Tuesday, December 11, 2012

15 Gifts You Can Give Yourself for Free

15 Valuable Gifts You Can Give Yourself for Free
The best things in life aren’t things.  So next time you want to give yourself a gift, save your money, and consider gifting yourself one of the following instead:
  1. The freedom to be unapologetically YOU. – Wearing a mask wears you out.  Faking it is fatiguing.  The most arduous activity is pretending to be what you know you aren’t.  Trying to fit some idealistic mold of perfection is a fool’s game.  It’s much wiser to just be yourself – faults and all.  Take off your mask and start being unapologetic about who you really are.  Remember, imperfection is beauty; madness is genius.  It is better to be ridiculously you, than ridiculously boring by trying to be the same as everyone else.  Read The Mastery of Love.
  2. An uninhibited imagination. – If we’ve learned anything as a society over the past few decades, it’s that life is changing faster and faster with every passing day.  The world tomorrow looks nothing like the world today.  And the people with big imaginations are the ones not just living it, they are creating it.
  3. An open mind. – Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t; everyone can teach you something new.  The purpose of keeping an open mind isn’t just to change your mind, it’s to expand your mind to understand the true potential in each moment of your life – to discover a self who has the ability to see more possibilities and expanded points of view (even the ones opposing yours) and then to choose creatively, intuitively, and sacredly going forward.
  4. The commitment to fail forward. – Failing is as certain as sunsets and detours.  So why exert energy avoiding the unavoidable?  Embrace it.  Shift your energy from protecting yourself from failure to squeezing the life out of life.  Get real comfortable with that uneasy feeling of going against the grain and trying something new.  Doing so will always take you to places you never thought you could go.
  5. Using encouraging words. – Words are powerful.  They can create or they can destroy.  The simple words you choose, especially when you speak to yourself or about yourself, can offer encouragement and positive thoughts going forward, or they can send you further into despair.  So choose your words wisely.
  6. A ‘glass’ filled with the right things. – It’s not just whether your glass is half-empty or half-full that matters.  You also have to be mindful of what you’re filling your glass with.  Be sure to fill it with those things that satisfy your soul: good friends and family to love, passions to pursue, dreams to fulfill, and charity for others.  Because the only situation more tragic than seeing your glass as half-empty, is filling your glass until it is overflowing, and then realizing that there’s nothing in it to satisfy your thirst for a meaningful life.
  7. Enjoying what you have. – The thing you need to do is enjoy the ride while you’re on it.  Think positive, be positive, and positive things will happen.  Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.  Enjoy your blessings right now.  Remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.  Celebrate this.  Work on being so appreciative and happy that when others look at you, they become a little happier too.
  8. Lifelong learning. – You are simply the product of what you know, so develop a passion for acquiring knowledge.  A passion for learning is different from just studying to earn a grade or please teachers.  It begins in the heart and home.  Read for pleasure, ask questions, analyze, and exploit your curiosities.  In other words, learn to actually love the act of learning.  Read The Last Lecture.
  9. Hope. – Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn.  Never underestimate the strength of your will to live after a loss, to love after heartache, or to rise after a fall.  For although your troubles may be too dense and dark right now for you to see the light, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a strong spirit within them, or a beautiful sunrise just beyond the horizon.
  10. Spirituality. – Faith elevates your view of the universe, your world, and your life.  You would be wise to instill into your mind that you are more than just flesh and blood taking up space.  You are also made of heart, soul, and will.  And decisions in your life should be based on more than just what everyone else with flesh and blood is doing on the outside.
  11. Stability and love at home. – A stable home becomes the foundation on which you build the rest of your success.  Subconsciously we all need to know we have a family core who we can trust, and who is going to be there for us through thick and thin.  Faithfulness to your partner is a big part of this.  Faithfulness in any intimate relationship includes more than just your body; it also includes your eyes, mind, heart, and soul.  Guard your sexuality daily and devote it entirely to the one you love.
  12. A positive temper. – Anger can be useful in calling your attention to issues that require your response; but anger itself is not an effective response.  Take a slow, deep breath, and remind yourself of how much more effective you can be by maintaining a positive, results-oriented approach to the issue at hand.  Don’t let the silly, thoughtless, destructive actions of others trap you in an unproductive state of anger.  Take note of your anger, let it go, redirect your focus on being your best self, and you’ll surely emerge with a smile.  Read Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
  13. A sense of humor. – He or she who laughs, lasts.  A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles – something life is filled with.  So laugh as often as you can with those around you, for your sake and theirs.
  14. Doing the best you are capable of. – Don’t complain about something you can actually do something about.  Take action.  Do the best that you’re capable of.  Any less is cheating yourself.  Those who get the most from life are those who give the most.  Find something you’re passionate about, and keep tremendously interested in it and focused on it.
  15. Being the change you want to see. – Happiness, freedom, and peace of mind are always attained by giving them without expectation.  The only way to raise yourself up is to raise others up – to raise your world up – to raise all of life just a little higher.  Joy comes to you when you give it.  Happiness becomes yours when you live it.  Everything you need you are already capable of being.  So smile from the heart and fulfill the destiny that is yours in this priceless moment.
> here

