Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moving

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.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

One Year of Blogging


So the official anniversary was December 15th, but I flew right past it without thinking that I have been blogging for ONE YEAR! So much has happened. In fact, the major changes in my life were the ones I spoke about on this blog, and I could even go as far as to say that they happened *because* of this blog.


So a big thank you. Please keep following. ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Alhamdulilah!

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.
Good news!

1) Found someone to sub-let our apartment (even though I will pay part of it myself)

and

2) Her nursery was accredited by the government and will be only 35$ a week!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Who will judge me?

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?

Friday, December 18, 2009

I believe

I was thinking about how I would phrase my situation. I am a Muslim. That is the biggest and most important part, but that would give them an impression of me that is not the full reality. If a person looked up Muslim, they wouldn't find a description of me anywhere. Not even if they fell on this blog (even though this blog is the truth of what I believe, it's not the full picture; there are things I don't write here).

Here is a short, but more true and complete picture of my beliefs, for anyone who is interested:

I consider myself a Muslim. I believe in God and I believe the best way to worship him is to follow Him through the guidance given to us in the Qur'an (delivered to humanity through prophet Muhammad).

I believe that the Qur'an can be interpreted a vast number of ways and that a lot of them can be right (although NEVER fully right). I believe that the Qur'an can only be interpreted correctly when a person is able to get to their state of fitrah, which is of course impossible to fully do. All we can do is try.

I believe that Muhammad was the best example of a Muslim and that we should keep his Islamic spirit alive for our own goods, but I also believe that the hadiths are not religious law and religious law is not to be made from hadiths. I believe in the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad as the best way to do things, but that it is not the only way to do things.

I believe that a Muslim is anyone submitting to God, whether they use the Qur'an as a guide or not because I believe everyone has the truth inside them. I would go so far as saying that I believe someone considering himself an atheist could possibly be a "Muslim" because of how important the inner truth we all have is. I don't think that the man-made definition of God really is God because of how much more he is than we could every imagine. A person rejecting "God" could really be embracing this unimaginable thing most of us call God. Labels are something we use but only God knows what our truth is - even when we don't know it ourselves.

Eight Things

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
- travel
- be stress-free
-

8 Things I love:

- My whole family
- Islam
- Goodness
- Love
- Knowledge
- Cuteness
- Generosity

8 Things I did yesterday:

- worked
- 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
- Friends
- Frasier
- Scrubs
- 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

Monday, December 14, 2009

I feel a bit ashamed

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.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Avoiding temptation in Islam

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.

I was thinking of Christmas...

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.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sex-ed for Muslims

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!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Does not understand! *frustration*

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?!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Obeying the laws of the country you're in

As Muslims, we should obey the laws of where we live, even if it's not a Muslim country.


At work during lunch, we were eating together watching the news and it came up that a little girl was not allowed to sing a Christmas song at school. I don't know the specifics (was she not allowed to just sing in the yard outside, in class, at a school show, etc.) but of course, in talking about it, it was all blamed on reasonable accomodation of immigrants, a big topic here. See a really old post (one of my first!) about it here. But the reason she was not allowed to sing this Christmas song had nothing to do with an immigrant complaining and trying to prevent her from singing. In fact, I think most immigrants accept that we are in Canada and that we celebrate Christmas. As a secular society, we try to make things as correct as possible, and I think that's why they cut Christmas out of schools. I think it's stupid to prevent her from singing when I'm sure it would have bothered no one. And I think we should be encouraging religious diversity instead of squashing all religions including the majority religion. Doesn't make things any easier for religious minorities who are blamed when it only has to do with us wanting to be secular. It's like bouncing in their face.... You want to be secular - you got it! But you have to stop being religious in schools too! - not just "them".

Anyway, during this discussion, it somehow came up that Muslims are trying to get their own tribunals to rule according to the Sharia here in Canada. She took it as Muslims wanting to go against our laws and I was saying that it is not Islamic to go against the laws of the country. On the contrary, they have to respect the laws. BUT it is nothing against the law to try to get extra rights. If you can legally get those, then where is the blame? Wouldn't anyone try to get extra rights if they could? If it's not accepted, then they have to accept that, and if it is accepted, then it's not the person's fault for asking... If it's unreasonable, it's the fault of the person who accepted! (and Quebeckers accepting unreasonable demands has been the problem making immigrants look demanding and unreasonable when they just asked and received)

The person just laughed when I said that in Islam you have to respect the laws of the country you're in. It was kind of insulting.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Obeying your husband

I thought of writing a post about this quite a long while ago, but I realized my ideas were so unclear and I was writing out what I felt and trying to make it about Islam. I was trying to make my personal position my Islamic position, and it wasn't working. I think I have worked things out a little since then so I will write a post.

