Tag Archives: inspiration

All in good time – A reader’s story

All in good time
Anonymous

As I opened my laptop I knew this post was going to be a teary one, tissues in hand I began.
Society has almost made it impossible to look at a female and not ask two questions; “Are you married? “If a positive response is received, the next question to follow is; “do you have kids?”
Whilst I cannot tell you how difficult it may be for some people to answer the first question, I can personally tell you what it feels like to have the second question posed to you when you are facing infertility issues.
Every single time in the last four years that I have had to answer the question, it felt like someone plunging a knife deep inside me. Smile and nod you say to yourself, while you attempt to hide the sadness you feel.
For the longest time I wished there was a way where people would understand the feeling. I realised that I am on a journey, my own journey! I cannot expect people who have never struggled with infertility to understand my journey. It is through this understanding that I have tried to deal with people in an extremely polite manner. Oh what a difficult journey this has been….
Through my post I hope to let other sisters who are struggling know you are not alone. I also seek to enlighten those who have never experienced infertility issues to what the journey has been like.
Being married young has had its challenges but I am eternally thankful to Allah for granting me a spouse that has held my hand through this journey. As with many marriages, our initial years were not focused on starting a family, however as time proceeded this became more significant. Yes, the pressure began mounting, family started asking questions but we took it in our stride.

A year after trying I visited my GP as I missed a period and was not pregnant. She put me on Femara however, she suggested I go and see a gynae. I was oblivious to infertility and made the appointment as part of the process, not realising the significance of it. A quick fix I thought, I mean I had never pictured myself as someone who would have fertility issues. I always dreamed of the way I would broach the topic of starting a family with my husband…this was definitely not part of that plan.
My gynae started me on fertility drugs for the next 6 months. Upon completion, with no positive results of a pregnancy it was suggested both my husband and I go for further testing. In my case this meant a laparoscopy to rule out cysts or endometriosis.  A laparoscopy meant time out from the office; yep I had to have the conversation with my Manager regarding our situation. As you can imagine this was indeed an awkward conversation, with a number of uncomfortable questions that followed. I have always been a private person and prefer to keep my private matters exactly that way…private. This process was already forcing me to push that boundary.
A laparoscopy later and I was told I had no issues that are affecting my fertility. It was suggested we begin IUI. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the acronym it is in essence artificial insemination. As we were nearing the December break we decided to give it a rest and kick off the IUI’s the following year – I scheduled my fertility specialist appointment accordingly.
Once again, being young and naïve one never knows what to expect in these appointments. Appointments seldom happen on scheduled times and you await your fate in a waiting room with other patients, sensing the same desperation to have a baby from everyone else.
My name was called and I was taken into a room and asked to fully undress from waist-down.  Being shy I was naturally uncomfortable, the only time I had to do this before was at the time of my laparoscopy and my initial gynae appointment. I responded to the nurse saying I have my period; she smiled and replied “you are going to have to get use to this.”
I cannot even explain to you how distraught I felt…having to lay there and be probed while you are on day 2 of your menstrual cycle, all feelings of shame being ripped away. The Dr entered and proceeded with the internal scan, having patients on a period was obviously something he was used to. Once I was clothed he explained the process to us as well as what to exppect. A fresh set of fertility drugs in hand I left and returned a few weeks later for my internal scans before the procedure.
The day of my procedure I was handed Dormicum by the nurses, this would help knock me out and relax me for the procedure. When it was time to begin you are allowed some time to undress before the procedure – sheets are left for you to cover yourself. Again uncomfortable, but at this point uncomfortable feelings seem to be the norm. Your legs are strapped up wide apart and again…you wait for the Dr.

Sisters I wish to tell you, there is nothing more degrading than being tied in stirrups and having another person probing your private regions, while having your husband by your side. I cried…not from the procedure but from being left with no shame.
You are asked to do a pregnancy test 2 weeks later and call in with your results. 2 weeks later I called in and let the nurse know my results, they were negative. We were absolutely heartbroken. I did another 2 IUI’s, testing at the end of 2 weeks for procedure sake even though deep down I knew it was not positive. At this pointy Clearblue pregnancy tests and ovulation kits had found its way to my monthly shopping list.
I wish to point out while this was an extremely important time in my life, this wasn’t shared by my doctor where I was treated as just a number – each time needing to remind him why I was there. At times he requested to see me, and when I met with him he often would ask”how can I help you today?” Well I don’t know? Maybe you should tell me? None the less as time went on I learnt to take it less personally.
The Dr informed us the next procedure would be an IVF; this was much more expensive however it would up our chance of success to 45%. We decided to wait a few months before doing the treatment as I was emotionally drained and wanted a break from the fertility drugs.
4 months later we were ready to begin the IVF process. Without going into all the details we met with the doctor, went through the necessary scans and again a new set of medications was issued. These medications send you on an absolute emotional rollercoaster; at times had to stop myself from having emotional outbursts. The medications included injections; thankfully my husband was brave enough to give these to me. These injections were incredibly sore and stung like crazy – “all part of the process we said to each other”. In summary the medications are intended to make you produce more eggs than normal and force you to ovulate at the correct time. By the time I was nearing time for egg retrieval my pants could not close, that’s how bloated and uncomfortable it was.
We entered the IVF procedure confident and excited as can be, we believed this was it and the child we wanted would be planted inside my belly in no time. All previous negative feelings regarding the Dr’s and procedures were forgotten. This baby would begin with a clean slate.
The procedure was successful and due to the quality of the eggs that Dr recommended only putting 2 in as the chance of success was very high. We had to wait 2 weeks before testing.
I had never spent as much time on google as I had that week. I viewed every forum on IVF success rates, symptoms associated with success and how to calculate your due date. I knew every acronym on the forums from HPT, BFN, 2WW to BFN. I felt every symptom I was supposed to be feeling, did everything I was supposed to and I was confident. “I wonder if it will be twins? What will we call them? How will we manage?” These were all thoughts that ran though my head. My husband was equally excited and confident; there was no doubt in both our minds. Few people at work and extremely close family and friends knew we had done the IVF and we were in their duas / prayers.
The 2 week wait was awful, each day longer than the next, until eventually the day arrived. I did a blood test as early as possible before heading into the office.  The laboratory would send my results to the clinic and I would hear from them. The anticipation was killing me; eventually my cell rang at around 13h00. The minute I answered I heard the sadness in the nurse voice, I immediately knew it was negative and she confirmed my worst fears.

