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EdnaMarie's Avatar EdnaMarie 10:34 AM 08-09-2010
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.

AutumnSunshine's Avatar AutumnSunshine 10:43 AM 08-09-2010
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.
Jannah6's Avatar Jannah6 01:38 PM 08-09-2010
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.
sky_and_lavender's Avatar sky_and_lavender 01:52 PM 08-09-2010
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.
sky_and_lavender's Avatar sky_and_lavender 12:27 PM 08-11-2010
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).
1jooj's Avatar 1jooj 12:55 PM 08-11-2010
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.
Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 01:34 PM 08-11-2010
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.
umsami's Avatar umsami 08:56 PM 08-11-2010
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.
Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 09:49 PM 08-11-2010
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.
umsami's Avatar umsami 12:33 AM 08-12-2010
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.
1jooj's Avatar 1jooj 01:16 AM 08-12-2010
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.
EdnaMarie's Avatar EdnaMarie 10:04 AM 08-12-2010
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.
Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 04:24 PM 08-12-2010
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.
1jooj's Avatar 1jooj 07:22 AM 08-13-2010
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.
Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 04:26 PM 08-21-2010
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.
umsami's Avatar umsami 06:23 PM 08-21-2010
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.
Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 11:17 PM 08-21-2010
I thought the dome looked pretty shiny-new.
youngspiritmom's Avatar youngspiritmom 02:33 PM 08-24-2010
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.
umsami's Avatar umsami 04:23 PM 08-24-2010
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!
MuslimMum's Avatar MuslimMum 05:57 PM 08-24-2010
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
1jooj's Avatar 1jooj 08:13 AM 08-25-2010
I know not everyone is into Sufism, but I have been drawing a lot of inspiration and energy from the Shuyukh here. Sheikh Hisham does a fajr broadcast from MI, and Sheikh Nazim does a daily broadcast from Cyprus.

I have not been reading Quran as I have wanted, either, nor have I been getting enough sleep. I'm under the pressure of the garden harvest and the craziness of livestock as temps start to drop. They begin feeling their oats again, and I am constantly checking fences and moving animals.

But dh and I have improved both our outward charitable acts and our regard for one another, with a lighter heart and greater humor. This is good. We are also making plans toward Eid al Adha, a long way off, but we do need to plan.

I have been doing lots of prayer and dhikr, though, better than any Ramadan yet. And my fasting has been easier than ever before. I am giving thought to the years ahead as Ramadan moves through summer. Much tougher fasts are ahead for certain, so I need to be thankful for the ease of this one.
umsami's Avatar umsami 12:10 AM 08-29-2010
Assalamu Alaikum Sisters:

I hope everybody is having a blessed Ramadan and that Allah(swt) accepts your fasting (or alternatives).

A few days ago, the salat timer on my computer came up--and it got me to wondering. The times are so very exact... zuhr begans at 1:05 p.m., for example. Maghrib is 8:03 p.m. or whatever. Where do these exact times come from? I know that in the Qur'an and ahadith--it's much more general. Noon, Sunset, etc. When did Muslims become so exact about the prayer times? I'm assuming that this is a relatively recent phenomenon based on astrological data and such--but then, I'm not sure. Does anybody know? There's part of me that would rather teach my kids more holistic methods--such as by looking at the sun... or when you can tell a black thread from a white thread--rather than being so dependent on a prayer calendar. KWIM?

Just curious if anybody knows or has any thoughts on the matter.
youngspiritmom's Avatar youngspiritmom 04:04 PM 08-31-2010
Salaam alaykum

Um Sami, I believe you asked about mosques in the Albany area.
You are very fortunate mashallah -- I was actually considering moving to the Albany area just to be able to learn from Sheikh Mokhtar Maghroui! If you google his name you can find info and videos. Also his website is here: http://www.zawiyah.net/


I have seen him in person several times and I have attended one of his tazkiya (purification) short retreats. They have really changed my life Alhamdulillah. Through his approach I have learned about the heart of Islam and the purpose of my existence! (No joke!) Mashallah, he is a very knowledgeable Sheikh on the subject of purification and he gives classes at a masjid in Albany (not sure which one but you can ask around). Definitely try them out!!! They are such a blessing.

Congrats, Mabrook! Who knows, maybe God will answer my prayers and send me there too......
EdnaMarie's Avatar EdnaMarie 04:53 PM 08-31-2010
Umsami, we use the astronomical calculations from which the prayer calendars arise (they are based on astronomical times of sunrise, sunset, dawn, dusk etc.) primarily to ensure there is no conflict about the time, and also because you never know if your eyesight is going or if shaam (that is the Persian word, do not know if it's the right Muslim word) comes earlier and earlier every year, LOL!
Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 10:36 PM 08-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
When did Muslims become so exact about the prayer times? I'm assuming that this is a relatively recent phenomenon based on astrological data and such--but then, I'm not sure. Does anybody know?
I'm really curious now. I've never read much about it. My first thought was that Islamic history is so replete with math and astronomy nerds that I'm guessing interest in on-paper precision could go back quite a long way.
youngspiritmom's Avatar youngspiritmom 04:51 AM 09-03-2010
Salaam ladies,

Eid is almost here! I can't believe it. Now that we're in the last 10 nights of Ramadan, I really wanted to get up in the night to pray just in case it was "Lailat al Qadr" but so far I've been unsuccessful. I keep falling asleep while trying to get my toddler to bed. Anyway, one trick I've found is that if I wake up in bed in the middle of the night and I am too tired to get up, I just make some dua (prayers) while laying down in my bed. I figure at least that way I've made SOME prayers during these special nights.

