womens headpiece

Masterpost: Islamic Concepts, Words & Phrases!

So, as promised, here’s the masterpost of the different, most common, types of concepts, words and phrases that we, as Muslims, use in our day to day speak, and perform on the daily. The reason for this masterpost is so that, if and when Season 4 airs, and if it is about Sana, then most likely, these words and phrases, or concepts, may be commonly used/addressed, so it’s always nice to just, have a reference, I guess, of their meaning, so that you can understand the context and definition a little better! 

CONCEPTS.

Islam: The word “Islam” in itself means to submit, to surrender - to give yourself over to Allah, to feel the peace that giving yourself over to Allah brings to you.

Allah: The Arabic word for God.

Muhammad (sal’lalaahu alayhi wasalam): The final prophet sent down by Allah to mankind, with the religion of Islam. (sal’lalaahu alayhi wasalam), or sometimes seen as Muhammad (SAW) means ‘peace be upon him’, which you’ll sometimes see as Muhammad (PBUH). It is an extension we add on to the name Muhammad, whenever the prophet Muhammad (SAW) is being referred to, out of respect.

“The 5 Pillars of Islam”: These are, in essence, the 5 core aspects of Islam, that every Muslim must believe in, and do to their full potential, unless it is detrimental to their health, or they are unable to do so due to a lack of wealth:

  • Shahaadah - This is the very core belief of a Muslim. They “must testify and bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, and that Muhammad (SAW) is his worshipper and messenger.”
  • Salah - The 5 daily prayers, which must be read. These are Fajr (the prayer we read before sunrise), Zauhar (the midday prayer), Asr (the late afternoon prayer), Maghrib (the prayer we read before sunset) and Isha (the night prayer). Each of these prayers are signalled when the Adhaan (the call to prayer) is heard, and before performing these prayers, Wudhu (ablution) must be made.
  • Zakah - Alms, charity. Every year, we must take a portion of money out from our combined wealth that we own to give to charity to the poor and needy. Of course, to do that, Islam sets certain rules on how much wealth you must have in order to classify if whether you are in a position where you can give charity or not.
  • Sawm -  Fasting in the month of Ramadhan. Ramadhan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, whereby the start and the end of it is marked by the sighting of the crescent moon. During Ramadhan, Muslims all over the world must fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, water, sex and sin. They must instead increase their worshipping of Allah, by performing Salah and increasing their Tilaawat (reading of the Qur’aan), Tasbeeh (praising of Allah) and indulge themselves as much as they can within Islam. Suhoor (morning meal) is the meal we eat before sunrise happens, kind of like a breakfast, before we begin our fast for the day, and Iftaar (evening meal) is the meal we eat to break our fast, just as sunset is about to occur. Taraweeh is an additional compulsory Salah that Muslims must pray in Ramadhan (since this Salah is only read during Ramadhan, and in no other month beside it) after the Isha Salah. The end of Ramadhan is marked with Eid ul Fitr, the first of our 2 Eids that we have within the year, a celebration! The fasts in Ramadhan are only compulsory on people that are physically and mentally healthy enough to do them. 
  • Hajj - The 5 day sacred pilgrimage that takes place in the final month of the Islamic calendar, once a year. Muslims all over the world travel to Saudi Arabia, more specifically, Makkah and the surrounding cities near it, to perform their Hajj. Only those that are physically and mentally healthy, and that can afford the Hajj, will find it compulsory on them to do so. Our 2nd Eid, Eid ul Adha is celebrated on the 3rd day of Hajj, by remembering the sacrifice that the Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son, Ismail (Ishmael) were to make. 

Qur’aan: The Holy Book of Islam. It is considered to be Allah’s final word, and the final, unchanged Holy Book that was sent down via Angel Jibra’eel (Angel Gabriel) to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 

Hadeeth: The teachings and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that were reported by his close family and friends.

Sunnah: The beloved actions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that were reported by his close family and friends.

Shari’ah Law: The Islamic ruling. Any Muslim country will most likely be governed by the Shari’ah Law. However, its not just people living in a Muslim state that must abide by the Shari’ah Law. Muslims all over the world must try their best to abide by it too. The Shari’ah Law is based upon the teachings of the Qur’aan, which hold the most weight in Islam, with a little understanding from the Hadeeth and Sunnah, in terms of how to apply these Laws.

