Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flat out

I don't feel in any way that the traditional/orthodox interpretation by the leading ulama is the truth from God. A lot of what is contained is man-made and misleading to all Muslims who are told to follow this as it is God's will. In other words: There's a lot of crap contained therein!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music

Writing about how boring I've become actually made me think of a topic related to Islam that I could write about on here! YAY for that! It came up on sister Zainab's blog Arabian Panther and when I wrote a comment a few days ago, it came out as a story that would be better suited for a post than a comment. So here it is:


First time I heard about someone "quitting" music at a sort of convention for young Muslims I was not Muslim yet and was at the very beginning of knowing about Islam (had met one Muslim in my life back then) and I thought it was crazy! How had music become so evil to this person? He must really have been mad about music, 24/7! Breathing music day and night and it must have been having a negative effect on his day to day life. But as I listened to his story, it really wasn't *that* bad... He was a regular music-lover like me and lots of other normal functioning people I knew.

As a bit of time went on and I got married and pregnant and had my daughter, I stopped loving music so much. Didn't download or buy music anymore and didn't attend shows. It simply became unimportant. Then this became my normal. I realized that what I was before was not normal, but quite extreme, when it came to music. It was on when I woke up, between classes, while I did homework, while I cooked, when I rollerbladed, when I did the groceries, etc. It was on ALL THE TIME and I would not have tolerated a cold-turkey stop well for sure.

The new me didn't actively listen to music, but she still didn't think it was haram at all if a person did not go overboard. She still thought there was such a thing as a music lover doing it halal... But with examples like your's, a person who was responsible in how she listened to music, I finally realized that there is no way to prevent from going "overboard" because people who are overboard cannot see it!!!

Sorry for my long comment, but I hadn't thought about music in a long time and your post was kind of the concluding trigger for me. So thank you!

Basically: Yes, my point of view on music has changed (a tiny bit!). It's hard for me to say exactly what my point of view is on music, but I used to be a "music is halal as long as it does not have haram themes or affect our day to day life" and now I would not say that. I wouldn't "HARAAAAM!" anyone either, ever. But I would keep my mouth shut if it came up (whatever their point of view). Not bad progress, right?

I know I've been a bit boring

My blog isn't what it was and I know that. I loved writing about all sorts of little things (sometimes there were big things too!) about Islam that came to mind but I have no inspiration lately! The part of me that was thinking about Islam a lot calmed down a bit after I converted I think, probably just from feeling like I had figured out an answer to a lot of questions just in accepting Islam. But even after my conversion, my blog was not as DULL as this!! Since August when I went through some personal problems I've been disconnected with my blog because the bit of brainpower that was constantly "on" evaluating things with an Islamic point of view (and imagining how I'd write it on my blog) and the bit of memory I used to keep that information is now used in my family life, and that stuff is just not for the blog.


I would love to come back to blogging like I was before... for myself really! It felt good to think about things and share and get feedback and I really hope to get back into it sometime. It feels like there's so much I want to do and learn and just no time or energy for all of it. I feel like a potato lately. I need to make a concrete plan of action of what I want to do and when because right now I have a routine going on that does the basic stuff that needs to be done.

Even this post sucked and makes me feel bored. Gah

Any ideas on how to get my productivity level up when stuck in a routine lots of parts of which cannot be changed?? (Sir Adib, I know you rock at this stuff!)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

HELP - looking for two items online

If anyone knows where I can get powdered black kohl powder, PLEASE tell me! I bought some from Arabian Threads a while back for me and my friend and she gave it to an aunt over the summer and would like to have some more... But Arabian Threads is not selling any right now.


I found some brown one on alhannah.com but brown really doesn't give the same look and the lipstick style is not really what I'm looking for.

And the second item I'm looking for is super-wide pants that look like they're a skirt like this:

They are so awesome! I really really want them, but with all the negative reviews on how long it takes to get them and how poor the communication is with this store (lies about when things were sent out, etc.) I don't want to deal with them. Anyone know where I could get something similar?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Eid and Hijab

Bouncey games for the kids

Update on how my Eid celebration went and what I wore to it last Saturday, just for fun.

It was great fun. It was for kids so the focus was on that. Nora was little miss independent 3-year old and did the bouncey games over and over by herself and just had fun. I supervised her closely for the first hour to make sure she knew to go to the back of the line and how to wait for her turn and when I met Anisah up, there were lots more people there so I lost track of Nora quite a lot but she did great doing her thing I found! It was so great to meet Anisah for the first time in person and her youngest daughter too who I had seen in pictures only.

