Saturday, February 28, 2009

Signs of a weak iman....



Signs of weak imaan:
===================
Committing sins and not feeling any guilt.

Having a hard heart and no desire to read the Quran.

Feeling too lazy to do good deeds, e.g. being late for salat

Neglecting the Sunnah.

Having mood swings, for instance being upset about petty things and bothered
and irritated most of the time.

Not feeling anything when hearing verses from the Quran, for example when Allah warns us of punishments and His promise of glad tidings.

Finding difficulty in remembering Allah and making dhikr.

Not feeling bad when things are done against the Shariah.

Desiring status and wealth.

Being mean and miserly, i.e. not wanting to part with wealth.

Ordering others to do good deeds when not practising them ourselves.

Feeling pleased when things are not progressing for others.

Being concerned with whether something is haram or halal only; and not avoiding makroo (not recommended) things.

Making fun of people who do simple good deeds, like cleaning the mosque.

Not feeling concerned about the situation of Muslims.

Not feeling the responsibility to do something to promote Islam.

Being unable to deal with calamities, for instance crying and yelling in funerals.

Liking to argue just for the sake of arguing without any proof.

Becoming engrossed and very involved with dunya, worldly things, i.e. feeling bad
only when losing something in terms of material wealth.

Becoming engrossed and obsessive about ourselves.

If you cant handle the HEAT, get out of the kitchen!!!




It’s a beautiful day out so you decide to go for a walk. As you are walking you approach a traffic light and wait for the walk sign to flash so that you can cross the street. A car pulls up with its windows rolled down and the music blaring. The sidewalk feels like it is pulsating from the music coming from the car. You glance over and stare with your mouth open as two women, one driving, the other a passenger, adjust their Gucci sunglasses, and apply their lipstick. Both are dancing in their seats and singing along with

Friday, February 27, 2009

FGM, life, frustrations and more...

A few days ago i was reading a sisters blog about an arabic cultural practice in which a woman waits 40 days after giving birth to shower. Not only is this UNislamic, this is actually a christian practice, where the woman was seen as being impure after having a baby, especially a girl, and had to wait 40 days to shower and become pure again.

"A traditional Christian festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary 40 days after the birth of her son. It also marks the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple. Christians were observing this holiday in Jerusalem as early as the 4th Century A.D. According to a Jewish tradition, women were considered unclean after the birth of a child and were not permitted to enter the Temple to worship until purified. This purification was done 40 days after the birth of a son and 60 days after the birth of a daughter. At the end of the 40 or 60 days, the mother was brought to the Temple or synagogue and ritually purified, allowing her to go to religious services again, and generally go out in public. Candlemas is celebrated on or around Groundhog's day. The holiday also has pagan roots."

Its sad that muslims incorporate rituals from other religions or pagans and follow them blindly. FGM (female genital mutilation) is popular in a lot of islamic/muslim countries, especially in uneducated areas where muslims mutilate a womans anatomy so that they can guarantee she will be a virgin when she marries. Anything that causes harm to a person or their body is haram. FGM causes urinary tract infections, infertility, bleeding and even death.

"Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a destructive, invasive procedure that is usually performed on girls before puberty. Part or all of the clitoris is surgically removed. This leaves them with reduced or no sexual feeling. Orgasms are sometimes impossible to experience later in life. Many health problems result from the surgery.
FGM originated in Africa. It was, and remains, a cultural, not a religious practice.
Among individuals and groups opposed to the mutilation, it is seen as a method of reducing the sexual response of women in order to make them less likely to become sexually active before marriage or to seek an extra-marital affair after marriage. "


"This mutilating operation is often associated mainly with the religion of Islam. This is incorrect. FGM is primarily a social practice, not a religious one. Female genital mutilation predated Islam. It originated in Africa and remains today a mainly African cultural practice. Some indicators of this are:
It is widely practiced in countries where the predominant religion is Christianity: Examples are Ethiopia and Kenya. In multi-faith countries, it is often forced on girls whose families follow all faiths: Animism religions, Christianity, and Islam. For example, it is frequently practiced among both Muslims, Christians and Animists in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.


FGM was once practiced by Ethiopian Jews (a.k.a. Beta Isreal; formerly known by the derogatory term "Falashas"). 2, 3, 4.5 This practiced was apparently discontinued some time ago. A pediatrician who works in the Beta Israel community claims that they no do not practice FGM in Israel. Also, their daughters who were born in Ethiopia were not mutilated. 6
FGM has spread to countries in or near Africa (e.g. Egypt) which are Muslim. But FGM is rare or nonexistent in many other Muslim countries. Examples are Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. Also, It is not done in the Maghreb countries of Northwest Africa. FGM is only occasionally found in Indonesia and other predominately Muslim countries in Asia."

Click here to read more http://www.religioustolerance.org/fem_cirm1.htm

Another thing that bothers me is curfews... How many times do you see muslim wives complaining about their husbands who are out till 12:30, 1am playing cards, soccer, or just hanging with the guys.... If their wives were to hang out that late their husbands would object and remind her that men are different and therefore able to take care of themselves and stay out later. First of all, if you are in a marriage you cannot say that its ok for one person to do something but not the other. If the husband insists that he must play soccer at 10pm and will be home around 1am (typical of foreigners, especially arab men), or that hes going to his friends house for tea, then he needs to be flexible when it comes to his wife and allow her to stay out late with her friends. Obviously she shouldn't be out walking the streets at night, but if she is going to a girlfriends house the husband can drop her off and pick her up later. Most husbands will say that their wives dont care because they hang out with their friends while they are gone... WRONG!!!


Most husbands drop their wives off with the wives of their friends and go and play soccer or hang out leaving the wife no option but to sit with a group of strangers. I personally feel that if its a weeknight both the husband and wife should stay home together and go out on weekends if they feel the need to. However, if the husband is gone most of the time with his friends and putting them first, this is UNislamic and he needs to prioritize. So many men put their friends first and their families second.... They work, come home and eat, call their friends and leave to hang out with them. This is wrong and you are not fulfilling the rights of your wife. Friends are important but their needs to be a curfew. Staying out past 10pm is ridiculous. If you cant accomplish something before 10pm, what makes you think you will do it after 10pm? So many men wait until 9-10pm to go see their friends when they should be getting together with them earlier.

