Sunday, 20 May 2012

OOTD | My sisters graduation

Salaam sisters!

A quick OOTD post, my sister had her year 11 leavers/graduation ceremony last Friday and this is what we both wore. I was going to wear a black blazer but it looked a bit too formal and it was a bit chilly that day too, so I opted for a jacket instead giving it a more casual look (=

My outfit:
Green Maxi dress - The pop look
Black maxi jersey hijab- The Pinned Veil
Brown Jacket- Gift 
Charm bracelet & necklace- ebay
Black suede boots- Zahra Shoes (Local shop)
Bag- Gift from Gap

My sisters outfit: 
Hot pink kaftan- Shop in Madinah (Saudi Arabia)
Gold silky hijab- Pearl daisy Ltd
Shoes: Unze London

Interview | Al Yaqoot Arts

Name: Zainab Shahid
Age: 21
Company: Al Yaqoot Arts

Tell us something interesting about you:

Hmmm... I'm trying to balance two degrees lol! BA Creative Writing and English Literature and BA Islamic Studies
 What is Al-Yaqoot Arts?  

That's a hard question... it's a business, I think the answers following this question will explain more properly. =) 

Where are you based?

I'm based in Surrey, but seeing as I travel to North London for university there's no reason why I can't travel to London for sisters who want Henna done!

How and why did you set up Al-Yaqoot Arts? 

I love art, I end up doodling all over my notebooks when I'm supposed to be taking notes in class or notes for assignments. I didn't actually have a proper business name until quite recently, I used to do henna for people and after receiving positive feedback I thought I would make it more professional and even add in canvases and hand-embroidered scarves. They're all things I love to do! Also, I've seen similar services or products being sold for quite a lot of money, and I believe that you should charge the amount you'd be willing to pay and that's exactly what I've done. =)

Who/What inspires you? 

Islamic architecture has always struck me as something beautiful; it has amazing calligraphy and patterns. I started drawing and doodling quite young, so I'm not sure if any person inspired me.

What has been your biggest success?

My biggest success has to be when I did henna for many people at a charity event quite a few years ago; it was the first ever time I had been asked to do it for an event.

What has been your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it?

The biggest obstacle was promoting, and it still is at times. I started off by giving ads in the newspapers and online for quite some time as I couldn't afford to have a website built then. But with Allah's help I have been able to set up a website, and I'm certain that Allah will also bless my business with a lot of success in the future.

What advice would you give to aspiring henna artists?

Just keep practicing! Don't give up easily; I began learning the art of henna when I was 11 years old and I did ruin my hands many times with the most outrageous designs, but eventually you learn to control the flow. Just stick to it, unfortunately nobody can become successful overnight - you need to have faith in yourself and in Allah. 

How can people get in contact with you?  

They can go on my page on Facebook: Al Yaqoot Arts or through my website which has a contact form: www.alyaqootarts.com

Monday, 14 May 2012

Stop! I'm the haraam police...o.O

This is haram, that is haram, my gosh you are haram!

Its come to the point where it's actually ridiculous, I'm so sick and tired of people judging each other and being FB sheikhs ready to do their service to the world and tell everyone how haraam you are. Seriously what is wrong with people??!

When did we go from looking at the good in ones intentions and actions to firstly jumping to conclusions and secondly haramifying every breath they take? Thing is we've lost sight of the bigger picture and sisters (and brothers) are constantly looking for faults in each other instead of taking the good out of what they do.

For example someone uploads a sisters speech in a conference (really good, Islamic, informative, eye opening speech I must say) and you get comments under it with people saying 'isnt a woman's voice her awra? It's haraam for sisters to speak in front of men. Why are her eyebrows plucked? Why is she wearing a green jilbab doesn't she know you have to wear black? Sister I advise you to not put up videos on youtube' And I'm sitting here thinking...really??! After that entire lecture all you got from it were her eyebrows?

And I wrote a status once, an inspiring status about the history of Islam and wrote inshaAllah at the end of it, then someone replies 'I think you mean to write in shaa Allah, it's three separate words you have to write it like that'.....and yes it made me so so annoyed at the fact that this person didn't take anything else from that post except the way I wrote inshaAllah.

So sick and tired and annoyed and frustrated with our ummah, like really annoyed. Before a sister wears hijab people don't judge her, as soon as she puts a hijab on other sisters start making comments about her clothes and her nail varnish and her eyeliner and anything else they can pick out....like way to go encouraging Muslimah's to take a step in the right direction, they take one step forward and you do everything you can to drag them back 5 steps.

Then you have the sisters who don't look at themselves but constantly pick on things other people are doing, so a sister says she wants to get a coloured maxi dress/abaya and the sister is like 'why would you want to wear colour? You'll be attracting attention to yourself when you're outside from men and women, I only wear black and dark colours' and the ironic thing is the sister has a picture of herself without hijab as her profile picture...like really? Come on!

