Blog Archives

Prophet’s Family Life: It’s Peace and Harmony



By: Maria Zain

The Qur’an is full of wonderful stories that revolve around fatherhood. It is probably one of the most overlooked thematic messages in the Qur’an. Repeatedly, Allah bears witness to prophets who are recognized as great fathers.

Chapter four of the Qur’an (an-Nisaa) tells us how humanity sprung forth from the first prophet and father, Adam, and the womb of our mother, Hawwa (Eve).

Prophet Nuh (Noah) pleaded with his son to believe in the oneness of God before calamity hit.

Prophet Lut (Lot) valiantly protected his children from the surrounding lewdness and temptation in his community.

Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) dealt with the heartbreaking abduction of his young son, Yusuf (Joseph) by his older brothers.

Then there was the epic du’a of the father of the Abrahamaic faiths, Ibrahim (AS),as he took upon the task of building the Ka’abah with his wonderful son, Ismail. By way that Allah had commanded the dynamic father and son duo to build the Ka’abah is testament to how important the role of the father is in Islam.

After all, Allah (SWT) could have commanded Ibrahim to build the House of Allah on his own, but he had a little helper, an assistant, and the final prophet, Muhammad, came from the direct lineage of Ismail.

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Overcoming Anxiety



Anxiety is an unavoidable part of life. Everyone in this world will have his or her share of worries. However, there are limits to how much worry there should be. Worry should not lead us to despair.

Some people try so hard to avoid anxiety that they are unable to cope with the real world. By fleeing from reality, they merely increase their worries.

We need to cope with our anxiety in a rational, methodical way.

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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.

Looks can be deceiving. It’s the heart that really matters.

gb copy Looks can be deceiving. It’s the heart that really matters.
es copy Las apariencias pueden engañar. Es el corazón lo que realmente importa.
nl copy Schijn bedriegt. Het is het hart dat er echt toe doet.
fr copy Les apparences peuvent être trompeuses. C’est le cœur qui compte vraiment.
de copy Das Aussehen kann täuschen. Es ist das Herz, das wirklich zählt.
CN67867 Wàibiǎo shì huì piàn rén de. Zhè shì zhēnzhèng zhòngyào de xīnzàng.
Sweden Skenet kan bedra. Det är hjärtat som verkligen betyder något.
rus7897 Vzglyady mogut obmanyvat’ . Eto serdtse , chto deystvitel’no imeyet znacheniye.
4523turkey Görünüyor aldatıcı olabilir. Bu gerçekten önemli kalbi.
images Le apparenze ingannano. E ‘il cuore che conta davvero.
indonesiaID Looks bisa menipu. Ini adalah hati yang benar-benar penting.

Life is the only thing that matters, it is sacred, every living being is connected on this planet, by the bond of love.

gb copy Life is the only thing that matters, it is sacred, every living being is connected on this planet, by the bond of love.
es copy La vida es lo único que importa, es sagrado, cada ser vivo está conectado en este planeta, por el vínculo del amor.
nl copy Het leven is het enige dat telt, is heilig, ieder levend wezen is aangesloten op deze planeet, door de band van liefde.
fr copy La vie est la seule chose qui importe, c’est sacré, chaque être vivant est connecté sur cette planète, par le lien de l’amour.
de copy Das Leben ist das einzige, was spielt es heilig ist, jedes Lebewesen auf diesem Planeten durch das Band der Liebe verbunden.
CN67867 Shēngmìng shì zhòngyào de, tā shì shénshèng de, měi yīgè shēnghuó de xìngfú shì liánjiē zài zhège xīngqiú shàng, bèi àiqíng de niǔdài de wéiyī de shì.
Sweden Livet är det enda som betyder något, det är heligt, varje levande varelse är ansluten på den här planeten, med band av kärlek.
rus7897 Zhizn’ eto yedinstvennoye, chto imeyet znacheniye , eto svyatoye, kazhdoye zhivoye sushchestvo svyazano na etoy planete , uzami lyubvi.
4523turkey Hayat her canlının sevgi bağı ile, bu gezegende bağlı, kutsal, önemli olan tek şeydir.
images La vita è l’unica cosa che conta, essa è sacra, ogni essere vivente è collegata su questo pianeta, dal vincolo di amore.
indonesiaID Hidup adalah satu-satunya hal yang penting, itu adalah suci, setiap makhluk hidup terhubung di planet ini, dengan ikatan cinta.