The verse is, from the Shakir translation:

4:34: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

(I won't get into a discussion about beating your wife right now even though it's part of this verse!)

The way I understand this verse is that because men have the responsibility of taking care of women financially, they have the right to take care of them personally... Meaning that he has the right to ask her not to go out with friends on a certain day if he wants her home, for example, and she should "obey" and stay home with him if that's what he wants. I think that this is a right that the man EARNS by first being responsible and taking care of his wife and family financially as well as he can. I think obedience of a woman is conditional on the man being financially responsible for the family.

I think it gets more complicated when the woman and the man both contribute equally to the finances. The way I see it, the wife ALWAYS has the right to not work and be supported by her husband as a stay at home wife. In a lot of cases, the woman CHOOSES to work to help her family have an easier and more comfortable life and in this case, the husband has the responsibility to pay for all the basic needs of the family, and the wife is the one who is choosing to have her income added to live a better life. If there is any money that can be saved, it is the woman's money and it is her own. BUT, she remains the one responsible for the household and so, may have to work more than the man (because of all the chores) or can use her money to hire help. In this shared-responsibility situation, the woman holds a lot of power since she is the one helping her family have more, and she will (from my understanding) get good reward for that (if Allah wills this) and she retains rights to use all of her money as she wants, BUT she keeps all of her household responsibilities (which is a lot of work for her) and still has to obey her husband.

It gets very complicated in a situation where the man is not getting any income and the woman is financially responsible for everything. She will (again, to my understanding... if Allah wills it) receive much reward for taking over the man's responsibilities. The man is hopefully doing all he can to find any type of work, in which case he is not to blame, and he should definitely try to help as much as he can... But does it become HIS responsibility to take care of the household in such a situation? And does the woman still have to obey her husband if she is the one who is in the man's role? I feel that no, the roles do not become reversed and she is still responsible for the household. And I feel that no, she does not need to obey her husband. Because as I was explaining, I think that the obedience is conditional to being taken care of. Of course, for a better household, she should respect him and try to please him. And for a better household, he should do the housework for her since she is doing some for him. That is only fair. If he doesn't, then she is simply getting more reward for all she does. And if she doesn't take into consideration her husband's wishes, she is not to blame, but he may get rewards for his patience.

If the man is not even trying to look for a job though, he is at fault, unless it is agreed upon by both partners that the woman will work and the man will take care of the household and children. In this strange situation, I would consider the roles reversed and I would go as far as to say that the man will need to obey his wife.

I kind of hate the word OBEY... I don't mean like a dog should obey his master. But yes, it would mean to do what he wants instead of what you want (as long as it's not against Islam). It's part of the "giving" in a relationship... Can't always be taking... I think Islam shows that well... This is really a system of respect between the partners that grows within these limits...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hadiths...

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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I want to pray

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?

Excited but really stressed

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 :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Solution needed!

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?

Calendar

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!!

Happy Eid everyone!

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! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thinking...

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. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The way I dress

I have slowly been dressing more and more modestly. Here is the evolution of the way I dress.


I mostly never liked to wear shorts or skirts above the knee, but I'd often wear 3/4 pants with spaghetti strap tank tops when I was 15-18. I have a pretty petite body so even then, there was nothing too too bad about it (here in Canada, compared to what others were wearing in that same season). When I met my husband at 18 and went to Egypt, he told me it was not appropriate to wear tank tops out and that I'd have to wear a t-shirt at least, so I did of course. When he first told me that, before I got there, I thought it sucked that they didn't have the choice to wear what they wanted, but soon after arriving, I realized it was right to cover a bit more. People don't need to see my whole upper chest area and shoulders. After coming back to Canada, I didn't wear tank tops out anymore. So from 18 and on, I covered with at least a t-shirt. I also phased my 3/4 pants out of my wardrobe for the most part and wore long pants. . Since having my daughter 2 and a half years ago, I did not buy any tight pants and I've made efforts to buy longer shirts. But my baby weight melted off and my old clothes fit me in a month or two, so I continue to wear my tighter pants and t's... More recently, sometime before the summer, I started getting rid of pants that were tighter on me, and I stopped wearing anything that stopped at my waist because every time I bent down, I'd show a couple inches of back. That just got annoying. I'm tall, so it was a hassle finding long things, but I managed to wear longer stuff with the help of the layering technique. :)

