Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Knowledge Unlimited
Al Anam (Cattle) - Chapter 6: Verse 59
"With Him are the keys to what lies beyond the reach of human perception: none knows them but He. He knows all that the land and sea contain; not a leaf falls but He knows it; and neither is there a grain in the earth's deep darkness, nor anything fresh or dry but is recorded in a clear book."
It is important to define what we describe in English as lying "beyond the reach of human perception" and the keys to it as being known only to God. This expression is given in the Arabic text in one word, ghayb, which is an essential element of the Islamic concept of faith, existence and life. The term is derived in Arabic from a root which denotes "absence, disappearance, hiding, shielding from people's senses and understanding."
To believe in God is to believe in what lies beyond the reach of human perception. It is not possible for human beings to comprehend the nature of God. Similarly, the life to come also lies beyond the reach of human perception. Believing in the angels is also part of believing in the imperceptible, because we only know about angels what God has chosen to tell us. It addition, we have to believe in God's will and its operation. That is also part of ghayb.
Not everything unknown to man is ghayb, and not all forces of the universe are unknown. There are certain laws that operate in the universe without fail. God has given man the power to know this much of the laws of the universe and to manipulate these forces in accordance with these laws. He will then be able to accomplish his mission and make use of the potentials of the earth and promote life.
This short verse causes our human imagination to come to life trying to explore the horizons of what we know and what lies beyond our knowledge. We try to imagine the limitless nature of God's knowledge as it encompasses the whole universe and goes far beyond what we know of that universe. Our minds may try to discover what has so far been unknown to us in the land or at sea, realizing that everything in them is perfectly known to God.
Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 5, pp. 174-188

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Getting close to Allah by voluntary deeds is only done by those people who are completely humble and submissive to Allah. Similarly, having love for the beloved servants of Allah (His Auliya) only comes about through humility and humbleness. Furthermore, some of Allah's beloved servants are the poorest and most humble people of this world. One must love them and be kind to them and accept them as one's brothers. This can only be accomplished by those who are humble and free of arrogant pride. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stated,
"Allah has revealed to me that you must be humble, so that no one boasts over another." [Muslim]
Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 1439-1441

Enlightened Leadership

The enlightened Muslim leadership of the early empires enabled the rise of the various golden ages. This vision of leadership, however compromised by the unavoidable human ego, institutional failings, bad luck, and corruption, managed for more than eight centuries to inspire a climate of invention and intellectual ferment that was unique and helped shape a future vision of modern leadership in Europe and other non-Muslim countries.
The leadership legacy of Abu Bakr would seem to be in creating a model of humility, compromise, incorruptibility, and a dedication to charity and public welfare. These values provided an enduring ideal of leadership in the Muslim world and beyond, an ideal often contrary to the baser instincts of men.
Ali is one of the first Muslim leaders to set down in writing a detailed template for enlightened leadership, elements of which later surfaced in the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, in Fatimid and Sunni Egypt, in Seljuk Persia and Anatolia, in the Delhi sultanate and Mughal India, and in the Ottoman Empire.
Evidence is included in a lengthy letter on leadership, which Caliph Ali sent to his loyal follower, Maalik al-Ashtar, appointing him as the new Muslim governor of Egypt:
... Remember, Maalik, that amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: those who have the same religion as you have, they are brothers to you; and those who have religions other than that of yours, they are human beings like you.... Let your mercy and compassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expect Allah to show mercy and forgiveness to you....
You must always appreciate and adopt a policy, which is neither too severe nor too lenient; a policy which is based upon equity will be largely appreciated. Remember that the displeasure of common men, the havenots and the depressed persons overbalances the approval of important persons, while the displeasure of a few big people will be excused by the Lord if the general public and masses of your subjects are happy with you....
Remember, Maalik.... The thing which should most gladden the heart of a ruler is the fact that his State is being ruled on the principles of equity and justice and that his subjects love him. And your subjects will only love you when they have no grievances against you. So let them have as many justifiable hopes in you as they can and fulfill as many as you reasonably can. Speak well of those who deserve your praise. Appreciate the good deeds done by them and let these good actions be known publicly.
Compiled From:
"Lost History" - Michael Hamilton Morgan, pp. 254-257

Soaked Cakes

For some reason lately I've been thinking of soaked cakes. Not the naughty ones but the halal ones. I made a rose syrup one once using a rose 'pan'. I found some on the web and thought to share them. Do you ever make soaked cakes? Which one have you made and which ones would you recommend?

