Thursday, 29 April 2010

A beautiful Ayah & Jummah Mubarak

Conversation with my soul!

Sometimes, says Umm Raiyaan, it’s your own self that needs a good talking to!

You are a part of me and I am a part of you. It is utterly bizarre to think of you as someone separate, but I have come to the realisation that that is what I am obliged to do. You see, I now understand why it is that I seem to weaken in my faith time and time again. It is not because of my arch enemy, Iblis, and his offspring, but it is because of my own enemy within and I now know that that enemy is you.

People call you ‘nafs’ but I prefer to give you a name. Thus, I shall address you as Lola. So Lola, there is no need for introductions as we have been acquaintances for a considerable amount of time. You were blown into my body whilst I was within the womb of my mother. You have been calling me, whispering, trying to delude me into thinking that you are the best thing going! Desperately, you try to make me believe that you are the most significant aspect of my life and that nothing else really matters. You want to be satisfied in every sense. Hungry, you entice me to greedily eat more. Tired, you coax me into sleeping past the hours during which you know full well, that our Lord awaits for His servants at the lowest heaven. Bored, you persuade me to do fruitless acts that will make ‘you’ happy, make ‘you’ feel excited, great and fulfilled. And you do know what those things are as they were the same things that made you feel fantastic all those years ago.

‘We had a wonderful time, you and I’, you repeatedly tell me. Therefore, you strive to take me back to that time and create a barrier between myself and acts of worship that will distance me from those jahil memories.

You see, I know what you are trying to do. Years ago, after I embraced Islam you kept reminding me of those days when I ‘looked good’. You produced a movie of myself dancing the night away, ‘living it up!’ But I was strong back then. My Qu’ran, my adhkar and my dua put you right in your place Lola. And I could tell you were miserable and unhappy.

I know that you love me. Actually, you adore me and wish that I perceive you to be my one true beloved. Oh my gosh! That’s it! I’ve got it! I finally understand: This is why you create obstacles in my path; it infuriates you to know that I am trying to build a relationship with the Only True Beloved. You cannot bear to see me in love with someone else. You want me to love you, to only have room in my heart for you and only you. This is the reason I’ve been so tired lately, just when I’ve just made the intention to wake up for Qiyam-ul-layl. This is why my stomach has been yearning for food when I want to seek my Beloved’s love through the nawafil fasts.

It all makes sense now! You impregnate my mind with thoughts of others, because the remembrance of my Lord is the one act of worship you know will make me forget you. You take every opportunity you can! I remember the time sister R made a comment about my jilbab. And you told me, “Who does she think is?!” You created dissention in my heart towards her and then put your plan into action. Losing her friendship and sisterhood cut me deep! And through that you took me away from the remembrance of Allah I and filled my thoughts with her and you. How she had wronged ‘us’. So, again, you drugged me and I became addicted to your own tyranny.

But now it seems you have changed your game tactics Lola. Is it because you are older and think you are wiser? You no longer remind me of my past, but instead force me to mull over the future!

‘What will happen if your husband loses his job?’ ‘You never have enough money.’ ‘Tomorrow… Tomorrow… Tomorrow.’

Terrified in case I were to become one of the true believers who only worries about what she gives to Allah SWT today, you make me infatuated with the unknown. You know that if I were to think about today, I would pray my prayers as though they were my last. I would walk with humility. I would try and uphold the best of characters. But by consuming me with thoughts of the future, you make me lose myself.

Girl, have I got news for you! I’m ready. This is my jihad. Lola, I don’t love you. In fact I abhor you. I am trying to journey and you are preventing me from boarding the plane. But girl, I am going to board that plane and I am going to make the difficult voyage to my Lord. I know that this hurts you and pains you, but it has to end here. No more!

I left many of your ideals years ago and you have worked arduously to turn your ideals into my very own. You have succeeded too much and I cannot take it anymore. I will not allow you to take me away from my purpose. And that is why the fight shall commence. Every time you whisper to me, ‘There’s time. Don’t worry, you can memorise that ayah tomorrow’ I will emphatically pronounce, ‘No there isn’t. I will memorise it right now.’ Every time you insinuate that a sister is out to get me, I will make a special effort to be kind and generous to her. Every time you gladly inform me, ‘You are the best!’ I will rub dirt in my face and prostrate to Allah SWT, placing my bones in that very position to remind myself that it is He SWT who is the Greatest and that I am not even a speck of dust in comparison.

