“…The centrepiece of my trip to London was the Maximized London Mini Retreat organised by two sisters I had met for the first time in Marrakesh, Morocco: Brooke and Khalida. I had loved the trip my daughter-in-law and I took there and I knew that London would be just as exciting, although quite different.

We arrived at our cabin retreat in the English countryside where my daughter and I met up with sisters from across England and as far away as Tanzania and Trinidad. We began with a professional pampering: a facial massage using organic oils and scrubs along with a manicure or pedicure. Those on retreat took our assigned rooms, some of us sharing space, others preferring a little solitude at night.*

We did many activities at the retreat, including our daily morning yoga, one-on-one consultations, horse riding, archery, Qur’anic reflections, working on journals with Nilly from storidori.co.uk and one of my favourites – learning how to play the drums for a finale we would all take part in. It was a roaring send-off back to the city for the final tourist leg of my adventure.

But as my daughter and I packed our bags to go back to London, we realised we were taking away more than a series of events – we had grown from the experience. We all have hopes and dreams and we all have problems. Some sisters were at the retreat as young single women or marking the beginning, continuation or end of a marriage. Some of us were celebrating a child’s acceptance into university, some were in the midst of the struggle to raise tweens and teens or were taking some time off from the demanding life of being a new or young mum. We all had stories to tell, struggles to share and we found quiet listeners and valuable advice. Some stories I think will be in my heart forever, creating a love and appreciation for the strength of women who forge onwards despite incredible challenges, challenges which you can tell have brought them closer to Allah (SWT). May Allah (SWT) make it easy for my lovelies…”

*All retreaters get their own private room on the London retreat.

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