June 27, 2010

Nuthin' much

*We call this picture "bulldog baby". lol This is Aaminah before she was a year old masha'Allah. Sr. D put her tights on her head and snapped this photo. Too cute for words!*

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll! Sorry it's been soooo long since I updated. Here's why:

1. Me mom came to visit. She stayed a week alhamdulillah. As my sister says, nice when they come and nice when they go. lol Just kidding mom; thanks for coming and I am so glad you and Aaminah got to bond!

2. My laptop is breaking. :-( The kids have tripped over the power cord so many times it's bit the dust. I have to bend it at just a certain angle and either wedge it against the edge of the laptop desk or tuck it underneath. Anyway it can fritz out at a moment's notice and I fear writing a great entry and losing it to a power blip.

3. Kids are out for summer break. 'Nough said.

Anyway here I am, writing to ya'll now. I have Zainab on one shoulder, Hafsa on the other and little Aaminah is playing Mama to her doll, Habiba. (Yes, she named it herself!). She just sat her on her potty chair masha'Allah. :-) The boys (A and Yousef) went to the masjid so all is pretty quiet here now. I knew I was overdue for a post and didn't wanna disappoint.

I've been reading my sisters' blogs recently and I am hearing a common theme among some revert sisters: I'm not good enough, I don't do x, y, and z consistently, my iman is low. We all go through these phases but the important thing is we are striving. All of us, convert and born Muslim alike, we have our highs and lows, our ups and downs. Don't feel bad about yourselves, seek support from your sisters and above all, pray to Allah swt to restore to you what you have lost. Ameen.

Wow I feel kinda boring right now. I don't even have alot of random things to say. 2 of the girls have been sick, I've had some more health issues and well my creative juices aren't really flowing. Insha'Allah I'll think of something really awesome to blog about soon. Insha'Allah. :-)

Ma salaama!

June 8, 2010

My path to Islam

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll! I found this the other day and thought I would post it. I think it echoes what many other converts say; they were dissatisfied with their previous religion, had no comfort/trust in it, etc. Anyway read and enjoy!

A'salaamu alaikum brothers and sisters. I hope this finds you in the best of health and iman. Here is a somewhat condensed story of my conversion to Islam for those who might be interested. I had been raised Christian (Southern Baptist to be exact) and as a small child I had an amazing grasp of what God was, masha'Allah. As I grew up, I was very dedicated to church but was often the only one in my family who attended. They encouraged me to go but just did not attend themselves. As I entered my early teens I began questioning Christianity.

One of my big problems was it's reliance on feelings. It seemed I was never quite "emotional" enough. If I wasn't caught up in a zealous bout of maniacal crying, testifying to the amazing love of Jesus Christ, then I obviously wasn't feeling the Spirit. I thought religion should have a bit more dignity. Also I questioned the Trinity and why, WHY, did God have to allow Himself to die on a cross just so I could gain repentance. I also was bothered by the Christian view of women, marriage, and heaven. Hmmm, seems I had alot of problems! Since Christianity was the only religion I had been exposed to I didn't bother trying to look at others. I mean, I knew being an idol-lover wasn't for me but I didn't check out Judaism or Islam. I became a "conscientious objector" to religion and the idea of God in general.

It wasn't long before I began to consider myself an agnostic, with no clear idea or purpose for my life. However, there was NEVER a time that I did not miss having faith. I felt a hole was in my life but instead of trying to figure out what was missing I just ignored it. Let's fastforward about 17 years. I had been thinking more and more about the deeper issues but really was at a loss still. Then, Alhadulillah!, within the space of three days I met 3 different Muslims from 3 different areas of the world. All of these people, though they had divergent backgrounds, cultures, and even madhabs, showed me such a pure vision of Islam in their lives. I began to think....hmmm. Billions of people can't be wrong.

I started reading and thinking and talking and yes, even attempting to pray again. To be honest, a big "selling point" for me was the Islamic view of women and family, as well as the Qur'anic validation of the natural sciences. I had requested some brochures and booklets from an organization online and of course I was very interested in all of the women's issues. I found a perfect sense to what Islam preached, from the segregation policy between the sexes to the beautiful view of marriage, children, and relations between a husband and his wife. These things all hit a chord in me...I knew instinctly this was just RIGHT. I saw in the Qur'an, very imperfectly at first, an absolutely flawless way of life contained within it's holy pages. SubhanAllah!

After having solely online interaction with these 3 and reading on my own, I thought it was time to branch out, meet some Muslims in person, and maybe, just maybe, ask some questions and get some answers. Long story short, I was put in contact with two wonderful sisters in my city, subhanAllah. They met with me once a week for several weeks, answered questions, sent emails, and just in general kept up with me masha'Allah. I finally felt ready for the BIG step which was attending the local masjid. A day before I went I met up with another sister who also became a beloved friend and she went through the salaah with me. I was soooo glad I did! Otherwise, I would have been really lost that first day at Jum'ah.

In the parking lot of the masjid the sister (who is now my best friend!) helped me put on my hijab. Now, there was no pressure from these sisters to become a full-time hijaabi. Of course, they observed hijab but only after they had been Muslim for a while. I was told not to feel pressured, that the decision would come in time. When I entered the masjid that day (and all those afterwards!) I felt such a sense of peace, of community. And when the time came for salaat I cannot explain how I felt, standing shoulder to shoulder with these devoted women, all prostating themselves before the One and Only god, Allah. I felt the bond of the Ummah, subhanAllah.

