Thursday, September 9, 2010

These are the days of Eid

Assalaamu alaykum

Every year when the Eid time is approaching... I haunted by.. you know by what?
X-mas memories.
As a revert I carry a baggage where the non-Islamic past (such as holidays) and emotions and memories are making a heavy stone that brings down my Eid Spirit. Yes it does!

I wonder if there will be a day when I am totally free of making comparisons between X-mas and the Eid. I still often feel very sad on the Eid as I cannot really catch the spirit. The society around really does not help, as it did not live Ramadan and will not celebrate the Eid with us.

But the thing is... a child that was born Muslim... he has no memories of being loaded with chocolate on the X-mas eve. No memories of endless X-mas cartoons and movies. No memories of scents, traditional holiday meals. No memories of aunts and grannies coming over. He has never tasted X-mas.

I may not ever really grow to love Eid on the emotional level (though I hope I will, with the help of Allah) but I can create traditions that will define Eid for my own little crew.
It doesn't have to be anything BIG (like X-mas traditions usually are not either) but it needs to be something, that introduces one to the spirit of the eid; welcomes to the celebration after the long month of fasting. Something that makes one feel warm and happy.

And even if we would not fully enjoy the Eid preparations and would never really grow to be very fond of the Eid itself (on a deep, emotional level that is not build only about our current values and beliefs, but where our whole life is present with all the memories) I am sure that our children will learn to love our two Eids and once grown up, married and introduced to parenthood, they just might turn on the anasheed You always did, to eat the dish You always made for them... That they will smell and taste the Eid the way we used to know X-mas.

My son, he is sleeping his Eid Morning gift so close he can reach it in a nanosecond when he wakes up. I ask Allah to bless him and all of us, with a beautiful Eid full of joy and happiness.

Eid Mubarak for each and everyone.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What you choose to see

Assalaamu alaykum

Today I passed a drunk while I was walking home.
He was heading home too, I guess, with a beer open in his pocket, staggering.
As I passed him I made a silent wish that he would fall down to the bushes next to him and learn a lesson (my positivity is not something I can count on every moment).

I passed him and for a reason I don't remember, I turned back and I saw him on the ground. As drunk as he was, he could not get up from there.
Then I saw a brother approaching him, and before I turned away again, I saw how he offered his hand for the drunk and helped him up.

He helped him up, even I am sure that people alike the drunk call him names, offend him and ridicule him. Even I am sure that if he was to fall, they would not be there to offer their helping hand.
And still, he offered that drunk his hand, cleansed with the wudu for the jumuah prayer.

He offered his hand.

Narrated 'Abdullah: As if I am looking at the Prophet while he was speaking about one of the prophets whose people have beaten and wounded him, and he was wiping the blood off his face and saying, "O Lord! Forgive my people as they do not know."

Abu Hurairah reported that Tufail ibn `Amr Ad-Dawsi and his companions came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Messenger! the people of the tribe of Daws disobeyed and refused to follow you; so invoke Allah against them." The people said, "The tribe of Daws is ruined." The Prophet said, "O Allah! give guidance to the people of Daws, and let them embrace Islam." (Al-Bukhari)

and the drunk took it.
Maybe after all, he did learn a lesson, but better than the one I had in mind.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Don't Loose Yourself

Assalaamu alaykum,

I know that becoming a Muslim is for most of us a very powerful, life-changing experience.
For many it feels like the first day of the new life, where past is left behind and new welcomed with an open heart and arms. Most of us are eager to learn and to grow rapidly into the deen.
We adapt new manners, new thoughts and knowledge.

Some of us change a name, get married to a stranger, change our whole network of friends and family into new one. We might move into a different neighbourhood if not a country, change a job and turn our lives upside down on every way.

We also meet a lot of expectations from others and we do put them on ourselves as well.
We have an ideal of a sister, a wife, a mother.
We also often add up little on the expectations coming from outside, and it does not make the pressure any less, that in our communities, like in many others too, surface is kept shining even it would be all rotten inside.
Sometimes we are just so excited and high with iman, that we sink into the deen so deep, that on the day we'll get sober, we have lost ourselves.

