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Muslim Mamas 2011 - Page 5

post #81 of 178

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post #82 of 178

Peace and blessings to you all! Welcome to the new women here. blowkiss.gif

 

I've been primarily offline, waiting for internet to be connected in our home. They came and put in the outside cable today, so I will nag the company this afternoon to get an installer to come ASAP. It's a little frightening how much we depend on internet for some things. Wow. I have been feeling isolated, but I decided to give that up (seriously!) and enjoy the solitude (which would be more like real solitude if I didn't have two children who are bored and a dh out of the country right now).

 

Anyway, Dubai is good, if hot. It's really nice to get the adhan and access to the mosque (I can almost fall into it from our house) for any prayer I want. I am working on my Arabic, and it's going OK. Kids are also studying, and we have begun meeting people within our compound and at our neighborhood mosque.

 

We are going to visit the ILs in a couple weeks, returning to Dubai for most of Ramadan. Meantime, I am trying to see when we might be able to go for Umrah. Would love to shoot for Hajj, but I might have to do that alone. Will see.

 

Anyway, I am on a library computer now and will check in more often once we have internet at home.

 

Peace

 

 

post #83 of 178

:) Thanks for the welcomes :)

 

That sounds like quite an experience. :) It is my dream to live in Turkey for a few years, though it seems unlikely to happen at this point :)

post #84 of 178

Welcome dealic.  :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

on #6--it's a relief to see i'm not the only one who thinks these things while reading Qur'an. 



Just wanted to come back and clarify that I'm not advocating for going through the Qur'an with a red pen marking things as wrong, wrong, wrong.  redface.gif  I sort of assume y'all know that though.  

post #85 of 178
Thread Starter 

Welcome all of the new sisters. :)

 

ljooj--Alhamdullilah, that you are settling well in Dubai.  Insha'Allah, you'll get to make umrah and hajj. :)

 

 

Liquesce--Saw your post on the Naomi thread.  LOL :)  

 

 

Are you guys getting ready for Ramadan? I hate to say it, but I am so not looking forward to summer fasting--especailly as I seem to have an issue with dehydration even during winter fasting.  Blech.  Make du'a for me.  I am excited though that my 7year old wants to try fasting this year.  I'm happy that he's so excited to try so I'm trying to use that to be excited myself.

 

Oh, I was going to make a Ramadan banner as our paper one had finally died.  When I was at Target, they now have these fabric party banners (no writing) for $3.99.  I bought one for DD's bday and I think I'm going to buy two different ones and turn them into a Ramadan banner.  For the non-crafty type (like me), it should be easy to just write letters on each flag with a fabric pen. :)

post #86 of 178

I can't believe it's Ramadan time again! I don't think I'll be fasting again this year. DS will be 6 mo in August and he still breastfeeds so much. I still haven't made up my days (the whole month!) from last year when I was pregnant. What did you all do? 

 

My goals for Ramadan are to get up and have suhoor with DH and to make sure he has yummy iftars every night. Oh we should share menus when the time comes! I want to memorize at least one surah, inshAllah. I've never been good at memorization and I basically gave up when I got pregnant and lost all mental capacity, but I think I'm getting some of it back now! lol Also, I want to pray on time and pray more sunnah prayers than I do now. My intention of course is that all these good things will continue after Ramadan ends as well. May Allah help us!

 

ljooj- I just had a friend (American) move back to the states from UAE. She actually didn't like it and felt very lonesome. I hope inshAllah you are not having the same experience and are able to meet a new friends? Do you work? She did, but most of her coworkers were non Muslim so she didn't really see them socially. InshAllah I hope you get to make Ummrah too!

post #87 of 178

I don't think I'm fasting either again this year. I'm on a medication that needs to be spaced throughout the day.  On the up side, that means I can actually taste food for salt and such prior to serving.  lol.gif  

 

 

post #88 of 178
Thread Starter 

Ah tasting.  My husband always does this weird taste it on the tip of your tongue and spit it out thing...but I've never done that. I just try and make things I've made enough times that I can guesstimate well enough on the salt--so that only minor changes are needed before I serve.  It works most of the time. ;)

 

