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Muslim Mamas 2010 - Page 7

post #121 of 227
Ramazan muborak!

UmmIbrahim, wow, you are certainly in my thoughts. All I can say is, I have been feeling the same way about Christianity with a lot of the "Christian" posts on Facebook! Don't forget that there were times in Christianity that we Christians are all ashamed of; but it is not men and women that make a religion, but the power of God and in the case of Islam, the holy Qur'an. Believe me I have been struggling with this as well because of several historical courses I've read followed about the Bible. :P So now I'm like, okay, in one ear I have so-called Christians blasting nonsense, and in the other, I am having a hard time reconciling my belief in the Bible as the word of God (regardless of its usefulness in everyday life) with my knowledge of history and ability to think critically...

Quote:
The only good side was the officers who made our time at the airport less than idea were Bahrainis of Persian background.
Not sure how that is good, LOL, but perhaps this is God showing how He pulls it all together.


To all...

I hope it is okay if I stay here for Ramazan, because as some of you know my husband is Muslim but I am not. He will be fasting and I had planned to but yesterday I nearly had a blackout for *no* good reason, and I'm at my minimum weight, and yes, quite tired lately, so we'll see. Please pray that God will lead me in the right direction. I know my duties to my children outweigh any duty to fast, however, I also believe that God gives us strength.

I fasted for Lent and lost two pounds (even though I still ate dairy because I was nursing, and drank black tea), and that was a couple of months ago, so now it's another fast. But I also want to support my husband and not to make him feel that he's waking me up in the morning.

So keep our family in your thoughts.
post #122 of 227
as-salaamu `alaykum

Umm Ibrahim .

It must help you at least a little bit to know (as you said you did before) that you are not the only person this has happened to.

I think a lot of what I said in this thread applies here:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=#post15603204

I don't know where you live, if you have any half-decent Muslim communities around to slowly get back into, but keep in mind that things tend to be different here because our communities in the US are more self-selecting. In other words, you aren't going to have to deal with the nastiest people if you don't want to. And the most irreligious of them don't even bother with the masjid here anyway...

But if you are still afraid of community and social issues, it might be a good time to do some reading and praying and kind of re-decide on Islam for yourselves, kind of choose your faith and how exactly you believe in it all over again. Ramadhan starts this week so no better time...

I think it's really common to have a depression after a big move like that, probably moreso if you add in the problems you faced. Heck, I just moved from one place to another in the US and the stress of moving and having to start all over again (and in a community generally regarded as "clique-y") has made me pretty depressed too, even though it's an AWESOME place and WAY better than the one we left.
post #123 of 227
AsSalaamu Alaikum UmmIbrahim. It saddens me to hear your story. Have you made sincere dua? Allah is the ultimate judge. With him is our return. While Saudi is home to Mecca Mecca and Medina, it is not the Islamic State. There is no real Islamic contry. So these majority Muslim countries mix culture and Islam. On the day of judgement we will be held accountable for our own deeds. While we are here in the dunya well will be tested and our Iman will increase and decrease. How we handle it will be a testiment of our love for Allah,Rasullah,and this deen. Remember the stories of the prophets who suffered before us. We know not one ounce of what they suffered. May Allah increase you and your husband in Iman. Especially during Ramadan when we should be reflecting.
post #124 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmIbrahim View Post
asalaamu alaikum wr wb!

But frankly...our emaan is probably the lowest its ever been. DH says that being in Saudi really opened his eyes to how messed up things are with Muslims and he does not want to have anything to do with any Muslim. Really, I can't blame him, what we saw/experienced there was really...definitely NOT what we had anticipated and on my own side...

Pls, pls say doa'a for us!!!
alaikum assalaam, UmmIbrahim,

I am so sorry about what you have been through. It sounds incredibly hard but eye-opening, and maybe in the end it will help you grow on a new level of faith.

I just wanted to comment that, because my husband is a lapsed Muslim who constantly informed me of the problems, before I converted I was painfully aware of the realities of how the "Muslim world" is. There were times when I was ready to commit myself to Islam and then would be full of terror and doubt when thinking of how I would be committed to the "same" faith that was used to justify the same sorts of oppression that it originally came to abolish (in my opinion). Sometimes the pain of this would be so extreme as to make me sick to my stomach. Reminded of oppression in Saudi Arabia or Iran or anywhere, I would be pressed to doubt my spiritual inclinations.

