October 28, 2008

To My Cherished Mother

In the darkness of the night, when everything is so calm and serene, I lie in bed wide awake thinking of the past – when life was different and I was secure in my little nest, loved and nurtured by my beloved mom. Life moves on, and so do you and you have to soon leave your secure dwelling and face the world. It’s my turn now to make my nest and raise off-springs but the yearning to be in my mother’s arms and feel the warmth of her gentle hug while her arms wrap around me, still remains. Those happy times when I’d lie on her lap and forget all my worries and let go of all my fears are missed immensely and I crave to have just one more chance to be able to do all that again and make the moment last forever!

I miss you mom! Your smile brightens any moment and your soft loving words put joy and peace in my heart. You have touched my life in precious ways and the values you’ve taught over the years has enriched my life in more ways than I can count. They remain etched in my soul, and are helping me be the same to my children.

I remember the times when only your touch would soothe my disappointments and make me feel calm. Only you understood my tears and you knew what I wanted without me having to say it to you. You gave me strength and confidence and inspired me to achieve my goals. You believed in me and never let me give up.

I used to think that people didn’t need their moms so much after they grew up but I was so wrong. I’ve realized that it’s now that I need you more than ever. Every decision I make I wish you were here to give me your advice, I know you are always looking out for my best interest. And every time something happens that I know you’d enjoy I wish you were here to share it with me. Our relationship is so special to me and I’m thankful to Allah for blessing me with the best mother anyone could ask for.

It saddens me to see that my children are growing up so far away from you and are being deprived of your loving company. Every day that passes by I crave to be by your side and share these happy moments with you. I wish you were here by our side, so we could all bask in the warmth of your radiant affection and nourish our souls with the wisdom you impart.

Mom I love you, I love you so very much. I appreciate how loving you are, how giving you’ve always been and that even though I’m not always good at showing it, I love you dearly and I miss you heaps.

I pray to Allah (SWT) to grant my parents bodily and spiritual health and strength. Keep away from them every hardship and do not allow anyone to harm them or hurt their feelings. Make me an obedient child and enable me to treat them kindly. Take away all grief from their minds and hearts. Fill their lives with peace and contentment. Ya Rab! cover us with your forgiveness and save us from the torments of the blazing fire. Set our affairs in order and enable us to be Your humble slaves. Make our hearts firm upon the religion and may we die as believers. Ya Rab! grant us Jannatul-firdous. AMEEN.

October 27, 2008

Tag Post: Be Money Smart

With the present condition of our economy and the worst still to come it's time we tightened our belts and looked into cutting costs and saving money.

Listed below are a few tips I try to implement while I'm out and about. Would love to hear more from my blog readers.


  1. Look for generic or store brands.
  2. Plain shapes of pasta (spaghetti and macaroni) cost less than pasta in fancy shapes
  3. Frozen vegetables in larger bags cost less per serving than vegetables in small packages.
  4. In-Season produce is less expensive. Buy fruits and vegetables from your green grocer, it’s often fresher and cheaper than supermarkets.
  5. Buy only as much fresh produce as you’ll use within a week.
  6. Eat before going for grocery shopping. This will limit impulse buying.
  7. Shop on Fridays – it’s been proven to be the cheapest day of the week for everyday items.
  8. Go to the store with a list. You can save up to 40% on your grocery bill.


  1. Need versus want – always ask yourself “Do I really need it?” and nine times out of ten the answer is usually no.
  2. Avoid take-away food, but if you do have to eat out go to a food court and take your drinks. Avoid dine-in as they usually cost more.
  3. Buy items only when on sale. Never pay retail. Stock up during end of summer/winter sales, stock take sales and boxing day sales.
  4. Whenever possible, buy items in bulk and when on special.
  5. Fill the family car up with petrol on Wednesdays, the cheapest day to buy petrol.

