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Mistress of the Spices
1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or here.
Papatia Feauxzar is an American author, barista, and publisher of West African descent living in Dallas, Texas with her son and husband. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting with a concentration in Personal Finance. After working as an accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue Accounting from home while homeschooling her son.
When I first came across her publishing site a few years ago, the first part of the name, ‘Djarabi,’ stood out to me because I knew what it meant. It means ‘love’ in my language (Mandenka/Mandinga/Dioula/Bamana). I was quite surprised because I didn’t often come across people from my ethnic background active in the online Muslim entrepreneur world for whatever reason.
My curiosity of her led me to follow her and find out more about her. I’m glad I did and today, it is my pleasure to interview sister Papatia Feauxzar.
Assalaam ‘alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh Sister. Welcome to Working Muslimahs and thank you very much for being here.
Wa aleikum salam waramatulahi wabarakatuhu my dear sister from the motherland! Masha’Allah. Allah is the best of planners. Alhamdullilah!
I am very excited to interview you today! To begin, tell us a little about yourself.
Aww, thank you! I’m happy to be here, alhamdullilah. A little about me…I’m getting close to being 40 years old, and I’m enjoying starting having grey hair as the sunnah says it’s a sign of wisdom alhamdullilah. I’m a constant work-in-progress who likes to try her hands at anything. I find it more fulfilling when my two hands accomplish things. It makes me proud and glow inside out. Masha’Allah alhamdullilah.
You have an interesting name, which I’m sure is a pen name. What made you choose a pen name and where did you find inspiration for it?
Oh, my pen name is interesting. I chose it because I’m an introvert; privacy and safety reasons. Anyway, there are simply too many layers to the name, and I will try to explain without confusing you, haha. I have always liked daisies. When I married into a Turkish family, they started calling me Papatya. I asked why? They said that my smile was as bright as a daisy flower. I was like, “Wow! Thank you. I actually like daisies.” So, when I decided to write, I tweaked the name a bit to Papatia.
I do respond to both spellings of the name. I also respond to Fofky; a derivative of my real last name which stuck when I was in high school. My former classmates called me this way to this day. Today, it’s the name I use for my second business alhamdullilah. Now, the pen last name is just a combination of my maiden name and my married name. And since I speak French because of political history of my birth country, I decided to give my pen name a French punch. “Fo” Fofkys became “Feaux.” And “Zar” is just a syllable in my married name. I hope this explains it. Smiles
Now that’s what you call being creative! You are an accountant, writer, publisher, wife, mother, blogger, and a homeschooler. Phew! What a mouth full! How do you balance all these roles and remain sane?
It’s hard! But alhamdullilah ala kulli haal. I have a planner and each minute of my day is carefully allocated to a task alhamdullilah. However, they will be days where I’m utterly burn out, and I will do nothing but relax and pray.
You are a former accountant in the corporate world, what made you decide to work from home instead and what steps did you take to make it a reality?
The birth of my son, my in-laws’ cultural lifestyle (women don’t work in this culture), my growing tiredness while multitasking all these roles you mention I do (lol), and the Islamophobic climate (I was the only Black Muslimah in the whole buiding) all played some roles in me quitting corporate America. Before I quit, I had made sure that I saved enough money and that I had a backup plan to remain an independent Muslim woman. That backup plan was my publishing house I started in 2013. I had built the platform until I was ready to quit in 2016.
There’s so much about you to talk about. So let me just ask, what inspired you to become a writer and a publisher?
Writing and authoring books have always been something I had a penchant for since my teenage years. I wrote back then. Most of my works are destroyed but Allah put the right people along the way and I seized the opportunity to make my dreams come true. On a side note, my African family comes from a cast of scholars and learners. So, I’m just following in their footsteps. My paternal grandfather owned a merdrassa and my late father was a Doctor in Psychology and Sociology alhamdullilah. He did his graduate studies in Paris and returned to teach University students in Ivory Coast.
With all your entrepreneurial roles kept in mind, what is the biggest vision/goal you hope to accomplish?
My goal is to help make Muslim works more seen. It pains me every time I read or think of the story of Bayt al Hikma. Knowledge is life. May Allah facilitate, aameen.
Ameen. What challenges did you face when you started your entrepreneur journey?