Overall the event made me want to be a part of the Muslim community more. I am so detached I only see the negative from people on the internet who are a lot more up front because it's so anonymous and forget all the positives of being around other Muslims! I see so few Muslims that I forget that I don't feel about Muslims what I feel about *some* Muslims online. It made me want to find ways to be a part of the community but I'm not sure how... And with just a few days that have passed, I know that already I am not thinking about this very much and am not actively trying to find a way to do something...

Anyway... Onto what I wore:

I wore a brown embroidered buttoned up dress just below the knee with jeans underneath and an orange and black little cardi on top and a dark brown al-amira with decorated underscarf. I felt pretty good in that but it got itchy under the chin and kinda hot in the face. Here is a picture of the look. The photo quality is bad because it's from my phone...



I felt pretty good in it. There were women not wearing hijab and I still felt better in this than I would have without hijab even if it would have been what I normally wear (pretty modest clothes but without a headscarf). What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Buddhism

I read a pamphlet-like book yesterday on the basics in Buddhism and it was just amazing! The Eightfold Path is what really made sense to me in the way I see Islam. The author of this pamphlet said that Buddhism wasn't so much a religion unto itself than a spiritual supplement and although I know that's probably not the dominating opinion, it makes a lot of sense. Buddhism doesn't address every question, it only tells a person how to be better. There might be a few details that contradict Islam, but I don't think anyone could argue that applying the Eightfold Path will make a person better. Even a better MUSLIM. Click on the link to read a bit more about it; it's pretty brief, but still complete.

I don't know that much about Buddism and their other beliefs that might contradict with Islam, but what I read yesterday (The Eightfold Path) just spoke to me loudly. This is submission/peace.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eid Kids Day!

I'm happy, tomorrow I will be going to an Eid event at a mosque about an hour away! It's for kids so it will have things for them like inflatable games which Nora will just LOVE for sure.


It's a pretty big mosque for here and it will be my first time there. And it's only my second time in a large mosque here in Quebec so it should be awesome. Best part though is that I will meet my dear online friend Anisah for the first time! Really excited about that! She is the only Muslim friend I have in Quebec and I haven't even met her in real life! It will be nice to hang out with Muslims I'm sure... And I will wear hijab for the event.

I am really not sure what to wear, but for the headscarf part, I'm thinking an al-amira because it's so easy and no-fuss, no worries. But the look is really plain and boring and it's not long enough to cover my chest which is the part that is not as good... I will see! If it's any good, I will post a faceless picture of it! :P

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Impressions of Ramadan from a Local TV Show

I was watching a show where 5 contestants each day of the week make food for the others to be judged on and the winner gets I-donno-what. A contestant this week was a Morocan and in the commentary, the announcer kept mentionning Ramadan because the man would not drink alcohol and didn't like eating food that contained alcohol (but he did taste it, at least to be able to give the person a critic). I might not have listened well enough but I got the impression it was filmed during Ramadan and it was light out during the meals!


It just made me think that a person watching this would think that Ramadan means not drinking alcohol because they never talked about fasting in the episodes I saw. It was always mentioned when he refused a drink or took a bite of a meal prepared with alcohol.

Anyway, I have no idea why they didn't just say he's Muslim so he doesn't drink alcohol and leave it at that! Why talk about the month of fasting when the guy isn't fasting?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Eid Mubarak!

Happy Eid everyone!


I hope you are all having a wonderful Eid. It's hard as a convert with no real life ties to any Muslims except husband and daughter... I don't know how to celebrate Eid AT ALL and I find myself more excited about the Christmas decorations starting to go up around the city and in my office and planning Christmas presents for family and friends. What a happy and magical time of year it is with everyone participating. I wish everyone would convert so we could transfer this atmosphere of joy to Eid, but that's just me dreaming!

Of course, Eid can still be joy and SHOULD be joy for us all. I have absolutely nothing planned, but I will try to find at least a little something for my husband to enjoy. He must miss Egyptian celebrations after having been here for 3 years with either a non-Muslim or a Muslim who doesn't know what she's doing!

Any ideas on how to make a last-minute little something? My husband gets home at 740PM and our daughter is in bed around that time... It really limits the possibilities... Basically, since he gets home 2 hours after I do, I will have time to shop for a little gift for him and wrap it. And I will either order or cook something I know he likes! Sounds OK, right? I know it's more for him than us as a family, but we have next year for that. And I have Christmas coming up anyway so I'm not that bummed about it.

Do Something Special

In my previous post, I wrote I wanted to do something special for my husband... I'm going to make a list just for that but I need some help.


