Thursday, 29 March 2012

How to get baraka in our life

Yesterday I came across this great image on Facebook. Mashallah I love it. When I read or see something beautiful on FB, I feel good that I am still on FB :-) I believe there is good and bad in everything. We just need to be careful how we are using the tools. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala shower us with never-ending baraka, ameen!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bad Trendsetters by br. Nouman Ali Khan

Entitled, "Bad Trendsetters", this thought-provoking lecture is by mashAllah the highly-intellectual and articulate brother Nouman Ali Khan. May Allah reward him for his brilliant efforts, masha Allah! His style of lecture is quite commendable, his analogies and comparisons made to today's lifestyle is usually spot on! His reminders may drive some up the wall, but it is totally necessary to teach many of today's (culture-based) Muslims who may have been brought up in a wrong way or two. Everyone needs to be reminded constantly that Islam is such a beautiful, simple yet complete religion and way of life. It is perhaps time to shake off those terrible traditions and cultures that one may have been burdened with all one's life!

Alhamdulillah, Victorian Muslimah has successfully added English subtitles to this video, which is adapted from the video first uploaded by NAKcollection's Youtube Channel. Its original form has been put together by the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC), at Masjid Omar Al Farouk, Anaheim, California, USA. Jazakallahu khair for everyone who contributed to the making of the original video. Now with subtitles, this video is specially dedicated to those who are hearing-impaired, who are new to English, new to Islam or just wanting English subtitles to learn better and more effectively, insha Allah.

Bad Trendsetters Part 1

Bad Trendsetters Part 2

Bad Trendsetters Part 3

Bad Trendsetters Part 4

Mashallah these four videos are one of the best set of videos I have watched. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward brother Nouman for his great work, ameen, ameen, ameen! He talked about two different sorts of people; the trendsetters and the trend-followers. I think most of us belong to the trend-followers category. Although he talked about our kids being the potential trend-followers, we adults are also , more or less, guilty of being among the trend-followers. Unfortunately, every single day we are facing societal pressure in various form to follow the trends around us. Living in an age of technology , it's so difficult not to notice all the trends :-( and get deceived by them and also people in the form of family and friends are always there to influence you to follow the trends. As a parent , it is a very daunting job for me to save my children from all the bad influences but I fear that as an adult myself, I have to , first and foremost, save myself from following the blind culture or tradition and be a role-model for my kids. THAT IS NOT AN EASY JOB :'-( Even being at home as full time mother and trying to spend lots of time with my kids, they can get influenced by society thanks to TV, Internet and so on. We have to be very careful and always talk to our children, explaining them why certain things are not appropriate. My children are still very young so alhamdulillah they do listen and understand us. But I am worried when they hit the scary teenage years when peer pressure will be there to haunt them :-( I hope and make dua that we can do our best to raise our children as confident and Allah conscious kids INSHA-ALLAH. Everyone need to listen to these awesome videos and prepare for the best insha-Allah. May Allah subhan wa ta'ala give us the tawfique ( ability) to follow our father Ibrahim Alaihis salam and be the best of Muslims, Ameen!




