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making journal entries that might help me rediscover deen; having fun and gaining inspiration while chronicling the world of hijabis!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Minilicious

My little daughter was tucked between Little Friend and me as we sat doing our mundane Ramadaan-Sunday  activities. He BBM'd half way across the world, while I checked the news paper. Sunday editions are the most fun ones! The front page showed heart breaking pictures of the most terrible floods to hit  Pakistan in around a hundred years. The homeless, the hungry and the ill were photographed in different angles to beautify the images as well as invoke feelings of compassion in our hearts, all at once.


By the time I had reached the entertainment section I had been through several episodes of killings, suicide attempts, protests following increased prices and load shedding and not to forget the false promises of the government heads made to the victims in each case... I sighed miserably... My little one took turns first staring at me then Little Friend... The entertainment did not interest me the least bit because of the high ramadaan spirit... I was not "wowed" by the "hottest trends" nor by the latest movie releases... Once again I shook my head in resignation... Minilicious also let out a loud sigh in imitation... I looked down at her very small face... A pair of large round eyes peered back at me... A naughty smile played around her thin lips almost making them disappear... Her curls looked really pretty in the Sunday afternoon sunlight... My heart gushed with love for her... I thought of how I could, if ever I had to, part with her... I thought of how much I cared about the teeny weeny details concerning her dressing and her hygiene and her manners and her speech... The list could go on and on and on!!! I feel so important because I am a mom!!! I worry about Minilicious getting hurt physically or emotionally... I wonder why she's never hungry and make an effort at stuffing her with the smallest portions of food...  Her food sometimes comprises only of a tablespoon of porridge with salt and at other times only a handful of some regular food... that too is cold and dry by the time Minilicious is done eating...
My life revolves around her milk and her hair care routine... I pray that she feels love for the hijab and for modesty as she grows up into a pretty young woman inshAllah! Very often we sit and talk about how Allah swt appreciates girls who don the abaya!


There are times when I am quite satisfied by my role in her life alhumdulillah! But then there are also instances when I realize that it's not actually me who is raising her or watching after her... It is only the Almighty Allah who is incharge of the protection and well-being of my dear daughter. It is by His Grace that I have her in the first place! I have been appointed by Allah swt to look after her and make a good muslimah of her! Alhumdulillah!


It was a similar realization at that moment that not only helped me escape from the horrors that the floods had caused and removed the resignation in my heart but also instilled a feeling of gratification for the Lord Almighty! alhumdulillah for the lovely daughter Allah swt has given me! Alhumdulillah for the feelings of love and motherhood that He has filled my heart with! Alhumdulillah for the protection and guidance from Allah swt without which we all would be so helpless and lost!


Little Minilicious is very petite and still just a three year old... Yet it is all thanks to her existence that I realize the powers and bounties of Allah swt time and again! Alhumdulillah!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SUBMISSION!

I want to begin this post with the mention of a dear friend and deeni sister... Her initials are A.F, hence AliF is what I want to call her in my blog... It would be quite appropriate as she is my first true deeni sister and marks the beginning of  a deeni friendship just as the alphabet "alif" marks the beginning of Arabic alphabets...
AliF is really pretty mashAllah and looks especially gorgeous donning her black jilbaab and veil with  only large dark eyes visible to the world... She has incredible courage mashAllah and a generous heart! But what I really admire about AliF is her ability to memorize just about any ayaah or hadith almost as soon as she is done reading it! MashAllah! She can fluently recite just about any reference from the quraan and the hadith in support of her argument! Above all AliF is not one bit arrogant about this wonderful trait that she possesses! 

Once, when she had invited me and a friend over for breakfast, she was again trying to drill some deen into us and supporting her views with quraanic ayaahs, duaas and ahadith... It was then that she mentioned how tauba- istighfaar(repentance) were her favorite subjects in deen... For AliF it was a casual statement like how we all tend to discuss our likes and dislikes with friends over a cup of tea... But for me it was the beginning of a search! 

I was already a hijabi at that time, but I dont know how much of  a hijab I carried around my heart! I certainly did don the garment in an effort to please Allah swt but I had never really THOUGHT about DEEN till then!  

That particular morning remained in my head till very recently... AliF must have said so many other things of graver importance that day, but all I seemed to remember was this one bit about having a favorite subject in deen... I too believe in tauba-istighfaar, but did I really love that particular subject???!!!

Time and tide carried me closer to deen by Allah's will and I began finding avenues that led me into researching deen as well as into making efforts to serve deen... Quite unintentionally I made my way towards all those paths that had one destination, deen!

It was only by the will of Allah swt and by His ultimate grace that one day I realized what Islam really was about... " la illa ha illallahu Muhammadur Rasool Allah" .... the essence of deen... SUBMISSION!!!

The essence of islam is in its simplicity; its purity and its honesty... There are no secrets in deen... The truth is out there... Out there for us to live it, see it, believe it and spread it...

That is the beauty of deen... Submission to the will of Allah swt, to the word of Allah swt, to the Prophets of Allah swt! It is about having faith in the Unseen; and in the powers of the Unseen.

Submission became ny favorite part of deen... The topic I most like to think about, read about and talk about!!!! SubhanAllah!!!

