I look at all these successfull muslimahs around me and can’t stop and wonder how have they all got it together. Managing to pursue their passions and make their dreams come true amidst the daily household chaos. Because raising children and taking care of a family is a demanding full time non stop 24/7 job which sucks the energy out of you. Physical and mental. So if someone accomplishes something apart from being a warrior at home, it’s no lttle feat accomplished.
I love to follow successful muslimah stories and trying to figure out what they do differently to achieve what they achieve. Hence I have decided to interview some inspitational, go getter, successful muslimahs every month and learn their tactics. I am going to call the series “The odd success stories”. After all we women achieve our dreams against all odds. Sleepless nights, amidst household chores, clingy babies. You get the gist ;).
My first guests for the interview series are friend duo Asbah Alaena and Mehreen. Two kindered spirits miles apart working on making their dreams come true. Grab a cuppa and read on for a dose of inspiration 🙂
Lets start with introductions :). Please tell us a little about yourselves.
Asbah: My name is Asbah Alaena, I live in Cayman islands with my two kids (4 & 3) and occasionally with a husband too (as a workaholic accountant He is hardly home).
If there was one word I would describe myself with- it would be an artist. Even though I earned a professional degree of accountancy and loved it, I felt safer and calmer with words and colors. So, its more than fourteen years that I have been writing online, and finding reasons and ways to be creative with everything art.
I am raised by readers and writers and artists. My dad is an Engineer but an avid reader and was once a radio host. My Mom has been a writer and my aunt is a published Urdu poetess. So I have this natural tendency of being creative and interest of the same. I hope to raise my kids in a similar fashion too.
Mehreen: I am Mehreen. The person behind TaleswithMimi. I have three children aged 7, 5& 3.After completing my A-levels I chose to major in Psychology & Journalism for my Bachelors degree.
Mehreen: Asbah & I met on a comment thread. Amazing, huh!?!
Asbah: When I first became pregnant I searched and followed alot of mom blogs (which were mainly Christian). They were super helpful and loaded with creatively crafted posts around Bible messages. Strangely I wasn’t put off by them. I loved their technique of wisely sneaking religion in everything mommy.
It made me wonder why don’t we have more Muslim mom blogs and resources like that? Muslim women let alone muslim moms are very underrepresented in online nebula. Hence Amuslimmama.com was born. My idea was to represent to the world that a burqa clad brainy Muslim mama is just like a normal fun loving mama who is cooking and crafting and raising her children. It was also to create content for young learners which can instill the love of Islam in their young hearts.
Because as a Muslim by birth and Choice and Mama of two, I often look out for and (like you Aleeza – and like many others moms) even make educational resources in a pursuit of raising little Muslims.
Over time I did finally find and bonded with a lot of moms with similar mindset and interest. Alhamdolilah, the more the better !
In today’s fast world of scrolling down and swiping next, people have less time to read a whole article and would rather watch a video or a cartoon. We have a lot of Muslim writers Alhamdolilah, but very few Muslim comic makers or illustrators who are reaching out to people with Allah and Rasool Allah (PBUH) true message.
And the media world of today is calling for it. So Currently I am focusing on drawing more, a comic with a message.
Now that Allah SWT has showed me another way of expression i.e. drawing/doodling, my intention remains the same – to spread the message of Islam, to represent a Muslim Mama and how is she coping up in this crazy world, and to create content for kids. InshaAllah.
How about you Mehreen?
Mehreen: Taleswithmimi will continue to be about our Kidlit journey with a special emphasis on Muslim Kidlit inshaAllah. I recently started a bookclub on Facebook, Taleswithmimi Bookclub for Children.
Mehreen: We’d talk almost weekly with a bit about creative pursuits, encouraging & advising at all times. It was during one of our creative conversation which took us down a road we hadn’t seen coming!
What’s the thing you cherish most about your friendship?
Asbah: Of all the people in the world, I somehow find strange ease and comfort in sharing my wild crazy ideas with Mehreen. And the crazier thing is that she understands and reciprocate awesomely, every time we brainstorm we usually come up with something interesting. Alhamdolilah! And as you know, our first venture together was an activity and fun learning book ‘My Special Ramadan”.
She would stay up night after night (with me over the phone) and perfect it. Masha Allah. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner! I fondly say that I am the toothless to the Hiccup, i.e. she (referring to the ‘how to train your dragon’). May Allah swt put a lot of barakah in this bond and love and may we continue to produce more quality stuff in future insha Allah.
And last but not the least. Something what all of us want to know. How do you ladies find the time to pursue your passions amongst your daily household duties?
Asbah: We are living a frugal minimalist living, which means a tiny apartment and less stuff to deal with and overall lesser cleaning and maintaining. We don’t watch TV as such so we have plenty time to do other stuff.
I try to write/draw after fajr when kids are sleeping and during night after they have gone to bed.
Also in the time I find during the day when the kids are busy working or during their screen time. Its not a piece of cake, many times I have ignored my house and kids and many times I have let muslim-kids-tv baby sit my kids! but ALhamdolilah its working out good.
Mehreen: One thing that really helps me work on my own projects as a mom with a demanding job description, is doing some heavy cooking on Sunday, which means even pre-prepping breakfast for the week. I complete my daily chores in the morning and chores are set & listed. That being said, I try to squeeze my writing in the day when my children are occupied & sometimes after they sleep.
Jazakumullah khair for sparing your time to come on the blog ladies. I really enjoyed interviewing you both. I pray that Allah puts immense barakah in your time and you achieve success in all your endeavours. Ameen!
FYI the comment thread Asbah and Mehreen are talking about was on one of Pre-productivity Ramadan challenge by Ayeina on instagram. The challenge was about filling out their new productivity journal which you can find here.
To checkout and purchase “My Special Ramadan” you can go here.
P.S. The article contains affiliate link.