Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Don't Mind Living in a Western World as Long as I Can be a Muslim in It.

My freshman year of college, I had this Marilyn Monroe poster up in my dorm. It read [I don't mind living in a man's world, as long as I can be a woman in it]. In a way, I considered Marilyn Monroe to be one of my role models. Now looking back, I don't know why I did look up to her. Maybe because society told me to? Marilyn Monroe had the reputation of being an iconic sex symbol and til this day, young girls still idolize her. She defined being an independent woman as dressing how you please and being with many men at a time. One of her quotes reads --"The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up." Now imagine this mentality being drilled into the minds of little girls everywhere. I never believed that a woman should show her body, but I also didn't believe that it should be covered completely. What shifted my mentality?--Islam. As the year progressed, my idea of a woman's place in this world dramatically shifted. Allah created men and women equally but differently; He gave to each their own roles. Modesty [hayaa]--both inward and outward are a part of a woman's role in Islam. Islam protects women from intimidation and molestation by requiring them to wear the hijab and to avoid free intermingling with men. Islam demands equality for women in humanity, religious obligations, rewards and punishments, preservation of nobility and honor, financial dealings and property ownership, and education. Allah, The Exalted and Almighty, states in the Glorious Quran: (Oh mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women...) [An-Nisa:1] Before Islam, women were treated as slaves or property. They had no choice in who they married. They were forbidden to remarry if their husband divorced them. They received no inheritance from their husband or parents. Arabs believed one must have martial abilities such as the ability to ride a horse, fight, etc. to inherit. Female infanticide was occurringSons were preferred over daughters and daughters were typically buried alive. (When the news of (the birth of) a female is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil (and shame) of that which he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor, or bury her in the dirt? Certainly, evil is their decision...) [Sourat al-nahl (The Bees): 59] Also certain foods were forbidden to women. And they say: What is in the bellies of such cattle (whether milk or fetus) is for the male alone, and forbidden from our females, however, if it was born dead, then all have shares therein...) [Sourat al-Anaam (The Cattle: 139] People today believe that Islam removes rights from women, when in fact Islam is the light that brought rights to women when they had none. SubhanAllah, what a crazy duniya we all live in. One day, my friend and I decided it was time to draw pants and a long sleeve shirt on Marilyn and the quote changed as did my life long mentality. 
I don't mind living in a man's  western world as long as I can be a woman Muslim in it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Night of Power [27th Night of Ramadan]

                               Egypt on the 27th night of Ramadan

Tonight is the 27th night of Ramadan. Although it's not for certain that it is Laylat al Qadr, it is still a beautiful night that should not be missed. I experienced the 27th night of Ramadan for the first time last year at the masjid and SubhanAllah it was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I have never been around so many people crying and pleading for Allah to forgive their sins. Tonight I will spend this night in my home, but don't be food, I refuse to let this night pass me. Also, please watch the video of the jamma3a prayer in Egypt if you haven't already seen it. I am in awe of Islam, only a true religion could unite so many people at one time in one place. Allahu Akbar

Monday, August 22, 2011

Here we are [Last 10 Nights of Ramadan]

Source: Keep Calm it's Ramadan H-A-designs 

Oh my goodness, subhanAllah. It literally feels like yesterday we started Ramadan. Where has the time gone? Every year Ramadan comes and we're so excited. We make plans to change ourselves for the better and we make plans to increase our good deeds. Than reality sets in and for some people it's not as easy as it seems. Even if we have slacked for the past 21 days, we have about 9 more to make up for that. Allah swt says in the Quran: "The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshiping Allah in that night is better than worshiping Him a thousand months)" [Al-Qadr 97:3] That means any good deed we do on that blessed night will be greatly multiplied in Allah swt's Eyes. Starting tonight, let's stand up and pray Qiyam al Layl and recite the Glorious Quran that was revealed during this blessed month. If you can't pray, than read or listen to some Quran and remember Allah and reflect. Let's use these last couple days to reflect on our lives and our purpose. Allah swt created us to worship Him alone. Have we worshiped Him as He should be worshiped? If the answer is no, than make a difference tonight. Also, please on these last 10 days, donate to any cause. Imagine, $5 on laylat al qadr could equal millions in Allah's Eyes, so for each night donate money to Islamic Relief to help both the world's cause and your own inshAllah. Just like Ramadan passed by quickly, our lives too will pass by quickly and on that day when the angel of death takes our soul, may we be among those that lived their lives in the best manner possible. Ameen. 

