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#181 of 1560 Old 11-29-2007, 04:24 PM
 
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arizona umi.....I am thinking aout you sister.
Is that sweet one still within you? Hope your prelabor stuff has left until its time. We ate supakandja last night (okra and palm oil stew). My so sweet DH cooked enough for a couple of nights so I dont have to worry about dinner. Man, i got blessed with him.
Hope all of you strong, beautiful mommas are doing well.
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#182 of 1560 Old 11-29-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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Asalamu Alaikum -

Okra with palm oil stew - my husband loves that but I just can't get past the slime. Don't you just love having stew in the house. It lasts a few days and you can eat it with rice or pounded yam or some other starch, it is great.

I don't know what to cook for dinner tonight. I am thinking about some chili but I am the only one that really likes it. Hmmm - I hate making this decision every day. Oh, I got it!! I bought some zucchini the other day. I will make a zucchini casserole.

How are Eid preparations coming along? I still haven't received my package from Saudi Arabia but I got a notice that it shipped. I hope it is here in time. We are leaving to got out of town next Friday, Insha-Allah.

I pray everyone is well.
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#183 of 1560 Old 12-02-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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mamefati, mashaAllah, you are so sweet sister. i was thinking about you this week too. you need to fed ex some of that stew. yummmmmy! i think i'll request that as my after-labor meal what a sweet hubby you have!

tonight is my students sabar recital. i had to walk with a cane over the weekend so i looked funny trying to arrange choreography while using a cane. i am headed out to the fabric store later to get them betiots to wear underneath their clothing. i promised my doula i wouldn't dance though for fear of inducing labor!

yes, the baby is still hanging on. i am still having pre-labor, but i've gotten used to it. i am dealing with sciatica right now which is really painful. i tell you, Allah must be preparing me for a great labor because of all the problems LOL! but i am in good spirits and i can't wait for this birth.

my friends hadja and ama have decided to organize the nguente (haqiqah) for the baby. ama is working on my wardrobe, requiring 3 changes! hadja is getting the menu together and volunteered to have it at their house. i didn't meet them until after my son was born so they are making sure i have a proper african celebration for this baby LOL! ama is studying to be a nurse so she wants to be at the birth and hadja said she would cook while i'm in labor, just like in africa. i have been working on my mantra and visualizations for a positive birth. inshaAllah, this little one will come soon!
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#184 of 1560 Old 12-02-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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Hey!!! Jam ak hewal arizona umi!!!
So glad to know your little one is still within the womb. I hope you get some relief from all of this prelabor....who knows dancing sabar could help!
I hope the dancing is fun tonight....just last night i had you tube videos of sabar dancing on for Fallou, he is such a dancer.
My ngente was a trip becase it was planned by my husband and his men friends. It was sweet and they did a good job. My husbands family in sensgal had a huge ngente for us and we are still waiting on that video!
DH said he will fedex you anything you want.....his bday is today and i am on a mission for some chieb u jen from an african restaurant. Sadly, they look like they have gone out of business!
I cant wait to continue to hear all of your ngente preperations!
Thinking of all you righteous mommas!
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#185 of 1560 Old 12-02-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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I just have to share as my heart is so full and DH already has heard all about it
DS calls me momma now and it is so sweet to hear. I love it so much. What a blessing to be a momma.:
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#186 of 1560 Old 12-02-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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Lisa Lubner are you still out there somewhere? Love to have your presence on this board....spread some of that Abdoulaye Dieye wisdom! I am just starting one of his books (Touba-signs and symbols) and thought of you....hope all is well in your world sister.
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#187 of 1560 Old 12-06-2007, 03:44 PM
 