The bigger changes happened more recently. Sometime before the summer, I stopped wearing 3/4 pants out, and somehow, with no real thought or planning, started wearing long sleeves. I'd often roll them and yes, I still wore t-shirts sometimes, but I was mostly wearing long pants and shirts! It was so gradual and natural that I only noticed when my mom told me! I also got myself a modest bathing suit before summer started. It's 3/4 leggings with a tunic t-shirt that covers the bum so I am super modest compared to the others swimming and it's totally light and safe and comfortable.

Anyway, sometime after the summer, after I'd officially converted, I got a bit more serious about getting looser clothes. My husband bought me some skirts in Egypt that I love, and I manage to wear a skirt about half the days of the week. And with adding some better shirts little by little, I am also wearing something not too tight about half the days of the week. The other days, I make sure to have a scarf around my neck that covers my boob area so there isn't anything to see then either.

I'm so glad that everything came so naturally and gradually for me in terms of dress. I could slap on a headscarf on most of what I wear and be considered pretty close to correct hijab. I hope to wear hijab someday, even though to be honest I am not seriously considering it right now. When I do, it'll be much less of a shock to everyone I know, seeing as the heascarf will be the only difference!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Backbiting

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.


Slandering is not a problem for me. But with time, I realized that backbiting is. It's one person in particular who makes me do it the most... For the sake of demonstration (and hopefully making someone else out there realize that they're doing the same thing), I will give a brief anonymous idea of what I was doing and have trouble not doing that is backbiting...

She is my good friend and works with me and the thing is that she is not doing the job well. I don't feel it's my job to go up to her and tell her directly that she needs to change. I am not her boss... But the bosses are not doing it. So I am in a situation where I try to give her pointers but it just doesn't work. The other co-worker in our area also tries... It doesn't work. So we find ourselves discussing her and what she does... Mostly what to tell her, but sometimes getting our frustration out about the situation, simply, by going over things she does wrong. This part is backbiting because we are not doing anything else than just talking about her faults. It stops being to help her and becomes just venting at her expense.

The next part, because yes, there is more that I do, still related to this person, is that I love her, but I cannot find it in me to tell her to have some self-respect in the way she dresses and acts outside of work. I become so very frustrated that this person I love and know is so sweet and kind can act that way and have so little respect for herself. I can't tell her, so it comes out when I talk to my husband sometimes. Or my mom, who knows her and feels the same way. This is so totally backbiting...

Any advice? Should I get that second frustration out of the way and just tell her somehow? Might ruin the friendship and make work so very awkward (we are literally facing each other at work) if she takes it the wrong way, but if she learns from it, it could make her realize things... Or it might put her in a depression to see what she has been doing for so long... :(

Akh... All to say... I wish to not backbite and I'm trying, but I slip up way too much. I'm so glad at least to understand the term better and the position of Islam with regards to it. Thank you to all the sisters who have written posts about it in the past couple months because they helped me figure it out.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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!!


Persepolis Book I is the story of an Iranian little girl (Marjane) during the revolution and afterwards under the Islamic regime and during war between Iraq and Iran. She comes from a liberal, well-off family so it is seen from that point of view. Book II starts with her departure from Iran to Austria where she lives for a few years before returning to Iran. The books taught me a little about Iran and its situation and made me interested to know more outside the story. It was also funny and clever. I have to admit that even though I'm here a francophone, I got the English translation. I am not French from France and I was afraid I would get too annoyed with the Frenchy style talk so I stuck to the safe side. I found the translation good, even though it's true that I didn't read the original :p

I really suck at book reviews... Never did one. Won't start now; I will just give my remarks.