Wednesday, 14 March 2012

In loving memory of our beloved sister Najma

For couple of days, I have been feeling quite sad thinking about death. On 10th March at 2:43 Najma Gani , a beautiful sister who was in her early 30s passed away in St.Georges Hospital Tooting. Inna lillahe wa inna ilaiher rajeuun... Verily we belong to Allah and we will return to Him. She was suffering from Acute Pro Myeloid Leukaemia. She was first diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2006, which is a rare cancerous malignancy of the Blood and the Bone marrow; she achieved remission, but subsequently relapsed in 2007 and then again in 2008. It was decided due to the aggressive nature of her particular Leukaemia and the rarity she would be receiving a matching-sibling-allograft-bone marrow transplant, after further chemotherapy and radiotherapy. That third attempt to cure her with the full Bone Marrow Transplant gave her almost a year Cancer free, though she was in extremely strong Immuno-Suppression therapy, to ensure the transplant was not rejected. however in 2010 she relapsed and was back in hospital for intra-thecal chemotherapy. She had to go through a lot. May Allah subhana ta'ala reward her for every moment of hardship she had to endure, ameen! She was such an amazing sister with so much patience and gratitude towards Allah subhan ta'ala. I have been following her difficult journey through Facebook. Sometimes her emotional status update on FB made me feel so sad for her and ashamed of me for taking my life for granted. Unfortuanately we tend to forget that we all have to leave this Earth one day and meet our Lord. I remember her last status update on 24th February at 9:31
“ i rarely cry, yesterday i did though most of the night, none of the treatment since october 2011, has worked & achieved remission, i have been given just one more drug to try how close are we to death. im back in hospital this afternoon after 5 beautiful days with my family. please remember me in your duas i know Allah is able to do all things!!!
On 17 February she wrote:
“feb 17th is a day of reflection for me & my family, its the day six years ago i was diagnosed with leukaemia. six years on i am still fighting, im worn out & my life has turned out completely different to what i imagined. i have so much to be thankful for, and so many questions for my creator....but at the end of this i know there is a better place where pain & disease no longer exist and the battle in this life will def be worth the rewards of the next....it took a while to reach this conclusion but alhamdulilah i understand it now.”
She once posted a poem by brother Babar Ahmad titled 'The Final Mile'
O one bound in fetters of steel,
Trust me, I know how you feel.
When that door slams shut at night,
The reality begins to bite.
You alone with your thoughts.
Hopes and fears of all sorts.
What will arrive tomorrow?
Some good news or just more sorrow?
Know, my friend, that every ocean has a shore.
And every hardship has a door.
Every desert has springs.
And every caged bird has wings.
So hold your head high and smile.
For perhaps you are on the final mile.
She wrote at the end of the poem "made me cry lying here in the Leukaemia ward"
"he is ( Babar Ahmad) such a kind friend, he ends every letter to me telling me to smile and reminding me of the rewards its really emotional for me too."
"Inshallah I shall fight this jihad Allah has prescribed for me for as long as it is written in my qadr.... Tomorrow inshallah triple chemotherapy cocktail injected into my spinal canal... I need duas but mostly I need sabr/patience."
Mashallah may Allah subhana t'ala bless brother Babar Ahmad for being so kind while he himself is going through a very difficult time, being locked up for years for no reason, subhanallah. O Allah subhana ta'ala make his life easy for him and reward him with the best, ameen! Mashallah even his family went to visit Najma at the hospital. What a beautiful family mashallah! This Sunday she was buried at Garden of Peace in Hainault. I have been feeling very sad . There was a post by brother Manwar Ali which made me feel a bit better alhamdulillah. I would like to share his post with you too.
" Our sister in faith Ny Gani has passed away to God's mercy. She wrote on the 17th of February, ‘Six years on I am still fighting, I’m worn out & my life has turned out completely different to what I imagined. I have so much to be thankful for, and so many questions for my Creator....but at the end of this I know there is a better place where pain & disease no longer exist and the battle in this life will definitely be worth the rewards of the Next....it took a while to reach this conclusion but alhamdulillah I understand it now.'

Very few of us really do understand this. That’s why her death is so much more painful for us. May Allah bless her with the best of Paradise for the knowledge she had attained, about which we remain shallow, despite all our reading and hearing to understand and prepare precisely for that passing over into eternity. May she live on in the memory of the living and be remembered in their prayers for her.

I dedicate the following poem to the sister’s memory:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die. [Mary Frye]
I supplicate to Allah subhana ta'ala to grant her jannatul ferdous. She went through so much but never felt hopeless, subhanallah. Allah subhana ta'ala is always there for us no matter how hard the test is. Insha-Allah she is in peace now. Mashallah lots of people turned up for her janaza (funeral) at Woolwich Islamic centre. Most of them are family and friends. But around zuhr time quite a lot of Somail sisters were there, who were attending their Qur'an session mashallah. They also made dua for Najma. Insha-Allah the duas of every single one of us will be accepted by Allah subhana ta'ala.
Dear Najma, you are indeed an amazing star mashallah! You are named Najma which comes from the arabic word Najm meaning star. You are definitely a star my dearest sis. You have inspired us so much with your amazing personality. During all the hardship, you didn't forget the ummah of our beloved prophet sallallahu alaihe wa sallam. You were involved in promoting good causes such as Desidonors and other projects. You used your time to write and inspire others to get more active and lead better lives, lives filled with love and fear of Allah subhana wa ta'ala. We all will be missing you my dear sis! May Allah subhana ta'ala bless your family and friends and give them strength and sabr to endure your absence and work hard to unite with you in jannah, ameen!

