A TICKET TO HEAVEN

white roses hadith islam
A ticket to heaven
All about voluntary fasts

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

It’s fun being invited. My expectations run high as I almost starve myself for the feast that I would relish at my friend’s home. I wonder who else will I be meeting there?  Do you like being invited? What are your expectations from your host? More than anything else it’s the warm welcome which makes the difference.  With that everything else seems perfect.

And then there are gatherings where only those with invitation card are allowed to enter. Oh dear! I wonder where I kept the invitation from my son’s school event.  Even in such a gathering, there is a very special reception for the guest of honor. As we stand in a queue waiting for our turn to enter, we see few well deserved honored members of the society walk right past us. It’s their work and position that has earned them this honorable reception. Nothing special comes cheap!

There is an open invitation for Jannah (Paradise) from our the Almighty for all of us. So, what do we need to enter it? Monotheism (There is no god but Allah and Muhammed () is his messenger).  An easy way to enter (and obtain high levels in) Jannah is not going to be for free. Are you willing to earn a special place in Jannah? Which special deed are you willing to take to get close to Him?

hadith islam bluebell leaves
A means of getting close to Allah

We have just experienced the sweetness of fasting in the month of Ramadan. Alhamdulillah. How we wish that we could experience this serenity throughout the year. Don’t let this feeling fade away. Make fasting as a means to get close to Allah. Insha Allah, we will enter Jannah from the gate ‘Al Rayyan’.

white roses hadith islam
Al Rayyan is a gate in heaven for those who fast

Ah! There is more to fasting than just a red-carpet welcome. The Most Gracious Allah rewards those who fast without limits. Indeed, there could hardly be a better way to please Him.

Every deed counts
Unlimited reward

Ramadan has shown us, that fasting is easy. Alhamdulillah. Are you missing Ramadan? If only we could do more. Allah SWT has given us a chance to earn the reward of fasting!!

Hadith fasting Shawal shaval islam blue flowers bluebell wild flowers
Fasting six days of Shawwal

Having fasted complete month of Ramadan, would you let such an opportunity slip away? Hurry up, just a few days of this blessed month are left. Remember, to reap this reward you should have completed the missed fasts of Ramadan too.

Do not lose heart, if you are incapable of doing this. Most Merciful has provided us more ways to achieve a huge reward. Soon blessed days of Dhul Hijjah would be here. Not all of us will be able to perform Haj this year. Those of us who stay back could still get our (minor) sins forgiven by fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul hijjah). Besides, nothing is holding us back from making most of first nine days of Dhul hijjah by fasting.

Alhamdulillah. We can’t thank Allah enough for providing us with such an opportunity to cleanse ourselves. Yet again, A month later The Most Beneficent again gives us an opportunity to expiate the sins of a year by fasting on the Day of Ashura (10th of Muharram). You can read about this in the post, A Scheme for Success. Indeed, Allah SWT is most forgiving and He loves to forgive. Subahan Allah.

Hadith Islam tulip flower
Voluntary fasts

We all claim that we love our prophet (). So, how do we express our love? We are to follow his sunnah (way of life). Unfortunately, we celebrate our prophet’s birth in a way which is far from Sunnah. Let us see, what our prophet () in recognition of being blessed with life. Far from the current view of celebration, he () fasted on the day (of the week) he was born. Could we do the same to claim our love for him? He also preferred fasting on Thursdays. Why? When presenting a gift to our loved ones we care to perfume it and wrap it well. Our beloved prophet () cared more about presenting his deeds well to The One, who had blessed us with everything. He () preferred to fast on the day the deeds are presented before Allah. SubhanAllah. This makes me wonder, on what basis do I and you claim that we love Allah and His Messenger? I hope to practice these fasts. Are you interested too?

flowers brick wall hadith islam
Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays

Some of us find it very difficult to fast every week. There is another lovely option for those who love to fast! We are encouraged to fast on any three days of every month. Remember every good act has a minimum reward of ten hasanat (good deeds). Fasting like this will be equivalent to fasting for the entire month (and for an entire year if it is done every month).

Red roses hadith islam
Fasting three days a month

Fasting has spiritual and worldly benefits too. In the current era, where we are being bombarded with lewd adds and shows/programs, fasting acts as a shield improving our self-control. Insha Allah, this would help teens and youth lead a modest life. Would you encourage those around you to fast?

wild flowers field Hadith islam self control lust sex drive
Fasting acts as a shield

It is worth noting that other than Ramadan it is not obligatory for us to fast on any other day. We people are wise enough to make smart choices when it comes to purchasing and selling things. We wait for a sale and make most of it. Likewise, are we wise enough to make most of these days? Invitation to heaven is open. Couldn’t we learn to refrain a little for eternal pleasure in Jannah?  Would you like this ticket for Jannah? It’s your choice.

May Allah make us among those who can choose to enter from any of the eight doors of Jannah. Ameen.

Published in Muslimahbloggers.

Are we slaves to the gadgets?

