Sunday, 19 February 2017

Three Months to Ramadan 2017/1438

I was writing to a lovely sister this morning who contacted me because of the blog.  Have I ever mentioned that I love, love, love getting e-mails from sisters?  I should also mention that I am awful at replying and might respond in a day or in six months (to my shame).  But this sister’s e-mail reminded me that Ramadan is just over three months away.  

This got me thinking about a couple of things: my husband will probably spend Ramadan away again this year doing dawah, this time hopefully in Pakistan.  He could not go last year due to the refurbishment of our home and I could see it weighed heavily on him.  

I am hoping or both my mum- and dad-in-law to stay with us this Ramadan, usually it is just mum-in-law alone.  With hubby away, this will change the family dynamic in terms of routine, meals and how we plan our days.  It's funny, every Ramadan is different and unique in our home with a different mix of people.  I have to say, I am really looking forward to having dad-in-law here, we get on like a house on fire mash'Allah and it is really funny watching him wind up mum-in-law.

A third thing that comes to mind is that it is about time to update my annual Ramadan and Eid Planner.  I am hoping to do this over the next few days and have had some good feedback from the last version which is here.


 I would really, really appreciate any feedback from readers on any of the following points:
  • Have you ever used the planner and have you found it useful at all?
  • Do you like the design and colours?  What would you change?
  • What else could I add to make it useful?
  • Was there any part that you did not find useful?
Any and all feedback is welcome either through the comments or e-mail at umm_salihah@yahoo.co.uk as I hope to update the planner soon insh'Allah.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Muslimah Mastermind Group: Our Purpose

I recently blogged about the idea of a Muslim Mastermind Group.  The Muslimah Mastermind Group is about being part of a group of sisters who are all committed to improving their lives and achieving their dreams. These individuals each bring their own unique perspectives, resources, skills, and networks to the group. Most importantly, each one is committed to working towards their own goals and also supporting the other members in achieving theirs Insh’Allah. A true win-win opportunity.



The purpose behind this group is:

To Share Resources

There is an abundance of great resources about every topic you can think of in the shape of blogs and websites, e-books, guides, checklists, tutorials and free training. I have added as many as I can to the resource pages and will continue to add things I come across or sisters sign post me towards. 

To Solve Problems and Capitalise on Opportunities

The group will present an opportunity for sisters to share a question or problem. The rest of the group will then have an opportunity to provides answers and opportunities. Examples of questions or problems can be things like:
  • I want to start teaching my child Quran, where do I start?
  • I am interested in starting an online business – which platform is best?
  • I am launching a new product, can anyone help with spreading the word through blogs or their social media?
  • I am coming to London next week, any suggestions on where to eat and visit?
  • I want to increase my Islamic knowledge, what is a good place to start?
  • I am thinking about sending my child to Islamic school, Is this a good idea? Can any sisters speak from their own experience with their children?
  • I am sure there will be others that I can’t even imagine. I am also confident, that there will be sisters in the group that can bring great advice, contacts and suggestions to the issue at hand.
Or even:
  • I've just done this amazing course, here’s the link if you want to try it out
  • I have tickets to an event in New York that I am not attending, anyone want them? 


This idea partly came from my experience with working with a group of motivated women before and partly from Barbara Sher’s book Wishcraft, where she describes an “Idea Party”:

"Whether it’s a 3-hour or 12-hour workshop for public television or a corporation, at all my workshops I demonstrate what an idea party is. All of them are amazing, but one of the most memorable was at a public television show in Memphis.
I asked for an impossible dream and a woman raised her hand to say she wished she could go on a cruise.

