Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ramadan is Here

This has been going through my head now for a couple of days. Maybe you haven't heard it yet.

Ramadan Kit

Mini Mumin has a free Ramadan kit. Get it here.

Pop Up Card for Ramadan or Eid

Years ago I borrowed a book from the library called How to Make Holiday Pop-Up Cards and it had a mosque pop-up card. My kids had a great time making the card and they turned out so nicely. Another idea for making cards is to get some old wallpaper books from your local decorating/paint store and make your own. What kind of crafts are you making for Ramadan and Eid?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Islam and the Discovery of Freedom - Review

When I say Little House on the Prairie what is the first thing that comes to mind? Probably not Islam right? But the author of this book is the daughter of the author who wrote that series. Did you ever wonder why Pa was named Almanzo? You will find out when you read this book. Rose Wilder Lane wrote this book in a white heat about Islam and how men are free under it, throughout history. Although there are some errors, these are corrected throughout by Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D. I really enjoyed this book and it made me wonder about other people like this. They become quite intimate with Islamic information and even defend Muslims and yet never end up embracing Islam. I was very familiar with most of the information but it was like a walk down islamic memory lane. I thought about my ancestors and wondered if any of them were ever crusaders and if they had ever come in contact with Islam at all. I was once again reminded of their uncleanliness as well. That never fails to amuse me. Even my native ancestors were cleaner than my European ones; taking baths in the dead of winter. But I digress. This is a quick read and I highly recommend it.

Friday Nasihah - Gratifying State, Justness, Funny Bone

Living The Quran
Gratifying State
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 152
"So remember Me, I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me."
Can you imagine a more gratifying state than this, where when you remember Allah, the Creator, Sustainer and Lord of the Universe, He remembers you in return?
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining and who reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth are highly commended in the Noble Quran. They are wise in that they fill their hearts with the remembrance of God in every moment, in every circumstance and in every posture of their lives.
Said ibn Jubayr has said: "Whoever did not obey his Lord, did not remember Him, irrespective of how many rosaries (tasbih) he did, how much he chanted the greatness of God, and however much he recited the Quran."
Abu Uthman was asked: "Why is it that we remember Allah but do not feel its sweet effects on our hearts?" He said, "Thank Allah that He has at least inspired a member of your body to His obedience."
Alusi says: "There are three ways of realizing 'Dhikr' (remembrance). First: with the tongue, which is to say thanks, chant Allah's Glory, sing His Greatness, to recite the Quran etc. Second: with the heart (and mind) which is to think and discover the wisdom behind various obligations of Islam, to contemplate over the rewards and punishment in the Hereafter, to understand the Attributes of Allah, and unravel Divine secrets. And third: to keep every limb and joint of the body engaged in acts approved by Allah, and restrain them from prohibited acts."
The exhortation to remember Allah at all times is a reflection of Allah's all-embracing and overwhelming love for us. The door to Allah is always open to us: Remember Me and I will remember you. We need only find our way to and through that door. Strive then, to fill all your moments, all your thoughts and all your actions with Allah’s remembrance.
Compiled From:
"In the Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, pp. 21-25
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, vol. 1, p. 184

Understanding the Prophet's Life
The Prophet, peace be upon him, held one of his Companions, called Abu Lubabah, in great esteem, so much so that he had left him in charge of Medina when he had left for the first Badr expedition. Some time later, a young orphan came to Muhammad to complain that Abu Lubabah had taken from him a palm tree that had long been his. The Prophet summoned Abu Lubabah and asked him to explain. Investigations showed that the palm tree did belong to Abu Lubabah, and the Prophet judged in the latter's favour, greatly disappointing the young orphan. Muhammad privately asked Abu Lubabah, justice having now been rendered, to give the tree to the young orphan, for whom it was so important. Abu Lubabah adamantly refused: he had gone to such lengths to assert his right of ownership that to concede to this request was inconceivable. This obsession veiled his heart and compassion. Revelation was to recall, on both the individual and collective levels, the singular nature of the spiritual elevation that makes it possible to reach beyond the consciousness of justice, that demands right, to the excellence of the heart, that offers forgiveness or gives people more than their due: "God commands justice and excellence." [Quran 16:90]
It was not a question of giving up one's right (and Abu Lubabah had been justified in requiring it to be acknowledged); rather, it involved learning to sometimes reach beyond, for the sake of those reasons of the heart that teach the mind to forgive, to let go, and to give from oneself and from one's belongings, moved by shared humanity or love. The Prophet was saddened by the reaction of his Companion, whom he held in great esteem: he realized that Abu Lubabah's almost blind attachment to one of Islam's recommendations, justice, prevented him from reaching the superior level of justness of the heart: excellence, generosity, giving. Eventually, another Companion, Thabit ibn Dahdanah, who had witnessed the scene, offered Abu Lubabah an entire orchard in exchange for that single palm tree, which he then gave away to the young orphan. Muhammad rejoiced at that outcome and did not resent Abu Lubabah's attitude. He later entrusted Abu Lubabah with other missions.
Compiled From:
"In The Footsteps of The Prophet" - Tariq Ramadan, p. 133