Assalamu alikum.

Alhamdhulillah, one of my articles has been republished in Aboutislam

image

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http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/are-we-slaves-to-our-gadgets-instead-of-allah/

Do check to see, the changes. 🙂

Why We Need A Hobby

Crochet needle hobby

Assalammu Alikum,

Do you miss your childhood? Apart from pure state of innocence and overwhelming love from elders, what makes childhood special? It’s the desire to explore. I love seeing a child’s face gleaming with joy on learning simple things. When was the last time you felt like that? Can we still experience such uncontainable excitement on accomplishing simple stuff? Yes! We could.

Within each of us is a child, eager to learn and explore. I never knew a needle could bring out a child in me. I am not speaking about my visit to a Doctor. This needle works on a thread, but it is not sharp! Instead it has a hook at its end. Have you guessed, what is it? CROCHET. This had a huge positive impact on me. Let me share with you how it helped me.

Why Crochet?

When I am free, I feel an urge to hold a gadget and explore. I had written all about it in my last post. I didn’t want to turn into a game/media addict. I had to do something.

As I was wondering how to refine my life, I learnt that my grandma wanted to gift me her crochet needles. Ah! Long back I had enjoyed making a crochet cap. (Well I had attempted to make a flat circle with chain and split knots. It accidentally turned into cap. shhh! Let it be our secret. 😉 ) I decided to give it a try. I took out my crochet needle and explored a couple of basic tutorials on the net.  The yarn and the needle kept me away from fiddling with the keyboard. Initially, I couldn’t hold the yarn right. Instead of online puzzles, a bundle of yarn was now challenging me! Do you think I would give up easily? No way, I had to tame my fingers to bend the yarn. This indeed was an answer for my addiction.

Learning to empathize

I found it difficult to use a needle. But to the tutor (in the video), this needle was like an extension of her fingers. This reminded me of teaching my son how to hold a pencil. I used to wonder why was it so difficult for the little ones. Now it was clear. ☺ Often, we forget the struggles we underwent as a beginner. Learning a new art reminds us our limits and the need for experience. Now, I could empathize better with my sons.

Hadith crochet disgrace adorn
Be compassionate

Finally, I was able to make a chain (knots). As I progressed I learnt ABC of crochet – single, half double, double, triple and double triple crochet. Unlike puzzles or games, the result of my practice was in my hands. Honestly, it looked no better than a scribbling. It looked more polished on the tutor’s hands. Well, I wasn’t working on the right bead (the knots). With attention to margins my work turned neater. Now I had a renewed appreciation for handiwork. I recollected how often I had argued with poor vendors while buying an art work. I could appreciate handiwork better.

Hadith crochet coasters beginner yarn empathy
Be lenient

Valuing Time

I tried making some coasters. It is pure magic to see plain long yarn turn into beautiful clusters and floral patterns. A crochet comes to life with repeated action of yarning over and pulling. To crochet, it’s equivalent to inhaling and exhaling in order to breathe. Yep, this is all that we need to learn. Yet, there was so much we can do with different combinations and colors!

Let’s consider our life as a yarn. All of us are gifted with the same 24 hours. Our life is filled with several simple repetitive actions like – climbing stairs, eating food, sleeping, waking up, etc. Generally, we don’t give much thought about them. With these actions, we could be yarning for here after. How?

Our prophet has taught us dua (invocation) for every occasion in our life. Do you remember to say bismillah (In the name of Allah) in the beginning and Alhamdhulillah (All praise belong to Allah) in the end of an action?  If so, we have ensured to knot it in for here after. Do you say Allahuakbar (Allah is great) while climbing and SubahanAllah (Glory be to Allah) while descending. If so we have added one more bead to the knot. Would you like to add more? Add in other duas. Recite dua while entering or leaving masjid, before sleeping and after waking up and so on. With these simple invocations intricated into our life, we can turn our 24 hours into moments worth living.

Hadith sweater simple design crochet "Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah."
Remember Allah

Strengthening Bonds

Do you remember how it felt to do a craft work at school? I was reliving the excitement. Before I could think of what to do next, I got a request for a sweater from my hubby. I decided to make sweaters for my sons first. I saw a few tutorial on you tube and settled for one I was comfortable with. The little one (3 years) was very pleased with the attention he was getting. The sweater involved an easy stitch- Half double crochet. As I practiced the stitch I would think about my granny. As  a child, I had seen her work on the border of a shawl.   Later, she had gifted this priceless shawl to me along with numerous lace works she had done. Honestly, could there be better way to express love than with a useful handmade gift? The shawl would keep me warm and always remind me of my generous loving grandma.  May Allah reward her in abundance for every bead she has worked on. May I be blessed with a heart like hers, which finds joy in giving things. And, may I be blessed with love of my grandparents for many more years to come. Aameen.

