August 29, 2009
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I was hoping to be able to pray taraweeh salaah this year at the masjid but little Aami had different ideas. She is going through a phase where she wants NO ONE but her mama. So alhamdulillah I am unable to pray. Or...so I thought. ;-)
My husband (jazakallahu khair habib) informed me that even taraweeh prayer can be made at home, alone. I had mistakenly thought it had to be made in Jumaat and with a hafiz leading. He explained that if my niyyat (intention) was clear, my rakaat made at home with whatever amount of Qur'an I had memorized would be accepted insha'allah the same as if I made it in the masjid.
Sister, I have to tell you it was very beautiful. Of course I miss hearing Hafiz Noman's voice (may Allah bless him and give him Jannah amin). However as I cannot speak Arabic often my mind would astaghfirallah begin to wander, no matter how hard I tried to concentrate.
This way, I was in the privacy of my own home. I recited as much Qur'an as I knew and I prayed so sincerely to Allah swt. Since these were surah I already knew, I understood the meaning of what I was reciting. I felt as if I were almost in a trance, in a meditative state. It was very beautiful, very spiritual. I made such heartfelt du'a at the end of each 4 rakaat cycle; I really felt connected and full of love and piety alhamdulillah.
Of course I waited until Aaminah was asleep. ;-) I would encourage any sisters who have difficulty attending taraweeh to do the same. It felt very satisfying spiritually to be able to make nafil prayers, to be able to do the superogatory acts of ibaadah (worship).
I pray that Allah swt accepted my prayers and my fasts, forgives me of my sins, and answers my dua. Amin.
Ma a salaam,
A'salaamu alaikum. I forgot to tell you about another great way to save money on your Islamic clothing. I tend to dress in traditional abaya and khimars so I can't really just go to Ross and pull something off the rack and make it more modest. :-)
I really love to "window shop" at SunnahStyle. I do wish they offered other basic colors besides black but alhamdulillah I have no problem with that color either! I had my eye on the above abaya for a while; I searched on eBay but to no avail. I could not justify spending $56.00 PLUS shipping on it.
Alhamdulillah SunnahStyle now sells their factory seconds on their blog www.blog.sunnahstyle.com I like to think I had a hand in it; I had asked them a few months back if they ever sold abayaat with a crooked seam or small tear, etc.
Anyhoo, they had one of the Desert Sands Bisht Abaya on there for a STEAL at $20.00. I paid $8 shipping so alhamdulillah was under $30 total. Now this one did have 2 tears; one just really a slight area, the other more substantial. They show ALL flaws fully. I knew these would both fall under my khimar plus I was confident I could repair them. Alhamdulillah I was able to fix them and now I have a beautiful new abaya for half price (although still more than I normally pay!).
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll! As a mother of 3 who has never been wealthy, I learned how to bargain shop early on. From groceries to clothing, I give anything a try! At our local halal market, you can get halal zabiha meat for 1/2 off if you take the frozen stock. Almost all of my Islamic clothing was purchased from eBay (used) for under $10.00 per abaya. I have splurged on 2 full price abayaat; masha'Allah they were worth it!
Anyway the last weekend of every month is 1/2 off weekend at Goodwill. These are charity stores that accept donations, then sell the items while training mentally or physically challenged persons work skills. I won't normally shop there otherwise because sometimes I find them overpriced. :-)
Alhamdulillah I am glad I went this weekend. I picked up another large (25") suitcase for our impending trip to Dubai insha'Allah. It is one of the American Tourister wheeled canvas bags. This one has alhamdulillah seen a few better days but it is serviceable and fairly lightweight. I've seen so many beautiful new luggage sets ruined in one flight so I am not stressed over that. PLUS I got it for $7.50 after the discount. Oh yeah!
Then I also found some things for Aami as you can see in the pic above. For a grand total of $7.07 I got the following:
1. pair of light up (not my fave thing) pink and white Elmo tennis shoes. These are in great shape, her size, and super cute.
2. pair of white Circo (Target brand) sandals in almost unused condition. These are 2 sizes too big but insha'Allah she will grow into them. Cute.
3. A pair of gymboree white and yellow floral capri pants in t-shirt material. These are so soft and really sweet. A size 3 but she will be in them before I know it!
4. A really cute pair of lime green shorts with the adjustable waist. They are a size 2T but with the adjustable waist they fit her now and insha'Allah for a while into the future. She has a couple of cute little t-shirts that needed bottoms to match.
5. A beautiful, soft, pink cotton sundress. This is a 4T but the quality was so nice it's worth it to save. Plus in dresses you can almost take it in a little under the arms and voila! extend the life by a year or so insha'Allah.
6. A long-sleeved light blue shirt with abstract design on the front for Alex. Alhamdulillah he isn't really a picky dresser. Zachary (my oldest) is pretty particular and he enjoys doing his own shopping. :-)
I also got a small folding hair dryer. Was $1.00 after the discount. Can't beat that. And....it works!
So I was very happy with my haul. I could have gotten her a sit 'n spin for $1.50 but she is still too young and she has alt of toys masha'Allah. So I opted to not.