As I said earlier, they are a liberal type of family. They aren't religious, even though I guess they are considered Muslim somehow. They are "westernized" and like to have parties with alcohol and hate having to wear the veil. In the first book, Marjane is a young girl and the story is of what she went through, so it's normal for religion and beliefs not to be very clear. I think that's why I liked the first one more... In the second one, it bugged me a little I guess that she was a teenager and young adult and didn't really have it figured out about Islam... Because of what she went through, it was as though Islam was what was forced on her in Iran. Islam was not part of the story so it's perfectly normal for it not to have come up that this regime is not Islam, but it just bugged me a bit that it felt like it was. Know what I mean?

It's a book (well BOTH, really!) I so totally recommend reading that I've tried to force it on numerous people around me. So far no one is really interested and I cannot see why! It's so good!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It was not halal!

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!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Je porte le voile" ("I wear the veil") documentary

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.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sirat al mustaqeem - The straight path

My husband knows I will be mentioning him in this post :p


I made him read an excerpt from something I was writing; a fictional character writing a letter to Allah. In it, she asks Allah help keeping her on the straight path and continues, describing the path as what Allah has laid out for us to follow in this world. (What we should do as Muslims, how we should live, to gain Allah's favour as we continue on in this life).

This is how I see the straight path. It's everything that we should do in our religion for Allah. So if we are doing well, we are on the straight path... If we are doing wrong, we are deviating away from what God has told us to do; away from the straight path.

My husband said this was a mistake in what I wrote. That the straight path has nothing to do with this life and that it's a line we will need to walk across on the final day where we either fall to Hell or make it across to Heaven.

I'd heard this before, but I never thought a person could dismiss the straight path as simply a physical path we'll need to deal with only after we die!

The straight path is something I strive for in this life. The straight path is all that is right that I hope to be able to achieve. When I hear sirat al mustaqeem, I think of myself and how I need to do better to follow what God has laid out for us in his perfect system. I don't think about a path over Hell that I could either fall into or manage to walk across.

Are there any scholars that actually don't believe the straight path has anything to do with this life and the way we are supposed to live? Are there any who actually see it as nothing more than a line we'll walk across? How do you personally see it?

Parenting as a Muslim

My Nora is only a toddler, so Islam has not had that much influence on the way I parent. I have always been an attachment parenting type of parent, and I continue that now. She's too young to have issues need to be dealt with in an Islamic way like boys, starting to pray, wearing hijab, thinking about partying and alcohol, all those things. But I start to realize how quickly these things are coming!

It started with my co-worker's niece who started school in September (kindergarten, I think). My co-worker told us about how the little girl got home sometime near the end of the first week in school and declared that she had "un amoureux" (means a lover in French)! A few days later, more development to the story... there's an other little girl who is "into" this boy and the other little girl is dissing the competition (co-worker's niece). Like... what the heck, they are 5!!

Kids so totally don't need this type of drama in their life when for them, what would be natural would just to play together and have easy-to-solve fights. How ew that they have learned somehow to put themselves in adult roles (boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, etc.). I am starting to think more about what Nora watches lately because of how early things can start to have an influence. I'm happy not to have cable or satellite right now. We only download what we want to watch. But not everything me and Ahmed might watch is really suitable for Nora and she is often there with us or at least in the room when we watch TV.

The show that is bugging me most right now is the Simpsons because of how much she likes it, but how adult a show it really is... Looks like a kid show but it is not suitable for kids. She's as interested in it as her toddler baby shows but it contains adult themes and violent content (stranglings and the Itchy and Scratchy show they watch). I don't download actual kids shows much, and I'm actually scared of the new shows that have come out. One of them that plays on kids channels here is Samantha et Chantal and it's two dudes dressed as girls! I don't know anything more about the show, but it's so confusing gender roles and just plain homo looking! Here is a link to the image search results on Google. And I saw some ads for other shows with lots of gross vomiting stuff....

Then there's these stupid Brat dolls. I think they have a show too... They just disgust me. Why should being a brat be a good thing, first of all? And then there's their look. Tiny with huge heads and lots of make-up. They also have new troll dolls out that have the big colourful hair in the air, but they are skinny. UKH.

I'm scaring myself writing this post. I don't want to shelter Nora from everything that is out there because that will not help. So that means she will have to confront the things that are out there, but I need to make sure she knows what is what... There are so many little things that could happen. I won't be with her all the time... She will be with friends and they will talk about things. Communication will be SO SO SO SO SO IMPORTANT to make sure I can make her know the right thing the day she hears something that might be off. What about the very subtle things like getting a negative body image, etc? Being happy with my body and keeping her away from images that often cause a person not to be unhappy with her's is a very good beginning and major part of my plan, but she could get influenced into disliking her body from other places... Just a few images and a few people around her like friends who dislike their body. A comment from a peer. Anything...!