I debate with myself on fasting.  DS3 will be turning one during Ramadan this year Alhamdullilah.  The thing is, he's still exclusively breastfed--and has zero interest in any real food.  Carpet fuzz? Stickers? He'll eat those like there's no tomorrow--but any sort of food, no thanks.  He's not even interested in drinking anything other than breast milk.  I'm hoping with his new two top teeth, he'll want to eat some real food soon, but I won't hold my breath.  I'm thinking about trying--and just seeing what happens.  I also thought that maybe I'd do a food-only fast, and keep drinking.  I don't know if Allah(swt) would accept it, but that's not really the point.  It's more to make me feel apart of the whole fasting experience.  I'll still pay for a hungry person to eat each day.  I figure as long as I have water, my breast milk volume should be O.K.

post #89 of 178

Salaam dear sisters! Just read through the thread and I think I'm caught up...I would like to reply to several of you lovely ladies

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by seawitch View Post

I feel myself something like a reform Muslim. I don't refer to myself as that because I don't want to claim the title when I'm not 100% observant. I do not drink, I go back and forth between covering and not, I do listen to music but I don't listen to much "worldly" music, more instrumental. I read from the Koran daily, I believe in the one undivided God, I believe in the prophets, etc. But I am not Arab-centric. I pray but in my own words. My son is not circumcised. My husband is VERY SADLY totally anti-Islam. I don't ever have a plan to make a pilgrimage to Mecca but I do take "personal" pilgrimages to places in nature where I can marvel at God's work.

So... again, I wouldn't feel I have the right to call myself Muslim because I do not adhere to 100% of it. I follow my conscience. I do believe the Koran is 100% inspired, but not necessarily that the way people live the religion today are 100% necessary for every detail. I also know that this wishy-washy thing is strictly condemned in the Koran and that you shouldn't take some messages and believe them and take others and disbelieve them. But at the same time, it is my true desire to follow God and I am content that I am doing the best I can.

Does anyone have any... I don't know. Not sure if I'm looking for advice, maybe just opinions?
 

 

Seawitch, hello, welcome, peace! So glad you posted! I have been thinking about your post since I read it a few days ago. I think it shows a very beautiful and pure intention which is the most important thing in Islam - actions are based on their intentions. The word Islam is based on the root "s-l-m" which has its meaning in peace but Islam also means submission. Our struggle in this life is to submit to God to the best of our own personal ability. The Quran and the hadith continually say that each person must be a Muslim to the best of their own personal ability ("ma istata'tum" "what you are able" etc.)  which implies that no person will be able to submit in the same way as another. However, we all must do our best to submit and not sell our souls short. When it comes to something like alcohol, I don't drink it because I know that that is what God wants for me, etc. But even God revealed the no-alcohol aspect of Islam gradually (it started with dont be drunk when you do your prayers) because he understands the human psyche (he created it!). I think you should approach your questions and feelings from the basis of your belief in God - what do you think God wants you to do? Try to align your life with your answers to this question (they may change over time) and keep your intentions pure heartbeat.gif Knowledge is something that comes gradually, as is submission.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZakareyasMama View Post

My goals for Ramadan are to get up and have suhoor with DH and to make sure he has yummy iftars every night. Oh we should share menus when the time comes! I want to memorize at least one surah, inshAllah. I've never been good at memorization and I basically gave up when I got pregnant and lost all mental capacity, but I think I'm getting some of it back now! lol Also, I want to pray on time and pray more sunnah prayers than I do now. My intention of course is that all these good things will continue after Ramadan ends as well. May Allah help us!

 

 

Can anyone share a small meat-pie/pastry recipe or samboosa/samboosak recipe? (Veg recipes wanted too). If you have one that uses whole grains and isn't deep fried, even better! I want to make a TON of these and put them in the freezer so that we can take them out and quickly warm them for iftar/sahoor. My husband has requested this, lol.gif I know it's not the healthiest. I also would like to memorize more surahs...here's an awesome resource/website that helps and is fun and user friendly http://www.mounthira.com/
 

 

Also! FREE online Ramadan prep courses offered by the Rahmah Foundation (based out of Cali, founded to help women learn about Islam from women scholars) for whoever is interested. The Inner Dimensions of Fasting course looks so wonderful, and a great balance to the other fiqh class if you are into that. http://therahmahfoundation.org/programs/store/#ecwid:category=1196205&mode=category&offset=0&sort=normal I've signed up for both, just hope I can find the time for them....we are in the middle of moving to a new place (same city, just across town), I'm taking pre-grad classes, and things are busy!

