December 10, 2010

Modesty

I was at my niece's end of year show the other day when I began contemplating a serious matter. The school, an Islamic school, had proudly set up a number of items that glorified South Africa's honour in hosting the world cup. These items included a number of dance routines.


Now sure, many people would say that its alright for kids in grade 1 or 2 to be dancing because they are still small. In fact that seems to be the mindset of almost everybody these days. But as I sat there, watching these little girls gleefully moving and swaying their hips, I could sense the sheer satisfaction and enjoyment that they were getting. Why, I wondered, would we want to make our children enjoy dancing? Why would we allow them, especially from such a young age, to believe that there is some sort of glory in dancing, shaking and moving about in front of a bunch of strangers? And in a  despicable world of molestation and child rape, why on earth would we ever want to expose our children to all of this.

This got me seriously thinking. Modesty and Haya is such an integral part of our Islamic womanhood. Yet in the modern world they teach us the opposite. They tell us to 'flaunt it' if we've 'got it'! What kind opposing ideals are we forced to ingest? On the one hand our beautiful deen encourages us to be shy and modest and to conceal instead of reveal. The world, on the other hand, opposes these ideals and makes them seem strange and other. For a young girl, these conflicting ideals cannot be very easy to handle.

I'm sure you've noticed it too. People, even Muslims, are always praising the children who are outspoken and bold; the ones who wont mind singing and dancing in front of others. The other children, the shy children, well they are simply brushed off and comments like 'she needs to come out of her shell' can even be heard.
We may even be guilty of it ourselves. We may look proudly at the well spoken ones who easily charms others, while silently hoping that our 'shy' children could be just like them. Sometimes we may not even question it.

What we all need to realize, however, is that modesty begins from small. We have to teach our children to maintain their natural instincts of shame and modesty. We have to try not to push them to do things that will take that modesty away. Because once modesty is lost, its very difficult to get it back.

November 25, 2010

So call on Allah

November 22, 2010

Blessing in disguise

Sometimes things happen in life, and we're so busy complaining about it that we forget to notice all that we were actually saved from.

Like the time a guy drove into my sister and I. We were so busy fuming and complaining about the driving skills of the guy (and yes, it really was his fault) that we failed to sit and ponder over what would have happened to us if his car had been driving just a little faster. In this instance we walked away unhurt and unscathed... wasn't that a blessing?

There are so many instances where seemingly bad things happen, yet when we ponder over its consequences a while later we can see so many blessings that it actually brought about. This tells me that when things happen in my life, I should patiently try to forbear it- since I cannot know what blessings might emerge.

It reminds me of a story I once read. Its pretty long, but well worth the read:

A farmer in Anatolia had a wife and adolescent son. His wife always complained that they were poor, their house needed a new roof, the barn was broken down, and they had no horse to help with the plowing. Early one morning the man and his son looked towards the field and besides a large oak tree stood the most beautiful thing they had ever seen.
It was a large white horse with perfect proportions. They tied and fed the horse. They were happy. His wife came out and said: "Look for markings, it is a rich man's horse." There were no markings.
"We can sell the horse", the wife said, "and with the money we can fix the roof, buy a wagon, rebuild the barn and have something left over for our old age."
"I will not sell the horse," said the man.
"If you don't, I will leave you," said the wife, and went into the house.
Now let me tell you a little about the man. The townspeople and his wife thought he was becoming senile. Whenever something occurred, good or bad, he would say: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows." whatever befell him, that's what he would say. That's what he said when the townspeople gathered on his land to see the horse and told him what good fortune he had. And that's what he said to his wife when she told him he should sell or she would leave.

The next morning he began building a corral for the horse. His wife became angry. She went to her sister down the road. The man shrugged his shoulders and said: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe a curse, only Allah knows."
The story of the beautiful horse travelled from village to village, town to town, and finally to the capital city where the Sultan, a lover of horses, heard it. He called his lieutenant and told him to go to the farmer and offer him a bag of gold for the horse.
"What if he won't sell?" asked the lieutenant.
"Of course he will", said the Sultan. "He is poor, this is a fortune."
"But" the lieutenant insisted, "What if he won't sell?"
"Then kill him" said the Sultan, "and bring me the horse."

The Sultan's soldiers arrived at the farmer's house. The horse was as beautiful as they had been told, and the lieutenant offered the farmer the bag of gold for the horse.
"Thank you" said the farmer, "but I don't want to sell."
The lieutenant asked the farmer to walk with him. He liked the old man, who reminded him of his father.
"Please take the money," the lieutenant said
"No" said the farmer.
"My orders are to kill you and take the horse if you refuse to sell it."
"The horse is not for sale"
"Please, this will be your death."
"Maybe it's a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows."
The lieutenant said he had an errand to run in another village but would return in a few days. He begged the farmer to reconsider.

The townspeople gathered and started to argue with the farmer.
"You will be rich!"
"Maybe its a blessing, maybe a curse, only Allah knows" he replied calmly.
"If you don't sell the horse, the soldiers will kill you and you will lose the horse anyway."
"Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows."

The next day the farmer's son decided to ride the horse. He felt wonderful riding it until the horse stepped into a hole, throwing the boy high into the air. The boy broke both his legs.

"You didn't listen to us" the townspeople said to his father. "If you had sold the horse, then this wouldn't have happened".The farmer replied: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows.

The next morning the farmer looked outside and saw nothing, the horse was gone.
The townspeople said: "You could have sold him for money and you didn't. So your son went riding and hurt himself. Now you don't even have the horse."
The farmer said: "Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows."
"The soldiers will return" said the townspeople. "They wont believe you when you say that the horse has gone. They'll torture and kill you."
"Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows." the farmer replied.

The soldiers didn't return. War had broken out. All the young men were called into the army except the farmer's son who was still injured.
"You're lucky" said the townspeople. "We will never see our sons again. You will have someone to care for you in your old age, but we will be alone."
"I've told you before" said the farmer. "Don't you understand? Maybe its a blessing, maybe its a curse, only Allah knows!"

story taken from: When you hear hoofbeats think of a zebra by Shems Friedlander

So here's hoping we can all be wise enough to brave the storms of life, accept adversities with patience, and remain steadfast enough to be able to see the blessings later. Insha Allah Ameen.

November 19, 2010

Inspirations

November 12, 2010

Will the lessons ever stop!!!?

