Monday, May 30, 2011

My Personal Take on Wearing the Gamboo3a/Shambassa Pouf/Camel Hump Hair Clips

I wrote this originally as a comment on Ange's post but I wasn't logged into ILOVEHISHMA. I tried wearing Gamboo3a and I wanna speak from my own experience of wearing it even where it is the norm, and from my Islamic research.

I don't think they are haram (in that I am not qualified to make that kind of fatwa) but could be, since rasoolulah cursed women who had camel humps on their heads. I have read the ahadith and find that I personally (while certainly not a Shiekh) believe they are makruh---strongly disliked and could be haraam. Some say the hadith says to the side of the head. I have read the original Arabic and am good with directions and it says on top of the head [as the majority of the Ulema agrees).... soooo... I mean I used to wear them before I started taking my hijab away from culture and style ect, and getting at its core before injecting my personal style back into it, but I live in the Gulf and have interviewed men, both good and bad muslims about the clips. None actually like the shambasa/Gamboo3a itself, as it contorts the head, but all of them mentioned that they found or thought of the girls who wore them as being somewhat, er, sexier or easier, or less Islamic in general. Which I mean, is bogus, but in Islam we aren't supposed to purposely appear contrary to Islam or do anything that associates us with something haraam ect. I mean, we don't sit and eat with those who are drinking alcohol in Islam, because then we are associated with the sin of doing so. If committing taburruj (attracting attention [and Gulf men have told me they attract their attention regardless whether or not they find the clip itself attractive]) is haram, then associating one's self with an act largely regarded as tabarruj even by the majority of the male population (from my non Muslim father from the West to Gulf guys of all walks of Islamic adherence), is a similar act to sit drinking soda with a bunch of people sucking back booze. *I know I could say, if I don't wear it in UAE I'll be the odd one out and that will attract attention to, but same goes for wearing abaya/jilbab in the West. I have to remind myself, did I convert to Islam, or a culture?*

I stopped wearing them now alhamdulilah, and wish I had resisted that trend when I was in Emirates, but peer pressure you could say lol, got to me, and I tried it. Whether you wear it cone on top, or above the earline to the back, both have a "hump" effect that is purposeful. If your hair is just like that it isn't on purpose ect, but the intention of getting a hump was not favourable to Rasoolulah so it isn't to me;). I mean, I see so many women who suit that hadith, saying they have hump like camels and they are dressed but naked. i.e their abaya is flung open to revealing clothes or skin tight in the first place and the camel hump hijab is there, and this hijab style leads others astray because it is close to jilbab and khimar, but it isn't, and takes people farther away from the true hijab of the sunnah very easily if you are not careful. Do any hadith talk about women from the Sahaba (who even had long hair) having bumps of any kind on their heads?. I mean, abayaat have to be loose, the hijab has to cover the chest and all the hair (and you need a super long hijab to accomplish that WITH Gamboo3a) believe me. I never see girls do it right without gashwa or something over their gamboo3a. Everyone says the intention is good, but why then do I see so few examples of modest makeup, modest loose fitting abaya, and khimar that covers all the neck, chest, hair and body when worn with this style? I know some sisters do it well but they are THE VERY SMALL MINORITY (I have seen only 2 sisters in real life out of thousands wearing Gamboo3a), but the origin of the style was not Islamic or even having hijab in mind, and that is why I personally reject it and urge other sisters to do so as well. I don't want to associate myself with something that did not actually have a good intention at the core of its initial influence.

Anyways, that's just my take on it. My reasons. I am probably going to get sistas calling me extreme and what not but then, I don't care. I wish I hadn't worn the Gamboo3a ever, and so I am just sharing that in case it is useful to ya'll in anyway:)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Asalaam alaykom ramatullahi wa barakto dear sisters,

This is just a post to highlight my personal and Islamic goals for this year. I usually make this list during Ramadaan, but fasting and studying Qu'ran along with all that cooking and visiting and tarweeah is hard enough during the holy month so I thought I'd get on it early. I want to give a special thanks to sister Um Aaminah [ ] for her post "It's Okay I'm a Convert" which really spurred me on THIS month. Jazzakallkheir sis. And sis Zaenab from Stylish Muslimah for her vid of the minor signs of the day of judgement. LOL, sometimes I need that scare-factor to get my butt a-moving along. I am one of those people that start projects and doesn't finish them sooooo these were good reminders for me personally. Jazzakallahkheir girls!

1.) I know I am going to have a baby this year, and am going to be tired and what not, but my goal is to keep my house alot cleaner. I know this doesn't sound like an Islamic goal but really it is. I am trying to do alot more sunnahs in my day, and this one is one of them: basic cleanliness. I think it is difficult for me now because I have too much stuff. I am serrious. I manage to keep my husbands' stuff neat and tidy without struggle because he has four ghutrahs, 3 hats, 3 pairs of sandals, 1 pair of runners, 2 pairs of socks, 5 undergarment sets, and 4 thobes. Along with 3 pieces of excersise equipment and a small box of camping gear and tools we store outside. Whereas moi has a dozen house dresses, a bunch of Western clothes I almost never wear anymore because I don't have a place to, a dozen abayas (some I don't wear), 2 dozen shaylas (which I don't wear regularily, 5 niqabs (only 3 I wear regularily), party dresses which I wear not as often (maybe I can rent them out as they are expensive and I've rented other girls' dresses before?), and that's not even getting on all my books, and perfumes, and furnitures and knicknacks. Husband is content with alot less. A carpet and cushions and some mats to place food on for the living room. A bed and clean sheets and pillows for the room and a small sitting area with 2 mirrors, one for us both, ect. If I downsize things, it should be easier to clean. Ughhh, I am BAD at downsizing, but then I fondly remember my bachelor apartment and how neat and tidy that always was. InshaAllah carrying less pocessions is the cure. I am avoiding getting a maid at all costs. [This something nobody cares about except those who live in my house;) ]

