Living Life

Friday, February 17, 2006

Touched on my Birthday...

*Things change with time,
and you have changed too...
From my little daughter...
to my loving friend...

Sent by my Dad

*Mama's kiss right after midnight

*Little bro's mobile appointment alarm ringing (he left it here at home as it's not allowed in the military camp)... to show me that he remembers my brithday even while he's away... found it ringing... picked it up to read "Happy Birthday" ... almost cried here..

*Big bro's early morning call from work in Saudi...

*Surprise party complete with a special birthday cake made by my amazing students...

And so many other little things that made my day and showed me how much I'm loved :)


Note: Written on my birthday ...around two weeks ago !

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Our beloved Prophet

One of my friends wrote this, sent it to all her friends and asked them to share it with everyone they know... and even post it on the net for everyone to see... so here it is... with all my love to our beloved Prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessings upon him)...

In Response

I once asked a non-Muslim woman, “Did you know that the Eskimos have more than a hundred words for snow?”
She said, “Wow…I never knew that!”
I replied, “Well…I guess it’s because snow is a very important part of their lives.”
She paused a little and then said, “You Muslims have 99 names for God, and 5 names for Muhammad (PBUH)…I guess it’s because they’re a very important part of your lives.”
I went silent, I was surprised…I had never thought of it that way before. It was so true.

Our Koran says:
'Say: If you fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision (torment).And Allah guides not the people who are (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).'

* Why is Muhammad (PBUH) so special to Muslims?

When Muslims are asked for the reasons behind their love for and devotion to Muhammad (PBUH),they give a variety of answers, personal answers, they talk about how he has defined their lives in terms they could understand, how he has given them reason to believe that they could be better Muslims just by following him, they could also tell you that to them he’s a role model, someone who was very effective and made a huge difference just by being there….they can go on and on explaining all the different ways in which Muhammad (PBUH) has touched their lives…but all the answers stem from, and are a part of, the following:

Prophet Muhammad was the means through which God’s message reached us. He was the guide, after God, who has simply taken us from the darkness of “not knowing” to the light of “knowing”. He was the one who has delivered to us the Koran, and the Koran told us all we needed to know. It gave a reason for our creation. The Koran told us that we are here for one purpose; to worship God, to worship Him through acts of obedience and through laboring to amend and improve. It gave a sense of balance to our lives, by giving weight to what is right and what is wrong, and it gave us another very important thing; the understanding and acceptance of all that happens to us, a faith in the justice of God through which we gain inner peace.
For any organization to operate efficiently it must have its own mission statement, outlining goals, obligations and remunerations…the Koran is our mission statement, without which we would be lost…and Muhammad (PBUH) delivered the Koran to us.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has provided us with the “Sunnah” (all that he does and says), and the Sunnah is complementary to the Koran. For example, the Koran asked us to pray, and the Sunnah told us how to pray.

Islam is about believing that there is no God but Allah, the one and only, and that Muhammad (PBUH) is his messenger.
The Koran tells us to believe in all prophets, and that they were all messengers from God trying to spread His word.
‘Say (O Muslims): “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the offspring of the twelve sons of Jacob, and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).”’ (2:136)

Our religion is not complete without our following of Muhammad (PBUH), we must yield to whatever he commands and love him in order to gain God’s love…because he is here with God’s message and to that message we must succumb.
'Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.' (3:31)

We believe that prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a human, was mortal, but unlike any other man, God has perfected him for the spreading of His word.
‘Muhammad is no more than a messenger, and indeed (many) messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.’ (3:144)

We've all heard of great men, men who have shaped cultures, men who have led thousands, men who have excelled at war…each of those great men was superior in a specific field more than any other, but Muhammad (PBUH) excelled in all fields. He excelled in leadership, politics, trade, strategic planning at times of war and economics…etc. and to that history bears witness.
In the book written by Michael Hart, "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History", he ranked Muhammad (PBUH) number one. Though we have our reservations regarding the inclusion of prophets among scientists and famous scholars, for prophets are in a category by themselves.

