Friday, July 30, 2010

Kudos to Canadian Living Magazine -islamic debit card

In the August issue, Canadian Living magazine mentioned the new ifreedom Mastercard debit card which was made for muslims wishing to avoid interest bearing credit cards. I was amazed to see the magazine show something islamic. Magazines usually ignore us even during our holiday times; no fancy recipes for us! On the downside though, my daughter (dd2) applied for this card at MuslimFest last year and still has not recieved her card. I hope they get thier act together fast and then maybe I'll get one too, insha Allah.

Islam Meets Reality TV in Malaysia

Malaysia has a new show on Astro about young imams competing to be the best imam. Imagine a reality show with an islamic twist. Read the article here. You can also see the youtube videos with english translations for some of the episodes on kakchik's blog here. I really applaud Malaysia for taking this wonderful step in promoting imamhood.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grabbing a dawah opportunity.

Dd2 noticed on someone' s FB profile here in town that they were talking about the Palestinian issue. As this was a non-muslim my daughter was intrigued and contacted them to see if they would be interested in any books about Islam. They were and I gave her 3 books including the Quran and some pamphets to be passed on. They wanted to return the books after reading them but I don't want them as they are better put to use by other interested souls that they might know. Its been awhile since I've done any dawah so I was very glad for the opportunity. Masha Allah.

Rate your city!

I've been thinking about this for a long time;where is the best city in CANADA for Muslims. I always think its Toronto or its environs but some think differently. So here's your chance to rate your city. Feel free to answer anonymously with your town or city name.

Please give yourself one point for each positive feature of your area.

1. We have a mosque.
2. Our mosque has an imam.
3. Our mosque has learning activities for all ages ie Quran lessons, arabic, halaqua etc
4. Our mosque has convert classes.
5. We have a halal meat store or access to halal meat.
6. We have an islamic bookstore.
7. We have an islamic clothing store.
8. We have muslim social workers.
9. Islamic conferences take place here.
10. We have islamic charities to help local muslims ie food bank.
11. Muslims here are friends for the sake of Allah and not based on race or ethnicity.
12. Our mosque allows me to volunteer and make recommendations and changes.
13. Our mosque does dawah.
14. Our city has halal restaurants.
15. NEW. Our city has an islamic school.

As for where we live(actually 45 minutes away) there is only one thing; a mosque. How sad is that? So the rating is 1/13. Oh and a tiny selection of halal meat ie boxed meat. We also have 1 or 2 halal restaurants..this is very new. I forgot to add that soon a nearby town will be opening an islamic school. Looks expensive though.

Monday, July 26, 2010

November Book Club Pick

This was supposed to be for September but won't be out till Oct 12th insha Allah so it has become the new November book club pick.

October Book Club Pick

October's book club pick will be insha Allah The Size of  a Mustard Seed.

September Book Club Pick -change

Whoops I just noticed that Love in a Headscarf is not available until Oct 12th! So the new choice will be The Butterfly Mosque. Love in a Headscarf will be the new NOVEMBER pick.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Toronto Muslim Homeschooling First Conference

On August 8th there will be the First Toronto Muslim Homeschooling Conference. Masha Allah the GTA is very blessed to have so many muslim homeschoolers to be so active and proactive. Insha Allah some of my readers will be able to attend.With interesting speakers like Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick its an event not to be missed! Remember to RSVP!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Nasihah

Every Friday I recieve an email from Friday Nasihah. I thought I'd share todays as it hits home with me.

Living The Quran
Repel the Evil with Good
Al-Rad (Thunder) Chapter 13: Verse 22 (Partial)
"... and (those who) repel the evil with good."
This phrase has several meanings:
  • Whatever evil people have done, or whatever sin they have committed, they repel (its effect) immediately by repentance.
  • Whatever evil they have done, they immediately do a good deed in atonement for it.
  • They repel the evil done to them by doing good to those who did evil to them.
  • "When they are deprived (of anything), they give; and when they are wronged, they forgive."
Fethullah Gulen writes about this matter:
The most distinctive feature of a soul overflowing with faith is to love all types of love that are expressed in deeds, and to feel enmity for all deeds in which enmity is expressed. To hate everything is a sign of insanity or of infatuation with Satan.
Accept how God treats you. Make it the measure by which you treat others, so that you may represent the truth among them, and be free from the fear of loneliness in either world.
Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, p. 50