Thursday, February 26, 2009




Quranic Way of Life
Some of the lessons learnt from Quran that apply to our general living!

1. Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion,colour, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on [17/70]


2. Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception[33/70]

3. Choose best words to speak and say them in the best possible way[17/53, 2/83]


4. Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]


5. Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious [22/30]


6. Do not confound truth with falsehood [2/42]


7. Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]


8. Speak in a civilised manner in a language that is recognised by the society and is commonly used [4/5]


9. When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative [6/152]


10. Do not be a bragging boaster [31/18]


11. Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]


12. Do not participate in any paltry. If you pass near a futile play,then pass by with dignity [25/72]


13. Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitiousor overt [6/151].


14. If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by you, then correctyourself expeditiously [3/134].


15. Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people [31/18]


InshaAllah i will try to post a few ways to live our life from the Quran, each time i blog.

Is it time yet? Bad habits of muslims....



It's 11pm, your tired, you sip your tea trying your best to stay awake. You turn to your spouse and ask if its almost time...He says its almost ready, give or take a few minutes. You stretch your arms over your head and calculate how many hours until fajr. You figure 5 hours.... 30 minutes later it's time... You grab your stuff and go into the next room where the women will be sitting and leave your husband in the other room to join the men. It's dinner time, and your famished! You make gestures while eating to communicate with your in-laws who unfortunately only speak arabic. You hear laughter coming from the other room where your husband is sitting with the other men and from time to time he comes to check on you to make sure you are ok. You glance at your watch and are shocked that it is nearly 1:30am. You mouth to your husband that your tired and its time to head up stairs to get some sleep, he agrees and 15 minutes later you are passed out and in a deep sleep....


Around 4am you hear the athan (call to prayer) and feel paralyzed. You are so exhausted it takes every ounce of willpower to open your eyes. You desperately want to go back to sleep and bury your head under the pillow. You half heartily tap your husbands arm and tell him its time to get up for fajr. He groans and says, "already?" Your eye lids feel heavy and you decide to give yourself a few more minutes to rest them. You close them for one second, and the next thing you know it's 10am! Your eyes pop open and you realize that you never woke back up to pray fajr! You can hear your in-laws waking up and going downstairs for breakfast.


Last summer I went to Morocco with my husband to visit my in-laws. Alhamdulillah they are great, however i never got used to eating so late and I found that the habits of Moroccans made it very difficult for me to practice islam properly. My first challenge was not mixing with my brother-in-law since most muslims find no problem socializing with in-laws and cousins. In Moroccan culture as in many cultures, brother and sister-in-laws eat together as do cousins, their mentality is that they are family (even though you could potentially marry them) whereas eating with strangers of the opposite sex is less likely to happen.

The second thing i noticed is the over-populated markets! All day and all night the markets were busy with men and women shopping, mingling and having tea at the outdoor cafes. The streets were so crowded that it was near impossible not to bump into someone or touch them as you passed them. Another thing i noticed is that dinner is served very late. Most families do not eat until after 10pm. Dinners are usually long and you spend time conversing with the people you are eating with. The average dinner lasts 1 1/2-2 hours, especially if you are there as a guest. This habit makes it very difficult if not impossible to get up and pray fajr, especially when fajr started around 330am.



I found shaking hands to be common, especially amongst in-laws or relatives that are not your mahram (someone you could marry such as a cousin). It's funny how an American revert who comes from a culture where shaking hands and eating together in mixed groups is normal is teaching born muslims not to engage in cultural practices. For those of you who are like me and love to wear sneakers, you will be looked down at by the locals if you step out in a pair. In morocco women must wear Moroccan style shoes which usually have sequins on it, are colorful, and have a small heal that come in a variety of colors. They are pretty and flashy, but not very comfortable for walking long distances. Even though i was wearing proper clothes (niqab/abayah etc) my sneakers still made women turn their heads and look down at me like i was a peasant. It was amazing how people judge you on your shoes! Not to mention my sneakers probably cost more than 10 pairs of Moroccan shoes!


I am mentioning this because awhile back i listened to a wonderful lecture on the sleeping habits of our beloved prophet Muhammad (saw). The sunnah is to go to sleep after isha, whereas most people stay awake well past isha and often times miss fajr and find it near impossible to get up and pray the night prayer. They often sleep in late and find that they are exhausted throughout the day. I have seen foreign kids staying up until 1am because their parents are up eating dinner or having tea with friends. I look at my own nephew and niece who are in bed by 8pm at the latest!


InshaAllah i will post more information on the sleeping habits of our prophet (saw) and inshaAllah we will change our cultural practices and try to incorporate the sunnah into our everyday lives.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scaring away reverts, a message to muslims!


"I heard you just reverted to islam. When are you going to change your name?"
"I didnt know i needed to change my name?"
"Oh yes, your a muslim now you have to!"
"I do? I was told that my name has a good meaning and that it was up to me if i wanted to change it"
"You should change it, your muslim, by the way why aren't you wearing hijab, you know its haram for you not to wear it?"
"well, i just reverted a few weeks ago, im still getting used to it"
"You need to wear it, youll go to hell if you dont, here you can have one of my hijabs"
"Um thanks"
"Are you praying 5 times a day?
"I try to, im still learning how to pray"
"Oh, well you know if you dont pray 5 times a day youll go to hell, its a sin not to pray"
"I know, im still learning, im not used to praying that many times"
"You should pray the sunnah too, not just the fard"
"I'll try"
"I know a brother thats looking for a wife, i was thinking about telling him about you"
"Oh, i dont think im ready for marriage, I'm only 20"
"20? Omg that's so old! In our culture everyone gets married between 18-20, you better hurry up"
"Oh, well in my culture women go to college and marry later, around 25."
"25? OMG you'll never find a husband if you wait that long. Ill talk to my mom she knows a lot of brothers in the community"
"Thanks, but i dont think im ready"
"Marriage is part of the religion, you have to,...."

