Wednesday, 30 April 2014

In Our Food Haven...

Source: Internet
My latest post was on eating halal. And while I was writing the post which pointed out to the fact that   other Muslims and I who lunch around my workplace now have one less place to eat at, I thought... the best halal place to eat is our home.

The place where food is always warm, cooked  and served with love and with pure niyyah, and with lots of dzikir and always with the starting step as the utter of 'Bismillah'.

With that in mind, sharing some recipes right from our food haven at home. The prawn sambal dish was made by me, in an attempt to complement Mum's paruppu-and-rasam over lunch on one of the weekends. The brinjal pachadi was made on another day.

Looking at the paruppu-and-rasam shot brings a big smile to me now. Mum had made this about the time I had just started blogging, and I told her that I may be posting some of the photos of the dishes we prepare on the Internet. I seriously was expecting her to have some reservations. But she didn't.

I took a shot of the prawn sambal first. And then as I did a little arrangement on our kitchen cabinet to take the next shot of Mum's paruppu-and-rasam combination, she surprised me with a cute moment.

She stopped me before I took a photo and and actually scooped up some curry leaves from the pot to make them clearer in the photo. After doing that, she said smilingly, "The curry leaves will make the dish look more appealing," in Tamil. I didn't expect her impromptu spontaneity at all!

You know what Mum? With curry leaves or without curry leaves in the picture frame, only we, and all the fortunate people whom you feed,  know that your dishes will always be appealing in looks and taste. Alhamdhulilah.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Eating Halal

Just a couple of weeks back, I was standing in line to get lunch at an eating place near our office that I usually patronise. I like to walk out for lunch after the off-peak hour. This is so that I can finish lunch and head directly for prayer before settling back at my desk. Another reason is to avoid the crazy lunch crowd in the city! Walking out for lunch at this crazy hour will have you brisk walking, and not strolling (because the motion of everyone else sets in that way), and returning to office at the same speed.

Alhamdulillah, that the office environment I work in allows us for such flexibility to either head out much earlier or later than the peak lunch hour.

Back at the line I was in… there was another Muslim Sister in the queue, just before me. Just before it was her turn to place her order, she turned to me abruptly and asked. “Does this place serve halal food?”

“Of course,” I said, and turned to point her towards the huge sign on the entrance (which was supposed to be there!). To both our disappointment, it wasn’t there anymore. By this time, the lady serving food (who is Muslim) was already calling out to this Sister. This Sister asked her if the food was halal-certified. And she said yes. She then asked her where the certificate was, to which the lady just smiled. The Sister made a quick order and paid. Next was my turn. Usually I would order a meat dish and vegetables from here. I made the same order, picked up a bottle of mineral water (as always) and walked out to get a seat.

I said my duas and started eating. After taking two mouthfuls, I was uncomfortable and had many questions from the episode that had just unfolded. Why was the halal-certified sign not there anymore? For how long has it not been there, and why did I not spot it until now? Why was the lady serving food not able to give us an answer? Maybe the owners were renewing their certificate? Or did they not meet the renewal criteria? What made me feel worse was that I frequently packed food for another Muslim colleague from there. Ya Rabb. Astaghfirullah.

I stopped eating, and gulped down some water. I sure felt terrible because if the food was halal after all, then I was wasting food which is not encouraged in Islam. I felt really bad at that moment and will never return to that eatery again, until I see the halal-certified sign again.

Just after this incident, a Buddhist friend, and a former colleague, wrote me an email for her article at work on why Muslims do not eat pork. I thought it was good to give her readings on Quranic evidence for a better comprehension, and sent her two links, here and here, from which the useful information below came up.

The Muslim’s diet, like all other aspects of his or her life, is governed by divine law. Muslims (male and female) implement the commandments of Islam because the fundamental concept of Islam is submission to Allah, Almighty God, recognising that in His infinite knowledge, He knows what is best for His creation. 

Quranic Evidence
The prohibition of pork in Islam is derived from the following verse of the Glorious Qur’an:
“Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah.”
[Al-Qur'an 5:3]

In another passage of the Qur’an, pork and pig derivatives are described as being impure:
“Say, “I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal, or blood spilled out, or the flesh of swine – for indeed, it is impure – or it be [an animal slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.” 
[The Qur’an al-An’aam 6:145]

The Arabic word rijs is used specifically to describe pork in the Qur’an. It means something that is impure, filthy, and unfit for consumption. The fact that the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth describes pork in this way is enough of a justification for a Muslim to refrain from eating it.