Energy Saving Tips:

  1. Turn the tap off when you can – don’t use running water to wash you’re hands, clean your teeth, wash vegetables, etc.
  2. Take shorter showers – no longer than 5 minutes.
  3. Always run appliances (washing machines, dishwashers etc) with full loads and try to do fewer cycles per week.
  4. 8-10% of total electricity used in your home is due to appliances left on standby. Some appliances use 25% of their normal power in standby mode.
  5. Unplug chargers when not in use.
  6. Run appliances such as washing machine, dishwasher etc at night when the electricity is on off peak.
  7. Fridges and freezers need space at the top, back and sides to shed excess heat. For appliances with exposed rear coils, vacuum or wipe off dust. Ensure door seals are kept clean and seal well. Locate fridges and freezers in cool spots, away from direct sun and other heat sources such as stoves. The recommended operating temperature for a fridge is 3 to 5°C. Below this it costs more to run and can frost up. For freezers, the recommended range is -15 to -18°C. Regularly remove any frost build-up.
  8. Turn off lights in any room not being used.
  9. Leaving your computer switched on all day eats up a lot of electricity. Schedule a time for internet surfing and try to turn on the computer only when needed.
  10. Re-use water from baby bath for flushing or washing toilets.
In no particular order I tag: UmmIbrahim, UmmTravis & Shama.

October 26, 2008

Lying Distorts Reality

A few days back there were reports about a Muslim student held at gunpoint at a University in Illinois, USA. You can read the article here.

When I first read this, I was very impressed at the sisters courage and her response when asked "Who is going to protect you now?". To me, this incident highlighted the trials our dear brothers and sisters in the west have to face and helped me reflect on my relationship with my Lord and made me wonder whether I would give the same response if I was faced with such a situation.

But just as this was giving all of us an Emaan boost, we came to know that this was a hoax and the sister had made false claims.

"A week after the incident roiled the small college, Elmhurst Police Chief Steve Neubauer said officers had cited Safia Z. Jilani, 19, of Oak Brook, on a single count of filing a false police report. Filing a false police report is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison." Click here to read the full article.

It truly is sad to see our dear sister making this mistake. Wallahu 'Alam as to what her intention was, but it draws unnecessary attention towards Muslims, not that we haven't got enough already. We as muslims should be setting an example and portraying the best of character so others can learn from us and embrace our deen by watching us practice it in the best possible manner. These times are fragile, and we need to be cautious of our every action as we are being watched and the mischief makers are always pouncing at the first opportunity to defame us.

Lying is prohibited in Islam. It was narrated that 'Abd-Allah ibn Mas'ood said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "Truthfullness is righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A person will continue to tell the truth until he is written with Allah as one who tells the truth. Lying is evildoing, and evildoing leads to Hell. A person will keep on telling lies until he is written as a liar."(Al-Bukhari 5743; Muslim 2607)

Punishments for Lying:

1. Hypocrisy in the Heart

"So He punished them by putting hypocrisy into their hearts till the Day whereon they shall meet Him, because they broke that (covenant with Allah) which they had promised Him and because they used to tell lies." Surah At-Tawbah verse 77

2. Guidance to evildoing and to the Fire

3. His testimony will be rejected

4. Blackening of the face in this world and in the Hereafter

And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied against Allah (i.e. attributed to Him sons, partners, etc.) their faces will be black. Is there not in Hell an abode for the arrogant ones? Surah Az-Zumar verse 60

5. The liar will have the flesh of his cheeks torn to the back of his head

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 468; Narrated Samura bin Jundab: Whenever the Prophet finished the (morning) prayer, he would face us and ask, "Who amongst you had a dream last night?" So if anyone had seen a dream he would narrate it. The Prophet would say: "Ma sha'a-llah" (An Arabic maxim meaning literally, 'What Allah wished,' and it indicates a good omen.) One day, he asked us whether anyone of us had seen a dream. We replied in the negative. The Prophet said, "But I had seen (a dream) last night that two men came to me, caught hold of my hands, and took me to the Sacred Land (Jerusalem). There, I saw a person sitting and another standing with an iron hook in his hand pushing it inside the mouth of the former till it reached the jaw-bone, and then tore off one side of his cheek, and then did the same with the other side; in the mean-time the first side of his cheek became normal again and then he repeated the same operation again...

.....'You have made me ramble all the night. Tell me all about that I have seen.' They said, 'Yes. As for the one whose cheek you saw being torn away, he was a liar and he used to tell lies, and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So, he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.