I cannot explain the feelings that passed through me; I called my husband and let him know. We agreed to meet at home. Shortly after cutting the call, every emotion I felt came out in the most heartfelt cry I have ever felt.  I left the office and cried my eyes out on the 30km journey back home, I begged Allah to stop letting me feel this way and give me strength to deal and accept his decisions. I have never cried as much as I cried on the way home, something inside of me broke – every piece of hope that I had ever had. My husband I both tried to be strong for each other, each of us knowing what we felt that day. In each passing day it got better, until we were able to talk about something else besides “what next?”
A few months later I was healed and ready to do my next IVF with my remaining eggs. The medications were changed but the process and emotions attached to it remained the same. As I sat in the procedure room, I vowed that should this not be successful I would not put myself through this for another year. I did the second one accompanied by acupuncture, duas and a good diet – I wanted to do every thing in my power to be able to say I had tried my best. The procedure was unsuccessful, but we were stronger and able to deal with it much better. Thank you my Allah for giving us the strength.

Has it been difficult? Yes it has. Ramadaan has helped me heal and accept what Allah has set out for us. I have come to realise that yes doctors are a means, but they cannot change your fate, only Allah can. Thoughts cross my mind all the time, will I ever be called “mom”, will I ever have a family, what will happen to me when my parents leave this world and my siblings continue their lives with their own family, who will I have?  I am on a continuos journey of hope, yet reminding myself that my life will only be as Allah wills. I have tried every dua, herb, super food and alternative healing suggested to me and I can happily say I am done. I have full acceptance  that Allah knows and he does what is best for each of us.

I at times dread attending family functions, I cant remember when last I WASN’T asked about the family I need to start planning or offered possible solutions as to how to fix my problem. At times I feel like any progress I have made healing is ripped away when these questions arise. Can I not for a day be myself and enjoy a family function or day out without being reminded about my inability to have a family? I am now at a point where I have people greeting me and a second later saying you are in my duas – yet they don’t know my journey. I keep reminding myself that people are only trying to help and don’t know any better. I truly value those that know I am struggling but choose not to ask me about it. I know in my heart that I am in their duas and that is all that matters.
To my sisters who are unintentionally asking others about starting their families. Please don’t. If a person feels comfortable and close enough to you to share their journey with you, they will. I understand the intention is good and if you really have to do it, raise it in a sensitive manner. Every one of these individuals are trying to come to terms with their own situation and accept. Yes you may only ask them about it once, but if everyone asks them about it, it is a continuos reminder.

To my sisters struggling, I keep you in my duas. Your relationship with your spouse will be tested in a number of ways, be there for each other and make dua to Allah to make your bond stronger. Focus on the positives Allah has bestowed to you and continue making dua to him for only dua can change a situation. Your value of life isn’t based on you being a mother. Maybe Allah would love for us to add value to the world in another way for he knows best. This world is only temporary and therefore this test is only temporary. Never be rude to anyone asking you about you not having a child – treat them with kindness and if need be let them down gently. I am confident you will have your happy ending with or without a baby!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We see you winner’s story

This is the letter that won our hearts, sent in by Ummayyah , daughter of Aunty Sadia. Aunty Sadia was surprised last week by blogger Yaseera from @yasiikinz, she had been admitted to hospital two days later. We wish aunty Sadia a speedy recovery and shifa and everything of the best because you deserve it and so much more. Thank you for allowing us to share your story.

Slms/Hi to everyone who will be reading the email

Before I begin, please understand that I write this email with a very emotional,heavy and grateful heart.

Words cannot describe the amount of sacrifice my mother has made for my siblings and I…whilst I know that every mother goes above and beyond for their children, I'd like to believe that my mother has just had a tad bit extra of everything in life.

