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How do you EVER get kids to obey without threatening?!”

 

Sadness-150x150

All fed-up with trying to get her kids to behave, she let herself fall on the couch; frustrated and helpless; then she turned towards me and said, “How do you EVER get kids to do things without threatening them?!”

I know how she felt; and how every loving parent feels when we have to resort to use pressure for simple every-day tasks. Enforcing discipline and following the daily-routine makes the home a battle ground - it is traumatizing for the kids and the parents!

Although strickness and smacking (that does not cause injury) is one of the methods of discipline, its effectiveness decreases when overdone and thus, should only be used when the issue is serious (like obligatory prayers.) and the child is likely to benefit and learn the lesson – or else, it backfires and makes kids act out worse; rather than better.

…and the most distressing thing is the guilt which stays with you throughout the day.

So, this (adapted) reply (below) by a parenting expert Dr. Laura, gives some pretty practical tips to help you keep calm and take control of the situations when you need not use force.

Though these tips seem overwhelming at first and a daunting task for you as the parent – I’d say it’s worth the effort because kids need compassion and love in order to grow emotionally healthy, and as shepherds; it’s our duty to exert every effort as much as we can to give them the balanced environment they need.

- Shawana A. Aziz

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Sexual discrimination in Islam?

A sister asked,

Q: asavlam alaikum, I have a question to ask, why are women not allowed to touch the quran when they are on their period. My sociology teacher was saying this is sexist (we are currently studying religion) and periods is a natural thing for women to have children but in islam women are seen as dirty. Could please explain this to me. Jaza ka Allah ker

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Stinky Towels after Washing?!! …here’s how you can get rid of the smell!

 

I wash my face and get hold of a just-washed fresh towel,
…and YuCk! …the SMeLL!

Do your freshly washed towels smell bad?
…sometimes, just after one or two use?!

Did You Know?
Most of the time, stinky towels aren’t a result of failing to wash your towels enough(!)

…Find out what’s causing your towels to smell,
and how you can easily get rid of it.

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For New Moms: Practical Tips for Cloth Diapering!

For New Moms,

Practical Tips for Cloth Diapering!

A few days back, during a discussion with a friend (who also runs a playschool) about what’s the right-age to potty-train kids, she said, “It depends upon a number of factors; how busy you are, how much pollution you are willing to make, and how much you are willing to spend on poop ( :/ ) ; …otherwise, as my mom says, you can let the kid wear them until the marriage-age, because then it will be really embarrassing if your kid is still in diapers!”
I bursted into a big laughter at that last statement, but the pollution thing got my head spinning for days!

“the earlier you train the kids to use the toilet, the earlier they get independant. I train kids in just 3 days!” she added.

I was ever-so convinced to let go the disposable diapers, but was really not up to the challenge of dealing with wet floors, smelly pants, and rushing to the washroom every time the baby makes “IT’s HAPPENING NOW Face!”

cloth-vs-disposable-recycle

Incidently, a week later, the school teacher assigned the topic of ‘Garbage Disposal and Twin-bin System’ for my son’s next test, and talking to him about all the environmental harms of greenhouse gases, got me thinking about how much landfill I must have jammed up after 3 kids (?) with every child needing 6,500–10,000 diapers before potty training around 30 months old (!) – and it is estimated that most diapers need about 250-500 years to decompose (!)

Now I have to do something!

“It has to stop!” I said to myself after reading the potential health risks of disposable diapers to the baby.

…and then alhamdulillah today, this article popped up from somewhere; and it makes cloth diapers look not so bad as a susbstitute! Very well written with practical tips! A must read for new mothers.

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How to drink Zam-Zam water?

Arrival of the pilgrims is always filled with joys; we adoringly welcome our loved ones, hoping their Hajj was fruitful and accepted, shortcoming forgiven, and sins erased…

One of the joys which the pilgrims bring back for us is the blessed water of ZamZam;

…holding that small bottle containing the most valuable and precious ZamZam water in your hands reminds you of all your big wishes you hope to be fulfilled.

