Monday, May 30, 2011

What we see when watching others

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood

The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside."That laundry is not very clean", she said."She doesn't know how to wash correctly.Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."Her husband looked on, but remained silent.Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.I wonder who taught her this.

"The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows"
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look. It is easy for us to discuss other people, their lives & things that really doesn't even concern us and we tend to forget - our windows may not be that clean after all!!
 
 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Six Rights Upon a Muslim


Asalaam Alaikum w Rahmatullahi w Barkatahu

"There are six rights upon a Muslim". 

The Prophet (pbuh) was asked, what are these O’ Prophet (pbuh)? "


1. When you meet him, give him salaam, 


2. When he invites you, (to a meal) accept it, 


3. When he seeks counseling from you give him counseling  


4. When he sneezes and says Alhamdulillah, bless him, 


5. When he falls ill visit him and 


6. When he dies accompany his funeral." (MUSLIM)

Sheik Yusuf Estes Lecture

Asalaam Alaikum w Rahmatulahi w Barakatuhu

Last night, i was lucky enough to attend an amazing lecture by Sheik Yusuf Estes. The lecture was titled "Peace of Mind in a Chaotic World". It was a really great lecture and Sheik Yusuf Estes talked about common problems that Muslims of today are facing. He also took the time to answer questions from the brothers and sisters in the audience.


It didnt take long for all of the seats to fill up.



I am so proud to have a new sister in Islam. In this picture, Vanessa takes her shahhada and officially becomes a Mulimah. Mashallah, i am so proud of her. All of us were in tears because we were so happy for her. 


By far the best part of the night was welcoming 5 new brothers and sisters to Islam. Everyone in the audience had tears in their eyes as they took their shahhada. We are all so proud of them. Mashallah. And may their journey in Islam be rewarding, and may Allah guide them and bless them. Ameen.

I also found this really cute boy running around. Mashallah. He is adorable.


My pet cactus - Spikey Al Zakat

Recently I was lucky enough to become the proud new owner mother of this amazing cactus. He was gifted to me for a special occasion. Initially I was like WTF .... and actually, I am still like WTF..... But he is growing on me. His spikes are alarmingly sharp and spikey and he has been the cause of multiple spike related accidents in my home since his adoption. Megs, also claims that he has stabbed her on the foot several times now.


Never the less he is growing on me and i have named him Spikey Al Zakat. I love him for the sake of Allah. :-/

Hmmm . . .

Ok,  so the other morning Eman and myself went for our Friday morning coffee date. After struggling to find a car park for nearly 20 mins we finally spotted a park that was close enough to the coffee shop that we wouldn't melt in the 40 degree heat as we crossed the road.

This is what we parked next to: 



Needless to say we were really amused, and after Eman finished yelling "take a picture, quick take a picture" I decided to take a sneaky snap shot of the delights before my eyes!!

I now feel inspired to decorate my car in the same way!!
(NOT)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Five Reasons Why


Five Reasons why Allah gives us problems

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you – depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how Allah wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what... benefit they might bring. Here are five ways Allah wants to use the problems in your life:

1. Allah uses problems to DIRECT you.
Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”

2. Allah uses problems to INSPECT you.
People are like tea bags…if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot ever water! Has God tested your faith with a problem What do problems reveal about you? “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.”

3. Allah uses problems to CORRECT you.
Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove…. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something… health, money, a relationship.. .. by losing it. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay
attention to your laws.”

4. Allah uses problems to PROTECT you.
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do.
His unemployment was a problem – but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”

5. Allah uses problems to PERFECT you.
Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity. “We can rejoice when we run into problems…they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.”

Here’s the point:
Allah is at work in your life – even when you do not recognize it or understand it.
But it’s much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

“Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way”

Allah Knows Best…


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Adventures of Aisha - Part 2

Well my dear friend Aisha always seems to be running into the wrong guys. Here is the latest installment in her not-so-successful love life. Alhamdallah she has a great sense of humor and a laugh-it-off attitude.

Here is her story: 







The End.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dont Judge A Muslimah By Her Cover

Asalaam Alaikum w Rahmatulahi w Barakatuhu 

This little story was just too good not to share.  My Muslimah sister Eman works for an airline as cabin crew, so she doesn't wear hijab on the flight as per the uniform requirements, but none the less she is a dedicated and practicing Muslimah. People say the most ridiculous things to her sometimes, but this one just made me laugh.

A picture says a thousand words, so i have gone to the liberty of drawing the event below:



Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Carpenter - Short Story

A short story i wish to share with you:

A highly skilled carpenter who had grown old was ready to retire.
He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his family.
He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire.
...
 
