Caught in the Net

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm in need of advice.
I've stopped watching tv,Alhumdulillah.. All the good things i do now i owe it to Allah.. like I read 5 times..started wearing hijab, alhumdulillah, I dont listen to music anymore, etc etc.. But suddenly I've got addicted like crazy to internet!! Like BADLY!!! It's not like I do anything bad .. I just read updates from islamic pages on fb.. I read articles on all other islamic blogs and sites I come across..! But i'm doing this in excess.. like now I shud be studying for my exam tmrw .. but instead im here on net .. and i just cant seem to get myself off it! I've spent hours since morning on net!! I'm hating it..! I'm delaying my prayers coz of it.. and I feel if I dont work on it asap .. It'l spoil my relationship with Allah!! .. And then i cant think of anything that I can do without the internet .. which will keep my day productive.. I dont go out either! I do nothing .. I just eat and open my laptop and surf surf and surf net!! It's getting on my nerves but i just CANT seem to get over this addiction..! What do I do? How else can I keep myself closer to Allah?..and What can I do to get over this! I was recently hired for a islamic website too as a writer now I am all the more worried that i'll have more reasons to sit on net.. and u know my addiction might increase! What can I do to keep my surfing on net productive.. even though it is prod now since all i do is read islamic stuff etc.. but I dont know.. It doesnt seem right!!.. I log in and log on million times unnecessarily!! Because of this I dont do anything else during the day!! UGH! Please advice!! and pray for me!!!
I couldnt find any similar question or may be I missed out on something.. if any similar question is already answered please direct me to the link!

Dear Sister,

I just want to say that I’m very proud of you! Sounds like you’ve really been working on improving, yourself. It’s great to hear that you have begun praying 5 times and wearing hijaab. And it’s equally impressive that you’ve stopped watching TV and listening to music. Seriously, you should be proud of yourself. May Allah keep you steadfast and may He continue to guide you to what He loves.

About the Internet….It’s great to hear that you enjoy surfing Islamic sites. And I know how hard it can be to get off once you log on! But the truth is that surfing Islamic sites is not the only way to strengthen your relationship with Allah. That’s only one way. Sitting down at home in front of a laptop all day is definitely not good for your body. And I’m pretty sure your family misses you….Not to mention the fact that your prayers are starting to be affected.

Alhamdullila, you recognize all of this and just want a little push in the right direction.

The first thing you need to do is to remind yourself that Islam is a very practical religion and it recognizes that just like we have rights, Allah has rights over us, our bodies have rights over us, and our families have rights over us.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once asked a companion:
"(Is it true) that you fast all day and stand in prayer all night?" The companion replied that the report was indeed true. The Prophet then said: "Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 127

Second of all, you need to try to brainstorm of other ways to get closer to Allah. Right now, you're suffering from what I call the laptop crutch, where you are using the laptop as your means to becoming a better Muslim. But you don't need your laptop! Just remember that.

Here are some ways I thought up of that you can do (and remember, I want you to try these methods without the LAPTOP):

  1. Reading Quran and its tafseer
    (Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.'')
  2.  Making dhikr. There are so many hadiths about the excellence of dhikr.
    For example: Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “He who uttered these words: There is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. Sovereignty belongs to Him and all the praise is due to Him, and He is Potent over everything" one hundred times every day there is a reward of emancipating ten slaves for him, and there are recorded hundred virtues to his credit, and hundred vices are blotted out from his scroll, and that is a safeguard for him against the Satan on that day till evening and no one brings anything more excellent than this, except one who has done more than this (who utters these words more than one hundred times and does more good acts) and he who utters: Glory be to Allah, and all praise is due to Him, one hundred times a day, his sins are obliterated even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the ocean.
3. Fasting extra days.
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
4. Making dua :
“And when My servants ask Thee (O’ Prophet) about Me, then verily I am near, I answer the prayer (Dua) of the supplicant when he beseeches unto Me. So let them hear My call, and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” S. 2: 186
Think about the fact that no matter how many articles you read, none of the writers know your exact history/ your sins. Only you and Allah know, so turn directly to Him and talk directly to Him. Don't let the laptop or any daee be your intermediary between you and Allah. The more you talk to Allah directly, the better your relationship with Him.

5. Working on your relationship with your parents. 
Prophet Mohammed (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam) said: “The pleasure of the Lord is the pleasure of a parent, and the wrath of the Lord is the wrath of a parent.”
6. Trying to help someone else: (I think you even posted this before here...)
Abû Hurayrah relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever removes one of the hardships of a believing soul, Allah will remove from him one of the distresses on the Hereafter. Whoever solves someone else's problem, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and the Hereafter… Allah is ever assisting His servant as long as that servant is helping his brother.” [Sahîh Muslim (4867)]

So as you can see, there are a lot of other ways to get closer to Allah. What you need to try to do is to make sure that you’re using the Internet productively, as you said. To do that, there are a couple of steps.

- Number One: Decide that you are going to go online only after you have finished most of your school work. This is also a good idea so that you don’t keep checking the same links/ sites endlessly. That’s not really that productive. Instead, decide that you are only going to check the sites one time. Make some kind of reward/ punishment system so that you stick to it.

- Number Two: You need to give yourself a time limit and stick to it. You said that you were hired as a writer on an Islamic site. It would be a good idea to ask the admin about how much time they expect you to spend and how many pieces will you have to write. Two and a half hours a day might be a good number to start off with. With a time limit, you’ll prioritize and look at the things that really interest you. To stick to the limit, think about asking a parent/ sibling to remind you when time is up. You could even shut your laptop or computer. If that’s not your thing, you can check out some programs like EzInternet Timer or TimeUpKidz, though they cost money.

