Malaysian Dramas: Put A Ring On It

By Ham It’s barely ten minutes past seven and I’ve already lost my appetite. It’s taking all of my willpower not to throw my dinner plate at the screen. My mother is seated across from me, passively taking in the sight. The female lead argues in a half-assed manner, “If you can’t respect me as…

Is Female Circumcision Islamic?

By Zuby Eusofe Female Circumcision or Sunat Perempuan has been debated for many years till today. Some religious scholars assert that female circumcision is not FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and it is Sunnah to follow according to the ahadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH). However, many scholars of Islam have found that most of these…

The Hijab Syndrome

By Zuby Eusofe I started wearing hijab when I was 27. When I was in my 50s, I stopped. Some people may think I am going senile for removing my hijab at this age. But I had learnt that hijab is more than just the piece of cloth that covers one’s modesty. To me, hijab…

How to throw a party in a hijab

By anonymous I. The Period Party The Muslim equivalent of the legal drinking age is when a woman has her period for the first time. It is when you become truly human, Woman so when I first had my period: I heard that God started a countdown. I heard there was a party involved. I heard…

The Anxiety of Rituals

By Diana Rahim Rituals have always been a fraught topic for me. For a long time I associated them with a vacuous, rigid religiosity I found unfulfilling; the Islam of my childhood often taught through fear and rigid enforcement of rituals to ensure compliance. Even as a child I was aware that adults knew rituals were simply not…

Chasing the Perfect Ramadhan

By Zarifah Anuar As a child, Ramadhan was presented to me as a special, sacred month. Fasting was supposed to not only help us gain an insight into the lives of the poor, but to also test one’s faith and connection to God. Ramadhan to me wasn’t merely a month of fasting and prayer –…

Fasting – A Test of One’s Mettle

By Farheen Ferdhouse Fasting is expected of every practicing Muslim during the holy month of Ramadhan. It is that time of the year where we get to seek the pleasure of God (our creator), by performing extra prayers on top of our obligatory prayers coupled with the act of abstaining from eating and drinking for…

Ritualism in Religion – Some Thoughts

By Nurul Fadiah Johari It is the time of the year again when Muslims are promised with the reward of a thousand nights, when Satan is locked up, thus putting Muslims on a rewards spree. For some, Ramadan is the time to stock up on religious rewards; it becomes an obsession to perform rituals due…

Balancing Routine and Rituals

By anonymous Here’s how an evening is like for me during Ramadhan: 5.00pm: Leave work, fetch mom, visit bazaar (any bazaar), buy kueh (cheap cheap, 1 packet $1), buy rice, buy noodles 5.30pm: Feel guilty for buying so much food 6.00pm: Reach home and wait… 6.30pm: Still waiting… 6.45pm: Dad comes home and we brace…

In this month of Ramadan, we will be launching a blog series on “Rituals”. Ramadan is usually a time when Muslims engage in rituals such as fasting, nightly prayers, dzikir, ngaji (reciting the Quran) and more. This blog series will share stories from Muslims in Singapore on their experiences and thoughts on these rituals and…

A Veiled Question I Get Asked Often

By Zubaida Ali One question that I get asked now and again is “Are you Malay?”, and in case I missed the meaning of that, the person asking clarifies “you don’t look like a Malay.” Although seemingly innocent and often dismissed as one of the peculiarities of a multi-cultural society, this statement is loaded with…

Hello, I Do Not Have All the Answers

a.k.a. Do I Look Like a Walking Information Counter? By Nur Diyana When I decided that I wanted to wear the tudung, I imagined that my father would be furious. He was. To this day, I romanticise the premise of my decision to rebel against him. That, however, is not the standard textbook answer that…