Too many subhanallah. You can always count on shaytan to throw you curveballs. While Allah tests us along the way, you learn from all of these calamities. The main challenge though was to make sure I’m never at the mercy of people I hire to work for me. I try to do everything myself or know how to do these things so I can be independent.
How do you stay focused despite all the distractions and what motivates you?
I simply make dua that Allah gets shaytan away from me. If you don’t, he will help you waste your time.
How do you maintain a balance between work and personal life?
I set boundaries. My play time is my play time. My work time is strictly my work time.
As a Muslim woman, how does Islam impact your entrepreneurship?
Quite a lot actually. Allah is ar-Razzaq. My success is only by Him. He is an-Nasir. He is the one who sets my rizq, sends help, supporters, followers, buyers, you name it. I don’t discount His tremendous help. I am immensely grateful for all of his help and tests. You can’t become complacent or lose focus of the ultimate test with all your worldly accomplishments; this life test.
When are you most productive and how do you manage your time?
Early in the morning after tahajjud and/or fajr. I go to sleep early so I can wake up early to pray when the apartment is quiet. After that, I start studying or working online. I give myself thirty minutes or so for fajr and dhikr. Then, I start the day officially with more work, studying, homeschooling, etc.
How do you deal with ‘bad days’ and ‘negative thoughts’?
Again dua. I strive not to let negative thoughts, bad moments in a day or malice flourish in my heart or mind. Astagfirullah. What’s the purpose of doing such things? Sinning. A thing I try to stay away for my own sake in the next life.
As a Muslim woman in today’s society, do you find it challenging to achieve personal and work goals?
Not at all. If I write them down and make dua about them, I’m confident that al-Fattah will help me achieve these goals if they are beneficial for me.
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far as an entrepreneur?
Be frugal. Don’t waste anything. Don’t make impulse purchases, look for better prices before buying anything. Reward people Allah sent to help you well. Don’t be a pushover. Let people see and know your strength. If you don’t do these, they will deliberately pick fights with you out of spite and jealousy.
What advice would you give to other Muslimah entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs?
Know that the evil eye is real and always be prepared spiritually (know the 99 names of Allah) to fight off shaytan off your affairs. Because sooner or later, it will happen. Also make dua that you don’t fall prey to jealousy. Because we’re humans, make dua that Allah removes such a thing from your heart the moment you recognize it. Do it quickly for your own sake. Aameen.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere and anywhere. Inspiration is all around us alhamdullilah. That said, I usually find it when I unplug and rest.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It’s an honor to be on your platform. Thank you so much for the invite. Allahumma barik! May Allah make your platform a great success for the benefit of this life and the next, aameen. May He put barakat and increase your rizq in it, too. Allahumma aameen.
Ameen! And same to you my dear sister. Where can you be reached?
@djarabikpub on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
@fofkys on Facebook and Instagram. @fofky_s on Twitter.
Thank you very much for your time. Assalaam ‘alaikum.
Thank you to you as well! Wa aleikum salam waramatulahi wabarakatuhu.
Authors:Jameela Ho at Muslim Parenting & Ilma Ed
Irna Fathurrubayah at Atfalna Education
Weronika Ozpolat at Multicultural Motherhood
Nabila Ikram at Everlearning, Everlasting
Hannah Morris at ActiveMindCare.
Summary: By understanding your child’s development you can help to nurture your child’s growth in the six areas of development: thinking and intellect, speech and language, motor skills, physical growth, emotional, and moral development.This is a practical book for the Muslim parent, full of activities to nurture each area of growth. Know what to do, when and how.
Review: I always knew by instinct not to rush my child into achieving milestones because the sunnah says that until the child is seven years old, it’s all about playing with the child. Not only do people around me (Pediatrician included) made me feel at times like an unfit mother, they didn’t hide it. What did I do? I prayed on it…
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Nafiza Azad is an avid reader and reviewer of YA books. Today she is at our bookstore to discuss her debut YA high fantasy novel The Candle and the Flame. To give you a little background on this book, please read the summary below.
Azad’s debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.
Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.
But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.
Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.
Papatia Feauxzar: Assalamu aleikum Nafiza, welcome to Fofky’s. Can you please tell us something we don’t know about you?