I'm scared!

Note: Yeah, this had nothing to do with Islamic parenting after all... I just scared myself writing this and thinking of all the things that could happen. And that I would have tried to avoid for her were I Muslim or not.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Buying a Book

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?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm still a closet Muslim

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.


I have to admit that I do not see Islam the same way as the average Muslim... I think I just see Islam in a more open way... A person not knowing about the Qur'an still being a Muslim in following his inner God-given sense of what is right, and believing in Allah (the creator, with no partners). And even though I know that the best way is to follow Allah 100%, and the best way to attempt that in these times is to read the Qur'an and follow its teachings, I also think that it is sufficient to enter Paradise for a person to be a good person (more good deeds than bad, more good influence in this world than bad, etc). Of course, even I believe that the person will have to believe in God alone because shirk cannot be forgiven without repenting. But only Allah knows if I am right in this. I'm just stating my belief.

I feel that most Muslims put a much higher status on people who consider themselves Muslims. Whether or not they are being good ones, it's as though they will be recompensed for just being born in a Muslim home. On the contrary, they have had every chance to learn the right way, and if they didn't take it, I believe they will be punished more severely. And I don't think that an agnostic person who is always doing good will be going to hell simply for not being part of the Muslim community. Even I often don't feel like I want to be part of the Muslim community as it stands now. I don't think regular Quebeckers here understand me. I am much more conservative than they are! But I don't really fit in with the Muslims either. Not with the non-practicing ones because that's far from what I want to be and I don't respect that (I don't respect in myself what I am lacking in the way I practice Islam either) but I don't fit in better with the more fundamental Muslims because as much as I would like to be practicing like them, I don't see the big picture in the same way as they do. And of course, I don't fit in with the cultural ones who can't tell the difference between Islam and their culture because that's just annoying.

I'm lucky not to have had bad experiences though. But I also didn't really find anyone here who shares what I believe.

If I were to come out of the closet to my parents like I wish to, I feel sure that the first thing I would want to say is that I don't believe exactly the same thing as most Muslims. Sad, isn't it? But that's how it would go. I'd want to explain in simple terms what Islam is to me. It's submitting to God alone. And I'd explain that I believe we all have in us the knowledge of what God wants from us, which means that I believe anyone, whether they consider themselves Muslim or not, could be Muslims/Submitters to God. To separate myself from the Muslim community and make them see that they too, might even be part of what I see Islam as.

I wouldn't feel the need to separate myself from the Muslim community so much if I were to come out to co-workers and just random people. In fact, I'd love to try to show of the good in Muslims with them especially, like I do now whenever we talk about Islam. I want the Ummah to become stronger...

This has been a pretty honest post for me. I guess the only thing left to add to that would be that I'd feel the need to add that I don't follow hadiths like most Muslims do, but any details would be for another post, so I don't really want any comments on it if at all possible!

OH! Have to add that today at work, we were talking about foster parenting, which I really want to do as soon as I am able to get an apartment with an extra bedroom, and one of the girls has been a foster parent, so I asked her about the procedures and all, and then asked her if they'd be more likely to place a Muslim child with us if there was one, considering we were "a Muslim family". I didn't say that I was Muslim myself, but they know my husband is, and I called us a Muslim family. I then continued talking with them and talked about having been in the mosque more than in the Church, etc. This was with the two newest employees at our office, so I might just have given them the impression that I'm Muslim. I was quite happy about that! I don't think I could say "no" if anyone asked me if I was now. :) It's progress.

Eid al adha. Do you sacrifice?

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?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to blogging!

(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.

Lottery and material things

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).


So anyway... Reason I'm talking about lotteries is because at work, they have started a lottery pool. I'm the ONLY ONE in the whole office not participating. Even the boss is in! It's a small company, but still, that's 8 people, plus me, not participating. I don't do lotteries. I have to admit that if I was not Muslim, I might have just felt the need to be in with them though... just in case they win maybe? And not to be the one left out...? What would 3$ a week be to my life anyway?

