Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Truth Is One

"The Muslim position is clear. The Muslim does not claim to have a religion peculiar to himself. Islam is not a sect or an ethnic religion. In its view all Religion is one, for the Truth is one. It was the religion preached by all the earlier prophets. It was the truth taught by all the inspired Books. In essence it amounts to a consciousness of the Will and Plan of Allah and a joyful submission to that Will and Plan. If anyone wants a religion other than that, he is false to his own nature, as he is false to Allah's Will and Plan. Such a one cannot expect guidance, for he has deliberately renounced guidance." Abdullah Yusuf Ali in commentary of (3:85)

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
- Qur'an 3:85

Don't you all feel amazing about this commentary? Does this not sound like the real Islam, the one that includes anyone who submits to the will and plan of Allah, allowing for the guidance to come from anywhere Allah wills? The Islam that is part of our nature and not cultural. Not a sect or an ethnic religion! How far some Muslims have gone from this understanding of Islam! It's unbelievable!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Well... It didn't work out

So the blood donation didn't work out because I fell pretty sick the day after. I called them and they won't use my blood in case it's something contagious that I got. Not sure if it was or not because the symptoms were kind of all over the place so I'm not sure what I have.

I'm still not 100% so I haven't been fasting. I'm at the point where I can function pretty well but depend on pills to get through the day. At this point, my biggest symptom is a constant headache.

Anyway. Just wanted to give a bit of an update.

I might not be updating the blog throughout Ramadan but will be back after.

I hope you all have a blessed month and eid insha'Allah!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It all worked out (I think)

How strange that Ramadan started a day later than I thought it would, and that the blood drive was a couple days earlier than I thought it was! Yesterday was the first day of the blood drive and I was not fasting so I was able to go without worries. It went super well and I didn't feel any differently than normal (not weaker or anything) when I got out of there yesterday evening. I'd given blood before and ended up feeling OK but a bit weakened but not at all this time! It really seems like it all worked out as it was supposed to!

Now only thing is that this morning, it's not even 10am on my first day of fasting and I already feel like if I stay up too long I will pass out! Don't know if it has anything to do with giving blood yesterday because I seriously felt great the whole rest of the evening. I will take a nap and see because I slept terrible last night and it might also just be that! Better rest and *then* do everything around the house that I need to. I'm lucky and have that luxury this week since I'm on vacation and I was able to bring my daughter to daycare today. Better for me to take advantage of that or I will not last a full day of fasting.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Blood Drive during Ramadan

There's a blood drive in my town on the 13th and 14th. I'd really like to give blood but with fasting and everything, I'm thinking I might not be up for it. So of course, one option is to not participate. Another option is to go as early as possible since that's when I'd be feeling best. And the last option is to be the very last to get blood drawn since they close at 8pm and fasting is until just a couple minutes before that. I'd be able to have a bite to eat just before and then have a real meal after the blood-giving. I'd just worry that I will feel really unwell after giving blood when I'm already not very nourished. And if I give at the beginning of the day, I worry that it will cause me to feel so weak I won't be able to complete my fast.

What do you think?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ramadan Goals

1) Fast the whole of Ramadan successfully

This is something I know will be difficult for me. It's not something people around my support very much and I have lots of things to do, all during the day... But insha'Allah with some support I will pull through. (Can you tell how scared I am? Sounds like I'm talking about life or death!)

2) Keep my prayers
Very difficult as well for me. I can be in such a negative place that only Allah can get me out of but reaching out to him can be so tough somehow. Makes no sense.

3) Make dua every morning and night
It will be an important way to keep contact with Allah.
Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) was ask for help. (Quran 1:4 or 5... Is the bismillah not counted as a verse in surah Al-Fatiha?)

4) Attend taraweeh at least twice per week on average
I say on average because I am on vacation for 2 weeks and will be able to attend more often while I might not afterwards.

5) Tell some important people about my conversion
An obvious one.

6) Re-memorize two short surahs I have forgotten and implement them in my prayers
I give 2 as a goal but hope to be able to learn 4.

7) Read Qur'an at least 5 minutes per day
It's not a huge goal, but hopefully it will make me pick up the Qur'an and spend more than that on most days.

8) To not engage in office gossip
I will ignore any conversation that has to do with other employees unless I know I will personally confront them about whatever might be happening that is causing the gossip.

9) Try to do one special deed per day
Could be an extra act of worship like a sunnah prayer or a good act towards another person that I wouldn't have a chance to do every day.

10) Make good efforts towards people
This one is two-part. First is being inviting and reaching out to other Muslims during this month. Both in real life and the connections I've made online. Second part is giving people nasiha when they need it, whether it's to a Muslim or not. Not letting the situation roll off me when I know it's wrong.

11) Try to control the hate that burns so badly in my heart
Anyone with good duas, please post. Other than that, I will not be going into an detail about this one.

Ayah of the Week - 4

Your Lord has enjoined you to worship none but Him, and to show kindness to your parents. If either or both of them attain old age in your dwelling, show them no sign of impatience, nor rebuke them; but speak to them kind words. Treat them with humility and tenderness and say: ‘Lord, be merciful to them. They nursed me when I was an infant.' (17:23-24)

What do you get from this?