We know that pork bears many health risks to its consumers, with a significant number of diseases and pathogens being found in various parts of the pig, such that a number of health professionals from non-Muslim and non-Jewish backgrounds advise against eating it. 

These include trichiniasis trikinisis, a parasitic disease caused by a kind of roundworm, as well as yersinia enterocolitica, which causes fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. The meat of pigs is also higher in toxins than other meats.

Pigs themselves have been plagued by a variety of hazardous infections and diseases, including Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, Nipah Virus, Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus, Hepatitis E, Swine Flu, Menangle Virus, and others, many of which have lead to infections in human beings.

It should be noted that these specific health concerns are simply mentioned to illustrate part of the wisdom behind the prohibition of pork; however, a Muslim refrains from eating pork in submission to Almighty God, and in recognition that The Creator knows what is best for His creation.

Therefore, whether or not these risks can be mitigated by proper farming, storing, and cooking procedures, a Muslim will always refrain from eating it, demonstrating his or her submission to their Creator, and affirming that the laws of Allah are full of wisdom and represent the best for mankind. 

Furthermore, the laws of Islam are universal for every people, in every time and place. The risks associated with pork have been – and to a certain degree remain – significant for the majority of people in the world.

The Nature of Pork
The main utility of pigs in the ecosystem is as scavengers. They live and thrive on muck, feces and dirt. It could be argued that in developed countries, pigs are bred in very clean and hygienic conditions. Even in these hygienic conditions the pigs are kept together in sties, and so the chances of them consuming filth are very high.

Health Aspects
Research has shown correlation between pork consumption and several diseases. Eating pork can expose the individual to various helminthes (worms) like roundworm, pinworm and hookworm. 

One of the most dangerous of worms is Taenia Solium, which, in lay man’s terminology is called the pork tapeworm. It harbours in the intestine and is very long. Its ova i.e. eggs, enter the blood stream and can reach almost all the organs of the body. If it enters the brain it can cause memory loss. If it enters the heart it can cause heart attack, in the eye it can cause blindness, and in the liver it can cause liver damage. It can damage almost all the organs of the body.

A common misconception about pork is that if it is cooked well, these ova die. In a research project undertaken in America, it was found that out of twenty-four people suffering from Trichura Tichurasis (another worm commonly found in pork), twenty two had cooked the pork very well. This indicates that the ova present in the pork do not die under normal cooking temperature.

Pork has very little muscle building material and contains excess of fat. This fat gets deposited in the vessels and can cause hypertension and heart attack. It is not surprising that hypertension is a common ailment due to the prevalence of the consumption of pork.

Thus the prohibition of pork in Islam is a blessing.

SubhanAllah, indeed it really is a blessing that Allah (S.W.T) has given us guiding principles on every aspect of life. Every single aspect.

Monday, 28 April 2014

My Thoughts On A Book - IraqiGirl (Diary of a Teenage Girl In Iraq)

A book of blog entries of an teenage girl - Hadiya - yearning to live a simple, ordinary life like other girls her age. Yet caught with an opposite situation, without basic needs - water, electricity and of all, peace.

"I forgot what peace looks like. What the street looks like. What the sky in the night looks like. What my relatives look like. Sometimes, I just think that if you could see what my eyes see, if you could hear what my ears hear, you would be able to understand what I mean." - this is an example of her frank, honest, heartfelt posts.

Childlike in some instances, her thoughts also reflect a good sense of maturity, probably something that the coldness of war built into her quickly. Albeit written by a teenager, adults will also be able to get a clear glimpse into what Hadiya and her family and other Iraqis battled with.

I did a quick check on her blog after finishing the book, and was glad to know that Hadiya is now a married woman, and her family members are also doing good. Alhamdhulilah.

My Reflections on Asma-Al-Husna (6)

Source: Internet
 30. Al-Lateef  - The Most Kind, The Most Subtle
If we recite this name of Allah 133 times daily, Allah will grant abundance in our rizq (sustenance) and cause all our tasks to be accomplished without difficulties. In-Shaa-Allah.

31. Al-Khabeer  - The All-Aware
67:14 " Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All- Aware (of everything)."

32. Al-Haleem - The Forbearing
17:44 "The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving."
33. Al-'Azeem - The Magnificent
If we recite this name of Allah constantly, we will be graced with great honour and dignity. In-Shaa-Allah.  

