He Got Engaged.

>> Sunday, February 27, 2011

You see I’m in a little situation and I think I may need some help. This is the first time I have ever openly discussed this with anyone so I will try to make it as simple as possible.

I know I am only 18 years old but I have already started thinking about marriage (my sister got married at 19 so I think it’s about time for me) . I have this very nice friend of mine who teaches me the quran and I really love her from the bottom of my heart(if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be a hiijabi today). Anyways, so my Qur'an teacher has this brother...and my Qur'an teacher told me about him. She also hinted a bit about marriage...She talked a lot about him, and definitely made it clear that he was looking for a wife.

Well, to be honest with you, after hearing all about him,  I kind of fell in love with him.. without even knowing him! I fell in love with him because I loved my Qur'an teacher so much. I didn’t see him or his family for a long time while I was in Jordan but 2 weeks before we were coming back home, his mom invited us over for dinner at their house. When I was there I learned that he just got engaged and that they are planning his wedding soon. I was CRUSHED when I heard this ...

When I came back home everything seemed fine, but a couple days ago I was on facebook and I came across his name and I just remembered all the feelings I got when I used to love him and I think I still do. But the thing is that he is engaged and I would never ever want anything bad to happen to his engagement. I have no idea how I should move on because honestly I was almost sure that we were getting married.

I feel like this entire situation seems silly, I mean how can I fall in love with someone I have never met?! (in a way I kind of did because S always talks about him! I mean always)But I really am hurt that he never became my fiancée. He was honestly like my dream guy. Please help me.

Confused n HeartBroken.

Dear Confused n HeartBroken,

My darling sister!! First of all, can I offer you a big ole’ hug?  

I read your e-mail and I felt so terrible for you.  I can completely understand how ‘you could fall in love with a person’ you didn’t meet because of all the great things you heard about him and because he was your Qur’an teacher’s brother. Heck, if my Qur’an teacher had a bro, I probably would dream about marrying him, myself. So yes, I really don’t think you are acting silly at all.  

In fact, I actually almost had something similar happen. I met this wonderful woman once. Her name was Mariam. She was religious, sweet, and from the very first moment, she made me laugh and put me at ease (which is not something that happens easily for me when I am talking in ‘arabic’- I prefer talking in English).  I clicked with her. Then, she described her brother who was also ‘religious’ and smart and funny and who memorized the Qur’an……she was hinting a bit about marriage.  And yeah…I was thinking,  “HELL YEAH”:P.

But you know what?

I realized later that her brother was NOT Mariam as a man. He was a different person. I didn’t end up meeting him, and he might have been a wonderful person, but I learned the lesson. I had only to look at my own brother. He’s totally totally different from me. Granted, he’s 14 and I’m 23, but despite having the same parents and many of the same qualities, we are different people.

I also learned that just because he was a wonderful person, didn’t mean that he was ‘Mr. Right’ for me.

And that’s what you have to come to terms with. You have to realize that you were never actually in love with her brother. You were in love with an idea that took the shape of her brother. 

It was all an ‘ideal’ image that your mind drew based on the limited information you were given by the well- meaning people around you. (Your Qur’an teacher, who maybe really did think you were going to marry him).

It’s actually probably BECAUSE you didn’t meet him, that you were so in love. Trust me. Almost every time a suitor came to me (I’ve had like 3 or 4), I would start to slowly get excited’/ ‘daydream’ about the person…and I would, in my mind, build a future with this person using the  information I had (which was almost always ONLY GOOD StUff).

It was only when I met them and actually talked with them (with a wali present) that I was confronted with the fact that they were real people. People  with faults, just like me.

People with their own baggage. People with annoying habits. People with demands. Things they wanted. Things they didn’t want.

And even though, they were good people, we honestly would have ‘driven each other nuts’ if we had gotten together. 

So, right now, he seems like the man of your dreams, only because that is exactly what he is.  A dream.

All this time, when you were you thinking about 'him', you were actually thinking about 'who you want him to be'- and who you actually want. Not ‘who he actually’ is.

Since you actually never talked to him, you never had a chance to discover his all too ‘humanness’ or the qualities that might have ‘turned you away from him’.

Does this sound really abstract to you? Let me put it in simple terms.

You were so in love because he was exactly what you wanted! Using the info you were given, you ‘shaped’ him in your mind, you get me?

Ok, you’re not convinced.
Let’s try a different way.

Ask yourself-

·         What did you actually love about him? Was it ‘his qualities’ or actually….
·         What he could have offered you?

 Were you thinking of what you would be with him? Were you thinking “we will build the perfect Muslim home, he’ll teach me Qur’an, etc. etc.”Were you thinking of who YOU will be with him?

If you really were thinking of what you would do ‘together’ and the ‘person you would become’, and that’s what really was the driving force behind wanting to marry him, realize that marriage doesn’t actually transform you into who you want to be. It actually exposes who you already are. All your quirks, and also *bad habits* emerge.  It’s really hard work, you know?

If on the other hand, it was the qualities he had (like how he treats his mother/ etc.), don’t worry, my sister!!  You will find those qualities again in a different person. A better person. Someone meant only for you. Someone who's dream girl is you...

Trust in Allah. Trust that He would never let you down. Since you are looking for a halal relationship, marriage, you will inshaAllah find Him on your side.

Turn to Him. Make dua. Tell him “O, Allah, you know how much I wanted to marry him. Please bless me with someone better, who you love and will love me” or something like that. Open up to Allah.

And give yourself time. You can’t be expected to get over all your feelings at once…..you spent a long time, envisioning a future with him. It will definitely take time to get over him…

But you should, however, block/ delete him on facebook so that you can’t see him/ don’t open the wounds all over again..

