Photography Faisal abd’Allah, model Donna David, styling and graphix KBD

by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and well being writer.

ALHMDULILAH I BECAME A MUSLIM BECAUSE I HAVE NOW LEARNT TO RESPECT MYSELF. Born and bred in Essex, Essex  girls have a reputation and it’s not a good one. we are not brought up with great self esteem and  have a low, standard of our own behavior when it comes to dating men, must be the combination of East End and country bumpkin all rolled into one.

I used to think I owed a man something if he took me out for dinner, I thought I thought I needed to give him something back. Now as a fully covered Muslim woman I go through phases of having so many dates, that its hard  for my non Muslim friends to think how can this covered up woman get so many men who want the pleasure of her company.

 There is difference of opinion in the Muslim community about whether we are allowed to date or not but I’m satisfied after asking Sheikh Salah at Al Munatada Islamia, that a man and women can meet in a public place. I don’t kiss them , hold hands or place footsy. My friend Charlotte tells me that I’m sooooo lovely, all I need do is turn up and they should be blessed to be in my company. I think it’s different for very young girls who do not have any experiences but I think its fine that they go out to restaurant s in groups and stay in the safely of their group and learn social skills.

But first learn as much as you can about the man before you meet him, where does he lives, who knows him that you may know, where does he work, things that you would be able to identify him, should anything happen, I would even take a foto of him as soon as you meet him and see how he reacts. Communicating by email or text is good ask him to send a foto, before you meet, even if you met a man outside you can still get him to communicate with you via text or email, just telling him you are too busy to speak on the phone and can get back to him ion your own time. NEVER SPEAK TO A MAN BEFORE MARRIAGE LATE ON THE PHONE.

If you can ask him to call your dad or brother or mail friend to ask his permission to meet you, and make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, get them to call on the date,

I saw 5 minutes of Sex in The City today in passing and they had arranged to call  each other during the date.

I drive there or get a cab  and make sure I make my own way home, “no I don’t need a lift home thank you!”

you choose the venue the restaurant and make sure it’s very public not some back street place.

I ask for whatever I want within reason without going over the top for  the sake of it, me go Dutch???? do half???? no way, if you want afford to take me to lunch then you definitely cannot afford to marry me.

make sure you say thank you along the way and tell the man that the foods is nice, the restaurant is nice etc. make sure you finished the date first, even make sure you tell him at the beginning of the date when you need to leave.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, Islamically until the man make the proposal and you accept there doesn’t have to be exclusivity, once the proposal has been made and the woman can make it and the man can accept then there must be exclusive……….but still no kissing and no touching etc, even if you really want to….DON’T!

Get him to meet your parents or family and make sure you meet his………. get him to buy you a ring at least…just ask! one thing I learnt from Arab women  is ask, as we say in English ” if you don’t ask then you don’t get!” all the best honeys may Allah protect us all  and bring you closer to HIM ameen.


ALHMDULILAH…I became a muslim because…

ALHMDULILAH…I became a muslim because…

by karimah bint dawoud, muslim  chaplain and well being writer.

ALHMDULILAH…I became a muslim because I feel more content to stay in the house unless there is a good reason for me to go out. there is a pressure in some societies and cultures that its wrong to stay in thenhosue , that there is somethign wrong with you if you stay in adn that you have to be out every day…… and night, espcially friday ad saturday night! in some societies you are seen as s social loser if you are in on the weekends, however you are seen as a queen by others , in other cultures when you stay in your house and dont go out uinless necessary.

In Surah Al-Ahzab, Allah addresses the wives of Prophet Muhammad [صَلى اللهُ عَليهِ وَ سَلم] with specific commands to guard their chastity:

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in the old days of pagan ignorance; and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto Allah and His Messenger: for Allah only wants to remove from you all that might be loathsome, O you members of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you to utmost purity.” [33:33]

However this section of the Quran is not an excuse to disengage with society and stay at home and get fat and lazy, nor is it a reason to imprison your wife, wives or female members of the house. These ayats are used continuously by men who want their women to stay in the home and not  mix with the  society they  live in.  As Muslim women , some of us collude with this mentally and use it as an excuse to let go of our health and wellbeing.The following are valid reasons for women to go outside the house.