Candy cane cake.

Lemon yogurt cake soaked in Lemon Mint Syrup.

Halal Trini Black Cake (this one is called halal because it doesn't contain any alcohol unlike the traditional version which has tons. )

There's no more proper link for the rose cake so here is the full recipe. Would make a lovely eid cake.

Rose Scented Pound Cake

For the Cake:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter -- (2 sticks) at room
2 cups sugar
3 eggs -- at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons rose water

For the Grapefruit-Rose Syrup:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon rose water

For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon rosewater

For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 325� F. Grease and flour a 2 - 2 � quart Bundt pan.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is fluffy and light in colour. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time and cream together thoroughly.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture and incorporate thoroughly.
5. Pour the buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup and add the lemon juice and the rosewater. Stir to combine.
6. Add half of the dry flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix gently to combine. Then repeat by incorporating half the buttermilk mixture into the batter. Repeat until both the dry mixture and buttermilk mixture have been completely combined into the batter.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Insert a toothpick or a wooden skewer into the center of the cake and if it emerges perfectly clean, the cake is done. While the cake bakes, make the grapefruit-rose syrup.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Poke between 50-100 holes into the cake with a wooden skewer while it is still warm in the pan and pour the grapefruit-rose syrup into the holes to fill and moisten the cake. Let stand for 1 hour before removing the cake from the pan.
9. To unmold, carefully loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and gently turn over with your hand supporting the cake as it glides out of the pan. Let it rest upright on a wire rack with a foil-lined cookie sheet underneath to catch any of the drippings from the syrup/glaze. (OR cover the cooling rack with waxed paper so that the cake doesn't stick to the cooling rack. then transfer the cake and wax paper to the serving platter and trim the wax paper so you can't see it)
10. Make the glaze and brush it into the crevices of the cake (if you are using a Rose Bundt pan) or simply pour it over the top edges of a standard Bundt cake. Let the glaze harden and then cover the cake until ready to serve.

For the Grapefruit-Rose Syrup:
1. In a small saucepan, combine the grapefruit juice, sugar and rosewater and heat to dissolve the sugar. Do not bring to a boil. Pour into cake (see above).

For the Glaze:
1. Sift confectioner's sugar into a medium-sized bowl (to ensure no lumps) and then whisk in grapefruit juice, lemon juice and rosewater and mix thoroughly to form a glaze. Brush or pour over cake (see above).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

20 Years

Alhumdullilah, its been 20 yrs today that I embraced Islam. How did I feel on that day? Nothing really. I guess because in my heart I had always been a Muslim but just didn't know what to call it. I always believed in the oneness of God and never thought that Jesus was God or the son of God. I never knew that Muslims believed in God so never thought to become one. I thought Muslims worshiped statues just like Hindus. In these 20 yrs I have changed so much and the world has changed so much as well. Back in '91 the talk of the town was Not Without My Daughter and The Satanic Verses and yes I read both. The Gulf war was happening. Since then there's been so many events including the Oklahoma bombing which Muslims were wrongfully blamed for. Then Sept 11th happened and I thought well this time they won't blame us again, not like last time. They will wait until they have collected all the facts. But they did it again before the morning had even left us, a typical knee-jerk response. Then came the backlash and then the attacks on foreign soil of those who played no part in that day. When I think of becoming Muslim it kind of divides up into before and after Sept 11th. Life was better before but that day changed it for every Muslim even the ones up here in the massah's house. Now we have upheaval in the middle east and its high time that the Arabs, Muslim or not, stood up to their evil dictators. What will happen in the next 20 yrs? Allahu alim but most would say they put their money down on the mahdi coming back. Seems like its just around the corner. To all you new Muslims, hang on because its going to be a bumpy ride. We can't just say we believe and not expect to be tested. After all life is a prison for the believers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our Family Cookbook

