Thursday, June 30, 2011

February 2012 Book Club Choice- I Shall Not Hate

I've heard about this book before but forgot about it until I saw it mentioned in Canadian Living. This man has been through so much but still holds on to his dream of peace. Amazing, so I think we can all be inspired by I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey.

July 2011 Book Club Pick reminder

Tomorrow is Canada Day! Its also time to start reading the new book for July. Anyone going to join me this month?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My New Veilkini Bathing Suit

 I got my new Veilkini Bathing suit from AlSharifa!  Yes I got another one today and its in my favourite colour; purple.Its called; 

LAGUNA Swimsuit : Plum / Grape

I waited a long time for them to come out with one in this colour. So glad the strike is over so I can enjoy it this summer. I like this one even more because the side of the shirt and pants comes with clips instead of just a tie and  also the bottom of the legs can be made tighter.

For my daughter (dd3) who is 11, I'm thinking to get her the Malibu. These are good for tweens.

Thinking of getting one too but you're not sure? Read my review here. If you like what you see/read then order one and don't forget to use the code shoe10 to save 10%.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Postal Strike is Over

So here in Canada we are finally supposed to get mail. The US has been holding back any mail from there so stuff from there should take awhile. Alhumdullilah Shukr doesn't use Canada post or I would still not have my dresses. I can't wait to get some things in the mail again. How about you? Did you get anything today? Did you finally mail something out? Did you turn to couriers? Email? I kept getting calls from companies telling me I could pay my bills online during the strike. How much did the strike affect you? For poor souls like me in little towns it a big bother as we couldn't get any packages all this time or order anything either. Small places like this really rely on the postal service.

Last Weekend

My kids had a school trip on Friday to Canada's Wonderland so we all went. I don't really like rides so I don't enjoy it much. I was really tired too and had to take a nap! I did get to go in the wave pool though in my Veilkini from Alsharifa (if you want one don't forget to use code shoe10 to save 10%). The lifeguard though said they had a policy that if you are wearing long clothes then it is difficult to swim and therefore you need to wear a lifejacket. Are you kidding me? Its not difficult at all to swim in this bathing suit. Its so lightweight. The lifejacket was a pain and ruined everything and I couldn't swim properly in it and it kept floating up to my chin and choking me so I unbuckled it. I really wanted to throw it away. I'm not impressed with this policy at all. I remember years ago I swam at WaterWorld and I didn't even have an islamic bathing suit then just jeans and a long shirt and they never made me wear a lifejacket and I had so much fun! My daughters were ticked off with their ridiculous policy too.

On Saturday we went to Chinatown and then to the rock garden at Royal Botanical Gardens. We had missed that during the last trip. It was so lovely in the rock garden with beautiful views and encircling paths and benches everywhere. Little chipmunks were everywhere and they were so friendly. My kids saw a turtle and we also saw a snake. I could stay there all day. Wish my backyard were like that! This time we actually saw two muslim families!

On Sunday we went to the Muslim Womenpreneur bazaar and then on the way home we stopped off to eat at a restaurant we've never been to before. It is a halal Thai restaurant called Thai Cuisine Experts. It was my first time to eat Thai food (never could find a halal one before) and it tasted great. I loved the chicken fried rice and chicken pad Thai. How I wish though that there were Chinese and Vietnamese halal restaurants.

So how was your weekend?

January 2012 book club pick

The first book for 2012 will be a reader's choice called Mom I'm a Muslim. Before it was only available on kindle but now I see you can get hardcopies. This looks like a great read about a male convert.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Muslim Womenpreneurs

