I have been packing and finished moving all the stuff over to the new place today. How depressing to have to unpack everything and fix up an apartment, especially with a sick baby and working full time. I'm exhausted!
I lived at the other one for 1.5 years and lived in it all ugly and unfinished for most of that time. I JUST painted and put up decorations in September and loved the colours and the way I set it all up. I really imagined I would stay there until July 2011 for all the work me and my parents put into the place painting and putting up things. I am not ready to paint a whole apartment again, especially 2 months after I finished, and a place that is at least twice as big. I'm also depressed about having to live with roomates for 6 months and sub-letting my old apartment with my brand new fridge and dining table in there. I have to live with a tiny old fridge for 6 months and imagine all the things that could happen to my stuff while I'm not there for 6 months!
I hate moving. I am seriously running out of juice today. Hopefully it all turns out for the best eventually but for 6 months, it will likely not be awesome. The situation improved (see 2 posts ago about finding someone to sub-let, allowing me to cover my costs), but I am finding only the negative lately.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I have been packing and finished moving all the stuff over to the new place today. How depressing to have to unpack everything and fix up an apartment, especially with a sick baby and working full time. I'm exhausted!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Posted by Candice at 8:51 AM
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I have been so very stressed financially lately. My husband is starting up a business project and my income is the only thing supporting us and his project. As well, we signed a new lease to move January 1st without being out of our old apartment lease (meaning we have 2 apartments to pay each month for 6 months). AND our daughter is changing babysitters for one that was going to be 160$ a week instead of the 80$ a week we were paying.
1) Found someone to sub-let our apartment (even though I will pay part of it myself)
2) Her nursery was accredited by the government and will be only 35$ a week!
Posted by Candice at 4:53 PM
Monday, December 21, 2009
I hate it when I am told to watch out what others will think of me. I know what I do and what my intentions are, and I don't care what the person watching me thinks of what I do. I will be respectful of others as much as I can, but it's not the ruling part of my life, nor should it be.
An example of me taking others into consideration: I have my septum pierced and I tuck it in when I go to mosque. I don't want to create controversy or to offend anyone (nor do I want to deal with comments) even though I think it's fine that I have it and that it's none of their business what they think. This is me respecting them and not attracting attention where I don't need it.
I was going out with a friend the other day that my husband doesn't "approve" of because of the things she does (sex, partying, the way she dresses). I went shopping with her and before I left, he was trying to prevent me from going with the excuse, "What will people at the mall think of you when they see you with her? They'll think you're the same!"
AS THOUGH I CARE! I know what I am. These people have no right to judge me; NO ONE knows the true me except Allah. And I will not live my life worried about the judgement of others.
It's like people who tell others they pray 5x a day but don't (they are steps beyond in how wrong they are because of their flat-out lies) . Or people who will always pray when someone is with them but never when alone. They are just concerned about the opinion of the other but not concerned about the truth of what they do. They put the opinions of others above Allah.
They should ask themselves the question: WHO WILL JUDGE ME?
Posted by Candice at 11:32 AM
Friday, December 18, 2009
Posted by Candice at 10:09 PM
8 Things I'm looking forward to:
- finishing work
- having a successfully potty-trained toddler
- going back to university (not for anytime soon)
- for winter to be over
- New Years Eve to see a whole bunch of family
- July 1st to be rid of my old apartment and the financial stress related to it
- becoming a foster parent
- to go shopping this weekend
8 Things I wish I could do:
- be fluent in Arabic
- be a more practicing Muslim
- have enough courage and faith to announce that I'm Muslim
- be organized!
- have more time to myself
- be stress-free
8 Things I love:
- My whole family
8 Things I did yesterday:
- got a new coat
- played with my daughter
- made supper
- gave my daughter a bath
- did dishes
- watched The Big Bang Theory
- watched Two and a Half Men
8 Shows I watch (or watched):
- The Big Bang Theory
- Little Mosque on the Prairie
- How I Met Your Mother
- So You Think You Can Dance
- La Petite Vie (Quebecker)
Note: Yes, I love sitcoms!
And I tag everyone who likes to do these things :P
Posted by Candice at 2:14 PM
Monday, December 14, 2009
I had my Christmas party with work on Friday and during supper, the subject of learning languages came up between me, a co-worker (also my very good friend) and another co-worker's boyfriend and I mentionned wanting to learn Arabic and how hard it was to start because of how different it is from French and English (compared to learning German or Spanish for someone like me).
So anyway, the boyfriend turns to me and says something along the lines of, "As a Muslim, is it obligatory for you to learn Arabic for the religion?". Now, you might know that I am not "out" as a Muslim yet so no one should know this information. I speak more freely and "as a Muslim" now, but I never actually say that I am. And I don't talk *that* much with this person's girlfriend (who is my co-worker). Did he just assume I was Muslim because he knows I am married to a Muslim? Or did the co-worker get Muslim vibes from me and talk to him about it? I really don't know...
