Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I am back in Chicago now, Alhamdulillah. The picture is the view from my balcony. What a blessing it is to have such a wonderful feeling of being "at home." Allah has given us so much, yet we tend to focus on the negative. Inshallah I am going to try and be positive from now on.

I applied for an internship and I got a call back, so I am very excited. Inshallah it goes well. I am going to meet the woman on Thursday for an interview. Keep me in your duas, if you remember.

Also, I am so excited I have 29 followers. Alhamdulillah. Thank you all so much. It keeps me really motivated. I truly believe that I am becoming a stronger Muslim and blogging has a lot to do with it, so I pray that each and every one of you be granted Jannat-al-firdous and be protected from the Hellfire, the tortures of the grave and all the fitna in this life and the next. Ameen!

I am cooking right now because two of my friends are coming over (they will be staying until Thursday, inshallah), so I have to get back to it. I will post pics and the recipes inshallah, later tonight, for Chicken Corn Soup and Chicken Mushroom Pasta.

Until next time...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Apologies...of sorts.

Hello everyone,

I know I have not posted in a while, but I am in Windsor right now with my family so I do apologize. Inshallah I will be posting more fun things soon! I hope everyone is having a great week.

Just wanted to leave you with some advice: watch Toy Story 3! It is sooo cute, but don't watch it in 3D. I don't think it's really worth it, since there is not much 3D in there, so you can save yourself some money. But overall, tres excellent movie!

If you've already seen it, let me know what you think!

May Allah (swt) grant you all happiness! Ameen!

Until next time...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Life is a Journey, Not a Destination.

I’m sitting on a train right now, on my way to Dearborn from Chicago. The ride has definitely been less than pleasant. We have encountered many delays and what should have been a 5 and a half hour train ride has turned into about a 7 hour one. Ugh. For some reason, we had to stop due to some shananigans on the tracks.

Alhamdulillah, though, it could be worse. I am wearing my nephew's Toy Story blanket. I got it for him as a present, but wanted to wear something while I was on the train in case I slept. Haha.

I sit here and look out the window. The trees are passing us by, sometimes so slow that I can see every single leaf, and sometimes so fast that the entire figure just becomes a blur. I’ve been watching the world pass me by, one tree at a time and I realize that this train ride is just a short version of our life.

Our entire lives are spent on a train, passing each day, one at a time; sometimes the days pass by so quickly that we don’t realize where the time went and sometimes one day can seem like 10. But no matter what, we know our final destination. This ride may seem like its everlasting, but only because we cannot see the bigger picture. We are so narrow-minded, consumed in our own thoughts and lives, we refuse to acknowledge our reason for being here in the first place. It is not the train ride that is our final goal, but the destination at the end of the tracks.

Allah (swt) has given us the Quran, a set of guidelines to follow, so that we may be successful once we reach our destination, but just as passengers on this train refuse to read the ‘Passenger Safety Instructions,’ we refuse to understand the Quran as we should, in order to protect ourselves from the crash that comes at the end.

If the conductor told everyone, “This train WILL crash. You should read the Passenger Safety Instructions so you know what to do when it does,” would all the passengers read it? Would they prepare themselves so that they can survive the crash? Would they help others? Or would they sit there like idiots, thinking that there will be no crash at the end?

Allah (swt) has told us that we WILL die, we WILL be accountable. Then why do we sit around acting like it won’t happen?

Until next time…

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fashion Friendly: Sleeves

Here's an idea for the ladies who need to wear full sleeves in the hotness of summer.

I turned my tights into sleeves, that way, I don't have to wear a full sleeve shirt underneath my outfit, which makes it extra hot. Plus, I don't always want to wear a cardigan with every outfit. Also, I don't like the sleeves that you can get from Islamic or Arab stores because they are usually too think and not long enough to cover the whole arm, so this is an excellent alternative. 

Buy CHEAP tights. I bought mine from the Dollar Store. You don't want anything too expensive since you'll be cutting them up:


Lay them out and have a pair of scissors:


Cut off the ends (make sure the line is straight)
Cut through the center of the top and a little bit from the top:


Use the center piece that you have left as a sleeve:


 You can tuck the top under your bra strap to keep it from falling down, but it shouldn't since it is pretty tight anyway. You can also use different colors to match with your clothes. Keep in mind not to get tights that are too thin or sheer because your arm will show through.

