Monday, January 31, 2011

Bathing Suit repost

For those of you who live in hot countries and for those of you who will be travelling to them or for those of you who swim in indoor pools here is a repost about the al-sharifa bathing suit. Use code shoe10 to recieve 10% off.
Check out my old post here .


We all the know the hadith about paradise being at the feet of your mother. Well yesterday was a chance to see if the kids really knew that. I've been having circulation problems in my legs and both feet for about 2 months now. The doctor can't figure out why, blood tests are inconclusive and my appt with a neuroligist is not for another 2 months. Yesterday to make things worse I dropped a plate on my foot. I was in so much pain, you would think a foot without much circulation would be completely numb. As I was screaming as I have a low pain threshold the kids just stood around and asked if I was ok. But one son (ds3) told his brother to get me a chair and he came and hugged me. It meant so much to me and really shows the meaning of that hadith. Dh asked me if I was bleeding and I checked and I was and hadn't even known it, no wonder it hurt so much. I called my son to get me a bandaid and he got it right away. So what was the plate for? It was for some fig bread my mother had brought. I just wanted to get a slice and then dropped it on my foot. I traded my mom some milk bags for her church project of making mats for homeless people. I had collected 118 bags between me and my daughter with the majority being mine. Lots of kids equals lots of bags. What have you done for your mom lately?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Green Deen -Waste

So as promised we will discuss this book section by section. The first section is called Waste. I'm almost finished. I am reading so slowly because this book is not as inspiring as I had hoped. I find the way it is written to be dry. I hate to criticize a book about muslim environmentalism but I just expected more somehow. However let's proceed. Two questions in the first section did catch my attention. Please ponder them and if you will, answer them here, so we can have a discussion.

#1 Think of your first recollection of waste. When was the first time you became aware of trash?

#2 Ask yourself this question: Has there ever been a time when you measured your own value by what your bought or consumed?

Just finished the Green mosque chapter in the waste section so here is another question.

#3  How green is your mosque? Do you use real plates and cups or styrofoam?  Is your mosque accessible by public transportation or by walking? Does your mosque use solar energy etc?

Here is an article about a green mosque in BC.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

May Book Club Choice- Islam and the Discovery of Freedom

Yes I usually get ahead of myself like this! I just came across this book today from a soundvision newsletter. It sounds very intriguing. Read the review here.

So for this year so far its:

January - Green Deen

February - Growing Up X

March - Jihad of the Soul

April - Behind the Veil

Monday, January 24, 2011

Soles for Souls and Afghans for Afghans

Last night I was watching Extreme Makeover, I love all decorating shows but this one adds a twist because they donate a home for free to a worthy person. The woman who got a new home grew up in Jamaica and had no shoes as a kid and had to walk 8 miles to school. So on top of getting a new home, Extreme Makeover donated shoes to her old school through the charity Soles for Souls. In fact they also donated shoes to people right across Jamaica. I was really touched by this story as people here in Canada and the US have tons of shoes but so many around the world do not. Its a simple thing to donate a pair of shoes to someone who can't afford them. This is part of being green as well since many shoes are just lying in dump sites and can barely disintegrate and when they do it goes into our water systems. This charity reminded me of the one we gave to when I was a Muslim Girl Guide leader; afghans for Afghans. We all knitted one square and then put them all together to form an afghan, then sent it to be sent to Afghanistan.

Friday, January 21, 2011

February Book Club Choice- a reminder

I hope everyone is enjoying Green Deen (anyone?) :) Next month's book choice is Growing Up X.  Insha Allah some of you will join me in reading this book by Malcolm X's daughter. (He had 6). February is Black History Month so this title fits in nicely with that. Can't afford another book? Ask your library to order it. Its good for you and others get to read great titles too.

Friday Nasihah -Breaking the Cycle

Breaking the Cycle
Life's not fair. How is it that one kid grows up in a home where they are loved and made to feel like they are somebody and another kid grows up in a home where they are abused and made to feel worthless? If you're the latter, you may ask: "What did I do to deserve this?" Well, you didn't do anything to deserve it. It's not right, and it's not your fault.
You can do something about it. How? By breaking the cycle. If your parents are messed up, and their parents were messed up, you can break the cycle by not repeating these negative patterns in your own life, and by passing on good habits to your own kids someday.
You may be in a family that is drowning in sickness from drugs, violence, abuse, molestation, or neglect. It may have gone on for generations. But you can stop it from being passed on to your kids. you can rise above your childhood. Perhaps that's why you were born into this family, to heal the sickness within it, to be a purifying influence, to be the stable one, the example that others can look to. If you've been abused, you can pass on love. If you've been neglected, you can show great care. If you were raised in a contentious home, you can build a peaceful one. You can change everything downstream.
Compiled From:
"The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" - Sean Covey, p. 165

 My two cents:

We as converts have a role to play in our children's lives and in our family of origins lives. We are the new example. Its a great weight put on our shoulders but we are the only example in our families. Not all of us come from dysfunctional homes but most of us do.  Let's not repeat the mistakes of our forefathers or our conversion is for naught!