The reason I am ashamed... I answered that I am "not really Muslim". He didn't seem to believe me and asked, "Didn't you convert?". I answered no. I went on to answer his question anyway by saying that Muslims should be concerned with learning Arabic because of the Holy text (Qur'an) and the use of Arabic in the prayers, but that it was to be taken at their own pace...
I am so close to just writing a message to my co-worker to explain what happened and relay the message to her boyfriend that I am Muslim but not "out" yet. And that I feel bad about lying but I am not ready for people to know. But then she would know. I don't think she's the type to go and talk about it, but still...
I feel bad about it. I don't want to lie, especially not about this. It's true that I am not ready for people to know, but I wouldn't care if this person knew. I was more concerned about my good friend (participating in the conversation) not finding out just right now.
Posted by Candice at 3:35 PM
Saturday, December 12, 2009
In Islam, it's important to avoid temptation... Muslims are not supposed to be alone with a non-maharam for this reason, and they are not supposed to drink alcohol for this reason. It's a good way. I know of people who don't believe in sex before marriage but didn't mind what happens before that. So they ended up having sex before marriage. If you find it OK to be alone with your boyfriend and to make out with him on his couch every night, isn't it likely that one night you'll actually go one step beyond and actually do the thing you were not supposed to do? And with alcohol, if you find it OK to drink until just before the point of intoxication, is it not likely that at least one of the times you consume alcohol, you will become intoxicated?
That's why I have accepted that it's not OK to be alone with non-maharams, even if you don't feel you will go beyond "the limit". And I have accepted that it is not OK to consume alcohol even if you are sure you will not intoxicate yourself. It's because of the temptation.
If I go just a bit further though about alcohol, I believe it's not OK to become intoxicated. And it is not OK to approach intoxication. BUT, I don't agree that the degree of alcohol consumed is irrelevant because I think the line between not intoxicated and intoxicated makes a huge difference in how wrong the person was. If a person became intoxicated, they did exactly what is wrong. If they drank a glass of wine, they were not intoxicated, but they did not avoid temptation and not avoiding temptation becomes the sin. Not the alcohol itself.
Definitley, being alone with a man and talking is not the same sin as fornication. And this is how I see the alcohol thing too.
Posted by Candice at 5:53 PM
I was thinking... Muslims aren't really supposed to celebrate Christmas since it's not a Muslim holiday. I understand that. But of course we know that there are Muslims who have Christian families that celebrate Christmas and it is hard to wipe that part of your life out.
I feel that it's OK for a person to celebrate Christmas if it means nothing unislamic to them (and if they don't do anything unislamic during the celebration too, of course)... But a Muslim going to a Christmas party does need to be careful that they know exactly what they are doing and why. And they should have a good reason to do it because I feel that if there are negative consequences from that celebration (like the person's children growing up confused and feeling far from Islam or influencing an uncertain Muslim to celebrate it in a confused unislamic way), the person will be held responsable for the damages caused.
The Muslim in this position needs to be careful about the celebration. A new convert to Islam might feel the need to go spend Christmas with the family because it is a tradition for them to eat together and exchange gifts and it might be worth going to because of how important family is and not wanting to break those important ties. I think the good outweighs the bad in such a situation.
A convert to Islam who simply loves Christmas might want to go all out with a Christmas tree in their home, the decorations, the music they listened to when they were young, the party, etc. As much as I understand how hard it is to give up these things, I don't think anyone could argue that it is not the best decision. So I definitely understand wanting to celebrate like they used to, and I wouldn't have any passionate feelings against them doing it to be honest (because of how much I understand, I guess), but we have to admit that it is not the right way to bring a Christian tradition into a Muslim household.
Posted by Candice at 4:48 PM
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
There was a recent post on Tuttie's blog 'Taking Over the World' on the topic of Muslim girls not being taught what they need to know about sex and reproduction and all these things. Girls not knowing what menstruation is until they get it or not knowing how a wedding night is supposed to go until they're doing the act with their new husbands (talk about traumatizing!!).
I feel that sex-ed is necessary... I wish it wasn't necessary to have it in schools, but it just is because not all parents inform their kids about these things. So I support sex-ed. My child is much better off with the sex-ed classes they give here than nothing at all. OF COURSE the best is to learn everything from their (Muslim) parents but as explained, that just doesn't always happen.
I have a 2 and a half year old daughter and I plan on teaching her little by little the way things work in life. I don't want her to think a woman gets pregnant from kissing and I don't want her to think a woman gives birth from her bellybutton. I want her to know about menstruation and why women have it. I want her to feel proud of becoming a woman, and being a woman. As Muslims, it's especially important because of all the responsabilities that come with being a woman. I talked to my husband and we agreed that when she becomes a woman, we will celebrate it (a dinner out, a gift) and that she will get an extra privilege to mark this new stage in her life.
