Donnerstag, 27. November 2014

Review: Body-Shop-Gesichtscreme || Review: Body Shop Facial Cream

Kurz nachdem ich mir überlegt hatte, mehr Bio- und Fairtrade-Schönheitsprodukte zu kaufen, brauchte ich eine neue Feuchtigkeitscreme. Ich begann also nach einer zu suchen und war überrascht, wie begrenzt das Angebot im Body Shop, wo ich zu erst schaute, war. Sie haben massenweise richtig tolle Bodyscrubs und Duschgels in allen möglichen Duftrichtungen, aber aus irgendeinem Grund nur eine handvoll Gesichtscremes. Die vergleichsweise ziemlich teuer sind. Ich habe letztendlich trotzdem eine Creme gekauft, die im Angebot war. Mit meiner Discountkarte war es dann insgesamt gar nicht mehr so teuer. Enttäuscht war ich von der Creme trotzdem. Für diesen Preis (11 GBP / 50ml) erwarte ich was Besonderes. Die Creme ist Fairtrade, was nett is, aber das war's dann auch schon. Sie riecht nicht besonders, und war jetzt auch für meine Haut nicht in irgendeiner Weise außergewöhnlich. Überhaupt nicht. Fazit: werde ich nicht noch mal kaufen.

A bit after I decided to try and use more organic, fairtrade beauty products, I needed a new moisture cream. I started to look for one and, surprisingly, I found the offer at the Body Shop, where I looked first, quite limited. They have such a big variety of really nice body scrubs and shower gels in all different kind of scents, but for some reason they only make a handful of facial creams. Which are comparatively quite expensive. I bought one of the creams anyway, when it was on sale and using a discount card, so it turned out not to be too expensive. When I tried the cream, I was disappointed. At such a price (11 GBP / 50ml), I expect something special. This cream is fairtrade which is nice, but that's about it. It does not smell special, it did not do anything special to my skin, nothing. Verdict: won't be buying again.


Freitag, 21. November 2014

Blaugrün und gold || Teal and gold

Diese Tunika habe ich vor ein paar Tagen bei H&M gekauft. Die Qualität ist nicht der Hammer und bügeln kann man die Tunika auch nicht, aber ich <3 die Farbe, die Tunika reicht bis zum Knie und hat nur 15 GBP gekostet.
I purchased this teal tunic from H&M a few days ago. The quality is not impressive and it can't be ironed, but I <3 the colour, it is knee-length and was only 15 GBP.


Tunika: H&M (15 GBP) x
Langarmshirt: Primark (3 GBP) x
Kette: Accessorize (10 GBP) x
Hose: Charity-Shop (3.75 GBP) x
Armreifen: Charity-Shop (1 GBP) x
= 33.75 GBP || 42.20 GBP

Tunic: H&M (15 GBP) x
Long sleeve shirt: Primark (3 GBP) x
Necklace: Accessorize (10 GBP) x
Trousers: Charity shop (3.75 GBP) x
Bangle: Charity shop (1 GBP) x
= 33.75 GBP || 42.20 GBP

Mittwoch, 19. November 2014

Warum ich kein Kopftuch mehr trage || Why I stopped wearing hijab

Ein Gastbeitrag von Maira Butt darüber, was sie dazu bewegt hat, kein Kopftuch mehr zu tragen. Deutsche Übersetzung kommt inshaallah bald.

Many Muslims are fascinated by stories about how someone decided to follow Islam or made the decision to wear hijab. I myself have read countless such accounts, many of them on blogs about Muslim fashion and hijab. In fact, last year, I shared the story of how I started to wear hijab. Yet people do not only decide to wear hijab. There are also those who stop wearing it. I feel that it is important to listen to their stories as well. I want this blog to be a space of critical engagement with clothing and hijab and just cheering about those deciding to wear it won't get us there. It won't allow us to see the whole picture and it would not do justice to all those out there struggling with hijab. I am extremely honoured that Maira decided to share her story with me and the readers of my blog. It was not easy for her, and I could not thank her more for the trust she has shown to me - and ultimately to all of you reading this. Maira, I admire you for your strength, your courage and your sincerity. May Allah make it easy for you and may He reward you for every single effort you have put into coming closer Him.

