Salaam everyone. I hope you are all well. I had the pleasure of interviewing and befriending You Tuber AsoomiJay. She has been struggling lately with illness and has been out of action. I am however not sure if this is the reason she has taken a hiatus from social media. I thought though that I'd post her interview and ask you all to make dua for this beautiful soul.
Lets get started!
Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?Originally Tunisian & Libyan, I’m Canadian born and have been raised most of my life in Canada. But what you see with me is not what you would typically get.Although I am ethnically Arab, I am culturally Canadian so there is a bit of a culture clash which makes people to perceive me as a rebel, but I like of think of myself as I’m just a free spirit. How long have you been a vloggerI have been on YouTube for about 2 years and a half. What inspired you to start vlogging? And why do you continue to do it?When I was 15 my parents moved us to Dubai to learn about the culture, and I ended up coming back 6 years later. I was shocked to find many of my friends leaveIslam and remove the hijab. And so I began making YouTube videos hoping to inspire other girls through my experiences and struggles that Islam is beautiful and Allah is merciful and reminding them that we all go through tests.I also made hijab and outfit tutorials for the purpose of showing girls they can hold on to their faith and still feel confident and beautiful in their hijab.I have debated many times to leave YouTube for privacy reasons as I wanted to live away from the eyes of an audience but I began to see what a difference I have made in the lives of girls around the world. I have had girls who have removed the hijab tell me they began wearing the hijab again because I encouraged them to feel confident. Girls who have been abused make the right and safe choices as I helped “open their eyes”. Young girls who have no one to listen to or look up to say I have encouraged them to follow their dreams. And to me, even if I was able to make one person smile, then that makes me happy. Then, what would you say are the positive effects on blogging?You get to meet many new people and make friends around the world.You get to learn new things you never knew before through someone else’s experience first hand. And you get to spread a message (like the “Smiles for Syria” video) How has blogging affected your life?I have young girls looking up to me around the world, it’s not something that I ever thought would happen. Whether it be 5 girls or 500 girls or 5000 girls, it’s stressful sometimes because you have to be aware of what you say or do that might influence them. What is your favorite quote and why?I have always lived by the quote “Love the heart that hurts you, but don’t hurt the heart that loves you.” I guess it’s because it reminds me of the ways of our prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who always taught us to be the better person and forgive, to love even those who harm us and to treat them well. What affects you, creatively, spiritually or emotionally?First and foremost, Allah and our prophet Muhammad (pbuh). I have been through so much in life and if it weren’t for my faith in Allah and reminders that Allah tests those he loves, I don’t know how I would have been able to pass my struggles.And emotionally, I always try to look at how our prophet (pbuh) would have reacted, and humans are not perfect, no one will ever be as perfect as our prophet (pbuh), but he is my role model. And creatively, I would have to say the people around me. The kind of people I spend time with and my viewers. Who or what inspires your fashion sense?The 80’sVictorian era,And other hijabis.
How would you describe your fashion sense?My fashion sense is all over the place at times.Some days I feel mysterious in red lipstick, black eyeliner and vintage clothing.Some days I feel so bubbly and dress in retro and bright colours. Who is your favorite fashion designer?I would have to say Betsy Johnson for her edgy and retro fashion designs andElie Saab for his “modest” luxury long sleeved evening gowns. What are you absolutely passionate about?Activism and trying to make a better change in the world, as well as fashion because it’s a creative outlet for me.
