Jumaah #4

Assalama alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh 🙂

Sorry for being a day late :/ I try my best to share something each Friday for all of us to reflect and benefit insha Allah. It may be something you already know so insha Allah take it as a reminder 🙂

I was browsing through Kalamullah for a good lecture to listen and after much consideration (hey, it’s a tough decision to make since most lectures have interesting tittles!), I chose lecture by Sheikh Abdul Bary Yahya tittled “Istikharah – Divine Compass”. And why this lecture.. it will be made known at the end of this post insha Allah 🙂

A few lessons learnt from this lecture (I’m directly quoting from the Sheikh in case my summary does no do justice to his lecture)

  1. If there ever was a GPS system in your life, it would be Salaatul Istikharah. Because Saalatul istikharah is divine guidance from Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala
  2. If you put your trust in Allah Swt, and trust Him for guidance, if you are sincere in that aspect, then insha Allah you have a great tool. Imagine every decision that you make insha Allah will always be the best for you.
  3. How many decisions have we made in the past that we now regret? Just think about the decisions we have made, we actually have regretted doing or following. Now think, if we pray istikharah when we made those decisions, we will never regret because there will be divine guidance from Allah Swt and He will guide us to that is most appropriate and that which is best.
  4. Some scholars have mentioned that “A person will never regret if he prays Istikharah and he consults with the people”… You can ask for advice and pray Istikharah (or vice versa) and then insha Allah, you should just go for it.
  5. Majority of the scholars of the opinion that you don’t pray (istikharah) in the times where it is forbidden (i.e. after Asr or after Fajr prayers)
  6. How many times should you pray it? Some scholars have said just pray once. Pray and then make your decision according to what you think that is best for you in this life and Hereafter. Even if you make the wrong decision, Allah Swt will guide you to the right one. [Example given is that, if a brother wants to marry a girl and he prayed Istikharah and then proceeded with his decision. If the decision is bad for his Deen, something will happen that will take her away from him]
  7. Make your decision once you have put your trust in Allah swt. If you have not consulted with people yet, then consult with them. Maybe you might have made a decision to do such-and-such but after making it, the brother/sister changed your mind. That consultation is part of Istikharah.
  8. There are times we are not able to pray Istikharah. For women, she might be in her menses she can’t pray. If the decision can wait, then she waits till she prays Istikharah. If she has to make the decision immediately, and no time to decide, then just make a dua. Say Istikharah without the prayer.
  9. After making dua Istikharah, you must have the certainty or yaqeen that Allah Swt will guide you to which is best for you. That is part of eemaan.
  10. Another misconception about Istikarah is that you have to see a dream or pray three times or four times. And if you don’t see a dream, then don’t do it.
  11. Imam Nawawi mentioned that you pray Istikharah, be sincere and then pick a decision that would be best for you in this life and Hereafter. Sometimes, you will be inclined to making certain decisions and after praying Istikharah, you see the opposite.
  12. When we pray the Istikharah prayer, you need to have the intention before the prayer.
  13. Praying Istikharah also helps you in your eemaan and belief in Allah swt

Masha Allah, it is a very useful lecture indeed! I’ve had a lot of misconceptions about Salatul Istikharah cleared al-hamdulillah 🙂

The reason why I chose this lecture is because I have that strong inclination to start wearing niqaab now. I have been delaying this for almost two years actually. Ever since I became convinced that the niqaab being a Sunnah and tried on for the first time two Ramadhans ago, I thought of taking the plunge and just start wearing for good. [At the moment, I wear it on-off but do not like the idea of doing so.]

I kept deciding otherwise as it was possible that my parents would reject it. The opinion of some scholars is that if niqaab is a Sunnah for you, but your parents are against it, then it is fardh upon you to listen to your parents first then doing the Sunnah.

The Sheikh kept mentioning that we only have to pray Salatul Istikharah once, put your trust in Him and then make your decision. I can’t imagine actually wearing niqaab now and then parents saying no to it later.

