Blog Archives

Hussain Yee: Don’t curse those who have passed away (Video)

DOWNLOADBUTTONpasstheknowledge-ptkbannerheadapp

90% Of People In Gaza Now Have No Electricity (Video)

info-pictogram1 With the only power plant in Gaza destroyed by Israel, 1.6 million people are without electricity and 2 in 3 don’t have access to safe water or basic sanitation.
Watch more on Israel and Palestine…

8 RAMADAN NIBBLES FOR NEW MUSLIMS

Ramadan-2014

Source: http://muslimmatters.org/2014/07/15/8-ramadan-nibbles-for-new-muslims/

By: Olivia

I’ve had some awkward Ramadans as a new Muslim. When I converted it was the holiday season here in America, and I’ll never forget the look my cousin gave me when I told her at Thanksgiving dinner that I wasn’t going to eat because I was fasting. Seriously, it was meme-worthy.

I also fasted while attending an American high school, where you have to go the cafeteria at lunch, so I found myself doing a lot of sitting and staring at food and generally feeling hungry while my friends made wisecracks. Because at sixteen, I was way too lazy to get up for suhoor.

“Aren’t you hungry, Liv?” they’d ask while I tried very hard not to salivate onto the laminate tabletop in confirmation.

Ramadan can be a weird thing to explain to family and friends. The concept of fasting, though it once existed in Judeo-Christian teachings, has mostly been abandoned to the point of forgotten. I was Catholic and the closest I ever got to “fasting” was giving up something of my choice for Lent, which was usually something both trivial and an indulgence to begin with, like giving up candy bars.

I have found in my own situation that to my non-Muslim family and friends, Ramadan seems extreme, like something you would associate with ascetic monks or starving people in third-world countries.

Ramadan can be a lot to take in for a new Muslim, a strained time with not-Muslim family, friends, and co-workers/peers as you explain your extreme worship (yes fasting seems extreme to non-Muslims) while simultaneously not trying to feel like an awkward loner around community iftars and Taraweeh.

After all, it is a kind of “holiday” wherein we see an abundance of various traditions, some faith-based and others cultural, like the foods people eat and how they take their meals. Sitting on the floor and eating communally can be odd for many new Muslims, as can some of the menu items.

I never even tasted a date until my first Ramadan and let me tell you, I was a little intimidated by the brown squishy thing EVERYONE was eating. Like I had to eat this thing or I’m doing something very unramadan-ish.

At no other time of year, except maybe for Eid, can feelings of sadness or loneliness become more apparent to a convert; feelings like you don’t fit in, missing your own family holidays or wishing you had your own Muslim family, and feeling like for all the hard work you’re putting in, you aren’t really feeling the joy coming back to you.

You have no loved ones to share iftar with; you have no one to attend Taraweeh with, no one to feel groggy with at suhoor. While it’s easy to say it shouldn’t matter if you have anyone with you, you’re doing it for the sake of Allah, I highly suggest that person spend a Ramadan alone and s/he will then see just how important camaraderie is during this blessed month.

If you’ve been raised around the “hubbub” of Ramadan, you may take it for granted. I will admit that even though I abhor shirk as much as the next Muslim, I still get a warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling at Christmas time which I shove aside, and it’s taken me years to cultivate an equally warm, fuzzy one about Ramadan with my own family traditions.

Here are a few things to think about doing to make fasting be a little easier:

1. It’s okay to feel sad

You may go to the masjid during iftar or Taraweeh, and feel like a ghost. You may see all these smiling faces, people hugging and greeting each other, and feel a sad empty pit in your stomach. You may feel bitter Muslim friends are suddenly too busy with family affairs to remember you exist. Ramadan may feel really hard physically and equally so emotionally. It’s okay to feel sad, it doesn’t make you a bad Muslim. It’s normal to think about Thanksgiving or Christmas and your non-Muslim family holidays and feel a pang of longing. Don’t feel guilty and it doesn’t say anything about what kind of Muslim you are. It’s normal and insha’Allah your reward will be increased for the sacrifices you’ve made to follow the haqq.

2. Put suhoor next to your bed

This is advice from the teenager who missed it every day, but at least got to eat iftar in the early winter hours. Put it next to your bed, the water or juice, and when the alarm goes off, eat it right there and brush off the crumbs. There is blessing in taking suhoor and not doing so can make dehydration a real concern.