My ideas are:

- learn to cook an Egyptian meal and prepare it for him
- have our daughter in bed by the time he comes home from work and have supper with him just us two (must not eat before that like I always do!)
- have us pray together at night
- a good massage (meaning, a massage with no need to reciprocate, just 100% relaxation)
- give a chance to a TV series he enjoys that I don't (I do this often but can get pretty mad about it with time when I really don't like it - I need to calm down)
- a one day head-will-explode no complaining day! lol

What else?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Things I want to do

I think I will make an official list of small goals I have for myself. It's just for fun and kinda just for me to remember and add to. I could just put it in a text document or something but I'd just forget it.


- make a quilt
- read more books (I'm working on a tiny goal of 20 pages per day which should be manageable)
- ski this winter
- make crafts with Nora
- speak English with Nora
- volunteer somewhere
- be direct with my friend about her destructive lifestyle (out of my goal to be 100% direct, I have managed to be about 50% direct so far)
- get my niece a gift she will really enjoy for her birthday/Xmas
- help a dog get adopted
- do something special for my husband weekly (need ideas!)

LONG TERM

- save 15 000$
- get a house
- start an animal shelter
- get a university degree

Dua and the Evil Eye

For me, dua is a connection with God and anyone who tries to connect with God will have her prayers answered in some way or another. We can pray for ourselves or we can pray for others and any prayer we make is worth something. The way I understand the afterlife is that the Day of Judgement happens at the same time for all mankind. I believe the people who have died are in a timeless state waiting for the Judgement day. It will feel to them as though they died and arrived to the Day of Judgement when really they might have died thousands of years before someone else who is there at the same time... So this is why I also believe that dua for a person who has passed is important. If someone who has passed continues to have his memory live on in a positive way, surely he or she will get benefit for that.

I'm not sure what Islam says about negative dua though... I link it to the evil eye a little in how I think about it. I know the evil eye is about envy but I think that the negative effects can have more to do with what the person was actually doing like bragging or showing off... It's not Islamic to dress to show your class or wealth, so I imagine it's not Islamic to also own things that show how wealthy you are like a giant house or a high end sports car or other such things. So if a person made others envious, he has actually done some wrong himself.

I know it can't be black or white though because people can be envious of normal things, not only things that are extravagant or rich. A person who does not have a child could be envious of her best friend for having a family and it's not because the person with the family is bragging about it necessarily, but the envy falls on her because of the close relationship. But then again, if they were close, the person envying would know it's not right in this case and it would probably not even count as evil eye. Kind of like acknowledging that it's God's will that one has a family and they don't.

Anyway... I feel a sort of link between dua and evil eye... Evil eye can't be evil eye if a person has some envious feelings that they know they should not have and acknowledge are bad, I think... So evil eye is really just someone having negative feelings toward someone that has brought on these feelings in one way or the other... Not trying to blame the victim here, but there are always things that we can do to avoid others having negative feelings towards us and I think it's important that people do them. I had a person tell me once that they knew they were in the right no matter how I felt about the situation and that that was all they needed. In a way, it's true. If they were right, Allah will know. But on the other hand, those feelings would not have existed in the first place if the situation had been dealt with differently, and Allah will also know that!

I'm rambling so I'll sign off.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a no :'(

I got a call back from the owner just now and she really didn't like the idea of a dog here. Even temporarily fostering. Of course I guess she knew that if she allows a dog to live here once, then she'll practically have to allow me to have a second foster dog and then I'll eventually have had a dog here full time for a year and how say no to us getting our own after that?


I know a big part of it was that we have carpets everywhere. They are gross right now though... I mean, we have a young child and carpets in the kitchen?! They'd get dirty no matter who was living here. My husband dropped about one litre of koshary sauce right on the carpet a couple days ago... It's bad. Maybe she doesn't know how much having a dog just can't make these carpets more dirty! lol. We are supposed to get them professionally cleaned next weekend though...

Anyway, I'm still shaking from nerves talking to her... And I'm pretty sad from the outcome. She did say she'd think it over some more but it sounded like a very clear no with a polite "think it over". She's a really nice lady but she just didn't like to imagine a dog in her carpeted-all-the-way childhood home.

Names of Allah

I was looking a bit back into maybe finding an Islamic name for myself. By Islamic I mean a name that would represent me as a Muslim. A meaning that inspires me or a figure in Islam's history that inspires me. Not to replace my current name, but to be added to it possibly as a middle name.

I got into looking into the 99 names of Allah to maybe be Amatul-___ and while doing this, I realized that the most meaningful name of Allah for me was the Just. With justice, you get peace, you leave more room for love instead of hate, you put your intentions in the right place.