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Mayonnaise Jar Lesson


 
 
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full… The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’
 
The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.’

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.’

‘If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.’

‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.’

‘Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.’

‘Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.’

Saturday, October 20, 2012

For you and only you.

I need you to understand something.

I wrote this for you.

I wrote this for you and only you.

Everyone else who reads it, doesn't get it.

They may think they get it, but they don't.

This is the sign you've been looking for.

You were meant to read these words.     

I wrote this for you... - Me

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ramadan: A Time for Revival or Survival?


As in years past, the beloved yet unexpected guest of millions, "Holy Ramadan" once again enters our lives. Muslims are filled with great joy in anticipation of welcoming him. Yet to one unaccustomed, it would almost seem as if Muslims had never met him before!



All of a sudden, our new-found love for this guest causes us to radically change our daily schedules and habits to entertain him. Our Mosques mysteriously overflow with worshippers, chapters of the Quran are heard chanted till the wee hours of the morning accompanied by a hail of cries, and our social gatherings and feasts become livelier than ever before - all these sacrifices made to honor this special and 'holy' guest from Allah.


Isn't it interesting and ironic that while he is among us, for a full 30 days, we starve, read numerous articles on do's and don'ts of treating this guest, avoid watching TV in his presence, and sing songs or Nasheeds of joy, yet we fail to understand him and the mission of his visit? For some odd reason, this same "Holy Ramadan" becomes a stranger to us on the 1st of Shawwal!


Let the Scrubbing Begin!


What many of us forget is that this guest accompanies a deep purpose and responsibility. It is as Muhammad al-Shareef notes:


"Whenever a guest comes to our home, we prepare in advance for his arrival by vacuuming the carpet, dusting the shelves, and scrubbing the sinks. We should do this for our guest of Ramadan as well. But the scrubbing should not just be of our physical surroundings, it should include the scrubbing of our sins!"


Ever Wonder Why The 'Change' And 'Blessings' Don't Last?


Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi explains in Let Us Be Muslims:


"The greatest mistake we commit is to regard the outward shape of acts of prayer and fasting as the real 'Ibadah (worship) and we suffer from the delusion that whoever just fulfills these requirements performs the 'Ibadah of Allah. Just as physical strength cannot be obtained from the bread until it is fully digested, the spiritual power cannot be obtained from fasting until the person allows Ramadan’s purpose to permeate one’s heart and mind and dominate one’s thought, intention and deed.”


Ramadan - A Tool Of Transformation And Month Of Sharing


In addition to the indispensable personal benefits of fasting, Ramadan is a time for social awareness. As Hammudah 'Abd al-Ati describes in Islam in Focus:


"No sociologist or historian can say that there has been at any period of history anything comparable to this powerful institution of Islam: Fasting in the month of Ramadan. People have been crying throughout the ages for acceptable belonging, for unity, for brotherhood, for equality, but how echoless their voices have been, and how very little success they have met."


No Time To Hibernate!


As Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick eloquently explains in Ramadan in History:


"Ramadan is actually a time of increased activity wherein the believer, now lightened of the burdens of constant eating and drinking, should be more willing to strive and struggle for Allah. The Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) nine Ramadans were filled with decisive events, such as Jihad, and he left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah. Throughout Islamic history, most of the significant battles were won in this month!"


Living Taqwa - Moving Dead Hearts To Action!


Quran [2:183] describes attainment of Taqwa to be the real purpose of Fasting. But, what is Taqwa?


Sayyid 'Umar ibn al-Khattab: "A person with the quality of Taqwa is like a person walking with caution on a thorny road. The way he would take care to save his clothes from getting entangled in the thorns, so is a person with Taqwa conscious of every action he does (for fear of falling into wrong)."


