The Man I Miss, My Dada Jaan

 

The one person that would be the most excited about me starting Biscuits and Banarsi would be my late Dada Jaan. That’s one reason why it’s been so difficult for me to write about him.

He would probably comment on my posts and would love that I posted the kids pictures, but if I asked what he thought he would probably say “Good, but you can write something better.”  I would chuckle at his response and would make sure I got a compliment out of him!

Shams Quraeshi was a talented man with a a passion for learning. An avid reader, my grandfather was known as the Godfather of the books business in Karachi, Pakistan. He instilled in us that love for books from a very young age.  He bought me some of the best books that I have read including the Famous Five series and  books by Enid and Grid Blyton that he would get from the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

Almost every year my Dadi Jaan and Dada Jaan would visit our family. My Dadi Jaan would be dressed in a shalwar kameez with a shawl draped lightly over her head and Dada Jaan would be wearing Clark shoes and a suit with a muffler. As soon as my sisters and I spotted them, we would run into their arms. We were eager to help unpack his suitcase because we knew at the bottom of it were all the goodies. Usually  this meant,  delicious Cadbury chocolate from England and the latest books from his most recent book fair visit.  Dada Jaan would waste no time and open all his suitcases the day he arrived.

If I was to share all the memories I have of my grandfather it would fill up this entire blog. From him trying different ways to lure me into learning my multiplication tables (he was so disappointed that I was allowed to use a calendar) to watching martial arts Kung fu movies for hours together. He would put up with my whims and would buy me things that I absolutely did not need, like my first Tweety watch from the Warner Bros. Store.

The one thing that means the world to me is that my eldest son got to spend time with his great-grandpa, even though it was for a short time.  I am overjoyed knowing that both people who I love dearly loved each other just as much, if not more!

My grandpa would skype with the kids everyday and many times I would ask him to virtually babysit. Other times we would chat about everyday things including what I should cook and what he was watching on television. I miss those conversations.

I feel blessed that I was able to spend a few months before my Dada Jaan went back to his Creator. He lived to be  82 years old Masha’Allah, it was hard letting go of such a special man, but his health was deteriorating.  When my eldest aunt (Bari Phupo Jaan) broke the news to the family, she said “Allah has shown his mercy to Daddy, now he is in a better place.”

Innalillahi wa Inalihi rajaun

Love you forever,
Saman


Can you discipline my child?


Our parents grew up in an era where not only did aunts, uncles and grandparents help discipline a child but along with them the neighbors, teachers and their mamas jumped in too.

In our generation, it would probably go to the extent of aunts-uncles, and grandparents.  I’m not sure how things are presently in Pakistan, but in America your neighbors mind their own business and the teachers better be wise in how they say–what they say.

Now we jump into present-day where some people feel that only the parents have the right to raise their child their way.  I don’t quite agree with this philosophy.  I firmly believe in the fact that it takes an entire family to raise a child.  If Eesa’s grandmother is telling him “don’t touch” then it is for his own good.  The authority figure that you have chosen to watch your child also loves the child and would want to see that child flourish and be the best in his or her manners.

For example, my sister loves my son as her own.  She does everything for him from changing to feeding and everything in between.  Therefore if she were to ever reprimand him for something then that should not bother me.  If she can change his diapers, and spoil him rotten, then she can most certainly help correct him when he’s doing something wrong.

Sometimes, children listen to relatives more than they listen to their own parents; Parents should use that to their advantage.  When I am out, I usually tell my mother-in-law or others to tell Eesa not to do something, because I know he will listen.

Another scenario is when parents leave their children with relatives.  Parents are not around to see their children misbehave, therefore on those occasions I think the authority figure has the right not only to reprimand but perhaps punish them (i.e time out, take a toy away etc.)

If these adults are not given the right to reprimand your children, then the children may take advantage of that and in turn lose respect for their elders. The child would take advantage of that by 1) pushing their boundaries and 2) Not take them seriously if the relatives were to say something.