- Number Three: Try to get active at your local masjid. Think about joining a Quran halaqa. Or if you want, you could try to get a group of girls together. Every week, you could read from a tafseer together. Or how about creating an Islamic book club? You guys could recommend good Islamic books and lend them to each other. It’s important that you start meeting other practicing people besides our online friends and that you get out of the house every once in a while. (I’d even suggest having some sort of daily exercise plan)

Finally, check out this link to learn more about being addicted to the Internet: (And yes, I do see the irony of telling yo to check a site out, lol). inshaAllah also, our readers can help a bit, too :)

Lots of love,


Meet my 14 year old sister :)

>> Friday, November 25, 2011

Asalamu aliakuam wa rahhmatullah wa barkatoo!

Well sisters, it's 1433! (That's the year according to the Islamic calendar.) I thought we could start this year with a little inspiration, so this is an interview with a 14 year old Khadeejah (also known as Revert Muslimah). Just who is Khadeeja and what is her story? :)Read to find out more!

An Interview

Little Auntie: "Tell us a little about yourself". :)

Khadeejah: "Well, my name is Khadeejah, I'm 14 and I live in Canada.
I'm the middle child ( there's 3 of us ) and the only Muslim in my family, yet.
Alhamdulillah I said my Shahadah on January 11th 2010, have been "lovin' the Deen" since then! :)
I speak Spanish,English and French but know a little bit of Urdu and Arabic.
I love learning new languages, reading and gaining knowledge."

Little Auntie: Wow, 14 years old! And you said your Shahada almost two years ago! So that would make you 12 when you took your Shahada, ma'shaAllah. Can you tell us, what made you interested in Islam?

Khadeejah:  I've always been interested in religion, ever since I was a child. I'd always ask my grandmother questions about Christianity, which is the religion she preached but didn't follow.
She could never answer my questions, and told me not even the priest could.
I found it odd, but I was young, and I moved on.

In the 6th grade, I started thinking again.
About our existence, our purpose. It felt odd that we were just supposed to live, and die. Without any real task, per say.
So I started asking fellow classmates about their religions.
Most of them just said they went to their place of worship, celebrated religious holidays, but didn't really know much about it.
I went on to asking them if they could give me books, but SubhanALLAH, only Muslims were kind enough to give me books.
They would even miss their lunch hours, to answer my questions and concerns, for which I was very grateful.

I did some research online, and I was sure that Islaam was the truth. I was sure that I wanted to be a Muslim.
My heart, my mind, everything told me, THIS IS THE TRUTH!
Unfortunately, something kept me back. FEAR.
I was scared of what everybody would think. What my parents would do if they found out.
The popular girl, a mozlam?! Their daughter, a terrorist?!
Yet again, I let it go. The difference being, I was heartbroken.

In 7th grade, I started hanging out with a few Muslim sisters. Although not very practising, they still held "most" Islamic values.
Of course, I still had my other friends but they started to shun me as they saw me slowly change.
I stopped going to school dances. I started wearing long, loose clothing.
I no longer spoke to boys, in the way which I used to.
Everybody was confused. People at school thought I was doing it for my friends, my family and teachers believed I was raped, and to this day still do so.
A few months later, on January 11th 2010 Alhamdulillah I said my Shahadah.

I remember the day very clearly.
I skipped school to do it. It was a Monday I believe, and the time was around 6:30pm.
My heart vigorously beating in my chest. It felt as though it might escape any second!
Tears flowing down my face, I managed to stumble out the words "Ash HaduAllaa Ilaaha Il-lallaah Wa Ash Hadu Anna Muhabbadur Rasullalah"
The testimony of faith, that would change my life forever...

Little Auntie: Takbir! Allahu Akbar! Praise be to Allah, the Almighty!

SubhanAllah, your story made me really emotional. I think fear is something that keeps a lot of us from doing what we know is right. Alhamdillah that you were able to overcome that fear! You said that your family and teachers believed that you were doing it for your friends. What did your friends think?

Khadeejah: My Muslim friends were shocked, but at the same time happy. That was only at first. Later on as I started taking the Deen more seriously, started Hijaab, etc, they weren't as thrilled.
They still to this day tell me I need to "calm down" and "Have fun" subhanAllah.
The non-Muslim ones just slowly stopped talking to me, and just now have started to get comfortable enough to ask me questions.
Overall, I lost most of my friends but Alhamdulillah made new ones who help me get closer to Allah with daily remembrance, and those are the true friends.

Little Auntie: I'm sorry to hear that you lost some of your friends or that you were Muslims friends weren't 'as thrilled'. It sounds like you went through a lot when you became a Muslim. What do you think was the hardest point you faced?

Khadeejah: I think the hardest point I faced, and to this day still face is with my family.
Getting them to understand me, accept me.
They still don't approve of my Hijaab, and I have to be sneaky about it.
The countless times that I was caught, and my hijaabs/jilbaabs were thrown away I cannot count with both hands.
Apart from that is the emotional toll that their disapproval takes on me.
I've been called a "failure" and many similar things by all of my family members, and soon you begin to believe it.
You begin to think of yourself as a loser, the black sheep, when really Alhamdulillah it's a good thing :)
Alhamdulillah, things are getting better but please remember me in your Du'as inshaAllah.

