Over eight years ago, I began writing essays on issues exclusive to Muslim women. I transitioned from writing about spirituality and lifestyle to using my platforms to advocate for the rights of Muslim women in our communities. Factoring in my background and environment, It would be a disservice to myself, the women before me and those to come after, to deliberately shy away from using my voice to draw attention to the toxic patriarchal customs that have eaten deep into the fabric of our community. In a way, I chose this work. And in another way, this work chose me.
As a visibly Muslim woman, I understand quite well how the stories, voices and pains of Muslim women are blatantly passed over and brushed aside. We are simply the menu on the table of two opposing sides; the Islamophobic left wing and the conservative right wing. I personally have had my fair share of apprehension with those who think Muslim women should never have a voice; the ones who have appointed themselves the spokespeople for Muslim women, labelling us either as women who should neither be seen nor heard or as women who are suppressed by their faith.
It had been my dream for years, to create a space where Muslim women could shape their own narratives; where our pains could be felt and our shoes left empty enough for others to step in and see just how or how not it fits. I wanted to create a platform where we could be the diners at the table and not the menu on the plate; space where we get to tell our own stories and take back our agency. And it was this dream, fuelled by passion and zeal and the commitment of my founding teammates, that led to the birth of “The Muslim Women Times” – an Independent media platform spotlighting the stories of Muslim women.
The Muslim Women Times is a gift to every Muslim woman. broken down into seven sections to give you an insight into what’s happening in the world of Muslim women.
In our “Spotlight” section, we bring to light the stories of Muslim women in history. In our “Tone-Up” section, we provide an outlet for Muslim women who have something exclusive about Muslim women to talk or rant about. In our “Feature” section, we bring out the works of Muslim women who are either doing amazing things in their communities, running successful businesses or organising events. On our “bookshelf“, we review and discuss books that are written by and about Muslim women. We designed our “Mindset” section to help Muslim women nurture beliefs grounded in agency, dignity and self-worth. Our “Conversations” Section was created to highlight safe spaces and gatherings for discussions that address all aspects of a Muslim woman’s life. And our last section, “The Issue” is The Muslim Women Time’s exploration of what Muslim women experience and the nuances that shape them.
As Muslim women, our words matter. Our voices are powerful. Our thoughts and opinions are not meant to die inside us but to find a space out there in the world. This is how we break the cycle of silence. This is how we take what has always belonged to us. This is how we build a better future for the women after us. So I invite you to grab your keyboards and pour out the things that have eaten away at you for so long; your spirit, your strength, your pains and your triumphs. I invite you to share the voices of Muslim women, either written or spoken, with your mothers, sisters and daughters. This century belongs to us. It is time for Muslim women.
If you don’t already follow our social media pages, please do so on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin. Ask the beautiful women in your lives to do so as well. And don’t forget to send in your stories along with a short bio, your favourite headshot and social media handles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wardah Abbas is the Founding Editor of The Muslim Women Times. She is a Lawyer, Writer and Social Justice activist.