Sunday, 29 August 2010

Review | Pearl Daisy

Yesterday I recieved my pink parcel and I was very excited, so I thought I would do a product review on all the pearl daisy products I have purchased to date. I feel like if I had read a review on the products before I bought them I may have been able to make more informed decision in buying them. So this review is to do just that inshaAllah (=

Firstly I will start with the accessories:

The boohoo pin brooch- I absolutely love this pin brooch I bought it as part of my first order from pearl daisy and have been using it since. You can wear it on your hijab at the side of our head or lower down to keep the hijab in place this will add a bit of pazazz to your outfit without looking over the top.
The only problem I had with this pin is, the end of it was a bit rough as though it had gone a bit rusty and started making big holes in my hijab (especially the thin ones), to fix this I scrapped the end bit and the rusty parts came off and now it is good to wear, so check the pin brooch before you wear it and if need be sharpen the end before you pin your hijab with it.

Love brooch- This is my favourite Pearl daisy accessory. I love the pearl that sits in the middle and the sparkly bit around it. I would definitely recommend this brooch, easy to wear and looks very pretty.

Grey lace headband- I was actually looking for a black lace headband when I came across this grey one. I have seen a friend of mine wear lace headbands and it looks nice on her, which is why I thought I'd give it try. When I opened the package for this I looked at it and thought 'How on earth is my head going to fit in that?' (and before you say anything, my head isn't that big) The material wasn't very stretchy and the first time I put it on it was a struggle. Once the headband is on though, it feels ok. I played around with it for a while and in the end figured out how to put it on easily. The grey colour goes with a variety of colours and you can wear another underscarf on top of it without feeling overheated because it is very light.

White and Black sleeves- I was really looking forward to these sleeves because they are the first ones I found that look long enough. As part of my uniform at the hospital wear I work I have to wear a white tunic (or scrubs when I'm in theatre) both of which are short sleeves so I wear a long sleeved t-shirt under my uniform, which can make you feel very hot, especially when you running around seeing one patient after another, moving machinery and in the summer. I was a bit disappointed with these sleeves because they are not in the material I thought they would be in. The material for them is similar to opaque tights made from soft nylon and lycra and I wanted sleeves in the same material as t-shirts (cotton/polyester). They are also one diameter from top to bottom which means they are tight at the top (because your arms are fatter at the top) and looser at the bottom (my wrists are really small so it's not as snug around the wrist as I had hoped). I wore it for a couple of hours to get used to wearing them and after a while I did start getting used to them but I'm still shopping around for the ones I need. I have been told by other pearl daisy's that the sleeves they have bought from elsewhere are too loose at the top so they fall down. In that case these sleeves are good because they are tight at the top so won't fall down and go back to their original shape and size once you take them off.

Sequin headbands-The sequin headbands come in a pack of 4 in different colours. I chose this pack because I have hijabs in these colours and I think they will go nicely with them. The headbands are very pretty and sparkly. They are stretchy enough to wear on your hijab and add a bit of sparkle to a plain hijab. My favourite headband in this pack is the gold one, which is a double strand headband. Really looking forward to wearing these headbands.

Now lets move on to the hijabs and hoojabs. Hoojabs are scarves that have a hood on one end and long pieces of material on both ends. They are the hijabi version of scoodies. (check out sister Amena's explanation on what a hoojab is on you tube) In my first pearl daisy purchase I bought 4 hoojabs after watching sister Amena's youtube tutorials on how to wear them and the different styles you can do with hoojabs. If you have tried to do a hoojab tutorial with a hijab you will find that it looks bulky and doesn't quite work because hijabs just aren't long enough. I have found with the hoojabs you have to play around with it for a while before you get the hang of it (i.e. getting coverage at the front and back). I find it quite hard to do my hoojabs the same way as Amena's tutorials and that's probably because I haven't got much patience when it comes to things like this. However, I wore my teal hoojab (layered it with a brown hijab) and wore it to uni, I got a alot of positive comments from friends which were very encouraging. I have tried my own styles of wearing the hoojab and had really nice positive feedback from family and friends. So here are the colours I bought:
Dark navy hoojab- I have worn this hoojab quite a few times and I really like it. This is the hoojab I'm wearing in the picture on the pearl daisy fan page. I wear an abaya, but, I think it would look really good with a pair of dark jeans.
Khaki hoojab- This hoojab is actually a very neutral colour. like a light khaki. I have worn this hoojab a few times but I don't think it goes with my complexion as maybe some of the other colours.
Teal hoojab-This is my favourite colour out of all the hoojab's that I have. The material for all the hoojabs is light but not thin and are really comfy. A lot of the time I don't even wear a underscarf with my hoojabs and the stay in place.

