Friday, May 28, 2010
I am really really really really really really really really really really stressed out right now.
My brother, his wife and my parents are all moving into a house together. They made this decision about a week ago and are moving into the new house this weekend. I cannot live full time with my brother. It will cause problems.
SO now I have to find a place to live. More importantly I have to find a job in order to find a place to live.
Did I mention that summer has already started? Did I mention we are in a recession? Did I mention that I wear hijab?
If I can find even a part time job that pays around $800 a month, inshaAllah I will be okay.
please make du'a for me...
Friday, May 21, 2010
It is getting hot outside on the top half of the earth and one of our sisters (Elizabeth) asked what are good/comfy things to wear for summer.
So here are my physiological reasons for wearing abaya (beyond religious ones, which are of course the most important :-P)
I am mostly talking about abayaat that are loose, not fitted close to the body and that have sleeves that are open at the bottom (not closed at the wrist). Also watch the fabric because some abayaat are definitely made for cooler weather.
A-line is a good shape for hot weather because it lets the air flow
- The open bottom and sleeves will create a breeze when you walk that allows your sweat to actually do its job to cool you down, even when there isn't a breeze outside. Mini skirts and blue jeans will not do this for you.
- When you wear tight clothes, your sweat does not do anything to cool you off, you just get wet and sticky.
- The loose abaya actually makes it to where your body is walking around in the shade.
- There is a reason why shade is cooler than out in the direct sun. The ambient temperature of the air does affect your body, but your body is strongly affected by the ultra violet (UV) and infrared light that hits your skin. The energy of these photons causes the cells in your body to heat up (that is why UV rays cause burns and cancer) by exciting them to higher energy levels which increases your body temperature as well as the temperature of your skin. The more skin you cover, the more you protect your cells from this energy.
- As a bonus, you wont get as dehydrated, lol. Because the abaya is helping you to use your sweat productively, you will sweat less meaning you will loose less water during the day (a bonus for those of us who are fasting during the summer months!).
Now some reasons for why covering in general is not necessarily more hot than being naked in the sun
- The above reasons are good for this as well (using your sweat productively, portable shade, etc.)
- Also, your body slowly adjusts to what you are wearing outside. If you are usually naked outside and you all of the sudden throw on more clothes, your body will struggle to regulate its temperature with these new conditions (this is why women you do not usually cover will feel hot if they temporarily wear abaya). It is age old wisdom (from my great grandma lol) that if you wear your coat when it is hot outside, you will get cold easier. My mother use to tell me NOT to wear my jacket until it got really cold outside so that my body wouldn't adjust. That way I wouldn't be too cold when I was INSIDE the house.
- Same rules apply here as in the jacket case. Your body will adjust to where you are no more hot or cold than anyone else. I use to never get cold. We kept our house at 63F all year round and I wore t-shirts and shorts all of the time, but now 63F is wickedly cold for me since my body is trained. Now I have to wear sweat pants and sweaters with my tshirt and shorts. (also amazingly I sweat less than I did before, lol)
- There is no such thing as "hot blooded" and "cold blooded" people. It is all about what you condition your body to do :-)
- Another added benefit is that you will spend less money on electricity, lol. You wont need to keep your house as cold during the summer months because your body is ready for it.
Tips for those of you who are thinking about starting to cover:
- If you are able, try starting when the weather is cooler and then just continue to wear the longer clothes as the weather starts to change. This will give your body time to adjust slowly. (I know that advice is a little late in coming, but inshaAllah it will be helpful for someone! :-D)
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I got tagged to share seven random things by Tutti and since she ACTUALLY went through the trouble to tag me (to type my name and everything!), I decided I had better do it. :-P
1. Repetitive action is incredibly soothing to me. I seriously think I was made for factory work. Collating is my passion, lol. Something about doing the same exact motion over and over sets my mind free. I love it!
2. I use to hate TV, but then I realized it was just because all the good shows got cancelled. (RIP: Freaks and Geeks, My Name is Earl, Firefly, Dead Like Me, The Tick) Fox and NBC can eat my shorts.
3. I like the taste of canned fruits and vegetables. When I feel like a snack, sometimes I will just open a can of corn or tomatoes and tuck in. I prefer canned pears to fresh ones 100%. I don't like for my pears to be crunchy.... ewww
4. I've only worn makeup outside my house once since I converted. It was for an Eid party lol. I also covered my face on the way because I felt like I looked like a total skank (lol, I was wearing eyeliner, mascara and cherry chapstick :-P)
5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE grilled food. If it wasn't a pain in the butt to light up the coals, I would have at least one grilled meal per day.