Hope this helps, inshallah! 

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Secret Filth Exposed!

Would you buy USED underwear?

I'm assuming everyone is making a disgusted face and saying "HELL NO" (hopefully)!

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you just might be.

There was an undercover investigation by MSNBC about lingerie and panties sold in MAJOR stores such as:
Victoria's Secret
Macy's
Bloomingdale's
Saks Fifth Avenue
Gap
Nordstrom

They found out that these retailers and department stores (and who knows how many more) are accepting returns on USED underwear and putting it back on the floor and selling it as if it is new (sometimes even if there is a stain on it)! I was utterly disgusted when I saw the video. You guys should definitely watch it.



So, here's my advice: wash your new underwear before you wear it. You never know what kind of germs and bacteria could be on it.

Until next time...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Khushoo during Salah

If you're anything like me, and I say this truly hoping you are not, then you might struggle during salah. Sometimes, it is very hard for me to have khushoo (devotion, concentration) during my prayers and my mind tends to wander off into things that don't matter, an errand I have to run or something that happened the previous day. I literally have to force myself to mentally and emotionally get back into my salah.

Therefore, I wanted to share 10 tips to help anyone, especially myself, who may need advice to have khushoo in prayer and get more out of their salah, inshallah.

I went to a halaqa and Alhamdulillah, that was the topic that was being discussed so I took notes:

10 Things that will Help Achieve Khushoo in Prayer

1. Answer the Call right away (pray on time)
2. Concentrate on where you pray- choose a place that is clear of ornaments and colors, anything that takes away your concentration
3. Do not pray in the presence of hunger or if you have to go to the bathroom
4. Don’t be a liar when you say “Allahu Akbar” – God is the Greatest – say it like you mean it and don’t think about something else
5. Pray as if it is your last prayer on earth
6. When you pray, beautify your voice, enough so that you can hear yourself– recite slowly and understand what you are saying – when we hear, we concentrate more
7. Think of what you are saying and what the verses mean – recite new ayahs
8. Understand what prayer is:
-realize why we make wudu – purify your body on the outside and the inside
-realize what it means to face the kibla – leave everything behind and facing the kibla
-realize what it means to make sujood - you are humbling yourself and facing Allah (swt)
9. Khanzab- Shaiytan – his sole job is to destroy your salah – say "aoodoo billa" and spit 3 times on your left side – realize that you are in battle with him and you have to be focused - do not let him win
10. Don’t make your salah too long, that you cannot concentrate, and don’t make it so short so that you cannot concentrate – keep it an average length

Hope this helps, inshallah.

May Allah (swt) accept our salah and prayers! Ameen!

Until next time...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Makeup Tip: Eyelashes

Here's a quick make-up tip for the ladies who want nice, longer-lasting curly eyelashes.

Before applying your mascara, heat up your eyelash curler using a blow dryer. Immediately curl your eyelashes, then apply the mascara. Repeat on your other eye.

The heat will make the curl more dramatic and longer-lasting! As a matter of fact, you don't even have to apply mascara if you don't want.

Warning: if the curler is too hot, wait a few seconds before curling your eyelashes! We don't want to burn ourselves. 

Until next time...

That Covered Girl: Free Online Webinar

More good news, alhamdulillah!

There will be an online webinar about a hot topic, especially for us ladies: Hijab. Whether you already wear the hijab, don't wear it or want to wear it, this will really be helpful to everyone inshallah.

"The issue of a Muslim woman’s hijab has become a hot topic in our times, so much so that it’s discussed in every media outlet, and is the subject of governmental laws and controversies. Even before it became politicized, hijab was (and remains) an important and deeply personal decision for many Muslim women. Should I wear it? When? What should it look like? What can I expect, and how can I overcome my fears?"

One of the speakers, Sarah Mushtaq, is a personal friend from Windsor and I know she will definitely have a lot of practical advice regarding hijab. She is very knowledgeable, mashallah so you guys should tune in!