The employer was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed to this proposal but made sure that this will be his last project. Being in a mood to retire, the carpenter was not paying much attention to building this house. His heart was not in his work. He resorted to poor workmanship and used inferior materials.
It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the job was done, the carpenter called his employer and showed him the house. The employer handed over some papers and the front door key to the carpenter and said “This is your house, my gift to you.”

The carpenter was in a shock! What a shame! If he had only known that he was building his own house, he would have made it better than any other house that he ever built!

Our situation can be compared to this carpenter. Allah SWT has sent us to this world to build our homes in paradise by obeying His commands. Now, we have to decide how well we wish to build the homes where we will live forever.


And slacken not in following up the enemy: If ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships; but ye have Hope from Allah, while they have none. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
( سورة النساء , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #104)

Blessed is He who, if that were His will, could give thee better (things) than those,- Gardens beneath which rivers flow; and He could give thee palaces (secure to dwell in).
( سورة الفرقان , Al-Furqan, Chapter #25, Verse #10)

www.theonewhoneedsreminders.blogspot.com

My Dear Sister In Islam, Shireen,  posted this on her blog today! It made my day. 




''No! No! I wanna go home, I'll do it later'' I cried out loud to Amina as we walked out of an Abaya mall and she suggested we pray Isha at the masjid near the parking lot.

''Lets do it now and then you can go home, go to sleep directly! you'd feel too tired to pray once your home!'' she insisted while making me walk by pulling my arm.

This scene between us is quite common, when we are at the mall during the weekend or at the islamic centre or at her home. She just wants to get done with it on time, IT being the Prayer. Allah knows I am a fan of Salah, the only times when I get lazy is during Isha, so I delay it as much as I can, or promise myself to get up in the middle of the night to pray..

Anyhow, looking at her pleading eyes behind her ninja niqab made me feel guilty about what I was begging her for, I was begging her to delay her prayer although we were right in front of the masjid, I felt like Shaitan in person! So I agreed, we went in the masjid prayed isha and when I went back home, I was dead-tired, I hit the bed and every muscle in my body was screaming for some rest because it was a long day!

Then I started to wonder about the kind of friend that I may have been to others even before coming close to religion. I would be the first person to volunteer to go for movies and the last person to pray the friday prayer.. Alhamdulillah, Allah Al-Hadi guided me back so I am trying to be steadfast but the ''old'' me sometimes springs back into action causing emaan problems like the one mentioned above!

Post Prayer common scene between Amina and I on our way out from the masjid or the prayer room goes like this

Me - I love you SOOO much!

Amina - I know you do! Don't you feel so much better?


Me - Yes I do!

Lesson - If you really love your friend, you would save them from hell! :D (or in my case procrastination)

On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (رضي الله عنه ), the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) said:A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.[sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, #314 and Muslim]

How much do you really know about the niqab?

I was browsing the net and found this great article. I thought i would share it with you all. 


How much do you really know about the niqab? An insider guide to common misconceptions.

1. The niqab is a symbol of female subjugation.
None of the niqab-wearing women who I know, wear it because they have been forced to. They see it as an act of devotion to their Creator: the culmination of a spiritual journey. In fact most of them are women who were born and brought up in the UK; many are White or Afro-Caribbean Muslim converts to Islam who have chosen to observe it. The hijab, niqab and abaya are outer garments and are worn only when outdoors or in the presence of men who are not close relatives and so, contrary to popular belief, underneath their robes, in family and female-only settings Muslim women are often very fashion conscious and outgoing. They dress in everyday clothing; they get their hair done, go on holiday and even buy lingerie!

2. Women who wear the niqab cannot possibly contribute to society
People are surprised to hear that niqab-wearers come from varied vocational backgrounds. They include doctors, teachers, dentists, authors, social workers, university graduates, lecturers and more. They usually prefer to work in a female environment and so would not wear the face-veil all the time. Other women say that wearing the niqab actually makes them feel more comfortable when they are working with men. It is ironic that the very women who are the subject of debate are far from being a burden on society: they don’t get drunk and disorderly, don’t smoke and are likely to be very good citizens. Many of them are full-time mothers who take pride in raising well-educated children who will be an asset to British society.

 
3. The niqab isn’t in the Qur’an
The Qur’anic worldview presents a complete system of living, which permeates the daily lives of observant Muslims. This includes everything from rituals of personal hygiene, advice on neighbourly behaviour and animal rights to regulations for dress. Some women see the niqab as a religious obligation, others, as an act of worship following in the footsteps of notable Muslim women of the past. Numerous verses in the Qur’an contain directives for Muslim women’s dress, amongst them:
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the Believers to draw their outer garments all over their bodies. That will be better, so that they may be known and so as not to be annoyed, and God is Ever-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (33:59)
The Qur’an was interpreted by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his disciples and their teachings form the basis of Islamic law. There are two orthodox schools of thought with regards to the interpretation of this verse. One orthodox interpretation is that it means covering the whole body including the face. The other school of thought is that, though not obligatory, covering the face is a virtue.
  

