Ramadan 2018

Inner Dimensions: The Fast

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

Last week I began my Ramadan series Inner Dimensions by writing a little bit about how we can tap back into the spiritual aspect of our prayer, the foundation of our worship. Today I want to take it one step further and talk about fasting, the foundation of our Ramadan.

We know that there are two distinct dimensions to fasting: the inner and the outer.  Our outer fasting is what we tend to think of most often when we think of Ramadan – no food, no drink, no intimacy, from dawn until sunset for 30 days.

But Allah says in the Qur’an:

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous (attain taqwa).”

Qur’an 2:183

This verse makes it clear that the whole point of fasting, we could even say the whole essence of fasting, is not to make ourselves hungry and thirsty, but to use fasting as a means to attain a higher status in our inner-selves, to become more righteous. Continue reading “Inner Dimensions: The Fast”

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Ramadan 2018

Inner Dimensions: The Prayer

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

Salaam alaikum and Ramadan mubarak to all my amazing readers! I can’t believe this beautiful month is already here, and I am so grateful that you have decided to spend some of your precious Ramadan time here with me.

Today will be the first post in my Ramadan 2018 series, Inner Dimensions. This Ramadan, I really want to go back to basics and look at our worship not as an end in and of itself, but the means to the end of bringing ourselves closer to Allah swt.

And I want to start with one of the five pillars, and the foundation of our faith: the salah, or five times daily prayer.

The more sisters I talk to, the more I find that we tend to really struggle with our salah. We struggle to pray on time, to concentrate during our prayer, and even to feel anything when we pray. From my experience, many of these salah issues come from a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of salah.

So often, we think of our salah as merely an obligation. It is a fard, an item that we must check off of our to-do lists five times every day, a ritual to be performed.

But the point of salah is not to be performed; it is to be experiencedContinue reading “Inner Dimensions: The Prayer”

Resources

Book Review: The Dua Journal

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

While it has been great to have some time off for April, I decided to break my blogging silence to share something exciting with y’all.

Around a month or so ago, I got the extended version of The Dua Journal (pictured below), and after using it in for a while now, I wanted to share some of my experiences with you.

I’ve had my eye on The Dua Journal ever since it came out around a year ago, but because of the lack of decent postal system in Algeria, it ended up being relegated to my “someday” list. So, you can imagine how excited I was to finally be able to get not only The Dua Journal, but the extended green-cover version! Continue reading “Book Review: The Dua Journal”

Uncategorized

April: Taking a Break

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

I’m just popping by quickly today to let you know that I have decided to take a bit of a blogging break for the month of April.

I just have so many things going on these days, and I have had a bit of a shift in priorities going on. I’ve been feeling it for a while – needing to shift directions in my blogging and not quite feeling as into as I once did – and I want to actually take the time out to reflect a bit more on where I want this blog to do.

I have so many ideas and projects going on, I am hoping to come back from this break with an even better site and content for y’all!

I will still be sending out weekly newsletters in shaa Allah, so head over to the sidebar and get yourself subscribed so that you don’t miss a thing! And in shaa Allah I will still be around on social media too (though not as much as usual), so you can still find some reflections and thoughts over on Instagram!

So, in shaa Allah I hope to see y’all around, and certainly don’t forget to get on the newsletter list so you will know what is going on with all my projects and you’ll know exactly when I am coming back!

Resources

Book Review: Reflections from Life

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

I’m so excited to be bringing you the second book review in two months, alhamdulillah! Today I am honored to be bringing you a review of Reflections from Life: A Muslim’s Guide to Inspiration by Aisha Idris of The Bookish Nomad . It is her debut self-help book, and it is full of Islamic inspiration punctuated by real-life lessons taken from her personal experiences.

I was glad to receive a copy of the e-book to read and review; the book was just the perfect mix of spirituality, real life lessons, and personal development, all the things I am so interested in these days! Continue reading “Book Review: Reflections from Life”

Resources

Lives of the Prophets: Saleh (as)

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

This month I’ve got another set of notes for you from Qalam Institute’s podcast, Lives of the Prophets. Today’s episode was all about Saleh (as), and it was another interesting one for me as Saleh (as) is a prophet that I don’t know a lot about! In shaa Allah I hope you will learn as much as I did, and please do feel free to leave some comments with your takeaways!