Sayyid 'Ali ibn Abi Talib: "Taqwa means fearing Allah, acting in accordance with the Quran, contentment with whatever little you have, and preparing for the day of departure (death)."


Imam al-Ghazali narrates: "Whoever fears something (in the creation of Allah) runs away from it, whereas whoever fears Allah runs to Him (out of love and obedience)!"


Let us all begin to live a life of Taqwa this Ramadan to avoid the 'thorns' that come our way in the form of worldly temptations in the media and society in general.


Intensifying Our Love And Study Of The Quran


It is said when you love someone, you would know every little thing he or she says, likes and dislikes. How can we claim to love Allah, yet know very little about His message and gift to us? Ramadan offers the rare opportunity for an intense reflection on the message of the Quran. It is the source of a constant revolution in the lives of millions of those who possess a living heart, as Allah says, "Indeed in this (Quran) there is remembrance for those who have a living heart, listen attentively and are awake to taking heed." [Qaaf: 37]


It is reported that Imam al-Zuhri would say about Ramadan, "It is recitation of the Quran and feeding of people." Similarly, 'Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) would recite from the pages of the Quran starting at the break of day at dawn in Ramadan until the sun had risen.

 This Was The Spirit Of Ramadan


"This was the spirit of Ramadan that enabled our righteous forefathers to face seemingly impossible challenges. It was a time of intense activity, spending the day outside and the night in prayer while calling upon Allah for His forgiveness. Today, the Muslim world is faced with drought, military aggression, widespread corruption and tempting materialism. Surely we are in need of believers who can walk in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet (pbuh), the illustrious Sahabah, and leaders like Tariq ibn Ziyad, Salahuddin and the countless heroes of Islam. Surely we are in need of the Muslims whose fast is complete and not just a source of hunger and thirst. May Allah raise up a generation of Muslims who can carry Islam to all corners of the globe in a manner that befits our age."


a passionate reminder from Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick.


A Quick Checklist Of Ramadan:


-Make a resolve to win the maximum favour of Allah: perform extra voluntary prayers (Nawaafil), make frequent Du'a and increase remembrance (Dhikr).
-Try to recite some Quran after every Prayer. In fact if you read 3-4 pages after every Prayer you can easily finish the entire Quran in Ramadan! Study the Quranic Tafseer (commentary) every morning.
-Invite a person you are not very close with to your home for Iftar, at least once a week. You will notice the blessings in your relationships!
-Bring life to your family! Everyday, try to conclude the fast with your family and spend some quality time together to understand each other better.
-Give gifts on 'Eid to at least 5 people: 2 to your family members, 2 to your good friends, and 1 to a person whom you love purely for the sake of Allah.
-Commit to an Islamic study circles to enhance your Islamic knowledge and practice. Plan to complete reading a book on Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life in these 30 days.
-Donate generously to the masajid, Islamic organizations, and any where people are in need. "This is a month of sharing!"
-Share Ramadan and its teachings of love & patience with your neighbours. Learn how at http://www.soundvision.com/info/ramadan/
-Initiate a project to promote or revive a ‘forgotten’ social cause in the Muslim and non-Muslim community: fight against racism, AIDS, drugs, cancer, smoking…etc.

Did you know, our society, which constitutes only 20% of world’s population, actually consumes 80% of world’s resources! Volunteer at food bank or Anti-Poverty campaign, while fasting!

-Seek the rare and oft-neglected rewards of 'the night better than a 1000 months', Laylatul-Qadr.
-Weep in private for the forgiveness of your sins: It is the month of forgiveness and Allah's Mercy! It's never too late.
-Learn to control your tongue and lower your gaze. Remember the Prophet's warning that lying, backbiting, and a lustful gaze all violate the fast! Abandon foul language forever.
-Encourage others to enjoin and love goodness, and to abandon everything evil. Play the role of a Da'ee (one who invites to Allah) with passion and sympathy.
-Experience the joy of Tahajjud prayers late at night and devote yourself purely and fully to Allah in the I'tikaf retreat during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

For More Info


Islam: The Natural Way by Abdul Wahid Hamid
Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali
Let Us Be Muslims by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi



#Copied from : Sis Shida








Monday, July 23, 2012

Ramadhan Coming..!