Nafiza Azad: Wa aleikum salam. Something you don’t know about me, huh. Hmm. When I was 12 years old, I spent an hour throwing stones and sticks at a ripe mango growing high up in a tree. I was determined to get it and though it took me a while, get it I did. It remains, to date, the sweetest mango I have ever eaten. In the same vein, I was once chased by a cow who perhaps didn’t like the way I looked at the moment. Growing up on a sugarcane in Fiji, I have a lot of anecdotes that may seem exotic and distant to a lot of people but are probably familiar and relatable to just as many others.
PF: That’s funny! I can relate to the mango incident. Growing up in Ivory Coast, we had mango trees in our backyard. And we often threw sticks and rocks to catch the perfectly ripe and sweetest mangoes. If the catcher dropped the flawless mango we had spotted and chose to harass with rocks, there would be drama! Haha, I love your tales, masha’Allah. Thank you for sharing.
PF: So, next question. The Candle and the Flame was something different. I have read many books, and this plot was definitely unique to me. Additionally, it echoed many of my views and feelings about our society when it came to forgiving ourselves, rightful healing from manipulators, women’s rights, patriarchy, powerful matriarchs, love, tolerance, embracing diversity among other important topics brought up in the book. I also enjoyed the fact that your characters have no room for fake platitudes. They say it how it is and save the reader the boredom of drawn out drama and unnecessary intrigues. How did your real-life circumstances and events played into penning these characters so realistically? I mean the inspiration comes from somewhere.
NA: My purpose in writing The Candle and the Flame was to give a reflection to Muslim girls, to brown girls, everywhere. Superbly ambitious, I know, but I peppered the characters and the plot with the reality I live in. The Alif sisters echo my own cousins and the sisterhood I lived in. The City of Noor is a reflection of Lautoka City and Vancouver City. The existence of Noor itself is in response to the toxic rhetoric we find everywhere especially with regards to refugees and other minorities. Acceptance of our differences is still a lesson many of us are learning. Though I wrap all these issues up in a fantastic veneer, they are still pretty contemporary and important for us.
PF: Well done! Now, when did the idea to write this book come to you? How did the inspiration hit you? For instance, for me the inspiration usually comes in a dream or in a strange vision or trance.
NA: Because The Candle and the Flame is a sweeping sprawling tale, it didn’t come to me in one single stroke. First, I had the image of a girl running desperately through crowded city streets. This girl later became Fatima and the city became Noor. Then, I was tangled up and annoyed by Shakespeare and his question, “What’s in a name?” Quite a lot, it turns out. Then again, as I mentioned previously, the toxic rhetoric concerning refugees and minorities, especially Muslims, on the media post the 2016 USA elections. PF: How long did you take you to write the book? On a side note, you teased us until the end with Zulfiqar and Fatima! Please consider writing a short fan-fiction story for us steamy romance lovers, hehe.
NA: I wrote the first draft of the novel longhand and that took me 5 months and 5 notebooks and three pens. Then I rewrote it using my agent’s notes and suggestions which took me another three months. So I would say the entire thing took me almost a year to get into a form that was ready to be submitted to editors.
As far as Zulfikar and Fatima are concerned, if I wrote a short story, it wouldn’t be fanfiction, it would be fan service, *winks* Haha. I may write something for the paperback release if they let me. Fingers crossed.
PF: Yes, please service us! Haha. Fingers crossed indeed.
PF: Finally, I loved many statements in your book. I found them inspirational. For instance, “The classics are singular narratives focusing on those privileged enough to read and write” , “You do not need to make friends with the walls around you to know they are there” , “You pretend that their loyalty is a given. You smile brighter and you laugh harder and you observe who laughs with you and who laughs at you.” These words are powerful indeed, masha’Allah. You definitely write about girls taking over the world and I’m all about that! Have you considered sharing motivational quotes on your social media?
NA: I honestly think it is the characters who are motivational. I, myself, don’t feel like I’m very inspiring, haha. Zulfikar, especially, has a way of speaking in idioms that I found very pleasing and it was totally the way HE spoke and not the way I wanted to write him.
PF: Yes, you are inspirational masha’Allah. Don’t be shy *winks*. Thank you so much for being with us. Fofky’s wishes you much success with your debut novel, aameen.
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad is a Muslim YA high fantasy novel of 416 pages. In this captivating tale, women rule! We have Fatima, a foodie, who is a human girl whose life has been saved by a djinn woman consumed by an unfathomable grief. By the same token, the djinn woman bestows/transfers her powers (fire) to the main character who is unaware of this as she grows up in a city where ifrit djinns and humans cohabitate peacefully.
