The Blue Sky Tag

The Blue Sky Tag

I had the pleasure (and challenge) of being nominated for the Blue Sky Tag by The Scottish Muslimah. I have only been at this blog for a very short period, but have followed her blog from the start. I find her to be very thoughtful and thought provoking.  Please do follow if you do not already.Anyway, as part of the rules I have been given 11 questions to answer:

 1.  Do you prefer hot or cold weather? Hot by far is more enjoyable. I get to take my time and I get to love the billowing folds of an extra wide abaya, and appreciate those gentle breezes that come just at the time when I sigh that it is so very very hot today!

2. What are you most afraid of?  I shudder to think of being 30,000 feet above the ground moving at the speed of 700-800 miles per hour in a metal container piloted by another human being with what(?) on his/her mind? I thank Allah for allowing me to endure this in order to make hajj, and ever since that maiden voyage whenever I think of it I automatically beg Allah for  peace of mind should He put me in that position again. ameen (Please make dua for your chicken sister!)

3. What is your favourite animal?  The cat.  Its purr is so very comforting, and the fur is pleasing to the touch.  It is graceful yet comical.  My best choice for company when no humans are available

4.What is your favourite smell? Mmmmmm lavender by far.

5.Are you an early bird or a night owl? Early bird. Our blessings are with work done after fajr. (see question 9.)

6.How many people have seen you cry?  The two younger girls when I was so very sad that I could not visit my mother. But in time Allah in His infinite mercy allowed her to come and live with us. Alhamdu lillahi.  Most other times in my life tears have been between me and my Lord. (except when we watch paulie- see number 8)

7.When was the last time you laughed until it hurt and what made you laugh?   I was riding with my husband and eating blue berry cookies with our coffee. He had given me his uneaten cookie and I finished it.  Well he did not mean that I was supposed to EAT it, just HOLD it so he could make a turn.  What a joke! Sorry….didn’t he know I was the cookie monster? Of course that was the last one and the store was a long way back. Needless to say now all uneaten snacks go on the lap, not to the spouse/ cookie monster.  I’m still chuckling now!

8.What book or film made you cry the most?  Kiddie movie Paulie.  It was about a parrot who could talk., but could not fly.  He was given to a little girl with a speech impediment. Even though the little girl, Marie was talking with the help of the bird, her dad didn’t like him, so they got rid of Paulie. The entire movie was about Paulie’s determination to get back to his friend. He overcame his fear of flying to get back to Marie.  By the time he did find her she had grown into an adult with a daughter of her own. I was just so touched by the determination of this little bird to reach his goal, and his success at the end that little tears had to come.

9.What is your favourite time of day?  Tahujjud until sunrise.  The house is peaceful, the neighbors are quiet. There is no need for verbal conversation.  Time to pray, reflect, ask forgiveness.  This is time to get my next ayat to memorize for the day, and then plan what has to be done that day. Is it just me, or do the birds really sing subhan Allah until the sun starts to rise? I swear  I hear them a little at first when it is still dark then they increase in volume by the time fajr is well in.  Then just as the sun is about to rise they quiet down  until it is all the way up. After sunrise just a few have a little more to say.

10.If you could have any career or job you wanted, what would it be? Dream job: CEO of Justice Incorporated. By the Grace of Allah and with the Permission of Allah al Fattah, al Adl:  We Collect taxes from the very rich and distribute it to the less fortunate.  We provide shelter for those in need worldwide (translators available), and healthy wholesome food for the hungry that is collected from the excesses of the lavish.  We rescue non combatant men, women and children from war torn areas and war torn households (after necessary mediation) and resettle them in peaceful, safe environments.  No room in the cities? No problem, we have funds from the very wealthy that is more than enough to BUILD cities in that space that we pass as we drive through the countryside.  We negotiate the return of native lands to their rightful owners, and still leave the new “immigrants” with enough land to occupy.  We provide salaries to teachers so that everyone in need of education, be it deeni, elementary, or collegiate can get the necessary education to pursue the life of his or her dreams. (applications are available in every language, and are accepted at all times)  Our Senior  Citizen department handles secure and respectful location services for the elderly so that they can enjoy their years in an environment of dignity that is rightfully theirs after lives of service to their families and communities. (all applications are given the utmost priority.) The Sijjin Department works to free those who are incarcerated unjustly; either political prisoners or those whose incarceration serves the purpose of an elite few.  Our legal team is ready to be of service. Operators are working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Again translators are available for every human language. If there is some issue that we have not addressed, as I am sure there must be, feel free to contact us on our toll free line.  Although we will  do our level best to alleviate the harms of every nation it is understood that  perfect societies only do exist in jennah, but as Muminaat our job is to stand for justice in this dunya.  Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

11.If you were in a room with Donald Trump what would you say to him? So glad you are not God.

