Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Interview & Giveaway | The Pinned Veil

Name, age, (occupation/studies etc)
My name is Aina Hussain, I am 20, almost 21 and studying Nutrition.
My sister is Zahra Hussain, 24 and a pharmacist. We set up this together but all credit for the name 'The Pinned Veil' has to go to my eldest sister Zainab!

What gave you the idea to set up an online hijab store?
The idea to set up an online hijab store initially came as friends and family members used to frequently ask us where our own personal hijabs were from and if we could purchase some for them also. The main aim when setting this up was to aid muslim women in covering up and making them feel happy and comfortable in doing so - and doing all this without breaking the bank! Basically we wanted to provide a service which offers stylish, modern pieces at an affordable price. We have always been interested in fashion and particularly in hijabs so we see this more as a hobby, something we enjoy doing, rather than a job or a business.
How did you go about starting up The Pinned Veil?
Initially the first step was sourcing products that we liked. I would say this is probably one of the most difficult parts as there is a lot of choice and competition out there. Next was coming up with the name, logo and type of image we wanted for our company.
How important is it to have more muslim women being self employed or starting a business?
Very important! Numerous ladies/girls have said to me they would love to do something like this and my answer has always been - what's stopping you? Everybody has their own talents and hobbies and although people may be thinking 'there's already somebody else doing that', so what! Each person has the potential of creating their own niche market. I agree business is not for everybody and that is completely understandable but for sisters who want to start something, ask Allah (SWT) and go ahead, the satisfaction you get out of it will be well worth it inshAllah.
What are the future ambitions for your company?
I think the main thing currently is that we are in the process of setting up our own website Alhamdulilah. Once this is up and running it will make things easier for sisters to order and for us also, as ordering can be done at the click of a button. Furthermore..hmmm.. only Allah (SWT) knows! We have various ideas we would like to implement but currently our aim is to focus on what we are already doing and do it well inshAllah. Having your finger in too many pies can get messy!

What advice or encouragement would you give to other sisters who are thinking about or in the process of starting their own business?
First of all ask Allah (SWT) for help as ultimately HE is the only one who can provide it. Plenty of Dua's - when we first set up a sister told me to recite Surah Waqiah.The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Whoever recites surah al Waqiah at night would never encounter poverty’ [Ibn Sunni 620] He (pbuh) also said, ‘Surah al Waqiah is the Surah of Wealth, so recite it and teach it to your children’[Ibn Asakir]
Setting up a business is by no means an easy task. It takes time and patience. Setting up 'The Pinned Veil' was a lengthy process as both my sister and myself were working and studying so finding time was one of the hardest things (and sometimes still is!) I think organisation is key. And remember 'Rome wasn't built in a day' - you will always have visions of what you would like to do but take things one step at a time or it can be overwhelming going straight in at the deep end, it definitely is an on-going process.

Has the review on iHijabi influenced your business in anyway? If so how?
When the sister behind iHijabi told me she was going to do a review, I assumed it would be a short paragraph briefly explaining things. When she sent me the link and I saw how in-depth it was, and how quick she had done it, I realised how wrong I was. Since the review Alhamdulilah we have had more fans on our facebook page and more enquiries.

We would LOVE to hear from you, afterall we are doing this for you guys - so any suggestions, thoughts or feedback, feel free to contact us inshAllah.

Lastly - just want to thanks sister behind iHijabi for taking the time out to do this, not only for The Pinned Veil, but the whole blog. It is a wonderful idea that is beneficial to sisters globally and inshAllah she gets many rewards for it :)


If you've read my review of the pinned veil you will know that I have recently become obsessed with jersey hijabs =S and because I love them so much I have collaborated with sister Aina from the pinned veil to give you the chance to win a jersey hijab. Here are the rules of the competition/giveaway:

1. If you're on facebook you must 'like' both pages for 'The Pinned Veil' and 'iHijabi' and/or 'follow' the blog if you're a blogger

2. Write a paragraph of 100 words on 'hijab' (it can be anything to do with hijab e.g. poem, personal experiences, a review of your fav hijab  etc) [note: they must be your own words and not copied from somewhere else]

3. Send that paragraph to ihijabi@gmail.com along with your name and country. 

The top 5 entries will be uploaded onto the blog, and the winner will be chosen by you on the iHijabi facebook page once the top 5 entries have been chosen. (The most 'likes' will be the winner iA)

The deadline is midnight Friday 15th April 2011 and the winner for the competition/give-away will be announced on Wednesday 20th April 2011 inshaAllah. So get writing I wish you all the best iA (= Assalaamu alaikum!

The Pinned Veil facebook page 

iHijabi facebook page

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spiritual | Sunan an-Nawm-The Sunnah of Sleep

I was talking to someone at uni about Islam and how its not just a religion but more of  a way of life. Islam covers every aspect of your day to day life and there are blessings in every action, even in sleep so this post is dedicated to you. I hope that you will be guided and find all the answers you are looking for in life, may God increase you in your knowledge and enlighten your soul. (=


1. Sleeping on Wudoo`. The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam told al-Baraa` bin
'Aazib, radiallahu 'anh, If you go to your bed, then do your wudoo` (ablution) as you
would do it for prayer, then lie on your right" [Agreed upon, No. 6311.]

