True story: I started my junior high career at a new school where a boy would torment me daily. I knew right when I got off the bus he would be there waiting to make fun of me. His insults were always the same – are you Hindu? Does your dad have a 7-11? Things to that effect. It got to the point where I dreaded going to school. Then one day I had a strange burst of courage – when he asked me if I was Hindu (I don’t know why he thought that was an insult to begin with) I responded with – I’m Muslim – you know like Muhammad Ali?!? That shut him up really quick. All guys knew Muhammad Ali – and no one could deny his greatness as an athlete. After that day he left me alone, and I felt like a champion.
Muhammad Ali inspired the world, being the greatest fighter of our time. But even more important to me, he helped me to be proud of who I am as a Muslim American. Part of that has influenced my stance on social justice, and it is why I have always felt it is important to stand up for what I believe in even if it against popular opinion. If Muhammad Ali could refuse to fight in a war that he did not believe in, a war that was later proved to be a huge stain in American history, then I too could stand up for my own beliefs.
For Muslims around the world, today marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, and as anyone who fasts knows, it isn’t the physical not eating part that is the most difficult, because your body and metabolism will adjust pretty quickly, but actually the hardest part is controlling your mind to change your habits. Once you realize you can go without eating, drinking, smoking, or even swearing or speaking harshly (which are all things that you are supposed to abstain from), you are left feeling both confident and empowered. I always feel a greater sense of appreciation for life and the things I normally take for granted. So to everyone who is fasting this month, best wishes for a beautiful and enlightening Ramadan!
And remember to: “Live everyday like it is your last because someday you are going to be right.” – Muahammad Ali
Drape front blazer: Nordstrom (sold out) but here is a Similar Style and a Similar Sleeveless Style | Denim: Thanks to Dstld (DIY’d hem) | Sandals: Steve Madden (available in a few sizes here) and here is a Similar Style and another Similar flat style that I LOVE | Tank: H&M Conscious Collection | Bracelet: Thanks to Folli Follie | Sunnies: Prada via Ditto.com (You can get your free trial of Ditto with my code LOVEZAHRA) Bag: Chanel – Similar Style