The true influencer

The true influencer

I would like to start this article with a little experiment. I would like you to face your child and ask them to touch their nose while you, yourself touch your chin. You will find that they will imitate your actions rather than hear your words. This is the impact we have on our young. Does this then not call for some inner reflections? The reality of the era our youth are living in and facing is confusing and conflicting with the ethics of Islam, following both Muslim and non-Muslim influencers alike dictating the trend, behaviour and dress code of the moment. A life where they are exposed to mainstream hijabis, with hundreds of thousands impressionable young followers, removing their hijabs. A life where ideals such as “you only live once” are being toted thus encouraging them to live and do as they please in order to live their best lives. A life where from a young age they are being exposed to same sex relationships via cartoons. A life where we are labeled as fanatics if we adhere to the principles of our faith, drawing ridicule even from amongst our own Muslims. How are we as the women -be it mothers, older sisters, aunts and teachers – in these youths lives assisting them in these most impressionable years of their lives? Are we sending our children to madrassa only to have them come back to a home conflicting with the lessons and etiquettes taught there.

A home where hijab is not worn, salaah is not performed and Quran is not read, thus further imbedding the impression that religion is fickle and that hijab and salaah is a choice when in fact it is not. These are commandments of Allah explicitly mentioned in Quran. However it is the obedience of these commandments that is the choice and that both obedience and disobedience to the laws of Allah have consequences. This is the mantra we need to instill in their lives, a mantra of “you only live once so let it count towards your Hereafter “ since we will not get another chance to come back to this life and rectify our mistakes. Let us not be amongst those women who are trending the #blacklivesmatter yet talking down to the domestic worker or referring to our black brethren in derogatory terms, imposing such behaviour onto our children thus continuing this cycle of racism. Let us do more than post a black and white portrait in solidarity with recognizing the  gender based violence movement by teaching our children to respect and honour both men and women by us, ourselves, not resorting to violence and vocal outbursts in their upbringing. Communicate with them in a good manner and speak to them from a young age drawing lessons from the Quran and Sunnah as to what is right and wrong and as much as possible try not to contradict these values. To those who are about to become mothers for the first time, take this time to reflect about what values you would like to instill in them and how you can achieve that despite all these outside and social media influences. Find out what parenting programs are being offered to provide you the skill to do so. Let us expose our young girls to young ,strong and intellectual role models by reading stories about the lives of our ladies Fatima and Aisha (May Allah have mercy on them) amongst others and our boys to the honorable Sahaba and Prophet Muhammad ( May peace be upon him) and how he treated his wives, daughters and people in general regardless of their gender and race. Find out what Muslim cartoons are available rather than exposing them to the default channels readily available on tv. We have been given this opportunity during the lockdown due to the current pandemic we are facing, breaking away from the rat race of life, to better ourselves and our connection with our Creator, granting us an opportunity to understand, ponder and learn who this ultimate Being is that we are worshipping and why, for it is behind the realisation of this very important concept that the will to obey Him lays, thus providing a better role model for our children to imitate in this constant close parameter. Never underestimate the power and influence that we as women have and remember that despite sending our children to schools and madrassas, the home is where the real learning happens. The way we think and express ourselves, the way we treat people, the way we revere our Lord and obey His commandments all leaves a huge impact on our children. As the beginning of this article mentioned, children are likely to imitate our actions rather than our words. So let us influence them by way of example to the values we would like them to carry forth and facilitate them as much as possible during this conflicting and confusing era. If we find these values lacking in our lives, then let us make the intention for change. Further more, you do not have to be a mother to be a positive influence in peoples lives as shown to us by Aisha and Aasiya ( wife of Fir’oun) – May Allah have mercy on them. Neither had children yet both contributed so much towards our Deen. So if you see these values lacking in close family members, then take up the reigns to subtly sway the children in your family without being offensive to the parents, so that the children may be exposed to some sort of Islamic values to hold onto and someone to turn to for advice. May Allah accept our efforts, guide us and have mercy on us all.


Mualima Ruwayda Ariefdien studied at the FatimaTuz Zahra Institute under Mln Dawood Sampson and completed my degree at Dar Al Arqam. She then went on to receive her Honours in Arabic at the University of the Western Cape. She studied at Madina Institute in 2017. She is currently lecturing at Madina Institute South Africa in the subjects of Arabic, Hanafi fiqh, Tafseer and Hanafi usul fiqh.

Mualima Ruwayda Ariefdien

Usul Al Din Class of 2017 - Madina Institute

Women and Mental Health

Women and Mental Health


You are worth the quiet moment 

You are worth the deeper breath

you are worth the time it takes 

To slow down, be still and rest”



As a young lady, I have experienced painful change that most women at my age haven’t and the most important thing that my experiences have taught me is that mental health is as important as physical health.



Many a times as women we overestimate our inner strength, exerting our minds to take in and keep too much “baggage” and as a result, we come to a breaking point. Break downs leads us to think that we are weak, making us feel miserable and often causes depression. 


The Almighty tests us all with trials but He has said in the Holy Quran 

Allah does not burden any person with more than he can bear” [Baqarah:286]


I want to remind you, that bearing your trial does not mean that you have to bear it alone, or brave it all the time, or ignore & suppress your feelings.


Did you know that your mental health is physical as well?


A mentally healthy person shows good physical health while someone suffering mental health issues can experience unexplained headaches, fatigue, painful jaws and teeth, lack of enthusiasm and motivation … if you’re nodding or having “ah yes” moments while reading this then take this as a reminder to start looking out for YOU before anything else! 


My dear beautiful sister, everything belongs to Allah. Your body is an amanah from Allah & He SWT has entrusted you to take care of it. Take care of your heart, your mind and your soul. 


Allah SWT has created us as women to be more sensitive and emotional beings. And this shouldn’t be our downfall, rather something we embrace. 


It is OK that we may feel uncomfortable seeking professional help in sorting through the baggage we may be carrying.. the first step and the best step is to attempt it spiritually.  Allah is All Hearing and All Seeing, and in talking to Him SWT, you will find tranquility and peace and at the same time find it as a means of introspection. 


Dua is the weapon of a believer. Take a Time-Out each day, for yourself and your Lord. 

Once you’re comfortable talking to Allah, your soul will be aligned, and more at peace. 

Now, if need be you can seek the help of a professional in unraveling what’s on your mind, how to cope with it and healing mechanisms. 


Everybody is fighting a battle that they do no speak about – you are not alone! 


Remember that its OK and necessary to take some time out for yourself, feel your emotions, let yourself unwind. Allow someone else to make you a cup of tea, and sip it without thinking about what you’ve got to get back to. You are worth the quiet moment, the deeper breath and the time to rest !



Zulaika Mohamed currently lives in Pretoria. She graduated from the Madina Institute Usul Al Din 2019 Program and completed her


BA Psych, Ed in 2018 at the University of Pretoria

Zulaika Mohamed

Usul Al Din Class of 2019 - Madina Institute