Date: Tuesday, June 29th 2010

Timings:
Toronto Time: 7 pm EST
Chicago Time: 6 pm CST
LA Time: 4 pm PST
Egypt Time: 4 am
London Time: 12 am

See the link below for more information and how you can tune in inshallah:



Until next time...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Calling All Bloggers: 2010 Best Blog Award by SWB

Ladies, the Sisters Who Blog Network is hosting an award for the Best Blog! 

Nominate yourself or someone else who deserves this award!

For more information, rules and to vote please see this website:

Support a good cause and SWB! 

May the best bloggers win! 

Until next time...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Party Theme Idea: Red Carpet

Back when I was living in Windsor, my friends and I always had parties, whether it was a birthday, an engagement or just a random fun night. So, a little while back one of my best friends got engaged and I wanted to throw her THE BEST engagement party.

After days of struggling and contemplating, I finally settled on a theme: The Red Carpet. What could be more fabulous and glamorous than that?

It was a great event and the theme was a favorite so I wanted to share it with anyone who is planning an event and can't decide on a theme.

I purchased all the decor from this website:

http://www.orientaltradingcompany.com

Just click on Themes and you will find the decor under Movie Awards.

For the background, we bought two white table covers from the Dollar Store and stamped a Congratulations stamp (that I purchased from the above website) on the table covers using red and black ink pads. Then we taped the table covers to the ceiling and let it fall as the backdrop. The red carpet was placed in front of it along with Star stickers. There was a 4 foot Oscar blowup award, a red velvet rope (obviously not made of real velvet), cut-out door banners and a bunch of other decor.

It was really a hit so you are all welcome to try this idea. Don't forget to buy non-alcoholic champagne to complete the theme!

*The people in the pictures have been blurred out for obvious reasons*






Until next time...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Forever Job-less?

I need a job!

I have been looking for a job for so long, but it feels like there is no hope for me. It is so frustrating. I was looking for a year, while I was in Windsor (my hometown) and I couldn't find anything. But then again, Windsor basically has nothing to offer, so it wasn't a surprise that I couldn't find a job. However, now I am in Chicago. I should be able to find something. I don't want to lose hope, but it is really looking hopeless for me. I keep trying to have trust in Allah (swt) that I will find something, but it is hard to stay positive when it has been so long.

I definitely need some prayers!

Until next time...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Silent Inspiration

We're all inspired, inspired by someone or something to take some sort of action, to make some kind of change. I'm sure we all hope to inspire someone, anyone, to do something wonderful, something Allah (swt) will be pleased with, because we will reap the rewards of their actions our whole lives, without taking away their good deeds. Subhanallah, the mercy of Allah (swt)!

I can't say if I've inspired anyone in my life, I hope I have, but there is really no way of knowing for sure. But what I do know is that I have been inspired recently, Alhamdulillah, by someone I did not expect. We'll call her Aaliyah (only because I really like that name and tried to have my named changed to Aaliyah, but my family refused to call me that, so I gave up, but that's besides the point...lol).

Anyway, Aaliyah is a friend of mine and she is a very nice girl. However, I never imagined that Aaliyah would wear hijab and I thought if she did, it would be not until way later, like 5 years at least. But recently, Aaliyah put on the hijab, masha'Allah. I was so happy to see her when she knocked on my door, proudly wearing her white and black hijab on her head. I was so shocked when I saw her and a part of me, a huge part, felt guilty, because there she was covered and modest, meanwhile I did not even wear hijab.

Don't get me wrong, my shock was not due to Aaliyah's lack of iman or anything; she is mashallah a very good Muslim. Rather, it was because of her family, who is very against hijab. She told me that her family already considered her a bit of an "extremist" for praying and fasting, so putting on the hijab seemed like something that was not in her near future.

But against all odds and by the will of Allah (swt), she chose to wear the hijab anyway. She put Allah's (swt) command first, putting aside not just others thought, but what her family would think and how they would react, which was not pleasant. She faced many trials with her family after wearing the hijab, but she did not weaken or take it off. Her tears in this life will come as her rewards in the akhira, inshallah!

I was overwhelmed by her strength, proud of her courage and jealous of her commitment and iman. She truly inspired me and made me feel the guilt of disobeying Allah's (swt) command without even saying a single word. She was a huge inspiration for me.