Sketched Soul is having a Gems Swap on her blog. If you'd like to swap a handmade craft or anything else with a sister then join her swap by Jan 29th. There's 11 so far..hey she needs at least one more for there to be enough partners. This is a great way to meet new sisters and keep in touch.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Learning to Read resource

ReadWriteThink has some great interactive activities for early readers as well as many other options. Dd4 was learning her consonants and vowels with this game. You even get to pick the letters you want to learn for the consonants and you can print out your work afterwards.

Merrry RIS mass part two.

Jack Layton

A sea of hijabis
After we got our arm bands we headed to the table to get our bags which usually contain the lecture schedule for the weekend. But they weren't ready so we had to wait till the next day to get them. If I had known I would have printed out the schedule from the website. Note to self to do this next time as a back up. First we went to the bazaar as the lectures hadn't started yet and the first thing I did was to give charity. Some charities sweetened the pot with t-shirts (Islamic Relief) and calendars (Afzal Islamic Montesorri & Academy) and handmade chocolates (Afghan Women's clinic). We also gave to those simply holding boxes as well. After this I went to do wudu and joined the Jumuah prayers. The sermon was by Imam Johari Adbul Malik. The first thing he mentioned was the debt we owed to the natives and I almost started to cry because I am ojibway and everybody always forgets us. Then we went to the first session called Do Muslims,Christians and Jews share the ten commandments? I remember not feeling very inspired by this speech and for some reason I missed the second one which was Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery:The eyes of the beholders. I saw my friend F in the lecture hall and I saw her every day for all 3 of the days of the conference which is a miracle in itself. Like I said, there were 20,000 people there!  I prayed asr and maghrib and then instead of staying we went to Kara Mia in Mississauga as we had made reservations there. As usual I had the chicken fettuccine which I love. My daughter had the same thing. At the end of our meal the owner/chef came up to us and said he remembered me coming there last year. Actually it was two years ago and I was amazed he could remember me! I asked him if he remembered all his customers and he said he tried to. After dinner we didn't go back to RIS as we were too tired and it would have been to much trouble to go back to TO. Insha Allah the RIS site will be selling copies of the lectures we missed. If anyone heard any of the first day lectures and feels there is one I must hear then please let me know.

Convert/Non-Convert Divide

I got this article from Lampost. I think the author touches on a lot of topics that converts have been mentioning for years including in the Convert Truths. I wish the author had come up with more concrete ideas for change though in his essay. ie if the immigrants are not to be held responsible for the education (aside from social programs) of converts then who is?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Convert Truths

So apparently there's a blog carnival going on with the topic being Convert Truths. I've read through these blog postings and its amazing to see how many converts are going through exactly what I'm going through. I don't relate to the ones who've decided not to follow many islamic rules though and feel shunned. For me its the opposite..following has led to being shunned. I find it odd that people want to convert and then not follow the rules. Kind of makes me scratch my head and wonder why they converted. Its something you did willingly right or did you think you would remodel the religion? Even so read these accounts and realize we are all in this together. Some of them made me cry. Insha Allah a day will come when converts find thier place or reach a place where they are at peace with not finding it but feel they have a place with Allah.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tae Kwon Do Inspiration

Last night we went to our Tae Kwon Do class and I was doing pretty good considering I still have a leg circulation problem (no diagnoses yet). I looked around at all the students (our class has been merged with the later class now) and said, is everyone here under 20? Apparently they all were and making me look bad, lol. Then the teacher told an inspiring story. She said when she was taking TKD there was an old lady who signed up. Not old like me ok, but really old, she was 70. She went through each level very slowly but kept going and didn't give up and by the time she was 76 or so she had her black belt!!!!!  Ok you couch potatoes get off the couch, no more excuses! IF SHE CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

April Book Club Pick-From Behind the Veil

A blog reader has suggested a book which I have come across before but forgotten about. It will be April's book club choice. From Behind the Veil: A Hijabi's Journey to Happiness  by Toronto author Farheen Khan is a tale of fortitude after an Islamaphobic attack which highlights her jouney from illness to helping others. Sounds inspiring. Insha Allah you will join us in reading this important story from a Canadian author.

January 2011 Green Deen

Did anyone get their hands on this book. I've started reading the book; I'm still at the introduction. The book is divided into 4 parts; waste,watts,water and food. I think we can go through each part as we finish it off. This should make it more interesting and more indusive to action. Like the last book we read this one is not for entertainment value but to spur us on to change in ourselves and the world around us,insha Allah.

I just don't see myself...

