Sabr & Shukr – Parent of the Year

Again, much time has passed since my last burst of enthusiasm (March) to post here. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) my ideas and blogs in my mind do not immediately transfer onto wordpress, so here I am once again.

In January, I played in the Annual Lawson Nurse Scrabble Tournament, and brought home another trophy! I have since lost the photograph of same. However, NoS and Youngest and BH each brought home a trophy on the same day. (And apparently I have also lost those photos). (This blog needs emojis).

BH was awarded ‘Parent of the Year’ and the other muslimah mother was also awarded ‘Parent of the Year’. So while I could crow about my word tiles, I would rather cite some scripture on parenting:

“…kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them”. (Quran 6:151)

[Quran 25:74]…..”Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and keep us in the forefront of the righteous.”

[Quran 14:40] O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! and accept Thou my Prayer.”

Prophet Muhammad saws said, “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.  The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.  A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock.  A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock”.

The Prophet (s) said: “Allah (SWT) will ask every caretaker about the people under his care, and the man will be asked about the people of his household” (Nasa’i, Abu Da’ud)

O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded” (Qur’an 66:6).

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi va sallam) said, “The best gift to children from parents is their correct training”(Tirmizi).

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:“Upon death, man’s deeds will stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents” (Muslim).

Being social at Batts Rock – January

 

So what has this year wrought? Recently, we (Youngest, NOS, BD and I) went to the newly beautified (and gentrified?) Batts Rock beach. Down the hill and to the right. On Barbados’ Gold Coast. Walked along the frequently police-patrolled tree lined beachy area from Batts Rock to almost Paradise Beach, bathed in the slightly rocky-bottomed ocean (bathed, not swam), and frolicked in the sun-kissed waves.

In January (yes, Gregorian calendar), BD & I joined the rest of the ladies group and a bevy of youngsters in the first activity for the group in 2017. Ice breakers and levity on the grassy flats behind the memorial stone pictured above. I saw the words just before I departed before the close of the event – and learnt some more history. It was a timely reminder of a verse my late father frequently quoted:

Naught is the life of the world save a pastime and a spot. Better far is the abode of the Hereafter for those who keep their duty (to Allah). Have ye then no sense?

Surah 6 Ayah 32, Al-Qur’an

 

Time

 

Quite some time has passed since I last posted (or truth be told, I felt any muse move me to put fingers to keyboard) on this blog. Much has passed, and I have a plethora of past-time(s) to memorialise here.

Mu’aath bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “A person will not move on (on the Day of Judgment) until he has been asked about four things: his life and in what he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it, his wealth, from where he acquired it and on what he spent it, and his body and how he wore it out.”

Unveiling flags & 50s

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Of the Independence monument on November 30, 2016, inclusive of a massive flag, and the sinking of a time capsule. On the night of Independence Day, after the almost islandwide flooding of the previous day, and with fireworks on the Garrison Savannah. A sister participated in the sinking of the time capsule, and a brother’s book was included in the contents.

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Again, Youngest’s school participated in another activity – the Flags and 50s competition – using the flag and the 50 logo to create – voting was via likes on facebook & his school emerged winner, with a student then chosen to recite the pledge at the Independence Parade.

Another walk

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BD’s charity walks are well documented by now. This Gregorian year marked the celebration of Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence from its colonial master, and Youngest and his school participated in a slew of activities. Not being a helicopter mother, I sent him and BD off to the annual Nation funathalon walk where his school copped the prize for largest number of walkers from a school. Also included in the prizes was the youngest ‘walker’ in his perambulator!

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said,

“Any action without the remembrance of God is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target [during archery practice], training a horse, playing with one’s family, and learning to swim.” At-Tabarani

Station 88

 

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On Monday 28 November 2016, Barbados attempted for the second time to have a human chain link around the 166 square mile island. The first attempt was made in 1979 and BH participated then. This time around, he was a marshal (and we think he was Chief Marshal). And the product of his loins (being BakerDaughter (I may have to change that appellation again), NoS, and Youngest) and his spouse and their mother (being me!) also participated.

