Friday, March 28, 2014

Sick of winter, Veilkini on my mind!

If you live in Canada you will know how long and horrible this winter has been. Toronto even had an ice storm. Its spring now but it sure doesn't feel like it; it keeps snowing and there are hardly any days over 0 degrees. So all winter long all I could think about was swimming but alas the last time I did was in October in a hotel pool while I went to the BeingMe conference in Toronto. Why? Because sadly my bathing suit and my daughter's got some kind of grease on it when I was in Malaysia (boat engine oil?) from a dock I swam out to and held onto. So now with spring here and summer approaching its time to order new bathing suits. My suit of choice is Alsharifa Veilkini as you can see from my review here. Won't you join me in getting a new bathing suit? They even have little girls bathing suits now and they are hot pink! My youngest who is almost 5 fell in love with it the minute she saw it. You might want to get that too..just sayin'.

Speaking of Malaysia and oil,on my mind always also is the flight MH370 which most likely crashed,we are still waiting for real proof. Seeing is believing. Its sad all around especially how they have slandered the pilots. My prayers go out to all who have been affected by this tragic news. May Allah give everyone comfort and closure. Amin.

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Humble Origin
Al-Muminun (The Believers) Chapter 23: Verse 12
"Now, indeed, We created man out of the essence of clay."
The frequent Quranic reference to man being 'created out of clay' or 'out of dust' or 'out of the essence of clay', point to the fact that man's body is composed of various organic and inorganic substances existing on or in the earth. There is also a continuous transmutation of these substances, through the intake of earth-grown food into reproductive cells. Allah stresses man's humble origin and the debt of gratitude which he owes to Him.
What should be noted is that the Quran is not a book of science which mentions the process of creation scientifically and then leaves it. The process of humans coming into being clearly points to the creative activity of Allah, hence to His existence. The lack of gratitude on the part of human beings is according to the Quran, 'giving the lie to the Truth.' The purpose of providing this information is to use this as evidence and further proof of Resurrection Day. The main concern of the Quran is to improve the lifestyle of an individual through firm belief in the attributes of Allah and the Day of Resurrection.
Compiled From:
"Words That Moved the World" - Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, pp.121, 122

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Controlling Tongue
We should be careful how we use our tongue for its misuse is the fastest way to hellfire. Lying, slandering, backbiting and obscenity should never be part of our speech. We should be exceedingly careful with what we say about others. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
None of my Companions should tell me anything about anyone, for I like to meet [any one] of you with a clean heart. [Abu Dawud]
Janna has been promised for those who are careful with their speech. The Prophet said:
Whoever can promise me that he will be virtuous with what is between his lips, and what is between his thighs; I promise that he will go to the Garden. [Muslim]
The key to control of the tongue is to infuse our conversations with remembrance of Allah. The Prophet said in this regard:
Do not talk for long without remembering Allah, for talking much without remembering Allah is hardness of the heart. The most distant among man from Allah is one with a hardened heart. [Tirmidhi]
Compiled From:
"In The Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, p. 80

Empowering Belief
There are many reasons women have difficulty standing up for themselves. They often find it hard to say 'no' because they feel selfish if they refuse to help someone - even when their own needs are more important at the moment. In addition, they are often afraid people will dislike them if they aren't cooperative. Women often have a fear that if they stand up for themselves, they will be seen as overbearing, domineering, or bitchy.
It takes a lot of courage and self-respect to act on your own behalf. It takes a strong belief that you deserve something better. Unfortunately, many women don't have this kind of self-respect and don't believe they deserve to be treated better. Many are afraid to hope for better treatment because they have yet to receive it. To be able to stand up for yourself, you need to give up waiting for someone else to come to rescue you and your belief that you have no power to change your circumstances. You will need to reach out - ever so tenuously - toward accepting that you have more power to change your circumstances than you think you do. Fortunately, when women focus their considerable strength and will to change something, they are often surprised at how much power they actually have.
You have the right to live your life the way you choose, as long as you are not stepping on someone else's rights. But rights don't mean much if you don't have the courage to claim them. Unfortunately, many women have had their courage stripped away by societal expectations and messages and domineering parents, or from having been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused in childhood or adulthood.
Compiled From:
"The Nice Girl Syndrome" - Beverly Engel, pp. 137, 138

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Al-Ankabut (The Spider) Chapter 29: Verse 17 (partial)
"You worship only idols instead of God, and thus you invent a mere falsehood. Surely those that you worship instead of God do not have power to provide for you ..."
The pronoun used in the verse and translated as those is the pronoun used for living beings. So this shows that, as in all the polytheistic societies, the idols or statues usually represented some beings whom people respected and then exalted and deified, such as angels, the jinns, Prophets, heroes, or statesmen. The Prophet Abraham (upon him be peace) meant both those beings represented by idols and the idols themselves. Later generations began to forget the beings whose statues were made for deification, and rather came to deify and worship the statues themselves. However, besides some beings, people would personify many powers or things, such as spirits and "forces of nature," and attribute God's power or acts to many false deities or adopt many deities, to each of which they would assign a Divine act or power. We should note that paganism or idolworship has not ceased. It continues in many explicit or implicit forms.
Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 823, 824

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
Anyone, be it the individual or the state, accusing a person of an offence must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof lies on the plaintiff, a principle which is based on the following hadith:
The burden of proof is on him who makes the claim, whereas the oath [denying the charge] is on him who denies. [Bayhaqi]
The plaintiff, in other words, may ask the court to put the defendant on oath if the latter denies the claim. If the claimant is required to prove his allegation, then it would follow that until such proof is forthcoming, the defendant is presumed to be innocent. This is also upheld in another hadith which provides:
If men were to be granted what they claim, some will claim the lives and properties of others. The burden of proof is on the claimant, and an oath is incumbent on him who denies. [Muslim]
Compiled From:
"Shariah Law - An Introduction" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 182

