My Muslim Mums in Business series focus’s on inspirational Muslim women, who are balancing the art of motherhood along with running businesses.
Please introduce yourself and your business.
Asalamualaikum my name is Farhat Amin. I design positive Islamic parenting resources and decorations for Eid, Ramadan, Hajj and Umrah. I also have a podcast/ blog called “A Muslim Mom”. The inspiration to begin the podcast/blog came from Surah Asr:
“By Time. The human being is in loss. Except those who believe, and do good works, and encourage truth, and recommend patience.”
My intention is to help Muslim mothers through discussion and sincere Islamic advice.
What makes your business different from your competitors?
I would say it is the knowledge and experience I have in the field of education and entrepreneurship as I have successfully been running my own business for 10 years now. It used to be called The Muslim Sticker Company however this year I changed the website name to www.farhatamin.com to reflect our more diverse product range. My portfolio now includes online parenting and business courses.
What inspired you to start working from home? Did anyone in particular inspire you?
When I started The Muslim Sticker Company 10 years ago, I wanted to create colourful stickers that would get kids excited when they were learning about Islam and help parents make teaching Islam fun. I have 3 kids: 2 boys and a girl. Like many other Muslim business women it was a lack of creative Islamic resources that drove me to start my own Muslim business.
I decided to make stickers for Muslim children when my eldest son started madrassah and I began home schooling my daughter, I was eager to find out how the Prophet (saw) raised his children and how he taught them about Islam. Every hadith I read described how loving, considerate and kind the prophet (saw) was towards his own children and he (saw) instructed Muslim parents and teachers to be patient and compassionate when teaching children.
Unfortunately, I found there was an anomaly between the sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and the reality of how some Muslim teachers taught Islam to their students. I could be accused of generalising here however; many mums would agree that they do not have fond memories of the heavy-handed discipline meted out in Quran classes and madrassahs. Hence, I wanted to help Muslim parents and teachers educate and discipline their children in a positive way, rather than focusing on the negatives.
Is your family supportive of you being a working mother?
Alhamdulilah, they are happy that I now work from home. I used to work full time as an English high school teacher, it was very stressful. The holidays and pay were not enough to stop me leaving. In the UK teachers are shown very little respect. Schools and society in general expect teachers to be social workers/surrogate parents. Teachers are not trained to deliver sex education, drug prevention or alcohol abuse but schools expect form tutors to take on this responsibility that really belongs to parents. In addition, as a Muslim woman who wore khimar and jilbab and did not go to the pub after work or socialize with male colleagues I was never considered for promotion. I no longer enjoyed teaching due to the factors mentioned and I felt I was spending more time with other people’s kids than I was with my own. So, I decided to leave teaching and focus full time on my own business. Alhamdulilah, it’s the best decision I ever made.
Describe a typical working day. Are there specific times in the day that you work on your business?
I set realistic goals for the day and then slot them around my household jobs. Morning time is the busiest time. I usually stop working by 5pm. I genuinely don’t have a typical day. I love the fact that I don’t have set work hours, so I choose if I do a lot or do no work on any given day. I have very busy months i.e. Ramadan, Eid and Hajj because I wholesale decorations to UK shops and international stores so some weeks, I send out 200-300 orders, I get my kids to help me during the busy periods.
What are the pros and cons about being a working mum from home?
- Being able to fulfil my duty as a wife and mum. It is an honour to be able to be able to take care of my home and children. The Prophet (saw) says in this regard, addressing women: “Take care of your home for that is your Jihad.” (Ahmad)
- I can take holidays and breaks when I want, go and visit my mum and other family members.
- I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. No more pointless meetings!
- Finding reliable companies that I can hire to do work for me.
On your toughest days, what helps keep you motivated?
I enjoy helping and supporting fellow Muslim mummies I believe, from the bottom of my heart that if we can nurture a deep love for Islam in our kids from a young age then (inshallah) they can blossom into happy confident Muslims. My mission is to create a well thought-out, quality products to help mums nurture an Islamic atmosphere in their home.
Where would you like to see your business in the future?
As an experienced business woman I believe I have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to other budding entrepreneurs so inshallah, I will be focussing on creating online business courses in the near future.
What advice would you give to mums considering taking the step of being a working mum?
Be honest, why do you want to work?
What type of work do you want to do?
Research whether the field you want to enter is permissible in Islam. Only choose work that is honest and halal, that way you will have barakah from your earnings.
What impact will it have on your well-being and your family? Don’t believe the Feminist Liberal narrative that says, “women must go out to work” The UK government doesn’t care about our kids, they just want women to go out to work so they can collect taxes from their earnings.
You don’t have to be a superwoman. Don’t compare yourself to other women who go out to work, be realistic about your situation and remember your rizk is already fixed by Allah. Dear mums bear in mind the wise words or our beloved Prophet (saw). Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah (saw), said,
“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”
I found a way to work from home and fulfil the blessed duty Allah has given me. Working from home is now so much easier than it was ten years ago. I am so much happier now and I would encourage other mums to also leave a job that brings them little joy and prevents them from spending time with their kids.
JazakAllah Khair to sister Farhat for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions!
If you are a muslim mum with a business and would like to feature then drop me a message in sha Allah.