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#1 of 178 Old 01-05-2011, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh, May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all:

 

Here's a new thread for 2011 for all the Muslim mamas to chat in.  All madhabs welcome. :) All Muslimahs or anybody interested in Islam welcome. :)

 

If you have a question about Islam, you may post it here, but it probably should be posted in religious studies as well. 

 

Peace.

 

So... starter question... what are your goals for your Deen/spiritual life for 2011???

 

For me, I'd really love to finally get comfortable reading Qur'an in Arabic Insha'Allah.  

 


Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#2 of 178 Old 01-06-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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Wa alaikom as salam~

 

I don't really have any relevant goals, myself.   sulkoff.gif   Or, my goals ATM are mostly regarding academics and getting back into the pre-babies swing of things a little bit, which I suppose if I wanted to stretch it I could make about spiritual betterment, but it *would* be a stretch.  

 

Which is to say, I'm mostly posting as a combo way of subbing to the new thread and bumping it up.  lol.gif  Hope everyone is well.

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#3 of 178 Old 01-06-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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Salaams, Sisters!

 

I am working on being present, rushing less, appreciating more, having less. Enjoying the spiritual and mystical aspects of my day to day and being grateful and open.

 

And finding life is, indeed, unfolding for me in new ways. It is looking like we may be relocating, and I suppose I may as well put "working on my Arabic" on the list of 2011 goals. For me and the kids. Anyone with experience in the UAE? Honestly, this is quite a surprise to me, and I am amazed and so thankful that somehow, Allah is granting us grace to face the changes.

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#4 of 178 Old 01-07-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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I think the goals I will have every year, until I master them, is to pray all 5 prayers on time and to read the Quran every single day. If I do this, I feel I am improving and being an active Muslim. I would like to memorize at least 1 ayah (preferably 3) a day, but right now I just need to read the Quran every day since I am struggling with that.

 

There is a beautiful book I recently orderd from Amazon, "The Bounty of Allah." A bit overpriced at the moment, but I recommend it to you all.

http://www.amazon.com/Bounty-Allah-Reflections-Islamic-Tradition/dp/082452134X

 

It gives a Quran verse and hadith or wise Islamic saying from a famous pious Muslim each day. It is a wonderful way to start my day.

More products are needed like this -- there are many Christian daily devotional books (some specific to teens, moms, women, men, etc.) and this is the only Islamic one I know of.

 

Blessings to each of you and your families

 


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#5 of 178 Old 01-07-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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Just stumbled across these cute hijab Barbies....

http://www.hijabgirl.com/dl1001.html

 

The same site is having a sale on cotton underscarves (pack of 3) for anyone interested


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#6 of 178 Old 01-11-2011, 12:34 AM
 
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Has anyone read Desperately Seeking Paradise and/or A History of Islam in America?  I'd like to know if they have that "primer on Islam" tone that books aimed at a primarily non-Muslim audience tend to carry.  I don't want to pick them up only to realize two chapters in that I'm not the intended audience after all.  redface.gif

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#7 of 178 Old 01-18-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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For the books...I'd check out the reviews on Amazon.com

 

But...Gotta put my political analysis in :)

 

Haven't read them, but the subtitle of the History of Islam in America ("From the New World to the New World Order") is extremely political. The term New World Order is NOT Muslim-friendly (in case you're interested.... here's a look at it). Generally this term seems to suggest its Muslims against the West, and that is how the world will work. I'd read any book employing that term with a sharp, skeptical eye....and be cautious of anyone you see on TV etc. who uses that term!

 

However, after looking through the viewable pages on Amazon.com it seems like the book is employing that term in order to argue against it....to paint a real, human view of Muslims to go against the "politicized, dichotimized" view held currently by many (it says this on the first page or two). Any book that points this out, in my opinion, must be pretty dang good. And its Cambridge University Press (reliable). Seems aimed at non-Muslims, but I myself would love to read it to know more about my history.

