R completed her hifdh


I wish to share some news and advice which I hope will be an encouragement for all those who have embarked upon the same journey.
Alhamdulillah, by the mercy of Allah azza wa jaal, a week ago my eldest child memorised her final page of the Quran and thus completed her hifdh. Allahumma barik alayha.

She began memorizing in a light and fun way at the age of 2 and for the first few years we focused on increasing her love and attachment to the Quran.

After she memorised her first few ajzaa, we increased her hifdh target to half a page per day and then finally to a page per day ×5 days per week which has been her routine for the last few years.

I wish to share some advice for those of you who wish for your children to memorise the book of Allah.

1. Develop a deep love and attachment to the Quran in your child. Make it fun and enjoyable. Find what motivates them and use that.
2. A reward system in my opinion is a must and let the child choose their milestones. It creates motivation.

3. Consistency, consistency, consistency. I let my daughter slip on many things over the years EXCEPT Quran. There was no compromise in sticking to the schedule. Except illness etc. If she was unable to memorise or do her murajaah on a particular day due to an outing or a difficult day, she would have to catch up.

4. A lot of discussion about the hifdh journey with your child. Spoke to her a lot about why she’s doing it, the reward, to be humble etc.

5. The child needs to develop an attachment to dua for their hifdh. The parents must also do the same. Without dua and the tawfeeq of Allah, it isn’t possible. Remember it is Allah that allows someone to memorise His words. So turn to Him.

6. Organise opportunities for the child to speak to other huffadh during low moments really helped. My daughter remembers a moment a number of years ago when she wanted to give up. She was 8 at the time. She spoke to a dear adult friend of mine who completed her hifdh. And now age 12, my daughter remarks that that was a massive turning point for her. It gave her the fuel to continue and she says she may not have completed her hifdh had that conversation not taken place. May Allah bless the sister. Ameen.

7. A consistent teacher who is a haafidh himself/herself who inspires the child towards the end goal.

8. A thorough revision schedule. Hifdh is the easy part. Retaining the hifdh requires a thorough revision program whilst memorizing.

9. Your intention as a parent. If your intention is other than for the sake of Allah, you will see your child struggle. I’ve noticed I had to constantly go back to Allah myself and correct why I wanted my child to do this. When my niyyah was correct, her hifdh and murajaah that day would go smoothly. When it wasn’t she would struggle SubhanaAllah.

Finally, believe in your child and believe with certainty that Allah can make this a reality for your child. Have full hope and expectation in both.

Please make dua for my daughter. I ask Allah to make the hifdh journey for your children and the rest of my children a blessed and easy one. Ameen. May Allah make all of us from the sincere and of those who strive for His Sake. Ameen.

Hope this has helped.

BarakaAllahu feekum
Umm Raiyaan 

And so love them



A few sisters I know have recently become new mothers and a few will enter that world very soon.

It takes me back to the time I became a new mother – it was so new and I literally was thrown into unknown turbulent waters.

I recently reopened my homeschooling blog that I began back in 2007 when my eldest was 2.5 years old. A few days ago, she looked at me and said ‘Ummi, I’ve finished reading every single blog post you wrote about me…about us.’ I can’t remember half of those blog posts. She looked like she was in deep thought about what she had discovered about her younger years, of which she only has vague memories.

I too was in deep thought and my own thoughts took me to a notion that I know well. As an NLP Trainer, I know that though she cannot remember the details of her childhood, those very details have been stored inside her mind and have become the filters that shape her every day experience today. Lost in my own thoughts, I was taken to the recent discussions with my ‘new mother’ sisters.

A few of them asked me for advice and without thinking, it as though the truth had to escape my lips.

‘Love them unconditionally’, I said.  

A mother will:

  • be so tired and so love them.
  • experience disappointment from her children and so love them.
  • be hurt and angered and so love them.
  • become a referee between her children and so love them.
  • have her mental, physical, and emotional energy drained and so love them.
  • sacrifice her food, sleep, and sometimes her dreams and so love them.

Love them, love them, and love them some more. How? Through action. And continue loving them until the Beloved takes your soul.

Loving your children unconditionally through action will most likely not be remembered by them in detail. However, those details will be stored in their unconscious mind, forever acting as a major filter for the experiences of their present and their future; the way they feel, the decisions they make, their choices, and their behaviour…filtered by the love they experienced.

Your unconditional love will be a game changer in how they deal with life.