2.) Pray all my sunnah prayers. This is something inner. I am trying but I struggle sometimes when I am in a rush and I travel alot.

3.) Pay off an old before I started practicing Islam serriously debt that has interest attached to it. Then I can start saving for hajj and finally go. I live so close, but there's no blessing really if I still have a sin attached me that requires dealing with. This is something inner because nobody knows about it but me [and now ya'll ;) so remind me if I sound like I am about to go off on a wild shopping spree for more furniture and clothes which I don't really need beyond some plain black cheaper abayas for hiking with husband--and he'll probably buy me those if I ask].

4.) After debt is paid, give more sadaqah. There's alot of fam's I know who can't afford meat, and alot of sisters who need things I already have, so before I buy more when I am not in need, I should check if there is someone out there who could use a few basics (and a nice thing once in a while). I have been poooooor before so I know it isn't nice to get something you'd never get for yourself. This is another inner thing, tied to #1.

5.) Understand my cats are just animals. I love them so much, but I think of them like children. I mean, when they pee on cushions because I forgot to leave the courtyard door open I get so mad at them, and they probably don't understand the yelling or me rubbing their faces close to the scent of their mess. And they can't defend themselves by going "Mama, your fault. We couldn't get outside and we tried and we asked you to open the door by meowing and you didn't hear us."

6.) Control my anger. I don't get angry very often, and I forgive very easily, but when I am angry I don't care to put myself in the other person's shoes. Bad, bad habit. I am getting better husband says. My inspiration is the baby. I don't want to raise it the way I was raised (no offense my parents, you did the best you could with eachother for mates and YOUR parents as examples). I mean, I don't want to call my child "stupid!" when he/she makes a small mistake, then it reinforces in them a kind of insecurity that has taken me years as an adult to overcome, plus a fear of intimacy.

7.) Stop listening to music. I have been good at this one since the pregnancy. Also, stop watching movies or TV that is questionable. I have thought of making my own edited DVDS lol, on a computer program. It is easier for than husband though, because there are more men on TV covering their awrah than there are women;). Please don't think I am extreme for this dear readers. It is a personal thing to do with my own conclusions over ahadith and Qu'ran;)

8.) Last year I stopped wearing the Gamboo3a (I had always thought it was makrooh) and more than neautral makeup and was careful to not wear abayas with alot of crystal. This year I am going to get 2 Islamiyia style ones made (I love them with dresses and skirts worn underneath, and a 1 abaya ras with sleeves. That is all my outer appearence needs cuz I already have more abayas than I need. And I guess new sandals because I murder sandals. 3 months, and then a decent quality sandal dies another death. This is an outer one because alot of Muslims notice this and think a sis is more pious cuz she wears niqab and abaya ras. Believe me, in my, it doesn't make a difference, but I am trying to live more simply and I don't have any non-Muslims to worry about being scared of me sooo....

9.) Try to bring Muslims that I know together more. When the ummah gets distant, divisions arise.

10.) Say bismillah for everything I am supposed to, alhamdulilah for everything I am supposed to, duas for the bathroom, and entering the home, going to sleep, waking up, and getting dressed. I've never concentrated serriously on this aspect of my daily life before.

Usually I make goals to study and learn more Qu'ran every year but suck at that. I have found what works best for me is settings aside 2-3 hours every friday to study and memorize some new ayahs and then using them all week. And I read English translations of the Qu'ran, 1 0r 2 surahs before bed. Better than just saying, I will do it in a big bold way.

One of the Sheikhs I know got his students to do this excersise in a lesson of Allah's mercy, keeping their results secret, where we were to list on our own, all our sins and our good deeds that we could think of easily from childhood to adulthood, and then rate them on a scale of 1-10 for how good or bad they were. Then we were supposed to tally our results, and then get rid of what we'd used to get our totals. Examining our totals, and keeping in mind Allah weighs all our good with our bad, none of use were satisfied with the good we had done in our lives up to this point. Every Muslims relies heavily on the mercy of Allah, and He is the Most Merciful, but the reason we'd had this excersise was to remind ourselves that there is always a reason to do more sunnah, to do more nafl acts, and concluded that even Rasoolulah prayed for forgiveness for himself, and that Allah would spare from punishment in the grave. When asked why he did this, when already promised Paradise, his answer was simple. "If I have been granted this, shouldn't I be even more thankful?" So those of us that haven't been granted such glad tidings.... Yep. Got me going on all the things I need to do. I liked the lesson because it was less aimed on what bad we had done, and more on, we have today, so what good can we do today? I mean, if the day of the lesson was the last one I had left on this earth, how many good deeds and extra acts of worship could I go out and do to try and tip the scales?

