Friday, June 29, 2012

Loneliness Khutbah

Today at Jumuah prayer the khutbah was about Loneliness. In fact the first word he said was loneliness. Oh I thought they are finally going to talk about how all the ethnic  groups shun one another and especially the converts. Why do I always get my hopes up? Instead it was about the loneliness of the religious students and how they should be grateful for the opportunity and how they should see the place as a fortress. So wait, the khutbah was only for them? I can understand how they needed a shot of iman in the arm but what about for the rest of us? What was the take home message? Should I consider my house as a fortress and just stop being lonely and be grateful for what? No islamic education at home? Of course this khutbah didn't apply to me and I went home feeling emptier than usual. May Allah rectify my situation and all the lonely Muslims in the world. Amin.

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Just Order
Al-Saff (The Ranks) - Chapter 61: Verse 9
"It is Allah who sent His Messenger, with Guidance and the True Way so that He may make it prevail over all other (corrupt) ways. Although those who associate partners with Allah may dislike it."
The noble Prophets of Allah did not limit their work to preaching and delivering sermons only, since through such efforts individual and social life is not usually much affected. On the contrary, they actively invited their people to God's message, organised them into a God-conscious community and engaged with them in efforts to challenge corrupt powers and to reconstruct and reshape social life in accordance with God's revealed guidance.
After the noble Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it is the obligation of the Muslim world community to continue striving for building a just order, locally and globally. The Muslim world-community is not formed of people who belong to a particular nation nor is in a religious cult. Rather it is a global community, drawing together people from all nations and races - all connected together into one brotherhood and sisterhood by the Islamic faith and vision.
Compiled From:
"Building A New Society" - Zahid Parvez, p. 54
Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
A theme which has acquired prominence in the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is the relative value of silence, especially when speech would serve no useful purpose. There are numerous Hadiths on this subject, including the following:
"Whoever believes in God and the Last Day, let him utter what is good or remain silent." [Muslim]
To speak only when there is occasion for speech, or when one has a purpose in doing so, is a sign of piety as the following Hadith declares:
"Part of the beauty of a person's Islam is that they remain silent about that which does not concern them." [Mishkat]
The best form of speech is that in which a little removes the need to say more, and the meaning is self-evident in the words. A person ought to be reserved in speech, and to speak only when there is some benefit to be achieved by it. In the event of there being any doubt about the benefit of talking, one ought to remain silent.
Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 127, 128
Entertainment Culture
For the young as well as for adults, entertainment is a necessity of life. The standpoint of some literalist scholars or rigorist trends are untenable and absurd. They seem to want to force on us a kind of daily life devoid of entertainment, without reading, without imagination, without music ... without even spiritual rest. This cannot be and does not correspond to Islam's teachings. We hear that music has become the universal language of young people, that the images on television and in films agitate the minds of people the world over, that great sports events have become the ritual gatherings of modern times ... and we should act as if this had no impact on the minds, hearts, and daily lives of believers wishing to live in harmony with certain principles and a life ethics?! The question is not to know whether we should entertain ourselves, but what the meaning, form, and nature of that entertainment should be.
What is at stake are the welfare, balance, and sound development of the children, teenagers, men, and women of our time, both North and South. Entertainment and play must represent "pauses" of a sort at the heart of more serious intellectual, social, and political preoccupations, but they should by no means promote values contrary to the higher goals and general ethics.
The point is not, as in "the carnivalization of life," to promote continuous play and an endless quest for entertainment that dominates everything else, which acts like a drug and transforms us into slaves addicted to our sensations and emotions. It should be the opposite: devising entertainment that makes human beings balanced, independent, and freer.
Muslim societies and communities are so afraid of the effect of alienating entertainment that they produce amusements and games that are either packed with religious references (and thereby no longer provide actual, necessary recreation) or childish (as if to enjoy recreation as a Muslim, one must refuse to become an adult or pretend never to have become one ...).
Women and men who possess the inclination and skill ought therefore to be invited to show more creativity, to integrate modern techniques of communication, to specialize in that Universe, and to show discriminating professionalism.
Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 196, 197