Little Auntie: What kept you from giving up?

Khadeejah: To be honest, I don't know.
Something just always raised my Imaan and I got back on my feet.
I would realize how foolish I was being, and kept reminding myself that this is my test from ALLAH Ta'ala and ;
Verily, With Hardship Comes Ease (Surah al-Sharh,94)

I'd be depressed for sometime of course, but then I'd read Qur'aan and make Du'a and suddenly I felt much better.
My reason to live, my love and devotion for Islam and my fear for Allah (SWT) always overcame any sadness or fear of what my parents might do.

Little Auntie: Alhamdulillah!!! SubhanAllah! Khadeejah, can I give you a big hug? I know this test has been hard for you but I pray that it will elevate your ranks and that you will be united with Khadeejah, the wife of Prophet Mohammed and Prophet Mohammed in jannatul firdaous. I wish too that I could meet you...if not not, also in jannah <3 And one last thing! I want you to know that you're not a black sheep or a loser or anything like that and that you are right. Verily with hardship comes ease. You're someone incredibly special.

I am honored to be able to call you my sister.


(Sisters, ask yourelf: What's stopping you? What are you afraid of? If Khadeejah can do it, why can't you? Let this the year of change!)


Inna Lilahee Wa Inna Ilayhee Rahjoun.

Asalamu Alaykum sisters,

It has been a little over a week since my grandmother has died, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. She has lived with us my entire life and raised us while our parents were working. I understand that it was her time to go, but it still really hurts to have someone who you would talk to everyday be gone. She died here in our home with us and many others home. My question is what kind of dua can I read for her? I feel like I'm constantly repeating the same thing...and I only speak english, is that okay? (like, Oh Allah forgive her, have mercy on her, make her grave spacious) But is there something I can read that will really benefit her? And is it true that when I speak of someone who has passed they can hear me? And I've heard mixed opinions about visiting the grave, which I would love to do if I don't get punished for it. Also is it okay to ask Allah to allow you to have a dream of them? Just to see how they are? I guess in short what I'm really trying to ask is what can I do for her now that she is gone. I want her to know that I will always love her and not forget her.

JazakAllah Khair,
Grandma's girl.

wa'alykum as salam rahmatullah wa barkatoo,
Dearest Grandma's Girl,

To Allah, we belong and to Him we return. Inna lilahee wa inna ilayhee rajoun! I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother’s death. I can tell you were really close to your grandmother, and it must really hurt now that she’s gone. Big hug!

I want you, though, to take a good look at the pictures below. Aren't they beautiful?

Just in case you were wondering those are pictures of the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

Now, I want you to think about how beautiful jannah is. We can’t even begin to imagine it. Jannah was designed by God for those He loves the most. InshaAllah your grandmother has started her journey to that place which is a million times more beautiful than those pictures…inshaAllah her grave is a garden of paradise :)

Does that mean you can’t grieve? No, it doesn’t. When Prophet Mohammed’s son, Ibrahim, died, the Prophet (sallah Allaha alayhee wa salaam) said:
The Eyes Tear, the heart is in pain, but (with my tongue) I will only say that which is pleasing to Allah. And we are indeed sad at your departure, O Ibraheem.

But it is important to be patient and to remember that we were all brought here temporarily. No one is going to live forever. It’s not how long that we lives that matters. It’s the quality of our lives and whether or not we will be granted jannah that ultimately are important

In a hadith qudsi, Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said:

My faithful servant's reward from Me, if I have taken to Me his best friend from amongst the inhabitants of the world and he has then borne it patiently for My sake, shall be nothing less than Paradise. It was related by al-Bukhari.
The Qur'an also says:

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, (155)Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return." (156) Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.

As for your questions, there are a few differences of opinions on some of I think I'll stick to the one that says "What can you do for her?"

The prophet summed up to us the things that we can do for the deceased in one really important hadith. He said:

“When a person dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, or beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who will pray for him.

Alhamdillah, like you are already doing for her, the fundamental thing is to be making dua for her. I thought I would give you some duas that you can also say (although my book says during the Funeral Prayer, but I haven't heard that it is only restrictive the funeral prayer) with their Arabic transliteration:

  • O Allah, surely [name the person] is under Your protection, and in the rope of Your security, so save him from the trial of the grave and from the punishment of the Fire. You fulfill promises and grant rights, so forgive him and have mercy on him. Surely You are Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Reference: Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud 3/211. See also Al Albani, Sahih Ibn Majah 1/251.

Allaahumma 'inna [name the person] fee thimmatika, wa habli jiwaarika, faqihi min fitnatil-qabri wa 'athaabin-naari, wa 'Anta 'ahlul-wafaa'i walhaqqi. Faghfir lahu 'innaka 'Antal-Ghafoorur-Raheem.

  • O Allah, forgive him and have mercy on him and give him strength and pardon him. Be generous to him and cause his entrance to be wide and wash him with water and snow and hail. Cleanse him of his transgressions as white cloth is cleansed of stains.
  • O Allah, Your male slave/female slave and the child of Your female slave is in need of Your mercy , and You are not in need of his torment . If he/she was pious then increase his/her rewards and if he/she was a transgressor then pardon him/her.

Allaahumma 'abduka wabnu 'amatika ihtaaja 'ilaa rahmatika, wa 'Anta ghaniyyun 'an 'athaabihi, 'in kaana muhsinan fazid fee hasanaatihi, wa 'in kaana musee'an fatajaawaz 'anhu.