Ayat Al-Kursi learning

Last night my friend kindly helped me to learn to read Ayat Al Kursi. I've been keeping away from my quran reading these last few months after my intense study with Sunnipath. I was happy to see I still knew how to read pretty well masha Allah (but still confusing khaf with jeem;the dots are opposite to english). She has challenged me to learn it by Ramadan, Yikes! Insha Allah. For those who don't know it, learn it here with me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

September Book Club Pick

Insha Allah you are all reading July's book club pick;10 Things I Hate About Me and have ordered next month's choice; Ameena's Ramadan Diary. For Eid in September why not ask for September's Book Club choice which will be Love In A Headscarf. I can't wait to read it; I've been having a hard time getting my hands on one as they were only available as an ebook for awhile.

Purple Prayer Outfit

Wow! Masha Allah. I just got an email from shukr uk with this lovely prayer garment featured.(also available in the US and Canada). They say its long to go over the feet but if it wasn't I would wear it as a jilbab. Its perfect since even the hijab is attatched and it also has a zip front opening which is good for nursing. This would also be great for those times you have to quickly open the door and need to throw something on fast before they leave ie the postman. What do you think? Would you wear it out if it weren't so long? I'm just worried about the tripping factor.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thought Provoking Documentaries

One of my favourite types of films are documentaries. Lately I've watched The End of Poverty? Think Again and the Future of Food. These two films are tied together in a way because you can see what the North is doing to the South in this world to cause unfairness in the world and what Monsanto is doing in the world to destroy farmers especially the poor farmers in the South. By North I mean those that live in the Northern Hemisphere and not the delianation between states. I've also watched Why We Fight and War Made Easy and you can find them here at this free documentary site. I think its important for everyone to be cognizant of what is going on this world and to make a difference if possible. That is part of our viceregency. Get informed, get involved! And I remind myself first.

Men and boys in capris.

In the last couple of days I've seen two men and one boy (ds4) wearing capris. My dh bought the capris for my son and I was kind of shocked; never saw men wear such things. Then I saw two men right after that wearing them. Of course they are loose not tight like women's capris but never the less I wonder how long this style will last. I can see how men would like them as shorts are forbidden to them at work yet women can wear shorts and mini skirts (double standard). Also muslim men especially those who follow the sunnah of no pants below the ankles must be heaven with this new mode. Have you seen guys wearing these? What is your take?

Ameena's Ramadan Diary

Has anyone ordered this book for August yet? Insha Allah I will be doing that very soon. Some other good choices for Ramadan (not part of the book club though) are Life is an Open Secret: Ramadan and Boy Vs Girl. These are books you can read on your days off from the Quran. Quran is number one of course in the month of Ramadan.

10 Things I Hate About Me

Has anyone read this book yet? I finished it weeks ago along with my daughter. In fact my daughter (dd2) read it first and kept nudging me to read it so she could discuss it with me.

Masjid BBQ

On the weekend we went to our masjid's bbq (out of town for us). We were asked to bring either a salad or a dessert so of course I chose dessert ( I have been known to bring a potato salad though once before). At the other nearby town's muslim bbq last month a lady brought a scrumptious cake that I promptly got the recipe for or at least tried; took about a month for her to get back to me. Dd3 decided to make Mrs. Fields cookies as well. Good thing because there wasn't much dessert. As for the bbq itself, well it was really hot that day and I was melting especially in my jilbab but I kept to the shade. I didn't get to shmooze too much as I was watching the kids all the time but at the end I gave them to dh and went around and made my salaams. There were lots of new people especially newlyweds and a new baby too. One woman said she'd made a jilbab out of the same material that mine was made out of. I told her its a good thing then that you didn't wear it today. She said the material is too hot. She's right. I seriously need to get cooler jilbabs. Her daughter was so cute with her little squeaky shoes which she bought her to encourage her to walk. She said they worked because after a couple of days she was walking. Apparently that's what they do in her country to get slow learners to finally get on their feet.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Everyone is doing more.