I also want her to know about sex. This is the part that I would rather she not learn about in school, just because of the general way it's taught. It's right for them to teach it the way they do because of how the majority of students are raised and the society we're in. I mean, it's necessary for them to learn about sexually transmitted diseases and contraception and all that in a lot of detail and to enforce condoms because of the fact that they have sex young and with many partners. I want my daughter to know these things, but I don't want her to think it's OK to have sex with everyone and at any age, which is almost implied in these courses. At least here in Quebec, there is no emphasis on abstinence in public school. So sex-ed in school is definitely not the whole picture, but it can help a lot of parents with getting the children the basics, and they can fill in the blanks (relating sex with marriage, all that stuff) if they are the uncomfortable type.
So please, parents, if you are not comfortable talking about sex, let your kids take sex-ed!!!
Posted by Candice at 3:08 PM
Monday, December 7, 2009
I imagine I'm not the only one with this problem... I learned about Islam mostly from the internet. In the things I read, the Islamic words are written out in "English" (a transliteration) and normally not re-written in Arabic beside it. So I learned about all sorts of terms this way; by seeing it written in a bad transliteration and never hearing the word. So when I try to talk to my husband about things, I pronounce them how I see the words written out online.
AND HE CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND! I tell him to use his imagination to imagine how it might be pronounced in Arabic because of course I cannot know just by seeing the word the way I see it. And there are some letters I simply can't pronounce well at all even if I knew it!
So for example, ربا becomes riba, نكاح becomes nikah, وليمة becomes walima, and all that stuff. So nikah, that I just pronounce like nicka after seeing it, really has a HAH at the end! I tried to have a conversation with my husband about the nikah, he had no idea what I was talking about. I said it was something like the marriage contract -- HE WAS STILL CLUELESS! Then I asked about the walima, which I pronounced wall-imma. He had no clue. Then I saw online that it was spelled with a YEH. So it's actually more like wa-leem-ah...
How frustrating is it that I can't seem to ever pronouce something right?!
Posted by Candice at 1:27 PM
Saturday, December 5, 2009
As Muslims, we should obey the laws of where we live, even if it's not a Muslim country.
Posted by Candice at 11:48 AM
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Posted by Candice at 1:30 PM
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I visit free-minds.org every once in a while. They are a group that believes that the Qur'an alone should guide our lives with no other sources. In a way, I agree with this, but I definitely disagree with their approach overall. They read the Qur'an pretending hadiths don't exist, so their interpretation can be VERY different than what other Muslims believe about what the Qur'an says. For example, some of them don't believe that salat is a ritual prayer! It's true that by reading the Qur'an, salat is mentionned a whole lot and it doesn't directly say that it's a ritual prayer - you get that information from hadiths. And I don't trust hadiths 100% for sure and I refuse to take as God's law something that comes from hadiths only and not Qur'an but, seriously!! Could ALL the hadiths have made this error in reporting salat as a ritual prayer??! I seriously think NOT!
For me, hadiths are history... The Sahih and Bukhari hadith collections are not divinely preserved by God, so like any history book, there are flaws and it can be a biased point of view. There was a lot of effort made to keep every word of the prophet in memory and eventually recorded, but it is not perfectly preserved for sure, and as well, I'm sure it's biased (in the direction of the male elite, for example).
I just wanted to write this out to say how ridiculous I feel it is to totally disregard hadiths! I think they are made to be used to explain the Qur'an better... I don't agree with the idea that any hadith that doesn't contradict the Qur'an is authentic, but I think that anything that doesn't contradict the Qur'an is halal. Meaning, if someone attributes a hadith to the prophet that says that it is obligatory for a Muslim to twirl three times and clap three times before going to sleep, it surely doesn't go against the Qur'an to do that, but it doesn't make it authentic either; it doesn't make it something that is OBLIGATORY. This is what I don't like about hadiths. So many rules are made from it alone and accepted because they don't contradict the Qur'an.
So this is my position on the hadiths... A "middle position" since do not want to disregard them, but I also don't want to use them as law.
Posted by Candice at 9:56 AM
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I want to get closer to Allah and be a better Muslim. I really do! I have some things I need to work out to have stronger faith and it's not happening very easily for me. A former atheist, I now have belief in God at least (alhamdulilah), but it's a way of seeing things that just evolves and doesn't change like lights operated by a light switch. It's more of a dimmer situation (except that hopefully the light is getting brighter in my situation)!
I enjoy praying salat. It's such a great ritual that really makes me feel more connected to Allah, and that only enriches my life; I know it. But I am not very good at keeping it... I guess it has a lot to do with laziness, which I need to get rid of really badly. But anyway, I have ups where I pray better and downs where I don't pray at all, and I'm finding it frustrating to always start having ups right before I get my menses, which of course makes me have to stop. And it's hard to start up again.
Women, do you have this experience too?
I guess making a habit of dua during this "period" (lol) would be a good idea to keep spirituality up. And reading Qur'an... I think I need a more structured and strict plan. Any ideas? What do you do?