Funny Bone
Just laugh. That's right ... laugh. Hakuna matata! Don't worry, be happy! Sometimes life just stinks and there's not much you can do to change it, so you might as well laugh.
It's so bad that as we age we tend to forget what made childhood so magical. One study showed that by the time you reach kindergarten, you laugh about 300 times a day. In contrast, the typical adult laughs a wimpy seventeen times a day. No wonder children are so much happier! Why are we so serious? Mayby it's because we've been taught that laughing too much is childish. We must learn to laugh again.
According to Peter Doskoch, laughter:
  • Loosens up the mental gears and helps us think more creatively
  • Helps us cope with the difficulties of life
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Relaxes us as it lowers our heart rate and blood pressure
  • Connects us with others and counteracts feelings of alienation, a major factor in depression and suicide
  • Releases endorphin, the brain's natural painkillers
If you're not laughing much, what can you do to start again? I suggest developing your own "humour collection," a collection of books, cartoons, videos, ideas - whatever is funny to you. Then whenever you're feeling down, or taking yourself way too seriously, visit your collection.
Learn to laugh at yourself when strange or stupid things happen to you, because they will. As someone once said, "One of the best things people can have up their sleeve is a good funny bone."
Compiled From:
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - Sean Covey, pp. 232, 233

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A book about us?

So many people have told me that I should write a book about our large family. It is the trend these days. Kate did it, the Duggars did it, both twice. I'm not so sure what people would find interesting about us aside from having many children. If you were to read a book about us what would you want or expect to find in it?

Ramadan Chart

Muslim Stickers has a new Ramadan Chart you might be interested in. Check it out here. 

Smart Ark has a free print out for Ramadan flash cards and Fasting Tree here.

March 2012 Book Club Choice

I found one of my old notes and noticed a book choice I forgot to include in the book club. Looks like I meant to read this in March of this year but looks like it will be next year. The title of the book is Welcome to Islam - a convert's tale. It says the author has been muslim for 16 yrs ( for me its almost 20) so it should resonate with long standing converts like me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ramadan Book Club Choice - Reminder

The choice for Ramadan is The Marvels of the Heart. This is a blog readers choice so I look forward to a review. Or you can read last year's choice; Ameena's Ramadan Diary which I followed and posted about daily.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Nasihah - Month of the Quran, Understanding the Prophet's Life, Understanding the Quran

Living The Quran
Month of the Quran
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 185 (partial)
"It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed: a guidance for mankind and a self-evident proof of that guidance and a standard to distinguish right from wrong."
Fasting was made more attractive due to the fact that it is observed in Ramadan, the month in which the Quran was revealed. This could be a reference to the fact that it was first revealed during Ramadan, or that most of it had been revealed in it. It is a significant distinction since the Quran is the definitive and timeless Book of the Muslim ummah, its guiding light and its reason for existence, the source of its strength and security, from which it has drawn all the enduring qualities and elements that have made it great. Without the gifts that the Quran has given the Muslim ummah, it would have become forgotten history long ago. As a token of thankfulness and gratitude, Muslims observe the fast in the month of Ramadan during which the Quran was revealed.
Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 1, p. 189

