A Day In The Life Of A Muslim



As-salâm Alaykum (peace be upon you).
Some know the religion by what is portrayed through mass media and some see the truth, but the rest of you are stuck in limbo – not wanting to believe everything you see or hear.
Except now there are constant attacks, and you ask yourself “Are they, terrorists?” But on the other hand “My neighbors are Muslim, they’re a nice family, they don’t bother anyone, make good food when they invite us over during Ramadan…but a bomb went off in so and so again?”
You see, just like oil and water do not mix, terrorism and Islam cannot. How can you combine something that does not make sense? As atheist as scientists is, even they have to agree on this one.
I get the wildest questions, like
Do you shower with your hijab on?
Are you allowed to go out?
Can you take your hijab off?
Can I see your hair?”
Let me take you back to 7 am this morning, and hopefully, I can answer some of those questions. It’s still dark out, and most of my household are blissfully asleep, and part of me is telling me to stay in the warmth of my bed. I want to, but then the call to prayer (adhan) plays. It’s loud – the birds outside begin chirping at the same time – and by now it’s 7:30, and I am wide-awake. I make my way to the bathroom to do my wudu (ablution), and I see my grandma get out of bed. She too is getting up for Fajr (the first of five daily prayers) and greets me. She gently kisses my forehead, and the fatigue and coldness are replaced with warmth.
After wudu, I wrap my hijab and cover my hair and begin the day praising Allah.
Once Fajr is complete I take an hour nap and begin my day at 9 am. Just like most university students my age on Christmas break, I start tackling the long list of Netflix series I put aside. Currently, it’s Suits, and I may be watching it for only two reasons –
The law and Harvey Specter.
Pancakes are my absolute favorite things for breakfast, second only to poached eggs and salmon. My brother is woken up by the mere smell of food, we argue over the last scoop of Nutella, which my mother then gives to my younger brother.
I have always been a bookworm which my brother finds so peculiar especially in this age of technology. But hey each to there own right? And so my mornings are spent reading – just filling my curiosity, followed by a run or some basketball.
It’s come to lunchtime and after Zuhr (the second prayer) I head out and meet my friends Dominic and Alexa. *Fun fact* I only have one Muslim friend. I spent six years at a Catholic primary school – I attended church more than a mosque. I then went to a white populated high school and college until I came to university, which is the most diverse institution I’ve ever attended.
I get a vanilla latte from Starbucks, and we all sit.
Dominic gets lost in his Friday night story about how a fight almost broke out at a club and Alexa’s ecstatic because her boyfriend got her the Burberry clutch she wanted for Christmas.
On the train home, a five-year-old girl was intrigued, and I knew it was because of my hijab. I smiled back at her, and she began asking her mother “Mommy why does she have that on her head? Mommy, why can’t I see her hair? Is she dying mommy?” Like most parents, she was red in the face from embarrassment and apologised profusely, but I laughed. Truth is most five-year-old Muslims would most likely ask the same questions.
Hi what’s your name?” I asked the five-year-old.
Natalie,” she replied.
Well Natalie, I’m a Muslim, and my hijab is my identity…”
I went on to explain why I wore my hijab.
So why doesn’t princess Jasmine wear one?”
I adore the curiosity of children.
It hadn’t been a hot second, but as soon as I walked into my house, I stripped off my hijab. I can only compare the feeling of taking off your office shoes after a ten-hour shift.
After pizza for dinner and then Isha (the last prayer of the day) I finally sat down to watch Suits. *Spoilers Alert* Mike and Rachel reunite when Mike’s released from prison.
As night falls, I reflect on the day…Terrorists are blindly misguided people, and the sad reality is they hide behind Islam. This is no different to the Ku Klux Klan brutality massacring innocent African Americans in the name of Christianity, and it is no different to the Israeli defense league killing and raping children and women in the name of Judaism. You get good and bad people in every race, religion, and ethnicity. It doesn’t give us the right to stick a label on the majority because of the act of the minority.

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” Maya Angelou 



Life From Inside A Prison Cell

(Caution is advised the following content is considered highly sensitive to some readers.)


“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, Really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”

By Angely Khan | 13th June 2018

The prison was no Shawshank, but the principles were the same, you stay line and count your blessing you don’t get stabbed. These were some of the joys of being in incarceration.

“The first night you spend in a prison”–(began telling a prisoner who will be identified as John Smith)–despite being a ‘big bad wolf’ will always be the scariest night. It is designed to break the toughest of men. My journey to Winson Green prison was quick, ‘orientation’ was a second, the ‘do’s and don’ts were a blur, and throughout ‘moving day’ I was in a trance. They showed me my cell shut the doors and for the first time throughout all the court dates, the verdict, the eerie sound of steel smacking against each, it sunk in.

The realisation of prison.

I was no longer a free man. I was told I would be a sharing a cell with another inmate. My roommate, to my knowledge at the time, could have been a murderer or worse but they got him on fraudulent charges, too. My roommate was more of a punishment than prison itself, he didn’t shut up, he did not understand the essence of personal space. He always wanted to talk, and he just could not grasp why they locked him up. “it’s not like I killed anyone.” He would say. It worried me to think his understanding of crime meant murder and anything else was conventional like extortion, kidnapping, rape or ransom; you get the idea. I picked up things fast, you had to that was rule number one.

  1. You have to learn fast.
  2. Keep yourself to yourself.

John Smith was neither conspicuous nor tall, his hair was wiry with a tint of ginger and groomed backward. He had a particular builder look about him, smelled like cigarettes and burnt wood. Smith was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, but his hands told the story.  He continued telling me about what he hated the most …from indulging in your wife’s cooking to a bunch of unhygienic crooks cooking for you made me puke. Boiled potatoes, carrots, bread and if we were lucky we got porridge.