Sweetness of Faith

Sweetness of Faith

Today the girls and I didn’t go to Jumuah, but listened to a live stream.  What a pleasure…

The Imam spoke of the sweetness of faith from this hadith:

Narrated Anas bin Malik (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu), The Prophet (SAW) said:

“Whoever possesses the following three qualities will taste the sweetness of faith:

1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle become dearer than anything else.
2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.
3. Who hates to revert to disbelief after Allah has brought him out from it, as he hates to be thrown in fire.”

[Sahih Bukhari – Book 2, Hadith 20]

To personalize it:

  1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle become dearer than anything else;Do we do things to please people in disobedience to Allah? e.g, someone says let’s do lunch and it’s salat time, and I say to myself  “well, I’ll make salat when we get back, because I don’t want to make her wait” even if by then salat time would be over. Then we love them more than Allah.  May Allah protect us from that. Ameen.  Do we want to imitate the Prophet (SAW) in what he did or how he lived? If we love him then we will want to be like him. (reminder for myself- What sunnah do I implement with the intention to be like the Prophet(SAW)? Action plan- do a sunnah with the intention to imitate the Prophet(SAW)- not out of routine )
  2. The one who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.  This one is because we do not look for anything in return for our association with the person. actually I used to be a bit offended when someone said this to me, and considered this to mean I had no value to them. But after this khutbah it is more clear that it means that the person speaking is saying out of kindness that we do not owe them anything in return for their love.  So if we have a rich friend and we love them for the sake of Allah,  they do not need to give us one cent as a friend.  If we have a successful friend we only want them to succeed more; not to give any worldly reward for our friendship.  Now I can finally say this with understanding and sincerity. Alhamdu lillahi.
  3. The one who hates to return to disbelief after Allah has saved him from it as he  hates to be thrown in fire.  This hits home for many reverts who have experienced life without Islam.  What an empty existence. May Allah save us from a return to  disbelief, ameen Allahumma ameen.

The Imam also likened faith to biting into a fruit.  The outside of the fruit is bitter, so if we just approach our deen from the surface (visible actions without sincerity) we cannot taste how sweet the real fruit is that is inside- think watermelon and oranges.  I also remember the words of a sister Amina Wadud who once during a keynote speech said to BE Muslim is far more important than to LOOK Muslim. That was too many years ago, but it stuck with me because it rings true.

Thank you for your time, and let’s continue to pray for success for our ummah, ameen.

Reflections on the Women’s March on Washington Part 2

Reflections on the Women’s March on Washington Part 2

Sapelo Square

My Body, My Choice!!!

By Ieasha Prime

My, Body, My Choice! Watching, hijab-clad young women march next to middle-aged white feminists while shouting this phrase sent shock waves through the Muslim community. Some scrambled for answers to questions such as, “Can we say that?” Are our women siding with “them”? “Have we lost our Muslim mind?” This scurrying for the answer caused me to contemplate the moment when I stood beside my son in the middle of this massive, spiritually charged and contagious crowd. I remember when this chant my body, my choicebegan, I paused and looked at him for about 5 seconds and he looked back in my eyes for an answer to “how do we respond to this one?”

Three seconds later, I yelled at the top of my lungs, “My Head, My Choice!” Women and men around me stopped and looked directly at me wearing my three-colored hijab. Realizing the…

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Co-Wife Club- Surah Yasin

Co-Wife Club- Surah Yasin

“Be mindful of what lies ahead”….. Maryam pondered these words and considered what she had sent forward by way of deeds.  She thought of those things she had left behind.  By “things” she meant feelings that were hurt, people who were disappointed, friends who were let down.  One in particular was Tahira.

Maryam should have seen it coming, but as their relationship just happened, she “rolled with the flow”.  It was becoming more and more apparent that her husband, Habib,  was growing restless. He began hinting about taking another wife.  At the same time she met a sister, Tahira, who had just moved to the area and complained that she did not have any friends.  Being the outgoing person that she was, it was easy for Maryam to invite Tahira over regularly.  For the next two months Tahira spent most weekends at their home, and became very comfortable with them as a family.  Maryam could not deny the feeling of friendship that was growing between herself and Tahira.