Have you checked out my other blog; Our Family Cookbook? Please do and please try some of the recipes and let me know what you think. And follow me too! Its getting colder out there, you might want to try the casserole or the meat loaf. See you over there!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Win a Muslim Wall Sticker - 3 days left

So I accidentally found this contest to win a free Muslim wall sticker. Pick the one you like on their facebook page (you have to pay shipping though) and you could be the winner. Check it our here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Moozlum Movie Night

Amazingly my library has the Moozlum movie and I borrowed it and we had a great family movie night watching it.  We really enjoyed it especially ds2 (15) and myself. I was hoping  Walmart or any store would carry it but they didn't seem to, so finding it at the library was a great surprise. Can you  find many islamic books and movies at your library?

Friday Nasihah - Women' s Status

Living The Quran
Women's Status
Al Ahzab (The Confederates) - Chapter 33: Verse 35
"For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward."
Initially, Quranic verses used only the masculine plural form to refer to the women and men in the new faith community. For years, "believers" (al-muminun), and "the truthful" (as-sadiqun), either referred specifically to men or to the men and women who constituted the Prophet's first Companions. Once, a woman (or several, according to the different traditions) asked the Prophet why women were not explicitly mentioned in the revealed message. The Book - which, while revealing a universal message, also included responses to the questions asked by the Men around the Prophet - was later to mention women and men distinctively, as in the above verse.
This evolution of the message is part of divine teaching in the process of revelation carried out over twenty-three years: the faithful are thus led to evolve in their understanding of things and critically reconsider some of their cultural or social practices. The status of women, who were sometimes killed at birth because of the shame they might bring, was to be reformed in stages, as verses were revealed.
It thus appeared more and more clearly that the Quran's message and the Prophet's attitude were apt to free women from the cultural shackles of Arab tribes and clans and from the practices of the time. The Creator addresses women as being on an equal footing with men, their status as beings and believers is the same as men's, and the requirements of worship are absolutely identical. The Medina period helped sort out the religious principles from Meccan Arab customs and bring about changes in women's status: the reform movement was thus started and accompanied by the Revelations, by social experiments, and, of course, by the Prophet's attitude as the example the Companions were to follow.
The different verses were therefore to be read and interpreted in the light of that movement, and early readings and interpretations of revealed texts were to be viewed in the ideal mirror of the Prophet's behaviour. The inner reform movement was perceived, understood, and commented on from the first centuries, during which the text sciences was established, but it remains true that early readers were mainly men who read the Revelation through the double prism of their gender and of the culture in which they necessarily lived.
The Companions and early ulama could not but read the text in the light of their own situation, viewpoint, and context. While the Book spoke about women, their being and their heart, fuqaha set out to determine duties and their rights according to the various functions society imparted them. Women were therefore "daughters," "sisters," "wives," or "mothers"; the legal and religious discourse about women was built on those categories. It is indeed difficult for a man, and what is more a jurist, to approach the issue of women primarily as beings in their integrity and autonomy: whatever the internal process initiated by the different revelations or historical experiences, such an approach inevitably orients and restricts the reading and interpretation of texts. Their concern was to impart a function to women, to draw up a list of rights and duties. A closer reading of the texts, however, shows that the purpose of the inner evolution just mentioned, revisiting women's status step by step, is in fact to bring the believing conscience to perceive women through their being, beyond their different social functions. This inductive movement toward the primacy of being naturally involves an effect on the issue of social status; this, however, implies allowing full scope to the interpretation process and accepting all its consequences.
Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 209-211

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Learning and Teaching
It is narrated by Abu Musa that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain-water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain- water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, (making their animals drink from it) and to irrigate the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then the land was of no benefit).
The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's Religion and gets benefit from the knowledge which Allah has revealed through me and learns and then teaches it to others. The (last example is that of a) person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's Guidance revealed through me (He is like the barren land.)"