If you would like to share your duas and best wishes for sister Najma , please visit her site http://www.najmagani.com/ and leave your message there. Your message can bring some peace and solace to her beloved family and all the people out there who are going through difficult times, Insha-Allah. May Allah subhana ta'ala give us the tawfique ( ability) to learn from her amazing life and do our best to use our limited time and energy to please Him, ameen! Insha-Allah we will meet in jannah. Untill then rest in peace my dearest sis! xxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Remembrance of Allah subhana wa ta'ala

Mashallah this is a Jumaah Khutbah given by Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, CEO and founder of Mercy Mission, at the Sultan Hj Ahmad Shah Mosque, International Islamic University Malaysia on the 24th Feb 2012. Once again he has done a great talk, alhamdulillah. This talk is based on remembrance of Allah. When is the last time we have remembered our Rabb? Allah subhana ta'ala remembers us , when we remember Him. " So remember Me : I will remember you. " [ Al-Bakara 2 : 152] Ibnul Qayyum rahimullah said that if only this verse of surah Bakara was revealed to show the importance of zikr, that would have been enough, subhanallah. The people who don't remember Allah, they have been compared to the dead people.

 If you want to love Allah subhana ta'ala , then you should remember Him frequently. Imam Ibnul Qayyim says that remembrance of our Lord is the door to love of Allah subhana ta'ala! Our need of zikr of Allah is more than our need to air and food, subhanallah! Every single object on this earth praises Allah subhana ta'ala! Has the time not arrived for us, human beings, to remember Allah subhana ta'ala?

Allah subhana ta'ala says in the Qur'an: " Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiently disobedient." [Al-Hadid 57:16]
Ask yourself this beautiful question: When was the last time you made Allah subhana wa ta'ala remember you?
Sometimes we think Allah subhana ta'ala doesn't respond to our duas. But this is not true. Whenever we say Ya Allah, He says Na'am Abdi! He is our Lord and He knows what is best for us.
Ibnul Qayyim rahimullah mentions in one of his book one hundred benefits of remembering Allah subhana ta'ala. Here in this talk sheikh mentions some of them, alhamdulillah.
Benefits of remembering Allah subhan ta'ala:
1.Remembrance of Allah helps in defeating the satan and removing his harmful effects on us
2.It helps us in removing our worries and troubles from our heart
3.It brings an amazing peace amd clarity, sweetness to our heart
4.It strenghtens the heart and the body
5.It fills the heart and face with light
6.It brings provision from Allah subhan ata'ala
7. It brings dignity and honour
8. It fills the heart with light and spirit of Islam
9.Remembrance of Allah keeps us away from sins and evil deeds
10. It enters him/her in highest form of Ihsaan which is the greatest state of worship. It is like worshiping Allah as if you can see Him
11.It creates restlessness in you heart to meet Allah
12. Remembrance of Allah gives light to dead souls
13. It removes all signs of sins and saves us from the punishment in hereafter
14.It surrouns us with peace and tranquility and makes our affairs secure and full of mercy and bounty
15.It makes the angels gather around you , listen to your zikr and kiss your forehead, shake your hand and protect you when you are asleep
16. Remembrance of Allah along with crying in fear and love of Allah , brings the protection under the shade of Allah on the day of judgement
17. It is the plantation of jannah
18. It makes us among the people of saabikoon, the foremost people in jannah
19.It is the door to Allah subhana ta'ala's love....
I hope to read the book insha-Allah in future, given I can read arabic Insha-Allah.
The sheikh mentioned that we can do zikr quite easily by keeping our tongue moist with small pharases like Subhanallah ,Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi, Subhanallahil Azeem. It just reminded me the nasheed attached below. Please do try to make as much zikr as possible. May Allah subhana ta'ala make us among the As-sabikun, ameen!



Tuesday, 6 March 2012

" Hold on to your kids "

Interesting talk by Gabor Mate....


Insha-Allah need to buy Gabor Mate's " Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers"

Monday, 5 March 2012

Love of nursery rhymes....