Guest post by Maira Butt

"The One

For action is subordinate, possessing no value in itself. The value is in that to which it is subordinate.’ – Imam Al–Ghazali 
I remember sitting in the [Islamic Society] ‘Sister’s Circle’ on ‘Sincerity’ shortly after starting University. For years I had felt a divine Love growing inside me, but as was always the case in my life, I did not want to commit. As the speaker spoke gentle but firms words on God, devotion, the world, the heart, the Qur’an, my heart beat faster. It was during this circle that I felt a whisper of conviction emerge within me, after years of seeking truth and learning about Islam. This certainty was ‘La Ilaha Ill-Allah’- ‘There is no deity worthy of worship, except God’. 

When I decided to wear Hijab, it was my acceptance of a singular devotion to God, a declaration of being a Muslim, a concentration of intention and above all, an expression of Love for the Divine, the One I was unconditionally bound to. I felt grateful and honoured every morning as I wrapped it around my head.

Three years later, I sat in solitude and silence for the first time during Itikaf in the last 10 days of Ramadan. I felt a terrifying awareness of the inescapable nature of my own soul and its Creator. I knew intuitively that I’d be sat in the darkness of a black hole for a while thereafter, as I grappled with the question ‘Can there be rules in Love?’ I admitted that I felt restricted in my practice, and yearned for more. I knew that there were ups and downs on the road to the Lord, but I was too impatient to accept them. I wanted to be back on the High. Immediately. But the fire was burning out, I no longer held a Centre from which to connect to the Absolute.

Religion has always been a visceral experience for me, rather than an intellectual ‘belief system’ or decision-making/decision-filtering mechanism. As an addictive personality, I tend to take things to an extreme, I fall in Love. In my enthusiasm, I had raised my faith to a superficial and inflexible ‘height’, one that I could not keep up with. I had become obsessed with the Signs and lost sight of what they were pointing to.

Following months of deliberation, I removed my Hijab and sought to find God again. Admittedly, my decision appears crude in its finality. I decided the cure for complacency and confusion was to go back to the basics. I felt there was no point in religion for me, if there was no instinctual connection to God, so I decided to start from scratch. Removing my Hijab was single-handedly the most painful decision I have ever had to make. It was a companion, and I miss it deeply. 

There were moments that I felt I would have to leave Islam altogether. I remember watching Newsnight when an outraged young Muslim woman screamed at a homosexual man to either accept the tenets of Islam as generally practiced or leave. I felt she was speaking to me, with my perspectives on the Hijab. My face burned in shame, maybe she was right. Maybe my worldview was no longer compatible with the faith. This quickly turned to anger. No mortal had the right to judge so severely on behalf of God.

You will not attain the reality of faith before you come to regard all people as foolish in God’s religion.’ – Ibn Umar

Why would I leave if I still held on to my Shahadah? If I had left, I would have succumbed to a popular vision of the religion, not the orientation of Love and devotion to God which had brought me to it in the first place. Yes, I needed to recalculate and reconsider a few things I had taken for granted. But I was adamant that I had just as much of a right as anybody else to worship God and call Him Allah, whilst connecting through the Qur’an and prayer. 

The centrality of the position given to Hijab, in modern day Islamic discourse, is one that simultaneously terrifies and bores me. It terrifies me because God is rarely mentioned unless He is having words of judgement and intolerance put in His mouth. It bores me, because I can’t get myself worked up about assessing the intimate decisions of others or justifying my own. To me, the question ‘is Hijab compulsory?’ is based on the false premise that any act of worship can be psychologically enforced. Nothing is compulsory. Of course, it is our duty to raise one another up, but this duty can’t be carried out without justice, surely. Without treating the individual before us as autonomous. This is why worship is so great, it is wilful.