By the will of Allah SWT, I am going to undertake this journey. Although you have worked against me for so long, I realise that I need to take you with me because we are connected. But, Lola, I can only take you with me if you do one thing. It isn’t going to be easy but to tell you the truth, I am going to do my very best to help you. Lola, you need to submit. You need to prostrate yourself to the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. If you want to truly experience love, by Him in whose hands is ‘us’, I cannot fulfil you with my love. It is only through being close to Him, loving Him and placing Him at the centre of our lives that you will be fully satisfied and complete. I won’t ask if you are ready because actually you don’t have a choice. It is time to submit Lola. So let us make the dua the Prophet S made:

“Oh Allah! Give me love of you, love of the people who love You, and love of every action which draws me nearer to Your love” (Tirmidhi).

Lola, when you join me in my aspiration to be beloved to my Lord, you and I will benefit in two ways. Firstly, you will experience a love like no other. Finally, instead of living a life wherein we struggle against each other, we can finally become one and enjoy a wonderful union of submission to Our creator both in this life and in the next. And insha Allah we will hear these words:

“(To the righteous soul it will be said): O soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction, come back to your Lord, well pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing unto Him. Enter among my servants. Yes, enter into My heaven” (Al Fajr; 27-30).

Sounds good? I’m ready… let’s submit!
What would you tell your soul?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Muslimah and her Lord!

A beautiful Day!

I woke up early today, excited over all the things I get to do before the day ends.
My job is to choose.
Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or...
I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.
Today I can grumble about my health or...
I can rejoice that I am alive.
Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships...
Today I can whine because I have to go to work or
I can shout for joy that I have a job to go to...
Today I can murmur dejectedly 
because I have to do housework or...
I can feel honoured because God has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.
And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
Today I am going to have a Beautiful Day...
Because I am blessed with so many
Gifts in my Life.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Seven Ways to Peace and Happiness

Seven Ways to Peace and Happiness
Rule 1: Let’s fill our minds with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
Rule 2: Let’s never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them. Let’s never waste a minute thinking about people we don’t like.
Rule 3:
A. Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s expect it.
B. Let’s remember that the only way to find happiness is not to expect gratitude - but to give for the joy of giving.
C. Let’s remember that gratitude is a “cultivated” trait; so if we want our children to be grateful, we must train them to be grateful.
Rule 4: Count your blessings – not your troubles!
Rule 5: Let’s not imitate others. Let’s find ourselves and be ourselves, for “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide.”
Rule 6: When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make a lemonade.
Rule 7: Let’s forget our own unhappiness – by trying to create a little happiness for others. “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”
Compiled From:
“How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” – Dale Carnegie, p. 186.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Raising Orphans

Sisters Magazine
“Where’s my mother?” My 5-year-old asks pensively from her car seat in the back of our van.
“She’s right here, silly,” her twin sister responds.
No, I mean my real mother, my birth mother.
For many adoptive parents, my daughter’s statement would cut right to the heart. Some parents discourage any questions about the birth family, threatened by their child’s desire to learn more. I know of one mother who told her adoptive son that his birth mother was dead, even though that was not true.
But I welcome my daughter’s question, happy that she wants to understand her history and grateful that she is able to ask me about it. As we drive to the masjid, I use the opportunity to discuss once again how they ended up in the United States with us, half a world away from the country of their birth.
Being an orphan begins with loss and there is no escaping that fact. In a perfect world, all children would be raised by their families. But the world is far from perfect and many orphans desperately need homes and families to love them.
I have a photograph of the moment one of my daughters was handed to me. It is one of my most cherished possessions. As we and the other adoptive parents walk into the government building, we can hear babies crying. We listen carefully, wondering which of those voices will be coming home with us. My husband and I sit impatiently in the waiting room, having played this moment over and over again in our minds for years.
Suddenly someone calls out from the hall, “Twins first!”
My husband turns white and freezes. I wonder if he might faint. My heart beats quickly and I am unexpectedly nervous. Two government workers appear in the doorway, each holding an 11-month girl dressed in identical pink outfits. They look different from the “referral” photographs, which were taken when they were 4-months-old and which we had received only 6 weeks earlier. The girls are much bigger now and each has a complete head of hair.
They are crying loudly, their faces bright red and stained with tears. They have never seen a non-Chinese person before and when they see the group of unfamiliar faces staring back at them, they cry even louder. They are especially terrified of the two strangers who are moving towards them with their arms outstretched to hold them.
In the photograph, my arms are reaching for my daughter, my hands barely touching her petite, 16-pound body for the first time. Although she is tiny, her mouth is as wide open as she possibly can make it and she is howling. I, on the other hand, have a soft smile on my face and my expression shows absolute contentment. I had fallen in love 6-weeks earlier when I first saw her picture. She has yet to feel the same.
As the hours pass, our daughters become more and more comfortable with us. Within days, they cling to us, not wanting anyone else to hold them. By the time we leave China, it is as if they had been with us all along.
I remember landing in the United States. It was momentous. According to U.S. law, our girls were U.S. citizens the instant they stepped foot on U.S. soil. Our joy though was tempered withsorrow—the sorrow of knowing that our girls had left all that they had ever known and from now on would be pulled by two worlds. I also knew that on the other side of the world a mother wondered what had become of her two precious daughters.