Oh and you know, your Qur’an teacher maybe also really wanted you to marry her bro…..She may really have been convinced that you guys would be together, but SubhanAllah, Allah has the perfect plan for everyone. Maybe her bro had been planning the whole time to marry that woman. Maybe things happened suddenly. Whatever the case, we just have to remember that even though things didn’t go according to ‘our’ plans, they go according to Allah’s Plan- and He is the Most Wise and Compassionate.

" Verily, when Allah withholds, He actually gives, because He did not withhold on account of miserliness or stinginess, but rather He looked at the benefit of the servant. 
So the fact that He withheld is actually His choice for the servant and His excellent decision.” 

I hope things get better for you, dear sister. You can always write back to us. Lots of hugs !!

 The little aunties


RE: I want to marry him.

>> Sunday, February 20, 2011

My question is about marriage. I know that you are a little younger than me and you are not married, but I need someone to talk to.
My situation briefly explained: I hv completed my graduation. My father searching for the right groom for me, but he has so many requirements n he wants to search the best for me. Of course, that is sooo normal as a father, but the real problem is that whenever there’s a proposal or Biodata, he gives it to my mother n tells her to give me. Now my father is a very nice man and he is friendly with us but he never talked with me in this matter of marriage. And my mother is also a little bit shy, so she never talked with me in details abt this subject. Like wht I want or what I think now?? As my mother doesn’t ask me anything I just can’t get myself to saying anything- it alwys cums to my mind that would be like shameless behavior with parents :( whtever I have to say I say through my maternal aunty which I sumtimes dont want to....
Now, to make things more complicated. i knw sumone....who is pious n as far i came to knw his Deen is So strong n He alwys tries to walk in the path of Allah(SWT)...n my intention is nt bad cz i want to marry him...
Well, he gave proposal to my father through his familya and my father brought the biodata/proposal at home n gave 2my mother bt didn’t give me yet…I think bcz this proposal didn’t really meet his expectations.

So at present I don’t knw wht shud I do. This man lives in a different country but he is supposed to come soon to visit our family. I want to knw wht r those steps or initiative I shud do or i can take in this situation which will NOT make my Allah(SWT) unsatisfied n my parents as well me also,bcz now want my partner to b the one who will help me to stay on the path of Allah(SWT)....i knw Allah(SWT) will do the best for me...HE also told us to try in the right way so i want to try...just dont knw how!!!

Your Alwys Smiling Sis
JazzakAllahu Khair

Dear little aunties,
Just a small update. I think my father has said no.
I’m sorry.
Thank you for reading this, anyways.
Your still smiling sis- with a little bit of tears :(

Dear my precious sister,
First of all, sister, please please forgive me for taking so long to reply. I thought about your question so much- I wanted to give you the best answer possible, but now…I feel like I failed you. Like I wasn’t there for you when you needed me :( When I read your update, I felt horrible. I know you wanted to marry him and I know how hard it is to talk to our parents, especially about marriage prospects. My parents are also kinda quiet about it. ( I’m Egyptian, btw.) They tend to talk to each other, talk to our uncles, talk to our relatives- but like you said, they’re quite shy to bring it up with me....

But I think you and I have both learned now the importance of us being pro-active and refusing to sit on the sidelines anymore. Sis, our parents love us, right, and they want what’s best for us- no matter how shameful it might seem (because it actually isn’t shameful- we are talking about marriage not boyfriends and sex, hehe), we have to learn from this experience that the next time someone you’re interested comes along, we need to broach the subject with them. We can do it like “Dad/Father/ I have heard [from my auntie/from my mother/etc.] that someone is asking about my hand in marriage. I value your opinion so much and I know that you are looking out for what’s best for me. Could we just perhaps talk about it a bit and you share with me your concerns or what you like/don’t like about the suitor? What do you think, Dad?”

And then, gently and calmly take each concern and explain your idea of it. For example: ‘he isn’t that rich’….You could say, “But, dad, money doesn’t buy happiness. If he were a billionaire but he treated me badly, you wouldn’t want that, right? Also, everyone starts small, right? Not many ‘rich people’ were rich in the beginning”…etc. This especially works well if your father started our not that rich, either-….

If he’s worried about his social status, you could say something like “Dad, isn’t character more important than or at least equally as important as a person’s parents?” Remember, Omar bin Al Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) married his son to a daughter of a milk lady because he was so impressed with her piety. He did this, despite being the Ruler of the whole Muslim Empire at the time!

Related to social status, if your father is worried about ‘caste’, remind him that each person is different.

 Try to give him examples from the community that show that coming from caste X does not guarantee a person’s integrity and coming from caste Y does not necessarily reflect *lack* of integrity.

If you can’t think of anyone, tell him bout the Companion Bilal, radiya Allah Anhoo- how he was a slave, but such a high person in the sight of Allah. On the other hand, look at the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salama's uncle, Abu Lahab. Despite being related to the best man on the whole earth, he was one of the WORST men and the Qur'an has promised him punishment. 

You said that this person lives abroad in a different country. Do you think that your father rejected him for that reason alone? Do you think you can explain to him that now we have Internet/yahoo/skype, etc. and that no matter where you go, you would still talk to them as much as possible, you would still try and visit (if possible)…OR do you think it’s more than just ‘missing you’, that maybe he doesn’t want you to marry a foreigner because he’s worried about your safety? In that case, you would need someone maybe who was living in that country to ‘verify’ this man’s behavior, you know to comfort him…

You would need to also show your dad that you have done research. You need to look around, search, find out the cost of living, medical care, what kind of schools there are, if you could get a job, etc in that country. You can tell your dad “Dad, I understand this person is living far away. What if we did some research and asked around? Why rush into any hasty decisions”?

You see, my smiling sis, the ball is in your hands, so long as you stand up to catch it. If we sit down and rely on those around us to catch it, they may never pass the ball to us, right. We can never make a goal when someone else is holding the ball and not giving it to us…so we have to stand up and ask for it. Allah subhanoo Wa’ Tala gave us our voices- a gift we can use to speak up about what we want….even if our voice trembles. You can even tell you parents, “Dad, I am very shy to speak about this and it is hard to bring it up, but I have heard that a suitor has come…”

Be honest with him.

