Monday, 30 June 2014

Ramadan Journal 2014, Day 1 - The Quran

Thank you, Ya Rabb, for giving us the opportunity to experience and earn the blessings and rewards of another Ramadan this year. Alhamdhulilah.

We all are racing to make good use of this month – to get closer to our Creator and the Quran. Now is the time to make lots of duas, to cry our hearts out even more to our Rabb, and ask for everything.

So, I have decided. I will post just a photo and a short snippet (as and when), and save the rest of the writing till after Ramadan, In-Shaa- Allah.


 Started the first day of Ramadan with Ustazah Su'aidah Salim's 'Open Quran' workshop. Alhamdhulilah. Looking forward to more sessions in the coming weeks.

The Day Before Ramadan In 2013

We are already in Day 2 of Ramadan this year. Alhmadhulilah.

Just a while ago, I recalled the the day before Ramadan last year.

I had been asking AZ that we watch the ARABIA - 3D movie for some time. Masha-Allah, we eventually ended up watching it on the morning before Ramadan at Science Centre’s IMAX Theatre.

In a gist, the movie is about a 22 year –old Arabian film-making student, Hamzah Jamjom’s story of  returning home from a university abroad to make a film about his native culture. The story line highlights how Arabian society developed through history into what it is today.

To be frank, I do not remember much about the other details of the movie, but what I remember in clear detail is the moment when Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah came on screen. The voice over talked about the peace one feels when at this beautiful place, and the next second, tears started rolling down my cheeks, non-stop.

AZ was engrossed in the movie too (although he didn’t quite agree completely with the history portrayed in the movie), and didn’t realise I was in tears until after a while.

My tears continued  till the end of  the movie (I can’t exactly explain why still).

I make lots of duas this Ramadan that my family, AZ and I are invited to the holy lands of Makkah and Madinah very soon. Ameen.

My duas for all yearning brothers and sisters in the same light too. Ameen.

Source: Internet

Friday, 27 June 2014

Are We Ready?

Alhamdhulilah.  I had made the niyah (intention) to get all the necessary preparations done before Ramadan starts earalier. And as I had hoped and prayed for, all the work has been done.

The house is really in order – all the cupboards, and compartments that are usually re-arranged and cleaned up at this time of the year are in check. All our overgrown clothes that were still in great condition have been packed and given away to others who need it more. We packed some to India and gave some away here. The same with all the other additional things in the house. Alhamdhulilah, that Allah (S.W.T) brought us to find people who will make good use of these stuff and benefit, In-Shaa-Allah.

Alhamdhulilah, and thank you, Ya Rabb, for giving me the time and space to be a more prepared for Ramadan this year. And many thanks and duas for many sisters who have shared their experiences in their blogs (Sister Umm Salihah is inevitably one of them). I hope preparing for Ramadan gets better and better each year for everyone.

Spiritually, I had hoped very much to have memorised some specific duas in the Quran. I have accomplished about half of my targets set. Alhamdhulilah. I will continue into Ramadan, In-Shaa-Allah. I have also signed up for a weekly Quran workshop, by Ustazah Su’aidah Salim for the whole of Ramadan. The first session will begin on the first day of Ramadan. I am so looking forward to the session. I am also considering taking up other online courses here and I hope Allah will guide me closer towards the Quran. Ameen.

My reflections on Asma-Al-Husna will continue too, In-Sha-Allah. We have 29 days in Ramadan here. Three to four names per day, In-Shaa-Allah.

Duas. The most beautiful element in Ramadan – for me. Is your list ready? Mine is ready on a mental note. But maybe, by tomorrow, I should really have them written up. In-Shaa-Allah.

I took some time off this morning to pack these gifts for Ramadan for three people whom I knew for sure I would meet at work. A brother, an elderly auntie and a sister (a special sister she really is becoming, Alhamdhulilah). 

I pray that Ramadan greets us all in good iman and health. May Allah (S.W.T) give us all the strength and faith to make the most of this very blessed month. Ameen.

Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Allah, the Lord of Honor and glory says: All other deeds of man are for himself, but his fasting is purely for Me and I shall reward him for it. The fast is a shield. When any of you is fasting he should abstain from loose talk and noisy exchanges. Should anyone revile him or seek to pick a quarrel with him, he should respond with: I am observing a fast. By Him in Whose hands is the life of Muhammad, the breath of one who is fasting is purer in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk. One who fasts experiences two joys: he is joyful when he breaks his fast, and he is joyful by virtue of his fast when he meets his Lord" (Bukhari and Muslim).

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

My Reflections on Asma-Al-Husna (11)

Source: Internet
86. Al-Muqsit - The Just
If we recite this name of Allah 700 times for a purpose, Allah will fulfill it. In-Shaa-Allah. 

87. Al-Jaami' - The Gatherer
3:9: " Our Lord, surely You are the Gatherer of men on a day about which there is no doubt. Surely Allah will not fail in (His) promise. "
 88. Al-Ghaniyy - The Self-Sufficient
If we recite this name of Allah 70 times daily, Allah will grant us self-sufficiency and Barakah in our wealth.  In-Shaa-Allah. 

