Egyptian Kickboxer Shapes Muslim Lifestyle in Muslim Quarterly Magazine


Hot new stuff, Muslim Quarterly is the first magazine exclusively for Muslim men.

In the aims of addressing challenges faced today, Muslim Quarterly is a male-orientated publication for the American Muslim man. We saw an absence of the magazine for a while, which Editor-in-Chief Omar Haq explained was because the team worked towards defining its unique identity.

Muslim Quarterly is back, with a culturally sleek and broader depth. It arrived on my desk in October, shrink-wrapped in opaque plastic and ready for a woman's critique.

The magazine is published four times a year, giving rise to its name, and explores areas that are typically a man's arena. Sexual appetite, budget spending on the other half, and easy cooking for the laid back bachelor.

A great shot of American Muslim comedian Ali Ardekani made the front cover of the latest issue, accompanied by fellow Alis - finalist of HBO's Lucky 21 Comedy Festival, Asif Ali, and one half of the 30Mosques duo, Aman Ali. The three Alis give an candid interview of how they got into performing. It's one of the better parts of the magazine.

Designed by Nazia Sharif, MQ is based in Chicago and backed by an experienced team of writers. The first issue of MQ launched in 2009, dedicated to Ramadan with nutritional guides, lessons on control and an interview with Muslim 'celebrity' Omar Regan.

A weaker area is in the multiple full page spreads of men modelling contemporary Muslim fashion. I understand and appreciate advertising spaces but ten pages, six of which make up the first section, dominate the entire magazine. On that note, a power-fist-in-air gesture to Lomar Thobe for their clothing line.

The magazine itself covers an increasingly interesting range of topics, not that dissimilar to a popular science or health publication. Algerian Chef Muhammad Benabdelmalek writes about aphrodisiac food groups, categorising them by their uses and nutritional value and referencing Islamic texts.

Following fruity concoctions and Arab inspired recipes, we see a spectacular feature of Egyptian Kickboxing Champion, Khaled Fahim. Sharing his training routine and athletic family background, I go on to flip a page where Khaled Fahim is shown with his leg in mid-air in an almost horizontal split. As a Muslim woman I think two thoughts: A and E. Awra exposure.

Women writers have the marital columns with great gift-giving tips for husbands and signs that a guy is having an 'emotional affair': sharing more personal information with female co-workers, hiding new friendships, "innocent" online and text flirting, and relaying fantasies about another woman. It's valuable information and a slap in the face for Muslims everywhere.

Here's the winning quality of MQ, it actually provides solutions to such pitfalls and instead of side-stepping the issues, seems to say, Muslims can make mistakes, they are human, but this is how to stop it recurring. Excellent.

Our favourite Muslim dude blogger, Halim Naeem has an informative advisory piece for single Muslim men on successfully finding a wife, and eating your wedding cake too. His personal marriage experience is clearly translated into his 'internet or intersex?' chapter. He says,

"How you find a wife is just as important and where you find her. Brothers, we have to make sure we are approaching potential woman with as much respect for them as we would have for ourselves".

I hear myself chiming, ame(e)n. Halim Naeem is engaging, he's being 'real' when analysing the process behind online matrimonial sites and he seems to know what he's talking about.

A surprisingly good read is an article on sickle cell disease around the world and its implications for a marriage. More on love, marriage fashion and wedding traditions can be found in MQ, which I suspect will be a focal point for all future publications, for who doesn't love a good dig at the Muslim marriage scene?

In light of current magazines for Muslim audiences, Muslim Quarterly is heavily reliant on Quranic verses and traditions narrated from Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. With the technological driven lifestyles of American Muslims, and indeed Muslims from around the world, MQ shares a concern to bring Muslims back to the roots of understanding faith, mental health and who they are - not who they're supposed to be.

Subscribe to {Muslim Quarterly}.

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