Did any of my readers go yesterday? I met the woman who sells Sisters Magazine.(Bilqees Quick  I got the latest two issues. I also bought some soap from Be-licious ( and then my son (ds2) won some more in the draw. Then I got some honey products from NutraB; Safa and Buzz Off.  My daughter (dd3) won a hijab in the draw and that was so nice masha Allah because she has just started wearing hijab. The kids got to see Dora and a clown made them some baloon figures. Dd4 asked for a sword, she's such a tomboy. Some other people asked for it as well after her and she was quite angry that they copied her, lol. One of the best parts of the day was eating Lasagna from Kara Mia! Since the event was held in the mosque we simply strolled over and did our prayers. Also since the mosque has a book store I went there too and got some books and movies. They really need to update it though as it is totally inaccessible to strollers and wheelchairs. This event was raising money for muslims with disabilities ( and mosques really need to think about these obstacles. My daughter Handmade Beginnings had a booth that she shared with Smart Ark. She was selling her Ramadan countdown calendars and crayon holders and placemats.

I enjoyed myself but I wish there had been more variety in the booths as many were repetitive. Did anyone buy the cupcakes? I found them quite expensive, but like the name, they were cute (socute! creations 416-995-6131 HugYo was there but came a little late. I already bought two jilbabs from them at RIS though.

So did you go? What did you buy? What did you think? Did you meet anyone interesting? I met a sister who is originally from Quebec and a convert like me, who was selling vitamins. Not sure if any of them could help me but she said she would keep in touch. Insha Allah the honey will do the trick.

Funny Orangutan Book

Just recently heard about this book and I thought it was so funny! My son loves orangutans. I should get this book for him. Can you believe such a friendship could happen?

Friday Nasihah - Personal Effort, Traveling Alone, Elite and Commonality

Living The Quran
Personal Effort
Al Isra (The Night Journey) - Chapter 17: Verse 30
"Surely your Lord God enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens it (for whom He wills). Indeed He is fully aware of His servants and sees them well."
It is not poverty or richness itself which is good; rather, it is the state of mind which has disciplined (and triumphed over) the carnal life. The surest way for a person to please God, therefore, is to understand that whatever God gives is given in order to perfect that person in the best way. Whatever people's circumstances, they should strive to fulfill their duties toward the Creator and the created.
Like everything else, provision for each person has been pre-determined by God, and no one can obtain more than the provision that has been determined for them, nor can anybody die without having consumed their provision. Every living being's basic provision - the least amount of provision sufficient for its survival - is guaranteed by God, provided that being depends on Him in all respects. The procurement of any extra provision that will be needed because of certain conditions, like habits, depends on personal effort.
God does not forbid working or exerting effort, nor does He want His servants to be content with their basic provision. Rather, He encourages the making of an effort and wills that His servants should earn in lawful ways to spend in God's cause for the cause of Islam, and for the good of people. One who earns lawfully, who is thankful, and who helps others is much better in sight of God than one who is content with the basic provisions. What God forbids is greed, earning in unlawful ways, pursuing one's own interests only, hoarding wealth, miserliness, and not helping the needy. He also forbids taking the worldly life as the goal for working and earning.
Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 574-577

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Traveling Alone
Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "A woman may not travel except a mahram is accompanying her." [Agreed Upon]
The reason for the prohibition is fear for the woman traveling alone without husband or mahram at a time when traveling was by camel or mule or donkey, and she was often crossing through desert or barren terrains empty of human settlements or living creatures. Even if, during this kind of journey, the woman did not suffer mischief to herself, she suffered it in her reputation.
But when the conditions change - as in our time - when travel is by airplane or train carrying a hundred or more passengers, then there is not much room to fear for a woman traveling alone. One does not consider this acting in opposition to the hadith. Rather, this position is confirmed by the hadith of Adi ibn Hatim, according to al-Bukhari: "[The time] is all but [here when] when a woman will leave from Hira heading for the House (i.e. the Kaba), [with] no husband accompanying her." This hadith comes in the context of praising the advent of Islam and the rising of its light, and as a token of its providing safety in the land. It demonstrates the permissibility of a woman traveling alone. Ibn Hazm proceeded in accordance with this view.
It is no surprise that we find some of the imams permitting the woman to do hajj without a mahram or husband accompanying her, if she was with trustworthy women, or in trusted company. That is how Aisha did the hajj and tawaf, as one of the 'mothers of the believers' during the rule of Umar. There was not with them a single mahram; rather, Uthman ibn Affan and Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf accompanied them. It is so reported in Sahih al-Bukhari.
Some people say: A single trustworthy woman is enough as a traveling companion. Others say: She may travel alone if the road is safe. The followers of the Shafii school have pronounced this view correct for travelling for hajj and umrah. Other Shafiis include any journey in this permission, not just for pilgrimage.
Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, p.129

