Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Be the change!

As the world stands by, the Palestinians continue to be massacred. And of all people, its those who were once wrongly massacred carrying out the killings and genocide of another!

All over, the Muslims are fed up with the state of the sitaution in Ghaza. Our Muslim leaders do nothing, and of course the US is behind the Israelis. It seems as though the whole world is just watching and shaking their head and some others dont even know the severity of the problem over there.

But I'm starting to get disgusted with people's complaints. "The ummah is divided!" "Wake up Muslims" "No one is doing anything!" So then what are YOU doing. Complaints will get us nowhere. We're disappointed in others while we aren't doing anything ourselves.

"Well, I can't really do anything from here," someone would say.

-Well have you started boycotting Israeli products? There are still many Muslims who opt to purchase kosher meats at their grocery market rather than frmo a halal meat place. Lots of items in the kosher section are made in Israel and imported. If even just dozens of us were to boycott these products, it would make a big difference. Aside from Israeli products and companies, there are countless American companies sending money and even weapons to the Shayateen in Israel. Some people argue that too many companies support them and it's hard to boycott all. This is understandable, a lot of times we don't even know that a company does support Israel. Well we can start with what we know and the companies that send huge percentages to them. This is a simple way to show our support for Palestine!

-You can't help? Are you informing the non Muslims around you about the situation taking place? Many of them don't see the seriousness of the situation because of Western media diluting the information and stating that Israel has the right to carry out their terrorist acts. Start emailing articles which shed light on the truth to non Muslim friends, print out articles and give it to them in schools, to your neighbors, or at your job. You never know how it may effect them, they may end up becoming one of the very active people against Israel. Help them to stop buying into the lies! When I was in high school, sometimes I would anonymously leave news articles or Islamic da'wah articles in the locker rooms or on desktops in hopes that someone would find it and read it, and maybe change their views or become enlightened about things they didn't know. And alhamdulillah I do know for a fact that those articles DID impact people in some way.

-Everyone says PLEASE REMEMBER PALESTINE IN YOUR DU'AS. Are you really? Did you truly make a heartfelt du'a for them? Did you weep, was your heart aching for those dead? For the children who watched their parents die? For the ones who are now orphans? For the hardworkers who lost their homes? For the ones who lost limbs? The people who were turned away medical aid due to lack of supplies? Are we waking up in the 3rd hour of the night just to stand before Allah for THEIR sake? Are we invoking Allah in our sujood to ease their pain and to guide the enemies or give them what they deserve? What kind of du'a are we really making? Let's take this statement more seriously!

-Still can't do anything??? Give. Give what you can give to the Palestinians. There are organizations out there taking money for food and medical supplies for the people over there, such as Islamic Relief, Meca for Peace, and InterPal, and I'm sure there are more I don't know about. Donate what you can. Urge your community members to give. Surely their needs are more than ours! Surely we can give something, anything, a dollar or a thousand, its all in your intention! Pass the links around to friends and family. Ask your masjid to get involved and set up a donation box. Collect money at Jumu'ah prayers. Get your friends involved. This is one of the easiest way to get actual help to these victims inshaAllah. Don't belittle what your efforts can do. I always remember when I was trying to raise money for this family, my goal was $5,000 and people laughed at me! But Allah helps those who need help subhanAllah and before we knew it we'd raised $25,000 for them, among several gifts and cards!!! Can you imagine? A lot of it was from people's $20 donations adding up mashaAllah.

- Have you contacted head government leaders? Have you called them? How about writing a letter? How about starting a petiton? Get your friends to write letters to them. Bombard them with letters, postcards, greeting cards, all stating you want Israeli aid to end!

-Another way to get word around your community is to contact a newspaper company or a journalist and get them to write an article about you and your friends who are against the occupation. Readers will get to see this, even if they dont read the article, they'll see the Muslims are standing up and making their voices heard!

It's time to stop being lazy. It's time to stop whining and start doing something. The smallest of actions is an effort to make a difference. Too many of us are sitting at home behind our laptops and desktop computers writing raging entries and stopping at that... we're not stepping forward or progressing in any way.

Stop waiting for a change and BE the change.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bloodiest Day Since 1967

More than 100 tons of bombs.
More than 200 killed.
More than 700 wounded.
More than 40 locations hit.

I'm sure just about everyone will post on this topic, and this is yet another one. It's a good thing to see many people talking about what's happened in Ghaza because it shows we choose not to be quiet about it, and that we do care.

I watched some news clips like this one and it breaks my heart to see crowds of people in chaos, people carrying lifeless bodies, the screams, the billowing smoke, the echos of explosions, sirens blaring in every direction, men in tears, bodies covered in blood, bodies in piles, demolished buildings...I can only think this is the closest image we'll see resembling yawmul Qiyamah.

People get into legal trouble for stealing, litering, mouthing off... but a city can be turned upside down with so many fatalities and no one is serving time for it, no one is being condoned, no one is reprimanded.

When I first heard of this I logged onto several news sides and had to navigate around the site just to find an article on what had happened. Why is this being treated as though it's not a big deal? It is! Had this happened elsewhere the world would have been in an uproar. It's disgusting. People no longer see value in human life. It's as if someone swatted a fly - who cares? People have grown used to seeing images life we've seen today of Ghaza. How disgusting is that? I saw pictures of salaatul janazah being prayed in front of dozens of bodies. Dozens!

SubhanAllah, seeing the police officer laid down saying the shahadah sent chills throughout my entire body! I don't know who he is, and if he is alive or dead, but I pray anyone who came near death and uttered these words are given the best of rewards from Allah, whether they survived or not ameen! When do we ever see such a sight? I pray that Allah guides these criminals or give these shayateen what they deserve in this life and in the hereafter ameen!!! Please please please make du'a that there there will be no ground attack (the Israelis are threatening to carry one out)

Demonstrations in Sudan

Demonstrations in Egypt

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Muslims and the Holiday Season

Growing up as a little Muslim attending public school throughout my years, I understand what it's like for kids to go through some type of identity crisis during the holidays, especially during this time of the year where it seems as though everyone is celebrating something. I'd always feel this sense of lonliness or emptyness while everyone else was excited for the holidays. It wasn't until my teen years when my parents actually started practicing the religion they too were born into. But before this change came, there were things they could have done to make me feel better around the holiday time which wasn't done. Two key things to do with kids these days, especially if they attend public school, is to make the Eidain seem like the 2 most incredible days of the year, and the second thing is to help them understand why we do not celebrate any other holidays besides these two and not be lenient with them.

"Separation of church and state" is such a lie. There was never a time in school where the winter holidays were not celebrated. Before the holiday break would begin, the list would circulate the classroom asking us to jot down what we'd bring in for the party. Even though the Eids were great for me, I'd get hundreds of dollars and have fun visiting my family until midnight, when it came to the un-Islamic holidays my parents never taught me WHY we didn't celebrate it .So rather than understanding why, I felt left out at school.

During my elementary school days I'd get caught up in the holiday hype. I looked forward to Christmas parties, the numerous candy canes I'd go home with, the hot chocolate we'd drink in school, and by that time I had memorized all the Xmas songs that would play over and over on the teachers cassette player. When we'd go to the mall we'd stop for pics with Santa (lol I still cant believe we'd do this nonsense!).I exchanged gifts with all of my friends and bought gifts for my teachers as well. I'd turn on the TV and watch all the xmas specials. In the stores xmas songs would be blaring and decorations would be everywhere, even in the towns streets lights would be strung around trees and illuminated snowflakes were on each lamppost. It was inescapable, anything you bought came in a red bag. Even the Oreos came in red cream, Santa was on every can of Coke, and Hershey Kisses wrappers were festive as well. Everyone on the block would have decorations on their lawns, blow up snowmen, prancing reindeer, and light up santas. The Jews would have their menorahs displayed at the window. I'd collected dozens on dreidels by the time I was in high school and understood what each of the 4 symbols stood for.