Yesterday happened to be one of those days...
I did one of those stupid things that give women a bad name (though I'm sure men do it to!)
I locked the keys in the car!!! I know, I know.... but these things happen ever so often right!? Anyway, from that silly incident I happened to learn some profound lessons, and so I thought I'd share them with you:

People are essentially kind: As I sat and waited for my bro to bring the spare keys, so many people stopped to help. From the shopping centre security guys to the ordinary passer by- all of them tried, in their own way, to help me (an absolutely complete stranger!!!). Now I know we can sometimes tend to get this negative view of people... but well, yesterday restored my faith in people. The world is not as crazy and sick as the news makes it seem... there are actually decent people out there!!!

Time is never wasted: In the time I waited I made valuable use of my time by reciting durood. Then how can we ever be at a loss right??? I sat there thinking that it didn't matter how long I had to wait... with durood on my tongue my seemingly wasted time could be transformed into a beautiful act that I wouldn't have otherwise done! Its all about perspective, right???

We need to walk a mile in others shoes: One of the guys who stopped to help was a sweet oldish guy. he chatted about how he was into cars (and the motor industry) in his younger days. He was the friendliest guy of all. And then, when he explained it, it all made perfect sense! He said that he was stranded one day for hours... and nobody came to his aid. He waited for soo long and nobody even bothered to offer him a ride home. That's when I realised that he was trying to offer so much help, simply because he knew how it felt! And that's when I realised that the world would be soo much better if we just walked a mile in each others shoes!!!

Only Allah can help you: As I sat there waiting I realised that it is only Allah (swt) who can help save you from inconveniences of life. How many times do we simply just get into our cars, without realizing that anything could go wrong? How many things do we take for granted each day? We get into this thinking mode where we assume that life just goes on, and all is generally supposed to be normal- so we forget to appreciate when things go smoothly!
Yet how many time were we locked out of the car or house? How many times did we get into accidents? How many times were we delayed in cues? How many times did we just have a really crappy day?
So as I sat there I thought, when all goes smoothly and well, we really mustn't forget to thank Allah (who has willed it so!) Alhamdulillah.

No one can save you: added to that too is the fact that nothing can save you. No matter how rich you are, how beautiful, how famous- nobody (except Allah) can save you from these minor inconveniences, form these little time consuming things that can really kill your day!
So well, I guess we should remember this and begin each day by asking Allah (swt) for blessings for our time, and our day!

And lastly, I my suspicions were confirmed once again... It is all about the attitude! When things go wrong you have two options: you can either make a fuss or cry, or you can have a good laugh and kick your problem in its face! Either way, your attitude determines everything!!!

So here's hoping you all have a wonderful issue-free Jumu'ah Day! (Ameen)

October 31, 2010

Peace in the midst of chaos

Well the other day my sisters and I had our first book launch. Alhamdulillah, we managed to complete an ongoing project that now culminated in an all around, chaos induced, launch.
Now you can imagine how insanely busy we had all been- running around like crazy people trying to get everything done. There were invites to send, things to buy, presentations to be prepared and hall decor to be setup. We had a hundred and one things to do, not to mention that we were seriously short-handed!!!

The day of the launch, well... it was just plain down crazy. Apart from the fact that I was tired (and walking around like a zombie), there were so many last minute arrangements that still needed to be made that my mind was reeling at it all. I have to admit, I was stressing out! I kept freaking out about the crowds who had arrived earlier than expected, at the food that looked as if it was just too much, at the presentations we had to give and how unprepared we were... well, one can only imagine.

In the midst of it all, however, the time for Zohr salaah approached and I decided to leave whatever I was doing to first finish my salaah.
Let me tell you... that was all I really needed!!!

As I put my head down in sajdah, I allowed the inner peace to wash over me. Performing my salaah like this, in the midst of all the chaos, gave me such a feeling of satisfaction and contentment, that all the previous feelings of stress disappeared immediately.
Suddenly I was a whole new person. I made a dua to Allah (s.w.t) for ease and success and I simply stopped worrying. (worrying never helps anyway, does it?)

I left that room with a whole new outlook, with a sense of peace and calm. I was resigned to remain calm at the face of whatever may now come. Simply put, my salaah helped me to 'chill out!'

So next time you're feeling stressed out and unsure about yourself, just make wudhu and go perform your salaah. Really, if you let it, it can make a world of difference.

October 18, 2010

Communication these days!!!

Has anybody else ever found the urge to scream in frustration at your computer when you realize how ineffective they can actually be? (Probably not!)
Think about emails. You send someone an email with a certain tone, mood and message that you're trying to convey. But when they read it (unless they actually 'read' into the present situation) its all just words. How do they know what you're trying to communicate? You know what I mean?
So you wanna send a nice friendly message to a friend who you just fought with. You're write that you're sorry and that next time you wont do it (whatever you did) again. Your friend (who is still angry at you) assumes that you are angry at her, and when she reads your email she reads it with hostility. Her tone (in reading it) is hostile, and so she assumes that your tone (of the email) is hostile too. She takes your apology for sarcasm and anger towards her. Even though you really were sorry- she just didn't pick up on that!!!

Its really strange that despite the progress of communications technology, relationships and interpersonal skills have gotten so much worse! So you can chat for hours to a person- discussing anything at all, but if you see them tomorrow, you wont know how to talk to them... crazy right???
And what about all our virtual friends that we make. We don't even really know them do we? If we had to meet them tomorrow, would we have any idea what to say? (Though I suppose if it wasn't for virtual communication- then we wouldn't even know that person to begin with! I guess that in the absence of real relationships, virtual ones are the next best thing!)

Just discussing this reminds me of something my friend said the other day. She was feeling really bad for not realizing earlier that a guy liked her. See, he was emailing and chatting with her and was obviously throwing around hints that he liked her but she never even noticed. It was only a while after everything, when she was re-reading her old chats (for some strange reason) that she actually really 'read' all that was written and realized all he 'said'. That same guy now avoids her (I guess now she finally understands why!)
It makes you wonder doesn't it, how many things, feelings, moods, frustrations and problems are we missing out on with all of our virtual communication?
The world may be getting smaller, but I sometimes think that the distances between people are only getting bigger.

Oh, and I've come up with a crazy way of expressing my feelings when emailing. If I'm saying something important with a tone that's open to interpretation, i think I should include the following tag line: mood, tone, expression and outlook.
So my tag line for this post would look something like this:
Mood: happy yet reeling at the irony of communication today.
Tone: incredulous yet peppy.
Expression: slight smile.
Outlook: for communications in conjunctions with relationships- awfully bleak!!!

Have a great day folks!!!

October 11, 2010

No fairytale

Yesterday we all celebrated my parents 35th wedding anniversary...
35 years... wow...that's a really long time right???

My family and I leisurely spent the morning at the Zoo Lake. With kids running around, adults sitting around and everybody having a great old time, I wondered whether my parents could ever have imagined all of this 35 years ago. Seriously, I doubt it...