I think the Qur'an hits the nail on the head when it tells us that we should not show our parents signs of impatience, nor should we rebuke them. These two things are so very common in dealings of children with their parents as they get older, and are two things that lots of people feel fine doing (which is why they need more mentioning than the very obviously wrong things a person can do). Yes, people can become frustrating to deal with as they get older... They are set in their ways and unwilling to re-evaluate things. Their personalities became more extreme versions of their younger selves a lot of times and it's a lot to take. But we are to think back on everything they did for us and be patient and kind with them. We are not to treat them as children (even if they might be going back to a child-like state) but we are to treat them with humility and tenderness.

I think the verse is mainly directed at adult children with older parents, but that of course, its wisdom of respecting your parents is applicable to children of any age and that this is an important value to instill.

Wanted to say too that I have a post coming up about the topic of parents in the Qur'an, in particular "kufr" parents... An article I read that had me confused for a few moments as it "demonstrated" that the Qur'an contradicted itself on the topic... They are quite good at what they do over there so insha'Allah, I hope to go over that article and its sneaky ways with you in the coming days.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What a great day!

I am going to be on vacation for 2 weeks in just a few hours!

I am very touched by the responses I got to help me during Ramadan (and will respond within the next day insha'Allah)

Last but not least, I have 150 followers today! :D Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Support during Ramadan...

I joined a great little group on Facebook called iRamadan. Look it up and get yourself invited if you want extra support during Ramadan!

I have been making goals for myself for this Ramadan that are pretty attainable, although hard still for a person like me, and I felt pretty good about it. I will be on vacation during the first 12 days of Ramadan which I figured would make things much easier since my co-workers are people who wouldn't know I'm fasting and it's always hard to get invited to lunch and invent excuses. I don't want to lie or anything! And being on vacation, I can better focus on Islamic things during the day, have energy to go to Taraweeh because of not having to wake up early, all that stuff.

But now as my vacation approaches, I realized that I will have a lot of difficulty doing most activities I planned like going to the zoo, going to my uncle's for a weekend, going to the water slides, meeting up with some friends I don't see often enough, painting my whole apartment, organizing things around the house, etc. It has put me on a tiny little Ramadan depression sort of. I have been looking forward to being on vacation so I can do all these things without being tired from work, but I will probably be even more tired from fasting.

Point of this post: I need support. LOTS of it... More than just the iRamadan group on Facebook (even though I think it's really wonderful). Does anyone have any suggestions? Would anyone who I have met online through blogging want to perhaps exchange phone numbers and help through text message support? I'd love to help as well of course if I'm able.

I'm sorry for my weakness... Anyone with ideas, please post of email me through my profile! I don't want to fail before Ramadan even starts.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I think it's time for "the talk" with my parents

I have been wanting to tell my parents that I've converted to Islam but scared to do it. They are very accepting people and I know for certain they would never ever disown me or treat me any differently but I know they would be upset by this news. I don't want to upset them at all. I have put them through enough with going off to Egypt to meet a random guy, coming home pregnant and a bunch of drama afterwards. Let's just say they didn't have this in mind for me, and being Muslim is the last thing they'd expect. I guess I'm afraid to disappoint them.

It's not really a valid reason and the other reason I had was mostly that I was afraid they'd see me differently. I think that the way I have been gradually changing makes them see that I'm still me so this is not a good excuse anymore. I am not a newbie convert who made a radical change. I converted 1 year ago and have slowly changed while remaining who I am as well and they will be able to see that.

That makes me think it's time.

Other thing is that my husband mentionned it in front of them and they'd have been deaf not to hear. I have been ignoring the possible conversation coming where they ask me what it was about... But that's immature and I need to be the one to mention it first.

This Ramadan, one of my goals is to tell my family and close friends.

Ayah of the Week - 3

"And those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are dwellers of paradise, they will dwell therin forever." (2:82)

What do you get from this?

This ayah reminds me of how balanced Islam is. It's not only about belief in Allah, but also about showing this belief through action. Belief and deeds can't go one without the other for a true Muslim, and this is shown by the amount of verses that put these two things together as the recipe for paradise (this verse being only an example of the many similar verses found in the Qur'an).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Poll for converts or non-Muslims who looked into Islam and didn't convert

(Please comment with your answer!)

These are people who have looked into Islam pretty seriously and converted or did not convert:

1) Did you have what you would call a good childhood (no abuse, no parent left while you were a child, no major unhappiness caused by family or peers)?

2) Did you convert afterall?

3) Do you follow "traditional" Islamic interpretations (Sunni, Shia, other maybe...) or a re-interpretation of Islam (Qur'an only, generally less importance to hadiths, code 19, as examples)?

Wish I could have real data to see if there's a relationship between having a difficult childhood and the final act of converting. My hypothesis is that people who looked into Islam and had a difficult childhood are more likely to convert to Islam. Second hypothesis is that people with a happy childhood who ended up converting are more likely than those with a difficult childhood of following a more open form of Islam.

Forgive all the labels I had to use. I think most know what I mean and we can go without causing a fuss over the use of these terms.

And thanks! And vote please! Also, considering this is a comment poll, you can add extra details to your answer if you want, and if you are a born Muslim or something else that makes you not able to answer, you can still post your thoughts!

Countdown... 5 days left

before my vacation starts! I have so much work to do and will not even be up to date with this week's work when I leave for my vacation for 2 weeks. Imagine the pile up of work when I come back. I will not be up to date EVER! I will need to do overtime... but man do I not feel like it.

I will just go off on vacation worry-free and take care of all this crap when I return, I think. I took on a transciption job this week which will give me a few hours more work already, and I am so flat-out exhausted generally that screw overtime this week. I can burn myself out when I get back!

YAY, time OFF! Time for me! :)

Exploring Life and Islam © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.