2. Sleep early.
Sleeping early is a healthy habit and it was the practice of Allaah's Messenger to sleep directly after performing the Isha prayer. Abu Barzah al-Aslami said that the Prophet used to prefer to delay Isha, and he did not like to sleep before it or talk after it.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee] 

3. Reading Soorat al-Ikhlaas, al-Falaq and an-Naas before sleeping: From 'Aishah
radiallahu 'anha, the Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam used to recite "Qul huwallahu ahad", "Qul a'oothu birrabilfalaq" and "Qul a'oothu birrabinnaas" every night when he went to sleep, then wiped his face and whatever he was able from his body, beginning with his head and face, and what faces him from his body, three times". [al-Bukhaari: 5017]

4. Doing takbeer and tasbeeh when going to sleep: 'Ali, radiallahu 'anh narrates that
the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam said when Faatimah asked him for
a servant, "Shall I not lead you to that which is better for you than a servant? If you
go to your mattresses, or rest to sleep, then say Allahu Akbar thirty-four times, and say subhaan Allah thirty-three times, and say alhamdulilah thirty-three times, for they are better for you than having a servant" [Agreed upon: 6318 & 6915]

5. Supplicating when awoken from sleep: 'Ubaadah bin as-Saamit, radiallahu 'anh
narrates that the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam said: "Anyone awoken in the
night and says: Laa ilaha illa Allah, wahdatu laa shareeka lah, lahul-mulku walahul hamd, wa huwa 'ala kulli shay`in qadeer, alhamdulilah was-subhaan Allah, wallahu akbar, wa laa hawla wa laa quwata illa billah, then said, Allahumma aghfirli or invoked Allah, he will be answered, and if he does ablution and prays, his prayer will be accepted" [al-Bukhaari: 1154]

6. Supplicating once awake with the following supplication: Alhamdulilah alathee
ahyaanaa ba'da maa amatana, wa ilayhin-nushoor (Praise be to Allah Who granted us life after death, and to Him we will be ressurected) [al-Bukhaari, 6312, from Huthayfah bin al-Yamaan, radiallahu 'anh]

[From the book 100 Established Authentic Sunan]

Monday, 21 March 2011

Spiritual | How to get closer to Allah - City Uni ISoc Annual Dinner 2011

On Friday I attended the City University ISoc annual dinner 2011, Alhmadulillah it was a great event full of reminders and inspiration. I just want to take this opportunity to say Jazakum Allahu khairan and mashAllah to all the brothers and sisters that helped make this event a success, but of course all praise is due to Allah, as without His blessing none of this would have happened.

This post is just a few notes from the event on how to literally flee to Allah from sins and the desires and temptations in life. It is from a lecture given by Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad, I'm writing it from memory so if anyone wants to add anything I've left out send an email to ihijabi@gmail.com.

These are reminders for myself first and foremost, InshaAllah I will be improving on all of these.

Step 1: Improve your relationship with the Quran.

Remember to read the Quran at least once a day. Don't go to sleep at night without having read some Quran. Learn to read Quran with proper tajweed, don't just read the translation on its own because the Quran was revealed in Arabic and that's where the true blessings lye as the Arabic cannot be truly replicated in another language (it's just not the same). Of course read the translations to accompany the Arabic so you understand what you are reading. Take the Quran with you when travelling, don't waste a minute of the day, use up every second, you'll never get that time back.

Step 2: Secrecy

Now by secrecy I don't mean keep secrets from people, I mean do ibaada in secret. Give charity in secret, pray properly and more in secret. (i.e. don't do things for show, re-evaluate your intentions and make your intentions be for the sake of Allah)

Step 3: Think about death often

Thinking about death should make us look at the dunya in perspective, for the dunya is but a blink of an eye. He gave an example of (I think the sahaba's) who used to go and lye down in an empty grave to imagine and remind themselves that every soul will taste death. The prophet pbuh would visit graves often so that he could remember death and that it isn't so far away.

Step 4: Contemplation

Think deeply about your day and what you have done. Before going to sleep think about your day and your deeds. Don't just do things hastily for example don't just give money to charity but think about it deeply before doing it, that way you will remember Allah more and make every action for His sake.

Step 5: Keep good company

Now you've all heard of the hadeeth of the blacksmith and perfume seller if not here it is:

"On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (رضي الله عنه ), the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) said:

A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.
[sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, #314 and Muslim]"

This is basically saying if you spend time with good, religious or pious people it will prevent you from going astray, or at least help you recover from committing sin when you have made the intention that you want to stop. The Shaykh also said that even if you don't like some of the things these pious people do you shouldn't just leave them because being with them will be more beneficial for you. When you commit sin and you are so ashamed don't lock yourself away from the world but make sure you are around good people, for shaytaan attacks when you are alone.

Another point that was made by the Shaykh here was even if you know someone who is religious (attends Islamic talks, wears a kufi and a thobe) and they do wrong in secret (i.e. talks to girls, looks at inappropriate things etc) don't call him a hypocrite and expose him, because you don't know what is in his heart, for all you know that brother could be trying to make changes in his life, just because he does some things wrong you shouldn't shun him and say all religious people are hypocrites. He may be trying to get back on to the right track again, don't make his struggle any harder but help him by giving him advice and looking for ways to get him out of his situation. [I used 'brother' just as an example this also applies to sisters]

Step 6: Dhikrullah, The rememberance of Allah

Try to improve on your dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Thank Allah for everything, make du'a, repent often, be in constance remembrance of Allah. Make dhikr light on your tongue, the more dhikr you do, the easier it gets and the more you'll do without even realising. 

A very good handbook of supplications I would recommend is 'Fortress of the Muslim' A small handbook packed full of authentic du'as. 

The shaykh gave an example of a pious man (I can't remember who he said it was) but basically the shaykh was eating with this man and he realised that this man was making dhikr whilst eating, with every bite he was saying Alhamdulillah, he thought that maybe he has never eaten that dish in his life, but soon realised that the man was just thankful to Allah for his food and being able to eat, SubhanAllah that's what you call constant remembrance of the All Mighty, how often do we remember to say 'Bismillah' before taking a sip of water? 

Step 7: Be humble
Don't be arrogant for shaytaan was in a high position and his arrogance led him to be Allah's greatest enemy. Arrogance is (for men) standing for salaah with your trousers below your ankle, telling someone to mind their own business when they give you some advice for the sake of Allah. The biggest signs of humbleness is putting your forehead on the ground in Sujood (that is the point you are closest to Allah). The reason why we put our right hand on top of our left hand on our chest in salaah is out of humbleness to our Lord. A person who has even an atom of arrogance/pride will not enter Jannah.