What else can you do for her?

Ibn 'Abbas rahimahullaah reported that Sa'd bin 'Ubadah's mother died during his absence on a trip. He came to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and asked him, "O Allaah's Messenger! My mother has passed away during my absence. Would it be of benefit to her if I give sadaqah on her behalf?" He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied, "Yes!" He said, "Be my witness then that I give my fruitful garden as sadaqah on her behalf."

The door to charity is wide open. There are lots of things you can do for her, inshaAllah. You can give money to an orphanage, hospital, charity organization in her name. You can feed the poor, donate clothes, even help an engaged couple get married, etc. You can talk to your family about doing a big project for your grandmother, such as 'building a mosque' or well.

You can buy some Quran's and pass them out to people. InshaAllah each time someone reads even just a harf or letter in the Quran, your grandmother will be rewarded. You can also give out beneficial tapes and leave them in mosques. You can also talk to your family about someone doing Umrah for her, inshaAllah.

Of course you should also make sure that your grandmother has no debts that need to be cleared (and that includes even "Hajj"). If she does, you need to start with those immediately, inshaAllah.

I would also like to request all the sisters here to make dua for our sister's grandmother and for all the deceased. Please take a moment or two to remember the people who have gone ahead of us and to pray that Allah grants them His Mercy and that we are reunited under His Throne.


Just a little Jealous (of non-hijabis)

>> Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dear Little Aunties,
I'm hoping you can help me a bit. If I were to be truly honest with myself, I think I’ve been feeling jealous from non-hijabis. I definitely don’t like that I feel this way. Also, I have a friend who doesn’t dress like me,she’s more of cousin than a friend,she’s started wearing the hijab now but still wears tight clothings –and this’s stupid-I get jealous ‘cos she’s more beautiful than me and more confident.And I feel highly bad and take it personal when pple make fun of me especially in Public.

Dear A Wee Bit Jealous,

Picture this.

It's one of those family dinner things where everyone says that they want to meet each other and yet, all the aunties, cousins and girls are sitting down competing with each other on who can look the best.

A young woman leaves her house with some make-up on, maybe a hint of earrings showing, her stylish yet tight clothes (+hijab) and her beautiful smile, and steps into the family gathering. She walks in and everyone greets her with returning smiles and salaams. On the surface, it looks like she's enjoying herself tremendously.
A little, while later, another young woman enters the house, wearing all black. She has a black niqab, black khimar, black abaya. She has no make-up on. She smiles but it's a little forced- and she's a little scared. She's come to dread a bit these family gatherings where everyone is dressed to the nines and people still question her decision to 'keep it black'. She looks for anyone to sit next to ...someone she can talk to.Finally, she finds someone she can enjoy discussing a few things with. She sits back and laughs.

The two young women sit down and talk with each other as they are actually good friends and relatives. Soon, enough, it is time to go home.

That second woman is ME.

That first woman is a real friend of mine.

Now, that was the first part of the story. But it wasn't the whole story. A few weeks later, I had a real heart to heart conversation with my friend. It went something like this:

"You know, you really make me feel ashamed, whenever you show up at the family gatherings and I see the way you're dressed," she said.
"What? Ashamed?" I asked incredulously.
"Yeah...any person with a sense of decency would feel ashamed when you come along. Just look at the way you're dressed and the excuse I wear for hijab. You always make me go home, feeling guilty. I wish I had the courage to dress like you."

I was dumbfounded. As she talked, tears were literally forming in my eyes. I told her...

"I don't mean to make you feel ashamed or guilty. But I don't understand though why some people try to make me feel ashamed for choosing to wear niqab or trying to please Allah. That's what gets me. That's what hurts."
She said, simply and very matter of factly- "Because they can't do it."

Now I am not telling you this story to backlash hijabis/ different hijab styles/ non-hijabis/ or whatever.

I am telling you this story for you to know some really important facts:

Those girls that you're jealous of....that cousin that you're jealous of, actually might want to be like YOU. You never know. You might think she's confident but in reality, she could be very insecure. You don't know what's going on in her mind or heart.

Just by standing outside, you never know who you are inspiring to change.

You see, sweetie, true confidence doesn't come from the number of people who whistle at you or compliment you on your latest hair style. True confidence comes from accepting your past, embracing your future, knowing your strengths, tackling your weaknesses and liking who you are in the present.

 It comes from the inside and not the outside

True confidence comes from trusting in the Creator- knowing that He is watching you, guarding you, protecting you. It comes from having the faith that when you step outside that door, the angels are right there beside you and that they are recording what you are wearing, who you are smiling at, what you are doing.

It comes from being able to do what is right, despite what the popular media tells us. Sometimes, it takes time to become something natural, but the more times you do what is right, the more confident you will be.

Seriously, did you ever see this video we have in the recommended page?

Now,that is confidence.

To stand in the street and pray...and not care what a single person care only that you have Allah to answer to....

That's confidence.

And you know what?

You are beautiful. Beauty is something within the soul. It's not about how many heads you turn, but how many hearts you touch.

I'm sure you've heard of it before but I'm going to say it again..think of a pearl that has been hidden in the ocean, covered by a shell. Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean that it's not beautiful. It means that it is protected.

What about those people who tell you things?

Of course there words would hurt. But you have to remind yourself that their words are a reflection of their lack of manners...their own lack of beauty. These people who try to put you down are ignorant people. You just have to remind yourself that they were never ever the target or goal behind your hijab. It was never meant to be for their satisfaction but for Allah.

