There's Good and Bad News

>> Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Asalamu aliakaum wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,

I'll start with the bad news.

The bad news is that I will miss you. I will miss the feeling of sisters coming together and responding to each other. I will miss reading your personal experiences that you would write in the comments. I will miss meeting new sisters here.
I will miss opening up my email and seeing a letter that I know Allah MADE me see because I also needed a reminder...because I also needed to think about something, to reconsider my own actions.
I will miss the trust you put in me to help you.
I will miss the love. 

It's funny how time flies. Four years ago, I decided to start Dear Little Auntie...I had no idea what t it would come to mean to me or how difficult this post would be to write. I remember registering the blog name, sitting down and playing with the banner, writing the first post, and waiting for questions..and wondering "Will this really work?"

And it did.

Alhamdillah! Praise be to Allah. And alhamdullilah for amazing readers and courageous questioners. Alhamdillah for a good crew and a wonderful team.

Yes...I will miss it all.

I will miss all of that because it is time for me to close Dear Little Auntie.

And here comes the good news...
because I have become a "Little Mommy".

As a 'little mommy',  I am still struggling to put things together. My number one priority right now is bonding and helping my baby and that means I'm just not being able to manage this blog. And I realize that this is unfair to those who send in questions. You deserve an answer or at least a response..and since I no longer can manage to do that, then, it's time to say....

May Allah bless you.
May Allah guide you.

For those who are thinking of sacrificing something for His sake, May He bless you with something better. Make each day easier for you than the last.

For those whose hearts are hurting, May He heal your hearts and bless you with His Love.

To all...

May we meet in paradise.



One Chinese Muslim writes:

So sad to  see the Dear Little Auntie blog go :( but Insha'Allah your duty ad a mother is very important as we need more Muslim children with proper upbringing! , may Allah grant u success and bless u with many righteous children! If anybody ever needs to contact me for advice or anything else ( even just to chat!) u can email me at (sisters only of course!) may Allah help us all be better weaker slaves . Ameen


From Crush to Crush

I'm a student in university in a non-Muslim country and I know that this is silly and kind of embarrassing but I am constantly going from crush to crush.  I don't know why this happens to me all the time, I guess I get bored and feel like I need to think and dream about being with someone. I realize that it doesn't make sense since I don't know these boys' personalities either, they might be total creeps!  I know I should be patient because Allaah has already planned who I will marry but I am wasting a lot of time because of all of this and I don't feel I can do a good job at that. So, how do I stop going from one crush to another??

Asalamu ailakaum!

It's not silly or embarrassing. It's a really good question!

The answer is kinda complicated though because the truth is that Allah created men and women naturally attracted to each other. When we're with the other gender, our instincts kick in. And, boy, can they kick! It doesn't help either that single ladies tend to have some kind of internal radar that is always on the lookout for a potential hubster/companion/the love of our lives.

So basically,  the more people you meet, the more crushes or temptation you'll probably face.

 Plus, with all the movies around us and media telling us that we are meant to find 'someone to complete us'- 'a soul mate' who will love us and who will make our lives perfect - it's not really a surprise that you keep having crushes and dreaming about them. 

But that's the thing. 

You have to start by changing your belief system.

You don't need someone to complete you or make you happy.

There is no perfect man who will be able to give you a perfect life. 

If you are bored with your life now, a man will not be able to change that for you. Yes, in the initial stages you may find yourself completely 'in love/ excited/ always feeling happy', but as the initial stages wear off, soon enough you will be confronted with the real person...warts, nose picking and all! ;) 

 The reality is that here on earth- everyone has their own flaws, moods, quirks, and baggage. If you’re dreaming of someone perfect who’s going to know what to say/ do/ act all of the time, then you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. No 'man'/ 'person' has the solution to everything. . The only One capable of that is Allah.

Also, this dunya is not Hollywood. Our lives here are not meant to be perfect, either. You will always have struggles to face...This is the 'dar of tests". I say that in case you are using your dreams of marriage to escape any harsh reality you are going through. 

Okay, but is that all??

I've got some more tips for you, hunny.

1. Lower your gaze :)  It has been related that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam once said words to the effect:
"The glance is a poisoned arrow of Shaytan. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness, which he will find in his heart on the day he meets Him."
I liked these two sentences from an article: Shaytan enters with the glance, for he travels with it, faster then the wind blowing through an empty place. He makes what is seen appear more beautiful then it really is, and transforms it in to an idol for the heart to worship.

2. Avoid free-mixing. When you are at university, and it's your lunch time or free hours, make sure you're only hanging out with sisters.  If your friends are eating together with the opposite gender, find somewhere else to sit. Keep contact with the males only in professional contexts (and as much as possible, as limited as possible).  

