Often we forget to thank people along the way, it’s very important to empower one another so…
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Often we forget to thank people along the way, it’s very important to empower one another so…
Written by Rabia Nishat
We are nearly approaching one of the most anticipated moments of the Islamic calendar. One so important that it’s considered one of the five pillars on which our faith rests firmly upon…Hajj. A time where equality and unity truly shine through as pilgrims all wear an ihram, which serves as a reminder of how we will return to our Lord. In light of such a special moment, we thought we’d post a blog for you all.
We’ve gone an extra step and managed to grab you all an exclusive interview with the CEO of Hajjsafe, A company that specialises in Umrah and Hajj necessities. We’ve also got some great advice from his wealth of experience so of course we’re sharing it with you all so keep an eye on the next blog we release!
Often getting caught up with Eid prep (ehm, guilty!) we often neglect the beautiful chances Allah Almighty grants us during this month to erase our sins. We often see Ramadan as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. However, Duh’l Hijjah is the chance to prove to Allah we’ve stood firm on our promises and left those bad habits in the past.
Between me and you, it sort of acts as a checkpoint, Allah wants to see if you’re doing okay, after all he is Al-Wadud (the most loving).
So, to reap the reward of the hereafter, here are a few key dates that will Insha’allah benefit us all.
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked , “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.” – Sahih Al Bukhari
It is recommended to fast the first 9 days of Dhu’l Hijjah as the quote above substantiates the virtues of the first 10 days (10th being Eid with is prohibited to fast) are vast and Fasting is an act of worship which is only for Allah if he should accept it insha allah.
Fasting on the 9th day specifically has more virtue as this is the day of Arafah, a sunnah and is mustahhab for those that are not performing hajj.
So why so important? Well at dawn of this day, pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafah and the Plain of Arafah. It was from this site that our beloved Muhammad PBUH gave his last powerful sermon in the final year of his life which shaped our religion.
Moreover, it is reported that the PBUH said the following about fasting on the day of Arafah:
“I ask Allah that it may expiate for (the sins of) the year that comes before it
and the year that comes after it.”
So we already know the importance of the first 10 days of Dhu’l Hijjah therefore it’s pretty clear that increasing acts of worship and doing more good deeds are loved by Allah and will insha allah weigh heavy on your scales:
Allah has already given us so much ease in earning reward for reciting the qu’ran (we get reward for each letter!!! subhan’allah). Therefore let’s try and take it up a notch these 10 days and put more effort in to reap the rewards.
It is Sunnah to recite the following during the first ten 10 days, no matter how busy you are, there’s always a way to incorporate doing this in your day to day life. whether it’s walking on the streets to work or doing the house chores, we can all make the effort to recite these few words for such immense rewards.
Takbeer – Allahu Akbar
Tahmeed – Alhamdulillah
Tahleel – Laa ilaaha illalAllah
Tasbeeh – SubhanAllah
Tahajjud prayer: The most virtuous voluntary prayer is the Tahajjud prayer as it helps us get closer to Allah swt. We should pray this salah with sincerity and take long prostrations to ask for forgiveness.Try setting a goal to pray Tahajjud every night for these 10 days .
Pray your Sunnah Rakat:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “A house will be built in Jannah for every Muslim who offers twelve Rak’ah of optional Salatother than the obligatory Salat in a day and a night (to seek the Pleasure of Allah).”
No need to panic as always we have you covered, whether you need it next day (yup order by 11am and we’ll deliver it the next working day within the UK) or struggling to say Hajj Mubarak in a unique way! Check out our dedicated Hajj and Umrah suggested gifts here
Now now, this blog may seem like an attempt to toot one’s horn (more specifically ours), but if we don’t tell you one of our best kept ‘secrets’ you’ll spend forever on the internet looking for the perfect gift for the little ones.
We at Mubarak London usually aim to present luxury products, mainly for the adults…but that made us think why not the kids?! So here it goes, an insight into one of our unique boxes which we like to call The Chocolate Surprise Gift Box.
