Category Archives: Children

Culpepper Island – not on my bucket list

Earlier this year, Brother S wrote of his bucket list and included his wish to visit Culpepper Island, Barbados. He did so visit, and in late August organised a family & friends trek to the Island with himself as guide. Ok, I use the word ‘trek’ (which is what it turned out to be) but Brother S’ invitation said ‘walk’.  Amongst the items to be brought on the trek was a 50 foot length of rope. That alone ought to have warned me.

Trek to Culpepper Island

My photos end with the trek, and not with our scaling of the Island and not planting a flag atop. Why? Because the terrain became ….. rough, and I needed both hands – threw my phone to NoS who along with BH acted as my anchors along the treacherous path. Treacherous? Well, yeah – at one point I fell to my knees, and had to settle myself because I could not arise immediately – I could not find my left foot which had been placed on a deceptive clump of grass which apparently was growing aerially outwards and not upwards!

The walking journey began in Skeetes Bay, then uphill, onto a plateau with fantastic windy views. Next we began the trek along the hilly terrain, with marl and mud. At one point, my only way down was to brace myself crab-style on my hands and feet and slide down a gravel filled basin with BH bracing himself to help me. (Others slid down that basin like skateboarders on feet).

We made it to the small beach and I stood while my legs trembled. Brother S was first into the water carrying with him one end of that 50 foot length of rope. It ought to have been 60 to 70 feet because the other end (on the beachside) did not reach land. His initial invitation said walk to Culpepper Island. To be fair, his expanded invite said “Walk cross the beach and then wade out to Culpepper Island..” I think I missed the ‘wade’ part and saw ‘walk’. Anyway, by the time I had reached the beach,  Brother S was in the water, up to his neck (and he and BH are roughly the same height). Trepidation – I have to remember that I can swim and I really prefer my feet to be firmly planted on solid.

BD told me I had misled her – she had flat-ironed hair and she is the shortest in our family. Her friend S/ha didn’t walk with wet clothes. (We all thought we were walking through the water – at not less than knee high).  Nevertheless, we all proceeded to cross the water, holding onto the rope, BD behind me and reminding me he can’t swim when I stopped suddenly having lost traction and indeed, touch with the seabed. At the Island end, I put my footwear back on, and negotiated the very sharp rocks, did not clamber up the side but made it to just about 5 feet below the top of the Island. There faced me a chasm about 1/3 of my width (I could hear the wondering voices from the acme – how was I going to get up that?). BH literally had to haul me vertically up that final Island face. When I topped that Island, everything except my head was a-tremble.  The views were panoramic. From every side of the 100 x 70 square foot top of that Island. And watched villagers run down the path we had walked and jump off a ladder into the sea.

And then we had to make our way down.

I stood and wondered. And pondered. And finally had to make that step of fate/faith by grasping Brother Y’s shoulder and getting off the plateau. Made it down, and across the sea. (NoS carried BD on his back across that water – Youngest had long abandoned us in disgust at the puny figures we posed.) And then back to Skeetes Bay.

Surat Aale Imran: “And to Allah belongs the dominion of the Heaven and Earth, and Allah is over all things. Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” [189-90]

Surat Ghaafir: “It is Allah Who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes beautiful and has provided for you sustenance.” [40:64]

Don’t be misled by the Title to this post – visiting it wasn’t on my bucket list (not sure I have one) but we are grateful to Brother S for his invitation, and for having been there, done that.

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Ramadan, rukus & Qur’an

Yesterday, Youngest & I were discussing how to complete the Qur’an in 30 days. I started by saying there were just over 6,000 verses in Qur’an so if we divided that by 30, we’d have to read about 200 verses a day, which we could do if we read 50 verses after each of 4 salaat.  My very logical Youngest said you mean 40 verses if you read after each salaat. Well, yes. That devolved into a discussion about rukus, another ‘divider’ in the Qur’an. My children have been exposed and acclimatised to words like ‘juz’ ‘para’ ‘sipara’ & ‘ruku’ with respect to recitation of al Qur’an. I have not, and I have to rely on them to translate. I’m good with juz as I understand that to mean 1/30 of the Qur’an. But juz can be further subdivided. A ruku is one of those sub-divisions, but I couldn’t get a grasp of how many verses comprised 1 ruku. (Please note that this is not to be confused with the ruku position of salaat, but you will see that that position lead to its name).

