Tuesday, July 22, 2014

For Palestine

I'm ashamed to admit this, but my knowledge and awareness of the situation in Palestine isn't that great. I've never been into the news mostly for the fact that it is full of depressing stories and images. I know this doesn't excuse me, but what news channel should I trust? If you know sources to get accurate information on the history and current situation of Palestine vs. Israel, please let me know.

The point of this post is to compile a list to refer back to of things you and I can do to learn more about what is going on in Palestine and to help in whatever way we can.

Something to think about written by a Palestinian...

Look into my eyes
Tell me what you see
You don't see a damn thing
'cause you can't relate to me
You're blinded by our differences
My life makes no sense to you
I'm the persecuted one
You're the red, white and blue.
Each day you wake in tranquility
No fears to cross your eyes
Each day I wake in gratitude
Thanking God He let me rise
You worry about your education
And the bills you have to pay
I worry about my vulnerable life
And if I'll survive another day
Your biggest fear is getting a ticket
As you cruise your Cadillac
My fear is that the tank that has just left
Will turn around and come back
Do you know the truth of where your money goes?
Do you let your media deceive your mind?...

Terror breathes the air I breathe
It's the checkpoint on my way to school
Terror is the robbery of my land
And the torture of my mother
The imprisonment of my innocent father
The bullet in my baby brother
The bulldozers and the tanks
The gases and the guns
The bombs that fall outside my door
All due to your funds
You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of my enemies
I'm terrorized in my own land
But am I the Terrorist?...

America, do you realize that the taxes that you pay
Feed the forces that traumatize my every living day...


Some basic info. @ http://yvonneridley.org/analysis-and-opinion/everything-you-need-to-know-about-gaza/

1. Make dua for the people of Palestine and all the Muslims suffering around the world.
2. Boycott companies that support Israel and tell others to do the same. Check out a list @ http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/2013-real-no-deal-boycott-israel-list
3. Sign petitions and get others to sign as well such as this https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?slideshow
4. Donate money. Some ideas are below and also @ https://www.hhrd.org/DetailDonate.aspxand and http://www.irusa.org/donations/ Encourage others to do the same.
5. Read this article by Yvonne Ridley about 10 ways to support Gaza
6. Read The Zion Deception by Dr. Laurence B. Brown to learn about Palestine, Israel, and Zionism. Check out my book review for this @ http://sfraww.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-zion-deception-by-dr-laurence-b.html




Saturday, July 12, 2014

Would You Rather: Marriage Edition :P

I came up with a few (fun) questions related to marriage that I wanted to ask friends at my sisters wedding a while back, but never got the chance. I didn't want this to go to waste, so I decided to put them on this blog and answer them all myself! You too can answer them if you want because I would love to read your replies in the comments below ;)

* / means or
You can explain your answer if you'd like ;)
Only 1 neither

The questions!

1. Marry a practicing convert or a not so practicing born Muslim?
If I could, I would rather marry a practicing convert because I noticed 9/10 they are more practicing and serious about Islam then born Muslims.

2. Marry someone more religious than you/ at the same level?
I would rather marry someone at the same level of religion as me because then I won't feel like I am being taken advantage of or being brainwashed. Plus, I would rather work together to improve then be the only one and I don't want to feel that I am not worthy of someone more religious then me.

3. Marry someone your age/ a few years older?
A few years older because I think many guys my age are immature.

4. Marry someone from back home/ where you are living/ raised ?
Definitely marry someone from where I am living/ raised to reduce cultural/ language barriers and "back home" mentality, and so I won't be taken advantage of by selfish people...

5. Marry someone with the same ethnicity as you/ a different one?
If I could, I would rather marry someone with a different ethnicity then me because I'm tired of the problems/ mentality in "my" Asian culture. I also think interracial marriages/ families are interesting and cool :)

6. Marry a cousin you liked/ non-relative you liked?
Non-relative I liked. No offense to anyone, but I think marrying your own cousin is weird and gross...

7. Marry some with good character and okay looks/ okay character and good looks?
Good character and okay looks because it doesn't matter how good looking a person is if they don't treat you kindly and with respect. Good looks also fades over time...

8. Marry a guy with a beard/ one without? (don’t care??)
I don't mind if he doesn't have a "full" (long) beard, as long as there is some facial hair around the chin and sideburns :P I also think that just because a guy might have a beard, that doesn't mean he doesn't have other problems (same goes for hijabis)!

9. Marry a guy your height/ taller?
A little taller than me.

10. Find your own spouse/ accept help finding one?
Finding my own spouse sounds nice, but I think everyone needs even a little bit of help with networking. I would rather get help from people who don't have selfish motives and are open and honest with me.

May Allah make it easy for single Muslims to find spouses they are pleased with. Ameen. May Allah grant us with spouses who will love and respect us, and help us become better Muslims. Ameen. May Allah increase the love and mercy in the hearts of those already married. Ameen.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Donation Ideas

ETA New links have been added 7-1-15

Please watch this first http://www.quranweekly.com/giving-for-allahs-sake/

I have wanted to do this for a while to make it easier for myself to refer back to, but also to give ideas to others, especially during Ramadan! Of course one can donate other things too if not money, like clothes and food to the homeless and needy. For now, below is what I have. If you know of any programs I should add or if any of the links are broken, please let me know :)

UK based (keep money conversion in mind)
1. Solace: for revert sisters in difficulty
2. Helping Households Under Great Stress (HHUGS)
3. The Merciful Servant (on YouTube)

A lot of programs all in 1 place
1. Helping Hands for Relief and Development
2. Islamic Relief USA (feed a fasting person and fund Ramadan food packages)
3. ICNA Relief USA

Some of my fav. YouTube channels
1. The Daily Reminder
2. Nouman Ali Khan (NAKollection)
3. Quran Weekly

Dawah/ Islamic Literature
1. Why Islam
2. Project by Yusuf Estes
3. Institute of Islamic Information and Education
4. Pamphlet Project of Australia (money conversion)

1. Free Abu Taubah
2. Prison Outreach Program
3. Save an Orphan
http://www.saveanorphan.org/donate/index.htm (money conversion)
4. Refugee Link

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LotD: 5 Wisdoms

Another set of short wisdoms from my favorite Lessons of the Day blog. I love these!

