The Ramadhan Post

Assalamu aleikum

Take your tune chords out; it’s time for a singalong!! (O Tannenbaum/Christmas tree/Kuusipuu, which ever it is in your language, im sure you know the melody)

O Ramadhan, O Ramadhan, The month when we’re all starving. We cannot eat, we cannot drink, we cannot smoke, we can’t get l**d.O Ramadhan O Ramadhan, is it time to eat yet?

O Ramadhan, O Ramadhan, The time we spend in cooking! We pass hours with pots of grub and then at night we eat a lot, O Ramadhan O Ramadhan, The Holy month of heartburn

O Ramadhan, O Ramadhan, Your nights are spent in prayer. I slept half way thru taraweeh, as did the brother next to me. O Ramadhan O Ramadhan, All day I will spend sleeping.

The reason for this musical masterpiece is not to make fun of Ramadhan (and seriously, you can stop singing now) , but to bring out some of the most common  mistakes we fall into during it. A lot of non-muslims have asked me why we fast on Ramadhan. What is the signifigance of staying without foor AND water. A lot of people seem to think that the purpose of our fasting is to empathize those who have no food and remember the poor by making ourselves taste hunger.

( I could insert a pic of a hungry African kid here. But I won’t. This is not that kind of a blog)

And it is true that Ramadhan IS the moth of empathy. At the time we break our fast, we are (of should be) truly grateful of the fact that we have something to break our fast with. Which is more that you can say about many of our muslim brothers and sisters.

But the main purpose of Ramadhan is to battel once lower self;nafs. At Ramadhan, as we all very well know, the satan’s are locked away, so they are not the ones behind our desires, wants and wishes. Unfortunately very few people seem to realize this, and thus they spend the holy month by worshipping their nafs MORE than usually; many of us seem to spend the whole day prepairing for iftar. The food at iftar has to be superextraspecial, so we spend hours and hours at the kitchen cooking, baking and stirring. The other day I met this sister at the grocery store. She told me that they had already been shopping for food for 3 hours in the morning but she still had to come back to get something they had forgotten – being originally from a muslim country she expressed how she was already tired at the idea of cooking the whole Ramadhan. I honestly can’t balme her…

Everyone who knows me, knows that I don’t cook. I can’t cook, I won’t cook and I really couldn’t care less in learning how to cook. I think cooking is the stupidest way to waste ones time. (now do all take into account that there i’m married to paki; thus i don’t mean the kind of cooking where you cook so you and your kids could have a warm meal, but rather the asian style of cooking (and arab) where you spend hours on end at you kitchen, cooking something that you could have gotten straight from a jar.)

And cooking is only one side of the problem; after cooking, we actually eat all that stuff as well. Muslims on Ramadhan are a common joke in hospitals around Europe; a lot of muslims apparently have  to go to hospital because of overeating. Plus we throw away a lot of food, since no one ever finishes anyway. And call me uptight but the last time I checked both overeating and israf were considered as forbidden in islam.

I was watching Baba Ali talking about Ramadhan the other day, he made a real valid point on Taraweeh, talking about how people picker and argue over whether it’s 20 rakats or 8. Since when, he said, has taraweeh become the most important prayer? And I do agree with him; on ramadhan we don’t spend half as much time nor concentration on isha as we do on taraweeh. (by the way, it IS 20 rakats. If you think it’s 8, you’re wrong. pheww… ). A lot of people over eat at iftar and the go to taraweeh feeling drowsy: many of us fall asleep during the prayer or feel that it’s a chore getting all those raka’s done.

Allah subhana wa ta’ala says in the Quran, the meaning of which is near to ” Fasting is for Me (alone) and it is (only) Me who rewards it.” But instead we make even Ramadhan be about us. How selfish is that? We think of the rewards we are getting from the actions we’re performing. When in fact we should be greatful for this chance Allah has given us, to perform deeds (not to gain rewards)but to please Him. Since His pleasure is more important than the greates of rewards.

