chinese
Muslimah. Needless to say, the title caught my attention and I couldn't wait to
get to know more about this sister =)I was fortunate enough to get to interview
her and here's her interesting story....Enjoy!
Little Auntie: First of all, let me just say, thank you very much for
agreeing to do this little interview....Let's get started! Just who is
"One Chinese Muslimah"?
Khadijah: Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barkahtu! You are very
welcome and I couldn’t be happier to be interviewed by you!! I pray you and
everyone who is reading this is in great health and a great state of imaan!
Well, my name is Khadijah and I am Chinese Canadian and originally from
Toronto. I went to Fashion school in Toronto, did some part-time modeling, and
then ended up becoming a personal trainer. I am a full-time housewife who loves
to cook and I am taking online Qur’an tafsir/tajweed course! I have no siblings
and I really want to learn how to bake! Oh and I do some pattern designing
(drawing) for fun! yayy!!
Little Auntie: Wow..from Personal trainer and model to Muslimah? How'd that happen and when did you add the word "Muslimah" to your identity?
Khadijah: Hmmm, well, I was very materialistic and was very into the
party scene back in Toronto. I was always VIP in the hottest parties and was
very social. I realized that this lifestyle was not what I wanted mainly
because of the people I was meeting and that there was more to life then fancy
clothes, makeup, and parties. At the end of the night, the makeup came off and
the loud music left a constant ringing in your ears and when the night is over,
you realize that it’s the same rountine over and over and it just gets boring
and almost becomes a chore to go out. I really turned my life around when I met
my husband! He was just someone who came to the gym where I trained at (there
are no gender segregated gyms in Toronto, well not that I knew of anyway!) and
what started out as a conversation about Saudi Arabia turned out to a full on
research about Islam! I began reading more about Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah
(she is the reason why I chose the name!) and I was evening listening to Qur’an
even though I didn’t understand anything but it really calmed my heart
everytime i listened to it! I am really not sure what the turning point was but
Allah had opened my heart and He had heard my cry for help all those years and
I took my shahada in March of 2011 and got married right after Alhamdulillah.
Little Auntie: Alhamdillah!! Just amazing. :)
Since you took your shahada in March of 2011, it's been a little over a
year. And somehow during that year, you
decided to wear the niqab, right? Tell us, what prompted that decision? And
what has your experience been with it?
Khadijah: I love the NIQAB!!!! It is just so beautiful and so precious.
I feel like a queen when I am in my niqab. It is really the true meaning of
beauty. It’s so modest and so mysterious! I went to a Islamic conference last
summer and I saw so many sisters wearing niqab and one sister really stuck out
to me. She looked so elegant and beautiful almost like a butterfly fluttering in
the sky and I was thinking to myself “ I want to wear that!” and it took me
some courage and the help of Allah and I started wearing it a few months ago
Alhamdulillah! I haven’t gotten any negative reactions, it is a great way of
dawah because some people are curious and want to know what I’m wearing.
However, it DOES draw a LOT of attention and I sometimes feel that it does the
exact opposite ( I mean instead of trying to “not be noticed” I am noticed ten
times more than I am when I wear hijab and abaya, and that’s already a lot!
Little Auntie: alhamdillah, you haven't gotten any negative attention. I can imagine that the attention
would be a little nerve wracking, but darling, don't worry about it defeating
it's purpose or anything, because it's a different kind of attention. It's not
like "OH, she's a HOTTIE", but like "Hmm, that's
strange"...And you know, the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam did
tell us that Islam began as something strange and would return to something
strange and to give glad tidings to the strangers. So that's actually a good
thing,that you're "standing out"/ "different" from those
But that said, besides the "attention", what do you think has
been the hardest point you have faced since becoming a Muslim? Did you ever
feel like giving up?
Khadijah: The hardest point thus far, would probably be I guess every
day. It is a true struggle for me daily to stay consistent with my imaan. Imaan
is like the waves of the ocean, some days there are high tides, other days
there are low tides. I struggle constantly to try to stay focused with my
studies or trying to always seek more knowledge. I used to be very lazy and
that’s a big thing I am trying to tackle now! But Alhamdulillah, with constant
duaa, Allah is the only one who can help me. There were times (when I had just
became Muslim), where I wanted to stop wearing hijab because I became so
frusturated and I wasn’t used to hiding my adornments (plus I was sweating so
much! ) but I kept reminding myself that I was doing it for Allah and nobody
else. Also, I lived in Toronto and it’s like a mini New York so many women are
very stylish there and very “free”, I really wanted to incorporate my fashion
with my hijab but I realized that would be far from being modest. IT was really
a struggle!!! But Alhamdulillah I have come a long way and I am learning that I
am to please my Creator and NOT the creation (well, except my husband) lol.