Okay, so they were getting married, fine.  How did they all end up in the same house?! Maryam saw it coming, but it was never discussed outright. Right before Tahira and Habib left town to get married, Maryam was moving to another house just because their lease was over, and Maryam wanted more space than they had in the little apartment.

When Tahira and Habib returned from their honeymoon to Maryam’s house, Tahira was not just a visitor. Tahira would STAY there in her own room!  It was not too much of an adjustment, since they had been constant companions prior to the marriage.  But now that Tahira was a wife, she took more control over the running of the house.  She claimed the kitchen, which came with no opposition from Maryam, who was more comfortable with the “wardrobe management”.  (She made their clothes) Also Maryam did the food shopping.

Every morning after fajr salah the two sisters sat down to read surah Yasin. Each one took half and read in Arabic.  It seemed no matter how difficult the living situation became, praying and reading made the discomfort easier to bear.  Maryam did not dislike her sister Tahira, but she felt over time that each of their marriages did not have the full potential because of the lack of privacy.  Tahira, on the other hand depended on Maryam for support in how to deal with their husband.  Her insistence that everything in the home be “in its place” made the husband feel like he lived in a museum.  Although he liked the idea that Tahira cooked delicious meals he still sometimes wanted Maryam’s basic spaghetti.

The two sisters were seen in public at events like weddings and sister gatherings and classes.  Their beautiful garments were made with the same style, but different colors. They shopped together and went to classes and became known as the “twins”. They even had sisters come to the house for girl parties. It was a special time for the both of them.  Other women looked at them either with admiration or disdain. How they could cope with living in the same house seemed amazing to those looking on.  And since Maryam feared Allah, her family would not be the subject of conversation with other people. Any problem she had would have to be worked out among the three of them.

Maryam was such a helper to Tahira that when Tahira studied for her drivers license, Tahira asked Maryam for help because she was a more patient teacher than their husband.  For all that she did, though Tahira could not understand why sometimes Maryam had a mean face on the mornings that she and Habib decided to sleep in.  And if she had the nerve to show up (come downstairs) in one of his shirts that would just twist the knife!  Tahira reacted to Maryam’s face with stern questioning, which made Maryam guilty and even more sad at the entire situation.

Habib decided to let Tahira go, but Maryam begged him not to let it go that far.  She really did feel like she needed to take care of Tahira, who was 6 years her junior.  What a dilemma. Two sisters who need each other but not having a true sense of what would best allow each to blossom.  Maryam thought that by moving into her own house Tahira would have a chance at a relationship with their husband that was sincere, and not governed by what was acceptable to the whole. She  for one was ready to take up her relationship where it left off before they shared one house.

She did see her husband every day, but it was a lukewarm sight.  She dared not to run and hug him, because then Tahira would feel it necessary to do the same, and then she may even hug for longer.  Rather than have to face that, Maryam would choose to do nothing, but remember the days of happy home comings. If the two sisters were out together and the husband called Maryam, she felt it necessary to give the phone to Tahira. She would then say the required salaam and yes, we’re fine.  How awkward…

Maryam was wrong about many things.  She did not understand that Tahira needed to live as a group to feel validated and necessary.  She liked being part of a family. She liked telling Maryam and Habib how to dress and eat and just everything to do. It did not occur to her that her insistence that Maryam be happy with everything that came with sharing a husband made an unbearable burden on her sister. Tahira did not understand that when she complained about her husband that she was also complaining about Maryam’s husband, and therefore Maryam had to put a correction on it.  It was not taking sides as Tahira would accuse her of doing.  Maryam’s role as a Muslimah was obedience to Allah, which meant obedience to her husband and guarding his back.

Yes, Maryam did appreciate the kindnesses that were given like the dua that Tahira insisted that they read together after fajr to help Maryam cope, and the fact that they read Sura Yasin every day together. She appreciated the cup of tea that was offered as she sat at the sewing machine to make their next outfit for the upcoming event. She appreciated the companion in travel to visit non-Muslim family.  She did like having her around.  Why couldn’t they just get some space?  Apparently with Tahira and their friendship it was all or nothing at all.  Maryam did not get that memo.

