Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And that’s why I stopped caring...

Anyone who may have been watching CNN last Wednesday (or Tuesday Night in some places) would have seen the main story, continuously playing. “Lindsay Lohan will be spending time in jail”. Larry King had a special segment where he interviewed Lindsay’s father and his lawyer. This story was big news and even someone like me who has been out of touch with the world of celebrities suddenly found myself paying attention.

Watching this story really made me feel sad for this young woman. I remember her in “The Parent Trap”, a cute, innocent little girl, and I couldn’t help but to contemplate on all the false promises of this temporary world and the outcomes of this. This reminded me exactly why I stopped caring about Hollywood celebrities and their so-called fairytale lives.

There was a time when I did care; in fact I cared a lot. Like so many other people I was upset by the news of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s divorce. I was happy when Julia Roberts finally seemed to find her soul mate. I was intrigued by the friendship of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and thought that it was “so cool”. I had my favourite celebrity couples, and the one’s I hated together. I read about their lives and wanted to know more. They were interesting and their lives together were glamorous... Well of course that’s what they need us to think right, otherwise we’d all just lose interest in them.

Alhamdullillah my eyes began to open up to reality and soon all the “glamour” and the appeal began to reveal itself for the fake that it really is. Looking at celebrities with open eyes I could now see how sad most of them really are and how much they’ve become entrapped in a world which offers them many pleasures, but forget’s to mention that with these pleasures comes heartache, loneliness and constant worry. A world that offers no peace and privacy, and a world where a woman cannot afford to leave her home without her make-up, because if she does she’ll make entertainment headlines and everyone will be talking about how “ugly” she looks.

When I look at this and I see what Islam offers women, I feel extremely grateful that I am a Muslim woman. I may not have exquisite beauty, the perfect figure, fame, money, huge mansions, fancy cars, designer clothes, ... but I am thankful to my Allah that I do have peace of mind and self-esteem. I do not have to wonder who I really am and whether I’ll ever be accepted for just being myself. I do not have to search for anything and everything to fill my life, because despite all that I have, I still feel empty inside. No, Alhamdullillah, being a Muslim woman affords me the luxury of knowing that I am fulfilled by my faith and belief, and this is a gift that is incomparable to anything else in this world.

When I step out of my home donned in my hijab and covered modestly, I know that others may be looking at me, feeling me sorry, believing that I am oppressed, but in my heart I know the truth and my love for Allah and Islam empowers me more than anything. It makes me want to be a better person, because it reminds me that I am more than just a physical figure, I am a whole human being! People may not be making a big deal about how beautiful and popular I am, but at least I can feel free, knowing that those who do show an interest in me are genuinely interested in me as a person and not as an idolized figure.

It seems like everything regarded as glamorous in this world actually comes with a price, and I am so grateful for being a Muslim because Islam offers true beauty and there are no illusions or deception. I still believe that it is sad to see people like this who live in a society that makes them think they are free and liberated, but in reality, they seem more oppressed and trapped than I will ever be.

All praise is due to Allah for giving us Muslims the perfect way of life, one that allows us to find true peace, contentment and happiness, because as Allah reminds us in the Hold Qur’aan, “it is only in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest”.
Image taken from: islamicsunrays.com/tag/salat-in-strange-places/

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cutest Blog Award

Jazakallah Khayr to sister Sakina (Light of Happiness) for giving me this special award. May Allah reward you sister:)

Now of course to spread the love, and the cuteness (you dont have to share the award, but it would be nice if you'd like to!)

             I'd like to share this award with the following people: And the cutest blog award goes to...

Bubbli Muslima @ Bubblez Island

Oldie Goldie @ Oldie Goldie & the young ones

Khadeeja @ Two Hearts Apart

Ati @ True Colours Revealed

Keep up the great work ladies!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ramadaan is almost here!!!

It’s an exciting time for Muslims all around the world. Everywhere people are talking about the month of Ramadaan which is almost on our doorsteps. Alhamdullillah! It’s so beautiful that Muslims make such a big deal of this month, as we should!

Ramadaan is indeed the month of blessings and the peace and tranquillity that we feel in this month is undeniable. Allah’s mercy definitely transcends more on us during this blessed month. Allahu Akbar, this is a gift above any other.

