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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Review | Silver Spring Hijab Galore


Assalaamu alaikum!

Today I'll be doing a hijab company review forrrrr Silver Spring Hijab Galore =D I received some of their stuff yesterday, most of the things from SSHG I will be giving away as part of the iHijabi 1000fans giveaway. Soooo here are some pictures =D apologies for the hijab not matching the outfit my sister couldn't be bothered to get changed and we had to rush because we had guests coming over (yes cooking, cleaning, making tea and all the rest of it)



My studio AKA my bedroom lol



Right so first thing you see in the pictures is a black hijab with little diamontes that I am wearing. This hijab is your everyday black hijab with a little bit of bling, I'm a sucker for all things black so I really liked this hijab. It is a sheer hijab so just for demo pruposes I wore it with another scarf underneath, you wont need to but you will need to wear an underscarf and when you wrap it round it shouldn't be see through.

Next is the green & blue scarf my sister is wearing, this is a pashmina type scarf and is very easy to work with & style, it creates nice folds and has a few different colour stitches at the bottom (don't know if you can see), It's a nice scarf in perfect cool summer colours.

And then as you see in picture 2 is the blue crystal headband. This is the headband that you'd wear in your hair as well, it's nice but not something I would wear, the crystals make the hijab stick up on the sides a bit to, so not really for me unfortunately.

Lastly in this section is the blue flower hijab pin with mini chain. I think this is realllly cute and I absolutely love the little flowers. Very pretty!




Ok now on to the orange hijab, this hijab is very stringy (sorry can't find the word =S) you will have to wear it with another hijab as I think it's quite see through and has gaps in the hijab. The colour is very nice and I've paired it with a white pashmina to do a bandanna earring style for a slightly Spanish look (=

And then there is a white tube underscarf with diamontes and embroidery. I don't wear tube underscarves or underscarves with patterns but this underscarf is very good quality so if you need one of these do check out SSHG.





Moving on to the red hijab. This hijab is a chiffon/poly mix hijab. It's very pretty hijab with hints of orange & white. At the bottom has sparkly silver threads on it so it'd be super for parties or 3id (=

The headband is a metal headband with 3 large crystals on it. Great to jazz up any hijab for parties.

And finally in this section is a little pretty star hijab pin with a mini chain, again really pretty and a cute little accessory for any plain hijab.




And last but not least these absolutely amazing hijabi keyrings, an every hijabi must have! They are sooo cute I had to get one for myself. Yes, I know I have one key and a million key rings (they're all sentimental) I can't get rid of sentimental things (I have cards & gift bags and boxes etc from years and years ago =S) But anyway these hijabi key rings are amazing and I'm thinking of getting some in bulk for UK customers, what do you guys think?

To visit the Silver spring hijab galore facebook page click here
To visit their website & make a purchase click here

I hope you enjoy shopping with SSHG the customer service is brilliant because it's run by our very own iHijabi admin *Sunnie! =D

Among the other things from the other companies...

Winner one will get:
-The blue/green hijab
-Blue crystal headband
-White tube underscarf
-Star mini chain hijab pin

Winner two will get:
-Red hijab
-Metal crystal headband
-Green Hijabi keyring

Winner three will get:
- Black sheyla
-Orange/cream string hijab
-Orange Hijabi keyring

Check out the details to enter the giveaway by clicking on the pink poster on the left =D Deadline is in exactly 1 week so get those entries in!!

Ramadhaan Kareem Wassalaam!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Review | Hijab Obsessions - Colourful Jersey Hijabs

Assalaamu alaikum,

Today I went to the post office to pick up my Hijab Obsessions package which I am delighted with!! I got 2 jersey hijabs one in Royal Blue & one in Aubergine Purple. They're both absolutely amazing jersey fabric, very soft & very lightweight. My fav has to be the purple (just loving that colour at the moment =D), the blue is a bit brighter than I'd usually go for but bright primary colours are very in this season so I guess I'll try it out inshaAllah.

Here are some pics =D sorry about the editing, need to fix my photoshop, so I had to make do with paint =S

Royal Blue


 

Aubergine Purple




Here is a picture of the giveaway goodies courtesy of Hijab Obsessions (=


-Charcoal Jersey Hijab
-Silky pink Hijab
-Blue & Pink Stripey thin Hijab

So what do you think of these scarves?

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Recipe | Mango Shango Shake


First of all..I wanna thank ALLAH for providing such yummy fruits for us ...SubhanALLAH..
thank you Allah....for everything..Alhumdullilah :)

And 2nd thank you summer for the mangos :)

YUMM-MANGO SHANGO SHAKE ...