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding what Muhammad (PBUH) preached, it is claimed that he marginalized women, and denied them their rights which is contrary to the truth. Muhammad (PBUH) advocated the fair treatment of women. He gave women their rights and roles even at times of war. Women, according to him, were not to provide financial support to the household, but were rather free to use their money in whichever ways they pleased. They were not to be beaten or humiliated; they were to keep their maiden names and were to have an active role in the society. He knew the effectiveness of a believing woman and was able to direct such effectiveness to the benefit of the cause.
Another misconception was regarding his dictatorship, those who have read his biography would know that he always took votes, even though he was the leader. There is a very popular question that had been posed to him by his companions and followers which was, " O messenger of God, is it God's inspiration, or opinion and consultancy?"

Muhammad was a man of peace for he obeyed what God had commanded and what God revealed in the Koran:
'Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities, Lo! Allah loves not, aggressors.' (2:190)

All the previous explanations are contrary to what the media portrays. The media claims that Islam is about terrorism and violence…which is not true. One should never judge a religion by the minority of people who don't accurately practice it, that minority that is reflected in the media. One has to thin-slice in order to comprehend the truth and not be misled by false representations…OR ELSE…we would believe that Christianity allows pre-marital sexual relations just because 99% of the movies reveal it to be that way…which is contrary to Christianity.

There is no doubt that all religions agree on one thing, it being that God is All-Knowing and the sole creator of all things.
But the controversy between Muslims and non-Muslims begins at a level below that…it begins here where non-Muslims claim that Muhammad (PBUH) was given too much attention in Islam, the kind of attention that he didn’t deserve…for non-Muslims believe that he was just a man (and here Muslims agree), and that he wasn’t perfect (and here Muslims disagree), they say that he called for bloodshed, oppression of women, and preached ideas contrary to those of the prophets before him.
Would God want that? Does God call for violence and oppression? Does God send contradicting messages? Anyone with the slightest belief in God would blurt out “Of course not!”
If God is all-knowing and capable of all things, why would He place His message in the hands of someone who was incompetent, who was not qualified to preach the truth and to encourage people to act in the righteous manner? Would he choose a man of earthly desires to teach people how to live their lives as passer bys?
Even logic says no.

If we Muslims give Muhammad (PBUH) too much attention…why wouldn’t the religion be called “Muhammadism” or any other word derived from his name? If you notice, all religions have names that are derived from either the name of a person, a place or a group/tribe. Think about it…”Christianity”, “Judaism”, “Buddhism”, "Confucianism" …etc. Islam is the only religion whose name has an independent meaning, it’s derived from the word “to submit” in Arabic…to submit to the one and only God, to submit to His wishes and commands.
To sum up, our prophet is way too precious to be mocked while we stand tongue-tied. An offense against him is an offense against the entire Islamic nation. We shall always be grateful to him and would do all that is in our power to spread the word of how good he was and enlighten the world about his countless virtues…for prophet Muhammad (PBUH) deserves all the acclaim that is given to him…and all the love we bear in our hearts would not come close to a fraction of the love he bore to our nation…and all nations.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Keep praying...

Howa elwaa7id be-yeghra2 ezzay ya Mama?
Delwa2ti 7anshouf ya 7abibi....

Mum, how does one drown?
We're going to see now dearie...

Witnessed by Egyptian ferry survivor Mohamed Ramadan Arafah

Monday, February 06, 2006

Prayer for Egyptian ferry victims and victims' families

انا لله و انا اليه راجعون
اللهم أجرهم في مصيبتهم و أخلف لهم خيرا منها

My trip to Cairo ... belated

But " better late than never" ... right ?