So that's all I can remember for now, (I didn't actually take notes I literally wrote this off the top of my head from what I could remember) May Allah forgive me for all of my shortcomings.

All good I have said is from Allah and any mistakes I have made are mine alone. Please do correct me if you come across anything not quite right.
Jazakhum Allahu Khairan for reading and I hope you found this useful inshaAllah.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Review | SHUKR Islamic clothing

A couple of months ago I ordered an abaya from SHUKR an online islamic clothing store. I had been on their website before but didn't like the abaya's because they were more like long coats and it's just not the way I wear my abaya (I don't tuck my scarf inside as in the pictures on SHUKR) I had ordered a cape dress in the colour navy blue. I spent aggggeess trying to figure out the measurements with a tape measure and just couldn't understand the measurements. But I ordered one in size medium anyway (I know I'm so dumb all my clothes are size small I don't know what made me get a medium) I got a call from Shukr early Monday morning telling me that they don't have that colour in stock and if I would like a different colour so I opted for Aubergine purple. The delivery came quite quickly and I tried on the abaya/dress, yhp it was waay too big. The material was rayon and my grandmother who was there at the time told me that it would get creased very easily, I was really disappointed, but at least I could return it.

I went online to try and find out how to return it and it was simple enough. The only thing I didn't like about SHUKR was customer service system, if you want to contact someone you can't just send them an e-mail, you have to submit a ticket with your query and they e-mail you back with the response. If you want to ask something else you have to go on their website and submit another 'ticket' and wait again for them to respond. This was the same procedure as the return, I was told to send the Item back to them and give them my tracking number. If I wanted an exchange then I would get the money back as store credit, which meant I could use that credit for something else (postage and packaging costs were also covered), however, if I wanted a refund the postage and packaging costs will be deducted. So I returned it and got store credit.

I waited a couple of months to see if they bought any new stock, as I didn't really like the other abaya/dresses that they had and the ones I did like they didn't have the size or colours I wanted. Then just last week I saw a jersey cowl neck abaya which caught my eye I measured my self again and anxiously I placed the order. I had to pay £25 on top of my store credit as this abaya was more expensive than the dress I had bought before.

Just so you know SHUKR clothing is really expensive, but I thought I needed to treat myself as I hadn't bought a new abaya in a really long time, and I love the cowl neck style (it's similar to the snood style abaya I designed). The abaya arrived again quite quickly and alhamdulillah, it fit just right! The material was really heavy when I picked it up though because it feels like a really long jumper, but it is sooooooo comfortable. It probably isn't suitable for the summer because it is quite thick, but it's perfect for this weather.

I wore it to uni that day and had loads of people ask me where I bought it from, so that is why I thought I had to do a review on it. (=

Here are some pictures of the abaya...

Cowl neck is basically the draping fabric around the neck
I don't think you're supposed to wear it on your head, but I liked the way it looked.
It's a modest fitting abaya and the material is just suuuuper comfy (like one of those snuggie blankets lol)
It has a pocket on both sides with a pouch inside the pocket for your phone/ipod etc.
I've worn it so many times now and I've only had it for like a week, love it to bits, the only thing I'm worried about is wearing too much as I'm afraid the material might bubble.

The abaya was definitely worth the money because it's made with superb quality and inshaAllah it will last me a long time (=

Here's the link for SHUKR UK if you want to check out their items:

Items such as tunic tops, long skirts and scarves are available as well as clothing for men.

So I've come to the end of the review, remember to let me know what you think of SHUKR and its clothes inshaAllah, what were your experiences like with SHUKR? Will you be buying from SHUKR in the future after this review? Share your thoughts below or on the Facebook page.

Jazakum Allahu khairan for reading

Spiritual | Islamic Art- Visual Dhikr

When people hear about me doing islamic art as a hobbie and sometimes even selling them, they always ask 'how do you get the time to do your canvases when you have so much other things to do?' and to be honest I don't know how I get the time, I guess when you think about the number of things you have to do during the day it becomes very overwhelming and you don't end up doing most of it due to 'time' however, instead of spending aggges thinking about it and planning it, you just have to get down to it and do it. I don't know if that made any sense but that's my theory anyway, don't think about things you have to do, when you think of doing something just do it, don't leave it till later.

Some people may not think that art is important, but in Islam art surrounds us, from the architecture in buildings, to the calligraphy inside the mosque walls and patterns in woven clothes from the Muslim world, everything that is beautiful about Islam has for centuries been portrayed in various forms of art.

In this post I have teamed up with two very talented Islamic artists to give you some insight into the wonderful world of Islamic art!


Last year one of my very good friends who was very good at art had begun painting verses of the Quran on canvases, she painted me a canvas with Muhammad (s.a.w) in Arabic calligraphy and after looking at some of her other pieces I was inspired to start doing my own. I started by looking at other people's art to get an idea of what was out there. The ones I started with were very simple, plain backgrounds and black calligraphy. The more art I did the more I loved the feeling I got whilst painting. It was so relaxing to sit in my room, no distractions just painting, the glorious names of Allah and other words that praised Allah swt, slowly slowly without realising I found myself doing more dhikr due to looking for words to paint, every time I looked at a painting I had finished I read the word, visual dhikr so subtle yet so powerful.

This encouraged me to carry on. I kept all of my canvases in my room to begin with and when people saw them to my surprise they actually liked them and asked me to make them some. That's when I started painting canvases for other people, I got in touch with the owner of www.Islamfactory.com and asked if I could sell my paintings on their website, and they replied telling me that they'd love to, so I put some of my canvases on there. I then donated two of my canvases at the city charity week sisters dinner and alhamdulillah they were auctioned off for a very good price, with all the money going to orphans and needy people. I was astonished people actually liked them and even took my details so that they could order some later. [You see charity really does not decrease your wealth]

One of the sisters from the charity event called me a few weeks later and became one of my first ever customers, she bought canvases as gifts for other people and because people liked the canvases I had done for her she ended up ordering more for other people, Alhamdulillah to this day she is my favourite customer (=

I now do canvases embellished with hot fix swarovski crystals (I've always loved all things sparkly and I guess that had to come through in my work), I do henna patterns, calligraphy in different styles and my latest pieces have been personalised mini canvases with mini easels and some have been a little more abstract.

