>> Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I like pretty things and I love shopping. And I admit my heart skips a beat when I get a designer purse. Some people are telling me that I shouldn't be so materialistic. Do you think I am materialistic? When is materialistic excessive?

Assalam-o-alaykum sister! :)
First of all, let me just say- there is nothing wrong in liking pretty things! After all, the Prophet(saw) said in a hadith (part of which is):
“Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is rejecting truth and looking down on people” [Muslim]
Therefore liking pretty things is totally natural. Appreciating beauty, in fact, is a part of human nature. How else would we be able to admire the beautiful canvas of Allah (swt)? Why else would Allah (swt) talk about the beauty of Jannah in the Quran? So if anyone puts on the haraam police suit for appreciating beautiful things, you know what to say next time ;)

Going back to the hadith, as long as you don't look down upon people for not owning designer purses, or look down upon anything that is not pretty or designer, then you are-up till now-in the safe zone.Now we get onto the bigger question. Materialism. According to Wikipedia, materialism is defined as “the excessive desire to acquire and consume material goods. It is often bound up with a value system which regards social status as being determined by affluence as well as the perception that happiness can be increased through buying, spending and accumulating material wealth.”

So to answer the second part of your question first (yes yes I have trouble following sequences:/), there is nothing such as excessive materialism because materialism already IS excessive (you didn't see that coming, did you? ;) ) Using this definition as a benchmark, lets clarify a few more points. Liking things of this world isn't haraam. Even the Prophet(saw) admitted to liking things from this Dunya:
“Made beloved to me from your world are women and perfume, and the coolness of my eyes is in prayer.” (Ahmad and An-Nasa ‘i)

What is wrong is:

1) Letting them(material goods, aka designer purses and the like) rule your life, or the way you live your life.

2) Giving them importance above things that are more important-for example if you get so involved in looking at pretty trinkets that you, for example, miss your salat.

3) Having more than you need (hoarding/stocking up), without giving a thought to people who don't even have much more basic things.

4) Thinking that life just cannot go on without these, that your happiness depends on these, and such similar thoughts.

5) Wasting money and time on it.

Let me expound on point number 5 a bit (do I sound like a teacher yet?). Money or wealth is something that has been given by Allah (swt) to people in different quantities. It can be a source of trial or a source of success. It becomes a source of trial if you use it for wrong purposes or haraam acts, if you get so involved in the dunya that you forget to pay zakat, you forget those less blessed than you in terms of wealth and just hoard it and use it for yourself. Or you look down upon them for not being 'cool enough' to mix with you because due to lack of wealth they weren't able to have the same privileges in life that you had. It's a source of success when you use it to help others, when you pay your dues and when you realize that it's a blessing given to you by Allah (swt) so that you can share the khair :)

As far as time is concerned-it's precious and we know it. I won't use up space explaining this much because Allah (swt) says it much more succinctly (obviously!):

1. By Al-'Asr (the time).
2. Verily! Man is in loss,
3. Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'ruf)which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.).

Keeping all this in mind, I don't think, anyone (including me!) needs to tell you whether you're materialistic or not. Step back, take a breath and evaluate! Is your love for shopping and pretty things such that you use ALL your pocket money/income on it, or do you set aside some for sadaqah and zakat (if that's obligatory on you)? Do you waste HOURS in a mall, when in fact you could easily spend less than quarter of that time, get what you need, and then use the leftover time for something beneficial like volunteering at a shelter/ taking an Islamic class (to increase in knowledge about your Deen-remember, knowledge is power!) or even courses like sewing/arts and crafts etc? Do you usually miss out on prayers when you are out shopping? If you had a choice between feeding a family and getting a designer purse you've dreamed about for months, would you pick the latter [and be completely honest since only you're going to know the answer to that one :p ]? Do you have more things that you can do with? Do you take out these purses once a year for use and let them hibernate in your wardrobe for most of the time?

These are some questions that you may ask yourself. The answers will be your answer :)

You see Allah(swt) doesn't ask us to become hermits, but neither does He want us to be so consumed by this Dunya that we forget it's true reality-that it's a test. A trial. With temptations lurking at every corner. Everything must be done in moderation-except for the good deeds!