Monday, June 25, 2012

July Book of the Month

I chose Moon Over Marrakech for this month. My library got it early so I've already read it.  For Ramadan I've chosen Better Than a Thousand Months which I have not read yet. Have you read either? Will you?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Islamic Status
Al-Nisa (The Women) - Chapter 4: Verse 94 (partial)
"Say not to those who greet you with peace (al-salam): 'you are not a believer.'"
Determining the faith or disbelief of a person is to be based entirely on obvious and explicit evidence without any reference to the hidden thoughts and feelings of people, which are known only to God. This is the implication of this Quranic verse.
If just the utterance of the salam is evidence enough to establish a presumption in favour of a person being a believer, then it is obvious that the Quran does not permit inquisitions of any kind to establish the Islamic status of individuals. All that a person may do when he suspects that disbelief, heresy or apostasy is being committed by another is to give him good advice in the true spirit of the Quran.
Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 187-189

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Honouring Ramadan
Shaban is one of the meritorious months for which we find some particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It is reported in the authentic ahadith that Prophet Muhammad used to fast most of the month in Shaban. These fasts were not obligatory on him but Shaban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. Therefore, some preparatory measures are suggested by Prophet Muhammad. Some of these are given below:
1. The blessed companion Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reports that Prophet Muhammad was asked, "Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan?" He replied, "Fasts of Shaban in honour of Ramadan." [Tirmidhi]
2. The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him, reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad: "Messenger of Allah,I have seen you fasting in the month of Shaban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month." Prophet Muhammad replied: "That (Shaban) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe, so, I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting." [An-Nasai]
3. Ummul Mumineen Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, says, "Prophet Muhammad used to fast the whole of Shaban. I said to him, 'Messenger of Allah, is Shaban your most favourite month for fasting?' He said, 'In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting.'" [Bukhari]
4. In another report Aisha says: "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." [Bukhaari, Muslim]
These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Shaban, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, did not like to miss it.
But it should be kept in mind that the fasts of Shaban are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency in the obligatory fasts of Ramadan. Therefore, if one fears that after fasting in Shaban, he will lose strength or freshness for the fasts of Ramadan and will not be able to fast in it with freshness, he should not fast in Shaban, because the fasts of Ramadan, being obligatory, are more important than the optional fasts of Shaban. That is why Prophet Muhammad himself has forbidden the Muslims from fasting one or two days immediately before the commencement of Ramadan. The blessed Companion Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reports Prophet Muhammad to have said, "Do not fast after the first half of the month of Shaban is gone." [Bukhari]
Compiled From:
Sha'ban: Merits, Do's, and Dont's - Taqi Usmani
Giving Credit
One important way to show loyalty is to give credit to others, to acknowledge them for their part in bringing about results. By giving credit, you not only affirm the value of an individual's contribution, you also create an environment in which people feel encouraged to be innovative and collaborative and to freely share ideas.
The opposite of giving credit is to take the credit yourself. The counterfeit of giving credit is to be two-faced: to appear to give credit to someone when they're with you, but then downplay their contribution and take all the credit yourself when they're not there. This kind of duplicity is seldom hidden, and it damages trust with all.
It is not only important to give credit to people for what they do, but also to acknowledge people for who they are. There are many ways to acknowledge people and give credit for contributions, both at work and at home. You can celebrate. You can create legends and lores by the stories you tell. You can send thank-you's (letters, cards, or flowers). You can publicize success stories in company or family newsletters. You can go out of your way to catch people doing things right.
Compiled From:
"The Speed of Trust" - Stephen M. R. Covey, pp. 166, 167

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Books on Cd

Got no time to read? Try books on cd. I like to listen to them as I fold my clothes and with all these kids I have a ton of clothes to fold. The last title I listened to was recommended by my mother. Its Half Broke Horses and written by the same author as The Glass Castle which I had read before. This is the story of the author's grandmother this time and was very interesting to see how different she was from the author's mother in The Glass Castle. Her grandmother was a person who could really take the bull by its horns! Now I am listening to The Outliers which explains how successful people become that way. The author proves with research that the rags to riches stories are just myths and its more about who you know than what you know and your environment and upbringing and other factors. I've always suspected that and its nice to have my thoughts corroborated with facts. My 20 yr old daughter is getting a kick out of listening to it with me and discussing it as we go through. She can really relate to some parts like the guy in University that no one will listen to. I highly recommend these two books.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reading Aloud to Teens

