December 11, 2011

Heart Therapy Part 2

- Your heart desires and your body follows suit. The faith in your heart governs and navigates you through your choices.

- The believer is always optimist. He has a trust between himself and Allah and knows that the reward is in the hereafter and that which appears to be overbearing is not so, and Allah will not burden a soul more than it can bear.

- Beware of excessive anger because it leads you to the embarrassing position of apologising for your misdeeds.

- If you are given a duty you feel you are ill-equipped for then Allah will provide you the strength given that you are sincere!

- The place you are in now is the best possible outcome you could have been in.

- People follow others more on what they do than what they say.

- Allah knows the outcome before it arrives. Allah's knowledge is what determines the future. You cannot have chosen better than the outcome you are in. Do not second guess what Allah has provided for you.

- Destiny is based on knowledge of Allah and choices you make based on the opportunity Allah presents you with.

- To feel anger is not wrong, acting on anger is wrong.

- There is a house in Jannah for the one who excuses even if they have a right not to.

- It is forbidden to discipline your child in a state of anger.

- The strong person is not he who overcomes others with his strength, but rather it is him who controls himself in the face of anger.

- Judge a persons forbearance when he is angry and his trustworthiness when he is craving for something ~ Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud

- If you are happy where you are - reflect on it!

- Anger roots within ourselves. Our hearts and soul ignites the anger and Shaytaan then enters to push you to build that anger to an unacceptable level and act on it.

- Preoccupy yourself with your own faults and shortcomings and you will find the faults of others insignificant in comparison.

- If someone comes to you with the statements of others then know that he will go to others with your statements.

- Confront that which is wrong head on. Do not bury your head in the sand and expect it to go away. Combat and take the initiative to stop it.

- A person will utter ONE word without paying attention to it's tremendous effects and consequences and this will drag them down to the pits of hell-fire.

- The moment you judge someone and make a statement and think you are above them and that you are purer be sure that it will come back to you. Be careful about what you say about others. Do not take liberty with your tongue to talk about others.

- Allah has warned us that none of us are pure enough that we can say something about someone else and say that we do not have anything they can say about us. Allah has sheltered you and concealed your shortcomings so do not have the audacity to harm your family and loved ones by the repercussions of your slanderous behaviour.

- Always project a level of honesty and transparency.

- Always aim to be an icon in righteousness. Set an example in your mode of life to inspire others to come close to Allah.

- Do not teach your children hasad. Do not teach them to value your love for them based on what you do/give to others (materialistic). Do not teach them to value relationships based on what they can possess.

- Hasad (jealousy) is not appreciating what you have. Always appreciate the ni'amah of Allah.

- Reflect on the difficulties of others to find peace and happiness in your own situation. When you only look at people above you and not below you, you begin to forget your place in life.

- Find comfort in the fact that Allah is in charge of all your affairs.

- Do not make lying your first impulse of self defence.

- A hand that is giving is better than the hand that is taking.


December 10, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom - Heart Therapy

Alhamdulilah got an opportunity to attend the weekend course Heart Therapy by Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim run by Al Kauthar Institute. Today was day one and can't wait for tomorrow inshaAllah but in the mean time I thought I'd share the pearls of wisdom I jotted down from the course so far.

- As many steps as you take away from Allah SWT it is only ONE step back to Him. Allah is seeking you and is wanting you to return to Him. Do not let shaytaan deceive you into thinking you are too far gone and there is no way back, take ONE step towards Allah and He will take 10 towards you.

- Emaan is not attained by wishing for it,  imaan is what is in your heart and actions that prove it's there. ~ Hasan Al Basri

- Allah holds you responsible even for your physical projection. So SMILE, it's charity!

- Change the little things in life that you are able to do & Allah will change the big things for you.

- Allah knows why people do what they do. Be accountable for your own self and do not judge others.

- One who wants to be successful in this life, needs to seek the akhirah (hereafter). Risq will come to you from sources you never thought of.

- Allah is NOT plan B!

- When you choose akhirah it does not mean you are rejecting the dunya. It's the choices that you make in achieving it that makes the difference.

- The basis of all disbelief is ingratitude.

- The biggest danger we face is not shaytaan, but the disobedience, choices and decisions that we make.

- Taqwa is that you obey Allah habitually so that no one can lead you away from remembering Him, and you are thankful to Allah so that you are never ungrateful and forgetful. And no one can lead you to disbelief. ~ Talq Ibn Habeeb

- Always have good hope in Allah.

- Allah has created balance. Do not attempt to do it on your own as it shows a disbelief in Qadr.

- Based on the decisions you choose to make today, Allah will protect your family in the future. So make sure they are the RIGHT choices!

Stay tuned, inshaAllah I will post Part 2 tomorrow :)

December 04, 2011

A Child’s Ten Commandments to Parents

1. My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you. 

2. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely: don’t restrict me unnecessarily. 

3. Housework will always be there. I’m only little such a short time—please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly. 

4. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs; don’t nag me all day long. (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would like to be treated. 

5. I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner. 

6. I need your encouragement, but not your praise, to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me. 

7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.

