Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Islamic Design House abaya review.

Alhumdullilah this will be my first ever Islamic Design House abaya review.The abaya I got to review is my second favourite in the collection and it is called Day Dreamer. Kind of appropriate for me I guess! I must say I love all of the new collection (S17) and this one especially because of the colour; purple is my favourite colour and the design. This abaya comes with not only pockets but my favourite; a hood. Also you can see from the picture that they include an extra button in case you lose one which many companies don't bother to include.
 Since I'm a housewife and my life revolves around going outdoors with the kids, shopping and to the mosque/quran classes, I decided to show how you can easily get around in a playground with your kids in my photos. (one of my kids is the photographer). This abaya is made out of polyester and is easy to take care of; out of the package it was a little wrinkled from being folded but it was easily ironed in a jiffy. Owning other abayas from IDH I can also say that they are also easy to wash and dry. I just put them on the delicate cycle. These abayas are so functional. Whether you are running around with your kids or praying or shopping or traveling by car (our family is always taking long car trips either to get halal meat or to visit the big kids) or by plane like last year all the way to Malaysia! IDH abayas are super comfy. One thing I've found though is that you have to be careful what you wear under them or else watch out for the cling effect. I have to avoid yoga pants at all costs or have all eyes on me at the mall (don't ask!)  Jeans,dresses, skirts and dress pants are all ok. I've also heard that satin works great.What can I say about IDH? Their customer service is great! They listen to what you have to say and try to make you happy. For example a while back I had trouble with the Canadian site and the UK made sure I was taken care of. No worries now though as the Canadian site is perfectly fine. Also my favourite abaya was sold out and discontinued but the Canadian rep at RIS showed me that they had a very similar one out in a winter style and that made my day and I bought it right away. I also love their promotions like the one that had buy one abaya get a hijab for free. Another thing I love about IDH is that when you wear their abayas and scarves you can easily fit in and not stand out and non-muslims compliment you on your outfit.

For my readers ; you can get a new abaya too just like this one or choose another style and get 10% off. The code is OMWITS13 use at Islamic Design House.com

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Faith and Reason
Al-Alaq (The Blood Clots) - Chapter 96: Verses 1-5
"Read. In the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot of blood. Read. Your Lord is the most Bounteous, who has taught the use of the pen; has taught man that which he did not know."
The first revelation was a remarkable event: it was the first contact between Earth and Heaven since, six hundred years earlier, Jesus Christ had preached the Gospel to the world. These initial verses of the Quran did not command obedience to God nor His glorification, nor attainment of His nearness, nor even rejection of idolatry or the rites and customs of paganism. These were left for later occasions.
It was the beginning of an era which saw the most unprecedented and concerted efforts being made for the promotion of learning. It was the era in which Faith and Knowledge joined hands to create a new civilization. It was an age of Faith as well as of Reason.
The command to read and acquire knowledge was to be executed under the guidance of a divine messenger and in the name of the Lord so that man proceeded ahead in his journey in the light of God's knowledge and the certitude of faith. The reference to the creation of man from a clot of blood was meant to point out that man should not exceed his limits, nor feel exultant on capturing the forces of nature, since this was to come about with the acquisition of knowledge.
The pen was honoured by being mentioned in the revelation since it has always been the most important tool of learning. Thereafter the revelation referred to the teaching of man by God - for God is the ultimate source of all knowledge which could enable man to know what is unknown. All the discoveries made in any field have come from this ability of man to learn and extend the horizon of his knowledge.
This was the starting point of the revelation to the Prophet of Islam, which had a deep impact on the subsequent course of attaining knowledge, preaching God's message and changing modes of thought. It made knowledge a fellow and ally of religion that could always help man in solving new social and cultural problems. Religion, on the other hand, was thereafter never frightened or timid in the face of knowledge.
Compiled From:
"Islam and Knowledge" - Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, pp. 2, 3

