March 29, 2010

Arranged Marriages and Proposals

I always understood arranged marriages like this: That the girl in question is like a special princess who has would- be suitors coming to see if she would possibly consider marrying them. Sure that would- be suitor would see if he wanted to marry her too; but it would in no way seem demeaning to any party. Why is it not like that???

Instead you have the girl feeling self conscious and awkward. She feels that admitting that she wants to get married is an admission of embarrassment- that it automatically classes her as desperate. That men coming to see her is demeaning and embarrassing. Why?

Ok, so maybe its because she has aunts and family members warning her not to talk too much or seem to clever lest she frighten the guy away; or maybe its because she constantly has to hear of how she is getting older and needs to get married before her biological clock stops ticking; or maybe its because she naturally wants to look and do the best because she does indeed want to get married; but, and this is important, surely its not in her hands at all. Think about it for a moment.

Whether the guy thinks she’s just not right, or she thinks the same of him; whether she trips and falls flat on her face; whether she appears too smart, too dumb, too loud or too quiet; surely she will only end up with the guy if it was meant to be. Maybe if she could realize this simple truth; if she could understand that all she had to do was make an effort (a non-stress effort) and then put her firm trust in Allah- realizing that all only happens by His will; then surely that poor girl would be able to take a breather. You can’t change your decree. The pen has already dried. But since we have no knowledge, all we can do is try our best, Obey Allah, and then trust that that Merciful Creator will give us what is best.
Oh, and please don’t feel embarrassed to admit that yes, you do indeed wish to marry. Don’t even be afraid to admit that you’re nervous. I’m sure that guys are just as scared and nervous as the rest of us. And even if a guy is coming to propose for the 100th time, it still shouldn’t embarrass you or make you feel bad about yourself. Things will only happen when they’re meant to happen.

I still believe that we are the princesses with potential suitors seeking to marry us. Call it naivety or just optimism. You decide!!!

March 25, 2010

Weekly Wise Words: Positive Attitude

If you have tried and failed a hundred times, your efforts would still have won incalculable gains. The feeling of disappointment and pessimism and of losing heart should never occur.
The promise of Allah is true and will come to pass. Always adopt a hopeful and positive outlook.
Be an eternal optimist.

Taken from: In the Early Hours by Khurram Murad

March 23, 2010

Never mind the shoes

A few days ago my family and i complained about how people steal shoes from the masjid. I mean really, its laughable that you have to lock your shoes in a locker when you go to pray. Your shoes... come on!!! We ranted and raved about ridiculous people who go through great lengths to steal shoes (to be fair though, the price of some shoes can actually pay for a full week's meals); we spoke about the inconvenience, the crime and the matter in general. It must really be a nuisance to come out and find that your shoes are missing.

Last night when my brother returned from Esha he informed us that a man, who was leaving the Masjid, had just been shot and killed. All of us were shocked and silenced. This had happened just down the road from our house right outside the Masjid that we all knew so well. And as we started talking about it, exclaiming our sadness and surprise, my father said the very thing that i had been thinking: "never mind the shoes". In comparison to a life, who cared about the shoes? In comparison to a murder, who cared about the shoes?

When incidents like this occur it really puts things into perspective. It makes you suddenly question what truly matters, it makes you wonder about your own life and it makes you appreciate your loved ones.
It makes you consider what you would do if your father, your brother or your husband just didn't come home one day. And it makes you realise how truly connected we all are when you can feel sadness for a man and a family that you had never met before.

May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdous Insha-Allah and allow this incident to serve as a reminder to all of us; a reminder that we should focus on what truly matters in life, and forget about the shoes.

March 18, 2010

Weekly Wise Words: How to walk on earth

Surah Bani Israeel (17) Aayat 37
And do not walk haughtily on earth. You can certainly not tear the earth open, nor can you reach the height of the mountains.

Its fun being a girl!

Is it just me or is fashion for girls just so much better these days? When i was a teenager, finding pretty and modest Islamic clothing was more complicated than a space mission. Really, im being serious too! Most times i had no other option but to resort to shopping in the boys' section( where i was sure to find long loose tops). Now when i look around i see that things really have changed. (What, you mean there's more than one way to tie a scarf!!!)