Elite and Commonalty
All immorality and disturbances in human social life proceed from two sources, from these two attitudes:
The first: Once my stomach is full, what do I care if others die of hunger?
The second: You work and I will eat.
The behaviour that perpetuates these two attitudes is the prevalence of usury or interest on the one hand and the abandonment of the Zakah on the other. The sole remedy for these two awful diseases can only be provided through implementing the Zakah as a universal principle and duty, and banning interest. The Zakah is an essential pillar, not only for individuals and particular communities, but for all of humankind, if they are to live a happy life. Humankind are usually divided into two classes; the elite and the commonalty. Only the obligation of the Zakah can arouse compassion and generosity in the elite towards the commonalty and respect in the commonalty towards the elite. In the absence of the Zakah, what will come to the commonalty from the elite is oppression and cruelty, and what will rise from the commonalty towards the elite is rancour and rebellion. That will give rise to a constant struggle and a constant opposition between the two classes, resulting finally in the confrontation of labour and capital.
Compiled From:
The Letters, "The 22nd Letter," Said Nursi, Vol 2, p. 74

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Sad News

We don't celebrate Father's Day but if we did it would be the saddest Father's Day ever. I was pregnant for number 11 but I've been miscarrying over these past few days. I have never miscarried before. I don't know if its old age or all the stress in my life including my undetermined illness. Allahu alim. Inna ilaihi wa inna ilaihi rajiun.

Friday Nasihah - Working for Living,Relating to Neighbours,Accountability

Living The Quran
Working for Living
Al Furqan (The Criterion) - Chapter 25: Verse 8 (partial)
"Or why has not a treasure been granted to him? Or he should have a garden to provide his sustenance."
An absurd objection focused on God's Messenger, peace be upon him, walking about the market-place earning his living: his position as Messenger would have been recognized had he been granted great wealth to save him the trouble of so working for his living.
But God willed that His Messenger should not have treasure or garden, because He wanted him to be a perfect example to be followed by his community. He was to fulfil the great task of delivering his message while he worked, earning a living at the same time. Thus, none of his followers could argue that the Prophet was freed from the responsibility of work, and thus was able to devote all his time to his message. None would take this as an excuse for not fulfilling his duty towards the divine message. We see clearly that the Prophet worked for his living while he also worked for his message. It is right, then that every one of his followers should do the same, so as to fulfil his own task towards the divine faith.
Wealth was later given in abundance to the Prophet so as the first experience should be completed and the example he provided be perfected. He did not allow such wealth to become his preoccupation, preventing him from the fulfilment of his task. Indeed, his generosity was so superior that is was likened by his Companions to unrestrained wind. He provided a perfect example in resisting the lure of wealth so as to enable his followers to look at affluence in the proper perspective. Thus, no one could say that Muhammad was able to fulfil the duties of his message because he was poor, having no preoccupations of wealth, free from the task of looking after it. Instead, he fulfilled his duties in both situations of poverty and affluence.
Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 12, p. 388

