Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ramadan Day 19

Things are getting a bit better with the kids. As for Ameena she is knee-deep in kids as well, lol. Yesterday I made a prayer chart for the kids. I also finally hole-punched and tied the ABC's of Ramadan colouring book. A first Eid card was made by me too from the kit as a demo for the kids. Our 'snowy' tv was updated with digital cable and new channels but I will ignore it during Ramadan as much as possible. My big news for the day was that I called my two brothers! I haven't had contact with my younger brother in about 2 yrs but it was he who cut me off not the other way around. Alhumdullilah though he talked to me for awhile so I felt like a burden had lifted from my shoulders. I also talked to my older brother who had me cracking up with his jokes and impressions. He was very talkative and much more than my younger brother. He mentioned the Chapelle show and I said I think I heard that guy is muslim and my brother said you just want him to be. I said, no that's how I first heard about the guy. He didn't believe me. So right now I just looked on wikipedia and he is a muslim. See I'm not crazy big bro! lol  Insha Allah I hope the silat-ur-rahim keeps up. After that I read Quran to the kids out loud which takes a lot longer than reading it to myself somehow so I am only on Juz 11. How was your day 19? (is anyone out there?)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ramadan Day 18

Still working on the problem with the kids. As for Ameena, her reminder is about not backbiting. Today we went to a history fair where people were all basically dressed like me, lol. Seriously there were all in period costumes so the women were all nice and covered up except for some highland dancers. One guy though was dressed up as a native although he wasn't. He said that there are all sorts of people involved in their group but no Arabs and Indians. Huh? How does that apply to us? Oh I get it , I guess I'm the arab and dh is the Indian. So I set him straight and told him how the kids and I had Ojibway roots. The kids got to make a candle and a rope so it was fun for them as well as learning about the history of the area and its settlers. Later on that day ds1 and his wife came over which was a suprise and he told me about his new purchases from Soundvision including miswak toothpaste. Can you tell he's my son? He also had bought a book about gheeba (backbiting). Funny coincidence to go along with this book eh? Our neighbour sent over food again, alhumdullilah. This is the 3rd time and I've only sent over food once! Yikes, better get cracking.  In the evening I read Quran to the kids and dh translated a talk from an imam in Malaysia for us. The imam was saying that a malay guy went to the states and went to a church with  his Christian friend but the Priest told him to get out. But he didn't want to leave so the priest said you can stay if you answer all my questions correctly which he did. ( I have no idea what the questions were though). Then the malay guy said now you have to answer my question; how can you get to heaven? Apparently the priest then recited the kalimah (There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah) in arabic. The congregation said they wanted to go to heaven too and all became muslim. I know, I know...all the catholics are choking right now or spitting out their coffee. This story does seem a little over the top. I would need proof to believe it. However I do know that there are priests and ministers that believe in Islam but don't want to lose thier lucrative positions so they never let on. I also know that one priest even kept a  Quran in his church office and that is how one of his congregants converted. That happened in Quebec. So it was a very interesting day. How was your day 18?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to Nature

Do you ever think sometimes that God is trying to tell you something? In this last week I've been affected by three sets of experiences. They aren't mine but they affected me anyway. First of all I watched Garbage Warrior which is about an architect who buys land and builds houses from trash and they are self-sustainable. The US gov't didn't like that too much though because they said his stuff was not up to code. Its a great movie and you should watch it. Secondly I came across this post at the blog 30 Mosques in 30 Days which I told you about before. Another example of living off the land. Finally there is the guy who lived without money for a year. Don't you want to eat plants and bathe in the river? No? Come on? With the cost of hydro shooting up 17% this month in Ontario I'm thinking about going back to candles at least!

Muslims are doing it for themselves.

Last time there was a tragedy in Pakistan a lot of us gave funds and blankets and clothes etc to help out. When my daughter's mother-in-law (she is from Pakistan) told me that most of the stuff was taken by the gov't to give to the army I was really upset! This time the tragedy is a flood not an earthquake and people are a little slower on the draw but part of that is due to the mistrust we are feeling towards the Pakistani government. In Toronto they've decided to do the work themselves and go there and distribute the goods with no government go-betweens. Read the article here.  Does this want to make you give more?