“What's your obstacle?” I asked.
“I have three,” she said.
“First, I have no money. Second, my adult daughter is ill and staying at my place, and I'm looking out for her.
“And I'd rather not tell you the third obstacle.”
At that moment a man in shorts ran quickly from the back of the room up the central aisle waving a piece of paper:
“I just won a cruise for one person by running for the heart association, just a few hours ago. I don't want to go on a cruise. Anyway, I'm married.” And he gave the certificate to the women. We were wowed.
She was very moved. “That's so nice of you I don't know what to say, but I can't leave my daughter.”
A few rows back a hand went up. “I'm a public health nurse and I have to give 10 days pro bono every year. Would that help?”
The woman was flabbergasted (so was everyone but me, because I'd seen it so many times before. But this one did turn out to be unusual.)
“I think you'd better tell us your third obstacle,” I said.
She sighed. “My daughter's being stalked by her ex-husband and can't be alone.”
The room fell silent and then a man's voice came from the very last row:
“I'm a cop. What's his name?”
Everyone started laughing and cheering.
She went on the cruise."


Community

From speaking to sisters through my blog, I find that sisters can often feel very isolated. In this big beautiful ummah, why should anyone ever have to feel that way? I also think that success comes when we work together:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has ~ Margaret Mead


Inspiration

I hope that the sisters in the group serve as a source of inspiration to each other. Sometimes we have a vague dream but can’t imagine what it might look like in real life. Sometimes we feel lost and can’t decide what our purpose in life is. One of the aims of this group will be to act as a source of inspiration for one another.

Encouragement

If we feel as if we have nothing to offer and if we cannot do anything else, the least we can do is to make dua for each other and act as cheerleaders for each other:

…Help each other to goodness and heedfulness. Do not help each other to wrongdoing and enmity. Heed Allah. Allah is severe in retribution. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 2)


No sister should ever think she is the least in this group and each of us should encourage and support the others in the good things they hope to achieve, whether through dua, encouraging words, good advice or ideas and resources that we can share or make available.

I hope the reasons in this post encourage and inspire sisters to join and be active in the group and give a feel of what we are trying to achieve and how we can interact and work together.

The Muslimah Mastermind Group will be based around:
A private blog which you can join with a Google account
A private Facebook group
An e-mail list, which I will use to send out messages to the group if required.

If you want to join, please e-mail me at umm_salihah@yahoo.co.uk and I can add you to the above.



Picture of the Day 11.02.17 - Snow

It has been snowing on and off for the last few days here, cold but so pretty.
It hasn't stuck so far, so no snowmen despite the kids crazy excitement (Disney's Frozen has a lot to answer for, Darling was convinced it would be white and wintry like the cartoon outside).

I have been trying to get a decent picture of the snow, but no chance, my phone camera just wasn't picking the snowflakes up.  So I am stealing my sister’s pictures which I thought were absolutely awesome:






images from Shutterbug Sisters everyphototunity blog

Monday, 6 February 2017

Entrepreneur Interview with Osmaan Mahmood, Creator of Fenice Media and Where's Funky Monkey

This Entrepreneur Interview and Inspiring Ummah Interview posts will be a series of interviews with entrepreneurs and social campaigners who are making a difference in the world. I find that Muslim women are particularly interested in both of these areas: becoming entrepreneurs or doing work that benefits society, often both at the same time. These interviews will help to shine a light on the motivation and inspiration behind creating your own product, service, social outreach campaign or charity, how to get started and some of the challenges you may face.

As an introduction, can you please tell us about yourself, your background, and what lead you to create your business/product? 
After having worked in the publishing industry for a few years I set up my own company Fenice Media. We have three core products CorporateLiveWire, the Luxury Travel Guide and iGap Travel Guide. All of these products are geared towards adults and when looking at new areas for the company to expand we felt that we could create a product for children. 


That’s where the idea for Where’s Funky Monkey was born, we publish a great deal of content on travel via our guides and websites and it’s something that I love to do. The aim of Where’s Funky Monkey is to encourage children to want to explore and see the world. 



What made you choose to become an entrepreneur? 
I’ve always looked up to successful business people and love to create new ideas and products so becoming an entrepreneur was something that came very naturally to me. I’m always tinkering and coming up with all sorts of new ideas some sensible and some quite crazy. 