And be honest with yourself! Ask yourself this- would you rather that you end up missing the next opportunity that comes just because you don’t want your parents to think of you as shameless? Remember, your parents raised you- they know that you are not shameless! Remember also that Khadija Radiya Allah Anha was the one who initiated her marriage with the Prophet, sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam. We’re talking she started the PROPOSAL! Imagine! So again, this is not shameless behavior! It may surprise them a bit—but there’s no reason to deny one’s future because of that!

You said that your father is looking for a groom for you- that’s fantastic. Many fathers are too busy to be doing that…the fact that he is doing that Ma’shaAllah tells me that he really does want you to get married. But you need to let him know just who you want to marry/ what kind of person. It’s not enough that the suitor matches your dad’s expectations- he has to match yours. You will be the one who ends up living with the man, right?

You said that your REAL auntie is someone you sometimes can talk to. That’s great! Talk to her about your frustration that you can’t just talk to your parents about these proposals- hopefully, she’ll bring it up with your mom and your mom will bring it up with your dad…

But what if you dad doesn’t really listen to your mom or your mom is shy? This is where you need to ask yourself-s who does your dad listen to? Whose opinion does he value? Can you enlist anyone’s help to talk to him? Or to let him know what kind of person you want? Do you have a brother? So you’re too shy to talk to your uncle? Well, does your dad have a brother who is married? Can you talk to his wife (and she’ll talk to your uncle who will then talk to your dad?). Can an uncle talk to the Imam of the mosque to talk to your dad?

You can also try other methods: maybe, for instance, send him a letter to his email telling him you’re very shy but there were a few things on your mind. Or if he doesn’t have e-mail, leaving him a letter on his pillow. I know some people might find it strange to 'use a letter', but the important thing is for the words to be said (no matter how) and that you remain as respectful as possible..

Tell him that you can at LEAST pray istikharah, right?

And lastly, make dua, sis. Make dua that Allah gives you what is best! You said that he is coming soon. Does that mean you still think there's a chance? If so, start from now, talking to your parents and making dua. If there is no chance, learn from this experience, inshaAllah.

Please, please ,keep me updated and I am here if you ever need a hug!
Your sister in Islam,

Dear Little Aunties,
I’ve sent a letter to my dad about it. He’s so shocked, he’s not talking to me. My mother also seems upset with me. It hurts. But the man is coming soon.

I don’t know what to do now.

Dearest sis!

You did a GREAT job. I know that he is shocked but he will come around, inshaAllah. It's hard to 'face him', but just continue to talk to him normally in the house. Let him know that you are still his daughter. He hasnt' seen this side of you, so he's just surprised. Give him some time :)

But, i's so exciting that he's coming soon. InshaAllah it all works out for the best for you.

Dear little aunties,
It has been some time. I hope you haven’t forgotten me. I just wanted to update you and let you know that, alhamdillah, alhamdillah, I have gotten married.

I want the other sisters out there to know that it is possible. It was not easy and my father maybe is not 100% pleased, but he gave his consent and he has started to accept it. I want to tell my sisters to have sabr and trust in Allah. Truly Allah is the greatest.

inshaAllah hoping to see you, little aunties, sometime…

.. Pray for Us..........

With love,
Your Always Smiling sister


(SHORT): Music, Jinn & Guys

>> Monday, February 14, 2011

(We're tackling 3 questions today-- watch us try to keep it short and sweet :P Can we do it?! )

What do you think of music? What's your take on it?

It’s nice that you want to know our opinions but you know,dearest sister, our opinions don’t really qualify as we’re not actually scholars or anything. But anyways, here’s the thing….the way I think of music is really summed up well here:

*Yup....Porn with words*

So! How do you stop listening to it?

Well, number one, try to delete all the music you have. It might be a bit hard for you, so you might wanna try asking a ‘religious friend’ to do it for you, LOL. Tell your school friends/ facebook friends that you're trying to stop and you'd really appreciate their support/ help.

Try to look for Islamic alternatives. Substitute ‘music’ with nasheeds....

If for example, you're used to listening to music while you’re driving or on your way somewhere- how about downloading some cool Islamic lectures on interesting topics and listening to those instead. You can also, start looking for a favorite Qur’an recitor and listen to some more Qur’an.Again, Islamic nasheeds might really help you :)

May Allah make things easier for you and bring you closer to Him. InshaAllah, our readers can help by pitching in their own ideas on how to quit (Haha, we're making y'all do the work!)

Do you know any websites that talk about jinns ? How do they get in a person & how do you protect yourself? Cause lately a few people in our mosque have had jinns in them, and some didn't want to get out. I thought they were the same as Sejtan.

GREAT question. The jinn sure are mysterious beings...but don't worry! We sure do know some good sites about it:

This pretty much explain them well:  and also this one: 

Little Miss Aunty and I also wrote about 'the jinn' based on an Islamic book we read in this magazine. Choose the pages 19 and 20.(It says the same thing as the other links, though, LOL.).

It explains how to protect yourself, too, and how they come in. May Allah protect us all :D

Is dancing with a guy (just a friend) haram? Not the gross dirty dancing or slow dancing kind, just the jumping up and down, silly kind of dancing.

Dearest Curious,

Hmmm, try checking these earlier posts out. See this one and this one :)


Okay, y'all! Who da women?! Our first ever triple post :P

[As you can see, we're a bit busy at the moment, but planning to answer your wonderful comments soon. Jazakun Allah koli khair!]


Guest Post: The Bazaar Ordeal

>> Saturday, February 12, 2011

Guest writer from  Aeesha's Recital shares her "Bazaar Ordeal", a post written with her trademark spunk and humor, but with an eye opening lesson at the end and a question for each of us... Enjoy!

The bazaar ordeal.

