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2 insert ad mahfooz productions

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3 editorial it is with great pleasure that the vwow project introduces you to the very first issue of its magazine the vwow project came into being following the french ban on the niqab/veil believed to be a religious obligation by many muslim women the niqab is seen as a preferred practice by others however the ly to educate the public about the issue whilst campaigning for it to be the right of a woman alone to choose whether she decides to to be able to do so in the commuthe ultimate aim of the vwow project is to represent muslim women in a positive way via acontents range of programmes tackling head-on the stereotypes and misconceptions that exist in both the media and society this will consequentially build on community relations and increase productive community cohesion and integration based on the ethos by the sisters for the sisters the vwow magazine is the voice of the muslim women that has been ignored for we hope that our bold decision to break from the traditional mould of islamic magazines and offer something fresh will be well received ty content including articles remeet vwow s modesty criteria practical beauty tips poems recipes competitions there s always vwowprojects guaranteed to be a little something for all the family to enjoy we re sure you ll be left eagerly awaiting the next issue in december we would like to thank everyone for their invaluable support may allah bless you always a huge thank you to all the sisters who took out the time to contribute to the magazine to the sister managing the vwow project s facebook page to the brothers who have also worked tirelessly to spread the word and dealt with all the technical stuff such as web designing etc may allah grant you the ultimate success of both this world and the next accepting your services for his deen ameen vwow project s intention is simp too long practice the niqab and for her right packed with a wide range of qualinity and society in which she lives views fashion advice tailored to t h e 4 7 first trials and tribulations of the veil marriage prophet muhammad s teaching approach flash biography ummi ayman style section main article recipe corner kids fun global focus reviews competitionwinners 8 9 11 the vwow project would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in its first successful competition on its facebook page by submitting their entries and also by voting for their favourite ones al-mubarak naat-nasheeds entry won a jubbah from lawung sister jahanara javad won a £35 gift voucher from the hijab shop brother zakariyya akhtar won an abayah from aab be sure to check out all the fantastic entries by visiting http www.facebook.com/the.vwow.project 14 16 19 21 24

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4 thei find trialsandtribulationstheveil why subhanallah i didn t think that a piece of material across my face would make me feel the way that it does i feel safe i feel free and i feel in control o f myself looking in the muslims need to see the beauty of it they make comments such as `poor her her family s made her wear that thing when in fact they couldn t be more wrong i mean where did this misconception come from they also say `she is being controlled by her husband but the irony of that is that she is controlling every other person mirror before leaving the house making sure that my niqab is in place and my jilbab is straight making sure that i am fully covered although i know why i am wearing my niqab i always have to remind myself as the fitnah in society takes its toll on everyone and it s not always easy with the looks the stares and so on that just one year after taking my shahadah who would have thought that i would be wearing a niqab it is one of the most talked about aspects of islam and i wanted to know why around her and that s the real reason why i feel nonas muslim woman growing up in the 21st century life behind the veil holds as many tests for me as the next person such as going to the sumuslims are threatened they cannot see a practicing muslimah s body shape or her skin colour her beauty is preserved and on the day of judgment i will be alone ultimately allah the almighty has decreed our dress code and that s all that matters just one year after taking my shahadah who would have thought that i would be wearing a niqab it is one of the most talked about aspects of islam and i wanted to know permarket getting on a bus a hidden from them train even going to university the looks the stares and the remarks no doubt play a part in the reason for many women not fulfilling their right as a muslim woman the veil is a woman s dignity protection and freedom and i think that many nonhere in the west society has become accustomed to seeing every part of a woman and lives by the theory `sex sells using women as a marketing tool and weapon so much so that women have become vulnerable and think that