Do you ever start to think everyone is doing more than me? I mean good deeds whether it be at home or in the community. I talked to a woman last night who said she makes her own baby food. I did this before for my 5th child but never revisited it with subsequent children. Other people are going to lectures,taking classes,homeschooling for years, cooking from scratch, volunteering etc. It makes me exhausted. I ask myself am I doing enough and what's really important? I know I could be doing more, but what? I know that some things don' t matter and won't be asked about on the day of judgement like making baby food or cooking so I can scratch those off my list but I worry about other things like am I giving my kids a good islamic education. I know I'm not because I don't have the experience and knowledge to do things like teach them quran. Going to conferences is out of the question right now with a baby and I do listen to cds and online but then knowledge must be implemented.  I hate this coasting feeling. I want to feel like part of something dynamic and I'm tired of the resistance from other muslims. I know I need to go to the next level, I've done it before but I'm stymied about how to get there under my present circumstances. Every blogger that is so inspiring must have started with baby steps but we never hear about that because they come on the scene full blast. Of course you can't take the first step if you are the type to be bogged down by laziness and procrastination and if you are read.this. Sometimes we need a mentor and that's something hard to find especially for converts who have no muslim family. Where am I going with this post? Not sure but I feel lost at sea and need to find my bearings. Advice?

Learn to Swim!

I mentioned it last year and I'll mention it again this year, learn how to swim! According to this article 20% of immigrants don't know how to swim. Even in countries that have water all around them I noticed that the women mostly cannot swim. When asked why they said it was something guys do, not girls. Why? Swimming is a life skill. It should be a must in every home that all members learn how to swim. Safety is so important too such as wearing a lifejacket while boating. You never know when something can go wrong. Take a first aid course too and learn how to do CPR. Its sad to note that the majority of people who died during the Tsunami were women because they were never taught to swim. Please sign yourself and your family up for swim lessons, boating lessons and cpr. You might save a life and that's like saving the whole world.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

UK-Verbal attacks on Malay Muslims

I found this article in another blog. I've heard a lot about how the English treat muslims in that country but this is the first time I've heard it related to Malays. I'm sad to hear that they are experiencing these problems and hope things will get better but if not then come to Canada to study. I've never heard of anyone from Malaysia being bothered here. I think its related to the economy and the overcrowding and high cost of living there. Whenever English people come here they are dazzled by all the space we have here and the low cost of housing in comparison to back home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Children of the Corn

To keep the kids busy this year I've enrolled them once again in the summer reading program which includes lots of activities like making flower baloons and winning prizes. Tim Horton's is offering free swimming at the pool once again and even the municipality did twice too because of the heat wave. As for dd2(18) and ds2(13) they are doing corn detasseling. This of course pays much better than my son's newpaper job but its temporary so he's going to take advantage of it as long as the season lasts which is pretty short, about a few weeks. This is the 4th yr dd2 has done it and the first year for ds2. I've never tried it myself because I never grew up in this area and in fact never even heard of it till we moved down south.

My trip to Manitoulin-Part One

At the end of June we went on vacation to Manitoulin Island; the largest freshwater island in the world! We travelled up the coast of Ontario all the way to the tip until we reached Tobermory. Then we took a ferry to Manitoulin Island. The trip was long and the ferry ride was 2 hours but they had a children's play area and a restaurant (nothing halal though really) and a gift shop where we bought two cups. The play area had toys for the little kids and arcade games for the older kids. You could also go outside and view the beautiful vistas and even go on top. It was very windy on some parts of the boat though. My kids thought the ferry was a blast.We forgot the camera in the car though and once its parked you can't go back to get anything.