In the past it wasn't so easy to purchase beautiful abayas, scarves and cloaks. Yip, all those shops in Mayfair and lenz- they weren't always there you know! And the ones you could buy- lets just say it was a rather poor selection.
These days you don't have to travel far to get the most beautiful Islamic fashions from all over the world. From stunning scarves to colourful dresses; attaining a beautiful Islamic dress is much more possible than before. And if you want to wear pants and skirts- well these days there are actually beautiful and decent blouses that can accompany it. There's even a range of sleeves and under-scarves that you can match up with your outfit. Even for a plain Jane like myself, being a girl these days is so much more fun.
What with beautiful modest clothing, gorgeous colourful headgear, and modest and practical swimwear; I guess we really don't have an excuse not to dress decently anymore! And i, thankfully, no longer have to shop in the Men's department! :)

Images from:
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March 14, 2010


You know it, I know it... we all know it! Sometimes its hard not to look at others with envy and jealousy. Especially when what you envy is something you've always wanted. So how do we deal with envy, and for starters- what is envy?

Envy can best be described as wanting what others have, even to the extent that you begin to secretly wish that they could lose it. Envy ruins good relationships and severs the ties of sisterhood. After all, how can you love someone when you secretly envy all their good fortune...? The problem with envy is that we tend to forget that all that good fortune has been bestowed to that person by Allah. So when we envy them what we are really saying is that we are unhappy with Allah's decree, and that's not good at all!!!

In reality envy make us sick- i mean literally, it actually makes us sick. A heart full of envy is like a diseased heart and you can easily notice the person who that heart belongs to. That person is usually unhappy- always complaining about their current situation; they are always looking for fault in others; and they never seem to have peace and contentment- well, that's what a diseased heart can do to you!

I know that's its difficult, sometimes you cant help feeling a twinge of envy for something that someone else has- but trying to restrain and prevent that envy from spreading- that will then be our test. So when you see that your frenemy's got something new and cool that you really like- DONT speak bad about her; DONT try to find fault with what she has and DONT try to make her feel bad about herself! Rather be quiet; swallow your feelings; talk to your Creator and try to be nice to her. Sounds like a good remedy, yes?

Here's a quick little checklist for you. Scholars of Islam have categorised different categories of enviers. so when you think that you might possess a little envy, do a little check to see where you're at. Then at each different moment keep checking to see how far you've progressed.

1. The first category is that wherein you feel envy and hatred for someone to such an extent that you actually try to remove that bounty from her. You cannot bear to see her with her good fortune and you probably sit and devise schemes to help you in you effort.

2. The second category is when you desperately try to get that bounty for yourself. You feel that you want what that person has, and not only do you hope that she can lose it, but also that you can rather have it.

3. Then there's the situation when you don't act on your envy but you are aware that you are envious, and you are neither ashamed nor displeased by those thoughts. basically, your jealousy doesn't bother you.

4. You feel envy for someone but you really don't like that feeling. In this case you know that your envious feelings are wrong and you dislike it in yourself. (This type of envy is not considered as sinful;)

5. You recognize your envy and you try your very best to remove it- whether by seeking Allah's help, chastising yourself constantly and even going as far as to be extra nice to that person (in attempt to combat those negative feelings). This is probably the best stage of envy since the envier is actually taking steps in order to remove it.

Abu Hurairah said that Rasulullah saw said : "Beware of envy, for envy devours good (deeds) like fire devours firewood". ( Abu Dawud )

image from:

March 13, 2010

This time its not my fault...

For anyone following this blog you will have noticed that the look has changed- again!!! This time though, its not my fault. Unfortunately My old template got messed up (as you may have noticed) and i was forced to get a new one. So that's that!
Anyway, the look is not what really matters, its the content, right?

March 11, 2010

Welcome to Weekly Wise Words!