Fatima has a non-blood related sister who is a makeup and perfume chemist. She uses plants and flowers to make her cosmetics which catch the attention of rich folks including the rajkumari; the princess. Fatima’s sister also constantly abuses her verbally but she loves Fatima in her own ways. In time, Fatima stands up to her and their relationship finally takes on a mutual respect aspect.
When peace in Noor is threatened by double-agents, game of thrones advocates and greedy humans and djinns, the strong women in Azad’s novel find themselves making the necessary hits needed to keep the peace between the people of Noor and the whole country; a necessary evil that they try to forgive themselves for. Now while Azad shows that there are strong women in this world, she also shows that women can also be the enemies of other women by enabling patriarchs and perverts who have no respect for women’s bodies and leading abilities. The strong women in this tale deal ruthlessly with these traitors of the gender because it comes down to survival of the fittest.
On the bright side, Fatima’s besties are the Alif sisters. Their names start with the letter Alif if you’re wondering why the gang and cryptic name. Anyway, these girls are colorful and fun! One of them is boy crazy about the easy on the eyes Bilal—the muezzin. She enthusiastically declares that he can call her to salat anytime! However, the reality is that she drags her feet when it’s time for salat. She made me grin in the whole book.
Now, let’s discuss Zulfikar; the other main character and the emir of the city of Noor. He is an ifrit djinn who is Muslim. He is beautiful and makes heads turn. Even one of the Hindu royals of the city has her eyes set on him to gain her freedom from her overbearing family.
Zulfikar is friend with Fatima’s teacher; a thriving ifrit bookseller in appearance who doesn’t like selling his books. I related to him on this matter. Anyway, when he has to say good bye to Fatima unexpectedly, he grants her his abilities as a djinn unbeknownst to her knowledge. This new state sends her in a senseless state and to prevent her from hurting herself, Zulfikar intervenes out of necessity to help her keep her wits. He gives her some of his fire to calm her down, and he comforts her.
You see, like humans pick up on vibes, djinns in this tale pick up on the shape and the uniqueness of your fire. The only problem with what Zulfiqar did is that helping Fatima has consequences that he can’t reverse even though it was the right decision to make in the moment. He bonded himself to Fatima; a bond that is only permitted by marriage. A paranormal romance blooms between Fatima and Zulfiqar and they are not sure if they can trust it since it’s the result of an artificial intercession; a life and death matter.
Will they realize that what they feel for each other could be real or is real? Will Bilal reciprocate the Alif sister’s feelings? Or will he have the hots for another sister in the gang? Will blood be shed? Will they be cat fights between Fatima and the royal when they come face-to-face?
Read to find out!
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐
Original Source : Fofky’s Blog
In this digital age, almost everyone wants to be seen and go viral, especially every business. To what end though? Is it related to narcissism to strike the ego or is it to actually to provide something that the audience will get some kind of value from? We must always assess our intentions with anything……
This amazing resource is by the following professionals :
Jameela Ho at Muslim Parenting & Ilma Ed
Irna Fathurrubayah at Atfalna Education
Weronika Ozpolat at Multicultural Motherhood
Nabila Ikram at Everlearning, Everlasting
Hannah Morris at ActiveMindCare.
Book launch hosts :
Tiah Ayesha designs ParisLondon
The Muslim Woman Blog
Our Amanas Our Futures
Let’s Learn Mama
Ilma Ed Muslim Parenting
All Book Edu PNW
Papatya Feauxzar at a Ducktrinor Mom
Paperback link : https://www.amazon.com/Understand-Your-Childs-…/…/1947148281
In West Africa, Henna is often referred to as Diaby (Dee-ya-bee.) On the eve of eid, I looked forward to apply Diaby on my hands and feet even if I don’t have a daughter. It was more of a self-care intention. Anyway, my son wanted to take part in it, and I kept telling him that it’s only for girls, and that he had more hair and a beard, he could have partook in. Boy that I was wrong.
After his vehement requests and my husband saying once it was fine for him to play with Henna, I came to the conclusion that he could become my henna buddy. Yes, I’m not always right, haha!
I decided then that Diaby would take the role of a harmless kid’s tattoo. The lessons I learn from being are simply too many to list here. Alhamdullilah.