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Asalam Alaikum sisters,

I was hoping I could talk to you all about some issues I have been having lately. I haven't been feeling all that spiritual, haven't been keeping up with my prayers, and I am sad to report that my kids have been learning more about Islam at school than they have at home. (and they go to public school!) I know there is a lot of reasons for this, but none of them are that great. So anyway, on Monday, I went to orientation at my university and I saw more women wearing hijabs than I think I have ever seen in one place ever, (I've never stepped foot in a masjid) and I was afraid to even say Salam to them because I felt inferior or something, because I was not covered, in a completely Islamic way. (modest for today's society, not modest for my faith) But when I got home and started thinking about it, I thought, this has got to be some sort of sign from Allah. Why else would there be that many visibly Muslim women around, when on a normal day don't run into any? But still I can't seem to get myself to really get into my faith. All the gusto that I used to have just doesn't seem to be there. I can't even bring myslef to call the sister who used to be a sort of mentor for me. I guess what I am wonderring is, how do I get myslef to find my faith again? I don't know why I am having so much trouble with this. I think in the spring it will be easier for me because I am taking 2 courses in Islam at the university, so I will be forced to study my faith. But, I really don't want to wait until then.
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#188 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 03:09 AM
 
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Asalam Alaikum sisters,

I was hoping I could talk to you all about some issues I have been having lately. I haven't been feeling all that spiritual, haven't been keeping up with my prayers, and I am sad to report that my kids have been learning more about Islam at school than they have at home. (and they go to public school!) I know there is a lot of reasons for this, but none of them are that great. So anyway, on Monday, I went to orientation at my university and I saw more women wearing hijabs than I think I have ever seen in one place ever, (I've never stepped foot in a masjid) and I was afraid to even say Salam to them because I felt inferior or something, because I was not covered, in a completely Islamic way. (modest for today's society, not modest for my faith) But when I got home and started thinking about it, I thought, this has got to be some sort of sign from Allah. Why else would there be that many visibly Muslim women around, when on a normal day don't run into any? But still I can't seem to get myself to really get into my faith. All the gusto that I used to have just doesn't seem to be there. I can't even bring myslef to call the sister who used to be a sort of mentor for me. I guess what I am wonderring is, how do I get myslef to find my faith again? I don't know why I am having so much trouble with this. I think in the spring it will be easier for me because I am taking 2 courses in Islam at the university, so I will be forced to study my faith. But, I really don't want to wait until then.
Wa'alaikum Assalam Jennifer:

Your post reminds me of me about ten years ago. I sort of reverted on my own via reading the Qur'an a few years prior... didn't cover.. and was kind of a closet Muslim. When I was in grad school, I started seeing Muslimahs (I knew they were Muslimahs because they wore hijab )... and felt so weird. Like, do I say Salam? Am I even pronouncing it correctly? Will they think... what's this chic doing saying Salam to me?? All sorts of things. I didn't do anything for two years... and then when I moved after grad school, I came out of the Muslim closet so to speak.

I do think Allah(swt) does put things like this in our path for a reason. I also know what it's like to slip away from one's faith for awhile. BUT, it can be so easy to renew the love of Islam and your practice.

Are you praying at all? If not, pick one prayer (fajr is shortest, but is not always easiest for some people)... and commit to praying it just for today/tomorrow (depending on when you see this.) BUT... really really try to focus. Really try to be conscious of every moment... in your wudu... in your salat...everything. Take time. Maybe make ghusl beforehand if it's been awhile since youv'e prayed... make sure your prayer area is extra clean... choose your favorite prayer rug... your favorite hijab (after all, you're praying to Allah! It should be your nicest one )... and try this.

Tomorrow's Friday. Try try try to go to Jummah prayer. If you can't, find a khutbah on youtube.com that you can listen to... Hamza Yusuf, Yusuf Estes, whomever you like. Find something inspirational.

Most importantly... ask Allah(swt) for help!! Make du'a. Tell Allah(swt) that you seem to have lost your practice and your faith. Ask Allah(swt) to help you! Pour out your heart. Be honest about your struggles.

Get into nature. For me, that always reminds me of the wonder of Allah(swt)'s creation.

