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Muslim Mamas 2011 - Page 2

post #21 of 178

Hey, Sufi-oriented people... I was wondering if any of you are actually members of a specific Order, and if so, what your experience with that has been like. I've been really getting into the lectures and teachings available from Kabir Helminski and the Threshold Society (went through their 99 Day Program correspondence course last year). I feel like these teachings and the teachers I have worked with (at a distance) really get to my depths, really help me educate my heart, even though sometimes I have qualms about various things.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post

 

sky_and_lavender, impressions? Thoughts? How was your Gulf trip? Thank you for your well-wishes.

 


I was really only in Qatar for 5 days, so I definitely didn't get a full layout of what life there is like. Because of the immigrant workforce, it really didn't feel too much like I was in a Muslim or Arab country, although there were more mosques and the hotel room had a sticker on the ceiling indicating qibla. I got together with an expat moms group, a mix of people from all over the place. One American woman said she never experienced homesickness because being in Qatar was very much like being at home in the midwest. But there were definitely more Muslims around, so I bet it would be a great chance to meet others. One way it was very different from the US was that it was very family friendly in terms of attitudes and scheduling, alhamdulliLah! As for learning Arabic there, I think I'd have to consciously make an effort to interact with Arabs and ask them to speak Arabic with me even though they can speak English. It might be easier than learning Arabic here, but actually I'm not sure! English is definitely the dominant language. 

 

post #22 of 178
Thread Starter 
Assalamu Alaikum:

Jazakh'Allah Khairun everybody for the du'as for my Dad. smile.gif Alhamdullilah, he made it through the first round of chemo. I think we have 5 more to go, but will know more next week ISA.


sky_and_lavendar: I, too, did the 99 day program through Kabir Helminski and the Threshold organization. I wish it had been a bit more meaty. I kind of felt that it was for non-Muslims who knew little about Islam as it seemed like the goal was to be performing the salat by the end. (Not the sole focus, granted--and I still did take away some things from it.)

I do really enjoy a lot of Camille Helminski's work. I love the CD of the Mevlani Wird... as well as her translations of the Qur'an. I'm not a "real" member however--mainly because there aren't any groups near me. I do listen to a lot of the things they post through facebook, newsletters, etc.

The one group that is near me are the Sufi International folks--which are not Muslim enough for me for lack of a better word. Although in a way, I do feel that Islam at its heart is very universalistic (you will be judged by your prophet and what was revealed to him), I don't think you can negate the Muslim foundation of Sufism.

When I was in NYC, I listened to a lot of the Nur Al Jerrahi Sufi stuff as well.

I also love the online library at Bawa Muhayyadin Fellowship www.bmf.org

I'd love to join a community--but don't see it happening until my kids are a bit older.
post #23 of 178

umsami, I'm so glad to hear that your father has gotten to a good start in healing. I'm still making du'a for him.

 

I felt similarly about the 99 day program in the sense that it was geared toward non-Muslims. I know they had changed the program a bit during the past couple of years, so I wonder if we did the same version. I remember in a way feeling disappointed with the text when I got it, but I decided to just try to trust that it would be worthwhile and put a lot of attention into it.

 

Toward the end of the program, something shifted in me. I went from being a resentful, unhappy new mother to being a content person who took life in stride and didn't feel knotted up about everything. I became more patient and loving. It was quite amazing for me. I think also the guide who I worked with in the program had a lot to do with how I benefited. (She had me write every two weeks, and replied every two weeks, much more than expected.)

 

I enjoy Camille's insights, too. One thing I like about the threshold sohbets and talks is that, in listening to them, I often feel my ego/nafs challenged even while I am surrounded and filled with a sense of love and patience. They bring me back to Allah and back to my own humanity over and over. I feel that way about reading the Qur'an, too, but the Qur'an takes a bit more work to get in the right frame of mind.

 

I know what you mean about the SOI and other similar organizations.

 

I notice that sometimes in the US, political leaders try to promote Sufism as a "good" Islam while other ways of thinking about it are presumed to be not good. (An example of this thinking is in Stephen Schwartz's book "The Other Islam" ) This troubles me. I don't want how I practice or view my religion to be used as a weapon in foreign policy. I don't want to be associated with any group that plays into this kind of thinking. I guess being a Muslim of any stripe these days puts one in the spotlight of politicians, though.

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences, umsami.

