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Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

Salaam everyone, and welcome to Muslimah According to Me! This is where I share my experiences and reflections as an American convert to Islam, and I strive to make this a place for converts, born-Muslims, and non-Muslims alike to come for open and honest discussion. And hopefully learning a little something new!

If you are a new Muslim, make sure to check out my resources page,  where I share books, articles, videos and other resources that I myself found very helpful on my journey to Islam. And if you are ever in need of some support, someone who has been there and can lend an ear, or just have some questions for me, feel free to drop comments on any of my articles, or head over to the contact form for a more private discussion!

To get you started, you can go check out some of these popular posts here, here and here. And to learn more about me personally, head over to my about page.

And don’t forget to subscribe to blog and check out all the social media to keep up with the latest over here.

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Eid as a Convert: Reflections

Salaam alaikum everyone.

We are almost there—Ramadan is nearly over and Eid is nearly here!

As a convert, I have to say I have a lot of mixed emotions about Eid. For the most part it doesn’t really feel like a holiday to me yet. I am so used to my family traditions surrounding American holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, that I am still trying to adapt myself to the two Eids as my main holidays now. Plus only being a Muslim since 2014 and living with my husband only in the past year or so, we haven’t quite had time to forge our own traditions.

I remember my first Eid, my good friend let me in on all of her Eid traditions. She picked me up to go pray with her, and we stuck around after the prayers for some yummy sweets and chatting with friends. Then she took me along to her traditional family brunch with her son, his wife and their son, and her brother (eek, I’m such an intruder!). We shared some eggs, and went to the candy store that they always go to while I Skyped my husband. Continue reading “Eid as a Convert: Reflections”

Ramadan Post for Muslimah Bloggers

Salaam all!

Today’s post isn’t really a post…sorry. It’s just a short little note to let you know to go check out the post I did for Muslimah Bloggers in their Ramadan series.

I really enjoyed writing this post for them, and I share some personal Ramadan-revert-experience in there. Actually it is all about the experience of my first Ramadan as a revert, and reflections and lessons from that year, as well as my second Ramadan in a Muslim-majority country.

I would love it if you would go give it a read, and let me know what you think!

The article is called My First Ramadan as a Revert: Memories and Reflections, and it was posted on the fifteenth of Ramadan. Plus, I highly advise you to go give the Muslimah Bloggers page a like; they’ve always got something interesting going on over there!

The Ramadan Balancing Act

Salaam! Only a couple more weeks of Ramadan to go, and I hope you are making the most of it in shaa Allah!

Today I want to write about something that I know I, and I think many others, struggle with during the month of Ramadan: how to balance worship with our everyday tasks like work, school, family, and housework.

I know, for me, during Ramadan I want to do nothing but focus on my worship all day long. I am fasting, I want to pray extra, read more Qur’an, listen to more lectures, learn more and develop more. Often this can lead to me neglecting things like sweeping the floors or feeding the cats because I feel like these tasks aren’t worthy of my precious Ramadan time.

But, I have to remind myself that if we take on the more “mundane” tasks of our lives during this holy month with the right mindset, we could be getting reward for that too.

If I clean up after the kittens and make sure their water bowl is filled with the intention that I am doing this because Allah swt tells us to show kindness and mercy to every living thing, and that these cats are a creation of Allah swt, in shaa Allah I will be getting rewarded for that just like I would for doing another act of worship in that same time.

If I take the time in the morning to clean up the house, do the dishes from suhoor, sweep and make the bed with the intention of  remembering the sunnah of being clean, tidy,and presentable, in shaa Allah I will be getting reward for making my husband happy to come home and following sunnah!

That’s not to say we shouldn’t even bother with the extra worship; it is all about that balance. Take care of what absolutely needs to be done in your house, work, school, family, etc. and then use your extra time for prayer, Qur’an, and learning.

We always feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but during Ramadan is the time where we really need to think of how we are spending those hours. Continue reading “The Ramadan Balancing Act”

Book Review: Tight Rope

Salaam alaikum all!

I know, I am breaking my strictly-Ramadan theme for the month, but I agreed to take part in a book launch, and it’s happening TODAY!

For my part in the launch, I just got to enjoy reading the book ahead of time, and to share my review with y’all. If you are trying to keep distractions out of your way this Ramadan, I would suggest saving this post and having a read through after Eid, because today’s book up for review is a work of fiction, not necessarily the resources I usually like to share.

Albeit, it is a very relevant piece of fiction.

So, the book I am going to be telling you about today is called Tight Rope by Sahar Abdulaziz. It tells the story of political activist Nour Ibrahim, but also so much more.

The only real concrete details of the setting that we can glean from the book are that it takes place sometime in post-9/11 New York, during the presidential campaign of some unnamed individual. With plenty of talk of Muslim registries, Jewish cemeteries being defaced, rampant racism, and overt sexism, we can all make the leap as to what this resembles. Continue reading “Book Review: Tight Rope”

Ramadan Resources Roundup

Salaam everyone!

I hope your first week or so of Ramadan has been productive and beautiful. For this week’s post I am actually going to do a round-up of a few of my other posts that I think have some good info that could be put into practice during the rest of this blessed month.

I hope you find these helpful, and keep up the good work!!

 

Fasting

Benefits of Fasting

Fasting Tips

Staying Connected when you can’t fast or pray

 

Qur’an

Qur’an memorisation Challenge

Qur’an Journaling

Incorporating Qur’an into your life

My Favorite Surah: al-Rahman

 

Prayer

Concentration in Prayer

The Night Prayer

 

Charity

5 Everyday Ways to Give in Charity

Let’s Talk Money: Zakat

 

Sprituality

On Feeling Guilt

Morning and Evening Duas

Welcome Ramadan! Goals and Reflections

Salaam y’all,

That time of the year is here again! Alhamdulillah we have made it to another Ramadan. I am so excited to be starting out on this month of fasting and worship, and I hope you are too!