But I feel so much better with this decision. This is what I believe in and always have. I get what I work for and try to get ahead in life based on what I really do and learn and know. I will not give my money away to the lotteries for the tiny chance of winning 50 million dollars (split into 9)! I don't want to support that theft. I wish people would stop hoping to win millions of dollars and just notice how much they have in life that is worth so much. It hurts to see that some people cannot be content with their life and need to find hope in the possibility of winning a bunch of money. Most lottery buyers might not be the obsessive types that go nuts over it. They are people who live a regular life and are fine with their life, but doesn't the fact that they buy a lottery ticket or two every single week show that there is something they feel is missing?

I feel sad that we are so based on money and material things. I have enough money not to suffer in any way. I have an apartment I can sleep in and put my stuff in and it's as warm as I want it to be all winter. I have a car so I don't have to depend on anyone to bring me places. I am able to buy decent clothes and shoes and boots for my family. I can eat good food and cook it on my very own stove and store it in my very own fridge! It's not a big apartment, it's not a new car, I actually complement our wardrobes with a lot of used stuff, and my stove was given to me by my uncle when he was done with it, but I have all the material I really need. Yet, I always want more. Nora needs a new bedroom set. Technically, the bed supports her and the mattress is comfy, which is most important, but most of the drawers are broken on her bureau, so I have to find other places to put her clothes. I find that space and she wears clean and cute clothes. But I still want her to have a decent bureau! For myself, I feel sure that I need a new shelf. But on top of that, there are a bunch of things I want! New clothes! An eBook reader! A cute phone cover!

I'm very satisfied with what I have overall, but still, there is more I would want! My real dream is to have a nice house someday and have it furnished beautifully. I suppose if I was older and felt I had nowhere to go with my career and I felt my husband was at his max too, and we still couldn't save enough money for a house, then I might be a bit less satisfied with what I have than I am now. So all to say that I can understand where these people come from who wish for more for themselves even if it happens by luck and even if the chance is so freakin' small it's not even worth it. Hopefully I can keep my thoughts in the right place to continue to know what is really important in life even if I get to the point where I feel some of my (material) dreams are unattainable.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Taking a break, I think. And yeah, it's Candice this time.

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.

The other side of the story...

Peace upon you. I am candice's Husband.


Lately i had some of troubles with my wife because of this blog.

We made a deal about not mentioning our personal life no pictures of her or my daughter or even me, and not mentioning anything about me or my daughter in good or in bad.
this blog was made for exploring life and islam , not "Exposing my family's LIFE" ,
Candice is a new convert, her parents doesn't know she is muslim yet, and she wont tell them untill she is ready, I dont even check her blog because i find it personal area, but sometimes things happens about her talking about the flight delaying then i saw her posting on facebook about the full story in her blog, Facebook is being visited by alot of her family members, friends, who ofc woundered where is her blog, I warned candice never ever link her blog with anything of her real life ( even facebook i am not a big fan of it ).

- So i guess when she expose our life secrets to anyone without my permition thats against our deal from the begining, Its my personal life, i dont want anyone to know about our personal life, if candice want to mention something about her personal life its her choise, she can talk about something she did for me, everyone got his privacy, so i guess that person who talked about security of me not accessing her blog... i will answer him with: She is my wife, i am trying to protect her from internet stalkers and be sure no one will hurt her, She knows all my passwords and i know hers we r married, so i guess you got what i mean? and if someone violated rules it's her not me by mentioning me and my daughter. and Candice mentions mostly the bad things, before i even see her friends or her family, they didn't like me, because she mentions only the dark side of everything, which i consider is a lie. for example "my husband didn't go out with me .... but he cleaned the apartment" so when she mentions the first part only it looks like i am a bad person.


About my Flight and the blaming part:
I missed the flight to come back to canada because the plane was leaving at 2:30 PM and i was there at the airport about 1:38 PM and they close the gates 1 hour in advance.

as candice mentioned I was blaming everyone but my self. which is not true.
she has an issue with me everything i explain something she thinks i am blaming someone
-- Because I was telling her what happened and the reasons that made me miss the flight. --

so let me explain the reasons i missed my flight:
1- Counting on my best friend that i've known for over 15 years:
He promised me he will bring to the airport the 17th and insisted on that and when i told i prefer city cap so u sleep, he was like NO WAY you are my best friend and if i dont do you this favour then we not friends,
( eventhough during the month i was there he stood me up many times, like calling me telling i will come tonight, so i cancel my planes with others and sometimes even my family members for him, and he ends up not coming, so its like wasting nights of only 30 days i am staying there, specially when its so hard in ramadan and me taking care of my daughter, and he when i call him many times he ignores my calls but i excuse him for it),
So i was actually worried about him not coming and in the same didn't want him to be upset.

