Introducing A New Blog-My Autistic Muslim Child

2 03 2010

Assalaamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

First, I apologize for not having time to blog recently.  Today, My dear sister emailed me the link to her new blog and I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you!

She has started a blog titled “My Autistic Muslim Child.”  This blog helps give insight into the lives of autistic muslim children and their parents, raise awareness, and provides support by the permission of Allah.

The blog is in it’s early stages, so please stop by and give her your support and if you think you know someone it will benefit by all means pass it along! : )

Check it out here:

http://myautisticmuslimchild.wordpress.com/

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Ramadan Diary ’08: Week One Has Passed

8 09 2008

And I’m not hungry. This Ramadan has been a pleasant surprise. Reading back over my diary last year, I realized that this year I have had no dizziness, no tummy ache, nothing. Yes, I get hungry the last couple of hours before time to break fast….but it isn’t that bad at all.  I think, perhaps, this is due to either a stronger effort at suhoor or the fact that my body is now trained to fast. This past year I have been fasting more of the optional  fasts. So, maybe, my body is conditioned. Although, that doesn’t mean my mind is.

This year has been a trade off. My hunger for my temper. Well, I will tell you for me the temper is a thousand times harder to fight against than my hunger ever was. The room could be spinning, my stomach churning, my head pounding and I could block it out and fast. My temper on the other hand………..takes alot more effort. It is a gigantic test of will and patience.  I am working this Ramadan rather than staying home all day. That is a big part of the equation. Alhamdullilah though.  I am gratful for everything that Allah (SWT) has given me and Allahu Akbar, Allah has promised us in the Qur’an that He (Swt)  will not place a burden on us greater than we can bear.

I have also noticed this Ramadan that I have learned to say no to things that I can not possibly add to my schedule. I have learned to prioritize. That is huge for me.

Overall, I am really optimistic that I am making a strong effort to accomplish my goals this Ramadan while at the same time hoping and praying that Allah (Swt) accepts from me.

In other news, My friend Um Mahmoud gave me a couple of great Ramadan ideas for children! Insh’Allah I will post it so anyone who wants can try it with their kids.

For Full Size You can go here and click on it to make it bigger and print it :

http://i475.photobucket.com/albums/rr117/muslimah1234/goal_calendar_send.jpg

Directions:
There are 2 parts to this email… The 1st is the calendar in the attachment, and the 2nd is the suggested goals below. Print the calendar on 1 side and then the goals on the other inshaAllah. Customize the goals to your childs ability, I only made general suggestions. So all the goals are numbered… if on Saturday they did # 10 on the goal list, they will write #10 in that square on the calendar.
 
   Explain to them that the reason they will use this calendar if for a visual for them. In this busy life of ours, days go by without us taking time out to try to do extra things to please Allah. Filling in the days of this calendar will be exciting for them to see how much they are capable of doing. This would be a great time to explain to them about the recording angels we have with us at all times and how they record the good and the bad and how we would like the Angel on our right to stay busy recording the good things. They will start to do this in Ramadan but that they should also continue to do these good deeds thru out the whole year.
 
  Parents help the younger children with their calendar and keep reminding the older children to fill in the days. And have fun with this.
 
  Print the calendar 1st and then these suggested goals, or add more, or customize to your childs age.
 
