Gaza Needs Your Voice

December 30, 2008 § 29 Comments

[I told myself I would keep political/religious issues out of this blog – but I couldn’t help myself.]

And Israel strikes again. But, what can we expect? The Jews have a history of indiscriminate killing. As we saw the massacre in Beit Hannoun, this time, its Gaza. Again. They put up another blockade, literally choking the life out of Gaza as people died out of deprivation of basic necessities. And now its bombing, randomly, all over Gaza. 300 dead and the death toll is rising.

This is sickening. Innil lilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioun. Ever human with a concious should protest this. Muslims because these are our Brothers’ and Sisters’ and secondly, Palestine is the holy land and Non-Muslims because of the absolute inhumane acts conducted here. We should help them with not only by protesting, by by actually doing something. Sending goods and money to charitable organizations operating there is one step. And we should help them with our wealth and our strength – not only them, but all those suffering around the World.

The Prophet SAWS said that the Muslim Ummah is like one body, when one feels pain or suffers, the whole body feels it too.

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Incidents & Niqaab

December 27, 2008 § 27 Comments

I’ve had a fun past two days. Tomorrow is the first of Muharram – the beginning of the Islamic New Year and a holiday – so I had an extended weekend.

Yesterday, I had an interesting incident. I’d gone out with a friend for coffee/dinner to this place where we usually don’t really go. The reason is because its normally frequented by Non-Muslims  [And Partying drunk Muslims] and alcohol is served openly so you don’t actually see a lot of Hijabis or ‘practicing’ Muslims around. But its  just a bunch of restaurants put together with a place outside and its set up as a village, so it makes a nice place to sit and relax.

We went there yesterday because we wanted to enjoy the weather and it was close by. Considering it was Christmas I already knew what would be happening but we thought we’d give it a try. It was a nice experience, the atmoshphere and the ambience was simply fab. I love Winters.

Our waiter was Filipino. [They usually are]. I’ve come to the conclusion that Filipinos are the most curious when it comes to some things such as religion. So he came to us, after having seated us and this is how our conversation went.

”So, can I ask you a question Madame?’

‘Yes, go ahead’ I said.

‘I hope you won’t be offended’

To which I said, ‘No, no – we wont’

‘Is it true that all the Women who cover their faces like you do are married?’

At which my friend and I started laughing. I was last thing to being married. I explained to him why Women covered their faces with Niqab, the reasons behind it and how it was an Islamic issue. But I’m glad he asked us, it was a great oppurtunity for dawah.

I had a feeling he was fascinated by us – because later on he I saw him standing up a bit further away whilst we were eating and staring at our table constantly. It made eating difficult.

Anyway this brings me to the issue of Niqaab. I call myself a part-time Niqaabi. And I’ve been one for quite a while – a year maybe. But lately I’ve been feeling guilty about it, I feel as if I should made a firm decision and be steadfast on it. I wear the Niqab here everywhere. But I’m not strict about it – in the sense that I don’t cover my face in front of my brother in law or my male cousins/relatives. I tried, but it’s hard, however – I wear it out wherever I go.

I thought I’d be able to do in Pakistan too when I visited. I had the intention to. But sadly, I didn’t have the strength to do it, too many issues – or maybe I gave up too easily? Karachi is bad for me like that, it weakens my Imaan. But it’s so hard there, I have about 50 or more male cousins who like to swarm my grandmothers house when we visit – not to mention the Aunties and all the events. So I gave up on it – even wearing it to the marketplaces. [I’d thought if I don’t wear it at home, I’d do it outside at least].

Did I feel guilty? Yes – to an extent. I remember I was discussing the Niqaab issue with Falsa when I was in Karachi and we came up with [Or rather I] came up with the [lame] excuse that Men in Pakistan don’t exactly check out Hijabi Women in the first place so the Hijab does actually serve its purpose. And honestly speaking to an extent this is actually true – alhamdulilah.

Wear an Abaya and Hijab in Pakiland and [most] people assume you’re illiterate, backward and extemist. 😉 Not that I have issues with it if its acting as a repellant.

It was a lame excuse though, because in the end, it’s not all about Men. It’s to do with my soul, my Imaan and what I feel is best for me and brings me closer to God spiritually.

I know what a lot of people must be thinking – in fact, I’ve heard it quite a few times. ‘Oh, you’re doing the Abaya and Hijab already, it’s enough – Niqab is not even fardh’ – What people don’t understand is that there is never an ‘enough’ in Islam when it comes to doing good deeds and earning reward. There is always the next level – the next step to becoming a better person.

Secondly, this is something I feel strongly about religiously. Even over here, sometimes I get asked why I cover my face – I’m not married and young [Usually the old, married with Kids Auntyish Women wear it] – and sometimes I ask myself that too. Women love looking beautiful, even in Hijab, we still have that nagging though at the back of our head to ‘look good’. But I guess it’s not a ‘Woman’ thing – Men do it too, it’s more of a Human thing. [I’m not saying there is anything wrong with looking presentable though.] Wearing Niqaab is going against the ego, the nafs. But its spiritually pleasing and so satisfying to the soul.