KING OF FRUITS - MR. MANGO :)

ok someone once told me that..the famous poet ghalib said.."Ghadday aam nahi khate"..lol sorry I don't know how authentic that is? lol In English..donkeys don't eat mangoes..lol ..sorry..I didn't say that..Ghalib did..that's wat i heard :) lol

Ingredients:
  • 1 mango
  • 1 scoop of mango Ice cream
  • 10 ice cubes
  • some milk
  • Sugar (optional - or to taste)
  • bits of mango (for garnishing)

Blend all...and have ur Yummmango shango shake :)

You can add lot's of milk for a thin shake or less milk for a nice thick luscious mango shake :)

Enjoy :)

Recipe | Chicken Bread



One of my Most fvt tea time snack.. Chicken Bread ♥ ♥


Ingredients:
  • Flour 4 cups
  • Instant yeast 1 tbsp
  • Powdered milk 2 tbsp
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Oil 4 tbsp
  • Egg 1 (plus 1 for glazing)
  • Castor sugar 1 tsp

In a bowl mix together 4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp castor sugar, 2 tbsp milk powder, 1 tbsp yeast, 4 tbsp oil and 1 egg, knead to a medium soft dough with slightly warm water, leave to rise for 1 hour.

Ingredients for chicken filling:

  • Chicken boiled and shredded 1 ½ to 2 cups
  • Onion chopped finely 1 medium or 2 small
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Black pepper 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves 2 tbsp
  • Green chilies chopped 4
  • Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp
  • Flour 2 tbsp
  • Butter 2 tbsp
  • Milk 1 cup
  • Sesame seeds as required 
Method:

Heat 2 tbsp butter fry onion till soft then add 2 tbsp flour with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp garam masala....add the milk, cook till thick, mix in the shredded chicken add chopped green chilies and coriander leaves, remove and cool completely. Now divide the dough into two or three parts depending on what size loaves of chicken bread you want. Roll the dough to a rectangular shape, snip the sides with scissors or a knife, put filling in the centre and fold each side so they overlap each other (like a braid) the filling will show slightly but that's ok, brush top with beaten egg, sprinkle sesame seeds and bake on 200 degree C for 25 minutes or so.

Right after taking out of the oven apply butter well on whole bread and let it rest covered with a cloth for 2-3 min to soften the bread completely.

Sunnie*

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Recipe | Chocolate Fudge Cake

These recipe's will be by Sister Sana our newest guest writer. Sana is very talented at cooking and has provided us with her special recipes....p.s look out for Ramadhan Suhoor & Iftaar recipes aswell!

 
Ingredients:
* 400g plain flour
* 250g golden caster sugar
* 100g light muscovado sugar
* 50g best quality cocoa powder
* 2 tsp. baking powder
* 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
* ½ tsp. salt
* 3 eggs
* 142ml/small tub sour cream
* 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
* 175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
* 125ml corn oil
* 300ml chilled water

For Fudge Icing

* 175g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
* 250g unsalted butter, softened
* 275g icing sugar, sifted
* 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Method:

* Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm sandwich tins.

* In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate and salt.

* In another bowl or wide-necked measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended.

* Using a freestanding or handheld electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended (you’ll need another large bowl for this if using the hand whisk; the freestanding mixer comes with its own bowl), then beat in the water.

* Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins. And actually, you could easily do this manually;

* Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

* To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave – 2-3 minutes on medium should do it – or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.

* In another bowl, beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything’s light and fluffy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.

* Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides, too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.



Its easiest =)) xx njoy and do let us know how it tastes =)) xx

Sana

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Spiritual | What to look for in a husband & Salaat-ul-Istikhaarah


 The other day I uploaded a post titled 'I want a Sheikh!' and someone requested a post on what you should look for in a husband and where do you draw the line in your list of wants. Firstly most people should want a practicing Allah fearing man and that is because inshaAllah if he fears Allah he will treat you well this is one of the first things you should look at before anything else. There's no compromising with this one!
However, religion it seems, is not always foremost in the minds of many people. In fact, it's probably the last factor on too many Muslims' list.

According to Tasneem Qadeer, one of the seven volunteers who runs the Islamic Society of North America's matrimonial service, being a doctor or a lawyer is much more important to many Muslim women than piety.

And the men are not any better. Many matrimonial advertisements in Islamic publications for instance, demonstrate a key demand for a wife who is “fair, slim and beautiful”.


“If we want to have healthy Muslim families then Deen has to be first,” says Aneesah Nadir, president of the Islamic Social Services Association of the United States and Canada.

A lot of us want a husband to have all the characteristics that were pointed out in the last post and personally my answer to 'where do I draw the line?' is don't just think about what he is like now but think about if he doesn't have some of the qualities already will he be able to develop them after marriage? Think about it in terms of money, he may just have enough to live on right now and has a job lower down in his line of work but that may be because he just recently graduated, who knows by the will of Allah he may work his way up in that career and have enough money not just to live on but to spend in the way of charity...in short what I mean is think long term. Wealth will come and go and that is controlled by Allah so don't be hung up on his job not being good enough, his house not being big enough etc.