Anyways...I need Eid gift ideas. For my darling husband who does not need more clothes (all his clothes are the exact same anyway hehe) and for my 18 month old son. The only idea I've got so far was to get my son a baby Einstein-ish DVD that counts Arabic numbers (here if you're interested) but I actually DONT want to get him that because its just a gift that encourages plopping him in front of the TV which I don't want to be doing anyway.

I'd like the gifts to be Islam related, but I don't mind other suggestions.
Thanks for your help...time's running out to figure this out....!
umsami's Avatar umsami 12:26 PM 09-03-2010
Wa'alaikum Assalam:

For your husband, what about a new wallet, belt, or something else he could use? Or how about a book on tape (well CD, mp3) on Islam... maybe one of Hamza Yusuf's series or something? Could you maybe register him for a class he's always wanted to take... or maybe even plan a "date" night for the two of you complete with babysitting?

For the little one, maybe some Islamic board books? I know we have one that has the alphabet and numbers in Arabic. We also have a bunch of different ones from the U.K. Noorart.com is a great source.

Last year for Eid, we got our 2 year old daughter her own little prayer rug, which she loves. I bought it from here http://www.muslimtoysanddolls.com/?p...ds-prayer-rugs
youngspiritmom's Avatar youngspiritmom 02:28 PM 09-05-2010
Thanks for the ideas umsami!

I haven't heard of muslimtoysanddolls.com, so now it's fun to explore that site. I have been really wanting to make a cute Waldorf-style Muslim doll for my son....(some cute instructions here). But I have never made one before and I'm not sure where to get all the supplies. Maybe a craft store? It would be so cute if I could make a basic thawb and kufi to go on the doll But this idea will not happen in time for Eid.....lol

I like your idea of a book. I am thinking of making a book on my own for my son of the "Qul hu allahu ahad" surah, that we can read to him to he can learn the words. For pictures I'll but in an image of the word allah in arabic, images of sunsets etc. What do you think? That way I can save money on shipping etc. and it will have more meaning

Happy last few days of Ramadn
1jooj's Avatar 1jooj 08:52 AM 09-07-2010
I think the book idea is splendid. I have a few ideas for kids' books I'd like to work on, and there is clearly a need for nicely produced books for Muslim kids. But a handmade book is a lovely idea for a gift.





Oh, sisters, what a gift is this month! I hope you have all had a month filled with blessings.

This has been a difficult month in some ways, but the blessings--and these are just the ones I have recognized--are almost bewildering. I have felt heavy veils lifted from my heart. I have found a home in Salat this month. I have found the love for the Prophet (sws) that I had been lacking before, astaghfirullah. My ds has fasted almost the entire month. (He's only 9, so we are requiring him now to break his fasting for school days.) I have witnessed the small miracles of a person becoming a believer. There is a new longing to set aside the attachments to the dunya and experience the love of Allah through all things. Subhanallah, I feel electrically charged and the best moments are the time before fajr to sunrise.

And I feel as though I have recognized a spiritual family here, and the path to Allah where I belong. I have cried so many tears and felt so moved. It's impossible for me to describe, I suppose, without sounding like I've lost my mind...but in the sense that my mind is the nafs that struggles against Shaytan, I hope that I am losing it. kwim?

I also had a wonderful experience at our local mosque. We do Iftars where women are divided into weekly "teams," and I was assigned to the last Saturday team. I usually begrudgingly cook/make what I am told to cook, and it is often salad or dessert, based on the idea that the white-girl converts can't cook. This time, I told the team I would cook the Moroccan soup (harira). It was a hit! People love to break their fast with soup, and it is such a lovely soup to break fast with, and so many of the ladies were shocked that I had cooked it I had no leftovers to bring home from my 2 huge stockpots. Alhamdulillah. And it was something that everyone liked--from the Bosnians to the Pakistanis.

A dear friend is hosting a girls/ladies henna night for Eid this week, and I am looking forward to taking dd. I have already prepped the food I will bring for the Eid brunch after prayer. I have small gifts for my dh and kids. I am ready for Eid!--even though we are still in the Nights of Qadr.

I hope all my sisters here feel refreshed by this month of mercy, forgiveness and grace, insha-Allah!
onyxravnos's Avatar onyxravnos 06:28 PM 09-07-2010
Hi mamas. I suppose this would be the tread to crash

I don't know if i really want to convert to islam but i would like to know more about it. Can anyone suggest non-muslim friendly websites or books? I'm most interested in the practices... like the ritual of praying, covering, rules of conduct. I've read some online but it seems as if they always assume I have a general idea of what they are talking about OR they are so text-ish that they are hard to read...

ty mamas!
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