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Friday, December 21, 2012

Perks of Being a Muslim

Salam :)

Recently, there has been a trend online amongst Muslims on Twitter and Facebook about the Perks of Being a Muslim. We found this to be quite brilliant because it reminds us and makes us proud of many different reasons why it is better to be a Muslim. Sometimes living in the west can be hard, especially when the media portrays the Muslim lifestyle and religion as being undesirable. Although we know it's not true, the comments can still hurt sometimes.

 The Perks of Being a Muslim not only reminds us why Islam is the best religion in the world, but some comments even tell us why being a Muslim has its perks in the Western world. Comments from Muslims range from being funny, for example a Hijabi sister wrote, "Perks of Being a Muslim: I never have to worry about a bad hair day" and "Always being warm in the winter" to more thoughtful ones like "Knowing there is more to life than the Duniya" and "Knowing Someone is always there when no one else is".

We found a cute story online about a Perk of Being a Muslim from the FUNdamentalist Muslim Blog and thought we would share it with you guys http://bonsaisky.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/perks-of-being-a-muslim/

We hope you enjoy it and feel free to tell us what is your  idea of a "Perk of Being a Muslim"in the comments section below :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Finals!

Finals? Stressed? Ask Allah for help! 

After your prayers recite "Rabbi Zidni Ilman" 7 times to ask Allah to give you wisdom.

Recite "Rabi shrahli sadri wa ya sirli amri wah'lul ukdatan-minli sani, yafkahu qouli." to make your work easy 
for you and to remove impediments from your speech so others may understand you.

And Recite "Allah-huma ini as-aluka ailman nafi-a wa-aamalan mutaqabala wa rizqan tayaba" to ask Allah for knowledge and provisions which are pure and beneficial 

Below is a link with the Arabic verses so you can recite it more clearly :) May Allah (swt) grant us all knowledge and iman and make us all successful in our exams and tests! Ameen ♥


http://members.multimania.co.uk/AshrafS/Knowledgeduas.sana.htm

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Facebook

Salam sisters,

As you all know, life can get really busy!
Add us on our Facebook account and keep up to date with new trends, news, and other cool stuff
Winter is coming up, and so is our most favourite fashion season of the year, so keep in touch for some great upcoming posts Inshallah!

XO,
MYGA

www.facebook.com/muslimyouthgirlsassociation
www.twitter.com/muslimygirls

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Formal Party Wear

The great virtue of lowering the gaze

Allah, the Exalted said, "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed Allah is well acquainted with all that they do." [an-Nur (24):30]

So Allah made purification and spiritual growth to be the outcome of lowering the gaze and guarding the private parts. It is for this reason that lowering ones gaze from (seeing) the prohibited things necessarily leads to three benefits that carry tremendous value and are of great significance.


The First: Experiencing the Delight and Sweetness of Faith


This delight and sweetness is far greater and more desirable that which might have been attained from the object that one lowered his gaze from for the sake of Allah. Indeed, "whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allah then Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it."[1]


The soul is a temptress and loves to look at beautiful forms and the eye is the guide of the heart. The heart commissions its guide to go and look to see what is there and when the eye informs it of a beautiful image it shudders out of love and desire for it. Frequently such inter-relations tire and wear down both the heart and the eye as is said:


When you sent your eye as a guide
For your heart one day, the object of sight fatigued you
For you saw one over whom you had no power
Neither a portion or in totality, instead you had to be patient.


Therefore when the sight is prevented from looking and investigating the heart finds relief from having to go through the arduous task of (vainly) seeking and desiring.


Whosoever lets his sight roam free will find that he is in a perpetual state of loss and anguish for sight gives birth to love (mahabbah) the starting point of which is the heart being devoted and dependant upon that which it beholds. This then intensifies to become fervent longing (sabubah) whereby the heart becomes totally dependant and devoted to the (object of its desire). Then this further intensifies and becomes infatuation (gharamah) which clings to the heart like the one seeking repayment of a debt clings firmly to the one who has to pay the debt. Then this intensifies and becomes passionate love (ishk) and this is a love that transgresses all bounds. Then this further intensifies and becomes crazed passion (shaghafa) and this is a love that encompasses every tiny part of the heart. Then this intensifies and becomes worshipful love (tatayyuma). Tatayyum means worship and it is said: tayyama Allah i.e. he worshipped Allah.


Hence the heart begins to worship that which is not correct for it to worship and the reason behind all of this was an illegal glance. The heart is now bound in chains whereas before it used to be the master, it is now imprisoned whereas before it was free. It has been oppressed by the eye and it complains to it upon which the eye replies: I am your guide and messenger and it was you who sent me in the first place!


All that has been mentioned applies to the heart that has relinquished the love of Allah and being sincere to Him for indeed the heart must have an object of love that it devotes itself to. Therefore when the heart does not love Allah Alone and does not take Him as its God then it must worship something else.