Love them unconditionally – it is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. When their life is infused with love, that will become one of the primary things that they know.  When they know and experience love unconditionally, they too will be able to love – creatures, people, and most importantly Allah azza wa jaal Himself. As I mentioned in a previous post, if love is not in their unconscious library – then how will they ever be able to love, receive love willingly or experience the beautiful intimate relationship of love with the Lord of the Worlds.

Gift your child with the experience and knowledge of love. For the sake of Allah…love them.

Share your thoughts here: http://www.sisters-achieve.com/2016/11/17/and-so-love-them/

Where have we been?


It has been a few years since I’ve blogged. That makes me feel somewhat sad. This blog has been private for some time and I’ve decided to reopen it due to a number of requests.

Wow, to think that I started it back in 2007 and here we are almost 10 years later.

What’s new?


R is 12, Zuzu is 8 (soon to be 9), Y is 6 (soon to be 7) and baby S is soon to be 4 inshaAllah.


We live in Algeria!

The children are still being home educated the British system. R, Zuzu, and Y all experienced school for the first time. Yup – they went from fully home educated and ‘at home’ from birth to an Algerian school and the Algerian curriculum! Probably need to blog about it.

So, we’re here in North Africa – our new home, learning, growing, falling out, laughing, crying, struggling, triumphing…living.

The blog is open to you all again. Hope it will still be of benefit to those of you who wish to revisit.

Looking back at old posts – wow, how things have changed and how the children have changed.

May Allah help all of us in raising these little and ‘not-so-little-anymore’ believers. Ameen.


***Update*** R asked me what I was doing as I wrote this post – she couldn’t remember that I had run a blog! What an emotional time for me to look at her now aged 12 as she reads the blog that was started when she was just younger than 3 years old!

Your sister,

Umm Raiyaan




Read this life changing message from a sister


There are many messages that are shared. Some long. Some short. We tend to read some and ignore others. 

Take a few minutes to read this message from a sister. It may be the catalyst that will change so much for you and your life:

If I had chanced upon this even just 6 months earlier, I probably would have given it a miss. I’ve generally disregarded such courses with the thought that they can’t help me. Being a harsh self-critic and skeptic, I thought, “I know it all, I know what needs to be done, and it’s up to me to do it. Plus, the whole ensemble of motivational talk, inspirational quotes, and emotional reactions that come with these things never strike a chord with me. They end up being mere noise and ultimately a turn-off.”

But I never did anything about my life. Any attempt at bringing change in it was short-lived.

When this course came around, I really don’t know what happened. I was at a point in life where I really needed help and I felt this course was almost an answer. Generally, it described what I wanted.

I came to know about this course through a source I didn’t know. I had no idea who Umm Raiyaan is nor was I aware of any of her blogs. She didn’t even have any testimonials for this course because it was being offered for the first time, and I didn’t come across general testimonials either. The only ‘connection’ I could make with the course was with the description provided, particularly that it was anchored in the Islamic concept of success – achieving for dunya and akhira. What really persuaded me was that we would get one-to-one, personal interaction and feedback with the instructor and that it was a long journey together towards change. It told me this was going to be a personalized and unique experience.

I signed up.

For one who is not given to classifying things under extremes, I have to say that I feel this course is one of the best things in life that Allah has guided me to. Truly, alhamdulillah.

Part 1 of Sisters Achieve has truly given me a paradigm shift. It has changed this longtime skeptic to a budding optimist. It has reconnected this tired soul and jaded heart with Allah and its ultimate destination, replenishing both. It has kindled a longing within me for Jannah, for meeting my Rabb, thus equipping me with an inner drive. It has changed my perspective about my current life through the power of shukr. It has inspired me with yaqeen and tawakkul in Allah and husn adh-dhan of Him to fly onward with renewed energy and fortitude. 

And finally, it has shown me the power of having a supportive community – one that throws those inspirational quotes at you, overwhelms discussions with emotions, and motivates you with their poignant stories. Yes, all that stuff I was allergic to, I’ve come to love and don’t know how I’ll do without.

Part 1 has taught a crippled bird to soar. You are the engine. It gives you the fuel. 

Of course, life didn’t and won’t become idyllic (that’s reserved for jannah, inshaAllah). Life is still with its challenges, but I’m just really grateful for the positivity I’ve been able to experience after so, so long

I know I will still stumble, trip, and fall, but this course has practically shown me how to get back up (and I rely on helping hands from you lovely ladies too!). I strongly pray Allah grants us all the tawfeeq to soar. Ameen. 