In this blessed month of Ramadan I will try my best to use my time wisely.  Even if I am little, I will try hard to fast at least some of the day & do other good things.
1.        Sleep little – eat little …I will not try to let the day pass faster by sleeping it away, and I will not eat so much at Iftar that it will make me too lazy to pray.
2.        I will learn all about Ramadan so I won’t think of it as a hard and hungry month.
3.        I will pray all of my obligatory prayers, and try to pray as many of the sunnah prayers as I can.
4.       I will try to wake up during the 3rd part of the night and pray night prayers at least once.
5.        I will memorize at least 1 surah and understand the meaning of it also.
6.       I will try to attend the taraweah prayer at the masjid at least once and pray all the way to the end with the Imam.
7.        I will not waste my time watching TV or playing games.
8.       I will surprise my Mom and clean for her while she is cooking Iftar for me.
9.       I will save some money in a special can and donate it to a worthy cause at the end of Ramadan.
10.     I will bake a dessert myself and surprise another family with it.
11.      I will read some Quran every day. I will pick a time like after I pray fejr, or right before magrib, and read at that time every day.
12.     I will ask Allah for forgiveness often.
13.     I will make more thikr.
14.     I will learn what Laylatul qadr is and its virtues and then put all my efforts in gaining those rewards.
15.     I will remind myself (for boys) my Dad and brothers to pray at the masjid every Fejr and every Isha.
16.     If I am invited to someone’s house for Iftar I will help clean before I leave.
17.     Even if I can’t go to the Masjid for Taraweah and my Dad goes, I will send some sweets or a cold drink for the Muslims to enjoy in between the prayers.
18.     If I am at the masjid and I see an old person who needs a chair to pray, I will RUN and get that chair for them and set it up in the prayer line.
19.     No matter where I am, if I see a Muslim I will say Assalamu alekum first.
20.    If I’m at the grocery store shopping with my parent, I will ask if I can buy a food item  to place in the food drive box at the masjid.
21.     If my family is inviting people for Iftar, I will ask if they will invite some single people or students.
22.     I will help my mother cook, or set the table, or clean the table after, or wash the dishes, or sweep the floor at least once a day either at Suhoor or Iftar.
23.     I will remind my brothers and sisters and friends to be their best.
24.    I will learn something new about Ramadan to teach it to my family and friends. (Look at the bulletin board weekly for new information, womens section)
25.     I will memorize at least 1duaa
26.    When I’m at the masjid I will sneak a donation into the masjid box so nobody sees me donating, only Allah and I will know.

*add more of your own goals

Charity Jars:

These can be made with empty cannisters,jars, etc decorated with paper, paint, glitter, etc. You can take a cloth and stretch over the top and secure it with ribbons,glue or a rubber band. Insh’Allah they are pretty easy. Then the kids simply fill them as they are able and at the end of the month you can decide how to donate it. Mash’Allah it gives the children such a sense of accomplishment and inclination to give back at a young age.

Here are some that the children at the Islamic Center of Arlington Texas(http://www.isat-online.org/home.htm) made:

 





A List of Some of My Favorite Islamic Sites and Resources Online

18 02 2008

I thought that I would compile a list of Islamic sites that I have found particularly useful throughout my journey as a Muslimah.  Here you will find Islamic video, audio, and written articles and info (mostly in English).  Some of these I have stumbled upon myself and others have been suggested to me. 

It’s Oprah’s favorite things, Muslimah style!

Enjoy! 😀

Video (FREE):

www.islamictube.net (excellent, mash’Allah!)

http://thedeenshow.com/show.php (insh’Allah check it out!)

http://tubeislam.com/ (Formally youtubeislam by Yusuf Estes. Many Various Islamic videos.)

http://www.isyoutube.com/index.php (a large selection of Islamic videos)

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=khalifahklothing (very good full length lectures from various scholars. I especially like this one because new videos are uploaded very frequently.)

http://www.lightuponlight.com/islam/

http://www.aswatalislam.net/ (Video, live streaming tv (in both english and arabic), islamic articles, and many audio lectures to choose from)

http://www.halaltube.com/ (islamic audio and video, very well organized! Mash’Allah)

www.muslimvideo.com(you have the option of watching live islamic tv or watching/uploading videos Be sure to check out the group Sunnahfollowers.Net)

www.muxlim.com (Be sure to check out Sunnahfollowers Channel!)

http://www.nasheedtube.com/ (nasheeds9ik]=’

http://www.idca.org.au/content/view/34/59/

 

Free Islamic TV Streaming Online:

