Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Daree Sharee (Aka - The Sunnah Beard!)

I reaaaaally love sunnah beards on brother. Mash'allah I think they are so beautiful and when a brother decides to keep a sunnah beard properly, adds much beauty and a level of respect about him.

Theres many a hadith about the beard and reckon had I been a dude? I'd keep one sharpish! (Inshallah I will post about these sometime in the future)

Anyways. I came across the following poem which I wanted to share with you.

Its a poem by a brother who had a negative experience about his beard and vented his anger by putting pen to paper, which resulted in this amusing yet thought-provoking and witty poem.

Beauty of the Beard
By Br Tushar Imdad-ul-Haque Bhuiya

Context of poem;
I came to eat dinner in my halls of residence one day last year when two sisters started laughing at me; I had some food stuck in my beard. They went on to innocently and honestly mock my beard saying it was messy, unnatural and unhygienic. Little did they know the rage that I felt as a result of this and I channeled this rage by unleashing my anger through my pen and out came this poem.

I performed this poem in the Leicester University/DMU Islamic Societies and Eid Celebration and it was received with much laughter and acclaim - Alhamdulillah. Due to popular demand and many requests I have decided to type my poem up and email it to my friends in Islam. Let me remind you all not to be offended as this is no fatwa or religious statement - just a funny poem that spontaneously was produced as a result of my unfortunate experience...

Tushar (12th March 2001)

"Glorified be He who beautifies women with long locks of hair
And Men with long beards
There is beauty in the beard
Aye, there is beauty in the beard!

When the lion roars all the animals submit
For the lion is the king of the jungle
The lion with its glorious mane
And a Muslim man grows his mane in pride
Showing the rest of humanity that he is to be respected
Can one imagine a lion without its mane?
Nay, thou canst not! Then imagine a man without his beard

Woe to worldly women who mock the beards so!
Desiring husbands with clean shaven faces
Woe to women who mock the Prophets Sunnah
In the name of hygiene, neatness and smooth texture
Indeed the women of this world cannot like the beard
But she who wants Paradise adores the beard!

A beard is a gift given to man
Something only he can grow; a woman never can!
When he ponders, he gently strokes it;
When he eats, it stores food;
When he is with kids, they play with it adoringly;
When he is with his wife, she fondles it lovingly;
When the enemy see it, fear is struck in their hearts!
Ah! there is indeed beauty in the beard!

All the Prophets had beards - yes they did!
Muhammad had a beard - so big! so big!
All the companions had beards - o yes! o yes!
All the sages had beards - I know! I know!
All the wise have beards - tis true! tis true!
All the pious have beards - you see! you see!
All the Muslims have beards!? - if only! if only!

Who did not have beards? The kafirun!
Who had clean shaven faces? The kafirun!
Who grew their moustaches? The kafirun!!
"And what did our Prophet order" I here you ask
He ordered us to lengthen the beard and trim the moustache!
Lengthen the beard and trim the moustache!
What greater reason that this can there be
The fact that our Prophet told us to see
That we make ourselves appear to the world
As full bearded men with honour untold

O Muslim brother!
Why do you desire to look like a woman
When your blessed facial hair is the difference between you and the opposite gender?
O poor Muslim brother!
Why do you imitate the kafir Instead of following the Prophet of Islam?
O silly Muslim sister!
Why are you so blind?
Infatuated with Bollywood actors who have no mind!
O wretched sister!
Are you not scared of your choice?
You would rather have a feminine monkey
Instead of an exalted manly ape!

So indeed I love my beard
And adore the curls and tangles
Which no oil, gel or superglue can ever straighten
My glorious long, curly, messy, fluffy beard!
The playhouse for kids;
The envy of Malaysian people
And the beloved of Allah!
I maybe rejected by worldly women because of this hair on my face
But who care! For my Mum loves it and she puts all such sisters to disgrace!
Be patient Muslim brothers, who shun the trendy look for a Prophetic pose
Paradise with the wide eyed Houris is our final abode!!!!!"

Friday, 29 May 2009

Jumaa Mubarak!

Salaams ladies
(and maybe to a few brothers too?)

It's almost 8am, I've just stepped out of the house and my first thoughts are subhan'Allah! The sun's shining and the birds are singing- Allah has blessed us with beautiful weather on this blessed day of Jumaa...

I spoke in my last post about my concern for my iman. Allhumdulillah yesterday I prayed the most beautiful Asr salah to me! All those things I spoke about in my last post returned, I was conscious of Allah, my heart was present during salah, worldy thoughts didn't come to me... Subhanallah!