3. Don't let your imagination run wild. You said it, yourself. These guys could be creeps. Remind yourself again and again that you don't know these guys..and that when you think you are 'in love with them', you are really in love with the image you have created of them. It is your imagination that has turned them into hero characters and not actually who they are. 

4. Get busy!  Focus your energy and time on some project you've always wanted to start. Seek ilm. Join Islamic groups/ attend webinars/ etc. Volunteer! Join a club at university. Go to an all girl's gym. Do something to occupy your time and THOUGHTs so that you don't keep thinking about the guys.

5. Try cooking and cleaning for an entire week and taking care of the house. See how 'exciting' that is. Realize that marriage is WORK and not just romance :)

 Don't give them too much importance. They are just crushes. As cruel as that sounds, just keep reminding yourself that this feeling is going to go away. That's what crushes do. They fade with time :) It's when you give it importance that they keep staying...

7.  Make dua. Ask Allah to help you get over these crushes. Ask Him for a wonderful, pious husband and peace at heart. Ask Allah to reward your patience and sacrifice for His sake.


To music or not to music...

>> Sunday, June 8, 2014

Aslamualaikum Warahmatullahi wa barakaatoo, Aunties!!!
Um….HI!! Before I begin my question, I just wanna say that you are the BEST aunties in the whole world! May Allah reward you all for helping out your fellow Muslim Sisters, Ameen.
First, I would like to tell some basic things about myself. I am a Pakistani girl who moved to America about five years ago. I am in eighth grade and 15 years of age. To be honest, in the beginning, when I was younger, I would agree that I was a very bad image for a Muslim. I’m not saying that I murdered anyone or anything like that, but, I didn't do many things like many pious ones do (Pray, fast, Quran etc.). But later on, the Light of Allah came through the window and slowly turned my dark room into one illuminating with the Light of Allah SWT. What I’m trying to say here is that I have changed a lot, thanks to the Mercy of Allah SWT. I am way much more practicing than I was before. Some few examples include:
-I started praying five times a day (Its been years now since I kept that, I’m so proud!)
-I read Quran everyday (It’s like oxygen, without it the day is just incomplete and weird…..)
-I recently started wearing Hijab to school
-I fast every Ramadan
-I’m always inviting others to the Path of Allah on an attempt to fulfilling my duty as a Servant Of Allah
And I don't know many more……..
The whole point of me saying that was that I can’t seem to put my mind into why I would still have a place for music in my heart after doing all that? I severely needed help in this issue and couldn’t go to my parents for they love Bollywood music like I do…(btw, the whole music thing is what I inherited from my family I guess…)
I used to listen to a lot of music, but once realizing that it was haram, I stopped. It’s been almost two months since I stopped, MashAllah. But the thing is, despite the fact that I don't listen to it, I still have feelings in my heart that I really want to. Sometimes, I even hum out a song or completely start singing it. I fear Allah Most High, but I don't know what to do in a situation like this. I have done my full research on this topic only to find out that it’s very controversial and that just makes me punch the wall even more.
Some scholars say that it is, using the Quran (31;6) and Hadith. But, at the same time, some say it isn't haram as an entirety and that good music is allowed. I do believe that music is Haram. Eventhough, the Quran (31;6) doesn’t necessarily say music, I feel as if it’s saying that indirectly. But then, today, while reading the Quran with commentary of Abdullah Yusuf Ali, I came across an ayah where it says how Believers shall have anything their hearts may yearn for in the heavens, and in the commentary, Yusuf Ali uses examples something on the lines of….” In the Gardens, Believers can have anything they may wish for. Example, a musician’s heaven will be filled with music, a mathematicaians heaven will be filled with math, and the artist’s heaven would be filled with fine arts and beauty.” Why does he mention the musician part?
And many of other translators don’t neceserrily define “Idle Talks” in Quran (31;6) as musin in it’s entirety, including Yusuf Ali.
 So…….I guess Im just in severe need of help…..I am sorry if I disturbed you or anything like that….I know that you wonderful aunties have something really inspirational for me and something that would really help me. I didn't mean to make it too long but since I did…..ShorryFrowning face…..
May Allah reward you with many many many many many rewards and join us all in Jannah ( also b/c I really wanna meet you all in real life, or I should say in the next life) Ameen.
Thank you, Love,
BismaGrowing heart

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu Bisma! :)

First of all, let me apologize for the extreme delay in reply, but unfortunately we Aunties sometimes get busy with the day to day overload too ;) However, that is no excuse and I am really really sorry!