Maryam did eventually move to her own house and even though the two sisters made a try at contacting each other, it became very clear after a month that things had changed completely. Maryam got the privacy she so wanted, but suddenly it felt like excommunication. There was no turning back.

Now here she sits years later with Sura Yasin open to this ayat. “Beware of what is before you and what is past so that you may be treated with kindness.” She can only beg Allah to forgive her past petty jealousies and times of impatience.   Maryam also made a dua that Allah forgive their short comings, accept their best intentions, and grant them reward for each letter they read together despite their differences, ameen.

 

 

re-post from Theresa Corbin (Islamwich)

re-post from Theresa Corbin (Islamwich)

I’m so new to Imojis, but just seeing another avenue we have under taken as Muslims is exciting…

by Theresa Corbin Yesterday something awesome happened. A Launch Good campaign went live. Why does that matter? Well, it matters because this crowdfunding effort is bringing us Islamic emojis! Islamoji: “The Fun Muslim Pop Culture App With A Cause. Custom-designed emojis to express your unique self!” The Islamoji app is the brainchild of Sakeena Rashid, Founder of […]

via Islam + Emoji = Islamoji — islamwich

Co-wife Club- the Phone call

Co-wife Club- the Phone call

Maryam was busy as usual with school work when her phone rang.  The call was from a former co-wife. This was a bit unusual so she took the call.

“As Salaamu alaikum, sis! This is a pleasant surprise.  How are you?”  The answer came as a shock.

“I’m calling to tell you that your ex, brother Dawud just passed away last night,” came the voice on the other end.  Amina was the elder of the two wives when they were both married to brother Dawud, and Maryam always liked and respected her.  Now that the both of them were in new marriages they were friendly when the met in public and still felt a bond of sorts.

Amina had been in touch with their former in-laws, and had known of the illness.  Maryam, on the other hand, had completely dropped out of the “family” circuit. And that was best, because she had stayed married to Dawud many years longer than Amina, and had even gone through another two shared marriages after that. Yes, she was sad in a way, but no tears came.  Rather a general overall sadness at the finality of death.

Even after the marriage had seemed to just fade into nonexistence, there was a familiarity in Maryam’s mind that could have been understood to be love.  Amina didn’t stay on the phone much after delivering the news, but she promised to keep Maryam informed.  Her mind raced….. should she try to go to the janaza?  What would she say to the non-Muslim family  who had become so used to her presence at the family reunions, and holiday gatherings?  What about the Muslims who did not know or who would have found it hard to believe that they had actually divorced? Not those two who seemed so right for each other.  Not those two who showed people how to live with two women in the very same house for ten years?

Maryam  went to call just a few people who knew her and the former husband.  Her intention was to have them make dua, as they lived too far away to come to the janaza. She did not feel like talking, though, as the reality set in. There would be no accidental run-ins that would reveal the feelings of one to the other. Since this new marriage Maryam dreaded a chance meeting that might betray her true emotional state.  And now there would be no accidental anything. Was that a relief?

She still was not sure about the janaza, but was leaning away from going.  That other sister may be there and she may make a scene.  The last wife, the one who had shared living space for ten years was still very angry that Maryam had decided to move into her own house(?).  As uncomfortable as it was living together, it was harder to maintain the semblance of friendship after Maryam moved into her own house.  Actually she thought the space would allow each to grow with their respective marriage. They seemed to work well living together until Dawud lost his job and the sisters had to find work to pay bills and buy food.  Now there was “time by default” as Maryam called it in her mind.  She was relieved when Zainab drove away for her day shift.  The house was then all hers and Dawud’s. Likewise, Zainab felt a sense of calm as Maryam got ready for her second shift at the Census.  They both wondered when and how the brother would find work, but neither one wanted to upset the apple cart and be the “bad guy”, so things just went on and on until Maryam finally could not take the pressure.  How long was she going to see herself and the other sister work and wait on the promise of a major project that is “sure to pay off”?

Memories of the funny times and the sad times  went through Maryam’s mind for the rest of the day.  She made strong dua for his forgiveness and otherwise kept quiet about it. Since she was no longer the wife she did not have the right to “condolence” calls.