I sat and as I made dua and began to thank Allah for all those things I could see around me, that he's blessed me with, I thanked him for being a muslimah who by his will has been guided. I thanked him for having a prayed a beautiful salah when tears began to drop like white pearls from my eyes.

Im not sure if they were tears of sadness for what I'd lost or tears of joy for having found what I'd lost... But wow! After weeks of feeling lost and alone, I once again had the feeling of contentment and much peace at heart.

Insh'allah, todays gonna be a good day- I can feel it! It's the blessed day of Jumaa, and even though I'm on my way to work (Whilst I wanna be in bed!) and getting my foot crushed in the car door, (It hurts!) Allhumdulillah - I feel good man! I feel happy! I'm content with my lot.. I don't need anymore as I have more than enough..

I love Allah! I love my religion! And I love you all for the sake of Allah...

Jumaa kareem my beautiful readers- have a fabulous day!

Salaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu


-- Posted From My iPhone --

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Salah: I'm slipping... I'm falling...

Earlier in the week I was sooo worried about my Iman. It’s decreased and I don’t know how or when it happened.

Insh’allah I am steadfast in salah but for some reason I’m not able to pray how I used to. Im not able to pray with that sincerity and humility I used to feel. I don’t have that love or feeling in my heart… I don’t have that fragility I used to experience. I have little concentration and find my thoughts during salah are consumed with such worldly matters.

It almost feels like I’ve stepped back a year to before finding my way to Islam. I pray with little understanding of the words being recited and unaware of what my actions truly signify.

I can’t even supplicate how I used to – I can’t even sit and supplicate with all my heart and ask for Allah to have mercy on me, my family and friends. I find I can’t bring myself to ask Allah of anything… well not with any feeling or real want like I used to... Even asking Allah to bring me back to my deen and increasing my iman – I’m empty… it’s hard not to think of it as anymore than just words right now…

Upon hearing the beautiful recitation of the Noble Quran, I feel nothing… The words no longer deeply touch my heart like they used to and am no longer able to listen to the harmonious words… My heart has hardened and I sooo long for it to return to the state it was in a few weeks ago. I didn’t see this coming and I didn’t see it happening… How have things changed in just a few short weeks??

As the days have gotten longer and the hours increased between salah, what was supposed to be a look around the shops or a quick Google on the net, somewhere turned into hours… coupled with neglect of the Quran and most importantly my Lord, I think, has led to the decrease of my iman that I’m now sooo so worried about.

"Therefore remember me [by praying, glorifying etc.] and I will remember you…"
(Quran 2: 152)

"Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!"
(Quran 13:28)

O Allah, Please forgive me. O Allah, please restore and renew my faith. O Allah please keep my grip on the rope strong and firm.

I will continue to make dua for Allah to being me back. I need to to reestablish my faith. Being the second most important pillar after the Kalimah and having felt that my salah is what has suffered most, Insh'allah this is where I will begin...

I just feel that I need to go back to basics as a refresher.. and spend some time contemplating and reflecting on the true meaning of what Salah is to the Mu'min.

Why do we pray and what are the blessings in Salah?
What happened on the night of Al Mi'raj when Salah was ordained on the Ummah?
What do the beautiful words we recite really mean?
What do our actions during Salah truly signify?

I pray that in reminding myself in these basic principles I will find that spiritual connection and fragility I felt in my Salah up until just recently...

Rabbij-'alnii muqii-mas-Salaati wa min dhurriyyatii, Rabbanaa wa taqabbal Du-'aaa


The Spread of Islam - Subhan'Allah!

Whilst out in the blogosphere earlier this week, I came across this post on a blog I’m following which is insanely interesting!

The lovely Jamaican Muslimah posted the following link on the demographics of Islamic immigration in Europe.

The numbers are A-MAZING and it just goes to show the spread of Islam is unstoppable. A scary indicator how close to the end of time we may actually be...

Subhanallah! I’m speechless and sat in awe...

Deffo worth a look..

Much love ladies

Sunday, 17 May 2009

TopShop Shopping...!

Being a new hijabi, Ive quickly got bored with all my old clothes as I basically cant wear them how I used to anymore... Cue mornings of openeing my wardrobe and gawping in an uber confused state thinking "What the hell'm I gonna wear today?!"

Ask my sister! Its become a running joke to ask "What you wearing today?" Knowing that neither of us have a fricking clueeeee!!!