At just £40 the box itself contains:-
Firstly, we cannot stress how high quality the cups are. They are both dishwasher and microwave safe, which means you don’t have to worry about the pictures fading or the cup cracking. Moreover, this is a great way to encourage your little ones to progress from a sippy cup to an ‘adult’ cup, making them feel all grown up!
Secondly, the biscuits are ideal for those after school snacks or for picnics, as they’re quite lightweight and also easy to pop into a handbag. We’re sure that they’ll make for a tasty snack when your little one feels a bit peckish! Just remember sharing is caring! So be sure to pass those biscuits around.
We all love chocolate…a bit too much I suppose. It’s, therefore, no surprise that we had to include it in our box. This velvety chocolate block is sure to leave everyone licking their lips. Oh and chewing on the yummy sprinkles too. Be sure to top it off with some marshmallows and cream for the ultimate finish. But of course, remember to say Bismillah! To serve as a reminder and a lovely keepsake, we engraved this beautiful teaching right onto the spoon. Hopefully, that also makes it easier to identify.
With all of our boxes comes our signature Mubarak London packaging a clean crisp white, topped with an elegant black ribbon, so that you or a loved one can be sure it’s a unique gift from the very start.
Written By Rabia Nishat
Right, so before jumping in head first, into this topic, just a quick disclaimer. All opinions within this blog are solely my own, thus please do not be offended by any of the remarks made within this piece, as this is quite a personal piece, I thought I’d clear that up from the outset. Rightio! Now that’s done, let’s delve into this.
First thing’s first, being part of an Ummah opens doors of opportunities to us all. From bake sales to charity dinners, from business opportunities, to play dates for our kids, we bond over surprising differences as well as similarities. A huge huddle of people supporting each other through the highs and lows of their lives and making sure that not one person feels isolated. The sad reality of life today is that many people, especially those that are being bullied, new mothers and the elderly feel disconnected from reality as they simply don’t have that human interaction. After all what makes us human are our emotions, but what’s even more important is using those emotions to convey messages to others, and that shouldn’t be a rarity, but sadly it is.
In fact, coming to a personal story of my own, I quite recently felt rather anxious for an exam of mine. I was so nervous, that I felt very queasy, and uneasy, scared and alone. All these emotions were whirling around in my head, but since I was on a bus, with none of my friends around me, I wasn’t quite sure who to talk to, or how to explain my situation. It wasn’t until a lovely old lady came and sat right beside, and we simply said nothing for a good 10 minutes. I guess her motherly instincts kicked in when she saw me in my awful state. It didn’t take long for me to blurt out what was going on in my head, and she was not only so calm but reassuring, jokey and warm-hearted. Her advice was simple but delivered with love. Perhaps what made the most difference was the fact that she believed in me when I felt most vulnerable, and that belief was what changed my mindset, and made me feel brave about taking that exam (which went well! Alhumdullilah).
However, in every ocean, you do find a pebble trying to rebel against the tide, and unfortunately,
sisterhood is the same. Accepting that we’re human means accepting that we have flaws, that we make mistakes, that we can be careless. Yet, at the same time, actively seeking to expose others for who we ‘think’ they are is never a good idea, both for our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our fellow brothers, sisters, friends and family. We often forget that progress is subjective and can take time. It’s all too often the case that when people return to their faith after years of departing ways, feeling depressed, and alone, they seek comfort and joy in the people that surround them. But, stepping into this circle often comes with ‘strings attached’. We make ‘one size fits all’ rules, constantly picking on petty things, distracting and deterring others from their path to forgiveness, driving people away from the place they call home, back into a cycle of anxiety. It usually comes down to the way we dress, the way we pray, the way we love, laugh, talk, smile, and simply…are. A community celebrates inclusivity, not exclusivity and we have to work hard on empowering others. From businesses to charities and from friends to family.