Posted by Candice at 1:01 PM
OK, so it seems we signed for the new apartment. And we still have responsability for the old apartment for 6 months. I can't pay for 2 rents for sure, but so far I worked out a roommate situation (in the new apartment) that pays for half of my old rent. And now I'm trying to rent the old one for part of the price to at least cover the costs of that place. I'm lucky that for those 6 months, I will have fridge, stove, washer and dryer at the new place that are the roommates, so that I can leave mine and make this 6 month arrangement more interesting for someone looking for a place to live temporarily. I have one person interested already. A student starting a semester in the area.
I am so stressed though, I have not slept well in 3 days thinking of this situation. And thinking of all the work I put into this current apartment to make it look decent just a couple months ago. I've been there for a year and a half and it just started to look nice a couple months ago!
Oh well! The idea of having the new apartment as mine is really exciting :)
Posted by Candice at 8:31 AM
Friday, November 27, 2009
I have an apartment I don't really like. It has stuff that needs to be fixed and just hasn't been since I moved in in July 2008. I haven't made a formal complaint or sent a letter about it, but it has been months since I asked to have a certain important problem fixed (my bath faucet leaks cold water since June) and I've asked a few times since to have it done. It was a mess when I moved in and we managed to fix stuff ourselves that they were supposed to fix, but others, the less important once, we haven't... They have been pretty crummy owners, but I do have a contract signed to live there until July 1st...
I have an opportunity to get a really nice apartment. It's a bit more expensive, but it also has an extra bedroom, bigger rooms, a separate laundry room, a gorgeous bathroom, a balcony and a backyard! This would be starting in January or maybe February... I don't think anyone will want my apartment. In fact, I am sure that they wouldn't find someone even for moving day July 1st. It needs too much work. I'm sure after I leave they will fix it all up - out of necessity.
Anyway... I need to get rid of my current apartment... I don't think the owners will allow me to at all... Options become:
1) have both, which I can't afford
2) rent my current one cheaper so someone will have it and pay the difference
3) stop paying my current one and risk getting a complain at the Régie (most owners of decent apartments will look into your file to see if you have a complaint) as well as having my credit affected
4) lie my butt off saying I am in difficulty and to give me this chance since I have always been fully on time with my rent and she gets no annoyances from me.
5) be dishonest and get her to rent it to our friend who is being expelled from the country (the person whose apartment we want...).
Or the final option is to nevermind this apartment and stay in our's until July 1st. And hope to rent something awesome on July 1st.
I seriously fell in love with this apartment so I wish to find a way to have it... Any other ideas or comments?
Posted by Candice at 2:27 PM
The Islamic calendar, working with 12 lunar months in a year, makes the months vary with the seasons since a solar year is 365.25 days and 12 lunar months is 354 or 355 days. So the days of the lunar year fall 11 or so days earlier every solar year (like the 1st of Ramadan falling 11 days earlier each year of our gregorian calendar). Muslims often make this a positive thing, since over a period of just over 30 years, Ramadan will have fallen at all times of the year (all the seasons, the longer fasting times, the shorter fasting times)...
But shouldn't a calendar be more useful than simply using it for knowing when to fast (and for eids)? This Islamic calendar is useless when it comes to the seasons because of the variation. Every month changes seasons, so the winter can fall in Ramadan one year but will fall in summer too some years later. You cannot rely on the months.
I see Islam as being perfect because surely God's system is perfect. But I don't think the current Islamic calendar is perfect. I think it's no wonder no Islamic country even uses this calendar exclusively. Seasons are an important part of life... We live our lives in this cycle with the seasons (the solar year cycle). This is the natural way we live! This is the way it was meant to be! I cannot imagine that God wants us to ignore the seasons he created for us.
I know the Qur'an only people overall believe in a luni-solar calendar. It is clear that the Qur'an speaks of lunar months. I know of something in the Qur'an though that has been seen as meaning that we cannot use intercalated months, which is why Muslims don't use this luni-solar system, but the Qur'an only people have managed to find a way to make it mean something else. I don't know exactly what the argument is so I need to continue learning. Even within the Qur'an only people, there are different opinions about the calendar. I don't believe hadiths are to be totally disregarded in Islam, so I don't have the same views as they do, overall, but as I have been saying, I also don't think the lunar Islamic calendary is right. I haven't figured out what the way God means for us is, but I do think it lies in a luni-solar calendar.
It gets pretty confusing though because I have no idea where Ramadan would lie in this calendar...
I feel OK with using the gregorian calendar in my daily life. And I feel OK following Muslims in fasting and religious holidays for now based on the lunar Islamic calendar. But I think the real system would be useful in my religious AND real daily life, so I don't think either are right... A mix of both like this makes a decent average. But what is the truth?
I have no idea!!
Posted by Candice at 11:19 AM
I'm sad, I can't go to prayer this morning. It's at 8:30am and I start work at that time... Which is now... OK, I need to start working :p
Blessed eid to everyone! :)
Posted by Candice at 8:31 AM
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
What do I really believe?