Ramadan Day 17

Where has the time gone? I can't believe how many days have already passed. Although if I were fasting it would probably feel like forever especially with these long days. Yesterday was also another day to take care of our children's problem but we also got to go to iftar. Before that though I took ds2 to look for eid gifts for his siblings. He has a paper route so he wants to buy something this year. I made sure to buy milk and juice for the iftar this time instead of the usual pop they ask you to bring because I don't want the kids to drink too much of that. We brought rice to the iftar; they tell each family what to bring. I guess its better when its more organized like that. But I remember the way it was at church and you could bring whatever, so that if you were poor, then even a loaf of bread. That way no one felt hard pressed. Not that we feel that way but I wonder if anyone does. I guess you could just take your name off the list. Perhaps I overthink things? Its in my nature. At the iftar my daughter-in-law didn't show up but another convert did with her mother and I spent the whole time talking to her. This woman is such a lovely person and so accepting of her daughter's conversion. She told me that her daughter converted when she was only 12! Imagine that! I'd give more details but I think I shouldn't for privacy sake but I wish I could tell you her lovely story. I can say she was introduced to Islam through books though. Masha Allah. Afterwards I was thinking ,isn't it amazing that I spoke to this woman for so long and yet I barely know her and the people in the mosque don't give me the time of day and after 10 yrs barely even know who I am! Well on another note I forgot to bring cans for the canned food drive even though I did write it on the calendar. Tsk, tsk and I am the one who started the canned food drive when I was a Muslim Girl Guide leader a few years ago. How was you day 17?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ramadan Day 16

Yesterday was just like the day before. I cannot get much done until this problem is solved. One interesting thing is dh discussed a ceramah he listened to about Jinns. It always important to be wearing your armour of taqwa to battle these fiends; the shaitans amongst them. Aoodhu billahi mina shaitanir rajim. How was your day 16?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hidden Door Bookshelf

I saw this on instructables and its calling my name. Books, hiding...ahh.. a kids dream come true and for all the kids in us grownups. I would make the other side a cute play area though to curl up and read a book or whatever. Don't you wish you had one?

Ramadan Day 15

Ameena's day was very productive again but mine was a repeat of yesterday with dealing with the kids' problem again. I read quran out loud to the kids again but they seemed kind of antsy. I also tried to read the Quran in arabic. Is it just me or does the Quran mention fi sa mawatti wa al ard, a lot of times? How was your day 15? How is Ameena inspiring you?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ramadan Day 14

Yesterday I didn't accomplish much( Ameena's day though was superproductive!) as again I was tied up having to take care of an issue with my kids all day long. In the morning when I went shopping though to get something related to this I saw a muslim gentleman from the next town over and he told me to tell dh to go to the new islamic school for taraweeh and iftar. I mentioned that they didn't allow women and he said well there are a few women (I'm guessing the wives of the owners or something) and that of course they wouldn't kick you out. I told him that dh and I had already gone there twice for information about the school and were disappointed both times and even about my email response I got from them. He asked for my number and said he would make sure they called me. Hmm..should I have hope this time? Later on that evening dd2 got some great news about something that was really upsetting for the past little while which would have ruined all her plans. But Alhumdullilah things worked out and I feel so happy for her. In the evening instead of reading Quran we watched a movie about scientific verses in the Quran (This is the Truth, Interview With Leading Scientists). Ds2 especially was interested it. How was your day 14?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ramadan Day 13

Yesterday I decided it would be great to break some people's fasts so I went shopping for the ingredients in the morning. While I was doing that I donated money to the Red Cross for the Pakistani flood. Then I had to pick up some library books and I saw a lot of kids at the library and wondered what was going on. Well they were there for reptile day and dd3 was signed up for that so I went home and picked her up and brought her back. Is this old age? I forgot to write the event on the calendar and she never thought to either. Well she didn't miss all of it and she got to hold two snakes. One was a corn snake and the other one I don't know. Yuck! I certainly didn't want to hold it and I kept thinking about the Christian story of Adam and Eve with the snake being satan. (no matter how long I'm muslim some things just won't leave my mind!) I wish I would have remembered a camera though. One lady there told me I had a nice scarf. Then I made Date Squares (and sent them over to the neighbours' house) and Blueberry Squares and Shrimp Pasta. I took the pasta dish from Pioneer Woman's website and no one liked it! I though it was just ok and much better with parmesan added (I finally found kosher parmesan). And this is why I hate cooking. So much work and then no one likes it. I guess its like that whenever you try out a new recipe but it just makes me even more ornery. Oh I substituted the white wine with white grape juice and the canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes from my garden. After Maghrib I read some Quran again to the kids. I was pretty tired by this point though. I still have to call my other siblings. So how was your day 13?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thinking of Eid fashion

Don't know if any of you are thinking about what you will be wearing for Eid but I thought I would share this find with you. I just love these bracelets and they look even better in real life. I used to know a muslim selling Avon but can't seem to remember how to find her link.Anyway here they are.

