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.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I was just looking up some information on hanging out with non-maharams and I found this fatwa from islamqa.com.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Little by little, I've been changing. Of course, I've always been changing, like anyone always is, but in the past few months, I *really* have been changing. Someone who reads my blog just every once in a while can probably tell that all sorts of little things about me have changed, and I now really feel like a Muslim.
At the beginning of this blog, I was just interested in Islam (as I had been for a couple years), and planned mostly on displaying what I was learning and what I was thinking as I learned. I guess that's kind of what this blog became; me talking and giving my opinion on various subjects usually linked to Islam. BUT it also became more. It became a journey towards Islam, something I didn't even anticipate. I was discussing subjects I was interested in, but not subjects that were really supposed to change my view on things. I mean, I always had a personal conclusion, but it was a conclusion that in the end did not really affect me as a non-Muslim. But with time, I felt like it did affect me, even if I wasn't ready to consider myself Muslim. After another while, I even felt the desire to consider myself Muslim. And now just a month or so after I decided that, I feel the need to consider myself Muslim.
How much I've really changed!
I've always been pretty satisfied about who I am. I've always felt glad to be the way I am. A sensible, calm type who looks at the big picture. Never knew what the big picture was, really, but I always knew the little things I went through were not important in the end. I always had this concept where there were the "little things I was doing" like a class I was taking, a friend I was meeting, a concert I was going to, and then there was what I called "real life". It was unclear what this "real life" was compared to what I was going through, which was part of life of course, but it was something bigger and more important. If I was giving it any thought, this "real life" was my family and my relationship with them. Of course I realize that there was something beyond this. Or really, it was something different. This ultimate "thing" in my life that was just so important was anything good and pure. It was God.
Writing this really makes me realize how amazing my family is. What I saw as good and pure in my life was them and this is what they brought out in me. How blessed I really am!
To go on with what I started this post to say: I am so very satisfied with my life. I want to continue to evolve and become better, but I am so happy with the choices I am making. I have been so blessed with being able to accept everything that happens and the way things are and live a life I'm satisfied with. I know not everyone can say that and lately especially, when I hear of people and what they are going through, it hits me hard how blessed I am to be over these issues or not have them at all.
Posted by Candice at 8:55 PM
Thank you to Sarah the Seeker from Wrestling with religion, Sara from Cairo, Lusaka, Amsterdam, Melissa from Musings of a Muslimah Mom, Amber from Little Steps Home , Ellen from Steadily Emerging with Grace and Struggling from Life Struggles for the award!
This is also a tag. I need to state my 5 current obsessions.
1) Islam - Encorporating Islam's rituals in my daily life and learning more about Islam.
2) blogging - Whether it's posting or reading others' blogs.
3) reading books - I'm reading much more than usual to deal with my husband and daughter being gone, and I'm enjoying that!
4) The Twilight saga - I'd originally written here "filling my time" but then I realized that this is what is filling a lot of my time! I'm really obsessed... Even if I don't want to admit it! I think of Edward and Bella at work while I'm talking to clients, if that can give an idea.
5) My husband and daughter - With them so far away in Egypt, I just think of them constantly.
Here are the 5 people I award the freakin' fabulous blog award to:
Sara from Cairo Lusaka Amsterdam - Love this feminist Muslimah! :) I always light up when I see her name in bold on my Google Reader list indicating she has a new post.
Sarah from Wrestling with Religion - Always thinking. I love the things she brings up and how she words them in her posts. It's always a good read for me. And it makes me THINK! (even though it comes out as though I didn't think at all from being at work typing sentence at a time between calls :P)
Umm Omar from Just Another Day - Her homeschooling posts especially really inspire me to be better for my daughter. Even though I don't homeschool and likely won't get the chance... Still useful posts for me.
Ellen from Steadily Emerging with Grace - A super girl going through a journey kind of similar to mine. So nice to read her blog. Sometimes she's where I was, sometimes she's where I might be.
University Bound Muslimah - Just recently found her blog and I just have positive feelings towards her all the way. I read far back into her posts, I just want to be her friend, you know? It's that type of blog!
Thank you guys for blogging! :D And thanks to so many others as well, for making my blog experience a great one.
Posted by Candice at 7:46 PM
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Posted by Candice at 8:17 PM
I prayed dhur at work! I managed to pray dhur ON TIME on a work day!!!