There is no compulsion in religion: 
true guidance has become distinct from error, so whoever rejects false Gods and believes in God has grasped the firmest hand-hold, one that will break. God is all hearing and all knowing.’ (Qur’an 2:256)
We all have within us our Fitrah, the purest aspect of our soul which knows only one thing; and that is its dependency on its Source. In my view, this is Tawheed in its most immediate and paradigm-shattering form. It is accessible to every human being without exception. The inaccessibility of spirituality in the turbulent world we live in is worrying, and a shame. A brief introduction to Sufism assured me that it was ok to stay and take faith at my own pace. When someone would approach Maya Angelou declaring themselves ‘Christian’, she would retort ‘already?’ Becoming a ‘Muslim’ is similarly a lifelong endeavour. I have learnt to find a balance between patience and impatience with myself. I know now that the path is not linear, there is no need to rush because the End is inevitable. Every step I take is one closer to Him, and one closer to Home.

We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.’ – Herman Hesse

This is why I remain Muslim. Because for me, Allah is the Truth. In the eye of the Hurricane that is this world, He is the rope I hold on to, till it all blows over. 

I was asked to write this piece by Philippa around a year ago. The topic is still a slight wound in my psyche, one I wish I could heal and find comfort in. And I am not exaggerating when I say, that there is literally nobody else I can think of for whom I would be willing to recount my thoughts on this topic (on which I could write a book). I have felt the confusion of old friends as they appear offended by what look to them like fickle decisions. Yet, I have felt only curiosity and an intellectual interest on her part. Therefore I write this for her. Thank you darling. May Allah bless you always. Ameen."

Montag, 17. November 2014

Gutbetucht in Venedig || Well covered in Venice


Ich bin bis jetzt nicht dazugekommen, darüber zu schreiben, aber letzten Sommer haben P-linchen und ich einen Kurztrip nach Venedig gemacht. Wir haben zwei Tage damit verbracht, durch die Stadt zu laufen, all die historischen Gebäude zu bestaunen, von einer Fähre auf die andere zu springen, und einfach nur die Schönheit dieses Ortes aufzunehmen. Ich hatte schon immer was für Städte am Wasser übrig. Füg hinzu: Jahrhunderte an Geschichte, Sonne, gutes Essen (Pizza! Pasta!! hausgemachtes Eis!!!) - und du weißt, was ich brauche, um mich in einen Ort zu verlieven. Wenn die Stadt nur nicht so mit Touristen überschwemmt wäre...

I haven't got around posting about it yet, but last summer little P and I went on a short trip to Venice. We spent two fantastic days walking around the city, admiring the city's historical buildings, enjoying ferry boat ride after ferry boat ride and just soaking the beauty of this place. I have always had a thing for cities by the water. Add centuries of history, sunshine, good food (pizza! pasta!! home-made icecream!!!), and you know what it takes to make me fall in love with a place. If only the city wasn't so swamped with tourists...


An ganz vielen der Gebäuden konnte man ganz klar den orientalischen Einfluss sehen. (Die Stadt war Teil des byzantinischen Reiches und jahrhundertelang ein Angelpunkt für Händler und Reise auf ihrem Weg zwischen Westeuropa und dem östlichen Mittelmeer.)

On many of the buildings you could clearly see the oriental influence. (The city was part of the Byzantine empire and, for centuries, used to be a hub for traders and travellers on their way between Western Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.)

Wir sind nicht mit viel Gepäck gereist, deswegen habe ich nur einen Maxirock, zwei oder drei langärmelige Hemden und zwei Kopftücher mitgenommen. Alle in verschiedenen Blau- und Türkistönen, so dass ich sie einfach kombinieren konnte. Für zweieinhalb Tage war das genau richtig.