With this comes another warning, of being wary. Surrounding ourselves with negative energy or subjecting ourselves to negative situations can never be healthy for our mindsets, nor our body. This is why it’s extremely important to be careful of people who are weighing you down. In a world where being a unique individual is what matters the most, being part of a herd and following others can never be a recipe for success. Whilst challenging yourself and broadening your interests is not only desirable but an asset, it’s also essential to cut yourself loose from those who do not wish to see you succeed, no matter what environment that may be in.
Sadly, all too often sisterhood or brotherhood are used as labels for manipulating others.
They make ask for your business model or stay in contact with you for personal gains, rather than for objective gains. Which is why it’s all the more important to love unconditionally whilst you have the chance, but nonetheless retain the ability to say the all-important ‘no’ when you feel pressurised into pleasing others. The best way to sum it up is about learning to love yourself the most.
So you may be sat there thinking, what’s the conclusion to my rant? In essence, life is too short to forgo opportunities for development so we should grasp then whilst we can, but not at the expense of others. And whilst there are pockets of communities all over the country, and even the world(!) catering to people of all different backgrounds, we must reach out to those whose voices go unheard. After all, sisterhood is all about finding your feet in midst of a jungle, and that jungle may as well be this funny old thing we refer to as ‘life’.
This year we wanted to do something different for our Ramadan and Eid product launch, something that not only engages people with the new collections but also get a better understanding of the brand and us who work on it!
That’s when the idea of having an intimate and elegant lunch came about but not just for bloggers and influencers but some of our Saturday Support winners who are small start up businesses to help them network as well as hopefully inspire them too.
The event was held at Gordon Ramsay’s York and Albany in North London. We had a fabulous private room for our guests which was elegant and had the character we were looking for. We were excited to say the least and it was time to convey the excitement through our invites to our guests to be (e-invite above)
Our guests consists of people who have wholeheartedly supported us from the beginning to those who simply love the brand and concept!
So when the day came, we were very apprehensive (if you’ve ever hosted an event you know the feeling right). We were thinking if people will actually turn up or blow us out on the day but to our surprise it was a fantastic turnout and in fact the blow out was more on our side!!! YUP, co founder Shazida’s kids decided to have allergy reactions and fall ill on what was one of our most anticipated day (i feel kids have this six sense when they know their parents are going somewhere fun/exciting that they have to somehow add some complications to the fun) – Oh and the kids were fine the next day (sigh!!!)
Nonetheless me (Deena) and my husband were ready for this so we took everyone through a little ‘history’ about Mubarak London and how it all started (wasn’t boring promise) to explaining why and how we came up with this years Ramadan/Eid collections. The response was very humbling to see especially with 2 of our guests from JWT Intelligence.
J. Walter Thompson Intelligence is a new specialized practice at the J. Walter Thompson Company, offering a unique blend of research, innovation and data analytics across its global network and 2 of the UK Directors were keen to understand our business. They were impressed by our concept as well as finding it incredibly insightful networking with our other guests – so all in all thumbs up!
The Act of Kindness Challenge
Like many events, attendees go, network, learn and then at the end get some goodies to take home with them. However we were adamant not to leave it like that, we wanted our attendees to literally take this Mubarak London experience with them and truly feel – so what does that mean?
After our desserts we gave each attendee and blank card and a pen and requested that they think of one person who they may have lost contact with, not seen in a while etc to whom we would then take the card (with their message on) and deliver a Mubarak London gift to their chosen recipient as a surprise gift to make them smile and act of kindness..
The surprise gifts are still going out slowly so it’s great getting all the response back on how their recipients were sentimental about them as well as overjoyed of course.
Overall the event not only was ‘bang’ on schedule which we were very happy about but was also a great time to speak to the people who support us and also get the chance to show our personalities too.
So the big question, would we do it again…? ABSOLUTELY!!!
Adorable balloons by TheBalloonLab
So as usual the caveat before i delve into this topic is that these are all my personal opinions and you may or may not agree with them but hopefully will still find it an interesting read 🙂
This is a topic which i have never actually expressed with anyone yet although it has always been there in mind nagging at me.
