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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eid Mubarak!!! Bayraminiz Kutlu Olsun!

The HijabiTopia Team would like to wish everyone an Eid Mubarak!!!

Unfortunately, we can't all physically be together to celebrate Eid, so the next best thing is sending you all a virtual Eid Hug! Hope you have a wonderful Eid with your loved ones.

Mary, Nicole, Nazreen and Elif
                         Photo courtesy of http://www.queensimage.com/

Monday, August 29, 2011

Islamic Love Story

Our hearts melted and our eyes teared as we read this story. On the eve of Eid we wanted to share this beautiful love story from the time of our beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H.) with all of you.

The Necklace of the Beloved (True Love Story)



By Ibrahim Ezghair


They brought it to the PROPHET (salla Allahu alayhee wa sallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! This is the ransom of Abul A’as bin al Rabee’. The Prophet (saw) looked at it; tears started flowing down his cheeks. The companions were quite puzzled: why would the Prophet (saw) cry at the sight of a necklace? Indeed that necklace had a story; but what was it? It was a love story that had two sides, one related to the Prophet (saw) and the other his daughter Zainab bint Muhammad (saw) and (may Allah be pleased with her).



Abul A’as bin al Rabee’ was Zainab’s cousin. He came to the Prophet (saw) before Islam asking for her hand in marriage. The Prophet (saw) said,



I cannot answer you until I have asked the girl.”


"O Zainab! Your cousin Abul A’as has mentioned you. What do you say?"



The shy girl did not say a word but smiled and blushed. The Prophet (saw) knew that his girl (the elder of his four girls) had just consented.



 

For her wedding, her mother Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) presented her with her own expensive necklace as her wedding gift. Zainab put it on and the Prophet (saw) saw it on his daughter’s neck as he had seen it on his wife’s before. It was a happy night in the life of the father the mother and the daughter.


Zainab loved her husband and they both lived happily. She had a boy and a girl by him: Umamah and ‘Ali. He was a businessman which meant that he would travel quite often. During one of his travels, the Prophet (saw) was sent by Allah with the Message of Islam. So Khadijah and all of her daughters (may Allah be pleased with them) embraced the new religion. Abul A’as came home and his wife-so happy and excited-told him the news.

"My father has been sent as a Messenger by Allah to invite all people to worship Allah. My mother and all of my sisters became Muslim, and so did I."


You should have waited until I came”, he said.

"But He is my father and I would never belie him nor would he ever lie to us. I want you to follow the new religion."

No!” He said. “I shall never turn away from the faith of my fathers and forefathers. Would you not understand my situation? Can you give me the benefit of the doubt?


"Who would understand you if I couldn’t? I am your wife and will always help you with the truth until you accept it."


She remained faithful to him for the next 20 years. However, she was sad at his decision. But she still loved him and wanted to continue to live with him and perhaps one day he would become a believer. At the time of (al hijra) migration to Madinah, Zainab (RAA) asked the Prophet (saw) to allow her to stay with her husband. He allowed her to do that. All of her sisters, however, migrated.

The difference in faith between Zainab and her husband continued to pose a problem in their married life. There were confrontations between the Muslims in Madinah and the pagans in Makkah. Yet Zainab (RAA) continued to be the faithful wife who loved and cared for her husband even though a time would come and test that love. She loved her father and Islam more. She always feared the time when her husband would fight against her father. She said:


I fear a day when my children would lose their father or I would lose my father.”


 
 In the first battle between the Muslims and the pagans of Makkah, the believers were victorious, and Abul A’as fell captive in the hands of the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah (saw) gave the captives two choices:

Let those who can read and write teach ten of the Muslims how to read and write.


The others can be ransomed by their family.


Back in Makkah, Zainab was anxious about her father. She did not want to see her husband fight against her father, the Prophet (saw). She asked:


"What did my father do?"




Victory was his, they said.


She thanked Allah and prostrated to Him. She then asked:




"What happened to my husband?"




His father- in- law has taken him captive.” They said.


She did not have anything to ransom him with except her necklace. She took it off and gave it to her brother-in-law to take to her father so that her husband could be free and come back to her and his children.




Now the Prophet (saw) has the necklace in his hands and his tears are flowing down his cheeks. He remembered both his wife Khadijah and his daughter Zainab. He loved Khadijah (RAA) so much. Whenever he thought of her, he would have tears in his eyes. He remembered that day when his daughter wore the necklace for the first time and how happy she was. Now he knew how difficult for her to be alone especially that the Kuffar of Makkah would always harass her and blame her for everything because her father was the Prophet (saw). The Prophet (saw) missed his wife and daughter. One day he heard a knocking on his door. A woman was asking: “Is this the house of the Messenger of Allah?” He recognized the voice. He said: “O Allah! Let it be Hala!” Hala was Khadijah’s sister whose voice was similar to Khadijah’s voice.