This is a quick reminder that you still have a chance to attend the above described course. 

It is being run 3 times:
** Online

** East London – this will be the only face to face course running of the course in East London.

Deadline for above two courses is 19th October 2014

South London – deadline is 31st October 2014


Be a muslimah of ihsaan…


When you think about loving dedicated mothers, inspiring teachers, sisters who run projects/charities and successful business women. .. What do you think they all share?

Most likely one day,when they were young, something or someone inspired them to aim for excellence in whatever path they decided to choose.

It was such a profound moment that they carried that aspiration with them for life and it led them to become the great women as mentioned above.

Less than 48 hours left to register yourself and/or your daughters (aged 12 to 18) on an inshaAllah life changing course taking place in East London or online.

Free separate course for daughters aged 9 to 11 whose mothers attend the main course.

Spaces are going fast.
Email info@sisters-achieve.com for more info and a registration form.

Deadline Tuesday 30th September 2014!!

One life. One chance.


What are you doing right now? What are you planning to do after you finish reading this message? Is what you’re about to do, something that will bring about a positive change for yourself, your loved ones and your relationship with Allah? Have you made specific choices about how you’re going to show gratitude to Allah for the amazing gifts, skills and opportunities He (azza wa jaal) has given to you? Are you spending your moments imagining and planning what you’re going to leave behind after your body is placed in the darkness of the grave? What will your sadaqa jariah legacy be? 

We’ve only been given one life in this world dear sisters. .. just one… one that will affect our eternity for eternity!

Make this one life, this one chance, an opportunity to taste the sweetness of living FOR ALLAH. Don’t talk the talk but walk the walk! Hoping that we’ll take this gift of life and turn it into a ticket to jannah is not in enough.  Physically taking action here in the dunya will be proof to Allah that we lived for Him.

There’s just 6 days left and only a few spaces left to register for the course that many have said has changed their lives. They’re moving forward, they’re perspective has changed, they’re positive and they’re making careful choices as to how to use their precious time for Allah, in preparation for the next life.

Read what they’ve said about the last 8 weeks as attendees of a unique and different course: http://sisters-achieve.com/testimonials

Now it’s up to you… 

You’ll laugh and will most likely cry. But the best thing is, you’ll leave part 1 with a different mindset, ready to make different choices as to how you spend your time in pursuit of Allah’s pleasure and create that necessary Sadaqa Jariah legacy that will still earn you hasanat in your grave.

One life. One chance. You have unique skills and abilities… use them to transform your life in the dunya and akhirah.

Send an email to info@sisters-achieve.com for a registration form.

Only 6 days left!



Erm…yes…I know it’s been a long time…

But that’s just life at the moment. Very busy with the children as they’re growing and changing aswell as 2 projects that take up a lot of my time.

We’re still here, still home educating. It’s funny, each year I normally do a huge annual plan. This year I didn’t. We’ve kind of just continued where we left off. Home Ed has definitely become a way of life for us.

I’ll try and blog a bit here and there when I can inshaAllah.

For now. ..Mondays are science days for all of the kids. R is working through a science text book with practicals. For the boys, I’m using the cgp study book for key stage 1. It’s great because it’s colourful and explains things nicely. Because they’re still young, I have to make sure it’s as hands on as possible after that!


Last week they made this from cut outs from magazines…


Today they made these. I drew the picture, they coloured in and we used a cupcake case as the flower. They then labelled everything. Simple science.

Don’t know if anyone still reads this blog. But I’ll try and blog as much as I can inshaAllah.

Plan your best Ramadan yet. ..


Plan your best Ramadhan yet by Umm Raiyaan

By the end of reading these notes from a talk I gave in Leceister a year ago, you will have developed an individual plan for Ramadhan to have your best Ramadhan ever – bi’idhnillah! I hope you find benefit in it. If you do, I ask you to please take a few minutes out of your time to make dua for me and my family. I’m in need of sincere duas from those whom Allah loves..
Jazakillahu khairan.
Umm Raiyaan 2014

“He who fasts Ramadhan due to emaan and hoping for reward (from Allah) then his past sins are forgiven.” Bukhari and Muslim

“There are in the month of Ramadhan in every day and night those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and it will be granted.” Ahmad

What can Ramadhan do for us?
1.All of our past sins can be forgiven
2. We can be chosen and granted freedom from the Fire

We can have the above but will this be granted for those who do not work for it? Will it be granted to those who only see Ramadhan as abstaining from food, drink and relations?