I know many of us enter Ramadan all excited, with big goals and plans, but by the end of Ramdan end up feeling like we wasted it all and didn’t accomplish anything. I have definitely been there myself, and I want to not go there this year.

And because you know about me and public accountability, I wanted to share some of this year’s Ramadan goals with y’all. Feel free to share yours in the comments, and in shaa Allah we can help each other to reach them! I am keeping it to five simple goals this year, that I know are lofty enough, yet still attainable for me with the right amount of work.

So here goes: Continue reading “Welcome Ramadan! Goals and Reflections”

Islam, Love, and Obligation

Salaam all.

Just yesterday (as of writing this a week or two ago), I went to visit a friend of mine here in Algeria. Well, she is my husband’s cousin’s wife, so I guess she is kind family. At any rate, she is one of the very few women here in Algeria that I feel I can really relate to, and with whom I really enjoy spending time.

She and I are very much on the same page where is Islam is concerned, and we both have similar ways of practising and thinking about things, which makes her easy to get along with. I know that I can talk about Qur’an or hadith and she won’t get bored, but we can also talk about politics, kids, or our hot beverage preferences just as well. I truly do love her for the sake of Allah swt, and I am so glad to get the chance to visit her and the kids every now and again.

There has been something bothering me in the back of my mind since my last visit, though.

She and I can talk about hadith, seerah, Qur’an, fiqh or any many of other things all day long, and we can be in agreement on a great deal of topics. But when I reflect back on our conversations, there seems to be something so radically different about the way we approach Islam. When I think about it, there seems to be something missing.

At first I didn’t know what could possibly be causing me to think that way; she and I are so alike in many aspects, and we definitely agree on a great many issues. But then I realized what I felt was missing all this time: love. Continue reading “Islam, Love, and Obligation”

Incorporating More Qur’an into your Life

Salaam all.

So, the countdown to Ramadan continues, and on the blog-schedule we’ve only got two posts left until it begins, in shaa Allah! Anyone else as excited as me?!

To honor the upcoming “month of the Qur’an,” I wanted to share with you a little bit about my personal journey with Allah’s swt book, and some practical tips to kick-start your relationship with the Qur’an as Ramadan is about to kick off.

I bought my first English translation of the Qur’an at age 13 or so. I was at Barnes and Noble looking for some interesting reads after our youth group leader had taken us on interfaith trips to a mosque and a synagogue, and there it was, sitting on the religion shelf. I looked at it and wasn’t actually all that interested, but I did think, “well, that’ll irritate my step father to no end.” So I bought it.

It sat on my shelf for a while. We had a 20 minute reading period every morning at my high school, so when I turned 14 I began to carry it around with me to show off my “devil may care what you think of me” attitude. That didn’t last long though, and my who-knows-how-accurate English translation was doomed to sit on the shelf for the next 6 or so years.  Continue reading “Incorporating More Qur’an into your Life”

5 Everyday Ways to Give in Charity

Salaam!

In honor of the upcoming month of Ramadan, where we should be striving to increase all of our good deeds and earn multiplied reward, I thought I would share some of my favorite ways to spend in the way of Allah swt. Charity doesn’t only have to be money, there is so much more to it than that!

1.Buy food for the next homeless person you find, whether a small coffee or a full meal, whatever you can afford. In this day and age, you never know where your money is going to go, but you can know you are doing good by helping someone hungry to get some hot food into their body.

2.Lend a helping hand to someone you see struggling with something. Help that old woman carry her groceries, help that kid fix his bike, help the disabled person access the building you are going into. Help your wife with the housework, help your kids with their school work. Even just holding a door open with a smile can be a great way to brighten someone’s day.

3.Smile at your brothers in Islam, stop for a conversation. I’ve talked about it before, but a smile can go a long way! And if you have time, why not actually stop to say salaam to that sister in the queue at the post office with you, ask how she is, have a little human connection? During Ramadan hosting iftar can also be a great way to connect and get the blessing of feeding other fasting people.

4.Pick up trash or other debris from walkways and roads; especially try to pick things up from natural places like beaches or meadows. You will be doing something good for the earth, and in shaa Allah being rewarded at the same time!

5.Feed the animals! I can’t tell you how many cats we have hanging around our house because they know my husband and I are the suckers that will always give them some food, even if it is off of our own plates, but kindness to animals is almost as important as kindness to humans in Islam. We have a responsibility to take care of Allah’s swt creations that are less capable than us, so what harm will it do if you leave some of your iftar leftovers outside for the stray cats or dogs? Maybe don’t put food out if you live somewhere where it will bring bears or mountain lions…but cats, dogs, birds, and small animals will all sure appreciate the meal!

On Trials

Salaam everyone.

I usually try to keep as much of my personal issues off of my blog as possible, but today I seem to be having an unusually hard time of things.

I feel like we have hit every roadblock and delay physically possible on this visa application, I am feeling homesick, missing family, and feeling trapped in a country with no infrastructure upon which to build any semblance of a life. The simplest things feel impossible to me; I can’t even keep up with one of my favorite hobbies—writing good ol’ snail mail—because the postal system here is so dysfunctional.

So yeah, I’m feeling a bit down.

Lately I have been just trying to remind myself that this is life. Allah swt tells us multiple times in the Qur’an that the believers will be tested with losses and hard times, and how often do we hear that the more Allah swt tests a servant, the more He loves him? The prophets, the most beloved people to Allah swt, went through unimaginable trials and tribulations.

But it feels so hard when you are in it. It feels like this one day is never going to end, let alone this whole life. Continue reading “On Trials”