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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Memories of the Olive Tree

Memories of the Olive Tree

Since Autumn has arrived on our front door,
Olive trees thicken, fighting against the fall, Subtle smiles, midday light has given,
Plucking the the ripe fruits, ever so tempting

Years passed, trees and fruits, all weaver and fade,
The moment my Lord has invited my love, into His presence,into His shade,
leaving me alone, watching this threadbare, this old, olive tree,
which I am leaving, turning for spring, to ripen and thicken, lavishly. 

Beside the shade, I am reminiscing, 
My love, in heaven, I would pick the fruits of this nice olive tree,
with you,
once again. 

Shafiq Said

 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012






You keep trying to tell the truth about who you are but you keep changing, every time someone listens.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Wrote This For You, My Dearest

 
If I have a choice to carve our name,
I'll carve on a seed,
it might be cracked,
it might take long time.
  
But I sure,
there will be rain of hope,
the seed will grow up,
to be a tree of memory,
between you and I..


*****




Dear You,

I really want to say,  "Thank You."  There are nothing that I can get for you besides that words.  I really appreciate this relationship and I hope that this will everlasting till Jannah.

Deep in my heart, I pray that He will bless us with His Kindness and Love. 

Truly,
Me

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

E.N.D

"END" is not end . . . 
In fact "E.N.D" is " Effort . Never . Dies". . . 

"NO" is not denial . . . 
..."N.O" is " Next Opportunity". . . 

Be Optimistic ! ! !   :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eat Less Rice! Why?

The human body was never meant to consume rice! You see, our genes have hardly changed in more than 30,000 years. However, our food choices and lifestyle have changed dramatically. The caveman would hardly recognise our food or way of life.

Caveman food was never cooked as fire was not yet tamed. Thus, he ate only those foods that you can eat without treatment with or by fire. He ate fruits, vegetables, fish (sushi anyone?), eggs, nuts and meat. Yes, even meat! You can even eat meat raw if you were starving in the forest. You have the necessary enzymes to digest meat.

However, rice, like wheat and corn, cannot be eaten raw. It must be cooked. Even if you were starving in the desert, you cannot eat rice in the raw form.. This is because we do not have the system of enzymes to break rice down. You were never meant to eat rice. To make matters worse, you not only eat rice, but also make it the bulk of your food.

In some parts of Asia , rice forms up to 85% of the plate. Even if you take rice, keep it to a minimum. Remember, it is only for your tongue - not your body. Actually, rice and other grains like wheat and corn are actually worse than sugar. There are many reasons:

  • Rice becomes sugar - lots of it!
This is a fact that no nutritionist can deny: rice is chemically no different from sugar. One bowl of cooked rice is the caloric equal of 10 teaspoons of sugar. This does not matter whether it is white, brown or herbal rice. Brown rice is richer in fibre, some B vitamins and minerals but it is still the caloric equal of 10 teaspoons of sugar. To get the same 10 teaspoons of sugar, you need to consume lots of kangkong-10 bowls of it. 


  • Rice is digested to become sugar. 
Rice cannot be digested before it is thoroughly cooked. However, when thoroughly cooked, it becomes sugar and spikes circulating blood sugar within half an hour-almost as quickly as it would if you took a sugar candy. Rice is very low in the 'rainbow of anti-oxidants. ' This complete anti-oxidant rainbow is necessary for the effective and safe utilisation of sugar. Fruits come with a sugar called fructose. However, they are not empty calories as the fruit is packed with a whole host of other nutrients that help its proper assimilation and digestion.

  • Rice has no fibre.
The fibre of the kangkong fills you up long before your blood sugar spikes. This is because the fibre bulks and fills up your stomach. Since white rice has no fibre, you end up eating lots of 'calorie dense' food before you get filled up. Brown rice has more fibre but still the same amount of sugar.

  • Rice is tasteless-sugar is sweet.
There is only so much that you can eat at one sitting. How many teaspoons of sugar can you eat before you feel like throwing up? Could you imagine eating 10 teaspoons of sugar in one seating?

  • Rice is always the main part of the meal.
While sugar may fill your dessert or sweeten your coffee, it will never be the main part of any meal. You could eat maybe two to three teaspoons of sugar at one meal. However, you could easily eat the equal value of two to three bowls (20-30 teaspoons) of sugar in one meal. I am always amused when I see someone eat sometimes five bowls of rice (equals 50 teaspoons of sugar) and then asks for tea tarik kurang manis!