We grow and we change, and every new stage of life requires adjustments. It is natural to have to give up certain things, and to adjust into what Allah has blessed us with. We have to make choices all the time.
For a new Muslim, or for a new-found Muslim changes are evident as we try our best to follow the deen. There is nothing wrong with that.

Allah does not call us to loose our personalities, to give up the things we enjoy and to accept all that happens in this dunya just for the sake it happens, without making an effort to change it.
He has given us responsibilities and commandments but He subhanahu wa ta'ala has also given us rights and examples of enjoying the life and living it full.

Sometimes we falsely think we need to give up things we love, when in reality all we have to do is to find an alternative way to enjoy them.
We adopt the new cultures and norms of our communities and husbands forgetting that Islam is different from culture.
We fall into that very trap of culture that we often blame born Muslims guilty of.

We loose our dreams and goals and adjust to whatever we face, no matter how unsatisfying the life can be. And many times, as we loose these little bits of ourselves, we loose many joys of daily life that give us satisfaction and strenghth to do more. And too often, way too often, we loose our spirits to the point we stop asking for our rights and keep adjusting, until there is no more left of what we were.

I don't call you on barricades sisters.
I call you just to keep living.
To drink that Western coffee instead of Arabic, if you like it.
To cook from your native country once in a while, even others in your family would not fancy it.
To ask your husband to take the baby so you can go cycling in the summer, not the the highway but to a forrest path.
To go and play soccer with your boys on the playground just mums and kids go to.
To read a book you enjoy, even you did not for years because after becoming a Muslim you thought its waste of time.
To be loud and laugh if that is your nature.
To go skating and sliding.
To do the things you enjoy and don't contradict your deen.
To never let anyone put you down to the point you don't know anymore who you are.

Sometimes, little things do so much.
Don't loose yourself.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

White socks

Salamu alaykum,

A sister once said, that one should be able to walk through Muslim's home with white socks so that in the end of the visit they would still be white.
As much as I agree, the words did not sound right for me.

I forgot the words, until one day it came back to my mind. And I realized what was wrong.
Cleanliness is part of our deen, and besides that, Allah loves beauty.
But if your white socks turn black in sisters house, what do you do?

Do you look around and think how she is lazy to not to clean her house?
That she has too many children as she cannot even manage her home?
That this is not the way Muslim should live, why she doesn't clean her house?
Maybe you get to remind her of hadith clearing the importance of cleanliness?

Or do you just ignore it and drink the coffee she just poured?
Do you chat about daily duties and passed and up-coming events?
Look at her with bunch of kids all busy thinking "mashaAllah, she does not complain even she must be so tired"?

And your socks you will throw to the washing machine when you go home, texting her thanks for the coffee.

Or do you tell her to send her crew to the playground with you and your kids and let her rest a bit or wipe her floor?
Do you ask her how she really is and if she needs some help?
Or if you know her well enough, do you go and take the mop from the closet and give her a hug, whilst heading to mop that dirty floor?

Maybe those dirty socks after all reveal the one who wears them.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Every now and then

"you should not weary the people making it a habit that every single time you sit in a gathering you admonish and address the people, since the Prophet used to give them admonition now and then, and not too frequently.
This is because the souls become weary and bored. When they become bored they become languid and weak and may even come to dislike what is good merely because of the frequency with which the person stands and addresses them."

(By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, taken from “An Explanation of the Three Principles”)

We are often very passionate and fierce in the beginning of our Islam mashaAllah, always ready to bring out a fatwa, an article by well-know scholar, ahadith and ayaat of the Qur'aan to bring evidence for whatever discussing that time.

I believe that naseeha is something that needs to be given, and I believe that a wrong I pass without trying to change it either with my hand, tongue or the very least du'aa, will be an evidence against me.

But I do believe too, that naseeha that is given without the knowledge of the nature of good naseeha can do more harm than keeping quiet.
Naseeha should be given with knowledge of more than just about the issue it is given about.

One of the books I love is "Enjoining good and forbidding evil" by ibn Taymiya.
If every Muslim would read it, I think our ummah would be way healthier than it is.

May Allah make us united for His sake and guide us on the right path. Aamin