Remember, this life is a test...and you've got to give it your best.

The hijab is about you and Allah.

And He will reward you for it.

Ask Allah to make your face radiant on the day of Judgment, to give you real beauty. Ask Allah to make things easier for you.

If you find yourself having one of those feeling ugly days, try our ideas, here, as well. And visit the pictorials at I Got it Covered! They're bound to leave you inspired.....(like this one)

With all my love,


So, you want to be an auntie

>> Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Asalamu aliakaum!

Ma'shaAllah and alhamdillah, in the last few weeks, I've gotten a number of offers from sisters who would like to join as aunties. It's so beautiful to me how much sisters want to help each other.

While currently we have things under control with the  6 questions rule, I do appreciate every offer to help. And well, I thought I would put up this general note for anyone who has thought about asking to join but felt shy/ didn't know how to do so/ wondered if there really was space for them.

I look at the comments. I read them all....I scrutinize them. I am always on the look out for a new auntie BASED on the comments you write to the questions we put up. So if you want to be an auntie, 
a) it would be best if you commented consistently with your own helpful advice 
b) you write with a name I can recognize

You can even shoot me an e-mail with 'a post' you have written with good advice =D
And who may become part of the crew, soon <3 (Although you all are already part of the team :D)

 Jazakun Allah koli khair!


God answered me.

Asalamu aliakaum wa rahmatuallah wa barkatoo!

Recently a commentator on the blog wrote:
God can't talk to me. God doesn't respond with words.

So, I'm asking you to help us and her out :)

Tell me about a time when you asked Allah for something and He gave it to you or gave you something even better <3

Share ONE  personal story....where Allah answered your prayers...and inshaAllah by reading everyone's replies we can rediscover the incredible mercy of Allah.

Even if you do not want to share it with us, please take a few minutes today to truly reflect on your life!

Baraka Allah feekum <3


I want to be Special. I want to Belong.

>> Monday, November 7, 2011

Asalamualaikum Warahmatulahi Warakatuhu Little Auntie <3
Before I rediscovered the beauty is Islam in my life, I was one of those half-wit laugh-my-brain-out kind of girls. I was a huge trouble maker, and I was proud of that name. I was one of those girls who didn’t really care about what people thought of, and who always had something hilarious to say to make my friends laugh hysterically. I go to an Islamic school, so all my friends are Muslims. I was the funny one, the silly one, the one who made everyone smile. But I realized soon that though I pleased everyone, I did not please myself. So I turned to Allah.
I shifted all gears. I did it gradually, of course. But the one thing that stayed the same about me is the desire to make people smile.
And SubhanAllah, none of my friends turned away from me, even though some are not so pleased with my ‘religiousness’. Its been a little more than two years.
Being a real Muslimah <3 I guess I am one of them super excited lets-change-the-world-with-a-smile kind of Muslimah, Alhamdulilah (: I love Allah!
As this year unfolded, my friends started changing too…you know…going through those ‘teenage phases’. I realized that its becoming very hard to engage in a conversation when all they want to talk about is ‘cute boys’ and gossip. And I cant do that.
I watch my close friends as they talk about how ‘cute’ a certain boy is and when they meet my gaze they feel a little ashamed and look at me apologetically. They don’t talk to me as often, but I try my best to be nice to them still. But I don’t feel like I am among them. I feel like a stranger.
I feel like I don’t belong.
I feel like I am not special.
Or important.
I cant explain the emptiness I feel inside, I tell myself that Allah is my friend. But I cant seem to feel better. What do I do to feel better? To feel like I belong... Btw, Im soooo soorrrry that this is loooooong, but I just wanted to make sure you know my story if I want you to help me out (: Make dua for me my Little Auntie <3 i love you so much for the sake of Allah, really. Take care, Wasalamualaikum ~PrincessHugable

wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatuallah wa barkatoo!

Dearest dear Princess Hugable,

Your e-mail struck a chord with me. It really did.

 I'm going to break this up into 2 parts. Part 1- not feeling special. Part 2- not 'belonging'

Part 1:

Unfortunately, we live in a world that teaches us to validate ourselves by the number of people who know our name.... or at least our Twitter name ;) We think that the only way we can change the world is by being known. So, we make Facebook status like we're breaking news headlines, we tweet where we're going, what we're doing, and why we're not tweeting (#GoingonVacation). We blog like we have an audience of a billion people.....

We want our names to mean something. We want to MATTER.

We want to be special...but few of us realize what it is that truly makes us special.

What makes you, darling Princess, so special is that you are a practicing Muslimah. You are a person who remembers Allah before you talk, walk out of your house, decide what you want to wear and etc.

From the millions of people out there who live their lives like they are their own gods, you walk on this earth with the knowledge that you are God's servant and you set out trying to please the Creator, instead of the creation.

That makes you special. That makes you unique.

Think about it. How many people do that?

You said yourself that you go to an all Islamic school and you don't feel like you belong. You know why? Because you are SPECIAL. You are Extraordinary, even among Muslims.

I know what you're thinking...."That's your advice?"

Seriously, it's true. Think about the Companions, radiya Allah anhum. Why is it that we remember them so much? What made them special? It's because of how strongly and firmly they clung to the religion...even when all the 'odds were against them'.

So, number 1: Realize that your religiousness doesn't take away your uniqueness. It makes you special.