Allah said concerning Yusuf as-Siddiq (AS), "Thus (did We order) so that We might turn away from him all evil and indecent actions for he was one of Our sincere servants." [Yusuf (12): 24]

It was because the wife of al-Aziz was a polytheist that (the passionate love) entered her heart despite her being married. It was because Yusuf (AS) was sincere to Allah that he was saved from it despite his being a young man, unmarried and a servant.


The Second: The Illumination of the Heart, Clear Perception and Penetrating Insight

Ibn Shuja al-Kirmani said, "whosoever builds his outward form upon following the Sunnah, his internal form upon perpetual contemplation and awareness of Allah, he restrains his soul from following desires, he lowers his gaze from the forbidden things and he always eats the lawful things then his perception and insight shall never be wrong."


Allah mentioned the people of Lut and what they were afflicted with and then He went on to say,


"Indeed in this are signs for the Mutawassimin."
[al-Hijr (15): 75]

The Mutwassimin are those who have clear perception and penetrating insight, those who are secure from looking at the unlawful and performing indecent acts.


Allah said after mentioning the verse concerning lowering the gaze,


"Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
" [an-Nur (24): 35]

The reason behind this is that the reward is of the same type as the action. So whosoever lowers his gaze from the unlawful for the sake of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, He will replace it with something better than it of the same type. So just as the servant restrained the light of his eye from falling upon the unlawful, Allah blesses the light of his sight and heart thereby making him perceive what he would not have seen and understood had he not lowered his gaze.


This is a matter that the person can physically sense in himself for the heart is like a mirror and the base desires are like rust upon it. When the mirror is polished and cleaned of the rust then it will reflect the realities (haqaaiq) as they actually are. However if it remains rusty then it will not reflect properly and therefore its knowledge and speech will arise from conjecture and doubt.


The Third: The Heart Becoming Strong, Firm and Courageous

Allah will give it the might of aid for its strength just as He gave it the might of clear proofs for its light. Hence the heart shall combine both of these factors and as a result, Shaytan shall flee from it. It is mentioned in the narration, "whosoever opposes his base desires, the Shaytan shall flee in terror from his shade."[2]


This is why the one who follows his base desires shall find in himself the ignominy of the soul, its being weak, feeble and contemptible. Indeed Allah places nobility for the one who obeys Him and disgrace for the one who disobeys Him,


"So do not lose heart nor fall into despair; for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith."
[Ali Imran (3): 139]

"If any do seek for nobility and power then to Allah belongs all nobility and power."
[Faatir (35): 10]

Meaning that whosoever seeks after disobedience and sin then Allah, the Might and Magnificent, will humiliate the one who disobeys Him.


Some of the salaf said, "the people seek nobility and power at the door of the Kings and they will not find it except through the obedience of Allah."


This is because the one who obeys Allah has taken Allah as his friend and protector and Allah will never humiliate the one who takes his Lord as friend and patron. In the Du`a Qunoot their occurs, "the one who You take as a friend is not humiliated and the one who You take as an enemy is not ennobled."[3]


Notes:
[1] Reported by Ahmad [5/363], al-Marwazi in "Zawaid az-Zuhd" [no. 412], an-Nasa'i in "al-Kubra" as mentioned in "Tuhfah al-Ashra" [11/199] from one of the Companions that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, "indeed you will not leave anything for the sake of Allah except that Allah will replace it with something better than it." The isnad is saheeh.
[2] This is not established as a hadeeth of the Prophet .
[3] Reported by Abu Dawood [Eng. Trans. 1/374 no. 1420], an-Nasa'i [3/248], at-Tirmidhi[no. 464], ibn Majah [no. 1178], ad-Darimi [1/311], Ahmad [1/199], ibn Khuzaymah [2/151] from al Hasan from Ali (RA).
The hadith is sahih. The isnad has been criticised by many, however none of the criticisms hold. Refer to: "Nasb ar-Rayah"[2/125] and "Talkhis al-Habi" [1/247]

Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ideal Character of Muslim Women

In the Qur'an, Allah informs us how belief benefits a woman:
Do not marry women who associate [others with Allah] until they believe. A slave girl who is one of the believers is better for you than a woman who associates [others with Allah], even though she may attract you. And do not marry men who associate [others with Allah] until they believe. A slave who is one of the believers is better for you than a man who associates [others with Allah], even though he may attract you. Such people call you to the Fire, whereas Allah calls you, with His permission, to the Garden and forgiveness. He makes His Signs clear to people so that, hopefully, they will pay heed. (Surat al-Baqara: 221)
Allah reveals that belief, fear and respect of Allah, and Islamic morality are the foremost causes of the believers' strength of character and virtue. Belief makes all of a person's qualities meaningful. In addition, the Qur'an's morality helps women, and everyone else, to acquire a most strong, solid, and virtuous character. As Allah revealed in the verse, "No indeed! We have given them that by which they are remembered [i.e. their honor, eminence and dignity]" (Surat al-Mu'minun: 71), this morality gives people their dignity and honor. Therefore, women who live by this morality will be respected and enjoy their deserved honor and dignity.