No more excuses, no more wasting of precious time, for now is as good a time as any, to begin doing what matters most.

gb copy No more excuses, no more wasting of precious time, for now is as good a time as any, to begin doing what matters most.
es copy No más excusas, no más pérdida de tiempo valioso, por ahora es un momento tan bueno como cualquier otro, para comenzar a hacer lo que más importa.
nl copy Geen excuses meer, geen verspilling van kostbare tijd, want nu is een goed moment als enige, om te beginnen met het doen van wat het belangrijkst.
fr copy Plus d’excuses, pas plus gaspillage de temps précieux, pour le moment est aussi bon que n’importe quel moment, pour commencer à faire ce qui importe le plus.
de copy Keine Ausreden mehr, nicht mehr verschwenden kostbare Zeit, denn jetzt ist so gut wie jeder eine Zeit, zu tun, was am wichtigsten ist, um zu beginnen.
CN67867 Méiyǒu gèng duō de jièkǒu, bǎoguì de shíjiān méiyǒu gèng duō de làngfèi, xiànzài shì yīgè hěn hǎo de shíjiān wéi yǐ rèn, kāishǐ zuò zuì zhòngyào de shìqíng.
Sweden Inga fler ursäkter, inte mer slöseri med värdefull tid, för nu är så god tid som någon, att börja göra det som betyder mest.
rus7897 Net bol’she opravdaniy , ne boleye trata dragotsennogo vremeni , dlya teper’ tak zhe khorosho , kak i lyuboye , chtoby nachat’ delat’ to, chto vazhneye vsego.
4523turkey Şimdilik fazla bahane yok, kıymetli zaman artık israf, en önemli şey yapıyor başlamak için, herhangi bir gibi bir zaman iyidir.
images Niente più scuse, niente più spreco di tempo prezioso, per ora è un momento buono come qualsiasi, per iniziare a fare ciò che più conta.
indonesiaID Tidak ada lagi alasan, wasting tidak lebih dari waktu yang berharga, untuk saat ini adalah sebagai baik waktu yang tepat saja, untuk mulai melakukan apa yang paling penting.

Let go of resentment, it will hold you back, do not worry about what could of been, what is to come is what matters.

gb copy Let go of resentment, it will hold you back, do not worry about what could of been, what is to come is what matters.
es copy Suelte el resentimiento, que te detenga, no se preocupe por lo que podría haber sido, lo que está por venir es lo que importa.
nl copy Loslaten van wrok, het zal je tegenhouden, maak je geen zorgen over wat had kunnen zijn, wat er komen is waar het om gaat.
fr copy Lâcher de ressentiment, il vous retenir, ne vous inquiétez pas de ce qui pourrait de été, ce qui est à venir est ce qui importe.
de copy Groll loslassen, es wird Sie zurückhalten, nicht über das, was der konnte Sorge ist, was kommen wird, was zählt.
CN67867 Fàng kāi yuànhèn, jiù huì bào nǐ huíqù, bùyòng dānxīn huì shì shénmeliǎo, shì shénme lái de cái shì zuì zhòngyào de.
Sweden Släpp förbittring, kommer det att hålla dig tillbaka, oroa dig inte om vad som kunde av varit, vad som komma skall är det viktiga.
rus7897 Otpustite obidy , on budet derzhat’ vas obratno , ne volnuytes’ o tom, chto mog, , chto dolzhno priyti eto to, chto imeyet znacheniye.
4523turkey Kızgınlık gidelim, o size geri yapacak, Nın ne olabilir konusunda endişelenmeyin, gelip hangi konularda ne olduğunu edilmiştir.
images Lasciate andare il risentimento, si terrà indietro, non preoccupatevi di ciò che potrebbe di stato, ciò che è a venire è ciò che conta.
indonesiaID Lepaskan kebencian, hal itu akan menghambat Anda, jangan khawatir tentang apa yang bisa dari telah, apa yang akan datang adalah apa yang penting.

