Musings of a Muslimah | Dua for my Daughter

Officially a teenager.

Dearest daughter

As you blossom year by year,
may your heart be filled with hope and feel no fear. If there is a time your eyes shed tears, always always remember – Allah swt’s help is near.

May He swt bless you with the best of everything in this life,
and may you never need to experience any pain or any strife.

But if you do then always stay strong,
inshaAllah it wont be there for too long.

Our duas are with you always,
as you live life in your own fearless way. May you always remember your Creator in everything you do and say.

May He swt bless you with confidence and wisdom,
may you always choose whats right. May you always have love and freedom,
imaan in your heart and light in your life.

May you be blessed with all that is good in this life and the next, may you flourish and continue to blossom, may you and your heart always be content.

Aameen.

Love always Mummy & Abbu 💖

Muslimah Musings | Life’s Mosaic

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful.

Alhamdulillah, I’ve recently spent a lot of time, effort and energy planning a course about Islam and Grief and its been designed specifically to support bereaved Muslim youth. (May Allah swt accept it, aameen).

The topic is very sensitive so I’ve incorporated some simple and effective art techniques throughout the sessions so that the students can engage more effectively and alhamdulillah it’s proven to be quite effective.

After the session, whilst evaluating and discussing with my husband how the session went I realised something.

I realised that all the times I doubted following my passion and studying Art and Design…it now all made sense.

I realised that all the times I experienced stress and questioned my teaching abilities…it now all made sense.

I realised that all the times I suffered loss and went through unimaginable pain… it now all made sense.

I realised that all the times I was unsure of just how effective my bereavement support was over the years…it now all made sense.

I realised today, all these experiences were just different pieces of my lifes mosaic…and I’m now beginning to see the full design, it is beginning to make even more sense Alhamdulillah.

With tears in my eyes, I make shukr to Allah swt.

I thank Him swt for all my tests and trials.

I thank Him swt for allowing me to be of service to Him swt.

‎الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ

Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli haal.

All praise and thanks are only for Allah swt in all circumstances.

We may not realise it when we are going through tests and trials in life but we know that these are all part of a greater plan for us by Allah swt. This doesn’t mean we ask for tests and trials and we should always continue to seek protection from Allah swt from all calamities.

May Allah swt protect us from life’s tests and trials, aameen.

May Allah swt ease the suffering of all who are going through any difficulty and ease their suffering swiftly and successfully, aameen.

If you require bereavement support, contact the Muslim Bereavement Support Service: Tel:02034687333 http://www.Mbss.org.uk, Info@mbss.org.uk

Feel free to follow on social media: https://www.facebook.com/MuslimBereavementSupportService/https://twitter.com/mbss5oaks (@mbss5oaks) https://www.instagram.com/muslimbereavementsupport/

Musings of a Mother | My beloved “her”.

Today I sat in her room and took a moment to remember her as a baby…as a toddler…as a small child. SubhanAllah! How the time has flown by!

I was having a super busy day trying to get up to date with the chores and had popped into her room to do something.

It was a rare opportunity I found to be able to just sit on her bed, stop and ponder. Alhamdulillah.

I looked around at her shelves, the notices she had clumsily stuck on her wardrobe (must buy her a cork board!) and her bits and pieces lying around.

Where once she had shelves filled with fairytales and stories about animals were now replaced with authors such as Snicket, Morpurgo and Horowitz. Books of mysteries and adventure.

Her toys had been exchanged for jewellery and stationary and complex pieces made with lego (yes, shes an absolute fan!). And there was not a “my little pony” in sight!

Where once had been her dolls house now lay a prayer mat and cushions she used as a little reading nook.

I felt sad. SubhanAllah.

In a blink of an eye her entire childhood had passed me by and now she was steadily (often moodily) transitioning into her teen years. MashaAllah.

I felt a mixture of sadness, anxiety and excitement. I guess that is parenting in a nutshell, sometimes remembering how they used to be, worrying constantly about anything and everything to do with them at present and on rare occasions feeling excited at the person they are becoming.

Our lives are so busy we sometimes forget that everything is changing including our own families.

As Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī once said, “this moment is all there is“.

A reminder to myself and then to others, dont forget to take these moments in and make them moments you and your loved ones will remember. Nothing lasts forever, this is the way of this life. Everything moves forward, one day our children will grow up and have their own lives inshaAllah, just as we grew into ours. Alhamdulillah.

