Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gah, I Feel Bad

I'll consider what I write here as kinda confidential since no one knows where I work and I'm going to be pretty vague...

I should really have shut my freakin' trap! Following the negative articles written about our company last week, we have received 2 complaint letters this week and they passed by my desk since I take care of a portion of the mail.

I managed to chit-chat around the office and tell two extra people who would never have known if I didn't open my mouth about it. It's after the fact that I realize that bored silence would have been better than revealing things to employees that were just not meant to be known by them until the bosses were ready.

I hate my big mouth sometimes. This job and the way the bosses deal with the company always brings speculation for all sorts of different reasons. These days it's the security of our own jobs with what happened, but seriously, I need to be stronger than this and resist temptation to engage (and I admit, sometimes start) this gossipping and idle talk. I did nothing but fuel that by revealing the letters to these co-workers. Of course, beyond that, it was simply none of their business and the bosses should be left to deal with the situation as they wish.

I really did wrong and I really have something to work on because this stupid office talk-tak-talk is being really bad for me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Eid to all

May you all have a blessed Eid marking the beginning of a new month, and may we insha'Allah be able to keep fresh what we learned during this Ramadan!

Here is a link to an article that really inspired me. It's about the last 10 days of Ramadan but is easily applied to any time of the year.

How Does One Soften Their Heart?

I will share an excerpt:

Sit and think of every blessing He has given you- the Qur’an, eyesight, clean water, literacy- the blessings are uncountable, as Allah (swt) tells us in Surah Ibrahim (14:34). Let us show gratitude, for when we are grateful, Allah (swt) increases us, “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ (Qur’an, 14:7).

Let us sit, contemplate blessing after blessing, and continually move our lips in gratitude to Allah (swt), saying, “AlhamdulilLah (praise be to God),” asking Him to write us amongst those who are grateful to Him, asking Him to soften our hearts and allow us to be moved by gratitude for His Favors.

Before I sleep, as I lie in bed, I've started a habit of making dua and I decided to incorporate this into my little routine. I thought of one thing I was thankful for, said "al7amdulilah", thought of another, "al7amdulilah" and another, "al7amdulilah" and I was unable to stop - truly the blessings are uncountable.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This week, I feel thankful for an uneventful week! Nothing special, but no stress or hardship. A week that can kind of be seen as a break from excitement which is welcome in my pregnant and tired state.

Still though, I'm thankful for what should be a nice weekend with a special day Saturday with fireworks and games and entertainment. Should be fun. :)

Idea for Thankful Thursday taken from Becky!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Job security affected

My company disgusts me by what it does. It is not only unislamic in dealing with interest, but it's completely unethical in the amount of fees and interest charged. Usury to the max.

I feel bad about what the company does but the thing is, I enjoy my time at the office (I like my co-workers, boss is nice enough, tasks I have to accomplish are not bad, office space is really nice) and I like the pay, which is more, and maybe even *much* more than I could get elsewhere. Benefits are good too...

To continue, a few articles were published this morning in our local newspapers about our company that were definitely not positive reviews! Actually, it prompted clients to file complaints so that the consumer protection office could open a case to investigate the legality of the business. I'm pretty sure it's not legal so it could come to be the end of this company if people make the complaints needed for it to be looked into.

I'm not upset in any sort of way. It will be a way to force me out of this company and the industry that I hate (money money money) even if it will put the family through some financial hardship. I wish I had enough determination to get out of it myself, but I know that with my husband wanting to start a business very soon and all sorts of plans that my own plans for going back to univsersity to become a teacher are not for a few years - I mean as long as I have this income coming in.

So praise Allah for my future with this company being uncertain! :P Either way though, I'm off soon on maternity leave until September 2012.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Discussion with my Husband

Some of you who are in the same Facebook group as I am will know why I even brought up this topic with my husband. I don't randomly bring things up like this but a topic came up in that group and it made me a bit upset. Took a bunch of self-control to stay out of the discussion (for the most part) but I had to share with my husband - I talk to him about anything even things I should shut up about.

Someone in that group usually visited a certain Sunni mosque until they started charging 5$ to park! She and her husband decided not to attend there (what the heck is with forcing worshipers to pay to go to the mosque?!) and had been going to a Shia mosque nearby a few times. She was asking if it was ok.

The discussion quickly turned ugly but I won't go into detail about the group.

I was a bit upset about how the discussion went on the board so I decided to discuss it with my husband. Sort of to vent a little my frustrations, I guess. Not always a good idea because my husband is "traditional" in his beliefs... And he's not good at expressing himself either.