Beautiful Indonesian Wedding

Young fashion designer Dian Pelangi and her husband had the most beautiful wedding I have seen in a long time mashAllah. I loved the traditional aspect of it. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. My favorite part was when she was walking up to him from behind and he had his back to her. It was so romantic! If you would like to see more of Dian, check out her blog The Merchant Daughter.

Friday, August 19, 2011

East Africa in Crisis

Across East Africa, 13 million people are enduring the worst drought in  60 years. Over 400,000 refugees reside in the largest refugee camp in Kenya. According to the United Nations, $1.4 billion dollars in addition to what's already been donated, is needed to assist those suffering from the East African crisis. SubhanAllah, we are now approaching the last ten days of Ramadan. For about 20 days now, we have been pushing away our hunger from sunrise to sunset, only to eat a more than filling iftaar at the end of the day. It's sad that everyday we know that at sunset we will have a meal, while our brothers and sisters in Somalia have to face the fact that some nights, there will be no food or water. Let us be thankful to Allah swt for providing us with the resources to survive and live comfortable lives but let us also give. Sacrifice a a few dollars or more to help feed a family for even one day. More than often, we convince ourselves that we need the money more and that inshAllah we will donate some other time. The time to donate is now. For everyday that passes, more lives are lost and for everyday that passes where we fail to remember those less fortunate, the reward from Allah swt is lost as well . Islamic Relief is an amazing organization that has quickly been responding to the crisis in The Horn of Africa. To donate visit Islamic Relief USA.
Source: Nick Turse
Source: Ceramics Now
Source: The Zeitgeist Movement

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Presenting: Koran by Heart

If you haven't seen the documentary "Koran by Heart" yet, here is your chance. Enjoy inshAllah!
Watch here!
[Click continue as new user, than press play]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

With everyday that passes...

1/3 of Ramadan is gone and we can never get it back. What have we done?
About 20 days remain of Ramadan. Make the most of them. This is a reminder to myself before anyone. The thought of having Ramadan pass by without gaining as much reward as I can from all the opportunities Allah has for us saddens me. Make everyday count. 
Whoever prays during the night in the month of Ramadan, out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven. [Bukhari 1888]]
This deal only comes one month out of every year. Lets not miss out

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Food for Thought

"When we are born, the adhaan (Muslim call to prayer) is given but there is no salat (prayer). When we die, salat is prayed but there is no adhaan. The adhaan given at the time of our birth is the adhaan for the salat prayed at the time of our death. That is how short life is- the time between adhaan and salat. So hate none, love all, pray sincerely, forgive genuinely and pray your salats before the salat is prayed for you."
Oh subhanAllah I've never thought of life and death in that way. Whenever I remember death, it's as though this life doesn't matter anymore. The plans I had for myself that once seemed so important, don't even matter anymore. I think that moment when death arrives, will be like that. Right now, the dreams we have for ourselves of one day getting a good job, getting married, and having kids all seem so important. We think we will be devastated if we fail to experience those things we had planed for ourselves, but something tells me it won't be like that. If we live our lives right, than maybe we won't miss those things when it's finally time. Life is short, and when it's time to's time to go. If we are prepared, than our dream of one day traveling the world won't matter because we will God willing have paradise under which rivers flow. Forever doesn't  even begin to compare to now. Deen over duniya always. 

Koran by Heart [HBO Documentary Film]

Every Ramadan, over 100 children from over 70 different countries travel to Cairo, Egypt to compete in Islam's most prestigious competition, the International Holy Quran competition. "Koran by Heart", an HBO documentary follows the story of three children from around the world, who take part in this competition. Nabiollah, a young boy from Tajikistan, impresses the judges with his beautiful recitation of the Quran, despite him not knowing how to speak Arabic. Djamil, is a ten year old from Senegal that travels alone to Cairo to attempt to gain the Quran competition title. Finally, Rifdha, a young girl from the Maldives is among the few girls that took part in this competition. Her incredible recitation and memorization abilities allow her to flawlessly compete against the boys in the competition. I was so inspired by these children and their dedication to the memorization of the Quran at their age. SubhanAllah, it still leaves me in awe that age nor language is a factor when it comes to memorizing the Quran. Allah swt made it possible as long as one has the intention to memorize for His sake only and is dedicated. May we all one day be able to memorize the Most Glorious book mankind has ever come to know.