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DIY decorations and crafts for Eid – A little craft update :)

eid

Salaam Aleikum,

Its been a while for me to write something in here and yes it has been a busy year for me. We had a short but wonderful trip to Malaysia last year, when I came home I got my hands full with kids, school, home and everything else in life. And lets face it, I’m not really a blogger : ) I post a lot on IG but here I’ve been very lazy making updates. My school is finally over for this term and summer is here, well, at least my summer vacation ; ) Ramadan is also around the corner, alhamdulillah! So this little update will come just in time, I didn’t have any time to write something about our Eid party for Eid al Adha… last year! Time really flies away so fast subhanallah. Here comes some pictures and descriptions on the DIY’s made for the party : )

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This was our table setting, we had India as a theme for the party. Both the decorations and food menu was inspired by India. We used paper plates, paper cloth in gold and the napkin holders are made from toilet paper rolls (spray painted and decorated with glitter). Most of the table decorations are paper flowers, spray painted glass bottles and candle holders we brought from home.

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Tables we arranged for the food and “fika”. DIY giant paper flowers made from napkins, tissuepaper, paper pin wheels and gold foil paper. We covered the tables with fabrics and wallpaper samples.

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A DIY pinata for the sisters, filled with a gift and lots of lots of confetti ; )

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Our DIY photobooth! This was so much fun, I can really recommend you make this for your Eid party ; ) The picture below was our backdrop.

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DIY soda can lanterns! We hung these in the ceiling above the dining tables. The are cut up, spray painted and then covered with glitter.

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The point of this post is to show you it is possible to make a beautiful Eid party without wasting to much money on it. We had a small budget and most of the things we made ourselves alhamdulillah. It may be more work for you but if you like crafting and recycling (like me 😉 ) you will probably like this way more that spending a lot of money buying “already finished” decorations.

 

A month of loneliness

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Salaam Aleikum,

Its been eight years now since began my journey as a believer. It was actually during Ramadan I felt that Islam was the true religion and my heart was open by Allah to believe in Him. Maybe two or three weeks after Ramadan 2006 I said my shahada alhamdulillah. Truly the gates of Paradise are open and the devils are locked up during this blessed month allowing more people see the beauty of Islam and the Greatness and how Merciful Allah is. If you would have asked me to become a Muslim 6 months before this time I would definitely said no. It was so far away from me, the idea to believe in a God. But alhamdulillah Allah guides whom He wills, never loose open on people becoming Muslims.

During my first Ramadan I was living in my own little apartment by myself. I was 21 years old. I was the only Muslim (what I know of at least) in the suburb where I lived. 99 % Swedes and other percent was me. Since I wore the niqab I didn’t really feel of being out much there, I went out when I had to or if was going away somewhere. Being a convert you are very dependent on your sisters and brothers since you have no Muslim family of your own and many of us loose our old friends when converting. Your social network is very vulnerable, many are in great need of Muslims who can help and be there for you like your own blood family.

I remember every invitation i went to during this Ramadan. Weird hu? But they really really meant everything to me. During Ramadan most of us say salaam to everything and everyone around us, shutting out the world to focus on our deen. What many of us forget is that we also shut out a lot of people. People like me during my first Ramadan. Converts and even some of those “born and raised as a Muslim” might spend their Ramadan in loneliness. Yes some time alone is definitely good for you, specially during Ramadan, to focus on worship. Muslims who are married, have children, other family members, close relatives or even Muslim neighbors usually prepare and / or break fast together. The alternative to break my fast and eat iftar in the mosque was not an option, iftar was late and I didn’t want to go out by myself late at night. In non-Muslim countries the mosque might also be very far away from your home.

I remember those invitations during Ramadan because the gave me so much happiness and comfort. Being alone during Ramadan is hard. The thought of that everybody else is with their family but me is really hard to tackle. I was depending on their desire to invite people (me) over for iftar, I felt embarrassed to invite myself. Because it is just that time around iftar which is the most difficult time being alone. I know this will sound pathetic, but during this time Paltalk was very popular. So what I did every evening before and after iftar was to enter an islamic room and just listen. I didn’t participate in any debate or wrote comments, I just wanted to hear Muslims. Talking about Islam, their day, making dawah or talking about what they had to eat after maghrib.

Why I am telling you this is because there are many Muslims who will, just like I did in 2007, go through this blessed month in total loneliness. I ask you to think about your brothers or your sisters this Ramadan. Not only our own goals of this and that. Ramadan should be a month of activity, this should really be the month when we truly get to experience the feeling of brotherhood and not loneliness. If you know of somebody without family ask them over for iftar. Iftar is late? Let them sleep over. Take care of your Muslim brothers and sisters, everyone of us should love for others what we love for ourselves. Arrange something special for this group of Muslims, maybe an collective iftar at someones home or in the mosque. This is the time during Ramadan but Eid is also one of those times many converts are alone, spending their Eid all alone. Make an Eid breakfast or brunch for converters after the prayer or why not an Eid party where everyone is welcome of course.

Don’t forget us.

Islamic clothes – a review on products I bought

Salaam Aleikum,

Finding a perfect abaya, hijab, khimar, jilbab, niqab, skirt or sharwal pants is harder than it sounds. Many alternatives popes up but which store offers good quality clothes, the colors you want, the material you want or the design you want. And the delivery cost, how much will it be and can I trace the package? Can I trust this store, will the deliver the products I ordered or not? Or maybe deliver wrong products!