My mother's name according to her I.D is Sangeetha Kesaopersadh, but to everyone that knows her, she's Sadia Khan. At a very young age of 19, my mum married my dad and reverted to Islam. She had given him 4 beautiful children (Umar Farouk, Summayyah, Ummayyah and Ummaira khan) and whilst my mum always had a smile on her face, her decision to embrace Islam came with many concequences. my mums family were strict Hindu's and didn't approve of her marriage. My dad's family were strict Tableegs and didn't accept my mother as their daughter in law…And so my mum went about living her life and trying her best to be a good Muslim, mother, wife and above all, a good woman. My mum is the type of person that wants to cook for our neighbours and their neighbours neighbours and be-friend every person she can come across. She would invite anyone and everyone over just to give them a good meal and laugh over life's experiences….Unfortunately my father didn't understand that my mum couldn't speak or read Arabic and it become an issue in their marriage. After 21 years, my mum overcame physical and emotional abuse. There wasn't a bone in my mum's body that wasn’t broken. She was tortured in ways I cannot explain. She had, had her nose broken, her arms, her fingers, and she was even put to drown. Eventually both her knees were broken and she couldn’t walk. My mums family always asked her to leave and come back to live with them and start a new life, but it was on condition that she gives up Islam… My mum always said that she saw light and truth in our religion and she couldn't give up on Allah. she never complained to any friends and even most family members never knew what really went on in her life. She hid her pain for the sake of her children and because she was naturally a happy and bubbly person.

Eventually my siblings and I grew and we were all teenagers…My mum finally summed up the courage to leave my dad and she walked out with absolutely nothing. she lived in a small 1 room back house, started making samoosas and making biscuits on a gas stove with a gas ovan, to pay for rent and buy food. My mum's only request was that my siblings and I come live with her. The decision was tough as my father was a well established business man. We lived on a 42 ache plot in walkerville, we had over 60 sheep, 12 farm workers, 10 greenhouses, bulls, 32 cats and almost every fruit and vegetable you can think off in our yard. My dad supplied city deep. Mum had never worked before… But nonetheless, we chose to live with her. And so my mum bought just 4 spoons, 4 cups, 4 plates and a thin mattress for us to all sleep on…And there we were, from over night spoilt kids, to what felt like poverty. My mum still managed to pay for all our school fees, our food, our clothes and our madressa fees. Eventually she joined a group of Muslim woman (in taleem based in zakariyya park where she had moved to) who helped her learn Arabic and she was than able to teach my little sister and I our sabak. She learnt 4 quls, surah fatiha, daily duas and she begun to read her salaah…

My mum's struggles just never stopped. Alhamdullilah Allah chose to continue to test her and her imaan. We were on our way home and we met a pregnant woman sleeping on the street. She was badly hurt all over her face. My mum decided to ask her if she's OK and the lady could barely speak proper English as she was from Pakistan. After broken communication, it was understood that the ladies husband hit her because she lied to him that she's having a baby boy and the child was a girl. So he kicked her out onto the streets. The lady came to live with us and she gave birth to a beautiful girl who my mum named Amarah. Amarah was the light of our lives and brought us so much of happiness. However her mum soon ran away(7 days after she gave birth) and my mum was so afraid to report her as it would mean that they would take the child away from her…3 years went by, Amarah, who was now my little sister, was probably the hope and courage my mum needed in life. But not for long, her real mum came back after 3 years, demanding her child back as she was going to go back to Pakistan, in the begining my mum refused but eventually had to give her back as her mum was threatening to get the cops involved. On the day that Amarah went back, my mum had a heart attack. Shukr she soon recovered, but there was something missing in her life. My dad than started torturing my mum again by making threats that he is going to kidnap my sisters and I and kill us just to hurt her. (by than my mum had already gotten a life time protection order against my dad, but she could never find the guts or heart to have him arrested). My mum always said that she doesn't know how she would sleep if she put someone behind bars. Her good nature and heart caused her a lot of pain. My mum than had a stroke and suffered for a while before she could regain normal function.

During all of this, my sisters and I were growing, trying to get a good education and change our lives around. Alhamdullilah today, my older sister is an HR manager at an Islamic Company Crescent lifestyle, I spent 5 years at Discovery and left as an executive specialist, I am now a Team Leader at Nedbank(soon resigning once i complete my B.ED) and Ummaira is a snr at Discovery. We now have a beautiful home and we're short of nothing.
During this entire process, my mum never failed to cook 3 meals a day for us, she cleaned the house and made sure our clothes were always washed…And if you think it ended there for my mum, it didn't….It's been 2 years now, that my mum has had stage 5 kidney failure. Both her kidneys are not functioning and she goes for dialysis 3 times a week (she goes at 10am and comes back home at 4pm). And still, EVERY SINGLE DAY, MY MUM COOKS US A LOVING AND EXTRA ORDINARY MEAL. We can spend hours telling her not to cook or do anything and she'll still do it and she'll say that she loves us and that we must be tired coming back from work. It's more than just her cooking though, my mum supports and encourages all of our careers, dreams and aspirations. I forgot to mention that my mum and I both had leukaemia, and we both survived it. My cancer thought me to always give back and ever since the age of 19, I spend my birthday hosting a different event at a different orphanage. I was on the board of committee for a rehabilitation centre called Kids Haven in benoni and belonged to a group called iftaar drive, we feed a different Muslim orphanage every ramadhaan but only on weekends. Mum spends her days helping me( actually she does all the cooking and I just rock up with food) with any and every event I've ever hosted, big or small…

My mum used to weigh 85kgs and she now weigh's 48…All of her clothes don't fit her and we'be been buying her new clothes every month. The reason for my email is because I want to do something good/ special for her to thank her for all she's given up and for all she's done for my siblings and I. The one thing that I look up to my mum for, was that she never ever stopped wearing her hijaab. I'm 26 years old now, and it's been 3 years that im in scarf.(sometimes I do go out without my scarf, but I wear my scarf to work every day) , I still remember the days my mum would nag me to please cover up and please dress decently and please wear my hijaab….today, I can honestly say that because of my mum, I am a respected young lady at work and in my community because I dress in a modest manner.

