Friday, 7 February 2014

Struggling to Submit - Poem




Assalaamu'alaykum

Here is an awesome poem written by a young member of the Diamonds of Islam Youth Group at the 2013 Struggle to Submit (Part 2) sisters event. Very wise, deep and inspiring for someone her age tabarakallah!

Struggling to Submit


By Sara (11 years old)

Trouble arises in our community.
There is a struggle.
To submit.
To Allah.

On the day of their birth, a child, is innocent, pure and clean,
Sadly, years later, their goodness, is unseen.
Something’s happening, that’s changing us from good to bad,
There are muslims that aren’t praying,
But it’s not a passing fad,
Their faces are plastered in colours and lines,
Speeding in cars, receiving fines,
They say they’re trying to be Muslim…that they’re just struggling a bit ….this, oh youth is the struggle to submit,

Temptations too close at hand,
Earphones, which once played the Qur’aan,
Now shouts the sound of music, which calls them to haraam,

Our youth is slipping and sliding, our foundations are crumbling away.
What is happening to our youth?
What is distracting them away?
We want them to be believe, not to be guided astray,


Their once faithful hearts are turning to black,
Is it belief that they lack?
Society
Deception
Lies
Emptiness
Trying to fill,
False promises of happiness

Have they gone too far?
Can we bring them back?
Are they too far away from the righteous track?
Have they let go of the rope of Allah?
Are they too distracted by this life’s hardship?

There are so many challenges that we have to face in this its as if you’re on an Obstacle Course.
The path you’re following is bumpy,
and sometimes there are roads, that lead to the bad side, there’s rocks that you have to jump over,
 and sometimes you’re going to get cut,
 there’s stairs that you’ll have to climb, and sometimes you’re going to fall off.
 Sometimes you’re going to collapse, into millions of pieces-
sometimes you feel like screaming, because it’s hard…to stay on this path, when we’re bombarded with continuous indecency.

What’s going to happen? I don’t know.

Youth is focused on now, and making their hearts full of fleeting happiness, youth wants to find something, youth wants to be the first, the best.

The happiness they’re looking for is in Islam,
The hadith, the prayer, and in the Qur’aan!
They don’t listen. They don’t bother.

I’m scared of the struggles that await me,
I haven’t faced so many challenges yet,
I don’t know what to expect,

I’m worried, anxious, as I nervously wait,
For my challenges to come,
I don’t know if I’m going to pass,
Or if I’m going to get lost too,
But this is why I’m telling you,
All these reminders, this whole poem,
I don’t want you to get lost either,
We never know what’s coming,
We may be excellent muslims now,
But our futures may be different,
And as we journey through the obstacles in life
We will all face trouble and strife,
It is the help of Allah we must remember to seek, not that of a song, or a celebrity’s tweet.


Just remember at the times you struggle and grieve, after the hardship, always comes ease.

Learning Tawheed Through Stories!


Bismillah

Assalaamu'alaykum

I wanted to share with you all a great resourse to use with children that teaches the basics of Tawheed as well as giving a basic understanding of Allah's names through stories. I myself have found them greatly beneficial with my children as well as myself so adults will also benefit from reading them.

I have been using the 'Perfecting Pillars' series by Ad-Duha with my children over the past few years. It is a series of eight books that are titled in four sets of two using the main characters' names.

For example:

Muhammad & Maryam (Books 1 & 2) = This is about a young brother and sister who homeschool and their parents teach them about Allah. For ages approx 3 - 6.

Ibraheem and Iman (Books 3 & 4) =
This is about a Grandmother who is helping her son raise her  Grandson (after his wife passes away). They study Allah's names through paintings done by the grandfather that are kept up in the attic. For ages approx  6 - 9.

Khadija and Khaled (Books 5 & 6) =
This is about the two eldest children of Ibraheem who is now a grown man and an Imam of a masjid. They learn about their great grand fathers' paintings and help their parents with their siblings. Khadija grows up to marry a convert brother and have her own child. (from books 3 & 4)

Fatimah and Fuad (Books 7 & 8) = This set is about a homeschooling brother and sister who are given an assignment to do about salah and they realise they don't know much and embark on a journey of research to learn the Fiqh of salah but also the meaning and importance of it in the life of a Muslim.