The following ayaahs from the quraan seemed to wake me from a deep slumber and guided me to the hair-raising conclusion of my quest:

"The foolish of the people will say: What has turned them from the 'qiblah' which they formerly observed? Say unto Allah belongeth the east and the west. He guideth whom He will onto a Straight Path"...

..." And We appointed the 'qiblah' which you formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard test save for those whom Allah swt guided"....

..." We shall make thee turn towards a 'qiblah' which is dear to Thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and you O Muslims, ... turn your faces towards it(when you pray)"....

Surah Baqarah- Ayaah Nos. 142, 143, 144- Part II

SubhanAllah! Almighty Allah expected His followers to obey the instructions of the Holy Prophet (S) without harboring any doubts in their hearts and having the faith that the Prophet(S) was truly a messenger of Allah swt who would only speak what his Almighty Lord ordained him to...

Further on, Allah swt showed us an excellent example of SUBMISSION in the ways of Prophet Muhammad(S). He (S) never questioned Allah swt and willingly obeyed the Almighty showing not just his submission to Allah swt but also his faith in the "hikmah" of the teachings of the quraan...

It is beautiful to submit ourselves completely to the will of Allah swt;
It is a feeling of achievement and completeness;
It is the height of a Believer's faith in the Unseen;
It is SUBMISSION only that makes our deen unique;
It is saying "ASSH HADU ALLAH ILLAHA ILLALLAHU
                     WA ASSH HADDU ANNA MUHAMMADAN
                         A"AB DUHU WA RASOOLLUH!!!"

p.s:
Jazak Allah AliF for setting me on this quest! I still don't have your abilities, but I can now sip a cup of nice milky chai and type about my favorite subject in deen:)
May Allah swt reward you for your perseverance , Ameen!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spring-Cleaning and Abandoning the Material World...

Yahya was asked to bring two old and used greeting cards for some art project in school...

I was very pleased to read the note as it reminded me not only that I have bundles and bundles of old greeting cards, but also that I had very recently started getting rid of old sentimental stuff... the stuff included my engagement flowers :) , my wedding flowers :) , a glass decoration, now stored in a cardboard box in the form of broken shards, that Little Friend got me before we were married, and a box full of chocolate wrappers that I treasured because I had received the chocolates from Little Friend right after we were engaged!!! Imagine how dear all this filth was to me that I felt people were very unfair when they suggested I should part with it!

So last week I labelled it as part "spring cleaning" and part "abandoning worldly possessions spree" when I actually discarded all these useless items( i still have a carton ful of them at the back of the cupboard... im scared even to open it, the things might have transformed into monsters by now!!!)

Anyhow, coming back to Yahya's school project, I picked out the first bag that was within reach to dig through it's items and discard useless ones as well as pick out two completely useless ones for Yahya's school project...
As I opened the bag I discovered that it was the one that carried all the lovely greetings that my late mom had received in her life!!! Card after card unravelled a story, a thought, a prayer! The birthday cards were dated from October 1st, 1993 to October 1st,  2002... There were the Get Well cards that reminded me of the terible times when mom fell ill and gave us a bad scare with the prospect that things like death and illness can inflict her!!! There were cards from our favorite Aunt with poems that read "My Sister In Law who is my friend"; " Miss You Terribly"; and "Get Well Soon"... Then there were Mother's Day cards we had given her... Some saying "Thank You Mother", others suggesting what a strong and lovely mother she was and then those that just had a poem on the cover with a blank page inside where we wrote all that we could to tell her "we loved her", "needed her", and "she was the only best thing in our lives" :( ... The words seemed so strangely ironic and painful today!!!


There were cards from her nephews and nieces full of love and concern for her... telling her she was just not "allowed" to fall ill and upset us...

All cards somehow held the same duaa for her time and again to stick around for a long, long time and watch her grand kids grow old, getting married and bearing great grand children for her... Or the ernest duaa in all the cards from my sibs and me to stay by our side and to keep smiling and laughing and cuddling us for ever and ever!!!!

Just as much as these cards have strengthened me in holding on to the past, they have also given me the courage to abandon worldliness... It was sad how every wish and every prayer insisted that we wanted this amazing  mother, and aunt, and sister in law, and teacher with us forever!

Oh how it hurt when all those times came rushing back to me! My heart ached with the love each card held for Mom... The different writing styles, the lovely poems on each card, the pretty colors to match the pretty person that Mom was, the note of secrecy, closeness and fondness in the words written "for Mom only"...

It has already been almost eight whole years since we lost Mom! She would have turned 64 years old this October... But it is lovely to think of her as an eight year old in Jannah! The greeting cards held an entire legacy of love, relationships and pain... An entire lesson on life... Compiled for a woman who was full of life and has managed to "live" on very strongly in our memories in the busy lives of today...

So much for spring cleaning and abandoning the world! I have stuffed the package back where I had removed it from, with the intention of looking into it and all other sentimental stuff after sometime when hopefully I will be feeling more courageous and ready to part with it all inshAllah! It has to be soon though, for that is what will truly prepare me spiritually for an eternal journey inshAllah!