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A month of loneliness

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Salaam Aleikum,

Its been eight years now since began my journey as a believer. It was actually during Ramadan I felt that Islam was the true religion and my heart was open by Allah to believe in Him. Maybe two or three weeks after Ramadan 2006 I said my shahada alhamdulillah. Truly the gates of Paradise are open and the devils are locked up during this blessed month allowing more people see the beauty of Islam and the Greatness and how Merciful Allah is. If you would have asked me to become a Muslim 6 months before this time I would definitely said no. It was so far away from me, the idea to believe in a God. But alhamdulillah Allah guides whom He wills, never loose open on people becoming Muslims.

During my first Ramadan I was living in my own little apartment by myself. I was 21 years old. I was the only Muslim (what I know of at least) in the suburb where I lived. 99 % Swedes and other percent was me. Since I wore the niqab I didn’t really feel of being out much there, I went out when I had to or if was going away somewhere. Being a convert you are very dependent on your sisters and brothers since you have no Muslim family of your own and many of us loose our old friends when converting. Your social network is very vulnerable, many are in great need of Muslims who can help and be there for you like your own blood family.

I remember every invitation i went to during this Ramadan. Weird hu? But they really really meant everything to me. During Ramadan most of us say salaam to everything and everyone around us, shutting out the world to focus on our deen. What many of us forget is that we also shut out a lot of people. People like me during my first Ramadan. Converts and even some of those “born and raised as a Muslim” might spend their Ramadan in loneliness. Yes some time alone is definitely good for you, specially during Ramadan, to focus on worship. Muslims who are married, have children, other family members, close relatives or even Muslim neighbors usually prepare and / or break fast together. The alternative to break my fast and eat iftar in the mosque was not an option, iftar was late and I didn’t want to go out by myself late at night. In non-Muslim countries the mosque might also be very far away from your home.

I remember those invitations during Ramadan because the gave me so much happiness and comfort. Being alone during Ramadan is hard. The thought of that everybody else is with their family but me is really hard to tackle. I was depending on their desire to invite people (me) over for iftar, I felt embarrassed to invite myself. Because it is just that time around iftar which is the most difficult time being alone. I know this will sound pathetic, but during this time Paltalk was very popular. So what I did every evening before and after iftar was to enter an islamic room and just listen. I didn’t participate in any debate or wrote comments, I just wanted to hear Muslims. Talking about Islam, their day, making dawah or talking about what they had to eat after maghrib.

Why I am telling you this is because there are many Muslims who will, just like I did in 2007, go through this blessed month in total loneliness. I ask you to think about your brothers or your sisters this Ramadan. Not only our own goals of this and that. Ramadan should be a month of activity, this should really be the month when we truly get to experience the feeling of brotherhood and not loneliness. If you know of somebody without family ask them over for iftar. Iftar is late? Let them sleep over. Take care of your Muslim brothers and sisters, everyone of us should love for others what we love for ourselves. Arrange something special for this group of Muslims, maybe an collective iftar at someones home or in the mosque. This is the time during Ramadan but Eid is also one of those times many converts are alone, spending their Eid all alone. Make an Eid breakfast or brunch for converters after the prayer or why not an Eid party where everyone is welcome of course.

Don’t forget us.

Sikta mot Jannah!

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Varmt välkommen till Sveriges Förenade Muslimers årliga konferens 2014 i Göteborg. detta år kommer du att kunna unna dig en fullspäckad helg med intressanta föreläsningar på svenska och engelska, vackra utställningar, unika produkter till salu och ett härligt broderligt och systerligt umgänge.

Besök konferensen hemsida: Sikta mot Jannah 2014 – Jag Är Muslim

Hoppas vi ses där inshallah! 

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This is just an announcement for an event in Sweden called “Aim for Jannah” mashallah.

How Prophet Muhammad Reprimanded Children

A child is seen near members of the Muslim community attending midday prayers at Strasbourg Grand Mosque in Strasbourg

Beautiful reminder for especially us parents how to be with our children. This is the true source we should get help and advice from when we feel confused about the parenting role, who can be a better guide, teacher and a role model for us than Prophet Muhammad? Sallallahu ‘aleihi wa Sallam

 

“Go away!”