Each story follows the characters as they grow up and go about their lives, experiences and discussions and incorporates a life lesson about Allah/Salah in each chapter. The chapter is then followed by some questions and answers to reinforce each lesson and review previous lessons (particularly when Allah's names are being covered). Each duo set gets progressively detailed, longer and 'maturer' in content which works perfectly as your children get older and you complete each set.


I have found the books to be especially helpful in my own understanding of Allah and His names as well as giving excellent opportunities for my children and I to discuss and reflect upon the Names and Attributes of Allah through the relatable stories. Each chapter takes 5-10 minuntes to read but we find ourselves discussing things all the way through the story and for up to half an hour Alhamdulillah.

I often think that without these stories, perhaps I wouldn't know where to start with explaining Allah to my children and how to help them grasp the reality of our 'unseen' Creator and Maker as this was not something I had grown up with and so didn't really know how to.


Families can read the books perhaps once per week or as a daily bedtime story.




TO PURCHASE CLICK HERE:
http://www.ad-duha.org/html/perfecting_the_pillars.html

Friday, 31 January 2014

Please Support the Family of a Child with a Disability

Bismillah & Assalaamu'alaykum

Dearest Perth Community and beyond!

Sister Nurul is a diligent mother and a carer of her miraculous daughter who has cerebral palsy with a developmental disorder, spastic quadriparesis, vision and hearing impairment, seizure and PEG feeding.

Subhanallah. What a test and a blessing to be given by Allah SWT!


What we now need to do is to step up and support our dear sister so that she can afford to get training to do perform her precious 9 year old daughters' specialised therapy herself!

If you would like to take up this opportunity of earning Allah's pleasure and reward, please PM me to inform me of your donation so that I can keep tally of the amount! Inshallah we can do this ASAP!

Deposits can be made directly into dear Mujaheeda Mujhee 's bank account:

Mujaheeda Syeban
Commonwealth Bank
BSB number: 066134
Account number: 1049 7568.

For more details from Mujaheeda's mum about this request please read the message below.

Also, please check out Mujee's blog to get to know more about her amazing personality!

www.lightnur.blogspot.com.au

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Mujaheeda's Mum (Sister Nurul),



Assalamualaikum

Once the doctor told me that my daughter, Mujaheeda, has brain damage and that there is no cure for it I turn to Allah and search for what ever possible treatment there was. She was still in the hospital 9 years ago when I read about Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation - ABR program.

Out of all the treatment for Cerebral Palsy this treatment stands out. I really like to do the training but we have to travel to Singapore if we want to attend the training. It was not possible for us at that time because she was really sick. I remember she had reflux which made her vomit after each feeding - we feed her every two hours at that time.

Then, I completely forget about the training as I was busy caring her and doing other treatments with her. Until now she is doing physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy on a regular basis. When she turned 4 years old, I enrolled her to Conductive Education Program at Carson Street School and she is still doing that. On top of that we're doing alternative medicine on and off. She is doing homeopathic, acupuncture, cranio osteopath, hypobaric oxygen therapy, chiropractic and many more. She is also on Botox to relax her muscles. Although she is on anti seizures medications she still has seizures regularly.

By the mercy of Allah, last year we were directed to ABR again and found out that there is a training in Perth so we don't have to travel to Singapore. On March, we went to the assessment and joined the first training. Masha Allah, I can see the difference with what ABR can do to Mujaheeda and I believe this program is beneficial for Mujaheeda in a lot of ways. I didn't go to the last October training because we can't afford the fee at that time.

Insha Allah I am thinking about attending the next training which is going to be this March. The training takes five intensive days where the instructor prescribe the parents with the prescription excercises for the children. The training trains the parents to be the therapist for their own children. Then the parents has to commit themselves to doing the therapy everyday for their children. Before the next training, there will be an assessment to monitor the progress of the children. Then on the next training, usually in 6 months, the parents will be prescribed with a different excercise plan.