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5 that s all they are worth ple feel to `fit in is extreme niqab but i believe that whatever the dispute may be all muslim sisters should stick up for each other imagine a non-muslim seeing muslim women looking therefore when such a socie surely that s the real opty sees a woman not falling prey to its trap it feels fear pression i think that the confidence the sense of se for she is not exposing or sub curity the freedom the mitting herself to it rather she is the one in control and there is nothing that anyone can do about it proud identity that a practicing muslim women oozes and conveys through her dress sense in general and down on each other i ask you what sort of dawah is that so all veiled women of the world be proud that you are doing what you want and that you are happy be proud of wearing the niqab and remember this life is only a test every woman that i have ever the niqab in particular is spoken to about the niqab is what people feel threatened genuinely happy content and by and so will find any thing is above all fulfilling her right to try and put her down as a muslim woman a muslimah feels much happier than her non muslim counterpart as she is pleasing her lord which brings with it an unmatched feeling of tranthe veil ban in france caused uproar as the french government is trying to do exactly what muslim women are striving not to do islam is from allah the almighty quillity and just because guc not from man as muslims ci or prada might tell us that hats are now the big `in thing a muslimah does not run to the shops in shame as she is allowed to be herself we control what others see hear and touch through our modesty but man is now deciding to tell us how to dress this is where the fit sr maria m islam is 19 years of age and resides in london alhamdulillah she accepted islam in june 2010 may allah grant her steadfastness and the ultimate success of both worlds she is now in her own words hoping with the will of allah to write for muslim women as pre-i islam i wanted to write for fashion magazines i feel now that i should put my skills to good use we hope you enjoy her first article for the vwow magazine and not a product of her soci nah of this dunya comes in ety hypothetically speaking non-muslims are the ones forced to do what they don t want to do by conforming to the fashion `ins and `outs dictated to them by society the pressure that young peoto place and this is where the beauty of sisterhood takes place we are all trying to get to jannah and it is our obligation to help each other out some muslims may have their own issues on the

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6 thenwhichofthefavourswillyedeny swim in the sea those that hop on two legs those that walk on all fours those that slither and slide and those that fly in the sky the mountains and the trees no doubt we ve grown so accustomed to such sermons that rather than trigger any sort of thought process we term such statements as clichés and rhetoric i came across this short story whilst browsing on the internet and though there are probably many others similar to it i found it touching and so thought i d share it may allah grant us all the ability to appreciate the blessings with which he has bestowed us and make us amongst the grateful ones ameen a man reached 70 years of age and he faced a disease he could not urinate the doctors informed him that he was ofyourlord let us look around us how many of allah s blessings do we see we don t need to look very far let us concentrate on our very own being our physical features their function so meticulous and so miraculous our eyes ears nose mouth two functioning hands two functioning feet a neck with which we can turn our heads teeth nails and hair as well as arms and legs let us ponder over the seven life processes we are taught as children without one of which the blessing that is human life would be compromised let us move onto our children so perfect and beautiful moving on still let us think about the sky above our heads that stands without any pillars the earth that is laid beneath our feet and the food that it produces the seasons the rivers and oceans the animals that in need of an operation to cure this disease he agreed to have the operation done as the problem was giving him much pain for days when the operation was completed his doctor gave him the bill which covered all the costs the old man looked at the bill and started to cry upon seeing this the doctor told him that if the cost was too high then they could make some other arrangements the old man said i am not crying because of the money but i am crying because allah let me urinate for 70 years and he never sent me a bill