The last hoojab I have is a bright teal luxury hoojab, I can't find a picture of it but its basically a hoojab but the material is not plain it has some pattern on it. Sorry it's hard to explain I may put a picture of it up if I can find one. The material for the luxury hoojab is not as good as the plain ones in my opinion, it made me feel a bit itchy around my face and was a bit more puffy than the normal ones, still very pretty none the less.
One downside about the hoojab (and I know I'm being very picky) is I remember all the hoojabs had stickers on them which said 100% pashmina or something on them, these stickers were really hard to take off and left the corner of the hoojab sticky until I scrapped it off and washed it.

As for hijabs I only have the deep gold dust hijab (which is a slight variation in colour from the old version of gold dust) I have had a look at some of the hijabs and am yet to buy some. (there's just too many options) lol, when I do purchase some PD hijabs I will try to do a review on them too iA.

Deep gold dust hijab- I love love love this hijab! I'm so glad I got this before it went out of stock. The material is light and soft but not see through. It will be great to wear with my asian outfits as well as maxi dresses and abaya's with gold designs. It is sooo comfortable and very easy to work with. the drapes and folds fall into place nicely and that's mainly due to the material. Would definitely recommend this to everyone (but my mum wouldn't be too happy about the price).

So I'm yet to buy some PD hijabs. If you have any comments on any pearl daisy products feel free to leave them in the comments box below. Happy shopping all!

Pearl daisy website: www.pearl-daisy.com
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/Amenakin
Facebook fan page: Pearl Daisy Ltd

Friday, 27 August 2010

Spiritual | Hijab and what it means to a few Muslim women

Recently I had an online convo with a few sisters on the Pearl Daisy fan page, sister Naz asked 2 simple questions.
The conversation lasted a very long time and there were like 31 comments so I have tried to condense that down to one post and include the answers to the 2 questions below. The conversation is a wonderful example of the online sisterhood, it demonstrates what real Muslimah's are like. Their ups, downs and random crazy moments lol. It took me forever to try and make the comments easy for someone who wasn't part of the conversation to understand as our spelling, grammer (and basic actual making sense) went out of the window as the convo progressed so I apologise for any mistakes in these things you might come across. All that's left to say is enjoy and I hope after reading this you get a little bit more of an understanding of what it's like being a Muslimah in this day and age inshaAllah. As always I love reading any comments so make sure you leave a comment on your thoughts of the discussion below jzk and Salaam xxx!

1) What's your favorite Hijaab experience?
2) What's the thing you've found most difficult, if any, since adorning the hijaab?