Do something for somebody else. Why not go to the HOliday Helper thread.

There are just under two weeks until Eid. Maybe make out a path you can take... sort of like your own mini-hajj... over the next 13 days towards renewing your faith. It can be small things...but be consistent.

So
Friday Attend Jummah

Saturday Listen to Qur'an Beautiful recitation with ENGLISH (yipee) at http://real21mt.audiovideoweb.com/ra...sufi_040514.rm

Sunday Get out into nature with kids. Pray in nature.

Monday Pray fajr totally conscious. Journal about the experience.

Tuesday Pray fajr totally conscious. Do something nice on the Holiday Helper thread.. or arrange to volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

Wed. Pray fajr. Today... be totally conscious whenever you say Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim... example... you are about to eat... instead of just mumbling Bismillah out of habit... think of what you're saying. "In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious"... what does that mean?? Can you even imagine it? Who is the most merciful, kindest person you have ever heard of? Ever? Allah(swt) is more merciful than that. Kinder than that. Etc.

Thurs. Pray fajr. Read some ahadith qudsi. Write down your favorite and post it where you can see it (mirror?)
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamen...dithqudsi.html

ETc....

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

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#189 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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I couldn't have given any better advice. May Allah help you on your journey.
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#190 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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I just have to share as my heart is so full and DH already has heard all about it
DS calls me momma now and it is so sweet to hear. I love it so much. What a blessing to be a momma.:


It is the most amazing and sweetest thing in the world. I still get chills sometimes when I think I'm somebody's Mommy. (Actually three somebodies.)

My little guy always tells me "I take a nap. I missed you Mama" when he wakes up from his nap.

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

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#191 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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I totally recommend reading the holiday helper thank you thread... although it can be a tear-jerker http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=787919

Jennifer... one hadith came to mind in thinking about you...

Quote:
Hadith Qudsi 15:
On the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Allah the Almighty said:

I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.

(1) Another possible rendering of the Arabic is: "I am as My servant expects Me to be". The meaning is that forgiveness and acceptance of repentance by the Almighty is subject to His servant truly believing that He is forgiving and merciful. However, not to accompany such belief with right action would be to mock the Almighty.

It was related by al-Buhkari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).
Also I think mamafatih's post about her little guy reminds me of Allah(swt). I used to joke that my speaking Arabic was comedy time for Allah, because my pronunciation was so bad. Then, my son starting saying a few things... and he used to say "Misallah" instead of "Bismillah." It was funny... but it was also adorable. I think Allah thinks of our mispronounced Arabic the same way... perhaps funny, but adorable. And Allah runs to you with every attempt you make.

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

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#192 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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Umsami, so beautifully put... I hope you don't mind if I copy paste that, b/c so many of us stumble upon a time where we feel faith slipping and I'd like to forward this advice on to others who it might help.
One other hadith that has always helped me bring myself back on track is :
The best actions are those which are small and consistent (Bukhari & Muslim).

Don't think that in order to attain Allah's love you have to move mountains. Insha'allah just try to be firm and consistent on the smallest things, and Allah will help you and ease things for you, insha'allah
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#193 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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I just wanted to build on unsami and her saying that the little ones help her to connect with Allah.
Just as we are mothers and want only the best for our little ones, so does Allah for us. Just as we are patient with our little ones, so is Allah with us. Just as we are the comfort for our children in this world, so is Allah the comfort for us. When we look at Allah as anything but loving, compassionate, supportive, and patient, we are missing the real Allah. Allah knows where you are and why you are there and only wants you to find peace with it within yourself.
If you arent feeling like praying 5 times a day, thats ok. When we go about doing things "empty" we arent realizing why we do them in the first place. I would rather pray heartfully one time a day than 5 times without being present in heart. This world sometimes gets the better of us and plays all kinds of mind games, just know that Allah is never absent from your heart, nor you from his.
Peace to all of you beautiful stong mommas.
Mame Fatima
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#194 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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[QUOTE=umsami;9941893]I totally recommend reading the holiday helper thank you thread... although it can be a tear-jerker http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=787919

Salaams !! How many post do you have to have to look at that thread?
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#195 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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I thought some sisters might enjoy this article. I find myself becoming angry at the position of women in certain Islamic circles these days. While I think my anger is justified I also feel better when I am reminded that these problems are not made by Islam, but by humans, and that this is only one point in time.

