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Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

Birds and communication

I really wonder how birds communicate with each other. One bird will find something and somehow the rest of them get a signal and they all come within seconds to join their friend.

SubHaanAllaah, such amazing communication skills. It probably goes like this:

Bird 1 (the scout): I see some water down there. I am going to go check it out.
Bird 1 comes to the water, sees no danger, calls them all over (HOW?!!) and they all come within seconds.
There is so much trust in their relationship.

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CBC Feature

AlHumdulillaah

It was over 2 years ago when I was aired on the national television channel, CBC for their segment: Ask My Anything – Niqaab.

Niqaab feature [5 minutes]

It was a grueling experience of over 3 hours of Q&A with little breaks in between for Salaah and changing mic batteries. This took place when Niqaab was under a lot of heat around the world and several countries/organizations were pushing to have it banned.

All praise belongs to Allaah subHaanahu wa ta’aala who guided me to this opportunity and granted me the courage to share a fraction of my religion with the people. And then my friend, MR, who informed me of this interview and my husband who was encouraging and always by my side.

I ask Allaah subHaanahu wa ta’aala for forgiveness for any mistakes made on my behalf and praise Him for any good that came out of it.

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Bismillaah

With the recent rise in Islamophobia and commoners having all these super misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims, Muslimresponse is a wonderful media outlet that let the Muslims speak and share their side of the story.

Their current project is in regards to the veil ban in France and the hype surrounding it. A friend of mine is starring in it, and I am really looking forward to watch this!

In response to France’s legislation to ban the niqab (face veil) that took effect on April 11, 2011, Muslim Response has decided to produce a mini-documentary called “Face to Face: A Niqab Narrative”, scheduled to release soon.

Check out the trailer for a taste of what is sure to be a piece full of hard-hitting dialogues and unsuspected humour.  As the name suggests this effort comes directly from the perspective of a veiled woman who lives in the west. Some scenes will shock you; others will leave you longing for more. Enjoy and keep a close eye on this space for the release date.

http://muslimresponse.com/

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Bismillaah

When we used to have SIC (Shabab Islamic Centre) in Toronto, one of the organizors asked me if I’d be interested in being interviewed for my life as a niqaabi in Toronto. This was around mid-2007. I agreed to it, but I was a bit nervous as it was my first interview. I made lots of du’aa and then took help of a friend who has been involved with media. Few of the suggestions that are always given to me for any ‘public’ appearance are:

1) Be yourself.

2) Answer the questions being asked, and don’t answer the indirect questions.

3) Stay calm. As Muslims, we should be conscious of the angels recording our actions/speech 24/7, so this should be less intimidating.

4) Be polite, friendly but firm.

5) As experience taught me, never meet them alone.

When I was preparing for this interview with Denise from TorontoLife, I had only been a niqaabi for a good six (6) months. Denise had sent me her questions beforehand, so I had some time to think about them. I decided that I would like to do this interview in the comfort of my home, so I invited her over. We had tea, and the interview began. It lasted a comfortable hour or two.  Alhumdulillaah, it didn’t feel anything like ‘interrogation’, where I was just having questions thrown at me. Denise and I made really good acquaintance through it, and even found something in common between us to talk about. We were interrupted by Anees, my big fluffy black cat who really was deprived of my attention for so long. As I was playing with him, and Denise was packing up, she remarked: ‘You are the most normal woman I have ever interviewed.’ I looked in her eyes as she watched me rub Anees’s huge stomach, and contemplated how much wearing Niqaab and making that transition contributed to this ‘normal-ness’ in my life. Alhumdulillaah.

The interview is published online and can be read in the link below. Also, check out the sister’s interview after me for her role as a hijaabi in Toronto.

http://www.torontolife.com/features/under-cover/

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Of Noise and…

Bismillaah

I was admonished greatly by the elders in my family while growing up on the etiquettes of two primary things: how to walk, and how to talk. Basic presentation skills.

Not that I was a loud mouth or anything, but my parents (may Allaah protect and preserve them) are very hospitable people and there was never a day when we didn’t have guests at our place. And as we know… desis and hospitality! It is the focus of life at some households. Things such as, climbing stairs (Baaji will remember this one), closing doors of anything, general noise made from eating were all carefully scrutinized and corrected… sometimes in public if need be.

Alhumdulillaah, I am grateful to my parents for teaching my siblings (although some are still learning) and me the proper aadaab of presenting ourselves as human, but there is always a lot to learn.

