Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Back To It

Hi Everyone!

I went on a break. Well, actually that's a lie. I didn't actually go anywhere, I just had a small break from blogging. It made me quite sad!

Can you see me?
It was a self imposed break - partly because I was at a loss of what to blog. I have draft posts but I lost my momentum when something I had waited for a long time to happen was put to a halt for reasons beyond my control (posts on this to follow, fear not!). I was also actually quite busy at home and work too - it's been a busy month!

But finally I'm back at it. I have my momentum back! So looking forward to posting regularly again!!

How have you been?

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Tahajjud Prayer

So my aunt phoned me the other week because she had an idea. She had an epiphany. I love epiphanies!! It made me really excited because it is something that we would do individually but collectively - I know this doesn't make sense right now but read on and hopefully it will! :)

Now, I take credit for exactly 0% of the original idea. The idea belongs to my aunty who was inspired from this lecture by Sheikh Omar Suleiman. In this lecture Sheikh Omar Suleiman tells the story of Salahuddin and Jerusalem. He describes how Salahudin strove to unite the people rather than cause bloodshed and within this, he mentions Qiymul-Layl. This is significant here because Salahuddin used Tahajjud as a means to conquer Palestine. He united his army in prayer by waiting till he saw that people were actively engaged in worship at this time.

Source
And this time is very important. It was reported by Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said "Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: 'Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for my forgiveness so I may forgive him?" (Bukhari and Muslim).

So my aunt had the idea that we should all make an effort to pray at this time too and remember Palestine and places and people who are experiencing hardships in our prayers. And what better way to get into this habit than in Ramadan. In Ramadan we are already awake for Suhoor and therefore, by waking up a little earlier we can read this prayer too. The best thing about this - we will be doing this for the next month days and then, once the thirty days are done, we'd hope for us to continue this.

Guess what! Tahajjud can be prayed all year round no matter where you are in the world. We can do this everyday and so Ramadan is a great time to start - now is a great time to start. So let's do it!

By reading Tajajjud, let us all unite in prayer and make the most of our time.

Facebook page for this campaign: click here :)
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Note: We should, first and foremost, concentrate on fulfilling all of our fardh salah - so reading Tahajjud is in addition to the five daily prayers. This is extra, it's optional. Fardh duties are our priority, please don't forget this!




Thursday, 19 May 2016

Distractions or Simply Crazy?

I made tea without a tea bag... it's not the first time I've done this. I normally put the kettle on, get my mug out and a spoon out, open the cupboard to get a tea bag and by this time, the kettle has finished boiling. It pings to let me know and that's it, I forget about the tea bag! So there I am having poured hot water into my mug, mixing it wondering why it's not changing colour. Luckily it's not too late as I see the water and just drop a tea bag into it and tada! Problem solved!

You'd think that having done this once, I wouldn't do it again but it actually happens quite often - observations from this:
- I am tired,
- I find the kettle rather distracting,
- I could possibly be going crazy,
- Maybe I'm defiantly losing my mind?!
- I really do know how to make a decent cuppa, fear not!

Ok, so don't panic just yet. I haven't totally lost my mind because I don't do this everyday. It happens every now and then - but enough for me to have noticed it. And since I began this post, it hasn't happened once! I think writing about it helps!

The thing is, we all do weird and wonderful things. I, myself, have accidentally put biscuits in the fridge and I've watched people do odd things too - here's why: distractions. I noticed that every time I, or a friend, has done something a little crazy, we've been distracted. You know that saying 'creatures of habit' - well it's like accidentally mixing up your habits and amalgamating them. But that doesn't make us crazy does it?

No, I, in my highly unprofessional opinion - seeing as I am in no way qualified to make decisions that should be adopted by others - think it's because of distractions and being tired. We are so busy that we take small things for granted. The things we do without even noticing, it's only when we do something a little bit different, or wrong, that we notice that we do them! Maaaan....does this even
make any sense?!

I'm going to take a break, maybe it'll help!

We all do crazy things that are a little weird, or sometimes very weird but we are human after all. Have you done anything crazy lately?

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Friday, 6 May 2016

Pearl Daisy

*note: This is the third time I'm writing this post. I had finished it and then didn't save it properly so lost most of it!!!...sigh... Here I go, again!*

After buying the Inayah collection hijabs, my cousin and I decided to order a Pearl Daisy hoojab. They also had a sale on...

So I have to say I was quite excited about this. I've been wondering for a while if I should get one of these hijabs to try out but never had the courage to take the plunge - till I talked about it to my lovely cousin and she said let's order together. I say I never had the courage because these are different from my usual hijabs but they always look so lovely on others. The thing is, I'm, well, how shall I put this without offending myself, lazy. My hijab style takes around two minutes to do and so the idea of having to do something that requires me to think stresses me out!! Hahah, I'm kidding, I'm just super lazy.


Anyway, I ordered and got a really sweet email to say that my package was wrapped with care and waved off by the lovely shop assistants and it was on it's way. Boy was I excited!
It arrived pretty soon after in a pink package with the Pearl Daisy logo on top so I knew exactly what it was and what to expect when opening the package - sweet!

So I opened it and first thoughts on it were: 'woah, it's long'. I'm only little and so the hijab seemed very long. I mean come on, I held the thing up folded in half and it was the same height as I am!!! Imagine wrapping something twice my height around my head -  I couldn't really see how it was going to work on me! So I did what any grown sane minded person would and put it back into the pack and left it for the night. However, I do have to say that the material is super lovely - it's soft and feels great to touch! Bonus.

The next morning I got up and thought to myself, 'right F, you have to give it a go' - and so, I went on YouTube - this tutorial to be precise - and watched it. Then I tried it on myself. It went ok and I have to admit it take too long.