ABR aims to restore proper tone to the muscles and internal myofascia of the body. As a result it improves the alignment of the skeleton for the arms and legs to develop increasing muscles mass, improving range of mobility and overall strength so that movement can develop. If you want to learn about ABR here is the link http://www.biorehabforkids.org.au/What-is-ABR.

ABR is a two years program. Alhamdulillah, we have done one training so far and we're going to attend another 3 training which going to cost us $4000 for each training.

So here I am in a very difficult situation to ask you to help us so we could attend the training this March and in sha Allah it would benefit her general health and well being.

I hope to get you to support us in anyway you could especially in your dua.

This is my daughter account details if you intent to help us financially, Mujaheeda Syeban, Commonwealth Bank, BSB number: 066134 Account number: 1049 7568.

May Allah bless us all.

Nurul
www.lightnur.blogspot.com.au

Our Lord! Keep perfect our light for us and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things ~ The Noble Qur'an (At-Tahrim Chapter 66 Verse 8)

Loving Those With Disabilities

Bismillah

Mashallah a great 8 minute reminder for us all........tears!!!!

These are the people of Jannah Subhanallah! We should wish we had their position with all and not just feel sorry for them!

To be honest I have to say myself that I've always felt anxious around people with disabilities for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing and making them uncomfortable or embarrassed. Allah knows that in my heart I have always had nothing but respect, love and mercy for them but simply am not used to interacting with them!

Inshallah we, as a community can break down these barriers and similar discomforts and make the efforts to include and welcome these special, blessed individuals into our community.




Choices and Temptations



Bismillah

Assalaamu'alaykum all!

This afternoon I was faced with 3 choices as to how I spent my evening.

OPTION 1: A week ago I had made an intention to attend an Islamic class that I had been wanting to go to for weeks but I was still unable to make it. I was all set to go and made my plans to bring the kids etc but a few days ago was faced with another option (aka: a temptation).

OPTION 2: I was invited through a family member to attend a ladies' only party that was likely to yummy food and I'd get to dress up.......and as the ladies like to do at ladies parties - there'd probably be a bit of the 'shake-shake' happening later in the evening! So I thought, Hmmm a ladies night out - sounded like a nice break and night out after a busy few weeks!

Then this afternoon another unexpected option came along.

OPTION 3: My parents and little brothers came over for a late afternoon swim. As it was a bit late I didn't want to rush them out and instead let them enjoy their time and made sabr (despite wanting to get ready to go to class as by this stage I had decided to stick to the class option alhamdulillah). As my parents were leaving mum said, 'Come to dinner with us tonight or are you busy?' I said that I wasn't busy but was planning to attend a class. I then thought a bit and felt bad for turning down mum's offer as it wasn't often that we went out to dinner together. I also realised that spending that time with them instead of going to class on this occasion was also pleasing to Allah SWT. I also then made a second (back-up) intention to try to eat dinner quickly and then head to the class.

Alas, as expected dinner finished too late and I didn't make it to the class (again). Despite feeling disappointed at missing it again I knew that I had made the right decision in turning down the entertaining option for the learning option and then turning down the learning option for the love and mercy for parents option.

Basically, my reflection from these three options was that in life, we will be faced with many choices and temptations. Sometimes the best option will be crystal clear and at other times it wont. The tempting option will pull at you strongly and make you second-think and doubt the right choice. In such cases one's iman (faith) will need to overpower the nafs. The battle will be on!

At the end of it all, with each choice, we need to check our hearts and souls as to what is most pleasing to Allah (and in this case it was realising that pleasing one's parents is also pleasing Allah SWT and even comes second to the Worship of Him - see verse below). Also that sometimes nearness to Allah is attained through means that are not simply acts of worship and Islamic learning environments - it can be through simple service to others and time spent with loved ones.

Anyhow, Alhamdulillah I was blessed to enjoy a meal and dessert with my family (and it's always a bonus when parents want to pay LOL). I hope that my intentions to attend the class were accepted both times. Apologies to the teacher who was probably expecting me! We shall try again next week INSHA ALLAH!

May Allah help us make the right choices and not fall into non-beneficial temptations - Ameen!