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7 marriage the path to eternal bliss i grew up believing that there were a few lucky ones that were destined for a happy marriage and the unlucky rest either remained unmarried or entered into a life of unhappiness willingly as time passed and i indeed entered the holy sanctity of marriage i was quickly impressed at the speed at which happiness enveloped my being and totally transformed my outlook allah says in the holy qur an and among his signs are that he created for you spouses of your own kind that you may dwell in tranquility with them and he has put love and mercy for one another verily in that there are signs for those who reflect 30:21 not only had allah changed my negative opinion of marriage but he had found me a spouse of my own kind the story starts in high school and my negativity stemmed from those years and from the awful stories of arranged and force marriages the very idea of marriage had been repelled and instead my energies focused on education western thinking had influenced my thinking and i viewed marriage with a critical eye i wasn t going to be the typical asian girl who entered upon an arranged marriage and spend my life with a partner who i didn t know or love i wasn t going to spend day in and out toiling in the kitchen and building a foundation for our lives whilst my husband was out working and doing god knows what all these ideas were constantly whizzing around my head and i knew that one day it would have to be addressed but for the time being there were more pressing matters such as completing my degree to attend to a week of no talking all these tiffs are what make a marriage stronger and what cause the love to grow i know someone pass a bucket you may not be perfect for each other but with some some time later and after grad gentle coaxing time and effort uating and suffering in a monot you can certainly make things onous job the topic of marriage work and be well on the way to a resurfaced this time it wasn t great life in the hereafter going to go away i had to tackle this head on a person had a marriage should be a balance been chosen by my parents and of husband and wife it should be the awful dread of an arranged a coming together of equals we marriage had dawned on me only have to look to our beloved marriage i knew was prophet muhammad s.a.w and completing one part of faith his relationship with his wives and the other i suppose was he treated them with the utmost being patient and letting allah love and respect and helped take over surely he would them whenever he could not guide me to the right path i put only that the prophet would sew my faith in allah and prayed the his own clothes milk his goats istikhara for guidance after a and attend to other housework weeks prayer i was rewarded what man does that in these sowith the face of my husband to called `modern times instead be in a dream from then on i we are faced with a chauvinistic suppose the rest was history it attitude of men who think that might have been a small step their only duty is to be the breadfor man but for a woman it was winner and all other responsibiliheck of a leap ties are to be carried out by the woman the fault doesn t solely entering into marriage isn t an lie with the men women are also easy thing to do very quickly to be blamed for this imbalance you are made aware that it s not a better education and some just you anymore there is a dutch courage would quickly kick whole new being attached to these lethargic beings into you you have to address their shape needs as well as your own you have to think before you act alhamdulillah many marriages listen with interest about ranare blessed with the light of isdom topics laugh at pathetic lam and function seamlessly mujokes and be caring when he s tual respect stems from undergot the man flu those i would standing and love which bloshave to say are the testing soms into a lasting bond that retimes in a marriage the other mains throughout life we might times are realizing that maybe have a `love marriage or an you re not as perfect for each `arranged one the truth remains other as you might have that this relationship has to be thought you tend to have the nurtured and cared for there odd argument about going out have to be compromises and or the circle of friends you sosacrifices trials and tribulations cialize with or the fuss over a but if we remain steadfast and forgotten anniversary or birthpersevere all of us in-sha-allah day present that escalates into will attain bliss.

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8 prophet muhammad peace and blessings be upon him entered into this world as the exemplary and greatest tutor of mankind such an educator whose teaching and training in the short duration of 23 years managed not only to turn around the fortune of the arabian peninsula but which also lighted the eternal lamps of guidance for the entire world and that would until the end of time show mankind the way to fairness and justice peace and harmony the speed and the effect of the extraordinary revolution which prophet muhammad peace and blessing be upon him caused in the little period of 23 years bewildered even those people who were vehemently against both prophet muhammad peace and blessings be upon him and his mission it was the wonder of his teaching and training alone that in this short time of 23 years the wild of the arabian desert completely alienated from the principles of knowledge skills science and civilised culture then went on to brighten the whole world with the bea con of knowledge and wisdom civilisation and fortune those people who until yesterday quenched their thirst with the blood of one another today became brothers where the flame of murder and mayhem had been ignited there the flower of peace now blossomed where oppression and force reigned there the lamps of equality and justice had been lighted where people once prostrated to idols made from stone there the flag of the oneness of allah begins to fly high and eventually the very inhabitants of arab disgraced in the eyes of the entire world due to their ignorance go on to become the inheritors of the great kingdoms of iran and rome and the whole world is left with no other option but to praise their justice their compassion and their noble manners and character the one hundred per cent satisfactory result of prophet muhammad s peace and blessings be upon him teaching and training that the world witnessed cannot be matched by any other teacher in the history of mankind in today s gathering we would like to study and contemplate those fundamental specialities of the prophet muhammad s teaching and training approach and its revolutionary effects allah s peace and blessing be upon him teaching and training of prophet muhammad peace and blessings be upon him that established such an astonishing change the topic is dependant on length and detail the simple fact of the matter is that it is quite an impossible task for any human being to even begin to comprehend the special features of the style and method of the teaching and training of prophet muhammad peace and blessing be upon him but here i wish to mention only two of the peculiarities which to me based upon my limited insight and study seem to be the most fundamental to be continued the translation of an extract from mufti taqi uthmaani s book `our education system mufti muhammad taqi uthmaani the son of the late mufti muhammad shafi mufti azam of pakistan was born in october 1943 now one of the leading academic and successful learned scholars of our time he has published many books on all sorts of topics ranging from the sciences of the quran seerah of the prophet salah to economics and finance education and politics at present he is the principal of dar ul uloom karachi and the editor of the monthly journal `albalaagh fiqh corner every month the blood that flows from a woman is known as haidh the minimum period for which haidh lasts is three days and three nights and the maximum period is ten days and ten nights if a woman bleeds for less than three days and three nights then this will not be considered as haidh but istihaaza which has happened due to some illness etcetera and if a woman bleeds for more than ten days and ten nights then this too will be considered as istihaaza and not haidh if three days have passed but not three nights for example if the bleeding begins on friday morning and stops on sunday evening after maghrib then this too is not haidh but istihaaza even if it is a little under three days and three nights it will not be considered haidh a girl under the age of nine and a woman over the age of fifty five does not get haidh and so if a girl under the age of nine or a woman over the age of fifty five sees blood then it will not be haidh but istihaaza to be continued.