Man - its soooo hard when alli really wann do is oull on a pair of denims along with my kicks and a cardigan... Your probs thinking whats wrong with that?! Well wehn you work with uber glam fashionistas, kicks and tees just dont cut it! Drab hijab just wont dooo!

which is whyyyy- im super excited about these little goregous visions of lovliness below! If they havnt already - theyll soon be winging their way into my ready-to-burst-at-the-seams wardrobe!

Whoooop - cant wait!

Im especially loving the black jacket at the top, I dont think you can see very well in the pic, but its a black lace jacket which is perfect for chucking over sleevless dresses that havnt seen the light of day since last year...

The scarf in the bottom left is actually one designed by matthew willaimson for HnM - its goooooregous! Ive never really been into patterned Hijabs and tend to go for plain but this was gorge and worn on a canvas of black and electric blue shoes (sorry dont have a pic for those!) i think is gonna look amazing...

Harem pants on the bottom are jersey and uber comfy, maybe with shoeboots or my Adidas hightop trainers...? Though im wondering what to wear on top!! But im sure ill find a way no doubt... please suggest if you have any ideas...!

And finally, the belt in the middle also deserves a mention as it perfect for cinching in shift dresses from all those season ago that also sit dormant..! Teamed with a long lightweight cardi - inshallah, ill be good to go...!

Never before have I looked forward to going to work..!
Much love ladies...


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Where do you find the time?!

I'm on my way home after what seems like a horrendously long week at work and am sooo sleepy (Still have Friday to go...)

Where do you ladies find the time to post?! I'm sat here next to this man (who smells and is encroaching into my space with his newspaper reading arm-Grrrr!) looking at my blog and it needs more posts! The only time I find to catch up on the latest goings on in the blogosphere is on my commute to and from work...

Omg I his arm came too far over and had to tell him to watch what he's doing! That's sooooo not the things brit commuters do! Thicko! I had to tell him 3 times before he got what I was saying...

Anyways.. Back to blogging! Some fellow bloggers manage to post 2 or 3 times a day...

My posts seem to take forever to write and always end up do long too hence the infrequency of them!

Hmm... I think I need to brush up on by blogging skills!

Anyways, just thinking in writing...

Insh'allah if there's anything you'd like me to post about drop me a quick line

Stay blessed ladies!

-- Posted From My iPhone --

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Like a star, a star, a star...

Dressed in stretch Jbrand jeans and black HandM zip back dress with hair piled high in a messy bun, I sit uninterested. The McQueen-esqe Topshop scarf hangs loosely barely covering my exposed neck and I find myself feeling even more detached from my 11am Monday meeting than usual.

At this point, my head’s full of thoughts and feelings of failure… guilt… and weakness to name but a few. I sit feeling absolutely gutted that I had barely even tried that morning.

I didn't try. In hindsight - I didn't try. At all.

Amidst all the talk of the AW09 collection and Sales plans, I experienced quite a surreal moment. I still can’t quite find the words to explain what I felt and think even if I could? I wouldn't be able to fully describe the moment as I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before.

It was so weird… It was probably the closest thing to an out of body experience... I remember feeling very aware all of a sudden; aware of myself and my surroundings. I found myself sat there, in this meeting that I cared nothing about, in the tightest of denim, exposed neck and hair uncovered when reality hit me. The realization of what I was doing hit me so hard, I froze… I sat bolted to my seat, with baited breath and my heart began sinking even further than it had already done so that morning.

For the first time - I felt such shame! And never before have I felt shame like I had at that moment when I became aware of my Lord was watching down on me, disobeying Him! Disobeying his commands and disobeying what had been ordained on me as a Muslim woman.

Gosh – Chills run through me as I type…

I very quickly became conscious His presence - Taqwa I believe, at that moment in time. I've never felt such failure, disappointment and weakness in myself before.

Monday 23rd February was the day that I was supposed to begin wearing hijab. The rest of the day was spent feeling absolutely horrendous…

See, the thing is, had I worn Hijab that morning, it honestly wouldn’t have been for the right reasons – my decision to go ahead begin wearing Hijab that morning was decided on a whim the Friday prior!

Subhanallah – The Friday was an absolutely beautiful day; it was the blessed day of Jum’aa, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. I felt content and all praise was to Allah subhanahu wa taala.. I felt blessed and was also feeling ‘good’ in the Islamic sense… I'd booked the day off from work and was trialing the Hijab ahead of the Fundamentals of faith seminar I was attending in the evening.

Mash’allah after a truly inspiring lecture taught by Shaikh Yasir Qadhi, I felt much more connected spiritually towards my beautiful deen and left feeling my iman had increased. A conversation with a close friend discussing the lecture and Islam in general soon turned to my dithering in observing hijab.