He told his companions, this is Zainab’s necklace. If you wish you can send it back to her and release her husband, or if you wish you can keep the necklace. That is how the Prophet (saw) pleaded to his companions to allow his daughter to keep her necklace.


When Abul A’as was ready to leave, the Prophet (saw) told him to send Zainab to Madinah. Allah has revealed that Muslim women could no longer marry non-Muslim men nor could the married ones stay with their non-Muslim husbands.


Abul A’as told his wife about the decision of the Prophet (saw) and the orders of Allah. He was not a believer, but he promised his father-in-law to send his daughter to Madinah. It was not easy for Zainab to leave her husband nor was it for him to leave her. She still loved him and his children loved him. She wanted him to be Muslim so they could live together as Muslims with the Prophet (saw) in Madinah. But Abul A’as continued to refuse to change from the ways of his fathers. Zainab was sad but she submitted to the will of Allah (swt).


 She told him to accompany her to Madinah and return after he had secured them there. He refused as he was afraid to even take her to the outskirts of Makkah where he agreed to leave her for the companions of the Prophet (saw) to take her from.


He sent his brother with her. As they were leaving, the Makkans found out. So they stopped them and started to harass her. His brother, though a non-believer, did not accept to see his brother’s wife being harassed like that. So he spread out all of his arrows. They were twenty arrows. He said:


"You can take her but before you do that I will have killed twenty of you and then you kill me."




Abu Sufyan, who was one of them, told him:


"We have no desire to break a fight with you. Pick up your arrows and leave, but don’t do it in the middle of the day challenging us."


Zainab lived in Madinah near the Prophet’s (saw) houses. She raised her children alone. She had many offers for marriage, but refused them all. She was still hoping that Abul A’as would one day come back and accept Islam.




In one of his travels, Abul A’as was captured by the Muslims and brought to Madinah. He had the money of Qureish which he had earned from a trade he had done for them. He asked to be allowed to see his children. So he was led to Zainab’s house. There Zainab was surprised to see him but at the same time happy. She told him to stay in her house and no one would harm him. She went to the Prophet (saw) but he was in the Masjid with his companions. She looked into the Masjid and proclaimed loudly:

I have given sanctuary to Abul A’as bin al Rabee’


Did you hear what I heard?” The Prophet (saw) exclaimed.


O Messenger of Allah! Abul A’as is my cousin and the father of my children”. She said.


This is a man whom I do not degrade as a son-in-law”, the Prophet (saw) said. “He had spoken to me and told me the truth and promised me and fulfilled his promise. If you agree to give him back his money and let him go I shall be happy with that. But if you wish otherwise, then it is up to you.”

They all said: “We will do what pleases you O Messenger of Allah”. Then the Prophet (saw) turned to his daughter and said: “We have agreed to your sanctuary O Zainab!”


He then told her to be kind to him and hospitable as he was her cousin and the father of her children. But “do not let him touch you as he is forbidden for you.”


She went to her cousin and told him:


"O Abul A’as! Haven’t you had enough of being away from us? Why can’t you become Muslim and stay with us?"


He said “No!”




He took the money and left, but leaving behind a woman who truly loved him and waited all these years for him. On his way back to Makkah he started thinking of her. He knew he was still in love with her. He knew how kind the Prophet (saw) was with him and how the companions treated him. He knew first and foremost that Zainab being the lady she was would never be without marriage all these years except for one reason: She loved him and wished for his return. What he did not know was why he still held on to a tradition that had no grounds.


He arrived at Makkah, gave the money to his clients and came back to Madinah. He met the Prophet (saw) and said:


O Messenger of Allah! Yesterday you freed me and today I am coming to you declaring my acceptance of Islam


He then declared his shahaadah.


Would you allow me to get back with my wife again?


Come with me!” The Prophet (saw) said.


O Zainab! Your cousin Abul A’as has come asking to be back with you. Do you accept?”


Zainab did not say a word but smiled and blushed. The Prophet (saw) knew that she had just consented.




Zainab and Abul A’as lived happily together but only for one more year. Zainab (RAA) died putting an end to one of most beautiful love stories. After six years of waiting for her beloved, he finally joined them and after a year of so much happiness under the shade of Islam, the beloved wife died.


Abul A’as cried bitterly at the loss of Zainab. He used to say: “I cannot live without Zainab.”