My 20 yr old was bemoaning the fact that I never read her a bedtime story or tuck her into bed anymore. Are you kidding me? Well I haven't done that in like forever! She is lucky because there are 4 yrs between her and my son so she got a lot of mommy time. So I got to thinking that maybe I should start reading aloud to my big kids (20,15,14,12 and 11) and not just my little kids (7,5,3). I was also inspired by the story of the women with 6 kids that reads to her kids every night even now that they are big and they all get straight A's. But what would I read to them? First of all at my library book club the women mentioned that teen boys loves the Farley Mowat book; The Dog Who Wouldn't Be. My sons immediately said they didn't want to hear a book about dogs. I tried to understand their point of view. This would be more of a white,Christian boy type of book rather than a Mixed, Muslim guy type of book I guess. I can realize this as a convert but I might try to read it anyway to them to expand their horizons and to better understand their fellow Canadians and hey Farley Mowat is a famous Canadian author. Then I chose some myself that I thought would be interesting; Call of the Wild, (another dog book which they told me not to read, lol), Tom Sawyer which I am reading now and have never read before and only ever knew about the famous fence painting part. From the internet I got some good recommendations mostly from teachers. I couldn't find all of them at my library but from what I could get, here is a list; We All Fall Down- Robert Cormier, The 13 Clocks which I read to them and the teen boys absolutely loved and one keeps quoting from it, Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom which my 20 yr old can't wait for me to get started, The First Part Last by Angela Johnson which is about a teen father ( I was a teen mother twice over), The Color of Water by James McBride ( A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother), and Goodnight Mister Tom by Michele Magorian. I'm really enjoying reading to the kids but they keep complaining that I'm not doing any voices ie make a southern accent when you read Tom Sawyer. Apparently my son's teacher always does accents and different voices for different characters so I just don't measure up. Oh well, I'm having a blast.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
The Expectation
Al-Taghabun (Mutual Loss and Gain) - Chapter 64: Verse 16
"Therefore, remain God-fearing as best as you can, listen, obey and be charitable. That will be best for you. Those that are preserved from their own meanness are the ones who will achieve success."
In this verse we see an aspect of God's care as He restricts what is expected of the believers to that which remains within their power and ability. He knows the limit of what they can do in obedience of Him. Limits cannot be set on obeying an order to do something. Therefore, what is within one's ability and power is sufficient. On the other hand, prohibition cannot be divided. It is required in full.
They are also called upon to be generous in what they donate. Normally, they spend their money on their own needs. God instructs them to spend in charity what is good for themselves. Thus, when they are charitable, they are actually spending their money on what is good for themselves. The verse also depicts meanness as a plague, one they must try to get rid of. He is happy who manages to achieve this.
God thus teaches us to rise above our weaknesses and shortcomings and how to aspire to the sublime, trying to be like Him, albeit within our limited abilities. God has breathed of His spirit into man, so that man will always aspire to achieve this ideal, within the scope of his nature and ability. Therefore, the sublime remains open for man always to aspire to. He can try to rise step after step so that he can meet God presenting what He likes him to present and what earns him His pleasure.
Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 17, pp. 59, 60
Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Speaking Ill
Verbal abuse of others and talking harshly to them is not permissible. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is on record as saying: "One guilty of speaking ill and calling nicknames will not enter Paradise." [Abu Dawud, Bayhaqi] In a similar vein is the following hadith: "On the Day of Judgement the worst men in my sight will be those who talk in a vain and obscene manner, and who blow their own trumpet and make a false claim about their knowledge." [Tirmidhi] He also made the following observation: "A true believer does not reproach. He is also not guilty of cursing, uttering obscenity or talking ill of others." [Tirmidhi] What is important is that one should not attack others' honour.
Compiled From:
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, p. 22
Real Power
One of the issues that fuels our uncertainty about power is the fact that there are at least two forms of power -"power-over" and "real power." Unfortunately, when most of us hear the word "power" we automatically jump to the concept of power-over - the idea that power is the ability to control people, take advantage of other or exert force over somebody or something. We think of power as finite - there's only so much, so if I'm going to get some, I'm forced to take it away from you.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines power as "the ability to act or produce an effect." Real power is basically the ability to change something if you want to change it. It's the ability to make change happen. Real power is unlimited - we don't need to fight over it because there is plenty to go around. And the great thing about real power is our ability to create it. Real power doesn't force us to take it away from others - it's something we create and build with others.
Compiled From:
"I Thought It Was Just Me" - Brene Brown, pp. 24, 25

Joined the dark side again.

