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Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

Who knew on this day you would be born for me?

Who knew the distance of 7,000 miles would not keep you apart from me?

Who knew 20 years after my first breath, you would take my breath away from me?

Who knew the one man my father didn’t want for me would be the one that truly cared for me?

Who knew that when he was sick, you’d love him even more than me?

Who knew that when my mother was alone, you’d open our home so she can be close to me?

Who knew this light you carry would be a guidance for me?

Who knew your smile would be a melting point for me?

Who knew your touch would be a freezing point for me?

Who knew your voice would soften every nerve within me?

Who knew you were destined for me?

No one knew except the One who had written you for me and I thank Him so deeply.

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Bismillah. Disclaimer:  I’m no scholar.
So in the spirit of Ramadan, I’m just going to go ahead and give you my 2 cents on hijab.
Stop taking it off, ladies. Stop telling me that it’s too hard for you. Stop saying that it’s not who you really are. Stop saying you’ll put it back on when you’re older or old. Stop saying that now it’s okay for you to wear short, short sleeves and keep your chest exposed in tight-fitted low-neck tops. All I have to say is WHAT?! Why did you put it on in the first place? It’s not removable. It’s a commitment for life, not a choice.
Those of you who took it off after engagement or marriage, stop blaming your husband or in-laws or your parents for “making” you take it off. Did your main squeeze not know who you were when you met? Did he MISS something???? And men, why do you want other men gawking at your wife? What’s wrong with you?
Hijab is a lifestyle improvement. I’ve been wearing it for over a decade now alhumdullilah. But notice I used the word “wear” instead of “practice” hijab. That is actually the appropriate word that should be associated with hijab because it is a concept…not an object. Although it may seem like an object wrapped around your head, but it is much more than that. I would like to say that I personally practice hijab, but I’m not completely there yet…even after this many years. I do wear it but it’s a gradual process…an evolution that you progress and develop through slowly. I’m no better than someone who doesn’t wear it. I have a long way to go still and lots of improvements to make iA.
Now I commend you for wearing it or just considering it. Allah is bringing you closer to Him in this way. As a mother and especially a mother of a daughter, I realize the importance of modesty and conservatism much more now. You don’t want your daughters to necessarily make the same decisions as you…you want them to be better and stronger. That is at least how I am with my daughter.
The way we were raised is very “cultural” and not very “religous.” Overall you can say our parents were “conservative” because they didn’t encourage dating or a “loose” lifestyle where we as girls would party or go clubbing. However, when it comes to Islam, it was more for fasting and praying for the most part not changing our life around. I would say religion was more practiced when it was convenient than anything else.
Now as you know Islam is a way of life. So culture and religion should be intertwined. Now we cover ourselves when we stand in front of Allah in prayer right? But isn’t Allah always watching us? Aren’t we always in front of Him?
Many people argue that in the Qur’an it doesn’t specifically say to “cover your hair/head”.  It actually says to cover the chest for women. Now that is an easy argument or should I say escape method for those that don’t want to consider hijab. People pick and choose things from the Qur’an that are convenient for them. Yes, it is a Book that we can read for face value. But it is SO much more than that and there is much research and study that needs to be done when interpreting the Qur’an. You can’t just translate an ayah and say “that’s what it says.” Many people don’t realize that when that ayah came down, the women of that era/time were already covering their heads. That was a natural part of life. (Look at even all the religious epic movies like Ten Commandments and Passion of Christ or all the pictures depicting the Virgin Mary and so on….they are always shown with their heads covered). But those same women were covering their heads with their shawls hanging behind their shoulders over their backs so the shape of their chests was exposed. That is why if you study that ayah #31 in Surah Nur, it actually commands the women to bring their shawls “around” to the front of their bodies to cover their “bosoms”. It doesn’t state to cover their heads because they were already covering them.
Although a woman’s hair can be one of her most attractive features, it is a woman’s body that gets more attention…especially her chest and backside to be frank. Guys don’t check out a girl’s hair and fall in love with her necessarily. It is her chest or backside that makes them lust over her more.
This is where the “practice” of hijab comes in. Hijab means “covering” as in the action more than the noun.
If you are considering hijab seroiusly, I’d advise you to do baby steps. First and foremost, make sure your husband is 110% supportive. You both need to be on the same page spritually or he needs to be leading you in that direction somehow in order to keep you and your marriage sane. Secondly, start making small changes like wearing long sleeves, looser tops and pants, covering your chest and make sure you are comfortable. Also, if you aren’t already then start making sure you are praying all 5 prayers a day. Once you start doing that everything else falls in place. That is a fard (obligation) we can’t ignore or undermine. That is the most important and the first thing that will come protect us in our grave. I also recommend praying isthakara and asking Allah to guide you through this process more smoothly.
Then when you think if and when you are ready to start wearing hijab, practice wearing it to the grocery store, library, park, etc. See how it makes you feel. One of the first things I realized was that I already don’t “fit in” in this country because I’m not Caucasian. Nobody is going to speak for me or save me on the Day of Judgment from Allah so I need to stop caring and worrying about what others think.
As Muslims, we should naturally be God-conscience and be thinking of Him at all times. With hijab you tend to be more aware of your actions and who you are as a human being. We don’t live crazy “harami” lifestyles where by putting a hijab on we will have to “give up” so much. Trust me when I say that hijab hasn’t hindered me from living a “normal” life. If anything it’s made my life better and worth living, because I know who I am.
I love walking past a stranger and receiving a salaam from them. No other religion has that. Yes, the media has really screwed up the image of Muslims, but that’s why we have to represent the truth. Let them see that we are good God-fearing and God-loving people.
It is not foreign to other faiths either. Christians and Jews are commanded to cover their heads as well (Corinthian 1:11) but modernity has taken over and women here feel the less they wear the more liberated they are. Even Muslim women have fallen into this illusion. That makes me sad that they have to become practically naked to be recognized and get anywhere in this world. If that’s not oppression I don’t know what is.
Your husband should be the only one to truly admire and see your full beauty. I don’t want to walk into a McDonald’s and be checked out by a greasy cashier to feel good about myself. When I dress up at home and get “checked out” by my hubby, that’s when I feel beautiful and Allah rewards you for that.
May Allah make this process smooth and easy for us and bring us all on the Straight Path ameen.