8 years ago, I reverted to islam..... These are some of the conversations i had with sisters....
This brings me to a current issue...In November I was introduced to a christian sister who was interested in islam. She worked with all muslims and wanted to learn more about islam. She was referred to me and we developed a relationship and I answered questions she had about islam as well as taught her more about the fundamentals of islam, taweed, or oneness of Allah.
In december i left to go on holiday with my husband and my new friend confessed that she believed in islam and wanted to go to a masjid to learn how to pray and take her shahadah. I was excited and told a close friend of mine who promised to call her and meet with her while i was gone. At the airport i called the sister and explained that i was leaving her in good hands and that a good friend of mine would be calling her later that day. Sadly, my friend got tied up with her own life and neglected to call the sister until weeks later. Unfortunately she never got ahold of the sister and could only leave a voice mail. When i returned from my trip i called and emailed the sister to apologize and to find out how she is and to see if she still wanted to meet up so that i could show her the masjid. 2 months later i finally heard back from her.... The sister had tried to commit suicide while i was gone and ended up with head trauma and is now heavily sedated. She was just released from the hospital...
I am constantly asked how muslim sisters should talk to reverts or sisters interested in islam. Often times, the muslim sisters go about it the wrong way and often push the new reverts away. When i first reverted to islam, not only did i embrace a new religion but i embraced a new lifestyle and mentality. Things that were once allowed were now haram. It takes time to retrain your thinking and mentality and give up certain pastimes that you were once accustomed to. When a muslim sister meets a new revert you need to remember that she is similar to a new born. She must take baby steps. You cant run before you learn to walk, nor can you sing before you've learned to talk. I cant tell you how many times i was asked when i was going to change my name, if i prayed 5 times a day, when was i going to wear hijab, abayah,give up music and movies etc.
I want to encourage all of our born muslims (sisters and brothers) to take dawah courses on how to make proper dawah as well as working with reverts. If you meet a revert who has just converted its not important to overwhelm them with every single haram thing in islam, or to keep asking them when they will change their name, etc.
First, focus on teaching them how to pray properly. Build rapport with the sister (or brother if you are a guy). It takes time to change. Just like you (born muslim) didnt change over night. You need to remember that you were born into households where you were taught about hijab from an early age and prayer, you didnt learn it over night. We should never expect our reverts to change overnight. The most important thing is that they reverted!! Slowly, teach them more about islam, but try not to overwhelm them because you might just scare them away. Another thing that bothers me is when a sister reverts, all the sisters at the masjid ask for her phone number and give her their number and never call.... why take her number and tell her you will call her if you wont? Nor should sisters expect the revet to call them...The sisters at the masjid should take the initiative to call the revert and make sure she feels welcome and answer questions she has about islam. They should invite her to their houses and introduce her (or him for the brothers) to other sisters. I have heard from so many reverts how they would call the muslim sisters they met at the masjid and would never hear back from them, or who were too busy to take a few minutes to talk to them.
There is a great organization that i am apart of its called WHY ISLAM and muslim sisters and brothers are paired up with reverts to help them with any questions or concerns they may have about islam. Also, its important to build rapport with the new revert. Reverts want to feel that you really care about them and want to form a friendship with them. No one wants to talk to someone who is only interested in answering questions you have and when you dont, disappears.....
Please remember that hijab, abayah, staying away from mixing with the opposite sex, not listening to music are all important, however if the new revert is still struggling with taweed and prayer, you need to prioritize, and focus on whats important. Hijab is important, but its more important that the revert learns how to pray properly and understands the fundamentals of islam. The best way to teach a revert is to be an example. There is so much to learn about islam that it would take a lifetime. Dont expect the revert to learn it all in one day. Be empathetic and understanding and supportive. Do not be judgmental or critical. Each revert is different. Some will wear hijab and niqab right away, others will take years before they put a hijab on. Some will continue to mix with the opposite sex, others will give it up instantly.
If we look at our ummah we will see that most of the born muslims are cultural and not practicing islam as it should be, therefore how can you be so judgmental and critical of a revert when it took you years, if not more to be at the stage you are now? I have heard so many stories of reverts that went back to their old religion due to lack of support from the community. My sisters and brothers in islam, we are responsible for this, we need to develop better dawah techniques, take classes on giving proper dawah and uniting as a community to support reverts. Reverts often give up family, friends and are left on their own once they revert. They need support and friendship from the community, not doors slammed in their face or discrimination from the community.
As Shaykh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyah (Rahimahullaah) said:
“The perfection of Tawheed is found when there remains nothing in the heart except Allaah, the servant is left loving those He loves and what He loves, hating those He hates and what He hates, showing allegiance to those He has allegiance to, showing enmity to those He shows enmity towards, ordering what He ordered and prohibiting what He prohibits.”
When a revert/born muslim understands this and lives his/her life according to pleasing Allah they will stop doing things to please his creation and will have a thirst for knowledge and will strive to be the best muslim/muslima they can.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

reminder....




Lateness is a fashion statement, didnt you know?

