Lives of the Prophets: Sheeth (as)

Salaam alaikum everyone!

So, it has been quite a while since I’ve done one of these, so I’ll start by letting any new-comers know what’s up: I started a series ages ago (find the first post here) where I share my notes as I listen through Qalam Institute’s podcast series Lives of the Prophets. I love the series, but I have been so busy with other stuff these days that I have been finding it hard to actually sit down and take notes. Usually I do my podcast-listening while doing housework or embroidery, so to stop and actually take notes actually takes a little extra time.

But then, during Ramadan, I had a thought—I can be learning something beneficial and working on blogging things at the same time! So for the last couple of days of Ramadan I sat down every day to listen to a couple of episodes and prep them up for y’all.

Click here for my first set of notes on Adam alayhi salam, and here for my second set of notes on Adam alayhi salam and his sons. Today I’ll be jumping right back in with Sheeth alayhi salam! I was excited for this episode, as Sheeth’s alayhi salam story isn’t one I am very familiar with. I find learning about these things so interesting, not only because it is interesting for me to learn about the prophets from an Islamic standpoint (as I come from a Christian background), but also because it is just so interesting for me to think about these people who lived so, so long ago.

As always, feel free to leave me some comments; did you learn anything? Anything you would like to add? Thoughts on the story/notes?

Here we go!

Continue reading “Lives of the Prophets: Sheeth (as)”

Etiquettes of Making Dua

Salaam y’all!

So, when I first converted, and up until very recently, I thought making dua (personal prayers, supplications) was just a matter of substituting the old Christian hands-folded-head-down move for the Islamic hands upturned and raised, and then asking for whatever it is you need or want.

Which is partly true, I suppose, but quite recently I began to learn that there are actually some etiquettes that you can follow when you make dua to increase your chances of having that dua accepted. So I wanted to share some of those with you today, for new reverts who may not know about them, and for those who maybe did know, but could use a little refresher.

Firstly, as with anything in Islam, you need to make a sincere intention before you begin making dua. It always sounds like something small, but our actions are judged by the intentions. So even if you don’t get all of these etiquettes down right away, you can still keep that intention that you are trying to make dua in the most beautiful way possible and in shaa Allah get the reward of it!

One of the etiquettes of making dua that I actually really love is the next one: to invoke with the certainty that it will be accepted. So basically, if you want to have your dua accepted, you have to be certain that it will be accepted. This is like the hadith that mentions:

“Allah the Almighty said, ‘I am as my servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’”
Narrated in Bukhari

Continue reading “Etiquettes of Making Dua”

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A Crazy New Endeavor!

Salaam alaikum everyone!

So, I’m working on a little something behind the scenes ove here.

I have been feeling super disconnected from my blog, for quite a while now. I have been wanting to take it in a different direction and kick it up a notch for a while, but I just keep giving myself excuses: to be professional I need to be self-hosted, I need good photography, etc. And I neither have the internet bandwidth or money for those kinds of things right now.

But then I realized, I really don’t need any of that.

So I am working on putting together a new WordPress site that really reflects the message I want to be sharing!

Hooray, how exciting!

I will still be posting here while I am getting that up in shaa Allah, but I don’t have the time for that much double-duty, so I will be dropping off to one post a week from now until the switchover.

I can’t wait to unveil what I have going on, so keep your eyes out for updates in the next few months!

Book Review: Two Books by Nurnazida Nazri

Salaam everyone!

So, normally I would be a bit hesitant to do a book review for an author that I know next to nothing about, but when this author contacted me about some of her books providing inspiration for Muslims, I couldn’t say no!

Her name is Nurnazida Nazri, and she is a practising lawyer and a lecturer on law in Malaysia. She has recently started her journey as a writer, and her books are inspired by her experiences with her students and her desire to inspire and encourage others.

The books I’m going to be sharing with you today are called Submitting to Allah and Candle in the Wind, both e-books available on Amazon.

Continue reading “Book Review: Two Books by Nurnazida Nazri”

I Finally Had Hijama (and you should too!)

Salaam all!

Hijama, or cupping therapy, seems to be the thing these days. It’s all the fashion among celebrities, and even Muslims seem to be having a revival of this sunnah. I vaguely knew it was a thing in Islam, but I didn’t actually know until recently that it is something that people actually still do. Then I read this article from Ayeina, and was starting to think that it might be something for me to try out. On top of that, my own husband has had it done a couple of times, and keeps telling me just how good it is for your body.

For those of you who don’t actually know what hijama is, basically it is where you place cups on certain spots on your back/neck and create suction, then make tiny incisions in those spots and re-apply the cups to pull out all of the old blood.