I just joined Facebook again last night after a 3 year hiatus. I can already feel my blood pressure going through the roof. I joined so I could join the Nadoona group. I think I will give it a couple of weeks and then maybe quit again. If I don't see any benefit to it this time around then forget it. I've been happy off of it these past years.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Simple Eating

SoundVision has an interesting article about eating meals that only cost a dollar during Ramadan. Do Muslim overeat at Iftar? Yes I've seen it. Could you do this for one day? I wonder if I could.

Visibly Muslim

Hurray, my library got Visibly Muslim for me through inter library loan. Better late than never; the month isn't over anyway. Has anyone else got a copy or started reading? I laughed when I looked at this book because its filled with pictures.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Meet the woman who helps me get healthy.

Here is a write up about the woman I've been getting cupping from. Its not about that though  but about her doula services. Its nice to put a face to a name. This is the first time I've seen her with hijab, lol.

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Right to Preach
Yunus (Jonah) - Chapter 10: Verse 99 (partial)
"Would you compel mankind against their will to believe?"
It has been the right of the members of all civilized societies to profess a faith of their choice and to preach it in a peaceful manner. Freedom of faith is logically linked with the right to preach. What one likes is preached by him for others. This right is universally recognized. However, this right is subject to the condition that no compulsion, temptation or financial incentive be there in calling people to embrace a particular faith.
For preaching and warning Allah prescribed the ruling for the Prophet (peace be upon him) that it should only be for conveying the message and for communication and understanding. Peaceful preaching was the golden principle of the mission of all the Messengers. As the main preacher of Islam the Prophet's mode was always peaceful, natural, flexible and based on proper communication. To this was added the excellence of his conduct. He stood out for his sincerity, his seeking good for everyone, his selfless devotion to Islam, his unfailing efforts in this cause and his readiness to sacrifice anything. He did so out of overflowing love.
Compiled From:
"The Prophet Muhammad : A Role Model for Muslim Minorities" - Yasin Mazhar Siddiqi, pp. 30, 31
Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Fast Car
If the life of this world is an illusion, the period of greatest illusion occurs during youth. It is a period of high energy and great enthusiasm, coupled with an air of invincibility and perpetuity. Like the driver of a fast car, one may also develop a disdain for the slower cars on the highway of life. It is difficult to imagine that the car will run out of fuel and that one day the engine will wear out.
For the moment though the car is fast and it can go places!
For this reason there are special warnings for the youth and glad tidings for the person who uses this energy wisely. A famous saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him, tells us that on the Day of Judgment no man will be able to move from his place until he answers five questions. "How did he spend his life? How did he utilize his youth? How did he earn his wealth? How did he spend it? And, how did he practice what he learnt?" [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]. While the first question asks generally about one's life pattern, the second especially focuses on the period of youth.
On the other hand, the person who devoted his youth in obedience of Allah will be among the selected seven kinds of people [Bukhari, Muslim].
A fast car is dangerous if it does not have strong controls. And that is where Shaitan targets the vulnerable --- by loosening the controls. It has been his time-tested trick to work through temptations and make desires look irresistible. The path of deviation looks good. It is cool. It is fun. It is endlessly entertaining. The only problem is, it leads to assured disaster.
Compiled From:
"Youth: On Culture, Religion, and Generation Gap" - Khalid Baig
Cool Concepts!
How to Differ
'The problem with Muslims is that they cannot agree on anything.' We have heard this statement countless times in communities across the Muslim world. This is untrue. Our dilemma is that we do not know how to disagree.
There is a certain spirit of mercy and tolerance that must prevail when Muslims differ. That can only happen when a person begins to understand that the Shariah, which touches all of human activity, is miraculously flexible.
Yet the message that Islam is a comprehensive way of life will be empty if we fail to agree on the mentality that one must come to the Shariah with, and to recognise that understanding is a human quality which can naturally result in varied opinions and conclusions.
We need to have a new attitude and fresh way of thinking about the world of differing. In this direction, it is hoped that we can agree on the following 'heart-set':
1. Whosoever accepts true Tawhid, Allah's Oneness, expressed in the Quran and the Sunnah, is a brother or a sister to every Muslim and must be loved and accorded loyalty and support based on the integrity of that commitment.
2. The principal Muslim references are the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His messenger. Their interpretation must be based on the principles of the Arabic Language, without contriving meanings.
3. Blind or absolute loyalty to one person or a particular juristic School is not befitting of any Muslim. The Shariah recognises the wisdom of following juristic authorities; learn the basis of their judgements and approach them with an open mind for guidance or correction - even if they differ with one's own bias or juristic affiliation.
4. All that has been reported to us from preceding generations (in harmony with the Book and Sunnah of the Prophet) is accepted with awareness of the context involved. Insult, accusation, and innuendo regarding people of the past are beneath the dignity of a Muslim. (See Quran 2: 134)
Let our position towards fiqhi differences regarding the details of the Shariah go only this far: 'Our opinion is correct, but liable to misjudgements; differing opinions are misjudgements, but plausibly correct.'
Compiled From:
Islam: The Way of Revival,"Understanding Juristic Differences" -Ahmad Zaki Hammad, pp. 209