The Adoption Process
Adoption is generally a long process and requires much sabr. At any point, it can fall through. It becomes even more complicated when dealing with a foreign country, which can change the adoption procedure and who qualifies to adopt, or even cancel the adoption with no warning or recourse.
In the United States, the easiest way to adopt for most families is to use an adoption agency and this is even more so for international adoption. The adoption agency ushers you along the process. The adoption specialists know the applicable laws, the documents that must be submitted, and where to submit them. Because so much of the responsibility is left to the adoption agency, it is essential to find a reputable agency and speak with others who have used it. A good agency will address problems as they arise—as they inevitably do—and offer the emotional and educational support that is needed. A bad agency can cost you an adoption.
The fact that the adoption agency does so much for you does not mean that you have it easy. The amount of paperwork required is daunting at first. Among other things, you need to get clearance from the police and child protective services that you do not have a criminal history or a record of child abuse or neglect. Your home is inspected by a social worker, the fire department, and the sanitation department. Prospective parents needs to submit a physician’s report, statement of net worth, verification of employment, tax return, copies of birth, marriage, and divorce certificates, and references. A social worker does an intensive interview with you, asking all sorts of personal questions. Many of the documents must be notarised, certificated and authenticated at the local, county, state and federal levels. All of this takes time and money. Yet, if you take a methodical and consistent approach to the paperwork, the process moves along steadily and, in retrospect, is not the impossible task you initially anticipated.
Then you wait - often for years - until you have been “matched” with the child (or children) you are to adopt. It is an extremely emotional time with highs and lows. You worry that the adoption will not go through. You fantasize about your child. You likely will have to update and renew some of the documents. When you are finally matched, you have more paperwork to complete and must make travel arrangements and other preparations. For international adoption, the adoption agency arranges everything for you once you are in the foreign country and provides a guide to take you through the whole process there.
In our case, the long process and the years of waiting instantly vanished the moment we held our daughters, swept away by tears of joy.

Raising orphaned children
The biggest mistake adoptive parents can make is creating an environment where the child does not feel comfortable expressing his or her feelings about being orphaned and raised in a different family. In the not-so-distant past, it was believed in the United States that the best thing to do was to ignore the adoption all together. Many children did not find out that they were adopted until they were older, sometimes with tragic consequences.
In Islam, it would be haram to hide one’s orphan status as lineage is one of the five values that the Shari’ah is intended to uphold. A child must be able to grieve her loss. If she wants to try to track down her birth family when she is older, adoptive parents should support that decision.
Parents of internationally adopted children should teach their child about their birth country, including language lessons, and encourage the child to participate in cultural events. Experts also recommend that the child visits the birth country before puberty. Our girls will never be culturally Chinese but they can be proud to be Chinese Americans.
Parents should not dwell on their child’s orphan status. A 30-yearold Korean adoptee emphasized that in a discussion with adoptive parents: adoption is only one aspect of who he is. Everybody faces challenges and no single challenge defines anybody.
Parents raising orphans must be prepared to help the child deal with stigma, prejudice, and inappropriate questioning from strangers. Muslims who want to raise an orphan and can only do so through their country’s adoption laws should speak to a trusted Islamic scholar (and not just any imam) on what should be done to avoid violating Islam’s prohibition against adoption.
Much more can be said about raising orphans and each child will cope with being an orphan differently, even children within the same family. For some children, it is barely an issue, for others it is a lifelong challenge. Parents need to educate themselves and provided the guidance and support that is needed.
The other day I came home to find my husband asleep on the couch with our two girls sleeping on either side of him. Their little arms and legs were wrapped around him, full of love for the Baba they adore so much. I watched them as they slept, grateful that Allah (SWT) has blessed us so generously. I also made du’a for their birth mother, praying that one day she will meet her beautiful daughters and know how much they are loved.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Why women Cry

A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I need to" she said.
"I don't understand," he said.
His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will." Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"
"All women cry for no reason," his dad answered carelessly
The little boy, still wondering why women cry, finally asked the old wise shaykh. "He surely knows the answer", he thought.
"Ya Shaykh! Why do women cry so easily?"
He answered:

