Dream. Do. Done.


“You’re not a finisher,” my husband pointed out one day.

Those words cut me deep because somewhere inside my mind I knew he had a point.

I get plagued by dreams. By ideas.

I keep myself busy doing.

But giving all of my ideas a pedestal meant very few got completed.

“I’m not a finisher.” Those words haunted me until I took them, shook them and proved them wrong.

Now I relish the moment of ticking off a project. Now I focus on that finish.

Yes, it’s difficult. I have more ideas than I have hours. I have two children and a home depending on me. And yet I must focus. Because in the end, it’s the finish that matters.

(How annoying to have come up with Dream. Do. Done. today only to find they’ve been written already!)

Dear Children,

Be a dreamer.
Be a doer.
But most importantly, take on board your father’s words: be a finisher.

Love, Ammu xx



Much to the detest of the British brown skin haters, I was born on a Saturday evening in a hospital in Worcestershire which makes me, in part, like them: British.

My parents emigrated to the UK from Bangladesh which means when faced with a list of ethnicities, I tick the little box next to Bangladeshi.
But what do these labels mean to me?

They mean a lot because my childhood is very much influenced by both. Bengali was my first language and Bengali food nourished me. British schools educated me and British teachers encouraged my creativity.

But being British & Bangladeshi shaped my past. What’s shaping me now is the belief that I am a citizen of the world.


I was at a ‘stay & play’ session a few months ago when a fellow mum asked me, “What do you do?” “Nothing,” was my immediate answer. But then my feisty spirit stood up and I heard me correct myself, “Actually no, not nothing! I’m a mom so that’s a full time job. And I’m a publisher.” I’m a publisher.
I don’t know why I was in denial despite my publishing business existing for a year already. Maybe it was because what I’m doing is something I’m passionate about, it doesn’t feel like ‘work’. So why not just stick to writing & let other established publishers do the publishing? Simple answer: because I have entrepreneurial spirit!

I took a look at one existing publisher’s Submission process and when I learned it could take them 6 months just to respond I thought I’ll do it myself thank you very much! Plus self-publishing would give me 100% creative control.

So with a Bismillah (remembering God) I began.

I sourced and worked with an illustrator to bring my books to life. I sourced & learnt a lot from the printing company in China. I waited in the driveway on a winter’s day to receive the truck delivering my books in print. What an amazing moment THAT was!! The journey hasn’t been a smooth sail but it’s been a passionate & fun one, and still continues. My second book arrived recently and the third is in the illustration stage. I’ve got 8-9 more children’s books written. Once they’ve been printed I’m aiming to open the door & welcome other writers to submit their ideas. But I promise not to take as long as 6 months to reply!

In the meantime, I’m encouraging anyone out there who has a dream of holding their own book in their hands to reach out & ask me or anyone for advice…because I did it. And you can do it too! 


I still remember the first time I ever took notice of the word ‘entrepeneur’. I was twenty years old, training to be a psychiatric nurse, and was out in the car with my mentor. We were doing a round of home visits. I was telling him about a business idea I had: to sell meals & snacks in workplaces which didn’t have nearby places to buy lunch. “You’re an entrepreneur in the making!” he said.

So what are the characteristics of an entrepreneur & how do I stack up against them?

PASSIONATE: Bucketloads & More!
CREATIVITY: Just Can’t Help It, CHECK!
COLLABORATION: Ready & Willing To Be Like A Bee!

On the whole, I’m positive & driven. If there’s a problem I think about solutions & try them out. I’m not afraid of change or taking a risk.
Having an entrepreneurial spirit has led me to try different things…some of them became businesses. Over the next few weeks I’ll be reflecting on them and sharing them with you…stay tuned!

Dressing For Prayer

I wanted to focus on the first part of this ayah…about dressing well for prayer.

When I was a little girl, I used to watch mum change into her ‘prayer clothes’ after wudhu. When I became of age she had a set of prayer clothes stitched for me and advised me to change into them for every salah. I remember doing just that but as I became older and rebellious (and lazy) I stopped doing it.

A few years ago I decided to invest in a dedicated prayer jilbab because it was simpler to wear it over whatever I had on. But wasn’t until I came across this ayah that I put much more thought into it.

“It will please Allah if I dress well for prayer!”

I reflected with guilt how I put great thought and care into dressing for an outing/special event but not for the most important meeting of all: with my Lord.

After reflecting on this ayah I happened to be travelling for Umrah. Whilst there I took my time in selecting two prayer outfits and it has helped me achieve a little more khushu alhamdulillah.

The act of performing wudhu then changing into beautiful perfumed clothes calms me, helps me to disconnect from the frenzy of life and makes me happier as I take a moment to breathe deep and think: ‘I’m about to pray to Allah.’

Just like my mother, I will be encouraging my children to dress well for salah -in shaa Allah.

[Little girl reading Qur’an illustrated by Amir Al Zubi, taken from my book Good Deeds: Just To Please Allah]








I was born a Muslim, and like so many of my generation and background, I was taught by elders and blindly followed. Didn’t stop to question or dig deeper. The only thing that seemed untouched and unaffected by what others said, the thing that was unshakeable, was my sense that there was a God.

