Monday, February 28, 2011

Skunk Girl and Ghostscape

Although these books are more geared to teens or younger, I read both of them, which I got from my local library. Skunk Girl is about a Pakistani teen with facial and body hair problems specifically a patch of hair running down her back. I was disappointed with this book as its another example of muslims behaving badly. Parents should read this book though to enlighten themselves. I really enjoyed Ghostscape though which is about a Somalian girl named Aisha who had lived through the war in Somalia and then travels back in time to the Second World War. This is a mix of history, adventure, religion, friendship and being proud of yourself. I would highly recommend this book. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it just as much if I had been a lot younger. I read some parts out loud to my 12 yr old son and he didn't want me to stop. :) This is the author's first book and its very well done for  a first novel. Insha Allah he will write something again. I look forward to it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Nasihah -Cordial Relations - Ownership

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Cordial Relations
Ihsan adds beauty and excellence to cordial relations. No relationship can be established on measuring constantly whether one has fulfilled one's obligations. One should not be very particular about one's own rights, with a view to ensuring that one gets all that is one's due. Rather, one should be ever-ready to do favours for others. A strictly business-like relationship may work. However, this would be lacking in mutual love, gratitude, sacrifice, sincerity and warmth, which are so important in life. Doing good stands for excellent conduct, generous dealings, a sympathetic attitude, good manners, forgiveness and making allowances. One should be prepared to accept less than one's due and give others more than what they deserve. This point is eloquently made in the following hadith:
"O Allah! Let me maintain ties with him who severs these. Let me grant him his due that deprives me of what is due to me. Let me forgive him who wrongs me." (Mishkat)
In other words this character trait demands that one should give others over and above what is their due. More importantly, one should do good to him who wrongs one. For true believers are those who repulse evil with their good deeds.
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, pp. 14, 15
go to the top ^
Ownership is the decision to become the author of our own experience. It is the choice to decide on our own what value and meaning will occur when we show up. It is the stance that each of us is creating the world, even the one we have inherited.
This requires us to believe in the possibility that this organization, this neighbourhood, this community is mine and ours to create. This will occur when we are willing to answer the essential question, "How have I contributed to creating the current reality?" Confusion, blame, and waiting for someone else to change are defences against ownership and personal power.
A Subtle denial of ownership is innocence and indifference. The future is denied with the response, "It doesn't matter to me - whatever you want to do is fine." This is always a lie and just a polite way of avoiding a difficult conversation around ownership.
People best create that which they own, and cocreation is the bedrock of accountability. The ownership conversation most directly deals with the belief that each of us, perhaps even from the moment of birth, is cause, not effect.
Compiled From:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, pp. 127, 128

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hell Has Frozen Over

After 7 years of being in cold storage, yes me, I was summoned to be a part of the mosque's undertakings. Its a shock because I've been shut out for so long. But trying to change anything in the mosque or shake down the old guard is kind of like trying to overthrow a dictator in the middle east. They will cling to their last breath! Its not that I want to be a leader but I'm tired of having my ideas quashed. They aren't that radical either but when they've been doing the same thing for 40 yrs then there is no way they are willing to change. So I listened through arguments and cold brush offs but I said my peice and after hours I went home. So we shall see if anything comes of it. The lack of morale in that mosque is frustrating and where is the love for the sake of Allah? Alhumdullilah that I am close to another community where people are working for the sake of Allah and loving their students for the sake of Allah. But how can you put love and mercy back into someone's heart? Its like the hadith with the guy with 10 kids yet never ever kissed them. For the sake of the kids in the mosque and their futures I pray that these old leaders (yes they are older than me!!) grow a heart.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jihad of the Soul

The book choice for March is Jihad of the Soul. I picked this up at RIS at the author's booth! She signed my copy. It was great to meet the author. I love how RIS has these book signings every year. RIS is also where I picked up Green Deen. Get your copy now!

Growing Up X- Review

I had to sit for quite awhile after I read this book because I was overwhelmed by my feelings after reading it. The book was so disappointing and sad but not due to the quality of the writing but the quality of the lives of the people left behind after Malcolm X died. We all know if we've read the book or seen the movie about Malcolm X that right before he died he was on his way to being a true believer and no longer part of the Nation of Islam. He had just completed his hajj and was a new man and things were looking up. Of course his life was cut too short and this newfound way of life didn't have a chance to bloom completely and influence his family. His wife did become a mainstream follower of Islam but seemed ignorant of many of the teaching based on what her daughter mentions about her practice and the way she raised her daughters.I never had any idea how the daughters grew up and this filled in many of the blanks but not the way I wanted or expected. I assumed that they had grown up poor with the loss of their breadwinner but on the contrary they grew up affluent and even went to private schools. I felt sad that so much emphasis was placed on secular education and african education at the expense perhaps of an Islamic education. They did go to the mosque on Sundays though but that seems to be the total influence of Islam in their lives. Not once does she mention them praying although she did mention Ramadan. Had Malcolm lived I am sure his daughters would not have grown up doing so many haram things. At RIS Atallah (the oldest daughter, the book is written by Ilyasah the third daughter) kept saying "don't focus on the fact that I'm not wearing hijab". Maybe we wouldn't have focused so much if she hadn't kept mentioning it. After reading the book now I know why they all don't wear hijab. The ending of this book is so gloomy and I feel so bad for this family in so many ways but the thing that makes me the most sad is that they never turned into truly practicing muslims the way their father would have expected them to. May Allah guide them to the true practice of  Islam. Amin.