We should consider nafs as enemy as big as shaytaan. At Ramadhan the shayateen are locked up, so the only thing pushing us ot haram is our nafs. It’s a drag, not having anyone else to blame but oursleves, but this really is a good way to notice which of our bad traits come from shaytaan (the handy scapegoat) and which really are just the by-products of our ever hungry nafs. There’s no pleasing it, because it is the side of us that always wants. Instead of concentrating in fufilling it’s demands we should, then, concentrate in diminishing it.

It is said that we should check and correct our intention, niyaa in the beginning of, in the middle of, and at the end of a deed. And then we should still make istighfaar (ask for forgiveness) since most probably there was still something wrong with our niya. The correct niyaa for every deed is that it is performed for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah, who has created mankind only for His worship.

Did that get a bit difficult just now? Sorry if it did: what i’m trying to say is that:

The true purpose of Ramadhan is to battle our nafs. The best way to battle one’s nafs is through hunger, since food makes all the other desires grow too.

If it takes more time to prepare a meal than it takes to eat it- trust me, it’s not worth it.

Even if you’re one of those twisted people who enjoy cooking, make sure it’s not taking time away from your ibaadah (worship). If you can’t keep track of the amaals (deeds of worsihp), make a checklist of things to do everyday. This is a good idea in and out of ramadhan

Don’t overeat, no matter how good the food might be. Eat to your fill and stop eating before you feel you gotta open up a few buttons.

Remember to be grateful; at least we know our fast is from sunrise to sunset. There’s a lot of people on this planet who don’t know when they will get their next meal.

Remember Quran- this is the month Quran was sent down to our beloved Prophet (sallallaahu aleihi wa sallam). Read the Quran and also read a translation of the meanings in your language, in order to benefit more.

Ps. I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea to start making Ramadhan resolutions (like new year’s resolutions, only on Ramadhan); think of a quality in your character you ‘d like to develope, or a n amaal you’d like to start: start it right away and try to remain steadfast after Ramadhan as well.

Ramadhan Mubarak to all of you who have nothing better to do but to read this blog. You are appreciated ^.~

blaahblaahblaahblaahblablablablaahblaah

Assalamu aleikum,

Since there was nothing that considerably bugged me today, I had to go fish a bit deeper into the ocean of annoying things that serve as a wonderful resort for topics to write about…

fishing-cartoon

I’m probably the best example I know of how not to do things, but nevertheless I see it as a duty to write this blog in order to tell you lot what I didn’t realize I was thinking before I wrote it down. It’s like thinking aloud – which is said to be the first sign of insanity. Well, I might be crazy “but what can I do, so are you.” (and if you know who i’m quoting, you’re a bigger loser than me.)

1226057~Happy-Bunny-Hi-Loser-Posters

Have you ever noticed how much time people spend on average injust complaining about things? It’s insane how little we actually think of the things we say. In Islam however, useless talk is in fact considered, not just inapropriate, but haraam. Now… If we were to take a statistic look of the things we say during the day, and count what’s actually useful, I’m pretty sure we’d end up with some really depressing results. In Islam, all talk that is devoid of mentioning and remembering Allah is, in fact, useless.

This sounds fairly difficult doesn’t it though.. I mean… How can you talk about Allah all the time?

Well, in the life of a muslim it is possible to make each and every single deed an act of ibaadah. By learning the duas and the sunnas of the Prophet (sallallahu aleihi wa sallam), even going to the loo becomes an act of worship.

thinker_on_toilet

Sounds ridiculous?

Definitely, but then again, a lot of things sound ridiculous, and people do them all the time (like reading horoscopes or celebrating the birthday of a God who came to flesh just to die for your sins. Yes. It does sound even more stupid when you put it in writing.)

Thats_the_joke

As I have mentioned before, it’s terribly easy to convert to islam (I.e by proclaiming shahadah) , but very difficult to become a muslim (i.e. one who is subjected in every way to Allah). Thus to a mu’min(a true believer (and no, it’s not pronounced moomin.)) remembering Allah at all times comes naturally, since a mu’min has realized that Allah actually really DOES watch over him/her at all times.