Cowardice Vs. Courage

Whenever the Quran encourages Jihad and expresses approval of it, while rebuking those who flinch from it and shirk it, cowardice is always the culprit. For the well-being of mankind, be it religious or worldly, cannot be complete without courage and generosity. The All-Glorious has explained that when someone turns his back on Jihad, God puts another in his place to perform it (Quran 9: 38-39, 47:38).
In courage and generosity for God's sake the greater merit belongs to those who take the lead (Quran 57:10). Courage does not reside in physical strength. A man may be physically strong yet faint at heart. Real courage is stoutness of heart and constancy. For fighting requires a body strong and fit for the task, but also a heart that is stout and skilful in battle. The commendable way to fight is with knowledge and understanding, not with the rash impetuosity or one who takes no thought and does not distinguish the laudable from the blameworthy. Therefore, the strong and valiant is he who controls himself when provoked to anger, and so does the right thing, whereas he who is carried away under provocation is neither courageous nor valiant.
Compiled From:
"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiyah, pp. 105-106

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Finalists are In

The StyleIn finalists are in . I see that 2 of the finalists are designs I've chosen. I wonder who will win? Its too bad that a lot of great designs didn't make it. Wish these could be produced in real life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Muslim White Female

From BBC radio here is an interview of 3 Muslim converts including Tony Blair's sister-in-law. I love this as it captures so many experiences I've been through.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Muslim Homeschooling Book - Etsy

Just found this book on Etsy. Looks interesting. Not too many books like this out there. Check it out here.

Muslim Wall Stickers - Etsy

There are some new wall stickers on Etsy. Cute Arabic alphabets flowers here. 
99 Names of Allah here.  These are both great for kids rooms. This second company has more too like the Bismillah one.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How old is the old woman?

Funny story, the other day during Ramadan we were doing another dawah dinner at the mosque. This time it was to tell non-Muslims about Ramadan. While talking to one Christian woman she said I didn't look a day over 25 which sure made my day. But then things came crashing down recently when my daughter told me that the drug store cashier was asking if I was a senior citizen which for that store means 55 and above. What? My goodness. So I asked her about it and she said she thought since I had so many kids that maybe I was.I told her well my mother is a senior citizen but not me. In fact folks I'm not even a baby boomer! Well the cashier did say I didn't look 55 only that she thought I might be. Guess the stereotype is thriving...lots of kids equals old woman.  So why did I pick this blog name then? Well its because of the second line in the poem: She had so many children she didn't know what to do!

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Lost Opportunity
Al Muminun (The Believers) - Chapter 23: Verses 99-100
"When death comes to one of them, he says, 'My Lord, let me return, let me return to life, so that I may act righteously in whatever I have left behind.' Nay, it is but a meaningless word he utters; for, behind them now is the barrier of death until the day they shall be raised up."
Allah has created everything with a fixed life span. Indeed there is no certainty of life except death. Not only is death itself inescapable, but the place and the very day and hour of death have been forever fixed.
In death we are compelled to return to God. In life, however, we can choose to draw closer to God voluntarily by living our lives according to His will. In this way, we have the opportunity to meet Allah and gain His pleasure even before we leave this world.
Those who fail to use the bounties of Allah to earn His pleasure during this life will forever regret their mistakes, for the cessation of life brings the cessation of opportunities for redemption and salvation.
Compiled From:
"In the Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, pp. 136, 137

Understanding the Prophet's Life
The Art of Asking
Remembrance has greater merit than supplication. This is because remembrance is adulation of God Almighty by the beauty of His attributes, His gifts and His names; while supplication consists in the servant asking God for something he needs. And what is this compared to that? Thus, it is stated in a hadith: 'To someone too busy with My remembrance to supplicate Me, I give what is more excellent than what I give to those who ask.' [Muslim]
This is also why the preferred form of supplication begins with praise and adulation for God, then gives blessings upon His Prophet and, finally, asks for what one needs. This follows a hadith from Fudala Ibn Ubayd. When the Messenger of God heard a man in worship supplicating God without praising Him and without invoking blessings upon His Prophet, he remarked, 'This one has rushed things.' Then he called the man over and said to him or someone else [who was with them], 'When one of you offers the prayer, let him begin with adulation for his Lord Almighty, then let him ask for blessings upon the Prophet. After that, let him ask for what he wants.' [Ahmad, Tirmidhi]
Compiled From:
"The Invocation of God" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, p. 120

