Sunday, 24 May 2020

Eid ul Fitr 2020:1441 - Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak everyone.
Taqabbal Allahu Minna Wa Minkum (May Allah accept it from you and us).

I hope this Eid is a peaceful and joyful one for all of you, full of good health, good food, good company and good deeds insh’Allah. May Allah shower the Ummah and all of humanity with his mercy and love and grant them happiness, peace and contentment.


With all of the fun and feasting, I make dua that I do not lose the spirit of Ramadan completely and that some of it seeps into the rest of the months of the year.  Insh'Allah I will be reminding the kids and myself to remember Allah (SWT) and thank him throughout this night and the coming days of Eid.

Anas ibn Malik (radhiallahu ‘anh) reported that in the pre-Islamic period people (in Madinah) people used to celebrate two annual days of festivity. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah he said, “you used to have two days of celebration, Allah (SWT) has replaced them with two better days: the day of Fitr and the day of Adha.” (Nisai’, Sunan al-Kubra’, 1, 542; Sunan al-Sughra 3:199).

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "The days of (Eid) are days of eating and drinking and of remembering God, the Exalted." (Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 153)




Saturday, 23 May 2020

Eid ul Fitr 2020:1441 – Eid in Lockdown

Eid is going to be different for most of us than the way we have celebrated in the past. We can’t go to the masjid or Eid parties and events, we can’t see our families and we can’t take the kids out. I am sure like us, most of you are finding your small ways to make Eid festive, with your own traditions and plans insh’Allah.

I subscribe to Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef’s e-mails and I thought his latest one was lovely and worth sharing:

With Covid-19 and it being essential that we stay at home and avoid large gatherings, here is what you can do, from the sunnah, to make this Eid a joyous stay at HOME Eid.

1.
 Wake up early and take a bath

2
. Put on your best clean and modest clothing

3.
 Before sitting for the Eid prayer, eat an odd number of dates

4.
 From after Fajr, As you sit waiting for the Eid prayer, recite the Eid takbeer chant. Say this: Allahu Akbar 3x. Laa illaaha illa Allah. Allahu akbar 2x. wa Lillaahil Hamd

5. You can start the Eid prayer 15 minutes after sunrise, in the morning, anytime from then till before Dhuhr.

6. Eid prayer is 2 rakat. In the first raka’ when you start the prayer, say 7 Allahu akbars (with the opening Allahu akbar included in that). And then, when you are coming up for the second raka’, say 6 Allahu akbars (thats 6 inclusive of the Allahu akbar you say on the way up from Sajdah)

7. When you have completed the Eid prayer -- you do not have to do a sermon at home. You can listen to a live sermon broadcast if you want. It's optional.

8. Remember, it's physical distancing we are avoiding, but not social distancing. Have online open houses and invite friends and neighbors to 'virtually' visit around this Eid.

9. Greet those who you know and those who you don't. Do this by greeting believers everywhere online.

10. Celebrate this day by thanking Allah for what He has guided us to.


And hey, Eid Mubarak.

~Muhammad Alshareef





Eid ul Fitr 2020:1441 - Chand Raat

Assalam-alaikam all.
I hope this Ramadan has been truly blessed for you and that you have grown in faith and that your store of good deeds has grown exponentially insh’Allah:

“When it is the last night [of Ramadan], they are forgiven, all of them.” So a man from the people said, “Is it the Night of Power?” And the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)  replied, “No, do you not see that if laborers work, when they finish their tasks, they are given their wages?” (Bayhaqi)

Please don’t forget, that this night preceding Eid day (Chaand raat, or the night of the new moon) is a night of ibadat (worship) full of rewards and we should try to gain a little of that reward if we can. From "Shawwal: What to Do On Eid Night, Eid Day, and During the Month" by Mufti Taqi Usmani:

The Night Preceding 'Eid-ul-Fitr'
It had been the practice of the Prophet, ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam, that he would not sleep in the night preceding the day of Eid-ul-fitr. This night has been named in a Hadith as the Night of Reward (Lailatul Jaiza). Almighty bestows his rewards on those who have spent the month of Ramadan abiding by the dictates of Shari'ah, and all their prayers in this night are accepted. Therefore, it is desirable to perform nafl prayers in this night. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have said:

“Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die.” (Ibn Majah)

To benefit from this opportunity, one should perform as much worship in this night as he can and should pray for all his needs and desires.


