If there’s one thing I enjoy in February, it is the discounted chocolates after Valentine’s Day. Many who know me, especially my husband, know that I am not a fan of the holiday. The consumer driven, materialistic nature makes me question how many people truly celebrate Valentine's Day for what it is purported to be – celebrating and appreciating your significant other and/or the love in your life. I would much rather dedicate a separate day with my significant other just to avoid the cliche of it all.
I know this sounds cynical, but stay with me.
In recent years I have seen many variations of the holiday that I can appreciate, such as Friendship Day and Galentine’s Day. While nurturing your marital relationship is important, I personally think there is too much pressure on making Valentine’s Day, THE holiday where you choose to celebrate your love for your spouse.
Instead, I invite you to look at love and relationships through a different lens by honoring, nurturing and celebrating the relationships we have with our sisters and gal pals. They deserve some TLC (tender loving care) as well!
What I love about Islam is that it is applicable in all aspects of our life and can be incorporated in anything we do. If made with the right intentions, our friendships can be a means for us to be amongst those whom Allah (S) shelters under His shade on the Day of Judgement:
“Verily, Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection: Where are those who love each other for the sake of my glory? Today, I will shelter them in my shade on a day when there is no shade but mine.” [Muslim]
Loving our sisters in Islam (whether by blood or by choice) for the sake of Allah (S) is a beautiful bond that can be a means of relief for us in the hereafter. I encourage you to make your relationships intentional and grow a sisterhood with those that bring you closer to Allah (S) and guide you to His path. Here are some fun and intentional ways we can enjoy and uplift the dear friends in our lives!
Evening Athkar & Bonfire Circle
Image source: Pexels; photo by Greg Gulik
I love this idea because it hones in on the concept of loving your sister for Allah’s (S) sake and getting together in His remembrance, where the angels will surround you and mention your gathering to Allah (S
). There is also something special about reciting the Quran, or athkar, in unison. Print out the evening (or morning if you choose to have a gathering earlier in the day) athkar so that your friends each have a copy and can read aloud together. Huddle around a bonfire in someone’s backyard or on the beach (if you’re lucky to be situated near a beach) with cozy blankets, fuzzy socks and all the fixings – tea, biscuits, chocolates and marshmallows. These can be items you all pitch in to bring.
After the athkar, reflect together on your friendships. Take turns sharing what each of you admires about your group and how this sisterhood has helped you personally. Appreciating our roles in each other's lives helps our relationships flourish.
Plan a Group Activity
Doing an activity as a group is a great bonding experience and fun way to spend time together with the girls you love best. Escape rooms, a group cooking class, or painting class are just some ideas. You can also contact a local plant shop and see if they offer any terrarium or planting classes, or a pottery studio and create something memorable with the girls!
Bring a Board Party
Image source: Pexels
A fun food idea that I have seen a lot on social media lately, is the “bring a board
” trend. Invite your girlfriends and sisters to showcase their baking and cooking talents by making their own food or snack boards and bringing them to your Galentine’s Day party. This way you don’t have to worry about making or catering all of the food, and each person can get creative with the food or dessert they choose to bring.
Make sure everyone shares what type of board they will bring so you don’t end up with duplicate boards. Here is a list of some delicious board ideas to help you get started.
- Pancake and waffle charcuterie board
- Chocolate fondue board
- Build your own taco board
- Sushi board
- Fruit board
- Veggie board
- Hot cocoa board
- Sliders board
- Salad board
- Cookies board
- S’mores board
- Chips and dip board
- Mezze board
Plan a Photoshoot
I don’t know about you, but there is something about getting glammed up and getting your photos taken that is just so much fun. And, you get to keep beautifully captured memories of you and your loved ones. Planning a photoshoot with your sisters is a great way for you all to spend some time together and have photos for you all to cherish. Be sure to split the cost of the photographer amongst yourselves!
Take it Virtual
Image source: Pexels
Sometimes our plans fall through or our schedules don’t align; don’t let that get in the way of showing your sisters how much they mean to you. If you and your friends aren’t able to meet in person this year, take some time to plan a virtual gift swap and deliver or send their galentine to your assigned friend. If possible, plan a video call where you all open your gifts together. This idea can also be applied to sending each other lunch, or dropping off a midday pick-me-up like coffee or bubble tea.
“Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love for one another.” [Al-Bukhari]
I hope this post inspired you to take your own spin on a commercial holiday and show the women in your life, just how much they mean to you. After all, sisterhood for Allah’s (S) sake, as well as gift giving are part of Islam and help grow love and compassion between us. Don’t forget to take a photo of you and your gals rocking your HH together and be sure to tag us! #HauteHijab #HHSpottedClub