Drugs and Alcohol: 10 Reminders
  1. Know the law. All kinds of narcotic drugs and alcohol are forbidden by Islam. They are also illegal in most part of the world. Apart from the fact that you are accountable to Allah for what you do and could very well be punished in this life and the next for using drugs and alcohol, you could also face legal penalties according to the law: depending on where you are caught, you could face high fines and jail time.
  2. Be aware of the risks. Drinking or using drugs increases the risk of injury. Car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and suicide are all linked to drug use.
  3. Keep your edge. Drug use can ruin your looks, make you depressed, and contribute to slipping grades.
  4. Play it safe. One incident of drug use could make you do something that you will regret for a lifetime.
  5. Do the smart thing. Using drugs puts your health, education, family ties, and social life at risk.
  6. Get with the program. Doing drugs isn't "in".
  7. Think twice about what you're advertising when you buy and wear T-shirts, hats, pins, or jewellery with a pot leaf, joint, blunt, beer can, or other drug paraphernalia on them. Do you want to promote something that can cause cancer? make you forget things? or make it difficult to drive a car?
  8. Face your problems. Using drugs won't help you escape your problems, it will only create more.
  9. Be a real friend. If you know someone with a drug problem, be part of the solution. Urge your friend to get help.
  10. Remember, you DON'T NEED drugs or alcohol. If you think "everybody's doing it," you're wrong! Over 86% of 12-17 year-olds have never tried marijuana; over 98% have never used cocaine; only about half a percent of them have ever used crack. Doing drugs won't make you happy or popular or help you to learn the skills you need as you grow up. In fact, doing drugs can cause you to fail at all of these things.
Compiled From:
"Tips for Teens on Drugs, alcohol, and your friends" -

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feed The Streets

Toronto is filled with homeless people and Muslims are helping out. Do you want to help out in the GTA or in your city. Contact them. Here is the info.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nostalgic Nibbles

This is not an important topic but don't you ever wish your kids could eat the food that you used to eat? What  I mean is why do they have to keep retiring food? Sometimes I don't even realize a food item is gone until I get a craving and its nowhere to be found. Some of you oldies might remember maple buds, Ruffles coconut bars, malted milk ice cream bars (Sealtest I think) as well as the cherry ones. And whatever happened to the Dickie Dee ice cream guy?  Telling my kids about this stuff is like someone from the olden days telling you about the milk man. If you call these companies they always say well no one was buying it. But if you look up these topics on the internet you will see tons of people crying for these things to be brought back. Ok I will shut up now because I know there are more important things in life than this but just walking down memory lane.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Smoking Orangutan

This orangutan won't be smoking anymore, alhumdullilah! Shame on the Malaysians for giving her cigarettes! Man Malaysia is a place where people think smoking is not a health hazard and they still smoke in the house. If you want to kill yourself that's one thing but leave the poor innocent animals alone.

Muslim Womenpreneurs Video

Here is a youtube video of that day. I'm actually in it, lol...can you find me?

June Book Club Pick 2012

For June I've chosen a book about Canadian teens travelling to Malaysia. It looks quite interesting. The book is geared to teens but I'm sure older people will enjoy it too and hey why not read it with your teen and get their feedback? My Blue Country  Here is a review from a retired librarian.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

May Book Club Choice 2012

My second daughter just told me about this book and it looks like it represents the diversity amongst muslimahs well so I have chosen it for the book club.

September Book Club Reminder

I'm still reading the choice from last month but hope that some of you are reading September's choice. Or perhaps some of you have already read it in the past. This month's choice is For God and Country.