To my beloved her, I miss those moments that have gone and I worry all the time about you and the challenges you face but I am so excited about the person you are growing into! Alhamdulillah.

May Allah swt always protect, guide and bless our children with success. May they always be happy, healthy and blessed with true imaan. Aameen.

Musings of a Muslimah | Divorce

Recently I attended a short course where I bumped into an ex-student of mine from many years ago.

Her three younger sisters had also been students of mine.

I saw her arrive and as I always do with all my ex-students, looked forward to catching up with her once the course ended.

I approached her and joked if she still remembered me. After asking about how she was I moved onto asking about her sisters. I had remembered that one had married abroad a few years ago and enquired about her.

She looked a little embarrassed to answer, her cheeks blushing, her tone of voice changing and quietly said, “shes ok…she got divorced and came back”. I almost had to lip read it was that quiet…

Honestly, I didn’t flinch, in all my years of teaching and volunteering I don’t really think theres anything that fazes me anymore, but to be honest, why should it? It is not my business and it should not be anyone else’s.

I just responded with further questions about children and was so happy to hear her sister had two, mashaAllah.

I said my salaams and left to speak with others. Later on, I was musing about our conversation and remembering how embarrassed she was.

In reflection, I wish I had said something more to her about it, I wish I had spoken up and said, “don’t feel embarrassed, sometimes there just is no other way and its for the best”.

But “would’ve, should’ve or could’ve said” is pointless if its not said in the right moment.

My point is when we hear of others in such situations, we need to do less to make them feel like outcasts and more to make them feel empowered.

No one chooses divorce easily and though its not an ideal for most families, Islamically its usually a last resort and necessary for all parties involved.

So why is it that families are embarrassed if a member gets divorced? Or that communities make it ok to treat a divorcee as an outcast especially when it comes to remarrying?

If we believe we are all descendants of Prophet Adam A.S and Hawa A.S, this makes us brothers and sisters in humanity and that makes US responsible for each OTHER, so why do we make some individuals lives miserable simply due to their marital status, sometimes not even stopping at the individual but also labelling their families.

This leads me to share another incident that occurred a few days later, and that was of a friend sharing with me how she had received a promising marriage proposal only to have turned it down after her beloved mother was “interrogated” by the grooms mother as to why she was divorced!

SubhanAllah! I mean really!? What has her mothers marital status got to do with her own prospective marriage? I really thought that times have changed and that the stigma attached to divorce was disappearing.

Unfortunately no.

I was devastated to see the effect it had on my friend and her beloved mother, and though her mother said she expected it from people, I don’t see how those questions were acceptable.

Islam allows for divorce when marriages are no longer working as marriages and there are clear guidelines provided which are meant to give justice with kindness between the parties involved in a fair and civil manner.

However, communities just love rubbing it in, don’t they? Its like a stain that in their eyes can never be washed away but that is the peoples way of looking at it and not from our beautiful teachings in our religion of Islam at all.

Alhamdulillah for Islam, and alhamdulillah for the Holy Quran and the clear prophetic guidance that has been granted to us.

May Allah swt make us of those He swt is pleased with, enable us to treat others in the way that pleases Him swt the most, that is with love, open minds, understanding and kindness. Aameen.

Musings on “me” time.

I am a mother of three young children, I have a stressful job as a teacher, I have various other family responsibilities on a weekly basis and I have hardly any time to myself.

If I do find some time during the week after the children have gone to bed and the chores are done for the day (well most of them)… I find that I am usually torn between some type of screen time or sleep.

The latter ALWAYS takes over and wins because like a lot of busy working mothers I am absolutely shattered. The word “exhausted” sometimes seems like understatement of the year!

However, today I was treated to a lie in (subhanAllah I cannot remember the last time I actually had one). I woke up to a quiet home, I was able to shower without anyone interrupting me or asking “how long I was going to be?”, I was able to perform my afternoon prayers in peace without a little one climbing over me or trying to get my attention. I ate breakfast without anyone wanting me to share with them and I am now sitting with my feet up writing this blog post.

What I have just described, many take for granted. Once upon a time, before marriage, I also took these simple things for granted. After marriage, in my early motherhood years when I did get some “me” time I would be consumed with guilt. It felt as if every single minute of my life was reserved for my family or work.

But after 13 years I have learned that if I don’t look after myself I wont be able to look after those I am responsible for effectively either.

Whilst some people might think “me” time has to be a luxurious bubble bath, a day at some spa or some pre-planned extravagant treat, for me it is the above and I relish every moment of it.