"My fav hijaab experience has to be the respect from brothers, you can really see a difference in the way they speak to (acknowledge) a hijabi as opposed to a non-hijabi (my own exp's). The thing I've found most difficult is comments from some people. To be honest I don't care what anyone says or thinks I'm not alive to impress anyone except Allah swt. I love being a muslimah because it opens up this whole new world and people that you don't even know (they may be on the other side of the world and have a totally different background to you) feel like sisters to you. This whole sisterhood thing is amazing aH, I think that's one of the things that differentiates Islam from any other religion, it's what makes Islam so beautiful."
 Another sisters replied:
"Personally I found it's always a good talking point to people who are curious as to why one wear's hijaab and why one would even cover up! It's always a good opener for more dawah inshaAllah!"
Nazz- "So long as you know in your heart your doing it for Allah your deen and your akhira, thats all that counts. To be honest, It's only been a matter of two weeks since Iv'e started, maybe it's too early to comment. I understand about your comment about brothers, that's definately improved. I don't have to steal looks or have to be shy whilst having my hair out doing the opposite. It's made it easier for me to pick up my son from the mosque. I feel more comfortable in saying things like mashaAllah and inshaAllah. AND I love the loving way in which my hubby looked at me today in hijab, he was pleasantly surprised, InshaAllah it'll make us closer and better as a couple. I'm hoping to lure him outta putting his ear studs in iA!- Bad, nothing yet, maybe a few family members taking the lim here and there, nothing I can't handle."
Shaheen- My fav experiences are being recognised as a Muslimah. I don't think there's any better feeling than representing the Ummah out there. I love when people will randomly stop  you in the street and say salaam to you, makes me smile everytime. Since Ramadhan I get customers (I work in retail atm) start converstaions on their fasting!! Most difficult for me has to be tolerating the heat, it's so difficult. I totally agree about the more respect from brothers part, it's so true. Black scarves as part of a uniform is torture! lol, but I feel more beautiful in hijab than I've ever felt before. I'm so glad that Pearl Daisy exists, because it's so important to have wonderful sisters around you, especially when your new to hijab aswell! And sister Nazz I'm sure your husband must be thinking Wow mashaAllah aint I a lucky man! lol"
Nazz- I hope he does too! Actually that's something I was saying to him earlier. I feel so much more feminine and better, wholesome than when I was spending hours trying to put make up on and sort my HAIR out. No more stressing, GOOD TIMES!!
Sister Kay- "Salaam sisters! Congrats on everyone who recently converted or started wearing hijab! I really hope Allah SWT makes its as easy as possible for you- one thing is for sure, you'll never want to take it off now :) The highlights of my hijab so far are random hugs and salaam in public from people I do not know, truly an amazing feeling and simply when people say 'that scarf is nice' or 'you look nice in hijab' helps a new muslim to gain confidence. The hardships have been my family, and the comments, very cruel and hurtful. Also working in hijab is unbearable, but Alhamdulillah I have never taken it off in these hard times. Being recognised as a Muslimah is the happiest feeling for me because without my hijab I'm just another white girl on the street for men to look at. Happy Ramadan everyone xx"
Shaheen- Comments may affect you at first but for me it just made me so much more determined in keeping the hijab on because I found that people I thought were my friends, in fact weren't (people that I considered best friends) It was difficult but one thing for sure is that you will definately learn who your real friends are. mashaAllah for your determination in hijab. Lol I can afford to SLEEP more rather than get up and make myself look human instead! lol and you really feel more like a woman. Your hubby will feel special I bet because he's the only brother out there that gets to see your entire beauty and so he should be! :)
Rachel Wiggins- "My experience with wearing hijab for the past 3 months has been great. I get more respect from men, even non muslim men too. They hold the door open for me and are generally nicer. Random people who I don't even know (hijaabi's that is) come up to me and talk and give hugs."
Shaheen- Everything you guys say I feel I can relate to and it would be lovely to get to know you all better, it's just nice knowing that you have people out there that are real if you get what I'm trying to say, lol I think I'm getting overwhelmed and confusing my words...someone pass the tissues!"
Nazz -" I think he'd rather not see the rest of my body =P in dire need of a better diet!! I think this opens our eyes to the Ummah being united, in this stance us females are a force not to be reckoned with iA. InshaAllah we will serve our purpose to Allah swt and our deen and do so beautifully within the limits of hijaab. May Allah fill His Ummah's hearts with His noor, May His noor show on our faces, in our hearts and our actions. We should have love for our Ummah, and through this medium we shall unite as sisters iA. I was nervous about joining so many groups on FB but this group has to be THEEE most easiest one and most loving! I only came up with these questions today to try and get the group focussed on anything other than about the website, it must really be nerve racking for sis Amena, bless her. InshaAllah when the site is up. Until then, you ladies have REALLY cheered me up and helped me to see that hijab is beautful yet sometimes so hard to exercise, but it comes down to belief and will power!"
Shaheen- Nazz sis pshtttt you would say that about yourself, I mean we may be muslimahs but we are still women aka always thinking we're fat! (don't even get me started) lol but on a serious note, generally sisters are really warm and welcoming and lovely to speak to, like you guys! You ofetn build a misconception in your mind that if you don't wear hijab you won't fit in with other sisters, so your nervous to approach say, the ISOC at Uni because I know I found that intimidating, but when I started covering I was still nervous that I wont fit in still because I'm new and maybe they wont accept me BUT err nopes lol it's the easiest way to make really good friends with things like this. Did I make any sense at all?! Excuse me if I'm talking a load of nonsense I blame it on lack of sleep! lol."
Amina- Reading this thread has been so amazing. It makes me think of how the West portray us as oppressed. Psshht Please. It's so wonderfully liberating to be a woman in Islam and even more so as a hijaabi, contrary to popular belief. MashaAllah what a beautiful religion to be a part of.