The advice I would give to anyone that wants to start painting is get a good set of brushes and good paints lol. I still end up painting things with my fingers and a cut up kitchen sponge when I can't get it to look how I want with brushes. I would also say that always remember why you are doing Islamic art. My main reason is to promote the beautiful language of the Holy Quran and our beloved prophet which is Arabic but also to serve as visual dhikr throughout the home inshaAllah.

Here are some more of my recent pieces that you may not have seen in the 'Islamic art on canvas' post.

Personalised mini canvas with swarovski crystals
Personalised mini canvases for two small children
Gardens beneath which rivers flow. An abstract piece of a sunset, floating island the names of Allah written at the top...'Al-Khaliq, As-Samad & Al-Qadir'

Personalised canvas with henna patterns and Mashq style calligraphy

A personalised canvas for a friend of mine

Mosques silhouette, yes You may have guessed by now I have an obsession with the sky. When the sky is like this colour it looks sooo beautiful!
Canvas for my little sister Mahzabin
Set of two...half of the money from this one will go to HHUGS charity.
For my sisters friend.
As-Samad, with ink flowers
Now you're probably wondering what this one is about....well I'm afraid it's a little surprise so you're going to have wait a little longer to find out what this is all about.

Canvas bought by a brother to give as a gift to his friend who moved into a new house with his wife.
Night sky lake & name of Allah - As-salaam
Canvas won by Sister Khadija Zafar in the giveaway [before I put the crystals on, sorry don't have a picture with the crystals]

So that's all of my ones done lets have a look at the art work of two fabulous sisters, sister Farah and Sister Nadia, who have inspired me as well!

Farah Visual Arts

My name is farah Bhoyroo and I graduated from uni in 2009 with a degree in primary education, it was while I was on maternity leave in 2010 that I decided to start painting as a hobby as I would be at home for a while. I always loved painting at school and have had no other training just gcse art! I started doing a few canvases for my own home and when friends and family told me to take part in a mosque fund raising i was really excited to show the public my work for the first time, after the fund raising/ exibition i sold most of my work and loads of people asked me for website info, business cards etc.. that was when i created farah visual arts, the page, business card etc.

I am still at home looking after my baby and with next one on the way in a few weeks inshallah.. so i tend to paint when hubby or family can look after bub for a bit! .

The first type of art i started doing was very much traditional islamic art, calligraphy on simple backgrounds, golds, browns etc.. but it always seemed like it wasnt really 'me'. i love doing custom work for customers and creating what they have in their mind, and i love the feeling when they say that they love the painting! after a year of painting here and there i decided to really find out what type of art I really WANT to do, the stuff that i like, and thats when i came up with the islamic pop art collection, its my kind of art! but i wanted to make it islamic so that we can enjoy that type of art but also remember our lord through it... I use acrylic paints on deep edge canvas.

I haven't had any training whatsoever in the arts I just follow my creativity and I would advise anyone who likes to do something, not just painting etc, anything they have a passion for, to go for it and enjoy doing what they do, sometimes its not only about others liking your work, its about expressing yourself, a part of your inner self... I am always willing to help or advise anyone who needs it, even if its just by posting their work on my page!

Pop art trio...I love this trio, MashaAllah its just so different and unique!
99 names of Allah...super cool idea, always reminds me of a rubix cube (=

Kufi style text on colourful background... again mA I love it!

If you want to check out any more of sister Farah's work check out her facebook page inshaAllah:


About me and work

I would say my work really reflects me as a person. I am someone who likes to do what I want rather than what the majority of people do, I am not very traditional with my style and my thinking and this is what my art is about, it's a unique style deviating from the common traditional islamic arts. This style makes it more appealing to me and makes it stand out and catch others' attention. Im a fan of black and white but I also love colour and boldness, and even though I am a rather neat person when it comes to art I like a bit of mess :) ... My art is more toward the graffiti/ street style, I love everything of that sort! Almost all of my work is based on Islam and the Muslim identity, there is a lot of negative attention on Islam and Muslims and I feel that I should help if I can. And what better way to try than by making art which provokes thought and illustrates multiple ideas and meanings. Being a British- Pakistani Muslim female in the West I think I have an advantage because not many young females venture out into this style of art, it allows me to try new things and delve into areas that are still to be risen such as giving a voice to Muslim women.

Tips and Encouragement

Art is something which is in all of us, we all have creative streaks and they can be manifest in different ways such as designing, photography, painting, poems and the like, but a lot of us don't take advantage of our talents and we decide to concentrate on things that we think are more 'important'. You'll be surprised how much you can accomplish when you focus and actually try. Nothing happens over night but consistent progress gets you a long way! If you are thinking of starting out I suggest you just do it, don't think too much about it, it's something you love, something you have a passion for, something you're good at, so intend the best and go for it :) the sooner you work on it, the quicker you will see the progress so 'don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today'.
Never think you are not good or not good enough, everyone has different preferences and styles so just be yourself and do things your own way, that is what adds to the diversity and will make your work more interesting. But remember to stay humble because everything is form Allah and can easily be taken away, so don't show pride and arrogance, you can always intend it to be a form of dawah and work towards that.
As I mentioned before- people have different styles and preferences, always keep this in mind because it is not guaranteed that everyone who comes across your work will like it, don't take it to heart because that will just hinder your progress. If you are working on what you love and people appreciate it then keep doing it, of course accept constructive criticism politely :) (especially from other artists) with art you are always exploring and learning so nothing is a waste.