Forgive me if I offended anyone. That was never my intention.

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I think I’ve been giving the wives too many tips. Now it’s time to help the husbands out there.

This is not going to be a male-bashing post. Instead this will help your wife fall more in love with you. Just follow these few simple tips.

1. Steal a look:  At a gathering or an event where you are seated separately, let her catch you staring at her. When she notices, give her an inviting smile or pucker your lips like you are sending a kiss her way. This is sure to make her giggle or give her a tingle somewhere.

2. A single rose:  It’s Tuesday. Surprise her with a flower for no apparent reason.

3. The last bite: The next time you have a meal together, offer to share a plate with her instead of eating from separate plates. Then make sure you let her have the last bite and feed it to her yourself. She will find it to be the yummiest bite of them all.

4. Squeaky clean: Help out around the house. Anything you can do like vaccuum, load/unload the dishwasher, broom, clean the toilets, take the trash out. Whatever it is, she will love you for it. She might even get turned on by you doing housework. 😉

5. Dress to impress: Show her that you like to get dressed up for just her…not just for work or for social gatherings. Wear something you know she likes to see you in and let her know it’s just for her.

6. Note it: Send her an email or write her a card randomly just sharing your feelings about her. Be creative and leave notes for her to find throughout the day. Words are a great form of expressing your undying love for her.

7. Mini-getaway: Plan a short getaway and book a hotel in advance. Take a half day from work and have her meet you there. Arrange a lunch or picnic indoors. You can even decorate the room with petals and candles. If need ,find a sitter for the kids in advance.

8. Present-ing a gift: Who said money can’t buy love?! Even if it’s something small, make it sentimental or creative and present it to her in a sweet way.

9. Sweet nothings: Compliment her out of the blue. Let her know that you still find her the most beautiful woman in the world.

10. Break time: Give her some well-deserved time out. Arrange a massage, facial, or just a day/night out for her without you and the kids. Give her some well-deserved space, and she will come running back into your arms.

11. Make contact: Grab a hold of her hand or give her a hug randomly. Small kisses here and there go a long way as well. Go ahead and steal a kiss when she least expects it and make it passionate.

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I have discussed the concept of time in marriage quite often before.

I can’t seem to emphasize it enough. How is a couple supposed to grow together if they don’t spend any time together?

We have to make time for one another.

Take time into your own hands.

 

No one is going to make time for us. Everyone has it tough. We all have exhausting days, same old routines, the everyday taking the best and most out of us.

But what if we don’t make it to tomorrow? Why do we let the days just pass on by without even appreciating our time with our spouse or our families? That’s so sad.

If things seem too blah is it our hubbies or is it us? I know I’ve asked that question before so what’s the answer?

Find someone to watch the kids and plan a nice outing with your man. If you don’t got time to do that then take advantage of the hour or two together after the kids have gone to bed.

Make time for one another. Make time to look at each other. Make time to hold his hand. Make time to kiss him like you mean it. Make time to hold him tight. Make time to make love. Make time to enjoy being married.

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One of my pet peeves is if Baba Longbeard walks into the house at the end of the day talking on his cell phone. Sometimes he ends up driving around a little longer to finish his conversations, because he knows it gets to me. 

That’s fine. He can be a little late as long as he is fully “there” when he comes home. 

I also prefer he leaves his work stress and issues at the door.  He can’t bring those frustrations in the house unless it’s affecting the family directly.

He didn’t magically figure out these things that bother me.  I obviously had to let him know (nicely of course).

What’s the reasoning behind such requests?  It’s simple.  I want to feel like I matter when Baba Longbeard comes home to me.

Shouldn’t I return that same feeling to him then?  Wouldn’t he want the same thing?  Wouldn’t he want to feel like he matters to me and the kids when he walks into the house?

He is out of the house all day giving his all to provide for us and keep a comfortable life for us alhumdullilah. When he comes in, he should feel super important.  The husband.  The father.  The man.

The kids should rush to the door to greet their father.  You should race with them and show them he’s just as important to you.  You should look presentable and smell welcoming.  He should feel “at home” and at peace when he gets in the house. He should want to come home to his family.  Your mood should be pleasant. 

If he leaves his workstress at the door, you should push your daily stresses aside as well when you see him.  It’s not his fault you had a hard day.  It’s ok if he didn’t pick up the milk on the way home.  He forgot.  It doesn’t mean he did it to piss you off or to spite you.  Enjoy the few hours you have together at the end of the day. 

Life is too short.  Be grateful you’re the someone he gets to come home to and make yourself worth being that someone he wants to come home to.

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