Now by complaining we don’t really benefit anyone; most of the time we actually complain because there’s an awkward pause in the flow of discussion, and we want something to talk about. Complaining is not supposed to lead anywhere, since the complainer is not actually interested of solving the problem (since it’s of course someone else’s fault in the first place, and besides the reason for complaining is never really important,it’s the actual act that matters.)

There are some people who live to complain. A friend of mine told me that her mother lives to complain, to the extent that she can actually go to a stranger in the street and start complaining about something.

complaining

Then there are the people who live to gossip. Now… I’ve always associated gossiping with teenage girls and little old ladies. These people usually don’t have enough life of their own so they have to be interested in everyone else’s. We, as muslims, have been forbidden to talk about other people. Ghiiba (backbiting) doesn’t, in Islamic terminology, mean just something bad you say about someone, but anything the other person wouldn’t like you to say about him/her. And since we can never really be sure what the others want us to say about them, it really would be better not to say anything.

So definitely the muslims don’t speak ill of others?

– Wrong.. Instead muslims seem to be the masters of slandering each other, both in public and privately.

629_2gossip.jpg (just for the record, backbiting is compared to eating the flesh of your dead brother. you backbite, you go to hell.ermm… just for the sake of it.)

The most annoying bunch of all though, is the chitchatcrew. You know, the people who won’t talk of anything sensible, and when you try to bring the topic to something more productive, they go “yeah, ok” and continue to chitchat away, like they never heard you say anything. These are the people who report every and single little thing they do on facebook, and get involved in different kinds of activities just so that they can write it on their status message. If a person like this has an agenda- some superior purpose in their life; they become twice as annoying. They then brag about everything that they have done to achieve their goal, as if it was the same goal everyone else had as well. I once knew this person who used to think she was some sort of a big name in a certain political activist group. She very openly supported this group and told everyone she met everything about the group’s activities (even thought they were probably not supposed to be discussed outside the group).She had such a huge need to be a part of something bigger than herself (and to be associated with something she probably considered to be radical and shocking), that she didn’t really care how much people got annoyed by having to listen to her endless rants on the subject. Some people get that way about their kids/pets/job/partner/hobby… The target can be anything, and of course what it is doesn’t really matter, since the point is to appear to be the expert of something.

blahblah

In the month of Ramadhan we should be extra careful with the things we say, look, hear and do. As this is the month of the Quran, we should spend more time studying it than we usually are. However Allah won’t accept the fasting of such a person who mainly remains hungry but brakes his/her fast with their tongue by uttering bad things about others or getting mad.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) once ascended the pulpit, and on the first step He said “Ameen”, when he placed His foot on the second step He said “Ameen”, when He placed His foot on the third step he said “Ameen”.

So when He descended after the sermon had ended, the companions asked him, “O Prophet of Allah! Today we have seen you do and say something that we haven’t observed before. You ascended the pulpit and upon each step you said “Ameen”. Why?” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said “When I began climbing the stairs of the minbar, Jibreel (عليه السلام) came to me and He made dua’a, He prayed, upon the first step, I said “Ameen”, upon the second step He made another dua’a and I said “Ameen”, upon the third step he made a third dua’a and I said “Ameen”. And the first dua’a was ‘O Prophet of Allah, may that person be removed and distanced from Allah’s mercy, who finds the month of Ramadan and then the month of Ramadan passes and yet he is still unable to earn forgiveness for his sins’. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said “Ameen”, then He placed His foot on the second step and Jibreel (عليه السلام) made a dua’a that ‘O Prophet of Allah, may that person be removed from Allah’s mercy, in whose presence your noble name is mentioned and yet he does not pray salaat and salaam upon you’. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said “Ameen”, then when He placed His foot on the third step Jibreel (عليه السلام) made a dua’a that ‘O Prophet of Allah, may that person be removed from Allah’s mercy who finds one or both of his parents during his lifetime and then both of them die, or one of them dies and that person has still not yet earned Allah’s forgiveness and entry into paradise through his service to them’. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said “Ameen”.

May Allah make us worthy of gaining forgiveness for our sins, and let us not increase them by useless, vain speech.

hijab hijack

Assalamu aleikum,

VEILS.