How to keep the balance

When doing things we love we tend to get sooo stuck in that we forget about the other things in our life! It is really important to keep a balance between the things you love and want to do and the things that need to be done. A lot of us are probably studying, helping out looking after family, and of course keeping ourselves walking the right path. I can't stress how important it is to know your priorities, you don't want to neglect and miss out the blessings you have so we should always do what we do to the best of our ability, and when the time comes to focus on one thing just focus on that one thing. For example if you have an idea in mind to paint or design but then guests pop over, just jot the idea down and then be a good host to your guests, the same way you should pray your salah on time even if you are studying. When a duty calls give it your best effort, that way your time will be used more effectively and it is easier to keep things going smoothly in all areas, or else you risk falling behind and losing track of other aspects and duties.
For a couple of years I have always had Friday mentally scheduled as my 'chill- out day' so when I want to work on art but I have studying to do, I usually wait til Friday because I know that is the day which is just for myself. We always have more than enough time to do what we want and need to do, but we become so distracted and lose focus and then we lose the time. If you organise and manage your time well you will be able to accomplish a lot more.

I love the strong messages and reminders in sister Nadia's work, MashaAllah it's amazing.
Beautiful reminder said in a very powerful way
MashAllah I love the effects and colours in this piece.
I love love love the colours in this one,  makes you feel so cheerful just looking at it (=

If you would like to see more work from Muslimess please go to her facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Muslimess-Art/196002043744607

And that is the end of this extra special Islamic art post. I hope you liked the art work and got an insight into what it's like doing Islamic art, but mostly I hope inshaAllah that you do let out your creative side and do some art of your own. Let me know how you found this post iA.

Take care iA Wassalaam!


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Review | The Pinned Veil & Jersey Hijabs

Assalaamu alaikum sisters! I have just received 2 hijabs I ordered from a company called 'The pinned veil' so here is the review and my thoughts. (=

The pinned veil is an online hijab shop that is run through facebook here is their overview and welcome note from the company:

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem.

Assalamu Alaykum sisters!

Welcome to ' The Pinned Veil'.

We are an online business that offers exclusive hijabs. We choose only the best quality, and guarantee that our prices are affordable. We are constantly updating our stock so that something new and exciting will be always be available.

You will notice there is a higher end to our range which includes handmade hijabs with swarovski crystals.

If you are interested in purchasing a hijab please email ThePinnedVeil@hotmail.co.uk quoting the name of the hijab you are interested in.

All payment is made via paypal which is 100% secure and is available to anybody.

Orders are processed on a first come first served basis.

Delivery prices within the UK are of a standard price of £2.95.
Free postage and packaging for orders over £30.

Customers outside of the UK please contact me for more information.

We do not as yet offer a returns policy, all items are checked for faults before posting.

Please email me with any queries you may have.

Feel free to post requests of any types of hijabs also.

Happy shopping!

I ordered my hijabs last week when sister Aina Hussain was on holiday in Dubai, she replied to my email super fast, she told me that she would be back in the UK on Tuesday and that she will post my orders on that day. My hijabs came the very next morning =D MashaAllah the customer service is superb as well as the delivery.

The Jersey Hijab

Some of you may know my story of 'the jersey hijab' lol, basically after seeing a collection of jersey hijab's by Rabia Z (an Arab fashion designer) I loved the way the hijabs draped and looked so trendy. Let me just make it clear here that I am not in favour of Muslim women doing fashion shows and strutting down catwalks mainly because they are doing it in front of men, but also because they are becoming like the kuffar by doing what they do, Muslim women are supposed to be modest and not display their beauty, which is why I think a Muslim fashion show kind of contradicts the way Allah SWT told us to be.
Rabia Z jersey shayla

Anyway back to the topic at hand I loved the look of those jersey hijabs, unfortunately those hijabs cost $25 (~ £15.60) excluding p&p, which is too expensive for a hijab. I then came across some jersey hijabs at American Apparel for around the same price. I then thought why not make my own, I found a blog that teaches you how to make your own jersey scarf (neck scarf not hijab) so I wen on ebay and ordered some jersey fabric only to realise after that there are a gazillion types of jersey and the one I ordered was not the one that I needed to make a hijab.

After a lot of frustration (and feelings of guilt for buying the fabric and not using it) I came across a company called 'The pinned veil' on facebook, and they were selling jersey hijabs for £5, I read the reviews from people that have bought it and I ordered a chocolate colour jersey hijab for myself. I received the jersey  hijab and had to try it on straight away, and let me tell you...it is super fantabulous! I can't believe how soft it is, how easily it can be wrapped, how lightweight it is, I love it.

I wore the hijab when I went out and it took literally 2 mins to wrap, it draped so effortlessly and you don't even need to wear a hijab pin to keep it in place because it drapes down and doesn't move.

This is how it looks when you just place the hijab on your head, with one side slightly longer than the other, you then take the long side over your head whilst creating some folds (you can do this neat or go for the messy folds look), bring the long side over your head and round to the other side. Leave the hijab hanging and you're hijab style is finished.

Neat folds (well, neat'ish')

It is as comfortable as a mona hijab (or amira) but you can do so much more with it. To wear it like a Mona hijab/ Amira hijab just pin it under your chin and bring the long side over your head. Great for coverage when you need to pray.

This way of wearing it is the same as the one above but taking the long side you brought over your head, draping it across the front & pinning it with a brooch .

For the styles above you can add one straight pin on the side to keep it in place or just leave it hanging, if it's not a windy day it will stay in place.
If you wear it like a long mona hijab (Amira hijab) then you can also drape your hijab round and just pin it with a straight pin on the side. The width of the hijab gives you great coverage.

On colder days you can wear the jersey hijabs with an under scarf, but on warmer days you can still wear it without an under scarf and it will still stay in place (=

The jersey hijabs look great on all face shapes because of its versatility, for rounder shaped faces don't create too much volume around your face and keep it quite drapey, for other shaped faces go wild!

I will definitely be getting some more jersey hiabs from the pinned veil once they get more colours inshaAllah! (The colours I'm hoping they get are...Dark forest green, Aubergine purple and light pink =D eeeee can't wait!)