…a sip of ZamZam is enough to cool your heart; …and it gives you a small peak into the serenity and the joy which the pilgrims must have experienced on the magnificent journey; …it makes you long more to visit the House of Allah.

It is recommended to drink ZamZam whenever feasible because of the Barakah it contain, and as the Prophet said, “The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam; it is a kind of food and a healing from sickness.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3302). See, Fatawa of Ibn Baz (25/119)]

he (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) also said, “The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.” [Narrated by Ibn Maajah (3062) Hasan Hadeeth]

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Are you confused?

…about when the menstruation ends?
…and when you should start praying?

this Video will teach you what signs you should look for to make sure your menstruation is over. 

…also learn the rulings of spotting, yellowish and brownish discharge.

 

Can’t access YouTube? …Watch on Vimeo below:

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Lamb Shanks slowly cooked in Yoghurt Curry… the perfect Dish for Eid!

 

On Eidh al-Adha or Bakri Eid (as we used to call it when kids), whether you’ve had a sacrifice at home or not; every member of your family will expect a huge delicious meat dish on this day - our appetite to eat meat also increases at this time I guess – but that’s fine because these are our days of eating and drinking as the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said.

My suggestion for you for this Eid… Lamb Shanks braised in Yoghurt Sauce!

I love this delicious recipe – though it cooks slowly, it’s super easy, super quick to prepare (not more than 20 min prep time) and very little effort on your part.

What makes this meat dish so perfect and special for Bakri Eid is that it consists of large pieces of meat cooked to tenderness; the meat gets so tender, it practically falls of the bone! -…delicious to serve for Eid gatherings!

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Eid Makep-Up!

Last Eid, we had Dewy Make-up guidelines, which gives you a nice fresh look – but shimmery makeup is ever so popular now because it gives you instant glamour with a light-reflecting look.

Shimmer is made of light-reflecting crystals called mica, and nowadays, shimmer can be found in foundations, powders (loose and transparent), eye shadows, blushes, pencils and even lipsticks.

The shimmer look works beautifully as a day look, and greatly enhances an evening look too.

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Imagined Ugliness?! …a Mental Ailment!

 

During my trip to the Emirates, I happened to come across an article about the increased demand for cosmetic surgery; it has significantly increased by over 100% since last year in Dubai!

…I read that in silence, and sat there pondering.

It reminded me of the Great Wisdom of Allah in the rulings of Islam and the benefits achieved for His slaves because one of the causes, as suggested by the article, which leads people to seek cosmetic surgery is a mental condition called BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) – but alHamdulillah, as I see it, Islam has cut the root cause of this mental ailment,

Read below more about this disease and its symptoms, and learn how Islam has encouraged a healthy balance of beatification between negligence and obsession!

Also read below when parents should be concerned and what parents should do to keep kids away from this Mental Illness.

 

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Chilli-packed Eye-Watering Burger Eating Challenge!!!

Chilli-packed Eye-Watering Burger Eating Challenge

TheStrivingMuslimahBlog.Burger.Challenge.PicFlipping through an in-flight magazine with my daughter beside; our eyes caught sight of this chilli-packed eye-watering burger eating challenge - it’s a burger so spicy that you need to sign a legal waver before even taking as much as a small bite of it.

Anyone who clears the plate within 30 minutes gets the burger free (Dhs. 60) and goes on, “The Wall of Flame” - even the man who prepared the burger won’t go near it!

“It’s too hot for me,” says Chef Sunil Anandan who spent a whole  month sourcing chillis from all over the planet and perfecting the recipe. “I have tasted it but I can’t finish it.” he admits.


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The.Striving.Muslimah.Blog.Appreciate

When we do something for someone without being asked for, out of love, thinking he/she would want it to be done…

it is most likely that the act will be taken for granted; neither appreciated nor considered!

although when such happens, we can do nothing but be patient…,

(but) the pain should make us careful not to hurt others in this manner; we should appreciate whatever is done for us, especially the little things that are done without asking for them.