When it came time to leave that day, another extraordinary coincidence took place. I stayed longer at the masjid than intended and had to leave straight from Jum'ah to go get my sons from school. Now, before I ever agreed to attend the masjid I made certain I believed the shahaada in my heart. And before I let myself acknowledge the truth of that statement, I made sure I knew what I was getting myself into, so to speak. I am not the type of person to pick and choose what I will believe; it's all or nothing. So I was well aware of the significance of my hijab. As it was, I did not have time to go home and remove my hijab.

I got in my car, realized the time and drove to get my sons. I know all the sisters expected me to remove my hijab once I got to the parking lot but I could NOT remove it. It felt like a sacrilege to consider removing it. At that point, not because of a modesty issue (although, alhamdulillah!, it is very much a part of me now) I could not take it off because I truly believed Allah required it and I felt it would be cowardly to remove it. If I had taken it off then, to me, it would have been like saying, "Well thanks for all the blessings in my life, and thanks for leading me to Islam and stuff, but I don't think I will do as You say." So I did not remove it, masha'Allah. And I can say I have grown stronger in my iman for doing so. Had I removed it, and started that precedent, no telling how long it would have taken me to move into that next phase. Allah knows best and He knows how my mind works and this was exactly what I needed to do.

Alhamdulillah, now I am concentrating on learning more and more about this beautiful deen and trying to daily improve my practice of Islam. I try to engage in activities that strenghten my iman and avoid those that do not. Make du'a for me, sisters and brothers, that I continue to grow and strive for the pleasure of Allah subhana wa ta'ala. Wa salaam... Sr. Jeanna

I converted to Islam in Feb. 2006 alhamdulillah! Ma salaama ya'll!

June 7, 2010

Dear Anon

A'salaamu alaiku ya'll. This is to "anonymous" who left a comment under my "I won, I won" post. I did post your comment to my blog. :-) I posted it when I received notification through my email. There are now 5 comments I believe there; you can follow the chain of comments to see that 2 of yours have been posted.

I am not a scholar and I do not like to give opinions on things I do not know. However, in Islam we are encouraged to use our minds and to reason. We are not allowed to speak in a derogatory manner about any of the prophets or messengers of Allah. I know there are many muslim MAJORITY countries but no true Islamic countries. My husband is from Tunis which is considered a Muslim country and yet women are not permitted to wear hijab to university or work and men who pray in the masjid are suspect by the government as being "subversives".

Sorry I don't really have a point with that except to say that anything good and perfect and right is from Allah swt, the Creator and Sustainer of the worlds, and anything wrong or weak or incorrect is from ourselves and our base desires. We, the creation, take the perfect plan laid down for us by our Creator and we change it to suit our own agendas. May Allah have mercy on us all ameen.

I would also like to thank you for your kind tone and your non-confrontational manner; I am not one who seeks out or even enjoys debates but there are times when my conscience tells me I should say something.

And with Allah (GOD) lies all success.

June 6, 2010

Ain't she purty?

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I bought this doll waaay before I had Aaminah. I got her for $1 at a yard sale along with another cute one. However they were both naked. lol So I made clothes of a sort for the one and gave it to Aliyah, my friend's beautiful little girl who is very much missed.

I kept the other one, intending to make clothes for it some day. Eventually. One day in the hazy future. :-)

Well fastforward what, 3 years at least and wow here I am. I have a sewing machine now and wanted to start with some small projects. My goal is to be able to make alot of our own clothing, at least the simple things. Undershirts, the tie-back khimars I adore, and maybe some abayaat insha'Allah.

Anyway I thought this little outfite turned out pretty cute. I know I definitely need to work on my planning skills and not try to rush but overall I felt this was a good experience. Even though you can't see it, all of the edges are hemmed so I was pretty proud of that accomplishment. I didn't take too many shortcuts!

So I give her ot Aaminah and there is like 0 interest. lol She liked her a little when she was naked. I am kinda surprised because Aaminah loves my hijab, will bring it to me when I am ready to pray or leave the house and is very aware of it. I thought she'd love having a colorful version of her mama. Guess I was wrong! lol

Overall it took me about 30 minutes to do it, maybe less. I had one false start. ;-) It cost nothing as far as immediate expenditures because I already had the fabric, was a scrap, and well I bought the machine for many uses not to make clothes for a doll. So mark this up under frugal and fun for mama.

Ma salaama ya'll!

June 4, 2010

I won! I won!

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I won, masha'allah! No, not the haram lottery but a book give-away on Umm an-Numan's awesome site "A Muslim Child is Born" . I've talked about it on here before because I get such great ideas from her, may Allah bless her and grant her and her family paradise, ameen.

I am really excited to receive my book and I can't wait to read it with little Aami mommy. She is truly a reading hound which is great by me. Today I was reading a book titled "Under the Wire" which is a US Army soldier's account of his experiences serving as a linguistics officer at Guantanamo Bay. The book jacket said he was really amazed by the things he saw which basically went against every principle the US was founded upon. You know, all that stuff about freedom, equal protection under the law, innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of LAW? Yeah all those little annoyances Pres. Bush ignored and bypassed. Now it seems Pres. Obama is heading the same path. May Allah guide him, ameen.

OK sorry didn't mean to get sidetracked there. Anyway, as I was reading and Aaminah was playing she climbed up beside me on the couch with her "Pat Them Gently" book Khaltu Lisa gave her last 'Eid. Then she brought "Pat the Bunny" which is a cute little multi-sensory book she enjoys.

Actually her attentions span goes to books that are designed for older ages; I'll do her monster book next time I do a review insha'allah. It's super cute!

OK so I am excited to get my free book and will let ya'll know just how sweet it is!

Ma salaama!