You're friend calls you up and invites you to a dinner party at her house. You ask her what time it starts and she says 7pm. Around 630 you grab your car keys and get in your car to go to your friends house. 35 minutes later you arrive. You ring the doorbell and your friends mom answers the door and looks surprised to see you and exclaims that you are early! Early? You're 5 minutes late! Your friends mom tells you that your friend is still getting ready and to make yourself comfortable in the next room. A few minutes later your friend comes downstairs and greets you. You ask her why her mom said you were early when she had said the dinner party starts at 7pm. She smiles and tells you that no one ever shows up earlier than 8pm. Surprised you ask her why her guests would arrive so late if they know it starts at 7pm. She rolls her eyes and says its in her culture and that no one is ever on time. You find that strange because in your culture (your an american revert) everyone is punctual and it is considered rude to be late. Around 8:15 the other guests arrive and you greet the other sisters and sit back down. You have seen the sisters at the masjid and have met a few of them before. They ask you how you are and then turn and greet the other sisters next to you. A few minutes later everyone is conversing in their native tongue, laughing and telling stories. You try to show interest however without a translater you have no idea what they are saying and feel left out. You wonder why they are not speaking english, especially knowing that you only speak english. Your friend joins the circle and begins to talk with the other sisters in their native tongue. You casually look around the room and pretend to be interested in the art on the walls. You wonder why your friend invited you if she was just going to ignore you and speak with her friends in their native tongue. You know that everyone speaks english and wonder why no one is speaking it knowing that you obviously dont understand what they are saying....
My sisters and brothers in islam, I want to remind you that if you are ever in a situation where you are with someone who does not speak your native tongue, and you are in a group and you all speak a common language, its a sin to exclude one person and speak another languge knowing they cant understand you. Obviously if you only speak english and they only speak arabic there is no sin if you cant communicate, but you should still try your best to make the person feel included. However, if your in a group and everyone can speak english but all of the group except one member speaks arabic as well, it is a sin to exclude that member and switch to arabic and make them feel left out.
This is a common habit of muslims and unfortunately when a revert attends gatherings they tend to feel left out because they dont speak urdu, or arabic.... I myself have been in so many gatherings where everyone knew english but spoke urdu or arabic and i spent the whole night sitting and staring at the walls. A few times i mentioned it to the sisters and they would switch back to english but after a few minutes they would switch back to urdu or arabic....
As for punctuality, it is so sad that our muslim ummah is known for lateness!!! We should be associated with puntuality and good character. If you had a job interview i bet that every sister and brother would be a few minutes early. However when it comes to lectures, weddings, dinner parties those same sisters and brothers show up hours late. I know it is a cultural thing but it is a very bad habit.
I have copied a link on the fiqh of punctuality, please take a look at it.

Missing Fajr, but never missing work!

It's 6am and your awakened by your alarm going off. You struggle to open your eyes, wondering why you would set your alarm so early on a weekend. And then it hits you, fajr.... Groaning, you push snooze and allow yourself a few more minutes of sleep. After 10 minutes the alarm goes off again, irritated you roll over and push snooze. After pushing snooze 3 more times you finally turn off your alarm and go back to sleep. You'll pray fajr later, right now your too tired to get up.....
Fast forward to monday morning. Youve been scheduled to work the early shift and need to be to work by 5am. Your alarm goes off at 430am, you jump up, push the alarm off and quickly get dressed, eat, and grab your keys. You cant be late, otherwise your boss will get pissed off and you wont be able to get any more overtime.
What a sad world we live in that a muslim is more afraid of his boss and losing his job then Allah. A muslim can easily get up early if it means making a profit, whereas praying fajr is seen as a chore.

Then there are the muslim men who will work through jummah because they dont want to upset their boss by leaving for prayer. Even though it is fard for them to attend jummah they skip it so that they can make a profit.

A lot of immigrants that come to the US are so obsessed with working and making money that they sell their religion for a price. They stop dressing islamic, praying, anything to fit in. They order their wives who wore hijab to take it off and to assimilate into mainstream society.

This is very dangerous..... mAY Allah (swt) wake up this ummah and remove the veils from our eyes before its too late. Ameen


Saturday, February 21, 2009

"I'll call you right back...."


Have you ever been on the phone with a friend, spouse, co-worker, sibling, parent etc and you are having a good conversation, when their call waiting button flashes. They tell you they will call you right back, and 2 weeks later you hear back from them? Or how about when you and your friend, sibling, classmate, etc ends the conversation by saying, "I'll call you later" both you and your friend know they will not call you back later, so why say it? This phrase has become common when ending phone conversations, "ill call you later or ill call you right back",,, if the person knows they will not call you back that same day, why say it in the first place? Why not just tell them you enjoyed the conversation and will inshaAllah talk to them soon, but then again, if soon means 3 weeks, its better to say nothing.
Earlier i was reading a blog about "muslim/islamic" countries, and if they still exist. As a revert, my dream was to move to an islamic country and settle there to raise a family and be free of western influence.... The startling realization that there is no shariah left (the ones that follow the shariah pick and choose what laws and punishments to adhere to) and that those "muslims" countries i once looked at as being religious are the same if not worse then the country i already live in. My husband would like us to eventually move to Morocco, where his family lives and where he grew up, however my experience in morocco left me with little hope of the ummah in that country. Ciggs and lottery tickets are sold on corners, men and women mix freely (especially if you grew up with the family or if they are your cousins and aunts (non-mehrams). Shaking hands is common, women with their hijabs wrapped partially around their head with their necks and ears exposed with tight pants and shirts and heels, men spending their whole day at outdoor cafes watching women walk by and playing cards, indifferent to the athan going off...... Streets so crowed that you are forced to touch the opposite sex as they brush past you. As for Saudi Arabia, that is one of the most corrupt countries! I would suggest doing some research on Saudi Arabia and the US. All of the muslim countries are influenced by the west, and if you try to practice islam properly you are put in jail by the corrupt officers that they government employs. Such a sad world we live in. Another thing that bothers me is all the knowledge that is disappearing (sign of the day of judgment). Most religious leaders are cultural, and muslims who practice the sunnah of the prophet (p.b.u.h.) are called "extremists". For example, a lot of muslim families will call their daughters or sons "extreme" if they refuse to mix with their cousins (whom are not their mahrams) because to them, if you grow up with them they are part of your family, regardless if you can marry them, the same goes for sister and brother-in-laws. If you tell your muslim family you want to wear niqab, they usually look at you with horror and tell you that you will not be able to make dawah if you wear it and that you will be harassed and do their best to talk you out of it. If you do decide to put it on, they tell you that you are embarrassing the family (its always about them) and that you are an extremist!
If you go to a wedding and it is separated and at the end of the night the groom and his family are ushered into the women's room for all the women to gawk at and admire and you tell the sisters that its not appropriate for them to be watching the groom and that its haram for the groom to be in a huge room with all women, they look at you like your crazy, roll their eyes and tell you not to be so extreme.......
When you constantly are told that you are being "extreme" because you are following islam properly, and everyone you talk to tries to persuade you to follow their cultural practices that they follow blindly, its no wonder that some Muslims give in and start to question themselves....
I on the other hand know there are other sisters out there like me and its refreshing when i meet them and we talk and i can say "Yes, finally, someone who is following the sunnah!"


Tight clothes & beards!