Some of the benefits of hijama include (and these are just the ones I find most interesting, there are plenty more out there):

  • one of the few viable long-term treatments for migraines, or headaches in general
  • treatment for other kinds of aches and pains
  • helps relieve fatigue
  • helps with gastrointestinal issues
  • can help with female fertility
  • detoxification
  • rebalances hormones
  • greater emotional well-being
  • it’s sunnah!
  • it is relaxing and rejuvenating

Like everyone, when I first heard of what it was, my first thoughts were along the lines of “ouch” and “ick.” Continue reading “I Finally Had Hijama (and you should too!)”

Imposter Syndrome

Salaam alaikum!

I’ve written about this before, but it is something that I was reflecting on again today: new Muslims (or not so new Muslims) and the “imposter syndrome.”

I’ve never said it in quite those terms before, but I have written many, many times about how many new Muslims feel that they are not quite “Muslim enough.” This could be because of pressures from friends or the community, or it could come from the new convert’s own insecurities. Often, it is a combination of these two things that make new Muslims feel like they will never be “real” Muslims, “good” Muslims, or even just taken seriously as Muslims.

I myself experienced this to some degree, but it is something I have largely gotten over. When I first converted I had the amazing blessing to be spiritually “raised” in such a lovely and tolerant community. None of my new friends or acquaintances ever made me feel less than or different, and they all encouraged me to grow in my own time and way, and alhamdulillah for that. Continue reading “Imposter Syndrome”

The Six Days of Shawwal

Salaam everyone!

In today’s day and age everything is fast. Especially in internet time, it has already been like, three years since my final Ramadan post. And I know, now that Ramadan and Eid are over, y’all have probably settled back into life, work, and routine and have plenty going on right now; you probably don’t want to hear any more about fasting until next Ramadan comes around!

But today I just wanted to share a little reminder, that we are still in the month of Shawwal.

“Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” Narrated in Muslim

It is also narrated that the Prophet (saws) said that you earn ten times the reward in Ramadan, so one month of fasting is like ten, and the six days of Shawwal complete the year.

Continue reading “The Six Days of Shawwal”

Guest Post: A Simple Path Made Difficult-Advice for Muslim Sisters

Salaam everyone! Today I am jumping back in with a guest post from my dear sister Liz, who blogs over at www.voiceofsalam.wordpress.com.

Firsly, I highly recommend you go check out her blog! She writes about current events, her personal experiences as a revert, and other topics that need to be brought up in our communities. I love her strong point of view, and I always look forward to reading her posts!

Today’s guest post is actually kind of a substitute for another post I was dragging my feet on, but I daresay I like this one better! I was planning on writing the post I mentioned in my last post on different homogenising pressures within the community, but then I got to talking to Liz about these kinds of things and it turns out she has just as much to say about it as me!

So she kindly agreed to share her own thoughts, and a little bit of her own experience with the pressure to be a certain way within the Muslim community and, spoiler alert, how she overcame that pressure and rediscovered her self confidence.

Ok enough intro from me, read on, leave your thoughts in the comments, and go follow Liz’s blog!

A dear sister of mine recently wrote to me expressing the relief she felt after reading a recent blog post of mine about “mainstream” popular Islamic preachers/scholars who promote intolerance, extremism and dogmatic forms of Islam. She too had witnessed just how easily well-intentioned Muslims – including reverts – would follow quite literally, the interpretations of certain scholars who promoted a soulless, obsessive like, medieval form of Islam. It was a relief myself to know that there were like-minded sisters out there, for I myself had come “full-circle” in my faith, accepting with renewed confidence that the beauty and peaceful nature of Islam which I was first drawn to was in fact legitimate, worthy and in essence representative of the “real Islam”.

Continue reading “Guest Post: A Simple Path Made Difficult-Advice for Muslim Sisters”

Changing Directions

Salaam everyone!

Now that Ramadan has passed and Eid is over, and we are settling back into our daily routines with some sense of normalcy, I wanted to share a couple of reflections and, dare I say, revelations I had in the month where I was essentially offline.

I did a lot of looking back at my writing lately, and thinking about what has been going on inside my head, and I realised a couple of things about myself and my work, that I want to share with y’all.

I have always thought that my big passion was helping new Muslims along in their journey. I was super into sharing my story and resources here through the blog, and super excited about getting together my big project for when I am back in the States, setting up a convert care program. I had plans to get mentor lessons, set up speaker series and convert meet-ups, the whole nine yards (or metres if you’re European?).

And that is still all on my radar. Continue reading “Changing Directions”

And Ramadan has gone again…

Salaam everyone and Eid mubarak!

So Ramadan is officially over, and many of us are just finishing celebrating our Eid. I hope you are having an amazing time with friends and family, enjoying all the fun of this holiday. I myself have been doing a lot of family visiting, and trying to keep the sweets consumption to a minimum as I gear up to start making up my fasts and taking care of the extra six days of Shawwal in shaa Allah!

I wanted to just write a quick post, and it will be the last one now until July, to check in with my Ramadan goals and let y’all know how it went

To refresh your memory, here were my goals from my first Ramadan post: Continue reading “And Ramadan has gone again…”