Please keep my husband and me and my son in your dua....just tell God you are praying from youngspiritmom....He knows who I am lol.gif

Love and peace and well wishes for all of you inspiring sisters


 

 

post #90 of 178
Thread Starter 

For a meat pie recipe, here's what I do.

 

If I'm being lazy... I usually buy a tin or two of Pillsbury Grand biscuits.  Of course, I buy the reduced fat kind so I don't feel guilty. :)  Then roll them out with a rolling pin into a larger circle.  If I'm not being lazy, I either use bread dough (Artisan bread in 5 minutes per day, the half whole wheat kind) or pita dough or pie dough.  

 

For the filling, I brown ground beef or lamb with onion, salt, and pepper in a pan....and then add in about 1/3- 1/2 cup of greek yogurt, juice from 1/2 a lemon, and pine nuts which I saute in butter before hand.  Taste...and add more lemon, salt, etc. whatever you need.

 

Then I put the rolled out grand in a muffin tin, and fill with the mixture, kind of crimping it around it.  (For an open face one...or you can make half moon turnovers and put on a baking sheet lined with parchment.)  If I do half-moons, I'll brush them with egg wash.   Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or so.  

 

***I've never tried freezing them, but I think I will.  ISA, the kids and I will be gone the first week of Ramadan, so I'm stocking the freezer for DH.  Lentil soup, meat pies, macarona bechamel, etc.  And lots of apricot nectar and dates in the 'fridge. :)***

post #91 of 178

As-salamu 'alaikom~

 

Halalify has a thoughtful, thorough Ramadan calendar and day planner available as a PDF here if anyone is interested: http://halalify.com/blog/2011/04/12/ramadan-battle-plan/

post #92 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

As-salamu 'alaikom~

 

Halalify has a thoughtful, thorough Ramadan calendar and day planner available as a PDF here if anyone is interested: http://halalify.com/blog/2011/04/12/ramadan-battle-plan/


Jazakh'Allah Khairun, Liquesce...that looks neat. :)

 

 

Oh, Amazon has an 11 pound box of Organic Dates for only $72.75  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036QKYD8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

There's also a store selling Ajwa dates (supposedly beloved by the Prophet (saws) called ZumZumstore.com

 

post #93 of 178

Last year's Ramadan was also little tough being in August till September. I was half of the time in New York and then on August 31 went to Bangladesh. It was mad hot over there. I kind of did fasting Saudi style...LOL meaning after suhoor slept through till afternoon...zohor time...and then pray and just relax...perform prayers and did nothing. So, it was very much doable. I did worry that in Bangladesh being so hot and humid I might have hard time, but nope Saudi style saved the days!! :)

 

It was my first Ramadan there after about 13 years and wow...so much has changed, specially in terms of Iftar food!!! Now they eat things like shawrma (which 13 years ago no one knew what that was in Bdesh)...and guess what? Pizza hut has a "all you can eat pizza ifter"........whooooaaaa!! Who eats all that pizza for iftar???  But it must be a popular deal caz apparently ppl look forward to that (mainly teenagers and I hear foreigners living there who don't fast of course but take full advantage of all you can eat pizza!!)...Also big hotels and big high rated restaurants have their "special iftar" deal too! I just don't understand why anyone would spend loads of money to have iftar in a five star hotel's restaurant. Instead isn't that better to give the money to poor? shrug.gif it's really weird. But it has been all in all one of the best Ramadans and Eids for me!

