beauty, ramadan, Uncategorized

A Day of Halal Self-Care w/ Bayance

Assalaamu alaikum, lovelies!

With most of us around the world in lockdown, the topic of self-care has been more popular than ever. And with Ramadan upon us, now is the time to establish a solid, halal routine to be our best selves! To do this, I’m teaming up with my girl, the amazing Bayance, to go back to the sunnah and a few popular halal beauty practices. The glow up is real, y’all.

In Islam, beauty is so treasured and respected that we have been given a responsibility to protect and preserve it. As Muslim women, we’re encouraged to beautify ourselves for the sake of Allah (SWT), our husbands, and ourselves. It is said that beautifying yourself can be an act of worship if done in accordance with the sunnah. Check out the list below for my halal Ramadan self-care routine!

1) Hot Oil Treatments for Hair

“I heard Jabir bin Samurah being asked about the gray hairs of the Prophet [SAW]. He said: ‘If he put oil on his head they could not be seen, but if he did not put oil on his head, they could be seen.’” (An-Nasa’i)

“Rasulullah often rubbed oil in his head and also often combed his beard. He put a cloth over his head, which became like an oil cloth due to the frequent use of oil.” (Shamaa’il Muhammadiyya)

Oiling the hair was recommended by the Prophet (SAW), who did it himself. It nourishes the hair, promoting softness and shine and can protect against split ends. To do a hot oil treatment, you’ll need an oil of your choice (olive oil is highly recommended), an old t-shirt, water, a bowl, and a towel or plastic bag. Soak the t-shirt in water, place it in the bowl, and microwave for 30 secs or until hot. Make sure it’s not so hot that you’ll burn yourself. As you wait for the shirt to heat up, coat your hair in oil. Once done, wring the excess water from the shirt and wrap your hair in it. To insulate the treatment and get the full effect, wrap your head in a towel or plastic bag and let sit for 30 minutes or until the treatment goes cold. Then shampoo your hair and you’re done!

And full disclaimer, you will look crazy while doing this. Good thing we’re in lockdown, right?

2) Manicure

A’ishah said, ‘a woman gestured from behind a screen, with a letter to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in her hand. The Messenger of Allah withdrew his hand and said: “I do not know whether it is the hand of a man or a woman.” She said: It is a woman. He said: “If you were a woman, you would have changed your nails,” meaning, with henna. (Abu Dawud)

It is sunnah and hygienic to keep nails short and clean. But this doesn’t mean they can’t look pretty and feminine! To achieve this, you can file them to a nice shape, clean under the nails, and use a nail buffer to increase smoothness and shine without polish. You can also use any oil of your choice to moisturize the nail beds and promote nail and cuticle health.

3) Black seed oil massage for face and scalp.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said:  “Use this Black Seed regularly, because it is a cure for every disease, except death.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Black seed oil holds a number of health benefits both internally and externally. It is a well-known antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties as well. There have been some studies showing improvement of eczema, acne, and psoriasis for individuals using black seed oil. For skin health, you can use it to do an oil cleanse and massage for the face and scalp.

4) Rosewater

Rosewater is a very popular beauty product used in a number of households all over the world. It is full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known to help balance the skin’s pH. This basically means that you can use it to soothe redness and irritation in the skin and also to protect the skin from damage. It can be used in place of normal water for clay masks or as a toner after cleansing the skin.

5) Clay

You can use rhassoul clay (or bentonite or green clay) to treat the skin and clear pores. You can also do a Moroccan-style hammam bath at home. This helps to draw out impurities from the skin, combat redness, soften the skin, and make it radiant.

And that, my lovelies, is my 5-step Ramadan self-care routine!

Bonus: make sure your everyday skin and hair care products are halal! One of the sneakiest ingredients is collagen which is often derived from beef and/or pork. Also watch out for wine and sake extracts. Funny story, the first 2 months I was Muslim I didn’t think to do this with my skincare routine. You would think I would have found the collagen products questionable with the cute little piggies on their packaging, but no. I continued to slather my face in it right before maghrib. Don’t be like me. Check the ingredients!

Be sure to check out Bayance’s post here for more genius halal beauty tips! What are your favourite self-care rituals? Tell me all about them in the comments below!

ramadan, Uncategorized

First Day of Ramadan!

It is officially the first day of Ramadan! Ramadan Mubarak everyone. I pray that Allah (SWT) makes this month easy and successful for you. Welcome to all of you who have never fasted before! The first time can be a little overwhelming but you’ve got this!