    Sunday, 22 August 2010

    Muslimah at University

    I'm about to start my second year of Uni in September inshaAllah and unlike this time last year I'm actually looking forward to it. I remember the nerves and worries of not knowing anyone, thinking I was going to be the only hijabi on my course, worrying that I won't be able to adapt etc. However, a whole year has flown by and I'm pleased to say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
    I have met so many amazing people at uni, Muslim and non- Muslim, hijabi and non-hijabi all of these people have made me feel so welcome at uni and made the transition a lot easier Alhamdulillah. Advice I would give to all you sisters worried about going to Uni is to just remember that everyone's in the same boat, so however your feeling its very likely that the majority of the people around you are feeling the same way.

    On the first couple of days try to speak to and get to know everybody in your lectures and make as many friends as possible. Go to your Uni's freshers event where you sign up for clubs and societies and as sis Amena said make sure you sign up for the ISoc. Be open minded and try to remember that your going to come across a vast array of people of different ages, personalities, experiences, countries. People you come across may not have had any Muslim friends before and therefore may be more inquisitive about you and your beliefs, don't take this as everyone's singling you out because your different but rather look at this as an opportunity to give some dawah.

    I was surprised how quickly I clicked with some people, some of these were mature students, some from different countries, some lived in halls and others commuted every day, the one thing that made us all get along so well was the one thing we had in common, Islam. When I first walked into the room I saw loooads of hijabi's which, gave me some comfort, but, I do know that on some courses in some Uni's you many not get that many, in fact you may be the only Muslim there. Just be confident and be yourself and inshaAllah you'll be fine.

    Most people, in general will be very welcoming especially at the beginning, seize this opportunity to make friends as at one point or another you will need their help, i.e If you miss a lecture and want to borrow their notes or you need help with revision.

    The ISoc should be very welcoming also, as Muslim's we know we should not judge someone because they don't wear a hijab because for all we know they could be a better Muslim than someone who does wear a hijab. Only Allah knows what's in their hearts so if you don't wear hijab don't worry, inshaAllah you will be made to feel as welcome as someone in hijab. The ISoc is great for getting to know other sisters on other courses and the sisters who are further along in their degree. The sisters who were in their third year when I started uni really helped me get used to the university, they gave me their numbers and took mine, they told us where things are and made us feel very welcome.

    If you already know people who are going to your uni or are even on your course, its great, because you know you've got someone to rely on, however, I would encourage you to not just stick to that person or group of people because it will reduce your chances of making new friends as people will think you already have your group of friends and will think you don't want to speak to them.
    Make sure that you keep good company as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend."- Abu Dawud (41:4815)

    When you start Uni or college, remember people don't know you so this is a perfect opportunity to start a fresh, forget the mistakes of your past and in a way give yourself a new identity.

    Last but not least, just make the most of every single moment of your life at university, enjoy it, be yourself and give thanks to Allah for giving you this opportunity to increase your knowledge and make a difference in the world inshaAllah. You will one day be a teacher, doctor, lawyer, mathematician, pharmacist, radiographer, writer, sociologist (whatever your career may be), Mother and Wife inshaAllah so see your time at university as a time to better yourself in knowledge, skills and Imaan because one day if not already you will be making a difference in someones life.
    Remember always, that Allah does not burden the soul with more than it can handle.

    I wish you all the best for your future, whatever you may be doing inshaAllah and remember to share your stories of your first day (couple of days) at university with me and I may put it up on the blog to help and ease the worries for other sisters about to start on this journey.
    Send your e-mail in a comment below and I will get back to you inshaAllah



    Friday, 20 August 2010

    I Took My Driving Test!

    Salaam all, I recently took my practical driving test and I thought I would share my thoughts and feelings of that day with you inshaAllah.

    On Wednesday the 18th I had my driving test. I had practiced all  I could and now the rest was down to Allah swt. I tried to keep myself calm by telling myself that whatever happens it is Allah's will and if I don't pass then maybe this time I wasn't supposed to.

    As I stood for Taraweeh that night my heart was pounding as I asked Allah to keep me safe on the road and also for me to pass. After praying I felt a lot calmer and soon enough fell asleep.
    Woke up for Suhoor, prayed Fajr and tried to go back to sleep. All I could think about was how much I wanted to pass, not because I really want to drive or anything, but just because taking lessons was taking up a lot of my time and money that I could spend on other things. As well as taking up my parents time and my uncle's.