Hadith crochet shawl priceless grandma
Gifts increase love

Within three days, I completed the sweater! Alhamdhulillah, I had managed to design a multicolor sleeve less sweater for my little one. I didn’t know how to add buttons to it. So, I used lace to close the front opening (zig zag pattern). The rugged look really matched his personality. No sweater in the market could replace this. I hoped this sweater would last for several generations and keep several kids warm. Maybe someone in the future will appreciate my simple work too. ☺

Rewind

Now my elder son was upset. He wanted a sweater too. I was not going to follow the same design or pattern. Something more challenging would be fun. I decided to try basket weave. For this I had to learn front and back post crochet – to make the work stand out or hide. This was tougher than I had expected. It required more yarn and time. I made several mistakes. So, did I waste good amount of yarn on this? No. Well, with crochet we can rewind with ease! We just need to pull the yarn to unwind. Alhamdhulillah, I was able to rectify my mistakes. How I wish I could do the same with my life – go back to some point and start afresh.

Are there any regrets in your life? I have a long list. We cannot go back into the past but still we can have a clean record! Does it sound too good to be true? Well, Allah is The Most Merciful and He loves to pardon. With sincere repentance, we could shed our sins away. After all, pleasing Him should be our prime concern. Still, how often do we repent?

Crochet basket stitch Hadith: Allah forgives repeatedly as long as we seek forgiveness
Seek forgiveness repetedly

It took me more than two weeks to complete the sweater. I was surprised at the outcome. May our book of deeds look better with our sins forgiven. All praise be to Allah who is always eager to forgive. ☺

Appreciation

Finally, it was my hubby’s turn to get a sweater. It was really nice to see my relatively silent hubby involved in something I was doing. I picked a real hard design with cable patterns which cross over (should be piece of cake for professional). I planned to combine designs from two different tutorials. Every day, having returned from work, my hubby would rush to see how much I had completed. I would place the incomplete work on him and see how much more work needs to be done. 😉 I loved seeing his face gleam as I did this. In spite, of knowing absolutely nothing about crochet he would be generous with his suggestion and I would oblige. I had always had an overwhelming desire to wrap my entire family in my love. Well, with crochet, I have indeed managed to do it. ☺ One can’t make out, how pleased am I to see my entire family wear what I made. Alhamdhulillah.

Crochet crochet cable stitch complicated sweater Quran dua for loving family crochet
Comfort of our eyes

A useful hobby, could strengthen bonds of love.

Bonus

Handmade crochet work is of great value. Alhamdhulillah, this could help anyone make a decent living from the comfort of one’s home.  With time, simple projects could be worked even with our eyes closed. This made me easier to catch up few missed lectures. In fact, it helped me concentrate better.

On the down side, when unfinished work is left unprotected, children could easily unwind the work. My little one used every opportunity to unwind as much yarn as possible. I could do nothing. Initially, I was angry. Then I realized, there is no point blaming a kid while as a grownup, I had failed to preserve it. I was turning more patient and vigilant.

My grandma was very impressed with my work. How can one become an expert? Here is her advice –

“YOU CAN DO ANYTHING AS LONG AS YOU ARE PERSEVERANT AND WILLINGLY TO UNWIND AND RECTIFY YOUR ERROR.”

This should be mantra for successful life! This hobby, was not just keeping me away from gaming but was also teaching me perseverance, patience and importance of Tawba (Repentence).  Indeed crochet helped me improve.

Dua crochet flower cap
Bless our deeds/action

If you think you are wasting your time, or, if you are bored with the usual routine, would you consider learning something new? What would you like to do? Do let us know, how your hobby helps you.

Preprinted in Muslimahbloggers.

A pearl in the Oyster

Lulu was applying her dark brown mascara which matched her golden brown dyed hair.  She then checks if her beige shirt is neatly tucked into her brown skirt. As she wraps her Italian printed brown scarf around her neck she wonders if she could get cash award.

Lulu was working as a science teacher in a primary school for girls. The teacher, whose students got maximum A grades was to be awarded 1000 Dhs/- at the end of the year. Lulu had always wanted to be a teacher. She had won several awards for her speeches and presentation during her high school and college days. Though inexperienced, getting this job was a piece of cake.

As she walks to school with a branded handbag she thinks, “May be I could be the winner.  Students just love me. I get showered by roses from students every day. I am sure they should have done well in exams. Thanks to computerization of exams, we can have unbiased report. “

She meets Mubeena, the other science teacher on her way.  Covered from head to toe in dark colored Abhaya , Mubeena greets, “Assalam alikum”.  Lulu returns greeting, “walikum salam dear.”  Mubeena was also selected along with Lulu to work as science teacher. Lulu had never seen Mubeena with any makeup except some moisturizer during winter; neither was she interested in shoe or handbag sale. She had had same handbag for last one year!

Lulu, “ Excited about award?”