Also think in terms of how practicing he is, to be honest if you yourself are not very practicing then give up on that dream of finding a really religious husband because chances are he's looking for someone just as practicing as himself , be logical and think about things realistically. If you do want someone religious start to think about how you can change yourself to reach his standards. The minimum requirements will be different for every person because each individual is at a different level of imaan. I wouldn't recommend you go for someone less practicing than you (even if he says he can change) because you want someone that you can learn & practice Islam with, Someone who will draw you closer to Allah and not further away from Him. Marriage is a religious commitment so choose someone that will help you achieve your goal of pleasing Allah & getting to Jannah.

Things like taqwa, understanding, good manners, (anger management), good communication and sincerity are things that you should not compromise on, things such as wealth, bad habits and things that you don't like in general you can re-think and see if you can look past them or if you think he can change or improve them over time. Always look at yourself and see what you are like in terms of what you want in a husband. Don't dream of a perfect guy because no one is perfect but look for someone who is willing to change (not for you, but for them self and for Allah) Remember marriage is half your deen so choose carefully! Below is an article on what things we are supposed to look for in a husband according to Quran & Sunnah as well as information on Salaat-ul-Istikhaarah, a prayer made asking for Allah's guidance on big decisions in life (such as choosing a spouse or deciding if the one you are looking at is right for you)

What to look for in a husband


Religious commitment. This is the most important thing to look for in the man you want to marry. The husband should be a Muslim who adheres to all the laws and teachings of Islam in his daily life. The woman’s guardian (wali) should strive to check out this matter and not rely only on outward appearances. One of the most important things to ask about is the man’s prayer (salaah); the one who neglects the rights of Allaah is more likely to neglect the rights of others. The true believer does not oppress or mistreat his wife; if he loves her, he honors her, and if he does not love her, he does not mistreat or humiliate her. It is very rare to find this attitude among those who are not sincere Muslims.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you” [al-Baqarah 2:221]

“Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwaa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]” [al-Hujuraat 49:13]

“Good statements are for good people (or good women for good men) and good people for good statements (or good men for good women)” [al-Noor 24:26] 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“If there comes to you one whose religious commitment and attitude pleases you, then marry [your female relative who is under your care] to him, for if you do not do that, there will be tribulation on earth and much corruption.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 1084).

As well as being religiously committed, it is preferable that he should come from a good family and a known lineage. If two men come to propose marriage to one woman, and they are equal in terms of religious commitment, then preference should be given to the one who comes from a good family that is known for its adherence to the commands of Allaah, so long as the other person is not better than him in terms of religious commitment – because the righteousness of the husband’s close relatives could be passed on to his children and his good origins and lineage may make him refrain from many foolish and cheap actions. The righteousness of the father and grandfather are beneficial to the children and grandchildren. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord” [al-Kahf 18:82].

See how Allaah protected their father’s wealth for the two boys after the father died, as an honour to him because of his righteousness and taqwaa. By the same token, if the husband comes from a righteous family and his parents are good, Allaah will make things easy for him and protect him as an honour to his parents.

It is good if he has sufficient wealth to keep him and his family from having to ask people for anything, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Faatimah bint Qays (may Allaah be pleased with her), when she came to consult him about three men who had proposed marriage to her, “As for Mu’aawiyah, he is a poor man who has no wealth…” (Narrated by Muslim, 1480). 

It is not essential that he should be a businessman or rich, it is sufficient for him to have an income that will keep him and his family from having to ask people for anything. If there is a choice between a man who is religiously committed and a man who is wealthy, then the religious man should be given preference over the wealthy man.

It is preferable that he should be kind and gentle towards women, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Faatimah bint Qays, in the hadeeth quoted above, “As for Abu Jaham, his stick never leaves his shoulder”, referring to the fact that he used to beat women a lot.

The Prophet (sas) commanded them to facilitate their marriage when they are satisfied with two issues:  the faith of the suitor and his character.
Character is of extreme importance in Islam and goes hand in hand with faith and piety.  The Prophet (sas) has even described it as the purpose of his mission to mankind as we can see from the following hadith:
"Innama bu'ithtu li utammima saliha al-akhlaaqi."
"I have only been sent to complete good character."  Al-Hakim and others (sahih)

"Anaa za'eemun bibaitin fiy a'laa al-jannati liman hassana khuluqahu."
"I am a guarantor of a house in the highest part of Paradise for one who makes his character good."  Abu Daud and it is hassan.

"Al-Birru husnu al-khuluqi."
"Righteousness is good character."  Muslim

"Akmalu al-mu'mineen imaanan ahsanuhum khuluqan."
"The believers with the most complete iman are those with the best character."  Abu Daud and it is sahih.
It is good if he is sound of body and healthy, free of faults, sickness, etc., and not disabled or sterile.

It is preferable that he should have knowledge of the Qur’aan and Sunnah; if you find someone like this it is good, otherwise you should realize that this is something rare.