After doing wudu and going to the praying spot I found (a room we rent but don't use), I realized I was wearing short sleeves. I had a pashmina though, so I put it over my head and had it going down over my arms. I had to hold it under my chin to cover everything appropriately, but it worked out OK. I had to go a bit quickly because time really is limited, but it was still a time for me to concentrate on God. I wasn't able to concentrate as much on the words I was pronouncing, but the general ideas were there, and the feeling was still there even if it was briskly done with.
It was great to pray dhur on time. It's less effort for me to pray now, and it has become a thing I enjoy. Don't know how often I'll manage to pray it at work, but I feel good about having taken the time. I could have easily dismissed it.
Posted by Candice at 3:40 PM
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Posted by Candice at 4:09 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Again, not ideal situations.
Posted by Candice at 8:53 PM
Neither of these is ideal...
What do you think?
Posted by Candice at 5:21 PM
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I will try my best to fast the whole day, but I don't know if I will be able to. It sucks to feel so unsure, but I do. I'm worried abbout it... It has been hard enough for me these past 2 days and it was the weekend. The first day, I was only awake for about 7 hours of fasting. Today, I was awake for about 10 of them. Tomorrow I will wake up at 7am and work the whole day to then break the fast at nearly 8pm. If I stay awake the whole time, it's 13h of fasting. I think I might take a nap when I get back from work for 1h or so... So 12 hours of fasting awake. But it will also be harder because the others don't know and I don't plan on bringing it up. And I will be working so I need to feel at least OK. I barely talked to anyone or saw anyone this weekend because I've been feeling too weak. I saw a friend today but only until 2pm so it was kind of OK. If I could only work until 2pm, that would probably work out...
I really just hope I am strong enough to make it through and that my body allows me to do it.
Posted by Candice at 7:13 PM
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I will start with the beginning. I went to a show yesterday night. It was supposed to be about an hour away and starting at 8:30pm. I figured it'll last 1h30min so I should be back home a bit after 11pm if everything goes well. WELL. Things did NOT go well and we couldn't have been more lost in the middle of nowhere. We got home at 2:30am! It took over 4 hours!!! I'm glad we took it with some humour... So much humour we were crying.
But anyway, I got home at nearly 3 am (having parked my car at my friend's apartment)... I was considering staying up until fajr prayer (around 4:30), but I would never have made it, so I put my alarm for 4am to snooze it once, get up and eat a little, and then pray, but I actually did not become conscious of life until 830am. I'd slept through my alarm and I was fasting now! GREAT! So I was in a bit of a bad mood, and so sad and lonely to be alone my first Ramadan, with no plans for the day... I was glad to see my daughter and husband on the webcam and went back to sleep. I think I woke up for good at 2:30pm...
I have to say I had a really really hard morning. I was ready to just go to Tim Horton's and order myself an ice cappuccino to make myself feel better I was so down. Instead, I slept, by my husband's suggestion. And I didn't break the fast. I got through it. I slept through fajr but I prayed dhur and asr. I feel much better and I am taking the feeling of hunger and weakness pretty well, I think. I really do feel so weak, it's not like me. My voice is weak when I try to talk and I feel I am missing part of my personality even. I don't like the feeling. But it's something I can tolerate and something I will hopefully learn a good lesson from.
Posted by Candice at 7:23 PM
I don't speak Arabic as a native language, but I have learned enough to do salat in Arabic. At first, I would pronounce the Arabic, but think the translation in English, and try to actually understand the meaning of what I was saying. It was hard. It's still hard.
I wanted to go over the thoughts that go through my head with each part of the prayer. What I feel the meaning is behind everythat I am saying and translating. I am trying to learn the individual words that are pronounced in the prayers as much as possible so that I can skip the translation altogether and focus on the Arabic and the meaning... This is not a translation in any way, just an idea of what I think about, which aspects I bring out and put focus on.
bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim - Along these lines: I do this and everything for Allah, merciful in all ways
alhamdulilahi rabb al-alameen - I think of being grateful and thanking Allah, at the same time thinking about His power
(with all the power He has, we still blesses us with all his mercy, and we should praise Him for everything we're given)
maliki yawm id-deen - I think of how fair Allah is, and how He alone will judge us on this day
iyaka nabudu wa iyaka nastaeen - I think of how I need to seek help with Allah more than with others, but that all help will be from him regardless, and that I need to recognize that.
ihdin as-sirat al-mustaqeem - I picture a straight path, not too thick or thin, that is comfortable to walk on and think of how it symbolizes everything that is permissible and good that we need to be guided to doing.