So those of you can't travel to Oman to have such Islamic classes (I wasn't enrolled in the class, I get the oppurtunity to be a guest occasionally thanks to friends who are absolutely insistant I finish my history degree and then get a masters in something Islamic or useful to the Ummah based) please have the benefit of this lovely lesson. And thank you to the Professer/Sheikh who really had us all smiling and working together to make our community better for that day:) no matter our different walks in life and stages of development in our Islamic studies.

The Islamic Heritage of Where I Live

Pictured above (our family home, a 500-400 year old stone and mud structure [we also have more modern homes;) in other places of Oman]). The area of Oman where I live now is populated mainly by Arab tribes (Azdis) who migrated from Yemen when the Ma'rib dam collapsed in the first century A.D. Many of these tribes who came brought with them their knowledge of building with stone and mud (and sarooj---mud burnt with palm fibres and stronger than modern cement), sword fighting skills sharpened against the Persians and Roman Christians who had sought to conquer them in Yemen, and their Jewish religion.Mazen bin Ghaddouba Al Tai Al Sama'ili (from Sumail) was the first Omani to embrace Islam. Hearing of it, he was the first to travel to Medina where he said to the Prophet Mohamed sallalahu alahi wa salaam "Oh you descendent of the blessed and nobles, Allah has guided the people of Oman to the right path of your religion." Returning to Oman, Mazen bin Ghaddouba built the first Mosque in the country, and though it has been renovated into a modern facility, it still stands to this day, pictured below: Shortly after the Prophet Mohamed, sallalahu alahi wa salaam, sent a letter to the Kings of Oman, brothers Jaiffar and Abd, sons of Julanda, inviting them to Islam. It has long since been donated to a museum [so I've only seen the copy :( ]. My co-wife's tribe donated one of their 400 year old stone and mud homes as a heritage museum of daily life in Oman and there this copy of the letter is kept:The Kings of Julanda accepted, and to a place afterwards renamed "Izki" from the word "zakat" was where Amir Ibn Alas sent to distribute the zakat paid by Omani Muslims, to the needy and poor in Oman, rather than to the Captial of Islam, in Madinah. Omanis rapidly embraced Islam, including my co-wife and husband's previously Jewish tribe. Below is a picture of ruins from around that time period (but modernly maintained up until 1970) in Old Izki:One of the things I personally love about where I live is the Prophet Mohamed's, sallalahu alahi wa salaam, blessing on it. When it was witnessed how Omanis accepted Islam, he, sallalahu alahi wa salaam said: "My religion is Islam, and the people of Oman will be granted more fertility and game. Blessedness is guaranteed for those who believe in me and saw me, and to those who believe in me without having seen me. Allah will strengthen Islam in the hearts of the Omanis." The Omanis made several famous delegations to Medinah proclaiming their allegience to the central Islamic government in Madinah under the authority of Rasoolulah. After two particularily large delelgations led by peoples from Al Ghubaria (Oman) Rasoolulah said: "God bless the people of Oman, for they believed in me without seeing me." Upon Rasoolulah's death Amir Ibn Alas returned to Medinah with some zakat and a delegation of Omanis to give to Caliph Abu Bakr R.A.., upon which Abu Bakr said: "Oh people of Oman, you willingly embraced Islam. You obeyed him and caused no division or strife, so God has strengthed you for the purpose of good. Then when Ibn Alas was dispatched to you without army or armour, you responded despite being remote, and abided despite your great number; there is no favour better than your favours, no more honest actions than yours, and what the Prophet has said about you is honor enough until the Judgement day. Then Amir Ibn Alas resided in your land in a dignified manner and left it safely.... You had been good until the day the news came of the Prophet's death, when you proved yourself even more praiseworthy. I give council, and I share my spirit and my money with you, in order to make you, by the will of Allah, wise in what you say and guide your hearts and minds to the path of righteousness... I am not worried that you will be beaten in your land, or that you might renounce your religion. Allah bless you."
I know it isn't necessarily so in other parts of Oman, but in our village, everyone and I mean everyone prays all their sunnah prayers. Music isn't blasted out of cars on street corners (stores only play nasheeds as they know families don't like music), houses are very simple (that IS changing as people forget about showing off and giving ect and not being content with a decent salary), and hijab is very good. No one wears Gamboo3a pouf hair clips, the only makeup I see is kohl, women wear loose clothes, men wear loose clothes, and both have something on their head. No hair is seen on hijabs, and most cover their chests, mixing isn't done but people aren't extreme about it. Men and women study together at University and women work in almost all professions. Neighbors visit eachother. I actually don't hear alot of gossip or backbiting. Families are close. It isn't perfect, but it is as close as I have found anywhere. And while the black abaya has replaced the long colourful cotton lesos fringed with yarn which were worn draping over the inner garment (long mid-shin tunic and loose pants that are tight at the ankle and headscarf) as jilbab, Oman was closed from much of the world until the 70s and until then kept from modernization, so for historians many customs remain as they have been for thousands of years, including modes of dress, farming, building, and cooking. For me, it has made studying the historic Islamic clothing of Omani women very easy;). Just felt like describing where I'm at lol, and where my Canadian self is trying to fit in.