What is the overall aim of your business/product? What problem are you setting out to solve and how? 
The first goal is to teach children that there is a very beautiful and diverse world out there and they should want to explore and experience as much as possible. Secondly with the proliferation of technology more and more kids today are playing games and watching videos whereas my aim with the book is to show children that reading and books are fun and enjoyable. 



What were some of the biggest challenges for you when you were starting your business? 
The biggest challenge was getting our name out there and convincing clients why they should work with us even though they had never heard of our company or product before. Also trying to recruit talented people to a new start-up company is very challenging especially when we used to work from an office that could only fit 5 people at a push. 

What do you wish you had known before you had started your business? 
Being willing to ask for help or advice, no one knows everything especially when it comes to business and rather than trying to do everything on my own or figure everything out on my own sometimes consulting someone with a bit more experience and knowledge in a certain area is the wiser choice. 

What is the most satisfying aspect of running your own business? 
Knowing that we are making a difference in providing our clients with a satisfying experience and product that is good value for money. 

Also to be able to provide work to so many of my employees some of whom struggled to find work for various reasons and were unemployed or in unhappy positions for many years. 

Where do you see your business in the future? 
Hopefully we will continue to grow, we have so far seen 5 years of consecutive growth both in revenues and profits so to keep up this trend while coming up with new and exciting ideas to continue to expand the company and its product range. 

What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who may be hesitant about taking the first steps towards starting their own business? 
Just to do it, there is never a right time or a perfect moment you simply go for it. 

Also do not have a backup plan I know this sounds crazy but if you want something to succeed you have to put everything on the line, when I set up my company in the first month I put all my savings into a new house and left my very secure full time job because I believed in what I was doing and you have to be willing to make the same sacrifice, life is too short to play it safe.



Osmaan is currently looking to raise funds via Kickstarter to fund his Funky Monkey book. The goal is to raise £5,000 to pay for editing, printing and to pay illustrators. You can go here to contribute and see what you get for your pledge. The Kickstarter page also has a timeline, risks and FAQ's. It's an all or nothing campaign, so the project will only be funded if it reaches its goal of £5,000 by 23rd February 2017.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Aaila the Muslim Family Magazine – January 2017 Edition

The latest edition of Aaila, the Muslim Family Magazine is now online thanks to the help and contribution of all its wonderful writers and volunteers. Some of the articles at the top of my to-read list include:


Ustadha Maysoon by Umm Ibrahim - I have been waiting for this to be published, an account of an Arabic teacher and what she learned about herself and the parents of the children she teaches.

Review of The Greatest, Muhammad Ali – My Own Story by Salihah Safiyah  - my Little Lady's book review of one of my favourite books about one of our favourite people (May Allah SWT bless him with jannah insh'Allah)

Please do take a look and if there is something you find beneficial, please do leave a comment to say, every comment or piece of feedback is very much appreciated. If you would like to contribute something for the next issue, please contact the editor Umm Imran ateditor@aaila.org

Y
ou can visit and follow the lively and engaged Aaila Facebook page here.

We would also love to hear from you if you have any expertise around marketing, advertising or photography. We are always looking for ways to make the magazine more beneficial and vibrant.

If you want to advertise your business, service or product, Aaila might be just the perfect platform for you. You can contact Sister Umm Imran at the above e-mail for further information.




Book Review: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

This book is often used as a GCSE study text although I seemed to have skipped it at school (I think we studied Z for Zachariah instead, which is also very good). I spotted this in a shelf full of sci-fi books at a local charity shop and it was the first one I picked up.

Flowers for Algernon is the story of Charlie, a young man with learning difficulties, who despite the challenges of life has a sweet and gentle nature. He is selected for an experiment at his local university that aims to enhance intelligence, an experiment initially tested on a mouse called Algernon with great success. As the experiment takes effect, we find Charlie’s intelligence and understanding expand and deepen to outstrip everyone around him. When the mouse starts to behave erratically and fade, Charlie as to question what that means for him.