Siraatal ladheena an 'amta' alaihim Ghairil maghduubi' alaihim waladaaleenAameen - This one is hard because it is one long piece so I think out the whole translation in English words and think of not wanting to fully and obviously go outside of what is permissible (earn wrath) and not wanting to go a different way by accepting an important, erronous concept (go astray)
subhana rabbi al-atheem - I think of how powerful He is. How capable of making anything happen, good or "bad" (wouldn't call it bad, but it can be a disaster for us sometimes and I have no other words), big or small. Often it's the image of something physical like a storm and something psychological like our temperament that goes through my mind.
subhana rabbi al-alaa - I think of purity and goodness, and how that can only be found completely in Allah and through Allah. And I also add a feeling that there is an authority over me.
Posted by Candice at 6:26 PM
Friday, August 21, 2009
I was thinking about how I would go about it if I was 18 and single and a good practicing Muslimah. How would I go about finding a husband? My idea was that I'd find a good practicing Muslims ready for marriage that others might have suggested for me... Someone they find would suit me based on what they know about me and the person. But to directly marry that is an arranged marriage and that doesn't work for me. I need to know more about the person than simply having someone think he'd be fine for me. So here are some things I'd feel the need to ask him :
Posted by Candice at 1:00 PM
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I was just writing today about keeping away from all negativity, even innocent ones like calling a client doofus after I hang up, but tonight, I got sucked into it big time and it wasn't in the innocent way I do when I get a client that bugged me.
I had a conversation with my husband that made me mad, and I posted a comment about it on Facebook. Didn't name him but let's just say it was obvious by the way it was written that it was about him and that he'd done something to make me mad. I got a call from a Muslim friend of mine shortly afterwards about the comment and I immediately regretted putting it up. Glad for the "remove" button for sure. She really helped me see how bad it can be to post these things up. First, him seeing it and feeling totally disrespected. Might not have been my intent, but it remains what it is. Second, comments I could receive about what happened could just drag me further into anger and disaccord with my husband.
Basically: No good comes of this. I let myself get affected by my anger and I let myself post negativity. Publically, too, which is obviously the worst part of this because me being upset about it privately sitting on the couch wouldn't have the destructive potential the public declaration did.
I post this just to give others out there the advice I was just given. One quickly-removed comment might seem like a small thing, and really it is when we stick to the big picture. But if we transfer it to this big picture, we can see that so many other small things we might do (by this, I mean things that I have done and that I might still be doing) are the same, and that it is destructive to the relationship in the end. Let me be explicit: Things like talking to my non-Muslim friend about some issues in my marriage. She might try to support me by telling me he's an asshole, I don't deserve this and he doesn't deserve me. I would be better off with someone else, etc. These are really the last things I should be hearing in a moment like this. Fights happen and it doesn't mean divorce or the end of a relationship. I'd be better off with Islamic advice like praying to Allah, being even more patient with him, etc.
Hope some of you learned with me.
Posted by Candice at 9:56 PM
This is me at work. lol.
I am trying to make myself more aware of negativity so I can better control it and hopefully eliminate it completely for that one day (my challenge) and reduce it permanently and I am noticing how often I feel the need to express what doofuses we have as clients here! I'm a very positive person normally but sometimes it just feels good to get it out, I guess.
Another thing I need to work on or at least evaluate is how negative I am (or not) because my husband seems to think I am but I don't see it, really. Sometimes I feel discouraged about so much work to be done at home when I just finished working my day. And my husband finds me negative towards him because of what I expect him to do while I'm at work and he's alone at home. We need to sort these things out.
No issues these days though because I am alone at home. And I miss him too, so I don't feel anything negative! In fact, I feel so good about him, seeing how well Nora is doing in Egypt!
Posted by Candice at 1:22 PM
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I got a Ramadan Checklist online (called "Month of Mercy Activities Student Checklist") and it has a bunch of daily activities, some specific to Fridays and some weekly requirements. I like the idea of a checklist to mark my progress, but this particular one is a bit "advanced" for me.
I don't know what some of things even are, actually. For example, praying the 13 rakahs of Sunnah prayers... I don't know when they are at all. Making my morning Dhikr... I don't know what that means, really... I will have to ask my husband though. Making tawbah and istighfaar... No clue what that means.
I will be focusing on praying all the prayers, being more patient and kind overall, giving to charity (money but also time since I will not have my daughter for part of the month).