Halloween, Easter, New Year, Valentines Day, and Thanksgiving were no exception. Again, there was non-stop commercialization on TV and in all the stores. In middle school I was in the schools chorus and memorized songs about xmas morning, hannukah, and even kwanzaa. 10 year olds were paying to have anonymous roses sent as Valentines and I couldnt help but feel flattered when I received one. Now when I think back to it I was only 10, what the heck?! We weren't Turkey people, but on Thanksgiving my mom would bake a chicken and we'd sit down at the table and eat dinner together, one of the few times we'd even do that. On New Years we'd stay up and watch the ball drop, I taped a paper with my 'New Years Resolutions' on the wall in my bedroom. I'd take great pride in making my Mother's and Father's Day presents at school... the list goes on...

Finally when I just entered my teen years, the imaan in my household shot up. And I'm thankful that the explinations I never got when I was younger, at least my brother was getting in his childhood. He sat out during the holiday parties and concerts. He did his own type of crafts when everyone else made gift baskets for their moms or colored pictures of ties for their parents. He went to school in his usual clothes while everyone came in costumes... and halloween night while many of this friends were out trick or treating, he was where he was every night, at the masjid learning how to read the Qur'an and memorizing it. My parents were sure to explain to him that we have our own holidays to get excited about and shouldnt have anything to do with the rest. I too became more fond of Eid and brushed the holidays to the side when they came around, though my memories were still with me of days passed and traditions lost. But for the most part we had normal days when birthdays would come by, we kept our door shut when trick or treaters rang our bell and so on.

Some parents may think there's no big deal in giving kids some exposure during these holidays so they don't feel left out. But in my opinion it'll only confuse them and when they become older and need to stay away from these practices, they too will figure 'whats the big deal'? Really the best cure for this is spending time with your kids, explaining to them, and keeping them on the right path from the start.

-Before Ramadan came around my mom was sure to set aside a day for me to have my friends over for an iftar party and another day for my brother. She'd make whatever we wanted and we'd have a blast with our friends. Everyone would come dressed in their cute outfits and we'd have fun just eating and hanging out with each other. A week ahead of time we'd put lights up around the windows and a 'HAPPY RAMADAN/RAMADAN MUBARAK poster at our window. Just recently we found the light up Happy Ramadan/Eid sign and started using that. Sometimes we'd be the only ones with lights up in our windows on the block haha, but we liked that even our home, inside and out, reflected OUR holiday was here!

-The night before Eid we'd do a super clean up of the house, we'd iron our clothes and prepare sweets for the blessed day. Sometimes my mom even had weird urges to rearrange the furniture LOL. I enjoyed this preparation time because it was time in the kitchen with my mom making our favorite treats. We'd go outfit shopping together and shop for gifts for me to exchange with my friends.

-The day of Eid, of course everyone would enjoy that. We had our own custom of visiting family in the morning and making time for sick family members most importantly. My mom would never go empty-handed to someones house. My dad always took the last 10 days of Ramadan off and Eid as well. I felt bad for friends whos parents went to work. I understand sometimes you just cant get the day, but they wouldnt even make it exciting when theyd come home from work. Some friends on Eid ul Adha would even go to school. Come on, thats the Eid thats celebrated for 3 days and from day 1 people are treating it like nothing!

-The day we'd return to school after Eid my mom would give me something really nice to wear, hoping she'd prompt friends to ask me, "Why are you all dressed up?" And so I could answer, "Eid!!!" with this I was able to explain to lots of my friends what Eid was.

-Since I was nearing high school at this point, my mom would send treats for my brothers classmates at school and a book for them to read about the holiday of Eid. I really liked this because it gave my brother a chance to get excited over something in school and also these young children were being exposed to the fact that there are holidays out there they don't know about. Any non-Muslims my brother was really close with would be invited over for iftar parties too and would be able to watch my brother and the other Muslim kids make salah and my mom wouldn't exclude them when she bought Eid gifts for my brothers friends either.

-Though we never celebrated the Islamic New Year, my mom again would give us nice clothes to wear to school so we could tell people its the New Year for Muslims - even my teachers never knew that Muslims went by a different calendar. Through this eventually I was able to give one of my teachers a da'wah pamphlet explaining Islam because this triggered her interest in it. In middle school the few Muslims would get together and have iftar parties and invite some of the non Muslim teachers and classmates, I always admired some of them who fasted just for the day and some even for the entire month! Many of them asked for a copy of the Quran after experiencing a little bit of Ramadan.

-Even though we only celebrate the Eidain, many Muslims forget that Jumu'ah is also a special day for us. In the summertime and whenever we were off from school my mother would give us nicely ironed clothes to wear to Jumu'ah. The clothes we wore then we never wore for any other occasion unless it was really special. We'd leave early and be among the first people there. She'd let us have our friends over or let us spend time at our friends house. She'd cook something extra special on Fridays and was sure Thursday night to finish all her cleaning. There is not a single Friday I remember coming home from school and not seeing the lines from the vaccum on the carpet indicating she'd vaccumed and there would be a fresh smell in the air, sometimes oil burning in the corner or the carpet powder smell still lingering. The beds would have crisp, clean sheets and my father would come home early from work to attend Jumuah salah with us and take us out if we thought of anywhere to go.

Despite disliking my younger childhood memories of holidays and how my parents never helped me feel better about not celebrating xmas and so on... I cherish the memories I made in my early teen years when we started practicing and made our Islamic holidays more special. We never went on vacations or had over the top parties... actually we never had parties! haha... but the time we spent as a family, the special customs we had during Eid and Jumuah complete my childhood memories, and rank highest. When other Muslims are discussing what theyll wear to go trick or treating or the awesome turkey their mom made for Thanksgiving, or even now, the roses their husbands bought them on Valentines Day...I smile to myself and remember how wonderful my mother made Eid for us and the special feeling and warth that filled the home on these joyous days. Even when, alhamdulillah, my father returned from Hajj when I was a sophomore in high school - we didn't throw a big party or anything. We wrapped some presents he brought back for people, whoever visited was offered Zam Zam water, and spent time together and thanked Allah for his safe return. We huddled together in the room sipping hot chocolate while my father shared his Hajj stories for the next following nights. I loved how we didnt need to spend money or do over the top things to have fun with one another.

I hope inshaAllah as my family grows we can make the Eidain more and more special. I already enjoy Fridays when I iron my 1 year olds clothes and dress him nicely for Jumuah, and when my husband would occasionally dab Yusuf's head with some of his oil haha. I dont want my child(ren) to ever feel left out or anything during the holiday seasons, but like myself, to remember how much fun Eid is.

I pray the families of our generation, whether they have kids yet or not, can also practice these traditions in their household. I see more and more Muslims getting excited for Thanksgiving and birthdays than they do for Eid. More Muslims are making time to attend birthday and holiday parties than they are making time to go out for Jumuah. Its time we start cherishing our OWN holidays more and stop trying to fit in with everyone else and give time to their holidays, most of which now are unfortunately commercial and the true teachings and traditions are lost anyway.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


FunSlides Infomercial here

Okay this is probably THEE DUMBEST toy I have ever seen. Come on! I remember when I was younger and my mother would use her machine to shampoo the carpet, my younger brother and I would dig under the bed to get my fathers' reject slippers which were leathery on the bottom. The living room rug would still be damp and the furniture would be moved out of the way since my mom needed to clean underneath the sofas and all the corners. Whenever the coast was clear we'd take turns putting them on, taking a running start and sliding through the living room. It was fun I admit it. But it was one of those things that got old after a few minutes and we'd move onto something else. Our mother of course scolded us whenever we did do it because it was dangerous, we of course never told her about the times we got hurt.

Now I turn on the TV and see a specialized product being sold to slide on the carpet. From watching the infomercial you can see that wherever these kids are sliding, there's virtually no furniture in the room. Of course not- you can't really slide unless there's vast space. They even have a specialized carpetted ramp set up, who has that in their home?? Where else other than the living can you use this thing? The hall? After watching this all I can imagine are kids sliding into pieces of furniture and some kid will probably try using it on their newly waxed floor and slam right into the wall! Plus, I just feel like kids these days won't have enough fun sliding on the carpet with these and will go out and use them on the ice or try to do wacko stunts with them.

Maybe cuz I'm not a kid anymore these things just seem weird and funny to me. Why not just do the real thing and go roller blading or ice skating?