6. I take pictures of alllllll of the food that I make. It is like a compulsion now. I can't start eating unless I take a picture. wow... I just realized how freaky that was once I wrote it down, lol.
7. I use to swim a mile every day, but I haven't been swimming since I converted. I bet my stamina is awful now...
I tag: wafa', sara, stacy, rene, banana ann, safyiah, and inkblotsblueabayas
If you have issues and you want someone to hear you:
Contact. Your. Representatives.
If you live in the US: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
- Contact for the President, VP, House, Senate, State Officials
- You can even TWEET your representatives now
If you live in Canada: http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=Current&Language=E
- includes phone, fax, e-mail, office address
If you live in UK: http://www.parliament.uk/
- scroll down and you can enter your postal code to find your local MP
- will usually give you an office address, maybe a phone number or e-mail address
If you live in the European Union: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/public/geoSearch.do;jsessionid=061E6CBA8B57665E972117F236828A0F.node1?language=EN
- Click on your country, choose a region (in some cases) and pick a representative to contact
- usually includes address, phone, fax, and e-mail
If you live in South Africa: http://www.parliament.gov.za/live/content.php?Category_ID=97
- gives e-mail for many, but not all representatives
If you live in Australia: I couldn't get any of the government websites to work yet but inshaAllah, I will figure it out
If you live in New Zealand: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/MPs/
If you live in Switzerland: http://www.parlament.ch/e/organe-mitglieder/nationalrat/mitglieder-kanton/Pages/default.aspx
- This is a list by canton
- Find yours, click, and then search for your representative and click again :-)
If you live in the Republic of Ireland: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/tdssenators/senators/ and http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=12684&&CatID=138
- e-mails for senators are on the first link
- e-mails for TD's are on the second link
If you know of any other websites that have contact information for representatives please feel free to leave them in the comments (especially if they are written in another language). I only speak English fluently, so those were the ones that I could find.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I think that this is my first rant. It may not make sense and I may take it down later, but I need to get some of these feelings out.
I apologize ahead of time if I hurt anyones feelings. If I do so please let me know because that is not my intention.
Rated PG-13 for liberal use of the word "crap" lol
I am starting to get really PO'd with all of this niqab banning crap. If you want to cite security reasons, okay whatever, but in France security isn't their issue. (And for the record, I firmly believe that the "security" issues are ultimately red herrings thrown out there to divert the population away from the actual issues at hand: the stripping of a population of their rights due to their religion.) The issue in France is that niqab just isn't "secular enough" for the right wing good ol' boys. So their response? Take away people's rights to make little men in suits feel better about their "secularity."
Why would you want a woman walking around who reminds you of the fact that God and doing good things for people along with yourself isn't a priority in your life, right? We wouldn't want you to feel guilty or uncomfortable with your life choices...
And seriously they are going to fine a dude thousands of euro for "forcing" a woman to wear niqab. #1) how often does that really happen in France??? #2) How are you going to enforce that??? "oh your wife wears niqab so you obviously must force her. Here is your fine and one year jail time." Ridiculous.
Who is going to patrol the French Alps to make sure that every teenager in a ski mask is fined and ever father who puts a ski mask on his child goes to prison for a year with a heavy fine?
Who is going to patrol the countryside churches to arrest that bride in her veil and her father who lovingly covered her face with it before she walked down the isle?
Who is going to fine the doctors in their hygienic masks or the send the hospital administration to jail for requiring its use?
Who is going to fine the fumigators and painters for covering their faces?
If Joe Schmo can wear his lovely swastika on his sweater sleeve because it makes him feel powerful then I should darn well be able to cover my face for the Creator of the Worlds!!!!!!
All of this crap is directly related to the minaret banning crap. What is your reason for banning minarets??? Is that security too? Or secularity? Or just plain Islamophobia???????
And REALLY does Quebec have to do EVERYTHING that France does? I'm frankly appalled that this xenophobic crap has spilled over onto the same continent that I live on. I makes me physically ill.
On top of that they are denying people the right of public healthcare. They are denying CITIZENS the right of healthcare on the basis of RELIGION and freedom of EXPRESSION!!! And no one realizes how dangerous this is for human rights everywhere? Are we the only ones who seeeeeeee this madness?
I'm just really pissed and I have no idea what to do to fix the situation. Who do I write to? Who do I call? What do I need to say? Where do I need to say it? HOW do I help make this madness STOP?
And my favorite quote by Benjamin Franklin:
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I'm pretty sure that my parents are counting on my religious conversion as a "phase" of my life, maybe just a "fad" or something.
They treat it as temporary which means a lot of time they don't treat it with respect.