I leave you with the translation of Surah At-Takathur, which beautifully sums up materialism and the consequences:

1. Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you
2. Until you visit the graveyards.
3. No! You are going to know.
4. Then no! You are going to know.
5. No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty...
6. You will surely see the Hellfire.
7. Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty.
8. Then you will surely be asked that Day about pleasure.
[Sahih International] 
I hope this helped!



Eid Mooo-Baaa-rak!

>> Saturday, October 26, 2013


Eid Al Adha is coming up and honestly, I've never been comfortable with the slaughtering that goes on. I really feel terrible that these animals die..and I don't really understand why we do it. Could you please shed some light on it for me.

                       Assalamualaykoum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhoo ^.^

         Dear Sis,

As we all know, Eid has arrived! :D (Well, when I was writing this at least, hehe). 
And it's Eid Al-Adha, to be precise.

Eid Al Adha, according to Wikipedia, means “The Greater Eid” or “The Festival Of Sacrifice”. We can understand that “sacrifice” means the slaughtering of animals.

And, since I'm not that great at introductions, lol... I’ll get straight to your question: Why do we slaughter animals when Eid Al-Adha comes?

Let me show you a verse from the Quran first, before I proceed with my explanation (aka my ramblings :P):

{He (Ibrahim PBUH) said: “Oh my son! I saw in a vision that I offered thee 
in sacrifice: What is your view?” The son (Ismael PBUH) said: “Oh my 

 Father, do as thou are commanded. You will find me, If Allah (SWT) so wills,

 one practicing patience and constancy!” So when they had both submitted 

 their will (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for 

 sacrifice), We called out to him: “Oh Ibrahim, You have already fulfilled the
 vision!” Thus indeed do we reward those who do right. For this was a trial
 and We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice.} (Surat As-Safat 37: 102- 107)

On Eid Al-Adha, we sacrifice animals basically to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim alyhee as salam to sacrifice his son Ismael, because it was Allah’s (SWT) command (in the form of a vision). And, as you can imagine, that was no easy feat! Ibrahim PBUH loved his son so much, as any parent would, yet he still knew that he had to obey Allah’s command. Ismael knew that, too and was ready to abide by his Lord’s command.

I mean, can you belive it? Ibrahim alyhee as salam was ready to sacrifice his OWN SON to show  his obedience and submissiveness to Allah (Subhanoo Wa' Tala). But, Our Lord, in his mercy and greatness, replaced Ismael PBUH with a ram, which Ibrahim PBUH then sacrificed.

So we, as Muslims, have since been sacrificing animals on Eid Al-Adha not only to honor Ibrahim alyhee as salam, but also to show our willingness to sacrifice in the name of Allah (SWT).

Sis, I can totally understand why you feel terrible that these animals die. But in the end, the truth of the situation is that our Lord (SWT) created these animals... 

For us. 

They aren’t going to go to either Jannah or hellfire like us. They can’t think about the world the way we do. They won’t be judged the way we are judged on the day of judgment, although they will have a different form of judgment:

“These communities will be brought on the day of judgment while the

people are brought the day of judgment. While the people are standing,

there will be a judgment among the animals to such an extent that the

bald-headed sheep will retaliate from the horny sheep and the atom from 

another. Then it will be said to them: “Be dust!”. At this moment the 

disbeliever will say: “Woe unto me! Were that I were (mere) dust!”

 -Sahih Muslim 

Of course, that doesn’t mean we can be cruel with these animals! A woman entered hell fire because she was so cruel to a kitten that it died :( We have to treat animals with kindness and with what befits another living soul. 

The thing to keep in mind is that every thing on this earth submits to Allah. Just like we submit to Allah, the animals also submit to Allah (the birds in the sky, the whales in the seas, and yes, the cows and goats on the farms). And just like we give our lives and would willingly die for Allah, the animals give up their lives for the sake of Allah

And also, from some of these animals is sustenance for us, and that is why Allah (Subhanoo Wa' Tala) made it permissible for us to slaughter these animals. We are also highly encouraged to give a third of the slaughter to the poor, and this helps the community come closer together.

