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!