We should show appreciation for what they do for us… if not with something physical gift kinda then at least words of appreciation…

at least, let the person know that it Does Make a Difference in your Life!

Though the same should be for all relationships, it is more for couples; since it happens to be the case that after a few months/years they function in a robotic manner…

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Dare to slice?! ... an onion! | Sharp Knife Onion | The Striving Muslimah Blog


The mere thought of chopping onions can bring you to tears, literally!

…ever wondered why?

The tearing agent is your body’s chemical defense.

When you slice an onion, it ruptures onion cells, a pungent juice sprays up into your eyes releasing a chemical irritant (amino acid sulphoxides). These re-form to make a gas and come in contact with your eyes-glands, it stings and the eye responds by producing tears to cleanse itself.

Well! … the truth is that there is no practical way to completely eliminate eye irritation, but there are a few things you can do to make it better.

Onion bring great flavor to foods, so don’t stop chopping… just use these tips and cry a little less!

(Click the picture beleow)


Cry less... with onions! Sharp Knife Onion | The Striving Muslimah Blog

Click the picture for Tips to Cry less… with Onions!

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— Shawana A. Aziz

Avoid harmful toxic chemicals in household cleaning products!  - The Striving Muslimah Blog Asthma, fertility disorders, skin irritation and cancer…

- all been linked to the harmful chemicals found in conventional/antibacterial cleaners.

“Many mainstream cleaning products contain unnecessarily hazardous ingredients,” Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, says.

  • According to the American Thoracic Society, using conventional cleaners even once a week may increase the risk of developing adult asthma.
  • Petroleum distillates, found in kitchen and furniture cleaners – can cause damage to the nervous system and lungs.
  • Triclosan, a synthetic toxic chemical compound added to many anti¬bacterial products and other household care products, may disrupt thyroid hormone function - it has also been linked to allergies and antibiotic resistance.

 

Tests using lab animals have verified that exposure to large doses of triclosan can cause irreparable health damage, but industry representatives say that the levels found in consumer products are much too small to do so… even so, these cleansers seem to be a futile investment because research has shown that, in the home, antibacterial soap is no more effective than the regular stuff in preventing infection.

“there’s no evidence that they provide any extra protection from germs,” Sutton says.

In hospitals, the bacteria-killing properties of triclosan can prevent the spread of serious infections. But at home you don’t need to kill the bugs; all you need to do is wash them down the drain. Ordinary soap and water does that every bit as well as antibacterial scrubs, according to a 2005 FDA advisory panel.

Apart from the fact that these conventional products have the potential to harm you; while others leave pernicious fumes that linger… click the link below for a safe, cost-effective and home solution to cleaning your fridge interior…

Clean your Fridge Interior without harmful soaps & detergents | The Striving Muslimah Blog

Click the image to go to the Tip…

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— Shawana A. Aziz

Tips to Clean your Refrigerator | The Striving Muslimah Blog


We often stock up Ramadaan supplies in the refrigerator, and now it’s time to give this hard working appliance of your house some rest and clean up.

Refrigerators are subject to spills, odors, and overcrowding. This week we give you

  • some quick-tips to effectively clean it with safe home cleansers,
  • tips to keep it odorless and
  • also some storage ideas -

because a clean and organized refrigerator can save money on groceries and the power bill, and not only keep food fresher and more appetizing – but also keep you and your family healthier!


Read More…

— Shawana A. Aziz


A blessing for the Sinful!

Sufferings remind the sinful believer about the greatest affliction of life; – Death, which may afflict him at any moment.

It reminds him of the severe punishments, which may follow next, as a result of his disobedience to Allah.

“We will make them taste a lesser punishment before the greater punishment that perhaps they may return (to the right path).”
[Soorah as-Sajdah (32): 2]

Calamities give one the time to reflect over one’s sins and their awful outcome.

…as a result, one may recognize his errors and return to Allah in repentance; worldly difficulties thus, serve as a blessing for the sinful.