Family Day

Yesterday was Family Day and we spent it in many ways. Dh and the kids played Monopoly while I made ginger molasses cookies. I tried them at Tim Horton's but they are no longer available so I had to resort to finding a similar recipe and making them myself. They turned out really good but Tim's are still better. Then we went out sledding on the nearby hill including dd5 who I pulled in her little sled. Ds2 also taught me how to make a power point for some dawah I've been asked to do. All in all a great day for the family masha Allah.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday Nasihah- Corrupt Rulers

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Corrupt Rulers
“Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
"You will come to be governed by the rulers who will indulge in good (ma'roof) as well as evil (munkar). So one who regarded their evils as such, he attained salvation, and also the one who raised his voice against their evils. But the one who approved of them and followed them was doomed."
"There was not a single Prophet among those who were sent before me who did not have apostles and companions and followed his sunnah and obeyed his commands. But afterwards other generations came whose words belied their deeds, and whose deeds were not in accordance with what they commanded others to do. Whoever struggles against the with his hand is a believer. Whoever struggles against them with his tongue is a believer. And whoever struggles against them with his heart is a believer. But when none of these things are done, then not a single mustard's seed weight of faith is present." [Muslim]
"By One in Whose Hand is my life, you must continue inviting people to virtue (ma'roof) and forbidding evil (munkar), otherwise it may be that Allah will send down on you His Punishment and then you will cry to Him for relief but He will not hear you!"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Please Pray-Poor Baby

Just saw this here on yahoo news. Please pray for this poor baby in Windsor who will be forced to die on Monday.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Growing Up X and Green Deen

I've finally finished Green Deen. The last two chapters were called Water and Food. These are really good chapters and I'd like to cover them but I really want someone else to discuss them with so until I find at least one more reader I'm going to take a break. As for Growing Up X my library still doesn't have it so I intend to buy it this month. Insha Allah someone will pick one of these books up and join me because frankly I'm feeling a bit bored reading alone in this so-called book club.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Nasihah-Nature

Living The Quran
Primary Guide
Fussilat (Clearly Expounded) - Chapter 41: Verse 39
"And among His Signs is this: you see the earth humble [because of drought]; but when We send down rain to it, it is stirred to life and yields increase. Truly, He who gives it life can surely give life to the dead, for He has power over all things."
In the first years of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) life he developed a specific relationship with nature that remained constant throughout his mission. The universe is pregnant with signs that recall the presence of the Creator, and the desert, more than anything else, opens the human mind to observation, meditation, and initiation into meaning. Thus, many verses of the Quran mention the book of creation and its teachings. The desert, apparently devoid of life, repeatedly shows and proves the watchful consciousness the reality of the miracle of the return to life.
This relationship with nature was so present in the Prophet's life from his earliest childhood that one can easily come to the conclusion that living close to nature, observing, understanding, and respecting it, is an imperative of deep faith.
Nature is the primary guide and the intimate companion of faith. Thus, God decided to expose His Prophet, from his earliest childhood, to the natural lessons of creation, conceived as a school where the mind gradually apprehends signs and meaning. Far removed from the formalism of soulless religious rituals, this sort of education, in and through its closeness to nature, fosters a relationship to the divine based on contemplation and depth that will later make it possible, in a second phase of spiritual education, to understand the meaning, form, and objectives of religious ritual.
Cut off from nature in our towns and cities, we nowadays seem to have forgotten the meaning of this message to such an extent that we dangerously invert the order of requirements and believe that learning about the techniques and forms of religion (prayers, pilgrimages, etc.) is sufficient to grasp and understand their meaning and objectives. This delusion has serious consequences since it leads to draining religious teaching of its spiritual substance, which actually ought to be its heart.
Compiled From:
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 12-14

Did Hijab Cost This Woman Her Job?