“To every people did we appoint rites (of sacrifice) that they may celebrate
the name of Allah over the sustenance he gave them (fit for food). But your 

God is one God: Submit then your wills to Him, and give thou the good 

news to those who humble themselves” (Surat Al-Hajj 22:34)

Even then, the animal must be treated kindly, even if it is going to be slaughtered, and until it is slaughtered. Then it is slaughtered as quickly and as painlessly as possible, God’s name being pronounced over it before that.

And, you know what? Perhaps Allah eases their pain... He is the All-Merciful and He is capable of having their souls seized painlessly. The body may bleed, but perhaps they are not feeling the pain. We don't really know.

Well, Insha Allah, I hope that cleared up some things for you, and anyone else reading this :) Eid Mubarak everyone, and may Allah let us live to see more Eids to come ^^

Sincerely forever, 




How Do I Get Along With my Mum?

>> Sunday, October 20, 2013

Assalamualikum Dear Aunties! My Problem is I'm 19 and I still dont get along with my mum. People say, a girl's first best friend is her mum. But nt so in my case. We are so similar that we clash and we are different like poles apart at the same time. I don't want to be a bad daughter. I know if mum is not happy with me Allah wont be. But how do I get along with her? Everything that I do annoys her, I'm not a socialist, I'm emotionally and socially handicap. She doesn't like that about me. I like being in my room, keeps me comfortable and makes me feel secure. she hates that as well. Its not that I dont love her, but she pushes my buttons and I answer her back (I cry afterwards for doing tht). I dont think I can ever be on the same page as her. I know she loves me as well. And as I said before I'm emotionally handicap so I dont really say I love you to the people I love, they just get the msg, but apparently my mom doesn't. I just dont want Allah to be angry with me. Please help me out.

 Aww sister, it’s great that you care so much about being a good daughter, mashallah. Don’t worry, inshallah with time, you too can be best friends with your mum.

I know it can be frustrating to feel that you’re not being a good daughter. The reality is that your relationship with our mom, like all relationships, requires work. It’s not always easy or natural to please our parents. But if we can take an active part to improve our relationship with our moms (parents) for the sake of AllahSWT, we can accomplish it.

I recently read this great quote, “the three A’s of life: attention, affection, and appreciation.” These three words really are the ingredients to any good relationship. Try to think of a person in your life who you have a great relationship e.g. your best friend. You’ll notice that you naturally give them attention, affection, and appreciation. You also receive them and that’s what makes your relationship great! You can use these three A’s to get along with your mom as well. Here’s how you can apply the three A’s to your situation.

Attention: Attention is the art of listening. Active listening is not merely hearing. Active listening is without any distractions or any interruptions. So the next time your mom’s speaking to you, you can give her attention by completely turning your face and body towards her, asking appropriate questions, and rephrasing any instructions she gives you. For example: “Mmhmm…O.K… I see…all right mom, so you want me to clean my room, vacuum the living room, and do my homework?

 Another way you can pay attention to your mom is by asking her what she needs. Better yet, pay attention to the things she likes done and surprise her by doing one of those things spontaneously. It can be as simple as making her favorite tea for her. J

Affection: As we know, along with the content of what we say, how we say them is equally if not more important. The same statement: “Hi” can mean different things depending on how we phrase it. So our tone is very important. When it comes to your mom, talk in a soothing, sweet voice. Especially when you are sharing a differing opinion, do so in a kind, affectionate tone.

Appreciation: Everybody loves to be appreciated. It shows that the other person noticed. When it comes to your mom, compliment her on the things she does for you. For instance you could compliment her cooking. Especially if she tries out a new recipe, show her you noticed and encourage her. This may seem small but it’s amazing how much this works wonders. I’ve tried it with my mother; trust me, it works. Just think how it feels when someone we care about compliments us on something we worked hard on. It shows they appreciated us.

Now about saying: “I love you,” don’t worry if it’s hard to say “I love you”. There are other ways you can show your mom that you love and care about her.