"When Allah made the woman she had to be made so special. He made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. He gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that comes from her children. He gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining. He gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child hurts her very badly. He gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart. He gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly. And lastly, He gave her a tear. This is hers and only hers exclusively to use whenever she needs it. She needs no reason, no explanation, it’s hers."
"You see my son, the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the beauty of her face, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."
The little boy got the answer and never asked the question again.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Aspects of Islamic Faith- Taking a shower on Friday

During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Muslims were mostly enduring hard times, with many Arabian tribes and other forces lined up against them.
Moreover, they suffered economic siege for long periods. Therefore, they were mostly poor. Their clothes were simple, rough and hardly suitable for the climate. Many did not have more than one robe which they would wear every day, at work and other places. With the hot climate in Arabia they were bound to sweat. This often gave them a bad smell. When they came to the mosque, particularly on Friday, the smell was often too sharp for comfort. Some of them complained to the Prophet. He advised all his companions to take a shower on Friday before coming to the prayer.
Abu Said Al-Khudri reports: “I bear witness that God’s messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘Taking a bath on Friday is a duty on everyone who has attained puberty, as is cleaning his teeth and wearing some perfume if he finds it’.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).
This Hadith is the strongest with regard to the standards of cleanliness that we should observe on Friday. There are other Hadiths which may give more details, but they make clear that such actions are strongly recommended, not duties. The difference is that a duty involves clear instruction that must be obeyed. If it is not, then the person who neglects it leaves himself open to punishment by God. A recommended action is less important. It earns reward for us when we do it, because by doing it we show our obedience to God and His messenger. If we fail to do it, we incur no sin and are liable to no punishment, but we deprive ourselves of the reward that goes with it.
The great majority of scholars are of the view that taking a bath or shower on Friday is strongly recommended, before going out to attend the Friday prayer, which must be offered in congregation. The Prophet also recommended us to use a toothbrush to clean our teeth and mouths. This would ensure that no one will have a bad mouth smell when they come to the mosque. In addition, he has recommended us to wear some perfume. He made it clear that this is recommended, adding the phrase “if he finds it” to indicate that it is not obligatory.
Scholars agree that all these actions should be done before we go out to attend the Friday prayer, which falls due just after midday. However, if one takes a bath early, or at anytime after dawn prayers, he does well. Needless to say, the closer one does this to the time of Friday prayer, the better. However, the matter is left to people’s convenience. It may be that an earlier bath is more convenient for some people, particularly when several adults live in the same house. If they all want to take a bath shortly before the prayer, they may be in each other’s way.
It must be made clear that taking a bath or shower on Friday applies to everyone who attends the prayer, man or woman. It does not apply to children, below the age of puberty, because prayer is not obligatory to them. However, if they are going to the mosque, it is better if they are instructed to take a bath so that they develop this habit at an early age. Friday prayer in the mosque is not obligatory to women, but they are welcome to attend it if they so wish. They are also recommended to follow the same practices of cleanliness.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I find happiness in my faith, and my faith is in my heart, and no one has power over it except my Lord."

Excerpts From: You Can Be the Happiest Woman in the World!

By Sheikh 'A'id al Qarni

With your beauty, you are better than the sun; with your morals you are more sublime than musk; with your modesty you are nobler than the full moon; with your compassion you a more beneficial than rain. So, preserve your beauty with faith, your tranquility with contentment, your chastity with hijab.

Remember that your adornment is not gold, silver or diamond, rather, it is two rak'ahs at Fajr going thirsty when you fast for Allah, concealed charity which no one knows except Him, hot tears that wash away sin, a lengthy prostration born of utter submission to Allah, shyness before Allah when the inclination to do evil overwhelms you.

Clothe yourself with the garments of taqwa (piety) for you are the most beautiful woman in the world,
even if your clothes are shabby. Clothe yourself with cloak of modesty, for you are the most beautiful woman in the world even if you are barefoot.

Beware of the life bewitching immoral disbelieving women, for they are the fuel of the fire of Hell.

O' sincere Muslim, O' believing woman who constantly turns to Allah, the Exalted, be like the palm tree and rise above evil and harm; if a stone is thrown at the palm tree, it lets its fruit drop (and does not retaliate). It remains green summer and winter, and gives many benefits. Do not lower yourself to the level of trivial matters, and rise above all that may damage your modesty and honour.

A man had an argument with his wife and said, "I am going to make your life miserable." The wife calmly replied, "You cannot do that." He said, "Why not?" She said: "If happiness were to be found in money or jewellery, you could deprive me of it and take it away from me, but it is nothing over which you or any other person has control. I find happiness in my faith, and my faith is in my heart, and no one has power over it except my Lord."