“Stop it, you nuisance!”

Is it not considered ‘normal’ in most societal circles today for adults to address minor children in such a tone, and with derogatory words?

Parents, teachers, and other caregivers can lose their patience with the naughty mischiefs of children very quickly, especially if these children are extremely intelligent, curious, energetic, bold, self-confident and spirited.

Children are a big blessing of God. Having children and raising them righteously lays the foundation of a stable extended family structure.

Whilst most of us are well-aware of and regularly exhort the great rights of parents in Islam, we tend to overlook the fact that little children are also born with certain Islamic rights that we have to fulfill as an obligation. Even the unseen, unheard fetus in the womb has rights, which can delay the distribution of inheritance, as well as affect the rulings regarding divorce in Islam.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) handled many situations involving the antics and natural tendencies of infants and minor children with exemplary patience and good-naturedness.

As God has commanded us in the Quran to emulate Prophet Muhammad as a ticket to earning His ultimate pleasure with us in the Hereafter, we should see how the Prophet corrected or reprimanded small children whenever they did something that could, in the modern world, severely test the patience and tolerance of most stressed-out, quick-to-snap adults.

Tolerance for Infant Messes

Babies under the age of one are cuddly, chubby and adorable; bundles of joy that everyone loves to hold, kiss, hug, coo over and carry around.

That is, until they do something smelly and leaky in their diaper.

As soon as that happens, the hitherto adoring adult (especially a male one) who is holding them, immediately scrunches up their nose in disgust and hands them over to the mother or nanny for cleanup.

However, this was not what the Prophet did in such a situation. He would often take infants in his lap, even though in that era there were no leak-proof diapers!

Narrated Aisha:

“A boy was brought to the Prophet to do tahnik for him, but the boy urinated on him, whereupon the Prophet had water poured on the place of urine.” (Al-Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad refrained from expressing disgust or immediately denying a newborn baby his lap even when the baby urinated on his clothes! This indicates his exemplarily high level of tolerance for babies’ natural phases, as it is normal for newborns to urinate often.

The lesson for us in this habit of Prophet Muhammad is to not get irritated at the natural, physical messes that babies tend to make (such as nose emissions, excreta, or regurgitated milk), even if the mess gets on our clothes. We should also help clean up the mess without considering it beneath our social dignity to do so.

Tolerating Natural Toddler Antics

Babies grow older to become active and energetic toddlers (known nowadays as ‘preschoolers’), who love climbing on to the laps and backs of adults and playing “rough house”.

It is well known that the Prophet not just allowed children in this age-range inside hismasjid during obligatory congregational prayers, but also patiently tolerated their antics during prayers, even if these antics caused noise or disturbance.

Reported by Abdullah ibn Shaddad from his father:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came out to lead us in either maghrib or ‘isha’ one night, and he was carrying Hassan or Husain. The Messenger of Allah came forward and put (the child) down, then he saidtakbir and started to pray. During the prayer, he prostrated and made his prostration long.

My father said: “I raised my head and I saw the child on the back of the Messenger of Allah whilst he was prostrating, so I returned to my prostration.”

When the Messenger of Allah finished praying, the people said:

“O Messenger of Allah, during your prayer you prostrated for so long that we thought something had happened or that you were receiving Revelation.”

He said:

Nothing at all happened, but my son was riding on my back and I did not want to disturb him until he had had enough. (An-Nisa’i)

This hadith is another great example of how tolerant the Prophet was regarding children’s naughtiness. Imagine a small child in the age-range 2-4 (who can be carried easily) climbing on to the back of a masjid’simam during prostration nowadays. What do you think his reaction would be?

Yet, Prophet Muhammad lengthened his prostration just to let the child continue his enjoyment and innocent play, hereby causing some concern and undoubtedly a bit of chagrin to the worshippers praying behind him in the congregation.