Secondly, let me tell you how very proud I am of you-15 and doing so much for the sake of Allah (swt)! May He reward you immensely and keep increasing you in goodness. Ameen. We need more 15 year old Muslimahs like you in the world today :)

Music unfortunately, is a very controversial and much talked about topic in the Muslim world today. Being who I am, even if there wasn't so much controversy about it, I'd still be a bit creeped out by it considering how much it's being propagated-being subtly seeped into the subconscious mind of every living person, no matter whether they want to or not. It's on TV, in restaurants, at the malls, petrol stations, the phones. Basically, it's difficult to stay away from it, even if you try really hard! Which, if one thinks about it, is very very-there is no other word for it-creepy! It's due to this far reaching presence that it has become so talked about, because by the consensus of the earlier scholars, it was haraam, and that was it. No question!

Considering that you've researched so much on it, I won't delve into the allowance of music in Islam too much. However, for the readers who either haven't come across it, or haven't looked into it, let me just quote a few ahadith:

The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“There will come a people from my Ummah who will seek to make lawful zina (fornication and adultery), the wearing of silk (for men), the drinking of win and the use of musical instruments. Some people will stay at the side of the mountain and when their shepherd comes in the evening to ask them for his needs, they will say : ‘Come back to us tomorrow’. Then Allah will destroy them during the night by causing the mountain to fall upon them while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in this state until the Day of Resurrection.”

“Music grows hypocrisy in the heart just as water causes the crops to grow.” [Bayhaqi]

Also, here is a complete answer about Music, dealing with the doubtful matters too, for those who are interested:

Now even if, thanks to the multiple arguments floating around in the world about it (they really made my head go round when I first started looking up the issue!), you still feel some doubt about whether music is allowed or not, you should use this hadith as a golden rule:

An-Nu'man ibn Bashir said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'The halal is clear and the haram is clear. But between the two there are doubtful things about which most people have no knowledge. Whoever exercises caution with regard to what is doubtful, shows prudence in respect of his deen and his honour. Whoever gets involved in the doubtful things is like a herdsman who grazes his animals near a private preserve (hima). He is bound to enter it. Every king has a private preserve and the private preserve of Allah on His earth are the things that He has made forbidden. There is lump of flesh in the body, the nature of which is that when it is sound, the entire body is sound, and when it is corrupt, the entire body is corrupt - it is the heart.'"
[Agreed upon]

Having done with that, there is something important you should know. Wanting to listen to music does NOT make you a bad muslim. It only makes you human. Yep, you read that right. Wanting to do haraam things doesn't make us munafiq or kaafir or even a bad muslim. First of all, we all (you, me, our parents, even the scholars!) have something called a nafs, and its duty is to make us want to do haraam stuff. And then there is our lifelong enemy, Mr. Shaytan who just loves conspiring with dear ol' nafs to make us sin, so that we help him achieve his target--> of misleading Allah's beloved creation, the humankind.

The only task you have is to try your level best to not give in to your nafs or shaytan, and keep striving against them. This is known as Sabr. There are three levels of sabr:
1) Patience in times of difficulty.
2) Patience in staying away from sins.
3) Patience in obeying Allah (swt) also known as istiqamat, that is mainting good deeds over time.

Therefore, for staying away from music you're getting the reward of two kinds of sabr-staying away from sin and persevering in following the commands of Allah (swt)! And we all know that sabr is a very important component for going to jannah inshaAllah:

By time,
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.
-Surah Asr

Now I know from experience just how hard it is to stay away from music. It's not easy and it takes a lot of time and patience and perseverance. There might be times when you fall, but you must not despair, because that is another trick of our dearest enemy, Mr. Shaytan. In fact, you must use that experience as a lesson for yourself, make istighfar, get up and try again!

Music is an addiction, [as also proven by a study done at McGill University: ] and thus can be cured just like any other addiction. The first step is recognizing the problem. The second step can be either of the two: tapering (that is slowly decreasing dosage until you reach zero) or going cold turkey (that is quitting all at once).Being Muslim, I'd suggest the cold turkey approach because we really don't know whether we will draw our next breath or not, and thus must always be focused on the now rather than the tomorrow :) However, you must then find alternates. Listen to nasheeds without music (Zain Bhika is a good choice, so are the ealier nasheeds of Dawud Wharnsby and Yusuf Islam :) ), listen to recitations of the Quran by your favourite Qaris, listen to lectures instead of music. Save your ears for the music of Jannah :D
Do not berate yourself for falling once in a while, just harden your resolve. Never give up. And the occasional humming? That'll take some time to be replaced by nasheeds and Surahs instead ;)

Keep striving and growing in your nearness to Allah (swt)! May we all meet in Jannah inshaAllah (and maybe this life too, who knows? :D )
Keep us in your duas, we need them.



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