The best part is, I got a good laugh reading some of what the makers call "Benefits of Carpet Skates":

*Children motivated to learn how to strap over shoes
*Helped manage interferring behaviors such as swearing, jumping up out of the
seat, hand flapping and toe walking
*Great alternative to sliding on paper plates, etc..

Toe walking? Paper plates? HAHAHAHAHA. No seriously, this is what their site said, I didn't make it up!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't let him get away this time!

Feeling bored?
Knock yourself out with this game
I mean - knock Bush out!
So far 15 hits is my highest, enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Help Our Girls", The Beg Family

“Need your prayers for Abeerah today. She having more frequent seizures this week. Thursday she had a seizure in school. Friday two seizure one seizure after other in school. And today she had another seizure at home which really shook me up. She bit on her tongue again and bleed during seizure. After 5 minutes, inserting DIastate she relief herself and fall a sleep. Unfortunatly Bilal was there with her watching and saw her. He got really upset and thought she is going to die and call 911. With taking care of Abeerah, i had to calm him down too. It had left a impact on him. I hate MPS. Some times moments comes in your life that you feel so helpless. Pain just shoot through your heart like some one stab you, stomach feel pains and eyes can't hold in the flow of your tears. Then what you do in times like this????

Moments like that comes a lot in my life and i live through holding my faith tight. I believe neither the good things of this world are forever, nor the bad things eternal. We are here for a short time. Pains and suffering are test and trial for some people. Allah allows some people to suffer in order to test their patience and steadfastness...” (continued here)

Can you imagine the joy after giving birth to three beautiful daughters and watching them grow into their infant years happy and like any other normal kid their age? Then suddenly their health begins to deteriorate and you’re disappointed time after time as you take them to numerous doctors to find out what is wrong, finally discover that the different diagnosis you’ve been getting are all wrong and your children are suffering from a rare, fatal illness? Your child goes from being happy and playful to being difficult to discipline. They become extremely active and suffer sleeping problems. To soothe themselves they begin chewing on anything they can grab, sometimes their own clothes or hands. Gradually language and understanding will be lost and so will the ability to properly use the bathroom. Then it will become difficult to feed themselves, walk, and potentially they can even lose the ability to walk altogether. And to top if off, they tend to have sudden seizures on and off.

…No, you can’t imagine this. Who could possibly imagine this happening to their child? For a friend of mine this is her reality, this is her day to day life. Not one or two, but all 3 of her lovely daughters suffer from Salfilippo syndrome (MPS). In short, these girls are basically missing a specific enzyme in their body to break down sugar molecules. Instead of these molecules being broken down and disposed, they store themselves into cells, thus causing progressive damage to the child.

Sister Tayyaba is one of the most humble and sweetest sisters I know. How she’s been dealing with this for almost a decade, I don’t know. She also has 2 sons, one which is autistic. Truly she is the bravest and strongest mother I know, may Allah always give her strength, ameen! I have no idea how she keeps up with her two sons and her sick daughters, making sure Ammar gets the proper attention he needs because of his autism, finding time to make Bilal feel like a normal kid, changing the girls diapers, feeding them, bathing them, cleaning up, making meals… just finding time to sit and clear her head… subhanAllah.

You can learn more about Tayyaba and her family by reading her journal I linked at the end of the journal excerpt above. Please take the time to navigate around the site and learn more about MPS and enjoy the pictures of her kids. And please please pleeeease sign her guestbook! Words of encouragement, love and du’as really do go a long way!!

She has a paypal link for donations, please send something to help with their whomping medical bills. I tried using the link and it didn’t work, please let me know if it works for you or not. She does have her address there anyway, checks can be sent to:

"Help Our Girls"
216 Manhattan Ave
Teaneck, NJ 07666

If you’d like to send something through paypal and the link doesn’t work, you can send it to me and I’ll get it to her, she lives a few blocks away from me alhamdulillah, you can even keep in contact with her to be sure she gets it. I hope most of you trust me since I’ve been collecting around $25,000 for a while for this project too. MashaAllah she is a sweet sister. I wish I knew more about her family before my son was born so I could go over and lend a helping hand. I know some sisters who would go there and help mashaAllah, I dunno how they even do it. I think I would break down in tears, but in time I’m sure you get used to it and know you’re doing something good.

What bothers me is cases like these go forgotten. I know whenever any of her daughters are in the hospital sometimes kids in the area make cards for them and all… but aren’t they suffering too when they’re home? Don’t they need that love and affection in their home as well? I’m sure everyday brings a new hurdle to Tayyaba and her husband brother Zarrar.

Please post post a link back to my blog or her site on your page or as your face book status or profile info or anything to make people aware of what’s going on, in hopes that they may contribute something - even if it is also just to pass the word along.

SubhanAllah it makes you think how simple our days are and how we may be tested from time to time, but for others their entire life is a test… and we only pray that Allah gives them the best in the akhirah for everything they are enduring here inshaAllah. Again please keep the Beg family in your du’as and pass the word along, please sign the guestbook and send even if it’s $5 to help the girls out. It would be nice to even form a habit of sending $5 every month or something like this. Because once you give your contribution we shouldn’t forget them, because there will always be the need for help. Let’s not be of those people who hear of something, get emotional about it, and forget it the next week.

JazakumAllahu khayran and may Allah grant ease and happiness to all families suffering like this but make the best of their days, ameen!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Islamic survey!

It's about time I got one of these! A friend emailed it to me and I had to fill it out since it wasn't like any of those other bozo surveys I've gotten where the questions do not apply to Muslims at all! Enjoy, and feel free to fill it out yourself, only after erasing my answers of course!
Name: Lazeena

Age: 20

Location: NJ, USA

Background: Guyanese

Spouse (if so, name and background): Abdul Malik, Colombian & European

How long have you been married? 2 1/2 years

Kids? Yusuf, 13 months

Are you a revert? technically speaking, no, but sometimes I consider myself one since I wasn't always practicing. My husband is a revert, about 5 or 6 years strong now alhamdulillah

Have you been to Hajj or Umrah? No, hoping to someday inshaAllah, it's my mahr!

How many masaajid have you been to? Wow.. um..Darul Islah, Nida ul Islam, Minhaj ul Quran, ICPC, Masjid Omar, Ansar us Sunnah, NIA of Newark, Islam Education Center of North Hudson, Masjid Rahmah, Masjid Farooq, 96th street masjid, Masjid Tawheed, Masjid Taqwa, Nugget Masjid, Islamic Society of North Jersey, Masjid al Abadein, Masjid Ashabil Yameen, Muslim Social Club, and maybe about 10 more masaajid I've stopped in at during traveling and don't know/can't remember the name of

Have you ever been involved with a masjid? Man, I used to live at the local masjid... after attending I started teaching summer classes, Saturday school, Sunday school, did office work, have done cleaning, attended Hifdh classes there and YM/halaqas there.. currently I still teach Sunday school. I can't see myself NOT doing anything there

Who are some of your favorite lectures by? Imam Anwar al Awlaki, Dawud Adib, Imam Abdul Malik, Khalid Yasin,Yasir Birjas, Muhammad al Shareef, okay basically all of the Al Maghrib instructors, and some of the local khateebs even

Who are some of your favorite recitors? Mahmoud Tablawi!!! Muhammad Jibreel!!! MashaAllahhh! Ahmed Al Haddad, Yousef Mouti, Abdul Basit Abdus Samad of course.... Imam Ajami, Hafidh Idris, my husband =) and any random kid on YouTube mashaAllah

Some of your favorite Islamic books? Don't Be Sad, The Ideal Muslimah, Zaad ul Ma'ad, Return of the Pharaoh, any books with small hisorical stories with morals, like Gems and Jewels, the Qur'an of course tops all.

Decribe your most memorable Eid: When I wasn't married I always enjoyed visiting extended family members, now that I'm married and have my son, I enjoy our small family adventures as well alhamdulillah, each Eid offers something new

When did you first start fasting? When I was 7 alhamdulillah, fasting full days! woohoo!

When did you start hijab? When I was 12, in 7th grade.. I was a fake hijabi for some time, with short sleeves and tight jeans haha.

What's your usual outift like when you go out? abayah, hijab, niqaab.. I only like pashmina and khimar type hijabs, the 45" square ones seem too small too me.