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Five deeds to heaven
Abu Dhar, states: 'I asked the Messenger of God [may God bless him and grant him peace] how the servant is delivered from the fire.' and he answered, 'By faith in God.'
'O Messenger of God, is there no deed with faith?'
He Answered, 'That you give in charity what God has put in your possession' - or 'That you give in charity what God has provided you with.'
'O Messenger of God, what if a person is poor and finds nothing to give?'
He said, 'Then let him enjoin justice and forbid wrongdoing.'
'And what if he is unable to enjoin justice and forbid wrongdoing?'
'Then let him assist some simple-minded person.'
'O Messenger of God, what if whatever he did would not help?'
'Then let him assist someone who has been wronged.'
'O Messenger of God, what if he were too weak and unable to help someone who has been wronged?'
'Do you not wish to leave your friend any good? Then let him restrain himself from harming others.'
'O Messenger of God, do you mean that someone will enter Heaven for doing thus?'
He replied, 'Anyone who manages but one of the things I have described will be taken by the hand into Heaven.'
[Bayhaqi, Suhuab al-Iman]
Compiled From:
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, p. 37
Planning for Ramadan
The blessed month of Ramadan is less than 30 days away. We need to plan ahead to reap the benefits of the month. Here are some links that will insha Allah help you plan for this Ramadan.

Cool Tips!
Understanding the Quran
Your understanding of the Qur'an may have various levels and take different forms.
Firstly, that you comprehend its simple, literal meaning, as when you read a book in a language you know, or as an Arabic-knowing person would understand the Qur'an.
Such comprehension must be the bare minimum requirement, the key to all other stages, but it is not enough.
Secondly, that you find out how the learned have understood it, either by hearing their expositions or reading their exegeses and other sources.
Thirdly, that you study and ponder, on your own, to discover and absorb its meaning.
Fourthly, that you discover its meaning by obeying its messages and by fulfilling the duties and mission that it entrusts to you.
Compiled From:
"Way To the Quran" - Khurram Murad

Love Verses

For a long time I've been waiting to watch Ayat-Ayat Cinta (Love Verses) with English subtitles. I finally watched it today. Its about an Indonesian student studying at Al-Azhar in Egypt and basically all the women who keep falling for him...its halal though, lol.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Nasihah - Centre of Life, Making Obligations Easy, Tool of Hope

Living The Quran
Centre of Life
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 183
"O you who believe! Ordained for you is Fasting as it was ordained to those who came before you, so that you might develop taqwa."
Fasting, in one form or another, has always been an important and often necessary part of religious life, discipline and experience in every faith. As a means par excellence to come nearer to God, to discipline the self, to develop the strength to overcome the temptations of flesh, it needs no emphasis. Yet Islam turns Fasting, as it does every other act of worship and devotion, into something different and unique, the life-giving centre of life.
How does it impart new meaning and force to Fasting?
Put simply: by prescribing for it the time of Ramadan. This may sound like making things too simplistic, or trivializing the important. But Ramadan is no trivial event. For it is the month ‘in which was sent down the Quran: the Guidance for mankind, with manifest truths of guidance and the Criterion [by which to judge the true and the false’ (Al-Baqarah 2:185). It was on a night in Ramadan that the last Divine message began to come down: ‘Read in the name of your Lord...’ (Al-’Alaq 96:1). That is why we must fast in Ramadan, says the Quran.
Ramadan therefore centres the entire discipline of Fasting on the Quran. The sole purpose is to prepare us for receiving the Divine guidance, for living the Quran, for witnessing the Truth and Justice that it perfects, for striving to make the word of God supreme.
How is this purpose achieved?
The fruit of Fasting ought to be that rich inner and moral quality which the Quran calls taqwa. The most basic condition for being guided by the God, too, is taqwa. The significance is plain to see. Fasting, linked to Ramadan in which Allah’s guidance came down, generates a taqwa which becomes directed on the supreme goal of entering the world of the Quran and of living therein, instead of being a spiritual ecstasy to be frittered away in the delights of soul. It becomes the key with which can be unlocked all the doors leading to the blessings which the Quran has to offer; honour, prosperity and freedom from fear and anxiety in this-world; success, Paradise and God’s good pleasure in the life-to-come. No time for Fasting other than Ramadan could have made taqwa such a potent force.
More importantly, the fulfillment of being guided by the Quran comes about when we strive to discharge the mission it entrusts to us. For, having the Book of God — a weighty word — places on our shoulders a heavy responsibility: to hear is to make it heard, to know is to act, to have is to share, to say shahadah is to do shahadah. This means an unflinching pursuit to create a new self within us, and to create a new world of Quranic ideals outside us.
This is the sole purpose for which a new Ummah was created and charged with the mission of bringing man to God by witnessing to His guidance. Otherwise, when the Quran came, the world was not devoid of godly men who fasted, and stood in prayers before God, and wept.
Compiled From:
"No Time Like Ramadan Time" - Khurram Murad