Often when we hear of people who stay together, we assume that their marriage must have been some kind of bed of roses, right? The truth is, and I've seen this with my parents, marriage is a real big struggle.

I've seen them argue over silly things, argue over bigger things, smile, laugh, cry, get annoyed with each other, happy sad, frustrated, calm. I've seen them having difficulties, and then Ive seen how easy things can be. What I learnt from them, however, is that marriage is no fairytale.
We often believe that the struggle comes when trying to find 'Mr Right'. Then, we assume, everything else will go smoothly from there on out. The truth, however, is that Mr Right is just as flawed as every other human out there. By the way, so is Mrs Right! So if you think you getting married to some perfect person who won't sometimes drive you up the wall... THINK AGAIN!

My parents' marriage has taught me that marriage is something that needs to be worked at. At times you will be forced to swallow your words (which so desperately threaten to escape). At times you will be forced to give in. Always you'll have to have loads and loads of patience. That's life. That's marriage...right?

Nothing in life is a fairytale and the sooner we get that silly notion out of our heads, the sooner reality can move in. Then when we're fortunate enough to sit joyfully, 35 years from now, with our spouses... we can look back at the road we travelled on and smile at all the bumps and detours that we once had to deal with. Believe me, it'll all make for many interesting stories for all the kids and grandkids!

September 29, 2010

So Inspired!

Well what can i say? How can I effectively communicate to you the feelings and emotions that my recent Umrah trip has left. I've been back in S.A for little more than a week yet my heart yearns to return to the blessed cities. I hope, I yearn, I cry, I dream. Yet life returns and must still continue. And well... so it all carries on...!

Yet I find an overwhelming sense of joy for the wonderful gift of Islam that we all have been privileged enough to receive. Coz though my Umrah trip is now in the past, though my feet cries to walk once more on blessed land- my heart rejoices that despite it all, I am still a Muslim.

I believe in Allah! I love the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)! I fast! I perform salaah! I try to enjoin good and forbid evil! I fear Allah! I love Allah! I am a Muslim! Alhamdulillah!

And the best part is that no matter where I may be in the world, none of the above will ever change! (Insha Allah)

We are so blessed, you and I, to be a part of this wonderful deen...!
So I thought I'd take this time to share these thoughts with you, in the hope that you too can feel my great sense of appreciation and utter a simple " Alhamdulillah!"

August 29, 2010

Important message

Assalamu Alaikum fellow bloggers and blog lovers.

This blog is officially on leave, due to its author being gone for Umrah.
Stick around, read the older posts and be sure to return for newer ones in a few weeks time. Insha Allah

Take care all...
Assalamu Alaikum

August 21, 2010

Ramadan Daze...

Pheew! The day is finally over...

Today my sometimes-peace was interrupted when we decided to invite all the kids (my nieces and nephews) over for Iftaar (breaking fast). What joy they all had when they saw their plates stacked with all the little treats, and filled their tummies with all the little goodies. Aah, children are so easy to please... :)

I dont know if its like this for all families, but somehow the month of Ramadan always comes along with a side dish of nostalgia. Somehow in this month, you miss all your loved ones so much more. Somehow you yearn for the deceased so much more, and somehow you find yourself reminiscing over all those fond childhood Ramadan memories.

The month of Ramadan seems to put everyone in a special kind of daze, a Ramadan Daze. All around you you see hijaabis. (much more than usual); neighbours are extra kind- sharing wonderful home made treats, and children are patiently counting down the minutes and hours. Best of all, however, is the sudden importance that everybody pays to the most beautiful and Noble Quraan. Now, whereas it has stood unopened throughout the year, everybody tries so hard to complete it at least one time. Nobody is shy to proclaim that they are too busy to do other (less important) things due to their recitation of the Noble Quraan. Aah, if only every month were like this...

This is Ramadan. This is the wonderful month that unites us all as muslims. This is the wonderful month that exalts us, that urges us to become better muslims and better people. This is the wonderful month that was fortunate enough to receive the honour in being the month in which the Noble Quraan was revealed. And so im left, awe- inspired and fascinated at the effect that this month has on us all; and on the Ramadan daze that we all inevitable go through...

August 11, 2010

Its here!

It's past 10 pm and the first night of Tarweeh is over... yip... Ramadan is officially here!

A few hours ago we stood in the lounge checking out the moon. I had just finished reading Magrib salaah when my Aunty phoned. "Did you see the moon?" she said, squealing with delight. So I quickly went to see for myself. And there, in the dusky night sky was the new moon!  My mother and aunty proceeded to make duas about Allah giving us the best of this month, and then my Aunty said something that still resonates in my mind. She said "Aren't we just so blessed to be Muslims?"  Well, we really really are! Aren't we?

The fact that we've lived for yet another year, and are so fortunate to be witnessing another Ramdaan, well thats just a favour from Allah (SWT). Had we not been around now, we wouldn't be able to take all the benefits from this truly special month. And each year that we live to see yet another Ramadan... well that's just blessings upon blessings... insha Allah!

May Allah (SWT) enable us to make the very best use of this month, and further enable us to use it in seeking to get closer to Him, the Most High.
Insha Allah Ameen...

Now go get some sleep... sehri is just a few hours away!!!

August 7, 2010

Can you feel it...?

Can you feel it?
shh....
can you hear it?

I can sense it
Its in the air
It's everywhere...

The time is near
Its almost here...


So can you feel it?

July 30, 2010

The Difference between Girls and Boys

This morning, while picking my niece up from school, My sister and I were discussing the differences between boys and girls.

One of my niece's girlfriends was crying because some girls didn't want to be her friend. It was while giving her some tips and lessons on dealing with friends, that i remarked about how soft the heart of a girl is.
Think about it, how easy is it for us to cry when we are hurting or even worried? How quickly can we feel sympathy for others? How soon do we feel guilty when we hurt others? Allah (SWT) in His infinite mercy has created us this way. And women truly are a different species from men.

Now I know some men are more in touch with their feelings than others. And I know that other men are unnecessarily harsh, but I also know that the heart of a woman is unlike anything imaginable.
I cannot fully comprehend why it is that we live in a society in which being soft and emotional is a bad thing! Why is it that the fact that we can cry so willingly is seen as a form of weakness? I don't think it's a weakness, I think that its a strength really. I mean, imagine a woman who couldn't cry. Imagine a woman that wasnt soft and emotional. Imagine a home devoid of  the loving touch of a woman. Imagine a world filled with only men.

Men and women were created differently. They compliment each other in the most wonderful ways. What the woman can pride herself on, the man may be lacking. And man's natural Allah- given abilities are not found in women. This is the true beauty of all our differences... that together, two separates, two counterparts, make a unified whole.

