“Why Muslim women shouldn’t wait for X,Y,Z to travel and enjoy the world” on The Muslim Vibe

Thrilled to be featured in this article about women traveling on The Muslim Vibe website:

The Big Reconnect Sleepover (TBRS)  blossomed as a result of co-hosts Brooke Benoit and Khalida Haque recognising the shortage of space for Muslim women to retreat to as well as the lack of travel opportunities for them. Their personal and professional lives helped them to see that this was something that was much needed (and wanted) within the Ummah (Muslim community) – although they welcome non-Muslim retreaters with the understanding that the retreats are ‘Muslimy’ in content. The retreats purposely choose locations that are very Islamically inspiring and pack the itineraries with activities encouraged by the sunnah. In Morocco, we have the unique opportunities to ride camels, pray Jummah in an 800-year-old mosque, practice Islamic-influenced arts and even swim in a completely private pool. While in London we surround ourselves in a green setting full of Allah’s bounty and beauty in the natural world, practice archery and have a sister-led halalqa in our own private little mosque. On all retreats, we also eat great food, laugh a ton, challenge ourselves, get much-needed rest, and very importantly – make meaningful connections to other sisters, both the women attending the retreats and the dozens of women who work hard to make these vacations so special.

Please read the rest of the article here.

“The Retreat that Saved Me” in SISTERS Magazine

The Big Reconnect Sleepover 2016 was blessed to have writer/editor Khadijah Hayley join us in Marrakech. Khadijah wrote about her experience and interviewed Khalida and Brooke for SISTERS magazine:

…I felt connected. Not just with myself and my identity as a Muslim, but connected to a truly special group of sisters. The intimacy felt at #TBRS16 was inspirational. Our presence hugged each other, comforting each other through the trials we were all facing, but didn’t have to talk about.

With each fun and joyous activity bringing a smile on our faces, we bonded. We bonded on the roof of the riad in Marrakech, as we were guided through a group visualisation activity, we each visited a place within ourselves that taught us something new. Tears were shed and hearts were lifted. Like I said, we didn’t have to share the home truths we found, we simply accepted them in a safe and comforting environment. We bonded over delicious home-cooked meals, complete with mint tea and light-hearted discussions, sometimes late into the night. We bonded amongst the gushing, yet tranquil sounds of the waterfalls. We bonded as we clutched onto each other whilst we stumbled down the mountains. We bonded over spices and tagines as we learnt to cook the traditional Moroccan dish.

We bonded. We laughed. What makes this retreat genuinely incredible, is the variety of personalities it accommodates. I am a mother and wife. But whether you are single, divorced or without children, this retreat provides an amazingly unique and personal experience. Whatever battle you are facing at home, be it with family, work, friends, or even with your deen, #TBRS16 was designed to strengthen you and enlighten you to your true purpose and identity, and using this enlightenment, you find the energy and clarity of mind to return to your life and duties with a smile and a fresh perspective. And it is all down to Sisters Brooke and Khalida, without whom, this retreat, this breath of beautiful fresh air, would not have been possible. What was going through their minds as they planned this incredible retreat?…

Read the entire article and interview here.


12 Steps to Practicing Vital Self-Care” in Fitra Journal

No one can so thoroughly explain self-care for Muslim woman like The Big Reconnect Sleepover’s co-host Khalida Haque

…Self-care is also a divine responsibility. Our bodies and selves, just as everything else, that Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon us, are an amanah (a trust) upon us. When I think of self-care, I remember the following two ahadith:

The Prophet (SAW) once asked a companion: “(Is it true) that you fast all day and stand in prayer all night?” The companion replied that the report was indeed true.

The Prophet then said: “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.” (Bukhari)

….It is difficult to be strong when we are spent and empty. And as we know through hadith, the strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer (Muslim). This strength refers to an internal strength and relates to imaan (faith) which becomes eroded if there is no self-love and compassion. Everyone has an internal voice and it is often negative. It is generally an internalisation of a critical parent. This voice, this harsh inner critic that many, if not all, of us possess is not as influential if we take care of ourselves. It loses power if we practice self-care, though it may try to sabotage us when we do. This voice does not believe we are deserving of care, love, affection or indeed anything positive.

I don’t think it is possible to express just how important looking after ourselves is…

 Really best to just go read the whole right here.


“Moroccan Retreat for Muslim Women” as seen on the Muslim Gift Guide

Thank you to the Muslim Gift guide for featuring The Big Reconnect Sleepover!


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