Mubeena, “ Not really.  I just wish they didn’t have to hand awards on a holiday .I had to postpone my trip to visit my grandparents due to this. “

After few minutes of socializing with other teachers at school, principle ascended the stage and announced. “ Bismillah hirrahman Nirraheem. Allahu akbar, It had been great year.  Thanks to Allah, and then to your efforts our school is one of the most sought of school in this area.  As an encouragement and to inspire teachers we will be awarding 1000 Dhs/- to teacher who helped maximum number of grade 5 students excel with A grade.  This year we were surprised to see a new inexperienced teacher help 90% of her students get A grade. Mubeena please come up to collect your award.”

Everybody seemed shocked.  Mubeena appeared most shocked.  Having handed award to Mubeena on stage; Principal takes out paper and announces, “We had asked grade 5 students to comment on every teacher who had taught them. These are remarks about Mubeena.

‘Madam made scary water cycle friendly with a drawing. ‘

‘New text book appears like old story book…. Thanks to madam. ‘

‘I never knew growing plants could be so much fun. Now I have my own herb garden at home!’

‘Stable, neutral and unstable state is an absolute must for an artist. Now I know why my clay models toppled. Center of gravity is to be blamed..’…..

These are just some of the comments.”

Principal addresses Mubeena, “Several parents were surprised to see their kids excel in science and wanted me to thank you on their behalf. What prompted you to become a teacher?”

Mubeena, “Well… I loved science and I loved to teach.  I didn’t want kids to just memorize few definitions to score well in exam. I wanted them to remember what I taught and apply it in their life. In this way, I could reap reward in hear after as well. Alhamdulillah, Allah has rewarded me here as well.  May Allah safe guard my intentions and keep them pure.”

Principal proclaimed, “You are an asset to our school. We request you to train our other new faculty members.  Dear teachers, please collect your remark sheet before leaving.”

Lulu was very upset.  Only 40% of her class got A grade.  At the earliest opportunity, she slips away from teachers; collects her remark sheet and rushes home. The question paper was very easy. Now she was most likely to be trained by Mubeena as well. She wondered what could have gone wrong. Her students were so enthusiastic to meet her! She decides to read the remark sheet.

  • Miss lulu is the prettiest teacher around. I like seeing her glossy lips smile. – sarah
  • I like to see her wear rose in her broach. We gifted her roses to see whose rose she selected for the broach. Roses from my garden often adored her.  J – jasmeen
  • She is the only teacher with good fashion sense. Her handbag, belt and scarf always match. I want to dress just like her. – Jameela

“ Ya Allah ! What is this none of the comments refer to what I had taught!!! I had wanted them to be inspired by science not my beauty. After all being beautiful is not a sin.”, Lulu thought.  Half heartedly she continued reading.

  • Artist! Perfect makeup artist. Looks always fresh. – Shaistha
  • Oh she is adorable. She could put models to shame. My father says, she should try her luck in modelling.  – Suzane

Lulu throws the remark sheet away in anger. “What?!! How can my student’s father comment about me? I am here to teach and not to model. “.. Lulu recollected how often she had walked past parents; and how some of the men used to grin at her.  “What a fool I had been? Mubeena is almost as old as me and could be as pretty as me.  Still, all the people appreciate her for her teaching skill overlooking her beauty. We had taught the same subject. We had even given speech to one another and helped one another with the lessons. Then, what happened?”

Lulu recollected Mubeena’s speech on stage, “She had intended to get reward from Allah by teaching. What was the hadith about intention which our Islamic teacher used to say “ She opens the book islamic teacher had gifted her and reads…

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” Sahih al-Bukhari

sprout-leaves-intention

“My intention had been to teach well too. But what am I being appreciated for? Make up, bags and skin. I want to be portrayed by my work not outer cover. How could that be done? Like Mubeena… should I practice hijab?”, she thought. She realized she despised wearing hijab. She loved being fashionable… Alas this required showing off her collection of designer clothes, shoes, jewelry and handbags.  Her well groomed hair and flawless complexion can’t be seen through thick hijab. “Yah Allah! What had been my true intention while taking this job? It wasn’t to glorify my blessed youth.  This had distracted even girls as young as 10 from listening to what I had to teach. ”

Still bit skeptic about hijab..  she turns pages to read about hijab. She read…

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. [Quran an-Noor 24:31]

Lulu shivered a bit as she read again, ‘And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.’ It had become clear to her that she had opted vain desires over commandment of Allah. Allah the all Wise knows what’s best for us. The verse was calling her to turn back towards obedience of Allah so that she may succeed. Real Success is attaining safety from Hell in comfort of heaven. With right intention every day activities can turn into pathway to heaven.

She sobs as she prays, “Forgive me for my ignorance.  Yah Muhaymin (Guardian of faith) save me from getting eluded from purpose of life – to please you. My remark sheet at school has opened my eyes. It has made me fear the day when we’ll be handed book of deeds.  I beg of You  to save me from being amidst those who are handed their book of deeds on their left hand.  Guide me Yah Hadi  (Guider) to be amidst those who show their book deeds proudly to others on the day of reckoning.  Help me adhere to Your commands. Ameen.”