— Shawana A. Aziz

A Happy Happy Moment for Team Striving Muslimah!

When sister Saf sent in these photos, I was thrilled and my happiness knew no bounds!

We, at Striving Muslimah, are soooo happy that so many sisters have trusted our content, tried and have given appreciative comments and remarks for the videos, fitness and beauty tips, recipes and everything else… Jazak Allah Khair!

On this occasion of Eid, we take the opportunity to thank you all for the over-whelming support for the Striving Muslimah :)

Keep encouraging us with your likes, shares and comments!


The pic on the left are the henna designs suggested at the Blog – and the ones on the right are the beautiful replicate – (the artist sister is truly skilled! I must say!)

Beautiful Replicate of Henna Designs from the Striving Muslimah Blog

Beautiful Replicate of Henna Designs from the Striving Muslimah Blog

Beautiful Replicate of Henna Designs from the Striving Muslimah Blog

Beautiful Replicate of Henna Designs from the Striving Muslimah Blog

 

More pics… yayy!

Beautiful Replicate of Henna Designs from the Striving Muslimah Blog

Sister Zaira sent this pic!

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— Shawana A. Aziz


A great opportunity for Dua – Don’t miss!

Because we have been fasting for hours, Dua just before breaking the fast involves weakness and humility – and these are beneficial means of having the Dua answered…

Moreover, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Indeed, there is for the fasting person, when he breaks his fast, a supplication which is not rejected.”

(Saheeh) – Ibn Majah (1/557)

Grab the opportunity as long as we are still in this blessed month of Ramadaan…


— Shawana A. Aziz


It’s Eid… you’ve been awake since early morning for the Eid Salaat, but you still want to look fresh for the family gatherings and guests all day long…

Dewy Look Makeup will do the trick…

Find some awesome tips to look fresh, natural yet stunning ;)


Eid Make-up Tips | A Dewy Look this Eid | The Striving Muslimah Blog

Click the image to go to the Make-Up Tips Page

 

— Shawana A. Aziz

I am very happy for Eid, but my heart is aching…

I am very happy because it’s Eid, but my heart is aching…

…it’s aching with the feeling of pain for my brothers and sisters; those who are suffering, going through difficulties, hard times…

My heart cries when I eat delicious foods, while my brothers and sisters are hungry…

No one could ever understand their situation, I know… but I cannot do anything for them except Dua!

Sisters, don’t forget them! Keep them in your prayers.

May Allah (subahanahu wa tala) help them, and bring peace and happiness in their lives… Ameen!

- sister, Saira Waris


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It’s served on the morning of Eid day in the family as breakfast after the Eid Salaat and throughout the day to all the visiting guests.

Eid celebrations in India and Pakistan would not be complete without this traditional sweet dish – Sheer Khurma…

Sheer (شير) means sweetened milk is Persian, and Khurma (خرما) is dates…

The main ingredients in Sheer korma are Vermicelli, Whole Milk, sugar and dates – and depending on the region, nuts are used for garnish – essentially Almonds and Pistachios.

Try this very traditional recipe of Sheer Khurma this Eid!


Sheer Khurma | The Striving Muslimah Blog

Cick the pic to visit the Recipe Page

— Shawana A. Aziz

Look at her, isn’t she just glowing!”

Everyone wants to grab that kind of attention, especially on Eid!

- although we often neglect to take care of hydration and moisture of our skin in Ramadaan.

but don’t worry, we’ve got for you a home-made cost-effective Moisturizing Mask, which will bring you glow almost instantly!

Use it the night before Eid or early morning… for that “she’s just glowing effect” ;)

Go on ladies, shine like a pearl this Eid!

- Click on the pic below to go to the Face Mask Recipe…

Instantly Moisturizing Face Mask for Eid!

Click the image to go to Instantly Moisturizing Face Mask for Eid!