The book is written in the form of a diary which Charlie is asked to keep as a measure of his progress. The author deftly takes us on a journey through Charlie’s words, portraying innocence, hope, Charlie’s excitement and awakening and then his dawning realisation that the people around him are not always what they have seemed to the child-like version of himself. Throughout Keyes creates the doubts and insecurities that plague Charlie whether his IQ is low or high.

This is not the sci-fi of space ships, aliens or killer robots. This is the kind of book that looks deep into the human psyche and nature and explores the effect of intelligence on the way the world treats you, the way you see it and your relationships. Charlie is lonely and alienated from those around him both when he can barely read or write and when he is considered a genius.

The book was originally written in 1959 and feels very much of its time, with mentions of dance halls and a Strato-jet. But it also shines a spotlight on the treatment of people who were categorised as “retarded” at the time, whether in the community or in hospitals. I recently had a long conversation with a colleague at work who used to manage care homes for people with learning difficulties. She described how at the start of her career she would find people left with no games or radio or any other kind of activity to keep them occupied. They would share communal shower areas and rows of toilets without doors (shared between male and female residents). Most devastatingly, anyone with challenging behaviour that might bite had their teeth removed, the youngest person she saw this done to was 23. So the descriptions of the hospital where “retarded” young men are sent is quite upsetting.

A deeply moving, heart-breaking little book.



Wednesday, 1 February 2017

World Hijab Day 2017: Reflecting on the Journey and Questions

It is World Hijab Day today (thank you to my little sister for the reminder).  On reflection a couple of things come to mind: how much animosity there is still in some parts of the world to the concept of hijab, how much easier it seems to wear hijab today than it did 18 years ago and how much more confidently young women pull it off these days.

(awesome image courtsey of my little sister here and here)

The other things that I am reminded of are my hijab journey and how often I still get asked strange questions.

The Hijab Journey


When I look back, there came a point in my teenage years when I questioned my faith and decided that it made sense to me and was something that I wanted to follow.  At that time hijab seemed so alien to me.  I wanted to be like everyone else and not the only one wearing a scarf.  At the same time, there was guilt at the back of my mind and a desire to follow what I believed to be Allah's (SWT) command for me.

At university, I had a dear, beloved, friend, who decided to wear hijab at the start of Ramadan. She inspired me and gave me courage, so I decided I would wear hijab too.  Alhamdullilah, I believe she gave me a real push to come closer to my faith and that she should get equal reward to me for every day I have work hijab in the last 18 years.


I first wore hijab with the ends twisted around the front and tied at the back, a bit like this:






I didn't realise at the time that Jewish women often cover their hair like this.  I lost count of the number of African women who asked me how I tied my scarf and delighted in explaining.  I sometimes look at turban hijab trend today and before I judge, have to remind myself I started somewhere too.

The other thing I recall from this time was how many women, usually not in hijab themselves would either tell me how beautiful I looked in my hijab or defend my right to wear hijab.  It's something that helped my confidence to grow in waring my hijab and I make dua that these sisters are blessed with happiness today.

With my new found confidence, I transitioned to bringing my hijab down from behind my neck and wearing the square Turkish style hijabs for many years:
 






I still dressed the same way I always did and as I began work, I wore sharp suits and long skirts.  Over time and with the transition to otherhood these became looser and were then replaced with the abayah.  On the first day I wore abayah, I explained to my manager that I would be dressing like this and I hope she was okay with it, I think she was completely lost as to what to say and responded that she thought my long dress was lovely.

At work, I met my beloved best friend and she inspired me to try the long pashmina scarf, showing me how to pin it, which took a little practice.
 






I am used to this style and feel super comfortable in it.  I love wearing hijab and I am proud of my hijab-wearing sisters.  I am also grateful to those that don't wear hijab but defend our right to wear it and those who stick up for us when we feel scared or vulnerable.

The next step in my hijab, may or may not be to wear niqab, it is something I really respect, but I am not sure I have the courage to take it up as a permanent step with all it entails.  My utmost love and regard to those sisters who do xxx

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Do you wear that at home / in bed / in the shower?

