Please introduce yourself
Assalaamu ‘alaykum! My name’s Aasiyah and I’m a mother of two young children under the age of 4, based in the UK. As well as being an author (pen name RS Khan), I’m also the co-founder of Education Enriched, a small Islamic publishers.
Tell us a bit about your business
A few years ago, I was reading a beautifully crafted rhyming book by Julia Donaldson to my 1 year old, and I pondered over why there were no Islamic books of similar quality in terms of the content, whose illustrations also confirmed to Islamic values. Being a keen writer, I decided to take the task on myself, and along with my husband, we launched Education Enriched in 2014.
I wanted our focus to be upon the amazing role models of the past, like ‘Umar and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them both). How amazing would it be to inspire our little Muslims to become like these heroes of Islam, I thought. And so I wrote my first book, “The Young Man’s Plan”, a rhyming story book which tells the great tale of ‘Umar’s journey to Islam, in an engaging way that children love, yet based purely upon narrations.
Yet we wanted more than to just narrate these amazing stories to our children. We wanted to delve into the beautiful lessons that we could learn from them – how the Qur’an had such a profound effect upon ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), how to emulate the great honesty of Ka’b (may Allah be pleased with him), and many many more. With that in mind, we decided to produce resources alongside the storybooks – colouring activity books for younger children and engaging Islamic workbooks for older children - resources that children would really enjoy using. We also decided to make them cross-curricular, so through the story of ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), children could also learn about the desert, the rhyme, the Qur’an and many other subjects along the way.
So far, the feedback has been amazing, alhamdulillah, and we hope to produce and publish many more resources to benefit little Muslims worldwide, by the will and mercy of Allah.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced?
The main challenge has been getting the books and resources known. With myself being a stay at home mother and my husband working full-time, we have struggled with the aspect of marketing. Yet despite this challenge, I have to keep reminding myself that even if Education Enriched is not known to hundreds of thousands of Muslims, even one child who is inspired by our books means that our work is worth it.
How do you balance it all? Family and work?
Juggling motherhood and business is a continual challenge. It is easy to get your priorities muddled up and focus on the business, but I have to always try to remind myself that my priority is my children, and business comes second. So I do what I can in my free time– yes it requires a great amount of patience and self-discipline – but I try not to let it affect my other responsibilities and let it take over. I see many women losing sight of their original goals, and I myself do too, but I just have to try and focus on my primary role as a mother and wife and treat the business as my hobby, not my work. Otherwise I tend to become impatient with my children and husband and do not give them the right that they truly deserve.
Have you got any advice for aspiring mumpreneurs?
This advice is primarily for myself, and then to others. Intention, du’aa, patience and perseverance. Don’t lose sight of your goals. Don’t give up when you face difficulties. And ultimately, don’t let the business cause you to become lax in your Islamic values – if it does, then it is not worth it, because provision is ultimately from Allah.
You can check out our site: www.education-enriched.co.uk – I’m actually currently developing a free resources library (but being a mother, it’s slow progress!) so please do subscribe to get updates.