As it turned out, the janaza was held in a town more than two hours drive away, which was not feasible for Maryam to get to. Later that night Amina called to fill her in on the events of the day.  There had been many people there, and even “that one”.  Amina found out that she had been visiting Brother Dawud up until his passing.  So she got to see him last.  Maryam wanted to get an attitude but she kept it to herself. She knew they had broken up after she got her own house, but she did not know they maintained contact.? There would be many things that she would not know, and Maryam had to make up her mind that it’s okay. Having been the first wife in this case had given her the advantage  in many family decisions, and she had her husbands trust and confidence. That could have disadvantages, though, as when he talked about whether or not to marry someone else, Maryam had to put on her big girl pants and advise as an objective outsider.

Maryam spent the day of the janaza  away from the glances and whispers of  people who mean well, but can’t help but wonder at the outcome of such a long marriage. She was glad to be out of the view of people who take account of each glance and word spoken and gesture between herself and her former co-wife turned enemy through no fault of her own, and despite her attempts at apologies. She talked to Allah and begged forgiveness for her lack of patience with the financial and emotional shortcomings.

She looked at her new situation and realized the goodness that lay before her, and was content to let the past stay there.

Is It Just Me?

Is It Just Me?

Pardon the misspelled word above. This is how it appeared in the image. But moving right along…When I first saw this brand many years ago I looked up the meaning, as I had never heard the word nike.  The definition of the word was just this- a deity of victory.  From that time forward I never bought or allowed the brand shoe in my house. I have even cut the swoosh off of shirts that were given to me.  I’m just crazy like that.  My humble opinion is that any and all victory comes from Allah alone. Only. To even wear this name just to me is like saying this is where I want victory to come from.  Is it just me?

Our enemies are on all sides, remember the promise of Shaytan when he was banished from paradise? He will lie in wait on the straight path and approach us from the front, the back, the right and the left. At first glance it may seem that this means things we perceive in front of us, in back on the right, and on the left, but no, my dear reader.  Upon further research it became known to me that from the front is to put doubt in our minds on the hereafter and our final rewards or punishments. From the back is to entice us to over indulge in this life and its “trappings” (consider that  word trappings….. How come sales have to be NOW!!! Hurry! for a limited time only!?). From the right is to cast misunderstandings about the religion, and from the left is to entice us to commit sin.

As for the nike brand on “Islamic” sportswear, my opinion not surprisingly would be to avoid at any and all costs.  I agree with the sisters who endorse the Islamic businesses. And even if it weren’t for the questionable meaning behind the logo, it’s still not a Muslim business, and is therefore taking money from our community. I’m just saying…

One Year Ago

One Year Ago

It’s been one year since my mother passed away. It should have been a very very sad time, but oddly it was not. This had been the sign from me once again that Allah truly hears the call of the caller when he is calling.

I had been raised by my father’s cousin who did not have any other children. She had been on point with her duties as a single mother, but minus the outward shows of affection.  As a teen I decided to leave the small college town of Ithaca,  New York and live with my natural mother in the city of Philadelphia. I was greeted with her disappointment that I left the home intended for my upbringing.  Never the less I stayed on in Philadelphia with family until my shahaadah a couple years later.  All this time I was still in touch with my “mother”. She also left New York  and returned to her childhood home in South Carolina. I maintained contact and  continued to visit over the years, although never as frequent as she would prefer, and I was often reminded of that.

As she got older and less mobile she still insisted on remaining in her  home on her family property “alone and independent”.  I offered to move there to care for her, but was always told to just come and visit. There were few conversations about Islam, as it was viewed as “that stuff you are doing”.Whenever I was questioned about Islam in her presence I gladly told all that I could, with the intention that she hear it also. I read Qur’an out loud with her in the room.  It all seemed to fall on deaf ears.  I still wanted her to understand the beauty of what I lived.  I was constant in salaat, and was respectful at all times with the intention that she see that Islam teaches us to be very polite. I gave her pictures with Allah’s names.She did say she liked that. The name al-Mujeeb was still on her coffee table the last time I was in the house.( Al Mujeeb is the One Who Answers Prayers.)

Then three years ago I married a man whom my mother considered the worst person in the world, and she had no problem letting me know her opinion:

Mom: He just wants you to take care of those children.(That’s marriage. We help each other)

Husband:  How can you really do anything for her in two days a month? You are on the highway almost as long as the time you get to visit.  (Well, she just likes to see me.)

Mom: What kind of man is that who won’t let you come here to help me like you been doin’? (Repeat line one- he just wants you to take care of those kids.)

 

Husband: What if something happens to her?

Mom: You need to get away from that and just keep taking care of yourself.