May Allah protect us from the whispers of Shaytaan and all evil doings that anger Him, and may we be among those who are righteous and seek His pleasure, Ameen.

October 19, 2008

'Selatur - Rahim'

In this day and age where people are engulfed by the world around them and are immersed in the rat race of survival there seems to be a decline in basic qualities that defined the core of human values in the past. Earlier, family and friends were the most important components of a persons’ life and everything else followed suit. But now there seems to be a change in priority and people have less or even no time for their family and friends. With internet and e-mail everything has become so impersonal and mechanical. Tasks can be ‘outsourced’ or done in a few minutes with the click of a button. There is no feeling attached to it whatsoever. Being in touch and maintaining ties of kinship are looked upon as chores.

In Islam, maintaining ties of kinship and being on good terms with your family, neighbours and friends is of utmost importance. One can maintain ties of kinship (selatur-rahim) by:
  1. Making dua for them
  2. Visiting them
  3. Helping them when they need help
  4. Having good feelings for them in your heart
  5. Forgiving their shortcomings and seeking forgiveness from them for when you have wronged them.
  6. Reminding them of their duties towards their Lord in kind words
  7. Exchanging gifts and seeking ways to make them happy.
    The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” (Al-Bukhaari)
    The Prophet (pbuh) enjoined responding in kind to favours, as he said in a narration: “Whoever does you a favour, respond in kind, and if you cannot find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind.” (Abu Daawood)

    What the Noble Qur’an & Hadith have to say:

And those who break the Covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah's Mercy); And for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell). Surah Ar-Rad, verse 25

The Prophet is closer to the believers than their ownselves, and his wives are their (believers') mothers (as regards respect and marriage). And blood relations among each other have closer personal ties in the Decree of Allah (regarding inheritance) than (the brotherhood of) the believers and the Muhajirun (emigrants from Makkah, etc.), except that you do kindness to those brothers (when the Prophet SAW joined them in brotherhood ties). This has been written in the (Allah's Book of Divine) Decrees (AlLauh AlMahfuz)." Surah Al-Ahzab verse 6

That is (the Paradise) whereof Allah gives glad tidings to His slaves who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you." And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (the deeds of those who are obedient to Him). Surah Ash-Shura verse 2

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Al-Wasil (one who maintains good relations with his kin) is not the one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but Al-Wasil is the one who keeps good relations with those relatives who have severed the bond of kinship with him." (Reported by Al-Bukhari.)

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 73, Number 16:- Narrated Abu Huraira -The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Allah created the creations, and when He finished from His creations, Ar-Rahm i.e., womb said, "(O Allah) at this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kith and kin). Allah said, 'Yes, won't you be pleased that I will keep good relations with the one who will keep good relations with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relations with you.' It said, 'Yes, O my Lord.' Allah said, ‘Then that is for you’.”Allah's Apostle added. "Read (in the Qur'an) if you wish, the Statement of Allah: 'Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship?' (47.22)

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 73, Number 14:- I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Who ever is pleased that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be pro longed, then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin."

Sahih Muslim: Book 032, Number 6198:- 'A'isha reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying: The tie of kinship is suspended to the Throne and says: He who unites me Allah would unite him and he who severed me Allah would sever him.

Sahih Muslim: Book 032, Number 6217:- This hadith has been narrated on the authority of A'mash with the same chain of transmitters (and the words are):" Don't sever relations of kinship, don't bear enmity against one another, don't bear aversion against one another and don't feel envy against the other and live as fellow-brothers as Allah has commanded you.”

October 12, 2008

An Eventful Weekend

This weekend has been pretty eventful. I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend and hoping to enjoy spring before summer sets in & it gets too hot to venture out. But looks like Allah had something different in store for us!