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Relating to Neighbours
Neighbours have rights, be they Muslims or non-Muslims. The Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "He is not a true Believer who eats his fill while his neighbour is hungry." (Bayhaqi.)
Thus, the quality of our Din (Faith) and fate in the Akhira (Hereafter) will also be determined by how well we fulfill your obligations towards our neighbours. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, a man said:
"O Messenger of Allah, such and such woman has a reputation for engaging very much in Prayers, Fasting and Almsgiving, but she hurts her neighbours with her tongue quite often." He said, "She will go to Hell." Then he said, "O Messenger of Allah, such and such woman engages in only a little Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving and gives just a few pieces of cheese in charity, but she does not hurt her neighbours with her tongue." He said, "She will go to Paradise." (Ahmad, Bayhaqi.)
One class of neighbours is our relatives. Another class are those who are not our relatives and the third class of neighbours are those who sit with us, even for a few minutes. This third class of neighbours is a very wide group and includes those who sit by our side. If we are travelling in a taxi, bus, train or aeroplane the person who is sitting by our side is our neighbour. If we are in the office, our co-worker is our neighbour. If we are at school, our classmate is our neighbour. The Prophet gave a comprehensive account of our duties towards our neighbours when requested to do so by one of his Companions:
If he asks for a loan, you should give him a loan; if he wants your help, you should help him; if he be sick, you should go to see him; if he be needy you should try to fulfill his need; if he gets good news, you should congratulate him; if any calamity befalls him, it is your duty to console him; if he dies, you should attend his funeral; you should not raise your walls to such a height that they obstruct the ventilation of your neighbour's house, even if he is willing; do not tantalise your neighbour with the smell of your delicious food unless you send a portion of it to him; if you bring fruit into your house then send some to your neighbour; otherwise, keep it hidden from your neighbour, and you should also be careful that your children do not take some out, else the children of your neighbour may feel disappointed. (Tabarani)
Compiled From:
In the Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, p.125
go to the top ^
Accountability is the willingness to acknowledge that we have participated in creating, through commission or omission, the conditions that we wish to see changed. Without this capacity to see ourselves as cause, our efforts become either coercive or wishfully dependent on the transformation of others.
Community will be created the moment we decide to act as creators of what it can become. This is the stance of ownership, which is available to us every moment on every issue, even world peace, the overdependence on fossil fuel consumption, and the fact that our teenagers are slightly self-centred.
This requires us to believe in the possibility that this organization, this neighbourhood, this community is mine or 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. This core question, when answered, is central to how the community is transformed.
Compiled From:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging" - Peter Block, p. 127

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guantanamo Guard Converts

This is a little old but I thought it was interesting and it also mentions James Yee, a Muslim army chaplain, who we will be reading about in September for the book club. It makes you realize that people can convert in the most strangest circumstances and be the most unlikely people you would expect to convert.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Is Around the Corner

In a few days summer will be upon us. What can you do to beat the heat? Try this dessert on our family cooking blog posted by my daughter; Strawberry Oreo Ice cream cake.

Or check out my review for the Veilkini and get yours today and one for your daughter or niece or friend or wife! Use code Shoe10 to recei ve 10% off.

Also this summer why not join our book club. For June the book is Of  Hijab and Hockey ,if you are not too busy with the hockey playoffs, for July its Just 5 Minutes, 9 Years in the Prisons of Syria and for August/Ramadan its The Marvels of the Heart: Science of the Spirit.

Also remember to go to MuslimFest, Muslim Day at Canada's Wonderland, Muslim Womenpreneur at ISNA, Journey of Faith and  Muslim Day at Ontario Place. Also when you are out and about remember to pray. Canada's Wonderland has a multifaith centre with a wudu station and two prayer rooms. Its close to the mountain. Have fun but don't forget Allah.

Islamic Perspectives on Prayers and Coping with Sickness

I saw this book on my daughter's shelf and grabbed it. I've been having medical issues which are still not properly diagnosed and therefore not treated so I continue to experience symptoms. On the back of the book in the description it says : This valuable book is all about ibadaat (prayers), under stressful conditions of the sick, and seeking healing from the One who heals. 

Many topics are covered in this book concerning following the pillars of Islam while sick or in the hospital or both, ayats and duas, questions about different health conditions, questions about different cures and surgeries, halal and haram etc.

This book was published by ISNA in 2002. Insha Allah it can purchased from their bookstore. Anyone sick or dealing with the sick should have a copy of this book.

