Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't bug me!

Today is insect day and the kids' mission was to find 5 different bugs in our yard and identify them with books from the library. I chose books which feature bugs from our area. They went out and found a yellow jacket, a cabbage white butterfly, an eastern kayak pond skater, a pavement ant, a bumble bee, a potato bug,a brown crane fly, and a carpenter ant. For my 5 yr old who loves mantis from the movie Kung Fu Panda I got her a book about Praying mantises. Apparently there is such a thing as a Malaysian rain forest praying mantis which hides amongst orchids as it looks like one and waits for its prey there. We also have 4 insect videos from the library including Bill Nye. As this is part of the grade 3 curriculum my son will have this part of his schoolwork done ahead of time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How are really.

I knew a guy who whenever you asked him how he was, he would reply perfect. It always amazed me because this guy wasn't a muslim but he had the attitude for one. When we are asked how we are, we are supposed to say Alhumdullilah; we should be grateful at all times no matter what we are going through. I haven't been able to embrace this since I converted. I've been saying fine if I was or to people I knew didn't really care but otherwise I would tell how I really was, if I wasn't ok. According to an article I just read in GoodHousekeeping (by Valerie Frankel) complaining just creates negative energy and makes things worse for everyone. She then goes on to explain how she tried to go for a week without complaining. Of course she couldn't do it completely but what she learned was that" gratitude stops complaints in their tracks". And isn't Alhumdullilah an expression of gratitude and doesn't it stop complaints in their tracks? Masha Allah. This article really made me realize why we should just say alhumdullilah.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blessed Jumuah

Another Jumuah and my kids want to pray inside this week. I found a great khutbah from this site and I chose The Responsibilities of Children to Parents for this week's topic. Insha Allah share with us how jumuah is in your community. Did you love the khutbah this week? Did it inspire you?

Ramadan activities

For Ramadan this year I have a few ideas up my sleeve to keep the kids busy and insha Allah islamically informed. A new book out this year with crafts is Ramadan Crafts for Kids and I've already ordered it and can't wait to see it. I've also ordered more Colour and Learn Salat books which I've used in the past with great success with my oldest 3. I'll be using these for my 4 middle kids; the 12, 11, 9 and 8 yr old. A great ramadan craft that caught my eye called Ramadan cave can be found here at Sketched Soul's blog. Another activity I did with my kids in the past was to make pop up Eid cards using this book I got from the library. What will you be doing with your kids this Ramadan?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unexpected dawah

Today my son's friend came over for a playdate and when his mom came to pick him up she said the famous words I always hear; can I ask you some questions? Then she proceeded to ask me about how I became muslim and started talking to me about of all things The Arrivals. Apparently they have been hacked quite extensively..makes you wonder what people are trying to hide. We talked for awhile and I sent her on her way with gems from my secret stash; a Quran, a booklet and some pamphlets about Islam. A daiee must always be prepared.

Cool food

Our summer activity today and for the next two days will be making our own drinks and ice cream to cool down. Today is Orange Julius day and tomorrow will be Wendy's Frosty day and then DQ Blizzard day. Then we will make our own ice cream as featured in my old post. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Swimming in Islam

In Islam there are 4 types of activities we are supposed to learn to do and one of them is swimming. Yet sadly so many muslim women do not know how to swim and that is one of the reasons so many died during the tsunami. Today I read this article and feel so upset. Its time that muslim women learned to swim. Its a matter of life and death!

Wait a minute Mr. Postman

Anybody else have this problem? The doorbell rings..aww man you have to grab your hijab and put it on before they leave. I've learned to yell out, " just a minute", but let me tell you they don't have much patience. What's worse is when you are wearing shorts or any indoor outfit and on top of hijab you have to throw on a jilbab and hope he doesn't run away before you do your superman act! Wouldn't it be cool if technology could invent some kind of cloaking device? Not to make you invisible but to make it appear like you are actually wearing a cloak over your ordinary clothes. Well in the meantime we need an outfit that you can just throw over yourself in a couple of seconds so we don't have to be calling out hey,hey wait a minute Mr. Postman.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Recommendations

From blogs,facebook,amazon and even the ISNA conference last year I have been getting ideas about different books to read. I wish I hadn't passed up the opportunity to buy Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman at the conference last year because I can't find it at my library now. Amazon suggested Tasting the Sky : A Palestinian Childhood by Ibtisam Barakat. A blog I came across had Rice Mother by Rani Manicka and is set in Malaysia my husband's country. Finally from facebook an author did a book review of this new book called Dirt: The Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House. So many books, so little time..sigh....What's on your recommended reading list?