Using His Hands Gently to Reprimand

Children love physical displays of affection, and like being touched in a positive manner. Instead of subjecting them to long monologues and lectures to correct their mistakes, physically removing them from harm is more effective.

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

“Dates used to be brought to Allah’s Messenger immediately after being plucked. Different persons would bring their dates till a big heap collected (in front of the Prophet). Once Al-Hassan and Al-Husain were playing with these dates, one of them took a date and put it in his mouth. Allah’s Messenger looked at him and took it out from his mouth and said: “Don’t you know that Muhammad’s offspring do not eat what is given in charity?” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet taking the date out of his grandson’s mouth himself whilst giving him a short explanation of the reason, deployed the most effective strategy of quickly resolving the situation. Which small child would willingly spit a tasty, sweet date out from their mouth themselves?

Most parents today, however, keep shouting at a small child to not touch an object or to stay away from a dangerous area, all the while being ignored by the child. They then snap and give the child a harsh scolding in front of everyone for not listening to them.

The lesson from this hadith about the correct thing to do in such a situation is for an adult to get up quickly and physically remove the small child from harm, warning them about the reason in brief words.

The hadith below also corroborates this strategy:

Anas said:

“Allah’s messenger was one of the best of men in character. One day, he sent me to do something, and I said: “I swear by Allah that I will not go”. But in my heart I felt that I should go to do what the Prophet of Allah had commanded me. So I went out and came upon some boys who were playing in the street. All of a sudden Allah’s Messenger, who had come up behind, caught me by the back of the neck, and when I looked at him, he was laughing. He said: “Go where I ordered you, little Anas”. I replied: “Yes, I am going, messenger of Allah!” (Abu Dawud)

Prophet Muhammad used a combination of physical touch and gentle reprimanding words to make little Anas realize his forgetfulness. The Prophet knew that it is natural for a little boy to get distracted from an errand by other children’s street games.

This hadith also indicates that when a child passes the toddler stage, it is permissible to train them to do light, easy tasks for adults, but to remember that it is normal for him or her to resist immediate obedience and to get distracted by other children’s play.

Explaining Concisely for Correction

When a child becomes older i.e. beyond the age of 6-7, he or she reaches the age of mentally understanding what is right and what is wrong. When he encountered such a child doing something the wrong way, the Prophet would gently and concisely correct them and explain to them how to do it right, without scolding harshly or making them feel humiliated in front of others.

Umar ibn Abu Salamah reported:

“I was a boy under the care of the Messenger of Allah, and as my hand used to wander around in the dish, he said to me once:

“Mention Allah’s Name (i.e., say Bismillah), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is in front of you.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Little children have short attention spans, high energy levels, and an extremely curious nature due to which they want to explore everything in the world, most of which is still very new to them. However, we can misinterpret their natural actions and reactions to situations in a negative manner, unless we proactively practice patience with their behavior without belittling, rebuking or reprimanding them harshly and unjustly.

Because little children are a sacred trust from God, we should remind ourselves not to be harsh with them. God is not even writing their “sins” yet, even if they deliberately break a precious piece of crockery, or touch anything in our cupboards or drawers that we have kept strictly off limits.

As parents, if we lose patience with our children and treat them wrong, we should immediately and sincerely repent for it before Allah. Parents who do not regret nor repent for the wrongs they committed towards their children when the latter were young, weak and dependent upon them, end up being faced with resentful and aloof offspring in their old age, because their little ones grew up with disturbing childhood memories that morphed into a deep grudge over the years.

By regularly reading and studying the Prophet’s loving and mild behavior with children, we can prevent ourselves from treating children in a manner that could displease God and detriment our relationship with them in the long term.

 

By Sadaf Farooqi  (source)

Islamic clothes – a review on products I bought

Salaam Aleikum,

Finding a perfect abaya, hijab, khimar, jilbab, niqab, skirt or sharwal pants is harder than it sounds. Many alternatives popes up but which store offers good quality clothes, the colors you want, the material you want or the design you want. And the delivery cost, how much will it be and can I trace the package? Can I trust this store, will the deliver the products I ordered or not? Or maybe deliver wrong products!