The author is Amjad R. M. Syed.

Amjad R. M. Syed has a B.Sc. (Agriculture) and an R.T. (Clinical Chemistry).  He migrated to Canada from Bangalore India in 1965.  He worked as a Medical Technologist at Sunnybrook Hospital Toronto for 30 years. After participating at the Dundas St mosque, he was a founding member of the Islamic Foundation.  He has pioneered Muslim volunteer work at Toronto’s hospitals, being the Founding Coordinator, Hospital Patients Visiting Service & Chair, Funeral Committee for Islamic Society of North America – Canada.  He developed a language program for non-English speaking patients in 26 world languages at Trillium Hospital.  He has received numerous awards, including the Community Service Awards from the Islamic Society of North America and the Canadian Islamic Congress; the Hajj trip award by Muslim World League in Canada and the President’s Gold Leaf Award by Trillium Health Centre Mississauga.  He is the author of Islamic Perspectives on Prayers and Coping with Sickness, published by ISNA Canada, 2002.
Amjad is married and has three children.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Halal Baby Food

Just heard of this new halal baby food. Its dried though. I've never tried it as my youngest is too old now for that. There's another new thing out too. You can make your own baby food with the Baby Bullet. Or a cheaper option is to use a grinder.

Store Desserts to make at home

Two of my favourite desserts that I always buy at the store were featured in two different magazines, so I thought I'd share them. Its always good to make your own since its fresher and healthier and your store might run out!
From Chatelaine magazine I found Streusel Crunch Blueberry Muffins. From Taste of Home I found Instant Chocolate Pastries.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Plastic Planet

A couple of nights ago we watched Plastic Planet. We know we are surrounded by plastic but do we know the effects? We learned that plastic is in our blood streams and that it is causing infertility. We learned yet again about how it is hurting wildlife ie birds feeding bits of plastic to their babies and about them dying from it.  We learned about how it is having an effect on the ratio of girls to boys which I did know before and can witness right before my eyes. Plastic is everywhere and part of everything. In the show they told people to take out all the plastic stuff they have outside to see how much they have. People were surprised at how much they had even in 3rd world countries. This documentary is very eye-opening. Sit down with your family and be educated and informed. Great for discussions afterwards.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dresses as jilbabs.

I know its a bit unorthodox but with this summer heat I've decided to wear dresses as jilbabs. These 100% cotton dresses are perfect as they are lightweight and cool. Choose them in light colours and you are even cooler. People wear abayas as their top layer so its pretty much the same thing. In fact most abayas are even thinner than dresses. Anyone else use dresses as an option in the summer? Here and here are two new ones I've added to my wardrobe. Shukr has added some new jilbabs too. I'm pleased that they are making thier jilbabs a lot more edgy now. If you like what you see, click on my shukr ad on the right side of my blog to order. :)