Assalamu Alaikum and welcome to the first ever edition of Weekly Wise Words. So this is how it'll play out: Each Friday (Or Thursday Night) a new Weekly Wise Words post will go up. The post will be either a hadith, Aayat or just simply, wise words. What i hope is that we can all read these simple wise words and try to make a positive change in our lives. May Allah (SWT) grant us all knowledge and allow us to become better Muslims. Insha-Allah.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

"Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong if they do evil."

- Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1325

March 8, 2010


A simple family moment left me with a very valuable lesson...

My nieces and I were playing dress up the other day when the younger one (4 year old Ayesha) got hold of my surma. Needless to say she liberally began applying it to her eyes- a task which she thoroughly enjoyed. Now i don't need to tell you what she looked like- what with being a 4 year old and all.
Since she didn't have a mirror nearby she didn't know how weird she looked, and even though everybody else kept gasping and laughing at her, she was oblivious to the sight of her face.

It was only when she looked at her own reflection (by accident as she passed by a window) that she finally realised how she looked. She was so surprised at her reflection that she excitedly exclaimed: "What happened?" It was in this moment, while we all laughed at her, that i was taught a very valuable lesson.

 It takes true self reflection to understand and realize what we really look like.

Just like how we could all see what Ayesha had done to her face, others can see our character. And just like how she was oblivious, we too are sometimes unaware of our own flaws. We have to actually look at ourselves clearly, examine our characters, examine the situations we find ourselves in, and examine people's attitudes towards us; in order to understand the type of people that we are.

I have a creed that i have lived by for many years now, and I'd like to share it with you. When someone tells me something hurtful i carefully consider what they've said and begin a process of self questioning. The hurtful statements may either be right- in which case i examine my actions and try to rectify it; or they may be wrong- in which i case i simply shrug it off and try very hard not to let it bother me. You see while people may sometimes be very valuable in helping you to understand the type of person you are; they can also easily break you. So next time, take my advice and try this for yourself.

I think that its important for all of us to constantly be engaged in a process of self reflection. We certainly won't leave the house without first checking how we look, so why spend another moment without considering how we look on the inside and what our characters and behaviour is saying about us...? Real self-reflection can tell us what we're made of, and that's a lesson I'd love to learn.

Abu Darda (radiyallaahu 'anhu) said that Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:
There is nothing which is heavier upon the balance than the good character
Reported by Ahmad (6/446 and 448)

March 3, 2010

Women and Knowledge

Has anybody else noticed how 'education' is sometimes seen by some people as a bad thing? i think that its because education and knowledge has gotten mixed up with terms like modernity and feminism. Ok so seriously let me clarify, females getting education is NOT a modern thing!!! I probably don't need to go back into the history of Islam and relay the stories of all the wonderful, knowledgeable and educated females; scholars of fiqh, hadith and Quraan. So where has this idea come from, you know- the idea that if you're educated then you must be one of those 'modern girls'? Its like people automatically think that if you have a university degree then you probably don't know how to be a good wife. I understand that people may feel that after gaining an education you might be a little too preoccupied with a high-powered career; but that's a generalization- don't you think?

Personally, i don't belong to any stereotypes out there. I'm an educated woman who has chosen not to pursue a career and decided to stay at home. So as for the stereotype of the 'educated working woman'- i just don't belong. And while i am capable (insha-Allah) of being a home-maker, i also happen to have knowledge and a valuable opinion. So as for the stereotype of the simple minded housewife - i don't fit in either. You see this is the beauty of Womanhood and the beauty of Islam. It doesn't ask me to belong to any stereotypes- I can just simply be me. It is only other people who come along and try to fit us into boxes.
Ok, so let me get back to my point of education then. Knowledge and the pursuit thereof is important in Islam- and yes this applies to women too. We should constantly try to seek knowledge; knowledge of Quraan, knowledge of our deen and even knowledge of the world around us. Knowledge doesn't mean a 9 to 5 job with weekends off. Knowledge also doesn't mean a university degree. Knowledge can be gained from the comfort of your house, or from the houses of others. With all the books and resources we have available at our fingertips, and with the most Glorious Quraan in each of our homes- we really have no excuse not to constantly be engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. So here's hoping that we can all be a generation and an Ummah of beautifully knowledgeable and capable young women!!!

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74
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