Another way to look at it is that if a child were to have some sort of problem, then that does not just affect the parents, it affects the entire family.  At that point, the entire family has an obligation to step up and offer whatever advice or help they can.  My nephew is like my son, therefore I would correct him out of love and concern, the same as I were to do for my own son.

My father recently taught my son a lesson in a funny way.  Every time I were to put Eesa in the car seat, he would throw a tantrum.  Naturally, he did the same with my father; My father took him back inside the house and closed the door while leaving Eesa inside.  My father was standing right outside the door for a mere few seconds, and in that time Eesa started knocking on the door.  Baba opened the door, brought him back in the car seat (peacefully) and as he was buckling him, Eesa let out a loud chuckle.  I don’t quite understand the logic, but hey it worked Alhumdulilah!!

So if your family helps you take care of your child, then they should be allowed to discipline them as well.

For the parents who disagree, I would love to hear your viewpoint!

Something to think about…

Febrile Seizures: A Mother’s Experience

[Umm Muhammad is a part-time nurse and a full-time mother to a one year old masha’Allah.  Her nursing experiences range from the birthing room to the emergency room.]

Have you ever gotten into a situation with your child where your mind went blank and you didn’t know what to do? I did recently… my son had a seizure because of his high fever. I had worked as an emergency department nurse in the past, but my brain was non functional when I was witnessing the seizure of my own child. Instead of jumping into emergency thinking when my son stopped breathing for a few seconds, my instincts told me to bring him into the prayer area of the Masjid and lay his unconscious body on the musalla. A friend took us to the nearest hospital, and after hours of poking and prodding, we were sent home on antibiotics. We were very cautious with him the next few days, especially when his fever skyrocketed to 105 the next night. It was the weekend and we debated taking him to the emergency department again, but decided to do every fever reducing trick we knew at home before having to go through another hospital experience. See, I was used to all the procedures done at the hospital. My poor husband, on the other hand, got a little faint when they were sticking catheter inside my son’s bladder… what man wouldn’t though? Anyways, Muhammad’s fever ended up decreasing slowly, and we took him to the pediatrician’s the following day. He continued to take the antibiotics for a week, and was back to his normal self within 3 or 4 days.

So when an emergency situation like this happens, it is better to be educated and prepared with a plan on hand, because a mother’s brain will always go blank seeing her child go through something unexpected.

Disclaimer (again)- this post is not meant to replace any medical advice, it is meant to educate and prepare. For medical issues, contact your pediatrician. For emergencies, dial 911 or head to the nearest hospital.

What is a febrile seizure?
A febrile seizure is a seizure caused by a fever, normally 102F-104F. It occurs in about 4% of children. If your child has ever had a febrile seizure, s/he has a 1/3 chance of having 1-3 reoccurrences by the time s/he is 4. Febrile seizures are generally harmless, cause no brain damage, and do not lead to a long term seizure disorder.

How do I know my child is having a seizure?
Seizures, or convulsions, have different manifestations. The child’s body may either become stiff, or jerking/ twitching movements may occur. The child may become unconscious or confused, his/her eyes may roll back, and the breathing may become loud. Following a seizure is a period called “postictal” state, in which the child may remain sleepy or confused for up to ten minutes.

What should I do if I suspect my child is having a seizure?

1) Lay the child on the ground in a safe area. Make sure not to hold or restrain child.

2) Take the child’s temperature immediately to determine if it is a febrile seizure or not.

3) If the child does have a fever, take his/her clothesoff, put cold wash cloths on the face, and give fever reducing medicine as soon as the child awakens.

4) If child vomits, turn his/her head to the side to prevent choking and protect the breathing.

5) Call your pediatrician. Your child may need to be seen in the office or you may be advised to take the child to the hospital.