I have actually spoken to them about this and I’m getting a 50/50 answer. My mom especially seems excited about it because well, she keeps telling people about me having niqaabs lol. She had even helped me pick up the niqaabs that I purchased online. My dad remain reticent about this. He said to me before, that niqaab is not necessary but later when he saw me in niqaab at Masjidil Haram, he smiled and said “Masha Allah” lol.

However, despite that, there is no clear cut yes or no from either of them. From personal experience, my parents could possibly change their mind if I were to face hardships in life. And the last thing that I want, is to then remove niqaab especially if I had been wearing it for awhile.

Maybe I’m worrying too much :/ Like the Sheikh said, we should consult in the believers, and really.. here I am asking for your opinion insha Allah. I have asked my Sisters back in Sgp and they have always supported me in this al-hamdulillah…

JazakAllah Khayr 🙂

some announcements

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh 🙂

A few announcements to make..

  • A sister is in the process of collecting as many Muslimah blogs to compile in one place where we can discuss any issues, topics – basically anything under one roof! So if you have not yet submitted your blog to her, please do so at: Muslimah Bloggers. May Allah reward this sister for her efforts!
  • I’m on sisterswhoblog! Just letting sisters reading this know, in case you have not signed up for it. Al-hamdulillah, I’ve met wonderful sisters there who have inspired me a lot from their writings! And if you do sign up, add me insha Allah! [Anyway, I have no idea how to add the badge on wordpress! Let me know if you have any idea how to do so]
  • Another website for sisters too: Dawah4sisters . I’m not very active on this site but there are many articles and discussions for sisters.
  • Last but not least, I got an award from Little Aunties 🙂 [hehe, I should have blogged about this ages ago] Jazak Allahum Khair sisters.. You guys are simply wonderful! *Hugs* I’ve been told that I’m quite an auntie in real life, but didn’t expect to be an auntie on the internet as well teeheee.. [The picture is lovely, don’t you guys think so too?]

Ok, I’m off to blog Jumaah post insha Allah! 😀

Chocolate love

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh 😀

Brownies 🙂 (sorry abt the poor picture quality)

I made brownies yesterday 🙂 A sister was sent to a rural area today for attachment and since she was quite upset about it, thought this might cheer her up a little.. and also partly because I was craving XD

I’ve made brownies using the recipe below literally countless times (can’t imagine how much calories I’ve already consumed!). The velvety dark chocolate is still on my mind.. its soft, chewy decadent goodness! Yummeh!

Insha Allah if you follow the instructions properly, it shouldn’t go wrong! It’s pretty easy actually… 🙂 So here goes..

Ingredients:

80 grams cocoa powdwer

120 g butter (melt it on slow fire)

¼ tea spoon salt

120g plain flour

350g sugar

4 eggs

1 tea spoon vanilla essence

Instructions:

preheat the oven at 180 degrees

mix all the ingredients

mix 50g of chocalate chips when pouring the mixture in a baking tray

place the mixture in the oven

reduce the heat to 160 degrees

bake the mixture for approximately 20 minutes

Optional: Sprinkle icing sugar for a dazzling look!

 

Dealing with opposite gender

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

If any of you caught a glimpse of my ‘Update’ post before it went to the trash , I mentioned that I was having ‘a writer’s block’. (I thought it would be too trivial to be telling others that my brain wasnt functioning lol!). Well, ‘writer’s block’ or not, I need to get something off my chest!

From my own personal observation and perspective, youth nowadays are generally more aware that free mixing is not permitted in Islam. We understand from the hadith that the third person is shaitan when man and woman who are not related to one another, are alone together. Al-hamdulillah, some have even vowed to abstain from Boy-Girl relationship until marriage and others draw a line, restricting themselves when interacting with the opposite gender.

Islamic Shari’ah has given us guidelines but the question is – where do we draw our own line? Do we draw it closest to the Shari’ah so as to be on the ‘safe side’ or that ours is a fine line between what’s permissible and haraam to the extent that at times, it becomes blurry?

People try to find loopholes within the Islamic law and make the forbidden look permissible. Nowadays, it’s ok to just be friends with the opposite gender. “We’re just friends , nothing will happen between us.” And then you’ll find that as both become closer to each other, feelings start to develop and.. you know what happens next.

