99 episodes

A space for women to feel like they are not alone in the hardships or struggles that they are facing. Some conversations may be lighthearted, some may touch upon taboo topics, but the overall mission for this podcast is to make every woman realize that she is not alone in whatever struggle she may be going through. We are all in this together, I promise.

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    • Religion & Spirituality

A space for women to feel like they are not alone in the hardships or struggles that they are facing. Some conversations may be lighthearted, some may touch upon taboo topics, but the overall mission for this podcast is to make every woman realize that she is not alone in whatever struggle she may be going through. We are all in this together, I promise.

    Is God on Your Invite List: How to Make Sense of Our Hardships w/ Halima Jama

    Is God on Your Invite List: How to Make Sense of Our Hardships w/ Halima Jama

    Sometimes Allah (swt) wants a certain level of Jannah for someone and when their good deeds alone can't get them there, He gives them hardship.

    These are such powerful words that I was fortunate enough to come across in a moment of need.  In today's episode, I sit down with Halima Jama to discuss how we can better focus our lens on the blessings threaded within our hardships, how we can include Allah in every aspect of our lives and how to trust the next chapter we are embarking on because Allah is the author.
    Some silver linings can be much more difficult to find than others, but there is always goodness and khair in everything that we endure. Subhanallah, how Allah grants us the strength to face the most difficult of hardships in this dunya.

    In this life, you will have moments where your face hurts from smiling too much, moments where your eyes can't shed anymore tears, tireless nights where you find yourself surrounded by darkness, moments that are memorable and others that you try your hardest to erase.

    You will meet people who will love you deeply and others who will hurt you and may leave a scar behind, but through all of this, you will find that silver lining.
    Know that through all of these moments, Allah is right there with you. So, ask for His guidance, pray for better days, soften your heart and open your eyes to the beauty in this dunya and the rewards of Allah's mercy.
    As always, be gentle with one another. Most of us are going through something that we are choosing to only keep between us and our Creator. I only pray that Allah showers you with ease and patience.
    I intentionally chose to keep this conversation as the last discussion of Ramadan. Halima Jama is someone who you will find yourself indebted to Allah for allowing you to cross paths with her. Her words always touch me and leave an imprint on my heart for more reasons than one.

    She is a well known wedding photographer in Toronto, Canada and a Muslim woman everyone should know. She showers us with her beautiful duas that are accompanied with her contagious smile.
    And in this episode we dive into the notion of cultivating a strong bond with Allah and focusing our lens, no pun intended, on the many ways Allah has chosen to provide us with rizk, mercy and blessings we could have never imagined for ourselves.
    Enjoy and follow the pod on Instagram:
    @unsweetenedandunfiltered

    Follow Halima Jama on Instagram:
    @halimajama

    Follow Tawheed Community Centre here:
    @tawheedcommunitycentre

    Book Halima for your next Photoshoot here:
    www.halimajama.com

    • 49 min
    Loss and Grief: What Death Teaches Us About Life w/ Chaplain Sondos Kholaki

    Loss and Grief: What Death Teaches Us About Life w/ Chaplain Sondos Kholaki

    We say that if we knew our expiration dates, we would live life differently. Yet, it's written that tomorrow is not guaranteed and we still go on living our lives no differently.

    In today's episode, I sit down with Sondos Kholaki, who is a Muslim Chaplain and author, to discuss a topic most of us intentionally avoid and that is Death. But, what if we chose to view death as a gift? What if we realized that there is so much more to learn from loss and grief?

    In this discussion we come face to face with our own mortality and the art of grieving.

    Death, loss and grief are some of the things we struggle with navigating. It can be a journey filled with a rollercoaster ride of emotions and one that we may never know how to proceed without a generous amount of caution.

    We realize that losing a loved one is a reality check that we were never prepared for and grief becomes a part of us, something that we will never be able to escape. 
    It's truly a wake up call when you realize that death is written for every one of us. But why is it that we avoid talking about it? What do we truly fear when it comes to this concept? Is it the fact that we will one day leave our loved ones behind or is it that we fear we are not fulfilling our soul's purpose?