Little Auntie: I think you're so right. It can be such a struggle to not
turn the hijab from a sign of submission to Allah to a fashion accessory. What
you said is key: focusing on pleasing the Creator and not the creation,
But you're still very much wanting to "help" the creation,
aren't you? You started an initiative
called "Pious Muslim". What's that about?
Khadijah: Well, Pious Muslimah Initiative (PMI) is a non-profit
organization where we unite sisters all around the globe. We want to unite the
sisters through Islam and through doing sadaqah. MY sister in Mombasa, Kenya
(who is my bestie and also a revert!) had this idea she started out with and
she messaged me on my blog one day and asked me if I could be a part of it with
her. I agreed of course and we have been working on this project since last
year. Its very small and we don’t have many volunteers right now (only me and
her and one other sister) but inshaa’Allah we will grow. We are currently
working on a small orphanage called Al-Jazeera and it houses about 21 orphans
with 2-3 caretakers. These orphans are aged 7-13 and are in desperate need of
food and donations to support their housing bills and their Islamic school. We
have received a few donations from some donors but we have a long way to go.
The greatest thing about PMI is that every single penny goes directly to the
orphanage. I send the donations that I have collected from donors and send it
via Western Union to sis Amira in Kenya, and her and another sister directly go
and buy food and deliver to the little sisters. I really hope that we could get
some more help ! We are looking for more volunteers and more donations.
Inshaa’Allah we will be able to unite sisters form all around the world for the
sake of Allah.
Little Auntie: That sounds like such a good idea, ma'shaAllah! May Allah
give you baraka and success. Well, Khadijah, what would YOU like to tell the
sisters reading this?
Khadijah: Wow, this will be a long one! J Well, I would love to tell my
sisters in Islam that I am always happy and wanting to meet new sisters! Since
I became Muslim I wanted to make it a goal of mine to unite as many sisters as
I could globally. I have really wanted to work together to preserve the unity
and love of Islam (something that has been lost, sadly.) I really want to
continue to spread what our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) worked so hard to spread and preserve. I want
to tell all the sisters out there who are struggling with their deen and just
with every day life, you are not alone and you never are alone. You have Allah
swt and your sisters are all here for you no matter what you think!! I feel
that is is so important to have a strong support group of sisters who are all
striving for Jannah and who want to help each other make it there. I want to
also say that your companions are extremely important! Imaan is preserved
through gaining more knowledge, taqwa and having the right companions! Also, to
the young, old, new, born Muslims of today, fear Allah, fear Allah, fear Allah.
We get so caught up with this dunya we often forget what our purpose here on
earth is; and that is to worship, submit completely to Allah and Allah alone. I
really want to let all the sisters know that, I have really been through all
that glitz and glam, party scene and all that media nonsense. It really is not
worth any penny that you see at all. Instead of buying a vogue magazine, pick
up the Qur’an and remember the words of Allah and the Last Day. Time is going
by faster, and the days are getting shorter and shaitan is getting stronger. We
don’t know when death will creep up on us, but when it does, remember this, you
will know the truth of Allah and his messenger (pbuh) and what He was trying to
convey, but by then it will be too late to repent to Allah. Would you want to
die doing something haram? Or would you want to die in the state of La ilaha
ilAllah? Remember this : “This, because you took the revelations of Allah (this
Qur’an) in mockery, and the life of the world deceived you. So this Day, they
shall not be taken out from there (Hell), nor shall they be returned to the
worldly life, (so that they repent to Allah, and beg His Pardon for their
sins.) (46:35) I hope that we will all
be able to taste even the smallest fragrance of Paradise! My beautiful sisters
in Islam, I pray we can all unite with love, compassion, and sincerity in this
dunya and the Hereafter for the sake of pleasing Allah and Allah alone. Ameen! Please
don’t hesistate to check out my bloggie www.onechinesemuslimah.blogspot.com J
Little Auntie: Thank you so much for those important words...a really important reminder :) And thank you so much for doing this interview. I pray that this inspires another sister out there to reflect on her own life...and the life she wants to be living =)
May Allah bless you and your family, Khadijah =) Let's definitely keep in touch!