Noor Nursery was born alongside the birth of my first child in 2014. I was looking for an Islamic orientated cot mobile but couldn’t find anything suited to my needs. Alas, the bulb lit bright and I decided to make one instead!
But where to start? I had no idea where to begin or who to go to for advice. Nonetheless, I tried. I tried with all my might, and it was…well, let’s say it was an interesting learning curve.
I managed to get a prototype made – a terrible one – but hey, at least there was something to show for all the ideas that were floating around between my head and pieces of paper. I even had a beautiful recitation recorded by a brother from Morocco.
Excitement filled me as I was about to embark upon something which wasn’t available anywhere in the world. Then suddenly, BAM! My cousin forwarded me a link of a new product on the market – an Islamic cot mobile. To say I was heartbroken is me merely sugar coating my feelings.
But the sun rose once again (yes – I’m extremely cheesy) and so did I, alhamdulilah! I realised that the important thing was that there was a cot mobile which filled the needs of Muslim parents. My project was filed away and life carried on – and by filed away, I mean I stuck it in my ‘fancy/weddingy’ salwar kameez drawer.
2016 bought us joy with the birth of our second child, Lameen-Yusuf, and the start of something new. ‘I Love My Baba’ was written, however no other progress was made with the manuscript. I saw before me the hands of the clock rotate and rotate, day after day as I was occupied with feeds, playgroups and more feeds.
I decided 2017 was going to be the year of productivity inshaAllah, and I was determined to get this book illustrated. Emails upon emails, messages upon messages and I finally found the one – the illustrator who I could see bring my vision to life! Agreeing initially, she then went MIA on me. Her following grew substantially on Instagram and I think her change of heart was merely based around her focusing on her own projects. I just wanted a response of some sort, and I eventually found it in the unreciprocated emails. It became apparent that I once again needed to go on a search for another illustrator.
“They plan, and Allah plans. Surely, Allah is the best of planners.”
I had been following Asbah (@amuslimmamacomics) for quite some time. Her posts were so relatable to me, and I found much amusement in them. Moreover, I liked her style of drawing. Alhamdullilah, I found success in my communications with her and ‘I Love My Baba’ came to life. I wanted to celebrate all the fathers in the world and give them due credit with this book.
After receiving an amazing response from the community, ‘I Love My Mama’s Hijab’ was published not long after. This book celebrated the wondrous life of a Mama in a hijab and the positive effects it has within the home. I look forward to sharing other aspects of my journey with you on future blog posts.