You are walking past a cafe when you notice a group of muslim men sitting at an outdoor table, drinking what looks to be tea. All the men have beards and are wearing islamic hats. From a distance they seem to be practicing. A few minutes later the group gets up to leave and you ,
notice that all of the men are wearing tight shirts, tucked into tight jeans with belts. As they leave their table, the waitress walks by to grab their tip and they smile and look her up and down as she walks away. Disgusted, you quickly walk past the group.
Ladies, how many times do you see these "practicing" bearded men lecturing their wives, children, mothers, sisters, etc about wearing abayah and proper hijab (niqab) yet they themselves are not dressed properly?
A lot of cultural, muslim men believe that a man just needs to grow a beard and cover from his waist to his knees, and thats it! Yes, a man does need to cover those areas, however wearing tight shorts that show the shape of your awrah is no different then a muslim woman wearing tight jeans with her hijab!

"The `awrah (private parts to be necessarily covered) for men includes what is between the navel and the knees as stated by the Prophet SAWS (peace be upon him), so covering it is obligatory according to Islamic law. Wearing shorts that disclose the thighs or show the shape of the buttocks, does not cover the `awrah. Neither does a dress that is transparent and displays skin complexion, nor a tight dress that shows the size, shape or bends of the `awrah. All of this is prohibited (haraam) in front of people whether the women are ashamed of looking at it or not"

Proper clothing for a muslim man is to wear a long shirt, that goes half way down his thigh, and loose pants. You can usually find these outfits at indian/pakistani stores. In our prophets time (p.b.u.h.) the men would wear a piece of cloth, wrapped around their waist, as shown in the picture above. Another thing that men wear is long pants, men are not allowed to wear pants past the ankles. Yes, i know it goes against all fashion critics, however we must remember who we are trying to please, allah or his creation?

The following link will give you more information on proper "hijab" for men.... please take a look.

http://www.muttaqun.com/malehijab.html

Friday, February 20, 2009

Say NO to High Fructose Corn Syrup!!! it might just save your life!

You're at home, starving when you open up your fridge to have a snack.
You grab a diet coke, make a sandwich with white bread, mayonnaise, tomato, tuna and lettuce and grab a bag of fat free chips. You are so proud of yourself for eating "healthy."
While making your sandwich you take a look at the ingredients on the bread bag and notice that "high fructose corn syrup" is second on the list. Grabbing your soda can you check the back of the can and notice that High fructose corn syrup is also in your soda, as well as the mayonnaise, and chips... You remember hearing someone mention that fructose corn syrup is bad for you, but it cant be that bad for you if its in the majority of the foods you eat, right? You grab another can of "diet" coke and head back to your computer to finish your homework.
"When we're trying to lose weight, we usually focus on how many calories, fat and carbohydrates we're consuming. While these are important, there are some hidden food additives that, not only contribute to our expanding waist lines, but also endanger our health."
I am here to tell you the truth about High Fructose Corn Syrup... This "sugar" that is derived from corn is said to be "safe" by some companies so that they dont go out of business or lose money on these products. The truth is high fructose corn syrup is lethal to your body and was banned from the US in the early 1900's. In some countries it is still banned and not allowed to be put into food. If you go to your local grocery store and pick up a few items, most likely you will see high fructose corn syrup listed as one of the ingredients. You can find it in juice, baby snacks, breads, junk food, cereals, etc.
Some effects of high fructose corn syrup include:
  • High insulin levels
  • weight gain
  • also harms organs like your liver and pancreas, leading to bone loss, anemia and heart problems.
  • interfere with the heart's use of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium and inhibits the action of the immune system's white blood cells.
  • High fructose corn syrup has been shown to elevate blood cholesterol levels, which leads to plaque in the arteries and heart attacks

and a LOT more! Please read the following articles/information on this lethal sugar... I know everyone is tight on cash these days, but just think about how much more money you spend on seeing doctors and taking medications for illnesses you get from high fructose corn syrup. Please read more information on my earlier blogs on organic foods and staying away from "natural additives" this is a code word for "anything" you think you are getting something natural and healthy when in fact food companies can put any chemical or harmful thing into that product and mislabel it, that's why you just want organic foods!

By the way, there are some sites out there that promote high fructose corn syrup and say it is safe, these sites are full of lies and are created by the same companies that want you to keep buying their products, remember its all about Money, they don't care about your health!!!!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-hatfield/our-melamine-theres-mercu_b_161334.html?page=5&show_comment_id=20176545#comment_20176545

http://www.sugarshockblog.com/2008/12/high-fructose-corn-syrup-can-harm-you-like-sugar.html

http://www.learn-about-tea.com/high-fructose-corn-syrup.html

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/fructosedangers.htm


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More information on Domestic Violence

When it comes to domestic violence, one automatically assumes you have to be "hit" to be abused. This is not the case at all! Not all abuse involves physical threat; emotional abuse can also leave deep and lasting scars. Recognizing the warning signs and symptoms of spousal abuse is the first step, but taking action is the most important step in breaking free.

"Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” He or she uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and gain complete power over you. He or she may threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence."

Spousal abuse and battery are used for one purpose: to gain and maintain total control over the victim. In addition to physical violence, abusers use the following tactics to exert power over their wives or partners:

  • Dominance — Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his possession.
  • Power and Control WheelHumiliation — An abuser will do everything he can to make you feel bad about yourself, or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.
  • Isolation — In order to increase your dependence on him, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. He may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone. Source: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, MN
  • Threats — Abusers commonly use threats to keep their victims from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.
  • Intimidation — Your abuser may use a variety of intimation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.
  • Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his violence and abuse is your fault.

If you feel you are in physical danger immediately call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224.

Cycle of violence

Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern, or cycle of violence:

  • Cycle of violenceAbuse — The abuser lashes out with aggressive or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show the victim "who is boss."
  • Guilt — After the abusive episode, the abuser feels guilt, but not over what he's done to the victim. The guilt is over the possibility of being caught and facing consequences.
  • Rationalization or excuses — The abuser rationalizes what he's done. He may come up with a string of excuses or blame the victim for his own abusive behavior—anything to shift responsibility from himself.
  • "Normal" behavior — The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
  • Fantasy and planning — The abuser begins to fantasize about abusing his victim again, spending a lot of time thinking about what she's done wrong and how he'll make her pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
  • Set-up — The abuser sets up the victim and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing her.