Ramadhan is a gift – an opportunity for change – it can change you, transform your emaan, change your relationship with others, change your relationship with Allah and change your outcome in the next life!

All of the above is only possible if we approach Ramadhan like we approach significant events in our lives.

What do we do when we prepare for an exam, a wedding or the like? We spend weeks and months preparing – revision cards, notes, wedding cake, the dress, guest lists etc.
How about birth? Hospital bag, nesting period, provisions for other children, clothes, cot etc
We need to prepare, approach and pass through Ramadhan in the same way – except that we are now preparing for the exam of the after life. We are preparing for the event of Ramadhan and we are preparing for the rebirth of our emaan.

This short talk will not delve into the obligations, rewards of Ramadhan and sunnat. Rather, I wish to focus on reviving the sunnah of focus, the sunnah of calculating one’s ajr and the sunnah of keeping our eyes on the main goal – the main prize: to be one that Allah is pleased with, frees from the Fire and admits into HIs Paradise.
I hope that this talk will help you develop a plan for Ramadhan that oozes zeal, sincerity, focus and serious calculation. Ya Allah – let this be our most productive Ramdhan yet. Ameen

To begin…
1. Sincerity – As with all things, actions are futile if there is no sincerity. Even if you plan something well, if there is no sincerity, your plan will bear no fruits. Sincerity for Allah is key.
We all know the hadith ‘Actions are but by itentions…’ (Bukhari)
So let us correct our intention behing creating this plan – to plan for Ramadhan with the intention of striving to attain taqwa, that Allah favours us and forgive our sins and frees us from the Fire.

2. Realise it – It is extremely important to understand why planning is important. Strangely, we plan for so much in the dunya; we don’t simply let a wedding unfold and turn up on the day hoping everything will turn out alright. So why is there a lack of planning in matters of the deen that affect our eternity?
As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

3. Identify and elminate – So, we’ve corrected our intention and we now realise the important of planning – now we’re actually ready to get down to the nitty gritty of planning.
There are two initial steps we need to take:
1. Identify what our distractions are
2. Eliminate them
Make a list of your own distractions – things that get in the way of you worshipping Allah in the way that you want to. Or the things you foresee getting in the way of you having a truly taqwa filled Ramadhan.
Notice I said ‘identify’ and ‘eliminate’. This might sound a bit heavy and stroing but if these things are a definite distraction for you and you do not have the willpower to resist – get rid of them completely – no half way business – eliminate them. – even if it is just during these blessed 30 days.

4. Fast forward – I’d like you to fast forward to the end of Ramadhan – you had an amazing Ramadhan – what was it like? What did you do? What has changed in you or for you?
Write down 3 goals (big goals for Ramadhan) and make them personal to YOU.
Eg: To be freed from the fire
To be forgiven
Character change
Firdous al ala
Think BIG! The Prophet (saw) saw his companions making dua for jannah. The Prophet (saw) then advised them, ‘When you ask Allah for jannah, ask for Firdous al Ala’. This hadith teaches us to aim high in our goals, dreams and aspirations. Thing BIG with your HEART. Imam Sufyan Ath-Thawri (RH) said: ‘The vision of one’s eyes is meant for this world, and the vision of one’s heart is menat for the hereafter. When a man looks with his eyes, he benefits naught. It is when he looks with his heart that he benefits.’

Do so with the knowledge as relayed by our beloved Prophet (saw), we know that the reward for deeds are multiplied in Ramadhan: the superogatory are accepted as though they are obligatory, and the obligatory deeds are multiplied such that one obligatory deed is as though we have done 70 obligatory ones!

5. 4 categories of good deeds this Ramadhan
Now make a list of good deeds you can do this Ramadhan which will enable you to achieve the big goals you set yourself in step 4.
Divide a piece of paper into 4 and label each section one of the following:
a) Easy peasy but HUGE – these are things that don’t take much time and can be done simultaneously whilst cooking, cleaning, feeding kids, sleeping. Egs are dhikr, talking to Allah, dua, istighfaar, reading an Islamic story to the kids, intention before sleeping, before bathing and so on.

To continue reading the rest,  click here: http://sisters-achieve.com/2014/06/26/plan-your-best-ramadhan-yet/