Ramadan Day 12

Ameena's focus was on dhikr today. As for myself I called my sister and talked for hours. Its been a long time since we talked so there were many things to chat about. I sent out an email for my kids about the new Mooz Lum movie. My neighbour sent over food for iftar; chicken noodle soup and some small snacks. Masha Allah I haven't even sent anything for her but I was thinking of it. After Maghrib I went downstairs and ds4 say hurray we get to listen to Quran. Well that's the kind of thing you want to hear your kid say! The older kids though are not impressed with the arachaic english its written in. I need to get one of those new Qurans with modern English. I prefer the old-fashioned one though because it sounds like the Bible I grew up listening too and I feel old English better captures Classic Arabic. Anyone else agree? So insha Allah for day 13 I hope to call another sibling. How was your day 12?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ramadan Day 11

Ameena mentions that these 10 middle days are about seeking Allah's forgiveness. I started to say astarfirlah and my daughter (dd3) asked me what that meant. Yikes didn't I ever tell her before? So I told her and I also told the other kids about this time of the month and to ask for forgiveness. I managed to give charity today; donating food to the food bank at the grocery store. You just pay for a bag of food as you are checking out. Before that I had stopped at the dollar store to buy bristol boards to make charts to keep track of the kids fasting and praying. I know a little slow on the draw but better late than never (yes I love using cliches). At night I read Quran to the kids again but am still behind. I still have to contact my siblings. Insha Allah tomorrow. DS1 called to invite us over for Eid. This will be his first time hosting Eid at his place.  How was your day 11?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ready for Merdeka Day.

Ramadan Day 10

Everyone got up for suhoor today but not everyone lasted throughout the day. We were travelling to go get our monthly halal meat supply. The day was so humid and ds3 and ds4 caved and broke their fast. I saw a lot of muslim women there as usual and gave them my salaams. Some of them looked pretty surprised. One of the signs of the end of the world is that muslims will only give salaams to people they know. I don't want to hasten on the end times, no thanks. Before travelling I fit in some practice of ayat al kursi. On the way I got the whole family to listen to Muhammad Al Shareef's lecture: When Wolves Become Shepherds. Dh thoroughly enjoyed it; he thought it was funny. This was my second time to listen to it but it was still beneficial. Besides buying halal meat I also stopped by a friend's house to offer my condolences as her mother has recently passed away. Inna ilaihi wa inna ilaihi rajiun. Then we went to the newly refurbished mosque. Masha Allah it is very spacious now and so updated. The wudu area is separate from the washroom area and I was happy there was a change table on the wall. Upstairs in the prayer area the carpets are blue and red but I got distracted while praying because some of the designs look like pizza to me; round with triangles inside. Later I thought, poor fasting people, if they have to look at that. I also thought of how Prophet Muhammad (saw) was distracted by a pattern and got rid of it. I asked my daughters if they thought they looked like pizzas and they said it just looks like a pattern. Ok, fine then, pizza is my favourite food, so for sure I would notice the similarity right away. After this we broke our fast, well they did on our way home. At home I managed to squeeze in some Quran reading but it was less than a juz.  On the minus side I still gave no charity and called no family members. I should have gave money to the guy at the mosque. Insha Allah today will be better.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ramadan Day 9

Yesterday started out with everyone missing sahoor :( I felt so bad for them. The little ones decided not to fast though but dd2 and ds2 had no choice. It was funny because this topic came up yesterday on Productive Muslim.(email; Oh no, I missed my suhoor) I spent most of my day doing errands including picking up some books at the library where I managed to get a picture finally of my display. We spent jumuah at home with ds2 being the imam as usual. I called my neighbour to tell her about the iftar at the mosque and we had a long chat. She reminded me about contacting my family by asking me about my relations with them. Ameena mentions that too and I really need to get on that. Then the family and I did more errands (this is good because it made them forget they missed suhoor a bit). The mosque was the next stop where we did asr (only reason the mosque was open was because they were getting ready for iftar and wait another reason because of the hafiz there to recite the quran). The kids played in the mosque playground then everyone broke their fast and prayed maghrib. I saw an old friend and my daughter-in-law was there too and was a big help with the kids, alhumdullilah. After that there was an incident at the mosqe which reminded me we are living in the end times. May Allah protect us. Amin. So I wasn't entirely satisfied with this day because A I didnt' read quran, B I didn't do any charity and C I did not reach out to my family.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 8

Yesterday was a good day,alhumdullilah. I watched a lesson from the Quranic Arabic and played Ramadan Mubarak for the kids. Ameena's focus was on making iftar for her family so I did that too :) I made Lasagna. While I was making it my neighbour called and asked me to send my sons over to pick up some food, masha Allah. She sent falafal and another type of fried thing (don't know the name should have taken pictures but was busy), some yogurt which tasted like pudding,dates and those pink pickles they are so fond of eating. Ameena was also focused on contacting family members but she is muslim so its a peice of cake and not fraught with drama like when I call certain members of my family but insha Allah I will get the guts soon. After Maghrib I read Quran to the kids and they asked me what lewd meant and 'what your right hands possess'. You could just homeschool your kids straight from the Quran lol. Lots of material right there!
PS. My daughter (dd3-10 yrs old) told me she did dawah with the neighbours for hours! I said weren't they bored and she said no they kept asking questions. She talked about everything from Ramadan to halal meat to dogs and pigs, lol.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't put me in the back!