As we mentioned earlier, Allah has not determined separate characters for men and women and therefore calls on all people to abide by one Muslim character. Therefore, Muslims fear and respect Allah, seek His good pleasure, and seek only to win the Hereafter, in the full knowledge that this worldly life is temporary and that he or she will die one day.
Muslim Women Submit to God:

Muslim women believe in Allah with a true heart, submit completely to Him, are aware that there is no other deity, that He is the Lord of every being and thing, and that He is All-Powerful. Therefore, she fears and respects only Him and seeks to win only His good pleasure. She worships only Him, accepts only Him as her closest friend, and seeks only His help. She also knows that only He can direct good and bad toward her, and so lives in the full knowledge that she is dependent on Him. She knows that He keeps her alive, provides and cares for her, and protects and guards her. For these reasons, she has no expectations of other people.

She believes in Allah without the slightest doubt in her heart for her whole life, never losing heart or belief regardless of the circumstances. She knows how to be grateful and content with her closeness to Him both when her life is good and when she is undergoing difficulties. She is in a state of constant submission, certain of our Lord's love, compassion, forgiveness, and providence.

When she encounters a problem, she knows that Allah has provided a solution in the Qur'an, and that what matters most is her continued sincere love, submission, and trust in Allah. She is certain of Allah's promise that He creates everything according to His justice and with wisdom and goodness.

Even if her problems seem to go on forever, she never surrenders to hopelessness or worries when His help will come. Content with what He has sent her way, she maintains her patience and submission, knowing that something good will come out of it. She remembers what the Qur'an says about those who abandon their belief in such times. In addition, she recites "My Lord is with me and will guide me" (Surat ash-Shu'ara': 62), just as the Prophets did when faced with hardship. Throughout her life, her profound faith enables her to see Allah's compassion, closeness, love, help, and friendship at all times.

This superior character becomes even more distinctive when compared with that of unbelieving women. Some unbelieving women do not show the appropriate degree of submission in their encounters, because they ignore the fact that Allah creates everything and inserts much wisdom and goodness hidden therein. One of the best-known characteristics of such women is their impatience, lack of determination, panic, and throwing tantrums when experiencing various hardships.

For this reason, and to save themselves the hassle, men often try to keep women away from potentially troublesome situations. Movies and novels are full of such stories. Since they do not place their trust in Allah and do not submit to Him, they cannot find the patience and resolution to endure hard times. In fact, their strength is in direct proportion to the size of the gain they can expect from working through these difficulties.
Believing women derive their strength from their belief and their determination to win Allah's good pleasure. Therefore, their resistance can be quite powerful. The Qur'an reveals this truth in the following verse: "Allah's guidance, that is true guidance. We are commanded to submit as Muslims to the Lord of all the worlds" (Surat al-An'am: 71). Allah gives good news to those who submit to Him:

Those who submit themselves completely to Allah and do good have grasped the Firmest Handhold. The end result of all affairs is with Allah. (Surah Luqman: 22)
Not so! All who submit themselves completely to Allah and are good-doers will find their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-Baqara: 112)

Muslim Women Have Great Ideals:
One of the unbelievers' most misguided character traits is the restrictions that they placed on people's ideals, thoughts, and lifestyle. In the case of women, society tells them that they have certain duties and responsibilities that they are expected to fulfill to the best of their ability. Usually, they are not encouraged to acquire different ideals or develop their personalities. Only when women become aware of this reality do they begin to perceive the need to seek greater ideals, widen their horizon, and develop their personalities.

Primarily, women are expected to provide for and cater to their families' needs and raise their children. Otherwise, they focus on themselves, according to the conditioning they received when young. They concentrate on their physical appearance, hair style, make-up, clothing and fashion in general; keeping their homes clean; and talking with their friends. While there is nothing wrong with such activities, it is wrong to limit their lives just to these tasks without even knowing why this is so.

Allah created men and women for a purpose and revealed their responsibilities in the Qur'an. Most importantly, each woman is responsible to our Lord, for He created her, gave her life, protected and watched over her, and provided for her. Men and women are required to lead the moral life prescribed by Allah, worship and serve Him, and to win His good pleasure. They are required to tell people who are far from the happy and contented life of following the Qur'an's values about Islam's values and to make a genuine effort to help them draw closer to Allah's pleasure, mercy, and Paradise. They must strive to save people from negative frames of mind, and from suffering under the influence of the chaos and disorder, all of which are presented by Satan and thus are devoid of true love, respect, and friendship.