    I want to thank Chaplain Sondos Kholaki for taking the time to share with us what it means to be a Chaplain and what death has personally taught her. We dive into the process of grieving and the many forms it takes on.  This is a discussion that Sondos beautifully leads with compassion and understanding.  She teaches us to not fear death but to embrace this reality and to not become overwhelmed when we find ourselves at the intersection of joy and grief, and life and death.
    I would like to also take a moment to give my condolences to the family of Chaplain Sohaib Sultan, who was Princeton's first Muslim Chaplain and Sondos's first mentor. He is someone who has led a life of inspiration, compassion, kindness and so much more. May Allah grant him the highest of heavens inshallah.
    Enjoy and follow the pod on Instagram:
    @unsweetenedandunfiltered

    Follow Ch. Sondos Kholaki on Instagram:
    @by_the pen

    Purchase 'Musings of a Muslim Chaplain' here:
    Musings of a Muslim Chaplain

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Conversation w/ A. Helwa: Reflections on Secrets of Divine Love

    Conversation w/ A. Helwa: Reflections on Secrets of Divine Love

    No gift is greater than having a Creator who listens to you even when you don't speak. Who forgives your sins even when you don't feel worthy of His mercy. And who always guides us back no matter how far we have been led astray.

    In today's episode, you'll be listening to a recording of a Clubhouse Chatroom that Alex Fox and I had hosted back in March with our special guest, A. Helwa, the author of 'Secrets of Divine Love'.
    We were all enveloped by the poetic words of Helwa and the room was filled with the love for our Creator and a deep appreciation for our connection to Helwa's writing. I've had the pleasure of having her on my podcast at the beginning of this season, but it was truly a gift to share another space with her on Clubhouse and this time we had audience members ask her their own personal questions. 

    We discussed the concept of Allah's door always being open, how He is the only Being that knows us in our entirety and the beauty in experiencing God's words through our actions and daily life. 

    We will forever be indebted to Helwa and her ability to make us fall in love with Allah all over again.
    Enjoy and follow the pod on Instagram:
    @unsweetenedandunfiltered

    Follow A. Helwa on Instagram:
    @quranquotesdaily

    Purchase Secrets of Divine Love here:
    Secrets of Divine Love

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Delaying Our Blessings: Is There A Link Between Our Sins and Hardships w/ Sister Hosai Mojaddidi

    Delaying Our Blessings: Is There A Link Between Our Sins and Hardships w/ Sister Hosai Mojaddidi

    Is it possible that we can be doing something to block or delay our blessings in this world?

    In today's episode, I am grateful for the chance to re-introduce you to one of my absolute favorite spiritual counselors and that is Sister Hosai Mojaddidi! She is a public speaker, teacher, writer, mentor and mental health advocate, too!

    Do you ever find yourself questioning if your hardships are a result of the sins you may be committing? If these hardships are a punishment that we have to face because of what we have done? In this conversation we explore the possibility of a link between our sins, trials and blessings.
    In this discussion, Hosai beautifully delves into these questions as well as our relationship with Allah. She explains how it's a rahma to be tested and to be cleansed of our sins through these very same tribulations.
    I once read that sometimes Allah swt wants a certain level of Jannah for someone, and when their good deeds alone can't get them there, He gives them hardship.
    And sometimes hardships also come in the form of a closed door, but if you look a little bit more closely you would realize that it's truly an open door. A redirection that was protection written for you by Allah because who knows what harmful situation was lying behind that closed door.
    We also cover the concept of having a close relationship with Allah, not only publicly but privately, and how it's important that we do not take advantage of Allah's forgiveness and mercy, but rather how can we be more sincere and intentional in everything that we do daily.
    May Allah reward Sister Hosai for giving us a better understanding of our faith and for leading such fruitful conversations. May you all have a blessed Ramadan inshallah.
    Enjoy and follow the pod on Instagram:
    @unsweetenedandunfiltered

    Follow Sister Hosai Mojaddidi on Instagram:
    @hosaimojo
    Check out Sister Hosai's Website:
    www.hosaimojaddidi.com

    • 52 min
    Empowered vs Tolerated: Reclaiming Our Space and Creating Roles for Muslim Women w/ Ustadha Maryam Amir

    Empowered vs Tolerated: Reclaiming Our Space and Creating Roles for Muslim Women w/ Ustadha Maryam Amir

    If I had asked you to name three female companions of the Prophet (pbuh) on the spot, would you be able to?