There’s something else that you can’t miss when associating with Muslim women though. This is of course the other type of Ramadaan Preparation- You know, not the spiritual or even the physical preparation. This is the FOOD PREPARATION. I’m not sure how things are in other parts of the world, but in South Africa, where I am, this has taken on new meaning.

As if samoosas, pies, half-moons, spring-rolls and mini-pizza’s are not enough to make, now there’s also mini samoosas, crumbed samoosas, square samoosas... see even I have lost track. Last year I was actually told that a certain savoury was “in fashion” for Ramadaan. It’s quite crazy, isn’t it? The amount of time, energy and money that goes into preparing all this food really makes one wonder. Now, I’m really not saying that people shouldn’t prepare anything at all, especially when you have hungry men (and women) eagerly looking forward to breaking their fast and eating these savouries shortly thereafter. Getting all of that food preparation out of the way before the time is also wise because then people don’t have to be bothered with that during the month of Ramadaan and there’s more time for Ibadah. All I’m saying though is that it should not get so out of hand. Women shouldn’t spend so much time preparing food for Ramadaan. When we focus all our energies on food preparation we don’t have time for the spiritual and physical preparation that we should also be making.

Besides, keeping it simple is always better, and if we look at our Iftaar tables we can never say that we are not extravagant. We should also always remember that it was a Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) to break his fast with only dates and some water, so even though this is difficult, we should slowly begin to implement this Sunnah in our lives. May Allah make it easy for us all.

Basically what I’m trying to say is having balance is good. Don’t overdo the food preparation and don’t become so engrossed in preparing savouries beforehand that you don’t have enough time to prepare yourself in other ways.

Ramadaan is Indeed an joyous time and a precious gift, may Allah make it easy for all of us to make the best of this month, in every way. Insha'Allah Ameen!
Image taken from: towardsenlightment.wordpress.com/2007/09/
Bismillah Image from: picsdigger.com/keyword/islamic%20places/

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sunshine blog award!!!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Jazakallah Khayr to Bubbli Muslimah @ http://bubblezisland.blogspot.com/ for giving me this special award:)

Here are the Rules:

Put the logo on your blog in your post.

Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.

Link the nominees within your post.

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.

Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

12 Bloggers that deserve the sunshine :)

(in no particular order)

Is-Za Jelass @ After the nikah

Xo Xo... Sweet success @ Xo Xo...Sweet Success

Rukhpar Mor @ rukhpar mor

Light of Happiness @ warkah seorang hamba

Aminah Patel @ Cake Mama

Zaufishan @ Muslimness Zaufishan.co.uk

To all bloggers out there, I hope that you can always be encouraged in a positive way, and I'd like to thank the sisters who are always trying to encourage others. May The Almighty Allah accept all of our efforts, Insha'Allah!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Halaal Travelling

I've been asked to mention a website which offers halaal travelling information and I decided to do it because I know how difficult it can get to find information about halaal food, hotels, salaah facilities, etc. in a foreign country. Perhaps this can help make things easier for Muslim travellers. So for those of you who are interested, see the details below. I've also added a link which you can find on the side of this blog.
Introduction to Crescentrating

Crescentrating was launched to help the Muslim travellers choose “Halal friendly” travel facilities and services when they plan their trips. With our own rating (Crescentrating) of Hotels and other facilties, Muslims can now make an educated choice.

Alhamdulillah, within a short period of 8 months, since our launch, we have had excellent feedback from the muslim travellers as well as the travel industry. We were just awarded the prestigious Halal Journal Award for “Travel & Hospitality 2010” at the World Halal Forum on the 21st June.

We have now rated more than 60 Hotels from 14 countries for their “halal friendliness” and listed them in our website. Our website http://www.crescentrating.com/is dedicated for helping the Muslim travellers.