    I got a couple of hours of sleep and woke up bright and early. I freshened up made wudhu and went to my parents room to let my mum know that I was leaving to go to my uncle's house. (my uncle gave me the bulk of my lessons as my instructor wasn't that great) She jumped out of bed very enthusiastically saying "we'll take you, we'll take you" whilst nudging my dad to get out of bed. My dad sleepily got up and before I knew it they were ready and eager to take me to my uncles house. While my dad drove us there, both of them were giving me driving tips and advice. My dad's advice was "don't drive how I'm driving" xD

    When I got to my uncles house everyone was nervous for me. I myself do not really get that nervous because I know all I can do is try my best and leave the rest to Allah. My uncle gave me a quick run through on how to check the car and answer the show me tell me questions. I prayed Zuhur and my nafl prayer, I made loooooads of du'a to pass and I was ready to go.

    I prayed to have a male examiner because I thought women would be stricter as they pin point every little detail, but, I had a female examiner (and she looked strict! you know the strict English teacher type) She was actually really nice she asked a few questions and the test had started. Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem I whispered as I walked over to the car and showed her how I would check my brakes were working, went blank for a bit and completely forgot that all I had to do was press the brake and ask her to check the lights but Alhamdulillah everything came flooding back to me. I wanted my uncle to be in the car with me so he sat in the back, the examiner asked for his name and he spelt it wrong, twice, that's when I realised he was more nervous than I was.

    As the test went on I made some really stupid mistakes, hesitating more than I usually do whilst driving, the cars qued up behind me and started honking, trying to make me go, even when it wasn't safe to do so. The other drivers were getting impatient but surprisingly Alhamdulillah I was calm. After the junction the examiner asked me questions about myself to make me forget about the situation so I didn't make more mistakes due to nerves.

    I had driven on all the test routes quite a few times (my uncle would give me up to 3 hour lessons nearly everyday) and the examiner took me on the route that I made du'a that I didn't want to go on because of the narrow roads. She took me on a mini roundabout twice and the second time I made a BIG mistake. Right then I thought that's it I've failed. I just felt like saying to her "If I've failed can we just go back to the test centre?" However, I didn't and just drove (a bit more relaxed now I thought I had failed), but I still had that hope, that faith, that if Allah wanted then I could pass. Even after that mistake I kept repeating to myself "Oh Allah all mighty you have the power to do everything and anything, even if the examiner has ticked fail, you alone can change that. Oh Allah if it is good for me, please let me pass"

    We got back to the test centre and she looked at her papers and said "I'm pleased to say you've passed" I was so shocked! I couldn't believe it, I had passed after the mistakes I made I passed, with only 6 minors! She told me where I went wrong and said that If the other car on the roundabout hadn't slowed down and I didn't hesitate (which showed I acknowledged the fact that I should have stopped), I would have failed for not letting it pass before me. All I could think at this moment in time was Alhamdulillah! If it wasn't for Allah I obviously wouldn't have passed.

    That day reminded me of all the tests in this life set out before me by Allah. Through different ways and at different points in my life He tests my patience, my faith in Him and my inner strength to stick firm to my beliefs, even if everybody else is trying to push me to do something which is wrong. It taught me that dua's are never unanswered but they are answered by Allah in different ways, ways which we might not understand at the time.

    That day reminded me that Allah is the best of all planners and if things don't go how I want them to I just have to be patient because Allah has something better planned for me (=

    Thursday, 19 August 2010

    Review | Translation of the meaning of the Quran

    This is the front cover of the English translation of the meaning of the Quran that I read. It has been translated by 'Muhammad Farooq-i-Azam Malik' and the publisher is 'The Institute of Islamic Knowledge.'

    I came across a copy of this book in the prayer room at the hospital I do my placement in, while I was on a break I read a few surah's and absolutely fell in love with it. The reason I really like this version is because It's really easy to understand and read (none of that old English).

    It gives you the setting and situation of the time when each surah was revealed and explains the meaning of translation of each surah too. There is a short biography on the Prophets life, different themes in the Quran and a section where each surah is broken down into the main points made in that surah.

    At the back of it there is a HUGE index of different subjects and the pages in which the Quran talks about these issues. There is a bit about the history of the Quran and different types of shirk. I don't think I can do this book justice in this one post, but all I can say is it really has helped me to further my understanding of the Holy Quran. It has made me realise how beautiful the Quran really is and has made my love for Allah s.w.t grow so much. The Quran is Allah directly talking to me and now using this book I'm finally beginning to understand Him and how much more He loves me.

    I will give you an abstract of a section on Surah Al-Fatiha

    Period of Revelation:
    It is one of the very earlier revelations. In fact. we learn from authentic traditions that it was the first complete Surah (chapters) revealed to the Prophet (pbuh)...