It is permissible for the woman to look at the man who comes to propose marriage, and for him to look at her (You gotta be satisfied with the way he looks, I mean you're going to be spending the rest of your life with this man, is this the face you want to see every morning?). This should be in the presence of her mahram, and it is not permitted to look more than is necessary, or for him to see her alone, or for her to go out with him on her own, or to meet repeatedly for no reason.

This characteristic has a certain role to play since one of the purposes of marriage is to keep both spouses from sins.  The best way to do this is to have a strong attraction between the spouses.  Although this is something which surely grows over time, initial impressions can in come cases become an obstacle to a successful marriage.   The Prophet (sas) separated Qais ibn Shamaas from his wife in the famous case of Khul'a and her stated reason was that he was exceedingly displeasing to her.  There are many hadith which urge the prospective spouse to get a look at the other before undertaking the marriage.  Once a companion told him (sas) that he was going to get married.  The Prophet (sas) asked if he had seen her.  When the man said no, he (sas) said:
"Idh-hab fandhur ilaihaa fa innahu ahraa an yu'dama bainakum."
"Go and look at her for it is more likely to engender love between the two of you."  Ahmad and others and it is sahih.
Umar ibn Al-Khattab once said:  "Do not force your young girls to marry an ugly man, for they also love what you love."  Ibn Abideen (a famous faqeeh from last century) said:  "The woman should choose a man who is religious, of good character, generous and of ample wealth.  She should not marry an evildoer.  A person should not marry his young daughter to an old man and an ugly man but he should marry her to one similar."
Beauty has its role, but remember that it is way down on the priority list under piety, character and deen.  When a person puts beauty above all else, the results can be disastrous.  This is one of the big reasons that young people seeking to get married must be helped by more mature family members in making their choice.
According to Islam, the woman’s wali (guardian) should check on the man who proposes marriage to the woman who is under his guardianship; he should ask those whom he trusts among those who mix with him and who know him, about his commitment to Islam and his trustworthiness. He should ask them for an honest opinion and sincere, sound advice.

Before and during all of this, you must turn towards Allaah and pray to Him to make it easy for you and help you to make a good choice and to grant you wisdom. Then after all these efforts, when you have decided on a particular person, you should pray Istikhaarah, asking Allaah for that which is good. For more details on Salaat al-Istikhaarah, please see below. Then after you have done your utmost, put your trust in Allaah, for He is the best of helpers, may He be glorified.

Adapted from Jaami’ Ahkaam al-Nisaa’ by Shaykh Mustafaa al-‘Adawi.

Salaat-ul-Istikhaarah


Istikhaarah prayer is a Sunnah which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prescribed for anyone who wants to do an action but is hesitant about it. Discussion of Istikhaarah prayer covers eight points: 

1-     Definition
2-     Ruling
3-     The wisdom behind prescribing it
4-     Reasons for it
5-     When Istikhaarah should be started
6-     Consulting people before praying istikhaarah
7-     What should be recited in istikhaarah
8-     When should the du’aa’ be recited? 

1 – Definition 

Istikhaarah in Arabic means seeking guidance to make a decision concerning something. It is said in Arabic Istakhir Allaaha yakhir laka (Seek guidance from Allaah and He will guide you (to the right decision)). In sharee’ah terminology, Istikhaarah means seeking guidance (to the right decision), i.e., seeking guidance as to what Allaah knows is the best and most appropriate choice, by means of prayer or the du’aa’ narrated concerning Istikhaarah. 

2 – Ruling 

The scholars are unanimously agreed that Istikhaarah is Sunnah. The evidence that it is prescribed is the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: 

“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make istikhaarah in all matters, just as he used to teach them soorahs from the Qur’aan. 

He said: ‘If any one of you is deliberating about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say: 

Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi

(O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it).” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari in several places in his Saheeh (1166). 

3 – The wisdom behind prescribing it: 

The reason why Istikhaarah is prescribed is that it is submission to the command of Allaah and a practical demonstration that one has no power and no strength of one’s own. It means turning to Allaah and seeking to combine the goodness of this world and of the Hereafter. In order to achieve that, one has to knock at the door of the King, Allaah, may He be glorified, and there is nothing more beneficial in this regard than salaah (prayer) and du’aa’ (supplication), because they involve venerating Allaah, praising Him and expressing one’s need for Him. Then after praying istikhaarah one should do that which one feels is best. 

4 – Reasons for it: 

In what circumstances should one pray istikhaarah? The four madhhabs are agreed that istikhaarah is prescribed in cases where a person does not know the right decision to make. In matters where it is known whether a thing is good or bad, such as acts of worship, doing good deeds, sins or evil actions, there is no need to pray istikhaarah in these cases. But if a person wants to find out the right time to do something, such as whether to do Hajj this year, because there is the possibility of encountering an enemy or some tribulation, or whether to go with a certain person or not, then he may pray istikhaarah with regard to such decisions. But there is no room for Istikhaarah when it comes to things that are obligatory, haraam or makrooh. Rather Istikhaarah has to do with things that are recommended or permissible. Istikhaarah is not ordinarily required with regard to things that are recommended, rather it should be done in cases where there is a conflict, i.e., when a person has a choice of two things and must decide which one to start with or which one not to do. With regard to permissible things, he may pray Istikhaarah as a regular matter. 