3. Have suhoor and iftar your way

Go Ramadan grocery shopping and buy some tasty things that you like and bring in suhoor and iftar your way, whether its some of those trendy vitamin waters, Doritos, or a king size candy bar. Do not feel like you need to eat ethnic Muslim foods, and if you don’t like dates, no big deal. Eat what you want to at suhoor and iftar, even if it looks like you just raided Nabisco, Little Debbie, and the Coca Cola Company.

After a long day of fasting, grab a Frappuccino or order a pizza. Don’t eat some lame, boring meal just because you don’t have a family to eat biryani with. To this day, even though I have a Muslim husband and four kids, my kids know its Ramadan not by a special rosewater drink or samosas, but because I have mini-cans of Coke and Fanta in the fridge and chips in the pantry.

And don’t worry about suddenly having to cook/eat zabihah meat (if you don’t eat it already) because it’s Ramadan (go ahead and crucify me for saying it) but just eat whatever you chicken/beef/lamb you’ve been eating the rest of the year (I’m not going to say goat because most of us converts keep goats as pets before we’d eat them for dinner).

Don’t make Ramadan twice as hard for yourself by suddenly going vegetarian either.

Which brings me to this point. Honestly, when I was seventeen someone gave me a bag of meat and while it’s the thought that counts, someone didn’t think that one through. (Just a note to all Muslims: giving a gift of raw meat is something totally unheard of in several non-Muslim societies, you may even insult someone by giving them a bag of bloody, raw animal. Nothing says, “I don’t fit here” like receiving one for many a new Muslim, and to make it worse its usually just a plastic baggie that doesn’t even have an expiration date on it).

4. Give family simple explanations

Explaining fasting is awkward because it sounds extreme; “You starve yourself from sunrise to sunset?”

“Isn’t dehydration bad for you body?”

When I said I fasted for the month many people thought I meant I didn’t eat at all for thirty days! Non-Muslims understand concepts like prayer, modesty, or the mosque, but fasting seems really out there. Have a generic explanation ready to go, and keep it as simple and relatable as possible. There are lots of reasons and benefits of fasting, so consider your audience. If I say, “I fast because Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed” there is a connection-gap there.

So, you’re celebrating the Qur’an…by starving yourself?”

If I say “We fast to experience the plight of the poor” or “we fast to learn self-control” or “we fast to experience delayed gratification, to remind us that if we’re patient we will be rewarded” those are reasons that non-Muslims can understand and won’t leave you explaining why dehydration is generally bad but for Ramadan you’re willing to make an exception to commemorate your holy book.

5. Don’t Avoid your Non-Muslim family

Not only can you feel alienated at Ramadan from the Muslim community, your family may feel alienated by you when you no longer join them for dinner or sit uncomfortably at the table with your nose in a book.

As someone who will be alhamdulillah, celebrating fourteen years as a Muslim this Ramadan, I am familiar with the urge to be as silent and avoidant as possible when it comes to non-Muslim family and the tension that can arise from awkward situations. Your family may feel like Ramadan proves just how much you’ve changed or drifted away, especially because the dinner table is considered the means by which families connect after a long day.

While it can be unnerving to attempt to dissolve tension with your family, you will thank yourself in the long run if you are. Instead of hiding out at dinner, let Ramadan be a special time that you make dessert for your family while they eat dinner. Be cheerful and smiling, ask them what they’d like. Show your family you still love them and want to be close to them and you want to compensate for missed meal time. Be proactive in spending quality time with them.

6. Read the Qur’an in English or read what you can in Arabic.

Let me tell you, last year was the first Ramadan I finished the entire Qur’an after fourteen years of trying. I’m still happy I tried, and the reward for one who struggles is more than one for whom it is easy, but I was left with a sense of un-accomplishment many times.

Finishing the Qur’an in Arabic just wasn’t a realistic goal for me, but it is the one good deed, besides Taraweeh, that we focus on to the exclusion of all else and you feel lame if you’re not doing it (and you may not even be able to read in Arabic at all). Reading the Qur’an and understanding it is very valuable.

Another great idea is to listen to recordings of the tafseer, or explanation, of the Qur’an (I would recommend Nouman Ali Khan). Don’t feel demotivated because you can’t do what everyone else seems to be doing.