My way is to ask a friend who bought some clothes what she thinks of it and if she can recommend the shop and their products. So, I would share some of my experience and reviews on  internet shopping regarding Islamic clothes. AND PLEASE, if you have bought clothes from somewhere else and you really can recommend the store or a product please share! (I will add you’re comment / info to this post inshallah).

Nabira www.nabira.fr

Nabira is an Islamic online store located in France. I have ordered many of their “French Jilbab”. There are many models and I have only bought jilbab with skirt, jilbab with sharwal and jilbab 1 piece and all of them were in “crepe luxe”. The quality of the fabric is really good mashallah. I have big issues with the summer heat but alhamdulillah these clothes are really thin (but not transparent) and they make you feel cool even though it is really hot.

Some of them which I bought (and other sisters as well in Sweden) got jilbabs with very loose elastic sleeves. They should be tight so when you raise your arm the sleeve will stay put and not slide down. But some were so loose they needed to be fixed by ourselves. This is a tie-back model, so tie a knot behind your head to fixate the jilbab. On many of mine the seam breaks at the point where the tie-back band is sewn together with the rest of the fabric.

You can trace the delivery alhamdulillah and neither me or any of my sisters here in Sweden have had any problems with delivery or products never arriving. One of my friends got the wrong color though, a light tone instead of a darker tone of gray. I think the delivery cost is reasonable alhamdulillah.

In these pictures I have the black Jilbab “crepe luxe”  with skirt. (Ignore my weird hand pose in the last picture, think I was going to fix my niqab or something…. )

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Most of these clothes (mix of hijabs and jilbabs) are from Nabira, so there are mashallah many colors to choose from.

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 SunnahStyle www.sunnahstyle.com

Sunnah Style is an online store in Canada. I have ordered niqabs and hijabs from them. Mashallah they have different style of niqabs in different colors. I have tried their velcro niqab (my favourite), ordinary niqab models and two models with a wider opening (no-pinch) for sisters with glasses (yes, I wear glasses 🙂 ) The fabric is soft with a very high quality. I have washed them several times and they still keep it’s color and shape alhamdulillah.

I have ordered from them several times and alhamdulillah I never had any problems with delivery. You can’t trace the package (at least not when you order to Sweden 😉 ).

In the picture you see (from the left) a steel blue one piece niqab, a black narrow no-pinch and a steel blue no-pinch niqab.

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Niqab.co www.niqab.co

Niqab.co is the most recent online store I tried and it is an online shop in Turkey. I bought three different niqabs; one black with belt, a beige (cream) tie-back and a pink (rose) velcro. The quality of the fabric is really nice mashallah. The beige one is so soft mashallah (I could sleep with that one on) but unfortunate it was to transparent for me, so I have to fix it myself by adding a layer to it inshallah. But still I’m happy I bought it, finally someone selling niqab in light colors!

I did not have any problem with delivery and you can trace the package alhamdulillah.

In the picture you see the black one-piece belt niqab, the beige (cream) tie-back one-piece niqab and a two-layer rose niqab.

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Dear sisters.

Salaam Aleikum,

After a real long day with stress, cleaning, much talk and loud noises a feel tired but happy for a lovely day with some dear sisters and all our children. We are a group of sisters living in the same neighborhood who once every week meet, read something related to Islam (reminder or Quran), eat something sweet and talk about everything in life. Sometimes it is not easy and it gets a bit loud and messy since we also bring our kids. But it is worth every minute and every struggle to make this meeting happen.

Living in Sweden as a Muslim, especially as  a convert/revert, is difficult and the one thing Muslims miss here is a jama’ah. We are not very good at creating unity between us, actually very bad at it. We need to creating a social network, a safety net. Yes, the Muslim community here do have some major issues regarding this. Problems with Muslim not trusting the Ummah in situations when you need them the most. And there is non to blame but ourselves…

But, the idea with our little sister-group is an attempt to create a feeling of jama’ah and building up a network, friendships. Some of us have children, some of us are students, some of us are housewives and we come from different countries with different cultures. But alhamdulillah we share the love for and belief in Islam. We are all Muslims alhamdulillah and we have been living in the same small little are for many years (some of us) without knowing each other subhanAllah. When you find a sister within walking distance you truly feel blessed! And subhanallah the Muslim should not be alone, just like it is easy for the wolf to take the lone sheep it is easy for shaytan to take the lone believer than believers who are strong together.

My heart, our hearts, also need some kind of Islamic nourishment right? Like a three course dinner, the first dish is just the simple thing of meeting your sisters in Islam, spending time with Muslims. The main course is of course our reading moment when we either read qu’ran or a reminder. This is where our body gets the real nutrition mashallah. For example, today we read surah al-Waqiah together and afterwards the translation. We have time to talk, contemplate and discuss the surah. And the desert is everything else we talk about and do with the kids. Sharing tips for children upbringing, giving advice and support in what ever we struggle with – both in issues related to deen and dunya. And it’s a comfort to have everyone so close if we one day might need help with a babysitter, company when we are alone, going out for walks together, doing activity with our children together and so on. Today mashallah the kids got creative and painted mashallah.

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This is really not difficult to do and the benefits are many mashallah. This is something I think, more sisters out there could to. Even if you don’t feel like you need this kind of meeting with sisters in your neighborhood there might be a sister there who really really need something like this or in a year or two you yourself might be in desperate need of a strong sisterhood. We got together because we live in the same area but you could really start any kind of sister gathering to create a stronger jama’ah in your community. We have to start somewhere…

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