The Caterpillar Hijab
This is the caterpillar hijab in grey, it's a crinkle scarf (yay no need to iron lol)

This hijab is super cool, it is 3 hijabs in one! Crazy I know, here are some pictures of me trying to demonstrate how the hijab looks.

You can wear 2 of the colours together or all 3 by folding the middle piece in half.

It's very hard to explain, but basically it is 3 scarves stitched into one.

I like some scarves from the chiffon collection by The Pinned Veil, but I am reluctant to purchase them because I find chiffon too slippery and difficult to work with.

If you would like to check out the pinned veil's facebook page here is the link:


So will you be giving these jersey hijabs a try? I really recommend it, and the company too. I hoped you all liked this review (and my random rants throughout). Also look out for an exclusive interview with sister Aina Hussain another up and coming Muslim woman in business (=

Wassalaam <3

Monday, 14 March 2011

Hijabi Haircare

One of the biggest problems women wearing hijab face is the change in their hair after wearing hijab. We all go through that phase where we neglect our hair after we first start wearing hijab. I used to think that no one will see my hair so what does it matter? Now 4 years on I wish I had taken better care of it. As women we love our hair, it's what makes us feel feminine, so what are the problems and solutions?

One problem I have experienced is my hair becoming very dry and limp, it's lost it's volume. another problem is when your hairline keeps going back because you tie your hair back to wear hijab, hair falling out, thinning, and just in bad shape in general.

The solutions are many, some of which I used to think were old wives tales, but as you might know those old wives tales are sometimes true. So here are your handy haircare (and scalp) tips.

1. Trim your hair every so often.
It doesn't have to be a lot just an inch or so will keep your hair healthy and stop the ends becoming damaged.

2. Massage some oil into your hair.
My mum used to drench my hair in Amla oil when I was younger, I hated it! But, massaging some oil into your hair an hour or so before washing your hair can be beneficial, it gives your scalp the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and also prevents split ends. An oil I would recommend is called Vatika hair oil (the advert comes on the Indian channels my mum watches...but just google it) In the Indian culture they actually make a day of it, like a girls night in, once a week or so to massage oil into each others hair.

3. Brush your hair everyday.
Now that you wear hijab don't be lazy about your hair, it's easy to just tie back and put your hijab on because no one will see, but brushing your hair prevents your hair getting tangled and prevents you ripping it out when you try to brush out the tangles 2 days later.

4. Eat healthy!
The key to healthy hair and scalp is in your diet here are a list of foods that are good for the health of your hair:

Salmon- Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron.
"Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health," says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look."

Dark green vege's- Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner.
Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.

Beans- Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.
Blatner, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommends three or more cups of lentils or beans each week.

Nuts- Brazil nuts are one of nature's best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp.
Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.

Poultry- "Without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair, while a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color," Giancoli tells WebMD.
Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.

Eggs- Eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find. They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.

Wholegrain- Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

Low Fat Dairy products- Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources. For some healthy hair foods "to-go," try throwing a yogurt or cottage cheese cup in your bag when you head out in the morning to snack on later in the day. You can even boost their hair benefits by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

Carrots- An excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision.
Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair.


5. Drink lots of water.
Drinking water not only keeps your body hydrated it keeps your hair healthy and hydrated, plenty of water is a must!

6. Let your hair out.
When you get home don't leave your hair in a tight bun, let it out, let it breathe and get some air.

7. Don't let your head overheat.
In the summer make sure you don't wear a thick scarf, the reason being your head will get too hot which will result in an un-healthy scalp and your hair falling out.

8. Don't tie your hair too tight under your hijab.
I hate it when my hair starts coming out from under my hijab so I do tie my hair quite tight, but if you don't want your hair line to keep going back you have to try and not tie your hijab too tight. The same goes for wearing tight under scarves (lace under scarves)

9. Don't wash your hair too often.
This is something else my mum used to tell me not to do. Washing your hair everyday will mean that your scalp doesn't get oily (I know you're thinkin duhh that's kinda the point) but the oil your scalp produces is good for it, without it your scalp has no nutrients which makes your hair unhealthy.

10. Find a shampoo & conditioner to suit you.
Not everyone is the same therefore not everyone's hair is the same, it may take some trial and error to find the right one for you but once you've found it you're sorted. I have gone through a countless number of brands and types of shampoo, at the moment I'm using the 'Aussie' volumous shampoo, it worked for a while when I first started using it but now it's not as good, I think sometimes hair gets used to a shampoo and therefore doesn't react to it as well as when you first used it. For dandruff or flaky scalp I'd recommend 'Tea Tree' from 'the body shop' a friend of mine works their and says it's supposed to be quite good.

Interview | Nour Domestic Violence

I Got Red Roses Today

I got red roses today
It wasn’t our anniversary
Brick-hard fists pounded me
Blood splattered, yet thirstily he hounded me
Face swelled, teeth cracked
Mercy and leniency he lacked
Smiles crossed his face
That grace couldn’t replace
But I know he’s sorry because he sent me red roses today

I got red roses today
It wasn’t my birthday
He flung me effortlessly across the room
And I thought, this is the end, this is my doom
My feathery body that once swayed thumped hard against the door
I heard it splinter into a million pieces on the floor
Screaming with soreness, battered with scars
I woke up coughing, as he watched from afar
But I know he’s sorry because he sent me red roses today

I got red roses today
It wasn’t Valentine’s Day
He soaked my face with inconceivable words to provoke me
Pinned me to the wall, his hands quivering to choke me
When my lungs couldn’t inflate
I thought, finally checkmate
But he re-started his violent game
And my screams silent like he tamed
But I know he’s sorry because he sent me red roses today

I got red roses today
Today, is my funeral
As I lie in the dark, where he can’t touch my lifeless body
The affliction, the violence, I am able to disembody
If only I had injected myself with potency
Overdosed and fought his brutal spree
I would have returned the roses he sent
As he has always been the raging red, the fiery red that caused torment
It is now, that I realize he isn’t sorry because he sent the last red roses too late.