So off we went to Google. After reading quite a few entries/posts, this is the explanation for a ruku in Qur’an:

Neither the Rasool saws nor his Companions ra divided the Qur’an into parts, and it seems that up to contemporary times, Arab-printed Qur’ans do not show the sub-divisions.

“Around the 4th century of the Hijri calendar the Ulema of Bukhara, Russia divided the entire Quran into 540 Rukus for Taraaweeh purposes. They reckoned that if one Ruku is recited in each raka’at of the Taraaweeh salaah the Hafiz will finish the Quran exactly on the 27th night of Ramadaan. The equation is as follows:

1 ruku per raka’at x 20 raka’ats = 20 Rukus per night x 27 nights = 540 rukus.

When devising these Rukus the Ulema made sure that Rukus contained aayats of the same topic and theme.

They named it Ruku because the Hafiz goes into ruku after reciting it in one raka’at of Taraaweeh salaah.”

However, searches for the number of rukus in Qur’an will also yield the number 558. Huh? The explanation lies in the the ulema of South Asia (according to my quran online):

“In South Asia the tradition is to complete recitation of the whole Qur’an in 27 nights. This required partitioning of the Qur’an in 27 x 20 = 540 sections excepting the Surah al-Fatiha. When such partitioning was done they ended up with 556 (+1 for Surat al-Fatiha) sections. Evidently, they did not go back to redo the partitioning to come with 540 sections. The Qur’an copies printed in South Asia have Ruku’ or Section markings showing number of the ruku’ within the Surah, within the Juz and ayah number within the ruku’.”

In Qur’ans which carry the ruku markings, the end of each ruku is marked on the margin of the Qur’an with the letter ‘ain, with the number of the ruku over it.

Read it in smaller more manageable portions, my respected brothers & sisters. And persevere.

PS: There is no compulsion to perform a ruku (as in salaat) after recitation of a ruku of the Qur’an. This is completely different from reciting an ayah of the Qur’an which requires that you perform a sajdah (as in salaat) at the end of the ayah.

 

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).

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.

Vegan franks – another Ramadan bite

This Ramadan, we’ve found ourselves eating lots of different foods. Five different palates in my household, and five different tastes.

This morning for sehri, Youngest, BakerDaughter & Number One Son ate (ewwww), hot dogs. The toppings are horseradish mustard, cheese, sweet relish & ketchup.

I saw ewwww because I really cannot abide the sight or the smell. Although I know it’s vegan. At school, I would remove myself from the vicinity of anyone eating hot dogs. The smell would make me quite nauseous. Having disgusting children who actually like the stuff, I forced myself to cook them. The scent still sets me off though. Thankfully, BH does NOT like them either. (And I have acclimatised myself to his like for corned beef).

The vomiting fasting footballer – the Rule

Yes, we’re still writing about Number One Son. And Youngest, who is not yet considered mature, is fasting too. And practised football while fasting last Friday.

NOS practised Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday and Friday would have been just before iftar. Saturday was in the hot hours of the morning to just about midday. So he vomited when he got home. “Mum, did this break my fast?”

For years, I’ve ‘known’ of this rule – fast is broken if vomiting more than a mouthful. Didn’t make sense to me. But here goes….

The Rule

The intestinal tract running from the throat through stomach and ending with the end of the intestine is the critical tract. Entry of anything (other than the air one usually breathes) through the mouth, nose, a perforated eardrum, or the anus, breaks the fast.

At age 45+ all is made clear to me by the communication of this simple, logical explanation. (This was explained at the Sisters’ talk given on Sunday last).

The spewing of the vomitus doesn’t break the fast. What might break the fast is whether any of the vomit was swallowed (yes, it sounds gross). There are two schools of thought on that, and depends on volition or not, and amount.