Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim....

The Mujahada in Prada

Saturday, February 13, 2010

~Lather, Rinse, Repeat~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Morning my Stylish Sisters!

Looking back on my posts from the last couple of days, I think I have posted enough that I am seriously at risk of overstaying my welcome. (which is definitely not a fashionable thing to do)
So this morning's post will be very short, very sweet, and very helpful insh'Allah!

I personally have very finicky, sensitive skin. Either it is too oily, too dry, or breaking out for one reason or another. Trying a new product is quite literally skin suicide for me, and usually requires complete isolation for a couple of days just to prevent causing any strangers on the street to run and hide thinking a new measles epidemic has hit.

Okay, so I exaggerate (a little) but honestly, I am very cautious about using anything on my face that isn't as gentle as possible.

So, I will always have deep respect, admiration, and appreciation for a certain Nordstrom associate who once gave me the most valuable skin-related advice I have ever received. And now, because I love you ladies, I am going to pass this advice on to you.

When you go to wash your face (which you should do only twice a day with soap or cleanser-once in the morning and once in the evening) fill up the sink with very warm, almost hot, water. Use this water to splash your face once or twice before applying your cleanser. Using a gentle cleanser, or acne cleanser if that is a concern for you, gently rub your face in circular motions. Sensitive skin should never be scrubbed. Never. Ever. Ever.

After gently rubbing your cleanser into your skin, start rinsing your face with the water in the sink. Rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse......50 times. Yes fifty....five-zero. If you are in a hurry then you can do 25 or 30...but no fewer than 25. After you have rinsed fifty times with that sink water you can run the tap and rinse only once or twice with the water from the tap. Blot your face dry (never rub) and apply your moisturizer immediately.

I promise you...within a week you will see the difference. I cannot guarantee you will no longer have any blemishes, but what I can guarantee you is a glow. That certain luminosity, that radiance and flush that we usually only have during pregnancy, or the first few months of true looooooove. That will be yours-to keep! And it's free! (and who doesn't like free things?)

So, go try it! And if it works (which I'm sure it will insh'Allah) pass it on to your friends, and your sisters, and your mom! And insh'Allah soon this world will be full of beautiful muslimahs walking around with hearts bursting with imaan, and faces shining with grace.

Ma'Salaama and Happy Rinsing!

Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

P.S. I highly recommend using the Boots products for sensitive skin. They are the best out there, and very inexpensive. Check them out here:
Boots Sensitive Gentle Cleansing Wash
Boots Sensitive Light Moisturizing Lotion
Boots Sensitive Restoring Night Treatment
Boots Sensitive Hydrating Eye Cream

Friday, February 12, 2010

~Jummah Mubarak!~

aSalaam uAlaikum my Stylish Sisters!

Please forgive me for not wishing you Jummah Mubarak before now.  Unfortunately I was not able to make it to the masjid today for Jummah Salat, insh'Allah you ladies were able to attend.  For me there is always a bit of an internal struggle on Fridays to interrupt whatever it is I'm doing, get ready, and head to the masjid.  But every single time I go, I am so grateful that I went.  It is such an amazing feeling to sit and listen to the words of the imam, and to stand in prayer with your sisters in Islam.  There is no feeling quite like it mash'Allah.

Insh'Allah we can all remember to read Surat al-Kahf today.  Here is a very beneficial article explaining the virtues of reciting this surah on Fridays. 
Recitation of Surat al-Kahf on Fridays

Remember if you cannot speak or read Arabic, then it is recommended to simply read the transliteration.  Insh'Allah we will be rewarded for our intentions. 

Ma'Salaama and Jummah Mubarak!

Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

~The Art of Entertaining Part II~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Afternoon my Stylish Sisters...

I just wanted to share with you the finished product of my centerpiece creation from yesterday's luncheon.  It (of course) didn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned, as I accidentally bought pineapple that was already cored, so I couldn't cut the slices into flowers as I had planned.  But alhamdulillah with a little bit of improvisation and keeping Rule #7 in mind (Don't Sweat The Small Stuff) it turned out pretty well, and was a big hit with our guests.  Not to mention it was delicious!