Poem by Enas Suleiman

Domestic violence is not only physical abuse, it is also emotional, and verbal abuse.

SubhanAllah, a topic never really talked about by Muslims and being swept under the carpet. Your husband, the man that is supposed to look after you and take care of you, protect you by any means necessary, but what happens when after you get married you realise he has a temper? He shouts and curses, then it turns to physical abuse, do you bear with it, being the 'obedient' wife, what does Islam say?

Unfortunately I've known many women who experience domestic violence, some of them are family and some people that I have just heard about. I have heard some horrific stories about how some 'Muslim' men treat their wives, it often brings me to tears gets me angry at our community and frustrated at the fact that these women are suffering in silence.

But who do they turn to in such situations? My family is from the indian subcontinent. if a woman experiencing domestic violence asked my grandmother for advice she would tell them to grit their teeth and bear it, women like my grandmother were never educated and taught about their rights in the folds of Islam, they have obscure and sometimes very disturbing views on domestic violence towards women in Islam.

There are stories that I've heard about a man (very distant family member) was taken to jail for using a knife to cut off his wife's ear.....all because she fed her daughter the last bit of his favourite dish and was taking too long to make him some more. I've heard of a sister of mine who is putting up with domestic violence because she is afraid that if she left her husband, people would have second thoughts when it came to marrying her younger sisters and also because she is afraid of how she would bring up her son on her own.

My heart bleeds when I hear such stories, these women shouldn't have to suffer in silence.

And now they don't have to, I present to you....Nour

Nour is a domestic violence non-profit organisation that was an idea in 2009, with a website launch in 2010 (www.nour-dv.org.uk) and is being eventually developed into a charity. It is different in its kind to other fantastic dv charities out there; as we are able to recognise the Islamic faith and be sensitive to that, whilst additionally offering the Islamic perspective to dv, as unfortunately many ignorantly believe it is permissible within the teachings of Islam.


The name Nour interestingly came to us immediately, which translates as angelic light in Arabic with connotations associated with peace, tranquillity and hope. We wanted to be a service that provides that very spark of light during the darkest days of our victims. Our full slogan is Nour – strength, support, solace. We work to help all victims find their strength to take action, get the support from their family and friends and from Nour to enable them to find solace in their life with whichever path they decide to pursue.

- Who is the founder of the organisation and how/why did they set this up?

The idea for Nour emerged back in 2009 when we (two friends now the co-founders) were discussing issues that were plaguing the Muslim community and women in general and realised that despite the presence of numerous notable domestic violence charities, there was no service available for Muslim domestic violence victims, to offer the help with the religious sensitivity and understanding. We found that this has hindered many victims approaching organisations for help or even acknowledging that the abuse they were suffering was wrong in the eyes of the law and within Islam. Rather than becoming angry or futilely reacting, we decided to be pro-active, and hence we are now able to introduce Nour a year later.

- Why do you think domestic violence is very prevalent in our society?
Many factors contribute to why DV is prevalent within our society, one being lack of Islamic education, which in turn allows the perpetrator to misinterpret Quranic Ayahs and use that as an excuse for one’s violence. There is not alot of awareness out there regarding this taboo subject and for too long it has been brushed under the carpet, Nour would like to change this insha’Allah and ensure this issue is no longer turned a blind eye to. There is not enough help or advice out there for victims to reach out to and so they suffer alone thinking Sabr is suffering in silence.

- What can we, as ordinary people do to help those that are experiencing domestic violence? / What can we do to educate people about domestic violence?
Recognising that one is going through DV is the first step to changing their lives for the better. We must ensure them that they are not alone and there are means out there who can help them, be it Islamic, Legal or health advisors.
The use of creative arts such as poetry helps to translate feelings that are not necessarily easy to express in normal speech and allow us as the reader to understand the emotions attached to domestic violence rather than just the facts and figures. Our website is fortunate enough to be able to publish exclusive works by various notable individuals related to the topic of domestic violence. The power of words is always underappreciated, and this was only realised by us when we suddenly got floods of comments to these works and more victims who approached us for hep stating that they had finally got the courage or motivation after having read our feature articles.
Nour has proposed plans to host nasheeed (song) events and other creative art festivals to get more people involved and to learn about Nour though these mediums, and to more importantly be more educated and aware of domestic violence and its impact in our society.
The power of speech is invaluable and it does not take much for every individual to spend some time educating themselves about dv and spreading awareness about it to their friends and family. Nour is always looking for volunteers to get involved with organising and providing help at our events. We always rely on the generous donation of the public and local business to support us, so that we can continue providing free services to our victims and continue the work. We can vouch 100% of our donations absolutely go towards our victims and projects.
We are currently planning key events in March and require immense funding and would like to ask the public and local businesses to support Nour.
If you are interested in providing any help to Nour, then please get in touch with us as info@nour-dv.org.uk to discuss this further.

- What are Nour's future ambitions?

The service Nour provides to victims is always free but currently is limited to online help through email contacts although we are absolutely working to expand this. All victims are able to have access to our team of advisor's which include Islamic advisor's, counsellors and legal advisor's. Islamic advisor's include those who have studied Islamic literature and alike such as Alimas and Sheikhs who are able to provide the Islamic knowledge to help a person understand that Islam does not condone violence and to help provide the support and sensitivity they may require to understand their situation. Our counsellors are all qualified in their field but additionally have background knowledge of Islam to offer confidential advice with the religious sensitivity. Our legal advisor's offer advice on matters that may relate to family disputes and personal safety related to domestic violence such as custody of children and restraining order.

All services are also available for non-Muslim victims too and we also welcome abusers/offenders to contact us if they wish to seek help to end their violence towards their partner. The advisor's can be accessed through our website - www.nour-dv.org.uk and by clicking on the contact tab. Nour also works to spread awareness about this taboo subject, we work hard to ensure this issue will no longer be brushed under the carpet and we want to educate those people who feel domestic violence is acceptable in the name of Islam, which it clearly is not.