You learn more about…
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1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or here.
A MUSLIM PICTURE BOOK DEDICATED TO MULTI-ETHNICITY CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD
About the main character : Toa Idris is six years old. One of his favorite things to do is listening to G-Ma tell him about his rich ancestral roots. Sometimes Toa becomes a little confused. G-Ma says that his people come from many places: islands in the Pacific Ocean, the west coast of Africa, Europe, China, and the original Native Americans. What race can Toa be? Join Toa as he uncovers the answer to this question.
1. Why did you decide to co-author What Am I? Book2 ?
After receiving a copy of WHAT AM I? Book 1, which coincided with the birth of my first grandchild, author Papatya and I ended up discussing my grand’s varied background. She suggested it would be a fascinating addition to her series. I was a bit skeptical, until she sent a draft prompting me to fill in the details and completing the story. In the process of explaining the intricacies of the people and cultures that came together to ‘make’ this child, I became a believer in the project. I never knew how many decisions and work it takes to put together a children’s book. It was an eye opening learning experience.
2. What do you want to achieve with this children’s book?
I would like the children who read this to realize that all of us have a varied and interesting family history. As we know, there’s already a huge interest in ancestry mostly among adults. I’m hoping this book will intrigue children to become interested in their current and past ancestors. I hope they ask their elders questions about their childhoods, memories, distance relatives etc. The research could go beyond ethnic or racial connections too. I’d like children (and adults) to realize that all of us—as different as we can be—are ultimately connected and worthy. After all, God thought enough of each and every one of us to say “BE!”
Imani’s reviewers have these to say about her first children’s book:
“It was well written, interesting and very insightful. I really enjoyed it.”
“I liked this very much, especially since it’s based on a real family. This book could be used in classrooms. I envision a number of family history projects students could come up with. Even a math teacher could use it to teach fractions.”
“The different ways people celebrate birth, babies and children always touch me. It was nice learning about two more.”
“I like that the book is written in first person, from the viewpoint of the little boy. He explains himself very well, and it is fun for kids to read the story from the perspective of a child like them… The book ends with Tao Idris explaining that Allah made each person the way they are, and that each person should be thankful for the way they are created. This is a very important concept to teach children, and the book is perfect for reading to children and discussing deep issues in a fun way.” — Shifa Safadi at Muslim Mommy Blog
“This incredibly important 37 page picture book highlighting a little boy’s heritage will speak to children who see themselves in his quest to answer what he is, as well as (hopefully) inspire them to search out their own family ancestry and unique make up. “— Kirin, Islamic School Librarian
“This book will be beneficial for all children especially those who are biracial or multiracial in helping them understand all of their ethnicities. Overall, this is a cute book that will be welcomed in every child’s library. Any book that can make a 10-year-old laugh out loud is a win! “— Safa Brown, Black Seedlings
“What I liked the most about this book was the fact that difficult concepts aren’t shied away from… I also appreciated that the message – to be tolerant and accepting of all people, no matter their colour or nationality is very well spelled out in the book’s conclusion.” — The Imperfect Muslimah
“Alhamdullilah this book is a resourceful book that needs to be read in every household.”— Tales with Mimi
Join us from May 31st to June 4th, 2019 on social media for the book launch and blog tours.
About the authors:
Asiila Imani is an African American doula, midwife, editor and writer. She has a B.A. in Communications and two grown sons whom she homeschooled. She finally became a grandma and thoroughly enjoys spending time with her own “Oogie Boogie.” She is the author of Essay Three in Love, InshAllah. Check out her Amazon and/or Goodreads pages.
Papatia Feauxzar is an American author of West African descent living in Dallas, Texas with her son and husband. She holds a master’s degree in accounting with a concentration in personal finance. After working as an accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue accounting from home while homeschooling her son. Feauxzar also writes YA and adult fiction. The Ducktrinors is one of her many published novels. Visit her at A Ducktrinor Mom.
Djarabi Kitabs Publishing
PO BOX 703733
Dallas, TX 75370
Book: What Am I? Book 2
Authors: Asiila Imani and Papatia Feauxzar
Published: May 31, 2019
eBook Pages: 19
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Note: I was compensated for this review; however, it did not affect my review. This review was with my 10-year-old daughter, Hafsa.