I have in recent times been going out a great deal with my friends and family which is so against my mood. I don’t like going out this much. Especially when what we’re buying is sabzi for the kitchen or kursian for our lounge, or soap holders for the bathrooms. Anyhoo. So, Lahore is the place and man, this city is FULL of desi bazaars. Unlike Karachi. Yep!

Since, I wear a Niqab now, going to malls and open markets is a different experience and feeling altogether. There have been a variety of happenings I recently had to face because I wrap up a piece of cloth around my face. Just. That.

Here we go. I’ll come to the point without much blabbering.

a) The beggar-illa force. They hop about from around everywhere and land right on your head each time you take your wallet out and are about to pay the bills. Their eye is always on the chutta.Chutta is change. If you don’t understand Urdu. =/ The funny part is, unlike before, now when an in the pink lady-beggar comes to ask for some ‘favor’ they always drop emotional Islamic statements such as:

Baji… Thori meherbani kero, Allah tumhe Hajj aur Umrah karae. Medinay ki sair karae.’
(Sister, please do some favor, Allah will let you attain the bliss of Hajj and Umrah and Medinah!) Ha ha. This looks comical in English. Please, contribute a better translation.

At first, I used to go all 0_0 on this and would readily plunge a 10, 20 rupay ka note in their hungry hands. But then, after wasting thousands and thousand of rupees (I’m such an exaggerator!) I realized, these are mere words and tricks to delve into something Allah has strictly forbidden.

Narrated Ibn `Umar: I heard Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) while he was on the pulpit speaking about charity, to abstain from asking others for some financial help and about begging others, saying, "The upper hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand is that of the giver and the lower (hand) is that of the beggar."
(Reference: 2509. Book 24. Volume 2. Bukhari.)

So. It’s sad, and at the same time irritating. And funny.

b) I have about 8, 9 head scarf and I am always looking for shops where I can get easy to wear and instant (I say) Niqabs for myself. So far. No luck. Tsk tsk.

And gloves! My hands are so darn small, I never find my size. =/ Kher. Each time, I step into a shop like a thieve, keeping one eye on my shopping partners so that I may fly out like a bat man as soon as my sensors detect them coming near because sadly, people who encircle me think investments in Niqabs and Hijabs is a waste of money. Lol. And the other one, on the items which are always so nice. AND EQUALLY EXPENSIVE. So, me buying anything from such outlets is a very spontaneous action. I haven’t had much good fortune so far, please pray excessively for me. =P

c) The most tragic part. We went to liberty, yesterday. Um. It’s a sasta (cheap) shopping place. People from all sorts of manmade categories are found in there. From elites, to upper and lower mediocres, and stags who come just to stare at ladies' youknowwhat, and aha, the flavor in the bundle, beggars. I stayed in the market for the duration between Zuhr ‘til Maghrib. I offered my Asar in a very inconvenient seat in a wedding costumes shop and then Maghrib on my way back home in the car. I am not scatterbrained of my prayers and I am very proud of it. If you are, then all my prayers are with you, because dear reader, by missing a prayer, you have no idea the trouble you are asking for.
The mall, filled with women, 95 percent of them not wearing anything over their heads.

For them:

70 percent of them, with unpleasant dressing that even I felt embarrassed and humiliated looking at them. 50 percent of them generously giving full fledge privilege to the men to check’em’out, ya’know. Bullcrap?

And about 99 percent of them (as far as my vision was stretched) not offering any prayers. *sigh* My heart was throbbing at the condition. Excruciating with pain. At once, I lost my grip on the ground just because of the thought that I am walking in the course of these people. I am actually within them. Their condition is worst. Astaghfirulla. 

But there was this lady. Wearing a dull grey abaya with a black Niqab. No embroidery. No glitz. No glamour. Just when the Muezzin began with the Azan, she had a water bottle with her with half litre water or so. She asked her associate to pour some of it in her hand and with it she did the Wudhu. I couldn’t stop looking at her. I wanted my sisters, my friends, the whole Ummah especially, the girls, to be like her. Within the men, she stood, offering Namaz. Not caring what others would think of it. And besides her, not even a single lady, NOT EVEN A SINGLE MAN, took any inspiration.

Ina Lillah Wa Ina Elaehi Rajioon.

I have composed this post in a very dubious manner. Um. I don’t know if I have explained my point skillfully or not. But, to put everything to boot, it’s heart breaking to see people so much lost in the razzle dazzle of the world that they have completely forgotten the purpose of their existence. If you’re reading this, and struggling for being a better Muslim/ Muslimah, please struggle with 2x speed and make people around you follow what’s best for them. With love or with detestation. Just do it. We’re running out of time. We really are.

You wanna know what I mean? Visit a bazaar.

O humans! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous? [Holy Quran, 82:6]


For the original post: http://littlebluesecrets.blogspot.com/2011/02/bazaar-ordeal.html


Under Her Feet. (Mother Troubles)

>> Thursday, February 10, 2011

"As'salam alaikum,
Sisters, I need your advice. I know that we are supposed to respect our parents, especially our mother. However, what I find it most difficult to do is to respect my mother. I can't help but really dislike how my mother speaks ill of others, curses and swears daily, and at times I would be badly scolded for things I never do just because of assumptions she makes. I can't talk to her rationally because to point out all these would mean I've just earned my place in the 'gallows'. When I was younger, I wanted to run away from home because of her. In our Asian culture, parents never 'talk things out' with their kids. We just have screaming matches with each other when situation gets worser.

To be honest, I don't have much respect left but I know that I HAVE to.Sometimes I have this urge to be very rude to her but most of the times I've stopped myself from doing so. I'm sorry if this question make it seem like I'm horrible daughter (maybe I am) but unfortunately not everyone is blessed with nice parents. I understand that my mother is not perfect and neither am I but I can't help feeling that way. Any advice for me? "
Horrible Sis

Dear “Horrible Sis”,

You're not a horrible sis. At least you recognize that you need to change! The truth is this is an issue that I struggle with, myself, daily- so I was happy to get your question because it was an opportunity for me to talk to myself, first. I wish I was being humble but I’m not- I am nowhere near where I should be with my parents. I only pray that Allah helps all of us struggling with this to change and to become the “apple” of our mama’s eyes, especially.