The other day my mom was asking me "How are you going to get married?" "Who are you going to marry?" etc.
I explained to her that inshaAllah Allah will provide from where he wants and I will be patient. I don't have a muslim family looking out for the right husband for me. If my dad and brother were to pick a husband for me, he would be an American Baptist dude.
I explained that I will marry a muslim man. InshaAllah one who fears Allah and will treat me with respect and eventually love will grow.
Mom doesn't understand why I can't go out and find my own husband. She thinks I should fall in love with a man I've dated and then get married, like everyone else.
But what happens if that passion fades? What values will we have in common? What will decide between us if we have an argument on how we should direct our lives?
In Islam, these questions are answered for us, alhamdulillah. My marriage inshaAllah will have passion, but it wont be the foundation. Islam will be our foundation.
How do I make them understand? Is it just a matter of time?
Saturday, May 8, 2010
The other day I wrote a post called "Muslim Countries" and I received this response in the comments and thought it would be good to address it and have a discussion.
Please keep in mind that Islam encourages us to always argue in the best way (with RESPECT) so if I see anything other than that I will go ahead and delete the comment. I didn't bring this up for a firing squad and I would really like each of you to put yourself in the situation of someone who knows nothing about (or little/ media interpretation of) Islam. :-D
Pásik Kroch: look, if Egyptian, Moroccans etc do not want European/NA tourists to come to their countries, just tell it plainly and frankly.there is plenty nice places in South Europe/Caribic where we can spend our money.
and as for this niqab problem - main problem is the religous exception to obstacle to identification and state security.
not only in UK, but in many moslem countries were countless robberies in bank/jeweleries committed by burka/niquabed men.
so niquabi is putting over her supposed piety above the potential safety and lives of other people.
It seems childish to me.
but if someone is so self-centered.. there is no help against it.
I think on this issue it is really all about which side you are looking from.
as for the egypt/morocco thing, I had no idea that they ask tourists to cover in those countries as tourism is a major market there. I actually don't think they ask people to do that there (but maybe one of the sisters from there can answer that question for us). I was speaking more along the lines of Saudi, which is not a tourist centered economy, where they do ask women to cover (in abaya). People tend to get upset at this, yet they want to impose similar (but anithetical) laws on other women.
As for state security and identification, it is not such a problem to have a woman officer or security guard on duty to identify women. In actuality, women who veil are creating jobs for UK/EU/NA women :-D
As for robberies, people will continue to cover their faces when they rob places regardless of whether innocent women are also covering their faces. If you have a high risk situation (like a jewelry store or a bank) have a female guard id covered women on their way in. They would generally have to be id'd before purchase or withdrawl/deposit anyway, so just move the process to to the door.
A religious person will put obeying their Creator/God/Master/Lord before everything. This is what it means to submit to God. You do the things you know are right whether or not people agree with you or make it easy for you.
I don't think that these women are self-centered. I think they are God centered. And I thank God for women like this because their modesty and piety is a breath of fresh air when surrounded by butt cheeks and boob jobs on every corner.
It is difficult to put yourself in someone elses shoes. I know because I do try to find a way to see the issue from the other perspective. I know that, in western culture, a covered face means shifty motives, but in actuality the world doesn't always work that way. And however many security issues people have brought up, I always see a potential solution without having to deny anyone their right to freedom of religion and pursuit of happiness.
Pasik: Please feel free to comment again, as I would love to continue the discussion :-) And thanks again!
Ladies: If you can think of any other specific issues that people have brought up about veiling and laws or rights of women, please feel free to post them to the comments so that we can all address them inshaAllah once and for all.
When we are all through I am convert this post (or compile a new one) to showcase all of our problems and solutions inshaAllah.
Friday, May 7, 2010
This is the continuation of yesterday's post on fasting :0)
Major Fast Days in Judaism: Fasts on these day are from sunset to sunset the following day
- Yom Kippur: the Day of Attonement
- Tisha B'Av: a day that Jew's remember the tragedies that have befallen them, such as the destruction of the temple
Minor Fast Days: Fasts on these days are from sunrise to sunset
- The Fast of Gedaliah: to mourn the righteous king
- The Fast of the 10th of Tevet: In observance of the destruction of the 1st temple and the holocaust
- The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz: commemorates the scaling of the walls before the destruction of the 2nd temple, and also the day that the tablets of the 10 commandments were destroyed
- The Fast of Esther, which takes place immediately before Purim: commemorates the 3 day fast in the story of Purim
Other optional occasions for fasting:
- before your wedding
- when you need to seek repentance
- groups may fast to avert impending catastrophe
- before battle
Why do Jews Fast:
- for atonement of sins
- to commemorate a solemn event, or to show gratitude
- to mourn
- in order to realize how dependent are we upon God for our sustenance and survival
How Jews fast like Muslims:
- Often fasts occur from sunrise to sunset and include abstaining from food and drink and on the Major fasts from sexual intercourse as well
- Mondays and Thursdays are considered recommended days for voluntary fasting (While in the early Christian church, Wednesdays and Fridays are good fasting days)
- Specific days are prescribed for fasting
How Jewish Fasting is different than that in Islam:
- There are some fasts which are 24 hours while in Islam, all fasts are from sunrise to sunset
- During the Major fasts, it is not permitted to clean yourself (brush your teeth, bathe, use lotion or perfume) for that 24 hours
- Jews have special dietary rules for Passover: this would be considered "fasting" in the Christian sense, but is not considered fasting in the Jewish or Islamic sense
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I don't understand this logic...
