Episode Three: Beauty in the Botany: Utilizing the Power of Plants to Educate and Build Community
We’re back with another Everyday Muslimah episode, and today I am excited to highlight and share the story of another dope Muslimah, Bahjah Muhammad.
I really enjoy this series and how it gives me and others the opportunity to learn about the unique talents and efforts of each of the Muslim women that I interview. I finish these interviews always having learned something new, and Bahjah’s story is no different.
Because we live during a time where we are seeing, every day, how our actions and even our in-action are negatively impacting the planet we call home, it is important that we have people who actively engage nature in both a positive and sustainable way. I am excited to share Bahjah’s story because she does this and so much more.
Though, as you all know, I like to highlight the journey of each of the women I interview, showing you all what exists behind the title and role of owner and entrepreneur.
So, who is Bahjah Muhammad and why horticulture?
Born in Chester, Pennsylvania and raised in Philadelphia, Bahjah is an educator, an entrepreneur, and most importantly an active member of her community. Like many other entrepreneurs, Bahjah balances multiple roles on a daily. Not only is she the owner of her business, Horticulture, but she is also a mother of “four beautiful and amazingly talented children.” She is a woman with many interests, interests that both energize and feed her creativity. From the arts and cooking to fashion, the outdoors, and traveling, Bahjah does it all.
A theme that I find incredibly important, and a theme that has been recurrent with each interview is the multidimensional nature of Muslim women. I find it powerful how we expand ourselves and give ourselves the opportunity to explore our interests and passions, and I love how Bahjah actualizes this.
When I asked about her business, Bahjah described it as:
“a unique vibe for the culture, [a] culture that embodies everything that is plants & flowers!”
With a mission to positively contribute “to the quality of life, beauty, sustainability and rehabilitation of [the] environment and the human condition, Horticulture offers a range of services to cater to client needs.” Some of the services offered include interior design and plant care.
Describing herself as “Botanical Stylist,” Bahjah finds joy and passion in engaging nature and utilizing the power of plants and the beauty of botany to enhance people’s lives. In our interview, Bahjah mentioned that she has a love for beautifying spaces, and her business, Horticulture, gave her space to do that. She is also able to“stay true to who [she is] as an educator by [leading] classes and workshops [related] to plants and plant care.” Horticulture is an extension of her lifestyle, which is why it is unique to any other plant shop as she fuses her interests into the business model.
For Bahjah, as previously mentioned, it’s about community and giving back to those within her community via her interests and skills. An important aspect of Bahajah’s business Horticulture is not only the services and education she offers but also the cmmunity component. Located in Brewerytown, Bahjah allows for community members to rent out her space if needed, highlighting her dedication to providing a safe, beautiful, and healthy community space. Additionally, through Horticulture, Bahjah hosts events related to supporting Black businesses and plant education, providing opportunities to educate her community members on topics that she finds relevant. Horticulture acts not only as an important community space, but it facilitates the transfer of joy and peace as she brings “peace and happiness to people’s lives” through her services and programming.
Lastly, I like to ask each interviewee, if applicable, how their business relates back to their faith and identity as a Muslim. Religion is often a large part of one’s identity, and because of that, I think it is important to acknowledge how people put faith into practice and use the work that they do to highlight or carry out certain beliefs or tenets of their religion.
In the interview, Bahjah stated that “as a Muslim business owner, I am intentional with how I carry myself and interact with others because I represent Islam.” Because of this, Islam is a core part of her business– “it sets the standard.” Moreover, Bahjah shared one of her favorite hadiths to express why she finds importance in what she does.
"Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. He loves the lofties of affairs and disapproves of pettiness."
Allah is beautiful, and so we must respect and appreciate things that are beautiful as they are his creation and expressions of His mercy and power.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Bahjah Muhammad and her business, Horticulture. To learn more and to stay updated on the programming she provides, visit her website horticulture.site and follow her on social media using the following handles: Instagram @bahj @hor.ti.cul.ture and tiktok @bahj.muhammad. Also, consider checking out her shop in Brewerytown and stay tuned for more Everyday Muslimahs!