Sometimes, I know, so many things would be easier if I just gave up on Niqaab completely – but would my heart and soul and my spiritual self be satisfied? No. In some things, I’ve come to rely on that feeling in my heart, we can never please people enough, but we can please Allah.

Sigh. Lifes a struggle.

So for now, I’m still a ‘Part-Time Niqaabi’ – I hope Allah [SWT] give me strength to wear it everywhere, regardless of Country or people and makes me stronger in it.

Reciting Surat Kahf on Friday

December 25, 2008 § 13 Comments

Seeing as Friday is here, I’d like to give you all a little reminder to read Surat Al-Kahf. This is an established Sunnah of the Prophet Sallalahualayhiwasallam and has many rewards.

“Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, will have a light that will shine from him from one Friday to the next.”

(Narrated by al-Haakim, 2/399; al-Bayhaqi, 3/249.]

The Scholars say this light is the light of guidance – Allah knows best.

And memorising the first ten verses of Surat Al-Kahf saves a person from the trial of Dajjal.

Abu Darda radi allahu anha reported that the Prophet Sallalahu alayhi wasallam said, ‘Whoever memorises the first ten verses of Surat Al-Kahf will be protected from the trial of Dajjal’

(Muslim)

PS – Make dua for me – I have a horrible toothache and I just had my second extra Panadol. Sigh. I need to get two of my teeth extracted.

;@

December 23, 2008 § 16 Comments

I’m feeling destructive. Volatile. Crazy.

I feel like jumping off a cliff – no I’m not being suicidal.

I keep telling myself to have patience, patience… patience. Sigh.

I don’t know why I’m feeling so dissatisfied with everything right now. Okay – maybe some things which aren’t exactly working out according to plan. But life isn’t supposed to be easy right?

I’m so freaking indecisive.

I amaze myself sometimes.

Oh and, I find it absolutely pathethic, when old, bearded, pot-bellied MARRIED men, with Kids and Wives right there, check out out other Women. It’s disgusting and makes me just want to smack them.

And secondly, I really dislike it when people don’t practice what they preach. Ugh.

I’m disappointed in myself. I was supposed to be on my one month ‘eat-healthy’ diet from today and everything was going as planned until dinner. When we went out to the mall to London Fish and Chips…

This so isn’t me… but it’s me at the same time. Sigh.

I should password protect this post. It’s embarrassing. :O But whatever… this is my blog, and I feel like venting right now.

This reminds me  of the reason why I should’ve stayed anonymous for this blog. But what did I do? Go and meet other bloggers! Oh well.

Follow Your Heart

December 22, 2008 § 7 Comments

A content heart is hard to come by. We, the human species are extremely ungrateful and almost never satisfied. But sometimes, one will feel this satisfaction of the heart with Imaan. And it is profoundly beautiful. So beautiful, that the reality could be the worst possible scenario, but your imaan filled content heart will make it seem easy.

I’ve felt this sweetness of Imaan in my heart. And once an individual feels it, they fall in love with it. What made the companions of the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam so strong and steadfast one might wonder? What made them sacrifice so much for the sake of Allah? It is this same imaan.

The Scholars of Islam say Imaan fluctuates. And this is the truth, you’ll notice, your Imaan will never stay the same. It will either go up or down or only stay the same for short periods of time. This is the will of Allah. A person must stay in a constant struggle to keep their Imaan tank full.

There are various things that make ones Imaan fall. Sins, actions which go against the shariah, your environment, circumstances, it could be anything. With me, the minute my imaan is on a low-down I can feel it and sometimes, I know the reasons behind it.

I’ve been so stressed for the past month or so and my Imaan wasn’t exactly anywhere where I’d once had it. I’d mentioned previously on my blog that I had a very good Job offer from somewhere and I was considering it. This consideration literally made me go crazy. The reason was because, at the beginning of the year, I’d made the intention of dedicating this year to doing nothing but study the deen – to gain knowledge and to study, learn and implement the Qurán. I’d signed up for a one and a half year Quran course and I was in my second month of it when I got this Job offer.

And I considered it. Maybe it was a test from Allah, but it was amazing how this particular job was exactly tailored around my needs and wants. It was my perfect place to work. A nice environment, a field which I’m involved in, a position in the government, and they were absolutely okay about any sort of strict shariah pardah – it was amazing. But the only thing was, it was clashing badly with my Qurán classes. The timings were nearly the same.

I felt a mountain load on my chest for the past month or so not knowing what decision I should make. I made myself believe I could do both, Qurán and work. I would do the Qurán as correspondence, there was an option about that and I could work at the same time.

But I’d been doing isitkhaarah, and even later on, I just felt so stressed about the whole issue, I didn’t know why but my heart was not content. It kept on telling me something was wrong. I guess I knew I couldn’t handle it, that this was the wrong thing for me to do.