Article about early women Islamic Scholars

Also, my parents arrived two days ago in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. If it's not too forward of me to ask, please say a little prayer that their Hajj is accepted. I am incredibly excited for them and have been researching Hajj a lot these days. It's gone from something I planned to do in the far future to something I cannot wait to do. But it will be awhile, seeing as how I am currently pregnant. It's been an awakening of sorts for me and I'm excited to watch the live broadcasts on the Internet, as well. Has anyone here been to Hajj?
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#196 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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[QUOTE=imani;9946088]
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Originally Posted by umsami View Post
I totally recommend reading the holiday helper thank you thread... although it can be a tear-jerker http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=787919

Salaams !! How many post do you have to have to look at that thread?
Wa'alaikum Assalam:

I didn't know there was a requirement. Ummm... try going here:

http://www.shesdreamingindigital.com/holidayhelper/

You should be able to see the Mamas in Need... as well as the thank yous.

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

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#197 of 1560 Old 12-07-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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I hope you don't mind if I copy paste that...
Absolutely not.

I'll also admit my dirty little secret.. .sometimes when I find myself unable to pray in Arabic, I try praying in English (whether it's accepted or not)... Sometimes just the silent rakats, sometimes the whole thing. It can bring a different feeling to salat... at least for me.

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

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#198 of 1560 Old 12-08-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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I thought some sisters might enjoy this article. I find myself becoming angry at the position of women in certain Islamic circles these days. While I think my anger is justified I also feel better when I am reminded that these problems are not made by Islam, but by humans, and that this is only one point in time.

Article about early women Islamic Scholars

Also, my parents arrived two days ago in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. If it's not too forward of me to ask, please say a little prayer that their Hajj is accepted. I am incredibly excited for them and have been researching Hajj a lot these days. It's gone from something I planned to do in the far future to something I cannot wait to do. But it will be awhile, seeing as how I am currently pregnant. It's been an awakening of sorts for me and I'm excited to watch the live broadcasts on the Internet, as well. Has anyone here been to Hajj?
Thanks for passing that on. Loved the article.
Big prayers to your parents, what a blessing.
My MIL has been to hajj.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
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#199 of 1560 Old 12-08-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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Salaam everyone,

I've been : here...just wanted to say hi for now!



umsami, that was a great post!!

Oh, both my father and grand father had been to hajj when I was little (when I was in 1st grade)...and my father gave me a beautiful prayer rug that he bought from Mecca and that has been my one and only prayer rug all this year! I absolutely it!!

belly.gif heartbeat.gif   computergeek2.gif  
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#200 of 1560 Old 12-09-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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umsami, thanks so much for your post, thank all of the others who replied as well. I love the analogy mamefati used about us being like children to Allah, I think that we probably forget that too much. I would love to go to Jummah, but my kids get out of school at almost the exact same time, so it is virtually impossible for me to go, since I am the one that picks them up, I have considerred picking them up early on Fridays, but I don't know how the school would react. I think I am going to start picking a time, even if it is just one prayer a day and doing it without making excuses, that would help a lot, I think. I am glad that I am not the only person who has ever been in this place, and just realizing that helps a lot.