6) Let the seizure run its course… there isn’t any non-medical method to stop a seizure once it has started. Also, avoid starting resuscitative breathing (CPR) if your child stops breathing during the seizure. If your child is not breathing once the seizure has run its course, CPR may be started as needed.

How do I prevent a febrile seizure?
1) Take methods to reduce your child’s fever during an illness or after immunizations (very important especially if your child has had a febrile seizure occurrence in the past)

2) Put your child in light clothing and a single layer of covering especially during sleep, since bundling the child may raise his/her temperature by 1-2 degrees.

3) Keep your child hydrated by offering lots of fluids.

Seizures, like other medical emergencies, will always be scary and difficult for parents to handle. Even though your mind might go blank during such an occurrence, it is our hope that some education about what to expect will reduce some worries and guide parents to ensure the safety of the child and proper actions to be taken during the event.

A book review of Hillary Clinton’s autobigoraphy “Living History”


Hillary Clinton, is not someone I was particularly fond of… or knew much about. I know that she is very prominent in national politics as a former first lady, a senator  and the  now current Secretary of State. Still Hillary Clinton’s autobiography was not high on my list (disclaimer: I don’t think there are any books that are high on my list except for the Baby Elmo series that we have recently purchased from the $ deals section in Target.) However when I saw “Living History” at my Husband’s cousin’s house, my curiosity kicked in.

I was not curious about her accomplishments as the first lady or even what it felt like to live in the White House but instead was drawn to her autobiography to see what Hillary Clinton thought of her husband’s affair. (I know that’s bad but it’s the truth)

Living History a 562 page memoir is about the eight year term that  Hillary was at the White House. She starts of the book with both her and Bill Clinton’s family backgrounds and their early life.The first part of the book is particularly interesting and it is humbling to see the backgrounds of both Bill and Hillary. Both their families came from a working middle class families. Hillary spoke about the role faith plays in her life such as the youth group meetings and various church activities. Her early interest in politics came because of her father’s passionate support of conservative republicans. An enthusiastic conservative republican like her dad, it was not until she was at Wellesley College that she became a democrat.

Her college years at Wellesley and then Yale gave me background to a person I had no knowledge about and Hillary gave the readers insight into her personal growth from a freshman undergrad to a mature law student. At the same time she told us about her boyfriends, trips with friends and her first introduction to Bill Clinton at Yale. The book is a chronological look at her life; it takes us on a journey through her career, her marriage to and then their foray into state politics and ultimately the White House.

Hillary shares  her dilemma of trying to fit the mold as the first lady. She talks in great detail of  balancing the act of being a wife, mother, a career woman and also living up to expectations of society. She chronicles the times of going in front of the Senate in support of her Husband’s bills and then meticulously selecting the appropriate china and laying out the table for visiting dignitaries. The book is honest but at the same time in many places also reads like a PR piece in which I can’t help but to think that she is helping to pave her way for the presidency. It did feel a little too glossed over when it came to the Clinton administrations fight for their health bill.

The most fascinating part of her book was when Hillary would recount her experiences traveling as the first lady and hosting dignitaries in Washington. The pictures she included in the book are great and you feel like this woman from Stanford who is the Secretary of the State is really not that different from us. Hillary is relatable talking about her bad hair do’s over the years and then her experience as the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. Hillary gave the reader just enough insight into what she was feeling without highlighting the unfortunate incident. She was graceful and she showed the reader that although it was an earth shattering moment for her, she would keep moving forward. She talked about her faith,her friends and the women in her life that kept giving her the strength to move beyond the affair.

As I read the book I felt a deep connection and empathy for a woman who sometimes feels too stiff. The strengths of this book are that she lets down her guard and expresses feelings that make me relate to her. Also it was interesting to see that a woman no matter what level she has reached still struggles with some of the same decisions as women worldwide. Such as the decision to to change her last name  as well as giving up her career when Bill Clinton became President.