I leave you with an ayah and a Hadith that came to mind whilst typing this:

”Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that be kind to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt (Fie), nor shout at them, but address them in terms of fine, correct and honorable words.”  (The Holy Quran, 17:23


'Umar b. al-Khattab narrated that the Prophet (S) said: Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends. Therefore, whosoever has emigrated for the sake of Allah and His messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His messenger. Whosoever emigrated for the sake of worldly gain, or a woman [whom he desires] to marry, then his emigration is for the sake of that which [moved him] to emigrate." Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Faithful Fitness 101



A Faithful Fitness testimonial from one of my favourite young people in the whole world; 15 year old Amira....

(Mashallah I have to say, teenagers like her truly inspire me!)


Faithful Fitness 101

Salam People,

I’m going to start this off with one word, “fitness/exercise”. What first comes to mind when one thinks of exercise? Continuous Sprints? Push Ups? Weight Training? I personally think of plyometric exercises, for those of you who do not know what this, I will get Calisha demonstrate for you (Jump lunges, squat jumps, power jumps etc.) <<< (Young Amira then proceeded to make (the extremely surprised) me do these exercises in front of an audience of 100 ladies in full abayah and hijab.......I was truly sprung and so now this experience is very high on my list of the most embarrassing moments of my LIFE!)

This type of exercise I absolutely hate and so whenever anyone mentions it, I’m out. This made the word “exercise” a scary word. But then I found faithful fitness. I first heard about it maybe 3 years ago and it was a boxing class. I loved boxing and thought this was the perfect opportunity to get fit while enjoying myself. I rocked up ready to power through this but then came face to face with plyometric exercises. I decided there and then that if I was to ever really get the full benefit of the class that I’d have to face my pain.

But I didn’t do it by myself; I had continuous support from Calisha and the others to push through. The environment was never degrading and always made you feel welcome. Then this year it changed it’s layout to a boot camp style. Boy, was it tough and painful but it never stopped being fun. We got in a trainer and when she would explain to us an exercise, I’d pretty much burst out laughing due to how ridiculously hard it looked.

However, when one finishes working out, it’s legit the best feeling ever knowing that you have accomplished something, even if you have doms (aka Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). When it stopped at the end of 2013 I was gutted, but it had taught me to love exercise so I went on to continue to exercise at home, researching and making my own plans. It’s benefited me more than I could imagine and now it’s coming back. So think of the reasons as to why you should sign up for it.

Do you want a 6-pack, do you want to get ripped, have some guns, lose weight or just be fit? These are great reasons, but we forget the most important reason for exercise.

Our body is an Ammanah from Allah and we have to care for it. By exercising, we are actually fulfilling that Ammanah. No matter what age, young or old, we should all be out there taking care of our body and having fun while doing so.

Amira (15 years old)

Islamic Studies for Kids & Youth

Bismillah

I just wanted to share two books that I have been using with the kids. They are ideal in the way that they are brief and not too easy nor overwhelming as I have beena ble to use them with my 6 and 11 year old. They have questions and answers at the end of each chapter and practical examples to help kids understand each concept.

Both are written by Sr Aisha Lemu and they are very handy to have if you don't know where to start with your children's Islamic learning at home and want to get straight into it.




Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Muslim Youth & Identity - An Inside Story.....



 Bismillah,



Ok, so I'm really sorry to all our readers but I had to remove this post for concern for girl who authored it and the possible social stress that may be caused should any of her school mates figure out her identity.

It's sad I know. Young people can't even be free enough to anonymously share their experiences without it being turned into a reason for the 'meanies' at school to make a big deal out of it!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

What is it about Islam that oppresses women?


Bismillah!

Assalaamu'alaykum readers!

I know, I know it's been a while and I promised to blog more regularly! Sorry! Busy times and a busy little family peeps!

Alhamdulillah may Allah SWT give us barakah in our time and allow us to use it wisely and for goodness ameen!