1. If we are right, then there is no need to get angry.
And if we are wrong then we don't have any right to get angry.

2. Patience with family is love.
Patience with others is respect.
Patience with self is confidence.

3. Never think hard about the past, it brings tears.
Don't think more about the future, it brings fears.
Live this moment with a smile, it brings cheers.

4. Every test in our life makes us bitter or better.
Every problem comes to make us or break us.
Choice is ours, whether we become victim or victorious.

5. Search a beautiful heart, not a beautiful face.
Beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always beautiful.

Source: http://www.lessonsoftheday.com/2014/01/five-wisdoms.html

Friday, January 10, 2014

I'm Back! with Gratitude

I have neglected this blog for a few months and have even considered deleting it. I am glad I didn't Alhamdulillah. Sometimes it's a good idea to give something a break and go back to it later. For anyone wondering the purpose behind this blog, I mentioned why in my first post, but I will say it again here. I post on this blog more for myself, like what I am learning, want to share, favorites, etc. This is like an online journal for me. Going back through my informal posts here is like going through memory lane through an album, scrapbook, journal, etc. Enough said.

I have been low in my iman and am trying to bring myself back up. I want this blog to help me take responsibility for at least learning/ reminding myself a little about Islam as much as possible. This may sound silly, but sometimes I feel like besides, praying and reciting Quran, I don't do anything else to improve/ raise my iman. So, what I plan to do inshAllah is to post helpful articles that I have been procrastinating on reading, typing up my lecture notes from years ago, (re)listening to some reminders/ videos, share some more lists :). Book reviews can be found on my other blog here

To the Point
For a while now, I have been feeling that I am not as grateful to Allah as I should be. Even more because I have not been seriously tested in my life so far Alhamdulillah compared to many others. I don't know if this ease is a good or bad sign, but I want to appreciate it before it is too late. Which lead me to finally read Alhamdulillah – One Word; Countless Blessings! on Productive Muslim. You too can read it here http://productivemuslim.com/alhamdulillah-one-word-countless-blessings/ So basically, I wanted to know how I can be more grateful to Allah and in the article, it is suggested:

1. Make a habit of saying “Alhamdulillah” (all praise be to Allah) at every ease and hardship
2. Prayers and making dua
3. Helping oneself through helping others
4. Being good to others the same way you want them to be good to you even if you were wronged
5. Think good things and say good things or stay silent
I want to keep these in mind so I have listed them here so I can easily come back to it. InshAllah this helps :) Please let me know in the comments below of any books on gratitude.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lessons from Surah ar Rahman by Nouman Ali Khan

I've really been into Nouman Ali Khan's videos lately thanks to his The Final Miracle lecture. I loved it! If you want to better understand the Quran, listen to videos by Nouman Ali Khan on YouTube.

I just finished watching the video titled above and highly, highly recommend everyone listen as well, especially if you have memorized this surah. Even if you didn't memorize it, you will start to gain a better perspective of the Quran in general and your relationship and responsibility towards the Quran and Allah. May Allah greatly reward Nouman Ali Khan with Jannatul Firdous for his mission in teaching English speakers the Quran. Ameen.

For notes on Surah ar Rahman, please go to http://www.linguisticmiracle.com/rahmaan

By the way, if you really like what NAKcollection offers, you can donate here

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Good Deed #78: Fast on the day of Arafah

Abû Hafsah, may Allâh be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: “Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for 2 years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘ashûra, (the 10th day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.” [Reported by all except al-Bukhârî and Tirmidhî]

Prophet’s wife Hafsah, may Allâh be pleased with her, said: “Four things the Messenger of Allâh never neglected: Observing fast on the day of ‘ashûra, and ‘Arafat, and 3 days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.” [Muslim]

If a person is on the hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of ‘Arafah. That is undoubtedly a blessing for him because of the hardships of the pilgrimage. In a saying reported by Umm al-Fadl, may Allâh be pleased with her, she said: “The companions doubted whether the Prophet was fasting on ‘Arafah or not. She decided to prove to them that he was not, so she said, ‘I sent to him milk, which he drank while he was delivering the khutbah (sermon) on ‘Arafah.’ ” [Recorded by al-Bukhârî]

The Prophet (peace be upon him)said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’” (Saheeh Muslim)

Action Plan

The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the day of ‘Arafah. It is the day when pilgrims stand on the plain of ‘Arafah to pray. On this day, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual hajj should spend the day in fasting, in preparation for the 3 days of festivity following ‘Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrâhîm’s willingness of sacrifice).

1. Fasting means to abstain “completely” from foods, drinks, intimacy, and smoking before the break of the dawn till sunset
2. Make an intention to fast
3. Make suhoor before dawn -- i.e a very early breakfast before the time of Fajr sets in and tahajud time ends.
4. Abstain from all things prohibited during fasting i.e. eating, drinking, intercourse.
5. Increase remembrance in Allah -- make more dhikr
6. Break fast at sunset. Duas are accepted when a fasting person breaks his/her fast.

Source: http://1000gooddeeds.com/2009/11/24/good-deed-78-fast-on-day-of-arafah/