7. Taraweeh is great but its not fard

Yes, masha’Allah, it is great to go to Taraweeh, but it’s not obligatory and the sunnah is actually to pray by your own at home sometimes too. Once again, you may have to go to work every day or school and fasting plus staying out and praying late is burning you out. No, you’re not weak, and in fact in many Muslim countries people accomplish Taraweeh every night by sleeping through the majority of the fast or having adjusted work hours. Do what you can do, but remember that Taraweeh is optional while fasting isn’t, so its better to skip Taraweeh if it enables you to maintain your fast.
8. Fasting is Hard

I’m here to validate you; fasting is hard, especially in long, summer days. As a new Muslim, you may be intimidated and wondering if you can even do it. I’m here to tell you you can do it, but if for some reason you make a mistake, or cave in to a moment of weakness, all is not lost. (Note: I’m not *justifying* doing this, as it’s not allowed; I’m merely saying that *if* you fall into this sin, don’t give up hope and repent and move on).

Ask Allah to forgive you and make you stronger and keep going; finish the rest of the day’s fast. Do not fall into the trap of thinking, “now my fast doesn’t count” or “now I have to make the day up” or “now I ruined the fast” so the day is lost. Allah rewards you for every moment you are in a fasted state— your reward is continuous. If you cave in and take that drink of water, continue your fast and insha’Allah you will get rewarded for setting things back to right and persevering. Allah knows what is more difficult for some than others, and Allah created us so that we would sin and then turn back to Him in repentance. Don’t give up.

Fiqh for new Muslims is a sensitive issue should be handled with a personal approach.

May Allah accept all our good deeds during this blessed month and enable us all to grow firmer in our faith.

You do not have to suffer alone, God is just a thought away, a moment of silence will open the door for God to come through.

gb copy You do not have to suffer alone, God is just a thought away, a moment of silence will open the door for God to come through.
es copy Usted no tiene que sufrir solo, Dios es sólo un pensamiento de distancia, un momento de silencio se abrirá la puerta para que Dios venga a través.
nl copy Je hoeft niet alleen te lijden, God is slechts een gedachte weg, zal een moment van stilte de deur te openen voor God om door te komen.
fr copy Vous n’avez pas à souffrir seul, Dieu est juste une idée de là, une minute de silence sera d’ouvrir la porte à Dieu de venir à travers.
de copy Sie müssen nicht allein zu leiden, Gott ist nur ein Gedanke entfernt, wird ein Moment der Stille, die Tür zu öffnen für Gott, durch zu kommen.
CN67867 Nǐ bùbì dúzì shòukǔ, shàngdì jǐnjǐn shì yīgè xiǎngfǎle, chénmòle piànkè, jiāng dǎkāi dàmén shén cáinéng tōngguò.
Sweden Du behöver inte lida ensam, Gud är bara en tanke bort, kommer ett ögonblick av tystnad öppna dörren för Gud att komma igenom.
rus7897 Vy ne dolzhny stradat’ v odinochestve, Bog prosto mysli proch’, minuta molchaniya budet otkryt’ dver’ , chtoby Bog priyti do kontsa.
4523turkey Tanrı yoluyla gelmek için yalnız katlanmak zorunda değilsiniz, Tanrı sadece bir düşünce uzaklıkta, sessizlik bir an kapıyı açacak.
images Non dovete soffrire da soli, Dio è solo un pensiero lontano, un momento di silenzio aprirà la porta per Dio a venire attraverso.
indonesiaID Anda tidak Harus Menderita saja, Allah adalah hanya pikiran pergi, mengheningkan cipta Akan membuka pintu bagi Allah untuk datang melalui.

Why Problems Are Good For You

problem

Did you ever experience a dark phase in your life? Lost a job or a loved one? Financial or health problems? Been through a divorce or a rough marriage? Did you find yourself looking towards the sky and asking “Why me?” while hoping and yearning for that perfect life?

If you answered ‘no’ to these questions then better you stop reading right now because this article won’t interest you. If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions then read on….There’s good news and bad news…

The Bad News

I am going to be straight with you. If you waiting for that ‘perfect life’, you going to wait for a long time because that life doesn’t exist. If there was such a thing as a ‘perfect life’, Allah would have given it to His closest servants, the Prophets (Peace be upon them), but they lived lives stacked with difficulty. I won’t elaborate on their sacrifices for I fear this piece will be too long but understand one thing…from marriage to kids, finance to health, the Prophets of Allah (Peace be upon them) experienced an avalanche of trials, and of course, our beloved Muhammad (PBUH) seen the worst. Despite the fact that he was Allah’s most beloved creation, he was orphaned at a young age, lost all his male progeny while still infants and went for days without food just to mention a few.