5 – When should he start praying Istikhaarah? 

The person who wants to pray Istikhaarah should have an open mind, and not have decided on a specific course of action. The phrase “If any one of you is deliberating” indicates that Istikhaarah should be prayed when one starts to think of the matter, when through the blessing of prayer and du’aa’ what is good will become clear to him, in contrast to when the idea has taken root and his resolve to do it is firm, in which case his inclination will sway him, and there is the fear that wisdom may not prevail because he is inclined to do that which he has already decided to do. It may be that which is meant by deliberation here is resolve, because a passing thought does not matter. And a person should not pray istikhaarah except when he has decided to do something but does not have a strong inclination towards it. Otherwise, if a person were to pray Istikhaarah for every thought that crosses his mind, he would never stop and he would waste all his time doing that. 

6 – Consulting others before praying istikhaarah 

Al-Nawawi said: It is mustahabb, before praying istikhaarah, to consult someone whom you knows is sincere, caring and has experience, and who is trustworthy with regard to his religious commitment and knowledge. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“and consult them in the affairs”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:159]

7 – What is to be recited in Salaat al-Istikhaarah 

There are three opinions as to what should be recited in Salaat al-Istikhaarah: 

(a)     The Hanafis, Maalikis and Shaafa’is said that it is mustahabb, after reciting al-Faatihah, to recite Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon in the first rak’ah and Qul huwa Allaahu ahad in the second.  Al-Nawawi said, explaining the reason for that: It is appropriate to recite these in prayer, to show sincerity and expressing your leaving your affairs to Allaah. They said that it is also permissible to add other verses from Qur’aan where the context refers to the idea of making a choice or decision.

(b)    Some of the Salaf said that in praying istikhaarah it is good to add, after reciting al-Faatihah, the following verses in the first rak’ah:

“And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no choice have they (in any matter). Glorified is Allaah, and exalted above all that they associate (as partners with Him).

And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal, and what they reveal.
And He is Allaah; Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), all praises and thanks be to Him (both) in the first (i.e. in this world) and in the last (i.e. in the Hereafter). And for Him is the Decision, and to Him shall you (all) be returned”

[al-Qasas 28:68 – interpretation of the meaning]

And the following verse in the second rak’ah:

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error”

[al-Ahzaab 33:36 – interpretation of the meaning]

(c)    The Hanbalis and some of the fuqaha’ did not say that any particular verses are to be recited when praying Istikhaarah. 

8 – When one should pray Istikhaarah

 The Hanafis, Maalikis, Shaafa’is and Hanbalis stated that the du’aa’ should be recited immediately after the prayer. This is in accordance with what was stated in the hadeeth narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). See al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 3, p. 241. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in al-Fataawa al-Kubra: Part 2, p. 265 Question concerning Du’aa’ al-Istikhaarah: should this du’aa’ be recited during salaah (prayer) or after saying the salaam?  The answer is that it is permissible to recite the du’aa’ of istikhaarah before or after the salaam, whether you are praying salaat al-istikhaarah or another prayer. Reciting du’aa’ before the salaam is preferable, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite a lot of du’aa’ before the salaam, and the worshipper before saying the salaam still in a state of prayer, so it is better to recite the du’aa’ then.

 And Allaah knows best

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Srebrenica Never Forget 11/07/95 - A genocide the UN turned away from



Summary

In the Bosnian silver-mining town of Srebrenica in July 1995, one of the most notorious modern acts of genocide took place. While the international community and U.N. peacekeepers looked on, Serb forces separated civilian men from women and killed thousands of men en masse, or hunted them down in the forests.

The Massacre


In June 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, pushing for a resolution to the ethnic "anomaly" of the Muslim enclaves, closed their noose around Srebrenica and the other "safe areas." In Srebrenica, mass panic took hold of the civilian population.

Women and children gathered at the U.N. base of Potocari, together with about 1,700 men,while most of the "battle-age" males -- mostly unarmed non-combatants -- took to the hills in a desperate attempt to flee to Muslim-held territory to the west. At Potocari, Dutch troops meekly allowed the Serbs access to the camps and the refugees they held.

Then, the following day -- July 11 -- some 1700 men, disproportionately the elderly and infirm, were separated from women and children. The peacekeepers "stood inches away from the Serb soldiers who were separating the Muslim men, one by one, from their families" (Sudetic,Blood and Vengeance, p. 306). At Serb command, the Dutch drew up a registry of 242 Bosnian men remaining in the camp, again mostly elderly and infirm. Then they handed the men over to the Serbs. Not one of the 242 men is known to have survived. The children and women were abused, with isolated exceptions, to safety in Tuzla. Men, almost without exception, were carted away to their deaths.

