Peace! Over fifteen years ago, I started calling myself “HijabMan.” I donned this new moniker to attract attention and created a web site chronicling my struggles as a first-generation American Muslim of South Asian descent. But a lot has happened since then …
A Little History
Idthkar Allah, “Remember God” commands the graffiti at the end of one of the tunnels that ease the passage from Al-Azhar mosque to Khan al-Khalili bazaar. I used to crave those tunnels, despite their eerie feel. They provided both a cool refuge from the sweltering Cairo summer as well as recording studio-like acoustics for the blind Qur’an reciters who sat in them. The recitation of the revelation would embrace me each time I passed through. It was hard to let go until the day I looked up and found a reminder. Idthkar Allah.
My name isn’t HijabMan, but you are free to call me that. At 14, I began this site as a way to reflect on the sights I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, and my life as a whole. Now, over a decade later, HijabMan has expanded to include expressions of my own creativity through a shop full of products, wedding and event photography services, and a blog. It functions, quite literally, as a forum through which I can discover and pursue what I love and maintain friendships with people all over the world— some of whom I still haven’t met. It should go without saying that I am thankful for all of this, and for all of you.
Right around the time I finished my Bachelor’s degree, I mentioned on this blog that I wished to be a spiritual leader of a mosque, and so I began on that path, deciding to live in Syria for a little bit, in search of some sacred knowledge. If you can call self-knowledge sacred, well then that is what I found. I thought a lot about what I would be best suited for, On my return to the US, I landed what I like to call my ‘holding pattern’ job as a technical support specialist at a small legal services company. It was there that I stayed for 3 years until I was laid off due to the worsening U.S. economy. Ultimately the pink-slip was for the best, and I knew it. In fact, when my boss told me I was being laid off I started laughing happily. She was confused, but glad that I was taking it so well!
The positivity paid off, and I used the free time to leverage the network I had built (and continued to build) through this web site to become a wedding photographer. Within a few short months, I had made enough of a name for myself that a couple flew me to Malaysia to photograph their wedding.
“The Wheel weaves as The Wheel wills,” as they say, and I just happened to meet my wife and daughter at the wedding of that same couple. I ended up moving to Malaysia for a year to be with them, and now we’re back in a small college town in the U.S. We’ve recently purchased a house in a cohousing community, and I’m in love with my [relatively] new roles as husband, father, and homemaker.
You may use my writings, if proper credit is given to me with a link back to hijabman.com. If you do happen to use one, let me know. I’d be curious to know where it has been.
I hope to make hijabman.com a resource center. My passions are many and varied, you’ll see that reflected in the posts.
On my approach to islam
For me, being a muslim means being a champion for all good, just causes on Earth. Read more about my approach. I highly recommend that you do so, since this approach is the reason hijabman.com exists.
HijabMan is also referenced in:
How Does It Feel to Be A Problem?: Being Young And Arab In America by Moustafa Bayoumi
Encyclopedia of Muslim-American history: Volume 1 by Edward E. Curtis
Osama Van Halen by Michael Muhammad Knight
From Imam to Cyber-Mufti: Consuming Identity in Muslim America by Saminaz Zaman
American Muslims: South Asian Contributions to the Mix by Karen Leonard (full article)
Support This Site
You can support this site in a number of ways. The easiest, of course, is to become a member of the community by participating! Another way is to link my website on social media and your own website.
You can also support me financially by 1. Donating 2. Buying some advertising space for your blog or business (It is cheaper than you think!). 3. Buy a book or merchandise through one of my amazon affiliate links 4. Buy a hijabman.com product.