Before I write my advice, the first thing I want to make clear to you is that your Lord knows all that you do. Every act of obedience, every time that you refrain from saying something wrong, every time that your mother has unjustly accused you of something - Allah knows. And rest assured that He will never let any of your acts go unrewarded.

…and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing. (2: 110)

In fact, the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said:

"I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right...

You see? Allah will never let your rights and due go. NEVER. Once you are able to fully appreciate that, you can truly move on and begin the process of a new YOU and a new relationship with your mother...

But of course, that's not all I have to say. To truly begin this new relationship with your mother:

1. You must begin by acknowledging what your mother has done for you.
Yes, your mother says hurtful comments and she makes very wrong assumptions against you and I know how much that can hurt. Yes, she put you down- maybe embarrassed you in front of your friends/ relatives…smacked you a couple of times….

But there are thousands of things that she did for you that you can’t remember…that you might not even know. Do you honestly know how many dreams your mom had to sacrifice when she had you? Do you know how many times she didn’t buy herself something because she wanted to buy you something? Do you know how many times she put you above herself? As much as we like to think that we are aware of our parents’ sacrifices, we can never really know. Only Allah Subhanoo Wa' Tala knows what your mother did for you- only He knows how much she gave up for you.

Even though we don’t know everything she did- let’s try to think about some of the things, together. What about pregnancy- yeah, I know- imams and moms throw that card out there a lot. But there’s a very good reason….I want you to read about pregnancy. Seriously- read about it. It’s not pretty, you know. Think about how you feel when you have a stomach ache- when you feel nauseous- when you can’t keep anything down. Think about how you feel when you can’t sleep and when your back aches…when your chest is sore...Now, think about it lasting not one or two days…not even a month…no, think about feeling yucky for 40 weeks. 280 DAYS! I know people talk about faces glowing and what not, but for many people pregnancy is an ordeal. A day in and day out ordeal that lasts for months….And if your mother was like mine, she didn’t even have a chance to take it easy because she still had lots of chores , other kids to look after, and things that needed to be done.

Now comes the next chapter in your moms’ life. Delivery. First of all, do you know how terrified your mother was of labor? That alone counts for something- how many hours did she spend scared of what was going to happen? Do you really know how many nights your mom couldn’t sleep because she was worried about what was to come? Now onto the actual day…Let’s be honest here- labor is a VERY painful process. Movies like to make it seem funny- a woman panting, a nurse frantically screaming “Push”, and a man totally confused with what to do. That’s not what labor is. Labor is labor- it’s hours and hours of pain- gripping pain. This year my older sis had her second beautiful daughter and I had the lucky chance to spend hours in the delivery room. Screams. That’s what I heard. Not little screams- blood curdling screams of “Help me. I can’t………I can’t….I can’t….” Every time a nurse shooed me out of there, I was relieved because what I saw horrified me. The Prophet (sallah Allahoo alayhee wa salaam) didn’t call a woman who dies from childbirth a martyr without good reason! And women weren’t promised all of their sins forgiven at the first “contraction” either without good reason. (Even if your mother had a C-section, any person who has done any operation can tell you that once they cut you up, you hurt. Big time.)

I mean a Yemeni man was once making tawaaf of the House carrying his mother on his back and he asked Ibn Umar if he thought he had repaid her. Do you know what he said? “No, not even for a single moan that escaped her during child birth.” I want you to think about that- carrying a grown woman in the desert while making tawaaf- 7 times around the Kaaba. That’s not easy. But to Ibn Umar that doesn’t even equal ONE moan a mother goes through during child birth.

Back to your mother’s life…As Nouman Khan points out in one of his lectures- after delivery, you came to this world and your mother barely had time to celebrate the fact labor was done, when nurses plopped you into her arms and told her to “feed” the baby. No vacation for her- no time to rest- she’d just finished more than 9 months of work and how many hours of labor, when suddenly she was given a new job. Once again, we all like to think of breastfeeding as a beautiful process and it is….but you know what? Sometimes it hurts! Gorged breasts- leaking…waking up in the middle of the night two/ three/ four times to feed the baby. Of course, your digestive system started working- and there was drool, baby spit up, and baby diapers to deal with as well.

All this while, your mom was still recovering from labor…. I mean, a paper cut hurts two or three days- so you can imagine how sore/ fatigued she was feeling while she still had all of this to do. Just think about it- how hard is it to get out of bed when you have a cold. Now, think about how hard it would be to get out of bed when you are still bleeding heavily (sorry- to be graphic, but I got to mention it), still sore, and you’re expected to take care of someone else besides yourself. Yeah, HARD! Very hard

Feeding you- washing you- burping you- washing you again- changing your diaper day after day- taking you to the doctor for your vaccinations- like me, you probably can’t remember those days. But you know what: your mom can. And if she thinks she deserves your respect because of that- can you blame her?

2. If your heart still feels a little cold, it’s time we bring out some videos

And of course, some concrete Islamic points… because the truth is, God gave your mom rights over you. And He made them very clear. Check out this link for ahadith and ayaat.

I’m going to mention some other points that aren’t mentioned in that links.

a. Let’s look at the scene where Ibrahim tells his son (alayhum as salaam), that he has to slaughter him in the Quran. I want you to really think about what was happening- his father was telling him he was going to kill him because he had a “dream”. Now, how did he react? With complete and utter obedience. Why do you think the Quran shows us that story? No doubt we’re supposed to learn the lesson of submission to God but we’re also supposed to learn from Ismail’s behavior.

What did he say?