We aim to expand on this insha’Allah in the near future providing help lines, shelters, after care packages to survivors.

Please keep Nour in your humble du’aas.

Domestic Violence awareness week is this week and Nour have a launch dinner also coming up.

I applaud everyone at Nour for all their hard work and I pray that inshaAllah we can make a difference to the lives of all women. Our sisters in Islam and mankind you are not alone.

I leave you with a saying from the best of mankind himself the holy prophet Muhammad pbuh.

'The most perfect believer in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behaviour; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.' 
-Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 278 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Spiritual | The Etiquette of Eating in Islam

As you know, Islam is not just a religion, it is a way of life. The sunnah of the prophet pbuh shows us how to live our lives, he was the perfect human being, he showed us how to mould our character and do things in a way that Allah loves. In every action in our day to day lives we should strive to do it like the prophet pbuh

There is no action too small or too insignificant, with every breath we should be praising Allah, for without Him and all the countless blessings He bestows on us we are nothing.

If we do not eat, obviously we will not be able to survive, but do we really think about about Allah before, after and during eating? Or do we just satisfy our bellies, without thanking Allah for the food on our plates?

Did you know that there are blessings in the way we eat our food?

There will be a few posts on how to change small things within ourselves and our actions so that inshaAllah it can lead to bigger changes in our character and be added to our scale of deeds before the day of Judgement.

This is a reminder to myself before all others.

1. Say Bismillah 
Aisha Siddiqa (Radi Allahu anha) narrates that the Prophet of Allah said, "Whenever one eats then he should say the name of Allah (say ) and if he forgets to say Bismillah in the beginning then he should say, "" (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, and Hakim)

2.Wash your hands and face before eating  
Ans Bin Malik (Radi Allahu anhuma) narrates that Rasul-Allah said, "Whoever wants that Allah Ta'ala increase blessings and goodness in his home then he should do wudu when the food is presented in front of him and do wudu when it is picked i.e., wash the hands and the mouth. (Ibn-e-Maajah)

3. Eat with your right hand  
Abdullah Bin Umar (Radi Allahu anhuma) narrates that Rasul-Allah said, "When one eats then he should eat with the right hand and when one drinks then he should drink with the right hand. (Bukhari & Muslim)

4. Take off your shoes before eating  
Abu Abs Bin Jabr (Radi Allahu anhu) narrates that Rasul-Allah said, "Take off the shoes while eating because this is the better way." (Rawahul Hakim)

5. Eat together with other people  
Wahshi Bin Harb (Radi Allahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet of Allah said, "Eat together and read , in this, there is blessing for you." (Masnad Imam-e-Ahmad, Sunan-e-Abi Dawood, Ibne Majah) 

6. Let your meal cool a little before eating  
Jabir Bin Abdullah and Asma (Radi Allahu anhuma) narrate that Rasul-Allah said, "Cool your meal because there is no blessing in hot food. (Rawahul-Hakim and Abu Dawood)

7.Eat from the right side & what is closest to you  
Amr Bin Abi Salma (Radi Allahu anhuma) narrates that I was child in the care of the Prophet of Allah . While eating I would put my mouth on every side of the dish. Rasul-Allah said, "After reading , eat from the right side and eat from that side of the dish which is nearer to you. (Bukhari and Muslim)

8. If some food has fallen from your plate, clean it and eat it (obviously only if it's safe to do so) 
Aisha Siddiqa (Radi Allahu anha) narrates that Rasul-Allah entered the house and saw some fallen bread. He picked it up, wiped it, and ate it. Afterwards He said, "Aisha, respect good things. When this thing (bread) runs away from a nation it doesn't return." (Ibn-e-Majah)

  9. If entering the house at meal times, say Bismillah  
Jabir Bin Abdullah (Radi Allahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet of Allah said, "Whenever someone enters the house and at the time of entering and eating recites , the Shaitan says to his offspring that "you will not be able to live or eat in this home", and if at the time of entrance one doesn't read then he [the devil] says "that you have found a place to live" and if someone doesn't read at the time of eating then he says "you found a place to live and you have found food." (Sahih Muslim)

10. Make sure there is no food at all left on your fingers or the plate 
Jabir bin Abdullah (Radi Allahu anhuma) narrates that Rasul-Allah said, "Lick the fingers and the dish. You don't know which part of meal has blessings." (Sahih Muslim)
Nobelsha (Radi Allahu anhu) narrates from Rasul-Allah said, "Whoever, after eating will lick the dish, that dish will do Istighfar for him. (Tirmizi and Musnad-e-Imam Ahma)

11. Recite the supplication after eating  
Abu Saeed Khizri (Radi Allahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet of Allah used to recite after eating food. (Tirmizi)

12. Don't leave the table until everyone has finished, without excusing oneself  
Abudllah Bin Umar (Radi Allahu anhuma) narrates that Rasul-Allah said, "When the table cloth is chosen, no one should stand until the table cloth is picked up and he should not take away his hand from the food until all have finished eating. If he his going to stop his hands from the food, he should excuse himself because without excusing (oneself) to stopping the hands will embarrass the other person sitting on the table cloth and he too will pull his hands from the food and it's possible that he might still necessitate food.

13. Don't get up from the table until it has been cleared (why not even help clear the table?)  
Aisha Siddiqa (Radi Allahu anha) narrates that Rasul-Allah said,"Do not get up from From food (DastarKhawan-Mat) until Food has been picked up" (Ibn-e-Majah)
14. Wash your hands properly after eating  
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu anhu) narrates that the Rasul-Allah said, "If there is the smell of grease on one's hand and he sleeps without washing the hands and some problem reaches him then he should blame himself. (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, and Ibn-e-Maajah)
15. Don't eat lying down/resting on a pillow  
Abu Jahefa (Radi Allahu anhu) narrates from Rasul-Allah said, "I don't eat while (resting) on a pillow. (Bukhari)

Translated By: Muhammad Omair Abdul Jabbar Qadri, America