No.  Hijab is to be worn in front of non-Mahram men, i.e. those that you would be allowed to marry.  So we don't hav to wear it in front of our parents, husband or children at home or in bed.  Or when we are alone, like in the shower.

Do you wear it because you are married?  Does your husband make you wear it?

No.  Hijab becomes obligatory on a woman when she reached puberty, way before she might be considering marriage or a husband.  It's a command from Allah (SWT), not your husband.

Or as my darling best friend said in response to a very rude colleague who asked me why I wore that thing on my head - because we love and respect piuos women like the Virgin Mary who also covers her head (the lady asking was  strict Catholic, she was left wihtout a thing to say).

Don't you get hot in it?

No more than if I had been wearing regular clothes, when it's hot out, you feel hot.  I always struggled with the heat, despite the fact it hardly even ever gets very hot in England, but I found that when I started to wear hijab and abayah, the heat no longer seemed to have an effect on me.  I beleive when you do something for Allah (SWT), He makes it easy for you.

Or as some sisters woud say:  "Yes, but not hotter than I would be in the fires of hell"
Or as I often say: "Cool is a state of mind" - that often confuses people :)

Do you have hair?  How long is your hair?

Yes and how long is a piece of string?  Sometimes I have fun with this one and try to convince people I am bald.

Why do you wear black scarves?  Why do you wear coloured scarves?  How do you decide which scarf to wear

Depends on my mood, black just matches everything and I love colour.  I tell people I choose my hijab based on what lipstick colour I want to wear, actually I just rotate through my collection.


I'll stop there, because it;'s getting late and I have to iron my hijab for work tomorrow, but I thought the video below from the awesome Secret Life of Muslims was great fun



Monday, 30 January 2017

Spotlight: Where’s Funky Monkey, A Fun Adventure Children’s Book

Where’s Funky Monkey is a new book designed to encourage children to explore some of the most amazing places around the world. Destinations in the book include the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza and Machu Picchu in Peru.



Readers have to look for Funky Monkey, his friends and a series of items in each colourful page spread. Each spread also has facts and references to local culture and wildlife. 



The person behind the idea, Osmaan Mahmood, is currently looking for crowd funding to make the books a reality. He describes the reason why he wanted to create the book:

"I believe stories and tales are one of the strongest influences during our formative years. Everyone has a book that made the world seem exciting and full of possibilities. My aim is for Where’s Funky Monkey to be that book for the next generation."

Osmaan is currently looking to raise funds viaKickstarter. The goal is to raise £5,000 to pay for editing, printing and to pay illustrators. You can go here to contribute and see what you get for your pledge. The Kickstarter page also has a timeline, risks and FAQ's. It's an all or nothing campaign, so the project will only be funded if it reaches its goal of £5,000 by 23rd February 2017.





I often come across projects, campaigns and businesses that really capture my imagination with the amazing work they are doing to support and empower communities alhamdulillah. Every now and again something comes along that make you want to contribute in some way and share so that others can too. Sometimes people will get in touch with me and although they don't have the resource to buy an advert or sponsored post on this blog, what they are doing resonates so much with me that I want to help if I can insh'Allah.

The "Spotlight" blog posts will highlight these projects, campaigns or businesses. Please do share and visit the sites and if they inspire you, see what you can do to help insh'Allah.


Spotlight: Overcome TV

Sunday, 29 January 2017

January 2017 Thrifty Haul: Book Buys

I am missing the boot sales we get to go to in summer, so made a trip to the charity shop to pick up some books for myself and the boys. Someone had given away shelves of sci-fi classics and I picked a few. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes has been on my reading list for ages and it's the first one I started with. I am really enjoying it.

The yellow book is Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood who is one of my favourite writers, occasionally her books get too surreal for me, but this is a collection of short stories so should be digestible enough even for my short attention span.

The Gifts of Imperfection is by Brene Brown who was made famous by her TED Talk on the power of vulnerability. That got me interested enough to want to try the book.

