Shining a light on the communal spirit of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslim Sisterhood collaborates with Daily Paper

The creative collective reflects on the spirituality and togetherness of Ramadan and how the lockdown has changed this year’s celebrations for Muslims up and down the country.

Date
11 June 2020
Reading Time
4 minute read

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In an exciting new collaboration, Muslim Sisterhood and Daily Paper have partnered up for an editorial centring Muslim women for its SS20 Resort collection. We’ve long been fans of the London-based creative collective and deservedly, the group has nominated for this year’s Dazed 100 (you can vote for them here.) The creative collective founded by Zeinab Saleh, Sara Gulamali and Lamisa Khan, highlights the richness and multiplicity of Muslim women through a myriad of art forms and events, while also encouraging conversations.

In a similar vein, Daily Paper was also founded by three creatives and, from the get-go, the clothing brand felt an affinity with the collective for its earnest mission of offering up an honest portrayal of young Muslim identity today. Through the subtext of creativity and fashion, the photo series honours Ramadan’s and Eid’s spiritual and communal values as Muslims all around the world celebrated with loved ones. The series not only acknowledges the holy time but also encourages conversations around why this is such a special time. “People aren’t always considerate of the importance this holy time holds for us,” explains Sara. “Ramadan isn’t just about abstaining from food and drink. It is so much more than that.” Zeinab adds: “On top of the continuation of daily life duties, it’s about spirituality, solidarity and thinking beyond yourself (qualities we also nurture through prayer and Zakat, which is an obligatory form of charity).”

Lamisa explains: “We originally had plans to host events in the run-up to Ramadan, but unfortunately the lockdown meant a cancellation of our projects. In spite of this, Muslism Sisterhood still wanted to focus on the annual event of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr in its content. The celebratory series of photos pays particular attention to the Sunnah of dressing your best on Eid, a tradition based on the practices of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Muslims mark the occasion by wearing their best clothes and feasting, gifts are often exchanged between loved ones to mark the occasion, and these presents are often clothes. In light of this, the three founders pitched the collaboration with Daily Paper to pay homage to the significant festival.

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Muslim Sisterhood and Daily Paper: SS20 Resort

Having first been introduced to Daily Paper two years ago for a shoot for Off the Block magazine styled by Alizé Demange, the three founders have long been admirers of the brand’s dedication to representing Black culture in all its diaspora communities. Zeinab adds: “It’s really refreshing to see a Black-owned independent brand find so much success while continuing to authentically represent.” In turn, Muslim Sisterhood curated items from its SS20 Resort collection, styling their favourite garments in modest yet highly fashionable ways.

Importantly, the shoot honours the beautiful community that Zeinab, Lamisa and Sara are part of, shining a light on “what togetherness means for us Muslims.” Something that’s been difficult to achieve given the pandemic. Unable to get together with the larger Ummah (community) as well as extended relatives, this year’s celebrations have taken a different form of unity. “Trying to cultivate that same sense of togetherness and encourage spirituality in quarantine was difficult,” says Sara. “We all struggle individually to balance religion, work and family life on an everyday basis. And we tend to utilise Ramadan as a time to realign, refocus and nurture our relationship with Allah and Islam.”

With mosques closed this year due to the lockdown, a key aspect of community-building was also removed. As well as being a place of religious worship, it’s also a place of togetherness that can feel like home. “This is something we really did miss this year,” the three founders concur. This sense of solidarity and togetherness is a constant theme that runs throughout all of Muslim Sisterhood’s output. And even though they couldn’t get together this year, the collective still wanted to do something positive, consequently reminding themselves and others “to stay at home and also slay at home.”

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Muslim Sisterhood and Daily Paper: SS20 Resort

Always involving people from the community in their shoots rather than professional networks, Lamisa says of the shoot: “The atmosphere on set was a total vibe and by having a designated prayer space on set, we made sure weren’t compromising our Islamic values either.” Impressively executing the shoot while fasting and while simultaneously adhering to social distancing regulations, the team kept a minimum number of people on set and asked the models to showcase their make up skills too.

“Another highlight,” the three founders finally go on to say, “was working with a brand who understood our needs as Muslims without us having to explain or justify our requirements. There is so much more space for creativity to flow when it isn’t being consumed by the tedious and exhausting task of having to defend and convince others of our values. In our first meeting over Zoom, it was so lovely to hear a familiar ‘Salaam’ and ‘Ramadan Mubarak’. There aren’t many Muslims in the creative industry so it was definitely a privilege to work with a team who were from similar backgrounds and understood exactly where we were coming from. The Daily Paper team were a dream to work with and, despite having a tight turnover during Ramadan, we really enjoyed creating such a beautiful and meaningful editorial with them.”

GalleryMuslim Sisterhood and Daily Paper: SS20 Resort

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.

jo@itsnicethat.com

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