Medical Question #2: the hadith about a fly in your food

I had posted a while ago, that alhamdulilah, I had the oppurtunity to pose a few questions to what is considered to be the Islamic World's (and totally world respected in the feild of medicine also, which is quite an accomplishment, mashaAllah) leading authority on medicine and Islam. Alhamdulilah, he happens to be a friend of my old boss (I just recently took time off from working due to my pereptual morning sickness). Hijab is a subject I am pretty knowledgeable on I am told;), enough to engage most of the Sheikhs and Imams that I have been introduced to, but medicine is something I am I am generally pretty clueless on. MashaAllah and alhamdulilah for this man's knowledge of both the science of medecine and Islam.

I am particularily thankful, because this question was my own, and it was something that was bothering me about my faith. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I was doubting Allah subhanahu wa t'ala or anything, but there was a hadith I found particularily weird. So weird in fact, I was hesitent to believe it was even sahih. Which was my first question to the Sheikh. I didn't want to be like some Muslims who pick and choose what they want of Islam by going "oh, I don't believe that hadith was authentic."

My question: Aslaam alaykom brother. Can you tell me if the hadith "The Prophet Mohamed, peace and blessings be upon him, said, 'If a fly falls into one of your containers [of food or drink] immearse it completely before removing it, for under one of its wings is a disease, and other the other, a cure.'" [Sahih Al Bukhari-Narrated by Abu Hurayra and Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri] is Sahih, and if there is any medical evidence to corroborate this?"

His answer, was, of course it was indeed Sahih/authentic.

Duh, I did kind of suspect that, knowing it was IN Sahih Al Bukhari, but something as weird as actually dipping the fly into your food before taking it out was just too weird for me to understand without science. I mean flies hang around poop and rotten meat so why would you ever want to keep them in your food any longer than them grazing it?

See, sometimes, I have difficulty accepting the beauty of Islam, when something is strange or difficult, until Allah subhanahu wa t'ala makes known the beauty of it to me. This is often my failing as a Muslimah I guess.

And YES, there IS scientific evidence to back this hadith up. Amazing, subhanAllah, that all this has just been discovered recently, but Rasoolulah had told us all about it 1400 years ago (ya know, before microscopes). It was only in the last hundred years that people outside of Islam knew that flies actually carried diseases, and it wasn't until medical student Joanne Clarke and her colleagues at the Depatment of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University began to ponder about the flies' amazing immunity, that proof of the flies' use as an antidote was confirmed to Western science in the production of new antibiotics.

Apparently, while the fly does carry parasitic pathogens that can cause diseases such as malaria, cholera, and typhoid, it also carries parasitic bacteriophagic fungi capable of fighting the germs of all these diseases. So it is, indeed, the disease, and the cure. SubhanAllah.

The scientists apparently tested a bunch of species of flies when they were in their larvae stage, and adult stage. Most species had antibiotic properties even as larvae AND ALL did, as adult flies. These properties existed on the surface of the flie. The researches managed to extract the antibiotic from the flies by immearsing them in liquid. Then the antibiotic was tested on harmful disease pathogens E. Coli, and Staph infection. It was successful in combating these diseases.

Neat, no?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just for Fun

What would you be? (from Um Hamza's blog)

If I were a month, I'd be December
If I were a day of the week, I'd be Wednesday
If I were a time of day, I'd be Fajr
If I were a planet, I'd be Venus
If I were an animal, I'd be a dolphin
If I were a direction, I'd be the North
If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a daybed
If I were a liquid, I'd be a vanilla milkshake…or hot qahwa
If I were a gemstone, I'd be an Emerald
If I were a tree, I'd be a palm tree
If I were a tool, I'd be a paintbrush
If I were a flower, I'd be a tiger lilly
If I were a kind of weather, I'd be a misty warm rain
If I were a musical instrument, I'd be an Irish flute
If I were a color, I'd be emerald green
If I were an emotion, I'd be impatience
If I were a fruit, I'd be a mandarin orange
If I were a sound, I'd be horses at a race
If I were an element, I'd be oxygen
If I were a car, I'd be a Mustang Convertable
If I were a food, I'd be blackened creole chicken with sauted mushrooms
If I were a place, I'd be Venice
If I were a taste, I'd be cloves and cinnamon
If I were a scent, I'd smell like rain on apple blossoms
If I were an item of clothing, I'd be a gown
If I were a body part, I'd be a heart
If I were a facial expression, I'd be "rolls eyes"
If I were a song, I'd be "an Irish reel"
If I were a pair of shoes, I'd be kitten heels
What would you be?

Maternity Must for Muslimahs, a hadith about what you should eat from Rasoolulah

"Whenever you eat fruit, eat melon, because it is the fruit of Paradise and contains a 1000 blessings and a 1000 mercies. The eating of it cures every disease."

