“The Feature” is designed to bring attention and awareness to the amazing works that Muslim women are doing in the world, inspiring you to live your most brilliant lives. In conversation with Fatimah Maitambari, founder of “Tea Dua Love” TMWT explored the importance of strong communities for Muslim Women.
Often, public spaces can be the heartbeat of communities. But in many cases, women want to socialise and have soulful conversations in spaces exclusive to them. In recent times, Muslim women are building women-only communities to encourage more women and girls to put thoughts, concerns or questions out in an environment free of judgement and prejudice. “Tea Dua Love” is one such community founded by Fatimah Maitambari to bring Muslim women together in a space where they can feel comfortable sharing their deepest concerns and asking sensitive questions. Fatimah Maitambari is a Nigerian Pharmacist, who is driven by faith and community. She describes herself as a little too enthusiastic about health and wellness and is constantly dedicated to evolving and becoming the best version of herself.
‘Tea Dua Love’ is Fatimah’s work of passion aimed at building a strong faith-based sisterhood of women. The community comprises over a thousand women from various parts of the world, cutting across borders, cultures and ethnicity.
Islam is big on Community, and we believe there has never been a better time to foster Community than at such a time when the world, as they say has become a global village. Our mission is to curate events and create spaces which enrich the self & soul, and foster Community — and we continue to do so through our list of events.Fatimah Maitambari
Curious to learn more about “Tea Dua Love“, TMWT had a conversation with Fatimah Maitambari and here’s what she had to say:
TMWT: When you close your eyes and imagine a strong community of women, what do you see?
Fatimah Maitambari: For Allah and by Allah — this means that we not only make space for each other, but we hold space for each other. We see past our apparent differences, the things we continue to let expand the cracks, and dig deep — because before the bodies were the souls, all from a single being and if we’d just let our souls connect, we’ll realize that we have more similarities than differences. And in all dealings, it’s always best to do it for Allah and do right by Allah.
TMWT: You created “Tea Dua Love” to help build a strong Muslim sisterhood that transcends culture, ethnicity and borders. Can you tell us more about this and what inspired you to do this?
Fatimah Maitambari: My greatest asset, I always say is my support network – and I know how they’ve held me up when I stumbled and walked me through many of my difficult times. Understanding that Islam thrives on community and believers are like parts of a building, each one of them supporting each other is what drove me to create “Tea, Dua Love”.
TMWT: What are your most remarkable milestones on this journey?
Fatimah Maitambari: Clubhouse! lol. When we started out, it was a small, local community that we were so focused on nurturing. It really didn’t occur to me that “Tea, Dua, Love” had the potential to scale as much as it has now until Clubhouse came around. Subhanallah, I’m still in awe of our growth, in number and diversity, that sometimes it scares me. Alhamdulillah.
TMWT: Working on this community-building project, what challenges have you faced
Fatimah Maitambari: Setting up the power team! Creating a team to do all the behind-the-scenes work to get stuff done has by far been my greatest struggle. I am particular about people who share the vision of ‘Tea Dua Love’, who see where we’re headed and not only understand but embody our Community values — because this baby needs a solid village to raise it. The second is definitely financing. When we started out, it was without a system or proper structure. We’ve been back and forth on the drawing table. My priority has always been and remains impact first, but my adult-self is learning that there’s only so much impact you can make without a steady source of income. Alhamdulillah, I’m happy to say we’ve recently taken a bold step [you heard it on TMWT first 😉] in the right direction, and I’m optimistic albeit anxious, to watch it bloom. Khayr, in sha Allah.
TMWT: How important do you think community is to the development of Muslim Women
Fatimah Maitambari: On a scale of 1-100, I’d say break the scale and add another. When we started out, I knew the Community appreciated our small events and they would always show up. Whether it was to brain-dump & vent, or to refill their emptied-out jars— it was always better to do it with a Community. But recently I’m learning the significance of Community [not from every coach hammering on the importance of networks and community] but from Muslim women themselves, that it would be significantly less daunting if there were others on this journey with them, whether it was her trying to navigate being Muslim and Single in a hyper-sexualized society; or Single Parenting; or a toxic marriage; or entrepreneurship in a very capitalist economy, striving to stay clear of the boundaries and still make a decent Return on Investment; or navigating the corporate world, as a Muslim woman; I can go on and on, but the struggles of Muslim women across the globe cannot be exhausted. What makes the load lighter to carry is community and reassurance that she’s not alone. It doesn’t end there, the wins of Muslim women seem to be magnified when shared with a community. It’s always beautiful and gratifying to sit in the audience and watch the Community bond and connect and let themselves be vulnerable and pick their sisters up — Alhamdulillah.
TMWT: This is really beautiful and inspiring, Maa Shaa Allah! Where do you see “Tea Dua Love” in the next couple of years?
Fatimah Maitambari: This question gives me goosebumps. I get a lot of anxiety thinking about the future of anything lol. Especially in cases where I’m the tool [Allah being the Engineer]. BUT, I’m also learning on this journey that concrete plans are important so, the goal is to broaden our reach internationally. We are beginning to gain the reach now, but I hope that in a few years, my inbox will be packed full of emails reading: “we love what you’re doing with TEA DUA LOVE, and we would love to replicate your system here” — wow, saying it out loud is actually quite fulfilling ☺️ haha!
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TMWT is an online media platform spotlighting the stories of Muslim women of the past and present. We aim to be one of the most authoritative and informative guides to what is happening in the world of Muslim women. We hope to cover key issues, spark debates, progressive ideas and provocative topics to get the Muslim world talking. We want to set agendas and explore ideas to improve the lives and wellbeing of Muslim Women.