The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘There are five nights on which du`a is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha’ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha)’. (As-Suyuti)

Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu‘anh) narrated, ’When the day of Eid-ul-Fitr [begins], the angels descend on earth, where they take their positions at access points of roads, calling out with a voice that is heard by the whole creation of Allah, except men and Jin, “O Ummah of Muhammad (saw)! Come out to your most Noble and Gracious Lord, who grants much, and pardons the major sins”. When they proceed to their places of prayer, Allah, Exalted is He, says to His angels, ”O My angels! What is the reward of a worker when he has done his work?” So they say, ”Our Lord and Our Master! To receive his reward [for the work, in full]“. So He says, ”I call you to witness that, for their fasts [during Ramadan], and for their standing in prayer at night, I have made their reward My Pleasure, and my Forgiveness. Depart [from here], you are forgiven”’. (Lataif al-Ma’arif)

See also:


Ramadan 2020/1441: Ramadan Giving Day 30 – Edhi Foundation

Our Ramadan Giving series highlights the amazing work charities are doing and showcases their special Ramadan campaigns, giving us all the opportunity to support, donate and do a little good insh’Allah

Ramadan Giving Day 30: Edhi Foundation
Edhi Foundation is the largest and most organised social welfare system in Pakistan. The Foundation works round the clock, without any discrimination on the basis of colour, race, language, religion or politics. They have pursued their mission for the last five decades bringing about a remarkable wave of change in the social attitude of Pakistanis towards community welfare, by instilling in ordinary citizens, a consistent desire to participate in public welfare programs.

The Foundation is known for the fleet of 1800 ambulances it runs round the clock in Pakistan, but the service also ensures access to air and marine ambulances in the form of rescue helicopters and boats. They were one of the first at the scene at the recent air crash in Karachi, alongside the Pak army.

Edhi Foundation is also known for the 18 homes it has set up all over Pakistan. Among the 8500 residents are abandoned and orphan boys and girls, intellectually disabled and physical disabled people, homeless and helpless men and women as well as women and children from domestic violence backgrounds

You can find out more about their work here, and donate here.



O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you ~ Quran 2:254

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan…more generous than the fast wind in doing good” (Bukhari).

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

"Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned." ~ Quran 2:245

Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: "The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind." (Daraqutni)



Ramadan 2020/1441: Ramadan Gratitude Journal Day 30

What blessings are you grateful for?
All of them!
We can never count all of Allah’s (SWT) blessings or even begin to understand how many there really are.
But we can have an attitude of being grateful in every minute and in every situation.
One of the dua’s (supplication) I have been making this Ramadan is for Allah (SWT) to make me truly grateful for everything and in every way. But also to be at peace contented and happy in every situation insh’Allah.

What blessings are you grateful for?

You can find the original Ramadan Gratitude journal challenge here and my take on it here.

I am very grateful to the wonderful Caroline at the brilliant Mom Can Do This blog, for creating this challenge. It has encouraged me to blog regularly and got me back into the habit.  She has tons of good content, do check her out. 



Friday, 22 May 2020

Dua’s for Karachi

Sad news from Pakistan today, as reports filtered through of a plane crashing in Karachi, into a residential area (Al Jazeera, BBC News and Dawn). The pilots final report saying the engine has failed was heart-breaking as is the thought of all those deaths – people going home to loved ones for Eid.

I can't imagine what those mothers, sisters, wives waiting for their family members must be going through now. The little ones waiting for their parents or uncles or aunts excitedly, thinking of how lovely Eid will be.

Although I am from Punjab, a significant portion of my mum’s family and husband’s family have ended up in Karachi for work and settled there. A good portion of my parents village has moved there for work and travel back and forth during the holidays.

