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”

Concentration in Prayer

Salaam and happy Monday y’all!

I was just listening to a Friday sermon a couple of weeks back, all about our five times daily prayer. It seems like such a simple thing to talk about in times where there is so much that could be covered, but I found the deeper message so beautiful that I just had to share some of my reflections with you guys (plus it is super relevant to our last lovely guest post). In shaa Allah they will be of benefit!

The imam began by talking about the time in the Prophet’s (saws) life that we refer to today as the “year of sorrow.” During the span of a year, he experienced many personal tragedies, including the loss of his beloved wife and constant supporter Khadija (ra) as well as the loss of his protector and father figure, his uncle Abu Talib. On top of his uncle’s death, he (saws) was also dealing with the fact that his uncle never did utter the shahada before passing away, dying as a non-Muslim. The Muslims were still facing persecution in Mecca, and could not yet find anywhere to turn for help.

The imam then noted that it was also during this year, towards the end, that Allah swt gave the Prophet (saws) the amazing gift of the journey to Jerusalem and the ascension to the heavens. It was during this miraculous journey that what we now know as the five times daily prayer was made obligatory on the Muslims.

While this all seems like basic information for anyone who has studied a little bit of the Prophet’s (saws) life, the imam made a much deeper connection: the five times daily prayer was given to the Prophet (saws) only after one of the most difficult and tragic years of his life. Allah swt was giving him the means to cure his sorrow, to connect his heart to Allah swt, something to give him strength and energy to get through the difficult parts of life.

And that is what prayer is supposed be to us as well. Continue reading “Concentration in Prayer”

Lives of the Prophets: Adam (as) and his Sons

Salaam everyone!

Apologies for the delay in getting around to posting the next set of notes from the series—I usually listen to my podcasts while I embroider or do housework, so for this one I actually have to sit down and take the notes, which I find it harder to get in my schedule!

At any rate, today’s notes are from the next set of episodes of the Qalam Institute’s podcast on the lives of the prophets, all about the two sons of Adam (as), Cain and Abel. The Arabic pronunciation of their names is Qabeel and Habeel, though I find myself getting quite mixed up when I use those, so for this post I will be sticking with the English versions.

It will be a shorter one than the last, because the two episodes dealing with their story were much shorter, but in shaa Allah you will learn something new and take some benefit from it; I know I did alhamdulillah! Continue reading “Lives of the Prophets: Adam (as) and his Sons”

For the Sisters: Staying Connected When you can’t Pray or Fast

Salaam alaikum y’all!

So, we are coming up on Ramadan fast. Like, quite fast. As of posting we only have a month and some days left. For some of us that is pretty exciting, but for some of us (new reverts, first time fasters anyone?) that can be pretty daunting.

I remember my very first Ramadan, being on such a spiritual high, a productive kick at work, I seemed to be seeing everything through pink, sparkly glasses. But then, a week and a half or so in, disaster struck: the dreaded menstrual cycle.

(Men who are reading this can feel free to duck out at this point if this isn’t a topic that you care to know much about…it’s only going to get worse from here!)

Up until this month, I had been pretty lazy where my period was concerned, but this was different. It was Ramadan, and I didn’t want to lose my momentum in such a sacred month. As a new Muslimah, however, I was a bit confused as to what I could and could not do during this week.

I asked around some of my friends, and actually managed to come up with a plan that kept me spiritually connected and productive during the eight days that I couldn’t fast with everyone else, and today, I want to share some of those things that I did. In shaa Allah you can implement these things in your own life not only during the month of Ramadan, but all year round in order to keep yourself spiritually “plugged in” even when you can’t perform ritual prayer or fasting. Continue reading “For the Sisters: Staying Connected When you can’t Pray or Fast”

Love for the sake of Allah: The Beauty of Sisterhood

Ok, before you even read this post, you have to go read this love letter from a Muslimah, and this post on the sisterhood of Islam.

“Allah will ask on Day of Judgement: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I will shade them with My shade.”

Hadith Qudsi narrated in Muslim

This whole “love for the sake of Allah” thing was not something I really understood or experienced, up until very, very recently. Now that I do know how beautiful it is, however, I am a little obsessed with how much I love my fellow Muslimahs and our community, just for the fact that we are supposed to love each other as sisters in religion. Which is why, when I read those two posts above, I couldn’t get them out of my head. Especially that love letter, made me smile all day long!