 

Let us know if you read it.

 

P.S. Since we're talking about books, stay away from the Penguin Classics translation of the Quran and dont give it out to non Muslim friends!!!


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#8 of 178 Old 01-22-2011, 05:12 AM
 
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Salamu Alaykum Sisters...

 

Our family recently decided for dh to accept a promotion that includes relocation to UAE. Anyone here have experience living there? Insha-Allah, we will be based in Dubai. I know it's an expat-based city and a very, very mixed society. It's exciting for us...the kids will have the opportunity to do somewhat-immersion language learning (me, too!), and they will go to an international school. It looks like a very respectable compensation package, so while I am concerned about the cost of living and lifestyle pressures, I also know that most people with cost of living issues also drink and party, and that is not a part of what we will be doing.

 

I'll also transition to being a SAHM, which I have not been since ds was a baby (he will be 10 this spring), and I am hoping to find a nice circle of sisters there.

 

Just wondering if anyone here knows anyone there...

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#9 of 178 Old 01-27-2011, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Assalamu Alaikum Mamas:

 

I know I'm not the only one with family in Egypt. Just asking everybody to make du'a for all of the protestors and all Egyptians tomorrow.  If it's Allah's will that they succeed, then may it be done quickly and without violence.  If not, may Allah(swt) protect those with the courage to speak out against the regime.

 

Peace.

 

 

ljooj: My friend's husband is from Dubai. He grew up there, but is Indian.  Also, good friends of ours lived there briefly (less than a year), but ended up moving to KSA.


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#10 of 178 Old 01-28-2011, 08:21 PM
 
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I hope your family is ok, umsami.

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#11 of 178 Old 01-29-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan, all of them. Insha-Allah, keep them safe and may peace prevail.

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#12 of 178 Old 02-01-2011, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Liquesce.  I hope everybody you know is doing well too.

 

It's amazing how cut off our family in Cairo is... especially the older folks.  They have no clue what's going on... all they see is what Mubarak & Co wants them to see on state TV.  They're being warned against Al-Jazeera and listening to what people from abroad might tell them. etc.  They cut off cell phones again.  Insha'Allah this will all resolve soon...and in a way that is best for the Egyptian people.

 

 

Oh...and can I say I'm sick of the whole "Islamist" thing?  Why is the worst thing people can imagine is that actual practicing Muslims govern a Muslim country?


Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#13 of 178 Old 02-14-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Assalamu alaykum,

there is so much excitement among the Egyptians at the masjid, and the school where i work.  There is a hopefulness, and also prayerfulness, for there is of course a lot up in the air.  i think people from Yemen and Syria are holding their breath, daring to hope for change.

 

Jo, i hope your plans are going well.  is there an estimate of when you will move?  my first thought was your farming—not something i expect you'll be able to continue in Dubai?

 

i hope everyone is doing well inshaAllah.


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#14 of 178 Old 02-15-2011, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Assalamu Alaikum Everybody:

 

Just thought I'd post this nice article on Prophet Muhammad (saws) for those who are celebrating Mawlid-an-Nabi today.  I know that Shias celebrate it later in the month...and that Salafis don't at all... but for those who do, here you go:

http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article261893.ece

 

I was planning to do a whole bunch today, but it's bitter cold outside--and I really don't want to go out.  I know... I know... totally wimping out. :)  I do think I might be able to put together a bday cake though.

 

 

:)


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#15 of 178 Old 02-15-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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Thank you, umsami. stillheart.gif


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#16 of 178 Old 02-24-2011, 04:22 AM
 
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Salaam, Sisters!

 

I tried posting a few days ago but I'm on an old, wonky laptop so it didn't make it up. I wanted to check in and see how those with family in revolution zones are doing. Is everyone OK?

 

And thank you, umsami, for the lovely article. It was a good reminder. I have a growing interest in biographical info on the beloved Prophet (saws). Love to be reminded of the ways of the faith.