The rest are also self-help books which I have a weakness for. The Barefoot Doctor's Handbook for the Urban Warrior is probably not I would have picked up, except that I opened it to take a look and came across the following:

"Death
As a warrior, you're already dead"


Something about that resonated so deeply with me and I have always had a longing to be a braver more fearless soul, so I decided to take this book home too.

The paints are part of a little paint set stored in a lovely yellow tin. I really wanted to keep it, but in the end I gave it to Little Lady who will make good use of it.




Monday, 23 January 2017

Muslimah Mastermind Group – Is This for You?




I first came across the idea of the Mastermind Group as a teenager in Tony Buzan’s book Buzan's Book of Genius - And How to Unleash Your Own, amongst twenty traits he lists as characteristics of genius are mastermind groups internal and external. The idea actually dates back to Napoleon Hills books on success and wealth creation from the 1920’s.

Wikipedia describes a Mastermind Group as: “a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members”. In Buzan’s book the internal (or virtual) Mastermind group consists of the role models, heroes and teachers you look up to, for us this could be the Prophets (peace be upon them), Sahabah (RA) or people who were experts in the area we are interested in.

The real Mastermind group is made up of the advisers, guides and friends we can call on to help us realise our goals, these are our allies and advocates in real life.

The anthropologist Margaret Mead once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has”

I believe that a group of women can be exceptional change makers and networkers, able to support each other and make things happen. I believe that a group of committed Muslimah’s, with focus, purpose and the power of dua and good intentions can be exceptional channel for great things to happen insh’Allah.

Doesn’t sound realistic? When I worked in the Civil Service, I brought together a group of women around me and asked if they wanted to network to see how we can help each other, to act as allies and advocates for each other. Our first meeting consisted of over an hour of whinging and listing reasons why we could not succeed. I was disheartened, but decided not to give in so easily. I soon realised that that first hour had been a chance for the women to vent about their experience and perceived obstacles. Once that was out of the way we were ready to do something positive.

I e-mailed the group to ask them to outline briefly what they wanted to achieve and what their goals were. These varied from completing a qualification, getting a promotion, entering into a new field or finding a job in a particular company. I then outlined some principles for the group to help each other, we would read each other profiles and then signpost each other to opportunities that matched each other’s interest.

It doesn’t sound very significant, but every one of us benefitted through applying for jobs and job entry programmes or finding new opportunities in the organisation we worked in. We were inspired and motivated and would regularly share ideas and opportunities that might appeal to each other.

I have thought about this for a long time and have wanted to be part of a sincere, dynamic, Muslimah Mastermind group for some time. Where better than this blog to put the call out for sisters to see who is interested?

I intend to set up a private Facebook group so that sisters can share resources and ask for help and also an invitation only website linking to all of the resources across a wide range of themes (from time management to parenting to financial and business skills), e-books, planners and journals that I create or come across on a daily basis. This will take a few weeks, but I didn’t want to wait for that to get started.

So if you are interested in being a part of my Muslimah Mastermind Group, please e-mail me at umm_salihah @ yahoo.co.uk with a short answer to explain:

What you hope to achieve from the group (i.e. the change or improvement you want to bring about)
What you can bring to the group (i.e. your skills, professional expertise, life experience, knowledge, networking skill etc.) If you don’t feel you can bring anything right now, your sincere intentions and dua is a good place to start.

This is something I am passionate and super excited about and I look forward to hearing from sisters and seeing where this takes us insh’Allah.



Sunday, 22 January 2017

Bead Therapy: My New Pieces for January 2017

Earlier this month, I managed to make time to open my bead boxes and create something for myself.  I wanted some nice pieces to wear which co-ordinated with my abayah's and scarves.  The shops seem full of expensive, tacky jewellery which just didn't appeal at all and some of my older bracelets were lost or damaged.

I have a real thing for all of the ombre effect pieces I have been seeing everywhere the last year or two.  I love the harmony of colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel and the gradations between them.  The variation of shades also means that these pieces can go nicely with a number of outfits even if they don't match.  It was also a good way to use up beads that only have a few beads left in each colour.