The Arabic word for Watermelon as mentioned in the Hadith is 'Batikh' or 'Bittik'. Anyone who has ever researched food in Islam will know:

1.) Among the fruits that the Prophet(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) liked were grapes and watermelons. (Abu Dawood)

2.) I saw the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah eating watermelon with dates. ( Narrated Anas bin Malik(radhi yallah anhu) - Tirmizi)

3.) Prophet Muhammad(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) liked grapes and watermelon. ( Abu Dawood)

4.)Prophet Muhammad(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used to eat watermelon with fresh dates. (narrated Ayesha(radhiyallahu anha) - Tirmizi)
5.) The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, 'Eating watermelon before meals washes the stomach and removes its diseases (Ibn Asakir)
But Rasoolulah made a special recommendation for pregnant woman to eat "bateeq" i.e watermelon: "None of your women who are pregnant and eat of watermelon will fail to produce offspring who are good in countenance and good in character."

And what Muslimah wouldn't want that?

If you're pregnant, the benefits are even more delicious. Watermelon eases heartburn and reduces swelling; its high water content (92 percent) and fruit sugars alleviate morning sickness and dehydration; and the minerals it contains can help prevent third-trimester muscle cramps. Ounce for ounce, watermelon is richer than tomatoes in lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease, boosts the body's immunity to infections and naturally raises the skin's SPF, according to Steven Pratt, M.D., author of SuperFoods Rx (HarperCollins, 2003).

Even better news for pregnant women: A 2003 study in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that daily lycopene supplements reduced the incidence of preeclampsia by 50 percent. Test subjects were given 4 milligrams of lycopene; a single serving of watermelon can have triple that amount. What's more, scientists have discovered that watermelon is packed with vitamins A, C and B6, as well as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are important for the development of your baby's vision, brain, nervous and immune systems, and more. For you, potassium regulates water balance in the blood and body tissues during pregnancy. And you get all these benefits for less than 50 calories per cup.

An Easy Way To Ease Nausea
Some pregnant women swear that watermelon is all they can keep down when morning sickness kicks in. Perhaps the only thing more refreshing than a big slice is a glass of fresh watermelon juice or a watermelon ice pop--and making either is so easy.

To make juice, purée 8 cups cubed seedless watermelon in a blender until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve (don't press the fruit through with a spoon, or the juice will be too fibrous). Discard the pulp. Serve the juice immediately or chill it, stirring well before serving. If desired, add 1 tablespoon citrus juice (such as lime, lemon or orange) to intensify the flavor. Makes 1 quart, or about 4 8-ounce cups.

To make ice pops, purée 4 cups frozen, seedless, cubed watermelon and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender. Pour purée into popsicle molds or 10 small paper cups. To forgo the fibers, strain purée through a fine-mesh sieve before pouring into molds. Top each cup with aluminum foil, making a small slice in the top of each with a knife and inserting a wooden stick. Place in freezer until hardened, then unmold when ready to eat. For variety, mix the purée with lemonade, sweetened low-fat yogurt, fruit juice or other fruit purées before freezing.
Makes 10 2 1/2 -ounce servings.

So if you are in a pregnant state like me, enjoy your reason to indulge in this delicious treat;)

Runway Inspiration: Resort 2012 Yellow

I loved 2 things about Chanel Resort 2012's collection, 1. the use of the colour yellow, and the very modest make-up. This how I'd do it, with a long yellow cotton suit coat, yellow chiffon maxi dress, white purse and shoes, with a cream hijab.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forums and Youtube, and comments trashing Islam

I just want to write a quick post.

Background. I have a youtube channel that is pretty much defunct that I never use and was thus totally backed up with old comments. Half of them were from people trying to insult me for being Muslim, telling me I am stupid, and the same old same old garbage about slaves, hijab, and the Prophet and Aisha's marriage. I, of course, owe it to them, in the hope that Allah will guide them, to answer and each and every one of their accusations with an accurate truth, polite and patient, as paintstaking (and probably useless) as that task is. Afterall, I put a video up aimed at Muslims mainly, or answering such people, so I did, I guess, put myself out there for them to argue with to begin with.

I could rant and rave forever about how no matter what I say, even if it is logical, even if it tears their accusations to shreds, I will be dismissed as stupid (no matter how educated I am on their religion or beliefs and my own), a traitor to womenkind (no matter how happy and healthy my life is and how free I am in compare to before Islam), a leech on Western society (even if I worked, paid taxes, and worked charity for non-Muslim less fortunates, go figure), or... I must brainwashed (by who I wonder?---it could only be myself since no one else asked me to become Muslim and I had to seek Muslims out). But there is no point. It is Allah's will, as He, subhanhu wa ta'ala says it in the Qu'ran: "There is a seal upon their heart. They are deaf, dumb and blind." So that is not my point in this post.

What I will say is this. Most of these people claim to love Jesus. But I know a true Christian from these people easily. A true Christian walks the walk, and when you ask, talks the talk. All these people do is spend their time messaging Muslims about how stupid and wrong they are, and favouriting videos about stonings in Afghanistan. They talk the talk, and even offer to pray for me to come back to Jesus (as if I left his true teachings, which are laid out clear in the Bible "I am a son of Adam (i.e a man, not God" even if you aren't a Muslim and you take Jesus's word over other people speaking for him in either parts of the book). Anyways.... I just wonder at all this effort they make trying disprove Islam or make a believer sad or *leave* Islam, when they see a video about how a Muslim is just trying to live their life, and talk about their beliefs.

I mean, myself, my videos are about how Islam is in my life, how I believe in it, what I know about it. I don't go searching the net for "Christians or Atheists or what not" are bad or anything, and then writing them messages that they are stupid and my Islam kicks their religon's butt ect.