It’s common as well that the Deen is used as an excuse to interact freely with the opposite gender. “Oh I’m chatting with him/her about Islam.. We know our limits. The brother/sister is pious anyway..” Oh please! How many per cent of the time does the topic revolve around Islam only? I wouldn’t bet on it being less than half of that time! And do you also think that if the brother/sister is truly pious, he/she at least try to shorten the conversation (if situation necessitates them to talk to each other) so that they wouldn’t be alone together?

It starts innocently at first.. like always

“Assalam alaik Akhi, Kaifa Hal..? ”

“Wa alaiki salam ya Ukhti Kareemah, ana bi khair. Anti?”

“Al-hamdulillah! Akhi, can I ask you a question about Islam?”

“Of course Ukhti Insha Allah”

And as the chatting progresses..

“Masha Allah Akhi, you’re brilliant! You must have read a lot of book about Islam!”

“Al-hamdulillah Ukhti hahaha, you’re too kind! I can pass some books to you. Do you want them?”

“Aww Akhi *shy face* you don’t have to hehehehe :)”

“Oh come on ukhti.. It’s my pleasure! Allah will reward me for this :)”

“Hehe Akhi, you’re a good brother you know that? Masha Allah!”

“Haha.. Ukhti, shall we meet up then? What’s your number..?”

*Cringes* Lol ok, that didn’t happen.. I just made it up, but you get my point 😛 Remember that shaitan beautifies falsehood and it may seem ‘perfectly acceptable’ to have conversation/be alone with the opposite gender but the truth is, shaitan is there to mislead you into thinking so.

Anyway, I want to rant further but I found an article that discusses this as well. Iit’s light-hearted as compared to my post. (and let’s just be honest with each other, you’d rather read this lol).

A Muslim Girl’s Guide For Dealing With Guys

(From one Sister To Another)

Life is full of crazy obstacles, but the one that will probably bug you the most and always be getting in the way is the opposite gender. Here, from one sister to another, is a Muslim girl’s guide for how to deal with guys.

No Touching! Muslims are forbidden to touch any non-Mahram (Mahram is your dad, brothers, father-in-law, husbands, grandfathers, and the siblings of your parents) person of the opposite gender. That means no patting on the back, no hand shaking, no pushing, no shoving, no holding hands, and obviously no kissing and all that. If you’re in a difficult situation where you think someone will try to shake your hand, the best thing to do is just smile and say, “My people don’t shake hands” and then explain why. And why, is because we believe a woman’s touch is a privilege and she doesn’t just share it with anyone.

No Flirting! Not even with Muslims, not even in an Islamic school, especially not in a masjid! Flirting means that you’re saying or doing things on purpose that make the other person attracted to you. There’s no set criterion for what flirting is, but any girl knows what is and how to do it.

Muslim women are supposed to behave better than the average woman, who has to be beautiful for all the men around her all the time, who are trapped behind their looks and only judge themselves to be worthy if half the men they know are in love with them. A wise dude once said, “Don’t start the mower unless you intend to cut the grass”. If you don’t want a guy’s advances, then don’t do anything to earn them. There’s no point in throwing yourself all over guys and trying to seduce half the world. You really only want to marry one guy, and you want to spend the rest of your life with him, and chances are he isn’t going to be some dork you fluttered your eyelashes at in high school.

No Boyfriends! As a Muslim, you know that having a boyfriend is haraam because it counts as Zina – fornication. Fornication, in easy English, means ‘sexual sin’. Allah expressly forbids romantic or sexual relationships outside of marriage. When people go against that rule, then you get the typical western society where people play sexual merry-go-round with each other, giving each other STDs, using and abusing each other, and destroying the sacredness of marriage as an institution. You can’t even be sort of engaged to a guy, and then “date” to get to know each other. In Islam, non-Mahram men and women aren’t allowed to be alone together (that includes talking on the phone!), to touch (not even shake hands), or even gaze at each other. It doesn’t matter if the guy you like is Muslim, a great guy and the Prince of England, you can’t date him.