What do you like about blogging? I like meeting sisters all over the world who see things the way I do and have the same views as I do as well. It's always nice reading someones thoughts and smiling to yourself thinking they took the words right out of your mouth. alhamdulillah. I wish there was some weird virtual way we could meet one another though!

Describe your first feelings wearing hijab
Hijab: I was really insecure honestly. I didn't even understand much about it, though I was the one who chose to wear it. I felt worse when the first day of school when I wore it these girls were telling other girls to stop being friends with me, I felt like melting! But then there were those other friends who stopped being friends with the bully because of her negative attitude and I realized some people are just losers and I was thankful for my friends alhamdulillah.
Abayah: I was relieved wearing it honestly. Finally there was an end to finding matching tunics and loose pants with matching hijabs and accessories. Getting dressed in the morning was so much easier and I didn't need to spend an extra 10 minutes turning in the mirror to see if anything was showing or was too tight!
Niqaab: I was very confident wearing niqaab alhamdulillah. It took time getting used to something on my face, a lot of foods crashed into my niqaab when I first started and forgot to lift and taste haha.. but alhamdulillah I was overjoyed to put it on. After waiting almost 2 years for my parents to approve and still starting without their approval anyway, I actually felt at home in it alhamdulillah. Niqaabi love!

How do you pin your hijab? The only pinnable hijabs I wear are shaylas/pashminas so I keep one side really long, pin it under my chin, wrap the long part over my head and pin it with s traight pin. I made sure the front covers the way it should and then theres a long piece in the back providing extra coverage for the backyard ;)

Highlight the countries you know Muslims from: Antarctica, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Chechnya, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Spain, Taiwan, Trinidad Tobago, Turkey, Yemen, Yugoslavia

What was on the last prayer mat you made salah on? It's gray, green, black, blue and red, just some huge multicolored triangles on it. They need to start making some solid colored prayer mats, with some of the crazy intricate designs I see on some prayer mats, I don't see how people stay focused while praying!

What's your ideal iftar? Well, just dates for me when I break my fast, and maybe a sip of something. I don't do the whole samosa and 10 other appetizers thing, and wind up praying maghrib late! But for dinner, anything goes, just something warm and fulfilling. A Ramadan staple I do enjoy is rooh afza (aka Pakistani pink milk! haha)

What type of adhaan really gets to you? the kind where the masjid is filled with chatter and once the adhaan starts not even a pindrop can be heard, thats an amazing thing to hear mashaAllah

What's something that annoys you at Jummah: People taking calls during the khutbah! Or people reading Qur'an during the khutbah. Come on guys, you're not even supposed to respond to someones salaams during the khutbah, that's how focused you should be on the khateebs words!

What was the last surah you read? (not recited in salah) Al Furqan

Do you dry yourself after wudu? Sometimes, mostly when I do it's just my face because I have to put lotion on afterwards

Do you brush your teeth for fajr salah? HAHAHA uhh sometimes a quick brush or I use mouthwash, theres something off about praying with stank breath to me haha

Whats the last Islamic thing you've been involved with? helping to raise awareness and money for this family alhamdulillah

What was the last convention you went to? I've only been to 1 in my life - Masjid Rahmah's 2nd annual convention. Conventions never appealed to me that much ever since I'd ask people what it was like and they'd go on and on about what funny things brothers did there, what good bargains they got, and how many brothers and sisters they saw meeting up - no one tells me about the moving lectures! Isnt that the whole point??

Have you ever been part of an Islamic matrimonial site? No. But I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of if you have..

What color is the rug in the masjid you usually attend? green... I think all the masjids I generally go to have green carpets..

Is the masjid you usually attend separated? Yes there is a top floor for the brothers, bottom for the sisters. Whenever there aren't events there is a curtain in the middle and the brothers pray in the front portion, sisters in back.

Have you ever stood in a minbar? Haha, yes, and I've given fake khutbahs from it too

Have you ever washed a dead body before? No I haven't. I've only gotten as far as the room the masjid has to wash the body and keep the it in until the janazah

What's the last thing you ate in the masjid? Some Khasmiri food at a sisters nikaah

Where's the strangest place you've seen a Muslim working? I havent seen, of course, but a sister once told me she was working at a night club..?!

Have you ever posted a flier in the masjid? Yes haha

Rate your masjid's bathroom: I don't use it because from the reviews I've heard it isn't all that.. who likes using a bathroom other than their own anyways?

Have you ever used a bidet for istinja?:Yes, we used to have one. Thanks, I kinda miss it now!

What's the weirdest thing that happened to you in salah? The person next to me fell asleep and rolled over onto their side after we stood up from sujood. I think I had to break my prayer because I couldn't focus and was laughing!! I was so mad because it was tahajjud and I was so motivated to stand through the long prayer!

Isn't it annoying when the imam tells everyone to shut off their cell phones and someone's phone rings in the middle of salah? haha yess, it always happens! just put it on vibrate people! its only for 5 minutes!

What's some of the best halal food you've had (from a non Muslim country)?Popeyes in Canada!

What was it like when you found out skittles were haram? LOL I was in 2nd grade and the teacher gave some out because.. well I can't remember. My new Muslim buddy who moved from Texas waited until I ate some and then said "OOOOOOOOHH, THOSE ARE HARAM! THERE'S PIG INSIDE!" I didn't understand, there was no meaty texture to it, but I stopped eating them and gave them to someone else. My mom later explained pork was in them. Some months we bought Mentos and after bringing them home. My mom told me to take them to school and give them to my friends since I couldn't eat them. I handed mentos out to my friends and the one who told me skittles were haram asked for one. I handed her one and whispered in her ear, "Say Bismillah before you eat it cuz there's gelatin inside!" And she listened to me! hahaha! Okay we werent practicing then and I was young so I didn't know anything!

What's something haram that you think most people don't know? Your fiance and cousins are non mahram to you, you're supposed to treat them like any other random brother walking into the masjid. And Pepperidge Farm Goldfish have beef fat in them. Most people refuse to come to terms to that because they're so yummy. Recently I contacted a company about their soaps and the person mentioned that some of their FABRIC SOFTENERS have gelatin and beef fat in them - who'd of though?! Ironic question because I've recently started this

What's the craziest hijabi fashion you've seen? Someone wearing a headscarf and a salwar kameez, where the pants were capris, they were in high heels, the top had slits and you could see her stomach, there were no sleeves on the outfit, and it was lowcut in the front. Oh, did I mention she was a niqaabi??? This was at the airport, she was waiting for someones arrival. I wanted to puke.

What did you like about this survey?? That it didn't ask dumb questions like 'whos the last person you kissed', 'what does your breath smell like', and 'how drunk were you last night?' totally relatable questions! We need more Islamic surveys like these!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Homemade whipped cream

I can't believe how easy this is and how great it came out. I'm kicking myself for not trying it before. It tasted just like the store bought stuff, but I could taste the freshness!

You'll need:
-1/2 pint heavy cream
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 to 2 tbs confectioners sugar (I heard granulated sugar works fine as well)

1) Pour the cream into a big bowl (if you don't have a stand up mixer) to avoid cream splashing everywhere!

2) Beat the cream on medium for 30-40 seconds, you'll see it thickening a little, then add the vanilla and sugar

3) Beat again for another 30-50 seconds until it's the consistancy you like! Taste for if the sugar is enough, if not add some more and mix for a couple seconds.

And that's it!

It made enough for me to cover an entire pie (in a traditional sized pie pan) with more leftover. I'm sure it'll be great on pancakes. I'm about to make some hot chocolate and add some on top =)

It's been in the fridge since yesterday afternoon and it hasn't melted/deflated yet, so thus far all I can tell you is it lasts at least 1 day and 1/2.

Here's a simple chocolate pudding pie I made that I used the whipped cream for, so easy but tastes really good. It's so versatile as well, you can play around with different pudding flavors. The 'authentic' recipe uses chocolate though, which my husband loves.

All I did was layer honey graham crackers with pudding in a pie dish, 3 layers of crackers, and 2 layers of pudding. Then I added the whipped cream on top. Let it sit in the fridge and the graham crackers will soften and then dig in! (This is pretty much like an 'icebox cake')

You can probably also play around with the whipped cream, like instead of vanilla, add almond extract or anything else!