Husband: How can you help her from way up here? (security question- now I’m worried about her at night in the dark country alone in a little house…and her sister did get attacked in that area years ago…)

Stress was building and tears were flowing but only on the rug.  Oh Allah…. Ya Rabb….. All I knew was that I needed to take care of this lady who just could not care for herself, and who did not want to live with me, but now wanted me to come to a place in the country with no other Muslims for miles (one hour drive in both directions). At this point let me add that this “home” was to be inherited by cousins  of mine because as previously stated, she was my father’s cousin.  Nothing on paper. And the one thing that will bring out the worst with many families is money and property.  Needless to say, when the inevitable happens I’m out in the cold if I’m still there. I needed this man to allow me space in his house for my mother.  Month after month passed. Her condition worsened.  I visited by train this time, but only for a day.  What could I do? She  still did not want to come back with me and I still could not broach the subject of wills and inheritance, so leaving the new family to come south was not an option.

I just continued to pray and do what I could do for her from a distance, which was very stressful.  I heard Muhammad as Shareef talk about dua and the six duas for the year. Taking care of mother was number one. She had been in and out of the hospital, then nursing homes. The one niece who was helping regularly was getting tired. The other family was busy.  Neighbors were few.  She still insisted that she could stay home. Alone.

Then Allah opened the gates. A cousin offered to bring her from a nursing home to Philadelphia on the train.  At the same time my husband was saying I could just go on and move there, but to that I said, “No, bring her here”.  In four days she was at the train station.  This was not the outspoken woman I knew from childhood.  Most of the rough edges had given in to time and battling dementia.  What was left was the manners she had taught me.  Plus the class.  My husband showed her the respect due to a parent, and most of all the children who she said were wasting my time were actually her new best friends! One in particular, the middle girl, became her personal nurse and companion.  Each morning before leaving for school she gave mom her hug, and upon coming back she headed straight for her room to say hi, and to check on her.  Often times I would see them engaging in coloring or my (then first grade) daughter reading to her, or just taking a nap wrapped in each other’s arms.

Now this man who was the worst ever became “a good man” after seeing how he helped her down the stairs, talked to her regularly, and especially saw to it that she had her favorite vanilla ice cream!

I played Qur’an and read stories of the prophets in her room to her and the children. My mother seemed to perk up when she heard familiar names of prophets.  I heard the words “I love you” and “Do you love me?” for the first time in my life during these four short months before she passed.  It was with pleasure that I took care of her as best as I could, not being medically trained. She told me  I was doing good.  First time for that one, too.  So when I asked her to repeat a “prayer” for me she was glad to, and so repeated the shahaadah.

She lay resting one night but was breathing heavily.  As my husband left the room she squeezed his hand and continued to just lay quietly.  I left the room to tell him something, and called the nurse to see why she was breathing heavily.  When the nurse arrived my husband went with him to her room, and then came to tell me she was gone. Suddenly, at midnight while the girls were sleeping.  They took her body away in an hour.  For some reason my daughter did not go into her room that next morning to say good morning.  When she came home we told her that the angels took Grandmom Julia away. She was okay with that.  Who would get mad at an angel?

At this time one year later I’m just finishing learning sura Waqiah.  When I get to the end portion, the ayats can be translated to mean “Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of a dying person) reaches the throat? And you at the moment are looking on. But We are nearer to him than you, but you see not.  Then why do you not if you are exempt from the reckoning and recompense, bring back the soul if you are truthful?  Then if he (the dying person) be of the Muqarrabun (those brought near to Allah) (there is for him) rest and provision and a Garden of delights.  And if he be of those on the right hand, then there is safety and peace for those on the right hand. But if he be of the denying, the erring, then for him is an entertainment with boiling water. And burning in hell fire.  Verily, this! This is an absolute Truth with certainty. So glorify with praises the Name of your Lord, the Most Great. .Sura Waqiah Ayats 83 to the end 96.

What a reminder! I love perfect timings.

Thank you for reading to the end of a quite long story made kind of short.

Two Jamaats

Two Jamaats

After a typical day of homeschooling k, 2nd and third grade girls I was ready to quit right before maghrib with lessons “mostly” done. Daddy’s out, and I’m heading upstairs for salah.

Me: Okay, I’m heading up to salah.

Them: sit sit sit ….eyes on TV

Me: okay, then, since nobody is moving, I better not hear any noise. (guilt over not just commanding them to come up)

I get upstairs and see laundry ready to be put away. Good, I can get them to do this.