She hears her phone beep. Mubeena had sent her message. “ Join me for Lunch at home. Your presence would increase my happiness double fold.”  Lulu searches for her mother’s jilbab (long covering coat) to wear on her way to Mubeena’s home.

Of all the precious stones pearls are most likely to get tarnished when left exposed. We women are like pearls. our veils would serve us as oysters serve the pearl. Remain precious.

Prepublished in 1newleaf.

KILL THE ZOMBIE

backbiting is contagious

The aroma of biryani Abida had cooked overpowered the smell of room freshener. She inspects her flat one last time before she dresses up in one of her fine clothes. It was a special day. Her college friend was going to meet her for the first time since Abida had got married. Well, she hardly had any visitors she knew.  She wanted to impress her friend. “I hope Sadaf is not taken a back by the building’s location”, she thought.

As she waited she heard the phone ring. “Sadaf should be close by. May be she forgot the flat number.” Much to her disappointment, it wasn’t Sadaf. She hears nagging Rashma crying aloud, “Hallo Abida. You won’t believe what happened?” Abida knew now Rashma would treat her like a dump yard of emotions and there is nothing much she could do to console her. She replies politely, “Hi Rashma. Oh dear, no matter what it is don’t take it to your heart. I am sure things would turn around for better.” Amidst sob’s Rashma utters, “As usual my husband forgot all about me. He had…” Just then she heard a bell. Delighted to find a reason to escape Abida quickly interrupts, “I was expecting my friend. I have to attend her. I feel sad to leave you in your distress. I am sure your hubby will cheer you up. Bye” She cuts the call and rushes to the door.

The friends were glad to meet one another. Abida felt as though she was meeting her long lost sister! Abida did her best to make her friend feel like a queen! Sadaf and Abida spoke for hours about their days together on college. It was time for lunch. Sadaf was impressed by Abida’s culinary skills. “Abida, you could be a chef at a five star hotel. I just can’t have enough of the biriyani you cooked. You should share this recipe with me.” Abida gladly agrees. Sadaf wonders, “Abida I knew you couldn’t make tea and was happy to dress in casualwear. Now you have changed a lot. You look prettier in our silk robes and jewels. And the food you cook is divine. Your husband is a lucky man. Tell me the secret behind this transformation. Is it love?” Abida blushes and then replies honestly, “OH dear! Love is just a small part. Almost every weekend I have guests visiting us. We can’t afford to dine them out every week end. Inevitably I learnt to be a better host. So far I was only catering my hubby’s friends and family. You are the first person whom I had been acquainted with to come to my home. So, I was really eager to make this day special.”

The conversation seemed to change gloomy. Sadaf was too concerned about Abia’s tiring life. “It should have been tough catering to so many guests. A young couple needs to go out and have fun more often. You were pampered like no other girl at your parents’ home. I am sure your hubby should be helping you with the chores.” Abida opens her heart out, “The only help he does is to invite.” Sadaf gasps, “Oh my God! You should hate being treated as a servant.” Abida argues, “It’s not all that bad. You know I enjoy having company. I love having guests around. Well, until…” Abida wishes she hadn’t uttered more. It was too late. She recollected a heart breaking incident which occurred about a month ago. Sadaf urged her to continue, “Until what? Tell me. You would feel better.” Abida could not hold herself back, “well, one of hubby’s cousins had stayed over during holidays. We planned to go on a picnic next day. I had worked hard and took best care of the guest. Then I also cooked and packed for the picnic. I was last to sleep and first to wake up. I was very tired and fell asleep in the car. I could partly hear everything they spoke. My hubby called me lazy. He said I sleep all day. I hoped his cousin would defend me. Instead, he was feeling pity for my hubby. Would he do the same if his BIL said this about his sis. I came back and confronted my hubby? He was unapologetic.” With this Abida broke into tears. Sadaf handed her a tissue. She said, “That should have hurt a bit.” Abida snaps, “A bit? It felt as though he was tearing my clothes and was exposing me. Aren’t husband and wife meant to be like clothes to one another? Shouldn’t they protect, complement and save one another from evil. Now, I wonder what else had he been telling about me to his relatives. I strain so much to please him and what to do I get in return?”

They are your garments and Ye are their garments
Quran 2:187 Surah Al baqra 187

Sadaf starts a new chapter, “You had earlier told your hubby is very loving. Someone should have pushed him to turn like this. Is she your MIL?” “Oh no, she is such a darling. There are few differences in way we see things. That’s normal. Let’s speak about something else.” Sadaf agreed. She focused on Abida’s home. “Your house is well kept but it is not in prime location. What kind of neighbours do you have? The smell of fish on the way to your flat was hard to bear.”  Abida’s turns defensive again, “Well my hubby is saving to buy a better car. Once, he saves enough we will shift to a better location. Hey! That same neighbor also taught me to make biriyani. It’s not her fault that our kitchens face corridor.” Sadaf pities her, “It’s sad to see you adjust so much. How selfish of your hubby to leave you here so that he may enjoy luxuries. You should have been stern. If he doesn’t care for his newly wed wife, do you think he’ll care for you few years from now? Your parent always kept your preferences above theirs. It should be tough for you to live like this.” One thing led to other Abida was spilling beans out. When Sadaf left, she felt depressed and somehow oppressed. Lively home seemed devastated. Nothing seems right. She wonders why she ever married. The couple fought by evening and her young hubby went alone to meet his friends! She thought, “Now he’ll go and blabber everything to his friends.”