My uncle (mum's little brother) was stranded in Peshawar at the other end of the country when lockdown started and it took some time for him to make arrangements to get home, especially as flights were put on hold. This accident really hit close to home, it could have been any normal person trying to make their way home to their family for Eid.

It also brought back memories of the loss of Junaid Jamshed, much loved nasheed reciter and television personality in a plane crash in December 2016.  A loss for Pakistan and much missed by many still.

I pray Allah (SWT) has mercy on those he has called back to Him during this blessed month and raises their ranks in the next life. I pray that he gives their families comfort and peace at this painful time insh’Allah. I pray that He has mercy on those that have lost their homes and belongings and replaces them with something better insh’Allah. Ameen thumma ameen.



Ramadan 2020/1441: Last Few Days

The last few days have been a little challenging a we come to the end of the blessed month. 
Trying to get the shopping done, while fasting and in the heat, with queues everywhere.
Trying to kid the kids to pray, do some schooling, stop sleeping too much, sleep at sensible times, eat properly, eat a bit more…
Trying to keep up with worship, taraweeh (night prayer) and trying to finish my reading of the Quran.

It all got a bit too much two days ago when it was very hot, when I was trying to get all my grocery shopping and meat shopping for Eid done. I was half way home with the shopping, when hubby called to say a friend of his, who is stuck abroad, called to say his wife has taken ill and could I check in on her. I dropped off my shopping and headed back out to hers to find her with another woman, who had also come over in a panic. My friend turned out quite poorly, having been in hospital the night before, so I sat with her for a while and then made her promise to rest and eat and headed back home

On getting home I had a word with my older son about spending too much time on computer games and his use of language, with some swear words creeping in.  He threw an almighty teen tantrum and didn’t talk to me for two days. He’s just calmed down today and stopped sulking and walking around like a glowering thunderstorm. I except there is some more of this to come before he realises I’m not letting up.

My oldest girl decided she would help me in the kitchen, but only enough to make dinner for all the girls, but not the boys because they weren’t helping. I dd try to explain that this was not helping because I still would have to make food for the boys. I was panicking trying to get food ready on time for my family and for some others that we send food to most days.  I had also wanted to send dinner for the sister who had taken ill.

I threw everyone out, sat cross legged on the cool kitchen floor and took some deep breaths (okay some tears may have leaked out too). I then focussed on getting all the food done and making sure I don’t miss my evening prayers.  Thankfully, it all got done on time and the food sent to where it was meant to go.

But it left me feeling a little despondent. It seemed to me that I couldn’t do the worship, housework, childcare and cooking, let alone self-care or additional worship that I wanted to do in the hours that I had. I was just getting resentful, sleep deprived and sad. It’s one thing to nurture and care for your family with love and another to do it starting to feel resentful, used or put-upon.

So I explained to hubby, no more cooking for others and only simple iftars for the remaining few days of Ramadan, I wanted to rest and pray.  He agreed and had the sense not to remind me he preferred simple food and it’s usually my idea to cook new things every day.  

I’m also practicing some mean love with the kids and getting them to so more. I would say tough love, but I am feeling mean right now. I usually try to practice kindness and compassion with them, because I am their role model. But I also have to practice it with myself.  

I’ve simplified my Eid menu now to one main dish and have decided to put a s top on shopping unless the kids can go get stuff.  I’ve taken the pressure off my ibadah and might do less with less of a checklist but much more sincerity and peace insh’Allah.

Aisha (radhiallahu‘anha) reported The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Verily, your own self has rights over you, so fast and break your fast, pray and sleep." (Sunan Abu Dawud 1369)

“Self-care is how you take your power back.” – Lalah Delia

“Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘me first.’ It means ‘me, too.” – L.R. Knost

“There is enough time for self-care. There is not enough time to make up for the life you’ll miss by not filling yourself up.” – Jennifer Williamson

“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. ” – Christopher Germer

Ramadan 2020/1441: Ramadan Giving Day 29 – Muslim Charity Helping the Needy

Our Ramadan Giving series highlights the amazing work charities are doing and showcases their special Ramadan campaigns, giving us all the opportunity to support, donate and do a little good insh’Allah