I must admit I actually enjoy reading biographies so reading the  autobiography was not the hard part. What was hard was trying to understand the complexities of the health care act that Hillary was constantly working on as the First Lady. Sometimes I would skip pages and get to the parts that I thought were more interesting, But I am glad that I read this book. Hillary Clinton is a force to be reckon with, we already have a African American president and I wouldn’t be surprised if Clinton will be our first woman president.

T.V Gates

Normally, babies or toddlers are put inside a play-yard to protect them from harming themselves.  However, in our not-so-normal household, we put our electronics and valuables inside the gated play yard to protect it from harms way.  In other words, our 18 month old is determined to destroy our EXPENSIVE toys.  When the television began to show white marks from the baby bangs we knew we had to do something to stop this behavior.

Some parents may look at this and wonder “why can’t she just say don’t touch.” Sadly, the concept of ‘yes/no’ hasn’t fully clicked in his little head yet.  So no need for the pointless huffing and puffing on my end and crocodile tears and rebellion on his.  Children have a long life of hearing do’s and don’ts so we might as well save that firm tone for when it is not only needed…but understood.  As you can tell from the picture, the problem has been solved indefinitely. You have to admit it is sheer brilliance.  Sigh, but it won’t be long before this active toddler uses his chair to climb over the gate.  Even the great wall of China wouldn’t be able to stop my little tarzan.

MAC Makeup Artist Shares Her Secrets

[Dina Adam has been a make up artist with MAC since 2011. She is a new mommy and has a Biology and Fine Arts degree from the American University in Cairo, Egypt.]

Makeup and art are totally synergistic, for me it is an extension of artistic expression inspired by trends on the runway, cultures from all over the world, and everyday life. By colour, contrast, shadows, composition and lighting. Makeup is art! I  have a B.A degree in Fine Arts, so whether I draw, snap pictures or paint faces it is funneling my energy on a canvas. And in this case it happens to be face. I was always interested in color,in makeup, fashion and trends.

I remember that I bought my first MAC product in 2000 in Dubai, it was an eyebrow pencil called ‘Eyebrows.’ Later in 2002 I started youtubing tutorials like many of us and practicing on myself. I was so inspired at how easy it was for me to switch from using a paintbrush on canvas to a brush on my face. I have been with MAC since 2011 and I still remember how estatic I felt when I was approached for the job at MAC. If you are a makeup buff then you would know that it is really hard to get into MAC Cosmetics, so I was so lucky and humbled to be chosen and my journey with MAC began!

Here are 5  of  my Must-Have MAC Products – (Things I cannot live without!)

1. Fix + (Skincare /Toner) – I am all about glowy, luscious, dewy luminous skin enhancing products! This is one of them! An aqua-spritz of vitamins minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance and finishes make up. Spray it on. The skin drinks it up. I love sheering out foundation (cream/liquid) by spritzing Fix + on a Pro Performance sponge and blending it out with concealer onto skin. It leaves a seamless, velvety hydrating flawless finish. If you like that JLo glow, then this is a must have for you!

2. Pro Longwear Concealer – The secret of the universe! It’s amazing how some of this creamy yet opaque concealer underneath the eye can completely transform and uplift your look from tired – to photo ready! This tiny 0.30 oz bottle will last you at least 7 months if not longer when used properly with a brush (I recommend the #224 or #252). It is one of our longest lasting product – it really does have a 15 hour wear without creasing – with a matte natural skin like finish. It’s perfect for concealing dark circles or discolourations on the face. Add a few drops of Lustre Drops or a Cream Colour base to give that area a luminous highlight or a ‘wet look’. If you have a more textured skin surface add some Prep + Prime Highlighter using a #190 brush and pulling the product on the highest plains of your cheekbone.