The same silly excuses rolled off my tongue to be greeted with the same sensible answers from my friend followed by the suggestion of putting the hijab on and just not taking it off... "You’ll be wearing it all weekend, be surrounded by brothers and sisters in the deen, why don't you just get up on Monday and go to work with it on…?"

OMG! The nerves and butterflies I felt! The excitement rushed though my whole body!

Now, I’m very much the type of person who never makes sporadic decisions unless I’ve thought long and hard about them. Depending on the situation, I need to feel ready and certain that I’m making the right choice so this was totally a new prospect to me!

It sounded sooo exciting – It sounded amazing in fact! A new chapter, A new me and an a new way of life sounding fascinating so much so that amidst all my nervous excitement, I found myself thinking "Ok! I’m just gonna do it – No thinking, just do it!!"

I was inundated with beautiful Hadith, Quran verses, Dua and well wishes.

“Tomorrow’s gonna be the start the start to a new phase of your life’’ – To hear those words was amazing! It was the start of a new me... Being a bit of a worrier, the feeling of doing this with no worries... no stresses... no fears felt amazing and so carefree... All those demons that you may have read about in my previous post didnt matter and it all felt so simple and easy..

Things took a slight turn however as throughout the course of the weekend, I’d had time to think about what I was going to do… Shaitan had begun working his ways on me and the doubts, fears, worries and the feelings of not being ready quickly crept back into my mind…

“I don’t have any Hijabs to wear!”
“I don’t know what I’m going to say to people!”
“How are they going to react?”
“Will they be shocked? How will I face all the questions?!”

All these thoughts and questions ran through my mind – it was a rushed decision that I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared for...

What was decided on impulse now had me feeling nervous like crazy and found myself going back on my decision... I hadn’t planned it… I wasn’t organized… I hadn’t had the chance to get used to it… I don’t ever do things on impulse as I’m very much a thinker! So all these thing were important for me to have in hand…

Above all else, there was a major factor which influenced my decision to wear (or not wear as the case had been) to wear the hijab that morning...

I wouldn’t have done it as I felt ready to do it, or cos I felt the love to do it, or even cos really wanted to do it… If i had worn hijab that morning, it would have been due to not wanting to dissapoint my friend who had invested so much time in me, encouraged me and was so, so pleased to hear of my decision...

I felt this immense pressure and expectation that was put on me to do this. I honestly felt had I gone through with it, it would have been to please someone in this life rather than for the sake of the one being that this should truly be for and matters the most - Allah subhanau wa taala.

Anything I do for the deen - for me, needs to be for the right reasons... My actions for my deen are not to please people or seek their approval or gratification... I do these things as I want to do them to please my creator. Allah is the only one that I aim to please, and no one else.
So in wearing the hijab, I didn’t want to feel pressured to wear it... I didn’t want to wear it cos someone else wanted me to – it had to be for ME. I wanted to want to wear it, and I wanted to feel ready to wear it. I didn’t want to look back in years to come and feel that I had been indirectly 'pushed' into wearing it... Astagfirullah I feared that should I ever feel this, I would not only end up resenting someone for it but also resent wearing the hijab also.. I didnt want to feel that... Allhumdulillah - Ive never felt any resntment before for anyhting but can only but imagine what this could do to a person...

I felt quite strongly that had to be of my own accord as it was for my beautiful cousins and it would be when I was ready (or as ready as I could ever be) to wear it…

In my heart, it just didn’t feel right - thats it...

With all this in mind – Subconsciously or not, I had already made up my mind about wearing it on Monday… my decision was, that I wouldn’t. Although I told friends that I would try – deep down in the subconscious I guess I knew I wouldn’t.

10am Monday morning I drafted the below email and sent it in the hope of finding reassurance; Someone to say that it was a small setback and it would be ok maybe.. a few further words of encouragement perhaps…Anything – I just needed to hear it was ok and to stop feeling so guilty about it…

Seeing these emails again have actually been quite hard for me to read actually, I guess as everything I went throught hat mornign comes flooding back... Anyways...

“Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

I feel sick with disappointment.. I’m sitting here and feel so bad that I couldn’t do it, I didn’t even make an effort to do so this morning.

I woke up got ready as usual and then gave it a few moments thoughts and just couldn’t do it...

