Saturday, 22 September 2007

Footprints in the Sand - Thanking Allah!

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

written by Mary Stevenson

Mary Stevenson could not have gotten it more correct in this beautiful passage she wrote in 1936. It depicts so vividly a conversation between a man and his creator. How man, through fitrah - the natural inclination in believing in God - wishes to speak to God.
Of course, when this wish comes true, man sees his life through all trials and tribulation expecting God to be by his side.
What we always remember are our troughs in our lives - those dips that take us into bottomless cauldrons of uncertainty. The times we feel abandoned and alone; cold and starved; hurt and betrayed.
Mostly at times like these, we pray. But as we pray, we question our Lord on His abandonment. Why would He leave me alone like this? Where is He? Why me?
In turn, when man is allowed a conversation with the Divine, he still questions his Lord on those difficult passages of his life. Where were You? Why did You leave me?
How ignorant we are to think that we would be able to walk alone during those times, let alone walk on our own two feet?

Seek your provision from Allah, and serve Him, and give thanks unto Him
(Al-`Ankabut 29:17).

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Nerves, Anxiety & Fasting

Ramadhan at a distant glance can sometimes seem intimidating. I'm not talking about the non-Muslim who is reading about the impending Holy Muslim Months in a local daily - I'm talking about the Muslim who is about to embark on the month, fasting - refusing food, drink and marital intimacy for the duration of sunrise.

In addition to that, once the sun dips, it is not all fun and games, karaoke singing and food fests. Ramadhan is just a continuous whole month of worship, worship and more worship.

Iftar, the breaking of the fast, is followed by Maghrib prayers, a quick preparation for Tarawih prayers, usually held at the Masjid or Islamic centre, right after Isha'. Then there are those Muslims who awake in the early morning for other prayers such as Tahajjud, Hajat, Taubah. Others recite the Qur'an in the spare time. If not already awake, Muslims rise before dawn for the blessed meal that would help them through the day. Fasting begins once again.

I always thought I was the only one feeling totally unprepared for the fast. But after reading this post, I realise it is only natural. It can be intimidating to know that as a Muslim, you would engage in so much of worship 24 hours a day - for some, more than they can muster for the rest of the year.

Alhamdulillah, anxiety and nerves settle once Ramadhan arrives, and the natural inclination of surrendering to Allah and only Allah, kicks in, as if it were the day we were born.

There really is magic in Ramadhan, for those who focus on excelling in the eyes of Allah. Maybe it is all the nerves and anxiety that help build up the zeal to continuously worship God like there is no tomorrow!


I guess a person who is generally apathetic about religion would not enjoy Ramadhan the same way a person who was chewing off finger nails and prespiring like crazy as the month approached.

Personally it was a difficult preparation for me this year. I thought I would buckle, for several health reasons. But masha'Allah and Alhamdulillah, Allah has made it easy for me so far! He has given me the energy that I has been absent for some time now and rebuilt my self-confidence in partaking in this beautiful month - despite my nerves and ugly fingernails!

One week has passed since the first iftar, may the next four weeks be as wonderful as this one.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Sisters Ramadhan Issue - For Sisters, from Sisters

Alhamdulillah! The third issue of Sisters Magazine is out! In conjunction with the beautiful month of Ramadhan, find everything and anything you need regarding the month.

As many know, Sisters is an e-zine tailored delicately for the fabulous Muslim woman. If you want to read up on women's news reported by a dynamic team of Muslim women around the world, Sisters is the e-zine for you!

A snippet of this issue? Sure!

Read up on:

Ramadhan in the Qur'an and Sunnah;
The wisdom behind fasting;
Exerting oneself in the last ten days of Ramadhan;
Preparing your home for Ramadhan;
Making this Eid your best ever with our fun and fabulous celebration ideas!
& a Gorgeous Eid fashion feature!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

"Decoding the Dress Myth," A Brilliant Article

One of my favourite webistes on the net has to IOL, just because there is so much information on Islam and I always try to learn something new. Personally, it refreshes my need for faith and realigns my principles when browsing through their articles.

Tonight I found this article particularly engaging. There are plenty beautiful articles supporting and loving Hijab and its wonders for Muslim women in every dedicated Islamic website. But this one was like a breath of fresh air.

A short excerpt:

"If a young lady wearing niqab does not want to start mixed-gender dealings, that is her right. Logically, then a woman who chooses to expose certain parts of her body, then she is inviting attention - and that is her choice. But the latter does not have the right to control the choices of others or claim that she is more liberated and progressive."

Hijab has alot to do with the right to protect one's self from obscenity. Obscenity can stem from your own self, other people and / or the general surroundings.

Personally, one comment I dislike about the Muslimah's dresscode, but unfortunately usually hear is that "hijab is just not a modern way to dress -"

"Decoding the Dress Myth" reminds us all that (poorer / slave) women pre-Islam in Arabia were made to dance around the Ka'abah or at parties partially or lewdly dressed for the pleasure of lecherous men. These women had no choice but to conform to this obscene practice.

It is unfortunate that women who are partially dressed nowadays boast that they are modern and up todate as they haphazardly keep up with the latests trends and fashions (that are forever changing) to remain modern in the eyes of others.

And moreover, they do have a choice!

Search for More Hijabs Online!

Hijab Haven is not responsible for apparel in external sites. Not all outfits fulfill the Hijab requirement when in the presence of non-Mahram men. As a reminder, please use them responsibly.