3. Mineralize SkinFinish Natural – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. These are baked, paraben free skin tone powders that can be used on its own as a sheer coverage foundation, setting powder, or a bronzer/contouring product to give shape and structure to the face. Believe me when I say I use it for all of the above! I have quite a few in different shades that resemble the shadows and highlights of the structure of your face. The greatest thing about this product is the fact that it is designed for all skin types, even if you were slightly on the drier side (like myself) then this is perfect for you. The light reflecting particles makes it have a lustre satin finish and unlike most powders this does not leave that ‘powdery’ layer, in fact, it provides a beautiful soft focus effect without mattifying the surface and melting cream and liquid foundation into the skin. Buff the product in by using a #130, #187 or #188 (duo-fibre) brush.

4. Haute & Naughty Mascara -After priming the lash with ‘prep & prime Lash,’ coat on a few layers using Haute and naughty. If you want the volume, curl, length, definition and drama then this bad boy is all you will ever need. This 2 in 1 wiper mascara gives you the option of creating a natural lash or more of that va-va voom falsies we all die for! ‘Haute’ being lengthening and ‘Naughty’ with more volume. Another great thing about this is the fact that it has conditioning ingredients that wont dry up your lashes to that crispy ‘spidery’ odd look; its water and smudge resistant..and clumps no more! The way the bristles are designed to hug every tiny lash thats usually left behind and grabs and coats the others with a nice semi-glossy finish!

 

5. Tools – Here are few that I love:

#130 Short Dual Fibre Brush – This is your perfect go to 1 buffing face brush. Great for primer application; liquid, cream or powder foundation (buffing, sheering, blending and stippling/layering coverage onto skin), contouring, highlighting and those who are savvy can actually apply cream blusher aswell. Like I said, its your 1 basic brush for your face! It features a combination of natural bristles and synthetic fibres, which makes it a great tool to pick up different textures and emulsions onto skin.

#224 Blending brush – Technically alot of users think this brush is specifically designed for the eyeshadow area period, but you can use this brush for blending eyeshadows; the application & blending (any texture) of concealer (the buffing motion gives you that smooth-airbrush seamless quality); a more defined ‘hollow’ contour of your cheek area and around the nose (which is also a Fall 2012 trend).

Pro Performance sponge – Gotta love my sponges! This dual ended sponge is absolutely practical for blending and moving cream, liquid, gel foundations and concealers on the face. Forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks. This patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease (tear duct, around the nose etc). Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable.

 

A Morning with Modern Mary

 

Abeer and I had the opportunity to visit Seema Sahin’s Boutique in Tysons Corner a few weeks ago, we were excited to talk with Seema to see how she manages her modesty clothing line as well as her family life with two young kids. While we chatted we got a chance to try some of her custom designs. Pictures and interview below:

 

BB: How did the idea of  Modern Mary come about?

SS: Giving women the chance to express themselves while being true to their identity. Finding modest fashionable designs in mainstream clothing stores is not only limited, but can pose a challenge for many women. It can be challenging finding styles that express their cultural heritage, American identity, and at the same time being true to their faith. I wanted to create a hassle free shopping experience for these women, offering them a fashionable alternative that already fits with the guidelines of their faith. What motivates me is trying to reconcile these three forces and translate them into my design.  Creating modest designs is one thing, but there is a certain flair to my designs that makes it stand out and appealing.

 

BB: How did you take the initial leap from an online based business to having a  boutique?

Modern Mary’s Boutique in Tyson’s Corner, VA

SS: I wanted women to have a fun and comfortable shopping experience. The only way was to bring the designs to them. I knew that an online store was not enough, which is why I decided to open up a boutique. The Boutique offers our customers an exclusive shopping experience without compromise to privacy and comfort. Modern Mary’s boutique is a first of its kind, catering to the Muslim market. Modern Mary’s boutique opened its doors to the public December 2010 outside of DC in the Northern Virginia area. Modern Mary’s full collection can be viewed at the boutique by appointment only. Custom evening and bridal wear available. We offer complimentary fittings when creating a custom design.