So we agreed i will go to him and stay with him so we can leave early in the morning to go to my house. more like sleep over.
i went there at 4 am , and tried to convince him to come to my condo instead because i had to help my mom do the final packing and check if there is anymissing. he refused and he said just wake me up at 8 am , i woke up 7:55 and then started trying to wake him from 8:00 am to 8:45 he was like wait wait 5 more mins so i told him it's getting late i will have to go now, he said ok u do your stuff then wake me at 10 am. i kept calling him from 10am to 11 am no answers, i even called his mom to wake him up she failed. then i decided to call citycap they told me we will be there at 11:30 max .

SO its actually my fault to count on him, i didn't blame him, but i did gave him warning of treating me like shit when if he asks a favour i do it without saying no. so that was the final warning and now i broke up with him not because of the flight thing he called him later telling him what happened and being pissed that he was sleeping like a dead person, he talked to me like it's not a big deal its very simple and he is going to pay 420 $ the fees that i had to pay to replace my flight time to tuesday, and he said you will get the money today, i didn't want the money from him but the way he talked to me like he didn't do anything wrong, then not even showing up as he said i decided to not be a friend who doesn't care about anyone but himself.

2- City cap: the guy arrived 12:05 instead of 11:30 , he faced bad traffic too.

3- Traffic: normaly at night when there is no traffic it takes about 12-15 min to be at the airport from my house. but it's noon time, 2 days before the small eid (breaking the fast feast) everyone is out to buy his eid supplies / new clothes etc.. the traffic was really very slow.. we ended up being there at 1:38 pm so it took us about 1hour 35 min to arrive ( its cairo airport and i live downtown) even talking less traffic roads didn't work to save time.

so I can't blame it on traffic because i know it was going to be really bad. but from 12

4- Egyptair has a new policy of closing the luggage gates 1h in advance.
So they officialy closed it 1:30 pm and the officer on the security gate of the airport he told me no way to get to the flight now. i went breserek on him threatining him if he doesn't let me i will get him in a big trouble ( got some connections :P in egypt ) but it didn't work at all.... he told me he can't help me , I had to do that just because i know how candice will react and how bad she is waiting nora's return. i was so damn nervious i even yelled at the manager of the whole airport to let me in. he offered to talk to my wife to explain what happened.
and actually the flight left 3 PM ughhh.. stupid airport rules.
well can't blame the egyptair too not their fault mine of being ignorant of new rules.

5- thinking egyptair is a lazy airways:
when i was going to egypt the scheduled flight was 9pm , we left 11pm ... 2H later.. and they always do that but they r cheap in prices compared to other airways.
and thats my totally fault.

So after all i didn't blame anyone more than he should be blamed.


and finally "a great thanks" goes to the person who called me IDIOT without even knowing me and what happened exactly, and i would like to advice her not to talk behind someone's back because thats considered "Namima",

I would like to thank everyone who read this and understood and i hope candice respect my wishes of not talking about me without asking me.

God bless you all.

Candice's husband: Ahmed Ibrahim

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

She arrived!

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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid Mubarak! And books.

I wish you all a Blessed Eid :)


I decided to do some book shopping today. I ordered from www.goodwordbooks.com, finally. About 50$ worth of books. Lots of those small books that I figure would be good for my uncle to learn some basics about Islam, and some slightly larger books for reference. I also got some children's books including "My First Qur'an"! They didn't ask me for my credit card info yet, but I got an e-mail about the order and I figure they will send me something else including the shipping charges before they bill me... I hope it won't be too insane because I know it's shipping from India which is pretty far... So as long as it's not a mega-amount, that should be good to go, and arriving in like a month! lol.

I also filled my shopping cart with books on amazon.ca, which included Muhammad Asad's Message of the Qur'an with commentary. It's an expensive one, but I feel it's worth getting... Also Tariq Ramadan's Radical Reform and In the Footsteps of the Prophet. And a book on sign language.