So, as a reward for your patience, here's a LOVELY piece which was written by a remarkable woman whom I had the pleasure of meeting about seven months ago. She had expressed an interest in Islam and wanted to meet with a Muslim woman to discuss her thoughts and learning. Although it was the only time I got to meet her (and her cute 5 year old son) and we only spent a few hours chatting over a hot drink and her deliciously hand-made home-made pastries, I was truly touched by the beauty of her personality and her sweet sincerity in wanting to learn about Islam, become a better person and help others in the community (particularly the migrant community).
She recently emailed me a reply when I sent out a flyer for a Convert Sisters Discussion Panel event and she shared that she had since moved to another part of Australia and had converted Alhamdulillah. May Allah continue to guide both her and us. Ameen.

So anyhow, here are some of her thoughts and reflections about the way Muslims are perceived and a little insight into a situation that she faced and how she felt about it and dealt with it. Very insightful!



So, what is it about Islam that oppresses women?

By Sister Josie

“So, what is it about Islam that oppresses women?“ Casually in a car driving to a work function, a university graduate, a woman, who shares my taste in CUE and Jacqui E corporate attire, a colleague of mine asked me this question. I felt she was on the attack. I was taken aback by her overtly negative attitude towards the faith of over one billion people across the world so for over an hour I tried to explain the differences between Islam, the faith of Muslims, and the behaviour of a few Muslim people we see in the papers. Her views were limited to a somewhat childish understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the movie ‘Not Without My Daughter’, and 9/11 and the subsequent Taliban and Al Qaeda media frenzy.

I told her that pure Islam, is what all Muslims are supposed to do, not what some Muslims do. I talked about the rights that Islam gave women 1400 years ago, to have possession of her small children in the event of divorce, to maintain her maiden name should she choose, to vote, to request divorce, to receive child support and be treated equally to men in the eyes of God and the community. I talked about the freedom that a relationship with Allah can make a person feel. I spoke about Khadija, the first Muslim woman – who was also her husband’s boss and a successful business woman. I spoke about the power of choice – to choose to be a Muslim, to submit to Allah and Allah’s teachings. My colleague spoke about hijab and stated dramatically ‘No one would ever choose to wear that. They might think they are choosing but they are being brain washed.’

I tried to make a case in defence of Islam, in defence of the one billion brothers and sisters around the world who were not in the car to defend themselves and their faith. I was arguing in defence of a woman I have never met in person, but who I know and love. She lives in Syria. She is sick, living in the middle of a war zone, and still finds the time five times a day to pray for my son and I. I did not win this argument. It hurt badly. I felt powerless, that good people were tarnished with a brush dipped in nothing more than bad media and ignorant hatred.

In the community sector, where I have been building my career, my job has been to protect the vulnerable and speak for the voiceless, it frustrated me that I could not do so in this case. I had summoned all the diplomacy, knowledge and commonsense I possessed, fighting hard to contain the urge to yell: “For crying out loud, can you not just shut up and listen to me?” at the woman in my car. Keeping my temper has never been a strong point of mine – blame my Irish heritage if you will – but the moment I feel boxed in or oppressed, my blood boils and I want to yell. When I talk about Islam, I try to speak calmly lest I confirm some media misrepresentation that all Muslim’s are hot heads. After three hours (ok three months) of stewing over this discussion, and many others like it, I realised that I would be wiser to choose my battles. 

My job as a Muslim is not to bang my head against the wall, fighting fights I cannot win, rather it is to use the skills that Allah gave me to submit to the will of Allah and follow the Prophets example to do Allah’s will on Earth. There is a poem I read in 2001 ‘Bomb them with Butter’ which talked about urging our governments to provide education and opportunities for the populations oppressed under military/religious dictatorships, rather than just bombing foreign governments, which rarely results in anything positive being achieved. I see an unwinnable argument as a bomb strike on a government, which may hurt innocent people. IF however, I am kind and compassionate towards people who want to argue with me, I am ‘bombing them with butter,’ providing them with the opportunity to see the beauty of Islam and Allah. I am not saying I am always able to do this, or even that I always succeed in attempting to do this.... but I do try.