On Saturday we had a family BBQ at my in-laws place. I was planning to take a few pictures to post up here but as usual I forgot to take my camera. Khair, insha'Allah next time. The weather here is now getting warmer and there will surely be many more BBQ's to come.
While I was praying my Maghrib salah I heard a *bang* followed by the sound of shattering glass. When I was done I enquired as to what it could have been and my mother-in-law said it sounded like it came from the neighbours house. Not making much of it, we all settled down on the patio to dig into our scrumptious meal. It was already dark and we had the porch lights on. From the corner of my eye I could see some movement in the backyard and it looked like I saw someone peeking through the branches of the trees. I was startled and told everyone about it. Father-in-law, hubby and hubby's brother-in-law went into the backyard with a torch in one had and a cricket bat in another, in search of intruders. They didn't find anyone nor did they see anything suspicious so they returned and we all finished up our meal. Not to mention we were all pretty alert and jumped at the slightest noise - thanks to me!

Hubby's sister wasn't convinced and as we had heard the noise before we wanted to be a hundred percent sure that nothing was wrong. They looked around and checked all windows to see if there had been any tampering. My second born was sleeping soundly in one of the rooms inside. Later when she woke, hubby casually moved the curtains to check the window - half expecting not to find anything but to his surprise the glass had been shattered! When I saw it I felt numb all over and couldn't stop thinking of the worst possible scenario, especially as I had let my baby sleep there without checking the window first!

After inspecting and checking the backyard again they concluded that it might've been the kids next door who accidently kicked a ball at the window and shattered it. Hubby reckons the person I saw in the backyard must've been one of the kids trying to retrieve the ball...

Wallahu Alam (Allah knows best) as to what exactly happened. It sure is freaky!

I am still recovering from yesterday's incident when something else happened this morning! I was sterlizing baby milk bottles on the stove when my sister phoned from overseas. As it has been a while since we spoke, I was on the phone for a long time and completely forgot about the saucepan. Later the smoke alarm went off and I rushed downstairs with hubby. The whole area was filled with smoke and when I walked into the kitchen white fumes were pouring out of the saucepan! The bottles had completely melted leaving behind only a black goey mess. We hurriedly opened all windows and doors to ventilate the home and asked my first born to remain upstairs. We tried our best not to inhale the fumes (as they could be dangerous) but couldn't help but inhale some of it. We decided it would be a good idea to leave the house for a while until the fumes dispersed and hence put the kids in the car and drove off to my in-laws place. I'm still here at the moment. Both the kids are asleep.

I phoned nurse on call and the poisons information line just to be safe. Alhamdulilah they said that it wasn't harmful and that ventilating was the best thing to do. Ahamdulilah we're all fine and nothing major happened!

Note to self - keep an alarm for next time while sterlizing bottles, and avoid going upstairs without turning off the stove!

الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Alamin.

October 09, 2008

Childhood Wonders

This month my first born turns three. Time flies and it’s hard to believe that my little one is growing up so quick. Seems like yesterday when she was a little baby, sleeping soundly in my arms and now she’s a bundle of energy and is always on the go. It’s amazing to see the amount of energy children can have. They can go on and on and on…

Childhood is so magical full of innocence, fun and curiosity. As a parent, I enjoy and savour every stage of my children’s lives and make the most of every minute I spend with them because I know it’s short lived and soon they will be on their way to becoming responsible adults. We will no longer have lazy Sunday mornings where we can sleep in and cuddle in bed, nor will we sit down with a bowl of popcorn in front of the television watching “Curious George”.

It’s fun to indulge in their little world of imagination as it also helps us re-discover ourselves. We see the world through their eyes and find immense happiness and excitement in little things that we would usually ignore. It seems insignificant, but this becomes a wonderful moment that you can share together and cherish for the rest of your life. Parents nowadays need to chill a little and allow kids to be kids. If you allow your child to lead, they’ll direct you to where you need to go.

My little girl is growing up and I can see her change in front of my eyes. Soon she’ll be a young lady and will be busy with her life. Spending time with mom will probably be last on her list and I know I will yearn to be with her, cuddle her, tickle her and listen to her hearty laughter.

Darn! Kids grow up so quick. I am going to make an even better effort to live every moment to the fullest & celebrate every little achievement. Who knows, it might be gone before you know it and no matter what you do, it ain’t going to come back!

Tag Post - When in the Masjid

Jazaak Allah Khayrun sis UmmIbrahim for tagging me.