  • There is no real 'built in' mechanism for us to prevent overeating of rice:
How much kangkong can you eat?
How much fried chicken can you eat?
How much steamed fish can you eat?
Think about that!

In one seating, you cannot take lots of chicken, fish or cucumber, but you can take lots of rice. Eating rice causes you to eat more salt. As rice is tasteless, you tend to consume more salt-another villain when it comes to high blood pressure. You tend to take more curry that has salt to help flavor rice. We also tend to consume more ketchup and soy sauce which are also rich in salt.


  • Eating rice causes you to drink less water.
The more rice you eat, the less water you will drink as there is no mechanism to prevent the overeating of rice. Rice, wheat and corn come hidden in our daily food. As rice is tasteless, it tends to end up in other foods that substitute rice like rice flour, noodles and bread. We tend to eat the hidden forms which still get digested into sugar.


  • Rice, even when cooked, is difficult to digest.
Can't eat raw rice? Try eating rice half cooked. Contrary to popular belief, rice is very difficult to digest. It is 'heavy stuff'. If you have problems with digestion, try skipping rice for a few days. You will be amazed at how the problem will just go away.


  • Rice prevents the absorption of several vitamins and minerals.
Rice when taken in bulk will reduce the absorption of vital nutrients like zinc, iron and the B vitamins.

Are you a rice addict? Going rice-less may not be easy but you can go rice-less. Eating less rice could be lot easier than you think. Here are some strategies that you can pursue in your quest to eat less rice:



  • Eat less rice-cut your rice by half.
Barry Sears, author of the Zone Diet, advises 'eating rice like spice'. Instead, increase your fruits and vegetables. Take more lean meats and fish. You can even take more eggs and nuts.


  • Have 'riceless' meals.
Take no rice or wheat at say, breakfast. Go for eggs instead.


  • Go on 'riceless' days.
Go 'western' once a week.


  • Take no rice and breads for one day every week.
That can't be too difficult. Appreciate the richness of your food. Go for taste, colours and smells. Make eating a culinary delight. Enjoy your food in the original flavours.


  • Avoid the salt shaker or ketchup.
You will automatically eat less rice.


  • Eat your fruit dessert before (Yes! No printing error) your meals.
The fibre rich fruits will 'bulk up' in your stomach. Thus, you will eat less rice and more fruits.
 
It's your life. Decide what you want to eat! But eat less rice!

"JOM Seiring Sejalan"
"If you focus on results, you will never change.If you focus on change, you will get results"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shayk Al Qaradawi's Poem

 
Shayk Al Qaradawi's Poem:

"Oh My nation, the struggle has become obligatory, so put aside chattering and screaming. Put aside dallying. He who dallies and rests is of no help. Put aside all pretence, since massacres and wounds have said their word.The Missionaries of Peace are lying, for there is neither peace nor pardon.Weeping over the ruins of our camp is no longer of avail, nor crying.We should no longer speak with words; rather let the spears have their say

* * *

Oh men, the matter is grave. The time for jesting has passed. Call things by their real names, for it is men's way to be frank.The veil has fallen from the face, and their secret workings are revealed. The Crusaders have returned once more, and they move about in the [Iraqi] lowlands.They spread perversion in the land, as though it were ground free for all to graze in. They are again spilling blood, without shame of exposure. And the Shi'ites play well the role assigned to them. The treacherous role, whose beginning and end are known to all. They returned when in the East there is no Nur al-Din in power, or Salah [Al-Din]. [4] We have forgotten the past, but they have now scratched the scabs. They did not recoil from slaughtering old men … or small girls. Their hate is not slaked by the blood they spill with such arrogance and impudence. They gleefully abuse the victims' corpses, and violate the honor of women, fearing no retribution or punishment. There is no Mu'tasim [5] to succor those who cry for help. Don't you see how conspiracies against Islam are hatched openly in the light of day? Don't you see how the land of the prophets suffers from wounds? Don't you see how the Jews commit outrages, while we excel in crying out? They violated our Palestine, and declared that they will not leave it. They heed not the censure of U.N. resolutions, nor any proposal…Were it not for the firmness of young men, unwilling to part with their religion, Young men who offer up their blood – and he who offers up his blood is blameless.