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Making Obligations Easy
The Prophet, peace be upon him, hated to let his Companions nurture a pointless feeling of guilt. He kept telling them that they must never stop conversing with the One, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful who welcomes everyone in His grace and benevolence and who loves the sincerity of hearts that regret and return to Him. This is the profound meaning of at-tawbah offered to everyone: sincerely returning to God after a slip, a mistake, a sin. God loves that sincere return to Him and He forgives and purifies.
The Prophet himself exemplified that in many circumstances. Once, a Bedouin came and urinated in the mosque: the companions rushed on him and wanted to beat him up. The Prophet stopped them and said: "Leave him alone, and just throw a bucketful of water on his urine. God has only sent you to make obligations easy, and not to make them difficult."[Bukhari]
Aishah reports that once, a man came to the Prophet and told him: “I am lost!” The Prophet asked: "Why?" The man confessed: "I had intercourse with my wife during the fasting hours of Ramadan." Muhammad answered: "Give charity!" The man replied: "I own nothing!" Then he sat down at a short distance from the Prophet. Some time later, a man arrived, bringing a dish of food. The Prophet called out: "Where is the man who is lost?" "Here," he answered. Muhammad told him: "Take this food and give it away in charity." "To one poorer than myself? My family has nothing to eat!" "Well then, eat it yourselves," the Prophet replied with a smile. [Bukhari and Muslim]
That gentleness and kindness were the very essence of his teaching. He kept saying: "God is gentle (Rafîq) and he loves gentleness (ar-rifq) in everything." [Bukhari and Muslim] He also said: "He gives for gentleness what He does not give for violence or anything else." [Bukhari] He declared to one of his companions: "There are in you two qualities that God loves: clemency (al-hilm) and forbearance [nobleness, tolerance] (al-anâ)." [Muslim] He invited all his companions to that constant effort of gentleness and forgiveness.
Compiled From:
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, pp. 33, 34
Planning for Ramadan
The blessed month of Ramadan is less than 30 days away. We need to plan ahead to reap the benefits of the month. Here are some links that will insha Allah help you plan for this Ramadan.

Tool of Hope
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful) is a benediction with which every Muslim should commence any task, in order to receive the blessings of Allah. When these words are uttered with intention and full understanding, the following benefits are obtained:
1. The person becomes aware that the work to be done should not be against the orders of Allah.
2. The person receives encouragement and is given inspiration from Allah's two great virtues - Graciousness and Mercy. He/she receives the blessings of Allah and is, thus, saved from temptation.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim is the most powerful tool of hope for all Muslims and should be recognised as such. As long as Muslims realise that they have Allah to turn to in times of sorrow and to remember in times of joy and happiness, that if they practise the requirements of Islam to the best of their ability, they have grasped the true spirit of this magnificent phrase.
Compiled From:
"Words That Moved the World" - Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, pp. 16-20

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Normal Gets You Nowhere

When I saw this book at the library on the new book shelf and started to read it, I just knew I had to get it. I mean look at the title! I've always been a rebel! Even though this book is not something I would suggest to a muslim as there is swearing and some haram stuff, if I could black all that out then I would. So many of the things she says in this book resonate with me even though she believes in something called The Mother and not a mainstream religion. For example she decided to tell her daughter the truth about holidays ie there is no Santa Claus, no tooth fairy, no Easter bunny. I have never met anyone like this. When I had my first two kids when I was still Christian I told them the truth too but told them not to tell the kids at school as their parents would spazz. I don't know what she thinks about Islam or muslims as she never mentions that in her book and maybe she wouldn't like me a bit but I feel like we have so much in common and that she snuck inside my brain. I never meet people like her and I wonder how many people feel like us but never say it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My trip to a naturopath