34. Al-Ghafoor - The Forgiving
If we recite this name of Allah frequently, all our sorrow and grief will be removed. Barakah (Allah's blessing) will be imparted toyour wealth and offsprings.In-Shaa-Allah.
As related in a hadith, if we recite   (Yaa-Rabbigh-firli) 3 times while in sajdah, Allah will forgive all our past sins and any sins that we may commit in future. In-Shaa-Allah. 

 35. Ash-Shakoor - Rewarder of Thankfulness
If we recite this name of Allah 41 times while facing any difficulties (financial, physical, spritual, mental etc), Allah will grant deliverance soon. In-Shaa-Allah. 

36. Al-'Aliyy - The Highest
42:4: " To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great. "

37. Al-Kabeer - The Greatest
Source: Internet
38. Al-Hafeez - The Preserver
11:57 "But if you turn away, then indeed I have delivered to you that with which I am sent to you. And my Lord will bring another people in your place, and you cannot do Him any harm. Surely my Lord is the Preserver of all things. "

39. Al-Muqeet - The Sustainer
41:10 " He placed therein (the earth) firm mountains from above it and He blessed it and measured therein its sustenance ( food for its dwellers) in four Days equal for all those who ask (about creation)."

40. Al-Haseeb - The Reckoner
Source: Internet

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

My Crown Of Confidence

Source: Internet
This is my brief hijab story.

I always like listening to stories on other sisters’ journey towards the hijab. Because every story is meaningful and special. Like most sisters, I have a story too.

There was always something missing in my life in the times before hijab. There was this confidence and strength that was always missing. In short, I never felt complete – as a woman, as a Muslimah.

I have heard several sisters share this same line with me – this incomplete feeling.
Together with the hijab on my head came my crown of confidence. People looked at me with much more respect and I could feel that I was a stronger person. From the day I wore this crown, I have never stopped wishing I had made the decision much earlier. And I made lots of duas that Our Rabb forgives me for this. Ameen.

The day I wore my hijab, Brother accompanied me to change my passport and identity card. I wanted to be wearing the hijab in all form of my identification – to some extent, I felt it was new me. I had to be more responsible in the public now – because what I do will now reflect Islam and other Muslim women in our society.

What I didn’t expect was the reaction from my colleagues. It was the year-end festive season here, and I walked in wearing the hijab for the first time when everyone was busy decorating the office for year-end celebrations. I still remember their expressions. Once I stepped in, everyone of them, who were all non-Muslims (except for just 1 out of 50), cheered and clapped loudly. Some female colleagues even hugged me. SubhanAllah. This sure moved me a lot. Some colleagues who were closer to me knew of my decision earlier. But the reactions of those who had no clue was just as beautiful. 

From then on, some groups of colleagues made use of all opportunities that sprang up to buy me hijabs as gifts. Alhamdhulilah. This is one of the precious things about living harmoniously in a multi-racial country like ours. For that matter, the other Muslim colleague and I never once had to check whether the catered food for office parties was halal, because we had wonderful colleagues who made sure the caterers were halal-certified. Alhamdhulilah.

After I started wearing the hijab, one of non-Muslim colleagues said this to me – “You know, with the scarf wrapped over your head, you look like you were born to wear the hijab.” Masha-Allah. I am thankful every bit that I was born a Muslimah.

Source: Internet

My Thoughts On 2 Books - The Flying Carpet To Baghdad, and A 101 Days

AZ and I had to run some errands in the central place near our home a week or so ago. While he had to have his haircut, we both decided I should wait in the neighbourhood library.

Alhamdhulilah, I am really thankful to be blessed with a husband who loves the library as much as I do. While our reading habits vary, and of course, our reading choices vary too (a lot), I was really glad at the first time I discovered that he appreciated spending time in the library with me. While we head off to different sections once we get there - he heads towards IT, multimedia, and now aviation and I to the Islam and Middle East, it is still always so serene when I know that the library is a place that we can both relate to. Alhamdhulilah.

My reading choices have heavily changed over time. In the most recent years, I find myself turning to books related to my faith in some way -  such as books by converts, books by Muslim authors, books about the Gulf countries and similar fiction and non-fiction.