My way into work was spent thinking how would I feel on the train wearing Hijab? Ok
How would I feel on the tube wearing Hijab Ok?
How would I feel walking into work in Hijab - mmm not sure
Sitting at my desk now thinking how would I feel wearing Hijab - self conscious.... wondering what everyone’s thinking...

its also just dawned on me that I don’t like to draw attention to myself and know in wearing Hijab that will happen - all eyes really will be on me...

I can’t even begin to tell you what I’m feeling..

I have this horrible sinking feeling inside...
Does this make me a weak person? I feel it.”

I was greeted with a short terse response; which was the last thing I needed… I already felt horrendous and I didn’t need to be made to feel any worse than I already did.

I remember feeling like I had no one! I remember feeling like my friend who had been sooo supportive had now turned away from me and had left me to my own devices...

Melodramaatic maybe - but thats how I felt!

I guess it’s if you spend so much time, helping someone and are over the moon when progress has been made, but then to see that person go back a step, it must be super frustrating. Maybe even make you want to give up almost and would possibly make you feel why you ever bothered – and all your efforts had been wasted...?

8 or 9 months ago, I was a lost shallow little soul whose be all and end all was fashion, gym, Facebook and that’s pretty much it… Yeah I prayed and stuff but my deen wasn’t the priority in my life. I wanted to do more for my deen and iman, but being a procrastinator never usually got anywhere fast… My friend had been such a positive influence in my life, had it not be for this its quite likely that I’d still be plodding along not really having given the hijab or anything else any serious thought…

The rest of that week was the toughest.

But you know what? It was a blessing in disguise as it made me stronger and even more determined to do this… if at first you don’t succeed…

I decided to give myself a bit of time.. a week, and would take the plunge…
All I needed was a week- just one week to prepare cos I was soooo going to do this! And you know what else? I was going to do it on my own!

I didn’t need anyone else as truly Allah was sufficient. Don’t get me wrong all the support and the love from friends helps very much but it was down to the Qadar of Allah if this was going to happen.

I supplicated my heart out that Allah would make it easy and give me the strength and courage to go through with it…and you know what He really did. All those things I was most worried about and feared? – They all seemed to have taken care of themselves…

Gosh – here come the chills again..

Honestly – thinking back that week was lovely as I was so immersed in doing this and being ready for it..

I sent texts round so friends who were wearing hijab already and asked where they buy Hijabs and spoke to friends who had made the change also.

Allhumdulillah, upon telling everyone how I felt so disappointed in myself – they were all so great and shared their experiences and thoughts. Everyone was sooo supportive and were so lovely.. even the sisters I saw in the prayer room at work – honestly i felt truly blesses to have these people to speak to, to make me feel better and to know that they were there for me..

It’s always easier knowing someone’s gone though what you have and to see, that they’re doing ok so insh’Allah I will be too!

I went shopping in my lunch hour and after work in search of Hijabs everyday for a week! I traipsed up and down Oxford Street, made trips to Green street and even rummaged thought old Shalwaar Kameez in search for beautiful Dupattas to add to my new wardrobe of Hijabs!

I researched to death reasons for wearing hijab, I must have printed out like 30 pages worth of Information on reasons, experiences, Hadiths, Punishments, Benefits - everything and anything relating to hijab… I spent my hour long commute into work reading highlighting and thinking about hijab and the beauty of observing it not only to understand it for myself further but also to be able to explain it when faced with questions…

The final thing that needed addressing and the BIGGEST reason why I hadn’t already started wearing the hijab – work! I decided to avoid the limelight that was to ensue, the below was needed… Again, to avoid a big song and dance about it, i sent out a discreet email to my immediate team..

“Hi ladies,
Almost time for the weekend!

Ok rather than making a big announcement I just thought it'd be easier if I just sent an email...

From next week (hopefully!), I plan to start wearing the Hijab on a permanent basis (Hijab is the Islamic dress, so basically just covering my hair...)
Being Muslim, it’s something I've been thinking about for a while and I've now finally decided to just do it...

It’s quite a big change for me - eeeek!
I just wanted to let you all know beforehand so it’s doesn't come as a surprise when you see me looking a bit different come Monday morning!

That's all...!

I was like a woman possessed that week – I was on autopilot! Every spare moent was spent thinking about the following Monday and my first day as a Hijabi, only this time positively and more motivated, determined and excited than ever!

And that was it!

All done and no more excuses!

Everything had been dealt with and I was ready to go…

Monday 2nd March? BRING IT!!!

Gosh it seems like forever ago now and it’s actually been quite tough reliving this post – It was such a hard week for me but Allhumdulillah I came out shining...

Like a star in fact!
= D