This Ramadan I didn't get the opportunity to go to the mosque often as I have young kids, Alhamdulilah. It gets difficult for me to concentrate and for others too when I take them to the mosque. So I prefer praying at home, when they're in bed. I really envy the parents who have children who are so well behaved at the mosque and pray that inshaAllah when my children are old enough they're the same and aren't among those who run around and cause havoc!

Here's what I have to say -

Firstly, it is among the etiquettes of going to the masjid to avoid everything that has an offensive smell like garlic, onion or smoking. Unfortunately, everytime during taraweh prayer you'd have someone burp and let out an offensive smell from what they have eaten during their iftaar. I know it's not easy to avoid such foods (especially if you're indian ;)) but it doesn't take much time to brush your teeth (or even better - use miswak) and change your clothes and apply some 'atar before you leave for the masjid, inshaAllah.
Sahih Bukhari - Volume 1, Book 12, Number 814:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "Whoever eats garlic or onion should keep away from our mosque or should remain in his house." (Jabir bin 'Abdullah, in another narration said, "Once a big pot containing cooked vegetables was brought. On finding unpleasant smell coming from it, the Prophet asked, 'What is in it?' He was told all the names of the vegetables that were in it. The Prophet ordered that it should be brought near to some of his companions who were with him. When the Prophet saw it he disliked to eat it and said, 'Eat. (I don't eat) for I converse with those whom you don't converse with (i.e. the angels)."

Secondly, people who'd enter late after the salah has started would hasten to join the rakah and run to stand next to a praying person in the jamah. The Prophet (pbuh) forbade running in such a situation. It is very disturbing when someone does this, especially when you're the unlucky person they decide to stand next to. They aren't even ready to begin their salah and their movements are a huge distraction.
Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (pbuh) said: "If the prayer started, then do not join it running, and join it walking and quiet, and pray whatever you caught up with, and make up for what you missed."
Thirdly, many of us have forgotten the sunnah of praying two rakah before sitting down when you enter the masjid. I see very few people do this nowdays.
Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (pbuh) said: "When one of you enters the Masjid, he should pray two Rak'ah before sitting down."
Lastly, I have seen a lot of people get irritated when people bring young children to the mosque. I know it's not very easy to concentrate in your salah when you have children running around and making noise. I had a bad experience myself a few Ramadan's back when I took my first born to the masjid. I guess it will suffice to say that I was told off by the Imam over the microphone in front of EVERYONE to mind my daughter and not disturb everyone in their salah :( I was heartbroken and didn't go to the masjid after that for a long time. I am yet to pray in Jamah again...

Personally I feel people should be a bit more forgiving in such circumstances. If we do not take our children to the mosque how do you expect them to learn the adab of being in a mosque? The Prophet (pbuh) used to have his grand-children in the mosque and even shortened his prayer if he heard a child crying. It is very important to raise our children with a strong attachment and love for their religion, and community, and thus it is important for them to have a strong and positive attachment to the mosque from a young age, especially in non-Muslim environments.

In regards to them being a distraction during salah, you could always have someone who is not praying (eg. having their menses) to mind the children and keep them away from the prayer area. Even taking art supplies such as paper, textas etc to keep them occupied would be a good idea.

I've seen a lot of people go off at a child when they misbehave in the mosque. It is important to remember that children are innocent and sinless. Thus, we cannot reprimand them harshly: this may make them dislike mosques and maybe even their religion, na aouzobillah. Rather, we should treat them with gentleness and mercy, though being firm when needed.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Those who do not have mercy for our young and respect for our elders is not of us." [Tirmidhi]

October 05, 2008

Long Silence...

Assalam Alaykum wrwb,

I know I haven't posted in a while and am long overdue for a new post. Ramadan kept us all busy and I had to juggle between looking after my angels and worship and it took up all the time.

InshaAllah I will try to update my blog more often now.

It's sad to see another Ramadan pass by. May Allah accept all our Ibadah and may we live to see many more Ramadans, Ameen.

As much as I wanted to make this a general blog, a lot of people have asked me to 'personalise' it a bit. So insha'Allah I will work on that now ;)

Just so I get an idea of how many readers I have (if any!) I'd appreciate if you could leave a brief comment on this post...

Wassalaam Alaykum wrwb.