89. Al-Mughnee - The Enricher
If we recite Darood 11 times, recite this name of Allah 1111 times, recite Darood again 11 times and then Surah Muzzammil (Surah 73) after Fajr or Isha Salaah (prayer), we will be granted both material and spiritual wealth. In-Shaa-Allah. 

90. Al-Maani' - The Preventer of Harm
If we recite this name of Allah constantly, Allah will safeguard us against all calamities. If you recite this name of Allah for any legitimate purpose, Allah will fulfill it. In-Shaa-Allah.

91. Ad-Daar - The Distresser
If we recite this name of Allah 100 times on the eve of Jumma (Friday), Allah will safeguard us against all physical and spiritual calamities and draw us nearer to Allah. In-Shaa-Allah. 

92. An-Nai'fi - The Propitious
If we recite this name of Allah abundantly during travel, Allah will safeguard us against all hazards. If you recite this name of Allah 41 times before a task, it will be accomplished efficiently. In-Shaa-Allah. 

93. An-Noor - The Light
If we recite this name of Allah 1001 times after reciting Surah Noor (Surah 24), our heart will be illuminated with the Noor (light) of Allah. In-Shaa-Allah. 

94. Al-Haadee - The Guide
If you raise both hands (as in Du'a) while lifting your gaze toward the heavens and recite this name of Allah several times and then pass both your hands on your face (as when completing Du'a), Allah will grant you complete guidance and associate you with the devout and pious. In-Shaa-Allah. 

95. Al-Badee' - The Originator
29:20: Say: "Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated creation, and then Allah will bring forth (resurrect): the creation of the Hereafter (i.e. resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things."

96. Al-Baaqee - The Everlasting
If we recite this name of Allah 1000 times on the night of Jumma (Friday), Allah will grant us protection and accept all our good deeds. In-Shaa-Allah.

97. Al-Waarith - The Ultimate Inheritor
If we recite this name of Allah 1000 times between Maghrib and Isha Salaah (prayer), Allah will safeguard us from confusions, agitations and disturbances. In-Shaa-Allah.   

98. Ar-Rasheed - The Guide To The Right Path
If we recite this name of Allah daily, Allah will safeguard us against all mishaps and grant us financial progress. Insha-Allah. 

99. As-Saboor - The Patient One
2:153 " O you who believe, seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient."
8:46 " And obey Allah and His Messenger and do not dispute lest you lose courage and your strength departs and be patient ; Surely Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones)."

Source: Internet

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Eid Gifts For Home

One of the times when I can go crazy is when AZ and I shop for sarees as gifts. And that too, especially at my all-time favourite saree place at Jewel Palace. I just love buying sarees here (and am a really happy shopper when I have to buy several at one time).

The sarees there may actually be not that different. But what really makes me return to that one and only place over and over again is the atmosphere at their second level – once I am there, I am just given a space to patiently choose and mull over the saree designs that the service staff bring down from the shelves, according to my multiple requests on colours and prices.

And since whenever we decide to send sarees as gifts, we always have a good number to buy (for AZ’s aunties and their daughters included), this kind of service really pleases me.

But for the first time, I was disappointed. We headed out early enough, at about 11-ish as we wanted to avoid the Sunday crowd. When we made our way to the second level, the service staff first enquired about the place the people we were buying the sarees were from. Once AZ replied, he told us that the sarees that the womenfolk at that place wear are at the second level.
I was a little confused, cos I have never heard that before in all the times that I have been there – and to buy sarees for the same people from the same place.

He even went on to explain that he was concerned that our money would be wasted if they didn’t like what we bought. AZ smiled at me and said we should just head  to the first level.

We did. And after we bought some and were walking to our next point, I was quick to rant with AZ on my disappointment. He smiled again. And then he explained why that man actually behaved that way. It was only around 11 am and the shop has just opened for business – which means he was probably arranging his items and taking stock  (AZ said this is the practice always).

But I was still disappointed! So much for moving towards a service-driven culture here. But it is still my favourite saree place. Just one ‘lazy’ staff and just one incident out of the many nice experiences should not change my opinion of Jewel Palace so quickly, should it?

With that, here are some shots of some of the sarees we boughts and other gifts for Father-in-Law. There were a couple  of other selections that we didn’t have time to take photos of. AZ sent them off to the brother whom I have mentioned about here, immediately after sending me home that afternoon (as he was leaving that evening and in-laws were returning soon too).

My Reflections on Asma-Al-Husna (10)

Source: Internet
78. Al-Muta'aalee  -The Most Exalted
If we recite this name of Allah continously, Allah will solve all our problems soon. In-Shaa-Allah. 

79. Al-Barr - The Source of All Goodness
If we recite this name of Allah excessively, Allah will expel the love of this world from our hearts. In-Shaa-Allah. 

80. At-Tawwaab - The Acceptor of Repentance
If we desire that Allah guide us to sincere repentance, we should recite this name of Allah 360 times daily after Salat-ud-Doha. If we recite this name of Allah abundantly, all our tasks will be accomplished without any difficulty. In-Shaa-Allah. 