My way is to ask a friend who bought some clothes what she thinks of it and if she can recommend the shop and their products. So, I would share some of my experience and reviews on  internet shopping regarding Islamic clothes. AND PLEASE, if you have bought clothes from somewhere else and you really can recommend the store or a product please share! (I will add you’re comment / info to this post inshallah).

Nabira www.nabira.fr

Nabira is an Islamic online store located in France. I have ordered many of their “French Jilbab”. There are many models and I have only bought jilbab with skirt, jilbab with sharwal and jilbab 1 piece and all of them were in “crepe luxe”. The quality of the fabric is really good mashallah. I have big issues with the summer heat but alhamdulillah these clothes are really thin (but not transparent) and they make you feel cool even though it is really hot.

Some of them which I bought (and other sisters as well in Sweden) got jilbabs with very loose elastic sleeves. They should be tight so when you raise your arm the sleeve will stay put and not slide down. But some were so loose they needed to be fixed by ourselves. This is a tie-back model, so tie a knot behind your head to fixate the jilbab. On many of mine the seam breaks at the point where the tie-back band is sewn together with the rest of the fabric.

You can trace the delivery alhamdulillah and neither me or any of my sisters here in Sweden have had any problems with delivery or products never arriving. One of my friends got the wrong color though, a light tone instead of a darker tone of gray. I think the delivery cost is reasonable alhamdulillah.

In these pictures I have the black Jilbab “crepe luxe”  with skirt. (Ignore my weird hand pose in the last picture, think I was going to fix my niqab or something…. )

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Most of these clothes (mix of hijabs and jilbabs) are from Nabira, so there are mashallah many colors to choose from.

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 SunnahStyle www.sunnahstyle.com

Sunnah Style is an online store in Canada. I have ordered niqabs and hijabs from them. Mashallah they have different style of niqabs in different colors. I have tried their velcro niqab (my favourite), ordinary niqab models and two models with a wider opening (no-pinch) for sisters with glasses (yes, I wear glasses 🙂 ) The fabric is soft with a very high quality. I have washed them several times and they still keep it’s color and shape alhamdulillah.

I have ordered from them several times and alhamdulillah I never had any problems with delivery. You can’t trace the package (at least not when you order to Sweden 😉 ).

In the picture you see (from the left) a steel blue one piece niqab, a black narrow no-pinch and a steel blue no-pinch niqab.

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Niqab.co www.niqab.co

Niqab.co is the most recent online store I tried and it is an online shop in Turkey. I bought three different niqabs; one black with belt, a beige (cream) tie-back and a pink (rose) velcro. The quality of the fabric is really nice mashallah. The beige one is so soft mashallah (I could sleep with that one on) but unfortunate it was to transparent for me, so I have to fix it myself by adding a layer to it inshallah. But still I’m happy I bought it, finally someone selling niqab in light colors!

I did not have any problem with delivery and you can trace the package alhamdulillah.

In the picture you see the black one-piece belt niqab, the beige (cream) tie-back one-piece niqab and a two-layer rose niqab.

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Yes, fajr is sweet….

Salaam Aleikum,

A couple of days ago I talked with a sister about the prayer and how it sometimes is difficult for us to hold on to our prayers, pray in it’s correct time. Some prayers are more difficult than others. Fajr is sometimes very hard because of how much the times changes for it during the year. But the sister, may Allah reward her, told me she had found a new app mashalla. It’s called “Never miss Fajr”, if you don’t have it already you should download it now. Alhamdulillah it’s for free.