Also, as a quick note – you may remember the PDF I created with my abridged notes for these posts; I have unfortunately decided to discontinue those. They took a lot of time and effort and there just wasn’t a lot of interest in them, but I really do appreciate all of you who did subscribe, download, and take the time to read them! Jazakum Allahu khairan.

If you’d like to listen to the original podcast you can do that HERE, and if you’d like to catch up on my notes from the previous episodes you can do that HERE. Otherwise, grab a cup of tea and enjoy the notes in shaa Allah! Continue reading “Lives of the Prophets: Saleh (as)”

Personal Development

My 5 Favorite Personal Development Resources

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

To continue on with the personal development theme that I originally had wanted to create for this month, today I want to share a few of the best resources I have come across that have aided in my personal development journey.

  1. Rising Soul: A Guide to Personal Development by Muhammad Mansur was the first Islamic personal development book I ever read and was a gift from a dear friend. You can find a full review here.
  2. The Ideal Muslimah by Muhammad Ali Hashimi is one book that I just keep coming back to over and over again. Because it outlines the whole character of an “ideal Muslimah” there is always a new gem that you can take from each new reading! I have a full review here.
  3. Playing Big by Tara Mohr is the first non-islamic personal development book I ever read, and one that I recently gave a re-read! I love this one and it is a great place to start breaking into the personal development field.
  4. Reflections from Life by Aisha Idris is a brand new book, that actually just came out recently! I was lucky enough to get a copy for review, and in shaa Allah you will be getting a full review by the end of this month!
  5. Purification of the Heart is a podcast by Qalam Institute that I am absolutely loving! It is all about learning to recognize the signs of diseases of the heart in ourselves and begin to work on curing them and instead replacing them with sunnah actions and behaviors instead. Definitely great for listening to during a commute or while doing chores around the house.

I’m always looking for new books and podcasts to put on my list, so please do feel free to add your suggestions in the comments! I do love to hear from y’all.

 

Personal Reflections

Scattered Reflections

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

I had a post planned today on Islam and personal development, two things which, you will know by now, I am really into.

But I can’t seem to get my brain to focus on anything within that topic. I’ve searched Pinterest for a spark of inspiration, I’ve combed through a few articles looking for a hadith or ayah to base my reflections upon, I’ve wracked my own brain looking for a little streak of wisdom to share with y’all.

Nothing.

Because what is really on my mind is a smattering of too many things. I’ve been back home for a visit for a little bit now, and ever since I’ve been here I can’t seem to motivate myself to get online and write or be present on social media. Which is not to say I’m just loafing around over here…

I get up every morning after fajr instead of napping,  I eat my breakfast and then I do chores around the house. I do some exercise; just today my grandpa and I started a morning walking routine. I’ve been playing catch-up with alimah classes, running errands that need to get done while I’m here, and making dates with family members that I want to visit.
Continue reading “Scattered Reflections”

Lifestyle

Islamic Best Practices for Social Media

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ll probably remember a post I did ages ago on social media and Islam. I remember back then feeling so hesitant to write about that topic, though I did and still do think it is an important one, because I was afraid to sound preachy.

And reading the post back, I kind of did sound a bit preachy.

As this blog has been growing and I have been finding myself more and more “visible” in the online world, reflections on social media and internet presence in general once again seem to keep coming up in my mind.

And because this is a time when virtually everyone is on social media, and many seem to have various issues, whether they be in the form of being a “keyboard warrior” to plain social media addiction,  I thought perhaps it would be beneficial to share some of those reflections again today.

Instead of writing a more prescriptive post, however, I want to share with you some of my own social media best practices, that I have built up as I try to perfect my own Islamic character and manners. It is an ongoing journey, and of course I am nowhere near perfect, but these are the guiding principles that I try to keep in mind whenever I am online. Continue reading “Islamic Best Practices for Social Media”

Resources

Book Review: Muslim Girl, Growing Up

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

For the next-to-last post of this short and somewhat hectic month, I am so excited to be bringing you a new book review!

It is a lot different from the types of books that I would usually review, but when the publisher got in contact to send me a copy, I thought that this is too important of a topic not to share on.

Muslim Girl, Growing Up, by Natalia Nabil, is a short book (29 pages total), meant to educate young Muslim girls not only about the changes that take place during puberty, but also their religious significance.

Because I had never seen a book that takes a comprehensive view of not only what puberty means for a girl in terms of physiology, but also in terms of its religious significance, and I am sure I have some parents with daughters reading this blog, I decided to take it on and give y’all a review! Continue reading “Book Review: Muslim Girl, Growing Up”