When I first started to learn about Islam, there were two things I fell in love with the first was a piece of advice a Muslimah friend of mine gave me ‘A person’s relationship with Allah is a personal thing.’ The idea that there was a personal connection that I can make with Allah – not by praying in a church, or attending particular services, or receiving specific sacraments, but just by praying myself to Allah. No middle man, no fuss, nothing. Just Allah and I. This I found to be truly empowering. Do I always feel more empowered as a Muslim than I did as a non-Muslim? I don’t think I can honestly say yes to this, nor can I say no. Since becoming a Muslim my life has encountered a number of hurdles throwing me into an absolute turmoil.
Perhaps Allah is testing me, or perhaps not, I have no idea of what Allah’s plan is for me. What I do know is that nothing that has happened in my life since my conversion has been even remotely comparable to events that occurred in my life before, so it is difficult to judge how my reactions to and perceptions of these problems has differed (if at all) from the non-Muslim version of me. When facing problems today, I ask myself what Allah wants me to do, where as before, I would have asked a friend what they thought I should do. Allah gives me strength, which I am grateful for. Allah has given me special friends and family members from whom I can also draw strength. I feel also however that Allah asks from me something, I have a duty to Allah.... I feel this, I just have no idea what it is yet. Inshallah, he will allow me to contribute to his work and make a difference – when I see my son, I pray that I can play a part in creating a world for him that is just and compassionate filled with opportunities for him, and all other kids, regardless of their backgrounds. Inshallah.

The second thing I loved was something Buhkari taught us:
“All of you are shepherds and each one is responsible for his flock. A leader of a people is a shepherd and responsible for them...So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges."
This differs somewhat from the Catholic teaching I grew up with:
“The Lord is my shepherd, so I shall follow wherever he leads me, wherever he goes....”
Buhkari reminds us as Muslims that we are responsible for our own actions, and furthermore, we have responsibilities which go beyond our selves. “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.”

To me this sends a message not dissimilar to the message Jean-Jacques Rousseau penned three hundred or so later in his famous Social Contract (1754). Rousseau wrote, in simplest of terms, that in order for a society to function peacefully then everyone in that society must enter into a Social Contract with the other members of their society. Entering such a contract requires individuals to voluntarily surrender certain rights or freedoms in order to gain the same amount of freedoms. Simply put, we forfeit our right to steal, and gain the right not to have anyone steal from us. We look after each other, and others will look after us. We each take responsibility for ourselves, and our charges, and then in accordance to the social contract, everyone else will do the same, and society will function well.

How does this relate to me, and other women in Australia in 2013 you ask? I read a hadith in passage of one of my favourite books which explains this and remains close to my heart. I read that when the Prophet was asked about the role of women in society – should we be ‘typical’ wives in the house or  should we go outside to work? What was the best way for us to live?

“When the first Muslims were faced with many enemies and trials he [the Prophet, peace be upon him] answered “When chaos enters the world, stick to the walls of your house like a saddle to a horses back.’ This means, take care of your family and your neighbours and raise your children to be good. If everyone takes care of his own house, all troubles will end.”[1]  (please note I am not sure as to the authenticity of this quote!) C.B.

It seems to me that what the Prophet (peace be upon him) was trying to teach us 1400 years ago, and what Rousseau repeated 1100 years later, was that women, and men, each have to contribute what they can to society, in order to ensure its smooth operations. We have an obligation to follow the laws set out by a society that we actively participate in, we are obliged to take care of our families, our neighbours we are obligated to contribute our skills to the greater good of society, and from this, peace will flourish and problems will dissipate.

Am I oppressed as a Mulsim? Well, I live in Australia so theoretically nothing oppresses me – that said however my experience as a woman in the workforce, trying to work, study, support my family and work on my deen is incredibly taxing. I have faced discrimination at a number of levels as a woman, and as a mother, but never as a Muslim. Perhaps this is because I do not wear hijab, and being fair skinned and blue eyed, people tend to look at me as a ‘typical Aussie.’ Perhaps it is because where I live people don’t judge on religion – I don’t know.