No Boy—friends! The easiest way to ensure that you don’t end up falling in love with some guy before you’re ready to get married is to avoid making friends with boys. Of course in school you have to interact with boys all over the place, but that doesn’t mean you should be best buds with them. Probably 90% of relationships begin from friendships. Chances are you’re not ready for marriage, your parents aren’t ready to let you get married, you’re still in school and your crush is not the sort of fellow you want to spend the rest of your life with, so just avoid being friends with him in the first place. It really is the best formula for saving yourself from needless temptation.

When you have to talk to boys in school as teammates, lab partners, group members, and peers, it’s best to maintain a distance. That means that you don’t confide in them, you don’t let down your guard, you don’t unnecessarily engage them in needless conversation, don’t joke around, and never flirt. Yeah it may be a little hard, but this is your afterlife we’re talking about. So many great sisters have put themselves in really sticky situations because they allowed a boy to get to know them, and either ended up liking the boy, or having the boy like them. once that happens you either end up becoming a pair (which is HARAAM!), or having to end your friendship. Instead of letting it get to that point, and then having to kill a friendship that you probably worked hard on cultivating, you should just stop it before it begins. There are plenty of great girls all around who can be your friends and if you really think only a guy will understand your problem, then talk to your REAL brother, or your father, or an uncle.

No Talking on the Phone with Boys! In Islam its forbidden for non-related guys and girls to be alone together because there is the chance for physical zina, vocal zina, and zina of the eyes. That means, with no one there to watch you guys except that boogery shaitaan, then you might be tempted to actually DO something, or say gross things, or just stare at each other all lustily. With that in mind, it’s also a safe bet to assume that talking on the phone with non-Mahram guys is a no-no too. Why? Because unless you’ve both got it on speaker-phone and you’re chaperoned by a responsible person, then you’re still kind of “alone” with him. The people in your house can’t hear what he’s saying to you, and his family can’t hear what you’re saying to him. There’s a chance for some bad stuff then, so just avoid it. Not to mention, having some dude saying things into your ear that no one else can hear would be gross in real life, why is it okay for him to talk into your ear via the telephone? For the most part it’s just too intimate.

Be Disaffected! What does that mean? Disaffected means un-affect-able. That means that nothing a dude can say can hit your nerves, make you blush, or get a reaction out of you. It also means that you are uninterested in what they do as well. Imagine yourself being in an airplane looking down on the scenery below. You’re a little interested in what’s going on down there, and it may look really nice, but you know that to get to the scenery you have to jump off the plane. Like the scenery miles below you, the guy may look really nice, but you know that to get him you have to jump off the plane …errr…commit spiritual suicide, and though the fall may be fun, you will eventually hit the ground 600 meters below and go -splat– on Judgment Day. Maybe even sooner.

Short of becoming an ice-princess, being disaffected involves putting up a mental wall between you and all of male-kind. They don’t know your thoughts and you don’t care for theirs. You can interact with guys at school within the bounds of Islam, but always maintain a formal distance. Don’t ask a guy how his infected toe is doing. Don’t give him a hug when he looks down. Don’t offer to help him with his homework. Don’t go out of your way to remind him that you exist, and that you’re not half bad looking. Even if you don’t feel like behaving, make yourself behave anyway, your afterlife is important enough to discipline yourself for.

The safest philosophy when dealing with guys is remembering this “He’s not what I want, so why should I do anything to make him interested in me? That’ll just make for a painfully awkward situation and it’s not worth the sin anyhow.” Remember that you’re always being watched! Would you act all giggly and stupid with boys if the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) could see you? No, right? Because you’d feel like an ungrateful idiot for disregarding the religion that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) took so much pain for just to deliver to you. Well, imagine how ungrateful it is to act like a supreme idiot when Allah can see you all the time, and it’s really stupid to disregard the religion that Allah prescribed, the favors He’s bestowed upon you. How dumb is it to take the eyes that Allah gave you and do things with them that He told you not to?(like goggle at boys?) How much stupider is it that He can see you doing this, and you know it!