This sister who started to wear hijab at Disney is being told to work backstage. I've been in her shoes. I worked in an office where I  was put in the back when I started wearing hijab. I feel her pain. Insha Allah she will get justice. Watch the video.

Ramadan Day 7

Ameena was concentrating on charity again; charity dinner, breaking people's fast with donated dates and other charity.  I didn't have a very good day today and not my daughter as well (dd2). I have nothing to really report except that I listened to the intro for quranic arabic and I got to see my display at the library but it was closed at that time. It looked great though masha Allah. I'd like to share this dua with you today which kind of sums up my day. Hearing Bad News: To Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, recompense me for my affliction and replace it for me with something better.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ramadan Day 6

This day Ameena focused on charity again and talked about what things you should do on Friday but since it was Tuesday for me it didn't apply. For sure though I don't know how to recite surah al-khaf. I really do need to get in gear and give charity. Yesterday started off well with the lovely webinar I watched thanks to Hethr with the link to Quranic arabic. Then I hung two posters for my kids; arabic numbers and daily duas. I opened up my eid card decorating kit. Looks like great fun. I didn't read any quran today though as something came up with the kids which took hours to rectify for dh an I. Insha Allah today will be a more productive day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Interview with a ....Librarian!

Some of you may follow Kakchik's blog for her wonderful fashion sense or her updates about Kelantan, Malaysia but how many of you know that she is a bookstore owner as well a librarian at an Islamic library? This is the part that fascinates me about her so I got her to answer some interview questions. I would love to be in her shoes; books, reading, writing, sharing knowledge. If I were a Disney Princess I would be Belle and own the Beast's lovely library. But back to Kakchik. Enjoy the interview with a librarian/bookstore owner.


1.How important were books in your life growing up?

Very important. My parent keep encouraging me to borrow books from the school library because we don't have enough money to buy books frequently. I was told that if I want to be SOMEBODY I need to read.

2. How did you become the owner of a bookstore?

All started when I try to be different in giving gifts for newborns. I always think that, my people are lacking in so many things because they don't like books and I have experience a lot of good things because I love reading. And I have started young, so I gave special selected books as gifts. They are Islamic books that I bought online. Friends started to notice the quality of the books and how they affect the babies, most are my friends' babies. They started asking for me to buy them and during all the ordering and such I came across an activity called 'read aloud'. Here is the base of my opening of the bookstore. And FYI, I've telling friends since I was 16 that one day I'll be a bookstore owner. Alhamdulillah, that dream do comes true.

3. What kinds of books do you sell?

More than half are children's books, the rest are selected books for teenagers and adults such as Religious books, Motivational, Business and Management, Parenting, Novels, Educational, Crafts and Health books.

4. What criteria do you use when selecting which books you will buy for your store?

Usually I'll focus on the Islamic values first, then I'll order a few as samples to be used with my nieces/nephews at home or to be read so that I can see the effect of the books on children and on me as an adult reader. I try to read everything before I order and promote them to customers. Apart from that, I also rely on the many reviews that can be found on the internet. If many people reviewed the book as good in certain values then I'll list the book for buying. Sometimes suppliers came and leave the books for me to have a look, I'll spend some time to skim them and decide later.

5. What books are the most popular in your store?

Books for preschoolers and Motivational books.

6. Which do you prefer to read?

I prefer children books and parenting because they are my therapy for releasing stress.

7. How did you become a librarian at an Islamic Library? Is it related to your educational background.

Back in 2000, a friend told me that a private public library will be opened in KB and he knows that I have my own book collections at home. He said that I was the best candidate for the position of a Database Programmer in that library because of my educational background in Computer Science and my reading habit. I was working as an IT Executive back then and was quite satisfied with it. Anyway 'quite satisfied' is not enough and I really love places that have books, always amazed me. I was the last candidate to be interviewed and the first Q was, what book have you read yesterday and do love working with books? I think my answers captured their hearts, hehe. I got the job even though there were 14 other better candidates. Alhamdulillah. I was the only woman among 10 workers, now there are six. I was gradually promoted after that.