Malaysia host Canadian Students

Masha Allah this post about Malaysia has such beautiful photos, I just had to share. Read the article here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Masha Allah I now have 100 followers. I  am amazed that 100 people would want to read what I have to write and keep following along. I have even more readers. I still remember my excitement at having 10 followers! Insha Allah I hope you are benefiting from what I have to offer here. Spread the love! I promised myself that if I got 100 followers that I would have a giveaway insha Allah Now I have to think what I would like to offer. You'll just have to wait and see :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Being Me Conference -Get Your Early Bird ticket

The Being Me conference in Canada will be held Oct 6th 2012. You can get your tickets now at a reduced price of $20 for the next 4 days. This is a sisters only conference. Have you been to last year's? I missed it since it was so close to the RIS conference but this year its in October which I think is a better date.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Attachment to Morality
Al-Shams (The Sun) - Chapter 91: Verses 7-10
"By the soul, and That which shaped it and inspired it to lewdness and godfearing! Prosperous is he who purifies it, and failed has he who seduces it."
Morality, reference to good and evil, is a central domain of Islamic teaching. Admittedly, permission comes first, but there are things that one does not do and does not allow to be done: social, political and economic liberties must be exercised in accordance with respect for certain rules. To say that there is morality and rules is tantamount to attesting to the freedom of each person.
Moral tension partakes of human nature. Peace of the heart or its agitation testify to the ways taken, but the choice always remains within the hands of human beings. From freedom arises responsibility: one must give account of our attachment to morality. This is for ourselves, in our hearts, in the silence and solitude of our intimacy, as in our relations with our parents, brothers, friends, enemies, the stranger, the colleague, the employee, the old, the handicapped, the poor or the exiled; as also with nature, trees, forests, the air, sea and all the elements; as also, lastly, with the totality of the animal world.
Compiled From:
"Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 236, 237

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Presence of Allah
We should feel the presence of Allah in any action so that such action may take its share of perfection. This is why the Prophet, peace be upon him, when Jibrail asked him about the meaning of ihsan said: "Ihsan (perfection) is to worship Allah as if you were seeing Him, for although you see Him not, He does see you."
Perfection is a prerequisite in any action, be it worldly actions or actions of a religious nature as seeking perfection in work is a faridah (obligation) on every Muslim. Allah has prescribed perfection in everything, and nothing should make a man seek perfection more than his feeling that Allah sees and hears him and knows all that he does.
Compiled From:
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 103-104

The Individual
Our contemporary environment is complex, confusing and frustrating. The individual remains, however, the most significant entity of the universe and to ourselves as individuals, we must turn our utmost attention. The image and role which we seek to play will determine whether or not we will deserve the fulfillment of God's promise.
Therefore, we must demand, from ourselves first of all, an uncompromising awareness of ourselves, our being and our message. Thereafter we must work together, with others who share our faith and our destiny, to establish the Islamic way of life. There is a two-way relationship between the Islamic personality and the Islamic society. One cannot be truly fulfilled without the other.
Nations are not the product of irreversible destiny but they are the moulded product of people, usually of a few persons who have vision and courage. Every person, with no exception, can share that vision and help shape its outcome. No one is too small or too weak, too big or too strong, to become part of that process. The definition of our individual role cannot be imposed on us from outside; it has to develop from within and, no matter how others see us, our achievements will depend basically on our will and our actions.
Compiled From:
Islam: The Way of Revival,"The Islamic Personality" - Mahmud Rashdan, p. 233