I consider myself Muslim as you might know. But I struggle in finding what I really believe. I don't think everyone who doesn't consider themself Muslim is going to hell because I think that a bunch of people, even if they don't use that label on themselves, are still Muslim in the real sense of the word. My definition of a Muslim is one who submits to God. The person believes in one God with no partners, as well as the judgement day, and does good works.
It makes me wonder about the Qur'an. Of course, the reason I even consider myself Muslim is because of the Qur'an! So there must be something that makes a Muslim who follows the Qur'an better than a "Muslim" (not considering himself Muslim, but who still submits)... If not, then the Qur'an would've been brought to us for nothing! I think that everything in the Qur'an is in all of us already, but that it can be easily lost under other influence. So I see the Qur'an as a reminder of sorts from God. And so it should remain a very important book in our lives so that we don't forget what our real purpose is.
I had more to say when I started writing this but I'm at work and since I've been writing on and off (mostly off) for like 2 hours, I forgot... Will continue later. :)
Posted by Candice at 1:31 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009
I have slowly been dressing more and more modestly. Here is the evolution of the way I dress.
Posted by Candice at 2:06 PM
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I didn't understand the concept for a while. English is not my first spoken language (it IS my first language in the written world though) and so I hadn't really heard of the word before Islam! I could imagine what it meant... Talking behind someone's back (in a way that would not please them - like getting bitten). But I had a difficult time knowing what to consider backbiting and what to consider just talking about someone... I guess the main thing is to think about if the person would want you to be saying that about them. If the answer is no, then it's backbiting. Backbiting is saying something that is true about someone that they wouldn't want you to be saying. If you are lying about someone and saying something they wouldn't want you to be saying, then it's slandering.
Posted by Candice at 11:35 PM
I ordered some books on amazon.ca a couple weeks ago, which included Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I got the boxset, which is both books: The Story of a Childhood and The Story of Return. I so totally loved them!!
Posted by Candice at 4:16 PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I just learned that the place I went to for halal meat was not halal afterall! They lied! The advertized halal and lied to our faces when we asked in person! Feels like we can never be sure... I'll have to look for a place owned by Muslims. This place was owned by Christians and we knew it, but I figured they were doing halal for good business (which it was) and had no reason to cheat us.
So in the end, they did want to just cheat us, it seems... I think it would be safer to go with Muslims, since they probably actually care about halal... I will need to look for another place!
I am DISAPPOINTED!
Posted by Candice at 9:40 AM
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I can't give any real critique on this documentary because I haven't seen it, but I still have to mention what I know about it... It's a bit weird!
I was talking about Eid yesterday and my co-worker was saying that I shouldn't try to understand everything, I never will with "this religion". Kind of an insult, she obviously has no positive feelings towards Islam.
She tells me she saw a show where a woman who put out a documentary was being interviewed about it. She converted to Islam after marrying an Algerian Muslim man and began wearing the veil when her now 13-year old daughter was born. She started making the documentary as a way to show her daughter the beauty of the veil and the reasons why to wear it. At this point, I was like... Aw, that's nice. (Why is this co-worker using this as an example to show that Islam is hard to understand?)
That's when she says that she actually was not wearing the veil in the interview. And that through making the documentary, she started wondering herself why she wears the veil and ends up taking it off... So in the end, she gives the impression that even a Muslim who wears it out of free choice (like she did) is really doing it for her husband or for following the norm of what a Muslim woman wears (which is pretty much what she discovered). From what my co-worker said about the interview, she made herself seem so confused about whether hijab was part of Islam or just culture, all while trying to explain that it was religious...
Great... more reasons for non-Muslims to think they have the right to ask a woman to remove her hijab.
Posted by Candice at 2:31 PM
Saturday, November 14, 2009
My husband knows I will be mentioning him in this post :p
Posted by Candice at 10:10 PM
Posted by Candice at 4:16 PM
Thursday, November 12, 2009
When I announced I was converting, a very sweet sister sent me a book. It was a dua book I love to look at. So many beautiful words and ways to remember Allah. I need to work so much on encorporating it into my daily life so this book was perfect for me.
I am trying to pass this on by sending a book to a new convert I know. He is a gaming buddy of my husband's who lives in Sweden and he pronounced his shahada just recently. :D I am trying to think of what book I should send him. What kind of book would you send a new convert?
Posted by Candice at 3:30 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I'm still a closet Muslim. Hardly anyone knows except my husband (and that Jehova's Witness man I came across on the street that I wrote about a while back!) but I'm starting to get to the point where I don't want to hide it anymore. I want people to know that I am Muslim. I want to start being able to show, from example, what Islam is, and possibly make a person interested in learning about this religion.
Posted by Candice at 10:08 PM
Do any of you sacrifice an animal for Eid? Do you do anything else (like buy overseas to be donated or anything else)?