Domestic violence is NEVER ok!!!!

I received an email earlier today about a case of domestic violence that turned to homicide. Unfortunately the victim was a muslim woman! Here is a copy of the article:

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The crime drips with brutal irony: a woman decapitated, allegedly by her estranged husband, in the offices of the television network the couple founded with the hope of countering Muslim stereotypes.

Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan is accused of beheading his wife last week, days after she filed for divorce. Authorities have not discussed the role religion or culture might have played, but the slaying gave rise to speculation that it was the sort of "honor killing" more common in countries half a world away, including the couple's native Pakistan.

Funeral services for Aasiya Hassan, 37, were Tuesday. Her 44-year-old husband is scheduled to appear for a felony hearing Wednesday.

The Hassans lived in Orchard Park _ a well-off Buffalo suburb that hadn't seen a homicide since 1986 _ and started Bridges TV there in 2004 with the message of developing understanding between North America and the Middle East and South Asia. The network, available across the U.S. and Canada, was believed to be the first English-language cable station aimed at the rapidly growing Muslim demographic.

Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said his officers had responded to domestic incidents involving the couple, most recently Feb. 6, the day Mo Hassan was served with the divorce papers and an order of protection.

"I've never heard him raise his voice," said Paul Moskal, who became friendly with the couple while he was chief counsel for the FBI in Buffalo. Moskal would answer questions in forums aired on Bridges TV that were intended to improve understanding between Muslim-Americans and law enforcement.

"His personal life kind of betrayed what he tried to portray publicly," Moskal said.

On Feb. 12, Hassan went to a police station and told officers his wife was dead at the TV studio.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!


It's Friday, you leave your house early to get a good parking spot at the masjid so that you can have a good seat for the khutbah. You park your car, enter the masjid, and head to the wash room to make wudu. You are greeted by 5 or 6 teenage girls sitting on the floor, huddled together over a cell phone which one sister proudly displays for the group. You hear music coming out of the phone and to your dismay you realize that the girls are in fact listening to none other then hip hop music! You say salaam alaikum to the group in which they barely raise their heads up and one mumbles
A few of you have brought to my attention a point i should have made in my previous blog, communication! Thank you for those who pointed that out because i in no way want to encourage sisters/brothers to go around being suspicious of their spouse or snooping. As a great friend pointed out, communication is a MUST! My blog was more for those couples who lack communication and one spouse has tried everything in their power to establish communication but the other spouse is acting secretive and perhaps spending hours and hours on the computer late at night when everyone is sleeping....When the spouse goes to check on their spouse he/she quickly turns off the computer and refuses to say what they were doing... In extreme situations i think its important to find out what your spouse is up to. Since you both share the computer, both of you have access to "history" which shouldnt be a big deal to check. As for email accounts, for obvious reason each person is entitled to their privacy however if you have an open and honest relationship it shouldnt be a problem to exchange passwords....
The problem i am seeing is a lot of husbands are cheating on their wives either at work or through the Internet and most wives are oblivious to this..... This leads me to picking a good spouse.... Sisters, if you are not already married please do thorough research on your husband to be before you marry him. Sometimes a man is a wolf in sheeps clothing, and sadly a lot of our sisters are finding out too late that the guy they married who they thought was super religious is no sheep, but a wolf!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pornography


We live in country that is obsessed with porn. What was once labeled pornography is now labeled "soft porn" such as playboy. Nothing is exempt when it comes to porn. Commercials, movies, sitcoms, porn is everywhere. Our society has become desensitized to seeing naked men and women on screen, billboards or in music videos. Sex sells! You will rarely if ever find a commercial selling a product for men that does not involve women dressed in short, revealing outfits, eager to please a man. Muslims are not exempt. I recently found out that one of the kids i work with(yes kid) has been using his parents computer to look up porn. And not just any porn, he was looking up kid porn, gay porn, you name it. You can imagine how uncomfortable it was for me to bring this to the mothers attention and show her what her son has been up to! Even more embarrassing is that his sister who is younger than him stumbled upon the websites while we were working on a research paper!
Muslims are not exempt from pornography, there are a lot of men and children who are discovering porn from their fathers or friends at school. The family i work for is a very religious family so you can imagine the shock of discovering that their child was engaging in such disturbing activities!
There is nothing worse than a muslim man dressed islamically, displaying his long beard and preaching about islam who secretly engages in porn and meets with women for sex! I want to encourage all women to check the history of your husbands and kids computer daily! Especially if you have kids and they use the Internet you need to be monitoring them anytime they use the computer. Never put a computer in a childs room! The computer should be in a public place. Kids are smart! They know how to get past all the parent locks on the computer and access websites. That means you should be in the room with the child when they are on the computer. If they dont like it, too bad. You are the parent, dont let them control you!
As for married women, if your husband uses the computer frequently its a good idea to search his history and see what hes been up to! You should also have access to his emails. There should be no secrets in a marriage. And sadly a lot of men cheat using the Internet by writing emails to other women or going onto chat rooms to meet them. Be cautious if your husband is engaging in chat rooms or being secretive when it comes to his email!
Porn is very harmful to those who watch it! It desensitizes men and when they engage in sexual acts with their wives they imitate the porn stars and lack passion and empathy. The woman becomes nothing more than an object to them....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Rape of Mr. Smith

The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape.

Officer: "Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of 16th and Locust?"

Mr. Smith: "Yes."


Officer: "Did you struggle with the robber?"

Mr. Smith: "No."


Officer: "Why not?"

Mr. Smith"He was armed."


Officer:"Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather
than to resist?"

Mr. Smith:"Yes."


Officer: "Did you scream? Cry
out?"

Mr. Smith:"No. I was afraid."


Officer:"I see. Have you ever been held up before?"

Mr. Smith:"No."


Officer: "Have you ever given money away?"

Mr. Smith: "Yes, of course--"


Officer: "And did you do so willingly?"

Mr. Smith: "What are you getting at?"


Officer: "Well, let's put it like this, Mr. Smith. You've given away money in the past--in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren't contriving to have your money taken from you by force?"