Prisoners serving life ran the prison, from the guards to the inmates. A two-way system, the men serving a life sentence would look after the guards, and in return, the guards keep them happy. The only real entertainment prisoners won were fights, nothing like a good brawl to get inmates lively especially, as some inmates are locked up for 23 hours. My most vivid memory of prison was a month into my sentence.

“I was in line for breakfast one morning and a group of inmates was stood by the kettle. They boiled the kettle over and over again until it was beyond sizzling and then poured sugar into the bowl add the boiling water. It all happened so fast, all I remember is seeing a poor fella on the floor screaming with a side of his face hanging off. The boiling water and sugar reacted as acid but shit that was prison”

Prison benefitted me in many ways; it secured me a job in construction once I got out. For a convicted felon like me, you’re lucky if you get a job as a garbage man. The third rule I learned was the most important rule, ‘I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine’ simple as that. The unwritten constitution; that’s one rule every prisoner obeys. It’s like the first rule of fight club.

John Smith reflects on his time in prison, it is true what they say about ‘Institutionalized’ I now understand why prisoners break the law just to go back in, or, violate their parole intentionally John Smith says, looking at his feet. The outside world becomes so unfamiliar to them prison is all they know 10, 20, 30 years locked up inside a six by 8-foot prison cell, begins to make a lot of sense; it becomes familiar. But I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, once they capture you; it is a long way to rehabilitation.

(Full version coming soon)
Photo credit: Allan Swart



A        M      E     R     I     C     A

Amid the 1920’s chaos raises an alliance of idealistic gangster.


Five well-suited, notorious, criminal gangsters were responsible for orchestrating and revolutionising the American underworld. These criminal geniuses came to America with their own account of the American dream.

The Cosa Nostra (Mafia) unlike any other criminal organisation during that time, and most likely the only penal institution knew the value of strict law and order, as controversial as it sounds. Lucky Luciano formed the New York five families in 1931 recognised as the commission:

1.Salvatore Maranzano | 2. Joe Profaci |3.Vincent Mangano | 4.Lucky Luciano |5. Tommy Gagliano.

But just how influential were these men in gaining total power, all the while deceiving cops?

Luciano had formed an underworld government, whereby he governed everything from racketeering to prostitution. Any disputes within the mafia were heard and trialled in front of the commission, and just like real court, the guilty was allowed to plead his case. A further extent of Luciano’s “brilliance’” was the group of assassins he formed, acknowledged as ‘Murder Inc.’ the CIA of the mafia. A group of ruthless Jewish killer’s who conveyed contracted hits on behalf of the mafia. The brilliance of it was, by the constitution of the mob, members could only be 100% Sicilian, Italian. Which is why the police could not trace the hit men back to the mafia, because they were Jewish.

These men were completely immoral, completely brutal, and completely criminal but completely brilliant. Read More

What Is Beauty?

Beauty is not defined by looks.

Beauty is defined within.

Beauty is benevolent.

Beauty is honesty.

It is to be yourself, to accept all your imperfections.

By Definition You Are BEAUTIFUL


Brown Eye and Blue Eye

On April 4th, 1968 embarked the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, upon his death Jane Elliot conducted an experiment, which explored racial views within children. Elliot, a third-grade teacher, asked her students how they think it feels to be a black boy or girl. She explained to them that it’s difficult for someone to understand discrimination without experiencing it themselves. When the class agreed to find out more, she decided to conduct the experiment via eye color rather than skin color to show the children what racial segregation would be like.

Jane Elliot labelled the blue-eyed children as the superior group making the brown-eyed children the minority group. She even gave the blue-eyed children a brown cloth to tie around the brown-eyed students so they could be easily identified. The experiment allowed the blue-eyed student’s extra privileges such a long recess, second helping at lunch, access to the new jungle gym. The blue-eyed children sat at the front of the class, they had their own water fountain they were encouraged to ignore the brown-eyed children, in effect the blue-eyed pupils become arrogant, bossy and otherwise unpleasant to their inferior classmates. This also showed on their grades, their test results were better they completed English and mathematical tests whereas the ‘inferior’ brown-eyed pupils changed and became timid and passive scoring poorly on tests and during recess they even isolated themselves showing an impact on their individual academic performance. However the following day Elliot did a role reversal making the brown-eyed pupils superior and the blue eye students inferior.

The results Read More

A Man with an immense desire to succeed

‘Unless it’s completely impossible, don’t tell me it can’t be done’ is Zar’s life motto. If he could, he would be sitting on top of a million-pound empire. A property mogul, a law-abiding wise guy, a typhoon of luxuries he would have jetted off from country to country, continent to continent without an ounce of doubt of his expenses. Dining at Sublimotion, Masa, and Mason pic the world’s finest restaurants. But like lion’s make scarifies to feed their cubs, Zar sacrificed his business ventures for his four cubs, which become his new immense desire to succeed, despite his odds as an ethnic minority.

Britain, home to 64 million people, has recently become progressively diverse in cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, and London. Different ethnic backgrounds and races have now become socially accepted. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere in Britain, Zar faced more significant problems then the ethnic minorities do now, in 2015 the Office for National Statistics found a 23% gap per hourly pay between black and white university graduates in addition to, blacks graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts. Which is a problem occurring in the 21st century, imagine in 1995 for the young and ambitions Zar, where xenophobia was skyrocketing.

Getting to the top of the ladder wasn’t as simple as it was for those who were just placed at the top. Read More