Baby friendly

For some strange reason about 90% of muslim clothes are made for non mothers. You can barely find maternity clothes or clothes for nursing. Why does every shirt and abaya have to be button free or have fake buttons? Its really annoying. But I finally found some shirts that I could use and here they are. but this one keeps unbuttoning! don't buy it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Live and let live vs Enjoin the good and forbid the evil.

Before becoming muslim I was in the camp of live and let live mostly unless it was to try to change things by writing about them or planning to become a politician to change things. Of course there were some things you had to speak up about but for the most part everyone just did their own thing. And then I became muslim and realized by reading the Quran that it is our obligation to forbid the evil. Ok what is evil in most of society's eyes is a much smaller list than in God's and that makes it a lot more difficult. There also is the rule that you must take the person aside to tell them their faults which sounds fair but what about the person's reaction. That is probably why people forbid the evil in public. I personally don't like confrontation and who wants to deal with someone spazzing out? And then of course no one wants to listen to what you have to say and you feel like you are wasting your time plus putting yourself in harm's way but this is what Allah has commanded so you have no say. I must say this is one of the hardest tests I've come across since converting. How do you deal with it?

Book Dreams

I have my eye on some great new books. A muslim fictional book series which has caught my eye is the one by Jamilah Kolocotronis. They include Echoes, Rebounding and Turbulence. I am also looking forward to reading the 4th in the series by Umm Zakiyah called Realities of Submission which rounds out her other 3 titles of Footsteps, If I Should Speak and A Voice. From the author of From My Sister's Lips comes From Somalia with Love about a teenager in the UK. I would also like to read Love in a Headscarf but can't seem to get my hands on it. There are also two new books in the Life is an Open Secret series which include You, Me and We and Ramadan Special. I still haven't found the Ramadan one yet in North America but you can order it online from the author. For motivation and inspiration I would like to pick up Heba's book Release Your Inner Queen of Sheba (read her blog by checking the link on my site). Brick Lane by Monica Ali has been recommended to me and I've ordered it from my public library. Today I got an email with Amazon recommending the book 10 Things I Hate about Me by the same author that wrote Does My Head Look Big in This? Its also about a teen and she trying to hide her muslim identity by going by the name of Jamie instead of Jamilah and dying her hair blond and wearing blue contact lenses. Looks interesting. So what's on your summer reading list? (at the end of August it better be the whole Quran..ramadan is coming up but of course never to be neglected at other times either).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Halal Meat

Our town up until this month did not have halal meat except for Crescent pepperoni strangely. Now they carry some box meat from Maple Lodge and some ground beef from Al Safa. But since that is still not the whole range of meat that we need we will continue our monthly treks out of town an hour away to replenish our stock. I love the store we shop at; the staff are friendly, they give us discounts and they always give free stuff to the kids :) Here I can find all the meat I need cut in the way I'm used to and lots of food that is the halal version of what I ate back in the day. You can find halal cheese slices, marshmallows, vanilla extract, bacon, pepperoni, a version of Wagon Wheels and frozen pizza. You can also find henna for your hair, body and fingernails as well as face cream by Kare and Hope and sometimes miswak toothpaste but not recently. What about you? Tell me all the meaty details of your life!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jumuah in the great outdoors

Today as one of our summer activities we prayed Jumuah outdoors in our backyard. My 12 yr old son was the imam and gave this khubah I didn't realize at first that it was written by Heba (I am Sheba) 's brother. We layed out our woven mats from Malaysia then place our prayer mats on top for our little outdoor masjid. I could hear the neighbour talking next door, not sure what he thought but at the beginning when my son did the Azan and started the khutbah a little bird kept was so sweet. Have you ever prayed outside? How about Jumuah? What's your story?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Library

Islamic books like Islamic fashion and everything else islamic are hard to come by in non-muslim countries. That is why I have been slowly building my home library all these years with books I got on trips to other cities or conferences or ordered online. This way my kids will always have access to many types of islamic books from stories to reference books. Even my grown up children of which I have two, come home to borrow books. I also have a magazine selection as well from Azizah to Al Jumuah. Insha Allah I will get the Sisters magazine from England too as I will be featured in it insha Allah very soon. So far I have about 4 shelves of books and I am hoping one day if we ever get a bigger home that I will have one room as the library/prayer room. I've seen some expat malays do that and I love the idea! Its good to have one room in the house where you can feel serene. I also give books as eid gifts every year for eid-ul-adha. I want my kids to understand that books are really precious things that help expand our knowledge of Allah (God) and bring us closer to him. So what's on new on your bookshelf?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer activities aka mom I'm bored.