And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast." (37: 102)

b. The Quran shows you two kinds of fathers- a good father (like Loqman) and a not so good father (Azar- Ibrahim’s father). But you know what? We don’t see how Loqman’s son treats him- but here’s the interesting thing. We do see how Ibrahim treats his dad. Let's take a look at the whole scenario:

19:42 [Mention] when he said to his father, "O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear and does not see and will not benefit you at all?....
O my father, indeed I fear that there will touch you a punishment from the Most Merciful so you would be to Satan a companion [in Hellfire]." (45) [His father] said, "Have you no desire for my gods, O Abraham? If you do not desist, I will surely stone you, so avoid me a prolonged time." (46)[Abraham] said, "Peace will be upon you. I will ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me. (47)  

First of all, the Arabic word that Prophet Ibrahim was “Ya Abati” which is the nicest form/most loving way to address your father.

Second, you see what Azar's response was? He was literally telling his son Ibrahim to abandon God and worship the ‘idols’ that he created. Heck, he was literally threatening to kill Prophet Ibrahim, and yet,  Prophet Ibrahim still talked to him in a respectful manner. Your mom might be saying the most 'unislamic things', but she is probably nowhere near Azar who was telling Ibrahim to worship idols...and still, Prophet Ibrahim addressed him in the most gentle way. Why? Because as the Quran makes it clear, we don’t respect our parents because they respect us, but we respect them because of the rights given to them by Allah.

c. What else? Well, we’ve mentioned this before in the blog, but I think it’s a great reminder. Let’s look at the ayah where Allah tells Prophet Moses to talk to Pharoah.

Go, both of you, to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed. (43) And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah]."(44) (Surat Taha)

Now, do you think Moses (alayhee as salaam) had any reason to respect Pharoah- the man who called himself God? No WAY. But you know what? Allah still commanded Prophet Moses to speak gently to him. Woah- I really doubt that your mother calls on people to worship her- yes, she might enforce her opinions on the family but does she ask you guys to literally worship her? So, do you honestly think she deserves worse treatment than Pharoah?

d. Remember that woman who used to fast and pray a lot? The one going to hell? Just in case you forgot, here’s the hadith…..

Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, 'Messenger of Allah! A certain woman prays in the night, fasts in the day, acts and gives sadaqa, but injures her neighbours with her tongue.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'There is no good in her. She is one of the people of the Fire.' They said, 'Another woman prays the prescribed prayers and gives bits of curd as sadaqa and does not injure anyone.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'She is one of the people of the Garden.'"
 So how is this connected? Even though that woman prayed a lot, she was mean to her neighbors. To Allah, this made her prayers and fasts worthless. So here’s what I want you to think about….do you want to wake up one day and discover that you never prayed? Never fasted? Because if your mom isn’t happy with you-.well, let me give you (and myself) a hint:

2/2 From Abdullaah bin Umar who said, "The Lord is pleased when the parents are pleased, and is Angry when the parents are angry." Hasan as mawqoof, saheeh as marfoo' as-Saheehah 515

e. What about this ayah:

And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace, (25: 63)

We’re talking “jahiloon”- and what we’re supposed to say is just “peace”. How then should we address our parents who even if they don’t know how to show it, love us?

f. If you’re like me, you wouldn’t think about investing your money in a ribaa bank. Or you wouldn’t think about drinking? Or having a relationship out of marriage….Well, being rude to your parents is worse than all that. Just something to think about.

"The Messenger of Allaah (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said, 'shall I not inform you of the greatest of the major sins?' [three times] They said, 'of course O Messenger of Allaah!' He said, 'Associating partners with Allaah, Disobedience to the parents - then he sat, reclining - and the false statement.'… Saheeh, Ghaayatul Maraam (277)

3. Okay, now, you’ve reminded yourself that your mom has rights over you….but, you still need practical steps on how to deal with her. Let’s take it one step at a time.

One of the most important things you need to do is to let go of what you expect. Let go of what you think you deserve. Let go of the kind of mom you wish you had. Allah chose your mother for you. There are literally billions of people in this world and He, the Most Wise, the Most Loving, the Most Merciful chose her for you. And you for her. And you know what that means? That means something. It means your mother has something to offer you- and you have something to offer her. I want you to try to look at your relationship with your mother in that light. Think to yourself: what is it that Allah wants me to learn from her? What is it that my mother can give me? It could even be a chance to earn a higher position in jannah as you bear things in patience. Or maybe your mother can even teach you “what not to do”. But, for sure, there’s something she can give.

Next, I want you to re-think the way you handle conversations with your mom. There’s a big chance that your mom is equally tired of the screaming matches. Did you ever think of the fact that maybe she feels like whenever she says something, you’re going to attack her/ belittle her thoughts….I know what you’re thinking- but you haven’t heard what she comes up with. Illogical- contradictory- unIslamic- racist- it doesn’t matter. What I want you to do is to sift through what she says and try to find the gold. Ignore the dirt- the sand- the rocks. Look for the gold. And when you finally find something you agree with her on, or you think she does have a point (if even partial), give her credit. Make her feel good about it. Because after a hundred screaming matches, your mom might think you’re just against her and not against X, Y, and Z ideas. That’s why you need to do two main things when you talk to her- really listen. Give her a chance to explain her ideas. Ask her to clarify without sounding accusing. Give her the attention she deserves no matter what she says and equally important, be as diplomatic as possible, when disagreeing.

I once went shopping and watched a woman and her mom. The woman picked up something and then, her mom came and showed her something else. Her mom was pretty insistent that what she found was better. Now, the young woman could have said, “I don’t think so” or “Definitely not my taste”. But that’s not what said. She said, “That’s really pretty mom, but I like this one more”. I was so impressed because each one of them went away feeling good- no feelings were hurt.