Truly, Allah Most High is certainly the Most Wise and All Knowing! Alhamdulillah.

July 20, 2010

Life and Death

I was sitting at a funeral house, 2 days after the funeral, when a realisation suddenly came over me: 'Life goes on!'

The grandfather of the house (an old family friend) had suffered from a stroke and passed away. The Funeral was on Thursday. This day, the day I came to this obvious but striking realisation, was Saturday. My family had been invited to read Quraan and eat supper, along with enough guests to fill the very big house.

Now I've never really suffered a big loss. My parents both came from broken homes and my grandparents were never really a big part of my life (well, the deceased ones anyway). I guess because of this, I dont really understand the conflicting feelings that the bereaved have to deal with. What I expected was to find the family somber and tearful, instead I was greeted with a very different sight. Seriously, it just did not look like a funeral house. Now im sure that the family were all just putting on brave faces for all their guests; and I do not doubt that they really truly were grieving, but listening to all the chattering conversations, and staring at all the smiling faces, well I guess it just brought me to that all important realisation- that life truly does go on!

I realized the reality of the fact that each man is born alone, and will die truly alone. And once you down there- six feet under- nobody knows what you're going through. So why is it that we tend to spend so much time living for this life, and so little time preparing for our final abode? How come all we care about is our relationship with others, and we forget to care about our relationship with Allah. After all, isn't Allah (SWT) the only Being who is always with us???

Back to this event though. The eldest granddaughter just received a proposal, and all the talks with the 2 families are currently going on. So there I was sitting and listening to them discuss this soon to be son-in-law and I couldn't help thinking further about how life so easily carries on without you. Soon this family will be holding a different type of event, a wedding (insha Allah), and their lives will begin to head in a very different direction (one filled with new spouses and new births). And though the grandfather will live on in their hearts and minds, their lives will most assuredly continue.

Ok, so I know you're thinking 'yeah- this is obvious', well you're right it is all obvious. After all nobody expects life to stand still after the death of a loved one right? Its just that sometimes we get so stuck working and toiling for this life, that it comes as a shocker when you actually witness how quickly life can just continue. Im starting to ramble, so I better wrap this up!

I guess my point is that we all need to spend a little more time improving our relationship with Allah. And while we must, no doubt, have good relationships with others, we must still realize that, without us around, life inevitably goes on... that should bring us down a notch or two dont you think...?

image from: http://stavangerphotobytanty.blogspot.com/2007/05/muslim-graveyard.html

July 18, 2010

Blog Awards

Wow! Thanks fellow sister bloggers for the 2 generous awards that I've received.

The first one that I got was from Blue Pearl... thanks sis!

The second one (the sunshine award) was from Khadijah... appreciate it!


It's so nice to be part of a blogging community, with sisters extending their hands to other sisters- supporting and encouraging them! Thanks to all of those sisters who have enriched my blogging experience with support and comments. And as for all those sisters without blogs... I wanna be the first to follow you all, so c'mon what are you waiting for???

Now, according to the rules of the first award, I have to post about where I see myself in ten years time. Hmm... this got me thinking!

I've started on a road of self discovery and connection... trying to discover and enhance my character, and connect with the One who has created me. In 10 years time I hope to have walked further along that road... Insha Allah!

In ten years time I also hope to be helping others; to be a wiser muslimah; to learn more about the life of my beloved Prophet (S.A.W) and the lives of his companions; to be more forgiving, patient, and generous. Insha Allah Ameen!

On a lighter note, in ten years I see myself teaching, hopping, skipping, playing, dancing and jumping around with all my nieces and nephews (by then there'll probably be enough for 2 soccer teams! insha Allah!); having petty (but loud) arguments with my sisters; being irritated by my brothers; and pitying the heads of my exceedingly crazy family- my parents! :)

I hope to sit back, 10 years from now, that much wiser and better, and look back to the past 10 years with no worries and no regrets. Insha Allah Ameen.

............................................................................................
Ok, so now I'm supposed to pass the awards on to others, who are then supposed to pass it on to others... pay it forward and all of that! So since I'm passing it on to blogs that I like and follow, I decided to just pass along both awards at the same time... So if you get any of these awards for the second or third time, well... just take it as a compliment k!

Here's a list of others that im passing it along to: (in alphabetical order)

1. Changing my world @  http://randommuslima.blogspot.com/
2. Fee qalbee @ http://feeqalbee.wordpress.com/
3. Hijab diaries @ http://hijab-diaries.blogspot.com/ 
4. How to deal @ http://how-2-deal.blogspot.com/
5. Reviving the Sunnah @ http://revivingthesunnah.blogspot.com/ 
6. Sisters who blog @ http://sisterswhoblog.ning.com/
7. Spotlight on Islam @ http://spotlight-on-islam.blogspot.com/
8. Wiser, miss tweet blue pearl @ http://bluepearlfun.blogspot.com/ (passing it back on)


For those of you who would like to pass it on and actually follow all the rules of it, here they are listed below:
Sunshine Blog Award:
Put the logo on your blog in your post.
Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
Link the nominees within your post.
Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

The 'you're going places' award:
Pass it on to 10 other bloggers
tell all where you see yourself in 10 years time.

July 15, 2010

July 9, 2010

Only Allah's will

Yesterday, after coming from a funeral, my sister got mugged. She was in the car with her husband when they stopped at a red robot. Suddenly a few guys approached the car, pointed a gun at them and demanded their phone and wallet. Shocking right? Well, here's another shocker... My brothers and I drove on that exact same road (maybe even stopped at that exact robot) only a few minutes later. (We all live in the same neighbourhood and were all driving home in separate cars after the funeral). So what's the difference then I wonder. How come they didn't stop us? Well the obvious conclusion is that it just wasn't the will of Allah, right?

It's like the difference between two patients. They lie side by side in the hospital. Both of them have the same sickness, both of them get the same treatment, yet only one of them gets cured. Why? Well obviously its just Allah's will.Nobody knows why Allah wills things a certain way. Allah (SWT) is the Most Wise and All Knowing. So we can't even begin to fathom the ways in which Allah (SWT) works.

The frustrating thing is that even though we realize this, we are so quick to give recognition to others when things occur. So when that doctor cures that first patient- everybody will rejoice and marvel at the doctor's brilliant skills and his awesome intelligence. At times like that we forget to realize that the patient was only cured by Allah's will. Sure the doctor treated him. But the treatment only worked because Allah willed it to work. Sometimes we tend to forget this, and we give all the recognition to the doctor and the hospital, and fail to recognize the True Healer whose will always comes to pass.