I'm not homeschooling yet, but since the kids are bored, I told my daughter to make a calendar and then we will fill in the days with interesting activities. Everyone gets to input. They are already signed up for the summer library reading program, so that will be something they do quite often as well as swimming but for the rest of the time we need to brainstorm. One idea I've already included is homemade ice cream I also plan to have an insect day to try to learn the names of different insects and also try to incorporate the stories in the quran about insects. I've also borrowed a stack of books from the library with activity ideas that we will go through. The kids would like to try going to different parks than the ones they usually go to and having a picnic which they love to prepare themselves. They also want to have school friends over. For jumuah I would like to have prayers outdoors with my son as the imam and he can give a khutbah (sermon) since the masjid (mosque) is quite a ways from us as there is none where we live. A scavenger hunt will be done again this year like last year too. So what kind of frugal ways are you using to keep your kids busy this summer?

Friday, July 10, 2009


Expressing your style and following the islamic rules for covering can be quite a challenge. Forget malls; its like finding gold if you can come across an islamically acceptable piece let alone an outfit. For immigrants there's the go home and shop option but for converts its a different story. If you live in a big city you might be able to find an islamic shop but for the rest of us you have to rely on the internet. Thankfully a great store has finally come to Canada if only online; Ordering outside of Canada will leave you with duties and the annoyance of having to send something all the way back overseas or across the border if it doesn't work out. Its too bad because european stores have very nice choices for islamic clothes. If you can sew or find a seamstress then you are one of the lucky ones who can avoid the whole ordering process and the lack of choices in styles in Islamic clothes. You can also tailor the clothes to fit you more perfectly too. Of course things have improved. When I converted I couldn't even find a single outfit. One woman at an Islamic lecture even said she felt it was discrimination that the malls don't offer choices for muslims. Hopefully the future bodes brighter for the Islamic fashion scene in Canada.

The Anti-Cooking Taboo

There is a taboo amongst muslims which I have noticed. It seems that its a cardinal sin to hate cooking and to not do it. Quickly you will find yourself frozen out if you do not participate in fundraising dinners or cook the meals for potlucks etc. Not willing or able to host an iftar at the mosque? That's social suicide. If you do cook and its not from scratch then you're out! Bring something from a store and people will ask you the recipe to try to embarrass you. Sorry I don't care. Everything for muslims seems to revolve around food. Haliquahs..bring your quran and bring a dish or bring your quran and the host will make a buffet. All interactions involve food..want to get together with a friend? Then you will have to either host or go to a visit which includes food. Sometimes is nice but the pressure to always do it? Can't muslims just go to the movies, or the coffee shop or the playground together? Doesn't seem like it. That's what I miss about being a non-muslim...the layed back life of just hanging food strings attached. Guess I'll always feel like an outsider..since its not Islam that brings us together but sadly food.


Insha Allah I will be homeschooling this year. I got the curriculum books which follow the Ontario one from an Islamic school. For islamic books I got some from RIS last year. They are called Islamic Education by Maulvi Abdul Aziz. I have all the grades from 1-6. For grade 7-8 I will be using What Islam is All About by Yahiya Emerick. For extra social studies I will be using The Islamic School Books by Susan Douglass. Currently I only have grade 1 so need to get more. Also Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq and Islamic Aqidah and Fiqh by Aisha Lemu. They will continue to learn arabic at friday classes as well as Islamic history but I am open to suggestions and will look into different books if needed like Islamic science, history and geography. I also have the Atlas of the Quran.


Asalaamu Alaikum

As you can tell from the title I'm muslim and if you know the nursery rhyme about the Old Woman in the Shoe then you know I have so many kids I don't know what to do! I actually have 10! So I am looking to find others like me. I converted to Islam about 18 yrs ago and so did my two oldest kids. I'm a grandmother to one. I love baking but hate cooking and rarely do it. I might homeschool this year. I live in a small town that I hate but insha Allah one day will be able to hightail it out of here. I decided to blog to see if I liked it any better than Facebook which is getting really old fast! My hobbies are reading; mostly non-fiction, baking including cake decorating, swimming, skating and dawah. Pleased to meet all of you, hope you enjoy my blog.