Monday, June 22, 2009

Use of Insha'Allah


I am a bit unsure about how to use this expression. I know it means "if God wills", but this isn't something I'm used to thinking about... Is it only to be used for something you actually think you will do, like, "I will go to the grocery store tomorrow, insha'Allah." or "We'll meet up tomorrow, incha'Allah!".

Can you/Should you also use it for situations that you just kinda hope you will do or that you hope will happen? For example, "I hope to wake up early tomorrow to do some cleaning around the house, insha'Allah." or "Our basketball team will win tomorrow, insha'Allah."

Are both types of use correct or is it best to use it only for the first paragraph situation I described?


I also have a question about another expression. Me and my husband bought a Qur'an recitation CD and we have been listening to it in the car. When he turns it off he says something like sadaq Allah al-azeem. What does it mean? Where does the habit of saying this come from? I know the Qur'an has a specific thing about Insha'Allah. What about sadaq Allah al-atheem? Either way, I'm sure it's something that is good to say, but is it considered something you *have* to say like insha'Allah seems to be?

Thanks for the help!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Calligraphy



I love Arabic calligraphy. This one up here is so beautiful! Click it to open the full size to really see the detail in the colouring. I took it from A Learning Muslimah's blog post where she has a bunch of Arabic calligraphy.
It makes me want a tattoo. I love body art. I think it's beautiful, first of all, but also, I just love the idea of having on my body things that mean something to me and remind me of my journey... I don't have any tattoos though, and I don't really plan on getting any since I'm not sure about how I feel about the permissibility of it. I ordered some henna so I'll have fun with that for a while. :)
Gorgeous calligraphy up there though, right?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wow, 50 followers! And check out this artist.


First: Thank you for reading everyone! I am so blessed to have so many followers! I know it's not an extravagent number, but really, it has been enough for me even when I only had 1. So this is really fantastic. I hope I will be able to post some interesting things and evolve my blog to a more advanced blog style... In the coming months hopefully! I still have so much to deal with with my daughter being sick...

Thank you so much for visiting me, everyone. Means a lot!

And I wanted to make everyone notice my top left-hand side. Her blog is in French, but she is a fantastic artist, you should really check out her work. The picture above is an example. Yes, the link is for a contest she is having, but I would never link to things I didn't respect and want to link to! Here is a link to Simply Muslim's post displaying a bunch of this artists work! Thank you to Simply Muslimah for making this post and making me discover this art!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My idea of hijab

My idea of hijab has been strongly influenced by these blogs! I saw a few hijabis yesterday when I went outside my small city. I almost wanted to salam them but I was not wearing hijab and I didn't want to take anybody by surprise... Thought about it after and who wouldn't want to be salammed? Anywho!

I saw one hijabi dressed in a way that just made me think... "Her hair is covered but this is not hijab." It was all just too tight and the scarf covered all the hair well, but was not covering the shape of her breasts. Her clothes were covering the skin, but not the shape. I mentionned this to my husband and he just said, "This is the regular Egyptian style." and he's pretty right. I thought it was fine back then, but the blogs have really changed what I see as modest hijab!

I explained to my husband that in this blogging world I visit, the fashion bloggers have abayas in their fashion sets, or have long tops at least covering the bum with loose pants or a skirt.

Vacation!

I finally chose my vacation week! :D I will finish Friday the 26th at 4PM and will come back July 5th. A FULL WEEK and two weekends off!! I am sooooo excited! This is the first time I work a job that has vacations. I was a student when I got my first job at 13 and worked summers from there on until I got a job in Egypt that I ended up keeping only a few months before going on bedrest and then going to Canada.

I've been working at this place for 15 months now and it's my first vacation time. Last summer I just worked it and took the money at the end of the year. I wasn't tired enough after just a few months worked, but now I am in NEED! I am just in the worst mood at home and at work as well. At work I guess it can almost be a good thing since I work as a collections agent and I am rougher with them when I am in a bad mood, but still... It has been rough for ME. Hopefully I will get some good rest, good fun, and finish painting the apartment and putting up the frames and decoration. And I want to try to work on my marriage one last time.

Woohoo, it is soooooon!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Which is better?

I was wondering about what opinions are on this, kind of a just for fun or just to know. I don't think that many women do either of these styles. Most are found in between both, but still, it's a fun question.

Is it better to:

-wear the khimar (headcovering) properly, covering all the hair and covering the chest, but wearing tight, figure-revealiong but skin-concealing clothes with that

or

-wear jilbab (overgarment) properly*, covering the entire body except the head with a loose, opaque garment, but not covering the hair.