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9 lashphy one f time gra muhammad bio hadhrat ummi ayman may allah be pleased with her day at the of prophet and the words `my mother once seated he enquired with much love as to the reason for her call hadhrat ummi ayman respectfully replied o messenger of allah i am in need of a camel the messenger of allah asked why she needed the camel she answered o messenger of allah these days we don t have any animal for transportation purposes and so when we have to make lengthy journeys we are faced with much tribulation the messenger of allah smiled and said i will give you a child of a camel hadhrat ummi ayman enquired but what will i do with a child of a camel on the instructions of the prophet a camel was then presented to ummi ayman handing her the reigns of the camel the messenger of allah said is this camel also not a child of a camel all camels are the children of other camels upon hearing this ummi ayman smiled and made duaa for the messenger of allah may allah be pleased with her peace blessings be upon him he announced if anyone wants to wed a woman promised paradise then let him wed ummi ayman this blessed lady whom the messenger of allah gave the glad tidings of paradise was the slave girl of the prophet s father hadhrat abdullah she used to serve the mother of the prophet hadhrat aaminah and was at her side and aid at the time of the prophet s birth the prophet would call her `ummi ­ my mother and showed much affection towards her at the time the prophet encouraged people to marry ummi ayman she was a widow when zaid ibn haaritha may allah be pleased with him heard the promise of paradise for ummi ayman uttered from the lips of the messenger of allah he married her she then became the mother of hadhrat usama ibn zaid may allah be pleased with him who was very dear to the prophet one day this revered lady visited the prophet he immediately rose to greet her and welcomed her with a strange type of divorce overcome with love for his wife a man told her if you are not more beautiful than the moon then i divorce you three times his wife became very concerned and considering herself divorced stopped coming before her husband though the man had uttered these words in a state of infatuation upon returning to his senses he too became worried and spent a very restless night in the morning he appeared before the khalifah of the time khalifah mansoor and narrated to him the entire incident the khalifah immediately called together the best of the scholars and jurists and presented to them the man s case there seemed to be a general consensus that divorce had taken place as his wife though beautiful was not in actual fact more beautiful than the moon however one jury refuted this opinion saying that divorce had not taken place upon being asked how he had reached this conclusion the jury replied that the quran states verily we created man of the best stature mould the khalifah liked this reasoning very much and told the man to go back to his wife as divorce had not taken effect.

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13 navy satchel £59.99 river island leopard shoulder cross body bag £45 oasis camel suede and leather plaited bag £50 topshop khaki multipocket shopper £59.99 tk maxx contrast front pocket satchel £85 asos black frame zip top bag £75 topshop grey ostrich style tote bag £69.99 tk maxx beige tooled satchel £69.99 river island ameko gaucho drawstring bag £55 asos