Friday Nasihah - Righteous Stones, Voluntary Deeds, Clear Expectations

Living The Quran
Righteous Stones
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 74 (partial)
'... and verily of stones there are some from which gush forth rivers, and verily there are of them some that cleave asunder and water issueth therefrom, and verily there are of them some that fall down in awe of Allah ...'
The above is a beautiful description, in parable, of three grades of a righteous people:
a) those who do universal good, such as the Prophets (like big rivers in their beneficence.)
b) those whose outlook is not so broad, yet who do immense service within their limited sphere, such as the saints (awliya) and martyrs (shuhada) (like smaller streams and rivulets); and,
c) those who are true and faithful at least to their own selves; the general community of the faithful (like stones which are impressionable)
Compiled From:
"The Glorious Qur'an: Text, Translation & Commentary" - Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Voluntary Deeds
On the authority of Abu Huraira who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Allah the Almighty has said, 'My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him.'" [Bukhari]
Allah, the Creator and Fashioner of humans, has obligated certain deeds. Those are deeds that are needed by all humans for the purification of their souls. Beyond those deeds, though, Allah has left the door wide open for individuals to concentrate on those deeds that they are most inclined to. For example, some people are dedicated to their voluntary prayers. Other may be attracted to fasting, charity or the pilgrimage.
There are others who are more inclined to doing good toward others. They perform the obligatory deeds and then beyond that they spend their time tending to others' needs. When these people tend to those matters, they become the key by which they come closer to Allah and enter Paradise.
This reality is all by the mercy of Allah. Beyond the obligatory deeds, people are free to pursue those good voluntary deeds that they are most attracted to. There are so many areas of voluntary deeds that it seems inconceivable that a person could not find some voluntary deed or deeds that she would like to perform in order to get closer to Allah. Allah's path to paradise is wide enough to accommodate all of those different leanings. However, this is all dependent on the individual first fulfilling, in general, the obligatory deeds.
Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 1408-1409
Clear Expectations
How often have you seen someone get hurt because another person led them on? Our tendency is to want to flatter and please others, and, as a result, we often set unclear or unrealistic expectations.
To please your dad at the moment, you might say, "Sure, Dad, I can help you fix up the car this weekend." But, realistically, you're booked the entire weekend and don't have a second. In the end, you disappoint your dad. You would have been better off being realistic up front.
To develop trust we need to avoid sending vague messages or implying something that is not true or not likely to happen.
Whenever you get into a new job, relationship, or setting, you're better off taking the time to lay all expectations out on the table so that everyone is on the same page. So many withdrawals are made because one party assumes one thing and another party assumes something else.
Build trust through telling it like it is and laying out clear expectations right up front.
Compiled From:
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - Sean Covey, pp. 142-143

I'm really loving the volutary deeds part. I love to dawah. Most people choose sunnah prayers. Me not so much. We all are inclined to what attracts us.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Of Hockey and Hijab - an interview with Sheema Khan

This month's book club choice is Of Hockey and Hijab. Here is a little taste of it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two Mennonite Novels

Irma Voth: A Novel  This post is for my Mennonite turned Muslim friend. I saw these two novels; Irma Voth and A Complicated Kindness, featured in Chatelaine and thought of her. Do I have any other Mennonite readers or former ones? Nevertheless these look like interesting books for anyone to read.

Learn French Together

This is another activity set the school let us borrow. It comes with 3 books which you use to follow along with the cd set. Each page teaches new simple vocabulary and there are activities to do on each page if you choose to like making an alphabet soup or a maracca. Dd4 easily followed along and enjoyed it.

New Stripes

On the weekend ds2 and ds3 were tested and recieved their blue stripes on thier green belts. Next step is blue belts. Dd3 and ds4 have dropped out for the time being but I hope they come back. Dd4 comes once in a blue moon so not enough to get more stripes on her white belt. Ds5 doesn't come anymore. As for me I wish I could have tested for my yellow belt but with my leg problems not to mention my broken toe it was out of the question.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wedding Essence

Did you know Sketched Soul's mom makes cakes? They look so professional and yummy! If you are in the GTA and need a cake then check out this site.  I could eat the chocolate icing cupcake off the screen!  She even made a mosque cake. Sketched Soul makes knitted cupcakes that can be used to store your hijab pins or needles. So cute! I first saw them at RIS and recently gave one to my arabic teacher as a gift. She sells them on her etsy shop but none are available currently. Convo her to make some for you but if you are really hungry contact her mom. :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Al-Quaida Cake

Long before Sept 11. everyone knew that Al-quaida meant the little booklet muslims used to learn how to read the Quran. Since my arabic teacher is going away for a few months I decided to make a cake in her honour; an al-quaida cake. I used the book pan from Wilton and tip number 5 for the arabic letters. It takes 3 cakes to fill this pan! Everyone liked it and it was a really fun project to make and share!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sura Al-Kahf

Friday is the day to recite sura al-kahf. Do you know it? Do you recite it? You can download a copy here for only 89 cents. :)

