I am excited to introduce the two sisters behind Ayeina for today’s Saturday Spotlight.
Working together they have introduced some amazing ‘Alhamdulillah For’ graphics on their instagram, which has now been turned into a book.
They were kind enough to answer some questions about their new book.
Please tell us a bit about Ayeina, how it came about and why you started it?
AYEINA is a hub for Islamic reflections/Lifestyle, Parenting, Education (Arabic learning), Art and Humor.
We were writing around the Web for long (Sisters magazine, The Intellect Magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine (middle east), understand quran academy etc), before we finally decided to start our own blog.
Alhamdulillah for the blessing of a strong sisterhood that helped us seek knowledge and share it together, despite being countries apart most of the time.
(dedicated to our #AlhamdulillahForSeries which aims to spread gratitude towards Allah, in places we sometimes forget to see. The series has now been turned into a book alhamdulillah.
*A Muslim’s mini Gratitude Journal* for Ramadhan and beyond inshaaAllah.
(known for its ongoing qur’anic reflection series).
Was the #AlhmadulillahForSeries the initial aim of Ayeina or was it something that just developed?
We started ayeina with the basic aim to write and make a difference in our lives first (since writing can be so therapeutic at times) and then if Allah wills, helping others with whatever Allah has given us – To gather sadaqah jariyah for ourselves and give others the opportunity to do the same. Allaah broadened our vision and somehow things started to gradually progress. And with that, came #AlhamdulillahForSeries.
In short, it was something that just developed over time.
You can read all about the book here:
What was the motivation behind it? Has it helped you?
This verse: …”If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” (14:7)
We believe that contentment on the qadar of Allaah is one of the hardest traits to follow and needs constant practice to inculcate in life.
While finding ideas in our daily life to design into the series, #AlhamdulillahForSeries helped us to look at brighter side of things and keep our focus on the positives.
But it’s not just about where WE find gratitude. It’s about where us all Muslims find gratitude. In different places, through different perspectives. Hence the emergence of this gratitude journal.
What inspired you to actually turn it into a book?
Public demand! We never really thought about it this soon, but due to constant questions about whether we are going to develop it into children’s book. Or would this be available till eid for a gift? Etc etc. We stopped working on other projects and started working on this one.
The idea behind converting the book into four sections (along with the daily illustrations) was to help people focus on different aspects of their life in terms of gratitude while giving them ideas on different possibilities.
How long did it take for your idea to become reality?
To convert this series into a book was a long long process. It took longer than we thought it would. Although most of the design was already worked on, jumping from digital to physical (a tangible product) was a big leap. You have materials to work on. Dimensions, size, cost, publishing etc. Not to mention the thousands of printing companies you have to contact and thousands of books you have to inspect just to figure out which category yours fall in.
We had to get multiple prints in different sizes and materials, just because we wanted the best quality that is also cost effective. And every time we print a new copy, there is something that we feel needs to be changed. It’s an expensive mistake to make and we are still figuring our way out of it. But InshaaAllah the final product is near its launch and people will hopefully have it in their hands by Ramadhan.
Were there any problems?
Inexperience haha. The biggest of the obstacles were and still are, time management issues. Dealing with kids, house chores, studies, personal and social needs – all in these 24 hours seem pretty hectic sometimes.
But alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli haal 😀
Are there any plans to develop more books or products? (if not top secret)
If this goes smooth for us and turns out beneficial for the masses, in sha Allah, then we will be expanding the series into different categories like:
A Muslim Foodie’s gratitude journal
A Muslim Parent’s gratitude journal
A New Muslim’s gratitude journal
A Muslim Couple’s gratitude journal
A Young Muslim’s gratitude journal
We are also under the process of producing world’s first Islamic magnetic mealtime book for little children inshaaAllah, which will also be loosely based around this series. (Actually, that’s the very first book we worked on, but due to its complicated nature of material and application (along with the huge investment), this has been long due).
Another project in line is an Islamic coloring/activity book for adults which will focus on the people Allah loves and to ponder (with the help of activities etc.) as to how one can become that person. Hence the name of the book – *ALLAH loves YOU*.
Any motivational words for anyone who has an idea for a product and doesn’t know where to start?
See the products around you that are similar to your idea. See how they did it or are doing it. If possible, ask help from them. Ask them questions. Most of them won’t answer you perhaps, but some will. The knots will eventually untie inshaaAllah.
It’s easier to lose hope when you see nothing happening but know that it’s a slow and steady process. Don’t compare yourself to how much others have achieved (since it may be that they have spent years and years before they got to this place).
Connect with people. Listen to their demands. See what they are are asking from you. And manipulate your ideas accordingly.
Last but not least, have faith in Allah. Have good thinking about Allah. He is capable of doing ANYTHING. It may seem impossible to you but everything is possible for Him. Stay positive. Stay grateful. Say Alhamdulillah 🙂
JazakAllah Khair to Ayeina for taking the time out to answer a few questions! You can find some freebies here ——> #AlhamdulillahForSeries Freebies
If you have a product for Muslim Children and would like to be featured then do contact me.