When we want to cover in "Western" countries, we are told to "go to a Muslim country if you want to do that."
Yet when "Westerners" go to Muslim countries, they are highly insulted when someone asks them to cover up properly.
Can anyone explain this to me?
I am fasting today and it struck me that Muslims are not the only people in the world to fast. Christians and Jews are commanded to fast along with Muslims. However, coming from a Baptist Church as a child, I realized that I was completely ignorant of the way that Christians and Jews fast. (Our denomination did not practice Lent or any other organized fast, nor did they encourage us to fast on our own.)
Time to rectify the situation inshaAllah!!!
It seems that there are three basic categories of Christian Fasting:
1. Abstaining from one certain thing: like chocolate or coke or meat
2. Abstaining from all solid foods: Drinking only water (or for extended fasts, drinking water and juice, vegetable broth, decaffeinated tea, etc.)
4. Absolute fasts: abstaining from all water and food
Fasts can be for one meal, one day, one week, 40 days: you are encouraged to fast however much you feel you are being convicted to fast.
- The purpose of Christian Fasting is to humble yourself before God and to seek his pleasure. (To seek God's "face," as quoted from the Bible)
- Christian Fasting should be intimately connected with increased prayer and meditation on the scripture
- Fasting is prescribed in both the Old and New Testaments and Jesus says "when you fast" not "if you fast" in the New Testament.
- Fasting is a private concern and you should not advertise the fact that you are fasting to others around you.
Some things that seem different than Muslim Fasts:
- They do not necessarily have set times and procedures for fasting. They fast when they feel like it to whatever degree they feel like.
- You can be eating or drinking and still be considered "fasting" in some way.
- You can go through periods when you fast with no water or food, even through the night. You can usually fast up to 3 days without any food or water, but this should always be done under the observation of a doctor.
InshaAllah I will have another post up tomorrow about Jewish Fasting!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
ALHAMDULILLAH I MADE IT THROUGH ONE WHOLE YEAR OF BLOGGING!!!
Things that have happened this year:
1. I converted to Islam, alhamdulillah
2. I fasted my first whole Ramadhan, alhamdulillah
took survived two semesters of Intensive Arabic, alhamdulillah
4. I wrote 141 blog posts here + 33 on my food blog
5. I got a sister in law and a niece all on the same day :-D alhamdulillah
6. I wore hijab for the first time this year, alhamdulillah
7. I started to wear jilbab and hijab when I converted this year, alhamdulillah
8. I made ridiculous amounts of blogger friends alhamdulillah (*muah* xoxoxoxooxoxo)
9. I *almost* graduated college, inshaAllah next semester!
10. I followed over 200 blogs and had around 1870 profile views
ALHAMDULILLAH WA MASHAALLAH it has been such a great year and inshaAllah I hope to see you all here for another one in the best of health and iman ameeeeeeeeeen.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I talk to myself in the car. About everything.
I give myself pep talks...
I make dhikr...
I have arguments with people...
I define my beliefs...
I tell jokes...
I practice speeches...
I say things out loud that I would never say in front of another person...
I get everything off my chest.
When I am in salah and when I am in the car are the two times that I know completely who I am. When it is only me and Allah.
What do you do in the car?
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I worked about 16 hours straight on my Arabic project trying to fix all of our technical difficulties and still ended up being almost 24 hours late, but alhamdulillah ustadhaty took it anyway and gave us a B+. I really needed an A, but alhamdulillah 3la kul shay a B+ is INFINITY times zero. :-)
I have left now to write a resume + cover letter for my advanced comp class and a 20 pg paper on socio-cultural phenomena throughout the history of Physics. YAY!
How is everyone else progressing? School? Finals? Work? Life? I'd love to have an excuse to take a break for a couple of minutes :-D