— Shawana A. Aziz


Eid is another name for happiness and celebration!

and for us women; no occasion is complete without Mehendi/Henna ;)

Mehendi designs make our hands so beautiful and colorful; but there are so many different styles and designs to choose from (!) and we are ever so soooo confused!!

so…. to confuse you MORE! ( lol! ), we have a collection of over 50 Henna designs… Help me find a good one too ♥ !


— Shawana A. Aziz

Animated Video Comparing Islamic Rulings with Degrading Myths & Practices in other religions/cultures

Islamic Rulings on Menstruation, Most Sensitive to Woman’s Feelings

Watch how Islamic Rulings are Uplifting, Beneficial and MOST Sensitive to a woman’s feelings… as we

  • COMPARE them with MYTHS and practices found in other cultures and religions, which levy degrading and embarrassing restrictions on the menstruating woman,
  • Explore the WISDOMS behind the rulings of Islam

Can’t access YouTube, watch on Vimeo below:

 

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An Opportunity every Moment!


 
Don’t just let this blessed hour of Ramadaan pass by… every moment of this month is an opportunity to earn the pleasure of Allah, have your Dua answered, and your sins forgiven…

Praise Allah, send Salaat upon upon the Prophet, open up your heart, and beg and beseech Him for every little thing you want…

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “There are three people whose Dua is NOT rejected; (one among them is) the fasting person until he breaks the fast,….” [at-Tirmidhee]

and, “Man should call upon Allah alone to provide for all his needs, so much so that even if a shoe-lace is broken, he should pray to Allah to provide a shoe-lace, and if he needs salt, he should beseech Allah to send it to him.” [at-Tirmidhee]

Cry before your Lord, and ask His Forgiveness for your sins however great, there’s great opportunity in this VERY MOMENT…

Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam) climbed upon the mimbar and said, “Aameen, aameen, aameen”

“O Messenger of Allah, you climbed upon the mimbar and said, ‘Aameen, Aameen, Aameen”? it was asked.

“Jibraa’eel came to me and said, “Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and does not have (his sins) forgiven and so enters Fire, then may Allah distance him, say aameen.” So I said “aameen”…

- Ibn Khuzaimah, Ahmad and al-Baihaqui (Saheeh)

Your great opportunity is here and now…so take it!

 

Read More…

— Shawana A. Aziz

If you are at all able to take a short nap during the day, by all means, you should – and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it as we now know the amazing benefits of napping; worldly and in the Hereafter… al-Hamdulillah!

So, if you’re ready to get into your a napping habit, here’s a research-based method to get you started

These tips will help you maximize the benefits of napping, and may just have you make naps a part of your everyday schedule….

— Shawana A. Aziz


A sinner does not deserve that honor!

“I cannot pray Qiyaam al-layl, tell me the cure for this.” a man said to Ibraaheem ibn Adham.

“Do not commit sin during the day, and He will help you to stand before Him at night – because your standing before Him at night is one of the greatest honors, and a sinner does not deserve that honor!”

islamqa


The Amazing Benefits of Power Napping!

According to a growing body of scientific research, napping can actually be a very good and very smart thing to do. How so? Napping can help refresh the mind, make you more creative, boost your intelligence, and even help you live a longer, healthier life.

Your Sincerity and Eagerness for waking up at night for Qiyaam will become easy if you take afternoon naps or catnap which will reset your system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance for these blessed last days of Ramadan.

At the end of your nap, you will awaken refreshed and rested. This will result  you to  stand for long hours in your Qiyam by absorbing your laziness.

read on below to more more nap benefits;


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Active Qiyaam, take a Power Nap!


Want to boost your Qiyaam performance? Take a Nap!

Some of us have already entered the last 10 days of Ramadaan, while others are just about to…

Qiyaam during these days is on everybody’s mind, and we struggle to keep awake during the nightly hours – but that’s not enough because to make the most of these precious fading nights we need to efficiently perform good deeds – the more productive your performance, the more the rewards – as Allah’s Messenger said,

• Whoever recites 10 verses in Qiyaam, will not be recorded as one of the forgetful,

• Whoever recites a 100 verses in Qiyaam, will be recorded as one of the devout,

• Whoever prays a 1,000 verses in Qiyaam will be recorded as one of the muqantareen (those who pile up good deeds).”