Related to this, is the idea that you need to accept the fact you are the one who is going to have to change. I don’t know about you, but our parents aren’t that young. They’ve lived with their own ideas for decades…and although, it is possible they may change- it is more realistic for us to change our attitude. So you know all those things that you fight about it? I’m talking about those same fights that you have- maybe it’s about what you eat, or that shirt your mom doesn’t like, or how much time you spend on the computer…..yeah, you’re going to keep having those fights until you decide to change. Just wolf down those vegetables- get rid of that shirt- and put a time limit for the computer…you’ll be surprised at how much energy you save- and how much better you feel.

By now, this one should be obvious but you need to let go of your ego. I know it can be very hard. But when it comes to your mother, I want you to forget it completely. When your mother insults you- forces her opinions on you- does anything that really hurts your feelings, etc, I want you to take a deep breath. And to let it out slowly. And while you do that, to ask Allah to give you strength not to say anything. At that moment, just turn to Allah and say “Oh, Allah- I could reply back. But I’m not going to because You told me to be respectful. Please help me”. If you know yourself and you know you’re really going to explode, try to find some excuse to walk away. Ask yourself: what do you care about more? Jannah or your ego? Do you really want to go to hell because your mom said some rude comment and you just had to let her “have it?”

Finally, remind yourself that this is jihad. Everyone has their own struggle- thank Allah that it isn’t something worse. Remember what Bilal (May Allah be pleased with him) had to go through? Remember Sumayah (May Allah be pleased with her)- the first martyr? Having to deal with a controlling mom is nothing compared to that. If we want to join those Companions, though, we have to exert some effort and patience.

May Allah help both me and you to become better daughters.

P.S. You know what you mentioned about your mother- cursing all day and thinking ill of others- could be a sign that your mother has been hurt a lot by people. She might also suffer from some sort of clinical depression. You might want to look into that- the types of food that can ‘better her mood’ and exercises…

P.S.S. A small point for my other sisters who have grown up in a different country from our parents and who find it hard to get along with them.
Here’s the thing. We often blame our parents when we get into arguments with them. "They don't understand me!" "They just don't care!" and we promise ourselves we will be better parents, we will understand our kids and etc...But did we ever think of it from their perspective?

Our parents really could be trying their best to understand us but there are some gaps- between the way we think and the way they think and the way they were brought up (generation gaps) and between your different expectations of each other. Think of it from their perspective- do you think they ever imagined having children who preferred French fries, brownies to ‘traditional foods’ and who spoke a different language from them? Who were completely different? Probably not! Most of us imagine our kids as being our buddies and being mini-us…right?

The next time you are in an argument with your parents, just think: “What if my kids weren’t like me?”

And do a ‘perspective’ exercise. Sit down and re-write a few different arguments you’ve had but this time from your parent’s perspective. Get into their ‘shoes’ and see if they can’t understand you, well, can’t you at least understand them? =)


eeek. He saw my pic!!

>> Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I've been wearing hijab for four years and i love it. Throughout those four years Three guys have seen me without my hijab on accident through a picture. Two of the times these boys disrespected my privacy and either took my camera or phone (in a friendly way) and i specifically told them to give it back, i really couldnt do anything at this point, and then they see the picture. i've learned my lesson not to take pictures of myself on my camera or phone and leave them there but its so hard when my girl friends want to see my hair :/ anyways i was wondering if this is my fault, i feel so horrible about the whole thing and i was wondering what your thoughts would be on this issue.


Dear Aunties,
What happens if a guy accidentally sees a picture of you without your hijab?
This has happened to me 3 times and it hurts so much to know that, i've been working so hard for four years and this happens...


Dearest Horrified and Sarah!

How funny that BOTH of you sent in the same question, SubhanAllah. I was really actually surprised, hehe! (On the bright side of things, it makes things easier for us, LOL).

But, seriously, wow, ma'shaAllah, to you guys for caring soOoo much about guys accidentally seeing your pictures. InshaAllah that is a sign of true heya (modesty) and commitment to Allah. May Allah reward you guys.

As for what we think....hey, accidents happen. I'm sure every hijabi here has a story to tell!

Alhamdiallah, though, Allah is so Merciful and Just, He judges our actions by our intentions.

On the authority of son of Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both), from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), among the sayings he related from his Lord (glorified and exalted be He) is that He said:

Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. Then He explained it [by saying that] he who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.
It was related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

So just ask yourself this:

- (You sure as heck don't sound like it), but were you secretly happy that the guys saw your pictures? When, for example, Sarah, the guy was holding your mobile, did you think "Finally, he's going to know that I'm one pretty girlie", or were you thinking, "LET GO OF MY MOBILE, doofus!"

- Did you in any way mean for this to happen?

If not, forget about these incidents. Just learn from the lessons. How did it happen? How can you prevent that from happening again? The guys took your phone- are you really an 'ice queen around' them, as we've suggested before, or are you giving them the 'wrong signals' that it's okay 'to hang out and be best buddies'? So your girl friends are curious about how you look- maybe go to the school bathroom and show them or invite your close friends to your house?

Just a precautionary note, though- some scholars have understood that we're supposed to cover in front of non-Muslim women (because they may tell others about how we look), wa'llahu A'alim. You may want to try researching it. I tried looking for a fatwa and found this, but it's blocked for me (so I'm not sure what it says, LOL): http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/6596

Anyways, inshaAllah, there's no reason to beat yourself up about it, and inshaAllah these accidents will in no way stand against you on the Day of Judgment. Wallahu' A'alim :D


Does He Hate Me?

>> Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Sister, I have been through so much lately. I cannot even describe to you what has happened but I have spent years in pain and struggling. I have tried to be patient and accept it but I sometimes wonder why this is all happening. When will it ALL stop? I really hate to say this but I need help and I am hoping you will be able to give it to me- it seems almost unfair that Allah would do this to me.

My mother has also been through so much. Now she is sick and I am completely lost.

I’m just left with this one question.

Is it a punishment? Is Allah unhappy with me and my family?

