April 28, 2010

Is That Mine?

Cell phones, okay so I have had mine for about 4 years (give or take) and to this day…I still don’t recognize my ring tone! Let me correct that statement, I recognize it, but I also respond to every ring tone I hear!

Seriously it’s like some bizarre Pavlov’s response (except for humans) when it rings, off I go, only to embarrass myself. I don’t think I am the only person in this universe who fought getting a cell phone, am I?

The only reason I succumbed to the pressure LOL, was because my boss demanded 24/7 access. Please I worked in Human Resources; there were not many “staffing” emergencies which occurred during the wee hours of the night.

So now I have this phone and even though it has been with me for sometime, we still haven’t created that bonding moment. You know that moment of discovery, people get when they realize, they can’t live without their phone!

We either know the type (or yikes!) are the type, who are never more than an inch away from their link to anything…other than what they are presently doing.

When did we as a society need to be so accessible? I was outside; doing nothing in particular and I was astonished how many people were on their mobile! Oh my goodness, even people sitting having meals were not fully engaged in the moment.

I guess this is just the times we are living in. And by the way…I don’t own one of these fancy iPhone or Blackberry’s or whatever the latest release is today. I am the proud owner of a Virgin Sidekick --- don’t judge me it was a good price and had a fully QWERTY pad for texting *smile*.

So while I may never experience that bonding moment with my Sidekick, I keep her somewhere in the house. As for responding to various rings tones that I hear…that may take e a little time. Oh my ring tone, get this…is an actual sound of old fashioned phone! Brilliant I know…LOL, gotta go I hear a phone.

April 27, 2010

Life Lessons, Repeat as Needed

I admit there are some lessons in life that need to be learned again and again. Sure we may think at times, that life has treated us less than fair. We somehow may feel we are being overlooked, while others are being given abundance.

And you know what? Life is not portioned out in happiness for some, and misery for others. This life for however long it is given to us…is guaranteed of providing one constant occurrence---trials.

There is not an individual in this world that will not, has not, or is not currently experiencing a personal trial or fitnah in their life. For me I am undergoing my own gift. The reason I will refer to my trial as a gift…is because insha’Allah it will leave me a better Muslima and person going forward.

Everyday our faith is being tested. How we react to situations and circumstances are dependent upon our level of tawheed, [Belief in Allah’s Divine Lordship; Belief in Allah’s Divine Nature and Belief in the Names and Attributes of Allah] As Muslims we raise our level of tawheed by endless worship to Allah (swt).

Sayyid Qutb (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “As for the believers whose hearts are connected to Allah, whose souls are close to Him, who experience His constant bounty – they do not despair of the Mercy of Allah even if they are surrounded on all sides by disasters and severe hardship. The believer is in the mercy of the shade of his faith, the pleasure of his connection to his Lord and the tranquility of his confidence in his Guardian even when he is in the throes of hardship and disasters.” ‘Reflections: Expecting the Best from Allah’ --- By Abu Muhammed al-Maqdidi

While I have much to learn in my life as a Muslima, I am assured of the Mercy and Forgiveness promised to us, from Allah (swt). Insha’Allah my purpose is not seeking to be perfect…but to seek the perfection in my search. Allahu A’lam (Allah knows best) what is planned for this Muslima, all I know is that…it will be given in His time and not mine.

I wish to thank my brother for sharing the above entitled book. Jazak Allah Khairan

April 21, 2010

You Have It, Now What?

The other day I was watching a show and the question was asked, “Do women still want it all?”

Women have been raised with the ---we can have it all --- attitude. Marriage and motherhood all while maintaining a successful career. We are led to believe it is all ours for the taking. Often while we are establishing our careers, we just assume life will pause and be there waiting for us.

Now this may not be a politically correct statement, but then my little blog is a collection of my thoughts and opinions, so the risk of any repercussion or backlash from the masses is minimal --- to non existent (smile).

Personally I never wished to be equal to a man. Nor do I consider myself a feminist, at least not by today’s definition.

A few of my friends not long ago expressed regrets over selecting career over family or vice versa. We relaxed around the kitchen table (usually for our girl’s day) and tried to justify having one versus the other. For myself I decided to scale back drastically in my style of living and work from home while I raised my son. For me it was the best choice, and I must say it was far harder than any job I have held outside the home--- in my life! (Smile)

For my other friends, their careers are their top priority and they never looked back. A couple of the girls do have it all...but admitted it's almost impossible keeping it all together and functioning.