The One Who created happiness is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, so how can you seek happiness from anyone other than Him? If people had control over happiness, there would be no deprived or grieving person left on earth

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The seasons in life!

I was reading a Hadith the other day:
The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Take benefit of five things before five other things :
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.”


New Life. The whispering promise of a bright future ahead. Everything is so new and wonderful. We have the time and the energy.  Old age seems trillions of years away. What next?

Full of energy.Slightly less time though. But we are ready to harvest. Nothing seems difficult. Study hard, work hard. Make friendships, meet people, make money, travel, spend money.Get married , have young families.  No time to stop and think and contemplate. We are so busy...We are bringing  our young ones  up, helping with homework, running mum's taxi service, watching football matches, attending open evenings... What next?


We have more time now but our energy levels decline. Our hearts might still feel young but the body is slowing down.  We  need rest after the busy summer. Some ailments appear, signs of age and the the quick passing of time become more evident. We start to notice and feel a loss and maybe regret. What next?


Everything is getting ready  to hibernate. Old age has now caught up, loss of health, loss of wealth maybe, forgotten dreams, loneliness.  Where did all these years go? Where all these dreams go? How did we use our youth,  wealth, our health, our free time, our LIFE?

What next? No matter in what stage in life we are
lets go back and read  the Hadith in the beginning:

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Take benefit of five things before five other things:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.”

InshaAllah, all your seasons will be  wonderful!

Oh Allah please give us what is good in this life, and please give us what is good in the Hereafter!

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Author: Unknown

Bismillah, alhamdulillah wa salat wa salam ala rasulullah, As-salam alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh

1. Consider children a great bounty of Allah Ta'ala. Rejoice at their birth. Congratulate one another on their arrival. Welcome the children into this world with Du'aas of righteousness and blessings. Express your gratitude unto Allah Ta'ala for affording you the opportunity of nurturing a Muslim servant and also for allowing you to leave behind your worldly and religious successor. Make Du`aa that Allah Ta'ala makes this child an addition to the Muslim Ummah as a Da'i (inviter to Islam) and a true servant of the Deen.

2. Don't ever be disappointed on the birth of children. Due to financial restraints or health problems or due to any other reason, vigorously refrain from fretting and fuming, from regarding the child as an encumbrance or from belittling or cursing the child.

3. After the birth of the child, wash and clean him up and then call out the Azan in the right ear and Iqamah in the left ear. There is great wisdom in ensuring that the names of Allah Ta'ala and His Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) fall onto the child's ears the moment he is born. `Allamah Ibnu Qayyim writes in his book Tohfatul-Wadood: "The purpose of this is to ensure that words denoting the grandeur and greatness of Allah Ta'ala falls first onto the ears of the child. The Shahadah (attestation) that would Physically admit him into Islam later on, the words of the same Shahadah are being dictated to him the day he is born just as the words of the Kalimah are dictated to him when he is breathing his last. Another benefit of calling out the Azan and Iqamah is that Shaytan, who is just waiting to waylay a person and seeks to entangle a person with a snare of trials and tribulations from the moment he is born, flees the moment he hears the Azan. Before the beckoning of Shaytan, he is summoned to the call of Islam and the devotion of Allah Ta'ala."

4. If possible, after the Azan and Iqamah, get a pious man or woman to chew a piece of date or anything sweet and place it onto the palate of the child and request the pious person to make Du'a for the child.

5. When the child starts talking, teach him the words of "Laa illaaha IllAllah" first.

6. Feed the child with your own milk as well. This is a right of the child over the mother. Breastfeeding is one of the favours the Holy Quran reminds the children about thereby emphasising the importance of showing kindness to the mother. The child naturally develops more love for the mother who breastfeeds him. Such children are generally more obedient and the mothers also have fewer complains about such children. Coupled with this, it is also the mother's responsibility that with every drop of milk, she imparts the lesson of Tauhid, the love of Rasulullahullah, the devotion to Deen to the child and also that she endeavours to instil this love in his heart and soul. Do not lighten your burdens and relegate your responsibility onto the father's shoulders but fulfil this pleasant religious obligation yourself and you will be blessed with spiritual tranquillity and joy. As far as possible, stay away from T`awizes (amulets etc.) for the children. Instead of utilising T`awizes for them, teach them the Du'aas for various occasions. Recite verses of the Holy Quran and blow on them yourself. Also inculcate in them the habit of reciting the Manzil and memorising the verses contained therein.

7. Refrain from intimidating the child. The anxiety he suffers in these developing years will affect his mind and soul for the rest of his lifetime. Generally, such children are not primed to accomplish any feat of merit. Also, don't force the child to do anything when he his hungry.

