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!