Status

Time to Reflect

alhamdulillah

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on another year gone.  I began blogging back in January, with the aim of introducing loved ones to my daily life as a Muslim (Dear Family).  I wanted to reach out, and this was the best way I could think of doing so.

In the first few weeks, I wasn’t entirely sure the blog was making much difference – there was some general positivity initially, but limited engagement thereafter.  I pressed on nevertheless, and soon found myself greatly enjoying the writing process.  I became more confident with my topics and more comfortable baring my soul.  Slowly, but surely, the time and energy paid off.

Family

Now, looking back, this year has been everything I prayed for, and more.  As the months rolled by and the posts accumulated, I felt our relationships go from strength to strength.  I can honestly say, I feel more relaxed with you, more content and more myself, than I have done in some time.  I am unbelievably grateful for the wonderful family I have and I hope you feel as positive today as I do.  Let us always be open to conversation, comfortable in each other’s presence and grow closer with each passing day.

heart-700141

Community

Perhaps the most surprising outcome of my year in the blogosphere has been the interaction with some utterly inspiring sisters, all of whom have been kind enough to share their own experiences as a result of my posts.  This is the true meaning of the word ummah – wherever a Muslim woman is in the world, she need never be alone.  She has sisters everywhere, community everywhere.  Even if those sisters are simply words on a screen, those words can mean everything.

Looking Forward

And so, with the new year almost upon us, what plans are afoot for 2019?  Well, I certainly plan to keep the blog live, but my approach will be changing slightly.  I would like to start writing for a wider audience and be more responsive to the interests of my readers.  At the moment, however, time is somewhat limited, so it may be a little while before I can return to posting regularly.  In the meantime, I would like to thank everybody who has read, commented, contributed and reacted to my articles over the last 12 months.

Most importantly, thank you to my Mum, Dad, two brothers, and all of my relatives, for their support and encouragement with even the most deeply personal topics.  I love you all.

sparkler-839831

Happy New Year!

Advertisements

Ready for a wild adventure?

Just Add Wellies is a 12-month outdoor science series, for curious young explorers aged 7-11. Journey through the seasons with hands-on, educational activities, designed to discover our amazing wildlife and environment.

The series begins with a pack containing 12+ items of scientific field equipment, including tape measure, binoculars, compass and much more.

Following this, a new Adventure Book will arrive in the post every month. This 20-page booklet includes four core seasonal science activities to be completed outside, plus quizzes, facts, puzzles and more.

In addition, subscription gives you instant membership to the Welly Club – a virtual club where all our young explorers across the country can share stories from their adventures. Challenge winners will even get a mention in our exclusive Welly Club newsletter!

This has been a real passion project for me. I hope to inspire the next generation of explorers and scientists; providing families with the opportunity, purpose and resources to enjoy our natural world together.

If this sounds like something your children would love, or you know someone else who may be interested, please do share our details.

Sign up to the newsletter on our website for sneak previews in the coming weeks!

www.justaddwellies.com

Facebook

Exciting news!

Dear readers,

This is not a typical post for me, but is nevertheless an important one.

For some time now, I have been working on an idea which I prayed would one day become reality – a business of my own, built with heart and soul. It’s taken a lot of determination, but I am finally launching this coming spring.

If you are a UK-based parent or carer of children aged 8-12, this is for you! The aim is to connect young people with wildlife and the environment through outdoor science activities – something I am extremely passionate about.

Ahead of the launch in April, I am seeking responses to the survey linked below, to help me shape the final product and create the very best experience for future young explorers!

If you have just 5 spare minutes, please complete the survey and share it with anyone you know who may be interested. I greatly appreciate your participation and support.

Click here for the survey

Salaam,

Emma

Real Muslim Women Talk About Hijab

post box

First of all, apologies for the delay in posting this – since my last entry, at the end of Ramadan, things have been rather hectic. (Who said moving house is stressful?!)  Anyway, we’re finally settling in now and it seems like the perfect time to return to the blogosphere.

You will no doubt have seen the news reports recently concerning Tory MP, Boris Johnson. For those who haven’t, the former Foreign Secretary publicly likened the image of veiled Muslim women to ‘letter boxes’ and ‘bank robbers’.

The fact he holds this opinion is not overly surprising, and everyone has the right to their own views. What I find inexcusable, is the language he used to voice his. I don’t personally cover my face, but surely we all have the right to dress the way we want to, without facing ridicule? I strongly believe statements like these not only stem from ignorance, but breed further ignorance too.

Has Boris spoken to any Muslim women about their decision to cover? I highly doubt it. And yet, his statement, and many like it, inevitably lead to hijab becoming a symbol of oppression. Let me tell you, in the vast majority of cases, and certainly in the teaching of Islam, it is far from that.

And so, I’ve decided to do what Boris hasn’t, and ask real Muslim women to share their reasons for covering. This is a long piece, but definitely worth the read.

Continue reading

Aside

Ramadan Series: Day 30

Well, that’s it folks, Ramadan is over for another year – the new moon was sighted last night and Eid celebrations took place in the U.K. today.

We should take a few moments here to reflect on the past month. I’ve learnt a lot this Ramadan. Although the virtues and rewards of motherhood have been a great comfort, in many ways a simple change of routine would have made it possible to do more. I hope our impending house move and promise of more space will soon solve these problems, Insha’Allah. My experience this month has also helped develop a deeper understanding of Islam as a ‘middle path’ – I am reminded that consistency in one or two small acts of worship is better than burning out on unrealistic goals. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) loves steadfastness.

And so, for the final post in this series, we will explore life after Ramadan, and how Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated across the globe.

Continue reading

Aside

Ramadan Series: Day 20

Welcome back, readers. Thank you to those who are still with me through this four-part series! If you haven’t yet read the previous posts, take a look at Day 1 and Day 10 before continuing. They give some much-needed background to the practicalities of fasting and the spiritual aspects of the month.

We will soon be entering the last 10 days of Ramadan – a period of unequalled reward for sincere worship and good deeds. Today, I will explain the significance of the last 10 days, and how we spend them.

As things haven’t gone completely to plan for me this year, the last 10 days offer a chance for a renewed effort, a redoubled effort, to maximise the spiritual benefits of Ramadan.

Continue reading

Aside

Ramadan Series: Day 10

We are now one third of the way through Ramadan – every year I am surprised by how fast it goes. Tomorrow morning will mark the beginning of the tenth fast of the month.

To recap, on Day 1, I talked about the practicalities of fasting – please do read that if you haven’t already. Today, we will visit the spiritual aspects of the month, and the kinds of goals Muslims set themselves ahead of Ramadan.

So far, this month has been more difficult for me than in previous years. I decided to fast despite nursing a one-year-old, simply because he is now old enough that I don’t need to worry so much about nutrition and milk supply. I knew it was going to be hard on me though – thirst and hunger are amplified every time I feed him. As a result, I have missed three of the fasts up to this point, but am pleased to have at least managed the majority. My spiritual goals, however, have required a little readjustment to make them realistic.

Continue reading