Ramadan Giving Day 29: Muslim Charity Helping the Needy
Muslim Charity provides emergency relief during and after a disaster has struck, but also focuses on addressing underlying causes of poverty, such as health, education and economic development. For almost two decades, they have delivered aid and development programmes to transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Their mission is carried out by developing health and educational infrastructures along with providing access to safe water and creating opportunities for livelihoods. They are currently running a campaign called Children of the Brothel, which aims to open a Day and Night Centre. This is a cause that is close to my heart, I have been following the stories of Bangladeshi photojournalist MB Akash, and have been moved by his stories of the most vulnerable people, including the girls that end up in brothels. They are devastating and leave you with a sense of deep sadness and wanting to do something.

The Children of the Brothel campaign is raising funds for a new centre Muslim Charity have created in Daulatdia, the biggest brothel in Bangladesh and fourth biggest in the world. It houses over 2,000 sex workers and 800+ children. It ‘serves’ over 3,000 clients each day and exposes these children to an environment where they are groomed at a very early age.

The safe home is somewhere children can leave the brothel and stay during the day and night. They will receive love, care, and support from dedicated members of staff who understand their complex situation and needs. 

You can find out more about their work here, donate to their Children of the Brothel campaign here and see their other projects here.


O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you ~ Quran 2:254

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan…more generous than the fast wind in doing good” (Bukhari).

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

"Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned." ~ Quran 2:245

Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: "The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind." (Daraqutni)

Ramadan 2020/1441: Ramadan Gratitude Journal Day 29

What talent are you grateful for?
For all of the years of education, work and life, I’m a bit stumped by this one. What talents do I have (as opposed to compassion, which is a characteristic)? Are any significant enough to be called a talent? I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of a Jack of all trades and a master of none.

Perhaps rather than choosing by thinking about what I am amazing at, I can consider which talent I am grateful for as it is, even if I am not great at it.

I love to write, and I’m grateful for it because it has allowed me to vent, share my life, reach out to others and connect to sisters across the world alhamdulillah. Most of all it has allowed me to work through my feelings and thoughts on so many occasions, dissecting them, understanding what lies beneath and rising above the most painful or confusing ones.

What talent are you grateful for?

You can find the original Ramadan Gratitude journal challenge here and my take on it here.



Thursday, 21 May 2020

Eid ul Fitr 2020:1441 - Eid Cards

I haven’t made Eid cards for some time, partly because I haven’t had the time to get all my material out and mull over them, then pack them away again, partly because it has started to feel a little irrelevant.  But with lockdown and facing an Eid where I can’t see my friends and family, it felt kind of nice to create something to send them a message in.

This first card was made from DCWV (Die Cuts With a View) glitter card stock that I have had for some time:



This blue card is made from an image from a charity leaflet I cropped and saved:


This pale blue card is from an old calendar:



This card follows the theme of my Eid décor (I used the leftover materials). The paper is from the B&M Summer Dreams 12x12 paper pad and the embellishment from The Works (a brand called M&C Boutique.




I have no idea where this paper came from, but thought the theme was consistent with Eid:



These three cards were made using a stack of pretty pearlised paper I picked up in a boot sale last year







This is one of my favourites from a paper pack I really like, the American Crafts Amy Tangerine Sketchbook 12x12 book of papers.




I’d love to make some more and I will try if I get some down time. We are in the last day or maybe two days of Ramadan and I want to maximise the time I spend in worship, dua and reflection insh’Allah, so we will see. But it’s certainly whetted my appetite to make more afterwards insh’Allah.

Ramadan 2020/1441: Ramadan Giving Day 28 – Muslim Council of Britain Centre for Media Monitoring

Our Ramadan Giving series highlights the amazing work charities are doing and showcases their special Ramadan campaigns, giving us all the opportunity to support, donate and do a little good insh’Allah

Ramadan Giving Day 28: Muslim Council of Britain Centre for Media Monitoring
The Centre for Media Monitoring was set up to promote fair, accurate and responsible reporting of Muslims and Islam in the media. The team consists of professional journalists with years of experience in mainstream media as well as linguists, theology graduates and seasoned community activists.