8. Be particularly cautious about scolding, admonishing and rebuking the child for every trivial matter. Instead of showing disgust towards their deficiencies, with wisdom and enthusiasm, endeavour to rear them with love and affection. Nonetheless, your conduct with them should portray that you will not tolerate anything contrary to the Shari`ah.

9. Always treat your children with love, affection and warmth. As far as possible, attend to their needs and kindle their spirit of obedience. Avoid questioning the child about Why? When? and Who? Avoid questions like: "Why did you do this? Don't you have any shame? When would you learn? I don't know what to do with you!" Instead of admonishing the child in this manner, employ a positive stance. Rub your hand over his head and very affectionately explain that this is not what should be done. Etc. etc.

10. Show love and affection to the younger children. Rub your hands affectionately over their heads. Take them into your lap and love them. Your conduct with them should be one of cheerfulness and joviality. Don't act like a stern and cruel ruler with them. Conducting yourself in this stern manner will fail to encourage any loving spirit in the hearts of the children for their parents. Also, the children will fail to develop any form of self-confidence and the harsh behaviour of their parents has an adverse effect on the natural nurturing of the child.

11. Expend all your energies in providing your children with decent education and wholesome upbringing. In pursuit of this objective, don't be the least hesitant. This is your religious obligation, a great favour unto your children and a great act of goodwill unto yourself as well.

12. When the child reaches the age of seven, teach him about the performance of Salah. Instruct him to observe this act of `Ibadat. Make the girls perform the Salah with you and send the boys to the Musjid with their father and develop the enthusiasm for the performance of Salah. When they turn ten and they show any shortcoming in discharging this obligation, punish them appropriately. Let your actions and statements point out to them that you would not tolerate any form of carelessness in the discharge of this duty.

13. When they turn ten, separate their beds and make each one of them sleep on separate beds.

14. Always keep the children clean and tidy. Be very particular about their hygiene, bathing and cleanliness. Ensure that their clothes are clean and neat. However, abstain from excessive grooming and vanity. Keep the girls clothing simple as well. Don't ruin the morals of the boys by making them wear flamboyant and gaudy clothing.

15. Avoid mentioning their faults in front of others. Be very cautious about putting the child to shame. At all costs, refrain from bruising his ego. Similarly, when one of them errs, don't scold all of them. Advise the offender separately or take appropriate action against him alone.

16. In front of the children, don't reveal your despair over their failure to rectify themselves. In fact, to boost their spirits, praise them wholeheartedly even over trivial achievements. Always try to encourage them and raise their spirit of self-confidence.

17. Relate to them the stories of the Prophets (Alayhimus salaam). Explain how they invited the non-Muslims to Islam and what role their character played in attracting the infidels to Islam. Also narrate to them incidents from the lives of the Sahabah (Radhiallaahu Anhum) and other pious people. Regard such narration as crucial for their morals and for the development of their affiliation towards Deen. In spite of your thousand and one other chores, take out a bit of time for this as well. May Allah Ta'ala assist you and all the other Muslim mothers.

18. Periodically, make the children distribute alms, food etc. to the poor with their own hands. This would promote a spirit of sympathy and generosity towards the poor. Now and again, allow them to distribute food, (sweets etc.) to their other siblings as well as this would engender a sense of recognising the rights of others and create a spirit of impartiality amongst them.

19. Do not comply with the child's every whim and fancy. With tact and wisdom, try to dissuade the child from this habit. Employ a bit of harshness now and again. Don't turn them into obstinate and adamant children by showering them with misplaced love.

20. Avoid speaking in harsh tones. Avoid yelling and shrieking and advise the children to speak in a moderate and gentle tone as well. Also stress upon them to avoid shouting and yelling at one another.

21. Develop amongst them the habit of doing everything by themselves. They should avoid depending on the servants for every little thing.

22. If there is a squabble amongst children, don't side with your child unfairly. Remember, just as you cherish certain feelings in favour of your child, other parents also cherish the same feelings in favour of their children. Also, don't allow the complaints of your sister-in-law's children or the complaints of the neighbours to reach your husband.

23. Always be impartial to all your children. Be very cautious and refrain from showing favouritism at all costs. If you have a greater inclination to one of your children you are excused but as far as your conduct, behaviour and dealings are concerned, you should be impartial and fair to each one of them.

24. Always be an excellent example to your children. You are unto your children a perpetual and silent teacher who is always studied and scrutinised by the children. Even in jest, do not speak lies before your children.

