Meet the Author: Mathilde Loujayne
Since embracing Islam in 2002, Mathilde Loujayne’s dream was to highlight the beauty of Islam to the world.
Her dream sparked the idea for her book, Big Little Steps: A woman’s guide to finding a balanced lifestyle and a glowing heart in Islam.
We interviewed Mathilde about her dream work and learned how her faith inspired it.
What do you get up to when you’re not busy writing?
I love studying single-estate teas from China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Northern India. I enjoy organising trainings for tea pairings and I also love to spend quality time with my daughter teaching her French. Scuba diving and surfing helps me clear my mind, and reading books on my Kindle helps me destress, especially while sipping a first-flush Darjeeling tea!
How did you find out what your true passion and calling is?
I’m not sure I’ve entirely found what it is. What I’m sure of is that my faith has been the most recurring theme in my life – the centre of my world – for as long as I can remember. It’s what I always go back to, even if I go through a low. I always end up going back to my religion, it’s who I am, and through it I have done so much soul-searching. It has helped me to grieve and tackle some of the most difficult things in my life, and it has also taught me to be grateful.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Initially I wanted to write the book for my mum. I wanted to share with her all of the beautiful things I had discovered through Islam. Over the years, I had also met amazing women walking the same big little steps as me, and I realised we all had similar concerns, but none of us had found a one-stop book that addressed our questions in a way that was approachable and easy to read. So in my mid-twenties, I decided to gather all of these questions and write a guide book based on my personal experiences. My hope was that it would help women around the world tackle the issues and questions they had. I interviewed more than fifty women from different countries to understand what mattered to them the most.
I am not a scholar. I am just a woman of faith with more than fifteen years of experience in the Muslim community. With my book, I wanted to pass on my knowledge and share what I’ve learned over the years, backed up by beautiful verses from the Holy Quran and narrations of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). I wanted to unearth what Muslim women have achieved in many fields over the centuries. I wanted to share miracles found in the Quran and how it conveys to us a way of life that can help us heal from within.
What does living a balanced life mean to you?
Keeping a healthy mind is just as important as keeping a healthy body. A strong, happy and content mind is a massive part of maintaining a healthy and positive life. Islam encourages moderation; it is continually guiding you towards maintaining a balance between your work or education, your husband, your family, your friends and social life, your me-time and, most importantly, your faith.