I click on the link of the Islam-hater who comments and on their channel, why don't I see a video of them talking about their beliefs, explaining their beliefs, living their beliefs? Why don't I see videos explaining how Jesus lived his life favourited, how Christians are supposed to be? What I see is videos about random things (even things contrary to a good Christian life) and the occasional "Mohamed the rapist" and "stoning in Iran" video thrown in. Nothing about God, nothing about Jesus. And they want to pray for me and tell me their way is better than mine by insults, not proof.

I want to laugh at them but honestly, I feel so sorry for them, really. Imagine if they turned their passion for hating and insulting into passion for seeking knowledge? And I mean, real knowledge, real opinion, not just repeating the same thing someone else said without undertanding it and where it came from.

I dont mean this on the blog so much, but in youtube.

Anyways, that is pretty much this random lost in thought post.

Allah guide the disbelievers as it is Your will, and fortify the Muslims in patience and fortitude, and increase our knowledge, ameen.

Sunnah In the Manner of Eating & Drinking

When I converted I learnt about halal and haram slaughtered meats (and even candies), to eat with my right hand, and to say "bismillah" before eating and "alhamdulilah" after. Recently I have been doing research into the diet of the Prophet Mohamed salalahu alahi wa salaam, and discovered that some acts of the sunnah are fading away, even in Muslim countries like the one I live in. So I compiled a list of my research findings and just thought I'd share it with ya'll. Sorry if it isn't terribly interesting but some of it I never knew;)

Sunnah in the manner of eating:


The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The blessings in the meal is by washing before and after it." (Hadith- Abu Dawud)


The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "If the Iqama for prayer is proclaimed and supper is served, take your supper first." [Hadith-Sahih Al Bukhari 7.374, Narrated Aisha]


The Apostle of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, then said:
"When one of you eats food, he should say: O Allah, bless us in it, and give us food (or nourishment) better than it." [Hadith-Abu Dawud, Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas]

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "When one of you eats, and he forgets to mention the name of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala then let him say, 'Bismillahi Awwalahu wa Aakhirahu.' (Narrated in Ashraf al-Wasail ila-fahm al-Shamail, p269).


When a Magian served Hudhaifa water, Hudhaifa refused the cup, and said he would not have done so but he heard the Prophet Mohamed, peace and blessings be upon him, say "Do not wear silk or Dibaja, and do not eat or drink in silver or golden vessels, and do not eat in plates of such vessels, for such things are for the unbelievers in this worldly life, and for us in the hereafter." [Hadith- Sahih Al Bukhari 7.337, Narrated Abdur Rahman bin Abi Laila]


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would drink in three draughts and would refrain from breathing into the glass, but would do so away from it Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu anhu relates that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam drank water in three breaths (i.e. in three gulps/sips) and used to say, "It is more pleasing and satisfying in this manner."


Allah's Apostle, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "I do not take my meals while leaning [against something]." [Hadith-Sahih Al Bukhari 7:310, Narrated Abu Juhaifa]

IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF WHAT A FOOD IS, ASK, and it is halal to refuse something one personally dislikes even if it is halal

He went with Allah's Apostle, peace and blessings be upon him, to the house of Maymoonah, who was with his and Ibn Abbas' aunt. He found with her a roasted mastigure which her sister Hufaida bint Al-Harith had brought from Najd. Maymoonah presented the mastigure before Allah's Apostle, peace and blessings be upon him, who rarely started eating any (unfamiliar) food before it was described for him. (But that time) Allah's Apostle, peace and blessings be upon him, stretched his hand towards the mastigure whereupon a lady from among those who were present, said, "You should inform Allah's Apostle of what you have presented to him. O Allah's Apostle! It is the meat of a miastigue." (On learning that) Allah's Apostle withdrew his hand from the meat of the mastigure. Khalid bin Al-Walid said, "O Allah's Apostle! Is this unlawful meat to eat?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, but it is not found in the land of my people, so I do not like it." [Hadith-Sahih Al Bukhari 7.303, Narrated Khalid bin Al Walid]

RESPECT [halal] FOOD AS A GIFT FROM ALLAH, do not criticize it or complain about it

"The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) never ever complained regarding any food, if he liked it he ate it, if he did not he left it." [Hadith-Abu Dawood]


Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said "When one eats then he should eat with his right, and when one drinks then he should drink with his right hand." [Hadeeth- Al Bukhari & Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "When of you eats let him eat with his right hand, for verily Satan eats and drinks with his left hand." [Hadeeth-Abu Dawud]


Ka'b bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, eating with three fingers (i.e, the thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger) and licking them after having finished the food. [Hadith-Muslim]

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) ate food, he would lick his three fingers [Hadith-Muslim].

*If Rasoolulah ate with more than or less than three fingers why did he not lick all of them? A. He wouldn't have because he stressed the practice of licking the fingers for the blessing of the food.


The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "When one of you eats let him not partake from the middle of the plate, rather take from around it, for the blessings descend from upon the middle of it." (Hadeeth- Abu Dawud )


Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) commanded the licking of fingers and the gleaning of the dish, saying, "You do not know in which portion the blessing lies.'' [Hadeeth-Muslim].