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be please with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "There are four qualities, whoever is given them has truly being given the best in this world and the next. They are: a grateful heart, a remembering tongue, an enduring body, and a faithful wife."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Allah is pleased with His slave if when he eats something, he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks something, he thanks Allah for it." (Muslim)
Abu'd-Dunya narrates that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "Speaking of Allah's blessings is gratitude and ignoring it is ingratitude (kufr). The one who does not give thanks for a small blessing will not give thanks for a great blessing, and the one who does not give thanks to people will not give thanks to Allah. To be with a group is blessing, and to be alone is a punishment."
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said: "If any of you would like to see the great blessing of Allah on him, then let him look at those who are less fortunate that him, not those who appear better off than him."
Compiled From:
"Patience and Gratitude" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, pp. 65, 66

AIDS is seen as a disease almost exlusively resulting from inadequate and/or deviant sexual behaviour (which is not true). Women, men, and children have been infected through mere blood transfusions, dirty hypodermic needles, or born with it because the mother herself was infected.
Reminding society and people at high risk about moral principles and their spiritual outcomes is necessary and helpful in terms of prevention, but it cannot resolve everyday situations. Once the disease has been diagnosed and one considers the actual day-to-day behaviour of women and men - leaving aside questions of guilt or blame - appropriate social, economic, and ethical measures must be taken to fight the disease. Above all, HIV-infected patients should not be the objects of accusations and made to feel guilty, so that they are compelled to become invisible, to constantly lie, to hide from their families, their society, and their community (or be rejected by them). Society must go further and dare to tackle the position of AIDS patients in contemporary societies: we cannot accept the employment, housing, and societal discriminations that stigmatize the sick and marginalize them all the more.
Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 179, 180

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Sake of Allah
Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2 : Verse 207 (partial)
"And of men is he who would give himself away to seek the pleasure of Allah."
We should 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. It is important that every act of life should be for the sake of Allah, and for His Pleasure alone, as the above verse says.
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 we are able to achieve this state of sincerity, even a little effort would suffice in imparting the colour of Allah in our lives and souls. 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.
We should designate our 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 our lives 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

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Haya of Allah
If a person has a complete haya of Allah, he would not think of or perform any act that is displeasing to Allah. He would be too ashamed of ever doing something of that nature. In fact, he should have more haya toward Allah than toward any of the creation. This is because everything he possesses has come to him as a blessing from Allah and He knows that Allah is aware of everything he does.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, has ordered Muslims to have the proper haya towards Allah. He said:
"Have haya towards Allah in the correct manner of haya." The Companions said, "O Messenger of Allah, we are bashful towards Allah, and to Allah is the praise." The Prophet then told them, "This is not what is meant. The haya towards Allah which is the true haya is for a person to be mindful of his head and what it contains, and of his stomach and the [bodily parts] close to it, and to remember death and disintegration. And whoever desires the Hereafter abandons the beautification of this world. The one who does that has had haya toward Allah in the proper manner of haya." [Tirmidhi, Ahmad]
Compiled From:
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, pp. 814, 815
Powerful Energy
Even if you are not a religious person by nature or training - even if you are an out-and-out skeptic - prayer can help you much more than you believe, for it is a practical thing. What do I mean, practical? I mean that prayer fulfills these three very basic psychological needs which all people share, whether they believe in God or not:
1. Prayer helps us to put into words exactly what is troubling us. It is almost impossible to deal with a problem while it remains vague and nebulous. Praying in a way, is very much like writing our problems down on paper. If we ask help for a problem - even from God - we must put it into words.
2. Prayer gives us a sense of sharing our burdens, of not being alone. Few of us are so strong that we can bear our heaviest burdens, our most agonizing troubles, all by ourselves. Sometimes our worries are of so intimate a nature that we cannot discuss them even with our closest relatives or friends. Then prayer is the answer. Any psychiatrist will tell us that when we are pent-up and tense, and in an agony of spirit, it is therapeutically good to tell someone our troubles. When we can't tell anyone else - we can always tell God.
3. Prayer puts into force an active principle of doing. It's a first step toward action. I doubt if anyone can pray for some fulfillment, day after day, without benefitting from it - in other words, without taking some steps to bring it to pass. Call it God or Allah or Spirit - why quarrel with definitions as long as the mysterious power takes us in hand?
Compiled From:
"How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" - Dale Carnegie, pp. 208, 209