Bismillah...
My three kids love nursery rhymes. Almost every day Imi (4) and A'ish (3) love singing rhymes and Yosho (10 months) is more than happy to be the lucky audience! I have been doing rhymes since they were very young and I can see the improvement mashallah. Rhymes make communication easier for babies. It's a great way of spending some quality time with them. They have learnt quite a lot of new words through rhymes alhamdulillah. Imi has started nursery in September 2011 and has been learning more rhymes with activities. The nursery has given us a rhymes CD and on a weekly basis provide us with homework to practice whatever rhymes they are doing at the nursery. It's a good way of getting parents involved in childrens' education. I am a big fan of home education but yobo is not very keen of home education. So we have decided that Insha-Allah our kids will go to school but we will do our bit of teaching whenever we can. I have done my istikhara to ask Allah to guide to the right path and make our children have the best education insha-Allah. We have applied for the school we really want Imi to attend. Insha-Allah I am eagerly waiting for the result in April this year. I hope he can go to the best one insha-Allah or whatever else Allah subhana ta’ala decides for us. He is the best of planners and He knows everything.  
I am very aware of what Imi is learning at the nursery. Alhamdulillah the teacher and the assistants are very friendly. Sometimes it's quite difficult for me to do my prayers whenever I am outside. There is a mosque just in front of the nursery but they don't allow women in :-( It makes me so angry and annoyed but I hope Insha-Allah they will change their silly policy soon. Once I did try to pray there and one kind guy let me pray at the back of a house just attached to the mosque. I didn't really feel that safe being on my own with kids in an empty house. So I have stopped trying to get them to let me pray in the mosque. Once I asked the nursery if I can pray there and alhamdulillah they provided me with a room and mashallah with a prayer mat too! May Allah subhana ta'ala reward them for their kindness, ameen! Sometimes I see Muslims criticising people in the West but I strongly believe that most of them are very good and open-minded. Their characteristics are more like proper Muslims! We got lot to learn Insha-Allah.
Now, where was I?  I keep digressing :-(

Anyways, at the moment, the rhymes below are my kid's favourite...

Twinkle, twinkle little star
The wheels on the bus
Old Mac Donald
The grand old duke of York
Incy wincy spider
Baa baa black sheep
Row row row your boat
One two three four five
Round and round the garden
Ring a ring a roses
Humpty dumpty and the list goes on....

Everything is from Allah subhana ta'ala!


Bismillah... In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful

Sometimes I think how blessed I am , alhamdulillah. Allah subhana ta'ala has given me so much! Am I really grateful enough to Him? Through my action, do I really show Him my gratitude towards Him? I know that through showing Him our gratitude, He will give us more. Our beloved prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihe wa sallam taught us to make a special dua after every prayer saying, " O Allah, help me in remembering You, worship You and being grateful to You!".Insha-Allah I hope I can do my best to thank Him . Insha-Allah I hope to show my gratitude to my Rabb by raising my children as best of Muslims! Being a parent is not an easy job. Sometimes it does get quite challenging :-( but I try to keep reminding me that Insha-Allah I am a mother with a big purpose. I hope I will get reward from Allah subhana ta'ala for every moment of struggle I go through to raise our beautiful children, INSHA-ALLAH! Rabbana taqabbal minna...

Interesting cartoon

Source: FB Brotherhood arts masha'Allah :-)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Easy vanilla cake ( Good Food BBC)

A moist cake drenched with vanilla syrup. Use as the basis for a range of fabulous celebration cakes

Ingredients
  • 250g pack unsalted butter , softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 5 large eggs , cracked into a jug
  • 85g plain flour
  • 100g full-fat Greek yogurt (I used Total)
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

FOR THE SYRUP

  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • seeds ½ vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla paste
and cooking times Preparation time
Prep 20 mins

Cook 1 hr 20 mins
 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a round, deep 20cm tin, then line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Using electric beaters or a tabletop mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and ¼ tsp salt together until pale and fluffy, then pour in the eggs, one at a time, giving the mix a really good beating before adding the next. Add 1 tbsp of the plain flour if the mix starts to look slimy rather than fluffy. Beat in the yogurt.
  3. Mix the flours; then, using a large metal spoon, fold them into the batter, followed by the milk. Spoon the mix into the tin and bake for 1 hr 20 mins or until well risen and golden - a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the syrup by gently heating 50ml water with the sugar and vanilla in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Once the cake is out of the oven, leave to cool for 30 mins in the tin, then use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake, going right to the bottom. Pour the syrup over, letting it completely soak in after each addition. Leave to cool completely, then either wrap the cake well or fill and ice it. If you wrap it with baking parchment and cling film, the unfilled cake will keep well for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
  5. For ideas on how to decorate the cake and to try out some variations on this basic cake mixture, have a look at the 'Goes well with' recipes for Simple elegance wedding cake, Birthday bug cake and Summer celebration cake.
A good, basic vanilla buttercream
Put 175g soft unsalted butter into a large bowl. Beat with electric beaters for a few secs until pale. Gradually add 300g sifted icing sugar, a spoonful at a time. Keep beating until mixture is pale and creamy. Beat in seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla paste. Makes enough to cover a 20cm cake. Will keep in fridge for 1 week. Bring back to room temperature and beat well before using.

PER SERVING

399 kcalories, protein 6g, carbohydrate 48g, fat 21 g, saturated fat 12g, fibre 1g, sugar 27g, salt 0.31 g

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2009