Is it just me or do others also feel that they just don't see themselves in mainstream magazines. I guess that's why I keep subscribing to Muslim magazines. But its not only that. I think magazines think that all literate people are at least middle class if not upper class. You can see that in their editorials which say things like remember when we were growing up and went to the cottage and water-skied behind our motorboats? Are you kidding me? I never did such a thing in my life. Never went to Disney World either. When it comes to talking about Muslim women its always in a 'oh let's go save the poor souls' way. All recipes are geared to Christians with a sprinkling of Jewish recipes for holiday times. Muslims obviously don't celebrate anything and don't need any recipes. When ethnic recipes are included they are always dumbed down ie satay is made with peanut butter. Most of the recipes are not anything I could ever see myself making. The clothes are of course all wrong too. The only health problem a woman can have is of course breast cancer and sometimes heart attacks. All the magazines are like this as though they are all owned by the same person or group. I realize the sponsors are looking for magazines that offer what the majority wants, so its no surprise, but it gets very tiring. There are so many people out there but they act like they don't exist. I just wanted to get this off my chest as Chatelaine has asked me to subscribe but no thank you, I 'll just keep reading it for free at the library and save my pennies for Azizah and Sisters and Al-Jumuah. I can see myself a little bit better there. Not perfectly as I'm so unique after all but closer than what's on the newsstand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You put the lime in the coconut!

Key Lime Coconut Blondies
This is a blurry picture but you get the idea right? Yesterday I finally used the limes I bought (finish what you have!) to make Key Lime Coconut Blondies. I thought they were ok but dh and the kids liked them a lot! I got the kids to bring over a plate to my muslim neighbour who sounded down in the dumps with all that's going on her country. I couldn't taste the lime in these but they were cutting the taste of the sugar for sure. I would love to put more lime in them next time if I ever make them again but the kids said don't. The recipe says you can add white chocolate on top but I didn't have any but I think that would have improved the taste for me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Merry RIS mass part 1

Ok its the post you've been waiting for but when I got back from RIS I had not only a bad cold but also a toothache. So the big joke on facebook is to call RIS, RISmas. I'm going to call it RIS mass because there was a mass of people there! Like hello, 20,000! The last time I went was 2 yrs ago so it felt really packed to me. I think 2 yrs ago it was only 13,000. So it was like a mini-hajj.The first thing that happened was we couldn't get into the building and this little bus pulls over and the driver waves us in. We look at each other (my daughter and I) and get in. The bus brings us to the back entrance and we pass the moose and the Christmas tree and go down the escalators. After that  I waited in the line with my daughter in the pre-booked ticket area for people who already bought their tickets online and I saw my friend there S. I never saw her again for the next 3 days! The woman who served me at the counter was a Malaysian student who was volunteering. It was nice to see a Malaysian volunteering. This year the arm bands were great! They didn't fall off at all as they had these snap things to keep them in place, apparently they had them last year too but I didn't go last year. So this year I didn't lose my arm band and have to pay another $45 to replace it. Alhumdullilah.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Finish off what you already have!

I finally read the book I borrowed from ds1.
This year I want to follow this phrase; finish off what you already have. As muslims we are told not to waste but with so many choices and access to so much we often put things on the backburner and move on to the next thing. I want to make myself finish books I haven't read before I take new ones. Oh this is very hard for me. I think I'm a kind of book hoarder, even though most are just borrowed items. I get greedy when I see books and want to read all of them yesterday! And then I see more books and hear about more books. This is also a problem with food. I have cans of food etc but then I buy more even though I never made the thing I promised myself I would. I know this is a sickness we have in the west where things are plentiful but that's no excuse to waste the resources we have. (I wonder if this is mentioned in Green Deen which I haven't started reading yet). I have to learn to say no to myself and stop biting off more than I can chew. So let's all make do with what we have. I'm sure there are others out there that have the same problem as me. At least I don't buy clothes that sit there with tags and never get worn or buy 100 pairs of shoes even though I only have one pair of feet. I'm only a little bit of a hoarder and I hope to get disciplined before its too late.Use what you have and then move on. If you never plan to use it then please donate. We just sent off some bags to GoodWill. How about you? Do you have any great plans for the new year to use up what you already have?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Healing Body and Soul -Review

Healing Body and Soul-Your Guide to Holistic Wellbeing Following Islamic Teachings by Amira Ayad was December's book club pick. Ironically I have been unwell during this time so I have been trying to apply what I've learned to my situation. This book is a combination of Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (which I own and love), Don't be Sad (ditto)and  Enjoy Your life (ditto ). Of all the books I've read this past year this is the one that I would most highly recommend. This book should be sitting on everyone's shelf to be referred to over and over again. It would also make a great gift for anyone.Although its a great reference book it doesn't read like some dry,dusty medical book, its a joy to read. I learned interesting things like white bread can cause depression since all the good has been taken out therefore you should be only eating whole grain breads. I already eat whole wheat bread but now I've added oat and rye bread.  I haven't seen barley yet.  I will leave you with some gems from the book.

From the chapter : Intellectual Body page 251

An excellent way to reduce stress is to keep in mind that everything you own is a gift from Allah, so that you do not grieve over what you lose nor no you delight in what you earn. Allah says in His Holy Book: (arabic quranic ayat-can't duplicate) "No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not be sad over that which has been given to you. And Allah doesn not like prideful boasters."

In the chapter : Spiritual Body page 398

(here they are talking about all types of Islamic worship)

These practices are the restorative of one's exhausted soul; they are the curative prescription for modern society's ailments like misery,depression,stress and loneliness; they are our bridge to Allah.


May Allah cure us all of all our varied illnesses whether they be in mind, body or spirit or a combination thereof. Amin.