The designer of Modern Mary, Seema with her model

 

BB: Any advice for Muslim entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting their own business?

SS: When starting a business, it’s more than just pursuing a passion. Yes, you have to be passionate about what you are doing, but you also have to be persistent, willing to learn, and ready to play various roles. I can’t run a business by just designing- I had to learn to be a manager, bookkeeper, marketer, etc. Most importantly put yourself out there. It’s all about networking… network, network, and network! Let everyone know who you are and what you andyour business is about. There are many groups that you can join or attend (both Muslim based professional groups and non-Muslim professional groups). Take advantage of those networking opportunities because you never know what relationships you will create that would benefit your business or company.

 

BB: how do you manage it all, your family, household chores, family obligations? 

Orange layered tunic, $59

SS: It’s an everyday challenge! Being able to balance the role of being a mother, a wife, a designer, and an entrepreneur is not easy, and I’m still working to achieve that balance. Alhamdulillah, my passion for designing is what keeps me going. It’s a combination of time-management, organization, communication, and accommodation. Time management- balancing my time with the family and my business; Organization- otherwise nothing will get done! Communication- scheduling with my husband, or family members to watch the kids when I have an event, or need to be at the boutique; Accommodation- life happens, and need to accept that not everything will go according to plan—I have my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, but here I am pursuing a career in fashion design. Thankfully I have a great support network I can turn to when seeking help with taking care of the kids and other family obligations.

 

BB: Can you share your first runway experience with us? How did it feel seeing your clothes on the runway?

SS: My first major runway show was at DC Fashion Week Fall 2011. My designs were featured in their International Couture Collections show. Seeing my designs going down the runway and hearing applauds from the audience, not only was it amazing but a surreal moment. Being able to transform an idea into a vision, it’s truly rewarding. Fashion shows bring your designs to life. I hope to continue to watch my designs going down the runway.

Modern Mary Custom Dress, $128

 Like what you see? Check out Modern Mary’s designs:

www.modernmary.com

www.facebook.com/modernmaryboutique

http://twitter.com/#!/seemasahin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Near Death Experience

In the spring of 2007 my husband had a very bad accident and this is his recounting of the events as they occurred:

Over the weekend I ate some bad food at a masjid function (lesson#1: beware of what you eat). Monday came, and I drove off to school as usual but my stomach wasn’t feeling well. I thought it was nothing and would eventually go away. So as the day progressed the pain didn’t really go away and I had a group presentation to give in the evening (my last class for the day). So I waited for that and planned on going home afterwards immediately. Just as the presentation ended I went home. The drive home is about 45 mins so alhumdulillah I made it very close to home, just 15 minutes left, and thats when things went bad.

I came to a red light at a very busy intersection. At this point I was feeling horrible, my stomach was killing me, I had cold sweats and was getting light headed. Just as the light turned green and the cars began to move, I remember getting extremely light headed and falling over in my seat to the left and going unconscious.

The events that followed, was nothing  less but a nightmare for me. I woke up to find myself suspended upside down in my car, throwing up on the ceiling, windows shattered, all airbags were open, windshield cracked, car horn blaring and the  the car was a total mess. I felt trapped inside, The car felt very small because many parts of the car had been dented in. I was still in my seat because the seat belt had kept me in (lesson#2: wear your seat belt).

Subhan’Allah, the thoughts that raced through my head when I woke up were unimaginable. You cannot know how I felt unless you have been in a similar situation. I could not believe this had happened, never in a million years would I have thought this would happen to me. I mean we pass by car accidents all the time and we look and stare, but we never think that could be us. It was like a nightmare, except I knew I was awake and it was for real. I just kept thinking, how this could happen, to me??? How??? I was totally in shock and beyond scared.