Am I a typical Muslim? Or, am I a typical media stereotype? Well, perhaps someone on the outside can judge my compatibility with any given stereotype. I am a political scientist, a community worker, a writer, a mother and a student. I cook, make jam from scratch, sew and think about chocolate and coffee more than any human being should. I don’t wear hijab¸ but nor do I wear a miniskirt. I value compassion, kindness, generosity, intelligence and hard work. I am Australian. I was once a Catholic. I think Allah and God are one and the same. I don’t believe in the trinity, however, I understand how others came to this interpretation of faith so many, many years ago. I believe that Allah, God, Yahweh, however we say his name, in whichever language, I think our duty to him has been made abundantly clear:

·         Worship Allah, and Allah alone.
·         Follow the examples he has given us through the Prophet and use our minds – look for the good in the world, the good people, the good ideas the good examples, and do what we can to replicate this good.
·         Be compassionate, be welcoming, be kind.
These ideas are (well I think they should be if they are not) universal. We serve Allah in the way he asked us to.

Back to what my colleague asked me “What is it about Islam that Oppresses women?”

Nothing. Pure Islam does not oppress us. Allah does not oppress us. Many women are oppressed, many women and children throughout the world are put upon, treated unjustly and robbed of the rights Allah has given all of us....

But as I wrote earlier: ‘Islam is what Muslims are supposed to do. Not what some Muslims do do.”

Our job as Muslims, as mothers, as women is to do what we are supposed to do – to teach our children what they are supposed to do. To fight the oppression and the stereotypes. To declare a jihad of love and opportunity for our sisters and brothers and sons and daughters who can’t fight for themselves .... but this my sisters, is another story for another day.

Today, this was about me.




[1] G. Willow Wilson, The Butterfly Mosque, Atlantic Books, London, 2010. p. 272  










Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Diamonds Ramadhan Challenge!


This Ramadhaan I gave the Diamonds of Islam Youth Group girls a Ramadhaan Challenge wherein they were given the choice to complete some or all of a list of challenges during the month. Some of the challenges were to pray Taraweeh on 7 different occasions, read 7 Juz of the Quran, help 7 people, donate $7 per week to a charity (come on now young people are on a tight budget!) and/or watch 7 Islamic lectures. And yes, you guessed it, all based on my favourite number 7!

Here was the experience of one of the girls:

Here is my ramadan challenge. I decided to choose the taraweeh prayers as i had been planning to complete taraweeh at the mosque this year instead of at home.

9th July 2013: 
My first time experiencing taraweeh at the mosque. We prayed Isha first then after we completed the salah the taraweeh prayer began. I found it easier to concentrate, i tried really hard to feel more of a connection with Allah (swt). Each rakah we read one page of surah Baqarah, after four rakahs there was a small lecture about the importance of fasting and how fasting is not only about keeping away from food and drinks, but about how we as people should behave and conduct ourselves, which was a really great reminder. We prayed another four rakahs and every time my head touched the ground i asked Allah (swt) for forgiveness and to have mercy on me and every time i did this i felt like a brick had been lifted off my chest. The eight rakahs went by so quickly and after that we prayed witr prayers, which was also a first for me. I think i was a just a bit too startled and confused when everyone had raised their hands in dua to have a full concentration but inshallah next prayer i will understand what will happen and be able to put my full concentration and dedication towards the dua and the witr prayer. it was a good first experience of taraweeh prayer alhamdullilah.

10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th July 2013:
Alhamdullilah taraweeh prayer has made me feel as light as a feather, praying and standing, concentrating on the precious words of Allah (swt) is the best feeling a person could feel. During all these nights i felt like i had become a more peaceful and calm. i felt my iman reaching new levels i had never thought were possible. The main things i always asked Allah (swt) for was: guidance (to be on the straight path), for forgiveness and mercy on the day of judgement, for a place in Jannah, for my non-muslim relatives to see the light of islam and inshallah one day become good muslims, i also made good dua for others who have had a major impact on me and my life and inshallah Allah (swt) will reward them generously.

Ramadan this year for me has been hands down the best ramadan I've experienced i gained more of a connection with Allah (swt) my iman has strengthened and i absolutely loved praying taraweeh at kewdale mosque. Inshallah next years Ramadan will be even more beneficial than this year :)


So beautiful mashallah! May Allah accept everyone's worship, duaa and tawbah - ameen!