Once upon a time when MuslimChild.ca first launched in 2008, I picked the slogan: Yours. Mine. Ours.
My brother had said to me, “that sounds like an orphanage.”
“Hm, I guess it does”, I thought - but by then I printed 1000 cards, letterheads, and shirts with the slogan proudly on. Still, to me it made a lot of sense.
Somewhere between 2008-2010 MuslimChild.ca went into hiding; running a business, or at least trying, wasn’t really feasible, but its purpose remained close to heart. Roughly 7 years later, MuslimChild.ca came back, which is what you’re seeing now, but instead there’s no “Yours. Mine. Ours.” - It’s now, “Sharing Muslim Humour and Love through Children’s Wear.” Before that, it said “Muslim Wear, With Islamic Flair”. You see, apparently I have 10 seconds to catch your attention and tell you how my business can solve a need you have. It’s said our attention span is less than a gold fish, that number stands at a whopping 7 seconds (something like that - some say even 3 seconds); although I believe Myth Busters busted that one. Hmm, but I thought we’re in an age where information is sucked up faster than an ant eater high on Oreos, or am I missing something?
Anyway, there are so many different “marketing strategies”, but I have many questions and often feel unsettled by many. I hate “selling” to people, it feels fake, it feels like I’m burdening them, it feels – cheap! Strategy is great, but I think purpose is even greater. I realized that I lost sight of why I started MuslimChild.ca, apart from needing a way to provide for my children and I at that time, there was, and there is more.
See for me, MuslimChild.ca came after an emotionally testing, mentally breaking kind-of-time in my life. I begged, prayed, and asked Allah to make a way so I don’t have to leave my children to be raised by someone else or leave them to accept the norms of society that are contrary to Islam. I wanted to nurture their values through their environment and by actually being around to teach them. After all, they are one of my greatest gifts in life (being Muslim topping the list) Alhamdulilah, but they are also my greatest responsibility.
So one day, during this trying time, I woke up from a nap and immediately started writing; that was the birth of MuslimChild.ca – the day I understood that raising Muslim children cannot be done single-handily, but rather “it takes a tribe to raise a child.” We are that tribe to one another, and it’s upon all of us to create an environment, a culture, a sense of pride, a love, and an appreciation of the gift of Islam for Your child. My Child. And Our Children.
Islam is a way of life. I believe this in its entirety, and I also believe that it’s a perfect way of life – even if we may not fully understand why we do some things, like eat with our right hand, make a dua before we enter the bathroom, sleep on our right side, etc. Every single aspect of our life has been perfected for us, and we’ve chosen to submit, that’s why we are ‘Muslim’ (the one who submits to the Will of God). It’s a choice we make to follow, and adhere to. Thus, the responsibility falls on us all to impart this way of life to our children – yours, mine and ours.
So today, I take MuslimChild.ca back to its roots. Here we embrace the beauty of our religion, we enjoy the subtly it has in our daily lives, and most importantly we strive to share this pride and joy in the lives of children. Before we turn to GAP (which may or may not stand for Gay And Proud – let’s not open that can of worms) or big corporations that have convinced us that wearing their brand will make us better in some way, even if it has nothing to do with who we are. I hope MuslimChild.ca will be stand to represent what we love the most - being a proud Muslim, for Yours. Mine. And Ours. – Insha’Allah.
May Allah Guide us all to that which is good, Forgive us, Protect us and our progeny and let us die only as Muslims, Ameen.