In fact, in a Hadith Qudsi recorded by the Companion Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet Muhammad (sallah allahoo Alyhee wa salam) said speaking from his Lord:

"Allah, Exalted and Mighty is He, loves of His creation the God-fearing, the pure in the heart, those who are hidden, and those who are innocent, whose face is dusty, whose hair is unkempt, whose stomach is empty, and who, if he asks permission to enter to the rulers, is not granted it, and if he were to ask for a gentle lady in marriage, he would be refused, and when he leaves the world it does not miss him, and if he goes out, his going out is not noticed, and if he falls sick, he is not attended to, and if he dies, he is not accompanied to his grave."

2. Learn from the companions radiya Allah anhum. The companions didn't all do the same thing. They used their special abilities and talents for the sake of Islam. Hasaan bin Thabit was known for his poetry. Khalid bin al Waleed  for his military genius. Abu Hurariah  his memory and his narrations of hadith. Zaid bin Thabit learned languages quickly. Muadh ibn Jabal was said to be the most learned of the 'halal and haram' (this was said by the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam, himself!).

So, you see, each of the Sahabah used their talents sincerely for the sake of Islam and this made them each remembered.

You can do the same thing! Whether it's your verbal or analytic skills, your smile, whatever.... You can use it.

 In fact, you said that you used to be one of those girls who didn't care what people thought and you would crack hilarious jokes. You can still utilize that 'not caring about what people think' attitude- that's something really special. Use that ability and enjoin the right and forbid the evil. That would make you super special.

I mean, seriously. How many of us can look a person, straight in the eye, and tell them "You know, that song isn't really appropriate. Please turn it off." That truly needs someone who doesn't care what others think. That needs someone with major guts. [And someone who can care enough about others to care about their Hereafter :)]

Realize also that to "matter" doesn't mean that you have to come up with some great invention/ change the world in some dramatic way. Let me put the rest of the hadith I put above:

The Companions asked the Prophet: They asked him, "O Messenger of Allah, how can we find someone like that?" He, (sallah allahoo alyhee wa salam), said, "Uwais al-Qarani is such a one."

They asked him, "and who is Uwais al-Qarani?" He, (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam), answered, "He is dark skinned, wide shoulder, and of average height. His complexion is close to the color of earth. His beard touches his chest. His eyes are always looking downwards to the place of prostration, and his right hand is on his left hand. He weeps about himself with such a flow of tears that his lips are swollen. He wears a woolen garment and is known to the people of the heavens. If he makes a promise in the Name of Allah, he keeps it. Under his left shoulder there is a white spot. When the Day of Resurrection comes and it is announced to the slaves, "Enter the Garden," it will be said to Uwais, 'Stop and intercede.' Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He, will then forgive them to the same number as are the people of Rabi'a and Mudhar. (These are the two tribes that Uwais,  belonged to). So, O Umar and O Ali, if you can find him, ask him to ask Allah for forgiveness. Then Allah will forgive you."

Uwais was given this status not because he was famous. He was given this status because he was the best at something many of us 'belittle'. He was the best person to his mother.

He was given the station of interceding for people on the Day of Judgment because of that.

And the incredible thing is that the people around him had no idea who Uwais was. He was someone 'nobody noticed'....but somebody loved by Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala!

You see, this is what Islam teaches us:

"If you can be unknown, do so. It doesn’t matter if you are not known and it doesn’t matter if you are not praised. It doesn’t matter if you are blameworthy according to people if you are praiseworthy with Allaah, Mighty and Majestic."

It is reported from Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayyaad ....Al-Bayhaqi, Az-Zuhd Al-Kabeer p.100

Part 2:

Well...what about the fact that you feel like you don't belong?

That's tough. The reality is that as practicing Muslims we are "strangers" in this world. The fact that you feel like a stranger....Well, that's a good thing, inshaAllah. The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said:

“Indeed Islaam began as something strange. And it will return as something strange the way it began. So give glad tidings to the strangers”.

So, yes, you are a stranger...but you can make it easier for yourself by befriending other practicing Muslims. Keep an open mind and get to know other sisters!

Personally, I had friends from school that were good people, but I didn't have too many that encouraged me to really be better (pray sunnah prayers, read Quran, etc).I had to look outside of school for that. The truth is, most of the encouragement that I got came from online friends. That's right. I joined forums like "The Sister's Majlis": (but at the time I joined, it was Muslimas Oasis). I started reading blogs and doing that kinda thing. You can even check Facebook groups.

I know what you're thinking- but I want friends I can actually see and visit.

That is the downside of forums, but the up side is that you can log on at any moment and I find an interesting post/ story/ and get a hug ;) Besides, I found from experience that sometimes you can even be 'more you' online than offline. I also did end up finding a few sisters living in 'relatively near' areas (okay, same countries :P).

Okay, okay, you're not into that idea...

The next place to look for is the mosque. Go to the Friday prayer. Say salaams. Look around for anyone your age. Try visiting different mosques, too.

It's important that you also look for halaqahs in your area. Also, if you ever have an Islamic convention/ have an important Sheikh/ famous daee come to your area, go and MAKE friends with the sisters there.
Ask for their e-mail/ facebook/ promise each other that you will share good lectures and reminders with each other.

Well, Princess hugable, I know this isn't too much, but I hope it helps you a bit.

Hope you had a great and super Eid and all our readers, too. 

Lots of love,


Rescue Me?

>> Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dear Sis,

I met this very nice boy online from a college website. He's very nice & sweet to me. We've known each other for three months. At first I did not trust him, but now I trust him a lot. He has proven himself to be true and not a phony.
- He respects my wishes. (For example, he showed me his pictures, but when I said that I did not want to show him my picture, he said that was fine. He never asks me to show him my pictures. He avoids the topic.)
- He talks to me when I'm depressed & helps me feel better. (I live a life of abuse and talking to him is my only escape from depression. After I chat with him, he always makes me smile and laugh.)
- He persuades me to make the right choices in life. (For example, when I was going to kill myself, he talked me out of it. I was so thankful. Another example, he convinced to believe and trust and love God. May Allah bless him for this.)
- He helps me study and do well in school. (He's a very smart boy & helps me study. He's studying to become a doctor, and therefore, gives me a lot of medical help too. I have medical health problems.)

The problems:
- He's a Christian and I'm Muslim. (He's aware that I'm Muslim.)
- Sometimes, he teasingly flirts with me.
- I think I've sort of fallen in love with him & his strengths. (He's three months younger than me, though. We're both teens.)

My parents don't know that I email him & I don't want them to know. They will make me stop & I don't want to stop. He has added happiness to my life. If it weren't for him, I would have killed myself. He's a great friend. How can I stop being friends with someone who has convinced me to believe in God and who has saved me from suicide? Is emailing him a bad idea, considering he helps me feel better and we don't do anything bad together? He's the bestest friend I've ever had. I tell him everything. Not even my real friends are nice. We live far away from each other & don't plan on meeting in real life any time soon. I wish I could meet him and cry/vent to him in real life. I don't think he's a pedophile because he sounds so immature, always goofing off and tease-flirting, just like immature teen guys do. I also saw about 10 pictures of him so he did not take random pics off the web & claim that they are him. Those pics are actually his. They are very credible.
He says he likes talking to me because I make him feel better. He also feels depressed so we both benefit from this. He's also convincing me that Christianity is fair and just while Islam is too hard on its followers & I think I might leave Islam.

What should I do? Should I stop emailing him? (I've known him for 3 months and I can't lose him. I don't think it's fair that Islam tells me to leave him because then I will be left in depression.)

- Confused Muslimah
(Reply # 1)
Dearest Confused Muslimah,

This is a real quick emergency reply. It sounds like you've been through a lot. I'm sorry to hear that you're so miserable, depressed and that you've even thought of killing yourself, before. I am so so sorry to hear that you are being abused somehow.

I know that right now you feel like you're found the solution- the one person who understands you and can help you- but hunny, let's look at it from a different angle..

Imagine that you were swimming in the beach. You were drifting a bit, further and further away on your back. Suddenly, big dark clouds appeared and you found yourself caught in a storm. You tried to swim to shore but the waves kept pushing you back. All of a sudden, this little canoe appeared. You grabbed hold of it, but didn't realize that it actually had a hole in it and that it was actually sinking, itself. Is that really what you would want to be your 'rescue' boat?

I doubt it....because eventually you would hit the waves again, right?

That boy you met online may genuinely care about you, but that doesn't mean that he is the solution to all of your problems. What happens when you can't reach him and you're all alone and depressed?

You see, cupcake, living the life you want means making the decision yourself that you are worthy of that life and that you care enough about yourself to live that life. You have to make a decision that you are someone special. Your happiness should not depend on someone else's 'comments'.

You have to realize that your life is so not over yet. Not if you choose to keep living.

I know that might sound 'impossible' to you..."Like how can things ever get better?" But they can...and they will. Instead of focusing on your problems, think a bit about what you can do. How can things turn around?

And yes, you should talk to someone. You do need a support group to help you through this time. But it's important that you pick the right person who can help you help yourself. You need someone that can help talk you through your feelings, while helping you learn what the real issues are and how you can overcome them.

Like a Counselor/
If you can't talk to a real counselor, try joining forums with support groups. Most Muslim forums have a counseling section, but you can also try other ones for like 'depression', 'family help', 'mental health':

But..entangling yourself with this guy 'stranger' on the net, privately e-mailing him back and a really bad idea.  I am telling you this AS a stranger from the Internet, myself. Remember that when you're chatting him all you see is the 'perfect, witty, smart and sensitive side'. Let's face it. When you're chatting, you're not going to see 'the person's anger problems, probably not going to deal with rude comments or 'stinginess'" because we always present the very best of us on the net (I do it with here on this blog, too). It's basically because we have time to 'think about what we're typing". ...which is not really what happens in the real world. It's no surprise then that he seems like your besteset bestest friend. Because it's actually not 100% real.

That's not the only reasons why you shouldn't be writing to him, though. The first reason is it is haram to chat privately with non-mahram guys. What's more, this guy is from a different religion and he's encouraging you to leave Islam. That's also a big 'no, no'. Maybe that's his whole 'reason' is for chatting with you. Maybe he wants to convert you....How do you know? Did you ever think about that?

And the other thing is, do you realize that Islam and Christianity actually say that many of the same things are not allowed? Conservative Christians, or people who really stick to the teachings of Christianity, will tell you that Christianity isn't all "do whatever you want/ anything is allowed" kinda thing.

Take a look at these examples:
Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
Deuteronomy 22:5, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man."
First Timothy 2:9, which states, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel."
First Corinthians 7:1, which says, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
First Corinthians 7:4 says, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband."
I've seen Christians on the internet saying they wouldn't let their daughters watch "The Little Mermaid"!