AND, I was looking for The Ideal Muslimah, which I've been meaning to read, and didn't want to order it from another different place, so knowing it was online, I downloaded it, from kalamullah.com. Wow, they have an insane amount of books on there. May Allah reward them for posting up so much information. There were so many that interested me, but I know I won't go back there all the time to see, so I spent such a long time downloading pretty much everything for my computer. I feel I have easy access to so much information now!

I love to feel a book though when I'm reading, so I don't know what the solution will be for these... Maybe I'll get used to reading on the laptop. Or I'll print some little by little. I'll see.

OH, last thing. Only 2 dodos until my Noonie is with me!!! I know I've said that before, but this time it should be for real! :)

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.


But anyway... I can just wrote the major thing in a very plain couple of sentence that cannot risk offending him.

Nora didn't come back from Egypt on Thursday like was planned. She will be back Tuesday (the 22nd).

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Nora is coming home in 3 dodos!

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.


It has kinda sucked being alone all this time. Yes, lots of time to focus on myself, bla bla bla, but I focused on them even while they were away and I didn't do anything special while they were gone really. I took the extra time to sleep more and relax. I took up Farm Town (Facebook ap) and became obsessed. My farm is looking great though! And I read more than I could have with them here.

I don't care though. I'll let everything on my farm rot to see my beautiful daughter and have her in my arms! To take care of her like she needs. To discipline her after 5 weeks without (poor babe, but vacation is over...).

3 dodos (sleeps)!!! Woohoo!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shopping in Egypt (with pics) P.3

This is the first one he took that really got my attention. My husband was trying to show me the white one... It's OK. But too tight around the butt and I want something that flows away and hides it. I really loved the shape of the purpley one and wanted him to get it for me! But as you saw earlier, it's as purple as Barney!!
Other one that caught my attention was the brown and beige one. Seems to flow pretty well and it would match with different colours. Looks different in the other pic though so I wonder...
And the one totally to the left that we only see a sliver of. Just that sliver really caught my attention. You can see how gorgeous it is in a previous pic.

Other comment I have: Seriously, this fashion with the tight tops is terrible!!! The one with the white skirt has a white long sleave top, can you even believe it's there?! And the blue and pink one! It's like the Egyptian version of a person who show's 4 inches of boob crack here!

Shopping in Egypt (with pics) P.2

He still wan't really getting my style when he considered this one.
This is supposed to be brown, he says... Very shiney and weird... He insisted on getting it. Says it's really nice. A bit worried because I don't have the same taste he does... But we'll see! I'll make it work!
Plain and black. We actually do have this style here in Canada.
This is the one you will see in the pic in P.3. I found it by accident becaue it appeared a tiny bit in that picture and I love it! He got it for me :D When I told him I wanted solid colours, he didn't think to consider ones like this. But the shape of it is perfect and it has so many colours it would probably match with a few things.
The 4 he was going to get. The purple one is the same one you will see near the middle of the picture in P.3. I don't like it afterall. It's too much purple.

Next part coming up!

Shopping in Egypt (with pics) P.1

My lovely lovely husband went shopping in Egypt today to get me some long skirts! :D He basically took pictures with his phone and then sent them to me by e-mail and called me to know what I thought. Here are the pictures (unfortunately not in the right order):

Bunch of skirts. We had already picked out a couple by then and they didn't seem my style when I looked at them. Very colourful though!
I'd asked for tunics and he didn't get that I wanted something long enough to cover my bum. This just wasn't what I was looking for.
I like this one and he got it for me. He actually picked it out himself which was impressive!
At the beginning of his shopping trip, he remembered that I'd said I wanted an "eid outfit" and even if I had explained that it was an abaya with matching shayla that I wanted for this eid outfit, he got confused and started showing me long skirts with matching tops. Totally not my style!! I think you have to be in your 30s at least for this outfit! (skirt is pretty nice though)
Near the beginning of his shopping experience, I had to tell him I was not looking for matchy suitish outfits and that I wanted something more plain like solid colours. He came up with this... Not bad, but not me.
Next post coming up!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Went out in hijab

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! :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not revealing sins...

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.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

youtube pervs

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!

EWWWWWWW!!!

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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I love my posters from simplyislam.com!

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.
http://simplyislam.com/promotions/postersforbloggers/Islamic-posters-for-links.asp

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.

Conversation with my aunt

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!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Speaking with a non-mahram

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.

Wow.

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