On Saturday I went the natural cure route in a more extreme way than usual by going to a naturopath. I don't know what to think really. She used this machine which all google posts say is a fraud and she prescribed some natural supplements. She also suggested that I come back for accupunture (she let me try one needle to feel what its like..couldn't even feel it) and to see a chiropractor that heals you without touching you. Like so many others she suggested I stop drinking milk (everyone is saying that only raw milk is the real deal) and to increase my protein.  I will try the supplements for awhile but if they have no effect then forget it. She also said I had allergies to a few things but I'm allergic to nothing.  I still have to go for an MRI for my brain. No appointment yet. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Nasihah - Sources of Knowledge, Bearer of Musk, State of Sincerity

In the Name of Allah,
The Most Beneficent,
The Most Merciful.
In This Issue:
Sources of Knowledge
Bearer of Musk
State of Sincerity
Ramadan Competition 2011

July 8, 2011 - Shaban 7, 1432
Friday Nasiha: Issue 641 |

Living The Quran
Sources of Knowledge
Al Isra (The Night Journey) - Chapter 17: Verse 36
"And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned."
Islam decrees that people should be guided by knowledge rather than by conjecture and baseless assertions. The sources or means of knowledge are three:
  1. true reports
  2. reason, and
  3. five senses
A believer must accept the true report but can study its meaning and draw certain conclusions from it, if he or she has the authority to do so. The data perceived by reason and the five senses may be either true or false and require further investigation.
Islam states that belief should be based on, or at least corroborated by, knowledge and that it is in no way incompatible with knowledge. Therefore, accepting the existence of God and beings such as angels and jinn is not dogmatism, but rather a scientific attitude. There are scientific criteria that support the acceptance of their existence.
First of all, even if our five senses cannot perceive these truths, God has actually given humankind other senses with which to be able to perceive them. More than 100,000 Prophets, who were able to use those senses, who never lied during their lives, and who were followed by innumerable people, as well as millions of saints, have informed us of their existence; in addition to these, millions of other people have had similar experiences.
Secondly, denial of the Divine Revelation as a source of knowledge means accusing all the Prophets and saints, whose truthfulness has been witnessed and accepted, of being the meanest liars in human history, and designating their billions of followers as fools who blindly follow liars. Moreover, to cite just one example of truthfulness out of the countless ones, both in the Quran and the sayings of God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, there are many predictions, most of which have proven true. The remaining ones are waiting for their due time to be proven true. There are indeed so many scientific facts which have been discovered or are being discovered in parallel with developments in science that these alone are sufficient to establish the truth of the Divine Revelation.
Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 578, 579

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Bearer of Musk
The Prophet, peace be upon him, speaks of what will rescue a servant from the Foe: "And [God] enjoins upon you the fast. Verily, the similitude of that is a man carrying a sack-full of musk in a crowd of people, all of them marvelling at its fragrance - for the breath of some fasting is more fragrant to God, Most High, than the scent of musk." [Tirmidhi]
The fasting person's limbs fast from sins; his tongue fasts from lies, base language and false witness; his stomach fasts from food and drink; and his pudenda fast from union. If he speaks, he says nothing to violate his fast; and if he acts, he does nothing to spoil his fast. All his speech is salutary and wholesome, as are his deeds - like the fragrance one smells while sitting next to the bearer of musk. Anyone who sits with a fasting person benefits from his presence and is safe from false witness, lies, base language and wrongdoing. This is the fast prescribed by the Sacred Law, not simply abstinence from eating and drinking.
Hence, a sound hadith states: "When someone does not refrain from speaking falsely and the action that springs from it and from ignorance, God does not need him to refrain from food and drink." [Bukhari]
True fasting is when the limbs fast from sin and the stomach fasts from food and drink. As food and drink can break the fast or spoil it, so sins can cut off its reward and spoil its fruits, as if one had not fasted at all.
Compiled From:
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, pp. 33, 34
Planning for Ramadan
The blessed month of Ramadan is less than 30 days away. We need to plan ahead to reap the benefits of the month. Here are some links that will insha Allah help you plan for this Ramadan.