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al-Isra (The Ascension) - Chapter 17 : Verses 9-10
"Verily, this Quran shows the way to all that is most upright and gives the believers who do good deeds the glad tidings that theirs will be a great reward, and (it announces, also), that We have readied suffering for them who do not believe in the life to come."
Islam is a religion in the sense that its tenets are based on Divine Guidance but Islam is not a religion as religion is perceived today. Since its foundation is based on logic and reasoning and not on dogma or blind faith, the fact of not compartmentalising the secular and religious spheres into separate enclosures indicates that Islam is more a God-directed whole system of life and not a religion dealing with compartments, or sections of life. Hence, on the one side when dealing with the principles of living - social, political or economic - Islam may be compared with non-religious ideologies like capitalism, communism, socialism, etc. and when dealing with the moral and spiritual development of individuals and societies, it can be compared with other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity.
According to Islam, the One Almighty God, Allah, created and appointed mankind as His vicegerent on earth with autonomy. Life in this world is a period of test, and reward or punishment is in the life Hereafter. Allah arranged the receiving of His guidance throughout the ages through His chosen persons known as Prophets. The first vicegerent and Prophet was Adam (peace be upon him) and the whole of mankind is his progeny. All the Prophets or Messengers had one religion, Islam, and one mission of inviting people and mobilising those who accept the invitation.
The fundamental theme of the Quran is that Allah always offers guidance to man through the Revelations which He bestows upon His Prophets. In this way the Quran leads towards principles that are central to ethical rectitude and beneficial to man's individual and social life. It is guidance for the life-span of the whole community.
Compiled From:
"Words That Moved the World" - Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, pp. 103, 104
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Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Raising Hands
Amongst the etiquette of Dua that is known by all Muslims, young or old, is that of raising one's hands while making dua. Abu Musa al-Ashari narrated, "The Prophet, peace be upon him, made a dua, and I saw him raise his hands, until I could see the whiteness of his armpits." [Bukhari] Furthermore, Salman al-Farsi said that the Prophet said: "Indeed, Allah is Shy and Beneficent. He is Shy when His servant raises his hands to Him to return them empty, disappointed!" [Ahmad, Abu Dawud]
There are many reasons why raising one's hands in Dua is beloved to Allah. Of these reasons is that it is an indication of Allah's complete power and right to be worshipped. It proves - by actions and not only words - that Allah is worthy of being asked, and that He is the one Who Hears and Knows everything, for He knows the situation of His servant better than the servant himself. It demonstrates that man is poor and destitute for his Lord's blessings, for he has humbled himself in front of the One full of Honour, and raised his hands up to him, indicating his poverty. It is a physical manifestation of all that this noble act of dua embodies.
Compiled From:
"Dua: The Weapon of th Believer" - Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, pp. 75, 76
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Purity, for the Muslim, is both a physical and spiritual state. Although, the goal of Islamic spirituality is to become free of the limitations of "self" (nafs - also, "soul" or "spirit"), because humans live in their physical forms on the earth and normally locate their sense of self in their bodies, Islam works with the body to ennoble the spirit. The obligatory rituals of salat, fasting, and pilgrimage all engage the body and spirit together to uplift and dignify the believer. Although these rituals can be rigorous, they are not intended to punish the body or cause harm to the individual. Islam does not view the body itself as a source of sin or evil; bodily desires can be harnessed for good or for evil. Islamic rituals, therefore, are intended to help believers achieve consciousness about the way in which they use their bodies. When fasting, a Muslim cannot eat, drink, experience intimacy, or engage in arguments. Having to refrain from these actions for a time, the believer later approaches eating, drinking and intimate and social relationships with greater intentionality, thus taking responsibility for her greatest distinction among all of creation - the ability to impart meaning to her actions.
Compiled From:
"The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life" - Ingrid Mattson, p. 154, 155
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Maintainer's Message
We wish you a happy and blessed Ramadan. May Allah give us the ability and will power to increase our worship in this month to attain the forgiveness of Allah and ultimate reward of Paradise.
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2 : Verse 3 (partial)
"Who believe in what lies beyond the reach of human perception."
The limits of human perception do not prevent believers' souls from reaching their Creator, the omnipotent power behind the universe and all existence. Their limited natural senses do not stand in the way of their desire to reach beyond the physical world or their pursuit of the ultimate truths of life.
Belief in the imperceptible raises human consciousness to a level where a wider and fuller world can be perceived. Such a step provides him with a totally new awareness of the realities of the interacting energies and forces that are at play in this complex world, and of the way he conceives of them. It also affects his behaviour and life on earth in general.
This belief has the vital role of preserving man's finite mental and intellectual powers and saving them from being wasted, abused or misdirected. These faculties have been bestowed on man to enable him to properly discharge his obligations as God's representative on earth. In the present life, the domain for man's activities of procreation, construction, innovation and excellence is limited. His intellectual power needs to be strengthened and complemented by spiritual power which stems directly from God and is thereby linked to the whole of existence.
Any attempt to comprehend the world from another perspective is futile and foolish, because it resorts to the wrong tools and defies the fundamental truth that the finite cannot fathom the infinite. Man's limited sensory and intellectual capabilities do not enable him to understand the absolute meaning of things.
This inherent human deficiency, however, in no way prevents man from believing in the imperceptible and accepting that it is the prerogative of the Divine. Man should leave these matters to God, the Omniscient, and should turn to Him for meaning, information, understanding and explanation. Recognition of this fact is the greatest prize the human mind can win, and is the first and foremost mark of the God-fearing believer.
Compiled From:
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 1, pp. 23, 24