I rarely (maybe never) paid full price for Aami's clothing. Yard sales, consignment sales and stores, sometimes clearance if the price is low enough. And masha'Allah she is always dressed nicely.
Just wanted to share my experience with you and encourage you all to try it if you don't already. I feel it's very important to be a good stewardess with the money my husband provides through the bounty of Allah swt. My problem? Buying things that are merely decorative but alhamdulillah this time I resisted!
Wasalaam and Ramadan mubarak,
August 26, 2009
*Alex, Aaminah, and Zack when she was just a couple of weeks old masha'Allah!*
A'salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. I pray this finds us all growing and striving for the sake of Allah swt.
Soooo to the point of my post. I have decided to revise my Ramadan goals to better reflect the reality of my life. :-) Please see below:
1. I will try to not stress when taking Aami to the masjid for iftar and she tramples plates of food, spills cups of milk, and screams while rubbing her tongue because she got a bit of spice on it. :-) lol
2. I will try to not stress when I am trying to pray maghrib and isha and suddenly a very sweet and chunky little girl HURLS herself at me, full-speed, onto my prostrate body. Often pulling my hijab up in the process.
3. I will try to not notice when said little girl insists on being picked up and held during prayer, and then proceeds to give me the SWEETEST little kisses over and over, as if to make up for her antics in the dining area.
4. I will do my best to not notice when she also plays the body part game with me and practically skewers my eyeball on her little finger or shoves her finger into my nostril while saying "nose, nose" :-)
5. I will try to not be disappointed when the beautiful little Barakah from Allah keeps me from my goal of attending taraweeh prayer because she just doesn't' want to be out of her mommy's sight. Say masha'Allah. :-)
6. I will work on being more grateful for everything in my life and thank Allah for it daily. Even when at times it just doesn't seem to be what I wanted or asked for. ;-) Such as being apart from my husband (Ya Abdu, I miss you!!!) or having to work outside of the home (no matter how much I love my job, I just don't want to while Aami is so little). Let's all say Alhamdulillah and mean it.
7. Finish the Qur'an by the end of the month. This is the resolution I will INSHA'ALLAH absolutely stick with. Please pray for me that I am able to complete it. Of course it will be in English; I cannot read Arabic yet; I am still learning my letter, their sounds, and how they connect.
8. Keep iftar and suhoor simple, filling, and healthy. Khalas.
I feel much better with my amended goals. I don't like to fall short of what I set for myself; I also want to grow and not place my goals too low. However with being mother to a toddler I really feel this is giving it my all. Dang. lol Next year insha'allah, next year...
August 21, 2009
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll and a great big southern Ramadan Mubarak! Now can't you just imagine how that sounds in my accent? :-)
I have a list of things (internal) I want to work on this Ramadan:
1. Praying each salaah as soon as it is called. Sometimes with Aami (or other less important reasons) I get sidetracked. The shaitaan would like nothing more than to make us leave off our prayers! Alhamdulillah the shaitaan are shackled during Ramadan so insha'allah may we be successful in all our personal endeavors.
2. Work on Arabic everyday. Whether it's listening AND practicing my pronounciation or working on writing and recognizing the letters, at least 15 minutes.
3. Learn one new Surah. I think I will learn Surat-an-Nas insha'Allah.
4. Try to read my English translation Qur'an in order to keep pace with Taraweeh. On the night I don't babysit (we have babysitting for Taraweeh at our masjid) insha'Allah I will read along
5. Eat only halal zabiha meat. Here in my city we only have one fresh meat grocer and its double what I pay at the grocer. I have read opinions by Shaikhs who say it's ok, say Bismillah, etc. but i know inside I feel guilty. Make dua that Allah makes this easy on me amin.
OK I don't wanna overload myself. I like to keep my goals doable because let's be honest, we still have our normal lives as well; work, cleaning house, cooking, caring for the children, etc.
Now to Aami. She is having a case of the yucky snotty nose which in turn is giving her a cough which is IN TURN making her gag and get sick. :-( So I've been cleaning up the floor alot the past few days. Now her little nose is raw and sore. I need to just use my hand and water to clean it, no more toilet paper.
I have my boys this weekend as well so I'll probably be a little too busy to log on. Insha'Allah I pray every one has a great start to their Ramadan!
August 19, 2009
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. This morning I was awake when the time for fajr came in. Subhanallah it was so peaceful so quiet. Even Aaminah was uncharacteristically silent, no rustlings coming from her crib.
This is a beautiful time of morning. I have been trying to wake up in the last 1/3 of the night (as this is when Allah is closest to us) and pray. Alhamdulillah I have been waking up most mornings but have only been making du'a (although heartfelt) but not actually offering a nafil rakat of prayer. It seems with the baby still small I am always right on the verge of being soooooo tired. :-) and sleep beckons me.
So this morning found me awake before the alarm enjoying the silence and peace that filled my house. You may be wondering why I only speak of Aaminah and myself when I have 2 sons and a zawj. Well isn't that a story in itself? lol
My sons are from a previous (pre-reversion) marriage and they stay mainly with their father. Aaminah is in LOVE with her brothers and follows them around constantly when they are here! It's really very sweet to see.