State of Sincerity
Strive to become Allah's sincere devotees. There should be no worldly act that is not done as an act of servitude to Allah, not even such acts as sleeping, eating, dressing, speaking and laughing. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, engaged in all these acts. But he was God's devote par excellence. As a consequence of that, every aspect of his life, even the most ordinary of chores, was an act of devotion to Allah.
Without such spirit, even the most religious of acts - prayers, reciting the Quran, martyrdom, and infaq (spending in the way of Allah) - would all be merely worldly acts. Imbued with this spirit of total dedication, even the smallest religious act, and all acts of worldly life, would stand heavy in the scale of Divine Justice. If you are able to achieve this state of sincerity, even a little effort would suffice in imparting the colour of Allah in your life and soul. All the evils of the world - in men's souls, in their lives, in their mutual relationships - have their roots in lack of sincerity. Lack of sincerity in matters pertaining especially to religious activities leads to very ill effects.
Designate your niyyah (intent) purely for Allah and strive always to keep it so. This brief and simple prescription is the gist of true religious faith and of the desire to shape your life completely according to that mould. It is also the most effective formula to remember Allah at all times. This is the perpetual dhikr (remembrance), one that suffices for all occasions.
Compiled From:
"Dying and Living for Allah" - Khurram Murad, p. 37

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Ramadan Competition 2011
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011


A few months after I converted to Islam I found out marshmallows weren't halal among many other things. Oh it was more marshmallow cookies, no s'mores etc. Luckily halal marshmallows had already been invented and I used to get them in Toronto. Now you can easily find them in halal meat stores and sometimes in the grocery store and dollar stores in many cities. One time we even bought kosher marshmallows in Toronto in the Jewish section ( I guess its called Kensington, anyone remember watching King of Kensington?) and they were made from fish gelatin! Now I've just discovered something even more strange; vegan marshmallows. Well I'm familiar with vegan jello; asians eat it all the time, agar-agar (made from seaweed) but not marshmallows. I've never tasted them so wonder how they are. To tell the truth I've never tasted a halal/kosher marshmallow that tastes or feels as good in your mouth as a non-halal marshmallow. Here's the link. Have you tried these? Would you? Have you ever tasted a marshmallow that compares to the non-halal one (this is a question for converts).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Visit to the eye doctor.

This month I took 5 of the kids to two separate eye doctor appointments. First I brought ds2 (14) and dd3(11). Ds2 turned out to need glasses and took it in stride having a great time picking out frames. Dd3 turned out to have perfect vision alhumdullilah and is in fact far-sighted. Next I brought ds4(10),dd4(6) and ds5( 4).  Ds4 also needed glasses. He wasn't so happy but did choose 4 frames he liked of which he will choose one to have made into glasses. Dd4 who I was told by another optometrist a few years ago that she had Dwayne's retraction syndrome was told instead by this one that she had lazy eye. Huh? Those are two very different things. He told me to bring her back in 6 months. I don't know what to think now. Makes no sense. Ds5 was fine but he said perhaps in the future he too will need to wear glasses...the distant future. As for the other children ds1 does not wear glasses. Dd1 does and sometimes contacts. Dd2 is farsighted..I get her to read distant signs for me on trips, lol. Dd5 (2) is too young to be checked. Ds3(13) also wears glasses. Have your kids been to the eye doctor?