All believers are obliged to help and guide those who are weak and distressed to His path:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah-for those men, women, and children who are oppressed and say: "Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!?" (Surat an-Nisa': 75)
Allah further reminds Muslims that they are obliged to assist orphans, people who are stranded, and other needy people:
Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him. Be good to your parents and relatives, orphans and the very poor, neighbors who are related to you and neighbors who are not related to you, and companions, travelers, and your servants. Allah does not love anyone vain or boastful. (Surat an-Nisa': 36)
A Muslim woman is aware of all these responsibilities and so does not focus only on herself. Rather, she does her best to solve the problems around the world, such as helping people who are suffering, fighting infectious diseases, working with children displaced or orphaned by war and conflict, and taking care of the elderly and other women as if they were her own problems.

She gives her full attention to every matter in her daily life, because she knows that the truly important thing is to win Allah's good pleasure, live the Qur'an's morality, and spread this morality in order to bring true contentment and happiness to all others. For this reason, she acts in the knowledge that what she encounters each day is not so important when put into the overall context of what she was created to do.
Muslim Women Are Dignified:
... And the soul and what proportioned and inspired it with depravity or heedfulness; he who purifies it has succeeded, he who covers it up has failed. (Surat ash-Shams: 7-10)
The above verses warn people about the selfish ego that, when not brought under control, will lead them to limitless evil. A person's fear and respect of Allah, as well as his or her belief in the Hereafter, gives each person the strength and reason to resist these temptations.

Without this awareness, people will follow their desires and not worry about their meeting with Allah in the Hereafter, where they will be held accountable for their deeds. If his ego demands anger, jealousy, or ill-treatment of someone else, he will indulge it. If her selfish ego encourages her to vent her anger or jealous frustration with insinuations, mockery, slander, lies, conspiracies, or hypocritical behavior, she will oblige it without giving it a second thought. Such people will commit all of these sins without reservation, because they believe that they will never have to account for their deeds.

Allah, however, reveals that all of these activities are unconstrained evils called for by the selfish ego. When people act on these impulses, things just get worse. People who cannot control their emotions, even when they know that what they are doing is wrong, show that they are both weak and ignore their conscience. In other words, they seem to grow smaller. It is debasing to be unable to act maturely or respond rationally when their selfish egos suggest otherwise. As Allah reveals, the dignifying and rightful response to such evil suggestions is to ignore them and act conscientiously. This character trait needs to be worked on, for eventually it will earn other people's respect and love and raise the person's ranks in His eyes, as well as in the eyes of other people.

Muslim women have enough dignity and character to reject such debasing behavior for small gains. Allah informs us of the conspiring nature of unbelieving women: "He saw the shirt torn at the back and said: 'The source of this is women's deviousness. Without a doubt your guile is very great'" (Surah Yusuf: 28). Unbelieving women often try to resolve situations by conspiring, intriguing, or lying instead of seeking rational solutions. Indulging Satan's suggestions, they fall back on hypocrisy, cowardice, or devious methods. Believing women, on the other hand, resolve their problems by honesty, openness, and sincerity, for their awareness of Allah totally removes them from such inappropriate behavior.

Unbelieving women also are characterized by envy. Allah mentions envious people and warns others about their evil: "Say: 'I seek refuge with the Lord of Daybreak, from the evil of what He has created and from the evil of the darkness when it gathers, and from the evil of women who blow on knots and from the evil of an envier when he envies'" (Surat al-Falaq: 1-5). Some unbelieving women are prone to such behavior, which causes distrust, tantrums, broken relationships, and endless arguments, all of which result in an unfulfilled and unhappy life. In addition, they cause great suffering and damage to themselves and to those around them. Believing women, however, will disregard this aspect of human ego, knowing that it leads to great losses in this life as well as in the next.

Mockery is another character defect of unbelieving women. In the following verse Allah warns them against such behavior: "O you who believe! People should not ridicule others who may be better than themselves; nor should any women ridicule other women who may be better than themselves. And do not find fault with one another or insult each other with derogatory nicknames" (Surat al-Hujurat: 11).

Those women who are shaped by the unbelief that rules their societies do not hesitate to ridicule people for their shortcomings or to mock others, because they do not think of the Hereafter. They do not consider this behavior as wrong, but rather as a kind of humor. Often this mockery is not even verbal, but is expressed by making faces, rolling one's eyes, imitating their mannerisms, or whispering about them. Believing women shun such activities, because they know that Allah requires them to live according to the Qur'an's morality.