He died a year after Zainab’s death. May Allah be pleased with them both.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Silk Scarf Sale!

Here at HijabiTopia, we love our square solid-colored silk scarves.  We often have a very hard time finding them.  Many times, we'll just go to the fabric store and make our own.  If you've ever been to a fabric store in search of silks, then you know how expensive that can be.  Well, ladies, the search is over!  We've discovered an amazing website that sells 35" silk square (the PERFECT size for a hijabi) scarves in every color imaginable!  They normally cost $24, but for a limited time they're on sale for 20% off!  Get yours while they're hot, at the bargain price of $19.20! 

Click here to order yours now! 

In fact, Fatima recently wore her bright blue silk Cattle Kate scarf in our previous post.

Isn't the color just vibrant and beautiful??  Masha'Allah!

Happy shopping bloggers!


Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kubra's Style Part II

Continued from PART I

Kubra wanted her outfit for her sister's wedding to be very unique. She decided she wanted several concepts to be combined into one amazing design. She chose a bright, beautiful color that would accent her skin and eyes. She chose silk taffeta, silk tulle, and swarovski crystal stones to be embroidered on to the fabric. She wanted a floor- length duster with puffy sleeves and harem pants.

Inotherwords, she wanted 17th century French



mixed with 18th-century Ottoman, hijabified and applied to 2011.




She also begged to differ in her hijab style. It had to compliment her outfit and look a bit more formal compared to her daily hijab style, without distracting from the overall look of her outfit.

Are you ready to see what she wore?

Enter the lovely maid of honor,







While Kubra is posing for us, and is chatting away with her friends, she has totally forgotten to take the Bride's flowers and give them to her. Oh NO! :-)



The lovely bride Busra, is standing and waiting for her flowers to arrive so she can head over to the ceremony.

"Come, on Kubra!" she says smiling at the camera."I can't take pictures without my flowers!"

Kubra rushes over to her sister's side. Oh wait, who else is at this wedding? Could that be Fatima? We think so!


We still don't see any flowers Kubra! Where did you leave them? :-)



And finally, the Maid of Honor gives the flowers to the bride. (Whew!)


Now they can pose with all their friends!


At the reception, Fatima looks over to Kubra, and says "Seriously Kubra, what took you so long with the flowers?"

"I must have forgotten them some place while posing" she giggles.




The girls laugh and say, "One last smile for the camera! Say cheese!"


We thank the lovely sisters Busra and Kubra for letting us post their pictures on our blog to share with all of you! We also thank Fatima, for going out of her way to make sure she covered this amazing wedding for all of us to see.

We hope that these posts will inspire you to be the amazing hijabis that you all are, and will also inspire ideas for lovely outfits.

100% Hijabi, 100% Stunning!

-THE END-

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spikey Accessories

I don't know about you, but I love pairing my outfits with unusual accessories.  I think it gives the outfit an extra pop.  I recently stopped by Forever 21, and fell in love with the spikey accessories they have.  Check it out!

Spiked Stretchy Bracelet


Spike Stretch Bracelet

Spike and Chain Bracelet

Spiked Stretchy Ring
I love mixing soft hijab-friendly clothing styles, with hard-edged accessories like this.  I think it gives an outfit a unique, but chic balance.  Also, the great thing about buying accessories at Forever 21 is that they're relatively inexpensive.  All the pieces shown above are each under $10.80!  So when the trend dies down, you don't have to feel like you've spent a fortune on something you may get tired of.


Nazreen Hassan for HijabiTopia

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ramadan Sale at Ahiida!!!


One of our favorite designers Aheda Zanetti, the designer of the original Burqini Islamic Swim suits is having her annual Ramadan sale! Burqinis are 30% off!

You already know that, Ahiida is the only brand HijabiTopia Team wears. That's right! Each and every one of us, (Elif, Nazreen, Nicole, Mary) plus our friends, and family members own a Burqini. We can not say enough about our Burqinis!!!



I'm actually the proud owner of 2! My daughter also joined me this year and we've become Burqini buddies. I hadn't planned on getting 2 Burqinis, but something amazing happened this summer. As I was getting ready for my trip to Turkey, where we go swimming every year, I realised I had left my Burqini in Dallas. I called my niece asking her to look for it. Well, she couldn't find it! So in panic, I got online trying to order one so it could arrive before I left. In the process I thought I will also order one for my 10 year old, since this will be the first year she will go swimming as a hijabi. Well, little did I know that when the lovely Ahiida team noticed my name on the order form, they went ahead and sent one for me and my daughter as a gift! Isn't that wonderful?! I've talked to the lovely Aheda many times, and before I had even gotten to know her better, I already had so much respect for her for designing such an exquisite product.  Year after year, I love wearing my Burqinis.  My daughter also loved hers.

