Asalaamu alaikum. I thought my readers would enjoy the following link. Let me know your thoughts!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
By the Grace and Mercy of Allah, my husband and I were given the invitation to perform Hajj this year.
(That also explains why the blog has been in hiatus).
So this post is going to be about my experience going to Hajj with Baba Longbeard. You will be amazed at what you are about to read.
This was the first time we were going to be away from our kids for such a long span of time. The husband stayed strong; I cried hysterically as we left the kids behind.
The flight there was nice. Baba Longbeard fell asleep before take off. When I got over my initial excitement, I then fell asleep as well. When we woke we talked here and there about our anticipation and what not.
Let me rewind a little bit. I had a completely different impression of what Hajj and marriage is like prior to this trip. I thought we would be constantly together, going through so many spirtitual and emotional highs, he would protect me in the crowds at all times, be my savior and companion at all times, and it would be like this spiritual honeymoon for us (without the honey).
So anyways, we get to our stopover and then he goes his way with his friends and I go my way with my friends. We eat separately and then the husbands help carry their wives carry-on bags down a big flight of stairs. (Very manly, I know). Then we get to our gate and the men in the group decide to go shower and dress in their ihrams. We wives wait and wait and wait. They finally come back shining in white and then we ladies went down to change.
The showers happen to be available so we decided to go turn by turn. Then we went and prayed in the airport musallah. We didn’t realize how much time had passed. Our husbands came looking for us completely frazzled and worried. We wives just kind of laughed it off. They were acting a bit over-protective but it was cute.
At Jeddah airport we sat for a while waiting for our bus to arrive. Again he sat with the men and I sat with the women. The bus ride was segregated as well, men in the front, women in the back. We finally get to our hotel in Makkah. I stayed with three of my friends and he stayed with his buds. I saw him again right before we were going to start our umrah.
Our first umrah together was very stressful. I was having some issues which led us to be separated from our group. We ended up doing our umrah on the main floor finally after Isha. I was an emotional mess. Doing tawaf around the Ka’ba is one of the most unique forms of ibadah ever. You feel like you are in a trance walking in circles reciting various dhikr and du’as that come in your heart sometimes even feeling like a zombie worshipper. People around you are chanting and moving the same way. It kind of also feels like the Day of Judgment. He didn’t hold on to me to protect me amongst the crowds. Instead he walked in front of me and I just held on to the strap of his backpack. Sa’ee is very tiring but I think it’s a very spiritually enlightening experience. Baba Longbeard had me recite du’as outloud as we performed Sa’ee. That was nice.
The rest of the week we saw each other at either breakfast or lunch time or during brief group gatherings. He did his thing and I did mine. To be honest, my most favorite ibadah moments were when I was not with him.
In Madina we were separated majority of the time too. We would come together to eat every so often, but at worship times we were on our own. Again, I liked that too.
Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah all had the same pattern. He did his thing and I did mine.
It wasn’t until the whole group left and we got to stay behind and spend some extra days in Makkah that we spent proper time together. I actually got tested with my health those days and didn’t get that much time in the Haram.
One afternoon I was in bed in our apartment outside Makkah. Baba Longbeard had gone back to the Haram to take care of some things. That is when it hit me that no one is there for you except Allah. Allah knows I was there, by myself, yet I didn’t feel alone. Allah was with me as He always is, and from the beginning of our existence to our end it’s only Allah who is with us.
For over three weeks I was not a wife or a mother or a daughter or a sister. I was simply a worshipper, serving my true purpose of why I was created.
So what’s the point of all this? There really wasn’t much of Hajj and marriage in my experience. I realize that Hajj is a means to bring you back to your Creator, not bring you closer to others, not even your spouse. Yes, Baba Longbeard and I had a life-changing experience, but we had two separate experiences and that’s okay.
I am so grateful to Allah for hosting us in His Home. He is the Host of All Hosts. May He preserve our iman and put barakah in our lives and marriages and families in this life and the next….ameen.
I had the blessing to meet a wise and profound teacher this past Ramadan. She gave a beautiful talk on “Surviving Marriage.” With her permission, I present to my lovely readers notes from that talk. I apologize if they seem confusing at all or incomplete. She spoke perfectly. I typed imperfectly. Enjoy!
“Marriage is a new opportunity, an elevator and a door to bring you closer to your Lord. Take advantage of it.”
SURVIVING MARRIAGE TIPS:
1. Do not erase all boundaries between you. Remember to retain the most delicate whisper of formality. It will help you to continue to interact with respect (since he is a separate human being to you)….YOU set the tone from the beginning of marriage.