* * *

Apostasy has become blatant, having no fear of exposure. In the marketplace of hypocrisy plain falsehood is being peddled Moral depravity is sold there under the name of art and openness Perversion prevails arrogantly and openly day and night…

* * *

Oh Islamic nation, rise up and act! For there is no time to be lost. Heresy has gathered its forces. Why are we frightened and fighting one another? Assemble, and equip yourself as you can with that which is at hand. Oh thousand million [Muslims], where are you when the wounds call out? Bring one million from the billion, the select of the select. One from every thousand, and with them we shall make war on all fronts…

* * *

There is no escape from producing men, this is like the making of arms. The making of heroes is a science that was made clear in out tradition. Heroes can only be made in our mosques, in the garden of the Koran, and in the shade of the true Prophetic traditions. In the company of the righteous, who walk in Allah's abode. Those who guide by example, rather than by eloquence… Those who betray the call to prayer, betray as well the call to struggle. Oh my Islamic nation, stand fast, for night will soon give way to morning…"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), January 16, 2005.
[2] www.qaradawi.net, January 5, 2005.
[3] In a Friday sermon broadcast on Qatar TV on January 14, 2005, Al-Qaradhawi said: "Allah, help the
fighters of Jihad in spirit and assist them with your many soldiers… Allah, [harm] your enemies, the
enemies of Islam. Allah, [harm] the treacherous and aggressive Jews. Allah, [harm] their oppressive and
patronizing allies. Allah, [harm] all the enemies of Islam and of the Muslims…"
[4] Nur Al-Din Al-Zengi (1146-1174), head of the Zengid confederation, who initiated a Jihad against the
Crusaders, and Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi (1169-1193), conqueror of Jerusalem.
[5] Al-Mu'tasim, an Abbasid caliph (833-842), who in 838 defeated the Byzantine army and conquered the
fortified city of Amorium.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Sometimes we just have to smiles, 
pretend every things is okay, 
hold back the tears 
and 
just walk away.
[Anon]

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

10 Ways To Avoid Marrying The Wrong Person

                    

10 ways to avoid marrying the wrong person

by Dr. Nafisa Sekandari & Hosai Mojaddidi

                      There is a right way and a wrong way to get to know someone for marriage.  The wrong way is to get caught up in the excitement and nuance of a budding relationship and in the process completely forget to ask the critical questions that help determine compatibility.  One of the biggest mistakes that many young Muslims make is rushing into marriage without properly and thoroughly getting to know someone.

                     A common myth is that the duration of a courtship is an accurate enough measure of how compatible two people are.  The logic follows that the longer you speak with someone, the better you will know them.  The problem with that premise is that no consideration is given to how that time is spent. Increasingly, young Muslim couples are engaging in “halal dating,” which is basically socializing with each other in the company of friends and/or family. This includes going out to dinner, watching a movie, playing some sport or other leisure activity, etc.

                      Depending on the family or culture, conversations are either minimal & chaperoned or worse, unrestricted and unsupervised. When you consider these  limitations it makes one wonder when exactly, if ever at all, would the critical conversations take place?  Unfortunately, for many, the answer is never and they live to suffer the consequences.  If you or someone you know is in the “getting to know someone” phase,  the following guide offers advice on exactly what to look for and avoid:

1) Do Not Marry Potential:
                    Oftentimes men consider marrying a woman hoping she never changes while a woman considers marrying a man she hopes she can change.  This is the wrong approach on both accounts.  Don’t assume that you can change a person after you’re married to them or that they will reach their potential.  There is no guarantee, after all, that those changes will be for the better. In fact, it’s often for the worse. If you can’t accept someone or imagine living with them as they are then don’t marry them.  These differences can include a number of things such as ideological or practical differences in religion, habits, hygiene, communication skills, etc.