Yayy for homemade whipped cream. If you try it out lemme know how it is! Or leave some suggestions here for us =)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Qur'an in Nepali

I came across this article and realized I never gave thought to the fact that there may still be countries that do not yet have the Qur'an available in their language, and are still learning about Islam for the first time as we speak.

Alhamdulillah on Eid the country of Nepal was given it's first Qur'an in Nepali, as well as other small Nepali speaking communities in Asia.

Click the link to read about it!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Coilless hijab pins

One day while I was surfing the net for some new hijabs and niqaabs I came across a website advertising 'coil-less hijab pins'. Finally! They've come up with a safety pin without the nasrty coil on the end that would ALWAYS get stuck and caught up in my hijab. So many hijabs of mine have been ruined after getting stuck in the coil. I'd have to sit and try and twist the pin out and in even more dire cases, cut the pin off. I have a nice hijab with an almost dime sized hole in it because of that! I actually have to calculate and try tying the hijab in a way so the hole doesn't show, so I don't waste the hijab and just not use it.
I decided to give these a shot. I bought a pack from a website and they soon arrived. I opened the small ziplock bag and poured the 5 pins in the pack onto my dresser and proceeded to open one. Of course, unlike the coiled pins, it didn't spring open, since there was no coil. It opened and the straight part of the pin to go through the hijab just stayed in place haha. I bent the piece with the tip back and stuck it through my hijab and pinned it. I felt happy, no more messed up hijabs!

Okay I was so wrong! When I got home and it was time to take my hijab off, instead of my hijab getting caught in the coil, it got caught in the head!! .. and now I couldn't even unpin the hijab! After minutes of strugging, I slipped my hijab off from my head and took a look at the mess trying to figure out how to get the pin out. Finally I did get it out, but not until I messed up the hijab, a very small hole, but still one. I always wear my hijabs the same way, and pin it in the same place, so no harm done really, it can't be seen. But I pay good money for my hijabs and don't want them messed up and I'm tired of wasting time unpinning my hijab like it was some type brain teaser!

For me, these pins weren't a solution. Has anyone else tried the coil-less pins. How'd it work for you? I mean coil-less or not, there are some days alhamdulillah the pin comes out clean and some days it causes damage.

I've never been a fan of the chunky plastic pins. They always break on me. I've had too many episodes in high school of me sneezing and the pin breaking and the plastic part flying across the room haha! This is another reason why I like khimars, no pin necessary! (that's if the hole fits your head exactly)

The idea for these were really good, but now they need to work on making a hijab friendly safety pin head!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another Blog

Okay so I've made another blog.

I know what you're thinking... "She can't keep up with this one, why another blog?!"

My new blog serves for a specific purpose inshaAllah, and I have a feeling that I'll probably be updating more there than here.

But this one is going nowhere! It's here to stay and inshaAllah I'll stop putting off entries of all the thoughts buzzing around in my head. But for now check this out inshaAllah

JazakumAllahu khayran all!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween is lame

Aside from being a Pagan celebration... Halloween just seems so played out. It seems to be the same thing every year, the same candy corn, the same costumes, the same Halloween specials on TV, the same decorations, the same parties, the same practices, the same traditions, the same candy, the same themes of black cats, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and mummies... and it seems every year less and less kids are out trick or treating.

In my 20 years nothing has changed about Halloween... maybe this is because I don't celebrate it, but I feel like it's so boring and lame now, or maybe the Halloween hype is more for younger children... but even then I started feeling annoyed when the month of October crept around the corner.

This is one of the beautiful things about the Eidain. They will always be different. Ramadan will always start at a different time of the year, some years we'll be sipping hot chocolate for iftaar, eating ripe apples and seasonal pumpkin pie, or having popsicles on the front porch before Taraweeh and ice cold beverages to break our fasts with in the summers' scorching heat... it'll always be different seasonally. Therefore, just the season alone will have something different to offer inshaAllah, it'll help make it all the more enjoyable! Eid does have it's common traditions as well, but it seems to me every year there's something new to look forward too.

When Thanksgiving ends, it'll be the same decorated lawns, candy canes in all the stores, potbellied Santas in malls, the same Christmas specials on TV.. I guess this is enjoyable for those who do celebrate it, but it seems stale to me. Where's the umph?


On another note: In NY we lived in an apartment and no one came trick or treating at our apartment door. When we moved to NJ and October came around my mom started seeing shows and commercials related to Halloween and trick or treating. This was the first time since she moved to America that she would come face to face with the holiday since we'd just moved into a house. She grew anxious for the little kids who would come knocking on our door seeking candy. We were NOT practicing then, so getting involved seemed to be a must. We never even considered we could just not open the door or put a sign up saying we didn't have candy.

My mom went out and bought dozens of bags of candies and even bought zip lock bags and goody bags to package them in hahaha. For the entire week ahead I'd come home from school and help her pack the bags with candy. Each bag probably had a minimum of 15 candies! We had hundreds of bags too, all sitting in a box by the door waiting for the night of the 31st.

When that night came, I sat by the door waiting to give the bags out and see everyone in their costumes. I recognized some classmates and for some reason felt obliged to give them 3 bags of candy each haha. Every child who's parent came up to the door with them commented on the bags of candies we gave out. Finally a family friend came with her son to the door and also said something about the bag of candy, telling my mom she really went out of her way and was in the 'Halloween spirit'. "Isn't this how you do it?" My mom asked her. The woman laughed at her and said you just take 2 candies or something out of a jumbo sized variety bag of candy and put it in the kids bags, not make your own stuffed goody bags. We felt dumb! Not to mention at the end of the night we had more than 200 bags still left!! What were we thinking? LOL!

I'm sure other people who just move to America have their own first Halloween stories. This is the only holiday where you REALLY interact with your neighbors and community members because they show up at your doorstep begging for candy. All other holidays are pretty much observed alone at home with your families or in churches.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why are Muslims STILL Smoking Sheesha?

I think I've received the email entitled 'Doctors say sheesha/hookay may be more dangerous than smoking cigarettes' more than 25 times, thus I know many people I know and countless other Muslims must have gotten this same email.

I'm sure more than half of these people didn't even read it, or even take the title of the article to heart.

I still can't believe I see so many pictures of brothers and sisters lounging around, INTERMINGLING, and smoking sheesha together. I think if I see another bearded brother or hijabi blowing smoke I'll barf. Seriously guys, it looks so disgusting to see Muslim people doing this.

I understand in some Muslim countries it's customary, but custom strikes out when it steps to the plate against Islam. Not to mention most people smoking sheesha uptook this custom right here in the US after it became popular.

I think just because it's done in Muslim countries that put comfort and reassurance in some Muslims hearts that this is something we could do without feeling bad about it. The same goes for the kifayah/shemagh design which has become so popular and almost every clothing line has some article of clothing with the design. I rarely saw Muslims wearing their kifayahs before, but ever since Rachel Ray's paisly scarf confusion, I've been seeing kifayah prints everywhere and morebrothers and sisters feel more comfortable, but firstly, fashionable and accepted wearing it. Props to the brothers in Islam who went out with their kifayahs before it became a fashion statement. Many people who wear it for fashion (mostly non Muslims) don't even know where the print originated from or what it stands for.

Anyway, call me a fool, but after receiving all those emails about hookah being dangerous, I felt kind of happy because I figured more Muslims would stop, but it seems more people are doing it. My heart aches from seeing brothers and sisters giggling and sitting next to each other smoking away, this is truly one of the saddest images I have seen subhanAllah. It just looks so wrong.

May Allah help guide us all, ameen!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The pictures are up! if you want to see pics from our visit!

Eid Mubarak, Kullu 'aam wa antum bikhayr to all!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ramadan Woes

I find that a lot of people each year are losing the essence of Ramadan. It's becoming more and more 'fun' and 'traditional' rather than a moving spiritual experience and focusing on self discipline and reflection. This year I've seen it more than ever!

Iftar get togethers are more about (girls mainly) getting glammed up and cooking so much food that half is wasted at the end of the night. I've spoken to several people who didn't even fast that day just to taste the food properly and make sure that it was just perfect.