25. Be cheerful on the birth of a daughter just as you are cheerful on the birth of a son. Girls or boys, both are blessings of Allah Ta'ala. Allah alone knows which is best for you; a boy or a girl. Similarly, don't express displeasure when one of your sister's-in-law gives birth to a girl child. Also don't pressure your sister-in-law or your brother's in laws to give gifts etc. on this occasion, thereby attracting their curses. Forcing others to give presents renders one guilty of accepting or partaking of Haram wealth. It appears in the Hadith that Rasulullahullah ? said: "Behold! The wealth of a person is not Halal except with the happiness of the heart. [Mishkat Page 255 Hadith 8] May Allah Ta'ala protect us all from Haram gifts.

26. Bring up your daughters with heartfelt joy, devout happiness, and a sense of religious spirit. In compensation of this, cherish the hope of Jannah from Allah Ta'ala.

27. Do not regard the female child as inferior to the male and do not give him preference over her. Expose the same love for both of them and conduct yourself impartially with both of them.

28. The ideal mother is she who instils the honour and esteem of her husband into the hearts of her children. She explains in various ways the status he commands as a leader and chief of the household. For instance, when something crops up, she responds by saying: "We'll ask your father when he returns. We'll do it if he agrees otherwise not because there is always good in obeying him. Allah Ta'ala is also pleased. Dad is the leader of the household. Obedience to the leader in permissible matters removes a number of calamities and this also attracts the mercy of Allah Ta'ala." Etc. etc.

29. Similarly, the ideal mother is she who refrains from arguing and quarrelling with her husband in front of her children. In spite of the most detestable behaviour of her husband, she exercises patience in front of them and submits to the husband: "Yes, I was at fault, I am sorry. This won't happen in the future." Then when she is alone with him, she explains the proper situation to him and that she didn't say anything at that time because of the children. Similarly, the ideal mother is she who refrains from giving the husband and children any sad news the moment they come home. She does not pounce on them with a volley of questions nor does she criticise them on any of their shortcomings the moment they step foot into the house. Instead, she greets them with Salam, feeds them properly and then she says what has to be said.

30. The ideal mother is she who tries to maintain between two children an appropriate gap that allows the first one to complete breastfeeding and become a bit self-sufficient and also it affords the mother to overcome her weakness she suffered due to childbirth and breastfeeding. This gives her the opportunity to lighten her shoulders from the turmoil of a very young child. Now when she has no other valid Shar`i excuse, she prepares herself for the next child so that each one of them can be brought up correctly and each one is awarded individual attention. This gap also offers her the opportunity to offer each child her individual attention and also it also allows her to recuperate after the weakness of childbirth, breastfeeding etc. Also, this gap ensures that the milk she is presently feeding is not adversely affected by another pregnancy. Therefore, it is recommended that the couple employ temporary measures of birth control and maintain a reasonable gap between their children. In fact, in view of the health of the mother or the child or on grounds of compelling reasons, after consulting with the Muftis, she may even maintain a longer gap provided her intentions are not warped.

31. The ideal mother is she who honours her husband's as well as her own mother in a manner pleasing unto Allah Ta'ala and this in turn engenders the same graciousness and honour amongst her children as well. She who happens to be a "coolness unto the eyes" of her mother and the husband's mother, her children will also be a "coolness unto her eyes".

32. The ideal mother is she who practises upon the advices proffered in this book and endeavours to instil these attributes into her Muslim sisters as well. She also makes Du`a for the compiler of this book and the people who have assisted in its publication and also for those men and women engaged in the effort of Deen.

33. When your daughter reaches the age of seven, bring her up in such a manner that she avoids shaking hands with men and she covers all her hair when she steps out of the home. Also, from an early age, develop the habit of making her wear long tops and (cotton) pants so that her legs remain covered at all times.

34. Together with the aforementioned strategies, make Du'aas for your children with ardent zeal and enthusiasm. Also abstain from the disobedience of Allah Ta'ala and restrain others from the same. It is hoped that Allah Ta'ala would not thrust aside the sincere Du'aas emanating from the depths of the parent's hearts.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sometimes is hard to describe the feelings...

Asalamu Alaykum

This must be the 4th time I started writing this post. 

Though I have a lot in mind, I have great difficulty in expressing my feelings just now. I feel very sad. But this is an understatement.

As a parent I feel the pain of  those "other parents".   I will explain shortly.

My mind keeps on going back  to the days when I was expecting my children, the dreams, the anticipation, the excitement, the first time when you hold this new life in your arms and gaze in their innocent eyes.

The sleepless nights, the first steps, the first words. And then the first day in school," big school ", college.... 

And for some the dream gets interrupted and life is not the same again. 

This is what happened recently in our community.

A knife crime that resulted in the loss of a beautiful girl and the total devastation of he family.

" Inna Ilahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'oun"

Yesterday was the funeral.