8. Do you have a vision for Malaysia regarding books,reading,libraries and bookstores?

Yes, I do. I think in 5 years time Malaysian would be better readers. Looking from the statistics of the daily library visitors and the book sale at my bookstore and of course the bigger statistics from the publishers (excluding academic books publishers) and bookstores around here, it is possible. Youngsters started to drop by bookstores not just to buy stationery or school books but also other type of books as a complementary reading. Insyaallah Malaysian is more and more books this days.

9. Which books by Malaysian authors would you recommend?

There are so many books but I'd like to suggest, the Bacaan Awal (BAWAL) reading set for early readers written by various authors and published by Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka, children books published by PTS Publications & Distributors - I think they publish so many good books with Islamic values for children and teenagers and for adults maybe books by Zaharuddin Abdul Rahman, Ainon Mohd, Hasrizal Abdul Jamil, Prof. Hj. Mohd. Kamil Ibrahim, Ann Wan Seng and Pahrol Mohd Juoi (to name a few).

10. How often do you meet authors and do they do book signings in your shop?

Only one or twice a year if I manage to visit the KL International Bookfair. I really love the close relationship of author and bookstores' owners overseas. Here, that culture is still new. I have made a few request for authors to visit and have book signings at the shop but to no avail. Maybe because Kelantan is too far from KL where so many authors are staying.

11. Do you have a book inside of you that you would like to write?

Yes. Hehe... I've actually finished writing 2 manuscript but haven't have time to edit and propose them to any publishers because I was so busy with study, businesses, work and family. Maybe when I graduated next month, I'll look into them again.

12. Do you think books are a good form of charity? Does your bookstore do any kind of charity or outreach? What about the Islamic Library?

Definitely. Yes, we do. We spare an amount of money and books for charity depend on our financial situation. The Library is a waqf library where it receives donation from the public to operate. The owner built the library and donated it to the public. Workers are supported by different sponsors to work here and make the library interesting for everyone to visit.

13. Which job gives you more satisfaction; librarian or bookstore owner?

Of course the bookstore owner because I get to do everything that I want to do to obtain my objectives in encouraging people to love books and reading. At the library even though I love it so much because it grows with me (I am the longest working worker here), it still is not mine to manipulate as I wish it should.

14. What advice would you give to others who want to follow in your footsteps?

Love books wholeheartedly and be sincere in your job and your mission in life because life would not be fun and meaningful if you do things because of money. Find satisfaction and peace so that you'll love this job.

Quran for Busy People

In case you missed it , Hethr sent me this wonderful link to learn Quranic Arabic. Do check it out. There is a post then you click on the link and sign up and hear the webinar and it gives you the link to learn Quranic Arabic for free! The webinar is very cool. This guy totally gets it!

30 Mosques 30 Days

Please do check out this blog. What an amazing idea to tour 30 mosques in 30 days in the month of Ramadan. Its in the US but wouldn't it be great to do it in Canada? How many mosques in your country have you been to?

Ramadan Day 5

So today started out great. I brought all my Ramadan and Eid books and one tape to the library because they agreed to do a Ramadan display in their showcase window at the front entrance. They had printed out their own blurb about Ramadan and had some books from the library as well. They chose two that I had and said they wanted some things they could hang or display. I went home and looked around and brought back a picture of the kabba, a hanging of the kabba with a quranic verse, a prayer rug, an empty box of dates, a prayer rug and a quran holder and quran. I forgot to think of prayer beads probably because I never use them myself. Insha Allah I'll get a picture of the final display. I called my neighbour to come for iftar at the mosque today. I finally recieved an email from the Islamic school telling me they are closed for Ramadan and to contact afterwards! Ok so now how do I plan my kids schooling? I didn't manage to read Quran so I am behind on that but we did go to the mosque for iftar. I got to see my friend who teaches me Quran and my neighbour showed up as well. The focus today for Ameena was community work. Well I did do community dawah.  How was your day 5? Anybody out there? Anybody? :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ramadan Day 4

Yesterday Ameena's focus was on inviting people to go for taraweeh prayers at the mosque. I was so busy and I didn't get around to that. But today I called my neighbour and told her about the iftar at the mosque which is open to everyone tonight. Don't know if they'll stay for taraweeh though. As for yesterday I spent the morning cleaning up as my parents were coming over (cleaniness is half of faith). Then they spent the afternoon here and I forgot to give her the milk bags. I read another juz and most of it to the kids again. Also I searched around the house for all my books and tapes about Ramadan and Eid. Then we had iftar at home. How was your 4th day? Are you reading the book? Are you getting ideas from it?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Ramadan Tafseer Series

Here are some more great lectures for Ramadan from Muslim Matters. Enjoy!