My mum would spend her every last cent on whatever my sisters and I want (even until today) and she doesn't ever ask for anything in return. She's been admiring abayas similar to the ones that is part of the competition and I'd appreciate even if she just won that. Regardless of whatever religion we are, my mum is such a strong and persevering woman. Even if she doesn't win, I almost feel better for typing this, because now I've praised her to someone( because I could never tell her how much she means to me to her face)

P.S please mind my bad spelling and grammar, it's first rozar and I'm studying and I have a headache lol oh and one last thing, my mum managed to change her name at home affairs, so she had a new I.D that says Sadia kesssopersadh and they want a marriage certificate to change her surname and we all know that's not going to happen…

I make Dua for my dad every day that Allah closes his wounds and heals him and gives him peace and happiness as I feel he did all of that out of anger.

Thank you for reading
Ummayyah Khan


Pic of the family with a pic of Amarah stuck on the curtain

Blogger series- Shinysequins Blog, zallibhai and madame dija


Our last post in the blogger series rounds up with the beautiful Nadia from @shinysequins_blog as the first feature:
1. Where are you from?I am from beautiful Cape Town, South Africa.

 

2. When did you start blogging/ start your instagram account?

I started my blog and my Instagram account just over 2 years ago and it’s been a great journey, though very difficult at times to fit in blogging when you don’t do it fulltime but that’s where instagram helps to do daily posts.

 

3. Describe your style.

My style changes all the time, depends on my mood and where I’m going. From sophisticated looks to boho and casual. I became more casual dresser when my daughter came into this world because it’s easier to be dressed comfy when you have to play and run after a little one.

 

4. Who do you draw inspiration from?

I embraced Islam years ago and that’s how my love for modest fashion started. The first bloggers I started following and getting inspo from was international bloggers like Dina Tokio and Ascia but at the moment I get my daily inspo fashion fix from local to international bloggers and designers. 

 

5. Who is your favourite online fashion store/designer?

I don’t have one favourite but many and I always wish I could buy something from all the amazing fashion designers but that’s not possible. All I can say is keep up the good work and continue making Modest fashion evolve.

 

6. A motto/saying that resonates with you?

Never give up on your dreams no matter how long it takes you to achieve it.

 

Never let anyone dull your sparkle.

 
7. How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?
I either ignore negativity or kill them with kindness J
 
8. Advise for those wishing to start a blog?
If you wish to start a blog, just start but remember it’s not always as easy as it looks, it takes time and effort which some don’t always have (speaking from experience if you a wife, mother, fulltime worker etc.) Tip: never compare yourself to other bloggers and the amount of followers they have for example because that’s going to leave you feeling down and wanting to give up. Remember everyone is not the same some might grow faster than others, get invited to many events and collaborations.

To be honest I felt like just ending it all and stop blogging many times but remembered why I started, for the fun of it and to inspire if even if just a little, In Sha Allah.

 

Through my blogging and instagram account some doors opened to things I would never have imaged and the most awesome part of it all I met the most amazing, inspirational people though my blogging journey. Alhamdulilaah

 
Our next feature is Zehra from @zallibhai , a certified trainer and fitness instructor who inspires covered girls to get moving!
1.Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

I stated my Instagram in 2013. At first it was just a way for me to share pics of the kids, healthy recipes and workout ideas with my family and past clients.

I started my blog in 2015, it was a platform for me to share more fitness and nutrition information and have a space where you could easily access recipes and workouts. I am really hoping to grow it into a space where we can build a positive community for women looking to be healthy and active for themselves and their families;)

3.Describe your style.

Ha! In terms of fashion, classic + comfy is what I’d call it. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I love to dress up for a night out, but to be honest – just because of what I do during the day – I’m often wearing fitness wear. I try to look for workout clothes that not only look great but are also super functional. When I’m not in my sweats or yoga pants, you’ll usually find me in jeans, with a comfy sweater and runners or flats. I also believe that “less is more”. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s less important to have a closet overflowing with outfits than it is to own fewer pieces that you really love.  

 

4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

My parents were always my biggest supporters and cheerleaders from day one, and they were my first source of inspiration. They showed us what hard work and dedication can get you.  

Naturally I’ve also looked up to other athletes for inspiration. I’ve always been inspired by the dedication, the discipline and the mindset that it takes to constantly strive to be better than you were yesterday. This past summer we all had the honour and privilege of watching Ibtihaj Muhammad compete and medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. I was honestly so proud and moved to see her not only compete but excel amongst the top athletes in the world. It was always my childhood dream to be an Olympic athlete….I dunno maybe i still have time 😉

In Terms of business and blogging, I’m inspired by all the amazing ladies out there, really working hard and putting themselves out there, trying new things, really taking risks and breaking barriers.

5.Who is your favourite online fashion store/designer/brand?

I really shop all over. I usually get my workout clothes from nike, adidas, gap and a canadian company here called Joe. I just look for things that are long and fit well.

I also love to shop at Zara and H&M, I can always find long and modest clothing and they have lots of casual options.

6.A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

Work hard, Play Hard

Also my main Motto is,

Focus on the positive of each situation!

7.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

You just have to know and remember what your intentions are. If you have confidence in what you’re doing, it’s easy to ignore any negative comments. Don’t take it to heart.