The barakah of suhoor and iftar are lost with all these extravagant meals which fall into salah time making people pray Fajr and Maghrib a good 20 minutes late!

For some reason, there are some people who think, at the most, praying only Fajr and Maghrib is necessary and they neglect the other prayers of the day. That's not to forget those who don't pray all day and then bust their feet for 2 hours at taraweeh salah!

For many tweens, their parents allow them to go to the masjid and act like taraweeh is one big playdate/get together with all their friends they don't usually see on a daily basis. It is nice to see these people all together in one place, but come on, keep the socialization to a minimum please!

Sisters have been acting very beastly (for lack of better words.. =) )when the masjid kitchen door is left open and there is iftar food left there. Just the other day I saw a woman using a high heeled show trying to break a lock on a closet to find bowls to pack biryani and kheer in. What's sad is that they KNOW this food is left behind for the brothers in 'itikaaf! "It's so much food, what difference does it make if we take some!" Stop acting like you didn't eat before you got to the masjid or have empty cupboards at home!

While at the masjid one night a girl complained to me that her mother is planning to drag her and her siblings out to what is called 'shabeena'. Some masaajid do this, where basically they complete the entire Qur'an in qiyaamul layl within 3 nights. So unlike taraweeh which is 1 juz per night, this is 10 juzzes (I can't remember the plural in Arabic.. haha) that they try to complete between taraweeh and suhoor time. Last year I went by for the first time to see what it was like and saw most of the women chilling in the kitchen chomping away on goodies that were made for the nightlong stay, while kids ran around with bloodshot eyes like maniacs. They needed sleep, but because their friends were there they went bonkers chasing one another and beating their friends. Smaller children laid on the cold tiles asleep, being jumped over by bigger kids and waking up on and off from the loud noise. What sucked was that a lot of these kids still had to go to school in the morning! It bothered me that a lot of these women were hanging out and not even praying, yet inconveniecing their children and wrecking their sleeping pattern, for what? And for those who were praying, I know myself that praying in the masjid is much more motivating than at home.... but why drag them out like that if you know they won't be comfortable or will be causing trouble? As a mother your priority are your children and making decisions that are best for them, especially when it pertains to something you could be doing at home. It's a sacrifice that has to be made until the children become older.

This is one though that I haven't seen until this year. One day while going for Jumu'ah salah I saw someones van pass by blasting Indian music, the following night I heard someone listening to R&B or something while looking for parking outside the masjid. Seriously...? Just last night I went to an iftar and girls were talking about the latest song and how much they liked it and what artist was better looking than the other. When it was time to break our fast we weren't sure if it was the correct time, a girl proceeded to put the date to her mouth and her friend said "NO 5 MORE MINUTES! " The girl stuffed the date in her mouth "5 minutes only, does it really make a difference... I'm so hungry!" Uhmm...?! What's going on?!

Unfortunately I think there will never be a Ramadan free of these things but we can try and make sure we aren't involved in these oddities. I'm not trying to say I'm perfect, there was a time when I probably did most of these things. But the difference lies in changing once you learn you're doing something wrong, whereas some change and others ignore their duties. Allah help us all, I still can't believe Ramadan is near to done! =(

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Helping Young Burn Victims, The Al-Ghaithi Family

I feel as though I've posted this in 51 different places (which I most likely have!) but I am currently working on a sadaqah project and felt obliged to fill you all in, and hopefully you choose to get involved.

About a year ago a Yemeni family suffered from a natural gas explosion in their apartment, just two weeks after moving in. Wife and mother, Alouf, died as a result, leaving behind her husband and four badly burned daughters. They were all in the hospital and just about a month ago the eldest was released. Finally the family is all together and just moved out of a homeless shelter into a new home. The girls' grandmother came from Yemen to help Brother Rassas (their father, and her son) with the girls. As you can imagine having four ill/disabled/recovering girls under the age of six is a burdening task. 3 1/2 year old Lina is now blind as a result of the fire, and her eldest sister Duaa lost three fingers and wears a nylon compression suit 23 hours a day to reduce scarring on her body which was 60% burned. She had to learn to roll, sit, walk, eat, speak and even breathe normally all over again during her stay at the hospital, subhanAllah.

I was shocked to read Brother Rassas was ONLY 29 years old, subhanAllah. When my husband and I went to visit him and his daughters at the hospital I knew he was young, but not that young. Clearly the grief and worry has aged him physically and I cannot imagine everything going through his mind, on top of that he is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. He needs to find a job, his mothers visa is up in November and he is yet to know if she will be allowed to stay. Who will look after the girls if he is at work and she must return to Yemen? They receive nurse visits everyday and have frequent visits to the hospital, some of them have several surgeries they will have to undergo in the future. They lost everything and have to start from scratch, I cannot imagine how many bills have piled up for Br. Rassas, and what not. Nevertheless, right off the bat I saw he was a humble and softspoken brother the day we visited him. He was filled with joy and was excited to take us from room to room in the Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit to see his daughters. He would walk in the kiss them on the head, showing us pictures of how they looked before the blast. It was so difficult to look at the small body laying helplessly on the hospital bed with tubes coming from every possible place, her body covered in vaseline to prevent her burnt skin from drying out, her eyes were closed. "No see," Br. Rassas told us in his poor English, pointing to Lina's eyes. At that point, she had just had her 3rd birthday.


So far my husband and I have collected about $1,1oo.00 for them. We will continue to take donations until the 26th of this month, as we would like to give them this gift for Eid, give or take a day or two. We've received donations from people as big as $200 and as small as $5, even pocket change is acceptable. Just think how much we can gather if people even give just $1. I don't see why people should be ashamed to give that, I would feel ashamed to give nothing.

This is the perfect time, Ramadan, to purify our intentions and do what we can to help the Ummah. This is a family who have no one else to turn to and have been, walhamdulillah, receiving donations from non-Muslims. What about the Muslims? What about the Ummah reaching out to each other? Here is our brother in need, our young sisters learning to cope without the loss of their mother and with new challenges ahead, and we couldn't even give a few dollars to ease their burden? I urge each of you who read this to please give any small amount that you can, and don't just stop there... tell whoever you know. If you tell 20 people and you all give $1, that's $20 right there mashaAllah. We can easily raise a good amount for them inshaAllah.

So what can you do?

First off, if you have any questions or comments, you can email me at lazeena.hosain[AT]yahoo[DOT]com. If you feel this is a little shady, there are people right here on blogger who can inshaAllah vouch for me and HOPEFULLY my trustworthyness =P If not, I can send you their lawyers information and you can send a donation through them. I would hope you would trust the Muslim more though!

Anywho, here are your options:

A) Mail a check to me or a money order, if you email me I will send you my address

B) Send a donation via payal, which is under the same email address I wrote above

C) Send a donation through Western Union

If you think of any other possibility, by all means, let me know. And again, please don't feel lame giving even $2, seriously, it means something. This is an investment in your aakhirah inshaAllah and fulfilling your duties towards your brothers and sisters in need.

And most importantly, please do not forget to keep them in your du'as! If you get involved don't worry, I will keep you updated via email, here, or on facebook, if I have you added, on the status of the project and how much is being collected.

May Allah accept your intentions and actions this Ramadan and foreverrr! AMEEN!
JazakumAllahu khayran

Oh, and please check out this news clip of when Duaa was released from the hospital! :

Article with more detailed information:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ramadan around the World!