Here is what I have so far:
-Pray the 5 prayers each day
-Go to mosque at least once for the night prayer (it is far)
-Memorize 4 of the shorter surahs and their meanings
-Reduce things like television, books that don't teach anything valuable, music
-Read Qur'an (translation) at least 5 mins each day
-Listen to Qur'an recitation at least 5 minutes each day
-Memorize some duas (or their English translation, not sure yet) and incorporate them into life
-Set up a few small challenges for myself
* go a full day without saying any negative comment
* spend a full day in hijab
* go a full day without any television or radio or computer
Posted by Candice at 10:46 AM
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I use Facebook and all the people on my list are people I actually know, but they are not all close, and they are not all people I would want to hang out with, and they are not all people I care in the slightest about (no more than the regular amount of caring I have for any human being). I really should do a cleanup. One person on my Facebook is my ex-best friend's step-sister and her status name was somthing like, "I get so annoyed with un-fashionable people.". Maybe it's this numb state I'm in about life with Nora gone, but it seriously bothered me. It's fine to be interested in fashion, but to be annoyed with those who aren't? Seriously... What kind of life does she lead?! It is so shallow. I can't help but feel like her life is so upside down, having fashion as a priority and, not only that, being "annoyed" with people who don't!
Typing it now, I feel like my reaction is a bit overdone, but meh, I really got bothered. I wrote something about hoping it was an inside joke or something and refrained from writing that if not, she is so superficial! She replied at first yesterday, but today, I saw a notice about another reply from her sister and all the comments had been deleted from this status update.
What I am learning from this: Even if I haven't cried my eyes out about Nora leaving and I *seem* pefectly fine and dandy, it is affecting me a lot. AND I really need to clean up my Facebook account and get rid of people I don't need on my list.
Posted by Candice at 10:39 AM
Friday, August 14, 2009
I will probably be talking about my daughter, my husband, Egypt, the departure, the arrival, the trip, etc. for a bit. I also plan on having "regular" posts in there, but there are some things I just feel good getting out, I guess. It's hard for me to be without her. I'll try to make it obvious in the post title if it's something like that. If it gets extravagant, I will make code titles for readers to only read the interesting stuff. lol. Sorry for bugging you guys with this!
I wanted to mention something I found interesting about the departure. My husband told me before he was getting ready to say bye to me that when we got to saying bye, he wanted us to each say part of the shahada (one says "la ilaha ila allah" and the other continues "wa muhammadun rasool allah"). I'd never heard of that before, but it obviously meant something to him for us to say it together that way so we did that at the departure. It was kind of beautiful to share that together.
I'd heard him say to his mom over the phone some minutes earlier "muhamadun rasool allah" and I was thinking... Seriously, why would he just say that? Is he swearing on Muhammad or something like that? Shirk shirk shirk! But when he told me to say it with him I realized why he had only said this part with his mom. And I think it's quite beautiful. It's like uniting us in Islam.
Has anyone ever heard of this practice? Does anyone do this?
Posted by Candice at 11:36 PM
My husband and daughter are in Egypt.
I will have a lot of free time, of time for myself, in the coming weeks. I feel like I'm missing something in my life right now, without my daughter here and not being able to contact her easily either. My husband is sleeping after the trip right now, so no one is online. I got to see her and she got to see me (and my family) for 12 minutes during my lunch hour but that was it other than the update that they'd landed safely a few hours before.
Thinking about my situation clearly... I definitely need to use these weeks alone to do things for me that I can't do when I have the responsability of a full-time mother. I plan on making better efforts to pray the 5 prayers, to read and learn about Islam, to fast Ramadan and make it a spiritual experience and hopefully I will find at least a couple ways to volunteer or give something to the community somehow. I hope to have that opportunity. I have time, I'd like to use it for good. I also plan on getting myself in better shape by exercising and eating well. I plan on relaxing a lot. Sleeping more for sure!
But right now I can't imagine going to do these things... I just want to wait for my husband to go online and give me an update about our baby!! I'm reading the last book of the Twilight saga and I'm nearing the end. I hope he gets here before I finish it. lol. I have this book that I will finish and then two other books I'm close to being done and after that I will step out of the make-believe and into real life. Not to say that I feel I am losing touch with reality by reading the book, but there's something about it that drags me into the story and idea. And I know 100% that it's not true, but to enjoy a book, you have to immerse yourself in the story, and I have done that with these vampires, so it's like an exit to spend those minutes or hours reading. Even if it's just the time I spend actively reading it, it feels like moments too many to be out of touch with reality. KWIM? I know that sounded weird.