Things looked better again. Her hubby and she missed each other’s pleasant company. In no time, the conflict was pushed aside. She wonders why she ever fought with such a loving husband. A week later she receives call from her mom. Her mom was very upset. On questioning she reveals, “Does Ahmed take good care of you dear?” “He is very good to me.” “I know everything dear. You stay in a crappy place to save money. You work hard to please his guests and end up being called lazy. Your MIL and you have differences. And …” Abida is stunned to hear all this. She had only spoken to her friend about these things and they were not exactly said like this. She quickly comforts her mom, Continue reading KILL THE ZOMBIE

A Perfect husband

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Gentlemen, have you wondered, “what a woman desires?!” Ladies, let’s discuss, “How should a perfect husband be?” What kind of person would you love to marry? For those of us who are married, what were/are your expectations from your life partner? Is he a romantic hero who would sweep you off the floor with his charm? Or, are you expecting him to shower love on you with roses and chocolates! I am sure every woman has her definition of Prince Charming/ Superman. Does anyone really fit in?

Having seen marriage of a near and dear ones break, I had lost trust in marriage. When it was my turn to get married, I was scared. I wondered, “How should a perfect husband be?” The romantic hero seen in movies appeared to be an immodest flirt. I was sure such would continue to woo other women too. I was looking for a real human not a superman. A husband should cater to physical, emotional and financial needs of a wife. Unfortunately, many have failed in one or all these aspects. Men mostly seem incapable of expressing love. Do you know your partner’s likes and dislikes? Can you recognize your spouse’s developing anger? How many activities do you do together? Thankfully, I learnt about a person who reassured my faith in marriage.

My search led me to take interest in life of a modest man. His wife didn’t have to search for a reason/activity to get his attention. At home he readily made himself available for her. He would help her with the household chores! Love needs to grow in a marriage. Occasional showering of gifts/flowers cannot replace the interaction required to nurture plant of love. Unlike most men he listened attentively to his wife. What else could be better to prove a man’s love than caring for every word his wife utters. He could make out his wife’s slightest expression of anger! When she is upset, he consoled her. He saw to it that, no one hurt his wife, including her family even if it was in his favor! He didn’t ignore his wife’s whims and fancies. In short, he used every chance to shower her with affection. He was not amidst those who would forget their wife at the time of honor. He saw to it she had same privileges as him. No person is devoid of human flaws. He didn’t make big deal of his wife’s flaw and rectified it with love!!!  A wife hopes her spouse cares for her parents and extended family the way she does. Our hero respected and cared for his wife’s relatives even after her death! Do you think a busy successful person cannot be like that? Does this make him appear as someone unsuccessful in life? Contrary to that, he is the most successful person ever. This humble king even sought his wife’s advice in important matters. He was none other our beloved Prophet (ﷺ).  This unlettered Prophet (ﷺ)  was wise enough to state.

Prophet was best towards his wives

With an open mind let us see how exactly he treated his wives. Gentlemen here are some tips to increase sweetness in a married life. 😉 Our Prophet (ﷺ) was indeed a perfect HUSBAND!!

humble

Help your wife with chores.

Most of us struggle to find quality time with our husband. Either spouses are too busy or emotionally void. Helping one another in everyday activities could keep love fresh and strong.

ultimate listener

Once, Aisha (RA) narrated a story of 11 women. It is a lengthy hadith where in each women relates about her husband. Prophet (ﷺ)   listened to her without showing any signs of fatigue or boredom. He didn’t interrupt her and finally related “I am to you as Abu Zar was to his wife.” [Shahi Al Bukhari]

I have not included the entire hadith here due to its length. Indeed one who reads this hadith could make out how attentive was the Prophet (ﷺ)   to his wife! J

During Hudaibiya treaty, Shabas were disappointed that they can’t perform umrah that year. None proceeded to sacrifice. Umm salamah (r.a)  said, “O the Prophet (ﷺ) of Allah! Do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and don’t say a word to anybody till you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head.” The Prophet (ﷺ) followed her advice. When the sahabas saw what their Rasool (ﷺ) had done, they copied him with zeal. [Shahih al Bukhari]

Our Prophet (ﷺ) didn’t feel inhibited to follow a wise advice of a woman.

Scintillating rectifier

jealous wife

There is no mention of him being angry at Ayesha RA. He realized her love for him had made her jealous. How wisely he handled the situation?!

benevolent

be good to wife's relatives

Subhan Allah, his () love and respect for his wife Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her) extended even after her death. He continued to maintain ties with her family and friends.