What’s is the best advice you have received and why?“This life is just a test, it’s the Akhira that matters. Work for that.”This has been the best advice that I have received because sometimes I think we take life too seriously, or focus on the wrong things in life. We hold on to materialistic things or make problems out of nothing, and forget that everything we do in life should be aimed at doing good to be rewarded good. Not the amount of money you have, or how famous you are. The only currency you have on the Day of Judgment is your good deeds. What is the worst advice?“You have to care what people think.”As long as you do not anger Allah, you do not hurt yourself or others, do what makes you happy. If you live to please people, you will never be happy. Not everyone will be pleased anyways, and people will judge and talk regardless, and it is Allah who you should be thinking about. What motto do you live by?“Don’t take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive.”Again, this refers to al akhira is what matters. What has been your defining moment thus far and how has it changed you andyour course in life?My defining moment? I think it is when a viewer got in touch with me after watching me for a whole year. My story inspired her to make better choices for her life that ended up saving her life in the end. That’s awesome! What about Islam do you love the most?It has taught me to become a better person than I was yesterday. Please tell us more about your collaboration with Anas Marwah?Anas Marwah is a youtuber in my hometown that I discovered through Vines.I got in touch with him (as there are not many other youtubers close by) and we wanted to collaborate as a hobby and to use the fact that we have an audience to spread a message (as we did with “Smiles for Syria”, raising awareness about what is happening in Syria and collecting donations and even donating all profits we make off the video). Yes, You have been doing a lot of work regarding the plight of the Syrians. Pleasetell us more about this and how memrsme readers can assist?I have been trying to get involved and give back to the community whether it be our ummah or just in my hometown, and part of that was the Smiles for Syria and Keep Us Warm campaign in which we raised and donated over 12,000$ to the people of Syria. Readers can head over to our channels AsoomiiJay and AnasHMarwah and share the video Smiles for Syria to help raise awareness and all profit made of views are being donated to charity as well. Readers can also follow us on Facebook to keep updated on future campaigns and projects that we will be having.
When did you start wearing Hijab and what made you start?When I was 9 years old, I went up to my mother and told her “My friend from school wears the hijab because she said she loves Allah and wants to please him. I love Allah too and want to please him so I want to wear the hijab.” And since that day, I have been wearing the hijab.
How did wearing hijab affect you and people’s reaction to you?Surprisingly, it has affected me a lot and I never understood what my choice in clothing or a scarf on my head had to do with anyone else’s business.I don’t fit in the stereotypes of a western Canadian girl nor an Arab Muslim girl, so it’s kind of confusing for people once they get to know me. Some accept it, some judge as me being ignorant due to what they see about Muslims on the news, and others see me as a rebel against my own faith because of my choice in thinking or dressing. But in the end of the day, I don’t let their reactions bother me. What would you say are the benefits of wearing hijab?You do gain respect to a certain point. Many respect you for wearing hijab in this day and age because it’s not easy to find girls who are so confident to dress so modestly and covered up with everything we see in the media and around us. What advise can you give women on starting and sticking to wearing the Hijab?Wearing hijab is not going to be easy. We are going to be tempted to want to do our hair and dress like how everyone else around us dresses, we might get reacted to differently, but think of the gold at the end of the rainbow. Some argue that in this day and age, the hijab has merely become an accessory but I believe it’s a form of Jihad, or struggle, within one’s self. If you get thoughts to take it off and resist, you get rewarded. Prophet (pbuh) said if you think to do something good and you do it, you get rewarded, if you think to do something good and don’t do it; you get rewarded for the intention. And if you think of doing something bad, and don’t do it, you get rewarded for the good intention. Lastly, What do you want to be remembered by?I want to be remembered for being a good person and making a better change.
I feel so lucky to have interviewed Asma, she is truly a free spirit and an inspiration. Through the personal trials she has had to endure she continues to show that we should put our trust in Allah swt alone! Alghamdulillah there are so many young women out there pioneering for hijab, for good, for Islam and for change!
Asoomijay is also part of the CHARITY WATER FUNDRAISING PARTY on MAY 16TH IN NYC! She will be joining YazTheSpaz89, Babylailalov, The HijabiBengaliSisters, Anas Marwah, Nye Armstrong, Lisa Vogl-Hamid Photography, Khalil Ismail and Naeem from Native Deen in raising money for clean drinking water for Rwanda! It will be a great night for a VERY amazing cause!!! If you would like to assist purchase your ticket for the sake of Allah and let's all join together to solve the water crisis even if you can't make it. 100% OF PROCEEDS GO TO CHARITY Tickets: https://charitywaterparty.eventbrite.com/
You can find Asoomijay at the following links