*Note: I know there are different opinions, including one that the jilbab covers the hair and even face, but from what I understand, the majority opinion is that the khimar can be what covers the hair, and the jilbab can cover from the shoulders down to the ground. And this is what I will use for my definition.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prayer Bump


The prayer bump... I saw this when I was in Egypt and seriously, one of them almost jumped out at me it was so horribly large and crusty and scarred. SO GROSS! It is seen as a really good thing in Egypt to have one of these. You seem like a strict, dedicated Muslim, obvisously, because you're supposed to have gotten it from praying to Allah so much. I wouldn't doubt that the people sporting these marks do get them my praying to Allah, not by sitting there with a carpet in their hands rubbing it while they watch TV, but I think you really do need to be TRYING to get one to get one. Praying normally and lightly to the ground will not get you a prayer mark.
Egyptians are so preoccupied with what people think of them. At least this is the impression I got while I was there, and this is exactly how my husband is. It doesn't matter much to him how religious he really is, but it matters how religious others think he is. My husband did not pray often at all, and when he did, I could tell by looking at his forehead. I have prayed before and no mark appears! And I have a large forhead so I know it was not the scarf touching the ground, but my actual forehead! So it really brings me to believing that this prayer mark thing is more of a status mark than anything that was gotten by praying naturally for your God.
But please don't misunderstand because I do believe lots of these people actually pray for God like they should and pray regularly and they are good Muslims. But I think they are also concerned with seeming like good Muslims.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Adoption / Foster Parenting

I got thinking about this subject after I got thinking about the subject for homosexuals. I'm "over" the subject for homosexuals because it really doesn't concern me and I don't feel strongly or passionately about that subject. I have too many things to think about that DO affect me to start thinking about homosexuals adopting or fostering children, but that is where the thought came from and for some reason, I felt the need to go into details. haha.

I would really like to become a foster parent. I would like to put some of myself out there to help a child in need of a family. Islamic adoption, from what I understand, is somewhere between the adoption we have here and foster parenting we have here... It's not adoption since the child becomes exactly as a biological child under the law here. We change his or her name, and they inherit as a biological child would, while Islamically, they would retain their name, and would not inherit anything automatically. I suppose it would be the parents' choice to give him what they see as his share before they died. And foster parenting... Well, here, we receive money from the government for doing it so it's not all a gift from us since the cost of this child is basically taken care of. We are just putting in time and emotion, not money.

I wish I could foster a child, but my situation wouldn't allow it. I think I could be good for a child, but I don't have any spare rooms for him or her, and I work full time so he or she would need to be in school or babysat. And I fear I wouldn't be able to treat them as I do my daughter. I don't even think I could have a second child because I just love my daughter too much. I don't think anything could equal that.

Does anyone foster a child? What is your experience? Any ressources I could use now or in the future?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A henna party

I will be buying, most likely, a bag of henna powder online for a henna party I decided to have with a couple co-workers. Any tips on where to buy, how much I should be paying, what quantity I should buy?

How long does the powder last? Any good websites for tips on how to mix, how to apply, designs, etc? I found Henna Page which looks awesome.

Who in Canada or Quebec has had one? Where did you get your henna powder? How did it go? Tips for a first-time henna-er?

Henna, wooooow

I just saw this picture on Empress Anisa's blog. And wow, it's so beautiful! Open the link to get the larger picture. But seriously it is impressive! I want some henna!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Taking back gifts!! grrr

I hate how my husband will give me something and then the second he gets angry with me, he takes it back. For example, he got me books 2 and 3 of the Twilight saga and I'm reading them now. Yesterday, we get mad at each other and I go to bed with the book and he decides I'm not allowed to read them anymore because he bought them!

We got a new fridge recently and he offered to buy it. I was impressed by this since everything in the apartment is mine (acquired by me, I suppose since we're married it's technically "our's"). I figured we should go half and half but afterall I just paid the extra insurance on it. But now he decides that he needs money for a business and since I won't help him with my money since he already owes me some, he decides that afterall, he will not buy the fridge, I will, and so he will not give me back that money he owes! Also, he decides that he's leaving with our (to him, it's "his") TV when he starts this business.

I soooo hope he will not start this dumb project! But either way, I know I will not see this fridge money again! He really should not take back gifts, seriously! What a loser sometimes. (I'm pretty furious!)

Gay Marriage

I want to get it out there what I feel about homosexuality. I believe that it is not a CHOICE for them but something they are born with. They do not want to be attracted to others of the same sex, they just are. I think that choice comes in when it comes to homosexual acts. They can decide to act on their desire and have a relationship or engage in sexual acts with a person of the same sex, or they can decide not to. I think their deeds will reflect their choices and not their impulses like anyone else.

I completely support the laws here that makes it legal for two people of the same sex to marry. I don't feel it is Islamic for two men or two women to be together in a relationship, and I would never imagine making it OK for same sex couples to marry in a mosque, or even a church, but I think they deserve the same rights as any other person in this world. As long as their choices do not affect my rights, it is fine by me. I love that God writes in the Qur'an that there is no compulsion in religion. Everyone will be judged eventually and everyone will get what they deserve from the Just, God.