Like EdnaMarie noted, the actions of the supposed faithful are often in contrast with the ideals of a faith. It is true in every religion. (And I would say that, as an American, I can be ignorant of the oppression and cruelty of my home culture because I am a fish in water--I don't feel wet.) But being Muslim does not make one correct. In the yaum a-Dinn, it is one's actions and sincerity and focus towards God that are important.

I found that if I focus on myself as part of the Ummah more than directly on my relationship to Allah, I get lost. We are all accountable to God first. Maybe it is good to take what you have experienced as a teaching in how not to be Muslim, and adjust your approach to Islam. Perhaps your new awareness can in the end bring you closer to Allah and to living in a way that will please Allah. I think experiences like what you had have their purpose, and if you can trust in Allah to bring you through it even while you feel so scarred, you may be surprised at how things turn out.

If you are still having a lot of anxiety about going out, please take it seriously and consider seeking support. This kind of thing can spiral in on you. Don't give in to the fear but treat yourself gently. (I say this as a person who struggled with agoraphobia as a child/young woman.)

Anyway, may Allah forgive me if I said anything blasphemous. If you are open to it, I would echo 1jooj's comment to look into Sufi resources. They might help heal your heart and grow stronger imaan.
post #125 of 227
Ramadan Kareem, sisters in Islam!

I know umsami is expecting a Ramadan baby--I'm thinking of you, especially since last year in Ramadan I was expecting and gave birth to my sweet Ramadan baby.

Again this year I am not fasting because my baby is gaining weight slowly and I am concerned about affecting my milk supply (which does seem sensitive to my eating/drinking habits). But I am still extremely excited to be in this holy month.

I finally got back into salaat a few weeks ago after a long dry spell. How wonderful it is--why did I deprive myself? One really sweet thing is watching my 11 month old daughter imitate me in sudjood (prostration).
post #126 of 227
A Loving and Merciful Ramadan!

For the first time in what feels like forever, I got up before fajr (to feed/hydrate for the fast). It was 3AM, and I stayed up until 6 reading Quran. I may just read the whole Quran this year.

I am reorganizing my days, though. I did take a long nap and just awoke, since I have to work during the days in the barn, garden, house and job. Dh will likely nap in the afternoon. We're going to have to sleep sometime, since fajr's at 4 and maghrib's at 8.
post #127 of 227
Thread Starter 
As-salamu 'alaikom ~

Ramadan mubarak!

Just wanted to put a couple of Qur'an resources out there:

http://tanzil.info -- Similar to quranexplorer.com, but IMO somewhat more user-friendly, and includes the Muhammad Asad translation for those who prefer it.

Although, WRT Quran Explorer, it can be set to English/Arabic or just English audio (Pickthall), should you get a little stuck reading and would like to be able to just relax and listen in translation.

Someone on my FB linked to this yesterday: http://corpus.quran.com ... I'm calling it "The Qur'an for Nerds." The "syntactic treebank" and section on ontology's "concept map" are really cool.

And, speaking of Pickthall audio, Librivox (a volunteer-based organization which makes audio recordings of public domain books) has a version out there available on archive.org. By "volunteers" I mean anyone at home can record some or all of a book and submit it for review, and while I only listened to snippets I thought the result was kind of sweet ... the woman reading the opening chapters keeps pronouncing "Quran" in a heavily southern way, there's a guy with an Australian-ish accent in there, and so on. It's more like listening to a group of people read aloud to one another than to a slickly recorded audiobook.
post #128 of 227
Wa'alaikum Assalam Everybody:

Still no Ramadan baby. ISA, he'll wait until Friday when my parents arrive, but will show up before my induction Tuesday a.m. Of course, Allah(swt) knows the perfect time for him to come out, so I'm trying to remember that.

So, am I the only one who thinks the new Saudi clock tower in Mecca is tacky tacky tacky!! I mean, I'm not uber-religious girl or anything... but it and the whole shopping/hotel complex tower above the Kaaba. Isn't the point, especially in Mecca, to worship Allah(swt) and not the almighty dollar? Argh. Maybe I'm missing the spiritual significance....but it just seems so pointless and almost akin to shirk. Build it somewhere else, but not towering above the Kaaba.

I received a good email from the Threshold Society today (Sufis) on Ramadan...and it had some good verses on various things we could focus our attention on during Ramadan. I can't copy it here due to copyright things, but if you want me to forward it to you, just PM me.

Peace.
post #129 of 227
Thread Starter 
The Saudi approach to what traditions to respect and what traditions to pave over is definitely strange.