    This is a question that I had struggled with answering before having this discussion, yet ironically there isn't a shortage of female companions from our Prophet's (pbuh) time, nor a shortage in female scholars in today's society. But why is it that I am struggling with naming these powerful and admirable women?

    In today's episode, I sit down with Ustadha Maryam Amir, an illuminating light in our Muslim community, and not only does she hold a Master's degree in education, a Bachelor's in Islamic Studies, among some of her countless accomplishments, but she also holds a second degree black belt in Taekwondo! If I may add, this conversation is just as powerful as her reverse right kick and left hook!

    I can't help but to revel in the fact that Muslim women are participating and excelling in every sector in today's society despite the barriers that they may be facing. We are a force to be reckoned with, and that even though we have suffered from discrimination, misogyny and other forms of trauma, we still continue to be steadfast in our faith.
    I am continuously left in awe and empowered when hearing Sister Maryam speak in social gatherings. She is someone who has personally taught me so much and in today's discussion, she touches upon a woman's access in Islamic spaces, how unfortunately at times it can be restricted due to the fear of fitna. How some policies that are created with our community spaces can truly be harmful and she also touches upon the roles of women in our Prophet's (pbuh) time. The warrior women who were in battle - something I truly never knew myself!
    This conversation sheds light on how society needs to make women feel welcomed rather than tolerated in whatever space they find themselves in. Like Sister Maryam mentions: our faith didn't come about to mute our personalities, rather it was meant to enhance each and every one of us.

    Enjoy and follow the pod on Instagram:
    @unsweetenedandunfiltered

    Follow Ustadha Maryam Amir on Instagram:
    @themaryamamir
    Conversations on Women and Religious Text:
    Ustadha Maryam's Course

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Islamic Mahr Contracts: Why Mahr is a Muslim Woman's Right w/ Dr. Tamara Gray

    Islamic Mahr Contracts: Why Mahr is a Muslim Woman's Right w/ Dr. Tamara Gray

    The topic of Mahr at times can be so nerve racking when discussed between potential spouses. Questions such as 'how much one should ask for' and 'if there's a limit for the amount requested' are at the top of everyone's list. 

    Often times, we can be so quick in discussing the details of the wedding hall and guest list, but do we also make it a priority to reserve the time for serious discussions such as financial compatibility, especially when it comes to Mahr?

    Western media likes to portray it as a dowry or bride price and the last thing women want is for a man to place a price tag on her at his own discretion. But what if I told you that dowry and Mahr are completely different?

    In today's episode, I sit down with Dr. Tamara Gray, a household name in most Muslim communities, because of her constant support and mentorship of hundreds of women around the world. Her organization, Rabata, is dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through creative educational experiences. 

    Dr. Gray defines what Mahr is and its origin within the Islamic context. She also provides valuable insight on how to gauge what and how much to request and what to do with our Mahr. 

    Of course, as much as we hope a marriage can last between spouses, there is the possibility of it ending in divorce. Dr. Gray also briefly advises on how Mahr should be handled from that point, too.

    I want to thank Dr. Gray for lending herself as a resource and for empowering women when it comes to the topic of financial security and how one should invest their assets. We need more of these conversations and inshallah we can continue having them.

    Be on the lookout for a future episode that will be released in regards to prenups from a Western standpoint.


    Enjoy and follow the pod on Instagram:
    @unsweetenedandunfiltered

    Follow Dr. Tamara Gray on Instagram:
    @tamaralgray
    Check out the Rabata organization:
    RABATA

    Check out DayBreak Press for Islamic Books for Ramadan:
    DayBreak Press

    Purchase a Copy of Project Lina:
    Project Lina

    • 57 min

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