    Prayer and Divine Guidance:
    • This Surah is known as ab'a Mathani (seven oft-repeated verses)
    • It is also called Umm-al-Kitab (mother of the book), foundation and essence of the Quran
    • Its recitation is mandatory in each Islamic prayer (Salah). It is recited at least seventeen times daily in the five obligatory prayers.
    • This prayer is taught by Allah (Almighty God) Himself to mankind, as a favour, to let them know the format of a Prayer which is acceptable to him.
    This prayer is for all those who want to study His Message. It is placed at the very beginning to teach the reader that if he sincerely wants o benefit from Al-Quran, he should offer this prayer to the Rabb (Lord) of the Universe. Al Fatiha teaches that the best thing for a man is to pray for "guidance towards the Right Way" and to study Al-Quran with the mental attitude of a seeker of truth, and to recognise that the Rabb (Lord) of the Universe is the source of all knowledge. One should, therefore, begin the study of Al-Quran with a prayer to Allah for seeking His guidance.
    It is important to know that the real relation between Al-Fatiha and Al-Quran is not that of an introduction to a book but that of a prayer and its answer. Al-Fatiha is the prayer from the devotee and the rest of Al-Quran is the answer form Allah. The devotee prays to Allah to show him the "right way" and Allah places the whole of Al-Quran before him in answer to his prayer, as if to say:
    "This is the Guidance that you have asked for"
    Taken from page 109

    In fact I love it so much I've just ordered the audio version to listen to in the car =D

    Its great for anyone who wants to understand Islam and further their knowledge in it, and it is especially great for reverts or prospective reverts.I would recommend this book to everyone of all ages. I know my little brother who is 7 just loves the stories of the different prophets mentioned in the Quran, this book is not only easy to understand but makes you enthusiastic and want to read the Quran.

    You can buy this book, CD and other related products from http://www.al-quraan.org/

    What's your favourite Quran/Translation of Quran?

    Monday, 16 August 2010

    Abaya Design Sketches

    The accessory & jacket/cardigan abaya - This design is a jacket/cardigan which has 3/4 length sleeves and is detachable.The back of the jacket is a corset style pattern with a ribbon running through it. For this look long beaded necklaces and beaded bracelets are needed. The hijab for this look is bulky and has a small headband in between the different folds. I have chosen to make the abaya plain due to there being lots of accessories. For that fun, vintage look.

    The embroidered and sparkly abaya- This abaya has a jewel in the middle of the front and the back, the rest of the patterns are a mixture of embroidery and stones. The hijab is a plain hijab in the same colour as the abaya. To add a bit of sparkle to the hijab I have added a dandling hijab pin.

    The hooded urban chic abaya- I'm in love with this design and can't wait to get it made. It consists of a plain inner abaya with folds at the bottom and beads at the waist. The outer part is like a long jacket with a big hood, however, unlike a jacket it is made from the same material as the inner layer. The outfit can be accessorised with a long necklace and a big bangle.


    The snood style abaya- This abaya was inspired by an abaya I really wanted to buy from arabian nites next door to East London Mosque, but it was too big for me and wasn't exactly how I wanted it to look. The inner layer of the abaya has some embroidery and stone work. The bottom and end of the sleeves is made from crepe and gives a ruffled look. My favourite part of this abaya is the snood, this is at the neck where there are lots of folds, you can even wear the snood on your head over your hijab. The only accessory you will really need for this look is a long beaded necklace.

    The summer floral abaya- This abaya is FULL of colour and is perfect for the summer. To accessorise add a flower brooch to the hijab and some shades. This is a perfect design when your feeling colourful and bright, bring a little bit of sunshine to the highstreet.

    The formal work abaya- This abaya was designed as an alternative to a suit. The inner layer is plain and has cuffs on the sleeves which are folded up and are visible when the outer layer abaya is worn. The outer layer has big buttons on the sleeves and a ruffled effect at the front. Keep the hijab plain and your smart work look is achieved. Smartly dressed yet feminine.

     Wedding Abaya- Women nowadays want to dress modestly even for their wedding. This abaya can be a traditional red colour for Asian brides or a white/ivory colour for brides of middle eastern or western cultures. Elegant embroidery combined with the softest of silks makes this abaya a must have.