Mr. Smith: "Listen, if I wanted--"


Officer: "Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr. Smith?"

Mr. Smith: "About 11 p.m."


Officer: "You were out on the streets at 11 p.m.? Doing what?"

Mr. Smith: "Just walking."


Officer: "Just walking? You know it's dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren't you aware that you could have been held up?"

Mr. Smith: "I hadn't thought about it."


Officer: "What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?"

Mr. Smith: "Let's see. A suit. Yes, a suit."


Officer: "An expensive suit?"

Mr. Smith: "Well--yes.
"

Officer: "In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn't that so? I mean, if we didn't know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn't we?"

Mr. Smith: "Look, can't we talk about the past history of the guy who
did this to me?"

Officer: "I'm afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don't think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?"

Earlier I was watching the Food Network when i decided to check out the evangelist channels to see what it is my mom enjoys so much from these programs... As one would expect, these christian-based programs teach anything but love for their fellow men. Instead, they promote hatred toward muslims and show biased statistics and interviews about Israel and how Christians should support Israel.... What i find amusing is a lot of these Evangelists are sex offenders or homosexuals who live in huge mansions and are far from the "Good christian" they preach about....

Creation and Manipulation of Popular Religion: the case of Christian Zionism. Christianity as taught by televangelists such as Billy Graham, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, is one of America's most widely held religions. It is also as close as Constitutional decorum will permit, to becoming an official state religion. It's been openly professed by successive Presidents and by prayer meetings and song at John Ashcroft's justice department. Yet this fundamentalist, pentacostal, pre-millenialist, dispensationalist version of Christianity (referred to in this article as Christian Zionism because of its political affinity to Judaic Zionism) has almost no resemblance to the religion of the Protestant Reformation, much less the Roman church, or the mysterious Christianity of the first century AD. At every step to the creation of this potent new religion, we can see the psychopathic hand of secret societies.

In a column entitled "Israeli Extremists and Christian Fundamentalists The Alliance", Grace Halsell wrote:

What is the message of the Christian Zionist? Simply stated it is this Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us.

"Never mind what Israel does," say the Christian Zionists. "God wants this to happen." This includes the invasion of Lebanon, which killed or injured an estimated 100,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, most of them civilians; the bombing of sovereign nations such as Iraq; the deliberate, methodical brutalizing of the Palestinians-breaking bones, shooting children, and demolishing homes; and the expulsion of Palestinian Christians and Muslims from a land they have occupied for over 2,000 years.

My premise in Prophecy and Politics is that Christian Zionism is a dangerous and growing segment of Christianity, which was popularized by the 19th-century American Cyrus Scofield when he wrote into a Bible his interpretation of events in history. These events all centered around Israel-past, present, and future. His Scofield Bible is today the most popular of the reference Bibles.

Scofield said that Christ cannot return to earth until certain events occur. The Jews must return to Palestine, gain control of Jerusalem and rebuild a temple, and then we all must engage in the final, great battle called Armageddon. Estimates vary, but most students of Armageddon theology agree that as a result of these relatively recent interpretations of Biblical scripture, 10 to 40 million Americans believe Palestine is God's chosen land for the Jews.

Read more from this article at http://www.911-strike.com/christian-zionists.htm

Reminder when showing pictures

I just wanted to remind everyone that anyone can access our blogs, therefore when you are using a picture of a woman/muslim women etc please make sure you white out her face so that no one can identify her. I have seen a lot of blogs where sisters are copying fashion show pictures of sisters and it is better for them to white out the faces so that men are not lusting after them. If you are making a statement about something that needs to show a persons face (domestic violence images, etc) please try to keep it to the minimum so that we are not promoting exposure to our sisters, regardless if they are all over the Internet, we ourselves becomes held accountable once we begin to display them as well.

Praise be to Allaah.

Undoubtedly buying magazines in which there is nothing but pictures is haraam, because keeping pictures is haraam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house in which there are images.” And when he saw the images on the cushion that ‘Aa’ishah had brought, he stopped and did not enter, and she saw signs of displeasure on his face. These magazines which show pictures of fashion should not be looked at. Not every kind of dress is permissible; because some designs may show the ‘awrah either because they are too tight or for some other reason. This fashion may be part of the dress of the kaafirs which belongs exclusively to them, and imitating the kaafirs is haraam because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” What I advise my Muslim brothers in general, and the Muslim women in particular, to do is to avoid these fashions, because some of them may involve imitating non-Muslims and some may involve showing the ‘awrah. Moreover, if women look to every new fashion, will lead to them abandoning our customs which are based on from our religion, and adopting other customs that have come from the non-Muslims.


Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen in al-Fataawa al-‘Jaami’ah li’l-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, part 3, p. 861
islamqa.com

a POINT to make is that when you are alone with your husband then that is the time to wear whatever fashionable thing you desire to wear, not out in public for everyone to admire and lust after.....Sadly a lot of muslim women are becoming very westernized and in order to fit in they have adapted clothing that imitates the disbelievers. I know it is hard for some sisters to admit to themselves because they are living in denial, but i would strongly suggest you do some self reflection and adhering to the proper dress code before its too late.


Hijab: The tighter the better, right?


Your out running errands when you run into a few muslim sisters. You greet one another and then watch as they walk away. You are struck by their beauty and how their hijabs only seem to enhance their beauty. A group of guys also nearby watch the two sisters walk by and greet the sisters with smiles as they pass. When it is your turn to walk past the guys they look down and avoid you as you walk past... Your loose abayah flows around you and your niqab flutters in the wind. Why would the brothers look one way for the first 2 sisters and differently for the second sister? Perhaps it was the shiny hijabs they were wearing? Perhaps it was the way the tucked their hijab into their shirt and displaying fashionable sunglasses on top of their hijab. Perhaps it was the jeans and shirt they were wearing with their hijab? Or perhaps it was the makeup they were wearing to enhance their eyes and beauty?
"H
ow many of us think we know the meaning of Hijab so well that we could practice proper Hijab, but only if we wanted to? While the Hijab serves as to preserve one's dignity, honor, and respect alongside the safety of one's beauty and chastity, these are all secondary reasons for observing Hijab. The fundamental purpose is that of obeying Allah's orders and striving to become obedient Muslims, so that we may be blessed with the promised rewards. Whatever the situation, sisters in Islam are trying hard when it comes to practicing the Hijab, but are we trying our best?