As for 3abdullah, he is in UAE at the present working. We have been married for 3 months now alhamdulillah but have yet to live together. I have been soo patient ukhtis! :-) Insha'allah we are praying to be together before the end of Ramadhan; please make du'a that Allah swt removes this hardship from us and allows us the simple, basic, often taken for granted pleasure of being with our spouse insha'Allah.
August 18, 2009
A'salaamu alaikum. My 14 month old daughter Aaminah was recently diagnosed with an allergy to eggs. Alhamdulillah it isn't a severe one; she breaks out in hives if something containing a small amount of egg is ingested and vomits profusely if she eats plain eggs. So the latter is easy to control but you don't know HOW MANY THINGS contain egg until you start reading the labels!
As a Muslim in the west, I am used to reading labels looking for the hidden haram, the gelatin, the animal protein that remains unnamed.:-) Alhamdulillah now almost every food has a warning stating "Packed/Processed in a plant that handles nuts/eggs/wheat" etc. Or it states outright what is contained.
I have found myself now needing to learn how to make homemade noodles! Of course you can get eggless noodles but ALL of them I found was processed in a plant that also handles egg products. The recipes are easy but look a bit time-consuming. Insha'allah I will make them one day and post the end result on here. :-)
Even if a small amount of cooked egg doesn't harm her the allergist said continual exposure can lengthen the amount of time she keeps her allergy. So I am trying to be very diligent.
She has had a couple of episodes, one very severe and the others requiring only benadryl which does knock her out. The first time I gave it to her I kept checking on her to make sure she was breathing! I have been a mother for 16 years alhamdulillah but I still over-worry about some things.
Insha'allah please make du'a for us that she outgrows this allergy and that I am always cautious and careful in any foods she eats. Alhamdulillah as I cook aat home I can control what she eats; it's being at friends' houses (especially during Ramadhan!) that makes me uneasy.
August 17, 2009
August 16, 2009
Libya isn't reknowned for it's cuisine. It has simple, fresh whole foods, lots of seafood and grains, breads, veggies and fruits . It has influences from Italy (which you can see in the way they use tomatoes to make thick rich sauces and noodle dishes) and of course from Arabic and African cuisine as well. So culinarily speaking the country is a bit of a melting pot. It was a little difficult to find recipes that appealed to my taste buds and were authentically Libyan.
August 15, 2009
A'salaamu alaikum! Jazakallahu khair for stopping by. You know I have been checking out alot of Muslimah blogs recently (it's became a new "after baby goes to bed" passtime!) and I have a pretty clear idea of what I want from this blog.
I want it to be a place where I can share my random thoughts, recipes, and little daily triumphs. I want it to be a place where my readers (oh readers, please stop by!) can come and enjoy a vicarious view into someone else's world. That is one of the things I enjoy so much about reading my sisters' blogs: the chance to learn about others in our ummah, their joys and struggles, their heartaches and achievements.
I don't want this to be a place for criticism or debate. No debaters or haters, please. :-) I am not a sheikha, I cannot issue fatwas nor do I seek it from others. Just come in, be my sister, share your thoughts and insha'allah enjoy this little glimpse into my life.
Well I think normally introductions are in order at this point. I may already *know* many of you from reading your blogs so I think it's only fair you learn a bit about myself as well. I won't repeat what is in the little blurb "about me" in my profile; just click the link!!!
Let's see, I'm 36 (creeping steadily towards 37insha'Allah!) and I have found more peace and joy in the past-sometimes tumultuous- 3.5 years than I have in my entire life. Islam has given me purpose and a plan for my life that I was lacking before alhamdulillah.
A couple of random (I think interesting things) about me would be:
1. I had a kidney transplant in 2002 after 10 years of kidney disease and 3 yrs of dialysis. Subhanallah I was given a second chance at life. Allahuakbar! I also conceived, carried, and delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl post-transplant alhamdulillah!
2. I spent 6 weeks in India (Mumbai and Nagpur to be exact) DURING the monsoon season. :-) I did not live like a pampered "Amrikan" tourist; I lived like a normal working class Indian and came home with a new-found appreciation for tap water that didn't contain visible swimming "friends".
3. I don't hold grudges alhamdulillah. I simply forget to be angry. I call it "pretty bird" syndrome. It goes something like this: "Can you BELIEVE that guy cut me off! What nerve! I have a good mind to.... Oh look at that pretty bird!" :-) Yeah it can happen that quickly.
4. Alhamdulillah I work as the Administrator for our local Islamic community. It is a great honor and insha'Allah a constant source of hasanat for me. What fringe benefits!!!
5. Insha'Allah I should be posting from Ajman, UAE within a few weeks time. I will miss everyone here in beautiful GREEN Tennessee but am excited to live temporarily in a Muslim majority country. (I don't say Islamic country and I think we all know why.)
Insha'allah I hope to get to know more about you my sisters in our beautiful ummah as well. Please feel free to comment and leave a little random fact about yourself!