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 [ anaashad.blogspot.com ] 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.