So, the discussion with my husband ALSO quickly turned ugly in a very similar way. He threw in a bunch of stereotypes about Shias that I found offensive even if I'm not Shia (I don't consider myself Sunni either though btw) and basically, based on all sorts of ignorance and exaggerated because of his difficulties in expressing himself clearly, he said he wouldn't pray with them and it was close to coming down to them barely being Muslim ("but still better than non-Muslims"). I was kind of appalled.

After calming down and clarifying things, we figured out that he actually would not mind praying with Shia in a Sunni mosque if they were to come - he'd feel perfectly comfortable welcoming them. So it wasn't a problem of not feeling like it was OK to pray with Shias in and of itself. Simply, my husband would not feel comfortable going to a Shia mosque because he knows there are differences between what he follows and the Shia and he doesn't know what the differences are exactly and wouldn't want to be confused or led towards something that contradicts the belief system he has accepted.

He went on to clarify that he doesn't have anything against going into a Shia mosque with a group of Sunnis and so he accepts their mosque as a place of worship. And he said that he didn't know how they prayed but that if it was the same as Sunnis, for just a prayer (without the khutbah, which he'd rather not stay for because of the possible differences) it would be OK to pray with them.

In the end, it was a bit of an "afraid of the unknown" type of situation.

I don't know much about Shias myself, but I think I helped clarify things (like not most of them thing that Ali "stole" the prophecy from Muhammad, a stereotype that left a really negative impression). And hopefully I made him a little bit more aware that what he started off saying was really close to judging and putting himself in the place of Allah, something I know he doesn't want to do in any sort of way.

What I learned from that was that I need to calm down sometimes! We were in Walmart when we started to talk about this and within a few minutes, I was storming off away from him in the store, ready to just grab the stuff I needed and get the heck home! He's taking Ramadan and the spirit of the month seriously and it allowed both of us to learn a little something. :) Alhamdulilah.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

I don't know if I am. I took this test and got 16. Above 14, you are considered a highly sensitive person, although of course it's not a 100% reliable tool. I wrote a comment on Safiyah's Musings and it won't publish so I will post it here. I'm in the mood for that comment to get published! lol

I don't consider myself highly sensitive but my test result was that I am. I think it's partly the pregnancy hormones though because it's true that I am a lot more emotionally sensitive while pregnant than my normal.

Parts of the normal non-hormonal me that are sensitive though are that I am very aware of the needs of others or their feelings. BUT I can pretty easily decide to not let it affect me which is something that makes me not very sensitive. I'm also very jumpy at sounds or people who surprise me, even though I'm a person who is aware of her surroundings. So it's not that I didn't know the person was around the corner... It's just my system that jumps anyway even if I expected it. Happens all the time while I sleep and my husband enters the bedroom too and he gets mad at me - but I can't help it!

I suppose I'm maybe a highly sensitive person who is generally able to deal with it well. Won't get myself down because of what someone else is going through, can deal with with being very stimulted (noise, people, etc.) even if I don't like it. I deal well with violent movies or scenes if I see them but I don't like it. I can tune out my feelings when my daughter is hurting and focus on cleaning up the wound for example instead of feeling bad that she has pain...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful:

- that me and my husband are strong in our relationship because without his support, I would have probably had a lot of trouble with my temper this week. I feel thankful that he is able to help me with this aspect of myself in this blessed month especially.

- that one of our cars dying doesn't put us in such major crap. I was able to find a way to get Nora to the babysitter's and get myself to work, and we were able to pretty easily find some money to pay for repairs.

- for my health. I am feeling quite well for being 30 weeks pregnant and everything is going smoothly.

Idea for Thankful Thursday taken from Becky!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is Love

“If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses and he spends the night angry with her, the angels curse her until morning.”

Most Muslims have probably heard of this hadith... I don't want to make a big deal about how I feel about this hadith because that's just not the point of my post...

My husband accepts this as truth. So he believes that if a husband wants his wife sexually and she refuses and he is angry, angels will curse his wife all night. I'm not really an "obey your husband" type of wife as some might already figure and I don't accept these cursing angels as truth so I didn't really care if I said no to my husband. I'm thinking back on when things were difficult between us... Not much respect between the pair of us, lots of fighting, not too many lovey moments. I seriously didn't care if I said no; if I didn't want to, it was a big fat no.