An Iranian man buys special sweets called 'zulbia' and 'bamieh' in a pastry shop in Tehran last year. Iran has shut down more than 200 eateries and warned 26,000 people for violating a ban on eating and offering food before sunset during Ramadan, Iran's deputy police chief has said

A Palestinian walks past an arranged Iftar meal, a meal breaking the fast during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at a mosque in Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus

A Kashmiri Muslim woman licks the walls [??!!?!?!?!!], as she prays inside the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom, commonly known as Sultan-Ul-Arifeen during holy month of Ramadan, in Srinagar, India

A Bosnian baker prepares traditional breads for Iftar

A Palestinian man prays outside the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif

A Palestinian Muslim girl looks out from her family house which is decorated with festive lights

Bangladeshi boatmen offer prayer during Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, as others wait for passengers in flooded Munshigonj district, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008. Thousands of villagers have been displaced due to floods in northern Bangladesh

An Indonesian chef makes a finishing touch on a giant replica of a mosque made of chocolate at a hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008. The 5-meter (16.4 feet) tall chocolate mosque was made of 200 kilograms (441 lbs.) of chocolate

Jordan's King Abdullah prepares to kiss the Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, or black stone, as he performs the Umrah

An Iraqi baker prepares sweets for iftar

A Palestinian woman walks near the controversial Israeli barrier as she crosses a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

A newly released prisoner greets a relative as US troops look on in Al-Rashid, south of Baghdad, February 2008. The US military has said it plans to free 3,000 detainees held in Iraq during the month of Ramadan, taking the number of those released so far this year to more than 15,000

An Israeli border police officer gestures to a Palestinian Muslim family while they wait to cross at the Israeli army checkpoint at Kalandiya, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, Friday, Sept. 5, 2008. Around 90,000 Muslims congregated in Jerusalem for the first Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan

A Palestinian Muslim worshipper is backdropped by the Russian Orthodox Church

Workers dry vermicelli, a specialty eaten during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad

Sunday, August 31, 2008


كل عام وأنتم بخير

Mubarak to all for making it to yet another blessed month of Ramadan! Please use the time wisely and to your advantage! Allah has truly given us this month as a blessing!

It's taking me some time to get used to the fact that I'll be fasting tomorrow and the AC is on! haha All my life I can remember Ramadan being during the cool weather. My father would come in from Fajr salah with a red nose and frosted glasses, cups of hot chocolate for iftaar, watching 'smoke' escape our mouthes as we stood outside conversing at the masjid after taraweeh salah.... it's just so different... but mashaAllah it makes it all the more fun!

I can't wait to go to taraweeh once in a while, it will be hard with the baby and being that taraweeh starts at Yusuf's bedtime... but alhamdulillah! I'm excited to have iftaars at our place inshaAllah and I reallyyyy hope inshaAllah I can complete the entire Qur'an.

Last year because I was pushing the end of my pregnancy I could not fast and I felt so totally out of the game, but I'm back in this year and excited inshaAllah. I pray that I can form many traditions and warm feelings in my home for my family during this blessed month, and really embrace our beloved holiday.

May Allah increase us in faithfulness this Ramadan and preserve it for long after the month has left us, may He increase our ibadah. and may He increase us all in knowledge and patience in this month! AMEEN!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dressing for Eid

With Ramadan around the corner, I'm sure sisters who haven't already gotten their outfits for Eid are scrambling to get something nice now. Hopefully we can get that done with before the holy month begins, so we don't have to waste our precious time then running around and looking for something to wear.

An important thing to keep in mind, is just because it's Eid, doesn't mean we should forget our hijab. No, I don't mean remember to cover your hair before you leave the house! I mean, make sure that your Eid outfit adheres to the Islamic guideline for women's clothing. Unfortunately not a single Eid goes by where my heart aches to see sisters out in such flashy, revealing clothing.

Last year I was almost blinded by a sister in a sari (which exposed her belly) don't worry though, she remembered to cover her hair! (?!?) Her sari was covered in gold sequins and her arms were entirely exposed. We have to make sure we're not in flashy colors, or wearing anything with ornate details, which goes against the laws of hijab. Why? Because these intricate details call for attention.. and of course we can't help but wait to hear what compliments our friends will give us on our outfits, but don't forget the lurking eyes of brothers.. Also, don't forget that Allah is still watching us this day, and our angels will still be writing.

We can totally get decked out and not be over the top or go against true hijab. We don't need a whole container of beads dumped on an outfit, or a see through hijab, or parts other than our hands or face revealed. We don't need to be in 5 inch heals and wearing 10 bracelets on 1 arm which clink together making noise, which is similar to wear bells which are haram. Actually, a lot of them do have bells on them now! And please please don't get your nails done, you need wudu for Eid salah! And please don't get all ready for Eid salah, which is not a fard, and neglect the other 5 prayers for the day just because you don't want to make wudu and wash off your makeup. Making wudu will only make you more beautiful, inshaAllah! And no, perfumes are not suddenly permissible on this day either!

I know, I know, it's Eid. We wanna look nice. We're not just gonna roll out of bed, we'll get up early, do our makeup, make sure our clothes are nicely ironed, and our shoes look nice and neat. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, but within the boundaries of Islam. For myself, I wear my usual plain clothes, just a new black abaya, this year it has a black rose embroidered on the sleeves, which isn't even that noticible, and a simple hijab, which I'm get to find, maybe in black or gray. I did have a mauve colored abaya with minimal silver detailing I was thinking about wearing... if I do wear it, then I'll just pull a plain abaya over it and take it off when I get to the masjid. On Eid the sisters get the entire masjid and the men pray out in the parking garage =P. For me, it's all about what I wear when I come back home. That's when I can get decked out. Married sisters, please invest in a beautiful outfit to wear at home on Eid! Heck, even if you're not married! Home is the place you can totally get dolled up, as much as you want, and not many of us take advantage of that. Stop preening and beautifying yourself for your friends outside and start doing it for your husbands and even just yourself inside!

And so here are some rules in case we've forgotten =)

1. It's not short, and it covers the entire body.
2. It's not transparent/thin so the body color or shape can be seen through.
3. It's not tight describing the body parts of the woman
4. That it does not resemble the dress of the men
5. That it does not resemble the dress of the disbelieving women
6. That it's not a decorated/adorned garment which attracts attention
7. That garment is not perfumed whereas others can smell it

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Like many other women, I can never imagine my husband with another wife. That's not to say that I don't accept it as a part of Islam. This I know, and will never deny, and I will always support polygyny because of the hikmah in it. And even if I did not see hikmah in it, it is a part of Islam, it is a law made by my Lord, and he is the All-Knowing. Hubbybi jokes sometimes and says he'll never take a second wife because he can't even split his time equally between me and the computer LOL.

Recently, polygyny has been a hot case within the media, and it's a wonder it isn't circling Islam for once haha. So many people are in a uproar, are disgusted by this practice. Now there are several documentaries inside the lives of co-wives. I can't speak for them, but from all I've watched, the majority of them are pleased with their lifestyle and enjoy the company of women who they get along with perfectly. They love that they have an extra hand around the house. They enjoy that they can relax a few nights as the other one is cooking or tending to other chores. They find it humorous that they can discuss their husband's odd ways with another woman yet without exposing him. They love being around their co-wives kids and having a big family. So why are others speaking for them and saying they are unhappy and mistreated? For sure there are definitely cases of polygyny where women are forced into it, are neglected, hate their co-wives, aren't cared for, and are straight up unhappy. But aren't single marriages the same? Single marriage all have these issues as well. Even relationships outside of marriage suffer from these ailments.

Now what really bothers me is the backwardness in a lot of people who reject polygyny. They screw up their faces at a man who takes two wives, he's a womenizer, a beast, a pig. However, if a man is marries and has an affair, it's okay, it's looked at as difficult for him to control his urges. She should forgive him and not leave him. "Everyone is tempted at some point or another" So this makes it okay? Why not have your husband married to a woman and know that he is with her, permissibly fulfilling his desires rather than creeping around your back with the secretary or some other nobody? Or flirting with other women who cross his path? Having mistresses? Who would prefer that? To add in, it irritates me so much that people view polygyny as 'fun' for the husband. What's so0o0o much fun about dealing with two women, meeting all their financial needs, possibly dealing with jealousy and bickering between the two, having to hear both of them nag, having to care for kids by both of them... it's double the work. One extra night with a woman really isn't worth all that headache I'm sure...