2) Choose Character over Chemistry
                   While chemistry and attraction are no doubt important, character precedes them both. A famous quote follows, “Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” The idea of falling “in love” should never be the sole reason for marrying someone; it is very easy to confuse infatuation and lust for love.  The most important character traits to look for include humility, kindness, responsibility, & happiness. Here’s a breakdown of each trait:
  • Humility: The humble person never makes demands of people but rather always does right by them. They put their values and principles above convenience and comfort.  They are slow to anger, are modest, and avoid materialism.
  • Kindness: The kind person is the quintessential giver. They seek to please and minimize the pain of others. To know if a person is a giver, observe how they treat their family, siblings, and parents. Do they have gratitude towards their parents for all that they’ve done for them? If not, then know that they will never appreciate what you do for them. How do they treat people they don’t have to be kind towards (i.e. waiters, sales associates, employees, etc)? How do they spend their money?  How do they deal with anger; their own anger and their reaction to someone else’s anger?
  • Responsibility: A responsible person has stability in their finances, relationships, job, and character.  You can you rely on this person and trust what they say.
  • Happiness: A happy person is content with their portion in life. They feel good about themselves and good about their life. They focus on what they have rather than on what they don’t have.  They very rarely complain.
3) Do Not Neglect The  Emotional Needs of Your Partner
                    Both men and women have emotional needs and in order for a partnership to be successful those needs must be mutually met. The fundamental emotional need of a woman is to be loved.  The fundamental emotional need of a man is to be respected and appreciated.  To make a woman feel loved give her the three AAAs:  Attention, Affection, & Appreciation.  To make a man feel loved give him the three RRRs:  Respect, Reassurance, & Relief.  It is the obligation of each partner to make sure the other is happy and this extends to intimacy as well.
                    As long as each partner is fulfilled by the emotional needs of the other, the intimate relationship will thrive.  When a man takes seriously the emotional needs of his wife she will feel more encouraged to fulfill his sexual desires. Likewise, when a woman takes seriously the emotional needs of her husband he will feel more encouraged to give her the affection, love and appreciation she wants from him. Working together in this way encourages both giving and receiving.

4) Avoid Opposing Life Plans
In marriage you can either grow together or grow apart. Sharing a common purpose in life will increase the chance that you will grow together.
  • You must know what the person is into. In other words, what are they ultimately passionate about?  Then ask yourself, “Do I respect this passion?” “Do I respect what they are into?”
  • The more specifically you define yourself, i.e., your values, your beliefs, your lifestyle, the better chance you have of finding your life partner, your soul mate, the one you are most compatible with.
  • Remember, before you decide who to take along on a trip, you should first figure out your destination.
5) Avoid Pre-Marital Sexual/Physical Activity:
  • Recognize that there is incredible wisdom in why God has ordered us to refrain from intimacy before marriage; they are to prevent great harms as well as to keep sacred what is the most blessed part of a relationship between a man and a woman.
  • Aside from the obvious spiritual consequences, when a relationship gets physical before its time, important issues like character, life philosophy, and compatibility go to the wayside. Consequently, everything is romanticized and it becomes difficult to even remember the important issues let alone talk about them.
  • Intellectual commitment must be established before emotional or sexual commitment.
6) Avoid Lack of Emotional Connection
There are four questions that you must answer YES to:
  • Do I respect and admire this person?  What specifically do I respect and admire about this person?
  • Do I trust this person?  Can I rely on them?  Do I trust their judgment?  Do I trust their word? Can I believe what they say?
  • Do I feel Safe?  Do I feel emotionally safe with this person?  Can I be vulnerable?  Can I be myself?  Can I be open?  Can I express myself?
  • Do I feel calm and at peace with this person?
If the answer is “I don’t know, I’m not sure, etc.” keep evaluating until you know for sure and truly understand how you feel. If you don’t feel safe now, you won’t feel safe when you are married.  If you don’t trust now, this won’t change when you are married!

7) Pay Attention to Your Own Emotional Anxiety:
                     Choosing someone you don’t feel safe with emotionally is not a good recipe for a long-lasting and loving marriage.  Feeling emotionally safe is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage.  When you don’t feel safe, you can’t express your feelings and opinions.  Learn how to identify whether you are in an abusive relationship.  If you feel you always have to monitor what you say, if you are with someone and you feel you can’t really express yourself and are always walking on eggshells, then it’s very likely you are in an abusive relationship.  Look for the following things:
  • Controlling behavior: This includes controlling the way you act, the way you think, the way you dress, the way you wear your hair/hijab and the way you spend your time.  Know the difference between suggestions and demands.  Demands are an expression of control and if the demands are implied, than you must do it or there will be consequences. All of these are clear indications of abusive personalities.
  • Anger issues: This is someone who raises their voice on a regular basis, who is angry, gets angry at you, uses anger against you, uses put downs, and curses at you, etc.  You don’t have to put up with this type of treatment.  Many people who tolerate this behavior usually come from abusive backgrounds.  If this is the case with you or someone you know, get help right away.  Deal with those issues before getting married or before even thinking about getting married.
Beware of Lack of Openness In Your Partner
                    Many couples make the mistake of not putting everything on the table for discussion from the onset.  Ask yourself, “What do I need to know to be absolutely certain I want to marry this person?” “What bothers me about this person or the relationship?”  It’s very important to identify what’s bothering you, things that concern you, and things you are afraid to bring up for discussion. Then you must have an honest discussion about them. This is a great way to test the strength of your relationship.
                    Bringing up issues when there’s conflict is a great opportunity to really evaluate how well you communicate, negotiate, and work together as a team.  When people get into power struggles and blame each other, it’s an indication they don’t work well as a team.  Also important is being vulnerable around each other. Ask deep questions of each other and see how your partner responds.  How do they handle it?  Are they defensive?  Do they attack?  Do they withdraw?  Do they get annoyed?  Do they blame you?  Do they ignore it?  Do they hide or rationalize it?  Don’t just listen to what they say but watch for how they say it!

