Welcome note

A girl with a mind, a woman with modesty, a lady with classthese are the confessions of a hijabi girl in a crazy world...

E-mail: ihijabi@gmail.com | Facebook: facebook.com/ihijabi | Instagram: ihijabi_blog

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The pinned veil interview and GIVEAWAY!!

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 :)


GIVE-AWAY


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

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. (=

http://www.owhsomuslim.com/osm/ethics-of-sleeping/


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, 28 March 2011

Why Married Jewish Women Cover Their Hair

While it may be a hot topic for some people, there are those within the Orthodox Judaism religion find that the covering of a woman's hair to be a serious issue. There are many people out there who tend to think that this act is something that should be banished and to never be seen again. They consider it a shame that women are to cover their hair. This is the case though because there is little understanding among other cultures as to why some Jewish women cover their hair.

While some tend to think that this is a sign that the woman is submissive to the man or that she is not of importance, it is actually the opposite. It is the belief of the Jews that the hair of a woman is sensual and such things should be reserved for her husband. This only applies to the married females, as you will find that the unmarried ones do not need to cover their hair. The amount of hair that is covered and by what means will vary depending on the woman and how strictly this tradition is followed within her Jewish community.

Some married women will use the hair covering as a sign, like the wedding ring, that she is married and her body belongs to that of her husband. The hair covering shows modesty and respect for her husband and for her God. The hair covering can be a sheitel, which is a wig. This is acceptable to use in many of the Jewish communities because the wig covers more of the woman's hair then anything else. Others find that the sheitel, or wig, does not work well for their tastes and situation. The wigs are hot and they can be on the expensive side, which makes them a choice that not many women find desirable.

Instead of the sheitel, many married Jewish women prefer to go with the bandana as their hair covering choice. When getting dressed in the morning, all the woman has to do is pull her hair into a bun and then tie on the bandana. Although a few strains of hair may sneak out here and there, the bandana is still considered an acceptable head covering. Whenever the married woman is outside of the home, the hair covering must be in place. Of course, she is free and even encouraged, to remove the hair covering for her husband to enjoy.

There are also some married women of the Jewish faith that enjoy wearing the snoods. The snood would remind someone of a hair net but much prettier and more feminine. Snoods can cover all of the hair on the head or only a partial amount of it. The choice is really up to the married woman and what her peers and husbands deems acceptable.

Many women of the Jewish faith are asked why they agree to such rules. There are many answers given but what seems to be the most apparent is that this is not only a rule of their faith but it is a tradition that they enjoy holding up. Those of the Jewish decent enjoy taking part in customs and traditions that their people have had for many years. By keeping up with traditions, they are able to show their faith in many ways and share their love and dedication to their beliefs with those around them.

A lot of women have even commented on how the bandana for the hair covering allows them to remain much cooler in the warmer weather. Some have even mentioned that it is a time saver when they are rushing to get out of the house in the morning. After all, if she did not feel as though she had time to brush her hair, who would know? There are many reasons why married women are fine with taking part in the tradition of the hair covering. Some are more serious about it then others. Some women wear their hair coverings from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. Others will simply wear their coverings when outside of the home. And those in a more conservative setting may decide to only where their bandana or sheitel when inside the house of God.

So while some people will still tend to look at this tradition as a bad one, it is important to know that the majority of married Jewish women who take part in this custom are proud to do so. They feel it is something that they are choosing to do for their husband and for their God instead of being forced to do it. They are happy with their decision to take part in it and many find that they would not enjoy outings and functions as much if they were not able to use their hair covering as a way to show their faith and dedication to their husband.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Maybe she's born with it...maybe it's...just make-up? [Make-up review]



Assalaamu alaikkum girlies,

I bought some new make up recently so I thought I'd do a quick review on them (=
I don't buy loooads of expensive make up some stuff is branded others are drug store products, I haven't bought all the at once they have accumulated over a couple of months

Just some friendly advice from one sister to another: Make-up should be worn in a subtle way so as not to attract attention when out and about. Extravagant make-up is all well and good for sister only parties, it should not be worn in front of non-mahram men.

SO lets begin. [Click on the images to enlarge them]

If you've read my 5 beauty must have's post you will know that I love my Maybelline pure foundation mineral powder, great coverage and leaves your skin looking flawless without your skin feeling too clogged up. Please remember...Your wudhu will not work if you are wearing liquid foundation or an oil based foundation because the water doesn't reach your skin unless you remove the foundation and then make wudhu....therefore mineral powder foundations are ideal, they're also kinder to your skin. The colour I wear is 73 Dune as this is best for my skin tone.

The first thing I bought was a M.A.C prep + prime eye in the colour medium. This is to wear as a base under your eye shadow, so that your eye shadow sticks and the colour comes out better on your eyes. You only have to use a little and lightly coat your eyelids with it. yes MAC is expensive but this should last quite a long time as you only have to use a little tiny bit.

