Thirty Something


For devout Muslim Mubarakah, a 30-year-old mother of four, life in her 30s is about family and career. Married for 14 years, Mubarakah never had to worry about the dating scene. "Dating in Islam is forbidden," she says. "When you meet someone and you' re talking to them, the purpose is for marriage. So you' re getting to know someone to know whether or not that' s somebody you want to be married to."

In her career as a certified personal trainer, Mubarakah' s biggest challenge is finding workout clothes in keeping with her faith. "As Muslim women, we can only show our face and hands," she explains. "Most workout outfits are either short sleeved or too tight." She modifies her clothes by adding length to sleeves and hems, taking care to look cute at the same time. "I try to at least look like I' m matching and I have some kind of style," she says. "So generally my headscarf will match my outfit."

Mubarakah says she encounters many myths about her religion, including her heritage. "People automatically think I' m from another country, but my mother' s family is Cherokee and my father' s African-American, so I' m as American as it gets," she says. An open attitude helps Mubarakah deal with misconceptions. "If people don' t understand, I just try to be very personable with it," she says. "I' m very open as far as questions."

Commitment to her religion requires Mubarakah to pray five times daily, whether she' s working with a client, at the movies, or in her living room. Still, she says that American Muslims are just like any other Americans. "We' re no longer immigrants or converts to Islam, but rather American-born Muslims that lead regular American lives. [We] incorporate our Islamic beliefs and practices into our every day," Mubarakah says. "In the end, all our goals are the same. All of us want to raise our kids to be contributing members of society, to be healthy, to be happy. And no matter where you choose to worship, every woman wants to know, 'How do you get rid of cellulite?'

This article was written by Oprah Winfrey staff and appeared on

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  33 Comments   Comment

  1. Olanrewaju Fatai from Nigeria

    Sis Mubarakah, my advice for you and our sisters is that Just Keep On and never look back. Allah (SWT) shall reward us all with Al Jannah, Amin

  2. ismail ibrahim from Nigeria

    Salam sis mubarrakah. Keep it up! Allah is your strenth and He surely will.


    Asalam alekum sister Mubarak keep it up allah will reward you,

  4. Sanni Hamza Maigatari from Nigeria

    Salamu alaikum Mubarakah;

    Keep it up God will always be with you. Masha Allahu. Barakallahu fee.

  5. Rahma from US

    Thank you sister in islam, you jazzercise yourself into a role model for many young active, and virtuous, young muslim girls.


    Salam alaykum. Thanks to almighty ALLAH for making us a practising muslim.Ijab is the best for the females if only we can think right

  7. Sola Hassan from Nigeria

    May Allah reward you accordingly.May Allah grant you more muslim girls the courage you have to promote Islam. I am highly delighted to read this piece. Keep it up. Ma Salaam.


    Assalamu alaikum. Sister Mubarrak, I really salute your courage, I pray may Allah(SWT) grant you Jannat firdaus (amin). If all muslim sisters would be like you, Islam will lead the world

  9. Abubakar Yusuf Ahmad from Nigeria

    With this it is an encouragement to our female muslims in africa, to Know that even in America They Value islamic Culture and clothing which fetch women there values and respect.

  10. Abdullahi from Nigeria

    Assalamu Alaikum

    Thank you Mubarakah, and Allah bless you Ameen.

  11. mikhail ibrahim from Nigeria

    she is a model for islam. i love to communicate to her for her promptness. she is my sister in islam for life. i like to know her mailing address your regular talk. Ma-salam

  12. Azizah from USA

    Assalamualaikum:This woman is so wonderful. I am so proud of her for being a true muslim. May Allah bless her and the family.

  13. kolawole Abdulazeez Oladele from Nigeria

    Maasalam, I love her courage and sincerity, It worth emulation for other muslim woman to put their faith before any other things, verily ALLAH we reward the pious.

  14. Jamilu Daura from Nigeria

    salaam,may Allah (S.W.T) reward my sister for this article and i personally impressed the manner in which she present the article,even the way she islamatized the words,m

  15. Aisha Yakubu from Nigeria

    Jazaks sis Mubaraka i think its quite encouraging especialy for young unmarried muslim sisters like us.would like to get in touch throgh email if it possible.salam

  16. Nabilah Yasin from United States

    As Salaam Wa Alikum. Alhadulilah!!! May Allah be pleased with you Sister. I am giving your artical to my 12 year old daughter to read. You are an insperation to the young muslim sisters. I also want to know how do you get rid of cellulite? Wa Lakum As-Salaam.

  17. Faids from philippine


    The areticle is worth reading . I like to communicate with her. She is a modern working mother and is not a copycat. She abides with MUSLIM WOMEN DRESS CODE. I liked very much what i saw in her.