But back to my story now... My sister is all well and fine (maybe just a little shaken up) and Alhamdulillah (again, only by Allah's will) the guys just got away with a cell phone and a wallet (which, let's face it- is much less valuable than human life). Why Allah wills things this way, only Allah knows. Why some of us have to hit a few roadblocks every now and again, only Allah knows. Why Allah prevents the same things from happening to others, again only Allah knows. One thing I know for sure is that Allah (SWT) truly is sufficient as a Helper for us all and definitely the only One that we ever need to turn to.

July 7, 2010

Two Hearts Apart status update

Okay, so for those of you who know my other blog, the story blog 'Two Hearts Apart', it will be resuming on Monday 12 July 2010 with a brand new Part 2. Here's a little rundown for those who may need a reminder.

Two Hearts Apart is a story blog that focuses on a romance between Zahraa and Zaheer. In Part 1 we were introduced to the different characters. We saw how they became attracted to each other and how, amidst their evolving romance, they were determined not to disobey Allah's commands. Thus we found them setting boundaries while storming the seas of teen romance. If you haven't read it before and it seems interesting, go read it now at: http://twoheartsapart.blogspot.com/

In Part 2 we will deal with a time jump- in which years have passed and the two protagonists have drifted apart. Will they reconnect? What are they up to now? What will happen next? Well, you'll just have to wait and read now wont you!

July 3, 2010

The 'If factor'

Earlier on I was thinking about last night's Ghana game and a very silly thought went through my head. I thought, what if that guy just hadn't missed the goal for the penalty kick, then Ghana would have won!

Then I realised that it was all just so silly because what has happened has already happened. There's no turning back the clock on life... and there's certainly no room for the 'if factor'. This then got me thinking about the whole if factor and how it can destroy you (yes, I know... sometimes my mind works overtime!)

See, Islam teaches us that we shouldn't waste our time questioning what might have been. We shouldn't sit and contemplate what could have happened 'if' circumstances were different. No, rather we are to accept our situation, find the solution and then simply move on.

The 'if factor' just makes life that much more unbearable. So if your child dies in an accident you'll be sitting and thinking: "Well, imagine if she never got into the car in the first place". Then instead of accepting the death and trying to deal with it, you'll be stuck in this continuous warped cycle of 'what if'. It will just make things worse!

So instead of wasting precious time contemplating the various 'what ifs', let us all realize that we should rather turn our attention towards Allah, ask sincerely of only Him, understand that all things happen for a reason, bear our burdens with patience, and try our utmost to behave in a manner that Allah (SWT) will be pleased with. Insha Allah!

July 2, 2010

June 29, 2010

Run away!

I wonder... is it just a girl thing to stick our noses in problems that just simply do not belong to us? I mean, what is it with us? Take me for example, I'm going happily along my way, minding my own happy business when I (as in my stupid half) decide that I must go and intervene in someone else's problems! Why? Because I feel that I'm level- headed and can actually make a difference? Or is it becasue I'm nosy and I just like getting involved...? And then, while I was on my own merry way before, I now suddenly become involved in an entangling drama. The worst part is that I'll be the first one to complain when there's too much drama in my life! Eish!

So I'm learning my lesson for once and for all. The next time there's something going on that doesn't concern me, I'm not just walking away... I'm running... like really really fast! Why cause unnecessary drama to your own life? It just doesn't make any sense.

Most of us are probably guilty of this too. When we walk midway into a conversation between others, we always have to ask: "What are you talking about? What's going on?" Chances are that it probably doesn't concern us... so why get involved right?
Didn't the Prophet (S.A.W) say something to the effect that the beauty of a man's imaan is to leave what doesn't concern him? hmm... that gets you thinking right?

So from now on I'm going to try my hardest to be as 'uninvolved' as possible. I can already imagine what a peaceful life I'll have if, amidst all the drama drama drama, I simply walk away...!

June 24, 2010

June 21, 2010

Special you...

What is it about us girls that makes us think that our value should be weighed according to the opinion of others? You know what I'm talking about right?
When I was in high school I had a friend who constantly complained that she was ugly. The crazy thing was that she was really quite pretty. OK, so she was no supermodel, but she definitely wasn't ugly! You wanna know why she thought she was ugly, well it was just because the boys never liked her.
Now I know that in high school its natural to weigh your beauty according to how many guys like you, but now that I'm older (and hopefully wiser) I just don't see the sense in it. Let me tell you why:

1. Boys like girls for many different reasons. they're also known to like the ones that are 'easy'. That doesn't make those girls any prettier, does it?
2. Most High school boys couldn't tell a good quality girl from a stinky sock. Lets face it, most of them are really stupid!
3. High school girls are really stupid to assume that just because someone never noticed their beauty, it means that there is no beauty at all. We all have our own unique qualities that make us special and wonderful. How well can the guys really know us after 5 seconds of checking us out???

You see we shouldn't give others the power to influence our perception of ourselves. Ok, so sure sometimes we may need people's criticism to help us become better people. But we cant let peoples opinions of us shape our own opinions of ourselves. If we do then we will so easily be broken when others try to break us. And we will be constantly seeking the approval of others, to make us feel better about ourselves.

I'm writing this because I'm sitting here and thinking about a relative who's having problems with her teenage daughter. As I consider the impact of  a guy on the mind of a young woman, I feel truly sorry for all those young girls who lack self esteem, and who so desperately cling to the attention that they get from a guy- attention that makes them feel so good about themselves. So to all you young girls out there, I beg you to be strong. This attention is an addictive drug. Don't get addicted! Understand well that you have special qualities, and that you don't need anyone to make you realize that!

June 17, 2010

Girl Talk changes

Let's face it ok, we're all girls here. Every now and again we need a little change. Whether its a new shade of lipstick, a new hairdo, a new type of hijaab, or some new clothes- we reach a point where we're begging for change.

So, in the same fashion, this is what's going on here. Girl Talk has gone on a shopping spree and has emerged (in true 'Pretty Woman' style), with some new clothes. The posts are still the same, the blog is still the same, it just has a brand new look (again!)

Ok, so not everything is the same. In an attempt to provide some interesting reading material, I've added a new page. This page, aptly entitled 'interesting reads' can be found on the right side at the very top of this page.
'Interesting reads' will display not just interesting articles that I've come across, but also discussions of books (or any other reading material) that I think you would find enjoyable. Sound good?

So sit back, relax and return for some more good reads, insha Allah!

P.S. If you happen to think that Girl Talk 786 could do with some more changes (like focusing on specific content or adding something else that'll make it better) please feel free to let me know.

June 10, 2010

June 9, 2010

You can do anything


I spent the morning painting- the walls, not canvas. And well, what do you know- I actually managed to do it. Ok so that sounds really silly, let me explain!