- (hasan) Saheeh al-Targheeb (635)

- and undoubtedly, for efficiency and productivity, we need energy and alertness…

There are dozens of research studies that show the beneficial effects of napping;

Naps genuinely refresh your mind – even a nap as short as 10-15 minutes has been shown to provide a fresh burst of energy.

So, rather than fighting to stay awake at your Qiyaam this Ramadaan, take a Power-Nap during the day!

To further convince you about napping being an effective tool to boost your Qiyaam performance, later today we have a post by Sister Sara about the Scientific researches done on the benefits of Napping.

We also have another beneficial post about tips for a Perfect nap.

Stay in touch! 


— Shawana A. Aziz


The concept of Zakaat in Islam is to decrease the love of wealth and inculcate justice, generosity, brotherhood, affection and sacrifice among the Muslims.

Zakaat is a true and practical expression of Islamic brotherhood, since it is social security for the weak, and a protection for the society against destruction.

When people know about the wealthy paying Zakaat, and their willingness to help others, they genuinely increase in love and compassion. The Messenger of Allah, “The relationship of a believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) building, each strengthens the other.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]


Zakaat: A practical expression of Islamic brotherhood!

— Shawana A. Aziz

Fasting could help combat Cancer and boost effectiveness of treatments

Fasting could help combat Cancer and boost effectiveness of treatments

Going without food for short periods may help to combat cancer and boost the effectiveness of treatments, say scientists.

A study found fasting slowed the growth and spread of tumours and cured some cancers when it was combined with chemotherapy.

It is hoped that the discovery will prompt the development of more effective treatment plans and further research is now under way.

Read More…


Your Strong Will Power!

When you fast, you abandon everything which you are used to during the day, seeking reward from Allah, and being sincere to the fast…

and this is an indicative of your strong will-power, truthfulness and firm resolve!

It does not befit the fasting person to waste his resolve and demonstrate weak will-power and lack of Sabr at Iftar by eating in a manner which Allah has forbidden…

Remember these words of Allah’s Messenger…

“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. A few mouthfuls are sufficient for the son of Adam to keep him going. But if he must (fill it), then 1/3 for food, 1/3 for drink and 1/3 for air.”

at-Tirmidhee (2381)

based upon an article from Ahaadeeth as-Siyaam Ahkaam wa Aadaab


— Shawana A. Aziz

Start glowing from within…

We all know Vitamin E is good for skin – but Vitamin A is especially important for healthy skin, because it is another weapon in your fight against dry skin – dryness which snatches away the glow!

Vitamin A is stored in the liver until needed by the body, also known as retinoids – and who hasn’t heard of retinoids creams nowadays; they are prescribed to boost collagen for reduced fine lines, and to speed cell turnover for even color and smooth skin…

What Vitamin A does is forces your skin cells to turn over faster, bringing new fresh skin cells to the surface.

It helps the skin rebuild tissues, and is also an essential vitamin when it comes to healing scrapes, wounds and other damages to the skin giving you softer, brighter, less-lined skin.

So, start munching on carrots after Iftar!

Later we have a recipe of delicious Carrot Raita for you to make at home…

— Shawana A. Aziz

Assalaam alaikum sisters,

The Striving Muslimah – Nurturing My Islamic Identity and building Confidence!

The name says it all… Join me and other sisters as we STRIVE towards nurturing our Islamic Identity, and face the world with CONFIDENCE.

We will soon introduce short lectures and reminders that are FOCUSED on imparting Islamic Knowledge – and aim towards educating every Muslimah in an ENGAGING and OPTIMISTIC manner.

Insha’Allah, titles to launch in the next few days are;

1. Must Know Fataawa for every Muslimah about Salaat, Fasting and menstruation

2. How to make the Most of Ramadaan even during those days of monthly flow?
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additionally, we have more interesting sections;

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