Here is a nice quote from The Hidden Words. I know some Muslims are against appreciating texts from other religions, but I get something positive out of this and see no reason to force myself not to find it inspiring. Enjoy:

2. O SON OF SPIRIT!
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I want a doggie!


These two images come from dogs waiting for adoption on petfinder.com. The second one looks so much like our old dog it's just plain crazy! The first one has a similar look- just so beautiful!!! I want them!

I LOVE dogs! They're my favourite animal by a lot... I would love to be able to have a dog here but I'm not allowed in my apartment and my husband is not crazy about them... He is a bit more open to it now after 5 years of knowing me and how much I love dogs and 3 years of being here in Canada where so many people keep dogs as pets (something that is not so common in Egypt). For him, there is still a bit of that negative feeling towards dogs that is cultural and of course there's the Islamic part that he believes in that dogs are unclean and I would never want to force something that is against his religious beliefs on him so we would need to find a way if we're ever to have a dog.

His first compromise was a dog that stays exclusively outside. Of course, I can't accept that! It gets freakin' cold outside in the winter and anyway, I want a dog as a companion and friend and I wouldn't put a friend outside even if it stayed warm year-round.

My compromise was that there would be areas in the house completely off-limits to the dog. Not a step inside bedrooms or the bathroom, for example. Those places would be areas where we could do wudu and pray without worrying that the dog has touched them. I found that pretty good. I would even be willing to add no going on the couch even though I'd actually like to have a dog that could come on the couch with me... But I think for him, having a dog with access to our living room and kitchen is a bit much to handle.

I am seriously going CRAZY with the idea of having a dog, directly or indirectly. My parents (and the family) had a dog for 14 years before she died 2 years ago and they will definitely get another one when the time is right, but it's not now... Since the situation is difficult for me to get one, I'm trying to convince them to get one so I can be around dogs again... But as I said, it's not for now.

My new plan... Because yes, I am going CRAZY from wanting a dog lately, is to contact my owner to see if she would accept us keeping a dog temporarily as a foster home. That way, I could have a dog and help a dog like I want, my husband could see what it's like to have one without it being a 15 year commitment and my owner wouldn't feel like it's such a big deal since it would be on average a 1 month stay that can end at any time if it doesn't work out well. And she keeps the ultimate decision since it's on my lease that dogs are not allowed. So if she says yes, I'd have my husband to convince... And just maybe I could help prevent a good dog from being killed by giving him extra time to find a permanent home.

I'm so excited even if it's kind of unlikely it will work out... I'm TOO excited for the slight chance it can happen... But I can't help myself, I love dogs so much.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Copy from great article on the Islamic Will

(Sorry for the caps) I HAD POSTED THIS BEFORE, BUT I WILL DO IT AGAIN AND THIS TIME JUST COPY AND PASTE ON MY BLOG. THIS IS THE LINK: http://shakethepalmtree.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/the-islamic-will-al-wasiya/

The Islamic Will (Al-Wasiya)

Posted on December 1, 2007 by Um Yusuf as-Siddiq

I wanted to post a *VERY* important reminder about the Islamic will (wasiyya). I cannot express enough how important this is. Here are some things I compiled about the will. A really great book on this subject is “The Final Bequest – The Islamic Will and Testament” by Muhammad al-Jibaly. He goes over the will and inheritance laws from A-Z.

The Obligation of Writing a Will

Writing an Islamic will is unfortunately neglected today, or not stressed upon enough to say the least. There are obvious reasons of not wanting to think about it, putting it off, or not knowing the importance of having one. But for Muslims this should be the opposite attitude – it is very very *very* important to have a will, and we should make it a priority to have one ASAP if we don’t already have one, and update it as often as needed. Nobody knows when they are going to die, so we should hasten to write our will. When a Muslim dies their will should be read and executed. Everyone has certain rights that need to be fulfilled, all of which were described and prescribed by Allah and His Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam)

•“It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” Surah al-Baqarah 2:180
•“(The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts” Surah al-Nisa 4:11
•“It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without writing a will about it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
•Ibn Omar (radiyAllahu anhu) then noted, “Not even one night passed me, ever since I heard this from the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam), without having my will with me” (Bukhari, Muslim, and others)
•“A man may do good deeds for seventy years but if he acts unjustly when he leaves his last testament, the wickedness of his deed will be sealed upon him, and he will enter the Fire. If, (on the other hand), a man acts wickedly for seventy years but is just in his last will and testament, the goodness of his deed will be sealed upon him, and he will enter the Garden.” (Ahmad and Ibn Majah)
Protecting Our Rights