Obviously I didn’t want to remain in the car because knowing from TV shows and movies, we know that cars blow up when they crash. So alhumdulillah I managed to unbuckle the seat belt and crawl out the passenger side window. After crawling out, I just lay flat on the grass surrounded by many people who had stopped at the scene to help , may Allah reward them all and guide them to the straight path, ameen.

The sheriff came to me and started to ask me simple questions such as my name, address, etc. and asked for my wallet. I was in tears at this point, the sheriff asked me why I was crying (which I thought was dumb). But anyways, so the paramedics arrived soon and they put a neck brace on me (just in case my neck was messed up) and put me on a stretcher , and into the ambulance they took me. On the ambulance ride to the emergency room I threw up twice  and the paramedic had to turn me to the side.

After arriving to the ER, they hooked me up to a bunch of machines and stuff. They called home and told my parents that I was involved in a car accident and to bring a extra pair of clothes. But the way they told my parents, they made it sound like it was a minor crash. So my parents didn’t realize it was such a major accident until they arrived to the ER. My parents and older brother came into the ER and came to my room. And they were  so scared and worried for me, but when they saw I was doing fine, they were relieved, walhumdulillah.

The sheriff came in to return some paperwork and told us what what the eye witnesses saw. He said that, my car went full speed across the intersection, side swiped another car, jumped the curb, went airborne and rolled over a few times until it finally landed upside down. We were like, WHAT?? I had no idea what had happened because I had blacked out during the crash and when he told us I was even more shocked, I couldn’t believe I went through such a violent accident. The sheriff, the doctors, and others said it was a miracle that I came out alive, no injuries were sustained alhumdulillah, just a few scratches and cuts. Alhumdulillah I came out in one piece.

I cried so much with my parents in the room, I was just saying, that I could have died and I was very close to death, very very close but alhumdulillah that Allah (swt) kept me safe and in one piece. So they ran a whole bunch of tests on me during the night. I had trouble walking by myself and needed some help at first to get up and walk.

My family came as soon as they heard. When my younger sister came, she also actually fainted, and the doctors found out that it was also the same thing that made me black out , food poisoning over the weekend from bad food.

So we ended up coming back home at around 3 am. After all of this, I was feeling so weak, so tired, so exhausted, so drained. I came home and fell on my knees, still in shock, still in disbelief, still scared, I was just totally out of it. All I knew was that alhumdulillah, it was all because of Allah (swt) that I came out alive and in one piece.

In the next few days, we went to the junkyard to take a look at the car and take care of some paperwork. And subhanAllah when we saw the car, we were totally blown away, it was completely totaled. Alhumdulillah I came out safe.

After coming out alive and in one piece after such a life changing event, it has definitely given me a better prospective on life and how close we are to death. The fact that we don’t know when we can die is really scary, thus we have to make sure we are prepared, ready to face the next life, that we’re ready to crossover into a new experience.

Our purpose in this life is to worship and please Allah, not to follow our desires and live this life as if theres no tomorrow or accountability. We take this life for granted, but we don’t realize that we only have this one life to achieve true success, which is eternal happiness in Paradise.

May Allah (swt) guide us all to the truth, make us steadfast upon that, and help us in learning and living Islam to the best of our abilities and grant us Jannatul Firdous (Highest level of Paradise) and save us from the punishment of the Hereafter, ameen!

 

iRamadan

I had to share these two iPhone/iPad apps I came across…hope they help you during the last few days of Ramadan!

1. Ihsaan Fusion: This is basically the app version of the book “Fortress of a Muslim,” which is a book containing many duas (www.fortressofamuslim.com) This app contains every possible duah/invocation you can imagine, it would bey very convenient to have this at our finger tips.  Normally this application costs money but they have made it FREE for the last 10 days of Ramadan.  Jump on this amazing offer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Quran Works: This is basically a very high quality Quran application.  The commercial for it is awesome so I’ll let you watch it so you can see what its all about.

 

Something to app shop about….