And so… after agonising over it for nearly a month and loosing sleep over what to do, I finally made the decision today. I wasn’t going to take up this job offer. It felt so good, subhanAllah. My heart felt so light after I thought it through. I felt such immense peace and a feeling of being content.

I called up my Mom and Sister [Who are still in Pakistan] today and I spoke to them again for a second opinion. And alhamdulilah, they were supportive of the decision I wanted to make. I opted out. I felt so good. As if a huge burden was lifted of my chest, I wanted to cry with happiness after I made the decision.

Falsa e-mailed me this hadith sometime back, and I remembered it again when going through this time of ‘thinking over’.

Wabisah bin Ma`bad (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I went to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and he asked me, “Have you come to inquire about piety?” I replied in the affirmative. Then he said, “Ask your heart regarding it. Piety is that which contents the soul and comforts the heart, and sin is that which causes doubts and perturbs the heart, even if people pronounce it lawful and give you verdicts on such matters again and
again.”
[Ahmad and Ad-Darmi].

Sometimes, at the back of our heads, in our hearts, we know what is right. Our heart is there to guide us, to tell us what is wrong and right. Especially when it comes to matters of religion, but we’re stubborn. We think we know whats right. And Shaytan is always there to increase that stubbornness.

Alhamdulilah, I’m so happy now. 🙂

Home Sweet Home

December 21, 2008 § 8 Comments

And I’m back home. Had a 12 pm flight today from Karachi. I got a seat next to an Aunty, which I was actually grateful for. Getting seats next to someone weird is a horrific experience, and although I’ve never experienced it alhamdulilah, my Sister has.

I’ve been doing nothing but laze around the house. I feel so indolent. I slept for a couple of hours, ate, checked the internet, called up friends and read a book. It feels good to be back. Feels good to walk around the house without Hijab, not worried that someone might ‘see’ you – or have wet hair throughout the day. I missed my little ball of fluff too, missed cuddling him. I was actually looking forward to the fast internet connection here [And stable – no electricity shortage!] but apparently something is wrong with the lines. They’ve been damaged, or so it was on the news. Khair, it’s working fine now, but in the afternoon it pretty much sucked.

Sometimes I just want life to be like this, lazy, easy. But I know that’s not beneficial in any way and Allah did not make life to be easy for us as Muslims. I have so many things to sort out, make decisions and work around things. I’m so not looking forward to any of that. I hate making decisions. When life become hectic, I just want to run away from it and not deal with anything.

I’m in a frame of mind to do nothing. Sigh.

I wish I was more efficient.


Khao, Beta, Khao!

December 18, 2008 § 16 Comments

So I went to my fourth dawat yesterday. I know I should be happy, dawaats are supposed to be fun right? But they aren’t. Especially when they happen one after the other and all of them have the same old procedure. And especially when they happen 5-6 times, consecutively.

So the one I went to yesterday contained a particular Uncle who insisted I eat. And no, not just once. He did it about 10-15 times. To the point where I was thinking I’m going to have a nightmare which would include, ‘Khao, beta, khao!’.

I love food, and I love the process of making it and eating it. However, this time, I was actually tired of chewing the naan and the Kebab the Uncle kept on putting on my plate. As it is, it’s not like I need anymore extra flab on me.

It ended with him pushing a bowl of kulfi infront of me, of which I just had a few bites to please him. And all the while I was eating, I kept on thinking that either I was going to throw up tonight or have an awful stomach-ache.

Khair, I have a wedding to go to tomorrow and another dawat, which I’m going to wriggle out of. There is no way I’m going through another one to suffer.

The food is good, it’s just that my stomach is a stomach and not a house.

Anyway, I finally met up with ON/Falsa – another EX-blogger [Who I’m trying to get blogging again].  Who blogs at:- http://www.falsaqueen.com

I went to her place and we had a lot of fun, alhamdulilah.  Staying true to my blog, I wore purple! [Okay – that happened without thinking. I should’ve worn Purple to the blogger meet. ]  We had chai sitting on the swing in her verandah overlooking the garden being drenched with rain where we talked non-stop. It was very comforting, if not peaceful. I’ve talked so much that my throat is now hoarse from talking.

We went through the usual girl talk, discussing ‘issues’. Apparently, we’re very similar. We both love travelling, food and we came to the conclusion that we’re a weird mixture of religious and crazy. 😛 I gave in to temptation for a minute and stood in the rain. But that was it. Although I’m going to give in i’m sure again when it rains and for much longer. Cold/Cough be damned!

Her Mom is a sweet-heart 😛 She made sure ON was the proper host and that I had the haleem, Sandwhiches, Samosas, Chai and gajar ka halwa, which were all really good. [And no, this wasn’t like the Uncle story above – lol]. I’m hoping I can meet her again for lunch once before I leave inshaAllah.

PS: I’m loving the rain in Karachi! It was raining really heavily back home and I was regretting not being there  because of the weather, but now I’m happy.

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