We travelled light, so I only took a maxi skirt, two or three long-sleeve shirts and two headscarves with me. All in shades of blue and teal so that I could wear them in different combinations. For two and a half days, that proved to be enough. 



Samstag, 15. November 2014

Über Toleranz || On tolerance

Ich wurde vor Kurzem von der ARD im Rahmen der Themenwoche Toleranz interviewt. Das Interview, in dem ich über Toleranz, Freiheit, Hijab und diesen Blog spreche, findet sich hier.

I was recently interviewed by the ARD ( ~ the German equivalent of the BBC) as part of their themed week on tolerance. You'll find the interview in which I speak about tolerance, freedom, wearing hijab and this blog here. It's in German - if I get a chance, I'll translate it into English and post it here inshaallah.

Dienstag, 11. November 2014

Selbstgemachtes Öl-Körperpeeling || DIY Oil Body Scrub

Salz, Honig und Olivenöl || Salt, honey and olive oil 

Ich habe eigentlich nie viel Geld für Schönheitsprodukte ausgegeben. Ich verwende nicht viele verschiedene Produkte und von welcher Marke sie sind ist mir eigentlicht ziemlich egal. Als Studentin habe ich begonnen, vor allem No-Name-Produkte zu verwenden, wie zum Beispiel Gesichtswaschgel von Aldi oder Asda. Die waren günstig und erfüllten ihren Zweck. Irgendwann letztes Jahr habe ich dann zum ersten Mal seit langem wieder ein Markenprodukt gekauft. Es war jetzt nichts wirklich Besonderes, hat nur einen Pfund gekostet, aber es sah schöner aus als die super billigen Waschgels, die ich in den letzten Jahren immer gekauft hatte.

I have never spent much money on beauty products. I don't use many different products and don't really care much about the brands either. When I was a student, I started using non-brand products a lot, like face wash from Aldi or Asda. It was cheap and did the job. Some time last year, I broke my habit of always buying the cheapest option and got a branded item for the first time in ages. It was nothing fancy, only cost one pound or so, but it looked nicer than the super cheap stuff. 

Wenn das Zeug nicht bei jedem Mal, dass ich es auf meinem Gesicht verteilte, so verdammt gebrannt hätte. Ich habe jetzt wirklich keine übermäßig empfindliche Haut (eigentlich gar nicht), deswegen brachte die Reaktion meiner Haut mich doch etwas zum Nachdenken. Viele von uns achten genau darauf, was wir in unsere Körper geben, was wir essen, aber wie oft denken wir eigentlich darüber nach, was all die Lotionen, Creams, Gele und das Makeup, das viele von uns auf unsere Haut geben, enthalten? Je länger ich darüber nachdachte, desto unwohler war mir bei dem Gedanken. Kann ein Schönheitsprodukt, das deine Haut so reizt, gut für deinen Körper sein? Ich entschied mich, zu versuchen, meinen eigenen Gesichtsreiniger herzustellen. Ich suchte online nach Rezepten, sah mir ein paar Beschreibungen auf verschiedenen Beauty-Blogs hier und dort an und machte mich auf den Weg in den Supermarkt. Dort kaufte ich:

If only it didn't burn like crazy every time I applied it on my face. I really don't have overly sensitive skin (not at all, actually), so that really made me think. Many of us take caution in what we put inside our bodies, what we eat, but how often do we actually think about what all the lotions, potions, creams and the makeup that many of us apply to our skin contain? The longer I thought about it, the more uncomfortable it made me feel. Can a product that makes your skin hurt be good for your body? I decided to try to make my own face wash. I looked for recipes online, went through a few descriptions on beauty blogs here and there and then went off to get my ingredients from the supermarket. I bought:

1kg Salz...
1kg of salt...

...125ml Extra-Virgin-Olivenöl...
...125ml extra virgin olive oil...

...170ml flüssigen Honig...
...170ml liquid honey...

...gab alles in ein großes Einmachglas, das ich bei IKEA gekauft hatte und verrührte es. || ...mixed everything in a big jar that I had bought at IKEA and stirred it well.