2. Remember, when he is selfish, obnoxious or harsh, that Allah placed him in your care, to love, to forgive and to care for. Remember, all the times he was loving, forgiving, or caring for you, especially important to remember when he is acting in a way outside of norm).
We have a tendency as women to forget the good things people do for us…
We as women don’t allow different kinds of love from our men…paying the bills, getting you gas, changing your tires…those are his flowers to you.
Quotable quote: “Cut up the paid electricity bills into a bouquet, put them in a vase, and imagine them as flowers for you from your husband.”
3. Do you have the gift of reading in between the lines? Then you must know that angry outbursts mean “I miss you, I feel neglected and ignored.” Respond to what is meant, not what is said. Reassure him.
Majority of time these outbursts are because women are not sexually available to their husbands.
***Remember that intimacy is an act of worship in Islam. A woman has a built-in ability to receive attentiveness. A man does not and rejection can shatter his self-esteem and lead him to wrong. Therefore, in Islam a woman is responding and responsive.
*Sexual rejection for men hurts them so much and in such a way that they can’t relate it to us.
Haram acts in Islam…avoid completely:
**Pornography is not accepted for any reason. It needs to be addressed and taken care of immediately.
**Oral sex is not permissible.
**Anal sex is not permissible.
4. Remember when you have an argument or fight, that Allah asked you to say what is best, not what is fair, nor what is right.
Words can be said in a certain way, state, and tone. Be mindful of these things.
FIGURE YOUR HUSBAND OUT as best as you can and how to “manage” him accordingly.
5. For a successful marriage, quickly develop one of the most essential ingredients: a sense of humor. It will save your sanity and diffuse explosive situations. Learn to laugh at yourself. Think of your issues as part of a sitcom to help deal with them.
6. Remember that the ambience of the home may not be your duty, but it is strictly within your power and control. Make it angel-friendly. Clean, pick up, perfume it and light your house up with Quran. A house that has angels in it, is a house that is peaceful. Remember that Angel Jibreel would only
descend in Aisha’s house, which was known for exquisite cleanliness.
7. Remember to keep his faults from your family, you can forgive and forget, but they may not.
8. Do not take time, attention or money that rightfully belongs to his family away from them. It will have no barakah in it if you do. If you are lucky, you will feel close and loving to them. If it is a struggle, you get more reward. Never begrudge him, the time he spends with them.
A man who is loyal to his first family is a man you can trust with his second family.
If it’s a struggle you get rewarded more. (In this life, in the next, or what goes around comes around).
-if he is good to his mother, he will be good to you. You want him to be loyal to his family.
9. Remember that every relationship including this one is a triangle, with Allah at the top. If you obey your husband, it is Allah that you are obeying. If he lashes out at you, perhaps it is a message from Allah for something you did, unrelated to him.
10. Remember he is incomplete and unhappy without your admiration and inner praise of him. He needs you to look up to him, to believe in his ability to do things, to remind him of all the good that he is and does.
11. Remember when he seems to be the answer to all your prayers and dreams and more….he was actually sent to you to be loved, but only Allah is to be attached to. Remember in your happiest moments to feel gratitude to Allah.
12. Remember to be gentle, patient, understanding, motherly on the inside and playful on the outside. If he matters too much to you, he will be capable of hurting you. If Allah matters more to you, then all your husband’s faults will run off your skin like water off a glossy leaf.
Most importantly, remember to be yourself!
Asalaamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu.
I pray you are in the best of health and iman this Ramadan insha Allah.
We all know the rewards this month are great for the fasters and believers and worshippers but what about all the husbands and wives out there? There doesn’t seem to be much discussion or reminders of what marriage is like in Ramadan….like a test.
The days are long, hot, and tiring. You are cranky, exhausted, hungry, sleep-deprived and have bad breath. It’s easy to take your frustrations out on your spouse during these days. But you have to remember that being a good spouse is an act of worship and the rewards are greatly increased in Ramadan.
So here’s how to make the most of your marriage during this blessed month and reap many extra rewards insha Allah:
1. Be patient. This may seem the most obvious point but is also one of the hardest. Sometimes we are the nicest and most patient with everyone else BUT our spouse. Be more mindful of how you treat your significant other and know he/she is going through the same thing as you. So be nice to each other especially while you’re fasting.
