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Inspiration Muslimah: Zainab the Salafi Feminist & her uncompromising style

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Regardless of what you may think about Feminists, Muslims who consider themselves Feminists, Madhabs, the Salaafi Dawah, differences of opinion and put ALL OF THAT ASIDE…I wanted to introduce you all to a sister whom I consider utterly interesting…Zainab of the Salafi Feminist blog, writter for UK based Sisters Magazine and Abaya designer (on the side) and ofcourse full time Muslim Mommy…although she considers herself a Salafi and a feminist, she may or may not fit your definition of either term. Regardless, she embraces those terms and I think rocks both quite inspirationally and unabashedly, personally I also think her writing is very powerful, well educated and well thought out and her style is entirely most peoples preconceived notions.

Soo…put differences of thought aside and read on…

“Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatooh…Hey all, I am  Zainab bint Younus aka AnonyMouse aka The Salafi Feminist.
 
I’ve been wearing niqaab since the age of 17. I grew up seeing my mum wearing it, and I always wanted to! My mum finally thought I was finally mature enough to handle it, and I went at with a will, alHamdulillah. I initially started wearing a Saudi niqaab – tie back, always with a string along the nose part, and a decorative second, shorter layer above the longer first layer. Since I always have a flair for the dramatic and off-beat, this was as off-beat as I could get with a niqaab, lol.
However, after I moved to Kuwait, I switched to the Kuwaiti niqaab – a rectangle of fabric with an elastic. This is now my preferred niqab style, although once in a while I’ll go back to my Saudi one just to switch things up a bit.
Obviously, I wear ‘abayah as well – my personal preference is black, and I have no coloured jilbabs. I like my ‘abayaat to be durable (because I’m clumsy and have destroyed a good number of delicate ones in my lifetime), but also to have a little something to make them pleasing to the eye.

Since I lived in Kuwait for about two and a half years, I was thrilled to have easy access to ‘abayah tailors and getting mine custom made.

1456719_10151732867191426_963724461_nMy ‘signature style’ is that I rarely go out without a pair of fingerless gloves. I have grey, black, purple, and red fingerless lace gloves; and two faux leather fingerless biker gloves. My first (and favourite) pair are the purple ones, bought years ago on a road trip through Nanaimo, B.C. The others have been collected over the years, either from stores like Claire’s or funky little boutique-type accessory stores.

I also like unique rings, and will add a matching or contrasting ring(s). I have a fussy eye for rings, so I’ll go to tons of accessory stores, but only rarely will something really jump out at me or strike my fancy.

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I have a fondness for jackets as well – my favourite style is biker jackets; sadly, both my brown leather jacket and my black pleather have been lost during my travels. However, I do have a white blazer and a hot red pleather biker jacket.

When it comes to shoes, I have a weakness for kitten heels, biker boots, and comfortable flats, all in a variety of styles and colours to go with whatever mood I happen to be in.

My true passion lies in ‘abayaat, and alHamdulillah I was recently blessed with the opportunity to start up my own company of ‘abayaat that I designed myself: ‘Abayaat Leather & Lace!

abayaleather&lace3aaaAbayat Leather and Lace encompasses my various tastes and interests, from an appreciation of Asian (Malaysian and Indian) heritage and culture, as found in the two designs I am currently selling which feature traditional batik prints and sari fabric, to the design I call “Warrior Princess,” and features lace, faux leather, and silver spikes.

All of them are dear to me as they reflect different aspects of my personality and are also completely different from anything else I’ve ever seen in the ‘abayah market (even the haute couture ones), and I hope that viewers are equally excited by them!
While I have many other designs planned and hope to create them soon inshaAllah.

abayahleather&lace4  abayaleather&lace5

 

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A few of her inspiring and interesting articles on matters affecting Muslim women.

Career Women of the Sahabiyyat
More Women in Hell… or in Heaven?
Niqaab for Rookies
On Being A Salafi Feminist

I *highly* *highly* HIGHLY recommend you put The Salafi Feminist on your reading list! Even if you are NOT Salafi…you WILL find interesting and insightful essays about Muslim women  and Islam written from the perspective of a well-educated yet traditional Muslim woman (not a male chauvinist, not a non-Muslim orientalist and not a Muslim woman who doesnt practice or who is more of a cultural Muslim than a actual practicing one). I could seriously spend a weekend and just read everything and STILL know I havent touched the surface of what she has touched on! MashAllah….enshaAllah more young sisters step up to the plate and keep the enlightenment going…

 

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3 Comments

  1. That is so awesome to see her featured here. I love her blog!!! Also her style is very interesting.

  2. Her designs are lovely!

  3. I love Zainab and her mother. They (and z’s father) taught me so much about Islam when I had just converted. I might have left Islam if I hadn’t known Islam as they studied it. Salafi means something most so-called people haven’t even tried studying from actual sources. So to sheikh younas and his family I have much love:)

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