Me: Hey guys, here’s laundry, so come up here and put yours away.

They come up with no problem, get their respective garments and proceed to their shared room and take the clothes OUT of the drawers, fold them and proceed to put them BACK along with the newly laundered ones..

This got too noisy, so here’s my chance…

Me: That’s it. You are making too much noise. You (oldest) come with me and pray. The others have to sit quietly.

Them: stomp stomp, attitude, attitude.

Oldest Girl: Okay, I’m coming. and gets garments on.

Baby Girl: I’m making salat with “Mommy”

Middle Girl: stomping lighter- no more cohorts. She decides to get a khimar, but does not want to find space with the growing jamat of myself, oldest and baby sister in my room, so she calls the iqamat in their bedroom. No problem. At least she’s on the rug.

Baby Girl: Can I make it with my sister?

Me: This is not time to play. Do you understand?

Baby Girl: Okay.

Music to my ears: Allahu akbar from the front bedroom.

 

Note: Let me introduce my girls: 9 year old “Becky”, 7 year old “Harriett” and 5 year old “Bella”. They inherited a new step-mother when I married their dad 3 1/2 years ago. I laughingly call myself mean-old- sister Aishah because sometimes I do overreact to their antics and I feel like the bad guy to have to correct manners and insist on tidiness, etc.  Life here is full of challenges, but I look for the mercy of Allah at every turn. And it is never far.

 

 

February 4

February 4

The day of my shahaadah so many years ago….

I’m quietly thinking  of all the years since that moment in history. I’m marveling at the fact that no matter how my living situation and family composition has changed,  the guidance, the companionship, the challenge of  the Qur’an has been there at every turn…

The ayats in Sura Ali Imran: “O You who have believed, Fear your Lord as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims. And hold fast to the rope of Allah all together and do not be divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you when you were enemies and by His grace He made you brethren. And you were on the brink of the pit of the Fire and  He saved you from it…..”  this hung as a decoration in the living room where I stayed my first two months as a new Muslim.

Moving through time I remember Ayatul Kursi in the Yusuf Ali Translation of Qur’an. Even in English the ayat sparkled as the gem it is. I had to learn it. By then I could make out the Arabic letters and memorize in Arabic. It was not until years later that i came to know the value of reciting this ayat.  Subhan Allah.

I don’t know why these ayats from Surah al A’raf stand out but I can always remember the English translation that says “….and on the heights there are some who will recognize all by their marks.  They will call out to the dwellers of Paradise salaamun alaikum. They would not have entered Paradise yet, but they will have hope to enter.”

Surah Ar Rahman: the beauty; the serenity in the perfect repetition  found as i buried my   head in my sewing machine to drown out the confusion of living life with people full of contradictions, but which of the favors of your Lord will you two deny? Piece by piece it came to memory…

Suratul Baqarah to Surah al- A’raf:  word for word translations in Tafsir class.  I lived miles away from the masjid, but just could not miss the opportunity to learn the meanings of each word sent to mankind from our Lord.  I just wanted to grab them all, but didn’t get them all in memory.

What did i come back to? I came back to  the ayats from Ali Imran that hung on the wall of the first house I lived in as a new Muslim, now in living color in Arabic, and with understanding and memorization.  I was grateful that Allah had brought me this far and back again.

By the time our class got through Surah al A’raf I had to move too far to commute any longer, but I feel  such a connection with Qur’an and with the people of the Qur’an! Allah lets me know He is near: As I’m working on Surah Waqiah, I read a post here about a lesson by Nouman Ali Khan and decided  to listen to something from him.    I found a lecture that  was titled “When Allah Swore by the Stars” Which surah was this talking about? And where does his recitation begin? Right where I’m learning.  What a blessing!  My daughter was playing with my phone and when i got into the car which surah was being recited, and right at my point? I had not gone to that site before… so that’s a wonder and a blessing and a reminder.  Subhan Allah.

Now I take just one new ayat per day  at or before Fajr. And as I pray  during the day I recite in order  from the beginning of what I have until the end of Surah an Naas, then start again Alif laam meem.  That way i visit each surah regularly.  I’ve seen this from a couple different imams who are huffaz.  I’m far from that, but still want to keep what Allah has allowed me to learn.

In sha Allah we will all continue to strive to keep Qur’an as our constant companion, and may Allah bless us with the blessings of reciting each letter, ameen.