Though I did not personally know Aliza or the family I have been greatly affected. :(

Please make dua for Aliza, her devastated parents, siblings and young friends.

Time is too slow for those who wait, Too swift for those who fea,r Too long for those who grieve, Too short for those who rejoice But, for those who love –Time is eternity

Please  give your kids an extra cuddle tonight!

In a hadith we read that the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wa sallaam)  has said: " "Verily my eyes shed tears and my heart is afflicted, and I say nothing but what is pleasing to my Lord".

Friday, 16 April 2010

Mother's Diet Affects Newborn Allergy Risk

Eating lots of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy is associated with lowering the chance of having a baby with certain allergies, study findings from Japan suggest.

The study found that babies born to women who ate high amounts of green and yellow fruits and vegetables, and those rich in beta carotene, had a reduced risk of being born with eczema, a condition that cause the skin to become itchy, dry, reddened and cracked.

Furthermore, foods high in Vitamin E, found in some green vegetables, were similarly found to lessen the risk of having a wheezy infant.
Study Details
Researchers evaluated vegetable and fruit intake during pregnancy of 763 women and their offspring's early-age eczema or allergic wheeze.
The women were 30 years old on average and about 17 weeks pregnant when they reported personal and medical history. When their babies were between 16 and 24 months old, the women provided birth and breastfeeding history, number of older siblings, and exposure to smoke.
The team found that 21 percent of the youngsters wheezed or had a "whistling in the chest in the last 12 months," and fewer than 19 percent had eczema.
According to the investigators, moms who ate greater amounts of green and yellowvegetables, citrus fruits, or beta carotene while pregnant were less likely to have an infant with eczema.
For example, after allowing for other eczema risk factors, eczema was more common among infants of moms who ate the least versus the most green and yellow vegetables - 54 and 32 infants, respectively.
Likewise, higher intake of Vitamin E during pregnancy was associated a reduced likelihood of having a wheezy infant.
The researchers said that increasing intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruits, and antioxidants such as Beta-carotene and Vitamin E among pregnant women "deserves further investigation as measures that would possibly be effective in the prevention of allergic disorders in the offspring."
This study supports previous and on-going research that eating foods rich in vitamin and minerals, like those found in fruits and vegetables, during pregnancycan go a long way in preventing children from developing allergies.
Breastfeeding is another way to ensure your baby receives the most wholesomenutrition possible. Breast-fed babies are typically born with fewer or no allergieswhen compared to their formula-fed counterparts. Breast milk contains all the required nutrients crucial for healthy growth and offers protection against infections and diseases, which bottle-feeding does not provide.
Research Paper Details:
Miyake Y, Sasaki S, Tanaka K, Hirota Y. Consumption of vegetablesfruit, andantioxidants during pregnancy and wheeze and eczema in infants. Allergy 2010.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A Thousand Marbles!

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know, the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about ?a thousand marbles.?

I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say. ?Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you?re busy with your job. I?m sure they pay you well but it?s a shame you have to be away from home and your Family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter?s dance recital.?

He continued, ?Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.? And that?s when he began to explain his theory of a ?thousand marbles.?

?You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.?

?Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I?m getting to the important part.?

?It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail,? he went on, ?and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.?

?So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to roundup 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.?

?I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.?

?Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones...?

?It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!?

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show?s moderator didn?t have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. ?C?mon honey, I?m taking you and the kids to breakfast.?

?What brought this on?? she asked with a smile.

?Oh, nothing special,? I said. ?It has just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we?re out? I need to buy some marbles.?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The difference 10 years make!

Asalamu Alaykum :)
Today I will be renewing all our passports.
A task I have been putting off for the past year or so.
Tedious but absolutely necessary " in case of emergencies" as I say. Needs to be done kind of thing.
But this is not why I am writing this post.
The shock, "rests" with my passport picture.
I usually do not do photos, unless absolutely necessary as I had to today.
I nearly did not recognise the stranger looking back at me.
My 10 years ago passport picture,  is light and cheerful and smiles back at me.
Today's photo is a lot different.
It is not only a matter of age. Of course the face shows the passing of the past 10 years.
It is the expression. Why do I look so serious, remote and so distant???
Of course a lot has happened in the past 10 years.
Good and bad and Alhamdulillah, for having the opportunity to live through the years and Alahmdulillah  for getting  to know Islam.
 Thinking deeply about it I think this is it:
That I finally realised that life is not for ever, and my purpose though multiple is Mainly and Foremost to worship Allah (swt). I have finally  realised that I am only a traveller and for where I am heading, good deeds are required but  no passport is necessary.

Wa Alaykum Salam