In another verse, Allah reminds people not to speculate or gossip about others: "O you who believe! Avoid most suspicion. Indeed, some suspicion is a crime. Do not spy and do not backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat his brother's dead flesh? No, you would hate it. And have fear of Allah. Allah is Ever-Returning, Most Merciful" (Surat al-Hujurat: 12).

Believing women live dignified lives. Instead of mocking others, they try to help. They compliment people who are successful, instead of succumbing to envy and gossip. And, when in the company of unbelieving people who might somehow offend them, they do not compromise their integrity or dignity.

Harun Yahya

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moderation in Islam

MODERATION IN ALL THINGS
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

ADOPT A MODERATE COURSE
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately. . .Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise)." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 470

BE MODERATE IN YOUR RELIGIOUS DEEDS
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise (i.e., no one enters paradise only through his good deeds)." The Prophet's companions asked: "Not even you?" The Prophet replied: "Not even myself, unless God bestows His favor and mercy on me. So be moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability. None of you should wish for death, for if he is a doer of good, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to God." - Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 577

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I am a fundamentalist


‎"And while it’s nice of you to want to call us ‘modern’ or ‘moderate,’ we’ll do without the redundancy. Islam is by definition moderate, so the more strictly we adhere to its fundamentals—the more moderate we’ll be. And Islam is by nature timeless and universal, so if we’re truly Islamic—we’ll always be modern.
We’re not ‘Progressives’; we’re not ‘Conservatives.’ We’re not ‘neo-Salafi’; we’re not ‘Sufi’; We’re not ‘Islamists’; we’re not ‘Modernists’. We’re not ‘Traditionalists’; we’re not ‘Wahabis.’ We’re not ‘Immigrants’ and we’re not ‘Indigenous.’ Thanks, but we’ll do without your prefix.
We’re just Muslim."



Yasmin Mogahed <3 

Middle Eastern Dolma Recipe

Salam!

So it has been a while since we've last put up a post... but to make up for it, we've cooked Dolma for ourselves and put the recipe, along with photos, up for you! Dolma is a popular dish in many Muslim/Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Turkey. Basically, it consists of a stuffed vegetable (Cabbage, Grape Vine Leaves, Bell Peppers, or Zucchini) with ground beef/lamb and small grain rice. There are many different ways to cook this dish, and this way is a little bit of a mix of most of the ways *tongue twister* - since it was our first time :)

P.S - go ahead and try it, it tasted good lol. The ratings we received were 9/10 (from 6 people)
* Ingredients at the end of the post
* Sorry for bad picture quality (phone camera)





In a food processor, mix 1 medium red onion, 5 cloves of garlic and 1 green chili. 


Wash and soak your Egyptian/small grain rice in a bowl (warm water - 30/45 min) 


In a separate bowl, mix your drained rice, meat, and chopped onion mix. Also, add your spices. Sumac, Dill, 7 spice, ground cumin, ground coriander, and table spoon of salt. Mix everything well, then add your table spoon of tomato paste, and squeeze half a lemon into the mix. Mix thoroughly. 



Have your (stuff-able) vegetables cleaned and soaked in cold water. Take off the tops of your dell pepper, clean the insides and keep both pieces together. Open up your large white onion layer by layer with only a cut on one side.  




To clean out your Zucchini's - cut it in 3 sections, slightly insert a knife around the inside (but a cm away from wall). Then, use a spoon to scoop out the insides - be careful not to scoop out all the way to the bottom, and not to scoop so much that the walls rip. 


Stuff your Vegetable so they have 2-3 cm of space left over. This way when the rice and meat expand, your Dolma's wont over flow. 


Lay out your grape vine leave so that the smooth side is on the plate, and the vein side faces you. Cut off the stem part on the bottom of the leaf. 


Place a small amount of Dolma mix in the lower-center part of the leaf. If your leaf is bigger, use more mix, if it is smaller, use less. 


First, put the bottom flap on the meat. Then fold in both side. The gently roll it up while slightly tucking in the meat. 




Roll away from yourself! 



Place Vegetables into pot. First the zucchinis, then the bell peppers, then the onions, then the grape leaves. 
Feel free to add lemons and onion slices to top and bottom of pot. 



Cover food with a heat safe plate. 


Pour three cups of liquid over top of plate. I am adding 2 cups of chicken stock  and 1 cup of boiling water. 
If you use plain water, put some salt in the water (1tsp)


Cook for 20 min on high. Then 50 min on medium. Then 25 min on low. Until all the water evaporates. 
Make sure grape leaves are soft, rice is soft, meat will be cooked. 