Most times, my books are from our neighbourhood library, which gives me limited choices in this genre (basically because it is one of the smaller libraries). This time I was there, I picked up one book (which I will write about in a later post), and came across two other books I had read earlier which I would like to share my thoughts about.

This is the first, and one book that I liked quite a lot. Although I read it some months back, the storyline and characters and sequence of events are still fresh in my mind.

Maybe because the author is a journalist, and I could relate to her psychological battles in getting a story done while managing the emotions of the people the same story talks about.

This book is about a war journalist's struggles in saving two little girls of war - one of whom she plans to adopt, having no children of her own. A true story by Hala Jaber. While it sure disappoints and leaves you heavy-hearted when you find out whether she succeeds, you actually appreciate her thought processes, which show a clear, mature sense of balancing raw emotions and practicality. Inevitably, as war brings with it moments of grief, anger and stories of death, so will this book.

The next is this book, also by a journalist. But one that I didn't enjoy.

Also a true story. I felt the author had already made up her mind about the kind of stories she was looking for from the people she speaks to. Many times, disappointment jumps at her stories because of this pre-tuned mindset (and therefore disappointed me as a reader too). Putting aside this, a well-narrated insight on the trials of war on common, innocent people's lives and their dreams.

Books And Me, And My Teachers

Source: Internet
When I decided to write my first post on my thoughts on a book - a book review, that is, on this blog, I also wanted to write about the people in my life who seeded the love for books and reading in me - my teachers.

All throughout school, right from primary school to University, numbers, formulas, geometry, accounting, finance, etc and the likes were things I could never relate to. So, naturally, I wasn't good with Sciences like Physics and of course, with Math. I remember having to work extra hard on these subjects and loathed every bit of it.

But it was totally a different picture with languages. I loved subjects like the General Paper and Literature. Because I enjoyed studying them, I did well for the English Language and the Tamil language, and related modules like Tamil and English Literature, Geography and so on. Alhamdhulilah.

For this, Allah (S.W.T) blessed me with great teachers, people whom I will always thank, next to our Rabb, whenever someone complimented my ability with words and languages.

The first teacher is my Mum. She cannot read English but can speak little English from her work experiences. Having studied in a Tamil medium school till her family could afford, she is fluent in the Tamil language. Before I could start my primary education, I was able to read the entire Tamil textbook. She made me achieve that. And indeed, this was an achievement because in my pre-primary centre, we were taught simple Mandarin. Therefore, the Tamil alphabets were foreign to me when I opened up my new textbook.

Knowing the textbook in out then built up my foundation for a great start of learning with the language, Alhamdhulilah. While having a cane to have a six-year old read a textbook may not be the best method of teaching, my Mum is no master of pedagogy. But I have her to thank for making me love the language. I went on to do well in that language and have won essay-writing competitions consistently, Alhamdhulilah. I read a lot more in Tamil while still in school, and still get excited when I pick up a promisingTamil book. Although I confess, I read lesser of them now.

My love for reading and writing in English was kindled by my teacher who started teaching me from Primary 4 - Madam Lisa Choy Fong Yee. When she started teaching us, she made everyday reading in class mandatory. She made sure we all carried a storybook in our bags. She taught us to pick up phrases from the books, and use them in our essays to bring our stories to life. When we did well with our essays, she would read our stories out aloud in class. And my stories were read out many, many times. Alhamdhulilah. She also introduced the reading badges in school. We got to wear badges on our uniform collars if we read a good number of books (I can't remember how many books we had to read to be able to collect one badge, but I sure remember being able to wear a few badges.)

She would personally monitor our individual reading appetites, and would recommend books with varying difficulty levels. Besides just this, she really was a one of a kind teacher. My schoolmates and I visited her once in our school on Teacher's Day after we graduated. And that was it - she moved on to another school in the east. 

While on my current job, I met our former Principal of that school. I went up to her and we spoke, and she told me that Madam Lisa Choy was at that time teaching in her school. I was elated, asked for her email address and wrote to her. 

And she replied very quickly. What I didn't expect her was to mention was that she remembered me at the first mention of my name. Masha-Allah. I was so glad to hear this from my one and only favourite teacher. When I wrote my first book on my job for a fund-raising cause, I sent some copies to a few people who have helped to shape my career.

And Madam Lisa Choy was undoubtedly one of them. 

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,"Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim."

