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”

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!)”

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”

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”