I'm wondering what the options are for me here in Canada. I don't have enough money to buy a large animal for sure... Is it better than nothing to sacrifice a couple chickens? I think I could find a place that would allow me to buy and kill them Islamically (and then arrange them for me). But a chicken (or two or three) seems like it might not be worthwhile.
I guess I'm looking for a way to celebrate Eid more than I will celebrate Christmas!
What will you do for Eid?
Posted by Candice at 11:55 AM
Monday, November 9, 2009
(I've been itching to come back and write, but I felt I didn't have enough to say, and I remained kind of upset about what happened with my husband.
We ended up talking after a long time, and I also got back into reading about Islam, something I'd almost completely let go of during this time. I realized I'd done wrong in talking about him in a way I knew he wouldn't approve of, no matter how true it might've been, and how much I might've needed to get out that frustration. What I was doing (speaking about him and saying something he would not want me to say) was backbiting and of course this is not OK. He also apologized for hacking my blog and deleting my posts and admitted he was wrong in that too. Real communication really was what we needed. It took a lot to get there but we did, and I feel comfortable coming back now to blogging.
Posted by Candice at 2:07 PM
I've never been a fan of the lottery. Never really bought any for myself but have received it in a card or something as a small gift a couple times. I really think they are a waste of money and I'd rather have never received it. I see so many people who have their weekly lottery routine. One of this, one of that, with the extra, bla bla bla. I worked at a grocery store for a while when I was 16 or so and would sometimes work at the counter that had the cigarettes and lotteries. The clients were always showing me what was what and where to get it. I seriously had no idea. And I always got them the wrong pack of cigarettes. I understood nothing of what they were saying except the brand name they were looking for. I saw so many people come to get their lottery ticket checked, hoping to have won the jackpot. They rarely did, but they often got a free ticket or a small amount (say 5$ or 10$) and I never saw anyone just take the money. They always bought more tickets with it (seeing it as an investment, I'm sure).
Posted by Candice at 2:05 PM
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I don't think I'll continue blogging for now. I don't know how long, but I don't really feel free to right now, so I will take a break. I don't know what to say, really... But I hope to be able to come back because I've had almost nothing but positive experiences through this blog. I met a bunch of great people, and I got to discover so much about myself by going about it piece by piece and reading others' views too. I'll continue to read and comment on the blogs out there.
Posted by Candice at 8:26 PM
Peace upon you. I am candice's Husband.
Posted by Candice at 5:47 AM
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
It was the most perfect reuion! Can't type much because I'm at work. I might later replace this post by something more detailed but I needed to announce it! I'm so happy! :D
Posted by Candice at 8:48 AM
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I wish you all a Blessed Eid :)
Posted by Candice at 10:29 PM
Saturday, September 19, 2009
My husband didn't like my two previous posts so he deleted them... I feel like my blog is missing something because I really did have something to say when I wrote them.
Posted by Candice at 12:04 PM
Monday, September 14, 2009
I can't wait! Thursday night, my daughter Nora and my husband are coming home from Egypt after 5 full weeks!!!! I can't believe it has been so long. Although I can hardly remember what it feels like to have them here, so in that way, it does feel like it has been forever.
Posted by Candice at 10:31 PM
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Posted by Candice at 9:35 AM
Posted by Candice at 9:28 AM
Posted by Candice at 9:19 AM
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I needed milk so I decided to go out and get it in hijab! It's a short walk. Out of the apartment building by the back, through 2 parking lots (our's and the other building behind us) and across the boulevard! I was only really noticed by one person, the employee there. He definitely recognized me since I go there weekly maybe and seemed to wonder about the hijab since I normally don't wear it. But I have been there in an abaya so he might figure if he's at all the type of person who observes and wonders... He could even start factoring in the fact that my daughter is a bit darker than me and make up all sorts of reasons for me being in hijab. lol
Anyway, not much of an experience but I wanted to share it still! :)
Posted by Candice at 9:27 PM
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I haven't been posting much since Ramadan started... At least not about Ramadan. I'm kind of avoiding the subject but I want to be honest with my readers as well... I won't go into any detail though... There's something about being all alone for Ramadan... I'm not being as strong as I should be during this time and I'm not working on becoming a better Muslim like I thought I would and like I know I should.
I don't feel I should be posting negativity though. To be honest, there was one blog entry I read - I don't know where at all- that was not written with bad intentions, on the contrary, they could have been good, but the post still brought me down a little. I don't want to be the person who brings down anyone with going into detail about my Ramadan.
I will post about it when I feel there is a positive conclusion a person could draw strength from. Until the situation becomes something that could be of benefit to someone, I will not post any details about it. This is what I take from covering your sins in Islam. I don't think it means that you can't talk about a sin you've committed if you're writing about it in a way that inspires others, consoles others, etc., When the benefit is greater than the potential harm, it can be nothing other than OK. It's not only not OK "brag" about a sin you've committed (something that is obviously completely wrong), of coruse, but I also think that to display them when there is no reason, even if you know you have done wrong, and the people you are talking to know you know that, is not OK. There needs to be some (potential) benefit to someone.