Have you heard about The Five Languages of Love? Words of Affirmation, Spending Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Find whichever ones suits your personality more AND that your mom would respond to.  For instance, if you feel that your mom loves to hear words of affirmation, then you can still do that but in ways that are more comfortable for you. For example:  you could write her a small note on the fridge or text her: “I love you, mom.”  

A great example of the Physical Touch language of love is found in the Sunnah of our beloved Nabi Salallahu alayhi wa salam. Follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) in how he greeted his daughter Fatima(RA) when she would visit him and how she would greet her father when he would visit her.

Aisha Bint Talha quoted Aisha as saying: 
"I have not seen anyone more similar to the Messenger in speech and dialogue than Fatima. Whenever she entered the house, he would greet her, kiss her hands and ask her to sit near him. Likewise, when he entered the house, she would greet him, kiss his hands and etc....."

So the next time you greet your mom, what do ya say, you give her a big ol’, toothy smile, delicate kiss on the cheek or hands, a great, bear hug and an “Assalamu Alaikum!” J  Make it a habit to greet her in a special way, and it’ll inshallah create warmth between you and your mom.

You also mentioned that you are similar to your mom, then inshallah it’ll be easier to bond with her. The next time your mom says something that you agree with, let it be known! Say: “I know how you feel.” And “That’s exactly how I feel, mom!”

Also joking with your mom! Since you know you have things in common, you could use this to joke with her. For example:

You: “You know mom, I noticed you like your mint tea with pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
Mom: …
You: “I do too!”


You: “Let’s have some mint tea with pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, since that’s both of our favorite.” [*smiles*]
Mom: “Ok…”


You: “Now I know where I got that love for mint tea and chocolate chip cookies, you must have had a lot of it when you were pregnant with me. [*smile*]”
Mom: “Oh stop it, you. [*Smiles*] You know, now that you mentioned it, I did. That’s why you were orange for a long time.”
You: “What?! I was orange. I didn't know that…”

Lol, maybe that won’t happen. J But you get the gist. Don't be scared to act silly and have light conversations with your mom. You don’t want her to only remember the heated arguments you had with her. So create these happy memories and Inshallah it will overshadow the not so great ones of the past.

O.K., so you also brought up how you don’t like to socialize. I want to tell you that it’s ABSOLUTELY O.K. Being introverted is a personality just like being extroverted is, so don’t beat yourself up over that. Embrace that part of you as being introverted is associated with a lot of benefits. I can relate as I also love spending time alone. It helps me recharge and think in peace. There’s nothing wrong with it inherently. However if it bothers your mom that you spend too much time in your room, try to leave your room once in a while to spend some more quality time with her. Remember the length of time doesn’t matter as long as you spend meaningful time with her. Also communicate with her to find out what about you staying in your room bothers her. Asking her directly will help you pinpoint what exactly she needs so that both of you won’t be so frustrated, inshallah.

Also, being introverted doesn’t have to stop you from showing others how you feel. Despite the fact that we may think others should just know how we feel, that’s not the case. We really have to be explicit whether it’s in giving a compliment, constructive feedback, or even sharing how we feel about something. If you feel that talking about your feelings is uncomfortable, try other modes like writing. It could even be as simple as a smile or a hug.

Now I want to give you a sort of disclaimer: Changing how you act with your mom might not give you immediate results. I know from experience it’s hard to change how we interact with our family members. So it may feel awkward and forced at first. You might get shot down or be questioned that you’re being unlike yourself the first few times. You might also stumble and make mistakes along the way.  But don’t give up! Slowly incorporate all of these ideas and soon they’ll become a part of you. Let me give you an example. Do you know how to ride a bicycle? Remember how it felt the first few times? It felt weird and so new but after some practice you learned to ride it to the point that it became second-nature. So much so that you can’t even believe that it was ever so difficult to ride a bike. It’s just the same with this situation. The more you practice these steps, the easier and more second-nature they’ll be inshallah.