I know what you thinking…”What about the rich and famous in today’s era?”. Well, truth be told, despite the wealth, there is no happiness. Drug scandals, love affairs, depression, jail -time, I don’t know about you but I don’t see happiness in Hollywood. I mean seriously, I could hold my breath longer than some celebrity marriages. These problems are common and experienced by everyone. The poet says it up beautifully…

“The healthy seek wealth..wealthy seek health..
husbands seek jobs.. employed seek wives..
these are the days of our lives.” 
@poetrypencil

The Good News

So why did the Prophets of Allah experience rough patches and why do YOU experience rough patches? Because Allah loves them and Allah loves…YOU.

A Hadeeth states:

“When Allah intends good for a person He puts him/her through a test.”(Bukhaari)

But why would Allah put you through difficulty? It doesn’t make sense. It goes against logic!

Well, ask yourself these questions…

1) How often do I read Tahaajud in good times?

2) How much Dhikr do I make in good times?

Very little?

Now ask yourself this…

1) How often do I make Dua in difficult times?

2) How often do I think of Allah in difficult times?

Quite a bit?

The above Hadith makes more sense now doesn’t it?

The point is Allah puts you through a test because He wants the best for you. He wants you to be closer to Him. We might not realize it but ‘happy times’ takes us further away from Allah. We only turn to Him in our days of darkness. With every rough patch we become His friend and He loves that…He loves YOU.

Also, good news, your sins are being forgiven…

“never a believer is stricken with discomfort, hardship, illness, grief or even with mental worry except that his/her sins are forgiven” (Bukhaari, Muslim)

“A Muslim male or female continues to remain under  trial in respect of his/her life, property and offspring  till he/she meets Allah in a condition that all of his/her sins are forgiven.” (Tirmidhi)

Read the rest of this entry

Our eyes have 576+ megapixels (IMAGE)

10171241_701844356528241_27977143_n

Baby octopus (IMAGE)

BifCu77IEAAH4gf

 

info-pictogram1 Octopuses have four pairs of arms.

Appreciate what you have, since you don’t know what you have got until it’s taken away from you.

gb copy Appreciate what you have, since you don’t know what you have got until it’s taken away from you.
es copy Aprecia lo que tienes, ya que no sabes lo que tienes hasta que se ha quitado de vosotros.
nl copy Waarderen wat je hebt, omdat je niet weet wat je hebt totdat het weg van je heeft genomen.
fr copy Appréciez ce que vous avez, car vous ne savez pas ce que vous avez jusqu’à ce qu’il soit emporté de vous.
de copy Schätzen Sie, was Sie haben, da Sie nicht wissen, was du hast, bis es von euch genommen.
CN67867 Gǎnjī nǐ suǒ yǒngyǒu de, yīnwèi nǐ bù zhīdào nǐ suǒ yǒngyǒu de, zhídào tā cóng nǐmen duó qù.
Sweden Uppskatta det du har, eftersom du inte vet vad du har förrän det har tagit ifrån dig.
rus7897 Tsenite to, chto u vas yest’ , tak kak vy ne znayete, chto u vas yest’ , poka eto ne otnimetsya ot vas.
4523turkey Eğer sizden uzağa aldı kadar var bilmiyorum, çünkü ne var takdir ediyorum.
images Apprezzate ciò che avete, dal momento che non sai quello che hai finché non è tolto.
indonesiaID Hargai apa yang Anda miliki, karena Anda tidak tahu apa yang kau punya sampai itu diambil dari Anda.

People have the right to their opinion and you have the right to ignore it.

gb copy People have the right to their opinion and you have the right to ignore it.
es copy Las personas tienen derecho a su opinión y usted tiene el derecho a ignorarlo.
nl copy Mensen hebben het recht om hun mening en je hebt het recht om het te negeren.
fr copy Les gens ont droit à leur opinion et que vous avez le droit de l’ignorer.
de copy Die Menschen haben das Recht, ihre Meinung und ihr das Recht, sie zu ignorieren.
CN67867 Rénmen bìxū zìjǐ yìjiàn de quánlì, nǐ bìxū hūlüè tā de quánlì.
Sweden Människor har rätt till sin åsikt och du har rätt att ignorera det.
rus7897 Lyudi imeyut pravo na svoye mneniye , i vy dolzhny za soboy pravo ignorirovat’ yego.
4523turkey İnsanlar kendi görüşünü hakkına sahiptir ve bunu görmezden hakkına sahiptir.
images Le persone hanno il diritto alla loro opinione e avete il diritto di ignorarlo.
indonesiaID Orang-orang memiliki hak atas pendapat mereka dan Anda memiliki hak untuk mengabaikannya.