Jihad: The word itself means to struggle, to battle. There are 2 types:

  • Jihad Kabeera: The Greater Struggle/Battle - this is the one we as Muslims face on a daily basis, within ourselves, to better ourselves as believers of Allah, to always do the right thing by Islam, which is something that affects us on a daily basis, especially if we live in the West, since we face the battle of living in the Western society, as well as being Muslims, and choosing to do the right thing. 
  • Jihad Sagheera: The Lesser Struggle/Battle - this is the one where we proactively, as Muslims, must fight against anyone who wrongfully says ill about Islam. In it, we must take care that we are not hurting those, who have not hurt us, but rather, that we fight against the common prejudices, stigmas and stereotypes that are placed on Islam and Muslims. 

Hijaab: The headpiece the women of Islam are recognised by. However, hijaab is not just that. Hijaab is also in the way we dress modestly, the way we must act modestly, the way we must speak modestly, because the woman’s modesty in Islam is very, very highly valued and respected. Men are told lower their gazes in front of women. 

Niqaab: The face veil that some, not all, but some Muslim women choose to wear, if they want to.

Burqa: The long material that covers the head and reaches thigh length, that some women, again, choose to wear, if they don’t want to wear the Hijaab, but something a bit more looser and covering.

Abayah: The long “dress” the women wear, on top of their usual clothes. Most of the times, these are black, with several printed or embroidered designs on them for more fancier wear, or sometimes they are simple, for more everyday wear. Not all women wear an abayah, and not every abayah is black in colour.

Thobe/Jubbah: Kind of like an abayah, but for men? I guess? It’s a long stitched garment, that comes in many different colours, mostly neautrals, like white, gray, beige, black, blues, greens etc, that men wear. Muslim men in the East wear this more frequently than Muslim men in the West, but Muslim men in the West would most likely wear this on Friday, Ramadhan, and Eid - on sacred occasions.

Dua: Prayers. So, when you raise your hands and pray to Allah, and ask anything of him and remember the people who you want to remember in your prayers to Allah.

Jummah: It means Friday, which is the holy day for Muslims. Kind of like Sabbath, I guess. On Fridays, instead of the Zauhar prayer, men normally go to the Masjid (the mosque) to offer Jummah Salah (The Friday Prayer), where the Imam (the person leading the prayer) will give a Kutbah (a short sermon) regarding a specific topic to do with Islam.

Masjid: The Mosque. This is where Muslims gather to pray Salah 5 times a day.

Madressah: Islamic schooling - so, Islamic classes that, most often, take place inside the Masjid, i.e, the mosque, when it is not being used by the general Muslim public to offer Salah.

WORDS & PHRASES.

As-salaamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuhu: This is a greeting, both used as a hello and a goodbye between Muslims. As-salaamu’alaikum - May peace be upon you, Warahmatullahi - And Allah’s mercy, Wabarakaatuhu - And his blessings. Usually though, most people will only say/use As-salaamu’alaikum.

Allah Hafiz: May Allah protect you. This is another greeting we have that Muslims use as a goodbye.

Bismillah hirahmaa niraheem: In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the Most Kind. It’s a phrase we use/say when we’re about to start something, we start whatever we do in the name of Allah, by remembering him so that whatever we’re doing will have a successful outcome. Somtimes, we just say Bismillah, in short, which just means, In the Name of Allah.

Subhanallah: Glory be to Allah. This is a Tasbeeh (a praise of Allah) that is said when something overwhelms you, so much so, that you literally have to take a moment and glorify Allah for having that thing overwhelm you, whether it be someone’s beauty, something’s beauty, or something that’s happened that’s overwhelmed you in a really positive way.

Alhamdulillah: All praises be to Allah. This is a Tasbeeh that’s said when you’re thankful for something. Thankful for anything or anyone, for food, for good health, after we sneeze we say Alhamdulillah, or if someone is asking you how you are, you can simply reply back by saying Alhamdulillah, and they’ll understand that you are in good health, or if someone is offering you something extra, like food, for example, then you can simply say Alhamdulillah, and they’ll understand that you’re content with the amount you have.

Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest. This is another Tasbeeh, but it’s used in quite versatile ways. It’s the first and last phrases of the Adhaan, it’s said in Salah, but it’s also used in daily speak too, most often when we want to reaffirm our belief in Allah, to remind ourselves that, Allah is our sole keeper of destiny, and that, sometimes, things we don’t anticipate can happen too. It’s a resounding statement of faith, that can invoke feelings of strength when it is needed, telling you to reevaluate where your faith is at. Or if something that you can’t believe is happening, you’ll say Allahu Akbar, to express your disbelief in it.

Insha’allah: If Allah wills. This is something we say when we’re thinking about the future, and we hope that the way we think about the future is something Allah is willing to offer us. Kind of like a “I don’t wanna jinx it”.

Mash’allah: Allah has willed. This is something we say out of respect for a situation, if it’s gone in favour of someone else we’re speaking to, or if we’re appreciating someone, whether it be their beauty or their character. It’s a way of showing someone that you’re extremely happy that Allah has willed for something to go their way. 

Wallah: I swear by Allah. It’s something you say when you’re absolutely serious about something, because you are swearing to Allah about it, you are keeping Allah as your witness about it.

Astagfirullah: I seek forgiveness from Allah. This is said when you’re repenting to Allah, or someone else may say this to you if they’re reminding you of something wrong that you did/are doing, not as a way to patronise, but to remind you that you have a choice in not doing that wrong thing either.

Jazakallah Khair: May Allah reward you with the best (of rewards). This is said in place of thank you, when you’re thanking someone for something, Most people sometimes just say Jazakallah, or either Baarakallah (May Allah’s blessings be upon you.)

Ameen: Amen. Something you say when you’re agreeing with something, or accepting something from someone.

Mubarak: Glad tidings/Congratulations. Usually you’ll hear people say this in Ramadhan or Eid, to each other, or if someone tells someone else they’re going for Hajj/have come back from Hajj, you’ll hear the phrases:  Ramadhan Mubarak, Eid Mubarak, Hajj Mubarak etc, but generally, it’s just used as way of saying congrats.

Nikah: Wedding.The actual wedding ceremony.

Ammi: Mum.

Abba: Dad.

Habibi/Habibti: The Most Beloved. Where Habibi is the masculine term, and Habibti is the feminine term. It’s not just said to the person you love romantically, it can be said platonically too, and quite often, is.

Bengali-British 17 Year Old Girl

I’m originally from Bangladesh but I was born and raised in London. I’m 17 and I was raised in a Muslim family but I’m unsure what my own faith is. I was raised in a predominately rich/white community so I was very embarrassed of my culture and this “otherness” I seemed to have due to this I didn’t speak Bengali for a long time and now no longer can write/speak in my language. 

Beauty Standards

When writing about South Asians and considering the beauty standards, colourism is a major aspect of being considered beautiful in desi culture. I’m not fair skinned so growing up, especially among my lighter skin toned siblings it’s quite difficult not to start believing eurocentric beauty standards that are enforced by not only society but also family members who would encourage me not to play in the sun or recommended lightening creams. 

Clothing

So I grew up in London and day-to-day I usually wear English clothes but on special occasions such as Eid or a wedding/party I do wear South Asian clothing. As a child, I would wear something called a Salwar Kameez which is essentially a tunic dress with slits along the side, which would usually reach around the hips (for ease of movement), paired with harem trousers but harem trousers are slightly out of fashion now to wear with the tunic dress and so many people now pair the tunic with tight legging type of trousers. Once you get to around 14, you may start to wear lenghas which are crop tops with long skirts. Older women wear saris but lenghas are really much more fashionable for women of all ages these days. At weddings, the bride would wear a red lengha or sari. Now jewelry is quite important in desi fashion, usually your outfit is not complete without bangals, earrings or necklaces at the very least. Headpieces are extremely beautiful and women who wear a headscarf are just as like to wear headpieces as women who don’t wear headscarfs. 

Culture

Food is such a large part of family life and often the way, in my family at least, one expresses that love. Most families are very large I have around 25-30 first cousins and 15 uncles and aunts. The older generations are most respected, you can show this respect by not referring to them by their first name. For example, I don’t call my mum’s youngest brother by his name but, roughly translated, “little uncle”. 