Although participation sometimes needs to be defined. The intent was to line the street along a particular kilometre (assigned to schools, so while NoS went off to the GAIA strip, BD, Youngest and his raging fever, and I went off to Station 88 – pay close attention to the golden number on the roadway). Then at a particular time, you link hands, sing the national anthem, say the pledge of allegiance, and sing ‘Let’s Join Hands to Show We Love Barbados’, while miniature broken tridents (the insignia on the national flag) was passed along. Well, while there was lots and lots of ebbing and flowing for us to spread along the kilometre, our Station (according to BD’s rant to ‘What Drives Me Crazy’ the following morning) did not get any closure (other than a burqa tan:)). Times were not stuck to, and the new timings were not effectively communicated to the bystanders who had been standing in the sun for over 2 hours. The singing of the anthem passed us by. I and 6 other women sang the anthem lustily by ourselves. Arggh. But that is feedback for the next attempt.

The other golden symbol in the photo was Barbados’ official 50th anniversary of independence logo.

As Muslims, we do not live in isolation, our community includes our neighbours, our parishes, our country.

Feel Good

Today’s post is nothing original to/from me. It is a repost of a SoundVision article that I found particularly apt amidst a multiconversation about nationalism and religion, choices and words.

Quran 33:45 “O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness  and a bringer of good tidings and a warner . And one who invites to Allah , by His permission, and an illuminating lamp “.

Here is a selection of some powerful sayings of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s to help us stay positive and productive in all circumstances.

1. Be a Bearer of Good News

“Give glad tidings, and do not scare people away. Make things easy, and do not make things difficult” (Abu Dawud).

2. Optimism is an Act of Worship

“Hoping for good is also an act of worship of Allah” (Tirmidhi and Hakim).11

3. Be Positive & Certain About Your Dua (Supplication)

“Supplicate Allah Almighty and be certain that He will answer your prayer” (Tirmidhi).

4. Optimism is from Allah, Pessimism is from Satan

“O son of Adam! You are free to choose from what befalls you in your life, between despair and hope, pessimism and optimism. However, you shall find your hope and optimism with Allah, and your despair and pessimism with Satan, ‘in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits’ [Al-Mujdilah: 10].” (Bukhari and Muslim).

5. Strong Believer Doesn’t Make Excuses

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although there is good in each. Desire that which will bring you benefit, and seek help from Allah and do not give way to incapacity. If something happens to you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such-and-such.’ Rather say, ‘The decree of Allah. He does what He will.’ Otherwise you will open yourself up to the action of Shaitan” (Muslim).

6. Do Good Regardless of Others’ Treatment

“Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well and that if they do wrong you will do wrong. But (instead) accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong if they do evil” (Tirmidhi).

7. Be Patient & Positive in Difficult Times

“Whoever abstains from asking others, Allah will make him contented, and whoever tries to make himself self-sufficient, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience” (Bukhari).

8. Think Positive about God

“Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed’” (Hadith Qudsi).

9. Istighfar Makes a Way Out

“Whoever does a lot of Istighfar (asking for forgiveness), Allah will provide him a way out of each concern he has, and will solve all his troubles, and will provide him with livelihood from sources that were not known to him” (Ahmad).

10. Affair of a Believer is always Positive

“Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him. If he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him” (Muslim).

11. Hope Prevails Over Fear at the Time of Death

Once our Prophet, peace be upon him, went to a young man who was on his death bed and asked him ‘How do you feel?’ The young man said, ‘I have much hope from Allah but I also fear for my sins’. The Prophet said, ‘The believer who has these two ideas simultaneously at such time, Allah fulfils his hopes and grants him security from fear’ (Tirmidhi).

12. Be Positive & Productive till Your Last Breath

“If the Day of Resurrection were established upon one of you, while he has in his hand a sapling (small plant), then let him plant it.” (Ahmad).

What do you do?

What do you do?

 

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when you’re:

  • female
  • muslim
  • have wudu
  • are fully clothed
  • it’s maghrib time
  • you’re physically sitting in a motor vehicle in the carpark of the masjid at *** to which your spouse has driven because he has to pray magrhib salaat as well
  • your spouse is encouraging of your praying in a masjid if that is your desire
  • and you’re aware that that masjid perpetuates a no women policy?

What would you do?