“Me” time is different for everyone and in order to achieve it sometimes the help of family or friends is needed. I am grateful alhamdulillah, that I have a husband who “fathers up” and does his thing so that I can do mine, mashaAllah.

This is the true beauty of Islam, it teaches us that EVERYONE has an important role to play and if both husband and wife understand this and work towards it then it will help the whole family to thrive in the long-run inshaAllah.

May Allah swt reward all husbands who understand and follow the way of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Aameen.

In Islam we are taught that our bodies are a trust from Allah swt and they also have a right over us which means we have to look after our physical, mental and emotional state in order to live a quality of life that is enjoyable and effective as servants of our Creator Allah swt.

We all work hard and we deserve rest and in fact if we think about it, it is actually an Islamic right that we are fulfilling so lets not feel guilty about it inshaAllah.

Alhamdulillah for all our blessings, in every changing phase of our lives we shouldn’t take anything for granted including “me” time, so enjoy it- whatever it is inshaAllah!

A Handful of Earth: Musings of a Muslimah

Alhamdulillah I am here, sitting on a beautiful beach in a foreign country, a cool breeze cutting through what otherwise would’ve been 30 degree heat. The noise of my family and others having fun in the background, the sea waves crashing gently onto the shore. It feels like the perfect place for me to be in, alhamdulillah.

As I relax on the sun-lounger I scoop up a handful of earth, stare at the infinite grains of sand, each one a different shape and shade. And I think about how we came into existence.

SubhanAllah. A truly amazing thing to wonder about and so important to remind ourselves.

‎إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى خَلَقَ آدَمَ مِنْ قَبْضَةٍ قَبَضَهَا مِنْ جَمِيعِ الْأَرْضِ فَجَاءَ بَنُو آدَمَ عَلَى قَدْرِ الْأَرْضِ فَجَاءَ مِنْهُمْ الْأَحْمَرُ وَالْأَبْيَضُ وَالْأَسْوَدُ وَبَيْنَ ذَلِكَ وَالسَّهْلُ وَالْحَزْنُ وَالْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ

“Verily, Allah the Exalted created Adam from a handful which He took from the earth, so the children of Adam come in accordance with the earth. Some come with red skin, white skin, or black skin and whatever is in between: thin, thick, dirty, and clean.”

Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2955

Alhamdulillah for Islam, a religion of peace and unity.

A religion that recognises and celebrates race and diversity but does not see a difference of colour. 

All praise is due to Allah swt, alhamdulillah!

‎وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ

“Among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Verily, in that are signs for people of knowledge.”

The Quran 30:22

Some people however, claim not to be racist and yet when it comes to their own business dealings or perhaps a marriage proposal or any other personal matter, they are suddenly “weary”.

Why are muslims “weary” when it comes to personal matters. Where is the trust and tawaqul (hope in Allah swt)? 

I have witnessed this “undercover” (and sometimes blatant) racism within the muslim community far too many times and yet we are clearly told in the Quran by our Creator Allah swt as well as taught extremely clearly by our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W that any kind of discrimination related to race is prohibited (haram).

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

‎انْظُرْ فَإِنَّكَ لَيْسَ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْ أَحْمَرَ وَلَا أَسْوَدَ إِلَّا أَنْ تَفْضُلَهُ بِتَقْوَى

“Behold! Verily, there is no good in red skin or black skin, but rather only by virtue of righteousness.”

Musnad Ahmad 20885

The above hadith is clear in teaching us that we should not judge someone by the colour of their skin but look closely at their character. 

So why is that over 1400 years later some muslims still think their race is more superior than others, whether it be Arab, Pakistani, Indian or any other. They think themselves above others purely because of cultural background. 

I have personally experienced racism from within my own community and I am fed up of it. 

Enough is enough! 

Attitudes need to change and judgements need to made purely on a persons character and behaviour NOT the shade of their skin colour, what language they speak or where they originate from.

Allah says to us:

‎يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

“O people, We have created you male and female and made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most noble of you to Allah is the most righteous of you. Verily, Allah is knowing and aware.”
The Quran 49:13

Alhamdulillah for Islam.

A religion where every race is welcome but where no one is judged by the colour of their skin. 

Alhamdulillah!

May Allah swt guide us, open up our hearts, save us from discriminating against others on the basis of race and skin colour and enable us to become His perfect slaves. Aameen. 

http://www.modernmuslimahmusings.com

Family holiday to Spain : Day 1

So we all woke up bright and early, left on time, checked in and went to board the flight and were told we had missed our flight! 