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14 lift the veil of the mind to `free women from degradation amongst others such as `uniting around and protecting the values of france and the `maintenance of public order i m not sure what you think but to me it kind of defeats the purpose of a dictator `freeing a person by dictating to him the terms of `his freedom if a woman is living the life enforced on her by her oppressors and we `free her of that oppression by enforcing a lifestyle on her then where exactly is her freedom it s sadly ironic that a nation that has a track record of enslaving women to the whims and desires of men a nation that even today discriminates against women in pay a nation in which you ll find few women in top executive positions is calling the veil `a sign of subservience debasement that imprisons women who says that a woman dressed in a miniskirt with a short tight top shivering from the cold is not oppressed by her society which dictates to her the expected dress code to which she adheres what is more liberating being judged on the length of your skirt and the size of your surgically enhanced body parts or being judged on your character and intellect surely we all agree that the worst degradation of a woman is to sexually assault her and no brownie points for guessing in which countries you ll find the highest number of rapes and molestation it is acknowledged by some philosophers that many women do indeed practice the niqab out of free will however they make the point that there are cases in which women are made to practice the niqab without choice and hence it should be banned so these women are relieved from such oppression i don t doubt that these cases need to be addressed with wisdom diplomacy and dialogue to mention a few key strategies in fact i ve endorsed such a policy in the vwow project which has been subject to strong debate having said that it is madness to ban an entire practice based on a few who abuse it in that case we would be passing legislation day and night banning everything people abused or didn t like or felt uncomfortable with indeed the entire practice of marriage to name but one example would be banned based on the cases in which people wed without choice it s madness short and simple i remember the time my father visited yemen which incidentally has one of the lowest rates of the people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food someone asked will that be because of our small numbers at that time he replied no you will be numerous at that time but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent of water and allah will take the fear of you from the breasts hearts of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts someone asked o messenger of allah what is alwahn he replied love of the world and dislike of death [an authentic hadith recorded by abu dawud and ahmad the main thing that struck me about the infamous ban on the niqab enforced by france earlier this year was the lack of reaction amongst the muslim world it saddened me deeply and i constantly found myself thinking would such a law be so easily passed and implemented in the uk too i mean what is it that makes us immune exactly france has the largest muslim population in europe an estimated 6 million that s double the muslim population in the uk yet the law was passed and is in force there despite it affecting fewer than 2000 people out a population of 64 million the whole situation is so ultimately bizarre and ludicrous one doesn t know quite where to begin the clichéd nonsensical reasons that were given for the ban included the good old one of wanting

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15 and see the french ban for what it is rape and he told us that it was the norm to see veiled women there they even functioned in top positions at institutions and organisations contributing to every aspect of their community i have had many discussions with people from all walks of life on the issue of the niqab and a common argument people usually resort to is the one `when in rome do as the romans do which by the way if you were to study british history is not a principle that was practiced indeed they implanted their dress code their language their mentality on the inhabitants of the colonies under their rule but that s another topic entirely a non-muslim women said to me `but when we go to countries like india etc we cover ourselves so it s only fair that when they come here they `expose themselves i finished for her she shrugged and said `if that s what you want to call it it reminded me of the discussion the great orator muhammad ali had with michael parkinson in which parkinson found himself rather futilely defending the dignity of the miniskirt but that s when you realise that it s not the veil of the face that s the issue at all it s the veil of the mind the veil that blinds a person despite them being able to see by our own admission we re a nation that prides itself on equality freedom and tolerance so the comparison between nations of lower standards is not justified another noteworthy point is that thousands of women that practice the niqab in this country have not `come here they have been born and raised in the uk ultimately they choose to wear the niqab for the pleasure of their creator sure the muslim woman s attire preserves and upholds her modesty frees her from sexualisation and enables her to protect herself from judgment and unwanted attention ­ however this is essentially the wisdom behind the practice but not the driving factor so to speak for many muslim women it s about fulfilling the command of their lord and implementing a religious belief the crux of the matter is that it has somewhat become the policy of late that when the going gets tough the tough get going on islam something that proves to win politicians the support and positive attention they so desperately crave to enforce a law that directly affects fewer than 2,000 people out a population of 64 million in the midst of the worst economic situation ever is blatant evidence of this sarkozy obviously paid attention when his predecessor jacques chirac banned the headscarf in public schools in 2004 which earned him broad support in the political establishment despite the fact that the policy was largely intended to confuse and divide the working class particularly teachers who had mounted a major strike against pension cuts in 2003 i found the above hadith very fitting for this article as more than the ban itself it was the reaction of the muslim world that gripped me if we look around we can see that the muslim world is so deeply engrossed in the reasons that the messenger of allah stated to be its downfall tests and tribulations are indeed from allah and it is also his word that verily allah will never change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves [arra d 13:11 let us think of our muslim sisters in france and pray that allah grants them the strength patience and steadfastness they need to help them overcome such troubling times elevating their status in both this world and the next article 18 right to freedom of thought and religion everyone has the right to freedom of thought conscience and religion this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom either alone or in community with others and in public or private to manifest his religion or belief in teaching practice worship and observance article 27 international covenant on civil and political rights in those states in which ethnic religious or linguistic minorities exist persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right in community with the other members of their group to enjoy their own culture to profess and practise their own religion or to use their own language the french ban on the niqab/veil is against human rights against the right to freedom of thought against the right to freedom of religion against the right to freedom of worship against the right to gender equality

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