Due to lockdown here in London, I’m practically stuck at home aside from the daily afternoon visits to my grandmother-in-law. I can’t complain, fasting takes a lot of you and it’s important to ration out your energy throughout the day so you don’t burn out. Not feeling obligated to go anywhere is such a blessing this month. So, what to do instead?

So far, my MIL has cleared one kitchen cabinet to start deep cleaning. My FIL has fixed the lawn mower and tinkered around with his bike. And my husband and I woke up at 10 and are still sitting in bed. Nah, I’m playing. We did wake up at 10 but we’ve managed to be a little productive. Our room has been tidied, laundry washed and hung out to dry, tested out a new rack to service the motorbike, and returned to bed to work on our computers.

Part of me wishes that I had saved most of my cleaning and organizing projects for this month rather than tackling them during last week’s make up fasts. Hindsight is 20/20. But now I get to focus on the more fun stuff! Today I’m dedicating time to write, begin course assignments, and work on my Ramadan goals. This way I can still be productive but save my physical energy for this evening.

One thing I will say for all my new Muslims is to avoid extended periods of time in the sun. And by extended, I mean more than 5 minutes. I thought sitting out to soak in the rays a bit would make me feel better last week and I came away with a throbbing headache, exhaustion, and intense thirst. It’s not even hot here. The best time to get fresh air is during a light stroll in the evening after Asr. The sun is lower in the sky and definitely not as intense.

That’s pretty much it for my first day of Ramadan. What do you have planned today?

ramadan, Uncategorized

Ramadan Countdown Day 7

It is day 7, my lovelies! Assalaamu alaikum and welcome back to the Ramadan Countdown! Today I want to talk about creating a Ramadan routine.

If you’ve fasted before, you know how difficult it is to stay productive on an empty stomach and slightly dehydrated. I know that last year, doing anything outside of the necessities and going to work was such a chore and often times I would be so zoned out and just ready to eat that I would end up not accomplishing anything; or I would forget to do things I wanted to do.

Looking back, I can honestly say that it would have helped tremendously if I had created a stable routine and habits in advance and stuck to them. So today’s advice is to create your daily Ramadan routine now. This applies whether you are off work, going to work, a stay-at-home mom/housewife, working from home, etc. You know your schedule best, so what kind of days do you want to have this Ramadan? This lines up with my earlier post on creating goals for Ramadan. In order to achieve these goals, we need a game plan.

I know that I want to learn how to read Quran, memorize a few duas, strengthen my deen, stay in shape, do more self-development, and stay on top of this blog and my coursework. When I look at this list, it feels like I’m biting off more than I can chew. But if I map what a day accomplishing all of this would look like, it feels achievable. The foundation of my routine for this upcoming month are prayers and the meals to open and break my fast. A balanced, healthy suhoor and fajr prayer combined with reading the Quran in English is my solid start to the day. Also, I won’t include them all in this list, but obviously I will be praying throughout the day and on time as well, Insha’Allah.

1) Wake up for suhoor, pray fajr, read Quran, back to sleep until 7/8 am.

2) Tidy room; do laundry and any other chores that need doing; create a calm and clean space for the day.

3) Go for a light, slow walk before the sun gets too strong. Just chill, enjoy moving, and breathe in the fresh air. Reflect.

4) Focus on completing coursework and any other jobs I have. Do this until 12/1pm.

5) Light nap (if needed).

6) Quran practice, dua and surah memorization, blogging.

7) Journal or talk to friends/family for 30 minutes.

8) Light exercise before iftar prep. Only exercising to maintain, not make progress.

9) Iftar prep, break fast, pray, eat more food, tarawih at home.

10) Enjoy evening with family but don’t stay up too late (you know how you get).

At the moment I’m not working so, alhamdulillah, I have lots of time to focus on deen, family, and working on my own personal projects. My daily routine this year is so much different from what I would have been doing last year (if I had thought to make one). Last year I was staying alone and working full time, often late into the evening. This year I’m with family and desperately trying my hand at housewifery. Things are different but a solid routine still works!

You don’t have to have a crazy long routine, especially not if you’re working. But even having a routine for suhoor and fajr can make a big difference. Or maybe just focus on your evening routine. Of course, it’s completely customizable so you do what works for you!

See you tomorrow for day 6, insha’Allah!