I rarely buy newspapers since the internet has tons of news anyway but that title in the Toronto Star caught my eye and I had to buy it and read the story. I can relate to the woman in one way because when I first converted I couldn't get a job at all with hijab but at least she did get one. As for me I got a job without one then put it back on, for that I was treated with contempt and hidden in the back room and told that I had decieved them and that it was the wrong impression I was giving to people since they believed in woman's rights basically. I never fought the issue since it was only a contract job and I had a lot of other things on my plate but I'm glad to see this woman is not taking it sitting down especially since no one can accuse her of deception like they did me. So read it and find out

Did Hijab Cost Her, Her Job?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Green Deen -Watts

So onto the next section; watts. This section talks about electricity. He starts by mentioning the blackout of 2003. Where were you when it happened? I remember that day all too well. Then he goes on to talk about energy from hell (oil, coal, etc) and energy from heaven (solar, wind etc). This expression wasn't coined by him though.Next is efficiency and green jobs. Very interesting chapter. I was very impressed by the Green City Force which 'targets disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Brooklyn' .I was also impressed with IMAN; Chicago's Inner-City Muslim Action Network. In living off the grid he talks about a convert living in Mexico in a community that is self-sustainable.

So here are some questions?

Where were you in 2003 when the blackout happened and how did you react?

Is your home energy efficient?

Would you be willing to live off the grid?

Does your city have any solar panels or wind turbines?

Halal Trip and a Halal Cruise.

Halal Trip which I told you about last year has sent me this press release. If you're looking for a halal hotel  then consult this website.
Find family-friendly hotels the easy way - HalalTrip revamps its website not only to benefit Muslim travellers

Almost one year after its first launch HalalTrip ( has just refreshed its design and logo. The website now appears quite clean and easy to use. The homepage features a new and compact search form that invites travellers to easily search hotels in their desired destinations. Further, a BBC short video report explaining Halaltrip can now also be watched by users.

"We feel quite honoured to see the BBC covering our project in such a great way. Our team was already looking for a new design focussing on the key value of our site: Searching Muslim-friendly hotels! But HalalTrip also targets families looking for alcohol-free hotels around the world", explains Karim Saad, founder of HalalTrip.

HalalTrip is offering more than 1.000 hotels around the globe suitable for Muslim travellers and non-Muslim families. Each hotel profile features information whether alcohol and Halal food is served and if there are prayer rooms, women-only pool facilities or any other Halal extras available. Users may not only search the directory but review any listed hotel.

HalalTrip - Travel like a Muslim

For a halal cruise that's in the works check out Salaam Cruise.

Monday, February 7, 2011

June Book Club Pick 2011

For June we will be reading a book by another Canadian author but this time from Ottawa, insha Allah. I just came across this book so I just had to share it with you as my June book club choice. What do Canadians care about the most after talking about the weather? Hockey of course. Immigrants are obsessed with soccer but Canadians couldn't care less. And we don't call it football either! Neither do we care about cricket or badminton. Hockey is where its at.

Have you read a great muslim book lately? What are you reading right now?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Malaysians Protest in KL against Mubarak Regime

In Kuala Lumpur a protest was held to support Egyptians against the gov't of Hosni Mubarak. Unfortunately the Malaysian gov't took out water cannons to break up the protest. How sad is that???

Friday, February 4, 2011

Daily Duas-what difference do they make?

I have a chart like this but I never use it. My kids have never used it either, we've never bothered to memorize any duas. I have some on my door for entering and leaving, once in a blue moon I will read from them to make dua. People who grew up muslim learned these since they were kids and they roll off their tongues.Other kids are suprised my kids don't know them. I guess I've never really bothered with them because I don't see the point. I mean of coure its to worship Allah but what difference do they really make in your life. Are people using them just out of habit? Do they think they make a difference? Do they feel they are like insurance? Do they do it because everyone else is doing it? I don't know why but I can't get over the idea that these duas are like accessories instead of the main outfit which are fard prayers but I also feel that way about sunnah prayers and dhikr. I think I am like the bedouin and just want to stick to the fard and leave off the rest. Conversion was hard enough with all its changes. I feel adding more even after all these years feels like a burden. So tell me if I'm wrong! What difference does it make???

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Al-Maghrib in Malaysia

For all those you have been waiting, the wait is over, Al-Maghrib will be in Malaysia! The first weekend workshop will be A Heart Serene. I'm so happy that our Malaysian brothers and sisters will get to enjoy and benefit from the Islamic knowledge and guidance Al-Maghrib has to offer. Everyone I know who has gone to one of these workshops has been impressed and transformed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Book Club Choice - Growing Up X

The book club pick for this month is Growing Up X. February is Black History Month so its the perfect book choice. I still remember waiting for the Malcolm X movie to come to town. It was taking forever so I went to the library and got the book. When the movie finally did come to town a journalist wrote that the black people were happy because they had been waiting for it. Hello what about the muslims? What about other people in general? All books are for all people. We are all human. We all have stories to tell and we all have something to learn from each other. Insha Allah you will pick up this book or her dad's book and join our book club this month. Other great reads if you are interested are Uncle Tom's Cabin and Roots. Tell your kids too.