Example: Person is talking to another and just says, "I now pray 5x a day. I used to not do the prayers at all except for going to Jumah but I now find it important to pray all of my obligatory salat."
There is nothing too too bad about this statement. Obviously the person knows they were doing wrong. But if that's all they're saying, why say it at all? Is there any benefit to anyone in this simple statement? I don't think there is. They are not stressing how important they find it is and how they regret not doing it (which could encourage the listener to change his or her ways NOW instead of later). They are just telling the person of a previous sin in a way that could seem very innocent, and could even be very innocent, but could also lead a person to sin themselves. If they are struggling with their prayers, they could find the wrong kind of inspiration in a simple statement like this. They could feel that they too, with time, will become the practicing Muslims they want to be, like this person who changed her ways, and might not make the steps to just do it now because it seemed so easy and gradual for this person.
All that to say that I will be more careful about posting things, and that the reason I am not going over my Ramadan experience with you all is that... I want to benefit people if I can... And so I'll try to post, but about things I feel can be of benefit, or at least of no harm.
Posted by Candice at 3:22 PM
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I made a video 2 weeks ago just for fun of me showing my scarves on cam. I was going to post it here but didn't do it. It has been on youtube for those 2 weeks though. I didn't think about it until now when I asked my husband if he saw it. He had lost the link so I searched for my video on youtube and found that it had been added to a playlist. I was like: "Wow, someone actually watched it without me linking to it??! Why would someone do that?". Well, I got my answer: it's a pervert with a fetish for veiled women! ALL his videos are of people covering their face! Most are not Muslimahs but I saw Pixie there (from Ilovehishma) too!
I think he probably watched it and got what he wanted out of it and is done with it. He has over 200 favourites like this... But it's just seriouly ewwy. And I want to remove it now. And I will. It is a useless video and even if he doesn't see *me*, it is me under there. If it was a video with substance I'd probably leave it there (more benefit than harm) but there is nothing to this video. If I post in the future, I will make sure it's not just out of fun and that I actually have something to share.
BTW: I was wearing niqab in the vid!
AND I just realized that I got 350 views in those 2 weeks!!! That is not normal for a boring "showing my scarves" video! My title has nothing to do with niqab, but I just noticed that in my description box, I mention that I don't wear niqab full time, or the hijab. So I must have gotten views from those two popular search terms... It was so not intentional. I didn't use them in my tags for that reason (popular search terms) but I guess it doesn't really matter.
Posted by Candice at 11:41 PM
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
There was a promotion on simplyislam.com that if you linked to them on your blog, you could get 5 free posters. Well, I figured, why not, they seem to have great products even if I haven't gotten anything from there yet. So I put the links in my side bar thing on blogger and ended up posting about the iPalm Qur'an later as well (because I wanted to remove the links on the side and felt it would be unfair to have had them there for just a couple weeks). Anyway, I wanted to update that I got the posters. They were just as described and seriously arrived fast after the links were posted!
And I love them! I'm so glad I chose the ones I chose! I have one with more babyish colours that will go great in Nora's room and 4 in more reddish, orangey beigey colours that will be good with beige walls of the kitchen. I'll put those in a sort of rectangle together.
I'd left them to be pressed down because they were all rolled up like posters are, and so I just decided to give them a look now; I'd kinda forgotten about them on the table there for the past 2 weeks or so. And I read them. And I LOVE the verses that are on them. I just feel good that I will soon have them displayed! My first Islamic art decoration thing!
Here is the link if you want to get your 5 free posters because it's still open.
I got the 3rd, 4th and 5th ones you see on that page as well as the other orangey one below and the last one "Mercy" that will go in my daughter's room.
Posted by Candice at 10:57 PM
Note: My family doesn't know I'm Muslim. They just know my husband is.
It's funny that I commented on Kimdonesia's blog post today about her having someone tell her to read the book "Not Without My Daughter" because I had to add my own similar story. My aunt, this same aunt, is the one who told me to read the book when she found out I was chatting a lot with (and getting serious about) my now-husband. I actually read it and then explained to her how low the risk was of me getting kidnapped if I went to Egypt to meet him (which I was planning on at the time) and how cultural this all was -- not religious. I think she ended up learning something. She was just worried about me and ignorant about Islam. It's out of caring...
I saw her just this evening and it came up that it was the month of Ramadan and she and my dad obviously had very negative feelings about it. My dad made a comment about how Islam doesn't move with the times and my aunt made a comment about how extreme it was to not eat. I felt the need, obviously, to put in my thoughts.
So I started by addressing my dad's comment. I wanted to keep it a light but informative conversation. I didn't want to go into it about "things changing" in religion. That's too much of a big topic. I just casually said there was nothing to change about the tradition of fasting. They weren't going to make it half-days just for fun, they weren't going to decide to eliminate it just for fun. It was part of Islam and would continue to be. There was no "ruler of Islam" that would make the decision that fasting wasn't part of the religion because there was no "ruler of Islam".