 

post #24 of 178

My DH is sufi. I wouldn't call it an "Order" because that sounds way weird to me. :P They call it what would be translated as "path" in English, which I guess is what an Order is, right? His sheikh is from the Naqshbandi tariqa. www.sacredlearning.org

 

I would have described myself as salafi before we got married, and although I can still relate with salafis, I find that these sufis do not conflict with what I believe is correct, although they take a more spiritual approach, and a "do ___ for the reward" along with focusing a ton on HOW they get to where they want to be, whereas the salafis I know take a more informative approach, and put more emphasis on how lacking you are right now, and believe in more of a hope for the best, but don't expect it because this is the punishment for those who disbelieve approach. I feel like both groups are the same(although they follow different madhabs) neither one strays into shirk, and have the same goals. I have met some sufis that I do believe stray into shirk though, that was my biggest issue when I found out that DH was sufi, that maybe his sufi group believed in shirky things.

 

Although we are practicing muslims, I wouldn't say we are practicing sufis. We do what is obligated on us by Allah to the best of our ability, but we find it difficult to actually do the dhikr/muraqaba that this sufi path suggests. 

post #25 of 178

Amatullah0, thanks for describing your thoughts and experience. I know among western groups especially, specific madhab and sharia are not always emphasized, and the Naqshbandi is one in which it is. You're right--"Order" isn't a good translation, and "Path" is more accurate. I guess it's also easy to just say "tariqa," too.

 

 

 

post #26 of 178
Thread Starter 
Assalamu Alaikum Everybody:

I'm wondering your opinion on fatwas. A lot of the Muslims I know seem to be fatwa dependent... in that they can't make a decision, almost any decision, without consulting a Shaykh/Imam. Let's not even go into the fact that there are often conflicting opinions out there coming from two (or more) well-educated/credentialed sides. Did Allah(swt) intend for his deen to be this complicated? I find it baffling. What am I missing?
post #27 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post

Assalamu Alaikum Everybody:

I'm wondering your opinion on fatwas. A lot of the Muslims I know seem to be fatwa dependent... in that they can't make a decision, almost any decision, without consulting a Shaykh/Imam. Let's not even go into the fact that there are often conflicting opinions out there coming from two (or more) well-educated/credentialed sides. Did Allah(swt) intend for his deen to be this complicated? I find it baffling. What am I missing?


There was a time where I was confused about this kind of thing. I thought you HAD to follow anything you learned about Islam, and I would get confused. What I mean by this is, some random person tells you _____ and you HAVE to do it. I've since found a happy medium between following every fatwa I see and "fatwa shopping." The way that I do this is I stick to one madhab, and only trusted individuals. If I find something too difficult in one madhab, I will go and see what other madhabs say. For example, I follow the hanafi madhab in most matters. This includes the timing for 'asr salah. But, sometimes , praying asr at the time that it comes in for the hanafi school means that I will have to go way out of my way, miss class, or be late to an appointment to do it, so I will sometimes pray at the earlier time, according to the shafii madhab. 

 

I don't know exactly what types of decisions that you are talking about, but we do consult a (trusted(not some random internet site))sheikh if we are unsure about the islamic ruling about something. If we have to make a decision about going somewhere, taking a job, etc. we pray istikhara. (I'm saying we to mean me and DHwinky.gif

 

I wouldn't consult an imam about accepting a job,etc. unless i was worried something was haram in it(for example, my DH used to work in a gas station, and he was stuck there with absolutely no other options, and he had to sell lotto and cigarettes and he even had to miss some prayers. he spoke to our sheikh who told him it is what he had to do, since he had no other options, and he had to support his family. 

 

The reason for different madhabs is to make it easier for us. Like the example I stated above with the salah times. It simplifies it a TON if you follow one madhab until you are clear on it, then go ahead and learn what the other madhabs say about it winky.gif

 

It's similar to how there are 7(?) different, correct, ways to recite the qur'an. It's not to make it more difficult or confusing, but it's because some people honestly can't recite it the same way as someone else could. 

post #28 of 178
I don't find seeking advice to be complicated. There are plenty of things regarding which I don't feel a need to seek outside or scholarly opinions, but when I do I appreciate that there are plentiful and easily accessible resources for doing so. And I'm not really comfortable suggesting that only the things I would ask about are worth asking about, and people asking different things or about things with more frequency than me are in some way doing it wrong.
post #29 of 178

For anyone interested, I found a really remarkable series of downloadable lectures that cover the history of  the ideas and practices of Sufism, directed toward Muslims and people already on the path, by Ali Allawi (author of "The Crisis of Islamic Civilization" and a past Fellow/Professor at Oxford, Harvard, and Princeton). I'm working my way through the lectures (which were given at a sufi zawiya in London) and finding them really illuminating. Hyderkhana Discourses

 

If anyone is interested in listening to each one and discussing it online, please let me know! My poor husband (who really isn't into this kind of thing) will thank you--he's pretty tired of hearing about the content of these talks and my thoughts/questions about them!

