Saturday, August 29, 2009

Iftar invitations

Masha Allah the last two nights have been wonderful. Last night the whole community was invited to the masjid. Ok first of all my masjid is little strange when compared to others. Different families take turns giving iftar to the foreign, flown-in hafiz. Sometimes they also invite their friends too and sometimes families invite the whole community. I had a couple of convert friends that suddenly wanted to come over and since this was an open affair they came and joined me. It was so lovely to have someone to sit and talk with at the masjid. These women live an hour away and they came to see me just for the sake of Allah. This is true sisterhood. Also they got to see my new daughter and meet the rest of the family. Tonight my muslim neighbour invited us all over for iftar and that was awesome too. We only have two muslim neighbours so this is very special for us. Alhumdullilah for all these blessings this Ramadan. May Allah keep them in our lives and bless them. Amin.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Jilbab or not to jilbab that is the question.

If truth be told its more of a statement than a question as it is mandatory in Islam. Although I've been a convert for a very long time I am still fighting with myself over this. I am very well covered but this one thing I just can't seem to do. Lately I've really wanted to embrace it and have been doing research. What kind of research? Well first of all what does a quranic jilbab really look like? Seems there are a few ideas out there. Secondly where to find some that are both nursing friendly and made from natural fabrics. Insha Allah this will be easy to do on both counts. But what really needs to be easy is the actual wearing of it. Can I handle it? Will this last step be too much for me? Anyone have any advice?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life is Friends

Forget about facebook, IMs, email etc and concentrate on face to face interaction is what this book focuses on. I am in total agreement as you can see from my Fakebook post. This author though says we need to get back to the dinner party and cocktail parties. Ok the last one is a big no-no for muslims but maybe a smoothie party? Her basic idea is to open up your home and invite others over. Oh my she sounds like a muslim and didn't I just mention that muslims put too much emphasis on food? Well maybe there is a happy medium? I didn't really learn anything new in this book; its kind of common sense. I think this author though has never experienced what its like when you invite others over and everyone declines or they say yes and don't show. This has been my experience these past years. Another thing she talks about is white lying. In Islam there is no lying of any kind and of course not in Christianity or Judaism and she mentions that readers have taken her to task on this but feels it is necesary. I don't agree. I hate when people say they are busy and they are just making excuses. I'd rather people were upfront. And if you are not coming just say so or at least call and say you won't be coming. Don't leave the host waiting. She does tell guests to do this though. How about you, have you invited any iftar guests? How about guests for Eid? Is your door always open to guests? Is your house always full?

Ramadan Mubarak.

I was tempted to make a post about how unsatisfactory some things are but stopped myself . I was even further stopped by this quote from the HeartWheel Journal;Do you ever get frustrated or stressed? Is it because, perhaps, you are focused on yourself at the moment? Probably.
Focusing on oneself = stinginess = frustration = ingratitude to Allah. Instead of focusing on ourselves today, why don’t we
focus on others? How is their health? How long have ‘they’ been waiting in line? Maybe their perspective is something
valid that I haven’t considered before? Whatever it is, stress comes from focusing on ourselves. Happiness, on the other
hand, comes from upright righteous character.

I really need to work on this, this Ramadan. Insha Allah lets all focus on others needs even the people who drive us up the wall and down the other side :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Story Kits

While I was searching for books about insects I came across a story kit for the topic. For those unfamiliar with story kits they are a boxed set of books,cds, dvds, puppets,song and rhyme sheets, games,puzzles, concept and storytelling props and items to count related to various themes. These kits would lend themselves very well to different subject topics. I have my eye on the Around the World/Multicultural Kit, Busy Babies/Baby and Toddler Kit, Down by the Bay/Summer and Seaside kit, Pizza Kit and Community Helpers Kit. The Colour kit, Counting Kit and Shapes kit would all be good for my daughter in kindergarten and also my preschooler. Our library lets us take these out for one month but in bigger cities I heard its only a week. Does your library carry these? Check them out! Add some pizzaz to your homeschooling day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life Is An Open Secret

I've often wondered if women are allowed to write khutbahs (sermons) since they are not allowed to be imams. But is there any rule about them writing one? I've never heard anything about a ruling on this. Sometimes listening to them at Jumuah (friday congregational prayers) I almost fall asleep and wonder how the men can listen to these uninspiring talks each week. Not that I can blame the men who are giving the speeches as they are all volunteers and not qualified imams. Perhaps at other mosques with real imams the khutbahs are more interesting and not so vague and wishy-washy. I remember how the sermons were at church and how you would feel invigorated to do something specific before the next Sunday. I would love to write one and have an imam deliver it and of course I would include all the necessary ayat and hadith references. Then I'd like to see if it made any long lasting impressions and any behavioural changes on the congregation. But in the meantime if you want to be inspired then I suggest reading Life Is An Open Secret by Zabrina A. Bakar. She has three books in this series including; Think About It, You, Me and We and Ramadan. I have read the first two and I found the second one to be even more amazing then the first. Zabrina grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go and you find yourself jumping out of your seat to take her advice which is all based on Islam(ayats and hadith are listed) but is told by various true stories and fictional stories that contain morals. If you want to be inspired to be a better muslim and the khutbahs at your mosque have left you yawning I would suggest you pick up this book pronto and even if your imam is a great speaker still pick this up as an addition to be even more motivated. After you read it tell me how you've been inspired and what changes you've made in your life.Life is an Open Secret

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Honest Scrap tag

I've been tagged by Handmade Beginnings and Happy Muslim Mama.