I couldn’t believe the words I was hearing…I actually thought I had not woken up and was having some sort of nightmare, I had to check that I was awake and that this was happening. 

To top it all, just looking at my children’s deeply disappointed faces was the tipping point for me and I shed a few tears. 

SubhanAllah, you hear about these things happening to other people but when it happens to you it just seems so surreal.

Believe me when I tell you that planning, preparing and packing for a family with three young children is no easy task. My instant thought was this cant be happening. My second thought was how did this happen? And my third was how much money are we going to lose? (Yes, you guessed it, quite a bit). ‎

اِنّا لِله وَاِنّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن

Then we waited over 3 hours at the customer services desk while my husband and I took turns to look after the children, mainly the youngest who was very quickly starting to lose his patience. 

It. Was. Not. Easy.

We were tired, the queue was neverending, we were surrounded by really annoyed people, the children were really upset , our youngest kept having a meltdown every 10 minutes that lasted for about 20 minutes…

It was a real test of patience.

Alhamdulillah, all glory is to Allah swt, we made it to the front of the counter and managed to rebook for tickets to fly out inshaAllah in two days time, and as we were going to go for two weeks, inshaAllah it would still be ok. 

We made our way home after about 5 hours at the airport accompanied by a toddler tantrum that lasted three quarters of the way. 

Thumping headache – understatement of the year…

However, as I write this, it makes me think about all the positives…subhanAllah you probably think there aren’t any after that! But alhamdulillah I would like to share them inshaAllah and I hope these words might resonate the next time you are going through a hardship. More importantly I hope they become engrained in my own memory as a reminder.

1. When we were initially told we had missed our flight, neither of us blamed each other. You might think well “why would you?”, but usually in challenging situations the “blame game” always gets played. Alhamdulillah this time it didnt and I think this set the foundation of utmost patience during this testing time.

2. When we had to queue up at the customer services, we took turns and worked as a team to see to the needs of the children. In this way not only did we manage to sort out our tickets but also managed to get all our luggage back quite quickly (others who had been with us had still not found their luggage hours later). Again you might think “isn’t that what anyone else would do?”. Well yes, probably but in some cases some couples might argue and out of vengeance make each others lives a little more difficult. 

3. I think out of all of this the financial hit on us has been the worse part but as I explained to the husband (I surprised myself by saying this quite soon after we were told), that this is all from Allah swt. At the end of the day, as muslims if we believe in Qadr/destiny then we have to accept that this is all part of Allah swt’s plans for us, and even though we don’t understand it, we have to believe that there is goodness in this situation, short term and long term. This reminder helped him but deep down I think I was saying it to myself, and I feel that it was this that kept me calm and patient throughout this ordeal.

4. Coincidentally, we made an agreement yesterday, and it was basically that  no matter what happens we will not get into an argument of any sort this holiday. Now again, you might think “why does that even need to be said in a marriage, its natural right?”. When we made the agreement, we were applying it to actually being on holiday, getting there was assumed. However, perhaps having said those words and made that agreement actually helped to remind and reinstate something that is always taken for granted especially in marriage. But lets face it, we can all do with reminders, and thats not just reminding our spouses but actually ourselves! 

5. As muslims, we believe that sometimes hardships and trials are averted through the giving of charity, or someones dua/prayer for you and ultimately Allah swt’s mercy. I really do believe that something much worse and perhaps unthinkable was averted and instead we were put through this test, a test more bearable. As I mentioned this to my husband, I also said that, the day you find out what danger was averted, you’ll wish that you hadn’t complained at all and you will feel grateful for it.

6. Lastly, if anything, I would like to hope that this experience has strengthened our marriage more inshaAllah. And more importantly I would like to hope that this trial and challenging experience has strengthened our imaan and relationship with Almighty Allah swt. 

And if that is the case inshaAllah, then it was worth every single tear shed, tantrum thrown, extra expenses and moments of difficulty.

Alhamdulillah!

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا

Transliteration : allaahumma laa sahla illaa maa ja‛altahu sahlan, wa anta taj‛al-ul-ḥazna idhaa shi’ta sahlan

Translation : O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy.

Aameen

Sources: Ibn Hibban in his Sahih #327 and Ibn As-Sunni #351.

I look forward to sharing our holiday  experiences with you soon inshaAllah.