“What Am I?” is the second book in the “The What (Race) Are We? series. The book is a conversation between the main characters, Toa Idris and his paternal grandmother (who he affectionately calls G-Ma), about his heritage and ancestors. The book is organized in simple sentences with vibrant illustrations. The analogy used was useful especially for younger audiences because it can help them visualize the different ethnicities using an everyday item.
The book also teaches the audience how to say Hello, how are you and goodbye in both Samoan and Arabic. Even though this book is geared towards younger audiences some paragraphs may be too long and there is a lot of additional information, including about half-siblings and cultural ceremonies, which could be overwhelming for them to follow.
Hafsa enjoyed that the book is written as a conversation because it expresses each person’s point of view. Also, she laughed at the cute nicknames G-Ma gave Idris: Oogie Boogie, Mr. T and Idrisi. The illustrations are lively and colorful drawings that clearly show how different Toa Idris and his relatives are. My favorite was the beautiful illustration of his family because it helped to explain the family relationship.
This book will be beneficial for all children especially those who are biracial or multiracial in helping them understand all of their ethnicities. Overall, this is a cute book that will be welcomed in every child’s library. Any book that can make a 10-year-old laugh out loud is a win!
♥♥♥♥♥ Must Read; Favorite
♥♥♥♥ Awesome; Recommend
♥ Don’t Waste Your Time
What Am I? Book 2 ‘The What Race are we Series’ by Asiila Imani and Papatia Feauxzar illustrated by Juliana Paz
This gallery contains 10 photos.
Originally posted on Notes from an Islamic School Librarian:
This incredibly important 37 page picture book highlighting a little boys heritage will speak to children who see themselves in his quest to answer what he is, as well as (hopefully)…
Ramadan is a spring cleaning for Muslims. Recharging, reviving and refreshing is inevitable for those who take the month fully on. For Muslim expats, making a run to their native lands in this blessed month, is crucial for feeling Ramadan the most.
Even if you aren’t from a Muslim majority country, why shouldn’t you jump on the bandwagon? Here’s some points to help you consider if you should travel for your next Ramadan.
1 – Feed Your soul
Expats love to spend Ramadan in their county of birth or origin because they get to taste the usual flavors associated with Ramadan. Sure, you can make your ancestral food anywhere these days with international groceries markets, however, the food tastes different on the mainland and the atmosphere is also something you can’t purchase in a store or even try to recreate. It’s simply not possible. Therefore, Ramadan is a time where they feed their souls spiritually, including by buccal administration. Food has an incredible spiritual aspect. It improves mood and literally feeds it. Imagine a Ramadan of all-access halal too.
2 – Have a Festive Eid
Imagine all your neighbors celebrating Eid. That’s what an Eid overseas is like. After a few exciting shopping-filled nights, whole communities dress up to go to the mosque, they visit one another afterwards; it’s a national holiday with a full holiday feel to it. In the West, people who can afford to take a day off do so. That said, many feel like even if they take a day off, the atmosphere is still not the same. So, they work. Instead of rightfully celebrating they are agonizing, homesick and missing their actual friends and relatives on this special day.
My childhood best friend who used to live in the UK but now lives in Paris with her nuclear family confirms that the atmosphere in Ivory Coast during Eid is not comparable in the West, and she has tried in vain to create something similar. Therefore, she tries to celebrate back home these days around her friends, family and relatives.
3 – Spend Less on Holiday Foods
Expats vouch for the fact that food expense is quite cheap when you go back to your native land. Buying ethnic food outside the local land is exorbitant when it’s not even fresh to begin with; most of these goods are frozen and the plane ticket to import them is added to the cost of the goods. Expats rather eat the fresh food locally right from the soil with its taste still palpable.
Yes, you have to buy a plane ticket to access these foods, but if you travel regularly anyway, why not buy a ticket with the intention to have a rich Ramadan experience?
4 – Take Advantage of Nature’s Loopholes
Many expats usually come from places around the world where their countries sit right on or closer to the equator; meaning they have roughly equal amount of days and nights. In these parts of the world, the sun rises around 6 a.m. and sets around 6:30 p.m. That’s nice when you have to fast, especially compared to northern lands where fasting times can go over twelve hours in the summer. This natural loophole makes it easy for you to eat and rest after the early iftar. As a result, you can face Tarawih and other nights prayers easily before suhoor.