Online finden sich eine ganze Menge weitaus ausgefuchsterer Rezepte für Gesichts- oder Körperreinigungsgels, mit Obstpüree oder Gemüsestückchen, aber ich wollte mir keine Gedanken um die Haltbarkeit meines Produkts machen. Salz, Honig und Öl werden nicht (wirklich) schlecht, also fügte ich diese hinzu und ließ alles frischen Zutaten weg. Anstelle von Salz könnte man auch Zucker verwenden, was, falls man empfindliche Haut hat, vielleicht sogar die bessere Variante ist.

If you look for recipes for face or body washes online, you'll find much more sophisticated versions, with added fruit or vegetable, but I did not want to have to worry about the expiry date. Salt, honey and oil don't (really) go bad, so I only added those and left out any fresh ingredients. Instead of salt you could also use sugar which might be the better option if you have sensitive skin.

Letztendlich habe ich den Mix nicht als Gesichtsreiniger sondern Körperpeeling benutzt. Zuerst fühlte es sich etwas dekadent an, sich Sachen, die andere essen würden, auf die Haut zu schmieren und dann in den Abguss zu spülen, aber wenn man sich für konventionelle Schönheitsprodukte entscheidet, braucht man damit auch Ressourcen auf, die ansonsten dafür benutzt werden könnten, Lebensmittel herzustellen.

I ended up not using the mixture as a face wash but as a body scrub. It felt a bit decadent at first to apply things other people would eat to your skin and then just wash it down the drain of the shower - but if you opft for coventional beauty products, you're also using up resources that could be used to feed people instead. 

Kurz und knapp: das Zeug ist super. Es kostet nicht viel, ist leicht herzustellen und macht die Haut unglaublich weich. Bevor ich es ausprobiert hatte, hatte ich etwas befürchtet, dass mit dem ganzen Olivenöl deine Haut (und die Dusche!) superölig werden würden, aber das war kein bisschen der Fall. Das Salz exfoliert die Haut und dank des Olivenöls spart man sich das Eincremen nach dem Duschen. Man spart also sogar noch Zeit! Und ziemlich umweltfreundlich ist das Ganze auch. (Besser geht's nicht, oder?)

Final verdict: this stuff is amazing. It does not cost much, is easy too make and makes your skin incredibly soft. Before using it, I was a bit concerned that with all that olive oil, it would leave the skin (or shower) very oily, but it does not at all. The salt exfoliates the skin and the olive oil makes sure you don't need to apply any bodylotion afterwards. So it also saves time! And is pretty environment-friendly, too. (Can it get any better?)


Sonntag, 9. November 2014

Senfgelbe Hijabi || Mustard yellow hijabi

Die Farbe Senfgelb mag ich richtig gerne. Vor allem in Kombination mit dunklem Denim. Aber, wie diese Bilder von Nina, einer Freundin, zeigen, sieht es auch mit hellem Denim super aus.

There is something about the colour mustard yellow I really like. Especially when it's combined with dark denim. But as these pictures of Nina, a friend, show, it looks great with light denim, as well.


Freitag, 7. November 2014

Flieder im Herbst || Lilac in autumn

Ich bin mir nicht sicher, was mir an diesem Outfit am besten gefällt ... der fliederfarbene Hijab, das schwarze Kleid, die goldene Kette oder die braunen Stiefel...?

I am not sure what I like most about this outfit ... the lilac hijab, the black dress, the golden necklace or the brown boots...?

Eine Freundin, an der Uni. || A friend, at uni.

Donnerstag, 6. November 2014

Über äußere Erscheinung und innere Schönheit || On outer appearance and inner beauty

Guest post by Abdurrahman Al-Khanati

Looking into the mirror is a daily habit most of us do. Yet, we can glean great insight from how it is done in the prophetic way. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to make a certain du'aa as he looked into the mirror:

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ حَسَّنْتَ خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي

Allahumma kama hasanta khalqi fahassin khuluqi.”