And then you get the sly ones that pretend to be giving you advice by posting hadith and Quran indirectly telling you that your head is a camel hump....let me clear this up...I don't encourage women to wear their hijab like a camel hump however you interpret that, but the model in my pictures (my sister) does not do anything to volumise the back of her head, she doesn't wear an extra scarf at the back and doesn't wear a volumising scrunchy or clip..her hair is naturally long, she actually gets upset when people try to 'advise' her about this whole camel hump issue because unless she chops all her hair off her scarf will look volumised at the back . I don't think there is anything wrong with anyone with long hair having a volumised look because that is natural and that is between her and Allah so please don't be jealous, just get over it.

Yeah they might say things to advise you but most of these people will never email you or send you a private message notifying you that something is either not permissible or not favoured in Islam because they get a thrill out of telling you that you are sinning and letting the world know while they re at it, just so they can look like such good Muslims. If they were really genuine they'd get off their backside and go look at themselves in the mirror and then advise you according to Quran and Sunnah...privately and not try to humiliate you.

Those who love (to see) scandal published (and) broadcast among the Believers will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows and ye know not. (Quran, 19-24)

Ibn 'Abbas said on the following verse of the Qur'an, "Nor defame one another" (49:11), "Do not spend your time finding fault with one another."
(Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners #330)  

'Abd Allah reported that the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, said, "A believer is not a fault-finder and is not abusive, obscene, or course."
(Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners 313, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and Hakim) 
It is true that there are some sins which need to be exposed but on some specified conditions which we may get to know in Hadiths and Quran. But in most of the cases others sins are asked not to reveal or make it open. 
One of the reasons behind it is that we judge things according to our limited knowledge and it may happen that the sinner realise his mistake and repent afterwards and finally turn to Allah SWT and seek His forgiveness. 
In such a case Allah Almighty can forgive him and can uplift his status. So what if his sins are exposed to other people and they keep on criticising or taunting him for his bad deeds. We can realise that in such condition the person who exposed the bad deed of another will be guilty. So to avoid such situation Allah Almighty wants us to keep others affair in secret which need not to be exposed and which spread hatred in society.  - Turn to Islam-

We are all HUMAN we are all on a JOURNEY spiritually, physically and in terms of knowledge and understanding, we will make mistakes because that's what humans do and then we will learn from those mistakes iA. Please remember that before you decide to criticise someone.

Our Ummah doesn't lack critics, it lacks people who are willing to be pro-active and do something good. For every one person who takes a step to do something good, behind him will be 10 people  criticising him.

So let me ask you next time before you post something about someone, publicly humiliating and pointing fingers at them, ask yourself 'am I writing this for the sake of Allah or are my intentions to get some attention and make me feel better about myself?'....check yourself and your intentions because on the day of judgement you will be called up to answer for your sins and then you will regret all that time you wasted on other people rather than yourself.

Enjoin the good, forbid the evil but don't be a bully.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Spiritual | Journey to the unknown

Monday: School 9am, home, TV, dinner, homework bed; Tuesday: school 9am, home, TV, dinner, bed, Easter holidays, Summer holidays then on to the next stage.

For the last 18 years of my life I've had a routine, I've always known what I was going to do next. Now as I reach the end of university I have a daunting feeling of emptiness, change and the unknown. The first summer holidays where I have no concrete plan for the coming year. Its a strange feeling really, all through school and university I've been looking forward to finally finishing education, but now the time has come I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.

It feels as though I am heading out into the big wide world after being in the little 'student' bubble. The next obvious step would be to get a job, but the way the economy is at the moment jobs are looking very scarce and to be honest I really just want a break from the constant hustle and bustle of life. I've always thought about what I'd like to do after uni such as volunteer for an Islamic charity, get back to painting canvases, do some Quran/Islamic studies part time and go on holiday. InshaAllah I will be able to do those things.

InshaAllah this Ramadan I aim to make it the best ever, long summer days might seem daunting for some but I love it! It's during the holidays so no need to think about school or uni or anything, spend all my time in worship, attend the masjid for taraweeh, helping my mum in the kitchen for iftaar, visiting my extended family and just generally making the most of everything positive in the month.

And after that? InshaAllah I really want to go and visit my cousin in Italy, even if its just for a week, she lives near Venice and who wouldn't want to go to Venice?

They say as one door closes another one opens I hope inshaAllah one opens for me very soon because I have no idea what I'm going to be doing after this summer but I'll be making the most of this summer while it lasts iA!

What are your plans for the coming year?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Review | Noble Starz

Assalaamu alaikum girlies

Here is the post which accompanies the video I made reviewing Noble Starz hijabs so please watch the video if you want to know more about Noble Starz and what I think of the hijab.

Here are pictures of the scarves (=

Perfect spring hijab

All hijabs come with a little charm with 'Made with Love' written on it..how cute?!
 All of the negative points made in the video have been fed back to the owner of Noble Starz and the sister is working on changing a few things so that customers are completely satisfied with their purchases....see what I mean about customer service? Superb mashaAllah!

Please click on this link Noble Starz and add the sister as a friend to check out the other hijabs in the range iA (=