A statement made by one of my friends was “I hate that men get to enjoy the career they want, and enjoy their kids!” We sat quietly for a few moments, because we could see her tears welling up in her eyes, she was not just upset, but angry! The silence led us to believe others at the table felt the same...but didn't want to say.

After a couple more hours of talking, laughing and enjoying good food…we hugged and said goodbye until the next girls day.

Later that night I wonder to myself, as women who are we competing with? Men for the most part will never be the one to stay home with the children. It is not there role. We were created by Allah SWT with specific roles as men and women in this life. Subhan Allah these roles are beautifully and perfectly designed.

I am not saying that women should not pursue a professional career. This is their choice. While for some women these days being a housewife and/or mom isn’t the most glamorous or financially rewarding life. I love the idea of being married again one day insha'Allah. So what may not be rewarding now, as believers we understand…our true rewards come in the next life.

So the question remains, do women still want it all? That question probably will never have an absolute answer. Alhamdulillah having it all---doesn’t mean we need it all.

April 18, 2010

It's Not Always Friendship

Recently I have revisited my definition of friendship. All too many times we (me included) are quick to use the word friendship in describing someone we are in fact, only well acquainted. True friendships are rare. They are developed over time and life experiences, not by following a person on a social network.

Usually I am a mellow personality…and this may be the problem. I blame myself for believing that each person I meet or have contact with…is automatically my “friend.” Let me state for the record that belief has been greatly diminished.

My lifestyle is uncomplicated and relaxed, with very little room for theatrics! Somewhere along the way, I have allowed other “sisters and brothers” to make me feel guilty. I have been made to feel guilty for not adhering to their way of thinking. If I follow or un-follow certain people on Twitter for example, comments are made.

Friendships for me are the most valuable relationships, other than husband and wife. Subhan Allah we are advised in Islam to befriend our sister and brother. We are told that we are all united by our faith…while this is true; it does not mean there won’t be conflict of opinions or major personality differences. We as Muslims are individuals, who share the same religion. However, sharing one’s faith…does not obligate us to be instant friends.

For any sisters or brothers who feel I have offended, or wronged them in the past I sincerely apologize. If I decide not to continue a social relationship with a person…that is my option. And I should not be made to keep explaining why.

So I am removing myself from high school behavior. I didn’t play the mind games then, and I certainly am not going to start at this time in my life. The only things I need in this dunya, I have already received. Alhamdulillah whatever else Allah SWT ordains I will be forever grateful, and what He forbids…I know is best.

My grandma use to tell me to be careful in speaking, when you are too tired or upset. She would say once some words are spoken, they can’t always be easily forgiven or forgotten.

Taking time to think before I speak has proven to be one of life’s best lessons insha’Allah. To my sisters and brothers in Islam, I love you for the sake of Allah as I am required. For my friends (which are very few) I love you…plain and simple.

April 13, 2010

..Lessons Learned

I was chatting earlier today with my dear brother about whether or not
he should start studying his books out of sequence, or wait he has then entire set. So I suggested he start reading the volumes he has now…because it’s possible there is a message he should receive now insha'Allah. Allahu A'lam
(Allah knows best)

We were briefly discussing spiders from a previous conversation, when I told him about the spider whose web protected the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companion Abu Bakr (ra) while they were in the cave.

It was this delicate web of the spider that shielded them from the enemy. The web gave the appearance of existing across the cave for a long period and not having in inhabitants thus, making the enemy walk by the cave leaving the Prophet (PBUH) and Abu Bakr (RA) unharmed.

My brother then asked if I knew the animals mentioned in the Qur’an, which are not too be harmed. I thought about it, and replied with what I thought were the correct answers. Finally I admitted I didn’t know, and for me this was to be my lesson!

It’s not always the answer that is most important, but the approach and receptiveness we have while seeking the truth. Every moment is an opportunity. Every moment there is a message, and for me it was about surrender. Not allowing room for ego in my life! Now, while I thought finding the answer to my brother’s question was my task…my lesson was completely different!

Thank you brother for letting me realizes that to admit “I don’t know” is perfectly okay. Your patience reminded me that as sisters and brothers in Islam…we are to always treat each other with the best of manners.

Again my brother said it best, “Allah (SWT) guides in ways we don’t expect or recognize.” Jazak Allah Khairum!