8.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

Be Authentic in your voice. Offer value to the people you are reaching out to. Connect with the people that take the time to support you. Be consistent and stay true to why you started.

Our last and final feature is Khadija from @madame_dija , A South African living abroad:

 

1.Where are you from?

 

Born in the cultural heartland of South Africa, currently living in London the home of Inaya collection, Islamic Design House, Aab Collection and many more great names in the modest world of fashion.

 

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

 

I have always loved to use social media to express myself, I was thus attracted to facebook ,Instagram and more so blogging from the very beginning of my career, roughly 10 years ago. Initially when i started my facebook page it was to promote my brand Madame Dija and from there due to many requests I started sharing modest fashion inspiration and styling tips, and recently started sharing Islamic crafts and DIY’s.

 

I started by facebook page back in 2010, and my instagram in 2013.

 

3.Describe your style?

 

My style changes constantly.I love combining trends and creating my own looks.

 

4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

 

I draw inspiration from social media, fashion and craft blogs as well as the following bloggers:

 

● Dina Tokio

● Nabila B

● Aana Nourin

 

5.Who is your favourite online fashion store/designer/brand?

My favourite brands are :

 

● There are lots of international and local designers as well as online fashion stores that i adore , to name a few :

                 

● Modanisa

● Selfridges

● Zara

● H&M

                                                                                                                                                           

 

tbc…

 

6.A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

Live how you love,love how you live.

 

7.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

I usually ignore negative comments or just block…

 

8.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

What seems like the most trivial topic to talk about, could be what many ponder about or need answers to..Remember be original ,be unique and don’t be afraid to speak your heart and your mind, that’s called being you..

 ——————————————————

A heartfelt thank you to each and every blogger who responded to my email and decided to be part of this initiative- it has really thought me so much and I’ve enjoyed learning about everyone’s style and experiences! All the best in your blogging careers ❤️ may we all grow together 

Blogger Series

Blogger Series Day 7  features Areeba from @areebaartistry as the first feature and Raeesa from @veiledbeautyza as the second feature- loving their pretty rose gold and blush ensembles 

1.Where are you from?

 

– I was born in Pakistan and moved down to South Africa when I was four.

 

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

 

– Areeba Artistry turns two this year in August. 

 

3.Describe your style.

 

– I’m still figuring out my style while staying modestly based. It can be a challenge some times, but I love it.

 

4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

 

– There are so many amazing bloggers out there and I get inspired from stalking one profile to the other. What really inspires me is when I see an outfit or a clothing item and it is not modest, but I love the style. It sort of pushes me to find a way to wear it modestly. 

 

5.A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

 

– So I said this a while back and I feel it describe how I feel completely;

I have never used makeup or fashion to change who I am, in fact, it has helped me bring out my creative side while staying true to myself. Makeup has introduced me into an industry where I am able to help women feel beautiful and I am lucky enough to meet likeminded and unique individuals who I’m inspired by every single day.

 

 

6.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

 

– I’ve had very few encounters with bullies and negativity, but honestly just ignore them. Don’t give them the satisfaction of your attention.

 

7.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

 

– If you want to start a blog, just do it. Don’t be afraid to share what you love.

 

 

8.Your favourite online fashion store/ designer

 

– I love browsing through Superbalist and Spree. 

 

 

1.Where are you from? 

I’m from the wonderful city of Durban 
2.When did you start blogging?

When I started at University, in 2011, that’s when my passion for beauty and fashion developed and I knew I wanted to start a blog. However, university seemed to take over my life and I never got down to actually creating it until the end of 2013.
I never really focused creating content for the blog until mid-2015 but unfortunately in mid-2016, my life totally changed, things got real and I stopped completely. So you could say this marks my return and that I’m officially back and starting afresh now?
3.Describe your style?

Even though, my outfits range from classic to trendy, athleisure to girly- there is still one common thread (no pun intended) throughout all of my looks – which is minimal. I keep my looks clean and I definitely skimp on accessories and 9.999 times out of 10, you will find me wearing solid colours with the exception of stripes and polka dots, here and there. 
4.Who do you draw inspiration from? 

My style inspiration comes from many difference sources, but you will almost always find me browsing Pinterest, reading the Vogue website and watching Fashion TV and I think this is where I source the bulk of my inspiration from. 

Even though I do follow a lot of bloggers on IG, I try not to draw my inspiration from them as sometimes, it can be really difficult to establish your individual style identity but so easy to cross the line between ‘being inspired’ and ‘being a clone’.
5.A motto or saying that resonates with you? 

Mine is simple but a saying that I often find I have to remind myself of, it’s simply “Live life”.

Having a full time job, with insane deadlines, it sometimes can get really overwhelming and extremely difficult to find time to fit in everything on the weekend such as having a social life, focusing on my passion and my blog and spending time with my family. 

But I always stop to remind myself that my weekend “job” is much more important than my weekday one, and that its on the weekend that I actually live life and so that’s where I should focus all of my time and energy. 
6.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media? 

I simply just brush it off and ignore that it happened. At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that social media, be it IG, FB or Twitter, is just an online platform and isn’t real life. So when someone makes a harsh comment, you can’t let it get to you. They don’t know the REAL you, they just know your online persona. 

