Our December featured blogger is Katie, blogger at Katie to Khadijah. She is an Australian Muslim revert from Melbourne. Throughout her life she held mainly agnostic beliefs. Out of sheer curiosity one day, She decided to research all about religion. Her intention was just to gain a better understanding of them all and she wasn’t looking for a religion to follow. She reverted to Islam in the year 2017.
When and why did you start blogging? Did anyone, in particular, inspire you to start blogging?
I started my blog, Katie To Khadijah, midway through June in 2018. So you could say that as a six month old blog, it’s still fairly new.
A big thing that inspired me to start my blog was something that Ali Banat said in his final message video.
For those of you who don’t know who Ali Banat was, he was a young Australian Muslim who founded a charity called Muslims Around The World (MATW). He decided to start the charity after being diagnosed with cancer in 2015. Sadly, he passed away during Ramadan in 2018.
What he said in his final message video was this:
“…So brothers and sisters just try to have a goal, try to have a plan, try to have a project that you work towards. Even if it’s not you personally doing it and you are funding someone else’s projects, just do something because wallah you are going to need it on the Day of Judgement.”
I was very moved by his video. As a Muslim revert with limited Islamic knowledge and income, I came up with the idea of blogging.
There’s already a plethora of Islamic blogs out there, but what I have to offer is posts written from a female, western Muslim revert’s perspective.
Tell us a bit about your blog. The inspiration behind the name and how you decided what to blog about.
Katie To Khadijah is an Islamic blog designed to help myself and others become better practising Muslims. Whether you’re a revert or are simply improving yourself in your own spiritual journey.
What I do is research general topics and problems that Muslims face, or seem to be searching for on Google. I try to be the source of guidance that I wish I had when I was coming to Islam. I aim to provide my audience with value by covering topics as in-depth as I can, with commentary on ayahs of the Qur’an and ahadith.
I came up with the name Katie To Khadijah because it represents my journey of agnosticism to Islam. I also thought that it’s a unique and catchy sounding name.
On the day of my shahada in 2017, the imam recommended that I use a Muslim name. Not officially though. Only to go by at the mosque. I didn’t go about changing my legal name or passport or anything like that.
I chose the name Khadijah after one of the four best women in Islam, Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). It also sounds kind of similar to my original name, Katie.
What’s the most challenging thing about being a blogger and blogging?
The most challenging thing about being a blogger and blogging is trying to keep my intentions pure.
What I want to focus on the most is contribution vs. feeling significant.
What I mean by that is focusing on getting posts out there that are beneficial to others. Providing information that’s accurate. Contributing to the Muslimah Blogger community by helping promote other bloggers and helping them with their blogging too. Doing things for the sake of Allah before anything else.
What I don’t want to do is lose sight of that intention. I don’t want to use my blog to get an excess of income or use it for fame or for recognition.
I want my focus to be on helping people and not the amount of blog hits or followers that I get.
Do you struggle to find the time to blog? How do you manage your time? Have you ever felt overwhelmed?
I used to struggle a little bit in finding the time to blog. This was at the start of my blogging journey, when I was working part-time.
Three months ago, I resigned from my job. As someone with no kids and no pets, all I have to look after is my husband. 🙂 I have a lot of time to devote to learning about Islam and writing on my blog.
In shaa Allah, in the new year, I might look for a job that’s closer to home and start working part-time again.
I’m probably not the best person to ask for tips on time management and juggling multiple responsibilities right now. But I can give you a tip from Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ):
Narrated Sakhr al-Ghamidi:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “O Allah, bless my people in their early mornings.” When he sent out a detachment or an army, he sent them at the beginning of the day. Sakhr was a merchant, and he would send off his merchandise at the beginning of the day; and he became rich and had much wealth.
Abu Dawud said: He is Sakhr b. Wada’ah.[Sunan Abi Dawud]
Early mornings are a great time to blog because everything is quiet. Everyone is in bed asleep and there’s no distractions. In my case, my husband works all night and comes home at Fajr time.
Quite often I find myself blogging at 2am and I love it. It’s much easier to get the job done. Just me, a cup of tea and a laptop in front of me.
Have you had any opportunities arise as a result of blogging?
I haven’t had many opportunities arise yet. But I did recently get offered to hold an informal class at a local mosque in Melbourne as a result of my blog.
Where do you see blogging in 5 years? Will you still be doing it in shaa Allah?
I don’t see why the art of blogging would change much in five years time.
Platforms like YouTube and Facebook, where people vlog, have undergone a lot of changes in recent years. I often witness Islamic channels getting taken down for no reason and algorithms change, making it harder for creators to get their content out there.
Blogging on platforms such as WordPress and Blogger on the other hand seems pretty safe. Google and Pinterest algorithms might change (making SEO and blog promotion harder) but we can always count on having people subscribe to a newsletter. Which I haven’t got yet but plan to in shaa Allah.
I certainly hope that I’ll still be blogging in five years time in shaa Allah. It’s an enjoyable hobby that benefits not only me but others as well.
What are your future goals for your blog?
I plan to keep pumping out posts on my blog until they reach in the hundreds.
I’ve been pondering whether or not I should start vlogging on YouTube as well but at the moment I have doubts about it. I don’t know if the world needs another Muslim revert story or husband tag video.
What advice and tips would you give to someone who may be thinking of starting a blog?
My advice is just do something today that will help lead you to that goal. Watch Ali Banat’s video that I mentioned before and do something that will benefit the ummah and benefit you after you pass away.
I knew very little about blogging besides what I learnt when I studied marketing in 2010. I took a website class and made a niche blog about perfume (which doesn’t exist anymore).
You can join the Muslimah Bloggers group on Facebook for support and blogging tips.
There’s plenty of information out there on Google, Pinterest and YouTube about starting a blog from scratch.
If I can do it, anyone can!
The great thing about blogging is that you don’t have to be super knowledgeable about your niche or write a post like it’s a college essay. You can just explain things to people in an informal way, like you would to a friend in a coffee shop.
JazakAllah Khair to Katie for taking the time out to answer our questions. If you wish to connect with her further you can follow her blog Katie to Khadijah and find her on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.