My hafiz stepfather (masha Allah) insists that it is way easier to perform the last ten nights of Ramadan in Africa for him because of these reasons.
5 – Reconnect with Loved Ones
(Or find new ones!) Many Muslim expats still have huge families and even spouses left behind in the pursuit of happiness or for other needs. Ramadan is the perfect time for them to be with their husbands, wives, relatives and even children they left behind. My mother does this every year to see my grandmother, her recently late husband (may Allah be pleased with him), her siblings and other relatives. She always comes back refreshed and ready to hustle again. If you get a chance to chat with an expat while they are spending Ramadan in his or her mainland, you will notice their refreshed and high spirits because they feel loved and surrounded by good people, their people.
6 – Break the Cycle of Sad Eids
Eid should never be a melancholy event. Break the cycle. Last Eid I traveled to see my family, and we had a good time, alhamdulillah. Though it wasn’t outside the US, it spurred me on and now, just as my mom has always done, I also plan to make my own run to Ivory Coast one day soon insha’Allah, to re-experience a true holiday.
I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed Eid wherever you are.
Update: we didn’t color over the sketches. The disgraced designer wouldn’t give the password to the files. So, we had to redo the whole book IN A RECORD TIME. There is a clear difference b/t the finished products. We own the rights to the layout from book 1 that carries to book 2.
Looking for a unique project to donate to this Ramadan?
Then why not consider #TheGoodDeedsApp.
Help us to develop an app to help you carry out good deeds on the go – and get rewarded for it in the process.
“Whoever institutes a good practice in Islam will have its reward and the reward of whoever acts upon it without diminishing their rewards in the slightest,” said the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
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Color-coordinating books and teas for Fofky’s Boxes or for a promotional picture are one of our favorite thing to do. So check out the small list gathered for you.
1. Unleashing your Creativity and Boh Chamomile Tea or Boh Lemon Myrtle or Boh Peppermint Tea
2. Unlikely Friends and Tazo Passion Tea
3. The Tower and Numi Organic Jasmine Green
4. Ayesha Dean II and Tazo Wild Sweet Orange Tea
5. Here With You and Tazo Organic Chai
6. The Moon of Masarrah and Yogi Detox Tea or Blue Raspberry Crush Herbal Tea
7. Woke & Loud and Tazo Zen Tea
We hope you like the selection. Come back again for more book and tea pairings suggestions!
G E T I N T O U C H
Books, Teas & Coffees
Original Source : Fofky’s Blog.
Join us for the official book launch and blog tour for “What Am I? Book 2” by Asiila Imani and Papatia Feauxzar from May 31st, 2019 to June 4th, 2019 insha’Allah! This is long overdue! Masha’Allah alhamdullilah, it’s finally here 🎉💞🥳🥁🎊!
Thank you for reading.
I recently picked a local magazine geared at parents in Dallas and an article by Christa Melnyk Hines caught my eye. She is a journalist and the author of Confidentiality Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life. She lists eleven characteristics of Happy Moms and I agreed with all of them. I will paraphrase them here and show how they relate to my Islamic personal life, at least since the birth of my son. Alhamdullilah.
- Lean on Community
Most of my work is done online and I lean on the support the online community of a couple social media platforms provide me. In her article, she points out that bonding with friends boosts a woman’s level of oxytocin; the stress reducing hormone in the body. In addition, I’m making an effort to also lean on off-line community; a very challenging thing to do for an introvert. Duas requested!
- Commit to Healthy Living
I sleep early, I wake up early, and I make time for self-care by pampering myself regularly with homemade cosmetic materials. This helps me stay energetic, boosts my self-confidence and self-image. I’m happier and definitely more patient these days. Alhamdullilah.
I went through an integrative nutrition health coaching program a couple years ago with Zeeshan Shah, IIN, of Eat.Drink.Pure whom I interviewed, and she strongly suggest to women and children to look at their Circle of Life from the School of Nutrition’s diagram below. A personal balance in all of these areas helps one have a more fulfilling life. I can attest to that at least since I pay more attention to them these days.
- Take Time for Personal Pursuits
I try not to stay stagnant in my acquisition of knowledge. I have a Master’s Degree in Accounting but I’m still going to school (Islamic and Secular) because I’m a student of life and that’s my personal pursuit; iqra. So, find your personal pursuits that have been shorthanded or sidelined and revive/reclaim them to be and stay happy in your life. Closure gives peace of mind.