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Satan appears at everything done by you; he appears even at one's dinner. When a morsel of any of you falls, he should pick it up and remove any dirt on it, and then eat it. He should not leave it for Satan, nor should he wipe his hand with the towel until he has licked his fingers, for he does not know in what portion of the food the blessing lies.'' [Hadeeth- Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, said: "Whoever eats in a plate let him (at the end) lick it, the plate will ask forgiveness for him." (Hadeeth- Ahmad)

DO NOT OVER EAT: do not eat until you feel full

Quran Al Kareem: "Eat and drink but not to excess " (7:32)

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "the believer eats to fill one intestine and the disbeliever eat to fill seven." [Hadeeth- Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Eating too much is misfortune." (Shuab al-Iman of Bayhaqi)

On the authority of Al-Miqdaam ibn Maadiy-Karib who said: I heard the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: "No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath." [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa'I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih]

Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "0 people, beware of overeating! For it will make you lazy in your salah (prayer), weaken your body and make you unhealthy. And indeed, Allah dislikes the obese person (ie obesity caused by eating too much, not medical reasons). Rather, be modest when it comes to eating, because it is closer to righteousness, far away from extravagance and it will make you stronger in worshipping Allah. Verily, you will perish when your desires become dearer to you than your religion." (lbn abi al-Dunya)

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Food for one is enough for two and food for two is enough for three and food for three is enough for four." [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa'I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih]


The Companions of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon them) complained: 'O Messenger of Allah, we eat but are not satiated.' The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: 'Perhaps you eat separately?' They replied that they did. He said: 'Eat your food together and say Bismillah before you start, that will bring blessings into your food.'" (Hadeeth-Abu Dawud)

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Food for one is enough for two and food for two is enough for three and food for three is enough for four." [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa'I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih]


The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Verily, Allah is pleased with His servant when he eats a morsal and praises hims, and when he takes a drink and then praises him (Al-Hamdulillah)." (Hadeeth- Abu Dawud)

AFTER EATING RINSE THE MOUTH WITH WATER, & one does not have to make wudu/ablution after the act of eating

We went out with Allah's Apostle (peace and blessings be upon him) to Khaibar, and when we reached As-Sahba', the Prophet asked for food, and he was offered nothing but Sawiq. We ate, and then Allah's Apostle stood up for the prayer. He rinsed his mouth with water, and we too, rinsed our mouths. Narrated Suwaid; We went out with Allah's Apostle to Khaibar, and when we reached As-Sahba', which (Yahya says) is one day's journey from Khaibar, the Prophet asked for food, and he was offered nothing but Sawiq which we chewed and ate. Then the Prophet asked for water and rinsed his mouth, and we too, rinsed our mouths along with him. He then led us in the Maghrib prayer without performing ablution again.

[Hadith-Sahih Al Bukhari 7.365, Narrated Suwaid bin An Numan]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hijab in Oman pt. 1