This spring, I am taking intro to Islam and Islam in Africa in school, and I am super excited about it. I feel like I will finally have the time to sit down and really read and study our beautiful faith, without getting a hard time from the hubby for not studying my coursework.
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#201 of 1560 Old 12-10-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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umsami, thanks so much for your post, thank all of the others who replied as well. I love the analogy mamefati used about us being like children to Allah, I think that we probably forget that too much. I would love to go to Jummah, but my kids get out of school at almost the exact same time, so it is virtually impossible for me to go, since I am the one that picks them up, I have considerred picking them up early on Fridays, but I don't know how the school would react. I think I am going to start picking a time, even if it is just one prayer a day and doing it without making excuses, that would help a lot, I think. I am glad that I am not the only person who has ever been in this place, and just realizing that helps a lot.

This spring, I am taking intro to Islam and Islam in Africa in school, and I am super excited about it. I feel like I will finally have the time to sit down and really read and study our beautiful faith, without getting a hard time from the hubby for not studying my coursework.
Assalamu Alaikum:

Sounds like you have a plan. I totally think you will refall in love with Islam when you start your courses. You are totally not the only one... there's a book by Jeff Lang called "Struggling to Surrender". It really really spoke to me.

So... what is everybody planning for Eid?? What are your traditions?? We usually do new clothes...although hubby and I probably will wear our stuff from last Eid as we didn't get to go due to the entire family being very sick. The kids get one or two toys. I usually buy bagels or donuts for before we go to the masjid...and then when we come home, we make fattah.

Insha'Allah, we'll make Eid cookies again (sheep shaped for Eid or maybe Kaaba brownies)... and I usually decorate with balloons and Eid banners and such.

What about you???

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

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#202 of 1560 Old 12-10-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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I'm a little lost about Eid. We usually go to my parents' house but as I mentioned upthread they went to Hajj. They live several hundred miles from here so I'm really not familiar with what's available locally. I think we're going to have to do something pretty mellow (no Kaaba brownies!)
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#203 of 1560 Old 12-10-2007, 11:05 PM
 
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I have no idea what to do for Eid. It will be our first year and as most of you know, dh is not Muslim, so whatever we do will have to be low key. The crappy thing is, that I am afraid it will be seriously overshadowed by Christmas (my whole family except me and the kids are Christian) which I haven't figured out a way to get out of yet without causing all sorts of problems.

On a completely unrelated topic, could anyone tell me where to get those really long scarves that I see the sisters around here wearing all the time. They fall past the middle of back, and are really gorgeous but I am too shy to stop and ask someone where they got it. I guess I am not so much wonderring where they come from, but what to look for. Right now all I have are 2 al-amira style hijabs, and I really would like to get something a little more nice looking.
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#204 of 1560 Old 12-10-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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...which I haven't figured out a way to get out of yet without causing all sorts of problems.
Just out of curiosity, get out of what?
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#205 of 1560 Old 12-10-2007, 11:14 PM
 
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Also... My son is the only Muslim in his class. We are pretty low key about it, but I asked if the class was doing anything about Eid this year since it falls so close to the other holidays. They said they weren't just because there weren't any muslims in the class... not knowing that we are muslim.

So they asked me to come in and talk to the class... ideas anyone?
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#206 of 1560 Old 12-11-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Summertime Mommy View Post
I have no idea what to do for Eid. It will be our first year and as most of you know, dh is not Muslim, so whatever we do will have to be low key. The crappy thing is, that I am afraid it will be seriously overshadowed by Christmas (my whole family except me and the kids are Christian) which I haven't figured out a way to get out of yet without causing all sorts of problems.