9) Beware of Avoiding Personal Responsibility:
                    It’s very important to remember no one else is responsible for your happiness. Many people make the mistake of thinking someone else will fulfill them and make their life better and that’s their reason for getting married.  People fail to realize that if they are unhappy as a single person, they will continue to be miserable when they are married.  If you are currently not happy with yourself, don’t like yourself, don’t like the direction your life is going now, it’s important to take responsibility for that now and work on improving those areas of your life before considering marriage.  Don’t bring these issues into your marriage and hope your partner will fix them.

10) Watch Out For Lack of Emotional Health and Availability In Your Potential Partner:
                   Many people choose partners that are not emotionally healthy or available. One huge problem is when a partner is unable to balance the emotional ties to family members, the marriage ends up having 3 (or more) people in it rather than two. An example of this would be if a man is overly dependent on his mother and brings that relationship into the marriage; this is no doubt a recipe for disaster.  Also important to consider are the following:
  • Avoid people who are emotionally empty inside.  These include people who don’t like themselves because they lack the ability to be emotionally available. They are always preoccupied with their deficiencies, insecurities, and negative thoughts.  They are in a perpetual fight with depression, never feel good, are isolated, are critical and judgmental; tend to not have any close friends, and often distrust people or are afraid of them.  Another clear indication about them is they always feel their needs are not getting met; they have a sense of entitlement and feel angry when they feel people should take care of them and they don’t.  They feel burdened by other people’s needs and feel resentment towards them.  These people can not be emotionally available to build healthy relationships.
  • Addictions can also limit the level of availability of the partner to build a strong emotional relationship.  Never marry an addict.  Addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol.  They can be about addictions and dependency on work, internet, hobbies, sports, shopping, money, power, status, materialism, etc.  When someone has an addiction, they will not and can not be emotionally available to develop an intimate relationship with you!
Additional Points to Consider:
  1. The fact is no one looks 25 forever.  Ultimately, we love the person we marry for more than their appearance.  When we get to know someone we love and admire, we’ll love them for their inner beauty and overall essence.
  2. Once we find someone, we consciously or subconsciously want so badly for it all to work that we decide not to question or see what is clearly in front of our eyes: they were rude to the waiter, speaks ill of others, is rude to you, etc.  We don’t stop to ask, “What does all of this mean about their character?”
  3. Never separate someone from their family, background, education, belief system, etc.  Asking clear questions can clarify this.  Ask questions like, “What does it mean to have a simple lifestyle?” “What are your expectations of marriage?”  “How would you help around the house?” Compare your definition with theirs.
  4. Be flexible.  Be open-minded!
  5. Giving in a happy marriage should not be confused with martyrdom.  It should be about taking pleasure and seeing the other person as happy because of your connection with them.
  6. Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone in addition to beauty, money, and health.  The morally upright and spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and hardship.  If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take themselves into account with God then why should you expect them to fulfill their rights owed to you? The ideal partner is someone who considers giving a gain and not causing a loss.  Having a mutual and shared spiritual relationship will foster a successful marriage.  Furthermore, a successful marriage is one that keeps the laws of family purity which require a certain degree of self-control and self-discipline, as well as the belief that the physical side of the relationship includes the spiritual and emotional side as well.  Finding commonality and balance between the spiritual and emotional aspects of a relationship is a strong key to a healthy and thriving marriage.
The above article was [in part] inspired by and adapted from a presentation by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.