Posted by Candice at 8:01 PM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I didn't actually write about this yet, but my daughter is going to Egypt. We just said our goodbyes at the airport a couple hours ago and she's flying right now towards Egypt. I don't know what to say about it right now... I guess I should just think of them, but not get myself nuts about it so I can get a decent night's sleep.
I miss my baby. I even miss my giant baby husband. lol.
Posted by Candice at 11:32 PM
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This is from videos I saw on BN's blog. I hadn't seen him before, but I really like his style. He's funny, but it's Islamic advice, yknow?
I was mostly thinking about the first video, in which he talks about teenagers and letting them get married early, even if they don't have their degree, their career going, even if they don't have a home yet, to keep them away from sin.
I can't help but agree. I really think it's going about it the wrong way to have men wait until they are about 30 before they can get married because they haven't been able to save up for a house before then. This seems to happen a lot in Egypt and seriously, they'd all be better off getting married much earlier than that!
One of my husband's friends is engaged right now... has been for a few months. When I congratulated him, I asked him when he was getting married and he said it was undetermined, but over a year from then. I was really kinda shocked!! He will hang out with her often for the next year, with a woman who is really his non-maharam. And this is haram. Things should be done to keep this to a minimum... And seriously, I can only *hope* they will only hang out, go out, take trips, etc. while not being married and not worse, because the temptation will sure be there for them every step of the way! It will be so easy to give in!
So as the video was saying, even if the person doesn't have a house yet, isn't out of university and working full time, it would be better for them to get married now, even if they have to live with the parents (if they have a spare room), than to leave them with the temptation of zina.
The only thing that I had trouble accepting was the ages he ends up mentioning. 13-14-15-16, along those young ages, if I can remember. I have to say that I would not accept my child to be married at that age! 16 can become a possibility if I know she is very mature for her age and responsable, but I know from my own experience that it is so unlikely to happen. I was always a calm, mature person, but even I wouldn't have considered myself ready before 18 or so! And for a male child, it would have to be a bit later than that. He DOES need to be the one who ends up providing, and at 16, in this day and age, he is not even close!
I understand relying on parents for a while and I agree that it is a better alternative than added years of temptation, but if they *did* get married at 15, the chances of becoming parents before they're even out of highschool is just WAY TOO BIG! A person shouldn't be married until they are responsable enough, and part of this responsability of marriage for most people is being a family (with children).
So my personal conclusion is that in a case similar to my husband's friend, having finished his university and started working full time 3 or 4 years ago, even if he is not set in his life and still living with his parents, he is an adult, and it would be best for him to get married to the girl he's engaged to!
BUT in the case of a horny teenager living with his parents and not finished highschool, he or she needs to be taught not to hang out with others of the opposite sex and have their parents support them and understand them in their hardships, and also have their parents continue to teach and show them what it is to be in a married relationship until they are more ready.
I agreed with his message, I would just change the ages to 17-23 or so for these young people who'd be better off getting married, not 13-17!
Posted by Candice at 3:01 PM
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I've been walking to work lately since my husband has been waking up earlier and bringing our daughter to the sitter himself. It has given me a bit of room to breathe in the morning, not having to give her breakfast, the medecine and get her dressed before leaving. I can kinda take it cool and get myself ready. I often have time to get her at least partly ready, but still, I don't have the pressure to do it! It has also been nice family moments to have everyone awake at the same time!
So I started walking to work and I've been doing that for a couple weeks now. I walked by a man with pamphlets (something we don't normally see in this small town) and he stops me to see if I'm interested. It was a Jehovah's Witness, of course! I normally just say thanks and take the pamplet or magazine, and flip through it before tossing it. I was going to do the same, but then he added, "It's about the Bible, if you're interested." Well, he tells me to take it *if I'm interested* so I told him that no, I wasn't. And that I was MUSLIM!
WOOH! :P He just told me thank you and have a good day and I said the same and we parted ways.
My first time telling someone I am Muslim in real life!
Posted by Candice at 11:31 AM
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I saw about this iPalm Digital Qur'an on the Simply Islam website. Seems pretty interesting, really! It's a gadget based on helping you with Islam! How neat! I know you could get the Qur'an and put it on your MP3 player and download lectures that you'd put on a separate playlist or something, but there's something nice about having this MP3 player designed for Islam. It has Qur'an recitations, Qur'an translations (spoken and written, I think), hadith books, tafsir books, dua, athnan clock, DVD with religious films ready to put on the device as you choose. It also records voice and video and takes pictures.
Has anyone bought it, considered it or known someone to? Is it really helpful? Do you feel it would be helpful for you?
Posted by Candice at 3:36 PM