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 live in a cohousing community with our two daughters and 70+ neighbors. Here I have developed a true love for living in community, growing heirloom vegetables/fruit, beekeeping, and a whole host of other things. I’m excited to share my new and varied interests through this site.
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.
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 this project financially by 1. Buying a hijabman product 2. Buying some advertising space for your blog or business. 3. Buy a book or merchandise through one of my amazon affiliate links