THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Winners to be announced shortly.
Thank you to everyone for participating.
My first prayer as a new Muslim was nothing short of disastrous. In hindsight, I was praying totally off-kilter — somewhere in the direction of Venezuela. And I probably shouldn’t have backed myself up so close to the wall. I bumped my backside when I bowed — so hard that I nearly propelled myself face first into the carpet.
Even getting to that point was an anxiety-ridden ordeal. I had self-taught myself how to pray from a few crumpled pamphlets, and transliterated every Arabic word I was supposed to say into a tiny book that I read faithfully at every prayer for weeks until I could perform them unaided. Keeping the hijab from slipping off my head required countless pins. And simply gathering up the courage to bow, kneel and prostrate before God without feeling foolish, ashamed or fearful that I was doing it incorrectly was overwhelming. I was in a constant state of performance anxiety fuelled by insecurity. The entire spiritual, mental and physical process to pray took hours.
I was even flustered just thinking about going to the bathroom to make my wudu. Which foot goes first? Wait, how do I get my foot into the sink? What do I say? When do I say it? How many times do I pass over my head? Wait, I have to “snuff” water up into my nose? How do you “snuff” water? OH MY GOD MY BRAIN IS ON FIRE!
Needless to say, my paper aides quickly became soggy messes.
Last month I had the utmost pleasure of interviewing the amazing Kristina ElSayed, author of MyIslamicLife, for my lecture on mothering Muslim identity. Kristina is the mother of three Muslim children and she takes great pride in making sure they learn the tenants of Islam, including prayer. When she first married her husband, she found that libraries and online bookstores were lacking in books supporting interfaith-Muslim marriages. Then when it was time for her daughters to learn how to pray, she couldn’t find hijabs for them. Feeling isolated by the community, she did what any fabulous entrepreneurial woman might do — she started a blog and made her own Islamic-themed products:
When I couldn’t find hijabs for them to wear and no one would tell me how to find them, I became angry and frustrated. But then I found a workaround. Through it all, I wondered if there were other women out there like me. I wanted to reach out to other people like me, non-Muslim, non-Arab, hacking her way through an Islamic Life. I wanted to find a way to connect with other parents like me and maybe share what I’ve learned to make their life a little less challenging.
Remembering my own frustrations with prayer and wudu as a new convert I naturally jumped at the chance to review Kristina’s Wudu Cling.
It’s a fantastically unique solution for anyone learning the path to prayer, or as Kristina says, “teaching the basics of prayer begins with learning to properly prepare for each prayer.”
The Wudu Cling is a small, static cling vinal display of the 10 steps of wudu. Brief explanations are paired up with clear illustrations. And it’s so handy. Seriously. After I slapped it on our bathroom mirror, Eryn took one look and grabbed her step stool so she could follow along and make wudu. It’s an amazing learning tool as well as a confidence booster.
It’s honestly a great item or gift for children, new converts or Mosques — and it’s such a wonderful idea.
Lucky for all of you, Kristina is graciously sponsoring a giveaway of two Wudu Clings AND offering everyone 20% off all items in her Etsy store for the length of the giveaway.
And let me gush just a little over her store. She makes prayer outfits, Hajj clothes, and faith-inspired jewellery. She makes charms celebrating Shahada anniversaries and noting the five pillars of Islam. They’re AMAZING! You know what I got on the occasion of my shahada? A donut. True story. You know what I would have LOVED? A charm!
Seriously brilliant, professional and stylish work.
Go to Kristina’s Etsy store and apply the code: w00dturtle13 for 20% off your purchase (please note the code contains two “zeros” and a thirteen). This coupon will expire on Wednesday, July 24.
For this giveaway we’ll have two lucky winners!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a valid email address (either in the comment itself or in the email field when you fill out the comment form).
I’ll announce the winners picked at random after the contest closes.
You have until midnight GMT on Wednesday, July 24 to enter.