I know some people who choke on the word. Islamic hijab is a great divider of opinions, both within the muslim society and outside it.

hijab prison

A lot of non-muslims don’t seem to be getting the point (unless if they’re REALLY familiar with biblical history etc.) They see hijab as a symbol of Arabic culture; as a form of oppression. People might be cool with you being a muslim, but  their opinion miraculosly changes after you start covering. Which is really weird. Because usually these are the same people who nurture freedom to choose as their birth right (You have the freedom to choose, as long as you choose what they want you to, that is.) . In the best case you’ll find yourself friendless and jobless, just because of a piece of cloth. Horray for civilization… You’re lucky they haven’t burnt you at the stake yet. How ever this was not at all my own exprience; everyone took MY covering really well, including my family. Alhamdulillaah, I consider myself blessed.

Besides, it’s not really important what the non-muslims think. At least your own community’s always got your back…

If they do. Unfortunately very often other muslims are more critical than the non-muslims. In many muslim communities the clothes really do make a man.

hijab cartoon

I know brothers who won’t salaam to other brothers, unless they have a beard; I know sisters who’ll only salaam you as long as you’re wearing a niqab. Which is… sad. Because it proves that these people look the way look and dress the way they dress for something completely different than attaining the pleasure of Allah. These people, who think of themselves to be more pious than the others, are infested with qibr, to the extent that everything they do is riyaa (display). Now probably most of these people really do think they’re following the Quran and the Sunnah (which they’re not; they’re actually following the Quran and Hadith, which is a totally diffferent thing), but they seem to have forgotten WHY they’re doing it.

Now, because the topic of this blog is not the reasons behind actions (which WOULD make a good blog and inshaAllah it’ll be coming up soon), let me get back to the point.

There are a lot of different ways to fullfill the requisits of the islamic hijab, and there are various interpretations of it. However all the scholars agree that a woman’s islamic clothing should be (as then man’s too) modest, clean and loose. It should cover the aurah (which is, for women everything exept face and hands, and according to some even the facve and the hands, and as for the men it should cover at least the area between the waist and the knees.) This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dress like a 7th century arab. If you look at the muslims in different parts of the world you can see plenty of variation; each having adjusted to the circumstances it’s worn.So you’d think there’d be plenty to choose from…

However some sisters still seem to be missing the point. We wear hijab to be recocnized as the servants of Allah. We don’t wear the hijab to please our husbands egos, we don’t wear hijab to be seen as more pious than the rest, and we certainly don’t wear the hijab (the wrong way) to show others that we’re cool euro-muslims. (oh even the term makes me sick.)

Sorry to brake it to you, but none of the below are hijabs:

nimetön

However, what matters more than the actual clothes, is the way you wear them. The niqabi with the pious text on her scarf really is tehre for a reason. Even if you wear a sack over your head it’s not a hidjab unless and until you have your inner hidjab in order. Women in islam are told to dress modestly. Now there are two ways to understand this sentence; women should dress modestly (where modestly is the adverb pointing to the verb dress, i.e describing the way of dressing.), or women should dress (,) modestly (where modestly is referring to the whole previous sentence. It really is about the modesty, not the dressing. (and I’m speaking to myself first)

maria hijab Why, by the way is this pious…

hijab modesty …But this is oppressed?

The other day I was walking by the local pub, there was this English couple, nearly 60 years of age, sitting outside, drinking summin. The guy pointed at me from a distance already and when I got to where they were sitting he said ”Hey, have you seen your face?” The woman muttered something about my niqab being disgusting..And they repeated their sentences quite a lot of times with the vigour and excitement of 2,5 promilles.

I could have been really offended. And I probably would have been…

But it’s kinda difficult to take cirtisizm seriously when it’s coming from a 60-year-old lady who’s desperately trying to look like she’s 13. (seriously, she had bleeched hair, huge sunglasses, pink lipstic and pink fake nails. I had more style when I WAS 13..)

apina And compared to that, this is actully quite chic.