Thursday, 17 April 2014

My Reflections On Asma-Al-Husna (5)

Source: Internet
29. Al- Adl - The Just
6:115: " And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

My Reflections On Asma-Al-Husna (4)

Source: Internet
23. Ar-Raafi' - The Exalter
 4:13 He it is Who shows you His signs and sends down for you sustenance from heaven, and none minds but he who turns (to Him).
4:14 So call upon Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience, though the disbelievers may hate it.
4:15 The Exalter of Ranks, the Lord of the Throne. He causes the Spirit of His command upon whomHe will of His slaves, that He may warn of the Day of Meeting,

24. Al-Mu'iz - The Bestower of Honour
If we recite this name of Allah 40 times after Maghrib prayer on every Monday and Friday, Allah will grant us honour and reverence. In-shaa-Allah. 

25. Al-Mudhil - The Giver of Dishonour
If we make dua for protection after reciting this name of Allah 75 times, Allah will protect us from the evils of envious persons, oppressors and enemies, In-Shaa-Allah. If you fear a particular enemy then, after reciting this name of Allah 75 times, you may observe sajdah and invoke Allah's help against the enemy in the following manner: "O Allah! Protect me from the evils of so and so.", Allah will grant you protection. In-Shaa-Allah. 

26.     As-Sami' - The All-Hearing
If we recite this name of Allah 500 times or 50 times on Thursdays after offering the Duha prayer (Chast prayer), Allah will surely grant us our duas, In-Shaa-Allah. It is necessary that no talking be done during the course of reciting it. If we recite this name of Allah 100 times on a Thursday between the Sunnah and Fardh of Fajr prayer, Allah will favour us with with His special blessings, In-Shaa-Allah. 

 27. Al-Baseer - The All-Seeing
If you recite this name of Allah 100 times after the Jummah prayer constantly, Allah will grant us strength to our eye-sight and Noor (light) to our hearts. In-Shaa-Allah. 

28. Al-Hakam - The Judge
If we recite this name of Allah 99 times while in the state of Wudhu during the last portion of the night, Allah will cause your hearts to perceive all secrets and to be filled with Noor (light). In-Shaa-Allah.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Water From Allah (S.W.T)

Ibn ‘Abbas May Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah Peace and blessings be upon him said, “The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam...” (At-Tabarani)

Walked in to office this morning and was pleasantly greeted with two bottles of Zam Zam water on my desk. Alhamdhulilah. A lovely colleague and friend, and a very-soon-Mum-to-be, Sister N, had bought this for me.

She told me over lunch one day that she was starting to look for dates and Zam Zam water as she takes a break from work very soon, in awaiting the arrival of her baby boy soon, In-Shaa-Allah. 

So, keeping this in mind, some days later, as I met a Cousin Sister for lunch at Arab Street here, I bought some dates for Sister N (as dates are found abundantly here).  At one of the stores, I thought I had finally found Zam Zam water and bought several bottles – some for us and some for Sister N.

Upon reaching office from lunch, just as I was about to hand them to her, I realised they weren’t! I had misread the label on the bottles of water. So much for having the need to have an eye for detail as a journalist!

Sister N has been very sweet to remember my 'hunt' for Zam Zam water and it is very kind of her to share the barakah of this precious water from Allah (S.W.T) with our family. Masha-Allah.

Allah (S.W.T) has sent us the ways to drink this water filled with HIS blessings.

There are some useful materials here, from where I have extracted the useful information here.

Make this dua when drinking Zam Zam water.

Allahuma inni asalooka ilam nafi-aw waa rizkaw wasi aw-washifa am-min kulli daa-een. 

Source: Internet
These are the other Sunnah ways that we should adopt when drinking Zam Zam water as gathered from the above link.

-   Facing the qiblah

Ibn 'Abbaas may Allaah be pleased with him said: "If you drink Zam-Zam water drink your fill, turn towards the Qiblah, say "Bismillaah" (in the name of Allah) and breathe three times and when you finish, you should say "Alhamdu lillaah" (All perfect praise be to Allaah).
- Drink in three sips
Imaam Al-Bukhaari and Muslim may Allaah have mercy upon them reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)used to drink in three sips, breathing outside the container. Ibn Qataadah, may Allah have mercy upon him, also narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) forbade breathing into the container when drinking. When a person drinks in one go, he will possibly breathe into the inside of the container (which is forbidden).
- Make a Niyyah (intention)
A person drinking Zamzam water should intend and hope for healing, blessings and whatever is best for him in this life and in the hereafter.
The Prophet (S.A.W) said, "The water of Zam-Zam is (good) for whatever it is intended).
-  Make duas in between drinking
We should make as many supplications as one wishes between the gulps.
Say Alhamdhulillah after drinking

HE Sent Us Barakah

Our family’s evening yesterday was spent beautifully, with barakah that our Rabb sent us. HIS barakah visited us through two heartwarming guests whom AZ and I had invited for dinner.