Satellite photo of Nova Kasaba mass graves.
Many of the men were killed in the school gymnasium in Bratunac that had already served as the site of a gendercidal massacre in the Bosnian war. Many hundreds more were massacred at a football field near Nova Kasaba, the worst killing ground of the entire five-day slaughter. Human Rights Watch recorded the testimony of one eyewitness to the gendercidal massacres at Nova Kasaba. The Serbs, he said,

picked out Muslims whom they either knew about or knew, interrogated them and made them dig pits. ...During our first day, the Cetniks [Serbs] killed approximately 500 people [men]. They would just line them up and shoot them into the pits. The approximately one hundred guys whom they interrogated and who had dug the mass graves then had to fill them in. At the end of the day, they were ordered to dig a pit for themselves and line up in front of it. ... [T]hey were shot into the mass grave. ... At dawn, ... [a] bulldozer arrived and dug up a pit ..., and buried about 400 men alive. The men were encircled by Cetniks: whoever tried to escape was shot." (Quoted in Mark Danner, "The Killing Fields of Bosnia", New York Review of Books, September 24 1998.)

A great many of the men who had sought to flee through the hills to Tuzla were doomed as well. The Bosnian Serb commander, Gen. Radivoj Krstic, in a radio transmission intercepted by western eavesdroppers, told his forces: "You must kill everyone. We don't need anyone alive." (Mark Danner, "Bosnia: The Great Betrayal", New York Review of Books, March 26 1998.) Serb forces took special pleasure in isolating trees where men had sought to hide, and riddling them with shrapnel from anti-aircraft guns.

Trapped in the hills under Serb bombardment, sleepless and thirst-maddened, men succumbed to hallucinations, paranoia, and despair. "The psyches of the men ruptured. Muslims mistook other Muslims for infiltrators. They threw hand grenades and fired their automatics at one another. ... Men shot themselves hoping the Serbs would show the wounded mercy" (Sudetic, Blood and Vengeance, p. 301). Many committed suicide. Thousands finally surrendered to Serb troops along the "Ring of Iron," who lured them with the sight of captured UN vehicles and promises of safe passage. All of those captured were taken to nearby fields and warehouses, executed, and buried in mass graves.

Mass graves found.
Summarizing the catastrophe in 1997, David Rohde -- who as a journalist with the Christian Science Monitor won a Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the first mass graves around Srebrenica -- offered a blistering critique of the moral lapse on the part of the "safe area's" alleged guardians: "The international community partially disarmed thousands of men, promised them they would be safeguarded and then delivered them to their sworn enemies. Srebrenica was not simply a case of the international community standing by as a far-off atrocity was committed. The actions of the international community encouraged, aided, and emboldened the executioners. ... The fall of Srebrenica did not have to happen. There is no need for thousands of skeletons to be strewn across eastern Bosnia. There is no need for thousands of Muslim children to be raised on stories of their fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers slaughtered by Serbs." (Rohde,Endgame, pp. 351, 353.)

How many died?

The Red Cross lists 7,079 dead and missing at Srebrenica. Other estimates range as high as 8,000 or 10,000. David Rohde notes that the massacre "accounts for an astonishing percentage of the number of missing" from the brutal Balkans conflict as a whole. "Of the 18,406 Muslims, Serbs and Croats reported still missing ... as of January 1997, 7,079 are people [men] who disappeared after the fall of Srebrenica. In other words, approximately 38 percent of the war's missing are from Srebrenica." By any standard, it was one of the worst and most concentrated acts of gendercide in the post-World War II era -- and the worst massacre of any kind in Europe for fifty years.

Who is responsible?


Chuck Sudetic writes of the Srebrenica massacre that "the men who carried out the executions were reportedly under orders handed down by General [Ratko] Mladic and Radislav Krstic, a colonel in the Bosnian army who was promoted to general and named commander of the army's Drina corps by Mladic within a few days of the killings. Among the units that took part in the killings was the Tenth Commando squad, which answered directly to Mladic's headquarters ... Men from Srebrenica, Bratunac, Kravica, Milii, Visegrad, Bajina Basta, Loznica, Zvornik, and other towns also participated." (Sudetic, Blood and Vengeance, pp. 317-18.)

In 1996, the International Criminal Tribunal indicted Mladic and Krstic for crimes of humanity committed at Srebrenica. Joining them on the list of indicted war-criminals was Radovan Karadzic, leader of the self-styled "Republika Srpska" or Serb-controlled territories in Bosnia. Karadzic was intimately involved in planning the "endgame" in the Bosnian war, for which Srebrenica was to serve as a centerpiece. In July 1999, the Tribunal found that these mass murderers had been operating under "a direct chain of military command" from Belgrade and the Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic. For the first time, the Tribunal defined the Bosnian war as "an international conflict," recognizing both Bosnian independence and Serbian aggression . As yet, however, Milosevic remains unindicted for the atrocities he directed in Bosnia.