The whole notion of sisterhood and community was one of the things that actually really attracted me to Islam, once I started studying a little more in-depth. I think it was The Ideal Muslimah that really clued me in to what a beautiful community the Muslims must have, always treating each other so kindly, giving gifts just for the joy of it, lending a helping hand to any sister in need. Upon citing these things to my house-mate, who was not much of a fan of the transition I was going through, as reasons that I was seriously considering Islam, she promptly told me that I should just join a book club or a knitting group, and I could find community that way; I didn’t have to make such a drastic change.  Continue reading “Love for the sake of Allah: The Beauty of Sisterhood”

Some Famous Reverts

Salaam alaikum y’all.

Today I want to talk about some of the most famous reverts out there.

And no, I’m not talking about celebrity reverts to Islam. Although, can we talk about that for a second? Why does everyone lose their mind every time a celebrity even looks like they are coming near Islam? I mean, alhamdulillah for anyone who is guided to the truth. Me, you, the old man down the street, Shania Twain….What I’m getting at is it should all be the same. Shania Twain shouldn’t be any more important than me when it comes to celebrating someone embracing Islam. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is super important for celebrities who do come to Islam to then use their immense influence to spread truth and goodness, but I don’t really think that we need celebrity converts to validate our religion. Continue reading “Some Famous Reverts”

Hadith of the Month: April

The Prophet (saws) describes one of the people of hell-fire as “women who are clothed yet naked, walking with an enticing gait, with something on their heads that looks like the humps of camels.”

Narrated in Muslim

So, for today’s Hijab Friday I am combining it with the Hadith of the Month, because I totally forgot to write a separate post for this month’s hadith, and I wasn’t sure what to write about today…

So I picked up this one. Most of us know it, most of us use it to condemn sisters that have bumps in their hijabs. And let’s be honest, most of us have tried it at least once: the “camel hump hijab.”

Today, though, I wanted to write about some of the various interpretations that there are of this hadith, not all of which necessarily have to do with making a hump on the top of your head.  Continue reading “Hadith of the Month: April”

The Night Prayer

Allah refers to people of paradise in the Qur’an 51:17-18 as those who, “They used to sleep but little of the night, and ere the dawning of each day would seek forgiveness…”

Praying an extra couple of rakat in the wee hours before fajr is something we have all heard of the benefit of, and it is something that I have been trying to get into the habit of pretty much forever. Maybe not that long, but it sure feels like it.

In case some of my newer readers haven’t actually heard of the night prayer, some of its benefits include being a time when duas are readily answered, gaining closeness to Allah swt, being forgiven your sins, and being counted among “the few” mentioned in the Qur’an as those who forsake their sleep to worship while the rest of the world slumbers away.

“It is upon you to perform the night prayer, because it was the practice of the righteous people before you. It is a means of obtaining closeness to Allah the Exalted, it erases sins, it prevents wrongdoings, and it drives away the sickness from the body.” Narrated in Ahmad and Tirmidhi Continue reading “The Night Prayer”

Social Media and Islam

Salaam all.

Today’s post is something that I have been wanting to write about, but have been putting off for a ridiculously long time. The reason is, it is something that I really don’t want to sound preachy about, but I feel like it will end up coming across that way.

I have been wanting to write about this topic though, because I think it is one of those things that is under-discussed in our communities. Either the internet and all social media is “haraam,” or it is a free, do-whatever-you-want zone, where you can say and post anything that you like. Naturally, I fall somewhere more in the middle of the spectrum.

I think social media can indeed be a useful tool for sharing knowledge, sisterhood, resources and creating meaningful friendships. I also think there needs to be a bit more of a discussion on what the actual etiquettes of social media are, that a Muslim should be keeping in mind when logging on. Continue reading “Social Media and Islam”

Lives of the Prophets: Adam (as)

Salaam everyone!

So, today will be the first in my series of notes that I take from the Qalam Institute podcast on the lives of the prophets, all about Adam (as). The first thing I realised while listening to this podcast, was how interesting it is for me, coming from a Christian background, to hear the stories of the prophets that I am familiar with re-told through an Islamic perspective. And I have to say, a lot of the things that never made sense to me back then, are much clearer through the Qur’anic lens!

Secondly, I just want to note that since there was so much material (it took four episodes just to do the story of Adam (as)!), I am only going to share the best bits that I thought were really interesting or beneficial, and I am assuming you know the general gist of the story. If you want the full details and in-depth analysis, I highly recommend you go check out the podcast for yourself!

So, here goes! Continue reading “Lives of the Prophets: Adam (as)”