Ramadan Day 3 (yesterday)

So the focus for this day was sadaquah in the book (Ameena's Ramadan diary). I like her idea of a piggy bank. I  didn't implement it though. What I managed to do yesterday though was some dawah to tell the woman at the kids building workshop about Ramadan and iftar at the mosque and about the new Islamic school opening up. She knew about the school but was pleasantly surprised about the rest. After that I went to said islamic school only to meet up with a wall of silence. First I was told that the person in charge was not there and to come back later after Zuhr. So I came back with dh and the person was there but was busy in a meeting. He told dh to wait 'a few minutes' well it was a lot longer than a few minutes and dh was not impressed so we left. Finally I resorted to emailing them. I am still waiting for a response. Since I prayed salatul istikharah about my kids schooling this year I will just leave it in Allah's hands to direct me. So far I have no idea what to do with myself even after going to the 1st Muslim Homeschooling Conference. After going to the school we went to buy more wood to finish the playhouse and I got a call from dd2 saying my parents are coming. I was quite shocked. I called my mom back and she said she read in the paper that it was Ramadan. Not a nice way for her to find out you might think but I don't want to talk to her about this stuff because she takes offense. Then after that I read one juz of the Quran to myself and then the second one out loud to all the kids. Ds4 asked me what does the hereafter mean. Its funny how we assume our kids know these things. I think the kids liked hearing me read the Quran and I should do it more often. After that we went to the mosque for the potluck iftar. My first born son was there looking so sweet in his baju melayu and sarong and his Christian wife in her hijab. She took care of the kids while I prayed Maghrib and even got me a plate of food. Masha Allah. We didn't stay for taraweeh; too hectic with the kids and we live out of town too. So that was my day. How was your day 3?

Oh yes the webinar mentioned not publicising your good deeds. Just to let you know this is simply to keep track of myself and improve myself and to get ideas from others and to encourage my kids who read this.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ramadan Day 2

Yesterday I was so sick with a head cold. I took my black seed oil and my tylenol and crawled into bed. I didn't even read the book yesterday or the Quran. Strangely I did some dawah though. I had to pick up my dd2 who was volunteering and she asked me to go look at the new restaurant that was opening in town. Nothing new ever happens here so if someone sneezes its big news (by the way I sneezed a lot yesterday!). So we went in and I ended up explaining about muslim diet restrictions to her. I forgot to mention it was Ramadan though but that's enough information for the poor woman to take in. People in this town have zero knowledge about Islam so its good not to overwhelm them. The hairdresser didn't even know who Malcolm X was and I thought everyone knew him. Anyway hope today is better insha Allah. I'll have to try and catch up. How was your day 2?   Postscript: I just read the entry for day 2 and the focus is on dua. The dua that is always on my mind lately is for my poor mother-in-law in Malaysia who is so sick and has gone downhill so much since dh and ds's visit in Dec-Jan.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tammy's Somali Blog

I've never tried Somali food but I met this sister on facebook when I was on it and everyone tells me Somali food is awesome so I thought I would share her blog with you in case you wanted something new to try. Tell me what you made!

Blessings and Bounties of Ramadan Lecture

Sunnipath is offering a free lecture on Sunday August 15th called Blessings and Bounties of Ramadan. Sign up now!

Ramadan Interactive Notebook

Something for your school aged kids. Great for homeschooling. Click here for the Ramadan interactive notebook.

Ramadan Fun

Please check out my daughter's Ramadan Colouring Book and fun activities on her blog for your kids. This year again she is also selling Ramadan and Eid handmade calendars, banners etc. Please click on her shop on her blog for examples.

Lampost Productions -Free Webinars for Ramadan

Lampost Productions is offering free webinars for Ramadan on Aug 14th and 15th. Just sign up with your email to join.

Ameena's Ramadan Diary Ramadan Day 1

I started to read this book and realized you are supposed to start getting ready for Ramadan along with the author 6 weeks in advance! Ok so I'm totally behind but I did do one thing or more from her list on my own without knowing this. 5 things you want to accomplish..well I did a post on that recently; dawah booth, learn ayat al kursi and reading the Quran everyday. I would like to add to that charity and breaking someone's fast insha Allah. Also she includes listening to motivational lectures. Well I just listened to "When Wolves Become Shepherds" and I highly recommend it. Hmm..connecting with family and friends. Well my family isn't muslim so can't get together with them to remind them about ramadan. As for friends...hmm... Also she recommends reading about the plight of those less fortunate. I also did this. Just finished reading The Boy From Baby House 10. Its the true story about an orphan from Russia. I highly recommend it. Its apalling what's taking place in thier orphanages.