I love my homosexual friends and I want them to have the same basic civil freedoms and rights as anyone else. As far as getting married religiously, same sex marriages simply fall out of the definition of marriage and so I see no use in there being a religious ceremony.

A homosexual (someone who is attracted to people of the same sex) should ideally marry another homosexual (of the opposite sex! ex: a gay with a lesbian) to not be married to a heterosexual who should be benefitting from a marriage where the partner is attracted to her as much as she is to him. Although there would be no reason for a homosexual not to be married to a heterosexual if they are aware of the situation and accept it.

I want to make a note about definitions and labels. I define a homosexual as someone who is attracted to the same sex, whether or not he or she had any relations with a person of the same sex, but I think that if someone who is attracted to the same sex decides to lead a heterosexual life (or an asexual one), I would see them as innately homosexual, but I would feel no need to label them that way. I also think some people are innately attracted to both sexes although it's more rare that homosexuality as far as I can tell and most people claiming to be bi-sexual are mostly curious or sexually permiscuous.

The only other thing I wanted to add was how weird I feel about homosexuality when it comes to religion. In the end, I see it as a test that a person is supposed to overcome, but I hate to think that they are not given the same chance to lead a normal life as others are. This is a lifelong, constant battle for them, if they decide not to go through with their attractions and impulses... I think of other things I see as tests people need to overcome like cancer, losing a child, poverty, etc. and I just feel like homosexuality is so different. Not harder, but different because of how I believe that we innately KNOW what is wrong and what is right. I feel that God gave each of us this gift and that we are supposed to follow this innate knowledge. But what about homosexuals, who I believe innately are attracted to the "wrong sex". Their innate feelings are not right... Do they have an innate feeling that tells them they need to not act on this feeling? I can't know, but the answer has to be yes or I would need to rethink most of what I believe in.

Readers: What do you believe? If you have enough to say, please write a post on it (and come back here to let me know you did)!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jumah - Congregational Prayer


I wondered about this a long time ago and I wanted to ask about it today.

Jumah, from what I understand, is known as the Arabic word for "Friday" but is also the word for "congregational". I was wondering about the time of the prophet Muhammad and if they used the same weekly style calendar as we use now, with the seven days of the week, one of these days being Friday. Did they also have congregational prayer every 7 days, on the day we now know as Friday? Or was it just a day that they named Jumah because of the fact that it was the day they prayed congregationally on? Makes me wonder if there is really any important reason for this prayer to fall on our "Friday" instead of any other day of the week. I feel like Jumah Prayer is a congregational prayer to be held at regular intervals, for example ever 7 days, but I don't see any reason why it needs to be on the day we call "Friday". Wouldn't it be easier to hold it on Saturdays, in a Western country? Would it not still hold the title of Jumah Prayer because it is a congregational prayer that is held at regular intervals (ie every Saturday)?

I need to learn more about the calendar at the time of the prophet Muhammad though because I obviously know little. I know they counted months and years with the moon*, but as far as weeks go, I've never heard about it.


*I put this just because I know some people (some Qur'an only believers), believe that it was a lunisolar calendar that was used. It is an interesting topic that I read, where they gave their reasons for that conclusion, a big part of it being that they believed that Ramadan is the name of the month, but that it is called "Ramadan" for a reason. They say it means scorching heat and that if it was a lunar calendar used, it would be in different times of the solar year, being in every season, the scorching hot and the cold times of the year. They believe Ramadan is at the hottest time of year, every year. I know it is not what most Muslims believe though!

Dream I had and women praying beside men

I had the strangest dream last week! I wanted to write about it then but I haven't been in the mood for writing up blog posts lately because of being very busy and stressed out at work (the place I write a large part of the posts). Here it is:

I was at the mosque and it seems I was going there to pray. I was already at the front of the area when the dream started and men and women were right beside one another. I don't remember if they were mixing freely. I don't think they were, they were mostly each on their side, but there was no barrier, nothing. I thought that was pretty cool, as long we each respected the privacy of the other and acted Islamically. The prayer then started and I was right beside a man. There was not even a space beside the women and men!! Where the side of the women met the side of the men, they were praying with feet and shoulders touching (as they normally do with whoever is beside them during prayer, but this was a different situation than the normal with men and women completely separate!)

I was so uncomfortable! And to make things worse, the person next to me was the imam himself. I wondered first why are we so close we're touching and second, why is he not in front of us all, ,he's leading! He had a strange style, he was praying in the wrong direction, half in front of me. I had to wait until he was up before I could prostrate because he was in my way!

It was completely mad to have the men and women pray in the same area without a barrier of some sort. People were not able to behave themselves, not even the imam!

It made me think about barriers in mosques when I woke up. The ideal, something I've never seen in a mosque, would be to have men and women praying side by side, but with a barrier between them. Both would be sitting one beside the other as equals, both would see the imam, but they would be separated.

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