The United Nations must shoulder a large share of responsibility for allowing the massacre to take place under the noses of its troops. In November 1999, the UN released a highly self-critical report on its performance, stating that "Through error, misjudgment and the inability to recognize the scope of evil confronting us, we failed to do our part to save the people of Srebrenica from the Serb campaign of mass murder." (See Barbara Crossette, "U.N. Details Its Failure to Stop '95 Bosnian Massacre",

Muslim Defence League

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Poem | Pieces of wood propped up


She looked back at the time
A time filled with darkness
Going through life, lifeless
No heart, No Feelings, Life just Pointless 

She had sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch
These blessings she had neglected so much
Not using them to draw closer to Allah
She drifted Further and Further Afar

The day came when Allah blessed her
Blessed her with guidance
She noticed a wooden doll propped up against a wall
With eyes, ears, nose, hands and feet
All the features of a human being

A thought so scary came to her
That...
...She was no better than this piece of wood propped up

Empty Heart, Empty Mind
O how she had wasted so much time

O Allah, The Forgiver, Forgive me! She cried
She cried, she cried, until her tears dried

From that day forward
She vowed
“Truly my prayer, my sacrifice, my life, my death
Are all for Allah, Lord of the words (6:162)

Humaira Aslam

Monday, 11 July 2011

Spiritual | 10 Biggest Misconceptions about Islam


Islam is probably the least understood and most demonized religion today.  The critics of Islam have created this persona based primarily on misconceptions, ignorance and malice.  You’ve probably heard of some of the following common misconceptions about Islam.

Misconception # 1: Violence and Terrorism is the Muslim Creed



Islam and Muslims have become synonymous with terms like terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism.  The involvement of some so-called Muslims in the acts of terrorism in the past few decades does not justify the labeling of a whole faith and its people as terrorists.  Nobody called Timothy McVeigh a Christian terrorist after the Oklahoma bombing in the 90’s, neither is the IRA labeled as a Christian terrorist group, so why is it that when a Muslim does something wrong it is the fault of his religion?

Apparently, logical arguments do not carry any weight in this debate, which is fueled by sensationalism and vested interests at the highest levels of governments.  Citing verses of the Qur’an out of the context is the favorite tactic of the proponents of this misconception.  There are several verses in the Qur’an that clearly state the opposite of this misconception.  For example, “Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits.  God does not love transgressors.” (Qur’an 2:190).  Another verse says, “If they seek peace, then seek you peace.” (Qur’an 8:61)

Misconception #2: Jihad Means Killing Non-Muslims

If opposition to Islam can be summarized today in one word, it is ‘Jihad’; the all-inclusive term for Islam bashing.  Disregarding its true meaning and historical perspective, jihad is decisively equated with the violence that has been perpetrated in the last few decades in the name of Islam by individuals.  There are several forms of Jihad; an armed struggle which may involve killing the enemy is ‘Qital’, which is considered by most non-Muslims to be the only form of Jihad.  However, according to Islam, one of the most important types of ‘Jihad’ is ‘Jihad bil nafs’ (struggle against the self), every other struggle stems out of this. Jihad bil nafs involves constantly struggling to overcome and control our animal desires.

Misconception #3: Women are Oppressed in Islam



Saving Muslim women from the ‘tyranny’ of Islam is one of the favorite rallying cries of the people who consider Islam an evil force.  Just like many other misdeeds wrongly attributed to Islam rather than to the individuals who commit them, unfair treatment of women is also considered to be the Islamic way of treating women.  Setting aside the malicious propaganda, the reason behind this misconception is probably the fact that Islamic teachings about the role, responsibilities, status and treatment of women are judged according to the western practices and beliefs.  If anything, Islam liberated the women in Arabia by giving them rights that were unheard of at that time in most nations.  The stereotype of veil wearing, home-bound Muslim woman is used to argue that women are oppressed.

However, this viewpoint is completely devoid of the knowledge of the status and rights of Muslim women.  If we look into how other major religions look at women, we will find surprising revelations.  In the New Testament, St. Paul declares, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” In contrast, this is what Qur’an has to say, “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him/her we will give a new life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.” (16:97)

The right to hold property is considered to be fundamental for human beings, yet no major religion other than Islam actually allowed women to have property.  Not only this but Muslim women have full control of their property and their husbands have no share in it.


Misconception #4: Muslims don’t Believe in Jesus



Many Christians are made to believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) and other prophets are not considered by Muslims as God’s messengers.  A cursory reading of Qur’an or other Islamic literature shows that Muslims remember all of the prophets mentioned in the Christian and Judaic scriptures with great respect and reverence.  Jesus has been mentioned in Qur’an in several places such as “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God.  He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.”(Qur’an chapter 3)


Misconception #5: Propagation of Islam is the result of Force
 


This misconception may be the result of making wrong inferences from the early Islamic history about the expansion of the Muslim state up to the time of Caliph Umar Farooq.  The Muslim state indeed spread very quickly in the early years, but the conversion to Islam was never forced upon the people of the conquered territories.   If anything, the Qur’an instructs Muslims to deal with them in a kind and just manner “God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just.” (Qur’an 60:8).