First iftar menus anyone? I'm going with buttermilk batter fried chicken (and batter fried zucchini sticks, since I made too much batter ). Also spicy red lentil and carrot soup served with rice, tomato and cucumber salad, and BBQ (for me) and sesame (for my husband) dipping sauces for the chicken. Frozen banana milkshakes for breaking fast, and fruit salad with iced chai for dessert.
post #130 of 227
The frozen banana milkshakes for breaking the fast are absolutely brilliant!! I'm definitely going to steal that for DH even though I'm not fasting.

DS, 6, wants to practice fasting tomorrow. He told me on his own, which I'm sort of psyched about... but being as the heat-index is 105 or so each day here, I'm not so sure about restricting fluids in any form. I think we'll start by seeing if he can go without his afternoon snack for a first try. Maybe as the month goes on, if he wants to skip lunch, he can.
post #131 of 227
We had the usual Moroccan harira with dates, hard boiled eggs, parathas, ratatouille, fresh cukes and tomatoes, mint tea and goat's milk ricotta with honey and vanilla (spread on the parathas). I think dh wants to grill lamb chops when he comes home from tarawih.

Ds fasted the whole day, and didn't get up for suhoor. Poor kid. He did great until around 7 when a bee stung him and he had an hour to go.

I'm trying not to gain weight this Ramadan, so trying to back off the frying and saucing. I'll get enough of that when we're invited out, and surely eventually I'll give in and make it myself. So, exercising discipline while I have it.

Of course, now I am about to crank out some work, slurping down a decaf iced coffee.

Freezing the bananas is a great idea. I don't even bring bananas home this time of year; my own tomatoes are enough of a fruit fly problem. I'm thinking frozen strawberries and homemade yogurt later this week.
post #132 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
The frozen banana milkshakes for breaking the fast are absolutely brilliant!! I'm definitely going to steal that for DH even though I'm not fasting.

DS, 6, wants to practice fasting tomorrow. He told me on his own, which I'm sort of psyched about... but being as the heat-index is 105 or so each day here, I'm not so sure about restricting fluids in any form. I think we'll start by seeing if he can go without his afternoon snack for a first try. Maybe as the month goes on, if he wants to skip lunch, he can.
That is awesome about DS. I thought the recommendation for children fasting was to skip the morning snack, have a small lunch, and skip afternoon snack? Or something like that. My husband fasted from age 7 on. But they lived in a southern country. Now he's in military training and our days are 18 hours long!!! (!!!) I hope he does okay. He is okay spreading the fast between Thursdays later in the year if necessary. Still, it's usually much easier during Ramazan because of the solidarity.

I tried to fast, but could not let down and since DD2 still gets about half her calories from nursing, it's just not going to happen. I get SO thirsty when I nurse, and I've been having these weird dizzy spells (even not fasting). Oh, well. I know God would prefer that baby nurses happily until I get pregnant.

Quote:
own tomatoes are enough of a fruit fly problem.
Sing it. When I put bananas on the hanger, it's a disaster.
post #133 of 227
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
The frozen banana milkshakes for breaking the fast are absolutely brilliant!! I'm definitely going to steal that for DH even though I'm not fasting.
I posted right before making them (a.k.a., I was trying to kill those impatient minutes right before maghrib) ... I wound up going with banana and peach. I know it was just because I was thirsty and hungry, but I'd swear it was the best thing ever.
post #134 of 227
And thus begins the social calendar of Ramadan! We had our first invite-out night last night. It was lovely; my sister-friend hosted a gorgeous meal of lentil soup, salads and maqluba. I made a nice yogurt-cucumber sauce to go with, and she makes the best baklava around.

Best, though, was the dhikr after iftar, led by her dh. I am truly hoping this is the start of a new practice in my life. Between fajr prayers and doing dhikr, I am feeling so much more peaceful, even in the face of a life that's too stuffed with dunya right now.

Also, yesterday was my bday, so my dear friend made me a big batch of her incredible baklava to take to work. A tiny bite of dawa!