Initially when I tried it I couldn't wrap it around properly as I don't really know how to create folds, but after watching the video it was quite simple. I haven't mastered it properly yet but that will come when I try it a little more. I think these are great because it's really easy to experiment and try different styles using the same hoojab! I haven't taken any photo's of myself but I shall do soon and I'll like them back to this post. :) I got a lot of compliments from my lovely friends who promised me that if they didn't like it they would have said!

Would I buy them again? Well I already ordered a few more after my first purchase so that answers that question. And I'm really looking forward to visiting the Pearl Daisy shop soon!!

Have you tried these? What are your thoughts?

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Monday, 11 April 2016

#unfairandlovely

I'm a bit late with this post but I've finally done it. The reason it's late is because, honestly, I didn't have the courage to write it. I thought I couldn't write it because the people who I talk about in the post may figure out that it's about them...then I thought what the heck. They should never have thought that in the first place!!!

This is my #unfairandlovely story.

Background: #unfairandlovely is a campaign on social media which highlights the stigma that societies have attached to darker skin and beauty. Societies like mine... In this post I'm going to try and explain what this campaign means to me and, hopefully, you'll understand why this movement is important to me!

My skin tone can be described as brown - medium brown I would say but then some others would say light brown and I've been told by a few people that I'm dark brown. I'm content with it, it's who I am. It becomes difficult when I go out to buy things like make up which is supposed to match your skin tone, like concealer.

For instance: I walked into Boots some time last year on a hunt for a concealer. I've never been one who is good with makeup and so I needed help in the concealer department. Anyway, I got in and at the front, in my local shop, is the Max Factor counter. There was a lovely sales assistant who asked if I was ok and so I explained to her that I was looking for a concealer to put under my eyes. We went over to the concealers and she said: "to be honest, I think these are all too light. There aren't any here that will match your skin shade".

And that was that. See, the thing here is that I wasn't offended initially because she was being honest. She saved me a lot of time and pointed to towards the Clinique counter. Only after did I question why they didn't have any even close to my skin shade because I'm not a rare skin shade. There are loads of people who have my skin shade and well, Max Factor, you are definitely missing out on something there. But I can't really comment on make up because I don't know enough to make a comment - that was just an example of one thing I've found. Although it is a problem, I've noticed that there are now more things out there that match my skin colour and anyway, this isn't what I think of then I see #unfairnadlovely.

I wish make up was the only complaint I had but the thing is, it's worse. See, make up is an industry in itself that is run by companies and campaigns can be/have been started to change these issues, slowly but surely. It's not as easy to change the views of groups of people that have thought this way for generations. That takes education and this education and thought has to filter through for generations for it to be accepted. I know for a fact that it has started but this process is not one that can be done overnight.

Here is a very short example to explain what #unfairandlovely means to me:
Once someone asked for a description of a person that was sitting in another room and she asked: 'How dark is he?'...The person who was questioned replied, 'not that dark...the same as Fatima.' The look on the faces of the people in the room was - well they thought I was too dark. What's disgraceful is that people in that room are considered to be the same as me - they are 'my people' and some of them I'm related to by blood.

What do you do when your 'own people' think that you are too dark. People who I share ethnic origins with and more often than not, blood. Why do they think like that? Am I not the same as them? The irony of the whole situation is that I'm not actually that dark if you come to look at it, and so I dread to think what they think about people who have darker skin than I do. Beauty is not based on skin colour.

Fortunately for me, I've come to realise that there is more to me than my skin colour but the younger me was not as wise.
This is why campaigns like #unfairandlovely are epically important.

The truth is everyone is beautiful regardless of what we look like - I'm not kidding. Go check out some of the posts in response to this campaign such as Parallel and Areeba's post. Funnily enough, I found the hash tag through the lovely Areeba!!!

So go on, spread the word. Do you have a similar story to share?

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Confessions of a Front-Stabbing Friend #4

I hate shopping...well, actually that is a lie. I don't mind shopping but shopping with my mother is one of the weirdest experiences on the planet. It's not as bad as I've experienced in the past because I've come shopping with people who are all over the supermarket - literally. They buy things as they remember and so you end up going from the eggs to the milk to the carrots and then back to get cream and then bread. I mean why don't you just go round the place in order?!

Mum just takes ages. She stops to think and sometimes she stares at the labels for what seems like eternity - then I'll lose my patience and have to remind her that the price of fishcakes will not change no matter how much she wills it to with her mind. But then what should I know, I don't really have to budget or manage my money in the way my parents and even some of my friends do. The only bills I worry about are my phone bill and gym bill. Not really gas, electric, council tax, blah, blah blah...

Anyway, enough about budgeting because it makes my brain feel sad. I'd rather think about grocery shopping...yuck! We go through every isle and she picks up a few things but I can't help but notice this man skulking around the store. I've seen him before and he's tried to be nice to us - don't get me wrong, I'm sure he is nice but I don't really want to know to be honest. I just want my mother to hurry up with her shopping so I can go home and binge watch Netflix.

From what I understand he's security.  He - maybe to make himself look more intimidating - walks in a way I find slightly amusing. His hips are thrust forward more so than his shoulders, his arms swing from side to side and his head bobs up and down as he paroles the milk isle. If I were him I'd walk through the bakery...often. The thing is, I'm not being mean in my description of his walk because I've seen this man outside the supermarket and he's a different person. None of this hip thrusting, arm swinging, head bobbing business then. So why now? Maybe he wants to look like a back slash as he walks.

Who knows. I wonder if he'd straighten up if someone ran off with milk without paying for it...

Finally we've finished. I've walked round the whole supermarket and haven't bought a thing! That's right, I have not picked up one thing and that's actually really good. Lucky for mum, I don't actually want anything so when we get to the tills, she won't say how much I cost her. Bring on Netflix!!

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