Bismillāh ar-Rahmān ar-Rahīm
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Walk into any convenience store today and it is sure to have a section of glossy magazines that will cover the wall. From health, fashion, women, men, sports to cooking, there are countless magazines to cater to any kind of consumer.
I was reading a review of Muslim Girl Magazine earlier today and I thought to myself, would such a magazine have a market in Singapore? There is apparently a success Muslimah magazine based in UK called SISTERS Magazine. Are Muslim girls in Singapore in need of a magazine to cater to their interests? Would they fork out money if such a magazine was available?
Also, what would be included in the magazine?
As an ex-magazine reader (I used to buy a particular magazine, that I will not name, until I realized that I could never afford anything they displayed in there and their advices failed to address my situation as a Muslim girl in Singapore), here are some things I would want to see in the magazine:
- Articles on women we should look up to. On the Prophet’s SAW wives, on the tabi’en and those that came later, and also contemporary heroines in our time and in our own country.
- Affordable clothes donned by hijab-clad women, with little make-up if possible.
- Reporting of Muslimah-only events such as usrah, camps and others.
- An Aunt Agony (“Ustazah Understanding”) section where writers could write in & ask about problems they face in their deen etc.
- Cooking section for sharing great recipes! (Very cliche for a women magazine, but hey, the kitchen is still an area the women dominates, we can’t neglect it.)
- Upcoming events & talks.
What I don’t want to see in the magazine:
- Excessive make-up & accessories on the models.
- Non-hijab models. Now now, don’t start accusing me of being exclusive. Yes, I hear your arguments on iman being in the heart and not being portrayed on the outer. Yes, I know there are many hijab-clad ladies that do not behave the way they should. Yet at the same time, having a Muslimah magazine, I would want to celebrate true Muslimahs and I should not be ashamed of portraying hijab-clad ladies. Everyone knows that a hijab is required. Having ladies being portrayed as God-fearing yet fashionable, modern yet having haya’, is something I would want to see in my magazine. It could in turn inspire the non-hijabis into hijabis sooner rather than later. I’m sure Muslim girls who are not wearing the hijab yet have thought about it, or are thinking about it, and have vague plans about when to start wearing it.
- Glorifying of entertainment celebrities.
- Gossip. (Yes, updates on a certain someone’s married life is considered gossip. You won’t find it in my magazine.”
With the recent buzz about the Muslimah Anggun contest, I was thinking this might be a good follow-up to the event. It could be a project spearheaded by the finalists and other Muslimah could join in. Imagine a magazine with Muslimah editors, Muslimah photographers, Muslimah reporters. . . It could be the start of a great Muslimah project that would build the ukhhuwah and strengthen bonds between the various groups out there.
What would you want to see in a Muslimah magazine? What would you NOT want to see? Share your views!
Ameera Begum Aslam