    My 2010 top 5 beauty/skincare must have's

    My top 5 beauty must have'sFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

    My top 5 beauty must have's by ihijabi on Polyvore.com

    These are my top 5 beauty must have's. 

    in no particular order:

    - Garnier Pure 3 in 1 wash, scrub and mask- this is the best face wash I have found especially for my skin. I have recommended it to lots of friends because I think it really works. Before I started using this I had lots of spots, but since using it I have found that my skin has really cleared up. I use this once a day first thing in the morning as a normal face wash. You can also use this as a 3 minute face mask once a week and its also ok for black heads if you have them. If you've been looking for an everyday face wash try this one and let me know how it is for you.

    -Simple light hydrating moisturiser-  My skin gets really oily and looks horrible if I use any other cream other than this. Simple's light hydrating moisturiser doesn't feel oily once you've used it but does leave your skin feeling moisturised. If your skin is oil prone then give this moisturiser a go.

    - Maybelline loose mineral powder- this foundation is great, find the right colour for your complexion,  it'll leave your skin looking radiant and airbrushed, best thing about it is that it looks and feels natural. I know foundation is not good for your skin and some foundations look really in your face. With this foundation people won't be able to tell your wearing foundation, its subtle and ok for everyday use as it doesn't make your skin feel clogged up. One thing to keep in mind is the colour, if you don't get the right colour it will look like you put talcum powder on your face (speaking from experience that's what happened to my cousin)

    -Maxfactor Masterpiece Max- yes its the one featured in memoirs of a geisha. I watched the advert for this and it looked amazing, so I thought I'd give it a go. I was very skeptical when I bought it, but it does actually work. The mascara extends the look of your lashes and the great thing is it doesn't clump them together. There's not really much else I can say about this product other than I love it (=

    -Johnson's baby lotion- last but not least comes the baby lotion, like I said I don't use any other face cream other than simple, but Johnson's baby lotion has featured in this because it's great for removing make up. At the end of the day when you want to take your make up off and don't want to have panda eyes, johnson's baby lotion. Put the lotion on some cotton wool or tissue and apply some lotion to your face, wipe away as you would do with a face wipe and voila make off without a fuss.

    So that was my top 5 beauty must have's, I hope the review has helped if you were thinking about trying some of these things. Try it out and let me know how you go.

    Salaam for now!

    Sunday, 15 August 2010

    A World of Wonders

    Crisping and crunching under my feet
    The wind is cool, but the air is still sweet
    Leaves are like flames the trees seem to be blazing
    My eyes look around in awe, like I've seen something amazing.
    Birds take flight as the clouds begin to cry
    Glistening droplets of diamonds fall from the sky.

    I look up and my mind wonders
    how something so perfect
    could have been created by a series of blunders.

    Then I think of the designer and know that I am lucky to be
    among those whom Allah has chosen to see
    the truth of our existence
    which makes me more keen
    to learn about the Lord of the heavens and earth
    and everything in between.


    Saturday, 14 August 2010

    The True Face of Feminism

    Throughout our lives we learn a lot about feminism and how much feminists have done for us women. In history we learn about the suffragettes in the late-19th to early-20th century and how they worked to bring us equal rights and the right to vote. Many people have a misconception that Islam is a very patriarchal religion, where men have the upper hand; it is also a misconception that women in Islam are oppressed because they do not think or live in the same way many women in the western world do. In this article I hope to clear some of those misconceptions by finding out what Islam says about women and their rights in Islam. I will also explore the ideology of modern feminism and why to me, it makes no sense.

    In A level psychology we studied moral development, how does a person develop morals? What are the levels of morality? This was done through learning about various psychologists like Piaget, Kohlberg and feminists like Gilligan. In Kohlberg’s study participants were given a moral dilemma ‘the Heinz dilemma.’ From the responses his participants gave, he drew up 6 stages of morality. [Cavanaugh, J & Kail, R(2004) Human development :a Lifespan View, (3rd ed.) Wadsworth press Pg 321]

    Gilligan’s argument was that the study was only carried out on male participants and that Kohlberg’s study was very andocentric, therefore, it is wrong to generalise the findings from that study to all people including women. Gilligan carried out her own study on women. From her study she concluded that women are more care orientated, whereas, men are more justice orientated. Other feminists criticised Gilligan’s findings and conclusions saying she is just confirming the ‘ good woman’ stereotype [Bartky, Sandra Lee: Femininity and Domination, page 104-5. Routledge, New York, 1990.]

