Ramadan Kareem friends!
Ramadan is one of my favorite times of the year and I’ve honestly loved practicing it in a Muslim country, in my own space where I can decorate and practice in peace and quiet lol alhamdulillah I’ve been able to jet home just in time for Eid, but this’ll be the first in ages from start to finish with the entire famalam! definitely a lot more people, noise, and meal requests lol but looking forward to it nonetheless!
If you’re unfamiliar with Ramadan, here’s a quick run-down – also my 5 goals from a couple years ago in the event you’re interested in having a read!
With only a few days before the holy month, which is bound to be different for the entire ummah this year, thought we’d suggest a few ideas on how to make the most of this time at home. Easy suggestions that I’ll personally be trying to implement, but just because the world is cancelled atm, doesn’t meant Ramadan has to be!
- I’m a big believer that Ramadan (and Eid) is all about the atmosphere you create in your space and within yourself. Create a space in your bedroom which is free from any distractions and can act as your little place of solace. Prayer mat, prayer beads, maybe some fairy lights (Ramadan lantern lights lol) somewhere you can retreat to at the end of the day to just sit and connect with God. – Would also suggest this in your common space/living room at home; since everyones at home, why not make that a little prayer hub gathering space for reading quran and praying!
- On the talk of prayer, lets all unmute that adhan app lel no more fumbling to turn it off as it it plays on loudspeaker on the train. Since we’re all home we can make more of an effort to actually pray every salah on time AND in jamat with everyone which is a win! (all about getting them god-points in!)
- Set up a playlist of Islamic lecturers and Quran reciters you’d like to listen to during the month, while you cook etc.; some of my faves are Sulaiman Moola, Mufti Menk, and Omar Suleiman for their lectures, and Omar Hisham Al Arabi for Quran (also if you have other suggestions please let your girl know!)
- Set up a swear jar/bad word jar; this has always been a favorite of mine with friends and family lol any bad words you say means you’ve got to put in a dollar or two into jar. Just an easy and fun reminder to watch what comes out of our mouths, especially in this month; at the end of Ramadan donate the money to your favorite charity!
- Set a goal to memorize a new surah; obviously speaking to myself before I speak for anyone else, but I always make this intention and somehow never seem to find the time. We’ve got nothing but time now lol
- Having a grateful journal, notepad, anything to write in really; something you can keep by your bedside and jot in at the end of each day or each week. Ramadan is all about improving your character and the inside stuff, so keep track of the small things you’ve consciously done to achieve this. Maybe you stayed patient in a situation, maybe you didn’t raise you voice at annoying siblings, maybe you were about to say something unkind but stopped yourself; the more you’re consciously aware of these small changes, the easier it’ll hopefully be to continue practicing them after Ramadan!
- Plan zoom iftars/futoors with your family/friends! Breaking fast with people and that sense of togetherness is another highlight we’ll all be longing for this month but we can try to make do as best as possible. Dress up, sit together, keep the virtual gang close, once adhan is called and everyone makes dua and opens fast together, I’m sure it’ll be just as special x
- Try and walk everyday! We do this with my family, especially after fajr which I love and it’s a grand way to get some exercise in instead of sitting after a meal and feeling blah. We’re so accustomed to going straight to bed after fajr or even tarawih because we’ve got to get up for work the next morning, but not anymore!
- Don’t forget about charity! Ramadan is a month where any charity you give is doubled and gets you even more god-points than the usual. Totally aware that there are some people whose financial situation is a little grim at the moment given the current situation, but if you’ve got the ability to do, give as much as you can. Even if you know of a family who’s maybe been affected by the crisis or laid off and need a helping hand, that counts as charity! Offer to help, or leave a Ramadan care package at the door anonymously, we’ve all got to do our part where we can x There are also going to be loads of accounts on Instagram fundraising for projects both at home and abroad which are also great avenues to donate to; I always try and diversify my charity and give a little to various places, but a little goes a long way friends trust me! (even if it’s $1; that’s a meal for someone in some parts of the world) – “Charity never decreases wealth. Rather, it increases it, it increases it, it increases it.“
- This is one which I’ve promise myself to practice at least once a week. Make the effort to show up for yourself! Again, this’ll be a first of no getting dressed up for futoor or suhoor tents, no wearing your favorite abaya and oud for tarawih, or new clothes for jumah etc etc etc. but still do it! It’ll obviously be tempting to stay in pyjamas or a dara3a/bati all day, but pls don’t do it. Change your clothes for futoor/iftar, still wear your nice abaya, and if you can’t do it every day, at least on Friday for house-juma! I’m spending this weekend getting out and organizing my dara3s, abayas and Ramadan smells because they’re also some of my favorite parts about this month. Again, it’s all about the atmosphere you create in order for it to ‘feel’ like Ramadan!
and that’s that! Would love to hear some of the ways you’re getting into the Ramadan feels at your place x comment below or lets chat on the gram!