Take out of pot carefully so they don't break. (mines are broken)

You can serve it with yogurt. (red pepper, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dill, mint, cucumber mix, 1 clove garlic)



Ta da! you are done :) 


Enjoy <3 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Egyptian Rice 
  • 2 Pounds of ground beef/lamb 
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 1 medium red onion 
  • 5 Bell Peppers (different colors) 
  • 2 large Zucchinis 
  • 1 can/jar of Grape Vine Leaves 
  • 5 cloves of Garlic 
  • 3 Large Lemons 
  • 1 cup of Yogurt 
  • 2 mini cucumbers 
  • Salt 
  • pepper 
  • Dried Dill 
  • Dried Mint 
  • red pepper 
  • Semagh (or Sumac) 
  • Middle Eastern Spice Mix (or 7 spice) 
  • Ground Cumin 
  • Ground Coriander 
  • 1 Table Spoon of Tomato Paste 
  • Olive Oil or Grape Seed oil (1 table spoon) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Elie Saab Prom

As Hijabi's, some of us choose to go to prom while others prefer not to. However, if you do decide to attend your graduation dinner this year, MYGA has a great list of prom dresses for you! Well, A list of assorted dresses by brilliant Lebanese designer, Elie Saab.

Whether you decide to go with Elie Saab or not, pastels and long sleeve dresses are in this year and as a 2012 Hijabi grad you are lucky :) So when you go shopping, watch out for similar floral and pastel looks. You want to look chic, elegant and most importantly unique from the typical hot pink or white poufy prom dress. Also you want to keep in mind that you are a modest Muslim woman so cleavage and strapless dresses are a no-no.

If your friends are insisting you surprise them on prom by looking different and taking your scarf off....surprise them by looking just as good as them and a lot more decent :) Remember to be proud of who you are and to never be ashamed to show it to others.

Enough ranting now....on to the prom dresses!

For short sleeve dresses you can have them professionally altered to have sleeves added or cover the neckline area..Also if you are looking for matching hijabs, use the shawl that usually comes with the dress and add a flower or headband to make it a bit fancy if the dress is plain.










Saturday, January 28, 2012

Muslim Girl

Muslim Girl – Mohamed Ali

Walking in this world at a steady pace
Muslim girl in this world got to find your place
Modestly you dress; I only see your face
Tell them
This is me, who I am, I will never change
Educated, always the top of your grade
Getting the easy A’s
The Quran, the Duas, the Hadeeths engraved in your brain

Muslim girl in this world, got to be the best
With the burden on your chest, cause its Islam that you rep
You’re the queens of this ummah, Keep the crowns on your heads
That Hijab, yes that Hijab, on you they do look best
Keep them on your heads, not just tied around your necks

Muslim girl in this world, yes she be oppressed
Her voice for too long, it has been suppressed
Time you let her speak, for herself and for the rest
Muslim girl, please know that your brothers with you, with every step
Let them shout, let them tease, crack jokes as they please
Come in through the left and out the right ear
Let them say, that you can’t, that you won’t,
But I know.....Muslim girl
 will rise up in this world and she will show the world
Muslim girl in this world she is never alone,
Muslim girl, yes she does know,
That the ummah is behind her, where ever she does go

Muslim Girl in this world
You go to find your place
Walk a steady pace
Ummahs queens till the end of days....

Gain Confidence

Salam :)

We found a great article on gaining confidence from a blog by the name of Muslimah. It's really important as Muslims for us to have confidence, and we will only attain it when we are proud of who we are - and you can only be proud of who you are when you learn about yourself and your deen. So hopefully with that in mind and the following tips, we can become stronger and more confident Muslim women <3

•KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: Those who know are ultimately much more confident in any arena than those shrouded in ignorance. Use your spare time to read up on the things that interest you, on the things that you are curious about, and build up a solid base of knowledge and critical thinking. The more you know, the surer of yourself you will be in any situation.


•EXPERIENCE: Uncertainty is the biggest drain on your self-confidence. Succumbing to doubt ensures you will never believe in yourself. The more often you do something, the more certain you become. With certainty comes confidence.

•CARE-FREE ATTITUDE: Try to walk through your day with as easy and care-free of an attitude as you can muster, because someone who is it ease with him or herself is someone who is confident. Build unstoppable confidence by not getting hung up on the petty issues and minor irritations that help wear you down.

•HONEST SELF-ASSESSMENT: Take stock of yourself. Brainstorm for a bit and compose a list of your good qualities and bad, the things you excel at and the things you need to improve upon, and once you have a clear picture of yourself much of the uncertainty that breeds doubt will wash away.

•ANALYZE: Take the time to properly think through every problem, and the confidence in your skills will grow.

•BE THOROUGH: Try to be as complete and thorough at every task you attempt. Completing tasks builds confidence in your ability to always see projects through to their proper conclusion.

•IDENTIFY YOUR LIMITS, AND EXCEED THEM: Once you have assessed yourself, make a list of goals you wish to accomplish, and get to work. You now know your true limits, so the only thing left to do is push beyond them and set your sights on new frontiers.