It was very easy to make.  I simply cut the melon in different ways; using a melon baller for the end pieces, and cutting other pieces into long sections or bite-sized squares.  The pineapple I did the same way (although I usually cut it in rounds, and shape them into flowers), and the strawberries I dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate.  I used lettuce leaves as garnish, and using kabob sticks I stuck the pieces of melon into a piece of foam inside of a pretty basket.  I used the extra strawberries as a garnish around the basket and set the entire creation on a nice ceramic plate to match the rest of the table settings.

Ma'Salaama, and Happy Creating!

Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

My Fruit Bouquet with Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

~The Queen Has Died...Long Live The...~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Morning my Stylish Sisters,

Yesterday the fashion industry lost one of its most influential designers, a true couturier; a master of delicate drapery, and structured ensembles alike.

I felt it was only appropriate to dedicate a small tribute to his talents, his outrageous accouterment, his influence on both couture and commercial clothing throughout the world.  There are no words in the english language that could come close to describing his avant garde garments, so instead I will share with you images of a few of his most beautiful and outlandish creations.

Ma'Salaama and Have a Very Couture Day...

Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

Alexander McQueen Couture 2006

Alexander McQueen Couture Fall 2008

Alexander McQueen Couture Fall 2009
(my absolute favorite season of his)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

~What Did You Learn Today?~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Evening my Stylish Sisters!

Well here we are- back at the dining table, cup of coffee or tea in hand.  For those of us with kids or careers, husbands and hobbies, often times this part of the evening is when we can finally put our feet up and take a deep breath.  When we can reflect on our busy day and appreciate all of the amazing blessings that Allah subhanahuwata'la has bestowed on us.

So tell me....What did you learn today?

Today I learned that if you handle pineapple for a long amount of time your cuticles will start to hurt.  I learned that if you don't dry strawberries off properly before dipping them in chocolate, then the chocolate just won't stick.  And most importantly I learned that true friendships will outlast any length of time, and will outreach any span of distance.  A true friend is one who can gently remind you of your mistakes in a way that won't hurt your feelings, and who will always appreciate when you remind them of theirs.  A true friend will never judge you, will never desert you, and will never backbite or gossip.  I learned you may only have one of these friends in your lifetime, or you may have many, but either way you have to appreciate them while you can, because only Allah swt knows how long either of you will be around.

Ma'Salaama and Sweet Dreams...

Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

~Losing a Fashion Icon~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Afternoon my Stylish Sisters...

In the midst of my reveling and entertaining today, the world lost an amazing fashion designer.  He was known for pushing the limits; the Artiste of the Aberrant, the Connoisseur of the Extraordinary, the Virtuoso of the Bizarre.
 Mr. Alexander McQueen was but 40 years young, and already considered one of the fashion industry's most innovative designers.  His monstrous hats, etherial gowns, and outlandish designs were inspirational and awe-inspiring to all couture enthusiasts.

He will be deeply missed by the fashion world and fashion fiends alike.

To see some Alexander McQueen designs please go here:
 Alexander McQueen Designs


Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

~The Art of Entertaining~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Morning my Stylish Sisters!

Have you had your coffee yet? Because today is going to be a very busy day. Today I will be doing one of my absolutely favorite things to do! I will be entertaining guests! I love to have people over for a meal, a special event, or even a cup of tea. I love to visit and catch up with old friends, to reminisce, to share stories over a pot of strong coffee or a plate full of hors d'oeuvres.

But just as much as visiting with my guests, I love the preparation and planning that goes into a successful gathering. There is no better feeling than having your friends fawn over your fruit plate, or drool over your desserts.

Because I love to entertain so much, I've gotten it down to a science. From the silverware to the centerpiece, the decorations to the desserts, I have got it covered. And now I am going to share my secrets with you, my sisters; all of the tips, the techniques to entertaining that I have learned throughout the years so that insh'Allah you, too can throw soirees that are truly couture.

So refill your coffee, and get a pen and paper, because you are not going to want to miss this.