Next is the MAC prep + prime loose transparent finishing powder. This powder is as it says transparent (looks white in the pot but is clear when you put it on). This is just to set your foundation and again give your skin a flawless look. I bought it mainly because I am prone to oily skin and I hate having a shiny nose and forehead in pictures so this does actually prevent my skin looking oily (I think). You can wear this on top of your foundation or on its own, again it's MAC so it's expensive but I don't wear it all the time.

I also bought some Rimmel London products. In boots they had a 3 for 2 offer and I wanted to buy some new eye shadows so I bought the Glam'Eyes Quad eye shadow in the shades 019 Sun Safari and 021 State of Grace. The Sun Safari was supposed to be a more day time subtle one and the state of grace was for parties (to be honest I just really wanted a dark purple eye shadow). But I was kind of disappointed with these eye shadows, they're not as vibrant as I thought they would be, they look a bit 'watered down' )=

I actually have an old eye shadow palette from H&M (I never knew they did make up either, this was a while a go and I think it was an Oxford street H&M that I was just browsing in when I found it) I bought 2 the first palette is called 'Into the Night' and has the colours white, light silver, grey and black. And the second was shades of green turquoise and blue but I lost it during my cousins wedding. Anyway these eye shadows are actually really good and vibrant, I've had it for a while because I don't really wear eye shadow. The point I'm trying to make is if you use the black eye shadow from this palette and then wear the purple from the Rimmel London palette on top, the dark purple colour comes out better.

I got a Rimmel London Exaggerate black liquid eye liner for free in the 3 for 2 offer, which was pretty good because I was running out of eye-liner. The brush is thin and very sturdy, great for applying the eye-liner accurately, and great for me because I apply the liner very thin and close to my lashes as my eyes are quite small.

Next is the Maxfactor Flawless Perfection Blush in the colour 235 Chestnut. when I tried this on my hand it looked quite good because you only have to use a small amount to get good colour. But I didn't realise it was a little glittery, so again I don't wear it much if at all and I'll only probably wear it to parties. The brush applicator that comes with it is rubbish because it's so small and to hard so when you put it on your face you just have red lines on your cheeks as it doesn't blend the blusher well. The advice for this would probably be to use a very small amount and use a blusher brush to apply it.

I also bought Maybelline's Falsies Volum' Express [waterproof] mascara, after I first bought it I hated it because although it says it's clump free it DOES clump your lashes together. Before that I used maxfactor masterpiece max which was super for separating out lashes so I think that's why I didn't like this one. However, I think the first time I used it I didn't use it properly (it's a curved/ spoon brush and the concave side is supposed to be closest to your lashes), I have recently used it and it has grown on me, the trick is to not use too much because when you start using it too excessively it clumps your lashes together. I use it after curling my lashes and don't apply the mascara to the roots of my lashes but lightly to the ends. It does extend the look of your lashes (but doesn't make them look like false lashes, which I guess isn't such a bad thing when you don't want to look too over the top with your make-up).

The final thing I'm going to write about are some make-up brushes from The Body Shop. The first is a slanted brush, this was given to me as a gift from a friend of mine who works at the body shop in Oxford street. I don't think I've actually mastered how to use this brush, apparently you can use it to apply eye shadow as an eye-liner by wetting the brush first putting some eye shadow on it and applying it close to your lashes, so it's basically for accurate application of eye shadow. The second brush I have is an eye shadow blender brush, this is quite a good brush and it does blend very well. The body shop also have an eye shadow brush which is pretty much the same as the blender brush so I think you could just get away with a blender brush. To use this brush put the on the eye shadow palette, swirl it around in a circular motion, tap the excess off and then apply to your eye lid by patting it onto your eye, to blend two colours move the brush in a circular motion between the two colours. The body shop is known for its brushes so I'd defo recommend you get them from there (also they're not too expensive)

I don't buy make-up removers any more (especially the wet wipe ones) because they dry out and dry my skin out too. As I've said in the 'beauty must haves' post Johnson's baby lotion is the best for removing make-up. Put some baby lotion on tissue or cotton wool (be generous), then put it on your face and gently wipe away the make-up. It works wonders even on waterproof mascara. After you've removed the make-up wash your face and see how refreshing and soft your skin feels.

Monday, 21 March 2011

7 Steps on how to 'Flee to Allaah'- City 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.

Wassalaam!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Abaya 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
Ma'salaama!

Islamic Art- Visual dhikr so subtle yet so powerful

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!

iHijabi

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:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Farah-Visual-Arts/133502010007446


Muslimess

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!

xxx

Thursday, 17 March 2011

'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:


http://www.facebook.com/The.Pinned.Veil?sk=wall

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