I fell on this hadith yesterday and it reminded me of something my husband told me back in "those days". That he didn't allow himself to go to sleep angry at me even if I had just rejected him because he loved me too much and didn't want the angels to curse me.

Isn't that sweet?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The "Strict" Opinion

I pretty much never find myself following the strictest opinion on topics in Islam. Overall, my feeling is that they might be doing things very strictly to avoid ever falling into haram. But isn't making the halal haram something that is haram?

Personally, I would fear making the halal haram or requiring more from Muslims in their faith than Allah Himself does way too much to make the types of fatwas I see in some places (in particular, islam-qa). It's one thing to recommend doing something or avoiding something - where no "haram" or "fard" labels are used, but to require things from a Muslim based on a source considered "authentic", I'll give them that (often one single lonely hadith), with no real support from the Qur'an... I can't find it in me to believe these rulings as truth.

Explaining Ramadan

How do you explain Ramadan to someone who has a negative impression of it to begin with (as well as a negative impression of Islam and Muslims overall)?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bringing out the best in each other

I came home Friday night after going to watch quarterfinals of the Roger's Cup (tennis) in Montreal with my dad. We had a really nice time and stopped for McDonald's take away since we hadn't had a chance to have a real supper. It was like 11:30pm which is really late for me, especially after a really exhausting week (with full time work Monday to Friday and trying to make the meals and clean up and taking care of Nora - not saying I manage it all but I try)

When I got home, I had a box of crackers, the box with the sandwich and the coke I took for my husband, along with two bags... At the door, I DROPPED the drink and lost all but two sips of it. RAAAAAWWWWRRR! I started throwing the f-bomb and yelling, blaming my husband for not opening the door for me, then I saw he hadn't done the dishes like he was supposed to - RAAWR! Everything was making me mad. Kinda funny thinking about it now.

Just a year ago or less, in situations like these, my husband would have gotten mad at me and we would just have fueled each other's anger but this time, he just calmed me right down. Said sorry for not doing things around the house he was supposed to. Said he felt a bit weak and tired (which is understandable after a 12h shift and fasting - I hadn't expected or demanded he do anything but he'd offered that morning so after that I was expecting it). And he told me he was just fine without the coke and offered to get me something because the idiots at McDonald's had forgotten my fries.

I was really proud of him for not getting all angry like he normally would. Actually, he has been very good about this for a while now and it is improving our lives at home a lot. I think I am able to do the same for him when he is feeling down or in a bad mood.

It's like we are finally in an adult relationship. Yay! I'm almost congratulating me and my husband for managing that. lol

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So messed up!!!!

A co-worker of mine started having a weird feeling about her boyfriend a few months ago. He was always talking to his female cousin and seemed to be hiding messages and closing the window when she entered. She wasn't even convinced it was really his cousin.

She's the type who feels obligated to be very open... Like... You do what you wanna do, I do what I wanna do. As long as you pay your half of the bills and still sleep with me, I won't ask any questions. They had looked into someone to have a threesome with a couple years ago too... You know, not a typical couple.

But in the end, she is a typical woman and she got that feeling that you can't get rid of. Even if he was paying half the bills and coming home to her. It took her a full week to confront him on not coming home one night (and a few months after her feelings started) and now that she did, they're over.

He admitted to her that he hasn't loved her in 1 year and that he had been going out with his cousin to "swing" (sleep with others). The disgusting fucking pig!

I admit to being a bit of an "innocent" type. I haven't had to deal with a lot of bad people and I've never had bad things done to me really so it's always shocking to me when things like this happen so close to me. Even if this is not that close - just a co-worker... and one I am not even close enough to to call a friend. Anyway, I am seriously shocked and disgusted - just can't believe it. Makes me appreciate my husband that much more!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Children in the Mosque

I know that it's not as recommended for women to pray in the mosque as it is for men (where it can even be said that it's obligatory). I chose to see it like that ("not as recommended") instead of the similar but very different point of view that women are better at home and therefore not only is it less recommended for them to pray at the mosque, but flat-out not recommended (since there is a better option). But that's not really what my post is about...

Since it's "less recommended" for women to pray at the mosque, in the case that her child is interrupting others' prayers at the mosque, is it better than she stop her own prayer to re-pray it later, either in the mosque or at home, in order to stop her child and allow others to pray in peace?

My personal point of view is that yes, a mom is better off stopping right in the middle of her own prayer to tend to her child, whether the child is interrupting because of being hurt, crying or even laughing or running around. I don't really care the reason - if it's bothering people, it needs to be addressed. It will benefit the rest of the congregation (being able to pray in peace) and as well the child who will learn how they should behave instead of being left to do whatever they want until the prayer is over.