Hijab style really does vary depending where you live in Oman, though the differences are subtle beyond Beduoins and Southern Salalah/Dhofari style. Muscat, the Capital style, is anything worn underneath but usually Western clothes, with black abaya worn on top and either a colourful shayla, or a black shayla, styled in one of three ways if you are Omani. In other regions of Oman outside of Muscat, traditional dress is worn underneath the abayas or jalabiyias and sirwaal. Muscat doesn't have any colour rules when it comes to the headscarf so bright shaylas and rainbow pashminas abound. You can go blinged, you can go subtle in black, or totally crazy texture and colour. Also there is no law that says you must wear abaya or cover at all, but almost all Omani women do wear abaya. Some opt for skirt suits if they do not wear abaya, and younger girls who've just started wearing hijab, skinny jeans and then open abaya with skinnies, and then finally, the abaya not showing the shape of the legs anymore. The most common way of wearing the headscarf or shayla it is to wrap it all the way around starting with one end being slightly longer than the other from the middle section, but this does not cover the chest, with the decorative end pinned to the side to flap loosely. If one lacks pins they will tuck the loose end under the temple or the chin to make it hold and stay. *Most Omani women do cover their hair, though I noticed the tweens usually don't (they may also wear skinny jeans and sneakers on their way to transitioning to abaya). Also, no one wear undercaps, so if there is slippage, one just rearranges their shayla and it isn't a big haraam deal since it is usually unintentional.* If wearing this look, I tend to wear two shaylas, one underneath for chest coverage, and the other so that the decorative trimmings on the edge of the shayla hang nicely. Otherwise, I don't wrap my scarf an Omani way at all. Omani and Emirati shaylas are shorter than Saudi and Qatari styles. The second most common way is to style is with one end being longer than the other and leave this hanging down over the bust. But since it is not pinned there it tends to move and expose one boob, alas, unless you are pancake flat (mashaAllah, I actually envy this look as a woman who likes to run), or have a wider pashmina. Omani shaylas are never enough for anyone larger than a small B cup bra. I've thought about pinning a pashmina with a brooch to secure it so it doesn't move in this style, but I usually wear black shaylas.Another look that is popular with certain Muscat sets is the Gamboo3a worn under the hijab as in UAE. I have not seen anyone wear this look with chest coverage, and most of the time, because it makes the head bigger, it also lifts the shayla up at the back of the neck and may expose the neck and some hair at times. Unless worn with Gashwa or niqab it isn't very Islamic the way girls in Oman wear it. Gamboo3a is the flower pouf claw hair clip show above, modelled by some lovelies interested in experiencing an Omani makeover lol. *Note, in the interior, and outside of Muscat towards UAE, excepting places in Sharqiyah (the Eastern region) and Salalah (the Southern region) wearing the Gamboo3a is taken as a sign of being irreligious, and even of being "slutty" in Oman (unless you are Dhofari from Salalah, as this is part of their culutre).* Where I live it is a no-no. So is seeing the shape of your hair high on the head in the shape of a bun. So I tend to wear my hair in a low bun or braid it. If I wear a high bun because I am in a rush, I also wear a gashwa, so no one will think that I am a "bad girl" with a bump. Guys in Muscat not from Muscat (most people work in Muscat but are not originally from Muscat) will think you are easy or less religious if you wear Gamboo3a, even Salalah guys if you do not cover your face while wearing it, so do keep that in mind. The Gamboo3a is de rigeur for girls from Salalah, and it is worn higher on the head with niqab. Though I don't have pics, Salalah girls usually have the most glam abayaat, and they wear their regional niqab style, which is a shorter face veil with or without a nose string. There are no colourful shaylas, but abayaat may be intricately embroidered or covered with crystals. Alas, from all who I have spoken too, though some Dhofari girls adore their niqabs, others are forced, and it is worn for more a cultural reason than for an Islamic one. I have two Salalah niqabs, one with a string, and one without, and I do love them for ease of eating out, and style. Though I don't think people not from Salalah wear them in Oman. I don't care. No men who are not Dhofari will try to hit on you when you wear one, and any Dhofaris, as soon as they figure out you are a Westerner, will leave you alone :D. Underneath their abays, Dhofari girls usually wear cotton Abu Thails (a traditional garment that has a long train in the back and if just below the knee at the front). They will style their shayla with the decorative end flipped up over the front of the niqab (saudi shayla style) or with a gashwa from UAE attached at the back. I am usually lazy and just strap the niqab on over a longer shayla.Just outside of Muscat, in interior villages, or inside homes in Muscat where alot of male visitors will come and go, colourful dresses called "Lendli" are worn with a very modest long shawl called "Laysu". An even longer shawl may be worn over top the "laysu" as a jilbab, also or bright colourful fabric, and it is called a "warquayah". The lendli differentiates itself from most Jalabiyias, in that it is not overly decorated, maybe some simple embroideries or flounces of fabric on the cuffs of the sleeves and neckline and some crystals. But Omani Lendli are almost always composed of brightly printed fabrics in a wide array of colours. They are either made of cotton, or of chiffon lined with silk. They are not for formal occasions and are the most commonly worn garment in villages or when visiting in homes. Some still cover them with abayas, but close to home many wear them outside as a jilbab. Trousers are always worn underneath, and most girls favour leggings these days but the older ladies wear nylon ones lined with lace at the bottom. I love the laysu because they ALWAYS cover the chest. They can even cover to your waist if you want to wrap them that way.Traditionally, abaya was not the jilbab worn by Omani women. Beduoin wore black cotton mesh "Ghabah" which is a semi-sheer overgarment, and village women wore long warqiyah shawls, which were effectively colourful "chadors/khimars". The abaya first came to Oman with the event of the Gulf oil boom, where many Omani relocated to Bahrain for work in the oilfeilds. This was the abaya raas, the Gulf style overhead, which has to be held closed. Older Omani women tend to wear it with their intricate traditional dress styles on underneath, and Shia Omani sisters tend to wear is almost exclusively in Muscat sans veil, with their floral "lendli" outfit underneath. Maybe that's why when I first moved here the Shia girls were so quick to adopt me? Really, no one my age in Muscat wear overhead unless she is Shia. Alas, I was not. If I do not wear a flip niqab with my overhead, I am almost always assumed to be Shia. Also, because of the way I cover my chest. Most shia sisters in Oman have mashaAllah the best sense of chest coverage, and my husband totally admires them for this, and thier modesty when it comes to cosmetics. I rarely see Jafari girls with makeup on at all outside of their homes. Same goes for interior women in their lendlis, but in abayas, they usually fail on complete chest coverage. Women who wear the flip niqab or gashwa (usually imported from UAE, Qatar, or KSA) usually do so for religious reasons and have good coverage from their longer face veils, and they may pair it with abaya raas, or shoulder abayaat. I wear both, though unless I am in traditional Omani dress that is too fancy, I never wear my overhead without niqab. In Oman though, it is most commonly worn without.Shoulder abayaat in the average household price range for Oman come in more variety of designs than the rest of the Gulf. KSA and UAE can't compare, though when it comes to the very high priced designer styles, UAE has that. But honestly, I've always found more to my style in Oman. When it comes ofr niqabs though, one is stuck with tailors makes, and Al Motahajiba niqabs, unless you want Salalah styles, unless you are a better shopped than me maybe. Omani women wear casual styles, and more ornate designs, but tend to do so modestly for the majority, unlike UAE, where open styles are paired with too-tight or revealing clothes underneath. They do save the sheer styles though, for weddings that are women only events, alhamdulilah.