Border

Today’s postaday topic is ‘Border’. If we ever gave any thought to border, we might flash to straight or complex lines demarcating a fixed boundary – an edge – straight in some way. But when we look at the sky, do we think of borders? Of borders around the earth, about borders between countries, about borders between counties or parishes, about borders around homes, about borders around pictures, about borders around words? The horizon is a straight edge. But is has long been disabused that the earth is flat and has straight edges.

The photograph was of yesterday’s beautiful sunset seen from Barbados. No horizon seen, no border. Just a rare blend of colours in the sky. A moment to marvel at God’s creation.

Allah swt says in the Qur’an:

“God is the One Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see, then He firmly established Himself on the throne and He subjected the sun and moon . . .” 13:2

(God) created the heavens without any pillars that you can see…” 31:10

“Do they not look at the sky above them, how We have built it and adorned it, and there are no rifts in it.” 50:6“the sky (God) raised it . . .” 55:7

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New Year – 1438

Muharram is upon us. I have been seeing posts of du’a for the end, and for the beginning of the Islamic year. These do not seem to be supported by actions of the Prophet s.a.w.s or his Companions r.a.

“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year) so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth. Of them four are sacred; that is the straight usage so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the pagans.” [Qur’an 9:36]

The following is an excerpt from an article by Waleed Muhanna of http://www.alinaam.co.za/ on the conceptualisation and implementation of an Islamic calendar:

The Islamic Calendar, which is based purely on lunar cycles, was first introduced in 638 CE by the companions of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, and the second Khalifah, Umar ibnul Khattab (592-644 CE).

He did it in an attempt to rationalize the various, at times conflicting, dating systems used during his time. Umar consulted with his advisors from the companions on the starting date of the new Muslim calendar. It was finally agreed that the most appropriate reference point for the Islamic calendar was the Hijrah, the incident of the immigration of the Muslims from Makkah to Madinah. It is a central historical event of early Islam that led to the foundation of the first Muslim city-state, a turning point in Islamic and world history. The actual starting date for the calendar was chosen (on the basis of purely lunar years, counting backwards) to be the first day of the first month (1 Muharram) of the year of the Hijrah. The Islamic (Hijri) calendar (with dates that fall within the Muslim Era) came to be abbreviated by some as AH in Western languages from the latinized Anno Hegirae, “in the year of the Hegira”. Muharram 1, 1 AH therefore corresponds to July 16, 622 CE.

The Islamic year consists of twelve (purely lunar) months. They are: Muharram, Safar, Rabi’ul Awwal, Rabi’uth Thani, Jumada al-Awwal, Jumada ath-Thani, Rajab, Sha’ban, Ramadhan, Shawwal, Thul Qi’dah, and THUL HIJJAH. Some of the most important dates in the Islamic year are: 1 Muharram (Islamic new year); 1 Ramadhan (first day of fasting); 1 Shawwal (Eidul Fitr); 8-10 Thul Hijjah (the Hajj to Makkah); and 10 Thul Hijjah (Eidul Adh-ha).

To Muslims, the Hijri calendar is more than a sentimental system of time reckoning, and dating important religious events. Many of the marital and spousal relationship rulings of the women are directly connected to the lunar (Islamic) months. The Hijri calendar, therefore, has a much deeper religious and historical significance in the Muslim life. Muhammad Ilyas in his book, A Model Guide to Astronomical Calculations of Islamic Calendar, Times & Qiblah, quoted Abul Hassan an-Nadwi who wrote, “It (the advent of the 15th Islamic century) is indeed, a unique occasion to ponder that the Islamic Era did not start with the victories of Islamic wars, nor with the birth or death of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, nor with the Revelation itself. It starts with Hijra, or the sacrifice for the cause of Truth and for the preservation of the Revelation. It was a divinely inspired selection. Allah wanted to teach Man that the struggle between Truth and Evil is eternal. The Islamic year reminds Muslims not of the pomp and glory of Islam but of itssacrifice, and prepares them to do the same.” From a historical angle, Ilyas quoted Samiullah who wrote, “All the events of Islamic history, especially those that took place during the life of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, and afterwards are quoted in the Hijra calendar era. But our calculations in the Gregorian calendar keep us away from those events and happenings, which are pregnant of admonitory lessons and guiding instructions. …And this chronological study is possible only by adopting the Hijri calendar to indicate the year and the lunar month in line with our cherished traditions.”

 

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