And after getting married, all of this took a completely new turn.

Forget making noise while you are walking, or not watching your volume while speaking… My in-laws are broughtup not making any noise whatsoever while moving around the house. It’s creepy, I tell you!

One example is my sister-in-law, who always surprised me in the beginning. You can’t tell when that woman comes out of her room, grabs food from the kitchen, and goes back to her room. How can a person not make any noise while taking food or dishes out???! Sometimes, I’d be sitting in the living room with my husband, and we’d have no idea when she walked from behind us towards the kitchen. We’d only see her coming out… in dark, lol. Oh the famous one is when she comes home. You don’t even hear her taking the keys out, forget her footsteps, when opening the door. It still scares me!

In the first few weeks of my marriage, I had some trouble adjusting to an apartment from a life in suburbs. In the suburbs, the only noise you hear is coming from your own home. Hardly, you’d get to hear your neighbour’s crankin’ and slammin’. It’s different in the apartments. I was so scared when I first heard one of my neighbours’ yelling at her kids. I turned to my husband with a questioning look, “Is this woman for real? She knows we can hear her, right?”, and he just gave me a smile as if a child has asked an innoncent question to an adult.

Hubby is a joke. The kids (my in-laws) used to get scared in the beginning when I’d slam the cabinet doors in the kitchen. My husband, understanding where I am coming from, brought those noise-free velcro (what do you call them anyway?) and stuck them on the cabinet doors, so it doesn’t make any noise when I use them, all over the kitchen!  

walhumdulillaah.

“The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is someone who has excellent behavior;
and the best among you are those who behave best toward their wives.”

Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 106

Ofcourse, the best example is to learn from RasulAllaah, alayhim salaatu wa salaam (repeat that!)
Forget talking about dealing with your family over noise-nuisance, how do you treat guests or strangers disturbing your peace?

Ummul Mu’mineen, Aishah radhiyAllaahu anha tells us that RasulAllaah salAllaahu alayhi wasallam, used to be cautious of the worst type of people, and he would speak gently to them and treat them well. A man sought permission to enter upon him and he said, “Let him in, what a bad brother of his tribe he is!” When the man came in, he spoke gently to him. Aishah said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, salAllaahu alayhi wasallam, you said what you said, and then you spoke gently to him?’
He said, “O Aishah, the worst of people is the one whom people avoid because they fear his slander.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

InshaAllaah, take it as a lesson to be gentle to everyone you meet (and not just in Ramadan!). We get to meet a lot of people from our community, sadly only during Ramadan, so give them the best taste of etiquettes by speaking gently to them. Who knows, because of your beautiful character, they’ll decide to come to the masjid more often?

WaAllaahu Musta’an

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IMG00401

A friend from Calgary sent me this pic. Pretty cool, huh?

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A Better Deal?

Bismillaah PLANET SPA African Shea...

Rehab met a lady who was selling a Shea Butter scrub along hand + feet cream, a product value of $24 for a sale price of $8. Not wanting to let go off this deal, she immediately made a purchase.

 

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Hamid stopped over one afternoon at a masjid to perform the Dhuhar salaah. He was tired from work and was feeling very hungry. He recalled seeing a $5 bill in his wallet before coming to the Masjid, and was making plans for grabbing a sandwich when a young man stopped him on his way out. The young man was carrying a few pieces of his calligraphy and eagerly asked Hamid if he would like to make any purchase to help him out. Hamid thought about the $5 bill he had, felt his stomach growly and then looked at the young man’s face. Feeling pity on the young man, he asked him to give his best calligraphy.

The young man patiently waited, as Hamid looked for the $5 bill in his wallet. Surprisingly, Hamid searched throughout his wallet and could not find the $5 bill. He asked the young man to wait and started looking again and then he found the bill folded in between some receipts. He made the purchase and the young man thanked him for his generosity.

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It has been a few months since Rehab and Hamid made their purchases.

The Shea Butter set is still sitting on Rehab’s dresser after initially being used for a couple times. Whereas, the durood that Hamid purchased from the young man  is still benfiting both Rehab and Hamid everytime they see it.

So, who really made a better deal? :)

It was narrated by Abu Dawood, 2041, with a hasan isnaad from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“There is no one who sends salaams upon me but Allaah will restore to me my soul so that I may return his salaams.”

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