So in actual fact they’re not even making a comment about who you are but simply on who they think you are, which counts for nothing, really. 
7.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

To quote Nike, “just do it”. Obviously, have an idea of what you want your blog to be about, who you want your target audience to be and what you will call your blog but don’t overthink it. Once you start it, the rest will fall into place. Just remember to be consistent with your posting, pay attention to grammar and punctuation and remember quality always outweighs quantity. 
8.Favorite online store? 

My favorite online store has got to be, hands down, Superbalist. They have tons of items that are both modest and trendy and I can never ever visit their site without making a purchase.
 

Blogger series- Rubereloaded and Masiha Patel

Blogger Series day 5 and the first feature is Rushda from @rubereloaded , a South African blogger


1.Where are you from?

 

Cape Town

 

 

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

 

October 2012

 

3.Describe your style.

 

My style is multifaceted, and I sport a variety of looks which usually combines classic pieces with some trendy inserts.

 

 

4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

 

I am inspired by individuals who are clear about who they are, engage with the world in an authentic manner and live with a passion to serve humanity.

 

5.Who is your favourite online fashion store/designer?

 

I like to support local designers, but for those pieces I cant find locally I love Asos UK.

 

 

6.A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

 

Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world,

Today a I am wise so I am changing myself. -Rumi

 

I have found so much wisdom in this as there is so much to be gained from introspection and self development. I am able to offer more than if I was externally focused.

 

 

 

7.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

 

The previous answer speaks to this, I cannot control the perception of others or their comments. So I just focus on being me, in the best way I know how, what others think or say will merely be words, and I just ignore it.

 

 

8.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

 

When starting a blog, just focus on being true to who you are.

Be clear about the reason for starting the blog, focus on that and work towards it.

Have fun!

 

Our second feature is a fairly new blogger – Masiha from @themasihapatelblog_
1. Where are you from ?
I live on a small farm called Nqabeni , near port shepstone.

2.When did you start blogging / Instagram account ?

I started my Instagram account last year and my blog 3 months ago.

3.Describe your style 
I wear the abaya full time. I would say my style is very simple. I like wearing plain black abayas and dressing it up with a scarf and shoe.

4.Who do you draw inspiration from ?
I draw most of my inspiration from Amna (@abaya.blogger ) . 

5.Who is your favourite online fashion 

store / designer /brand ?
@Dziner_abayas 

@elegantmuslimahkzn

6.A motto / saying that resonates with you?
Make your haters , your biggest motivators – Khloe Kardashian

7.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media ?
I haven’t dealt with negativity on my social media as yet. I have dealt with negativity a lot in person. To be honest it doesn’t bother me at all , it only made me a much stronger person. 

8.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?
It’s not easy ! 
I just started blogging and I gave up everyday. I didn’t know blogging takes so much of time and effort. I had this feeling if I put my posts out there , people will laugh at me. I also don’t put my face on social media and I didn’t want that to stop me from doing blogging. 
I took a look at other blogs and realised you have to really dedicate yourself and write from the heart. Make sure it’s original. 
It’s very difficult to get followers but give it time and build your blog , everything will fall into place. 
To all those wishing to start a blog, go for it and all the best ! 

Jazakallah to Modestybybash for giving me this beautiful opportunity.  

Blogger Series – Modestisle and MakeupHijabs

Day 3 of the Blogger Series features one of my all time favourites, Saman from @makeuphijabs and sfm_fitness. Saman was major inspiration for me personally when I started my hijab journey and I’m still inspired by her unique hijab tutorials

1.Where are you from? 
I am from Toronto, Canada
2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account? 
I started my Beauty account (makeuphijabs) in 2012 and fitness (sfm_fitness) in 2017. So far I am enjoying my fitness page. I love working out with my husband who is South African :). 
3.Describe your style. 
I think my style keeps changing every year. I like to wear something easy and comfortable. I am a mama of three kids so I don’t have time to deck out all the time. I guess something simple and classy!

4.Who do you draw inspiration from? 

I think my inspiration comes from ladies who are strong and take care of their health. I think I am not the fashionista I used to be. I am getting more into sports like boxing, weight lifting, muay thai and the list goes on.
5.Who is your favourite online fashion store/designer/brand? 

Favorite designer will be Elie Saab. I love to shop at Zara.

6.A motto/ saying that resonates with you? 

Train hard or go home!
7.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media? 

I either ignore them or reply them with kindness. Trust me it works!
8.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

Learn to to deal with criticism in a positive and productive way. Its ok to receive negative comments once in a while. Trust me it keeps you grounded. Stay humble and try to connect with your fans. Don’t try to act like J.Lo because you aint one. I have been in blogging business for years now so I know how some people (unfortunately) forget who they are. Just be true to yourself!


The second feature is Soraya from @modestisle
1.Where are you from?

I am from South Africa, raised in KZN but now living in Johannesburg.

 

 

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

I started my blog and Instagram account two years ago (2015), in the middle of my baby blues.

 

 

3.Describe your style.

I don’t think that I have an official “style”, but if I had to describe it, I would say it is “everyday-laid-back-modern-modest-style”

 

 

4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

All inspiration cannot be drawn from one thing, so I draw mine from many.

I am greatly inspired when I see fellow bloggers such as myself reach success. I think “YES! Another one of us has made it!” and it inspires me to keep going.

I am also inspired when I see people struggling, yet constantly trying to improve themselves.

 

5.A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

“We are stars fashioned into flesh and bone”

 

6.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

I ignore them all. They are making fools of themselves, not of me. If they want to make fools of themselves then I say go ahead.

