Thursday, 27 August 2009

Thought on Ramadhan and other topics.

Ramadhan has always been my favorite month of the year. I can recall as a child ticking off the days as it grew nearer to the start of that miraculous month when I could look forward to a time of peace and tranquility during the day, even in a house swarming with my siblings who were all older than me - two half-brothers and a half sister and my own brother and sister. Peace and tranquility? My Papa, always easy-going and, in my eyes, the perfect parent, only started laying down the law when it came to Ramadhan. In his house there would be NO arguments, NO shouting, NO rushing about. And if my brothers wished to fight about who had the use the car in the evening, they could do their fighting out of earshot of our house.
Nowadays I see the month in a rather different light and I have a better understanding of its meaning and how I can use it to get myself and my life back on an even keel. I still live with my parents although my brothers and sisters have long ago left and live with their own children and families elsewhere. But I love breaking my fast with my mother and later joining my father just to talk and relax. Yes, Ramadhan remains my favorite month and fasting is for me a delight rather than a chore. Its spiritual nature recharges my inner batteries and I feel the presence of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) ever close to me.
So, rather late, I wish anyone reading these words RAMADHAN MUBARAK !
On a different note altogether, I have a sister (I like to think of her that way) who is not yet a Muslimah but whose heart is clearly leading her towards at least looking into the working of our wonderful deen. For a variety of reasons she was drawn to wearing hijaab and even niqaab and she has now progressed to seeking real knowledge of Islam. Where her journey will take her I do not know, as only Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) can have knowledge of that.
I was reading with wonder and awe her blogs about her progress and posted a comment which, I confess, didn't amount to much more than "WOW!" But I mentioned to her a sister here in Jordan who travelled the same road as she seems to be taking. I said I would write more about her if she agreed. I have just spoken to her on the phone and she is quite happy to have me tell her tale here, providing I didn't use her real name.
Let's call her 'Asma'. She is my age and was born into a Christian family of Lebanese descent who lived a kilometre from where I write now outside Amman. When she was 9 Asma was sent to England to be educated in a school run mainly by nuns, but she used to return here for the school holidays. Most of her friends in Jordan were from Muslim families and a lot of them, like myself, wore hijaab as a matter of course. By the time she was 16 she found that she used to look a bit strange when she went out with her friends during her school holidays, as she would be waring jeans or short skirts while we wore jilbob or abaya and hijaab - in some case, even niqaab by then. So as to fit in she started to wear longer skirts, blouses with long sleeves and hijaab covering her head and face. One day when she was going somewhere with me and another friend who also covered fully, she borrowed one of my jilbobs and niqaab and wore them.
Later she told me it was that day she decided to try to learn more about Islam as she realised she had become a 'nominal' Christian. As she said later, "Dressing like a real Muslimah maade me think like one for the first time." A year later she recited the Shahadah, submitting herself to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and now she is married to a Muslim doctor and has a little girl of her own. Her path to Islam had been a strange one and, because of it, I can not doubt my blog friend here, as who are we to ask Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) why he chooses sometimes strange paths for people to take towards Jannah. So I just make duaa that she may be happy and find peace in whatever way of life she chooses.
Why not say a prayer for her too......................
Walaikum salaam from your sister in Islam, Aliyah

Friday, 31 July 2009

Finding something surprising

Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmathullah wa barakatuhu
Astaghfirullah I am so sorry I have not been writing blogs for so long. It is my fault down partly to lazyness but also my father has been quite seriously ill and life has been very difficult for some time while he has been in hospital. Alhamdulillah he is a lot better now and is home again although he must go easy for some time. He is not a young man (in his 80s) but his brain is a clear and as agile as it ever was. Now he is slowly getting stronger and the doctors are hopeful that he will make a full recovery insha’Allah.
One of the reasons I am writing this afternoon is because after Jummah prayers at the masjid, I was talking to a friend who is a far more active person on the Net than I am. She told me that she had found a very interesting blog writing by a “Non-Muslim Niqaabi”. I must admit that the idea made me smile and wonder why on earth a woman who was not a Muslim would want to become a niqaabi. I am a niqaabi because, when I was a lot younger and wanted to follow my elder sisters in how they covered themselves, I read and studied all the daleels on the subject and was only permitted to wear niqaab when I had convinced my parents that I really thought it was fard or, at the least, mustahab. And also I wanted to veil because I desired to please Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).
In consequence finding someone who was not a Muslimah and had none of the reason that had made me adopt this form of covering came as a shock. Okay, so some Hindu women and also Greek ladies over 2000 years ago used to conceal their faces. But they did it for social reasons rather than religious ones. So finding a young woman from Texas doing the same had me puzzled.
I won’t go into her reasons as anyone reading this blog can go across to Heather’s own blog and read her reasons set down in her own words. But what her writings have done is to make me wonder if there are other girls and women in non-Muslim lands who find wearing niqaabi to be something they really wish to do. It will be interesting also to see how Heather gets on in future. Hers is one blog I will be reading in future with much interest.
Walaikum salaam, Aliyah.

Friday, 22 May 2009

My First Blog !

Bismillah ar Rahman ar Raheem
Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmathullah wa barakatuhu

Having just come back from the masjid after Jummah prayers and wonderful words from the khutbah, I thought it should be time to actually DO something about my new blog. Given normal circumstances I am not too adventurous in what I do, so starting a blog is quite a frightening step but one I feel I should attempt under the guidance of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) Even so I find my self asking what I should talk about. Myself? Our glorious Deen? The World? Politics?

My real problem is that I have spent a bit of time looking at blogs on other sisters pages here and I find myself thinking how inadequate anything I write will be compared with their writings. Their wisdom and learning goes far beyond anything I can claim and their quiet confidence puts me to shame in my inability to think clearly when faced with a task like this one. I should be able to match most of what is written by my sisters here; after all, I was educated at a madrassar and I come from a pious household, so I do not really completely lack the ability to talk on Islamic subjects. But perhaps that is something that will come in time insha'Allah. For now I will just put down some thoughts, about why I decided to blog and may be a little about myself as well.

Part of the reason I opened this blog was so that I might be able to express my feelings about our deen and how totally central it is to my life. As a born muslimah brought up in a traditional 'religious' home, Islam and the glories of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) were placed in front of me from my earliest days and I have never known a day where I have not seen, as a very small child, someone praying or, later, I have not prayed myself. That does not mean that my life was restricted or that I was forced into doing anything which I did not wish to do myself (within reason, of course). But I grew up as a noisy inquisitive child and graduated into being a fairly typical 'difficult', even rebellious, teenager who thought she knew everything and in fact knew very little of what life was really about.

In truth I must smile at that last remark as my teenage years are not far away and yet I look back at them with a mixture of horror and amusement. But now I am probably standing on the edge of the largest change in my life yet as I know that I will be married some time soon insha'Allah. For now I work at home, helping my father as his secretary and some times even helping my mother with all her many household duties. May be that does not sound very adventurous but it suits me, and I have my books and my friends, as well as my family, all of who provide me with a stable circle of people who I know I can turn to for help or talk to on any subject. Compared to so many brothers and sisters in Islam all round the world, I am very fortunate and very blessed in having such a wonderful environment in which to live.

It is strange. Now I have started writing I find there are many things that I wish to say but, knowing my ability to speak or write before I have really worked out what I should say, I think that I am going to halt this brief introduction and say that I will be back with more meaningful and hopefully more interesting blogs in future insha'Allah.

Jazakallah khair to anyone who reads this blog. I hope I have not wasted too much of your time. I hope you may return one day when I have something worth while to say. For now, may Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) bless you and all who you love. Ameen.
Walaikum salaam.