As Muslims we have many rights over each other, with our families, our children, our friends, and with our own selves. Having a wasiyya will insha’Allah ascertain with Allah that we did our best to make sure we fulfilled these rights. Death comes to anyone at any given place and at any given time. We are not guaranteed anything, not even another second. We don’t want to die without giving someone their rights, nor do we want to die and not have our rights given to us. Rights are so important that they will hang over us on Judgment Day until scores are settled – because Islam is a religion of justice. Alhamdulillah. We should take advantage and make our will while we are of sound mind and health. We do not want to be on our deathbed, or sick, suffering from pain, incoherent, (may Allah protect us all) while trying to verbalize our will wishes. We want to make sure that our instructions on what will happen to our family, children, wealth, property, assets, debts, and our bodies, etc are articulated and clearly understood. We want to protect the rights of our kids, our families, and ourselves.

Importance of an Islamic Will

•Everything we have in this world, our wealth and our property, is from Allah and a trust from Him. While we are alive we are required to utilize our wealth in the best way and we will be asked about that on Judgment Day. When we die, part of that trust is to pass our wealth and property along appropriately. Aside from having non-Muslim families who may not know the Islamic practices, many countries do not recognize or follow the laws of Allah. We have to be very careful of this, and make sure we do what we can to protect our rights and be in accordance with the Shari’ah.
•Certain rights and duties between people must be settled before a person’s estate can be divided according to the inheritance laws in the Qur’an. Examples are loans, promises, unpaid bills, borrowed items, unpaid zakat, dowry, etc. We have to give everyone their due right. We can include names and contacts of anyone we owe loans to, creditors information, and so on in our wills.
•Islam is perfect and prescribes a way for everything. Many practices today, including funeral procedures, washing, burying, and mourning, etc are not done in accordance with the Sunnah; there is a lot of innovation (may Allah protect us from that). The will can specify the requests of the deceased to be honored – to have all practices and procedures done according to how Allah and His Messenger prescribed. (Buried in a Muslim cemetary, buried as soon as possible, without structures on the grave, without excessive wailing, etc etc etc)
You can also specify and name certain people whom you want to wash your body. The person should be pious, one who knows how to do the Ghusl and wrapping according to the Sunnah, one who will protect your dignity and honor (should they see anything on you that might harm your honor during the washing, they will never tell), and so on. Before we get put in the grave, we want to be cleaned and wrapped in the best way insha’Allah.

Basic Elements of a Will

There is no specific wording for a wasiyya, but basically it should have the following elements:

•The testator’s expression of sound mental ability and health
•Declaration of faith (the Shahadah)
•Commanding the survivors to do good and avoid sins
•Declaration of liabilites and assets
•Appointing an executor of the will and guardian(s) of wealth and children
•Bequeathed part of the estate (Naming beneficiaries and indicating the amount of your estate you wish to bequeath – up to 1/3)
•Emphasizing Islamic heirship (specifying legal heirs and their correct shares)
The will should be notarized and signed by 2 witnesses. Legal advice is also recommended. The will has a special sanctity and must be observed and executed. Anyone who changes it or hides any part of it is sinful and liable for Allah’s punishment!

•“And if (after the testator’s death) anyone alters such a provision after having come to know it, the sin of acting thus falls only upon those who have altered it. Indeed Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (Surah al-Baqara 2:181)
My dear brothers and sisters, dont delay what we have to do today until tomorrow because we never know what can happen to us. There are many standard wills available online, which can be modified according to specific requests/ needs:

http://icbr.org/Docs/LastWill_Testament.pdf

http://www.dremali.com/articles/current/last-will-testament.html

~Um Yusuf as-Siddiq

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lawyer Screwing me Over!

I feel so taken advantage of! I went to see a lawyer a few months back for a 30 minute initial meeting and was supposed to get a call back from him that same week with information. He didn't call back. A week and a half after the initial meeting, I was in a situation, needing to be represented and left 4 messages on his voice mail over 3 business days (plus 2 days weekend if be ever works overtime) and got no call back. I went to another lawyer.

ONE MONTH after the initial meeting with the shady lawyer, I got a call from what was probably his receptionist! I got the feeling she wanted to mention a bill but I didn't let her say it and just told her I didn't need the lawyer's services and wasn't happy with how I was treated and hung up. I probably should have let her say it and I would have been able to discuss it right then and there, but I was hoping it would make the problem go away, I guess!

Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I get a bill for 45 minutes (when it was just 30 mintues). But I am outraged that I got a bill at all when this idiot obviously has no intention to even take me on as a client! I finally got the nerve to call his office almost a month after receiving the bill... Left a message on his voice mail. I will definitely mention it if he takes less time returning this call (to collect me) than he did when I needed service!

Frig him!

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