 

7.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

Blog because you love to blog, not because you feel you have to or you want to become famous. If you do it for the wrong reasons it might begin to feel like a chore and you will start blogging about things that you are not even passionate about. Also, lower your expectations in terms of making money and gaining followers quickly, it will take some time to get the ball rolling. Good luck and hang in there!

 

 8. Who is your favourite designer/online store or brand?

At the moment I am totally crushing on Unaizah Toffar’s “Seruna Collection”. The quality of her work is excellent and the entire collection exudes elegance.

Blogger Series – Hijab princessa and simply modesty style

Day two of the bloggers series features the beautiful Rabia from @hijab_princessa_ . She has one of the prettiest pink and pastel feeds that I’ve ever seen-I’m sure this takes alot of patience and planning!

1.Where are you from?

 Im from Germany Hamburg. My parents are Polish.

 

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

 I have my Instagram Blog since 3 Years.

 

3.Describe your style.

 My style is girly and pink/Rosé. 

 I love ruffles & lace. I love pastel colours.. and i hate dark colours.. so in my Blog you will find just some dark photos..
4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

 My inspiration is my mom.

5.Who is your favourite online fashion store/designer/brand?

 I love poplook, modanisa, sefamerve, Lia-fashion.

 

6.A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

 Every Hijab Princessa needs a Muslim Prince.

 

7.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

 I remove and block them. Those people shouldn’t be jealous and so I don’t want that they will be a part of my life.

 

8.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

 

 You need a trademark.. something what it’s very interesting to see from you.. 


Our second feature is our first South African blogger, Tasneem from @simply_modesty_style . 

1.Where are you from?

 

I’m from Durban.

 

 

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

 

I started my Instagram account in July last year (2016) and my blog 3 months later, in October.

 

 

3.Describe your style.

 

I would describe my style as eclectic as I do not conform to one particular style but rather enjoy fusing styles. My style changes from day to day, depending on my mood. Those who follow me on Instagram know by now that my style is also more of an everyday practical style as I lead a busy lifestyle, so comfort is a major factor for me. I love dressing casually with a touch of street or ‘swag’, as it offers great comfort, practicality and makes me feel powerful.

 

 

4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

 

Initially, when I first started dressing modestly, I was greatly inspired by Dina Tokio. Now, I not only draw inspiration from her, but also from everyday street style across the globe.

 

5.Who is your favourite online fashion store/designer/brand?

 

I live an average lifestyle, that of a teacher. I have never believed in spending extravagantly, therefore I am not a ‘brand’ kind of person and have never been into ‘labels’. For me, style is independent of these things. However, I do have a favourite store, which is Mr Price. I love it because it offers everyday affordable fashion, which allows me to play with different styles and clothing items, without breaking the bank.

 

 

6. A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

 

“Style is personality. It’s the ability to look at things beyond fashion and the self-confidence to transform even the simplest thing into something special.” – Dolce and Gabbana

 

 

7. How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

 

I firstly delete their negative comment and then privately message them. In that message I tell them that I appreciate that they may be trying to correct my shortcomings as a muslim, but doing it publicly is not the manner in which a fellow Muslim should correct another. I never allow myself to stoop to a level of disrespect, but rather treat them with much more respect than they have treated me. I inform them that I am aware of my shortcomings and am continuously trying to better myself as a Muslimah. I also ask them to make dua for me. I find that by the end of the private conversation, they soften and actually feel ashamed of their actions. I do not believe in publicly embarrassing someone, even if they do so to me.

 

 

8. Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

 

If your intentions are to make money, then you will be highly disappointed because it is very difficult for bloggers to make any form of income in South Africa. I suggest that you only start a blog if you enjoy writing and are passionate about the things you blog about. It is also very difficult to get a following regarding your blog, so I suggest that you first use your social media platforms to generate a substantial following. Once you have an increasing following on your social media, you can generate a following for your blog by using your social media platforms to advertise it.

Starting a blog is easy. You can start your blog for free by using WordPress. However, you need to initially write two blog posts per week in order to help build interest in your blog. Do not be disheartened if you find that very few people read your blog. Be persistent. Write because you love it – not because you want others to love it.

 

 

 

Blogger Series – Rumastyles and Mizz Zainy

Today marks the start of my new Blogger Series, featuring local and international modest fashion bloggers. I’ve posed a few questions to them to inspire aspiring bloggers and help us learn more about the personalities behind the blogs. With so much judging of people on social media based on appearances and perceived ideas, I thought it would be interesting to look beyond the physical. 
Our first feature is Ruma From @rumastyles


1. Where are you from?

 I am from Detroit USA 

2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

 I started my instablog about 3.5 years ago. 

 3.Describe your style.

 Its a mix of boho-chic meets contemporary. 

 4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

So many things! 

A lot of it comes from growing up in the area I am from plus my ethnic background of being Bangladeshi. Some of my fellow bloggers inspire me on a daily basis. I love watching people like Rihanna walk through an aisle. 

 5.A motto/ saying that resonates with you? 

Starve the ego, feed the soul.  

 6.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

I don’t deal with them at all. Blocking is the best form of avoiding all negativity. Boom. Gone. As if it never existed. Giving it any form of attention will escalate it.  