I want to finish off by saying this: We become so used to our parents being patient with us when we were younger that we take it for granted. But there comes a time where we find we have to start being patient with them. Just like they used to s speak in a kind tone with us, and have to explain (sometimes multiple times) the things we didn’t understand, we have to now. We have to be the ones to bite our tongues and forgive them. We have to take the first step in trying to understand their point-of-view if we want them to understand ours. It’s hard sometimes but inshallah we’ll get immense reward for being obedient to our parents.

May AllahSWT bless you and your family. Much <3


Profile Picture Dilema

>> Sunday, October 13, 2013

Asalaumu Alaikum,Jazakallah for this amazing blog, it has helped me alot. Keep it up. I have a problem in convincing a cousin of mine to remove a revealing profile picture of her on a social networking site that I've seen quite recently. It really makes me upset to see her exposing her beauty in such a public environment. The only problem is that I don't have regular contact with her and her family. Should I just tell her to remove her picture immediately in a strict sort of way/proffesional or I should I speak to her in a lighter tone, even though we're not close? Please help me find a solution to this
Worrying for my sister

wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo!

 I'm going to take a moment to give a message to all my sisters here:
SubhanAllah, social media really has become a trial for us in that way: we love compliments and hearing that we're attractive and what easier way to get a compliment than to press that camera button and flash away (..and upload, of course). And what smiles we have on our faces as the number of likes for our pictures go up. But SISTERS....before you post that picture, ask yourself: would Allah want you to put that picture? Are you looking beautiful to Allah in this picture? Are you maintaining the dignity Allah bestowed upon you? The honor of being His servant? The grace and mercy of being a believer in Him who molded and fashioned you?

And sisters...if you have guys on your account (which we have repeatedly been against on this blog), and you a compliment on how sexy/hot you look....Try translating that message to: "You've sparked my  imagination and I might possibly be imagining you now WITHOUT clothes on."  In fact, a psychological study was conducted on men viewing pictures of women wearing bikinis. The study found that the area associated in the brain with "objects" lit up when the men saw these pictures. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/19/women.bikinis.objects/

Is that what you want? I don't want a single one of you to ever want to be lumped together in the same category as an object. It's not the number of guys who line up to look at your pictures that makes you beautiful. You are beautiful because you were created by Allah, the Almighty. And in keeping your relationship with Allah and boundaries that He has set, do you grow far more beautiful.

Now! Back to your question, darling. It is really great that you love your cousin enough to not want her putting up exposing pictures of herself. Use that 'love' when you come to give her nasiha.

Always, always, put yourself at the position of the person you are giving nasiha to. Would you prefer for someone to use a strict tone with you? Or a lighter tone filled with love? Remember that EVEN Moosa alyhee wa salam was told to remind Firawn gently!!

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]." ) Surat Taha

Let me give you a couple of scenarios:

Strict tone cousin: Listen, cousin, the picture you have is so inappropriate and haram. You should remove it immediately. Now. Right now. What are you waiting for? I want to come on later and see it GONE. Zapped. Istagfirullah. Auzoobillah from this!

Her possible response: Oh, "Miss Holy", thank you for your nasiha. Not. Allah's my Judge. Not you. 

Light Tone: Hey cousin! Eid Mubarak! I hope you and your family have a great Eid this year. By the way, you are looking really fabulous in your pics...but there was one pic that kinda worried me. That one with the _____shirt/dress... You know, you never know whose looking at your pictures on Facebook and what they're doing with them. You're far more beautiful than to have strangers going goo goo gaga over you. You're a treasure, hun, and don't forget that.

Possible response: Thanks :) I hope you have a great Eid, too. How are you doing and how's your family? InshaAllah, I'll think about that picture :) 

She is far more likely to respond to a lighter tone where she feels that you worry about her and love her than one where she feels that you think you are her teacher, setting her right. And she will probably be more inclined to keeping in touch with you...which means you might be able to help her more :)

Another thing you can do is also put up this link: it's an article where a mom of teenage sons writes to girls about their pictures on facebook
You can write something like: "OH, a must read!" And you can tag her and a bunch of others in that link so that she reads it but doesn't feel that it's only intended for her.

You can even put this post up =) 

With love,
Little Auntie



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