This blue, grey and white bracelet had a mixture of turquoise and glass beads with a dangling blue bead as a focal point. 






This sun-shiney yellow, pink and purple bracelet is made from glass beads.  I put a focal point on both the top and bottom with the chunky bead and the dangling one.  It goes with so many of my scarves.






I have had these black square beads for ages and couldn't think how to use them to showcase them.  The grey beads were the last few I had and the long crystal shape at the bottom is from a pendant.  This bracelet is a good to wear with all those black abaya's and when I can't find anything else to match.  The chunky beads are also very tactile and smooth to wear.













I love blues and greens together and really like the beads in this, but I haven't finished it because I am not sure about the dark green bead at the bottom.  I am thinking about replacing it with the heart shaped bead or some other larger green bead.


  

These simple little bracelets were to showcase the clear square swarovski beads and because I have a few scarves in these colour but no jewellery to go with them.  They are quite small beads, so the knot is harder to hide, unlike with bigger beads where you can push the knot inside the hole of the nearest bead.  On the plus side, they are light so I don't have to worry about the weight of the beads stretching or snapping the threading elastic.























I am looking forward to having some new bracelets to wear with my outfits.  I am looking for some stronger elastic as the one I have snaps under pressure even after I have stretched it first.  If you have tried some and found it reliable, I would love to hear from you insh'Allah with your suggestion or recommendation.

Spotlight: Overcome TV

I often come across projects, campaigns and businesses that really capture my imagination with the amazing work they are doing to support and empower communities alhamdulillah. Every now and again something comes along that make you want to contribute in some way and share so that others can too. Sometimes people will get in touch with me and although they don't have the resource to buy an advert or sponsored post on this blog, what they are doing resonates so much with me that I want to help if I can insh'Allah.

The "Spotlight" blog posts will highlight these projects, campaigns or businesses. Please do share and visit the sites and if they inspire you, see what you can do to help insh'Allah.









Overcome.TV shares the stories of people who have converted (or reverted as some would say) to Islam.  Their aim is to help people who are thinking about becoming Muslim but are worried about the consequences of embracing Islam:

"overcome.tv helps borderline converts push forward in their journey to God. Until now, these people have gone by unnoticed and ignored, though they actually deserve much of our attention."

The website mentions the kinds of things that might create anxiety for people:

"The most common obstacle is thinking that Islam will be impossible to practise. From that comes the fear of failure, the fear of hypocrisy, the fear that they'll misrepresent Islam to others and much more.

Another common obstacle is the concern that Islam will turn them into something they won't like, that they'll need to change their names or adopt a foreign culture.


Sometimes they even feel like they're betraying their loved ones. Or, more generally, they fear how their friends and family will react.  The list of obstacles is extensive and can be surprising."

















Overcome.tv reaches out to people who have made the choice to become Muslim and records short videos of them describing their journey: why they came to Islam, what concerns they had and advice for their brothers and sisters who are on that journey.  They currently have 56 awesome video's mash'Allah with more being added regularly:



You can watch the videos here.  You can sign up for the weekly newsletter.  You can subscribe to the YouTube channel here and follow on Facebook here.

I would encourage readers to take a look, watch the videos and support in any way that they can.  The creators of Overcome.TV have asked for support in a number of ways:  by sharing their video's, by sharing your own story, through writing on their blog, through helping organise videos, by making donations and through your dua's insh'Allah. 

"Invite to the Way of your Rabb with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Rabb knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." ~ Quran (An-Nahl: 125)

"You are the best of peoples, taken out for mankind. You enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and believe in Allah. ~ Quran (Al-Imran:110)


Personally I believe that every Muslim is a da'ee and has a responsibility to share this beautiful faith.














“God, His angels and all those in the Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their ant-hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge.” (Tirmidhi)

"Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islâm), enjoining Al-Ma‘rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islâm has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful." ~ Quran (Imran:104).