 

This year..it'll surely be one of THE bestestest Eids for me as inshaAllah I will be celebrating with my first born!! Can't wait for that..I'm due on the 4th inshaAlllah...hope baby comes in Ramadan and not before! :)

post #94 of 178
Thread Starter 

Assalamu Alaikum Sisters:

 

Right now, I'm struggling with how it seems like in the West, at least, we assume that Allah(swt) is male.  In English translations, Allah(swt) is referred to as He--but one of the things that drew me to Islam so many years ago was the fact that Allah (swt) was not He.  Was not she.  Was both.  Or neither.  I know that in the Arabic, one uses "hu" which is more like "it"--but I think that perhaps because I was raised a Christian, I still on some level see God as male.  Does anybody else struggle with that?

 

A friend recommended the book, "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter"--and I've really enjoyed it.  I also came upon a Mormon blog where one of the women said that she rewrote scripture to include Heavenly Mother (Mormons believe in both a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.)  Taking from that, I tried rewriting a translation of surah Al Fatihah to include the feminine.  It was strange, yet wonderful... (Note: I am not advocating changing any of the Arabic, I just don't think that the gender neutral status of Allah(swt) comes through in translations).

 

In the name of Goddess, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

 
All praises are due to you, Goddess,
the Queen of the Worlds
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Mistress of the Day of Judgement
Thee alone do we worship, and thee alone do we turn to for help
Guide us to the straight path, the path of those that you have favored,
not the path of those who earn your anger or wrath.
 
I like how Camille Helminski uses He/She when she refers to Allah(swt)...so I suppose it could be this as well:
 
All praises are due to you, God/Goddess,
the King/Queen of the Worlds
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Master/Mistress of the Day of Judgement
Thee alone do we worship, and thee alone do we turn to for help
Guide us to the straight path, the path of those that you have favored,
not the path of those who earn your anger or wrath.
 
 
I wonder if in Arabic-speaking countries, people do think of Allah(swt) as male, rather than female, both, or gender neutral? Not because of language, but perhaps because of culture--or power--or whatever?
 
Just ramblings.  Hopefully nothing here will offend anybody.  
 
Anybody else struggle/wonder about such things?
post #95 of 178

Wa 'alaikom as-salam~

 

It might help to remember that Arabic is one of those languages in which all nouns are gendered, and typically somewhat arbitrarily so -- the word for "moon" isn't masculine due to any philosophy attributing male characteristics to the moon, for example; it's just how it is.  "Hu" isn't "it" ... it's just one form of the masculine: huwa, hu, hum, etc.  Oddly enough that manages to underscore gender neutrality, because, like I said, the whole language is like that.  There is no functional "it."  Cars, schools, tables, and Canada are feminine; books, chairs, pens, and figs are masculine. God is masculine.  The soul is feminine.  I'm pretty sure both heaven and hell are feminine. It's not meant to be anthropomorphic, and it's a lot easier to not read it that way when absolutely everything you're talking about is a "he" or a "she."  If you look at the first verse of ash-Shams, for example, the sun, shams, is feminine, so while it is translated as "by the sun and its brightness," or similar, the actual verse word-for-word reads, "By the sun and brightness hers."  Reading Allah/he as neutral in a context chock full of physically meaningless "he"s and "she"s is just a different experience from reading "he" in the context of a translation which erases gender from every other non-physically gendered noun.

 

In English I agree, then, it gets really, really awkward.  That we both have a neutral (it) and use the neutral in a kind of insulting way when applied to living beings ... yeah, "it" is not good.  lol.gif   I'm a Scrooge about change and therefore balk at all of the efforts to create English gender neutral pronouns for people, but I can see value in ditching all of the "he"s and such in the Qur'an in favor of "ze" or "co" or any of the other invented pronouns.


Edited by Liquesce - 7/14/11 at 9:47pm
post #96 of 178

Does anyone have Abdel Hakim Murad's translation of the Qasida Burda?  "The Mantle Adorned"?   Someone scanned a few pages and put them here ... it looks really nice.

post #97 of 178



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
 
Anybody else struggle/wonder about such things?


Growing up was told by imam that Allah is neither he or she. And that's stayed in my mind. We also don't have male/female pronoun so it was easier. Whenever we talk about Allah we use the pronoun that we usually use to address older ppl with respect (for ex, talking abt them in their absense)...like that...but no he/she business. I did wonder....but for some reason I always think Allah as a neutral than he/she. However, having said that the referring Allah as a goddess (whoever you quoted here) kind of weired me out lol.gif hmmm...may be I do think either Allah is neutral or he....
 