                              WE LOVE YOU AHEDA!!!




And here is what Nazreen had to say about hers in a previous post.


"My burqini came in handy during this trip. Eight-years ago I didn't own a burqini, nor did I know of such an amazing piece of hijabi-friendly swimwear! Ladies, if you don't have one, let me just tell you, it is the one thing you cannot go to the beach without! Not only is it comfortable,stylish and slimming, it is also made with SPF material! Additionally, you can swim, snorkel, and boogie board in it with ease. And, people don't really stare at you that much in it. Are you sold yet? I hope I get commission out of this ad. Haha!"  



Hurry! Before the sale ends and get your Burqini!!!


Sevgili Okurlar,

Aheda Zanettinin tasarimi olan ilk ve orijinal tesetturlu mayo Burqini Ramazan ayinda indirime girmistir. Ben ve HijabiTopia arkadaslarim, her yaz denizde Burqini mayolarimizi giymekten cok memnunuz.  Dunyanin her yerinden siparis verme imkaniniz var.

Burqini mayosu ile ilgili yazdigim detayli yaziyi okumak isterseniz:


%30 indirimden istifade etmek isterseniz assagidaki linkten siparis verebilirsiniz.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

The latest from Maher Zain

Photo Courtesy of Queens Image
We have enjoyed listening to this beautiful nasheed ever since it was released. The best part is the fact that it's in Turkish, English, Arabic and Urdu!

In the spirit of Ramadan, and the last 10 days, enjoy...


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kubra's Style Part I

Remember Busra, the lovely bride from our previous post CLICK. Many of you asked us if we could post a picture of her showing her gown completely.

In the next two posts we bring you Busra's gorgeous wedding pictures as well as her lovely sister Kubra's style...

The bride and the Maid of honor. Two lovely hijabis who are sisters and best friends who are always there for each other.

But first meet the main character of our story:

Enter a fashionable hijabi named Kubra,



who lives in a beautiful city called Istanbul.

Kubra is a very sweet girl who loves dessert.



Since she is Turkish she also loves yogurt :-)



Kubra is a free spirit who enjoys traveling.


Everywhere she goes, everywhere she looks, she likes to observe her Lord's beautiful creations, and give thanks.



Although it seems like Kubra spends a lot of time eating and traveling, that is not the case :-) She is a professional who works in a quite hectic office. She often has to attend meetings. She will spend the day working and spend her evenings and weekends with her beloved friends.

On her way to the office, while waiting for her chauffeur she admires the beautiful flowers her Lord has created.


She looks at the sky, taking it all in!


She thanks Allah SWT for blessing her with a life in this beautiful city. Her life is even more beautiful with the ones she cares about.

As a fashionable hijabi, Kubra chooses her outfits based on her daily schedule. She loves wearing neutrals as well as bright colors. She mostly sticks to solids, but often mixes different tones for a unique look.

She has an important event coming up! Her sister Busra's wedding. As the maid of honor, she needs an outfit that is a little extra ordinary. However, this outfit still needs to be appropriate for her silhouette, her age, and should be something that she can wear again at other events.

"With time passing so quickly, I have to decide on what I'm going to wear," she panics.

After hours of deciding on a design, searching for fabric, and lots of contemplating, her outfit is finally complete.

"I'm so happy! My dream outfit came true!" she says.

To see the "dreamy" outfit, and Kubra's stunning look, stay tuned for Part II!

You can follow Kubra and her style on twitter @kubrabayraktar

Friday, August 12, 2011

Meeting with BNG designer Nilgun Gulen

This summer I had the joy of meeting with BNG brand designer and owner Nilgun Gulen.

BNG is a Turkish brand name that has become a recognized international brand. In fact only 30% of their sales are domestic. They own many stores in Turkey, and are a well-known brand in Italy and Japan.
The first time I visited their store in Alacati, Turkey, where my inlaw's summer house is, I fell in love and left the store with 3 items that I've happily worn over and over. Their choice of fabric and well-thought construction caught my attention. Of course, what attracted me most to their clothes, was their hijab-friendliness. :-)

I recently met with the designer and had a great long chat about their future plans. They currently have many customers in the U.S. hopefully, they'll open a store for all the hijabis to shop at.

Here are some pictures from our meeting and a video from one of their fashion shows.