Sultan Salahudin

Yesterday I watched (and tried to get my kids to watch) the Sultan Salahudin movie I bought recently from the mosque bookstore. You can watch it here on youtube. This has made me want to learn even more about islamic history especially about Cheng Ho, Ibn Battuta and Mansa Musa.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Early Literacy Learning Computer

My library now has new interactive touch screen computers for children. They are both bilingual. One is English and French and one is English and Spanish. Dd4 is using the one with  French. I wish they had two of them so dd5 could use it at the same time. Does your library have these too? My daughter says her library has one too. This is great for homeschoolers. Check it our here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Unplayed Game

Yesterday I got a visit from my parents. They noticed a game on the shelf and asked me if we had played it. Embarrassingly we have not! What was the game? Hadith Challenge Game. Its funny when your non-muslim parents point out something like this!  I've had it for a few months now and never got around to it. After they left ds2 took out the game and started asking me random hadith and I knew all of them masha Allah so he said well if you are going to cheat then I'm not going to play! Kids!! So insha Allah this will be on my list of things to do this summer.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Nasihah - Rule for Salvation,Fasting in Shaban,Fried Frogs

iving The Quran
Rule for Salvation
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 112
"Indeed, whoever surrender themselves to God, while being sincere, shall have their reward with their Lord; they shall have nothing to fear nor shall they grieve."
Since the face of a person is the most expressive part of his body, it is used in classical Arabic to denote one's whole personality, or whole being. This expression (aslama), repeated in the Quran several times, provides a perfect definition of Islam, which - derived from the root-verb aslama, "he surrendered himself" - means "self-surrender to God": and it is in this sense that the terms Islam and Muslim are used throughout the Quran.
It is sincerity on which depends the weight and worth of an act. Allah will not accept anything that is not purely for Him. Pure sincerity need to be produced through the conviction of the heart and mind.
Thus the verse lays down a rule for salvation. It does not lie in being a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim. It lies in total submission to Allah and in leading a righteous life in accordance with the dictates of the Revelation. Quite unmindful of this rule, the Jews, Christians and Muslims, all lead a life of sin with total disregard for the Hereafter, and yet fasten hope on their Lord that they will be ushered into Paradise simply because of the fact that they are Jews, Christians or Muslims.
Compiled From:
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, vol. 1, pp. 140, 141

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Fasting in Shaban
Ayesha said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast a complete month except for Ramadan, and I have never seen him fast more in a month than he did in Shaban." [Bukhari, Muslim]
Usamah ibn Zaid inquired: "O Messenger of Allah, I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Shaban." The Prophet responded: "That is the month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting." [An-Nasaa'i, authenticated by ibn Khuzaimah. Hasan according to al-Albaani]
Narrated Abu Hurairah, Allah's Messenger said: "When the month of Shaban is halfway, do not fast." [Reported by the five, Ahmad disapproved it].
As-San`aanee says in Subul us-Salaam: "One can fast provided he has to observe a compensatory fasting (in lieu of the Fard - obligatory ones) or the other prescribed ones which may be categorised as Wajib (compulsory). However, the volitional fasting is prohibited lest one should be subjected to exhaustion and weakness that may in turn render the Ramadan obligatory fasting difficult for him."
Compiled From:
Planning for Ramadan
The blessed month of Ramadan is less than 30 days away. We need to plan ahead to reap the benefits of the month. Here are some links that will insha Allah help you plan for this Ramadan.
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Fried Frogs
Addiction of all kinds - whether it's to drugs, gossiping, shopping, overeating, or gambling - have common characteristics.
  • Creates short-term pleasure
  • Becomes the primary focus of your life
  • Temporarily eliminates pain
  • Gives an artificial sense of self-worth, power, control, security, and intimacy
  • Worsens the problems and feelings you are trying to escape from
One of the more subtle but dangerous addictions is pornography, and it's available everywhere. Now, you can argue all you want about what pornography is and isn't, but I think that deep in your heart you know. Pornography may taste sweet for the moment, but it will gradually dull your finer sensitivities, like that inner voice called your conscience, until it's smothered.
You may be thinking, "Take it is easy, Sean. A little skin isn't going to hurt me." The problem is that pornography, like any other addiction, sneaks up on you. If you put a frog in boiling water, it will immediately jump out. But if you put it in lukewarm water and then slowly turn up the heat, the frog will get cooked before it has the sense to jump out. It's the same with pornography. What you look at today may have shocked you a year ago. But because the heat was ever so slowly turned up, you didn't even notice that your conscience was being fried.
Compiled From:
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - Sean Covey, pp. 238, 239