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
The Prophet, peace be upon him, warned his people against lying, breaking their word, and breaching their trust. All of these were condemned as "signs of hypocrisy." [Abu Dawud] He was so meticulous in this matter that when he saw woman call her child, saying: "Come on, I'll give you something," he asked her if she was telling the truth. She replied that she would give him a date, to which God's Messenger responded: "If you were to give him nothing, you would have lied." [Abu Dawud]
His concern in this matter extended even to animals. Once, annoyed at seeing a Companion trying to deceive his horse, he said: "Stop deceiving animals. Instead, be trustworthy with them." [Bukhari] Another time, while returning from a military campaign, a few Companions took some baby birds from a nest to pet them. The mother bird returned after a short while and, finding her babies gone, began to fly around in distress. When God's Messenger was informed, he was so upset that he ordered the birds to be returned immediately. Such an order was meant to show that representatives of trustworthiness should harm no living creatures. [Abu Dawud]
Compiled From:
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 69, 70

Wealth and Consumption
The month of Ramadan ought to be a school enabling the Muslim conscience to return to what is essential in the message, its objectives, and the questionings necessary to grasp higher goals. For a month, believers take a break from their usual lives to return to meaning and essentials, breaking with their habits of consumption, the rhythms of everyday life, and the deep-seated ideas about competing to acquire and possess material things. Beyond the act of worship and its spiritual dimension, the fundamental teaching of this exercise consists of understanding that the way we relate to wealth and consumption should be questioned in the light of the goals human beings set for themselves.
The ethical goals of fasting, clearly stated in the texts or put together by inference, requires us to question our choices in life, development, and individual and collective growth. Yet, an appalling perversion can be observed: this month, which ought to "produce meaning," has been taken over - like so many ecological and humanitarian projects - by the logic of an imperialistic economy based on growth and productivity. Rather than being a month for awareness of goals by questioning development models and consumerist ways of life, that month, and its nights in particular, turn into an increasingly neglectful fair encouraging consumption, even in poorer societies. This is deep, almost complete alienation. The point was to consume less, to consume better in terms of conscience and quality, and we end up consuming less during the day to consume without moderation and with total abandon at night. This is yet another example of formalist perversion: norm and form are maintained while the religious practice's ethical goals are lost.
Compiled From:
"Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation" - Tariq Ramadan, p. 239

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Old Muslim Grandma in the Shoe again!

Masha Allah, yesterday my oldest son and daughter-in-law had a baby; their first. The ultrasound predicted a boy but instead she gave birth to a baby girl! Only Allah knows what is in the wombs. Everything was set up for a boy, the clothes, the decorations, the shower gifts etc. Now I have 3 granddaughters, subhanAllah. May she grow up to be a righteous child and reach Jannah. Amin.