•BE OPEN TO HELPING OTHERS: Don’t close yourself off to friends, acquaintances and co-workers. The more you put yourself out there in business and social situations, the more quickly you will build confidence in your ability to navigate these sometimes tricky waters.

•COMPOSE YOURSELF: Dress well, groom yourself, compose your identity as a person who is well put together, and you will feel confident when meeting new people and doing new things.

•BE DECISIVE: While it is okay to take time to analyze and think situations through, the time comes when you must be decisive and act. Decisive people are confident; not confident people are decisive.

•BE COMPLETE: Know yourself fully, wash away your own doubts about yourself, your identity and your capabilities, and present every aspect of yourself in every situation and you will have no reason to doubt your confidence. Become your full, real self.

http://amuslimsistermaria200327.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/gain-confidence/

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sabr

SABR... An essential element in fulfilling our ubudiyyah (Tawhid) to Allah (swt)

 Rasulullah (saws) said: Sabr is a source of light

 In the Quran it says: [And practice sabr, for you are under Our gaze] One of the early ulamah used to carry a parchment with this ayah on it in his pocket, and he looked at it constantly.

Sabr is human; animals know nothing more than their basic needs and instincts, all they can do is react; humans have been endowed with reason which balances instinct. We go from wanting food as baby, play as a child, zinnah in adolescence, until we reach puberty and are endowed with some reason.. but reason is not enough, it is not alone sufficient as guidance, the 'aql (intellect) needs 'naql (revelation) "Descartes said I think therefore I am, Ghazali before him said I will therefore I am, I say: I perform sabr, therefore I am human" This deen is the completeness of our maturity and our humanity.

So what is sabr?

The steadfastness of the religious call over the call to passion- if the deen overcomes the nafs, this is sabr

Sabr is an UPHILL BATTLE- when we're going downhill we're losing energy, when we're going uphill we're gaining potential energy. In sabr, we are gaining "spiritual potential energy".

There are 2 kinds of sabr (or two ways we can perform sabr):

1) when something we desire happens to us, something we like, we exhibit sabr in controlling our selves, not going into excess, not transgressing the bounds set down for us by Allah(swt)

Abdur Rahmad ibn Auf said: We were tried by hard times and we showed sabr, but when we were tried in ease and excess, we failed.

Hadeeth: I do not fear for you poverty; I fear for you plentifulness of dunyaa, and it will destroy you as it had destroyed nations before you.

Quran: O you who believe, do not let your families and your wealth draw you away from the dhikr of Allah; and whosoever does that is indeed the loser.

2) Sabr in what we dislike. In 3 areas of life:

a.) sabru ala ta'aat: in obeying Allah (swt). sabr against our nafs who dislikes it, whether in spirituality or mundane, sabr before, during and after the act of obedience.

b.) sabru anil ma'asee: to show sabr against disobedience to Allah (swt). We are attracted to do injustice to others thinking we are doing justice to ourselves. We live in an environment that is dangerously attractive, we need to have patience, constancy, steadfastness = sabr.

c.) sabr andil ma'asid: to show sabr in times of calamity, adveristy, pain, whether physical or emotional. Everything that is in the capacity of an individual to change, he should- but have sabr in what you cannot. Not reciprocating harm is sabr.

Hadeeth: whenever a museebah (hardship) befalls you (and you show sabr) Allah (swt) atones for you some of your sins

Hadeeth: Allah (swt) atones some of our sins not only by physical endurance but by emotional ones as well

Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas (ra) asked the Prophet (saws) "Ya Rasulullah, who amongst people are the most tried (subject to hardships)?" Rasulullah (saws) said: The Anbiyyah (messengers of Allah) and after them the Salihoon (righteous) and then in accordance to your eman, taqwaah etc, there will be more hardships, not less. Every mu'min will be tried by difficulties in accordance (proportion) to their deen. If in this person's deen is solidity (their deen is deeply rooted) the balaa' will increase, to purify, cleanse, strenghten, elevate the person. And if in the deen in this person there is riqaa (weakness, thinness), then that persons balaa will be weakened, until the person walks on the earth cleansed of sins until they meet Allah.

What are the adaab of sabr?

1- Once the calamity befalls us, we must show sabr immediately without delay.

A woman was in the cemetary, crying, mourning her love, when Rasulullah (saws) said to her "show sabr". She said, not knowing who he was "thats easy for you to say, you have not lost a loved one". When the companions told her who he was, she asked for forgiveness and rasulullah (saws) said: Sabr is to be shown at the beginning of hardship.