- Nourish Yourself
Life is hectic but on weekends, I enjoy my time relaxing while making brunch. Why? Because I see it as a time to bond with my Creator, my family, my soul, relax and enjoy food bliss. Good food has a highly spiritual aspect. So, see cooking and nourishing yourself as a soothing and mediating moment not as a chore. As a matter of fact, this is my time of worship with only positive thoughts and continuous dhikr. We were created to worship in all our actions and cooking is one worshipping act I greatly enjoy. Masha’Allah alhmdullilah. Now, there is nothing wrong with a man cooking for you too *wink*.
- Laugh. Family Life Can be Funny
Life with a toddler is funny indeed! My son says a ton of hilarious things because at his age he takes things literally. While these Mommy Fails Moments make me consider how to approach the homeschooling process next, they help me loosen up and enjoy life as it is. Other suggestions include a satire, pictures and videos of good times with friends and family, and comedy films. Life is short, laughing moments are memories you can use to lift your spirits when darkness wants to pounce on you or pounces on you. That’s life. Sometimes you will be dragged to darkness without your consent, but will you make an effort to rise above it or conquer that dark moment and restore your happiness? I pray you answer, “Yes.”
- Follow a Spiritual Practice
This is a no brainer for Muslims. Allah said in surah 13, verse 28, “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” Hines says here, “Studies find that people who lean an inner belief are happier.” Making time to intentionally seek a sense of peace leads to a happier being. Meditating or silent reflection, journaling, or attending inspiring religious services are all part of this seeking sense of inside peace. Inspiring khutbas and halaqas qualify here.
- Practice Gratitude
Hines suggests writing down three things that one is thankful for daily including even all the smallest moments. She also cites a research done at Eastern Washington University here. “We have found that grateful individuals tend to be happy individuals and that grateful thinking improves mood,” said the researchers. I personally write down more than three things ranging from tiny to big, down daily because Allah says in surah 14 verse 7, “If you’re grateful, I will give you more.” Alhamdullilah.
- Get a Groove On
In this section, Hines suggest music which I won’t be suggesting unless it’s a nasheed *laughs.* Anyway, I listen to the Quran daily while working online because it relaxes me and helps me stay focused. It also helps me fight low spirits and stress. As a result, I always stay productive and on top of things. Alhamdullilah.
- Set Boundaries
This part is major to me because I’m prone to anxiety if I don’t set boundaries about who is and is not allowed in my life. If you’re too nice or too polite to tell people to back off a bit, you open the door for people to abuse you again and again, verbally and emotionally. DON’T DO THIS. Be firm. It’s an Islamic duty because it shows how steadfast you are when faced with very tough decisions.
- Access Good Childcare
I homeschool my son but when I need to pop in the office or any other place where having him in tow would hold me in contempt, I put him in a fun and reliable place to avoid the contempt and distraction he will bring me. Otherwise, him and I go everywhere on a daily basis. Then, I pray to Allah-al Waliyy and al-Wakil to watch and protect him in my absence. Finally, I go do my business with iman, tawwakkul, and peace of mind. This is important when you don’t have any family member who can help or is close by. So, search for one place now that will come in handy in emergency situations. If family members complain, ask them if they will fill the spot for you. It’s your Islamic right to have a nanny. Do what is in your best interest and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s not up to them. It’s up to you to decide your happiness.
- Avoid Comparison
Everyone has their own rizq, family rules, etc. Don’t compare yourself to others, you don’t know or see the full picture. If their happiness or successes bother you, lower your gaze and stay grateful for what you have been blessed with. “And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience?” It’s a test and our reactions go for or against our book of deeds. Be careful in retaliating in ways that will be charged against your book of deeds. Practice self-control, inspire people, don’t trigger their anxieties, make dua for them, be happy with your life and trust that there is enough sun for everyone. Allah is the best of Planners, and He will make you shine too insha’Allah if it’s good for you in this life and the next.
I hope this list is beneficial to you with the personal and Islamic touch. Ramadan Mubarak! May Allah accept, aameen.
Text Source: Dallas Parent May 2019
Picture Source: CNN (MuslimGirl)
Previously published at Hayati Magazine.