The Centre for Media Monitoring has secured nearly 300 high profile corrections to inaccurate coverage, delivering hundreds of media training and awareness workshops for Muslim-led organisations and Muslim professionals across the country. The Centre for Media Monitoring is leading the charge in holding the media to account and promoting accurate reporting on Muslims and Islam.

I have been following them on Twitter and I am more than grateful for the work they do challenging the lies and false stories and the inappropriate images that are put out there about Islam

You can find out more about their work and donate here.



O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you ~ Quran 2:254

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan…more generous than the fast wind in doing good” (Bukhari).

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

"Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned." ~ Quran 2:245

Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: "The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind." (Daraqutni)

Ramadan 2020/1441: Ramadan Gratitude Journal Day 28

What things in your day-to-day life are you thankful for?
Fasting for Ramadan
Reading the Quran
My faith for guiding me
Talking to my mum on the phone or dropping by to see her face from her front yard
My dad, for coming to see us from out front garden once a week
My children for both testing me and bringing me closer to Allah (SWT), and for making me stronger and bringing me the sweetest moments each day too
My sisters and lovely sister-in-law – my funny, smart, good girl squad
My home, my sanctuary for all its mess.
My body, for serving me (and putting up with me 😊)
My health which I rarely think about unless something is going wrong.
My work, for keeping me occupied, feeling useful and for paying me when so many are struggling right now.
My naps for keeping me sane

What things in your day-to-day life are you thankful for?

You can find the original Ramadan Gratitude journal challenge here and my take on it here.


Eid ul Fitr 2020:1441 - Planning Eid Decor

I really enjoyed making Eid decorations this year with my youngest two. The older ones have lost interest a little as they become teens, or so I thought until last Ramadan, when I decided to keep things simple and not to bother and my oldest asked hopefully if I would be putting Ramadan decorations up and if I needed help 😊

This time round, it was easy, I just took my favourite papers and embellishments and went to town.  This time round, it was easy, I just took my favourite papers and embellishments and went to town.  The paper stacks and die cuts I used were from the sets below from B&M and The Works. They are about a quarter of the price of more popular stacks and probably more on trend (also B&M still seems to be open).


I ended up making a banner with rectangle shapes and silver lettering, also from B&M


There is always a scrum to “help” and everything takes a bit longer while the squabbles are sorted out, but they love helping.



I’m running out of the good ribbons, my fave type is the grosgrain which is easy to cut and sits well. I thought the colours on this ribbon were cheerful and summery.





We also made two posters to put in frames. I usually make A4, but have gone for two smaller A5 and A6 sized ones this time. I’m liking a mini art idea – do a little bit of arts or crafts each day using recycled or salvages materials.  The frames were £1 from the 99p shop and 79p from Tesco.





I like the colour scheme and how the different bits come out. I’m looking forward to putting these up for Eid insh’Allah.

Ramadan 2020/1441: Ramadan Giving Day 27 – Abdullah Aid

Our Ramadan Giving series highlights the amazing work charities are doing and showcases their special Ramadan campaigns, giving us all the opportunity to support, donate and do a little good insh’Allah

Ramadan Giving Day 27: Abdullah Aid
Abdullah Aid is an international aid relief organisation striving to serve humanity and ease the suffering of the poor. Inspiration for the birth of this charity was from a young sick child whose suffering touched many lives and paved the way for many more lives to be helped.

Abdullah Aid’s mission is to fulfil sustainable solutions relating to health, shelter, education and empowerment, which is achieved by providing emergency relief, food and medical aid to victims of conflict & natural disasters and implementing income generation projects to help them gain independence.

Their current campaigns include the Idlib emergency appeal, Yemen emergency appeal, projects to build masjids and shelters in Gambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia, a local food bank, planting olive trees in Gaza and food parcels. They also have a Gambia Orphanage Project 2020

You can find out more about their projects here and donate here.


O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you ~ Quran 2:254

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan…more generous than the fast wind in doing good” (Bukhari).

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

"Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned." ~ Quran 2:245

Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: "The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind." (Daraqutni)