This happened with me on Friday. Nora was being quiet (so she was doing what I had requested of her) but she was making another child laugh by silently peekabooing and then later by pretending to run after the child. The child was laughing A LOT and Nora was also emitting a quick giggle here and there (trying to be quiet). I decided to stop it right there and brought her outside to explain that even if she was being quiet, it was not appropriate to be making another child laugh because prayer was a quiet time and that she would not go in until others were finished their prayer. She was upset but understood and when we went back in, she prayed all 4 rakahs beside me. She told me and her dad she was sorry and then she continued quietly playing with the toys she brought. I explained that it was OK to quietly play and make a little bit of noise during this time because prayer was over, but that we still could not be loud.

So in the end, I did my prayer at the mosque even if it was not in congregation and Nora really did learn something, AND ended up doing it with me!

I asked the imam and he said it was better not to stop the prayer unless there was danger for the child. So in a case like mine, his advice was to continue praying, saying that people understood that children did things like that in the mosque and they had to be understanding. He was very nice and open about it though. Didn't tell me I did wrong, just that it would have been better to continue my prayer and that it was possible to give her a gesture or grab her if needed while praying without breaking my prayer. He taught me something useful though - that if during congregational prayer I stop it, I can come back in for any of the rakahs and start my prayer there, continuing beyond the congregation to finish my rakahs. I didn't know this so I'm glad to have gotten this beneficial information from him.

What do you moms do when your child is being disruptive or what do you think should be done if you don't have children?

No Wonder

No wonder a bunch of Muslims believe that only Muslims have any chance to go to heaven, with fatwas like this:

Basically, it says that any person who does not pray, even if they do good deeds (including giving charity and fasting), they are "annulled" or of no value to them. Basically not worth doing. It says that if a person does not ever pray, all good deeds are annulled and if they skip one prayer or one day of prayer (they didn't specify if they meant only one prayer or a full day) the day's worth of good deeds is annulled. If someone prays all of Ramadan and fasts in it, but never prays outside of Ramadan, their fast even during the time they were praying is annulled.

The kind of mindset to make this world a crappier place, isn't it? To even try to convince people that good deeds aren't worth doing unless you pray... It's just crazy to me!

I strongly believe that any effort a person makes, even if they are lacking majorly in all sorts of other areas of their lives will be counted. No one knows how it will balance out, but my main philosophy is that no good deed is lost and effort made for good is ALWAYS worth it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wow, I'm tired! But happy

I have been making a lot of good efforts for my husband in preparing a decent iftar meal for him... But it's draining! It's a good thing I have until 8:20pm to get it prepared because I would not be able to get things done before then I think!

I work until 5 and it's 5:40pm by the time I get home... With preparing that and getting my daughter to eat earlier and giving her a bath and spending time with her and getting her ready for bed... And then cleaning up a little... It's a 7am-10pm job if I was to do everything fully. Of course, I am not very good at all that, so dishses are left in the sink, the meal is not even that great, my daughter gets to bed later than she should and with taking a bit of time for myself to decompress before actual sleep, I am going to sleep later than I normally would too!

I feel good though that I am able to accomplish so much in a day. It's rewarding to have a happy satisfied husband, a cute lil loving daughter and just to be appreciated and needed.

Thank God it's Friday though! I finish work an hour earlier and I have the weekend off afterwards, woohoo! I will be able to prepare a few things in advance and make the home clean to start off the new week. But I will also be able to NAP during the day, YAY and relax! I have a baby shower too (for my cousin) which will be nice.

Hope everyone is having a nice Ramadan insha'Allah full of peace. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Middle name

My daughter has a middle name and my son will have a middle name. It's not an Egyptian custom or an Islamic tradition, but it's a tradition here that we are keeping. My daughter is Nora Claire. Claire is my mom's name and it means "clear". With "nor" meaning "light", you can't get very much brighter than that, right?

For our son's middle name, my husband absolutely wants to use Muhammad. I am really not on board for that one... But I decided to be on-board for a more Islamic name with a great meaning if that's what he wants. My husband loves Nora's given name but the middle name was my choice and it honors my side of the family so I agree that it's his turn on this one. The next option is Abdullah. And I like it. It has a strong meaning which I value in a name.

What are some other names with very strong meanings for a boy? What are your favourite "abd" names?

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