4. Wearing the niqab implies that all men are predatory
Just as locking our doors at night doesn’t imply that all members of society are burglars, wearing the niqab doesn’t imply that all men are predatory.
The Islamic worldview recognises that attraction between men and women exists and, if left unharnessed, has the potential to break down the moral fabric of society. It also acknowledges the physiological and physical differences between men and women and therefore Islamic legislation for dress and behaviour reflect these differences and aid adherents to avoid situations that could lead to extra-marital sexual relations. Hence both men and women have been commanded to lower their gazes and given directives on dress.

5. The niqab poses a security risk at banks and airports
By simply going to the side and showing their faces and ID to female members of staff, Muslim women who wear the niqab, have been, for decades, passing through airport security in major airports all over the world without cause for security concern. The same sort of arrangement can be made for any situation where ID needs to be checked.


6.Niqab wearers can’t possibly be teachers.
There are many highly qualified and experienced Muslim teachers. A Muslim teacher, who wears the niqab, would not need to do so if men were not present, therefore many female Muslim teachers choose to teach women or children and uncover their faces whilst teaching.

7. Banning the niqab will free those Muslim women who are coerced into wearing it.
Banning the face-veil would be totally counter-productive: it would cause many Muslim women to feel targeted and persecuted and is likely to cause many talented women to withdraw from society. The majority of niqab-wearing women in Europe, wear it out of personal choice, so if, for the sake of a suspected minority, the niqab was to be banned, this would be clear discrimination against the majority. If we want to empower women from any community who are oppressed or abused, effective public services where such abuse can be reported need to be made more available and accessible to the women involved.


May Allah grant us the understanding. 

Understand Quran the Easy Way

Salaam Alaikum w Rahmatulahi w Barakatuhu

This weekend i was lucky enough, Alhamdallah, to participate in a course called "Understand the Quran the Easy Way". It was a great course that provided non Arabic speakers an insight into the beautiful language of the Holy Quran. The course went for a total of 9 hours spread over 2 days. It was a complete sell out, and Inshallah we all learnt something new.

Our swanky new pen .. I lost mine after about 5 mins. Maybe Shireen took it.

Dr. Abdul Azeez is really well educated and such a great teacher, MashAllah.


Our Amazing workbook, this book is priceless.

The auditorium filled up really quickly, it was over full, with over 1,000 people attending.

My notes.

Further details and information can be found on the website: www.understandquran.com

May Allah grant us all guidance.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Quick Visit to Abu Dhabi

This Friday I went to visit a good friend of mine in her home town of Abu Dhabi. It was such a great weekend and the weather was amazing. Al7amdallah.

We prayed Al Jum3a Prayer in Sheik Zayed Mosque

It was a prefect day, al7amdallah, and the Mosque was breathtaking

It fills my heart with joy to see soo many brothers and sisters at the Mosque for Friday prayer

Its great to see small kids here, and everyone is smiling

Perfect day, perfect weather. Al7amdallah for everything

Amazing. 



We went and had a look at Emirates Palace. Its such a nice building and really beautiful inside. 

Emirates Palace, ceiling in the main lobby.

Emirates Palace

Main Lobby

The girls loved the Gold ATM.

The gold from the ATM.

Such a beautiful day and a beautiful location

Khalifa is soo cute. Mashallah.


He has so much energy Mashallah.

Sooo many stairs! I needed ice cream after this!


We went to visit a really nice exhibition in Emirates Palace






Khalifa before he tried to remove the boat from the water! LOL.




After leaving emirates palace we went to the Corniche to have a walk around in the great weather and enjoy some much needed ice cream! 

The day was just perfect! al7amdallah

Khalifa, mashallah, sooo cuute!!

Eman was telling me that she has done this before! I would be soo scared. Yikes.

Volley ball competition was taking place!

Stroll along the Corniche

Khalifa showing off his amazing handstand skills. Soo talented. Mashallah.

This beautiful Mosque just accross from the Corniche. Time for Asr prayer! 


After leaving the corniche we went to Emans family home and had tea and mangoes with her mother and sisters. Mashallah such and amazing family. May Allah bless them all. It was so kind of them to have me stay over for the weekend. Such a beautiful family. Mashallah. Thanks Eman for a great weekend.

Peace Out Khalifa!!