How many of you have seen a Hijabi smoking in public and thought, "Great, now people will label all Hijabis as smokers"? Now, let us not delve into the Islamic laws behind whether or not smoking is permissible in Islam or that females have just as many rights to engage in such acts as males. It doesn't have as much to do with smoking as with the fact that the Hijab is visibly the "flag of Islam", and as such, our sisters carry a great responsibility. Just to emphasize the weight of this responsibility which the Muslim women carry, we may relate a female's Hijab as having a similar level of importance as a male standard-bearer's role during war. Furthermore, this Islamic responsibility is a combination of two factors: not just the physical Hijab, but also the social Hijab.

The Qur’an reminds us: "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that they should not display their beauty and ornaments, except what (ordinarily) appear thereof." (24:31)

We all know that the meaning of Hijab is to be modest. But for some reason, every Hijabi we see seems to have her own interpretation of modesty. Hijab is a fundamental element of the Islamic faith, universal amongst all Muslims irrespective of the differing schools of thought. Despite this, the women in Islam are incapable or choose not to maintain a universal – or at least a similar – context when it comes to the physical Hijab. Sure, Hijab is not a "uniform", and Hijabis need not be marching around in exactly the same garb so that people think the sisters are forming some kind of Hijabi military base at the local community center, but a little uniformity and attention to the "modesty" aspect of Hijab would be nice.

While it is natural for the so-called "Hijab Revolution" to have taken place recently, especially with the number of Muslims increasing in the West, there seems to be no "standard" with the Hijabis. This often leads to the Hijab aspect of Islam coming off as a "cultural" aspect rather than a religious one. Worse yet, due to the excessive differences among Hijab practices both physical and social, unfortunately our entire religion may come across as having no "standard" with an excessive amount of flexibility that lets individuals suit Islam to their own convenience.

An analysis of the Hijabi population will depict the variety of the Hijab methods practiced with the utmost differentiation when it comes to tightness, colors, sizes, and styles of Hijab. On one hand we have the fully-covered yet fully-colored Abaya Hijabis, and on the other hand, we have the Hijabis with clothes so tight (or see-through, for that matter) that if they wore a t-shirt, they would probably be revealing less. We also see those Hijabis who are covered well yet leave their bangs hanging out, or the very decently-dressed sisters with faces which are so immensely covered in make-up that their Hijab defeats the purpose of the abovementioned verse of the Qur'an, which is instructing women to not display their beauty in public except for that which is natural.

With the recent trends of Hijabi Runways, we see models on the catwalk dressed in the latest fashion clothing with a tiny little covering over their hair. Where is the value of Hijab in a catwalk if the purpose is to establish one's character and self-respect on everything but their physical appearance? While it is necessary for the sisters to dress appropriately to their lifestyle contexts and careers, sometimes the mind can't help but wonder if the idea of "blending in" but within the limits of proper Hijab is negated by the idea of "We wear Hijab, but still have a passion for fashion." Having a good sense of fashion doesn't attribute any negative aspects to a person's character, but if this fashion sense equates to beautifying one's self and displaying oneself such that our sisters appear to be physically appealing even while in Hijab, then something is very wrong with that type of Hijab.

The idea is not to point fingers towards the Hijabis and annoyingly peck at those areas where they falter, but rather to highlight to our Muslim sisters that the way we practice Hijab heavily affects the way non-Muslims interpret Islam as a whole. Not only this, but if there is fault in the way Hijab is being practiced, then the reward from God will also be likewise. Proper Hijab does not just consist of a tiny headscarf; rather, it can only be achieved when also combined with the maintenance of Islamic methods of social interaction.

One could argue that Muslim males should be just as cautious as women, and agreeably, they must! But it is a woman's physical Hijab factor which, when intertwined with the social Hijab factor, forms a special combination which makes her responsibility towards portraying Islam much more delicate and unique.

The social Hijab is basically the way a female presents herself, behaves, and interacts with others in public. Looking back at the example of our sisters smoking in public, it is vital for Hijabis to maintain good manners while in the presence of others, because the truth is, Hijabis are judged by society based on their actions too. As women are being constantly judged by society, they deserve every right to demand respect.

A few ways by which sisters can obtain respect from society is by being particularly careful of the way they interact in mixed gatherings with the opposite gender. More than often we see sisters in brilliant Hijab; however, the way some sisters joke and spend time with non-mahrams can only hint that a bit of flirtation (which leads to forbidden actions) is flying in the air. However, we also do have the overly-friendly sisters who do not intentionally act the way they do around non-mahrams, yet they need to realize that intentions aside, there may be room for improvement in their Hijab practice while in the company of men.

Going right down to the bone of what "good behavior" is, all we need to do is that the next time we are in public, we must stop and remember that Allah is watching us. If we remember this reality that our Lord is monitoring us at all times, there will be a guaranteed immediate improvement in our social Hijab. Out the window will go all the gossiping, coarse language, and disrespect towards elders and others, not to mention the flirting and excessive joking.

Admirable are those sisters who manage to establish such respect and dignity for themselves amongst non-Muslims that without having to explain the "rules" of our religion, people who interact with the Hijabi are able to grasp her character through non-verbal vibes and act accordingly while in her presence. For example, when someone uses a bad word around a Hijabi and there is an awkward silence, people stop what they are doing and look at the Hijabi with embarrassment and mumble an apology. Or when there is ill talk about another person behind their back, and people realize that a Hijabi is present, the topic is quickly brushed off. This is the type of dignity and respect that Islam believes women must command and deserve from society.

While the world seeks to establish identity through attractive clothing and glitzy appearances, without giving much importance to behavior, morals, social conduct, and self-respect, it is absolutely imperative for us Muslim women to maintain both the physical and social Hijab in such a way that reflects its true purpose and as a result of which we can proudly stand before our Lady Fatima Zahra and Lady Zainab (peace be upon them) on the Day of Judgment without regrets."