10 Tips for the 10 Nights

The last blessed nights of Ramadan are upon us! Sadly, I have not been making the most of this Ramadan.
In between moving, work and running after my active tarzan toddler, I can’t seem to be very productive.  After talking with other moms, I guess they too feel the same frustration. I have  tried to compile some easy  ways in which we can try to make the most of these last few days/nights of Ramadan.

*Indicates things that can even be done when a woman can’t pray.

*1. Iftar: When preparing Iftar, make a little more and drop it off at the masjid.  The people sitting in itikaaf or spending the night in Qiyam-ul-layl can have food to munch on.  You can even leave energetic food items such as gatorade, granola bars and fruits to give them the energy to spend the night in ibadah.  For suhoor: You can buy breakfast items such as bread, butter, juice and bagels and leave them in the refrigerator in the masjid.

*2. Bathing Every Night: Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabari mentioned that of the Salaf who used to encourage bathing every night of the last ten nights of Ramadan, and Ibrāhīm al-Nakha’i was among those who bathed every night. Others used to bathe on those nights which they expected was laylat’l-qadr. It was reported that Anas b. Mālik would bathe, apply perfume and dress in his finest on the night of the 24th of Ramadan and every night. Ayyūb al-Sukhtiyāni would bathe on the nights of the 23rd and 24th and wear new clothes for these nights and fragrance himself with incense. It was also transmitted that Thābit al-Banāni and Hamid al-Tawil would dress in their best and apply fragrance during these ten nights.

*3.  Clean-up: Depending on your children, if you can manage to go to the masjid during the day then try to do a quick clean up of the musallah, hallways and bathroom.  Usually during this time the bathrooms are trashed, so it would be a big help to just throw away any paper towels or tissues.  On that note, it may even be a good idea to donate bottles of soap, paper towels or tissue.  Not all masjids are good about refilling, therefore us spending a few dollars can go a long way.

*4. Quran: Either before or after Fajr is a nice quiet time to sit and recite Quran.  Even during the day you can play the Quran while performing other tasks.

5. Sunnah or Nafil prayers: This may be easier to do since a person can pray before or after the obligatory prayers. Narrated by Muslim, “A house will be built in paradise for every Muslim who offers twelve Rak’ah of optional salah other than the obligatory salah in day and night, to seek pleasure of Allah.” Here is a source on the excellence of praying Sunnah.http://islamqa.info/en/ref/12844

6. Tahajjud: All it takes is 5 minutes (depending on the Surah), just get up 5 minutes before and do Tahajjud.  Abu Hurayrah (RA), related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth & proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, & I grant his supplication? Who is that who begs Me for anything & I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, & I forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim).

7. Qiyam ul Layl: Spending the night in worship, If you can manage to squeeze in a nap during the day then do so that way you can have some energy to stay up at least even a portion of the night.  What works for me is to let my child watch television while I take a quick power nap on the couch.

*8. Adhan: download the adhan apps or listen to it on youtube (at the designated prayer times) and repeat the adhan and make du’a between the adhaan and iqaama. Duah during this time is not rejected.

9. Tahiyyatul Wudu – 2 Raka’ahs Sunnah after doing Wudu (Ablution)
Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying to Bilal (RA): “Tell me about the best of your deeds (i.e. one which you deem the most rewarding) since your embracing Islam because I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal (RA) replied: “I do not consider any act of mine more rewarding than that whenever I make ablution at any time of night or day, I perform Prayer for as much as was destined for me to do.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)”

*10. Dhikr: As mention in a previous post, reciting these short words are extremely beneficial.
1. Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee – Recite this abundantly during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
2. Subhaanallah
3. Alhamdulillah
4. Allahu Akbar
5. Laa ilaaha illallah
6. LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH-HIL ALIYYIL ADHEEM
7. AstaghfurAllah

You can even print out the Ramadhaan Planner to plan your time effectively.

May Allah SWT accept our fasts and good deeds Ameen

Something to be active about….