"My alone feels so good, I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude."
― Warsan Shire
Amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, in between demanding jobs and family duties, creating quiet time for ourselves has become something of a luxury. In a world that seems to place so much value on relationships and being in a couple, it's easy to forget how rewarding our single years can be. Whether you're single, engaged, or divorced, remember that you don't need a partner to enjoy the gift of life that Allah has given you. Trusting in Allah's plan is about accepting where we are in the present and submitting to the qadr of Allah.
If you plan it right, your single years can be some of the most rewarding times of your life.
Tawakkul, in short, means to rely on Allah as a source of our strength. Having tawakkul is learning to accept that Allah's plan is greater than ours. In the context of marriage, worrying about who we will end up with whilst we're still single has no benefit and robs us from enjoying our lives at present. Having tawakkul is empowering as it allows us to wilfully surrender to the power of Allah and trust that he will align us with the most suitable spouse.
Step one: pray, pray, pray and pray some more. Learn how to pray salat-al-istikhara and make it a routine in your life.
Next, learn to date yourself. Yes, date yourself. Dating yourself isn't about accepting a life of loneliness; it's about getting to know who you are as a person, what you want, and ultimately what you stand for.
Wander around an art gallery or museum
The quietness of a museum is a great place to reflect and just be still. You can learn a lot about the local history of your area, or the history of a completely different place altogether. It’s the perfect place to stay plugged in about current affairs and feel connected to something greater. Most museums and galleries have a cafe or somewhere quiet you can enjoy a hot drink. You can also purchase a souvenir to remember the day, or a book from the museum’s gift shop.
Check out the app Art Rabbit for listings on art exhibitions worldwide, including free ones!
Surround yourself in nature
Being at one with nature is one of the best ways to remind ourselves of the beauty and intricacy of Allah’s universe. It’s also a good way to introduce moments of reflection into your usual routine. Living in the city is no excuse! You can find a local park to sit and read, stroll by a river, or visit a city garden.
Join a weekend or evening class
Single or not, it’s always a good time to invest in your knowledge and skills. Most cities and towns have institutions which run weekend or evening courses on topics from art, history, literature, languages, and more.
You can also join an online course on sites such as Skillshare which operates worldwide, allowing you to learn from teachers from all around the world from the comfort of your home
Your single years are also the perfect time to study the rites of marriage and ensure that you are prepared for married life. Check if your local mosques offer courses in marriage rites. Alternatively, discover Muslim Central for curated podcasts and lectures on a marriage, including the fiqh of nikah.
Take yourself to a new restaurant
No need to check if anyone else is free or where they'd like to eat. Put yourself first by clearing some time in your calendar and reserving a table for one in that restaurant you've always wanted to try.
Volunteer for a charitable cause
Volunteering your time and skills to a charitable cause is also a form of sadaqah. You don’t have to offer great big chunks of your time, simply offer what you can for a cause you care about. The benefits of volunteering are endless; you’ll meet new people, learn new skills, and invest wisely in your akhirah.
Start a bullet journal
Bullet journals are becoming more and more popular these days. With so many styles and formats to choose from, you are sure to find something that suits your style of planning. It's a therapeutic way to keep on top of your goals, track your daily to-do list, and let out your thoughts. Find a chunk of time in your day, morning or night, to reflect on your notes and doodles.
Our body is an amanah (something Allah has trusted us with) so we should take care of it. That also includes our mental health. Sometimes all you need is a couple of hours to groom yourself whether that’s going to the hairdressers or making your own d.i.y face mask. Beautifying ourselves for non other than Allah is an act of worship. Looking our best on the outside can help us feel better inside too.
Get married, free, on muzmatch.
So you’ve matched with a guy on muzmatch, and after a while of getting to know each other and talking to your wali, you’ve both agreed it’s time for you to meet his family. This is a really exciting moment, but it can also be a nerve-wracking experience. A million questions might whizz through your head the night before like ‘will they like me?’ and ‘what will I wear?’
Having a bit of anxiety about what to wear is totally normal! After all, that first impression counts. But choosing an outfit doesn’t have to be a draining experience. Blogger Zaynah let us peep into her wardrobe for some inspiration on how to dress for one of the most important days on your journey to marriage. Here are 5 modest, comfortable, and stylish outfits to help you slay with grace.
