Reminders of how much I don’t fit in with the local Muslim community slaps me in the face each time I see a veiled lady or a man clad in his kurta or shelwar-kameez (however that is supposed to be spelt). 

I made a conscious decision not to wear my kurta/thaub/cloak anymore because it has become a symbol of religious elitism rather than the modesty that the sunnah supposed to invoke. I don’t want to be a symbol that represents outward piety but hollow intentions. 

So I’ve chosen a lonely path. May Allah strengthen me and have mercy on me…

Zaid Ismail

Author, life coach, and mental health activist. We need to change the narrative from disorders, illnesses, and survival to accountability, understanding, and thriving.

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