My Daughter -The Kindergarten Teacher

Masha Allah my daughter is going to start working as a Junior Kindergarten teacher tomorrow insha Allah. She has taken so many courses related to this; ECE, Al Huda and Montesorri. I am so glad that Allah has chosen my daughter for this amazing opportunity to affect the lives of so many muslim kids. Read her post here

April 2012 Book Club Choice

In the last century so many women took off their hijabs but then their children and grandchildren started to wear them. Why? Read this book to find out; A Quiet Revolution.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
God's Help
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 214
'Do you reckon that you will enter Paradise while you have not endured an experience similar to that endured by other communities who came before you? Affliction and adversity befell them and so terribly shaken where they that the Messenger and those who believed with him would exclaim, "When will God's help come?" Surely, God's help is close at hand.'
This verse points to way marks in the history of those following the Straight Path. This path is no easy route. It passes through privations, persecutions, and even sufferings of war to the point where the believers all but cry out, "When will God's help come?" This point when the followers of the Straight Path are convinced that it is only God who gives success, is also the point when God's help is at hand, and which leads on to the final triumph or prosperity in both worlds.
God's support (nasr) is reserved for those who earn it: those who persevere and stand firm to the end in the face of all adversity and misfortune, never wavering but always certain that God's help is on its way. No matter how severe the ordeal may become, true believers will always look to God, and to God alone, for salvation and support.
The dynamic of social and religious struggle reinforces the human spirit and encourages man to rise above his own ego and so emerge purer and stronger, ready to uphold the faith with greater energy and vigour. Thus, believers become a shining role model even for their most ardent adversaries, some of whom are liable to be impressed and join ranks with the believers, as witnessed throughout human history.
But even if this were not the case, something else much greater and much more admirable happens: advocates of God's order are liberated from subordination to any worldly power or temptation. Life and its comforts become of no real consequence, and man assumes control of his world, which can only mean a triumph for humanity and the human spirit as a whole.
The ingredients of success are faith, hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance. With those, victory is guaranteed and the road to greater, everlasting rewards, to eternal bliss, is direct and clear.
Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Syed Qutb, Vol. 1, pp. 250, 251
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, p. 95

Understanding the Prophet's Life
"Surely God grants wrongdoers, the oppressor, a reprieve. But once He seizes him, He utterly destroys him."
[Bukhari, Muslim]
God gives the wrongdoers some time to repent and amend their behaviour. If they do not take advantage of this opportunity, He punishes them severely.
God sometimes uses wrongdoers to punish the sinful. This happens when God wills to punish them before the Day of Judgment. For example, after the Muslims split into many competing factions nine centuries ago and deviated from Islam, they were exposed to the Mongol invasion and massacre.
Compiled From:
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, p. 117
Why We Need Anger?
Although anger clearly has some connection with hostility and aggression, they are not the same. Hostility is an attitude of ill will, aggression refers to behaviour that is always meant to hurt, whereas anger is an emotion - plain and simple. Anger is neither a positive or negative emotion; it is the way we handle our anger - what we do with it - that makes it negative or positive. For example, when we use our anger to motivate us to make life changes or to make changes to dysfunctional systems, anger becomes a very positive emotion.
When we express anger through aggressive or passive-aggressive ways (such as getting even or gossiping), it becomes a negative emotion. So why do we need anger at all? Why not simply work toward eliminating it from our lives entirely? The reason is that there are many positive functions of anger:
  • It energizes and motivates us to make changes in our lives.
  • It serves as a catalyst for resolving interpersonal conflict.
  • It promotes self-esteem - when we stand up for ourselves, we feel better about ourselves.
  • It fosters a sense of personal control during times of peak stress.
  • Expression of anger can actually promote health. Women with cancer who express their anger are found to live longer than those who express no anger.
  • As uncomfortable as anger is for many of us, it can be preferable to anxiety, as it lays the blame outside ourselves.
If we find constructive ways of releasing anger and safe places to let it out, it can become a positive force in our lives, creating energy, motivation, assertiveness, empowerment, and creativity.
Compiled From:
"The Nice Girl Syndrome" - Beverly Engel, pp. 165-167

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mother of 11

My, my this mother has 11 kids under the age of 12. I have 10 but the space between them is 24 yrs from oldest to youngest (26,2). She is so lucky to live right next to the school, her house is also way bigger than mine and she has help! And visitors to boot. She starts her day at church. Its like us getting up and praying fajr. Her schedule is similar at night too. Her house is way more organized than mine. (is it just for the show, where are the strewn toys etc?) Bet she doesn't have a blog. ;)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Selective Attacks?