7.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

Prepare yourself to have super thick-skin. Keep pushing yourself no matter how many failures come your way. Don’t do this for the validation, this is where we get caught up sometimes. Do it because its fun and solely bcos you like doing it! Best wishes to those who want to begin and good luck on the journey. 
 8.  Who is your favourite designer/online store or brand?

 My favorite designer is Sabyasachi!

Goodness, I cannot get over his work.
——————————————————————

The 2nd feature is Zainab from @mizz_zainy and @spicyfusionkitchen.

My name is Zainab Dokrat, I’m 22 currently studying child psychology and full time blogger.

 

 

1.Where are you from?

 

Born and raised in Botswana (Southern Africa). I know a lot of people have the idea that we have lions in our back yard but I’m basically living the small town life Alhamdulillah. I am however half from the UK (dad’s side) and half from South Africa (mum’s side).

 

 
2.When did you start blogging/start your instagram account?

 

I started blogging in 2014 with my food blog which was my first (www.spicyfusionkitchen.com) and in 2016 I started my beauty/hijab fashion blog (www.beautywithzainy).

 
3.Describe your style.

 

I think my style is ever changing, when I look back at old pictures or even do a closet clear out I can notice how much it has evolved. Even my level of modesty is ever changing which I am very happy about. I like to be fun, I love colour, I love the flowey chic bohemian fringes and tassels kind of vibe. I oddly am not a fan of printed pants or coloured jeans lol I like to keep it classic.

 

4.Who do you draw inspiration from?

 

I like to take inspirations from trends and some modest fashionistas I follow on instagram but obviously putting my own twist to it. I feel just because something is trending doesn’t mean it’s for you and that is perfectly okay, go with what speaks to you and have fun.

There are a few modest/hijabi instagram bloggers I have been following for years really inspire me. I started wearing hijab at a time when a lot of young people weren’t and I found styling it so difficult to the point I contemplated taking it off. Now at the tips of my fingers there’s a cyber world of inspiration to draw from and it’s amazing.

I personally stalk a lot of hijabis and modest fashion bloggers and if I start going into the details of why I like each one I can talk for ever. So I will leave all their handles and you can stalk away and be inspired by these beauties Mashallah

 

@sabrinecat @hanantehaili @modestybybash @samraaaaa10 @rumena_101 @thameenah_s @hijabhills @nabiilabee @chinutay @annam.ahmad @westindianbella @hijabfashion @hijabstyle_lookbook @hijabmuslim

 

5.FAVOURITE ONLINE FASHION STORE/DESIGNER?

Oh My Word there’s so many!!! Basically everyone Basheera (ModestybyBash) tags in her pictures I instantly fall in love with their pieces.

My few absolute favourites are (most are from SA and can be found on instagram):

http://www.zaynahcollection.co.za , http://www.hanaacollection.co.uk

@enrobe_collection @adorebyadila @desertrose.collection @gessocollection @cherryblossomhijabs

Recently, I haven’t been able to purchase any clothing online but these are accounts I AM IN LOVE with and you should check them out. I tend to love buying hijabs and kimonos/throws/abayas online because they’re just so many beautiful options.

6.A motto/ saying that resonates with you?

 

It’s going to sound strange because it’s not deep or profound but their are 3 sayings that I always say, that help me through good and bad and the reasoning’s bring meaning to them.

 

• ALHAMDULILLAH – Giving thanks to Allah when something good happens or something bad.

• ALLAH KNOWS BEST – I think this is my answer immediately to someone or even to myself when something just is not going my way, for something small like running late or big -failing a test. One should always in the end accept and be happy when things out of our control happens the way we did not expect or want.

• KEEP ON SMILING – Smiling instantly makes you feel better and makes the person who’s looking at you feel better. No matter what in life never let it get to you so badly where you cannot smile because we still have so much to be thankful for.

 
7.How do you deal with negativity/bullies on social media?

 

Oddly enough I received a lot of negativity and bullying in person when I was younger than now and that really toughened me out through my life. I won’t say I’m an angry person because that’s letting the bully get to you but I do stand up for myself and basically don’t let it get to me. Since starting my blog the only negativity I have received was from people questioning me actually blogging, how I dress, that I am wasting my time and so on. A lot of people think because they’re behind a screen its okay to say things they would never to a person’s face. Sometimes we forget Allah is watching, our deeds are being accounted for and honestly would you really want to be held back, questioned by Allah or experience karma because you said a mean comment. As people especially women we should be lifting each other up, complimenting each other, advising each other, supporting each other, not bad mouthing, being mean on the comment section and so on. I answer back nicely and pray for them, may Allah guide us all and forgive us.

 
8.Advice for those wishing to start a blog?

 

Blogging is hard work especially if you want to make it a success and it’s not just a pastime. For me when I start something I am very driven, I will work my butt of to have it succeed. Sometimes you get lucky you get noticed quickly, start collaborating instantly and all these goals start being achieved one after the other like you’re on a roll – Alhamdulillah if that is what happens to you. For me I found it hard work, consistency is key, researching, trying new tricks just constantly trying to grow as a person and blogger.

Stay true to yourself, blog about what interests you, don’t copy what everyone else is doing because your readers will notice and not keep coming back. So figure out if its fashion, food, makeup, DIY, travel, books, babies, marriage literally there are endless possibilities you just have to figure yourself out first. I have endless amount of advice I can give but take it day by day and don’t give up because it honestly get’s hard but if you really want it to work it will be worth it Insha-Allah.