The scenario: on the first-ever marriage meeting, your potential family-in-law have planned an intricate 3-course meal, On the inside, you’re shaking like a leaf in the winter wind. On the outside, you at least want to look like you’re calm and collected.
The look: light, cool tones. Colours have an effect on our energy. Light colours such as pastel blues, cream and white will help you exude serenity. If you don’t want to faff around with multiple pieces to your outfit, you may want to choose a dress for this occasion. Accessorise with a simple bag in a light or neutral colour and let the dress take centre stage
The scenario: your potential’s family have invited you out for a casual meal on the weekend. It’s a crisp autumnal day so you know a single layer won’t cut it. As much as you want to be casual, you don’t want to be underdressed either. Finding that fine line will be a challenge!
The look: layer knitted pieces in complementary neutral tones for an elegant but cosy look. Longline cardigans are an easy way to stay warm but keep your outfit loose and modest. If you’re a trainer girl, wear your trainers! Inject your own personal style into the look. Zaynah was finished went for classic a pair of white Nike airforces.
The scenario: you’re planning on meeting your potential’s family on a weeknight after work. You’re not sure what to wear since you’re not exactly planning on turning up to work in a shalwar kameez or a floor-sweeping abaya. Ideally, you want something suitable for both day and night.
The look: a smart co-ord. This tunic and trouser set with an asymmetric hem is a fashionable and modest choice for both work and meeting the parents. You can add an extra layer with a long coat or even an open abaya later in the day to make that transition from the office. Accessorise with a pair of pointy flats to match the asymmetric lines of the outfit.
The scenario: so you’re getting pretty comfortable with your potential’s family now and you’re starting to see them more like family. They’ve called you over for their big Sunday roast and you know there will be lots of carbs involved, with a possible food baby as a result! A silky dress isn’t going to cut it.
The look: picture the warmest, most stylish roll neck jumper dress you can find! Pair it up with a pleated midi skirt to give it a more playful and feminine upgrade.
The scenario: to say things are getting pretty serious would be an understatement at this point. Your families have had a series of discussions over endless cups of tea and you’ve even witnessed your dad and potential father-in-law almost come to blows over nikah negotiations. Regardless, you’re playing it cool because you’re almost at the finish line. You need an outfit for that final meeting before the nikah.
The look: you can’t go wrong with an iconic open abaya. Pair it with heels if you’re about that life, or opt for some comfortable flats. Underneath you can wear anything loose and elegant like a slip dress or a smart two-piece.
So there you have it! 5 looks for 5 different occasions. Modesty doesn't mean having to compromise your personal style or personality. It doesn't mean having to orchestrate a complete overhaul on who you were when you were single. Remember to have tawakkul, give yourself plenty of time to get ready and b r e a t h e.
For more fabulous outfits and beautiful photos, check out Zaynah's Instagram.
And that's a wrap! On our TfL tube ads that is, not Brexit. Unfortunately, we've got a looooong way to go with that one still.
Here's a few of our favourite mentions on social media about our ads that either made us chuckle or cry.
(This one wins btw 😂)
For years I scrolled past the pictures of succulent steaks from this place, so I grabbed the chance to dine here with some colleagues.
Since it was all going on the company tab, I decided to go all out with a t-bone steak and hand-cut chips accompanied by chocolate fondant cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The glaze on the steak was unlike anything I have ever tasted before! The meat itself was cooked to a tender medium served with peppercorn sauce. In line with the spectacular standard of food, I expected nothing less from the service. You’re made to feel welcome from the moment you’re shown your table.The waiter carefully ensured that we understood the menu and checked on us every so often.
This would be suitable for special occasions with your spouse or if you really wanted to treat a loved one to something unique.
Years have gone by and I haven’t changed my order at the Banc: a Beef cheeseburger costing roughly £12-£14 plus an additional topping of caramelised onions.
The burger is by far the best beef burger I’ve ever had in my life. You can see the oozing sauce they used to flavour the burger when you take a look inside of its perfectly layered cross-section! And the caramelised onions offer just the right sweetness to bring it altogether
The service has always been 10/10 whenever I’ve been, and if on the rare occasion something isn’t up to scratch, they make sure they rectify it quickly.