May Allah shower your hearts with mercy and kindness, may our fasting be accepted and may we all increase our faith and love of one another for the sake of Allah.
post #135 of 227
Thread Starter 
Hey umsami, this is your mosque, right? (Uh, scrolling past the confederate flag joint, ham sandwiches, and would-be rap stars. ) http://30mosques.com/2010/08/day-8-f...north-florida/

The picture of the kids running at the playground with the lighted dome in the background struck me as really beautiful.
post #136 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Hey umsami, this is your mosque, right? (Uh, scrolling past the confederate flag joint, ham sandwiches, and would-be rap stars. ) http://30mosques.com/2010/08/day-8-f...north-florida/

The picture of the kids running at the playground with the lighted dome in the background struck me as really beautiful.
Yup, that's it! The domes and minaret were just finished last year.... for most of its 20-30 year history, there was no dome, and the minaret was half-finished.

And yes.... I too have wondered about the pork-filled camel rider sandwiches. LOL Apparently, they've been a Jacksonville institution since the 60s.
post #137 of 227
Thread Starter 
I thought the dome looked pretty shiny-new.
post #138 of 227
Salaam alaykum mommas, and happy Ramadan!

I can't believe the first 10 days (days of rahmah) are already gone. Now we're into the days of mustaghfira (forgiveness). To be honest, everyone in our family is exhausted. We go to the mosque almost every night for breaking the fast and dinner, which is so nice because then I don't have to cook. But, we stay late (like until around 10) and DS' bedtime is usually at 8pm. So his schedule is all off, he's getting tons of sugar at the mosque that he doesn't usually get (hard to prevent it with kids running around with cokes and candy). But, it feels like a holiday, and getting together with the community is a wonderful feeling!

My goal was to read the Quran everyday, and I haven't been doing a great job. I am going to try to get my butt in gear for the remaining days. I love the side-by-side Arabic-English Quran with Yusuf Ali's tafseer notes at the bottom.

I just read all the posts about what you're making for iftar......and it's the middle of the day.....so I'm pretty much dreaming about food and drooling over the computer I'm gonna try to make some baklava for DH's work (dawa).

And...today my letter to the editor about Ramadan and the NYC mosque got published in the newspaper!! I'm so happy alhmdullilah . I hope that all the people reading it learn something good about Islam

Just wanted to say that I am so happy to have this community on mothering.com, sometimes I feel disconnected and its nice to have you all! Ramadan Mubarak ladies.
post #139 of 227
LOL @youngspiritmom. Your post reminds me that when I'm fasting, I find myself gravitating towards the Food Network or AllRecipes... which only makes things worse.

Are any of you Mamas in the Albany/Troy area or familiar with the masjids there? We're looking for a nice family-friendly masjid not only for Eid prayers, but also Jummah prayers, Sunday/Weekend school, etc. Any and all recommendations are very welcome!
post #140 of 227
Ramadan Mubarak!

Alhamdulilah, it is SO nice to read all your posts about how your Ramadans are going. I feel for you in the Northern hemisphere fasting in the summer - long days can be very challenging, can't they? I still remember 12 years ago when we had summer Ramadans here (I live in the southern hemisphere) and iftar wasn't until 8:50pm and suhoor was very early. The fatigue of it all nearly killed me! So much respect to you all And I can only say how grateful I am that Muslims follow a lunar calendar, so we are having winter Ramadans at the moment. The 5:50pm iftar is a very welcome blessing alhamdulilah!

How is everyone going with their Ramadan goals? Mine are going okay, alhamdulilah. My goals were probably more modest than many of yours, and there is one that I really haven't kept up with well But I'd really like to hear some of your goals if you're willing to share them? I know we're already nearly half way through (!!!!! HOW?!) but it certainly can't hurt to add some new practices to the mix if possible, and you probably have some great goals I hadn't thought of doing. It will also inspire me to hear what you're doing, as I know for myself I can sometime flag a bit with motivation in the middle of the month due to tiredness etc. So please share!

Anyway, I'll go first. And again, I feel a bit shy to share cos these are pretty simple goals :S

- pray 6 rakats of sunnah a day
- pray SOME tarawih each night (even if it's only 2 rakats)
- give charity for every day of Ramadan (I've really enjoyed this one! I've donated to charities I normally never get around to, like Amnesty and Save the Bears, even if it's only $10)
- Read one juz a day (in English, as my Arabic is awful) ; this is the one I've struggled to maintain I've found it really hard to prioritise the time for this one
- general increase in dua
- look for opportunities for Random Acts of Kindness kind-of-things whererever possible
- read my favourite seerah (I love this one seerah so much, I've already finished it and I cried buckets LOL)
- WATCH MY TONGUE. Ack.

Would you guys be willing to share some of your goals or extra daily practices? I'd love to hear what you're trying to achieve and try to incorporate some of the things, too. It would be nice to encourage each other, too
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