You have no secrets! Not because Big Brother (whoever that is…) is watching you, but because every single thing you ever did will become public domain on the Day of Judgment, and you’ll be brought to trial to defend what you did. Just don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want your parents, your siblings, your teachers, your friends, and the whole world to know about, ok?

Beautiful recitation!

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

This recitation had been on repeat mode for the whole day! Qari Hani Rifai has a very unique way of reciting the Qur’an.. quite different from those I’ve heard so far.. Masha Allah!

p/s/ Do check out the meaning of Suraah Al-Fajr then perhaps we can understand why he was sobbing throughout the recitation 😦

Jumaah #3

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh!

It’s Friday, Al-hamdulillah! 🙂

A few other Qaris I listen to:

Mishary Rashid, Idriss Abkar, Nasir Al-Qatami, Muhammad Luhaydan and Tawfeeq As-Sayegh!

Who’s your favourite Qari? 🙂

O Turner of hearts, make my heart firm on this Deen!

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

I intended to share this video but unfortunately for some reason I couldn’t upload it here. So here are snippets of it..

"I've learnt that Puteri, you left your family.."

"....left your parents and also your religion.."

"..the worse is that I left my religion for the sake of love.."

"..I began to realise when I was caught because of zina and murtad (apostatacy).."

Synopsis: The main focus of this lecture is actually on the rise of zina amongst teenagers. Lately, news had been reporting the escalating number of teenage pregnancies and babies being dumped in Malaysia. ‘Puteri’ was caught by the religious authorities for living together with her non-Muslim boyfriend. They also discovered later that she was not a Muslim as he promised to marry her on one condition that she leaves Islam. Blinded by love and false promises, she even abandoned her family. The religious authorities sent her to ‘Raudhatus Sakinah’ where she started learning about Islam again and later repented.

Some of the objectives of ‘Raudhatus Sakinah’ (as seen from their website) are to help teenagers specifically who are victims of social vices, to rebuild their life again and most importantly, provide them with basic Islamic education. I really commend their efforts in establishing such an institution to bring teenagers back to the teachings Islam. How many are willing to guide these youngsters back to Islam, instead of simply criticize them? Be part of the solution, not add on to the problem!

We may say, nah I won’t do such a thing! Leave Islam for a man? Pfft! I say that since we are not in her shoes, don’t be too quick to make such a statement! Women, generally from my own perspective, become weak in their knees by men who sweet talk (more like sugarcoat their words!), and especially if he is attractive. Ladies, I’m sure we are smarter than that yea? 🙂

My point is that, we could possibly be in that same situation. When love blinds someone, their desires might just overrule him from making sound decisions. Remember the story about a Hafidh who gave up his Deen for the sake of love..?

Ibn Kathir narrated, on the authority of Ibn al-Jawzi:

“There was an unfortunate man from the Mujahidin who were fighting in the lands of the Romans. So, when the Muslims were in one of their expeditions and surrounding a land of the lands of the Romans, he looked to a woman of the Romans who was sitting in a fortress therein, and he became attracted to her and sent her a message asking how he could reach her. She replied: “As soon as you conquer this area, then come up to the fortress and you can have me,” so, as soon as the area was conquered by the Muslims, he did this.

From that point on, there was not a single skirmish that the Muslims would be engaged in except that he would be up in the fortress with her. This caused the Muslims great sadness and distress, and it became very hard on them to deal with this reality. After a while, they went up to the fortress where he was staying with this woman and said to him: “What happened to all the Qur’an you knew? What happened to your knowledge? What happened to your fasting? What happened to your Jihad? What happened to your prayer?”

So, he replied to them: “Know that I have forgotten all of the Qur’an I used to know except for these verses: {“Those who disbelieve wish that they were Muslims. Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with false hope. They will come to know!”} [al-Hijr; 2-3] and I now have wealth and children with them.””

[‘al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah’; 11/68]

O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your Religion! Subhan Allah.. It’s not worth sacrificing the Deen for this Dunya 😦 Allahu Mustaan..

Food for thought: My ustadhah commented on the video that perhaps these mistakes might bring them even closer to Allah than us.. subhan Allah :/