The Rules:

To do the Honest Scrap tag… here’s the deal. Tell your readers 10 things about you that they may or may not know, but are true. Tag ten people with the award, and be sure to let them know they’ve been tagged (a quick comment on their blog will do). Don’t forget to link back to the blogger who tagged you.

1. I love fabric, patterns, and notions but I can barely sew. I could stay for hours and hours at FabricLand.

2. I could live in the library if they let me.

3. I just took a cake decorating course and I love it!

4. I've lived in Malaysia.

5. I studied Advertising in college.

6. I want to live in Toronto!

7. I've been a seller for so many things but I'm not good at it. Never again!

8. My daughter helped me set up this blog.

9. I've never been to DisneyWorld.

10. My favourite colour is purple and my son-in-law calls me Barney because of it!

Now I will tag:

Jamerican Muslimah

Days of our Lives


hijab style


sketched soul

marriage and islam

barakah life

just another day

umar lee

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dawah by donation

Yesterday I donated this book to the library which I picked up from Muslim Fest to help spread Islam. My last donation was this book which has a chapter about Eid. In the past I have also donated a magazine subscription to Azizah which they gratefully accepted. I intend to give more books to the library in the future too and I especially want to give them this one. The reason I am so passionate about library dawah is because when I was searching for a new religion as a teen the only books I could find were books written by non-muslims which were all biased. When I was in my 20's I finally found books by muslim authors and they were all donated by the MSA (muslim student association) that was located in my city's university. I am very grateful for those donations because they taught me about true Islam. There isn't any MSA anywhere near where I live and since the mosque doesn't give the library donations, then I have taken it upon myself to do it. My friend joined me in this endeavour once too, alhumdullilah. Insha Allah these donations will be of benefit to someone and guide them to the truth.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fake Book

No its not a spelling mistake but what it should be called. When my kids first told me to join facebook I thought it was stupid but went against my gut instinct and joined. I found lots of old classmates and relatives I'd never been in contact with and also some family members and acquaintances. I use it for dawah mostly and to keep up to date with islamic events but I also really wanted to use it as a social tool. Isn't it called social networking? But soon I found out that the relationships are really fake. No one actually wants to know you in real life. They don't want to call or visit you or viceversa. What they want is entertainment. They want to watch your life the way they do tv. I'm going to be leaving facebook because its a virtual world which will never morph into a real world. Its sad but adios fakebook. With this blog I can write out my thoughts and keep a history of things and if no one reads it or wants to know me then it doesn't really matter because this is for me. I found a lovely article that I'd like to share with you here.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Yesterday we took a trip to Chinatown where my son and daughter's second cousin has a lovely fruit store. We got rambutans,mangosteens and longan. So many delicious choices which are next to impossible to find around here. At the bakery we got coconut buns; a favourite of ours, almond cake and cream horns. Then I just had to get my favourite drink there which is red bean drink and everyone else got bubble tea and slushes. I wish the dim sum was halal but alas my kids will never try it unless we get adventurous and make our own. For some reason it was quieter than usual maybe because everyone went away for the long weekend but wouldn't out of towners come there to make up for it? I was very impressed with the service, very fast and they never ignore you when you come in. Word to the wise though, come early to get a parking spot. This is the first time we came in the morning and it was great because we didn't have to drive around forever looking for a spot or get stuck in expensive underground parking. Does your city have a chinatown?

Writer's Expo

Two days ago I attended the first ever Writer's Expo at MuslimFest. I think it was the best part of the whole thing but I could be biased being that I am a serious book lover. There were around 20 authors sitting at tables selling their books. I got to meet Heba of the famous Release Your Inner Queen of Sheba phenomenon. I also got her book and she personally signed it. She told me an article of hers will appear in the Toronto Star tomorrow (Aug 4th) and I said I'd be sure to get it insha Allah. Huda Khattab was also there with her new book Beyond the Kitchen, also signed. Rukhsana Khan gave a speech about becoming an author and talking about her latest book Wanting Mor which I also bought and had signed. There was also a panel discussion called Meet and Mingle with Muslim journalists and Producers but I missed it because of looking after my kids needs. I wanted to talk to Rukhsana but she was gone after her speech and when she came back it was during this panel discussion. I thought she might be interested to know that even in our little town we have her book; Muslim Child and no I didn't put it there nor request it. I wanted to show her that she is indeed going mainstream which is what she is after according to her speech. Sadly this wasn't a very well attended part of the fest and I think it was partly because of its isolated location from the rest of the activities and also the lack of interest towards books that I've noticed amongst muslims. We still have a long way to go to increase awareness of muslim authors but this is a step in the right direction. Insha Allah one day we will have islamic libraries with people inside having book clubs discussing the latest bestseller and muslim bookstores in the malls and muslim book of the month clubs. Ahh I can dream can't I? Meanwhile we can all do our part to promote our ummah's literary works, one book at a time.