So it all started on my daughters induction day for reception – basically a group of mums hoping their 4/5 year old finds another child they can stick to and be content with for the rest of their life in full time education, whilst us mums can get on with life in peace without worrying about the settling in period! I was completely new to this as Jemimah is my first born hence new territory. When i got there i met some lovely parents and equally many had the same dream as i mentioned above however something changed after that day when i met another working mum…
Sitting down at ‘snack time’ i came to converse with another mum, now let me mention that i had no makeup on, i wore a pretty dull looking hijab and its safe to say that on that day i wasn’t dressed to impress (i just wanted my daughter to stick to another child remember). The lady i was speaking to however was the complete opposite, she looked good and smelled great too (#justsaying)! We got into the usual conversation about where we live etc and then she asked me:
‘ What do you do? Do you work?’
I just replied saying, i had a small business and i worked from home. When she asked what kind of business i just remember saying it was a Hamper business but on a more premium scale and not the average typical hamper. What came after this was slightly condescending and in a reassuring tone i felt:
‘…oh that’s nice, having a little business from home, you’re a mumpreneur that’s great’
I took her response with a pinch (heck…a handful) of salt and asked her the same question, her response was that she and her husband work full time and have PROFESSIONAL jobs (yes that was the exact term), lead very busy lives, her job is demanding and she works for a major retailer (let’s call them Bixons), she has a lot of responsibility as she is a concessions manager, she is very busy and her job is demanding…oh and did i say she was very busy??
So after a little more talking and once the induction was over this scenario which i had just experienced was playing on my mind. I couldn’t help but be taken back by this term Mumpreneur and how people perceived it. Now when you first come to this blog post you would probably think i will be speaking about how men devalue the mumpreneur but this situation proved to me that this isn’t just about men but women too!
This lady had no idea what kind of business i was running, whether it was successful, had employees or whether it was even global yet she instantly had this preconception that i was just a mum with a ‘little’ business on the side to keep my fingers twiddling and nothing as professional or demanding as the average full time worker.
Let’s not arm ourselves with negativity for this lady because she isn’t actually the only one who probably thinks this way and perhaps didn’t even realise how she came across but it is food for thought for sure!
Although the term Mumpreneur seems to be empowering mums with businesses in the media and there are many organisations which celebrate this group. I personally think it is quite degrading and pigeonholes us into a group of women who don’t fit into the same criteria as an entrepreneur! Instead we are perceived as busy mums who are probably selling handmade items on ebay on the side whilst juggling children (nothing wrong handmade items or ebay by the way) although we know different as many are actually doing more than this.
The fundamental problem with this term is that it degrades the professional status of a female business owner, in fact it doesn’t hold any professionalism at all. Rather it makes people clap for you to say ‘well done you’re a mum and you managed to do something else too’. This term also dissolves any existence of your abilities and achievements before being a mum! the lady at my daughters induction didn’t know my working history before i had children as i came from a strong Marketing background of over 10 years working with ‘professional and big’ companies as their Marketing Manager, i wonder how she would have perceived me if i told her this?
It took me and my sister a whole year to plan and execute Mubarak London and even till this day we have offsite meetings, conference calls, presentations to do, finance/budgeting and whatever else you call ‘professional’ whilst being full time mums however i would not like to be called a Mumpreneur, simply because it doesn’t hold the same values or meaning as an entrepreneur (not that i would want to be called that too as i’m not even sure if i am one!)
What about the high flying business ladies who own global high turnover businesses ,do you think they would be labelled as a Mumpreneur – i don’t think so. A Successful female businesswoman/owner should be judged by her business success not if she is working from home and a mother and certainly not labelling her a mumpreneur.
Don’t get me wrong i am all for empowering female business owners and working mums i just don’t think we should be labelling ourselves in this so called group which may seem great with all the people in it but not perceived great by those that are not familiar with it!
So there you have it, it’s off my chest and i feel much better.
What do you think? What’s your experience? Leave your comments below…