So for her first day she says it really felt like Ramadan because of iftar and taraweeh. I've only ever prayed taraweeh once in my life. There is no nursery in my masjid so what would you do with the kids so one time I got dh to watch them years ago and went for it. This author seems to be single with no kids so its a peice of cake for her to do so much. Have you printed out the Ramadan Daily checklist? I haven't but I should.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Amazon Order is here!

I'm good to go for the next 4 months book club! I'm going to start on Ameena's Ramadan Diary tomorrow. We'll go day by day to make it interesting insha Allah. The cake book at the bottom was ordered so that I could get free shipping. This will make a great idea book for Eid cakes and its for kids so they can jump right in and make something themselves.

How Our Garden Grows

This year we actually planted a fairly decent garden. Its a little small though but it is producing right now tomatoes,cucumbers (boston and english), beans, watermelons and peppers. I haven't seen any peas or canteloupes yet though. DS2 is the one who waters it every night plus my hanging plants and my irises from my neighbour as well as the flowers I planted in the front which have not produced even one flower yet.

St. Jacob's revisited.

Last time we visited St.Jacob's we came too late to see the Farmer's Market which is the main attraction. I was happy to see lots of muslims this time and some muslim food booths. We ate from Al-Madina and bought the cutest puzzle from a muslim selling from this company learnfrompuzzles. I loved the puzzle we bought because each picture corresponds to a letter in the alphabet. Also these puzzles are handmade from wood and vegetables dyes. We checked out the Mennonite furniture..expensive! The building was so packed that housed so many indoor stores with stuff you can find just about anywhere but also baked items from the Mennonite women and fruits and vegetables too. Outside there are many booths as well mostly selling fruits and vegetables but also clothes and toys.

Perfect Play House part 3

The playhouse is really coming along. The roof and doors and windows need to be added as well as shingles.

Ramadan is.....tomorrow.

Our community has declared Ramadan to be tomorrow as no moon was sighted last night. I know my readers who follow calculations and Saudi are rolling their eyes now but this is the way it is every year. I still remember one year we went to London and they said Eid Mubarak to us and we said we are fasting still and they said haram, haram, you can't fast on Eid. So every year there is this argument about when Ramadan and Eid start. This year I will not be fasting again as I am still nursing so it won't really feel much like Ramadan to me besides the iftar potlucks on Saturdays. I still can't read the Quran either so that is another bummer but what can you do? I 'll read it in English like usual. Gonna try to do my dawah booth again this year too.Also keep learning ayat al kursi. Kind of sad to be still here all alone in the boonies. One 'uncle' has not forgotten us as every year he gives us dates to break our fast, God bless him. Anyone else out there having Ramadan starting tomorrow?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Nasihah - Dua

Cool Concepts!
Three Kinds of Dua
Prayer or supplication (Dua) is the essence of worship or servanthood to God. What rises to God from the whole creations is prayer. It has kinds and degrees:
1. The first kind is the prayer of all organisms, plant, animal and human, through the natural disposition of their bodies and their functioning in line with their duties in creation. This kind of prayer is always accepted.
2. The second kind is that which is uttered by all organisms, plant, animal, and human, in the tongue of vital needs. God meets these needs just on time, with the exception that plants, and the animals relatively weaker and less intelligent (as compared to others, such as wolves and foxes), are nourished more easily than the others. The more powerful and intelligent and more self-subsisting a creature is, the greater hardship it suffers to get nourishment.
3. The third kind of prayer is that which is done by human beings. This falls into two categories:
i. The first category is the active prayer. It means complying with the laws that God has set for life. For example, a farmer's ploughing the soil is knocking on the door of Divine providence. A patient's going to the doctor is appealing to God for cure. This kind of prayer is usually accepted.
ii. The second category is the verbal prayer that we do. This kind of prayer is also answered. But answering is different from accepting. God answers all the prayers done sincerely. However, He answers sometimes by giving whatever is asked for, sometimes by giving what is better, sometimes by postponing giving to the afterlife, and sometimes by not giving at all, since it will not turn out in favour of the one who prays. The way that God answers prayer depends on His wisdom.
Compiled From:
The Words, "The 23rd Word" - Said Nursi, pp. 333-334

London Mosque -little (now big) mosque on the hill.

Now you can read the story and see the photos and view the video of the newly renovated and extended London Mosque. Its taken 3 yrs but its finally going to open. This mosque will always have a special place in my heart. They treat converts like gold. If only this were my mosque. Do drop in!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Multivisions Canada

I can't find halal miswak toothpaste anywhere around me so I order it from Montreal. Yeah I know its unbelievable but that's what happens when you live in the boonies. I got my order today from Multivisions and I was so happy to see that he had included a free lecture tape by Yusuf Islam in the package. Years ago I got this company to put on a bookfair at our mosque; they go all across Canada doing this. If you want them to come to your mosque just email him. This month he told me he will insha Allah be coming to the London Mosque now that they have finished expanding it. So if you are in that neck of the woods then do drop by to see his awesome selection;books, clothes, tapes, perfumes, cds etc. and of course toothpaste :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fancy Flowers and Oh so good Oatmeal cookies.