The atmosphere of this place is lively as it does get really busy most evenings so it’s best to book ahead of time. Remember to note that the restaurant has a no tracksuit policy, so opt for something smarter. This is suitable option for date nights and special occasions with your other half.
When I saw this pop up on my Instagram feed from other bloggers I had to try it ASAP! My platter featured a bit of everything. but the real star of the show was the brisket burger.
Platters here vary in cost, depending on what you want, but expect a bill of roughly £15-£30. Individual items on the menu are around £10 with sides ranging between £3-£6
The combination of slowly smoked meat with a subtly sweet jalapeño jam and bbq sauce is a beautiful combination that's hard to find elsewhere.
The owners wander around the restaurant offering the best care and will go out of their way to cater for bespoke needs. This place is suitable for dates with your other half, as well as a family outing.
I had never heard of a halal Venezuelan food in London before I went to this restaurant. I was curious about the cuisine, so I had to go and check it out.
I opted for the beef pabellon rice box with slow cooked brisket, costing between £8-£12. This meat is absolutely sensational. Juicy, flavoursome meat is combined with seasoned avocados, plantains and salsa, and then topped off with house sauce. One spoonful made me go WOW!
It's a homely vibe as it is owned by a husband and wife who make guests feel like family.
This is a street food vendor, however, the market they’re in has plenty of seating so I would say it’s suitable for a lunch date or even casual get together with friends,
I was eager to try an authentic Mexican restaurant and steer away from the casual takeaway joints. So of course I went for steak tacos & a beef chimichanga. A squeeze of lime unlocked the flavour in the tacos and cleared my palette for the next round.. Everything inside was just tender, juicy and full of flavour.
The service here was impeccable and timely. The restaurant takes a no-frills approach to interior design, with casual seating and decor
This would suit for various occasions such as date nights & family events/parties & special occasions or even a casual get together with friends/family.
It was well documented that this place is known for their steaks and burgers, so I had to swing by
I ordered a customised brisket burger, but standard meals range from £15-30 per person. Occasionally, you may find a deal for under £10.
The brisket melted in my mouth as the chilli gave it a gentle kick. You can really taste the quality of the brisket owing to the careful smoking process.
The rustic decor make it ideal for date nights, special occasions & casual get togethers & it’s good value with decent portions as well.
Malaysian food with halal duck and beef rendang is a triple threat. I got the roast duck dish with a side of rice which roughly came to around £7-£8 and the beef rendang around the same price which is an absolute bargain in Central London. The aromatic duck mixed with rice was a match made in heaven. The beef was just as soft; with a rich, creamy, texture and the right level of heat running throughout.
It was ridiculously busy which is a testament to how good the food is. It's normal to have to queue outside, but I was seated quickly regardless. The atmosphere here is buzzing as it gets packed & everyone is talking amongst one another.
This would be ideal for lunch with the significant other should you wish to try something different to steaks & burgers which is very common.
I was told this place would challenge my views on Turkish food so I approached it with anticipation and took a few good friends.
The food was succulent and full of flavour. This place definitely transformed my views on Turkish cuisine as every mouthful was flavoursome and intricate. We got the jumbo platter which came up to roughly £62, but bear in mind there was 5 of us. This platter came with assorted meats and rice.
To avoid disappointment, it is best to book ahead as it gets very busy most nights. The atmosphere here it is relaxed with a slight buzz and very efficient service.
This place is ideal for dates with your spouse, family/friends gatherings whether it be a small or large gathering.
I was looking for a nice change from the typical English breakfast, so after I heard how much people were hyping this spot, I decided to give it a try.
I always end up with the desi breakfast which includes masala egg (a choice of scrambled or omelette style) batakani potatoes, lamb Keema, and parathas/rotis. The food was so good it was as though a relative lovingly prepared it. The keema was delicious and had just the right amount of spice suitable for breakfast (or lunch). As you eat, you'll start to plan your subsequent return.
The atmosphere in here is relaxed as families with kids dine here regularly, he simplicity of the decor lets the food take centre stage.
The service during busy times can be a little on the slow side, but rest assured that everything is made fresh making it worth the wait.
It’s perfect for families or couples who want a hearty meal in a relaxed environment.