2. Those that pray together stay together. Spend time making du’a together. Join together in supplication and it will bring your hearts closer. Ask Allah, and you shall receive.
3. Don’t fikhir do dhikr. Remember Allah and do salawat on the Prophet (SAW). It will calm your hearts.
4. The masjid. Encourage your husband to pray as many prayers of the day in the mosque including the fard prayers and tarawih. He will bring the barakah back into the house and you will receive the reward. This encouragement should be happening even out of Ramadan as well. Many times we expect them to stay home for iftar and dinner and miss maghrib in the masjid. Push for him to break fast and pray maghrib, then come home to eat dinner with you. Also, encourage him to go for ithikaf during the last 10 days. Besides all the reward both of you will receive from it, the time apart will be good for both of you.
5. Make his favorite foods. The way to a man’s heart is definitely his stomach. Don’t slave the whole day over the stove and waste precious ibadah time. However, make some effort preparing or arranging some of his favorite foods. He will love you for it.
6. Qur’an competition. A healthy and encouraging little competition during the month is to see which spouse can read the most Qur’an in a day, week, and month.
7. Tahajjud and suhoor. Wake up early and pray tahujjud prayer together and then enjoy a nice meal together before dawn. Try not to talk but do make loving eye contact and just enjoy each other’s company and then again make du’a together.
8. Alone time. Trying to find alone time for each other is quite tricky this month. It’s highly important to reconnect and make time for each other. Don’t forget that intimacy is also an ibadah.
9. Exception to the norm. Remember that this month is full of precious days. Don’t waste time and energy stressing on how things are not going as normal or as usual. Just make the most of it.
10. Use as an example. Also use this month and all your behavioral improvements, ibadah increases, spiritual development individually and collectively as a couple to continue through the rest of the year insha Allah.
Please remember your sister in Islam during this great month. Happy fasting and wife-ing.
Boy, do I have a solution for you!
Did you know that kissing can save you money? According to Bonnie Eaker Weil, author of Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker, kissing can prevent you from making unnecessary P.O.P.’s.
What are P.O.P.’s you ask?
A P.O.P. is a pissed-off purchase you make after having a fight with your spouse in order to seek sweet revenge and make yourself feel better.
In actuality, shopping releases a chemical called dopamine, which is supposed to promote bonding. This same chemical is released when you kiss your mate along with others such as oxytocin (calming chemical) and endorphins which put you in a good mood.
Now I know what you’re thinking. The last thing you want to do after a fight is kiss him. Shopping would probably make you feel way better. Right? Wrong. Not only are you going to waste time and money by avoiding the situation, you will only be giving yourself a temporary fix for your problems.
Instead, what you should do is just kiss and make-up.
Think about it. If you approach your man with your luscious lips after a fight, you will be doing some serious damage control. For starters, you aren’t avoiding him by going to the mall and prolonging the argument or hard feelings (not to mention saving money by not buying P.O.P’s). Secondly, you are willing to make amends quickly and smoothly. And of course with a nice passionate kiss, it will calm both your nerves down and relieve any unnecessary tension. Who knew?!
Just for kicks, here are some other great benefits of kissing I found recommended by SELF magazine:
-Kissing boosts immunity: exchange in saliva causes your body to produce antibodies to fight foreign bacteria…mmm
-May ease allergies: 30 minutes of kissing can slow histamine production (histamine causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing and running nose)
-Healthy teeth: kissing produces extra saliva which helps neutrilize decay-causing acids in the mouth
-A light workout: you actually burn 6 calories/minute and use around 30 facial muscles with a nice passionate kiss
Try it for yourselves….ki$$ your hubby a little longer….trust me…it’s good for you
So Husbands, here are some FYI’s that surprisingly your wives will find super sexy and attractive about you. I heard these on the radio today…take notes and let me know how it goes
10. He talks to her in his bedroom voice in public.
9. He prepares his will, because he wants to make sure his family will be taken care of properly after he’s gone.
8. He has a welcoming sense of humor and gets her humor.
7. He takes off his work shirt and has the right man sweat smell resonating from him.
6. He is fierce and wild when it comes to intimacy. (Clear throat).
5. He throws out his old undies and sports new ones just for her.
4. He starts working out and eating better to live a longer and healthier fit life.
3. He puts family finances before personal needs.
2. He can carry an intelligent conversation with anyone, anywhere, anytime. (Ohhhhhh yaaaaaa….This is my fav).
And drumroll please……
1. He admits it when he is wrong and apologizes sincerely. (Ok maybe this one too).