 8. Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard, but please don’t try to compare me with my brother or my sister. 

9. Please don’t be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides, it’s a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special. 

10. Please take me to Sunday school and church regularly (*substitute with going to the mosque and regular halaqas in our case), setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.

By Dr. Kevin Leman

November 02, 2011

Ponder On...

 If you think being a Muslim is all about leaving your home, and spending hours away from your family and neglecting your duty towards them, to spread the message of Islam, have a look at what the Prophet (pbuh) used to do when he was home.
Volume 008, Book 073, Hadith Number 065.
Narated By Al-Aswad : I asked 'Aisha what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied. "He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer."
Balance is the key to everything. Tidy your own backyard before you peek into your neighbours. Teach and educate your spouse, your children and your family before you go and teach the rest.

"O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded." Quran 66:6

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ameer (ruler) who governs the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the members of his household and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them. A slave is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7138; Muslim, 1829) 

Patience and Compassion

Our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) has been known to give importance to children from an early age and taking them under his wing and treating them as an equal to his other companions. Anas Ibn Malik (RA) was presented to serve the Prophet (pbuh) by his mother at an early age, and if we read on the manner of the Prophet (pbuh) in his dealings with Anas Ibn Malik (RA) we will learn a lot about how we as parents and care-givers should treat the ones under us. 
Volume 008, Book 073, Hadith Number 064.
Narated By Anas : I served the Prophet for ten years, and he never said to me, "Uf" (a minor harsh word denoting impatience) and never blamed me by saying, "Why did you do so or why didn't you do so?"
This is a reminder for me more than anyone else. How many times have we become frustrated and impatient when our child doesn't carry out what we've asked them to do, even if it be something as simple as fetching something for us. How easy is it for us to lose our temper and show our frustration outwardly and reprimand them?  

InshaAllah I hope that from now on I can learn to be more patient, forgiving and compassionate towards the young ones.  

September 19, 2011

5-A Day Challenge WEEK 2

Yay! for all who have survived week 1 of our challenge and inshaAllah benefited from it :)

Now it's time to move on to week 2 and a new set of tasks. What I intend on concentrating on for this week is:
- Surah Falaq (perfect pronunciation and memorisation)
- 3 names of Allah
- 3 letters of the Arabic Alphabet (thaa, jeem, haa)
- Dua before leaving the house
- Revising what we've learnt in week 1
Hope to hear from you all on how you have been going so far. Share your list of 5 too :)

May Allah help us in our endeavours and make it easy for us and our children to learn and practice our deen, Ameen.

September 15, 2011

5-A Day Challenge Week 1 Update 2

Assalam Alaykum,

Alhamdulilah we've been going well so far, and dear daughter has pretty much finished learning the tasks at hand. To recap, the 5 we're concentrating on this week are:

- Dua before and after going to the toilet 
- Surah Ikhlaas, she has memorised it already but I'm going to work on better pronunciation 
- Dua before bedtime 
- Arabic Alphabets (Alif, Baa and Taa)
- 3 names of Allah
 Activities we've been doing to reinforce the learning:

- Reading the dua before and after using the restroom & before bedtime together - loudly!

- Listening to recitation of Surah Ikhlaas. I have the CD where you have a child repeating the ayah after the Sheikh's recitation.

-  Writing the Arabic Alphabet. There are plenty of free resources available online where you can download printable worksheets that can be used to practice writing. Make sure they say each alphabet aloud whilst tracing it on the paper.

InshaAllah I think we're pretty much ready to move on to our next set of 5, Alhamdulilah.

Would love to hear updates from you :)

September 13, 2011

5-A Day Challenge: Week 1 Update 1

Since we've only just started there isn't too much to share on the progress front, but we can surely share our techniques of implementation inshaAllah.

To recap, the 5 tasks I have chosen for this week are:
- Dua before and after going to the toile 
- Surah Ikhlaas, she has memorised it already but I'm going to work on better pronunciation 
- Dua before bedtime 
- Arabic Alphabets (flash cards) 
- 3 names of Allah
- We go over our list of 5 at intervals throughout the day. I ask her one at a time randomly. For example, she was helping me cook lunch for the baby and whilst she was watching me cook we sang the Arabic Alphabet song and revised the duas and Surah Ikhlaas.

- Pick a time of the day when you are both relaxed and free of distraction and try to do activities related to what you are teaching. Today we made some play-dough alphabet shapes. I am doing 3 alphabets at a time, so we've started with Alif, Baa and Taa.

Busy Bee Making Play dough Alphabets
- I intend on making an Allah's names tree chart or buying the chart from Muslim Stickers. Still haven't decided, but inshaAllah when I do, we will use it as a reward chart for learning the 99 names.

- Last night we also did a little 'show' together, where we went over everything one by one followed by a big round of applause ;) I might get her a toy microphone that she can use for her 'shows'.