Forget your 10 alarm clocks this is the only thing you need to wake up for fajr inshaallah! You decide yourself when the alarm should go off and there are alternatives for alarm sounds (either athan or a classic alarm tone). This is the part which makes this app unique. You choose, either you shake the phone in the air 20 times or answer questions about Islam. You have to shake 20 times and each time must be approved by the phone. Likewise for the questions, you have to answer five questions and you will continue to get new questions until you have five correct answers. After this is done the alarm will shut of : )

I tried this app for the first time yesterday. I got to bet way to late subhanallah but alhamdulillah I woke up by the alarm. But unfortunately I had an 2-year old next to me in bed who also woke up like a sunshine to see mommy’s phone. You know that move Nemo, when the birds the Nemo’s dad and Dory, everyone keeps repeating “mine, mine, mine”. This was the same situation. I had chosen questions so while I try to pick the right answer, someone else is pulling my phone, touching the screen and answering some questions as well. It took a while haha but alhamdulillah I finally got the little fingers away from the phone to answer the questions. The alarm goes of. Do you think I could fall asleep again after that? Nope 😉

Read more here about the app 

Dear sisters.

Salaam Aleikum,

After a real long day with stress, cleaning, much talk and loud noises a feel tired but happy for a lovely day with some dear sisters and all our children. We are a group of sisters living in the same neighborhood who once every week meet, read something related to Islam (reminder or Quran), eat something sweet and talk about everything in life. Sometimes it is not easy and it gets a bit loud and messy since we also bring our kids. But it is worth every minute and every struggle to make this meeting happen.

Living in Sweden as a Muslim, especially as  a convert/revert, is difficult and the one thing Muslims miss here is a jama’ah. We are not very good at creating unity between us, actually very bad at it. We need to creating a social network, a safety net. Yes, the Muslim community here do have some major issues regarding this. Problems with Muslim not trusting the Ummah in situations when you need them the most. And there is non to blame but ourselves…

But, the idea with our little sister-group is an attempt to create a feeling of jama’ah and building up a network, friendships. Some of us have children, some of us are students, some of us are housewives and we come from different countries with different cultures. But alhamdulillah we share the love for and belief in Islam. We are all Muslims alhamdulillah and we have been living in the same small little are for many years (some of us) without knowing each other subhanAllah. When you find a sister within walking distance you truly feel blessed! And subhanallah the Muslim should not be alone, just like it is easy for the wolf to take the lone sheep it is easy for shaytan to take the lone believer than believers who are strong together.

My heart, our hearts, also need some kind of Islamic nourishment right? Like a three course dinner, the first dish is just the simple thing of meeting your sisters in Islam, spending time with Muslims. The main course is of course our reading moment when we either read qu’ran or a reminder. This is where our body gets the real nutrition mashallah. For example, today we read surah al-Waqiah together and afterwards the translation. We have time to talk, contemplate and discuss the surah. And the desert is everything else we talk about and do with the kids. Sharing tips for children upbringing, giving advice and support in what ever we struggle with – both in issues related to deen and dunya. And it’s a comfort to have everyone so close if we one day might need help with a babysitter, company when we are alone, going out for walks together, doing activity with our children together and so on. Today mashallah the kids got creative and painted mashallah.

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This is really not difficult to do and the benefits are many mashallah. This is something I think, more sisters out there could to. Even if you don’t feel like you need this kind of meeting with sisters in your neighborhood there might be a sister there who really really need something like this or in a year or two you yourself might be in desperate need of a strong sisterhood. We got together because we live in the same area but you could really start any kind of sister gathering to create a stronger jama’ah in your community. We have to start somewhere…

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Bismillah and alhamdulillah

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Salaam Aleikum,

These are two diy-garlands I made. I have “bismillah” in my kitchen above our dining table and “alhamdulillah för allt” (alhamdulillah for everything) in our hallway. It is really easy mashallah and it’s easy to change and it doesn’t cost a lot of money. I cut the letters out with a circle cutter 2,5″  / 63 mm to get a perfect round shape (my cutter is from Panduro). 

Some of you wrote some really nice comments about them on IG, than you <3,  and asked if I could send them to you. Well, I made a pdf for you to download and print them inshallah : )

1. Bismillah

2. Alhamdulillah för allt

3. Alhamdulillah for everything

If you don’t have a cutter you can cut the letters out with scissors, just remember to leave a bit of white paper as a border after the black circle inshallah.

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