When I was younger, and actually wanted to join in on the painting and fixing that my elder siblings were doing- I was simply told that painting was too hard. "Well, it doesn't look to difficult" I would protest, but they would simply reply that painting was indeed more complex and tougher than I could imagine.
Fine, that was that. I closed myself off to the idea that I could ever do it.

So when my younger brother begged me to help him paint, I instantly told him that I couldn't. "I don't know how to paint", I told him- "I'll mess up all the walls."
He argued that painting was easy and that I would be able to do it. He argued so hard and so much that I decided to give in and go and try it out.
That's when I was pleasantly surprised- it turned out to be not- so- difficult after all! In fact, despite my lack of painting skills, the room really looks nice!

You see sometimes in life people scare you without even realising it. In this case my siblings were all probably right- I probably was too young too paint! But, inadvertently even, my mind somehow started believing that I could never ever do it- even though I was now far older.

That's the thing about life, that's the thing about us all. There are so many things that we all think we just can't do. But if there's another human like us out there who can do it- then why can't we? We are all capable of doing anything that we want to. But we tell ourselves constantly that we can't. We can't run marathons, we can't do so well, we can't learn quraan, we can't write books. The list goes on and on.
So let me ask you now! Why can't we?
If we open up our minds to the possibility that we could achieve what we want, we might just to discover that the thing we always thought we could never do, actually turns out to be something attainable and enjoyable...

June 2, 2010

Sisters

You know that old saying: 'cant live with them, cant live without them', well I don't know what it originally applied to- but it really rings true when it comes to sisters. You really cant live with them or without them! Sheesh...what can we do right?

I mean amidst cat fights, screaming tantrums, tears and continuous arguments (all that you could really do without) you have to admit that at some point or another, we all need our sisters. And well, because we need them- we have to sometimes stop ourselves from tipping them over board! :)


The only ones who can truly appreciate the value of sisterhood; the comfort in knowing that you always have someone to talk to, to fight with and to get advice from, are those who don't have sisters. They are the ones who feel the slight stab of loneliness and wish that they had a sister by their side to share their lives with.

So yes, while I know that they sometimes make you want to pull your hair out or scream crazy blue murder- we really shouldn't take them for granted, and we really should appreciate them. Because despite their flaws and despite their irritations, they really are quite irreplaceable.



image from: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/1377510155052059120PUjhOC

May 27, 2010

May 26, 2010

Something easy we can do...

The world is going crazy. Everybody is talking about the cartoons, some passionately arguing against it- others throwing around convenient words like 'freedom of speech'. Some Muslims are arguing that its ok (seriously though- how can it ever be ok to insult our beloved Prophet (S.A.W)- and yes caricatures of him IS an insult and sense of humour has to stop somewhere!...) while some non muslims are strongly condemning the actions of people who are clearly only trying to stir up trouble, and make some money.

For me it is evident that the hatred of Muslims is only spreading like wildfire. I mean why even draw the Prophet (S.A.W) when you absolutely know that its going to offend so many people? Furthermore when in the world has anyone ever banned an article of clothing with religious connotations? Scratch that, when has anyone ever banned any item of clothing on such a mass scale ever? What is going on with the world?
If we cannot see what is beginning to happen we really have to start opening our eyes. Because sooner than later, being a Muslim (in public) is going to become very very difficult.

And just like the cartoon issue has managed to reach our shores, so too will everything else intensify and expand.

But I digress- since this was not my original topic of discussion. What I wanted to discuss is something so small and so easy that we can do. While they mock and criticise our beloved Messenger (S.A.W); that same messenger who was so worried about US (his Ummah); that messenger who is most beloved to our Creator; that messenger who was the light of this world; we can try, in which ever way we can, to get closer to him. Let the world move further and further apart from him, and by extension- Allah's mercy; but let us move closer.

Let's start reviving his sunnah, lets read some extra durood, lets study his life and character (even if we just read a little a day). Lets teach our children about this wonderful messenger (S.A.W) and try to instill his teachings into their, and our lives. Everything he did or said will only improve the quality of our lives. and all of his teachings will only allow us to reach a higher state of imaan.

So instead of feeling despondent or hopeless let us all realize that there are many easy things that we can all do. And the lets go ahead and start doing it now...

May 22, 2010

No worries, no fears!

My brother sat in the kitchen with my mother- haggled and tired, no doubt... but he said his words with such reassurance, and such firm faith- that it reminded me of the true beauty of being a Muslim.
He calmly told my mother that he would have to accept it if his little daughter died, since our beloved prophet (S.A.W)  lost children too. He said that at least, in that event, his little girl would wait for them in Jannah.

Alhamdulillah, that never did come to pass. But his words reminded me that we, as Muslims, truly have no worries. No matter what bothers us and no matter how bad our situation may be, we have such wonderful reassurances that allow us to understand that no situation is too bad. (Unless you lose your imaan- coz that's bad!)

You see Allah always watches us, rewards us for our patience, and forgives us for all our mess-ups. even if we're facing a mountain of problems, if we put our complete trust in Allah, ask Him to ease our way, and bear it with patience then we can convert those problems into everlasting reward (talk about turning straw into gold!!!)

We have such amazing role models from our wonderful past who have suffered so much more than we could ever imagine. These people faced ridicule and scorn, rumors and lies. They shed blood, sweat and tears for their imaan. And it was these same people who were the beloveds of Allah. So maybe the pathway to Allah is streamed with thorns along the way. And maybe if we can overcome those thorns with patience and obedience, then maybe we can reach our ultimate goal.

I know that when we are faced with problems its hard to stay focused. But its at those times that we need to take a break, remember our Allah, beg sincerely of Him and then bear it with patience. And then, of equal importance, when our problems go away we need to remember that it is that same Allah that we called upon, who has responded to our calls.

So the next time you find yourself in a bind consider this: Maybe your problem, if you deal with it in a manner that Allah will be pleased with, can be a means of obtaining Allah's reward. Think about the benefits that you might receive for it in the Hereafter. Think about how Allah will reward you if you patiently bear those problems all the while remembering your Creator. You too can turn lemons into lemonade- except that its lemonade for the Herafter!


image from: http://www.matadorrecords.com/matablog/2008/06/23/lemonade/                                                                       

May 11, 2010

Proud to be a Muslimah

Surely we must all realize that times are getting tougher. What with bans on niqab and hijab, with abuse and insults being hurled at Muslims on a day to day basis, and with the blind hatred that seems to only be increasing- Being a Muslim these days is becoming more and more challenging. Now, more than ever, we need to hold on to Islam with everything that we've got. We have to strive, we have to fight, and we have to keep on trying. Though everything is slowly changing, our beautiful deen remains constant, the sunnah way, remains constant- and our Allah remains, as He always will, ever Watchful- All seeing.