  18. Jamal Abuhashim from Qatar

    Aslam alukm

    Thanks For The sister

    and this is muslim women should be

    God bless you all


  19. AISHA from usa

    plz send me an email of how i can communicate with her.

  20. Azra khan from USA

    Assalam Aleakum,

    Seeing my sister in her beautiful dress and Smile on her face, she makes us muslim women proud.

    May Allah bless her and her family.

  21. Ibrahim Abawa Keana from NIGERIA

    Ma salaam.Islam has created great minds regardless of enviromental upbringing. Im glad to read that Mubarak has conscience,humility and good orietation. Her marriage period was timely and recommendable. Salamu Allaykum

  22. MM Usmani from India

    Assalamualaikum, the article carries her conviction and shows how strong a faith she has. I only wish other sisters (and brothers too)take cue from her. She has succeeded in securing this world as well as hereafter. After all, this is what we are all here for. May Allah bless her.

  23. Alia from Kazakhstan

    Salamaleykum wr wb!

    I absolutely agree with this article. I just in found it completely same with that we face here in Kazakhstan as Muslim women.

    thank you for this article.

    May Allah bless us all!

  24. Jaytala from New Zealand

    People stereotyping others has always been such a lazy way of thinking. The amount of normal Muslim women wearing comfortable coverings is huge (watched global Netball recently?) Nice stories need to be shared more, not just for braking stereotypes but who else likes stories that make you smile?!

  25. hadiza from nigeria

    its nice and refreshing to see strong muslim women educate the society by being sociable and demystifies our lovely religion to others and makes others percieve it in a clearer light..

  26. Tasneem El Banna from UAE

    MashaAllah, Mubarakah is a sister that we can all as Muslims be proud of, she's loud and clear, simple & direct to the point. No misconceptions in her believe, wish I'd seen the show, if anyone has could u guide me to it.

    Jazakum Allahu Khayran.

  27. abu elhadi from USA

    Very well explained i like my sisters outlook I hope more Muslims will act in accordence with these concepts and principles

  28. Yusuf D from USA


    Great article. Good for shattering some myths about Muslims in the USA and worldwide. We are just regular people who worship in our way. I wish more Muslim women worldwide held the belief stated here about, "Dating in Islam is Forbidden". As a Muslim convert, I haven't seen this belief as strongly as I wished. It seems as though many sisters have forgotten this. Having been born and raised in the USA and spending time in Indonesia, I'm very sad to see how many partners some women have had prior to marriage.

    Mubarakah will be a great role model for many Muslim women.


  29. Aisha Kanar from usa

    I respect you for living your Islamic Life as a happy and motivating human. Islam in not a chain and ball for women, it is freedom, freedom to be our Allah loving and serving persons he created us to be. I applaud you. I am a Cuban American Muslim and I live a working acitve life proud to be a Muslim and setting an example to all. May Allah bless you for your commitment.

  30. nizam ali from trinidad and tobago

    Thank Allah Almighty, for all praise and thanks are for Him and Him alone.It is very admirable of you sister. Just live Islam and others will follow. May He for whom you do it, grant you a beautiful place in His Jannat.


    Wonderful article. I feel sad because today when dressing I was worried how hard I was tring to accept myself in mid-sleeves coat. And here we are: Allah talking to me through Mubarak's exemple. Alhamdoullilah, Allah Akbar Kabiran. Mubarak is right, we muslim, particularly muslim women should stand still with Islam recommandations. We have to be proud the way Islam teaches us to live and we should stick on it. I know it might not be easy when your surroudning is different like in Abidjan. My own example at work where my colleagues call me "la vieille" "the old lady" because I seldom wear short sleeves, no tight dressing and always with a scarf or hat. I abandonned wearing short skirts and others since I decided in 2000 changing my life for Islam. Dressing like this ease you performing your prayers no matter where you are.

    Laha Illa Illa Anta Soubanaka In'nikountoun minal zwalimina. Oh Allah forgive me and wind up my faith so that I never wear neither short nor medium sleeves again except at home. Ya Gafar, Ya Razak, Ya Raouf Ya Rabal Alamine.

    Choukrane for your article. Jazzak Allah Moubarakan Fihi.

    Hadja Adara

  32. Fatimah Muhammad from Canada

    Salam alaikum,

    I really think this sister is very strong. I saw her and her family on Oprah. She really did Represent herself and the deen very well. She, unlike other muslim women I had seen on Oprah in the past, was not ashamed to cover herself. I really did enjoy her being on the show, Mashallah.

    Most of all, I enjoyed the fact that she is a trainer. We definitely need more muslim females in that field. Thanks Islamicity for this article.

    Salam alaikum,


  33. Najjar from Morocco

    Assalamou Alaikkoum respected sister. I only want to say you have an oustanding attitude. May Allah bless and protect you and yours.