Dd3 as well as her brother ds3 and I tried to make these flowers from my daughter's website (dd1) and the only one who really had the knack for it was dd3. We made these out of wallpaper from discontinued books we got from a local store. We intend to use these for Eid. DD1 used post it notes for hers but with our wallpaper dd3 is very impressed with how shiny ours turned out.

Ds3 got a craving for oatmeal and raisin cookies so made up a batch of these yummy specimens.

Cream Puffs

Monday, August 2, 2010

Perfect Play House part 2

From a dream to reality;the playhouse is being built as we speak. On Saturday we bought the wood and yesterday the floor and one wall were built. Meanwhile the kids had dreams of thier own. DD3 wants to do interior decorating (painting or wallpapering or both) while DS4 is planning on adding electricity so he can play video games. I told him no way! Dh says the house will not be too fancy as that would entail more costs but with  a little imagination the kids will be on thier way. This is the third playhouse that dh has built over the years. The last one was 10 yrs ago before we went to Malaysia. The first one was played in by DS1 and DD1 and DD2. The next door neighbour copied our idea but made it even better; was dd2 ever mad when thier house had real windows and hers didn't! The second one was even bigger and had two levels! Alas both these were sold long ago since we moved from both places. This one will be enjoyed by ds2,ds3,dd3,ds4,dd4,ds5 and dd5 not to mention gd1 (granddaughter). The ad is of a book we have been using for ideas.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Just a reminder- August Book Club Pick

Ramadan is just around the corner. I know everyone is busy but for this month I have chosen a great book called Ameenah's Ramadan Diary. This should be quite refreshing after the last 3 books...sigh. Insha Allah we will be inspired to be better muslims and take full benefit from this blessed month. Here are some extracts from the book.

10 Things I Hate About Me

Perhaps I should call this post 10 Things I Hate About This Book! So basically the last 3 books I've chosen have been about non-practicing muslims. Hmmm...could that be the reason they are so accessible (at the library and through scholastic)? The books about devout muslims always have to be ordered from Islamic bookstores. At least that's been my experience except for little kids books which I can find at my library. The first thing I hated was how her brother got to do whatever he wanted but not her. Of course this is mostly culture. I wouldn't want the girl doing the haram things either though. But you should have the freedom to do the halal.  The second thing was how could an Islamic school promote a mixed band with instruments? Sounds like the islamic school my kids go to (friday night -2 hour classes). Third thing,why did the dad give up a great job just so he could live in the city and drive a taxi? Was it for the sake of Islam? I would have sided with him if it had been. And how about the food wastage " Shereen gets pretty upset about the fact that so much food goes to waste when there are people starving in the world. She's quite right, but its a habit entrenched in Arabic culture and Aunt Sowsan would consider herself to be dishonoring her guests if she didn't make such an exhorbitant amount" Speaking about food why is she working at Mcdonald's and dealing with pork? There are lots of places to work so why do muslims keep picking the non-halal choices?  What do I especially hate? At the end of the book where she is supposed to be reconciling her two worlds (non islamic and islamic) the only thing she really embraces is her Lebanese culture. Big deal she starts playing Lebanese music in front of her classmates. This is not being a muslim! At least she doesn't end up dating anyone though. What do I like about this book? I like her sister who tries hard to follow islam and I like Timothy who stands up for himself. If Jamilah had these two traits she'd be on her way. I was expecting at the end of the story that she would at the very least dye her hair back and take out the contacts but alas she couldn't even do that simple thing. Muslims like these are the ones that give Islam a bad name. Like one of the characters in the book says non-muslims are not impressed with Muslims who try to fit in. I know, I for one, was very disgusted with them and their hypocrisy when I was Christian. Is Islam doable? Yes! But these kinds of muslims lead people to believe that Islam is an impossible religion to follow when it is not.

London Mosque Grand Opening - Ladies Night

After years of renovating and extending the masjid in London, it will finally be opened in August. No more prayers being said in the Islamic school and no more outdoor iftars. Ladies come out and see the new digs, masha Allah.

Assalamu Alaikum Dear Sisters,
Please mark you calendars.
InshaAllah the London Muslim Mosque will be opening next week.
The MOC would like to invite you to the
Grand Opening
Special Ladies Event
Friday, August 6, 2010
7pm to 9pm
*Join us for a tour of the facilities
*Babysitting will be provided
*The mosque will be wheelchair accessible
*Refreshements will be provided