For those of you who like to know the details of my outfit, I'm wearing KAVAKCI COUTURE. The green top is a Kimono Inspired top. It's made from silk and cotton mix fabric from Mood Fabrics. The sleeves have 2 layers so that it keeps me cool yet is not see thru.  Inside the green top I'm wearing a silk satin sleeveless high neck top from the KAVAKCI COUTURE basics collection. I completed my outfit with white linen/cotton mix pants. Cool, Conservative, Chic!



To get more information about BNG you can visit their website http://www.bng-design.com/.

Here is the video from their Milan show...



Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia

Monday, August 8, 2011

Standing in the same space




Tears streamed down her face and fell onto the green carpet as she stood still. Her ears were glued to the beautiful melody of the ayahs being recited. Although she wasn’t Arab, she knew enough Qur’anic Arabic to comprehend the context of the surah. She listened to the verses about the believers who did good deeds and deserved to enter paradise. Paradise where there were gardens underneath which rivers flowed. She loved the word “Jannah” in Arabic, which meant paradise. She imagined what heaven must be like as another tear fell down.


She was only 12. A slim figured, pretty girl wearing a long sleeve tee shirt and jeans with a silk scarf. This was her favorite month out of the whole year. It was Ramadan. Ramadan meant spiritual uplifting to her. She felt more at peace, and more secure when fasting than any other time in her life. It was the sense of a belonging to a higher being that protected her. It was the fact that every time she wanted to diet and tried to prevent herself from eating, she could only think of food and would get enormously hungry. Yet, she spent the hot days of summer fasting for 16 hours straight and she could care less about food. That’s because her sole intention was to please her Lord.

She had many friends, but one in particular stood out. She was 5 years younger, from a very different culture, but they had a lot in common. They became best friends in a short amount of time. The fact that they lived in a non-Muslim country meant that Muslim friends were hard to find. They swam together, they went ice-skating together. Every Ramadan, they stood next to each other while praying taraweeh. Many of their friends would sit out in the hall way and chat. It was often tempting to leave the prayer and join the fun, but they reminded each other that they were there for one reason, to pray. They would keep each other in line, so to speak.
Most ladies would leave the mosque after praying 8 rakahs, but they prayed the whole 20. There were times they were tired and wanted to sit or felt dizzy. But they were there to support each other and gain more reward.



She stood in the same space praying. Years passed. Things changed. She changed. But her space stayed the same. The people around her changed. Just like a chess board. They moved from one square to another. Different people came and left. She and her space stood uninterrupted. She always stayed for the whole taraweeh. She was now 30 something. She was too big to bend and prostrate on to the floor in her 7th month of pregnancy. So she prayed sitting down in a chair. Her friend who was only a few months pregnant prayed next to her. Their friends who used to sit out in the hall talking no longer came to the mosque. They used to be pious hijabis as teenagers. She was saddened when she ran into them at Eid prayer only to find out they had quit wearing hijab in University. She would later on see pictures of them on Facebook. Pictures she wished she could erase from her memory and prevent the whole world from seeing. Pictures that made them unrecognizable, in revealing clothing hanging out with boys in bad places.
As her best friend prayed next to her, she thanked Allah for giving her a righteous friend.


She stood in the same space praying. Years passed. Things changed. She faced tribulations. But her space stayed the same. She was now in her mid 30s. She wore a black abayah with black beaded embroidery. Her black chiffon scarf was wrapped in a stylish updo. Years had matured her both physically and emotionally. The line in between her eyebrows on her forehead was deep. Her face had a few brown spots caused by the sun. The wrinkles around her eyes were now apparent. She stood still in the same mosque with the fan above her spinning rapidly. The skirts of her abayah gently blew from the breeze. The Imam was reading the ayah about paradise underneath which rivers flow. A tear rolled down from her eyes. On one side her best friend was praying next to her. Her best friend was now in her 30s. They were both happily married with two children. In fact, their children were close friends and often played together. On her left her 10 year old daughter stood still, praying taraweeh. Her name was “Jannah”. She had named her daughter after her favorite ayah. She had hoped that Jannah would be her paradise in this world and the reason for her to go to paradise in the next world. She had also named her with the hadith in mind “paradise lies underneath the feet of the mother.”

As she prayed happily next to her daughter and her best friend, listening to the rhythm of the verses, she was on cloud 9. Years had passed but her space had stayed the same. She remembered the past and wondered about the future. She told her daughter the story of how she had been praying there since she was 12. Her daughter listened attentively and waited for her mom to finish her sentence. She then said “Mom, I wish to pray here every year, and maybe one day, I will walk down this same road holding my daughters hand, telling her the legacy of our Ramadans and taraweeh.

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia