15 Spiritual Book recommendations

It has been a long time coming! I have been asked regarding this list of books from many people and I have finally selected the ones I love! I have put them in order of which I think would be a good way to start. For individuals dwelling into spirituality to people who are familiar and want a boost! 

I am not the best at explaining each book (see below 😂) However I do love reading and these are my top 15! If you have any questions on any of the titles or want further recommendations for other subjects other than the soul (there's a pattern here!) Drop me a message on halima@wwags.com or DM @wwags on instagram! 

I truly hope this can benefit you! Please do support your local bookshop before buying online! 
Th most central accessible bookshop in London is Dar al Taqwa situated in Baker Street!

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1. Journey to God

This book is a must have in every home. This was the book that made me fall in love with tassawuf (sufism) It has the most amazing and simple explanation and the rest of the book is filled with gems! This is Jasser Auda's reflections of the Hikam. I would advice to read this before delving into the Hikam by Ibn Ata'illah. 

2. Agenda to change our Condition 

I recently re-read this after ten years. It was bought back to my attention by a friend Selina of AMALIAH
The easiest read of how to get your act together basically. It is a handbook we all need. 
See book review here

3. The Lives of Man / The book of assistance

I wanted to actually recommend 'The book of assistance' by Imam al Haddad, which I didn't have on me at the time of taking the picture. But they are both important to read. The book of assistances title in itself is self explanatory. 

4. The Essence of Sufism 

Another easy introduction to Sufism

"Etiquette for the Seeker on the Path, has listed the most fundamental aspects for the seeker, intending the path of Sufism."

6. Muhammad, His Character and Beauty 

The famous Shaykh Yusuf an nabahani almost reorganises Imam Tirmidhi's Shama'il and adds commentary. Everyone should read this. Why? To know and understand his beauty! You learn to Love someone by hearing about them and the way they look! 

The famous writings of the seerah of our beloved by one of the greatest Shaykhs from Britain, Martin Lings. I have never read a seerah quite like it. 

9. The refinement of Souls

"t is a concise manual consisting of spiritual instructions, aphorisms and private discourses with the Divine"

10. The degrees of the Soul - Abdal-Khaliq Al-Shabrawi

This book goes through the spiritual stations of the soul. translated by one of my favourites, Mustafa Badawi 

11. Knowledge and Wisdom - Imam al Haddad

This is my current favourite go to. Each chapter is full of wisdom and very relevant to what we face in todays society of social media and general being. 

This one is quite deep and I would not recommend reading before bed... haha! 

15. The Secret of Secrets - Shaykh Abd al Qadir al Jilani 

"An interpretative translation by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak of 'Sirr al-Asrar' by Hadrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (1077-1166AD), considered by many to be one of the greatest saints of Islam and the eponymous founder of the Qadiriyya order. This book, appearing in English for the first time, contains the very essence of Sufism, giving a Sufi explanation of how the outward practices of Islam - prayer, fasting, almsgiving and pilgrimage - contain a wealth of inner dimension which must be discovered and enjoyed if external actions are to be performed in a manner pleasing to God. When this is achieved the soul finds true peace and the spiritual life becomes complete."

Next post should be my top recommended photography books! 

Concept and Execution

Every shoot that we arrange has a concept and execution plan. It can be quite free on the day of shooting, however the base of the shoot must be strong otherwise things can spiral downhill very quickly. 

I had a shoot early this year which somewhat frustrated me due to all the creatives who were on the shoot had their own idea of how they wanted it to be executed. To be honest, it was a mess. From the garments to the styling, hair to the make up. everyone had their own input of what they wanted to do. 

 @Khanums Moodboard

@Khanums Moodboard

I believe when it comes to projects and shoots that are very creative, there must be at least one key person that is directing the entire shoot. There must be a clear plan and a clear outcome of what you have in mind. 

How can you do this? Here are a few pointers of how I plan a concept 

  • First things first. MOOD BOARD
    I do not ever plan a creative shoot without a concept in mind which then goes on to a board. 
    The board will consist of a theme as seen below. This Mood board was created for KHANUMS.co
    Her new collection of jackets and blazers are heavily embellished and the founder and I discussed the full concept weeks before the shoot. From what I took back from our conversation, I created the above mood board. A few key words I kept in mind from our conversation:
    - Hotel
    - Editorial
    - Glow
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MAKE UP MOOD

  • Select and choose the team you are working with. -Stylist - Make up Artist - Creative Director (If your'e not an over controlling freak like myself haha)  Sometimes this can be difficult depending on who you are shooting for. I have been quite lucky in being able to suggest members of my team for various roles in a shoot. To be honest, it helps me on the day in being confident. 
  • MODEL! Now this feature for me is very, if not, the most important factor. If you know me, have worked with me or have ever been in the discussion with working with me, one of my most pushed element for a good shoot is a model. You would think that was common sense right? Wrong. Sometimes brands and individuals just want to go for the ''instagram model'' because shes cheap (no offence) and cheerful. I don't agree with that. It is unfair and to be honest, you will notice all the difference in your work. And if anyone ever wants to be cheeky and compare my work of the two, you'll see the biggest difference. STICK TO REAL MODELS.
     
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  • EXECUTION: The day has come and you're ready to shoot. First things first, team briefing. Make sure EVERYBODY is on the same page. From the hair and make up artists to the assistants on the shoot. It is a vital everybody understands one another. 
    - Set Up: I am hoping to do some posts of set ups for your shoot. 
    and finally: EXECUTE! 

Make sure to have fun. We can't always be serious and boring!! Enjoy the process because without the joy, it's just another day!

 

SHOOT: 
@Khanums
MAKE UP: @tanji.s
HAIR: @shax_ali