#1. Plan Your Soiree According to the Occasion
Children have no place at a formal dinner party, there is no comfortable way for fifty people to socialize in a two bedroom apartment, and you are probably better off not inviting men to a women's halaqa. The rule "the bigger the better" does NOT apply to social events, so keep it simple and plan accordingly.

#2. Invitations Are a Must
Whether inviting your closest friends for a Saturday brunch, or throwing a formal business banquet invitations are absolutely necessary for a fashionista fete. They show you are genuinely interested in your guests attending and in this hectic world who wouldn't appreciate a reminder of a social event? Evites are okay as a last resort, but old fashion hand-written notes are the best. If you are on a tight budget (as most of us are) you can get adorable and affordable all-purpose cards that will work for any occassion at Target, or your neighborhood drugstore.

Target Stationary:

#3. Lists Are Always a Good Thing
Planning ahead is invaluable, so keep a running list of things you need, or need to do. Not only does this keep you organized, but checking things off of a list is an instant boost for your mood because it shows your accomplishments. (no matter how trivial they may seem)

#4. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Do as much as you can ahead of time. Guests do not want to come to your house to watch you cook, you are not Emeril Lagasse and your home is not the Food Network, so if you are playing chef, then plan a menu with items that can be mixed, prepared or even cooked the morning of your event, but will still be delicious to serve later.

Which brings me to #5...

If You Can't Cook- DON'T
Now this is a touchy subject for some sisters. As women we are conditioned since childhood to think that knowing how to cook is vital to our success in this world. But the bottom line is this: it is better to serve a delicious meal that has been purchased from a local restaurant, than to let your guests leave starving because they couldn't stomach your meal. A wonderful alternative to either of those is fondue. If you can afford a quality fondue set, it can save you a lot of embarrassment in the future, and it is delicious and classy.

Inexpensive Fondue Sets:

#6. The Table is Your Canvas
Many chefs will tell you that half of a good meal is the presentation. Do not, do not, DO NOT use paper plates...ever. (did I get my point across? LOL) The only exceptions to this rule are barbecues and kid's birthday parties. If you do not have matching china and are on a budget, then a good alternative is to go to Ross, TJ Maxx or and buy a nice 8 serving set of dishes that you use ONLY for these occassions. It is greener, classier, and much more functional to do this than to use paper plates, and you can usually find nice sets for under $50.00 if you are willing to do some bargain shopping.

Try looking here:

If you are not a tablecloth lover (or are unwilling to iron a tablecloth- which is absolutely necessary) then it is a good idea to pick up a set of coordinating placemats when you buy the dishes. Personally I prefer a crisp (ironed) white or cream table linen with contrasting napkins and plates, but that is up to you. Finally, no table is complete without a beautiful centerpiece. If you are crafty then make one yourself out of flowers, pebbles, or other natural elements. Keep it simple for daytime luncheons, and more decorative for dinner parties, and always keep it within the season and occasion. You can also use food as a centerpiece by simply filling a decorative bowl with exotic fruits like starfruit, mangoes, prickly pear, or other texture-rich succulents. Or you can buy an edible bouquet at or make one yourself like I am for today's lunch; out of honeydew, apples, watermelon, and chocolate dipped strawberries.

#7. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
It is easier said than done, but even with careful planning you cannot prevent the inevitable. Go with the flow, enjoy your guests and graciously accept what may come, because nobody is happy if the host is not happy!

#8. Always Serve Dessert
You don't have to bake a cake, or make a pie to serve up a tasty treat after a delicious meal. Creatively cut-up fruit and cheese works well for lunch gatherings, or a small scoop of sorbet with a fruit sauce served with coffee works well for an evening event. Cupcakes are very trendy right now, and easy to make. My personal favorite is miniature Red Velvet cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. I like them in the bite-sized form so as to limit the embarrassment of Red Velvet crumbs stuck in your teeth. Here is a delicious recipe for them:

Another option is to make a pineapple boat out of a quartered pineapple, scooped out. You can serve melon chunks, strawberries, and pieces of various cheeses inside, and top it with a drizzle of vanilla or pineapple flavored yogurt and chopped nuts. It is a healthier alternative to cupcakes, and beautiful as well as tasty.