And hijab has also been found in Christanity

So you see, when you think about religion, it's not about finding what's "easier"- its' about knowing who God is and serving Him the way He wants us to. Ultimately, do you believe that God would become a man (Jesus) and 'have himself crucified' just to forgive our sins? I want you to read our previous article on Christianity....

Sweetie, you have a right to be happy and we want you to be happy. But darling, you need to stop e-mailing him and try instead talking to someone else that is A SISTER. 

And! I think you really need to read more about Islam from the right sources, inshaAllah. Islam actually isn't difficult. Even when it comes to things like prayer, if we're sick, we can pray when we're sitting down. If we can't find water, we can use sand. There's always something to make things easier. It's just we complicate things...and what we really find difficult is resisting our desires. That's where all the struggle lies. ....

WEll, sisters please help this sister with your own advice. This was a real quick reply :) We're all here for you.


(Reply #2)

Reading your comment, it seems like you think that "converting to Christianity" would be a win-win situation. Actually, it really wouldn't.

Before we get to talking about that, first of all, how do we choose a religion? Seriously, think about it. How do we choose a religion? At the end of the day, this is the most important decision you’ll ever make. Nothing can compare to it or even comes close. Choosing a major, choosing a spouse, deciding whether or not you want to have kids, buying a house- all of these are decisions that affect you here. But when it comes to religion, we are talking about your relationship with God and your soul’s destiny, whether it will be in everlasting bliss or not. This is very serious and so it only makes sense that you choose a religion after doing some serious investigative work. You need to ask tough questions, look at the evidence available, and pray to God for guidance.

It doesn’t make sense, however, to choose a religion based on how “easy” or “difficult” it is. A religion that doesn’t make any demands and is supposedly “easy” sounds good…but in the Hereafter, it won’t mean a thing if it’s not the right religion.

Let’s take one of my favorite analogies and to Allah belong all exalted examples. Let’s say an English teacher gives his class an assignment. He wants a 10 page paper, Times New Roman, size 12, single spaced, and with a specific header. He wants the left margin to be 1.5 cm, the right margin to be 1.25 cm, and so on. He wants you to write about one topic only (e.g. coffee). “Amy”, a student in the class, keeps talking about her essay and what she’s going to write. She has her own special format, though, that she’s sure the teacher will like. And instead of writing about coffee, she’s going to write about chocolate. “Mona”, though, concentrates on both the content and getting the format of her essay just the way their teacher described. When they get their papers, back, who do you think is going to pass the report? And who isnt’?

This is the example of "Islam" and "Christianity" (with Tawheed and trinity being the different topics). The reality of the matter is that just like how any religion says that its followers will be the only ones accepted, the Quran does say:

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85].This is a statement that Allaah will not accept any way or deed from anyone, after sending His Final Messenger, except those that are in accordance with the laws of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

The Quran also states: 
And they say, "The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son." (88) You have done an atrocious thing. (89) The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation (90) That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. (91) And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son. (92) There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant. (93) He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting.(94) And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone. (95)

They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers. (72) They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. (73) So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (5: 74

Christians in Islam then are not ‘going to heaven’.

So why does the Quran mention the Jews and Christians going to heaven? Please see here:

About ‘talking to God’- God may not ‘respond to you in words that you hear’ but He is the Only One capable of changing your situation for you. That boy is powerless. He might ‘tell you something’ that temporarily provides you with relief, but he can’t actually do anything for you. On the other hand, Allah is the All Powerful and Most merciful.

And He does respond! Allah tells us to call on Him and He will respond to us. Sometimes we can't see "His response" and sometimes we don't understand His ways, until much later..But sometimes, its' because haven't sat down and really reflected on our lives. When I think about it, I have a million stories of how Allah has helped me, personally- ranging from the “simple” to the amazing. For example, one day I didn’t do my homework and I prayed that the teacher would be absent. This teacher was like never absent. But that day she actually was. You can look at it as a coincidence or you can look at it as a way of God. I’ve written before of other experiences (see “how do we know that God is there?”).

This is also another good story to keep in mind: 

"The Shipwreck"
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island ....
He prayed feverishly for Allah to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions.
But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost.
He was stunned with grief and anger."Allah, how could you do this to me!" he cried.(Comment; Plenty of people use such statement --- think again you should never question Allah nor object to his willing)
Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him."How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because Allah is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace of Allah.

Another thing: it's not like Allah tells us "You're not allowed to drink color water or sit in shade". Allah doesn't forbid things to us out of cruelty. On the contrary. He forbids certain things for us for our own benefit. Even if you can't see the benefit now, there is wisdom.....even in your particular situation. I mean, think about it this way. At this point, you've built all your happiness on this young man, who may have no thoughts whatsoever of a future with you. What happens if he decides to leave you/ hurts you/ disappoints you? Your happiness and desire to live should NOT rely on "one flirtatious comment" to make you feel better!

The other thing is that I do know that it may seem terrible to 'let him go', but I want to point out something, sis. If you'd followed the Islamic rule in the first place- not talking to non-mahrams- you would have spared yourself all this heart ache. If you'd never gotten involved with him, it wouldn't be hard to leave him, would it? That's why it's important for us to follow the rules of Islam...because ultimately they are there for our own benefit and happiness.

So...what to do now? The 3 basic steps:

1. Get to know Allah better. Read more about His attributes. And yes, talk to Him. Tell Him how you feel.
2. Find a different support buddy.
3. Stop stressing about 'how you're going to make it without this guy' and just take each day one at a time. It will get easier.


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