The most clear-cut statement against conversion by force or coercion comes straight from the Qur’an, “There is no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam)” (2:256)

The comments of T.W. Arnold on this matter are evidence of the folly of this misconception “… of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain ….So that the very survival of these Churches to the present day is a strong proof of the generally tolerant attitude of the Mohammedan governments towards them.”

Another historian De lacey O’Leary also negates this myth, “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”

Furthermore, it must be pointed out that Muslims ruled and fully controlled India for 800 years and Egypt for even longer than that. Yet the vast majority of the population in India remains Hindu till today, and a small minority of Coptic Christians remains in Egypt today. If Muslims practiced forced conversions there is no way such communities could have survived for over a millennium.

Misconception #6: Islam is Intolerant of Other Religions



Religious intolerance is high on the charge-sheet against Islam and Muslims.  Many non-Muslims believe that Islam does not tolerate other religions and it instructs Muslims to kill all the infidels.  Equating the actions of a handful of bad apples with the teachings of Islam about people of other faiths is a grave injustice.   There are numerous examples throughout Islamic history that clearly show the extent of religious tolerance in Islam.  What could better exemplify it than the verses from the Qur’an and ahadith of Muhammad (pbuh).

There is no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam)” (2:256)

Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Sunnan Abu Dawud)

Misconception #7: Muslims are Savages with no Regard for Culture and Civilization



Many texts portray Muslims as uncivilized and barbaric people but nothing could be further from the truth.  Even a cursory glance at history proves otherwise.  War is one instance where showing no mercy is considered to be a tactic.  Islam, on the other hand, does not allow Muslim armies to mutilate the dead, kill children or elderly, destroy crops, trees, livestock etc., demolish buildings, harm civilians and break agreements/pacts.  With clear rules of engagement like these for war, it would be grossly unfair to call Muslims barbaric.

The influence and contributions of Muslims towards culture and science are widely known and acknowledged by scholars.  “It is highly probable that but for the Arabs, modern European civilization would never have arisen at all; it is absolutely certain that but for them, it would not have assumed that character which has enabled it to transcend all previous phases of evolution,” Robert Briffault, a social anthropologist.


Misconception #8: Islam was founded by Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Despite an abundance of literature on Islam, there are some who believe that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) founded Islam and Muslims worship him as well as Allah.  Any serious attempt to learn about Islam will right away debunk this misconception.  In order to enter into the fold of Islam, a person must pronounce the Shahadah (the testimony of faith); the meaning of which is

“I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and messenger”..

Also in chapter 33 of the Qur’an it is stated, “O Prophet, verily We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner and as one who invites unto God by His leave and as an illuminating lamp.”

Misconception #9: At least Four Wives for Muslim Men

Some aspects of Muslim culture have been universally accepted as the defacto standard such as four wives for Muslim men.  Most westerners believe that every Muslim has a ‘harem’ with at least four wives.  First of all, it should be clearly understood that it is an option not a compulsion.  There are social and cultural reasons behind the practice of polygamy which can only be understood with the knowledge of Arab society at that time.  There are strict conditions that must be met such as equal treatment of the wives.  It surprises me that the people who make a huge fuss about polygamy in Islam, have no issue with promiscuity in western cultures where extra-marital relationships and children born out of wedlock are accepted with open arms.

Misconception #
10:
The Crescent and Star is the Symbol of Islam



It is a common misconception even among Muslims that the crescent moon and star is the official symbol of Islam.  However, in the days of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Muslims did not have a symbol and they used solid-colored flags.  In fact, the crescent was adopted as a symbol by the Turks during Ottoman Empire’s conquest of Constantinople.

Pakistan insider- Life& style

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Review | Ornate

Salaam girls!

Today I'd like to introduce you to the work of a very talented friend of mine.....Hana! =D She's been one of my closest friends since college, not only is she artistic she is also very clever mashaAllah (well you gotta be clever to be studying Electrical & electronic Engineering at one of London's top Uni's). So this post is about her artwork which incudes Islamic art on canvases as well as henna art, stay tuned to find out how hana makes henna xD

Here are some images of artwork taken from Han's facebook page Ornate







She has even moved on to Islamic art on other mediums, check out these super cute candle holders. What's best is that 30% from all sales go to charity!



Here are some pictures of henna she has done....




And the video you've all been waiting for....how to make your own henna =D



So that's it for now. If you'd like to buy some artwork, henna cones, want some henna inspiration or even just want to ask for some henna & islamic art tips make sure you join this amazing facebook page by clicking here