Ya Allah, as you have beautified my outer appearance, make my inner being beautiful as well.”

Khalq and khuluq are two words that share the same consonants but differ in their vowels. The first is this meat suit, this body through which we access the physical world. The second, khuluq, is our moral compass, our character, our principles, values, and intentions.

There are two lessons to be taken from this beautiful practice. First, the Messenger (peace be upon him) did, in fact, look in the mirror. There is no place for neglecting appearances in Islam. The instances for such a point in the Quran and the Sunnah are consistent and bountiful. But more importantly, he is teaching us that as we look into the mirror, and, equally, as we ask ourselves this mysterious but unavoidable question of "who am I?", we should not stop at this automatic mental picture of our faces that we see in the mirror. "This is only part of me, and a very small part", the prophetic dua'a implies. We are asked to go beyond the surface and have a wholesome deeper understanding of ourselves than what our senses convey. May Allah make us beautiful in both our outward appearance and our inner characteristics.

Gastbeitrag von Abdurrahman Al-Khanati

In den Spiegel zu schauen ist eine tägliche Angewohnheit, die die meisten von uns haben. Dabei können wir einiges von der Art und Weise, wie der Prophet dies getan hat, lernen. Der Prophet Muhammad (Friede sei auf ihm) sagte, wenn er in den Spiegel blickte, ein bestimmtes Gebet: 

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ حَسَّنْتَ خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي

Allahumma kama hasanta khalqi fahassin khuluqi.”

O Allah, so wie du mein Äußeres schön gemacht hast, mache auch mein inneres Wesen schön.”

Khalq und khuluq sind zwei Wörter, die aus den gleichen Konsonanten bestehen, aber sich in ihren Vokalen unterscheiden. Das erste ist unsere fleischliche Hülle, der Körper, durch den wir die physische Welt erfahren. Das zweite, khuluq, ist unser moralischer Kompass, unser Charakter, unsere Prinzipien, Werte und Absichten. 

Zwei Lehren können wir aus dieser schönen Angewohnheit ziehen. Erstens hat der Gesandte (Friede sei auf ihm) tatsächlich in den Spiegel geschaut. Es gibt im Islam keinen Vorwand, sein Äußeres zu vernachlässigen. Beispiele hierfür finden sich im Quran und der Sunnah zahlreiche an vielen Stellen. Noch wichtiger jedoch ist dass der Prophet uns lehrt, dass wenn wir in den Spiegel schauen und uns dabei, die rätselhafte aber unumgängliche Frage, wer wir sind, stellen, wir nicht an diesem automatischen mentalen Bild unseres Gesichts, dass wir im Spiegel sehen, Halt machen sollen. "Das ist nur ein Teil von mir, und zwar ein sehr kleiner Teil", impliziertdas prophetische Gebet. Wir werden dazu aufgefordert, hinter die Fassade zu schauen und ein umfassendes, tieferes Verständnis von uns zu entwickeln, als es unsere Sinne uns vermitteln. Möge Allah uns schön in unserer äußeren Erscheinung und unseren inneren Charakteristika machen.

Samstag, 1. November 2014

Anatole de Paris


Anatole kommt aus Paris. Zurzeit lebt er in England, wo er diesen Herbst sein Studium begonnen hat. Es müssen seine roten Loafers gewesen sein, wegen denen ich ihn um ein Foto gebeten habe (rote Schuhe haben einfach was!). Oder das rote Kordjacket. Oder beides.

Anatole is from Paris. He currently lives in England where he started his studies this autumn. It must have been his red loafers that made me ask him if I could take his picture (there is just something about red shoes!). Or the red corduroy jacket. Or both.


Während ich das letzte Bild machte, fiel mir auf, dass sein Schal haargenau zu seiner Augenfarbe passte. || When I took the last picture, I realised his scarf was matching the colour of his eyes.