So how have you been going? :)

September 12, 2011

A Playful Insight

In a young child’s life play forms an important aspect of their emotional, moral and social development. It provides a platform for healthy cognitive development and various life lessons are learnt on the playground.
As parents we are constantly investing in our children looking for ways to change every aspect of parenthood into a learning experience with the intention of equipping them for success and connecting them to their Creator.

Imaginative play is crucial for a child. How often have we come across our child pretending to be a pirate at one instance, sailing in a ship on high seas in search of a hidden treasure and at the same time transform into being a keen builder where they put together this “ship” that will facilitate the expedition.  The thought process is fragmented, sometimes difficult to decipher, but they proudly carry on putting together their story with ease and self-confidence.

Imaginative play becomes a thinking exercise where children learn to connect various aspects of role-play, anticipate and expect a reaction based on the same.  

After returning from our recent trip to Makkah I have stumbled upon my 3 year old doing ‘tawaf’ around her make shift ka’ba – a cardboard box that we put together and painted to resemble the ka’ba. A huge procession of dolls follows suit chanting the verses “Labbaik Allah Labbaik…”

My 6 year old on the other hand often likes to be the ‘Imam of the Grand Mosque’ and lead in prayer her sister and toys (and anything/anyone else she can get her hands on!).

By witnessing these moments of sheer bliss I realized that children have the capacity to grasp and retain a lot more than we think. Our actions are constantly examined; memorized and mimicked in their hours of play and by watching them we get a true picture of our parenting.

By indulging in children’s world of wonders, we get an insight into their moral strengths and weaknesses. Is your child a fighter, a bully or a quitter? How do they react to failure? Through this we can help them develop their sense of justice, fairness, sharing and cooperation. By creating the right atmosphere we can work towards changing their weaknesses into their strengths and in the process raise a confident, selfless and emotionally aware child.

How does this benefit?

A famous hadith a lot of us have come across says, “Teach your kids swimming, archery and horse-riding.”

Have you ever wondered what the wisdom behind this is? Are these skills going to benefit us as Muslims, or was it intended only on the basis of recreation?  I decided to do some reading on this and here’s what I found:


Health Benefits:

-       Endurance
-       Cardiovascular fitness
-       Builds muscle strength

Spiritual Benefits:

-       Can prove to be a form of meditation that can help you attain a feeling of well-being.
-       Develops skills of sportsmanship, time-management, self-discipline, goal setting and increased sense of self-worth through participation in the sport.
-       Alleviates stress


Health Benefits:

-       Works upper body strength
-       Improves balance
-       Boosts hand-eye coordination

Spiritual Benefits:

-       Develops focus, flexibility and attention skills
-       Teaches the benefits of patience
-       Encourages teamwork
-       Improves self confidence by driving satisfaction from having won a personal mental battle – irrespective of the outcome
-       Teaches responsibility and abiding by rules


Health Benefits:

-       Stimulates muscles in the dorsal and abdominal regions
-       Can prove beneficial for folks with diabetes, due to the glucose-metabolizing effects
-       Improves posture and balance
-       Improves muscle tone and flexibility

Spiritual Benefits:

-       Improves self-confidence
-       Learn to take risks responsibly
-       Improves problem solving skills
-       Encourages self-discipline
-       Increases patience and focus
-       Instills love and respect for other beings

All these activities put together (or even on their own) prove to be so much more than just physical health. What better way of training our children in qualities such as patience, self-discipline and goal setting than through sport?

Chinese Whispers

I bet we’ve all done it before, unintentionally, absolutely unaware of the consequences of our actions. It’s something so trivial that you probably won’t even think about it twice, or even include it in your ‘wonder what happened?’ list down the track.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are happily having a conversation with a couple of friends, and just ‘suddenly’ one of them becomes awfully quiet & withdrawn which normally would not have been the case?

Most of the time, there can be numerous other reasons for this, but sometimes, it can be because of something we do.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has warned us of this 1400 years ago, and if only were we to pay heed to such advice, we could deter those awkward moments. He said:

“Two people should not converse privately with each other in the presence of a third.”  Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8 hadith no. 303.

The reason for me raising this topic is first and foremost as a reminder for myself than anyone else. It so happened that I was at a gathering recently, where I didn’t know too many people and found myself mingling aimlessly through the crowd. I then started having a light conversation with an acquaintance and midway through our chatter she turned to someone beside her and said something to her. Now, normally I wouldn’t think much of this, but due to the situation I was in – already feeling ‘out of place’ and not knowing one too many people around, my mind automatically deciphered this meaningless gesture to mean something more than it probably was.

In hindsight I realize how silly it was of me to make such huge assumptions, but on the flip side I was in the shoes of someone who probably felt the same way because of me! SubhanAllah.

Not only should we be mindful of the people around us but also teach our children to do the same. Children have the tendency to walk up to you and whisper in your ear when you are having a conversation with someone, or furthermore do the same amongst their mates. Though seemingly harmless, Shaytaan plays his tricks to use this against us to cause rifts and give rise to suspicion which in turn leads to misunderstandings.

 This was not from the manners of our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) and we too should strive to avoid such acts that will bring harm.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “I have been sent to perfect the best of manners.”