Storage and home decorating

Lately I've been thinking about these two things. I just bought wooden hangers which have holes in them to hang up scarves; what a great invention. Also milk bag organizers for the fridge. I got these from a store called solutions in the GTA. Never seen anything like these around these parts that's for sure. But now my mind had moved on to something that's been bothering me for years. I want my windows to have privacy but want to let in the light. For some reason I just don't trust shears but one person swears by lace ones. What do you think? I've been looking at window wallpaper which lets in the light but gives you privacy and also roller blinds. Shears would be the cheapest  idea but which ones can I trust? I have issues with the neighbours so this is a big problem.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Games in the car

We used to have a van with a built-in dvd player, ahh the good old days. These days we have to think of other ideas to entertain ourselves (besides poking each other).  Yesterday my second son (13) and I played bet you don't know how to say this word in malay. Yes its lots of fun for us. I learned a little malay from a book and tape before we went to Malaysia in 2000 and also knew some random words dh would use sometimes with the kids plus some kind malay sisters taught me a bit over the internet plus I learned quite a bit in the 4 months I stayed in Malaysia including my handy dandy dictionaries. My son also learned a bit in some of these ways including his recent trip to Malaysia for 5 weeks. So it was quite funny to stump each other.  A lot of our knowledge overlaps but he didn' t know the word for shoe (kasut) or for ear or nose or dishes, lol. He stumped me with tomorrow, wood, the days of the week and watch ( I guessed waktu but that's time). Can your kids speak their father tongue? What ways do you use to learn the language of the fatherland?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

One Year Anniversary!!!!

So I've been blogging for a whole year today, masha Allah. Here is my first post. In fact I had four posts that day. What's changed? Hmm..well I'm still in a small town, still have 10 kids. The main change was I began homeschooling and I started wearing jilbab. I also started a book club online here and did some giveaways as well. The best thing about blogging this year though was meeting all of you and being inspired to be a better muslim. So many people have reached out to me and kept me company this year (hey 27 followers! 44 readers), alhumdullilah. What's interesting to see is the reason people come to my blog. My two most popular posts are Stones into Schools and Muslim Home Decorating. I wasn't expecting that at all. Insha Allah my posts have been of some use to you. I know they've kept me sane and motivated. What will the new year hold? With Ramadan just around the corner be sure to read Ameena's Ramadan Diary with me and hey don't be a stranger! I love your comments. Peace be with you, my devoted readers. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Match the book to the kid

This is a great site; Simply choose your child's grade level and their interests and books are selected to match. I tried it out for my daughter and found it funny when some of the matches were actually books she's already read, so this is a good tool for finding the perfect book. One glitch though; all the holiday books are Christian.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Al Sharifa (Veilkini) Bathing Suit Test Drive

I just got back from a wonderful vacation on Manitoulin Island and got to test drive my new AlSharifa bathing suit. There are so many pros to this bathing suit. One it looks so sporty; one kid asked me if it was my wetsuit. So people get that its a bathing suit unlike my old bathing suit which people thought were regular clothes. The stripe on the side also adds to this affect. Dh said it looked like I was in the Olympics. Two the hood is attached. With my old bathing suit the hood was a separate piece and kept coming out from my neck line. Three it is quick drying especially the top. Four it is thicker than my old bathing suit which is better for modesty of course. Five the pant legs never lift up like my old bathing suit which I had to add weights to (I'm not kidding). Six the shirt doesn't ride up because there are ties on the side of the shirt which can be attached to the loops on the sides of the pants. This gives you piece of mind while swimming. Seven; the colours are so beautiful and there are so many to choose from. I chose the blue and pink one. Seven; there are three styles to choose from. What I would improve in the bathing suit though is to make the top even looser or add some cloth to drape over the chest area. Also the pants at the calf tend to cling a lot so if there was a way to change that then that would be really useful. I highly recommend this suit and if you want one then order one here and use the code shoe10 to get a 10% discount.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stitched with love

My daughter recently made me a nice long shirt from a pattern which I picked out that she lengthened. I also chose the material. I love how it turned out. Thanks so much honey. My friend also sewed something for me. Upon seeing my jilbab which I recieved from a reader she said she could make me one just like it and that I should go get some suiting material at Fabricland which was on sale. I got the material for $3 a metre. I love the colour of the material; all the other colours were dark like black and navy blue. I'm so grateful for these handmade clothes which were made with love. Alhumdullilah.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Going away plaque

My second son's friend is moving away to another city so my son decided to do an acrostic for him. He made it on microsoft word, printed it out in colour and framed it.