#9. You Are Never Too Old For Goody Bags
Okay, so I don't mean you should send your guests home with a Mickey Mouse bag full of gumballs and noise-makers, but you should never send them home empty handed. Either make enough dessert to be able to send them on their way with a tasty treat for later, or you can buy inexpensive fabric bags at any crafts store to fill with mints, mixed nuts, or dried fruit. You don't have to do anything extravagant, but your guests will truly appreciate the extra thought. My favorite is to buy chinese style to-go boxes at any crafts store, and fill them with after dinner mints, a thank you card for attending, or something relating to the occassion. You can buy these style boxes here:

#10. Follow Up
Last but not least, the party does not end the second the guests walk out of the door. Within a week of the get-together send a quick email or (better yet) a written note simply thanking them for attending and letting them know you enjoyed the time. It is always nice to send a picture that was taken during the event, to remind them of the fun had by all.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Of course, I could go on and on about decoration ideas, delicious recipes, and fete faux-pas, but half of the fun of entertaining is learning as you go along. And speaking of entertaining I have a quiche to make, a table to decorate, and a cake to frost so it's time I leave you lovely ladies to enjoy your day.

Insh'Allah you have found my tips helpful and your next shindig is a success!

I'll be waiting for an invitation! :)

Ma'Salaama and Happy Hosting!

Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

~What Did You Learn Today?~

aSalaam uAlaikum and good evening my Stylish Sisters!
One of my very favorite memories of my childhood is dinner time. Not necessarily for the food that we ate (because to be quite honest I was a horribly picky child and rarely liked anything my mom cooked) but more for the connections that were made, the laughs that were shared, and the stories that were told during those evenings. When I was young we always sat around the dinner table as a family, and every single evening without fail we were asked the inevitable question:
"What did you learn today?"
Some days I would cringe...pause as if in thought and make up some vague reply about algebra problems or punctuation rules. This became increasingly frequent in high school, when I was going through the "too cool for my parents" phase and didn't want them knowing any aspect of my life. (A phase I am NOT looking forward to when my daughter gets older)
But honestly, most days I genuinely looked forward to this question. I loved telling my parents and my brother something new, something exciting, something earth-shattering that had shifted my view of the world as if looking through a kaleidoscope. I would relish the times I shared something that they actually didn't know. (or at least acted as if they didn't) When I was young my brother was the absolute coolest person on earth, and if I could name something that he didn't know already, well that just made my week.
So, I have decided that it would be fun to do the same thing with you amazing women. Let's try to share something that we've learned from our day, whether it's about fashion or fatwas, kids or Qur'an, it could be a wonderful way to connect as sisters. And who knows-something you learned just may help out one of your sisters in Islam! I learned this:
...Sometimes in life it is important for us to look back in order to move forward. It is very easy to gradually fall away from people who once meant the world to you, either through negligence, or laziness, or misunderstandings. Sometimes all it takes to find them again is a quiet moment alone, with a lap full of pictures and a box of kleenex and you are right back to loving them again as if you had never stopped...
Ma'Salaama and Sweet Dreams.
Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