I have reminded myself to be more gracious and have sabr (patience) when I am now serving guests after I learnt on the hadith as said below of serving guests (even if they are people who may be mean to us).

“…when Allah wishes well for a qawm..." Here the word "qawm" does not mean "nation" or a group of people; it means few people or just one person. "...(Ehdâ ilayhim hediyyeted-dayf) Allah sends them guests as gifts." It is considered as gifts because when the host offers good things to the guest, he earns rewards and the blessings of Allah.

"If Allah wishes prosperity for a person, He will send guests as gifts."


Our guests yesterday, Sister R and her fiancé (Brother Is), brought with them lots of warmth and laughter. Brother Is also took some time to take us through a water test (which I will write in more detail in a later post, In-Shaa-Allah). 

AZ and I have also long wanted to get a gift for Sister R. We decided on a pocket Quran for this Sister, as she is an entrepreneur who is always on the move and felt this will be very useful for her when on train rides. 

She was really pleased with this priceless gift (of all times!). I also told her that it was indeed a ‘selfish’ gift from both of us as we hoped to get some rewards when she recites the Quran, In-Shaa-Allah.

We also made her choose a pretty abaya that she fancied from our collections. She hesitantly did, and carried it so well when she tried it on. 


Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Power Of Duas... Only HE Gives... So, Only Ask HIM...

Source: Internet
"What is destined will reach you, even if it be underneath two mountains. What is not destined, will not reach you, even if it be between your two lips!" — An Arabic proverb
When we were much younger, elder folks in our family used to tell us exactly the above. That Allah (S.W.T) has already written our destiny for us and that everything that unfolds in our lives is according to that which has already been written.

In many moments, I used to wonder really hard on why we then make duas. To me, duas are conversations with Our Creator to ask of all things that our heart hopes for - for changes, for forgiveness, for everything that we need.

I believe every single soul's relationship with our Rabb is unique. Special. And very, very personal. On this note, I am constantly reminding myself that I cannot judge, cannot deduce on even make assumptions on another person's journey with, and towards Allah (S.W.T).

Duas, through our prayers, are the ways we talk to our Rabb, and ask him, for everything, just everything.

My thoughts and responses to my questions on destiny and duas, to a large extent, are so succinctly reflected in an article here. Aptly, it is extracted from the book, Dua: The Weapon of the Believer. Indeed, dues are are our shields, and the elements that bring us closer to our Rabb, aren't they? I feel so much so.

It is just so comforting to know (and I believe and have felt this deep down in my heart, Alhamdhulilah) that Allah (S.W.T) listens to our pleas, shows mercy on our tears and blesses us with his answers and rahmath. And only Allah (S.W.T) knows best.

Because HE listens and wants us to ask HIM, our Rabb has showed us the times when our duas will be accepted.

- Dua while in sajdah (prostrating)

I used to wait until I finished my complete prayer and then make duas. AZ noticed this and told me that it is also better to make dua while in sajdah, when we are closer to Allah (S.W.T). Often, I begin a prayer with so much to ask him for and lose track of them by the time I complete my prayer and start asking for duas. Asking him right from the first sajdah has helped, Alhamdhulilah.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet [May Peace and Blessings be upon him] said: "The closest any worshipper can be to his Lord is while is is in prostration, so increase your duas in it". [Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i and others, from Abu Hurayrah, as mentioned in Sahih al-Jami #1175]

- Dua before the end of prayer

Ibn Mas'ud narrates: I was once praying, and the Prophet [May Peace and Blessings be upon him], Abu Bakr, and Umar (were all present). When I sat down (in the final tashahhud), I praised Allah, then sent salams on the Prophet [May Peace and Blessings be upon him], then started praying for myself. At this, the Prophet [May Peace and Blessings be upon him] said: "Ask, and you shall be given it! Ask, and you shall be given it!" [al-Tirmidhi #593]