 

post #98 of 178

On the pronouns...yes, I do still struggle. I really felt freed from that issue, and do when I examine it closely, but I still have that old-man-with-a-beard confusion deep in my head. In fact, in first grade, I remember drawing pics of God for school (Catholic school in my case) and I remember everyone's pic looked like you might envision a prophet, kwim? Anyway, I get way out of my depth way too fast when I even try to "envision" or imagine Allah. So I like to use the Asmat-al-Husna and focus on Divine Attributes. Helps me.

 

We are prepping for our trip to see the ILs. I don't know...dh just got back from KSA and he's a depressed mess. He was in the southern desert, and he's ill, is breaking out in hives, and is sleeping most of the day (and night). Another dear friend visited me in Dubai after a stay in KSA, and she was struggling emotionally with her visit there. Here's the thing: I really, really want to go on Hajj this year. I feel I must, if I can make it happen. It's pulling me. I trust Allah and believe we can do Hajj and come back in a state unlike this terrible thing that seems to go on in the mundane KSA, but sheesh. blink-blink.

 

I have not found my Muslim peeps quite yet, either. We are next door to a mosque with a nice, young imam from Egypt. He's great, but a khutba-yeller, which amps up my anxiety. Went to another, and I think I understood a little more of the khutba, but I was such a weepy mess that I think I actually passed the weeping on to the sister next to me in the line. I am open to any and all advice on not so much supplications but maybe remembrances to help me through this tough part of the culture shock.

 

PS, I could probably live here 10 years and not really get to know a local here. But I will try, and anyway, there are all kinds of Muslims here, South Asians and Levantine and North African and African. I am trying to dig into social networks and find a dhikr group or something. It's a mix almost as diverse as the US.

 

I'm totally looking forward to Ramadan here, even though I know it is going to be solidly into the 110s through the month, maybe down to mid-90s at night. But word is that they DO Ramadan here, and some expats (non-Muslim) even like the contemplative spirit and generosity they see. I'm not specific about expectations, but I am hopeful. This may be our only Ramadan in UAE, as we will be going to USA for summers for the next several years (and fasting with our old friends there! Hooray!). So I want to get into it, go to Satwa and the Big Souk at night, see what kinds of things are happening in the public places, and pray tarawih. I am also not going to worry about food, but just make the traditional Iftar of Morocco (soup, dates, milk, tea, coffee, eggs, fruit, sweets) and figure out a meal while we're out on the streets. Suhoor in this house will be dates, milk, water and maybe eggs. Too hot to worry, too important to hydrate, and both dh and I need to lose weight anyway. :)

 

I'll likely be mostly offline in Morocco, but will pray for you during my travels. Please keep me and my little family in your thoughts and prayers as we try to build a supportive circle of trusted friends here. And blessings as you prepare your homes and hearts for the most blessed Month of all.

post #99 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post

I have not found my Muslim peeps quite yet, either. We are next door to a mosque with a nice, young imam from Egypt. He's great, but a khutba-yeller, which amps up my anxiety. Went to another, and I think I understood a little more of the khutba, but I was such a weepy mess that I think I actually passed the weeping on to the sister next to me in the line. I am open to any and all advice on not so much supplications but maybe remembrances to help me through this tough part of the culture shock.

 

PS, I could probably live here 10 years and not really get to know a local here. But I will try, and anyway, there are all kinds of Muslims here, South Asians and Levantine and North African and African. I am trying to dig into social networks and find a dhikr group or something. It's a mix almost as diverse as the US.



Have you checked out http://dubai-muslims.com ?  They have a sisters-only mailing list that might help you make a few connections.  Maybe you've found it already, I don't know ... I just went poking around quickly in Google because when I moved to Egypt the mailing list I found for Muslim expats in Alexandria was really helpful.

post #100 of 178

Thanks for the nudge! I'll have a look around when we're back from Morocco...maybe a tarawih field trip or something to one of the mosques that offer English translation.

 

One more day. Did I mention I'm really looking forward to temps in only the 90s? Of course, no AC for a while...

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