Intimacy and Commitment
With roughly 7 trillion cells working in concert, your body is an extraordinary thing that should be respected, not a merry-go-round on which everyone gets a ride. It doesn't make sense to share the most intimate parts of yourselves until you are fully committed to each other. Intimacy without commitment is like getting something for nothing; it goes against a basic principle. What is a committed relationship? A marriage is the best form I know. With a marriage, you get a legal document, a public celebration, a ring, a recognized union, and a deep promise to love each other through health and sickness.
What about a high school relationship where you're truly in love? Does that count as committed? Not really. There is no legal agreement, no celebration over your union, no shared rent payment. You aren't doing the dishes, cleaning the laundry, or paying the bills together. You break up, move, go to college, start liking someone else, and so on.
Everyone disagrees with what the terms hooking up or friends with benefits really mean, but basically they are nothing more than no-strings-attached s e x ual encounters of some type. In reality, it's just a way to use each other's bodies for pleasures without any expections or commitment - fast, easy and unfulfilling.
Compiled From:
"The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" - Sean Covey, p. 210

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Complete Submission
Al-Anam (The Cattle) Chapter 6: Verses 71, 72 (partial)
"Say: In truth, God's Guidance is the only Guidance. We are commanded to surrender ourselves to the Lord of all the worlds, and to attend regularly to our prayers and to fear Him."
The instructions to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are such that he has to declare in absolute clarity that God's guidance is the only guidance. As such, we are commanded to submit to the Lord of all the universe, because to Him alone all the worlds submit. Why should man be the only exception out of all creation when everything in the universe submits to God's absolute Lordship? The reference made here to the fact that God is 'the Lord of all the worlds' comes at the right time. It emphasizes an undeniable fact that all the worlds, whether known or unknown to us, submit to the laws God has set in operation and cannot break away from them. Biologically, man is also subject to the laws of nature. What he needs to do, then, is to submit also in the area in which he has been given a choice: to follow guidance or to sink in error. When man chooses to submit to God, in the same way as he does biologically, all his affairs will be set aright, because harmony will be established between his constitution and his action, between his body and his soul, between his present life and his life to come.
The most essential thing, then, is complete submission to God and the acknowledgement of His Lordship over the universe. The offering of worship and the moulding of conscious attitudes follow from this, because these cannot be done properly unless they are based on the solid foundation of man's submission to God.
Compiled From:
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 5, pp. 207, 208

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Difficult Patience
The degree of difficulty in abstaining from some things depends on the strength of one's motive and one's ability to do the action in question. Whoever has no motive to kill, or steal, or drink alcohol, or whatever, and at the same time is not able to do it, will find it very easy to exercise patience in abstaining from those things. Whoever has a strong motive to commit a wrong action and has the means to do so, will face great difficulty in exercising enough patience to abstain. Therefore, it is very difficult for a ruler to refrain from committing injustice and oppression, and it is difficult for a young man to refrain from fornication, and it is difficult for a rich man to refrain from pursuing physical desires and pleasures.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Allah will commend a young man who never behaved in an ignorant way." [Ahmad] In another hadith, he referred to those who will be shaded in the shade of Allah's throne for their perfect patience - such as the patience of an absolute ruler in being just in all situations, regardless of his own feelings, and the patience of a young man in worshipping and obeying Allah and suppressing his own whims and desires, and the patience of the man who stayed in the mosque, and the patience of the man who gives sadaqah in keeping his sadaqah secret, and the patience of a man who resists the temptation of a woman of beauty and high status, and the patience of two men who meet for the sake of Allah and part for the sake of Allah, in keeping their relationship for the sake of Allah, and the patience of one who weeps out of fear of Allah, in keeping that secret and not telling others about it. All of these are among the most difficult types of patience. Therefore, the punishment of an old man who commits adultery, a king who tells a lie and a poor man who is arrogant is more severe, because it is easy for them to keep away from such wrong actions, and does not require much in the way of patience. Their attitude indicates that they are wilfully rebelling against Allah.
Compiled From:
"Patience and Gratitude" - Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, pp. 37, 38
We have to get used to the idea that values and laws do not protect us from anything unless we make the effort to educate ourselves, critically evaluate the information we are given, and learn to understand representations. The means of mass persuasion are so powerful that anything is possible: even the most educated people and the masses are increasingly vulnerable and are potential objects of the most hateful populist campaigns and media manipulations. Sixty years after the ratification of the Declaration of Human Rights, nothing can be taken for granted, and everything is possible. As former Prime Minister Tony Blair once said, 'The rules of the game have changed.' That was understatement. Surveillance, the loss of the right to privacy, summary extraditions, 'civilized' torture camps all over the world, places where the writ of law does not run. The normalization of violence appears to have desensitized us, and we are more and more indifferent to the inhuman treatment we see all around us. It is true that we have often lost the ability to marvel at the simple things in life, as a result of either pessimism or lassitude, but we can only conclude that we have also - and to a dangerous extent - lost our capacity for outrage and revolt. Our representations are becoming standardized just as our intellect and sensibilities are declining. Our fine laws may still delude us, but they will do nothing to protect us or to promote respect for human dignity unless our conscience imbues them with substance, meaning and humanity.
Compiled From:
"The Quest for Meaning" - Tariq Ramadan, p. 172