    The study made me ask a lot of questions, I was confused as to what a feminist actually thought. What does it mean to be a feminist? What is feminism? Is it the idea that men and women are the same therefore we should treat them exactly the same or is it to acknowledge that men and women are different and therefore we should do things differently to provide for both men and women.

    It is very obvious that men and women are different biologically, physically and possibly psychologically. Why have you never seen men vs. women in football or a male athlete competing against a female athlete? It’s because men are physically stronger than women right? Then why is it so hard to understand the reasoning behind Islam telling a man that it is his responsibility to go out to work to provide for his wife and family?

    “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means.” (Qur’an 4: 34)

    Women in Islam are not oppressed because some choose to not go out to work, or some men do not want their wives to go out to work, they choose this lifestyle because it is not their responsibility to provide for themselves, in fact it is their husbands.

    Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A dinar spent for the sake of Allaah, a dinar spent to free a slave, a dinar given in charity to a poor person, and a dinar spent on one’s wife – the greatest in reward of all these is the dinar spent on one's wife.” (Reported by Muslim, 2/692)

    However, even though it is a man’s responsibility to provide for his wife it does not mean the wife cannot work if she chooses to do so. It is well known that Khadija RA, first wife of the prophet was a wealthy and very successful business woman and the prophet pbuh worked for her. This shows that Islam does not prohibit a woman to work so long as her job does not contradict Islam, this is a fact that many people in the west do not know about.

    In Islam men and women are spiritually equal. The reward for a good deed carried out by a man is equal to that of a woman. Men and women are both obliged to pray fast and go for Hajj. Women have the duty to be educated in Islam in the same way as men. All in all in the eyes of Allaah men and women are the same.

    Before Islam, women were treated like cattle or objects that belong to man, they were not allowed to buy, sell and own property. If a woman became a widow after her husband’s death she was not allowed to wash or wear new clothes and was made to stay inside the house until the birds and animals died from her smell. Baby girls were buried alive and the woman had no rights. Islam came and forbade the burial of baby girls; instead it taught that daughters were a blessing. Islam gave women rights to buy, sell and own property as well as inherit.  Mothers were given three times the right over a child than the father and the people were taught that paradise lies beneath the mothers feet.

    In the Hindu culture when a woman becomes a widow she cannot wear anything that is not white and is not allowed to live a normal happy life, she cannot remarry and is shunned by not just the society around her but even her own family.

    The French held a conference in 586 CE to discuss whether women had souls or not, and if they had souls, were these souls animal or human? In the end, they decided that they were human! But they were created to serve men only.

    During the time of Henry VIII, the English Parliament issued a decree forbidding women to read the New Testament because they were regarded as impure.

    Until 1805, English law allowed a man to sell his wife, and set a wife’s price at six pennies.

    In the UK women only recently fought endlessly to have the right to vote, to have the right to have their own property and wealth because before then when a woman got married everything belonged to her husband or had to be shared with her husband. When Islam came to the world through the prophet Muhammad pbuh the ill treatment of women was addressed, women were allowed to vote and had right to their own property and wealth. In Islam a woman’s possessions are her own and her husband has no claim on what is hers, however, a woman has right to a proportion of her husband’s wealth and property as he is the one that has to provide for her. As a husband once told his wife “what’s yours is yours, and what’s mine is yours as well”

    "And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others; to men is allotted what they earn, and to women, what they earn; but ask Allah of His bounty, for Allah hath full knowledge of all things." (Quran 4:32)

    If anything Muslim men should be the ones protesting because their wives seem to be getting the better end of the deal.

    Oppression is stopping someone doing something that is natural to them. It is obvious that women are most fertile in their early 20’s and as they get older they become less fertile, this shows that it is natural for a woman to start a family quite young. Nowadays women who are successful in business and are very career minded see themselves as feminists many are put off getting married and having children so that they can focus on their career and get further in life academically and financially, but this is what I would call oppression because stopping a woman from doing what is natural to her by teaching her to be a career woman, never get married or have any children, dress like a man and behave like a man is not very feminine at all.

    I’m all for women’s rights, but my views are not that men and women should be treated exactly the same. I believe men and women are different and they have different qualities, men are better at some things than women and vice versa. We should not strive to make men and women the same but we should acknowledge their differences and understand that men and women have different roles in life, the home and the wider community. Men and Women are equal but that does not make them the same.

    So if you’re a 'feminist' and you want to know what feminism really is then deepen your search for the truth in Islam because Islam gave more rights to a woman before all these feminist movements