9/11 marks a horror. And the opening up of my mind. What exactly IS Islam? What is a Muslim? Like so many, I began questioning. Apprehensively at first. I could read the Qur’an but had only been taught to read in Arabic, not to understand the meaning. Accessing the Qur’an and Hadith in the English language was the key to my search for answers. One sentence led to another.
My journey isn’t over but the more I learn, the more I feel that this religion is right for me.

I was born this way and I made a CHOICE to remain this way.

My name is Rabia and I am a Muslim.








I felt compelled to write – to express myself through pen (and now keyboard) – ever since I was a little girl.

One of my earliest memories is of my primary school teacher smiling and telling me that no other student she had ever taught did what I did. What did I do? Whenever she left a comment or feedback in the margins of my workbooks, I used to write back to her!

I guess that was a sign of what would come later in the form of poetry, short stories, blog posts, a novel and now children’s books.

I never once stopped to think ‘I want to be a writer’. I just was one. Naturally.

I didn’t choose to write, writing chose me.

And now I’m here, choosing to share my pieces, past and current, with my children when they’re older…and you.

My name is Rabia and I am a writer. Pleased to meet you…

Motherhood: Feeling Lost

In the midst of the mothering madness, it’s easy to…

Feel Lost

Before children, we women had passions and purpose. Post children, these transferred to our little ones and we can end up feeling like a shadow of our former selves. Yes, I’m happy to be a mother and feel extremely blessed since it was a struggle to get here in the first place. But at times I find myself yearning for some of the things I used to do when I had time and different priorities.

I have learnt to deal with this by pursuing my passions in bite-sized chunks. I used to write pages, now I write a few lines.

And I urge my sisters to do the same. Make time to do something for yourself, no matter how rushed or small. You may not be 100% happy with it, but you will have done something for YOU and that’s what counts!

Motherhood: Feeling Unappreciated

In the midst of the mothering madness, it’s easy to…

Feel Unappreciated

I’m blown away by the recognition and prestige given to mothers in Islam. I refer to the ‘your mother, your mother, your mother’ hadith.

When I am facing demands both physically and mentally, and it seems that no-one appreciates my efforts, I have to take a deep breath and remember: Allah is watching. Allah can see what is happening on the outside and He can see inside of me. Allah appreciates what we mothers do – that’s what truly matters.

Letters To My Children

I loved this blog post – Letter To My Son – by Aneesah and felt inspired to write to my own son at the time. Trouble was, I had my hands full with him and I had my belly full with another child on the way! Almost every day I think about writing to my sons and my mind overflows with words but I never manage to catch them in writing. So now I have decided to write little and often. To write the lessons I want to pass on to them.

When I have more free time, I plan to write my anecdotes to go with every lesson and share them privately with my kids.

For now though, it’ll have to be little and often Letters To My Children…

Dear Children,

There is nothing wrong with trying to build castles in this world. Just remember: you are building on sand. What you prepare in Jannah will never crumble or wash away.

Dear Children,

At times, you may feel alone on life’s long journey. You have Allah; you don’t need anyone else.

Dear Children,

You were born colour-blind. Work hard at staying that way.

Dear Children,

Throughout your life, others will try to label you. Keep the positives. Tear off the negatives. You define yourself. That’s the only label that matters.

Dear Children,

The world can seem an ugly place at times. But you will always find evidence of love if you look for it. Look for love.

Dear Children,

Life will throw challenges at you – making you believe you’re losing your marbles. Don’t despair. Don’t give up. Do what you would have done in the playground. Win them back.

Dear Children,

Learn to notice your mental health. It’s a spectrum just like your physical health. Notice the dips. Notice them early. The earlier you help yourself, the easier it is to help yourself.

Dear Children,

Your dad and I have been married 9 years today – alhamdulillah. It hasn’t always been easy to hold onto marriage. It took a lot of adjusting, particularly in the middle years. Particularly when I wasn’t practising Islam in the way I do now.

If you find yourself falling out with your other half or anybody for that matter, but your ego is wrestling with you [insert shaitan here], do what we all do: blame something outside of yourself. Blame it on Shaitan.
I can’t tell you how many times your dad and I did this and how many times we couldn’t keep our faces straight once we’d said: “I’m sorry, shaitan made me do it.” And that’s all it took to diffuse the air, to make us laugh or for our hearts to soften.

In time we learnt to reflect on ourselves, admit our faults and say sorry with accountability. But that takes time. If we had waited to tame our egos before mending our relationship we may not have been married long enough to have been blessed with you.

If your ego is getting in the way of apologizing, blame it on Shaitan.
Make amends first.
Work on your demons later.

Love Ammu xx

Dear Children,

When mommy thinks she’s superwoman & takes on more than she needs to, she falls to the ground depleted. In you come with your super-cuteness & fill mommy with so much joy, she can fly again.

You yourselves will soon begin to fly. I hope I am there to watch you soar, to hear you roar. If you get caught up in turbulence or find yourself falling, do what you saw Ammu doing. Find joy, fill up on fuel and climb the skies once more.

Love Ammu xx

Dear Children,

Whether you stand before literal or metaphorical mountains, my advice for you in either scenario is the same:

When you are faced with climbing a mountain, keep your head down and focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Every so often, look back and celebrate the progress you have made.

Love Ammu xx