May Allah (swt) reward her for her efforts and grant her a beautiful palace in Jannat-al-firdous!

Ameen!

Until next time...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Frustrated...

I am terribly irritated at the outright oblivion people live in! For the past few days I have been reading articles and watching videos about the Israeli army raiding the humanitarian flotilla headed towards Gaza and some of the comments I've read just pissed me off! People are so COMPLETELY ignorant and think it was just fine and dandy that Israel "protected it's own safety" and the activists deserved what they got because they were "beating the Israeli army with metal rods."

SERIOUSLY! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Who in their right mind would defend Israeli terrorism?

People are compete "ra-tards" (yeah...like from "The Hangover") out there. I wanted to comment back to shut them up. Clearly, the only reason they have the guts (or lack-of) to such things is because they are sitting behind the comfort and safety of their computer screens.

Sometimes I just can't wait until this world comes to an end and all the ignorant nincompoops out there will know that the truth was with Islam, that they were just a bunch of idiots trying to protect Israel, but it was all in vain, because they'll be suffering and wish they could go back to Earth and be Muslim.

Well they won't be able to!

Is that wrong? I am sure on some level it's rude of me to think that and wish that, but it's just so frustrating when people can't see the truth and defend the country that is completely wrong!

I know I'm not perfect and I certainly wouldn't want anyone wishing that I have regrets on the Day of Judgment, but this was the only channel I could think of to get out my anger....

May Allah (swt) open our eyes, ears and hearts to the Truth!

Ameen!

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israel's at it again!

Today started like any other day: I woke up and signed into my Facebook to see if there was anything new going on in the lives of my family and friends (usually there isn't, so I wasn't expecting much). However, to my shock and dismay, many people had posted articles, videos and pictures about the Israeli Army that raided a relief ship headed to aid Gaza. 

Clearly, I didn't know much about the situation, so I did my own research to get the whole story. It turned out that Israel raided a flotilla (a total of six ships) with humanitarian aid and activists hoping to peacefully battle the illegal three-year blockade Israel has set against Gaza. Israeli officers raided the ships and violently opened fire, killing at least 9 innocent victims and wounding many more. One of the activists who was released said that the Israeli commandos used stun guns on the passengers and beat them! The aid ship was turned into "a lake of blood." To no one's surprise, Israel hasn't taken responsibility for this horrific attack, using something along the lines of "self-defense" as the reason and justification for their actions. 

I wonder what these peaceful activists provoked them with...food supplies, perhaps?

Honestly, reading what happened first got me so angry! Then, I just felt a little numb. I was overtaken with sadness, not only because of what happened, but because I felt completely useless. Here I am, waking up in my comfortable bed, from a good night's sleep, grabbing my expensive laptop, logging onto something as useless as Facebook, while other people, no, other MUSLIMS, are out there, struggling for something as simple as food.


Many of my friends had also posted links to petitions and letters that could be sent to various government officials condemning the complete defiance of international law by Israel. I went around trying to find all the petitions I could and signed them, using my real name, address and phone number, hoping that that would somehow make me feel like I did something proactive. 

Did it help?

Not really. But I just didn't know what else to do. I mean, I can't just jump on a ship and go to aid Gaza, can I?

Then, just a little while later, I was reading the translation of the Quran, and I came across a section that put a little peace in my heart (isn't it just an absolute WONDER how whatever is going on in your life, you run across an ayat that pertains to your situation!). Allah (swt) has told us time and again in the Quran that the Jews are not our friends:

"If a good befalls you, it grieves them (ie. Jews), but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun (the pious), not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do."
-Surah Al-Imran, Ayat 120

Indeed, Allah (swt) has warned us about the evil hopes that others have towards us, the Muslims. Instead of letting this defeat me and make me feel hopeless, I realized this event should, if anything, increase my iman and make me stronger in my deen. It should help me to become Al-Muttaqun. I pray that there is something I will be able to do to make a difference. After all, dua is the weapon of the believer. I will use this event to strengthen myself and my iman.

See link for actual article:
"Gaza aid flotilla activists talk of beatings, electric shocks"

May Allah (swt) protect all the Muslims!

Ameen!

Until next time...