81. Al-Muntaqim - The Avenger
32:22: " And who is more iniquitous than he who is reminded of the messages of his Lord, then he turns away from them? Surely We exact retribution from the guilty. " 

82. Al-'Afuww - The Pardoner
If we recite this name of Allah abundantly, Allah will forgive us. In-Shaa-Allah. 

83. Ar-Ra'uf - The Most Kind
3:30: " On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allah is full of Kindness to the (His) slaves . "

84. Maalik-ul-Mulk - The Owner of Sovereignty
If we recite this name of Allah constantly, Allah will grant us wealth, self-sufficiency and independence. In-Shaa-Allah.

85. Dhul-Jalaali Wal-Ikraam - Majestic and Benevolent
If we recite this name of Allah constantly, Allah will grant us honour, dignity and self-sufficiency. . In-Shaa-Allah.
Source: Internet

Monday, 9 June 2014

A Date With Dates

Everything we do, or I do, at least, draws much influence from my moods. Of course, when I set the intention to do it, I get it done. Alhamdhulilah. But when the mood is set well and right, I can also overdo – there are two things that can get a huge dose of this ‘therapy’ with me. Cooking. And baking.

I am glad that we have started the ball rolling with our preparations for Ramadan. Gifts parcels have been sent home. Alhmadhulilah. Every year, although we shop for authentically made local cookies that bring on Eid sentiments here, I always find some joy in baking some on my own (especially to be sent home).

I remember over the last two years, AZ and I did not plan in advance and ended up rushing through our shopping for new clothes and other items. And so with the baking too. But I would still insist on baking. After arguing with me, and trying to convince me to not spend so much time on baking when we have already bought a good variety, AZ would usually give up. Just so I can have my little joys.  I remember staying up from midnight to Suhoor to bake so we could bring over to the courier place right after Fajr.

This year, Alhamdhulilah, we have become more conscious of preparing for Ramadan, and have a made niyah to cut down time on all self-created traditions and spend more time on prayer. In-Shaa-Allah. I pray Allah (S.W.T)  keeps strengthening all our imaan as we are reaching towards Ramadan.

We readied everything for home and sent our gifts through the brother I had earlier mentioned about some two weeks back. My baking spree this time too lasted well into the midnight and up to Fajr. I usually bake after all the kitchen chores are done – so that the only things I have to clean up after baking are the stuff that I use for baking. And absolutely nothing else.

So, naturally, that landed me in a baking spot at 11ish. AZ decided he would stay up to catch up on his video games too (as a break after his exams), and to accompany me while I baked.

With Quran recitals playing on my phone, I got to work and the night was really peaceful. Alhamdhulilah.

I tried a new recipe - dates and oats cookies. And another tried and tested household favourite - chocolate chip cookies (this time with a bit of colouring for a variation).

And as I was baking these cookies, a very meaningful thought came to mind... towards Ramadan. I told AZ almost immediately. And he told me to make a niyah. I did, and I am making duas that I can put my baking skills to good use this Ramadan. Ameen.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

My Reflections on Asma-Al-Husna (9)

63. Al-Qayyoom - The Self-Existing
If we continuously recite   (Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyoomu) after Fajr until sunrise,our laziness will vanish. In-Shaa-Allah.

64. Al-Waajid - The Finder
Source: Internet
 65. Al-Majid - The Glorious
85:14  And He is the Forgiving, the Loving
85:15 Lord of the Throne of Power, the Glorious"

67. Al-Waahid – The Unique 
Source: Internet
67. Al-Ahad - The One
112:1 " Say: He, Allah (the ) one. He is Allah, the One and Only;" 

68. As-Samad - The Eternally Besought
If we recite this name of Allah constantly in the state of Wudhu, Allah will soon make us independent of the entire creation. In-Shaa-Allah. 

  69. Al-Qaadir - The Omnipotent
If we recite this name of Allah 41 times before undertaking a difficult task, the difficulty will be removed. In-Shaa-Allah. 

70. Al-Muqtadir - The Powerful
If we recite this name of Allah 20 times after waking up from sleep, Allah will ensure all our tasks are fulfilled efficiently. In- Shaa-Allah. 

71. Al-Muqaddim - The Expediter
71:4 " He (Allah) will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but knew."

72. Al-Mu'akhkhir - The Delayer
16:61 " And if Allah were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He respites them till an appointed term ( delays their reckoning ) and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)." 

73. Al-Awwal - The First
74. Al-Aakhir The Last
Source: Internet
 75. Az-Zaahir - The Manifest
 57:3 " He is the First and the Last and the Manifest and the Hidden, and He is Knower of all things. "

76. Al-Baatin - The Hidden
If we recite  (Huwal-Awwalu Wal-Aakhiru Wad-Dhaahiru Wal-Baatinu Wahuwa Alaa Kulli Shaiyyin Qadeer) continuously after offering 2 rakaat Salaah, our needs will be fulfilled. In-Shaa-Allah. 

 77. Al-Waalee- The Governer
If we recite this name of Allah repeatedly, Allah will safeguard us from all unexpected calamities. In-Shaa-Allah.