Friday Nasihah - Forever Young

Living The Quran
Forever Young
Al Kahf (The Cave) - Chapter 18: Verse 10
'When the young men took refuge in the cave and said: "Our Lord! Grant us mercy form Your Presence and arrange for us in your affair what is right and good!"'
The word used to mean young (fata) in this verse has a special meaning and usage in Islamic literature. Its definitive form futuwwah, meaning youth and chivalry, is a composite of virtues, such as energy, revolutionary vigour, heroism, generosity, modesty, chastity, trustworthiness, loyalty, mercifulness, knowledge, humility, and piety.
Futuwwah also signifies a selfless character that enjoys helping others, wishing no one any harm. It is an important, indispensable dimension of good conduct and a significant aspect of humanity.
Derived from fata meaning young man, futuwwah has become a symbol of rebellion against all kinds of evil and of sincere servanthood to God as the way to attain true freedom.
Some have summed up the descriptions made for futuwwah in the following cardinal virtues, in addition to those mentioned above:
  • Forgiving when one is able to punish.
  • Preserving mildness and acting mildly and gently when one is angry.
  • Wishing well for all, including one's enemies, and doing good.
  • Always being considerate of the well-being and happiness of others first, even when one is needy.
The signs of one being a fata (young, chivalrous one) are that their spirit, which was created with the potential to accept Divine Oneness and Islam, has utmost conviction of Divine Oneness and urges them to live according to the requirements of this conviction, and that, without being captivated by carnal or bodily desires, they live a pure, spiritual life, always aiming to please God in all acts, thoughts, and feelings. It is not possible for one who cannot be saved from the temptations of their carnal soul, from Satan, from bodily appetites, and from a love of the world or attachment to worldly life, to climb up toward the peak of futuwwah.
Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 601

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Jihad Of The Eyes
Many of us may wonder what’s wrong with lustfully staring at the attractive features of another person? Perhaps one saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sums it all:
The furtive glance is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan, on him be God's curse. Whoever forsakes it for the fear of Allah, will receive from Him (Great and Gracious is He) a faith, the sweetness of which he will find within his heart.” (al-Haakim.)
A Muslim is decent and pure. This means all of his or her body must be decent and pure. A natural consequence of this is lowering the gaze.
Looking at another man or woman in an indecent manner is following in Satan's footsteps.
It all begins with a lustful glance. Such a glance leads to lustful talk and flirting, then meeting…and we are all aware of what comes next.
Let us stop Satan in his tracks and lower our gaze.
Let us start today, during these hot summer months. Yes, it is very difficult and it takes discipline and faith.
Yet, whenever we struggle to please Allah, He will reward us several times over in this life and the next.
It is truly a Jihad. But, it is a Jihad worth undertaking, and we will be all the better for it.
Compiled From:
"The Jihad of the eyes - start today!" - Hesham Hassaballa
"Watch Out for The Arrow" - Young Muslims Publications

There are two types of foreboding (tatayyur). One is based on normative experience observing things that consistently happen. For example, getting near a cobra usually results in it striking its victims. So when you see a cobra, get out of the way. There is no superstition in that. But it differs completely from some practices like avoiding walking under a ladder, staying clear of a black cat, and the culture that has evolved around the number 13 and its association with bad luck. These superstitions emanate from having a bad opinion of God, not recognizing His power and authority in the world, and attributing power to inanimate objects and delving into other similar practices. These superstitions are explicitly forbidden in Islam. While these practices have taken an aura of innocence and light humour, they are nonetheless connected to their pagan and idolatrous ancestry.
The way to cure this trap of superstition is for one to simply persist in what he was doing when confronted with something viewed as a bad omen. Altering one's course of action because of some perceived omen is admitting that the superstition has power.
Compiled From:
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 91, 92

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Book Club Pick 2011 - Of Hockey and Hijab

Its June boys and girls! Time to be reading Of Hockey and Hijab. A little out of season but still relevant anytime of the year here in good ol' Canada where hockey never dies! She shoots, she scores!

Lonely Am I

This is the poem of an anonymous convert. Read it here.