Wishing you and your families a very blessed Ramadan inshallah x endless love, duas, and hugs from this end xoxo
I had other plans for this Zara dress, something along the lines of massive turban, rolled up sleeves and trainers, maybe some denim?! but then the lovely Manal (@chinutay) sent me a few scarves from her collection (@chinutayco) (which are oh so beautiful by the way!) and I got super excited to put something together as an excuse to wear one *insert shy monkeyface emoji*
This is actually the first time I’ve ever been gifted or sent scarves by a brand/company, and maybe rightfully so because I’m quite particular with what goes on my head in terms of material, length etc. haha but eep, these are perfect! They’ve got the right amount of stretch and more than enough material to work with! Manal’s packaging is also super cute and personalized with a handwritten message and sprayed with her signature scent which smells divine mashallah x Haven’t experimented using them as turbans yet but uber excited to do so! I’ve got ‘Jaipur’ on me head which had me reminiscing about a recent trip to India which led to me going through photos, prompting a sit down of a potential Mumbai post coming at you real soon inshallah! xoxo
P.S – THE DRESS HAS POCKETS GUYS!
Was placed in the ‘Haute Seat’ by Haute Elan this past week where we did a bit of a Q&A about travel and clothing (basically my favourites!) Be sure to check out the site for some fabulous pieces for Eid or everyday modest wear! Click here to have a read! xo
A long weekend was randomly gifted to us a few weeks ago so Miss Iman and I ventured to Istanbul where we met up with her mama dearest. I’ve been to Istanbul a couple times before so wasn’t too stressy about itineraries and cramming a whole lot into 3days, but it was such a lovely getaway and the weather was beautiful, that perfect chill where its not too hot and not too cold but a blanket scarf provides the right amount of cozy warmth lol that kind! Being able to just stroll around and have a change of scenery was super refreshing alongside the endless amount of food consumed haha baklava (Hafiz Mustafa is the one!) and Turkish delights and chocolate mushrooms and tea and mmmmmm so so good lol
We initially almost missed our flight thanks to my sleeping in and Iman literally barging into my flat thinking I had died lol (sorry love x ) and then got scammed by a taxi driver upon arrival which wasn’t very fun, but alhamdulillah not too many incidents after that! Stayed in the most ideal location, a 5 minute walk to the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia which made my ickle heart super warm and fuzzy and content with life, especially when hearing the adhan at prayer times. The Blue Mosque is one of those places which leaves you in awe no matter how many times you see it and being in such close proximity to it was beautiful. I decided to be adventurous one morning and head out for Fajr prayers but chickened out last minute because I didn’t want to get kidnapped lawl. but I made it for jumah which was such an experience! I’ve written about my love for jumah in other countries and masjids etc etc etc lol so I won’t get into it again, but one of those heartwarming happy chappy soul feelings which was beautiful x if you know me you also know about my obsession with taking photos and looking for particular angles and such lol but I also love taking photos of old people and children and went a bit stalkerish both at jumah and during the trip in general but I think it resulted in some beautiful photos which I’m super proud of! does anyone else ever take a really cool photo and think it should be framed in a cafe or someones living room?! (its probably just me but still!)
We munched at this place (I’ll have to get the name from Iman), that do only about 3-4 items on the menu because a) it’s their speciality and b) they’re that good, but dang son. so worth it! In Sultanahmet, I want to say right across the Aksaray metro stop..?!! (I’ll find out and stick it in someplace lol it’ll be a lot easier!)
Also did a Bosphorus cruise which I’d recommend; gives you some beautiful views of the bridge and the Galata tower and the city from a distance! There are a number of boats parked by the water who offer tours and trips so super easy to find and do! Spend a lovely evening in Taksim where we witnessed Tunis beat Libya (go Tunis go!) Taksim at night is a beauty on its own full of people chilling out over a shisha or walking and just essentially having a good time, so definitely worth experiencing if you’re ever in town. The Grand Bazaar was epic! I absolutely love souks and bazaars and anything of the sort which allows you to haggle; I just think it’s proper form and generally expected in such an environment lol but found some lovely pieces of jewellery and earrings so yay! Someone had asked on instagram about what/if there was anything particular I purchase from each country and yes I do! always a magnet and a piece of jewellery (specifically a pair of earrings or a necklace!) I love love love ethnic bohemian jewellery that’s slightly representative of each country and the whole rustic look and vibe they give/add to me collection and wearings so that’s always a must! I’ve also started to pick up either a postcard or a print (painting or a picture) as well which then go on my wall or fridge!
Tourism has generally died down quite a bit in Istanbul compared to what it was due to recent attacks which I presume left people a bit frightened and hesitant to make the trip, but anything can happen anywhere in the world at any point and it’s just one of those things that’s truly out of your control and you’ve got to make a decision as to what extent you’re willing to risk your safety or travel plans etc. We never felt unsafe or uneasy walking about on our own and people were generally nice and helpful so teshakular Istanbul and I’m sure I’ll be back at some point in me life inshallah!
I truly hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do and as much as I loved taking them haha I’m really chuffed with meself in case you hadn’t gathered! Headed home in a few weeks inshallah so yay for seeing mama! Hope all is well wherever you may be and you’re spreading smiles and love and holiday cheer to the world! xoxo