Oh and for those who wanted to know, the animals not to be harmed as mentioned in the Qur'an are the bees, ants, birds…and the baby animals. The babies, while they may be halal for eating will upset the mother if taken from her, and for that they shall not be harmed. There may be others, Allah knows best.

April 9, 2010

Are You Kidding Me!

Two posts in the same day, you know it must be something special! Okay let me set the scene. I will skip telling my morning routine and get to the good stuff.

So I turn on my mobile and computer…sorry but I need to unplug at night and enjoy pure quiet. Okay, okay! Well I hear the little beep telling me I have a message. I check it and see that my sister has started her blog once again (wink) great I think to myself.

Then I check my emails to see if anyone has missed me desperately during the night…and as usual, no one has. After replying to some emails and checking my schedule, I decide to read my sisters blog (now I am speaking of my sister in Islam) in case any of you may remember, I am an only child.

Well, I am reading and I get maybe halfway into the post and she writes the following “its official: I’m Engaged Wow…but anywho”

Are you kidding me? First you don’t just announce you’re engaged in a blog, and you sure as sunrise…don’t say it mid way through your post! I was speechless, No I am serious, for a few moments I didn’t have the capability of speech or thought.

Alhamdulillah when my brain and motor skills we back in sync, I did what any other woman does when she hears great news (especially a pending marriage) I squealed like a little school girl! I immediately called her only to hear…voice mail. But, that was best because all I could manage through my tears of happiness was “Mabrook! Oh, sister I am so happy for you…”

If I had a daughter she would be just like you…stubborn beyond words, and filled with the greatest of hearts.

Masha Allah you got engaged in your own time and you announced it in the style that is all your own.

Love you bunches
P.S. Oh my goodness, your getting married!

Ummi/sister Nazeeha

In Between Prayers and Faith

In between prayers and faith, I discover a peace and quiet that reaches beyond this earthly horizon. Giving me a small glimpse of what I can only imagine is waiting in the Akhira.

Becoming content with me as I am…and not yielding to what others would have me to be, is indeed a prayer answered.

In between prayers and faith circumstances happen beyond my control. Subhan Allah however, they are not beyond the control of my Creator.

What I once felt would destroy my heart, on the contrary has given it wings. I take flight to rest my soul in the Mercy of Allah SWT…until I am ready to continue with what lies before me.

In between prayers and faith I now understand completely what it means to want for my sister and brother, what I want for myself. I say mabrook to my cherished sister.

Laughter and tears of joy on a sunny morning will become a treasured memory. I humble myself in prayer and give thanks for everything that is good in my life. Remaining in prayer I ask for guidance for the matters which cause me confusion or sorrow.

In between prayers and faith, we rejoice in the announcement of a new life. We grieve and remember fondly the souls returned back to Allah SWT. We take comfort in our final meeting which will never know separation.

When our time is completed in this life only Allah knows…but we will be asked about what we did here in this life. The things we did…or did not do between prayers and faith.

April 1, 2010

Day by Day

My Shahada was the entrance to what has become my existence in this life. Subhan Allah I have been very blessed; there have not been intense trials which have tested me. Yet it is the small events which often erode the spirit. Replacing what used to feel content, with nagging doubts.

As much as I try to stay strong it is increasingly hard. The seductions of this life are numerous. Too often this whisper repeats over and over…What will you do when you are really tested? There are moments when I actually feel like I am in another world! When I think about it, as a Muslim I am indeed a stranger.

I have memories of when I first became a Muslim. Would this new life require more of me than I could give, and how could I tell if I was being successful? While there are many scholars in Islam, I personally don’t know them. Each day the only measure I have to judge my growth in faith, is by being sincere in performing my deeds. But more importantly, is my reaction to these fears and setbacks in my life.

For me when a sense of melancholy overtakes me, I instinctively remove myself from all outside distractions. My reaction of how I react today and how I reacted before Islam is very different.

My sole purpose is to become still. I sit and remain still until I hear the beating of my own heartbeat. This is not any form of meditation, instead it is an awe inspiring reminder that I am not in control! It is an opportunity to release my inner most fears to Allah. In the frenzy of daily life, stillness is a welcome retreat and to me a form of worship.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “Verily, I have left among you the book of Allah, if you hold fast to it, you shall never go astray.” The Sealed Nectar

When or how I handle a severe test of faith, Allah knows best. For now searching for that inner stillness and reading the Qur’an is my comfort. May Allah give me what will increase me in faith, and may all my trials be a lesson and a healing…Ameen