Please also visit Crescentrating on their Facebook page.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Remember the pigeon’s feather

Have you ever noticed how beautiful a single pigeon’s feather is? The other day I was looking at a pigeons feather, it was white with grey streaks...it looked so pure and amazingly so beautiful. Pondering on this I thought that it’s strange that people don’t often regard a pigeon’s feather as something beautiful, and I think this is because as a whole a pigeon is not commonly regarded as a beautiful bird. I mean, when you look at a pigeon you don’t often think; “Masha’Allah that’s a beautiful bird”, as you would do with other more exotic and less common birds.

Don’t worry now, my post is not all about pigeon’s...but the pigeon’s feather did remind me of something very important. This reminded me of an important hadith which states something to this effect; “Let not a believing man hate a believing woman. If he hates one trait of her character, he should be pleased with another that is within her” (Sahih Muslim). You see, just like the single beautiful pigeon’s feather is easily ignored if we simply disregard the pigeon and think that it’s not a beautiful bird, so too can beautiful traits of people be ignored or overlooked if we dismiss the person as a whole, regarding her as a negative person.

Although the hadith above is being addressed to men, I think that women can take a lesson from this as well. How often do we dismiss other women, our own Muslim sisters, because in our minds we’ve focused so much on her faults that we’ve forgotten that there are good qualities inside of her? I know that it can become very difficult with certain people sometimes, but imagine the difference it will make in another person’s life if you focus on her good when everyone else is accustomed to focusing on her bad or negative qualities.

Once we begin to realise that people have both good and bad qualities, we will then begin to judge those qualities individually instead of judging the person (which is a really bad thing in Islam ). What this also does is it gives us a chance to try and understand where people are coming from and almost all of the time when we actually take the time to try and understand others; we will see that they really are not as bad as we thought they were.

So, if there is any woman in your life who always seems to be negative and who usually causes negative reactions in you and others around you, next time remember the pigeon’s feather and try and look for her beautiful qualities, and you’ll see that things will become much better Insha’Allah, because just like the pigeon will never be regarded as ugly or plain to you again once you’ve focused on the beauty of a single feather, so too will a person not be regarded as a bad or negative person once you’ve opened up your eyes to the good qualities in her.

May Allah Almighty make it easy for us all to always see the good in others, Insha’Allah Ameen!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Good Hair Days

So the other day while I was brushing out my hair I suddenly realised that since wearing hijab I have far more “good hair days” than “bad hair days”. It just somehow seems that things have become easier. Seriously, no more need for hair sprays and gels to help get the perfect look for my hair (which never seemed to be perfect in any case), no unnatural straightening of my hair to fit in with the latest craze. No more wasted time worrying that the cold weather is going to frizz my hair. It’s been longer than 10 years that I am wearing hijab (Alhamdullillah), but I still remember the days when my hair would look like I just emerged from some sort of battle or something. Windy days would make it go crazy and out of hand, cold days would make it frizz, warm days would make it look too flat and dull, and the perfect look, well that always seemed so unattainable. I remember feeling that the latest hair style didn’t suit me, despite me trying for hours to get it right. Gosh, recalling all of that makes me sigh with relief!

The purpose of hijab is to protect a woman and to preserve her beauty; I guess I never really took it literally before. It seems that since wearing hijab, my hair is also being protected. It just seems so much easier to handle now, and now that it’s not exposed to the harsh elements of the weather, and all the unnatural styling products, it looks so much better than it ever did, and I don’t end up looking like a crazy woman with wild hair.

I know that most women enjoy trying out different hairstyles and they see this as fun, but I feel that experimenting with different hijab’s is just as fun, and so much less effort. Besides, women don’t have to feel like there’s something wrong with their hair just because it doesn’t look like the perfect model type hair, and this allows them to feel grateful for what they have.

So yeah, my hijab days are definitely good hair days and when I want to expose my hair to the people who are allowed to see it, then I don’t have to feel like my hair just always seems to be a big mess. I guess there’s far more benefits in hijab than we will ever be able to comprehend, practical as well as spiritual! And Allah The Almighty always knows best!

Image from: www.ghdhairbuy.net/

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sisters Networking

For those sisters who blog, if you haven't already joined Sisters Who Blog Network, I suggest that you do. Alhamdullillah, this provides Muslim sisters with a forum where they can share ideas and support one another's efforts. Check it out and see for yourselves, the link is as follows:


Happy Blogging and Networking:)