On a completely unrelated topic, could anyone tell me where to get those really long scarves that I see the sisters around here wearing all the time. They fall past the middle of back, and are really gorgeous but I am too shy to stop and ask someone where they got it. I guess I am not so much wonderring where they come from, but what to look for. Right now all I have are 2 al-amira style hijabs, and I really would like to get something a little more nice looking.
For scarves, try hijabgirl.com and veiledbydesign.com You can learn how to pin them on youtube.com Just look under how to hijab or how to shayla. (I'll try and find the links)

I'm friends with tons of converts and we all deal with the same issues re: Christmas. I honestly think that the easiest thing to do is to celebrate Eid, but also understand that your family will celebrate Christmas and will want to include your kids. My parents usually send gifts... and so we open a few on Eid...and leave one or two for Christmas too...talking about the grandparents. When they're older, I'll use it as an opportunity to talk about how we all love Jesus as a Prophet... but view him slightly differently. For now, they're too young. The only way I can get my parents to respect our holidays is to respect theirs...KWIM?

I am the queen of Al Amirah hijabs. With kids and a lack of dexterity, there's nothing better.

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

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#207 of 1560 Old 12-11-2007, 02:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Lubner View Post
Also... My son is the only Muslim in his class. We are pretty low key about it, but I asked if the class was doing anything about Eid this year since it falls so close to the other holidays. They said they weren't just because there weren't any muslims in the class... not knowing that we are muslim.

So they asked me to come in and talk to the class... ideas anyone?
How old are the kids??

I would try and keep it as similar to what they know... so talk about the story about Abraham in the Bible. I'm not sure how much I'd go into sacrificing his son... if they were young, KWIM?? There was an interesting thread awhile back on religious studies on how Ibrahim/Ishmael (depending on whom you believe was on the chopping block) was not a kid as depicted in most pictures.. but an older person. I think that's important to point out.

What I would do is bring a picture or two of the kaba... talk about it beign the house of God... the pilgrimmage. Maybe see if they can figure out how long of a trip it is from where you are.. and talk about how hard it would be to make that before the age of the airplane. Talk about the honorary title given somebody who makes hajj, etc.

I'd also talk about the phrase in English of "Mecca"... like the mecca of whatever... and how that comes from Mecca.

I'd talk about how cool the whole complex is... air conditioned marble floors, etc. Number of people who make hajj each year. Show pics.

Maybe even make a mini hajj path in the classroom... make one desk safa.. one desk marwan... maybe a place to throw seven nerf balls at the devil... etc.

Talk about how kids get new clothes, eidee, etc.

I'd also probably bring in food. Kahk, Mamool, Baklavah...something like that. Maybe some amr deen (no idea on spelling) or the Pakistani Rose drink stuff.

If you have access to the book, "Muslim Child" by Rukhsana Khan she has a great story about how a wealthy man visits an orphanage every Eid to pass out samosas. One year... a small boy who is very poor finds some money in one of the samosas... so gives it to the man, saying he must have dropped it while making the samosas. The man decides to adopt him explaining that every year he has put money in one of the samosas, but nobody has ever confessed to finding it. He was waiting for an honest boy to be his son. (or something like that... it's been awhile. )

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

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#208 of 1560 Old 12-11-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa Lubner View Post
Just out of curiosity, get out of what?
All of the Christmas stuff. I don't mind a little bit of it, but we have a big family, so we have a lot of celebrations that we are expected to attend. It makes it hard because I want to respect my family, but I also want to let my kids know that it isn't really "our" holiday.
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#209 of 1560 Old 12-12-2007, 03:06 AM
 
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There really isn't any reason you can't enjoy Christmas with your family like you have in the past. There are quite a few scholars that say it is fine to celebrate it as long as you aren't in danger of committing shirk. Unless you just really don't like Christmas anyway. There are a lot of good teaching moments during the holiday season. Lot's of opportunity to talk about the differences and similarities between Muslims and the Ahlul Kitab, etc.
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#210 of 1560 Old 12-14-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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OK, If you're a convert who sometimes missing pork products.. this article will probably cure you of that.

Note: It's very disturbing. If you have any veggie tendencies, I probably would not recommend reading it.

Pig-Brain Mist Suspected in Workers' Disease

Blech!

Oh a happier note, I made sheep cookies for Eid. We're going to decorate tonight after my eldest has karate at the local Islamic center. I'm way psyched!

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

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