2- al-itirjaa': to say immediately, sincerely, from the heart: "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhee raji'uun" -Verily from Allah we come and to Him we return

3- The tongue and the senses do not act violently - use them correctly, don't get caught up in the pain of the moment

4- Hussnul sabr- sabrun jameel- the highest level, the most beautiful sabr

Sabr can be categorized into 3 levels:

1- Tarkus sabraa: the lowest level- when one does not complain but inside dislikes what's happening to them

2- Ar-ridhaa-bil-beelah: no complaint, to show satisfaction with the balaa (hardship), because they have yaqeen (certainty) that Allah only does to the 'abd what is best for them

3- Ash-shukr-alal-beelah: to have ridhaa (satisfaction) and to be grateful to Allah for the hardship because that person has yaqeen that this is to elevate his spiritual status- looks at the consequence, not the immediate event we are taught sabrun jameel in the story of yaqub and yusuf (as)

Ali (ra) said: Of the realization of the Majesty of Allah, and of knowledge of the right Allah (swt) has on His creation, is that when one is befallen with a calamity, one does not complain, does not even mention what has befallen him.

An 'abd should feel ashamed to describe the pain, we are complaining about the Creator to the creation?

ibn Qays (a tabi') said: I lost my eyesite 40 years ago, I have never told anyone.

an ulumah (didn't get the name): "Whosoever complains about a calamity that has befallen him to other than Allah, such an individual would never find the sweetness of ta'aa (obedience to Allah (swt)) in the heart"

How to attain sabr?

The cure to any disease of the heart (arrogance, anger, lack of hayaa)

1- ILM: brings desire and want to change, use the ilm the teacher conveys to you! brings about hazm- energy, resolve to change

2- AMAL: take it into everyday life, in your actions Qat'al asbaab- severing the ways and avenues to bad deeds. example: lowering the gaze for zinnah. for every haraam avenue, there is a halaal alternative.

No pain, no gain- condition your nafs and your qalb, or they will condition you

Work hard on uprooting the weeds of passion, disobedience and sin. Sow the seeds in your heart of the will to change and sincerity. Let the rain be the mercy and forgiveness of Allah purifying the land, our hearts.

The best door from which we can enter the majesty of Allah, is humility.

1- Always be conscious in our hearts and minds of Allah's nimaah

2- Always be conscious of our weaknesses, the sins we have committed. Have faqar- the opposite of pride, self-reliance, self-interest..

Qur'an: "InnaAllah ma'as sabireen: Verily Allah is WITH those who have sabr."

Ya Allah, make us of those who have sabr, and grant us Your mercy and Your forgiveness.

Ameen.

Jannah.org

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fasting on the day of Ashura

The Day of `Ashura’

When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) came to Medina he found the Jews fasting the day of Ashura, the tenth of Muharram. He asked them why they were fasting, and they told him it was an auspicious day: the day on which Allah saved Musa and his people and drowned Firaun and his people. Musa fasted out of gratitude to Allah and his people continued to practice after him. The messenger
of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told the Jews that his nation was closer to Musa than them. He then fasted that day and ordered his Companions to fast. (1)

Several narrations point to the significance of this day from the earliest of times. It has been narrated that it was the day on which Allah forgave our father Adam, the day on which the Ark of Nuh came to rest on the mountain known as al‐Judi and the day on which Allah forgave the people of Yunus (peace be upon him and all the Prophets).

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught us to commemorate this day, primarily by fasting . He informed us that if we do so, Allah (swt) wipes out the sins of the previous year.(2) We may ask: if we have already fasted the Day of `Arafat then Allah has already erased our sins in the previous and coming year so what more can be gained from fasting on Ashura? Some scholars mentions that continuously fasting both days leads to a deeper erasure of of ones wrongdoings, protection from falling into sin and also has the effect of wiping out the wrongdoings of one’s family and neighbours.

Why does fasting on the day of Arafat wipe out the sins of two years whereas the day of`Ashura’ only wipes out the sins of one year? One reason, the scholars say, is that the Day of `Arafat is a day attributed to Sayyiduna Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) which is clearly superior to `Ashura’ which is attributed to Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him).

He recommended (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) that his Ummah also fast the day before or the day after so that our tradition be different from that of the Jews. We should also renew our repentance on `Ashura.’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that it is a day on which Allah allowed a certain people to repent and He will continue to allow others to do the same. (3)

(1) Narrated by al‐Bukhari and Muslim
(2) Narrated by Muslim
(3) Narrated by al‐Tirmidhi

It has been narrated that if someone spends generously upon his family on the Day of`Ashura’ Allah will treat with him generosity for the rest of the year. Sufyan bin `Uyayna said, “We tried this for fifty years and all that we saw was good.” It has likewise been narrated that the one who gives charity on this day will have the reward of a whole year’s charity.

In Tarim people gather in Masjid Ba `Alawi on the eve of `Ashura’ to read the merits of the day and to make du`a. The day itself is a day of Eid. Children wear their best clothes,amusements are provided for them and gifts are given to them.

Shehnaz Karim