Daily Struggle

This is quite hard to condense but in England there is a lot of xenophobia so there is a lot of daily/casual racism.

History

A extremely condensed (recent) history of Bangladesh. West Bengal was one of the richest part of South Asia until colonisation following which we went through 3 Bengal famines as the British exploited us. We were still part of India at that point but when the partition happened Bangladesh was East Pakistan but that was just from one oppressor (the British) to another (the Pakistanis). After a genocide of 3 million people, where we were killed for even speaking our own language, in 1971 Bangladesh became a country.

Identity Issues 

I have a lot of identity issues. I want to fully identify myself as Bengali most of the time but it is extremely hard because in all honesty I’ve been raised in a different country with different norms and values. I don’t speak the language very well and many Bengali people wouldn’t view me as fully and completely Bengali. It follows I should identify as partly British (I have a British passport, I was born and raised here, etc) but it’s so difficult when I hold so much resentment towards the people who exploited my people. I know that so many people in England would deny my Britishness and I am an “other” here. It feels like I do not fit in either countries and I don’t think I ever will - I do drink, smoke, want relationships and I don’t uphold traditional Bengali conventions nor would I be happy to. However, I desperately want to embrace that culture I’ve denied for so long. I’m also at odds with my religion because I feel as Muslim as I do Bengali, there’s a certain culture in Islam that I relate to and have grown up with but do I necessarily believe in Islam? Clearly not if I don’t wear the hijab and I question my sexuality and other “haram” things. Another issue would be my sexuality, I’m extremely confused because I feel like if I like someone then their gender is irrelevant but a major aspect of my life is my family who would reject a partner who isn’t a man. It’s deciding if it is fair for me to get involved with people I know I couldn’t tell my family about eventually. 

Things I’d Like To See More Of

I’ve never in my whole life read about a complex Bengali character, so that would be cool. Just more complex desi characters who aren’t simply brown but then rich/cis/straight/eurocentric features so she is accepted and understood. I want a fat/trans/gay/poor/wonderful desi girl and I still want her to be complex and not utterly two dimensional. 

I have a sudden obsession with Solarpunk and I keep thinking about headdresses. Art Nouveau artists loved to depict women wearing awesome headpieces with wings (butterfly, dragonfly, bird, bat, you name it) and/or giant flowers. Sometimes they looked ethereal and elven, sometimes they looked like badass battle helms, sometimes both.

I imagine a Solarpunk future with EVERYONE wearing awesome headdresses, not just the women but guys too. The wings and petals are solar collectors. There’s view-screens like Google Glass that are attached. There’s communications built in and earphones for your tunes and a Siri-like AI to give you directions - everything your smartphone can do now.  It monitors your health, reminding you to drink if it detects you’re getting dehydrated or eat if your blood-sugar it low and it acts as a pedometer.  You put on your awesome headpiece in the morning the same way people now grab their cell phone - except you don’t have to remember charge it because it charges itself as you walk around.

If you decide you’d rather have flowers instead of dragonfly wings today?  All the decorative parts are detachable and inter-changeable so you can customize it for however you feel that day.  We carry tech around with us everyday so it may as well be beautiful, individual and make a statement. And, provided it’s light enough, it’s convenient to carry it on your head. No need to fish it out of your pocket every time you want to use it, no need to have pockets It’s right next to your eyes and ears when you want to see/listen to something, totally hands free tech.

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Arrive in a glittery swoop of tiny sequined art deco seashells in our newest crescent moon headpiece in our moon headband line! Exquisitely detailed, this 1920s moon was hand cut from lightweight foam to form a 10 inch high crescent moon shape and I have hand pieced beautiful trim found here in NYCs garment district to create little fans perfect for a 1920s style headpiece. These are interspersed with faux mirrored rhinestone rosettes. This moon costume headpiece fits BOTH WOMEN or GIRLS and attaches via a silver elastic glitter band, swooping away from the right side of the face. **********PLease NOTE that due to the nature of the foam material, I have to use a special thicker glue and even with much practice, I will not be able to get a perfectly smooth edge. The edge will look cool and a little bumpy..like a real moon. If this will bother you, this might not be the piece for you*********** Thanks for looking. YOu can find many other moon headpieces in my Tea Hats and Costumes shop section.