Dear my darling sister,

You truly strummed my heartstrings with your message and you sound like you've been patient for a long time despite the trials you've been faced with. For this, sis, you have my complete and utter respect - and I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

It's no wonder you feel like this - it sounds like you're having some tough times, and you've been patient throughout. But honey, know what?

What you have written actually reminds me of one of the greatest Companions of Prophet Mohammed sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salaam. Have you heard the story of the family of Yassir?
This was a very special family. The two parents and their son, Ammar, all converted to Islam. They were in fact the very first FAMILY to accept Islam. Unfortunately, the Meccans were furious when the family converted. They set out to torture them.
(I’m copy pasting the next part-)
Abu Jahal gathered the young people together to do something about this outrage. They plundered Yasir's house, set fire to all their goods, and chained the whole family up. They were taken outside of Mecca to where slaves were punished and were beaten (the two parents were still slaves). They were stretched across the burning sun of the desert, and heavy blocks of stone were put on top of them. Their howls of pain could be heard in Mecca.
It was sooooooooooo terrible. Can you imagine it? And these were the Companions of the Prophet! The best people, Radiya Allah Anhum.

So what was the answer the Prophet gave them? What were his words to them? He said:

"Family of Yasir, be patient, for your destination is paradise," (Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p233)

Yes, sister! The same is true for you.

Be patient, sister, for your destination is paradise

The truth is, you were never meant to stay in this temporary world. You are meant for eternal bliss. This world is full of pain and misery and yes, you have been through a lot….but again, this is not your final destination.

In fact, think of all the Prophets and what they went through. Think of Prophet Mohammed. He was born an orphan. His boy children died. He was ridiculed and mocked, sometimes, by his own relatives (like his uncle Abu Lahab). And what about the year of Grief? Remember when in the same year, Khadija, his beloved wife, and his uncle died? How about when he went to Taif? He went through so much. He was the best of people and yet he had so many trials…Why?

Because his destination was the highest part of jannah!

So just keep trying and trying and trying to be patient. And, honey I don't know if you saw the Hadith of the Week on the blog a while ago, but it was, 'If Allah loves someone, he makes them go through trials'. I don't know about you, but I sure do think Allah loves you A LOT! You seem to be one amazing and strong girl - and I can only pray to be as strong as you, sis.

And, I’m sure, you've probably heard it before, but I'm still going to mention is again because I feel it's that amazing. It's simple but sums everything up. Gives all the answers. It's in the Qur'an. 'With every hardship, there is relief, with every hardship there is relief'.

Think about these words carefully sister...

Allah is telling you something. Allah is communicating with you and telling you that relief COMES WITH EVERY HARDSHIP. I repeat, EVERY hardship. Be it little or a lot, relief is there with the hardship. Allah is there.

I also want to point out something really important. We usually think that this verse means that ‘after’ hardship, there will come ease. But look. The verse clearly says that “WITH” hardship comes ease. You know why?

Because while we're going through hardships, we're being granted forgiveness! The Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said:

“Whatever befalls a Muslim of exhaustion, illness, worry, grief, nuisance or trouble, even though it may be no more than a prick of a thorn, earns him forgiveness by Allah of some of his sins.

You see! These hardships are placed for us to raise our ranks, erase our sins, and test the strength of our faith. These hardships are placed to purify us and bring us closer to Allah. 
Our hardships are our tickets to paradise!

Not only that, but Sa'd (Radiya Allah anhoo) reported that the Prophet (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said: " The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his deen (faith). If his deen is firm his affliction is hard, and if his deen is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins. " [Ahmad, Tirmithee ]
Let me remind of something else you probably already know. But a reminder is never wasted...

You are never alone.

It means Allah is with you. It means you don't have to ever face anything alone. It means you won't ever be isolated across a blasted heath of misfortune. Allah loves you and Allah is with you.


What more do you need? (: The Creator of EVERYTHING, seen and unseen. The Sustainer, The Restorer, The Most-Merciful and Most Forgiving. The Most Powerful!
Continue to persevere in patience. Hold on and always remember Allah. 

'Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest'. 

Only with Allah and only in holding onto your faith will you find rest and peace.
And once again. Back to your last question. Honey, Allah LOVES you. He is giving you trials so that you can overcome them, and He will never burden you with a burden too tall.


And I want you to realize something. If we look at the Qur’an, we see that people who were given ‘the stuff that we think is good’ were mostly NOT good people. Yeah, they were people Allah didn’t like.

So when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We opened to them the doors of every [good] thing until, when they rejoiced in that which they were given, We seized them suddenly, and they were [then] in despair (644)
 Indeed, Qarun was from the people of Moses, but he tyrannized them. And We gave him of treasures whose keys would burden a band of strong men; thereupon his people said to him, "Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant. (76) (Chapter 28)
You know why He gives to the people who are bad and delays giving right away to the people who are good? The answer is in this hadith:

“If a servant who is favored by Allah supplicates, Allah says to Gabriel: grant his request but delay it, for I like to hear his voice more and more but if someone, in disfavor with Allah, supplicates, Allah says to Gabriel: O Gabriel! Grant the request of My servant with haste, for I don’t like to hear his voice.”

He loves your voice. He wants to hear YOUR voice asking Him. He wants you to turn back to Him. He wants you to be in jannah.He doesn’t want you to forget Him and get sidetracked by this dunya. He loves you.

So rejoice in that knowledge and turn to Him. :) And smile.

P.S. Just in case it wasn't totally clear from this post: Realize that what we perceive to be ‘good’ may not be ‘good at all,” and what we think may be ‘bad’, may not be bad at all. And that’s why whatever Allah does is perfectly Fair. He knows what’s best for each and every one of us. I know you might think “why is my mother sick”, but the reality is that maybe Allah let that happen to her to ensure and guarantee her place in Jannah with the most noble of the Companions and Prophets.

P.S.s. And a special gift for you: He who has no one...

Readers also please add the verses and hadiths that comfort you. :)


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