 

post #30 of 178

assalamu alaykum ladies,

I am trying to find information about the life of Khadija ra & Asma bint Abi Bakr.  this is for my own education, and also for my daughter (age 7). we are going to watch a dars competition for girls, and I thought we should do some reading together.  the amount of information online is so overwhelming, and many of the websites are not exactly high-quality.  (I have always liked knowing the source of information....and the little booklets in a masjid do not exactly provide this.)

 

i welcome any suggestions you might have for good books/websites for teaching about these or other historically important muslimahs.

 

 

post #31 of 178
Thread Starter 
Assalamu Alaikum Sisters:

I don't know if you're familiar with Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad, but he's a British revert and scholar. Radical Middle Way, a UK organization, is hosting a discussion by him and Habib Umar bin Hafiz at 6 pm BST. (Around 1pm EST, I think. smile.gif) You can watch it live via their facebook page facebook.com/radicalmiddleway

You may also listen to some of his lectures at http://cambridgekhutbasetc.blogspot.com/ and also on Youtube. I recently saw this one (short) on youtube and it was great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH8lXNHv1dc&feature=player_embedded



Kangamitroo--Honestly, I haven't run across anything, but I remember Liquesce (I think) mentioned a fiction book based on Khadija which was supposed to be very good. I can't remember the name... I might have saved it in my Amazon list, so I'll try and find it.
post #32 of 178
Thread Starter 
This is not the book I remember, but found it while searching on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Outrageous-Women-Middle-Ages-Vicki/dp/0471170046/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302783251&sr=1-9 It features Khadija (ra). I have no idea how good it is, though--but if your library has it, it might be good. smile.gif

This book also features both Khadija (ra) and Aisha (ra). It says 5th grade and up. http://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Women-Muslim-Natalie-Maydell/dp/0979990106/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302783251&sr=1-11
post #33 of 178

Women around the messenger(muhammad ali qutub) is a good book, but the reading might be a bit difficult for a 7 year old? depends on the 7 year old though ;) I have it in print, but lookie here, its online too http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/women_around_the_messenger.pdf 

 

http://www.islamicbookstore.com/b2587.html <---those books are also good, our public library actually has them!

 

check to see if they have any books at your public library, and see if your local masjid(s) have libraries. Ours does, and I don't know how they managed to fit so many books into such a small room!(they have some really awesome books)

 

 

They also make tons of children's books that are great. You might also find something if you search for islamic curiculums, or islamic school books. (ETA: these are good, qur'an stories for little hearts: http://www.islamicbookstore.com/children.html)

 

If you want sources, you'll find that in ahadith books, like bukhari, but they can be a tough read. I would suggest finding some reliable, detailed books to go with(not websites or booklets). 

 

(ETA: you might find what you're looking for in the books "the ideal muslim/the ideal muslimah")

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

assalamu alaykum ladies,

I am trying to find information about the life of Khadija ra & Asma bint Abi Bakr.  this is for my own education, and also for my daughter (age 7). we are going to watch a dars competition for girls, and I thought we should do some reading together.  the amount of information online is so overwhelming, and many of the websites are not exactly high-quality.  (I have always liked knowing the source of information....and the little booklets in a masjid do not exactly provide this.)

 

i welcome any suggestions you might have for good books/websites for teaching about these or other historically important muslimahs.

 

 



 

post #34 of 178

amatuallah & umsami, thank you for your suggestions.  while our masjid library is, sadly, a bit sparse, I have not checked it for a while.  i am encouraged to check again, with suggestions in hand.  a friend had suggested the ideal muslimah a while ago, and i appreciate that reminder, too.

 

salaams,

kanga

post #35 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

amatuallah & umsami, thank you for your suggestions.  while our masjid library is, sadly, a bit sparse, I have not checked it for a while.  i am encouraged to check again, with suggestions in hand.  a friend had suggested the ideal muslimah a while ago, and i appreciate that reminder, too.