Well .... where should I start ? It all started when I wrote this comment on Doshar's post on the Book Fair in Cairo.... Doshar called me that night ... and was like "go and book a ticket now ya benti ... andn I'm off work so I'll be able to show you around" !!! Told my mum about it ... then went next day morning and booked my train tickets (to and from Cairo)!!! Couldn't really sleep well that night ... was too excited to really sleep .....then next day morning I was off to Cairo !!!
Doshar was waiting for me at the train station ... I'd seen her in a couple of photos before so recognising her wasn't a problem .... the weird thing is I didn't feel it was the first time we meet.... no awkward feelings .... like I'd known her for quite a while !!!! Was fun getting lost in Cairo's streets ... was fun asking people for directions.... and was great finally getting to the Book Fair !!!!!!

We spent a couple of hours there... and during that time we were contacting Roora, Wonderer and Dalulla so we could all meet for late lunch somewhere.... Wonderer called Nerro too and they made it ... Dalulla couldn't make it though :( InshAllah next time we get to meet ya gameela... Nesreen ... was great talking to you on the for the others ... what can I say ? You were almost just as I expected... I enjoyed myself.... couldn't really believe that I was actually sitting there meeting you all ...still feels like a dream ....

Now the funny thing is I missed my train back to Alex !!! Hehehe.... we thought we were on the safe side when we got up an hour before time to get to the train station ... but the traffic was a nightmare !!!! and we took an hour and a half to get there !!! My train was at 6:00 and I got to the train station at 6:30!!! I must say I was a bit tense till 5:55 ... I had hope we'd make it .... then after that ... well ... it was too late wasn't it ? So we had to think of solutions ya3ni ... no use crying over spilt milk :-D Roora and Doshar kept apologising but wAllahi I wasn't upset walla 7aagah ... just wanted to make sure I got a train back to Alex that night coz I had work the next day and so that mama doesn't worry .... they were so sweet really ... and wanted to make sure I reached safely back to Alex ... el7amduliah I managed to get a place on the 7:00 train ... and by 9:30 I was back home ....

What can I say girls? ... it was awesome meeting you ... you were all amazing....can't thank you enough for your hospitality ... would love to see you all again some time soon....

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I'm back... again :-D

I've been wanting to write this post for quite a while ... it's been ages !!!
I got back on Cairo Wednesday night... had to prepare the next day's lesson.... then went back to Cairo again on Friday !!! Actually it was to visit my little bro at his military training camp... sort of on the outskirts of Cairo ... el7amdulilah he's ok ... as "ok" as he can be in one of those camps I mean ... el7amdulilah .... there was no visit this week .... but he calls whenever he can to tell us he's doing fine ....

Then the next couple of days I was "seeing someone" .... someone who was thinking we might "click" ... but we didn't....this is what I wrote the day I saw him

"Met someone new today ... a joint friend was setting us up... she knows what we both see and want in a partner... and she felt that we might be suitable for each other... so she decided to set us up... he came from Cairo to see me ... took the train at 9 to get to Alex and stay a while with us at a cafe then went back to Cairo ... don't know what to say about him... can't say there was anything bad about him ... but I wasn't drawn to him in any way ...the guy is quite an impressive guy .... but I wasn't impressed... at all... it was ok though... I mean we talked ... serious stuff... and joked around a little ... he has a good sense of humour... quite sarcastic but I like it... but ... I didn't feel anything at all... I know I'm not expected to feel anything ... but I mean you know when you sometimes meet someone and you feel like you're interested to know more about that person? When you feel you'd like to see that person again? Didn't get those feelings... but at the same time didn't get any "negative" feelings... Whatever !! Guess we just didn't click .... will probably never see him again in my life... let's just say he was a nice guy I met one day by chance...."

Then I went down with a reeeeaaallly bad flu .... and couldn't take any days off from work.. it was awful...still am not very well but el7amdulilah much better.... want to read all my friends' blogs ... and catch up with everyone .... and of course write about my "trip to Cairo" !!!!!