- Dua in the last third of the night

The night is mentioned on many instances in the Qur'an and hadith as being a blessed time, especially the last third of the night, where Allah descends to the lowest heavens and responds to duas. SubhanAllah.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet [May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him] said: "Our Lord descends every night, during the last third of it, to the skies of this world, and asks: 'Who is making dua to Me, so that I can respond to him? Who is asking Me, so that I can give him? Who is asking for My forgiveness, so that I can forgive him?" [al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah, Sahih al-Jami #8021]

- Dua when the Adhan is called

The Prophet [May Peace and Blessings be upon him] said: "Two (duas) are never rejected: the dua during the call for prayer, and the dua during the calamity, when the two armies attack each other". [Abu Dawud #2540, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim, from Sahl ibn Sa'd, and authenticated by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami #3079]

-  Dua before drinking Zam Zam water

The Prophet [May Peace and Blessings be upon him] said: "The water of Zam Zam is for whatever it is has been drunk for." [Ahmad 3/357, Ibn Majah #3062, Sahih al-Jami #5502]

- Dua during Ramadan

The most blessed month for us, don't we all have many duas that we ask HIM in this month?

- Dua when rain falls

It is always so tranquil when it rains and it is even more tranquil to know that our heartfelt dues will be answered at this time, at the time when Allah's mercy transcends.

There are more times that are made known to us as best times to make duas from herePlease make duas for my family and me if you find them useful, In-Shaa-Allah.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

My Reflections On Asma-Al-Husna (3)

16. Al-Wahhaab - The Bestower
For a particular need to be fulfilled, if we observe sajdah three times and then lift our hands in dua and recite this name of Allah 100 times, HE will fulfill our  needs. In-Shaa-Allah. 

17. Ar-Razzaaq - The Provider
4:64  Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord, then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
51:58  Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.
Source: Internet
18. Al-Fattaah - The Opener (of the Doors of Mercy)
If we recite this name of Allah 70 times after Fajr prayer, Allah will illumunate our hearts with the Noor of Imaan. In-Shaa-Allah.   

19. Al-'Aleem - The All-Knowing
If we recite this name of Allah abundantly, Allah will open the gates of knowledge and wisdom for us. In-Shaa-Allah.

20. Al-Qaabid - The Restrainer
HE is the One who constricts. All existence is in the power of Allah. Our lives in this planet are tests for us, but Allah does not test us above our ability.

21. Al-Baasit – The Reliever
HE is the one who releases adundance, joy, relief and ease after difficulties.
If we recite this name of Allah 10 times daily by lifting our hands wehm making dua after Salaat-ud-Doha and thereafter pass our hands across the face (as when finishing dua), Allah will grant us self-sufficiency and independence. In-Shaa-Allah. 

22. Al-Kaafid – The One Who Humbles
Allah is the Most High who raises HIS creatures to honour and fame and who can case them down to the lowest of the low.
If we recite this name of Allah 500 times, Allah will fulfill our needs and remove all our difficulties, In-Shaa-Allah.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

.... And A Splash Of Sugar, Eggs And Butter

I came home much earlier than usual as a photoshoot with an interviewee went on smoothly than expected, Alhamdhulilah. Today is one of the days in the week when AZ has his aviation evening classes.
So, with some time to myself, I decided to bake. A chocolate chip cake. A usual with our house.

I grew up watching Cousin Sister R baking cakes. And she makes lovely cakes (doesn't bother anymore though as she is constantly getting tired running behind her two kids). She is my first 'proper' teacher when it comes to baking. Took down her recipe, measurement by measurement, and have just varied toppings, fillings and sometimes, chocolate sauce since then..

Some years back, I used to be relying on my cake mixer (the machine that comes with the egg beater 'thongs' and other accessories). This was really good; and also came with intensive washing up, and then making sure all the parts of the machine were dry before they could be put away, high up, in the kitchen cabinet.

One day, this machine broke down. And that was indeed a blessing. Mum taught me the traditional way of doing things, with a wooden spoon and bowl. I tried, and the batter turned out just as fine.

Now, cake making for me is easier - no more arduous washing up, and no thinking twice about having to 'pack up' after baking. It is just so much hassle free.

In life, there are many things that are actually simple in nature, just that we tend to complicate them in our minds. Like my former cake-making antics.

Once you break away from them, everything becomes so much meaningful, and enjoyable. I actually do bake cakes more often now. Thank you, Allah (S.W.T) for making me appreciate the simple joys in life.