 

And kanga, you are right, no farming for us in the immediate future. We are selling it all. It is definitely sad, and I guess I am having a hard time with it, because I kept my goats and then they both kidded, and now instead of 3 goats I have 9. Two are upstairs in dd's bedroom waiting for their bottles right now...

 

It looks like our plans are changing from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, which is fine, but sets us back in looking for home and school info.

 

Love to you all...

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#17 of 178 Old 02-24-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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No time to reply more right now.....but I just wanted to mention that baby goats are probably one of my favorite things in life!!!!! They are so cute, I can't stand being around them because they are so just ridiculously cute mashallah!!!! The fact that they are in your daughters bedroom is adorable! I wish they were in mine!!!


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#18 of 178 Old 03-09-2011, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Assalamu Alaikum Everybody:

 

I need major du'a for my Dad.  His leukemia has gone from Stage 0 to Stage III in 3 months.  He was told today that he must begin chemo tomorrow...and has to do three sessions right in a row (three days in a row).  I don't honestly know if he can take it.  He's so weak from fighting the MRSA, and the leukemia itself.  Please, keep him in your prayers.

 

Thanks :)


Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#19 of 178 Old 03-15-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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Salaamu Alaikum,

 

I don't post much but wanted to say "hello" and post a few things:

 

First, Umsami, I've been thinking of your dad and your family and making Du'a for him and you, praying for the best possible outcome.

 

Second, Liquesce, I read Desperately Seeking Paradise before I started my journey into Islam. It definitely has some primer-esque qualities, and it is not written mainly with a Muslim audience in mind. For practicing Muslims and those in the know, I think it could still potentially be interesting because it is a spiritual autobiography that (if I remember correctly) covers the author's experiences with various groups in England and out of England starting in the 1970s, all the while describing the development of his personal understanding of Islam. At the time, I found this book unique and refreshing and enjoyed the author's style. This author also did the Blogging the Qur'an series. I have since read another book of his, "Postmodernism and the Other," and found his thinking to be original, thought-provoking and inspiring. If I had more time, I would like to reread Desperately Seeking Paradise, just to see what I would think of it now. I'd be interested to hear what you think, too, if you read it.

 

1jooj, wishing you all the best with your big move! I recently visited the Gulf for the first time. I trust you will have an exciting adventure and a happy home in the UAE.



Mama to a bilingual (Arabic/English) and cuddly 3 year old, and planning another peaceful homebirth in June.
 

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#20 of 178 Old 03-17-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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umsami, I have also been thinking of you and your father. Sending love your way.

 

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

 

All my 4-legged friends are gone, and we have just a few chickens left here.YSM, I had a lady take the last of my goats before she paid them off, in part because I was getting too attached for my own good. Now, we're making repairs on the house for the sale and other steps toward the move. Looks like it will be Dubai, insha-Allah. I've applied to one school for ds and dd and will wait for a response before worrying about more applications. Dh will likely leave in a month, and we will try to finish out school a little early, trying to get a visit in to the ILs in Morocco in June. Definitely feeling ready to go!

 

Also hoping everyone's extended families all over the world are safe, secure and healthy.

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#21 of 178 Old 03-23-2011, 08:42 PM
 
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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.

 

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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. 

 



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#22 of 178 Old 03-24-2011, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#23 of 178 Old 03-28-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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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.

 



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#24 of 178 Old 03-30-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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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. 


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#25 of 178 Old 04-07-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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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.

 

 

 



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#26 of 178 Old 04-08-2011, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#27 of 178 Old 04-08-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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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. 


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#28 of 178 Old 04-08-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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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.
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#29 of 178 Old 04-10-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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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!

 



Mama to a bilingual (Arabic/English) and cuddly 3 year old, and planning another peaceful homebirth in June.
 

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#30 of 178 Old 04-13-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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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.

 

 


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