Anger recognizer

console your angry wife

Mother of believers Ayesha (RA) hardly did anything to express her anger. Just one different word was enough for our dear Prophet (ﷺ) to recognize her anger. He didn’t ignore it, but mentioned this to his beloved wife. Subhan Allah

never abused

be kind to your wife.

Our brave prophet (ﷺ), who commanded armies, was always kind to his wives and those who served him!

Desirable

Darling wife.

With such open verbal expression of love, a wife would feel happy, secure and contended.


Handsome is what Handsome does. Now, could there be any one more handsome than our prophet? Are you amazed at prophet’s treatment towards his wives? I have just mentioned few of my favorite hadiths. He was much more pleasing. He entertained and played with them too. So, what kind of partner would you like? How about following our Prophet’s (ﷺ)  advice?

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (ﷺ)  who said: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Seek the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

With this hadith in mind, I had prayed for a religious man. Our choice for a spouse has a great impact on our future and our children’s future!  Only a man with Taqwa (God consciousness) can try his best to cater physical, emotional and financial needs of his wife and children. My hubby may not be the best man ever, but, Alhamdulillah he is the best man I know. One of the things I love about him is, the way he cares for our children. He doesn’t fuss when it comes to helping me with kids. This gives me extra time to learn, memorize and blog.

Ladies, pay heed. No one is perfect. There are times when I am angry /disappointed with my hubby. That’s when I remember:

Ungrateful wife

Yes, that’s scary. Indeed my husband’s merits outweigh his shortcomings. Life is too precious to be wasted on arguments for trivial things. When upset I recollect some of the lovely things he did for me. This melts my anger away. (MostlyJ) Then, I think of my flaws. Honestly, he rarely complains about them. This really turns my anger into appreciation for him.

Remember ladies, no one can be a better husband than our Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ). Blessed is a lady, whose husband aspires to be like Prophet (ﷺ) was to his wife.  Support him when he practices any sunnah (prophetic mode of life). With time, he would make Prophet (ﷺ) his role model. This would be a huge blessing for a wife.

For those of us who are married we can still strengthen bonds of love by ignoring the past. Let us help one another grow spiritual. May our bonding with Allah help us establish a place in heaven together.

Quran [at-Toor 52:21] [ar-Ra ‘d 13:23] [az-Zukhruf 43:70].

This is where our concern should be. Are you the one who wakes your spouse for fajr? Do you request your spouse to accompany you to a movie or an Islamic class? Do you relax with music or qirat?

Aim for the true eternal love.

Prepublished in Muslimahbloggers

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I thought I knew her.

She had always been strong and confident. She knew what she wanted and strived hard for it. Nothing could stand in her way. She was called rude, selfish and over-ambitious. She just didn’t care. Ah! She had even started to enjoy the malice. She had mastered the art of scaring others away. Being hated was inevitable. Don’t losers hate winners? Her tongue was sharper than scissors. Truth was bitter and won’t it prick on being manifested? She had no friends. Who needed them when all they could do is drag her behind?
Life had taught her a hard lesson.  The tragedy her family faced was afresh in her memory.  What followed was series of disappointments. Her mother’s tears haunted her. She had cried too, until she could cry no more.  She accepted new life and decided never to cry again. She saw herself as one capable of solving her mom’s worries. Everything else in life seemed as an unnecessary distraction. This world was selfish with no one to depend on. Relying on anyone was foolish. It would only lead to a broken heart. Now her vision was to be successful and powerful. Intelligent and young she was preparing herself to compete in men’s world.

Surprisingly, I found her cry few years later. Did anyone argue with her? Was she crushed by her rules? No.

Continue reading I thought I knew her.

Precious Five

precious 5

Silence in the hospital was broken by cries of pain; deep unbearable pain. Rehma was brought to the  hospital in labor. The pain was unbearable. Her husband wiped sweat off her forehead as she waited to be admitted.  Doctor examined her and was quick to take her to the  labor ward.  The baby would be here any minute. Any minute? It seemed like ages.

Unlike her first pregnancy this pregnancy had been tough. It was not the pregnancy symptoms which made her life tough. It was cough. Yes!  Cough.  Being pregnant she wasn’t prescribed strong medicines and it made things worst.

She had promised herself that she would take great care of her unborn child. She had planned a list of things to do once she was pregnant.

  • Go on a morning walk.
  • Pray more voluntary prayers
  • Recite Quran daily after fajr
  • Eat healthy balanced food. (no junk)
  • Spend more time with elder son, helping him memorize

Alas, now she could do none of it with her deep coughs. While walking -Where could she vomit? Forget the nafil (voluntary) prayers,  she found it difficult to utter surat ul fatiha (opening chapter of quran) in fard (obligatory prayer).  Getting something on the plate for her family to eat was her biggest challenge of the day. And her poor son, she could do nothing more than to smile with difficulty.  This adversity could purify her – this was her only consolation.

desert flower

Cough would start somewhere deep within and wouldn’t stop until she had very hot water!  This cough wouldn’t let her sleep or eat well. It made sure that she vomited what little she ate. And at its peak won’t let Rehma utter a word. Due to this she didn’t even go out. It always occupied her thoughts and made her sad.