It is not what you say that matters, it is what you do, actions always speak louder than words, they speak for you.

gb copy It is not what you say that matters, it is what you do, actions always speak louder than words, they speak for you.
es copy No es lo que usted dice lo que importa, es lo que haces, las acciones siempre hablan más que las palabras, que hablen por ti.
nl copy Het is niet wat je zegt dat telt, het is wat je doet, altijd acties spreken luider dan woorden, ze spreken voor u.
fr copy Ce n’est pas ce que vous dites qui compte, c’est ce que vous faites, les actions parlent toujours plus fort que les mots, ils parlent pour vous.
de copy Es ist nicht, was Sie sagen, dass Angelegenheiten, ist es, was Sie tun, immer Aktionen sprechen lauter als Worte, sie sprechen für Sie.
CN67867 Zhè shì bùshì nǐ shuō dì nàgè wèntí, tā shì nǐ zuòle shénme, xíngdòng zǒng shì shèng yú xióngbiàn, tāmen duì nǐ shuōhuà.
Sweden Det är inte vad du säger som räknas, det är vad du gör, handlingar talar alltid mer än ord, de talar till dig.
rus7897 Eto ne to, chto vy govorite, chto voprosy , eto to, chto vy delayete, deystviya vsegda govoryat gromche, chem slova , oni govoryat dlya vas.
4523turkey Bu konularda, bu size ne olduğunu söylemek ne değildir, eylemleri her zaman kelimelerden daha yüksek sesle konuşmak, onlar sizin için konuşuyoruz.
images Non è quello che dici che conta, è quello che fai, le azioni parlano sempre più delle parole, parlano per voi.
indonesiaID Hal ini tidak apa yang Anda katakan yang penting, itu adalah apa yang Anda lakukan, tindakan selalu berbicara lebih keras daripada kata-kata, mereka berbicara untuk Anda.

It does not matter where you come from or what you did in the past, all that matters is where your life is heading now.

gb copy It does not matter where you come from or what you did in the past, all that matters is where your life is heading now.
es copy No importa de dónde vienes o lo que hiciste en el pasado, lo único que importa es donde su vida se dirige ahora.
nl copy Het maakt niet uit waar je vandaan komt of wat je deed in het verleden, het enige dat telt is waar uw leven nu is post.
fr copy Il n’a pas d’importance où vous venez et ce que vous avez fait dans le passé, tout ce qui importe est où votre vie est à la tête maintenant.
de copy Es spielt keine Rolle, wo Sie herkommen oder was Sie in der Vergangenheit getan hat, ist alles, was zählt, wo Ihr Leben ist nun auf dem Weg.
CN67867 Bùyàojǐn, nǐ láizì nǎlǐ, huòzhě shì nǐ zài guòqù suǒ zuò de, zuì zhòngyào de shìqíng jiùshì nǐ de shēnghuó zhèngzài cháo.
Sweden Det spelar ingen roll var du kommer ifrån eller vad du gjorde i det förflutna, är allt som betyder något när ditt liv är på väg nu.
rus7897 Eto ne imeyet znacheniya , otkuda vy rodom , ili to, chto vy delali v proshlom , vse , chto imeyet znacheniye , gde vasha zhizn’ idet seychas.
4523turkey Hayatınızı şimdi gidiyor nereden geldiğini veya ne geçmişte yaptığım yerde fark etmez, tüm bu konularda olduğunu.
images Non importa da dove vieni o quello che hai fatto in passato, tutto quello che conta è dove la vostra vita sta andando ora.
indonesiaID Tidak peduli di mana Anda berasal atau apa yang Anda lakukan di masa lalu, yang penting adalah di mana hidup Anda sedang menuju sekarang.