Islamically a woman can go out for necessity and some of the things that necessitate being good practicing Muslim are

  1. attend Friday  Jum’uah and Eid prayers
  2. To perform hajj and umrah.
  3. Pursuit of education/knowledge.
  4. To visit sick relatives, or to respond to social calls and dinner/wedding invitations; to visit neighbors, extended family, commiserating after a death and attending a funeral, or matchmaking/negotiating marriage proposals between families.
  5. To visit the doctor or the hospital.
  6. To work at a job, if there is no mahrum man providing for them
  7. To teach other women and children.
  8. To work to provide medical services and other care to women and children.
  9. To work as domestic helpers/maids, nannies, cooks, personal assistants/secretaries, and as attendants to elderly or invalid women.
  10. To work for security. At airports, visa-issuing embassies, and other checkpoints, women need to be present to check other women for security reasons..
  11. To work as technicians, trainers, fashion designers or beauticians.
  12. For passports and national identity documents, women need to be photographed and those who choose to cover their faces, should have the option to uncover their faces only before a female photographer.


Within Islam there are plenty of opportunities and justification for women to go out of the house. There is no excuse for inactivity unless the person has some kind of disability,obesity should not be something in this deen.

Islam is the religion of the middle way and this middle way means in everything including health and well being.

ALHAMDULILAH…I became a muslim because……….

ALHAMDULILAH…I  became a muslim because……….

by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplin and well being writer

ALHAMDULILAH…I  became a muslim because I now help other people more.No other religion and believe me I have been there, Christian, Buddhism, pagan, Hindu, Rasta, Egyptology, no other relgion apart of Islam promotes the need to be generous more than name “Karimah” is a derivative from one of the name of God-AL KAREEM  that means the most generous, the most bountiful, so I try to live up to my name.When I am generous with the Truth sometimes people don’t like it.

Charity begins at home but not all the time, most of the time but not all.For example we pay a yearly alms on our savings, there are conditions related to this and this is a compulsory part of being a muslim, but this charity cannot go to family and I have heard that it cannot go towards building a mosk but i am not sure.I started to look for haddith about charity and I found this site,

I had to copy all of them as they are all so relevant and important, there are somewhere quranic verses and hadith about the return you get for charity in this life as well as the next. Personally I see giving charity as the best kind of investment, better than stocks and bonds, let me see if i can find it. See below


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604

The Prophet also said: “Every act of goodness is charity.” – Sahih Muslim, Hadith 496


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people then asked: “(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked: “If he cannot find even that?” He replied: “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked: “If he cannot do (even) that?” The Prophet said finally: “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.”– Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524 


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.” – Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98 


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Shall I guide you to the best (form of) charity? It is to provide for your daughter when she (returns) to you (because of divorce or other circumstances) and has no one but you to provide for her.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1296 


“Spend (in charity) out of the sustenance that We have bestowed on you before that time when death will come to someone, and he shall say: “O my Lord! If only you would grant me reprieve for a little while, then I would give in charity, and be among the righteous.” – The Holy Quran, 63:10 


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in charity.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498 


A man once said to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “I have plenty of property, a large family, a great deal of money, and I am a gracious host to my guests. Tell me how to conduct my life and how to spend (my money).” The Prophet replied: “Give (regular charity) out of your property, for truly it is a purifier, and be kind to your relatives and acknowledge the rights of the poor, neighbors and (those in need who seek your help).” – Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 3 


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If I had (a mountain of) gold, I would love that, before three days had passed, not a single (coin) thereof remained with me if I found somebody to accept it (as charity), excluding some amount that I would keep for the payment of my debts.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadith 334 


“They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend in charity. Say: ‘Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travellers in need. Whatever good you do, God is aware of it.'” – The Holy Quran, 2:215

The Qur’an encourages the Muslim to donate their funds and illustrates the retune you get for it:

‘the likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain that sprouts seven spikes. In every spike there are 100 grains, and Allah multiplies for whom He will’ (2:261).Surat al Baqara 2 ,verse 261

Giving charity is thereby not seen as detracting from income, but rather as a multiplication in terms of spiritual observance. It is like one who sows a good grain of wheat in the field from which grows a plant on which sprout seven ears and each ear yields hundred grains.  As a result, one grain was worth a total yield of 700 grains. When one spends in the way of Allah, he or she receives in return (reward in the Hereafter) on the scale of one to seven hundred.

the money, materials etc have to come from a good source, not stolen, not from money gained from interest (ribr) or extortion.