~Islam, Beauty, and a Green Clay Mask~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Morning my stylish sisters!
Insh'Allah you have all had your cup of herbal tea and done your morning stretches. Remember: mornings are the best time to go shopping because you are at your skinniest! But don't dash off to Bloomingdales quite yet, I've got some thoughts I'd like to run by you first...
Last night, I sat waiting for my green clay mask to dry (the fact that Target carries Boots products now is amazing...but I digress) and my mind began to wander...
I started pondering my personal emotional jihad that I had struggled with since December 22, 2006. This was the day that I made a personal commitment to follow the command that Allah subhanahuwata'la made to every Muslimah, and I started wearing hijab- Alhamdulillah!
My struggle was never so much IF I should wear hijab or not, but HOW I should wear it. At first, my scarf was as much a fashion accessory to me as anything. The intentions behind it were always pure, but my knowledge was limited and I saw nothing wrong with tying it to the back into a fancy bun or funky braid. Gradually, as my knowledge increased and my imaan grew, I started wearing less and less makeup, opted for only black, grey, and brown long skirts or abayas.
This is when I realized that somewhere along the way I had lost myself. Now, please don't misunderstand me. Alhamdulillah I had become very strong in my deen- I was praying every prayer with Sunnah, fasting Mondays and Thursdays, and studying as much hadith and Qur'an as I could get my hands on. Our piety and commitment to Allah swt is of course the most important part of our life as Muslims, but somehow my hijab had gotten so tight, and I had lowered my gaze so much that I could no longer look people in the eye. My humility had turned into timidity, my faith into outright fear of others. The funny, friendly, affectionate me who loved rainbow colored toe socks and neon pink flip flops was gone.
So I I have to give up these things to be a good, pious, righteous Muslimah? Does Islamic humility rendor a female's natural love for lace and pastels and polk-a-dots haraam?
And this is what I discovered...
Truly Allah subhanahuwata'la is as-Sabur (The Patient). He gives us every opportunity in life to discover what He has plainly laid out for us, but we are too blind to see. Islam does not exist to make life harder for us, but rather to set forth guidelines for us, to regulate our nafs, to direct us on the path to Jannah. (insh'Allah ya Rabb!)
Allah swt created beauty all around us! Everywhere we turn, for us to enjoy, to appreciate, to remember Him.
"We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars." (al-Qur'an, As-Saffat 37:6)
Prophet Muhammad salallahuwalaihiwasalam said, "Almighty Allah is Beautiful (splendid in His perfection) and love Beauty."
It is explained in a sahih Muslim hadith that a woman's beauty is a natural factor for a man to consider when marrying her, but confirms that piety is far more important. Prophet Muhammad saws said, "A woman is normally sought as a wife for her wealth, beauty, nobility, or religiousness, but choose a religious woman and you will prosper."
So, after much reading, reflection, and 32 Google searches my mask was was so stuck to my face that it just may be there permanently. But alhamdulillah I have found my answer.
Allah made beauty for us to behold, to inspire us, to enlighten us, to remind us of His power. Beauty is in the dew of the grass on a summer morning, and the flickering of the stars on a winter's night. It is in our children's giggles, and our mother's embraces. There is nothing haraam about beauty, about femininity, about loving that first step you take in your new pair of Manolos.
The secret is learning how to love all of those things, without sacrificing your conviction in your deen.
So what do you think? What is your answer to this struggle between being beautiful and modest? How do you deal with being a virtuous vixen? A devout diva? A Fashionista Muslimah?
I say: go ahead and rock those skinny jeans and retro tees. Paint your toenails fuschia and strut through your house like the marvelous Muslimah that you are! Just make sure when it's time to go to the masjid for salat, your hijab is straight and that beautiful body is covered.
And by the way-don't forget the nail polish remover! You're gonna need it!
"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..." (Noble Qur'an 33:59)
Ma'Salaama and Happy Shopping!
Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Welcome to Veiled Couture...

aSalaam uAlaikum and Hello!
First of all I would like to sincerely thank all of you who are giving this modest little blog a chance, and willing to sacrifice your time to listen to my thoughts and musings.
Insh'Allah I will always make the best attempt to ensure that my humble advice is both beneficial and fashionable, virtuous and in-vogue, dawah-filled and designer-filled.
There are some who say there is no place for fashion or beauty in Islam...but I disagree. Of course I am only human. Simply a hijabi in Hermes, a mujahada in Prada, a Muslimah with a serious addiction to high heels, and anything pink.
Allah knows best, and that discussion is for another time...(next time perhaps?)
A blog is nothing without its readers, just as fashion is nothing without its followers. So please- Keep the comments coming! Let's just remember- we are not only fashionistas, we are also Muslimahs. So insh'Allah keep it classy!
In the meantime slip off those stilettos, grab a cup of cappuccino, and get comfortable. I'm not sure exactly where this catwalk will take us, but I know it's going to be fun, and we're going to do it in style!
Until next time...
Keep your head high
Your gaze low
And the fear of Allah in your heart.
Ma'Salaama and Happy Shopping!
Fashionably Yours,
The Mujahada in Prada