And now look at this... I was flipping though channels the other day and saw that there's a reality show featuring Hugh Hefner (founder of Playboy magazine) and his 3 girlfriends. (Seems as though there was once a time when he had 7 at one time) Hmm... it's okay? - even to the point that there's a popular TV show, for a man in his 80's to have 3 girlfriends? Not to mention that he was in his 70's when he took an 18 year old as his 3rd girlfriend. I believe that eldest of his girlfriends is pushing 30 or just hit it. So for him to have 3 girlfriends is okay? Accepted? BUT, if he were to marry them, which is a more acceptable way to be in a relationship with a woman, then he would be committing a crime and being a lewd man? How incredibly, stupidly twisted is that? And if a Muslim man marries a woman maximum 10 years younger than her, he is robbing the cradle. It just makes no sense at all. It's really disgusting how backwards society has become.
I don't even want to watch these specials on co-wives and polygyny because it really is twisted and makes no sense. I really don't know what to say... other than I hope Muslims can stop feeling ashamed of this aspect of Islam and realize there's nothing to be ashamed about. Look at how non Muslims are living their lives, look at what they accept as moral and immoral and look at how senseless their beliefs are. (Okay, duh, not all of them are like this haha) Buttt, yaknowww!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Humiliation of our sisters

Recently brothers unjustly being held in prisons in Morocco have been starving themselves in hopes that the head figures in the prison will stop tourmenting them.

Woman gathered outside (mostly wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers of these imprisoned men) and demonstrated against the foul way their husbands were being treated. Usually men do not attend these demonstrations because they would be handcuffed and dragged into jail right off the bat.

Recently some sisters were demonstrated, and this is what one of our beautiful sisters had to endure, humiliation in front of everyone from a lowlife shaytaan. May Allah give him what he deserves and elevate this sisters and others like her in this life and the hereafter, ameen.If they are treating the women this way, then imagine what they must be doing to the men inside..

This idiot scumbag threw this beautiful sister to the muddy ground WHILE her child was strapped to her by a baby sling... clearly a heartless shaytaan. Let me remind you, this is "Muslim" on Muslim action!

And despite the misery and hardships of having their male members in jail, these sisters are still steadfast in deen and have kept their hijab and iman intact, and are going out there to fight however they can for their families. These are the ironhearts of our Ummah, takbeer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NEWS: Principal May Be Replaced After Muslim Presentation

Here's some proof of the ignorance and Islamophobia that exsists in this nation subhanAllah.

HOUSTON -- The Friendswood school district board will meet Tuesday night to discuss the replacement of a principal who invited two Muslim women into her school to teach students about their culture, KPRC Local 2 reported.

The presentation created a controversy in the southeast-side town.

Approximately 800 seventh- and eighth-grade students saw a PowerPoint presentation put together by the Council on American-Islamic Relations just before school on May 22

Asma Siddiqi helped present it. She said it was simply meant to explain Muslim tradition and culture, not to promote the religion.

"I didn't expect people to get upset because, I mean, we were just there telling kids, you know, this is who we are," Siddiqi said. "I explained what the holy book was, which is the Koran."

But plenty of parents were upset, such as Kim Leago. She was angry that she was not told her eighth-grade son would attend the presentation.

"If they're going to squeeze in religion, which is not allowed in school, why did they choose that religion? With the war and everything, I just don't think that was the right choice," Leago said.

Principal Robin Lowe allowed CAIR to make the presentation because a few weeks before, a Muslim student had been bullied and beaten at the school.

But criticism from Leago and other parents, which was echoed on local talk radio programs, resulted in Lowe being reassigned.

That move upset parents who believe Lowe was made a scapegoat. Both sides will tell it to the school board Tuesday night.

So parents are more concerned that people came to the school to teach the kids what Islam really was, rather than the fact that a child was bullied and beaten up in school because of his religion? Now that's just sad. We're talking about the safety and well being of children here! What are these people so afraid of? It saddens me how people take small matters and totally blow them out of proportion- just like last week or so and the Rachel Ray in a 'kifayah' in a Dunkin Donuts add.... calm the heck down losers... it's REALLY not that serious!

A lot of times Muslims are blamed for being 'antisocial' and not educating their communities about Islam- which is partially true. But in many cases when we do stand up and try and inform people of who we are and how we too are just people tryna get by in life, they take it and flip it into us trying to convert or brainwash them. It's like no matter what we do, we'll be attacked. This is the time we live in... and yet I always like to keep in mind... we are still growing as a faith. Despite all this nonsense... Islam is gaining more and more followers everyday, walhamdulillah.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dhikr Beans

Yes, dhikr beans, not beads! Yesterday when pulling into the masjid parking lot on our way for Jumu'ah salah we saw a hearse easing it's way into a parking spot. Inna lillahi wa inni 'alayhi raji'oon. I walked into the masjid and saw the expected band of sisters sitting against the wall making dhikr, using beans to count as they went along.

A long white sheet was spread on the ground and numerous piles of kidney beans laid scattered atop. 1 pile for the subhanAllahs, another for the alhamdulillah, another for the Allahu akbars, and so on... Of course the piles stand for different things depending on the family and what practice they're used to.

I prayed my 2 raka'at of tahiyyatul masjid and sat in the back against the wall to wait for the khutbah to begin, we were about 20 minutes early though. So a sister comes up to me with a plate of beans and asks me to join on board the 'subhanAllah' team. I kindly refused and told the sister I'd prefer to make du'a for the deceased. She looked at me and pushed the plate into my face and said, "Someone just died, can't you take some time out to pray for them?"

I responded, "Yeah, but I prefer to make du'a." I was trying to find a polite way to maybe tell her that their method in 'praying' for the dead was empty, an odd innovation which would only bring barakah to themselves, but nothing came to mind so I just stayed silent and smiled at the sister and said to her, "May Allah bring ease to your family in such a hard time and may He have mercy on the deceased!" She raised and brow and walked away to the head bean counter and told her that I didn't want to use the beans.

After a minute or two the entire group of women turned and stared at me, clicking their tongues, shaking their heads, and whispering. Great- despite their mourning they can still take the time out to gossip about me. I looked down and tried to avoid eye contact with them despite feeling their eyes burning through my skin.

One of the younger girls in the group came up to me and silently sat down. After a few minutes she turned and asked me, "So you're just sitting here anyway, why can't you just make some zikr for my family?"

I turned to her and said, "In my opinion, I don't think that's a valid way to pray for someone who died. I personally never ran into any hadith where the Prophet (SAW) informed us to do that. So I think just quietly sitting and making du'a for them is the best thing to do. That's just my opinion."

So she gave me the answer I anticipated, "My family and all Muslims have been doing this for centuries, what makes it wrong?"

I repeated myself, "I'm just telling you my opinion, you know? I believe what I believe, and you believe what you believe."

"Well, whatever then. We're perfectly right." And she gets up and goes back to the group and of course tells them what I said.

Man!! I go to Jumu'ah (for the first time in 8 or 9 months, since the end of my pregnancy) and this is what happens? This is what's going down in the masjid on a blessed Friday? Ughh

The khutbah begins and I shake off the stares and try to focus on what the khateeb is saying despite the clinking of the beans. Okay, you're supposed to not do ANYTHING during the khutbah, not even reply to a persons salaams or hush them if they're making noise!

Well, the khutbah ends and salah is about to begin. One of the sisters asked the 'mourners' to fill in the gaps in one of the front lines and they all refused saying that they were too sad to make salah. WHAT?! So an elder sister goes up to them and asks, "So ALLof you can't pray..?"

One of them answers for the group and says, "No we can, but we are just too sad, too sad. We will watch."

"Your sadness is no excuse not to pray. The best thing you can do at this time is ask Allah to give them ease and not to forget yourself, not to forget your prayers." She received blank stares and the Imam said, ALLAHU AKBAR.


I wonder when this odd cylce of bean counting, grave worshipping, and masjid gossiping will end! It seems like an ongoing cycle that's being passed along to the next generation. It's very sad, I wish people would look more into their practices and be open to constructive criticism. Sometimes no matter how nice you try to be or how much you try and word something the right way, people still take it as something negative or flip it into something bad. Through criticism we will better ourselves, this is one the major ways we can do so. Even the most feared and 'fierce' of men, Umar ibn Khattab (RA) was corrected by a woman! Come on, the shaytaan would run in the opposite direction when this man came walking, subhanAllah! So who are we? Are we really tough? Are we really big shots where we have to be looking down on others and their suggestions rather than being the true bigger person and accepting our flaws? *sigh I await this time, and until then, I'll continue to make du'a for it inshaAllah