The conversation went on much longer than it should have (and would have if I had my inner hijab straight) and I did regret later that I didn’t use the chance given to me properly to make dawa (instead of a few seriously sarcastic comments). But folks, I’ve come a long way! At least I didn’t tell the lady she’d be better of if no one would see her face either…

embarrassed-chimpanzeecheez…

Why banging your head to the wall can sometimes be useful

Assalamu aleikum

After going through pain and strife to get my makeshift sofa comfortably (and it does take a lotta trouble since it really is just two springed mattersses. Everytime you shift you go boing) I thought I’d write a little, since I really should be doing something more intelligent but just can’t be bothered.

The American comedian Azhar Usman talked in one of his sketches about MP; muslim potential. It does seem to be true what he said about most muslims in the west having a converting-project going; almost everyone I know more or less do.

My husband’s latest project, a person who’s rather close to me, is unfortunately turning out be a mission impossible.

mission impossible

You know how there are these kind of people, with whom you can spend ages arguing over things like is the grass really green or just sort of a greenish shade of brown. These people tend to argue about anything and everything with anyone, just for the sake of it. And they usually win their arguments (not because they are that good, but mainly because their opponents tend to get bored out of their minds after the first 15 minutes). This makes them think that they’re always right, that they really know better and that the world has volumes to learn from them. This leads to them being unable to respect anyone around them. (hmm. Funny that, reminds me of how some salafis act…how ever the person i’m talking about is a none-muslim, just to clear the matter up a bit.)

blahblah

It’s hard to see these people having much MP. But then again, who are we to judge. Weren’t we just like them way back before Allah in His vast Mercy guided us to islam? I sure know I was. A decade back I didn’t have much MP either. I was a self-made victim of feminism, thinking myself as a free, civilized, intelligent young woman- thinking I was a playah, never realizing I was the one being played.

If I could go back in time I’d love to give the old-me a good whoppin. It’s not right that the society we live in gives freedom to the people- if the freedom they mean is the freedom to act like an idiot. But unfortunately that silly, messed up teenager, in many ways, defines who I am now. At some stage I gained the sufficient wisdom to pretend that I’m really not that stupid. After doing some soul-searching (and experimenting with a really weird set of exotic religions) I finally drifted to Islam, realizing that what I actually believed in, had a name.

enlightenment

Most people seem to approach religion from a different angle though, they deny the fact that there is a god. They answer questions like “where did the Earth come from” with a big band theory (or something as ridiculous, and really believe humans are some sort of a subspecies of apes. If you tell them that “maybe the reason that the “missing link” is still missing, is the fact that there is no link?”They suddenly start acting very much like their so-called hairy cousins, accusing you of “not being scientific” and “you can’t really believe in things that you can’t see.” (would be interesting to know which one of them “saw” the big bang, and how on earth is it possible for species to turn magically into other species; isn’t it a wonder that the nature suddenly produced humans, but other “apes” such as the chimpanzee have been pretty much the same since the dawn of time.)

BM-DarwinBaloney

They say ethics can very well exist without religion. Which is true, of course, since the ethical ppl who don’t believe in God, in fact, believe in ethics. But good people existed way before ethics was even invented (by some greek dude wearing a towel I suppose). And the fact is, those people were God-fearing, believing people.

It seems useless to talk to these people; not just about religion; about anything else as well. Because these people will always think you are unsophisticated, unintelligent loony, just because you believe in God. They talk down on you (which is of course very ethical…erm…) and quote writers like Naipaul and Rushdie (btw, I’ve read both, and can’t really see what’s the big deal), because they think that’s gonna make you mad. (and partly because they want to brag with their knowledge of such useless references.)

It is, however, important to keep talking to these people (even though you really want to give ’em a wedgie (the old school one they do in the Simpsons)), because you never know what MIGHT be the case. And our duty is only to deliver the message (and make dua-a lot). The hearts are in the hands of Allah, and He may turn them if He pleases. May Allah give is the ability make such dawa, that it reaches the hearts of the people, may Allah keep us on the straight path. Aamiin.

dua4

O Allah guide us on the straight path,

the path of whom thou has favoured,

the prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs

and the pious people and those who are good to have as friends.