 

salaams,

kanga


the full version of both books, the ideal muslim and the ideal muslimah are online(free) in case you're interested ;)

 

post #36 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sky_and_lavender View Post

For anyone interested, I found a really remarkable series of downloadable lectures that cover the history of  the ideas and practices of Sufism, directed toward Muslims and people already on the path, by Ali Allawi (author of "The Crisis of Islamic Civilization" and a past Fellow/Professor at Oxford, Harvard, and Princeton). I'm working my way through the lectures (which were given at a sufi zawiya in London) and finding them really illuminating. Hyderkhana Discourses

 

If anyone is interested in listening to each one and discussing it online, please let me know! My poor husband (who really isn't into this kind of thing) will thank you--he's pretty tired of hearing about the content of these talks and my thoughts/questions about them!

 


I may not get to them right away, but those look really interesting. smile.gif Thanks for the link.
post #37 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

assalamu alaykum ladies,

I am trying to find information about the life of Khadija ra & Asma bint Abi Bakr.  this is for my own education, and also for my daughter (age 7). we are going to watch a dars competition for girls, and I thought we should do some reading together.  the amount of information online is so overwhelming, and many of the websites are not exactly high-quality.  (I have always liked knowing the source of information....and the little booklets in a masjid do not exactly provide this.)

 

i welcome any suggestions you might have for good books/websites for teaching about these or other historically important muslimahs.

 

 


The trouble with biographies of the wives of the prophet is they are rarely neutral in terms of gender politics, which gets frustrating. I'm not sure I've encountered one yet that didn't carry a fairly plain agenda of gender ideology. Bint al-Shati's Wives of the Prophet comes to mind as something available in translation that covers a lot of relevant biographical ground, but it was also written as a response to some interpretive claims in Muhammad Haykal's biography of the prophet, and so while it's biographical it's also heavily engaged in the religious gender politics and moderniation push and pull of 20th century Egypt.

Which isn't to say don't read it ... I wouldn't have brought it up at all then. smile.gif Just saying, as you get beyond the booklets so small that they hardly have room in which to be political there's some definite baggage to wade through.

ETA: I think the book UmSami was trying to think of it Mother of the Believers by Kamran Pasha. Historical fiction, but pretty good historical fiction based on biographical fact.
post #38 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

assalamu alaykum ladies,

I am trying to find information about the life of Khadija ra & Asma bint Abi Bakr.  this is for my own education, and also for my daughter (age 7). we are going to watch a dars competition for girls, and I thought we should do some reading together.  the amount of information online is so overwhelming, and many of the websites are not exactly high-quality.  (I have always liked knowing the source of information....and the little booklets in a masjid do not exactly provide this.)

 

i welcome any suggestions you might have for good books/websites for teaching about these or other historically important muslimahs.

 

 




The trouble with biographies of the wives of the prophet is they are rarely neutral in terms of gender politics, which gets frustrating. I'm not sure I've encountered one yet that didn't carry a fairly plain agenda of gender ideology. Bint al-Shati's Wives of the Prophet comes to mind as something available in translation that covers a lot of relevant biographical ground, but it was also written as a response to some interpretive claims in Muhammad Haykal's biography of the prophet, and so while it's biographical it's also heavily engaged in the religious gender politics and moderniation push and pull of 20th century Egypt.

Which isn't to say don't read it ... I wouldn't have brought it up at all then. smile.gif Just saying, as you get beyond the booklets so small that they hardly have room in which to be political there's some definite baggage to wade through.

ETA: I think the book UmSami was trying to think of it Mother of the Believers by Kamran Pasha. Historical fiction, but pretty good historical fiction based on biographical fact.

 Yes, that's the book. :)

 

Oh, try your regular library... not just the library at your masjid.  I've been pleasantly surprised by what's been available at the libraries where I've lived--and neither place had a large Muslim community IMHO. 

 

post #39 of 178
Thread Starter 

 

 

A nice piece in the Washington Post by Pamela Taylor, "From Empowerment to Patriarchy."

post #40 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post

I've been pleasantly surprised by what's been available at the libraries where I've lived--and neither place had a large Muslim community IMHO. 

 


yeahthat.gif Also, interlibrary loan networks FTW.

Just wanted to add Barbara Stowasser's Women in the Qur'an, Tradition, and Interpretation. The bulk of the book deals with other women, but the chapter on the prophet's wives, while not really intended to be biographical exactly, does lay out very clearly along what themes they are talked about in Islamic source material, with many examples of small details that don't often make it into broader narratives. It also talks about, as I was saying above, the way their stories have been framed, in both classical and modern biographies, and in particular in the two I mentioned -- Haykal and al-Shati. (Plus, academic book, not a piety piece, so plenty of citations. orngbiggrin.gif )
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