Continue reading Precious Five

Lucky me!

 “If the Son of Adam had a valley of gold, then he would still like to have a second . And nothing fills his mouth but dust, Allah turns to whoever repents.” 

Naima had just returned from school. Her long face and a lifeless salam spoke 1000 words to her mother. “what’s wrong Naima?” asked her mom. “Nothing Ammi”, responded Naima. Few minutes later Ammi got her favorite snacks and chocolate milk. Normally easily pleaseable Naima hardly noticed her plate.

Ammi asks softly, “Did you forget to take your assignment to school?” Naima now in all tears,“I don’t want to go school.” Ammi questions, “why?” “Ammi all girls have fancy gadgets and latest cell phones. They speak about it all day. No matter how much I ask, you won’t get me any of those?” Ammi replies, “There is no need for these. We have a phone they can use it to call you. With that stuff you will be lost in games and useless jokes. Your time is better spent without that fancy stuff.” Naima bursts out, “I feel primitive belonging to Stone Age. I feel ashamed to be amidst my friends. Their parents pamper them as though they are princesses. I think they are special. How lucky are they? And here I am…” She stops abruptly.

Ammi was upset too. She silently left to kitchen. Few minutes later Ammi calls out. “Naima, would you like to have avocado kheer?” Naima can’t prevent herself from smiling. She had a big sweet tooth. Ammi announces, “you would have to help me cook it today.” Naima gladly agrees.

Continue reading Lucky me!

FEBRUARY FEVER

Don't celebrate these

FEBRUARY FEVER

On Sunday Feb 15th, Farha was sitting alone on her hostel bed with a diary on her hand. She was reading her diary with whom she shared things she wouldn’t say  to anyone else.

Feb 1: Dear Diary, It would be my first Valentine day in college. Girls are buzzing about it. Now is time to shine. Hope I’m popular too. No fun in college without some attention I guess.

Feb 2: OMG. Some of the girls had made most of the week end. Had done shopping and been to parlour.  They look so special. Beep beep –  I’m lagging.   Next year I’ll be prepared.

Feb 5: Pretty Rehana confines her fears to me.  She is scared no boy would give her a card or a rose. She scares me of, what will happen of me?

Feb 7: Week end – Postponed my trip to home. Now I can shop high heels, fancy mobile accessories and other cool stuff with friends.

Feb 8: LOL. What has Rehana done to her hair?!! Is it a Rainbow or did she get stuck by a lightning. If I was a boy I would run away from her. My heels and accessories are in no match to other’s attires. Do they book these dresses before actresses even try them on?

Feb 10: Should have seen the beauty contest coming – will it be Sara or Rashma who would get maximum roses?  Hope at least some sweetie spares me a card.

Feb 12: Caught by seniors – Such a waste of time. Hours spent wrapping gifts for their valentines- gift for their mom dad uncle and aunts too. Why? May be they hope this will make their parents overlook the expenditure on their BF. Or, is it mere guilt?

Feb 13: All my roommates had been sending friendly messages to boys on mobiles and net!  Boys had started sending jokes to them long back. I would never give my number to any boy. Too shy for that!

Feb 14: SOS SOS… The day is her -CAN’T decide what to wear. Every colour dress has a meaning.   Traffic signs are so much easier to remember. I hope what I select gives no special signal. Rehana in Green! – Is she that desperate? Even rose colour means something! I just don’t want red – don’t wish to break anyone’s heart.

Feb 15: ________________

Farah’s face is red and swollen. Few hours of tears would make any one red. She picks up her pen and writes, “Who knew Rehana would win the contest? Roses of different colour- more vibrant than her hair adore her table now . She has pasted all her heart shaped cards on her closet. The teddy bears look cute on bed. Dear Diary, Anyone can easily count all the stuff I got – Zero. Am I not pretty or friendly? Then why am I not a part of group lunch parties my friends are in even on Sunday? These girls didn’t even bother to say me a bye. So we are back again as best friends my ever reliable diary.” Farha drops her pen down and starts crying again.

FEB FEVER ROSE

She hears her name being called. “Farha, Farha, where are you?” Before she could rise up her lecturer Dr. Yasmin enters in. “Yah Allah. Did a bee sting your face? What have you made of yourself? You just missed a call from your parents. Weren’t you lost in your thoughts to hear the announcement?  I guess your mobile is silent too.“ Farha quickly closes her diary and wipes her tears. Too late, it was as though Dr. Yasmin could see through her.  The strict lecturer was standing next to her inspecting her room. There were valentines gifts all around except in her place. Next to her was her gaudy diary and on the  floor was a shoe box with untouched flashy heels.

Continue reading FEBRUARY FEVER