So what are we made of then? Imagine if South Africa becomes like all those other countries; what will we do? If they begin to assault us- physically and emotionally, simply because we are dressed as Muslims, will we feel embarrassed to dress like that again? Will we be afraid? Or will we walk with our heads held up high- knowing that our faith will prevail? Its not just a hypothetical scenario- rather its a reality that might come to pass. What are we made of? Consider that carefully. Are we proud muslimahs? What makes us proud? What makes us love our deen?

I am proud because I know that my deen is the only deen with Allah, and that the rewards from my Rabb, far surpasses anything imaginable in this transitory amusement of a life.

Why are you proud?
What do you love about your deen...?
Sound off below if you will!

May 5, 2010

Watch your words!

The other day I went with my mother to visit a sweet, little old lady. (no really- she really is sweet, little and old!!!). As we were leaving she enquired as to whether I was married or not and, on telling her that I wasn't, she spoke such beautiful words of encouragement. She said that its no problem; that I should take my time and choose the right person; and that Allah will give me exactly what I want! (See, I told you she was sweet!).

Now consider this in contrast to other people's comments. When they see someone unmarried they make remarks like: "When is it your turn. You must get married now!" I mean surely they have to realize that everybody wants to get married. Sometimes people just cant find the right person, things just don't work out, and Allah just didn't will it yet! Surely they've got to think that by them asking silly questions and making silly remarks, it will only make someone feel worse! I don't know, maybe that's the problem there- they just don't think!!!
I think that deep down (deep, deep, down for some people who make it a point of hiding it) everybody wants to get married, have children and settle down- men and women! But its because of people with all their silly remarks that those unmarried people are forced to make claims like: "No, I'm not ready for marriage", or "Marriage is just not for me!" Marriage is for everybody. Everybody wants it! How do I know this. Well, because these same people who make these claims end up getting married the minute they find someone great!

It makes you think. Words are so important and can have such an effect on the lives of others- an effect that we cant really foresee. Just these few sweet words from this old lady left such an impression on me. Imagine all the stupid things people say just so that they can make conversation. What kind of effect will those words have on others?
So if there's any messge that we should take from all of this, its that we should watch our words! What lasting effect they may have on others- we will never know!

April 29, 2010

April 26, 2010

Sometimes we forget to remember


My Internet was down for more than a day. Man that was frustrating! I felt lost without it. I mean these days I usually do everything with the Internet. Any info I need, any key word searches- with Internet at my fingertips I'm tuned in to the world around me. Not to mention my constant blogging and emailing. So to have no Internet for like a day or so- it really felt so weird.

But then it got me thinking! Last year this time I didn't even have broadband Internet. I hardly used Internet- I used to check my emails from my phone, and I used other resources for daily needs. How did I become so dependant on it soo quickly? How could I feel so lost without it when, up until recently, it wasn't even a part of my daily life?

That's life, I guess... We get accustomed to things so quickly and we begin to forget the time when we never even had it- and I guess that's when we begin to forget what a big favour it really is. Because all of life's little conveniences- they really are favours that Allah has bestowed upon us. Its so easy to forget that. Its so easy to take things for granted. And when Allah gives us those little reminders (like when your Internet goes down) that's a wake up call to show you that it really is a gift. And its a reminder that we should be grateful for all that we have.

So here's hoping that you and I all remember the numerous favours that we have been fortunate enough to receive. And here's hoping that our eyes are always open wide enough so that we are able to see those favours and acknowledge the generosity of our most Supreme Creator. Insha-Allah

April 22, 2010

Weekly Wise Words: The Importance of Modesty


"Verily, modesty and faith are related to each other; when one of them is taken away, the other is also taken away."
                                                      Bayhaqiy

April 21, 2010

Calling all Hijaabies- Young and Old!!!

I thought that I'd share this with all of you. It sounds awesome...

Sisters, every girl or woman, no matter what your status is, when you decide to wear Hijab or progress to a stage of higher Hijab, the decision is not always as simple as should be. Yes, it is part of our Islam to adorn the Hijab, but many of us, especially those of us who live in the Western world, do not wear any form of Hijab. No judgement on any person, Allah is the judge and we should support each other and guide and teach one another to become better people.


To think back, there were always a lot of questions I had, and always thoughts of doing the right thing followed by my whims to not give up my so called “Freedom”. But once I came back from Umrah Allah shukr, everything became really simple, but I kid you not, I still had a fight ahead of me. There were days of frustration, that I felt that my face looked a little fatter, or that my scarf made me look really clumsy and that it did not blend in really well with my different environments.

What really helped was talking to other ladies, those who already adorn the Hijab and those who were thinking of doing it. Together we shared our experiences, triumphs and glory days, there were also the bad days, which get even lesser as the days go by and you get stronger. That’s when the fun kicks in, it’s amazing, and yes Hijab can be fun.

Appreciating the journey of wearing hijab made me want to do something where other sisters could also begin to appreciate their own journeys. After much pondering , Allah (SWT) guided me towards a fellow Muslim sister and together we came up with this fantastic idea about a blog called, “Hijab Diaries”, where you can tell us about your experiences, share or ask for advice, and this is especially wonderful for our youth, and to promote Hijab amongst them.

So here you go sisters please take advantage of this blog, it’s your platform and opportunity to be heard and to help others in need.

Sister’s each one of us has our own “hijab story” to tell, how we came to wear hijab, what motivated us, what it was like, how people reacted to us and so on and so forth. This is the place for you to share that story. Please send your stories to hijab.diaries@gmail.com and insha’Allah we will post it on the blog. You can follow the link below to get to the blog:

http://www.hijab-diaries.blogspot.com/
This blog is for all Muslim sisters, it is all of ours so we would love to see many stories posted.
So off you go and start writing your story, and we will do the same!

By Zeenat Sirkhot in association with Zarina Hassem

April 20, 2010

She's at it again!

Check out Jennie Ridyards response to all her responders.

Her latest colum is called 'facing off to the hidden truth'. To read and leave comments visit: http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=122603,1,22

April 19, 2010

A cure for stress

There are times when you feel like you just can't take it. Too much work, too much pressure, too much problems... Its time like these when you start doubting yourself, you feel emotional, you feel drained, you snap at everyone (and then feel bad about it later). You can't concentrate in your salaah, your problems overwhelm you and you just don't know what to do. Yip, we all go through it every now and again. what can we say, we're human right??? Well, I have just the solution... [hmm this is beginning to sound like an advert :) ]

Simply read this: Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raawji'oon (To Allah do we belong, and to Him do we return)

Sounds familiar- well it should. It just so happens to be that wonderful verse of the Qur'aan that everybody recites when they hear of someone passing away. But there's a misconception there- this verse is not just for when people die. No, it is rather for any time that any one of us are faced with any difficulty. Wonderful right? The solution is so easy. We don't need to stress and freak out, and we shouldn't let our problems get the better of us. Instead we should just recite this simple verse- and then turn to Allah (SWT)  for help!
I'm telling you, and I'm speaking from experience here- it really helps!!!