I don't get it. Maybe someone can explain this to me. I have always been attacked at my mosque verbally for having so many kids ie why do you have so many kids? why don't you stop having kids? I grew up learning to turn the other cheek so I don't say much. Today I met a woman with 6 kids. Now that is a lot because in our community they seem to think that 3 is the maximum. Any more and its taboo. So I asked her what do people say to you. The answer, nothing. WHAT? I told the family what people say to me and they were shocked. They said I should have told them to mind their own business. So wait a minute here. These rude remarks then are only for me and not for others with big families? Why? Is it because I don't belong to their ethnic group or is it because I am less wealthy or both? Am I the only one going through this? I always wondered if I were richer if people would dare to treat me like this and now I think I have the answer.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Wretched Resting Place
Al Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 206
"When it is said to him, 'Have fear of God', arrogance drives him to take pride in sinful actions. Hell becomes him, a dismal resting place."
Intent on pursuing their vile deeds, these people become immune to advice and reform; if anything, they grow more obstinate and arrogant. They begin to take pride in spreading evil and corruption with no remorse, guilt or fear of God.
Qurtubi records Abdullah Ibn Masud as having said: "It is enough of a sin for a man that his brother should tell him, 'Fear Allah,' and he should reply, 'Look after yourself. Does a man of your sort lecture me?!"
This snobbery, contention and lack of shame are met with a most swift appropriate punishment - Hell. Hell would be more than sufficient retribution. For Hell is the most terrible of all punishments: savage, violent, consuming everything thrown into it. With unmistakable irony, the verse describes Hell as their "resting place".
Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Syed Qutb, Vol. 1, p. 234
"Tafsir Ishraq Al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer, vol. 1, p. 247

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Fasting Continues
"Whoever fasts Ramadan, and six of Shawwal, it will be as if he/she has fasted for a whole year."
[Reported by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Ibn Majah]
"The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays".
[an-Nasai, Sahih]
"Whoever fasts three days each month, it is like fasting all the time."
Ethics and Law
Equality between human beings is an ideal. Religions, philosophies and political ideologies have made the equality of them the essence of their teachings, principles and systems. Individuals must be treated with dignity and fairness. And yet a journey through societies and nations is all it takes to convince us that we still have a very long way to go: political philosophies have been elaborated, Declarations and Charters have been drawn up, ratified and signed, and laws have been passed, but the reality of inequality and discrimination imposes itself on us. Universally. Whilst equality is a de facto legal principle, we cannot avoid the conclusion that the law is not enough to establish it. Before we talk about laws and rules, we have to discuss and evaluate the very idea of humanity, and of its unity and diversity. And besides, there can be no law without ethics ... without a certain idea of man, of the good, and of social and political ideals, and there can therefore be no question of legal equality amongst men without a moral philosophy that establishes the nature of human relations.
A religious man as well as an activist, Gandhi described himself as 'Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish' and challenged all those religions by looking at their day-to-day social practices. He warned: 'Once we lose our moral certainties, we cease to be religious.' Practices and philosophies must, in other words, be consistent and must be considered together. The same questions run through our modern societies, both North and South, with the same intensity as in Gandhi's day, even though castes, classes and categories of our societies - be they 'developed' or 'developing' - seem to be less visible than they were in India in the first half of the twentieth century. The dialectical relationship is still the same, and the questions appear to be unchanged: the concrete inequalities of everyday life urge us to be critical of our basic philosophies and our conception of human fraternity, just as they must challenge the consistency of systems that claim to be egalitarian. There can be no law without ethics, and there can be no ethics without the law: we find the same equation in all religions and, with or without God, in all spiritualities and humanist and/or political philosophies.
Compiled From:
"The Quest for Meaning" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 66-69