My aunt was surprised. She said that yes there was. I said that no, there were just people educated in Islam that people went to for advice, but that it was not one person. The reason it felt like it was one person was because of how much they all agree on what is the truth in Islam. There is so little disagreement on so many things, especially big ones like fasting Ramadan, which is pretty much unanimous, that people who didn't know would think it's only because one person was responsable for the rulings.
I also felt the need to explain Ramadan and what it means to Muslims. I told her how much Muslims love this month. For them, it's like the holidays for us. It's a month where people are just happy and celebrate, where people try to be more giving. It's not a time when they feel they are forced to fast and suffer in hunger and thirst. I explained that first, they do it for God. But that the reason for that is to feel how it is for people who are less fortunate. I went on with a personal story of when I fasted (this was my first day, but I left it general and said I'd fasted one day before) and told her how yes, I was hungry and a bit weaker, but that it helped us be able to control ourselves and our desires. It made us realize how much time we have in a day and how much we can do. And about feeling what the less fortunate feel, it was a small taste of what they might go through, and that it was only after you broke the fast that you could really realize how blessed you are to have a delicious meal ready in front of you to break that fast. I told her that from my personal experience, it really was something worth going through.
I went on with the last big part of Ramadan, which is the renewal of a person's faith. I told her that Ramadan is a time when Muslims try to be better. During the year, they might have gone down, stayed stable in their faith, but that this was a time to do more and "revitalize" your faith. It was a reminder every year to try harder and be better.
She seemed to have accepted my answer and actually think about what I said.
But she told me what bothered her. She felt that Muslims were too forced to do things and that there were too many rules (or something to that effect). She talked about her mom (my grand-mother) who she says was a devout Catholic, but who never pushed her kids into the religion. They got baptized and they went to Church, but once they got older and stopped wanting to go, it was fine. When they got boyfriends or went out, it was fine too. I said it was great she'd given them that freedom, but that if my grand-ma really thought that Catholicism was the truth from God and that it needed to be followed, she would have pushed more for them to do it probably. If she thought for example that they'd get a punishment like Hell for not being good Christians, she'd have made sure they were, from caring about them and wanting the best for them. It might have been more cultural for her, as much as she believed it.
When I was talking, I didn't think about how my grand-mother probably thought they were "safe" since they were baptized and Jesus died for their sins. I just don't know much about this stuff so it didn't really spring to mind.
I hope she's closer to understanding Islam. Just like I saw Catholisicm in the way I saw Islam when I talked to her (forgetting the baptism and dying for sins parts) she sees Islam like Catholicism was for us decades ago in how it rules every aspect of a person's life. But I'm sure it was a step in the right direction in her understanding!
Posted by Candice at 8:10 PM
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I was just looking up some information on hanging out with non-maharams and I found this fatwa from islamqa.com.
It's a male asking what the conditions and limitations are to speaking with a non-maharam woman. The sheikh writing this response starts off by saying that women's voices are not awra in and of themselves, so it is not forbidden to hear them. It can be permissible to talk to them under certain circumstances. And then he starts:
The woman should speak without elongating the words, making her voice soft, or raising her voice.
OK... That's fine and all. Good advice for a woman, but this is a man asking. Later:
What is forbidden is being too soft in speech. It is obligatory for women to speak in an honourable manner, which means, as the mufassireen explained, that they should not make their voices soft when addressing men. In conclusion, what is required of the Muslim woman when she speaks to a non-mahram man is that she should adhere to what is mentioned in this aayah. She should refrain from what is forbidden and should fulfil her duties. She should speak only when necessary, and only about matters that are permissible and honourable, not evil.
Again, OK! But he is not a woman! What should he do or not do?
Between a woman and a non-mahram man there should be no intonation, gestures, chat, joking, flirting or playful talk, so that there will be no room for provocation of desires and doubts.
Good, this works both ways. But wait, next sentence:
Women are not prevented from talking to non-mahram men when it is necessary to do so, such as dealing directly with them when buying things or conducting any other financial transaction, because in such cases it is necessary for both parties to speak.
We're back to women again! The article does continue with one sentence that says that men may greet women, but that it must be free from anything that could provoke desire in their hearts. It ends:
If there is fear of fitnah being provoked by this greeting, then the woman should refrain from either initiating or returning the greeting, because warding off fitnah by neglecting the greeting is warding off mischief, and warding off mischief takes precedence over doing something useful. (See al-Mufassal fi Ahkaam al-Mar’ah by ‘Abd al-Kareem Zaydaan, vol 3/276). And Allaah knows best.
Basically, from the male perspective, what he should have gotten from this that women have a lot of ways in which they can cause haram conversations to happen. It is the women's responsability to keep their voices steady and professional and to only talk when necessary. You can greet women in a situation that might cause fitnah and it will be her duty to not return your greeting.
Posted by Candice at 8:09 PM