Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Praying for Forgiveness for non-Muslims

I came across the verse:

It is not for the Prophet and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire. - Qur'an 9:113    

The first thing that I was glad to see is that even "traditional" scholars agreed that when people are alive, there's always a chance that they will change and so they are not counted as these polytheists who are clearly companions of the Hellfire. That's where the loving positive outlook ends with the traditional interpretations.

For anyone, even if they have passed, is there a certainty when "it has become clear that they are companions of the Hellfire"??? I don't feel that way about anyone I know or knew... I'm not comfortable making that judgement that a person is too far gone to have any chance at Paradise. For that reason, I would pray for a person who has passed on to be forgiven even if it's known that they were not Muslim at the time of their death.

Maybe they had belief that would qualify them as Muslim that we are not aware of and they themselves were not aware of. Only God Himself knows.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Do you stop yourself from praying for your non-Muslim loved ones based on this verse?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Going to be Reading an Umm Zakiyyah Manuscript

I'm pretty happy and excited to be one of the selected readers for the newest novel by Umm Zakiyyah which will be called Muslim Girl. I don't know how much of a "selection" it really was for the readers of the manuscript, but whether or not they chose me because they wanted someone like me as part of the test group or because they didn't have that many people showing interest in reading the manuscript, I'm super excited!

If anything, I'll be so much more into the book knowing that my feedback could be worth something. I've always loved editting... Much more than writing. I'm not especially creative but I have a good eye for what sounds right and flows right and I'm good at giving feedback.

Has anyone read any of her novels? What did you think?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fitness post: My Running Story


I am proud to be a beginner runner! :D Here's my little running story so far.

I've always been pretty athletic as a kid and teenager and enjoyed exercising and keeping in shape. When I got pregnant and had my daughter, it became difficult to exercise like I did before and I didn't get on an adapted baby-friendly work-out. And then I started working full time at an office 5 years ago so you can probably visualize my fitness decreasing!

A co-worker of mine runs as part of her work-out program and sometime during my mat leave, she got inspired to work towards running a 5K event. Well, she did it and since then, she's a runner!!

Since being back to work I've been hearing about running and I've been interested in trying it out. Little by little, it became more than just being interested, it became a NEED TO RUN! It was a little bit weird, but I had such a strong desire to just run... One evening about 2 weeks ago (because yes, I'm just a beginner), I wanted to run so much that I ran on my livingroom floor barefoot. That was a so-so idea because being practically on my tip-toes for the whole work out trying to stay on the same spot was awkward and just not good form. I had some discomfort in my feet the next day, but I also had a confirmation that yes, I really want to run FOR REAL.

So I went out a few days later to buy some proper shoes. Can you believe I didn't even own a decent pair of sneakers?! Here they are:

These are my new Saucony Kinvara 3 shoes. They're so light, it's like not wearing shoes except that my foot is actually supported. These are made just for running and aren't really any good for other movements (like lateral movements of basketball for example).

I decided that running a 5K was a pretty good goal for me. That's approximately 30 minutes of running, a bit more for a beginner, a bit less for someone who is a bit more used to and it can be quite a lot less for an accomplished athlete and a decent amount more for someone who has more weight to carry, etc. I found a program online called Couch to 5K (linked) which seemed like a really good starter program to get me from no running to running 30 minutes in 9 weeks. Here's a small section of 3 weeks (9 workouts).


It's a running-walking program and they give you intervals to follow that make you run longer and longer stretches of time without stopping and with less and less walking in between. There's an app that will tell you in your earphones when to run and walk so you just need to concentrate on going. There's a free app with the first 4 runs for free which I tried.

Well, the first run was 1 minute of running with 1.5 minutes of walking repeated for 20 minutes. I wasn't breathing right so I had a cramp in my gut, but I still felt perfectly fine to start running again after less than the 1.5 minutes of walking and I was a little bored. I decided to do the opposite intervals for my next workout so I just pretended that "start running" meant "start walking" and the opposite as well.

This ended up being a pretty good combination for me and by the end of the run, I had the "trick" of how to breathe properly and I just felt good about it.

Continue to run 3... It was freakin COLD outside and I was underdressed... So I started running to warm myself up... 1.5 minutes of running later, I was still COLD and I was feeling good. I continued. 1 minute later, I was still cold and feeling good... 1.5 minutes later, I was just feeling good... I ignored all intervals until the 5 minute cool-down. Then I igored that and ran until the end. And then I ran an extra 5 minutes for a total of 30 minutes non-stop!

I mapped it when I got home and it's about 4.75km! It was a bit "much" for a beginner like me. My body was not really used to doing this much. I was walking pretty crooked when I cooled down, my legs were a little bit dead, but I still felt GOOD! That was me becoming a beginner runner!

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