Let us keep being generous with our time, skills and money and see the returns , it amazing. I heard about a sister, out of all her sisters she is the only one who stays at home and helps her parents, cook, clean, drive them around, she is beautiful mashallah, educated and religious mashallah. This year, out of the blue, she got to travel for free to Turkey and Dubai, staying in lovely accommodation , travel paid, hotel paid, food paid by others sisters by the Grace of the Creator. If you had asked her last year did she think she would be travelling she would have told you no, maybe the Creator is rewarding her for the duty she does for her mother  and then her father , Allah knows best ameen

Alhamdulillah…I’m glad I became a Muslim because…..

Alhamdulillah…I’m glad I became a Muslim because…..

by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and well being writer

Alhamdulillah…I’m glad I became a Muslim because now I don’t go to carnival. I stay at home and rest my bones, I learn Arabic and some Quran, I do things that are going to benefit me in this life and the next. I know the history of carnival, not just the Notting Hill history, but the thousands of year old history ,Carnival dates back to a time when women ruled the world and every year the queen took a new king, the old king was ritually sacrificed and originally cannibalized. In later years animal sacrificed replaced this, for reference please see “When God Was a Woman” by Merlin Stone.

I have done everything at carnival..The Carnival… Notting Hill Carnival ; I’ve been in riots at carnival, which I my case meant jumping over railings to get away from tear gas and running to avoid the stampede.


I have sold tee shirts at carnival saying “True woman is God’s gift to man!”

I have performed at carnival with my band , The Family and last  and by no means least I have made costumes with one of the camps and been on the road.

Being on the road means you get grabbed up by strange,  drunk, druggy men who want to have their foto taken with you. Praise Allah, I am and always was a country girl, get too close or grab me in the wrong way and I will punch you……still those days are gone and as I sit on the comfort of my house, I listen to the bacchanal outside and say “Alhamdulillah I became a Muslim!”


ALHAMDULILAH – I’m glad I became a muslim because………

ALHAMDULILAH – I’m glad I became a muslim because………

by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer

I’m glad I became a muslim because….now I have a wonderful and every day more wonderful relationship with my mum, maashallah. Westernised society sets women up against each other in the media, in soap operas and films and adverts. I remember seeing one advert for reading glasses and the girl’s boyfriend said her mum looked nice in her new glasses and the mum was happy for the compliment and the girl was upset……..hmmmmmm.This is just one example.

In the past my mum and my relationship has been strained, even as a Muslim, the shatan still tries to get in between us but using her words I just ” RISE ABOVE IT” , becasue my relationship with mum is worth more than a few provocative words she may say.

In Islam we say” Heaven is at the feet of the mother!”. A man asked prophet muhaamd, salah la alahi wa salem, who is more deserveing of our respoect and trhe prophet said “the mother!” he twice more and twice more he said the mother.

the womb is mentioned often in the QURAN, references to the womb that bore you, the relationship with the mother is very important, but something that most men do not realise is that every woman is a potential mother, every woman has a womb, so every woman is deserving of respect even if she doesnt respect herself.

If you think as a muslim man or any man that you are better than a woman , then be better than her in the decent way you treat her to show her a better way of behaving, rather than taking advantage of her.

She has never said anything bad about Islam, though I think quietly  and aside from me, has her own thoughts which are largely influenced by the media and the terrible behaviour of muslim men towards non muslim women and some of the things she has seen happen to me. Over the years she has also seen the difference between Islam as the pure religion , what the good book says and the behaviour of people who say they are muslim or muslim from birth and are not really practicing.

Alot of mums are influenced by their daughters take on fashion, make-up etc and this has also happened in our case.My mum used to be like Dorian in Birds of a Feather,an English  TV comedy, not in behaviour I must clarify, but in her dress sense, very short dresses and high heels.Now she is an advocate of long dresses and flat boots, “I like long dresses “she says and she looks good in them too mashallah.

Some muslims say you should keep away from your non muslim family just becasue they are non muslims but this is incorrect. There is a difference between “a kuffar” and a non muslim. A kuffar is someone who would turn you out of the house becasue you are muslim and you would fight against your relgion with their mouth or hand, etc.Prasie God this is not the majority of non muslims in the UK.

I love my non muslim family and I love sharing with them my Islam.When they heard I was going to Saudia Arabia, my auntie said “Don’t forget to take your swimming costume!”. I told her it was a pilgrimage that they happily saw me return from with arms full of intesting and exotic presents and perhaps a better attitude inshallah. This subtle dow’ah, spreading the message of Islam through everyday activities nutures the bond between people who are lost and those who have a purpose, to worship the creator of us all in everything we do ameen.