When I feel crazy stressed out, I try to do the following and it always helps. Sure, we all slip up and handle our stress wrongly every now and again right? (My poor sisters usually have to bear the brunt of this!)- but next time try the following:

  • Talk to Allah. Cry by Allah. Tell your Creator all your problems and beg for help. (just the crying and the talking will already make you feel better.) When you can talk to Allah- why talk to anybody else?
  • Read the above verse along with the verse which meaning is " Allah is sufficient for me." I'm telling you, when you read this and you have a firm belief that Allah will help you- Allah will help you! Insha-Allah Ameen.
  • Try to read Qur'aan. When I read Qur'aan I try to, just for that moment, abandon my worries and focus on what I'm reading. When I do this its like a wave of calm washes over me and I instantly feel better. Try it and you'll see. (Better yet go and read (and understand) the complete verse that the Aayat above comes from. It's in Surah Baqara ( Surah 2) Aayat 156. You'll see how truly beautiful it is.
  • Know with absolute certainty that you are capable of handling whatever you are going through (this knowledge can get you through anything). Know this for sure because Allah has stated, something to the effect, that Allah does not place on a man a burden that he cannot bear. So that means that if you're going through it, you can handle it.
  • Trust that whatever difficulty you face it may be a blessing in disguise. Through your patience you may be able to attain reward. How beautiful is that?
So next time you feel overwhelmed and just plain down frazzled, try some of the above! Insha-Allah it will work for you as well as it works for me!

Image taken from: http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/concepts-and-ideas/8608673-broken-rope.php?id=8608673

April 15, 2010

Weekly Wise Words: When In Need...

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said: "(Every) one of you should ask his need from his sustainer to the extent that he should ask Him for salt, and for a shoelace when it breaks."

April 13, 2010

You gotta see this...

Ok, so I usually like to keep these posts light-hearted, and I don't like to take it, or myself, too seriously. But its articles like the one below that really irks me out. Ok, fine- I understand that everybody's entitled to their own opinion- and this is what the article is, opinion and not fact. But still, I think that writers like these need to open up their minds before they open their mouths. Now I know that talking about it is actually giving the article and the woman far more importance than is due, but I think that we, as Muslim women, all need to know what others out there are thinking. Ok, so what am I going on about? Well, read the following article and then see for yourself...

This article appeared in yesterday's (Monday 12 April) Citizen Newspaper.

Peering out from a prison
Jennie Ridyard’s column appears in The Citizen every Monday.

Some days – spotty days, wrinkly days – I want to put a paper bag over my head; indeed, some people would recommend a plastic one, securely tied...

However, a paper bag is not acceptable daily wear, and neither is a balaclava unless you’re robbing a bank, because hiding your face smacks of subterfuge and threat.
Even hoodies are banned from some shopping malls because they obscure the face, that vital tool of human communication, under standing and recognition.
So why should a veil be acceptable to us then, simply because it carries its own quasi-religious untouch- ability?
Now, I’m all for the freedom to wear exactly what you choose and to express your religion as you see fit, but hiding a woman’s face to express some patriarchal notion of piety is not freedom of expression at all.
No, it is the stultifying of expression, the smothering of discourse, the concealing of a person – a woman, always a woman – and her feelings, thoughts and opinions as if she were a secret or jewel or object and not a valid, equal being.

A veil obliterates a woman. It robs her of her face – pivotal to human interaction – and also of her very identity.
The veiling of a woman diminishes her just as much as strip bars and centrefolds do, because both actions imply that she is purely a thing of lust and carnality; that her very existence is sexual; she is merely a creature of physicality – whether on show or under wraps – and not a whole, complex person to be judged by intellect and character.

And the oppression of women under the guise of the Islamic religion is abominable.


The Qur’an does not demand it at all. It asks for ordinary modesty, but while decency is one thing, alienation and imprisonment in a fabric tomb are another entirely.
The warped ideology promoting burkas does not value women’s rights at all, and too often women are forced to wear the veil under threat of acid attacks, beatings, stonings, insults and even murder.
Veiling is a bedfellow of a Taliban-like obsession with erasing a woman, taking away her voice, her face, her vote, her education, her right to health care, a job, a life, to choose for herself, to go where she will, to do what she wishes and thinks what she dares. It takes away her humanity.

Put on a veil, sister, and you might as well put on a shroud.

taken from: http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=121818,1,22

Offensive, right??? Now you know why I'm going on. Seriously, who does this woman think she is? She writes under the guise of trying to free oppressed women, trying to give a voice to voiceless women- but she is, in fact, taking away the voice of so many women who decide to veil themselves- by writing her own opinions on a subject she clearly knows nothing about. Let her give the veiled woman a voice, let her sit down and talk to one of these woman for at least 5 minutes before she makes her own judgements. Let her ask her what her opinion is and why she has decided to veil herself- perhaps then she will actually know what she is talking about!

So what do you guys think about the article? Hit the comments below!

April 12, 2010

Change can be good!

For years my father used to love the same old tea. Lemon Tea. It was all he ever bought. Day in and day out he would drink that exact same flavour without changing or getting tired of it.

The other day he went to the shop and bought a few different flavours. (He had previously  tried some different flavours but I guess none of them ever stuck.) Now we stood and laughed at the different varieties that he had brought home- cherry, green tea, lime- there was no way he was gonna enjoy these flavours right? My sister and I even joked about how we would enjoy the cherry flavour but how we didn't think he would like it. "Oh well", my sister- the resident tea maker said. "We might as well give it a try right?"

To our great astonishment my father really enjoyed the cherry tea. He enjoyed it so much that when my sister gave him his good old lemon tea the next night- he didn't like it anymore. Yip, his beloved lemon tea now waned in comparison to the delicious cherry taste... who would've thought???

Ok, so I'm not just telling this story because I have some weird storyteller compulsion. Rather, once again, I took a lesson out of a silly little incident. From it I realized that while we are all usually apprehensive to change, it can sometimes bring about surprisingly wonderful results. Its natural to be afraid of the unknown, but if we never embrace the unknown, how will we ever truly know anything...?

I hope I can remember this lesson and use it next time to remind myself that while change may be weird and scary- it may just be better than what I could have ever imagined.
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