Huda TV (English):

http://www.huda.tv/defaultN.aspx?rt=15

ShareIslamTV, PeaceTV, Huda, Taraweeh, and Islam Channel (Click on the red drop down menu to choose a channel)

http://watchislam.com/tv4/

Free Islamic Classes and lectures online:

www.sunnahfollowers.net (offers a 2 week guarantee join for 2 weeks consistantly and your iman should grow. Also offers live classes held everyday. Some of the speakers are:  Sister Laila Nasheeba,  Shaykh Mustapha Morsey,Shaykh Ibrahim Dremali, Shaykh Hasan Khalil, Brother Muhammad Shameem, and the list is ever growing!  Plus, they play benefitial lectures and videos from various scholars and speakers between class times. So, the rememberance of Allah is always ongoing! I can personally attest to the benefit of this site. As you can see, I can’t say enough about it. I highly recommend it!)

www.chatislam.com (offers several classes).

Islamic Audio (some of these sites also contain Islamic articles and videos) ALL ARE FREE:

http://www.islamicmedia.com.au/index.php

www.dremali.com (articles and lectures given by Shaykh Ibrahim Dremali)

http://www.ibadarrahman.org/ (contains audio from khutbahs and lectures given at Jamaat Ibad Ar Rahman Masjid in Durham, NC by the imam and others)

http://www.islamactive.net/ (contains articles, video, and audio from various scholars and lecturers)

http://www.audioislam.com/?whatsnew (alot of audio files from various speakers and scholars)

http://www.islaam.com/Lectures.aspx (audio lectures and islamic articles by various scholars and lecturers)

http://nadeem.lightuponlight.com/ (free downloads of lectures,videos, nasheeds, screensavers, islamic ebooks, etc)

http://www.aswatalislam.net/  (I put this in the video category but I’m also going to put it here because this site contains a large selection of audio (lectures, nasheeds, Quran, and misc)

Qur’an Online (FREE):

http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/quran/

http://quranicaudio.com/index 

http://www.quranexplorer.com/

www.searchtruth.com

Ebooks and Articles(FREE):

http://www.islamworld.net/ (tafsir, Qur’an, hadiths, ebooks, articles, for non muslims, new muslims, and old muslims, very good site!)

http://abdurrahman.org/ebooks.html

http://www.geocities.com/kkhaan/books.html

http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/index.htm

http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?pg=articles&type=1&ln=eng

http://www.islaam.net/main/display.php?setfilter=all

http://www.jannah.org/articles/

http://www.soundvision.com/info/ (articles and islamic online store)

http://www.alminbar.com/ (khutbahs)

http://alhidaayah.net/books.html

http://imaan.net/

http://seerah.net/

For the Kids (FREE):

http://www.kidsmedia.net/

Some Other Sites:

http://www.sultan.org/ (great list of islamic resources and sites)

www.islamhouse.com (very good site with Audio, video, books, and articles in over 70 different languages).

www.whyislam.org  (very good daw’ah site with well written articles and free pamphlets and Qur’ans)

http://www.survivorsareus.com/ (Full of great info, mash’Allah!)

http://www.life-islam.blogspot.com/ (articles written by an American convert to Islam now living in Saudi, very insightful, motivational, and educational, must read!)

http://alqamardesigns.com/

www.islamweb.net (In English, Arabic or French. Contains audio and articles and current events. Also has a really nice kids section)

Some Favorite Islamic Shopping Sites:

http://www.desertstore.com/ (very nice clothing for men, women, and children as well as a selection of other things. Very fashionable quality clothing that still covers properly.  Pretty decent shipping prices…Ships from Saudi)

http://essenceofblack.com/

http://www.islamicboutique.com/default.asp

http://www.alhediya.com/ (great islamic apparel from Kuwait but ships worldwide! I’m soooo sad that it is going out of business but they’re having a HUGE SALE! so stock up!)

http://www.al-ikhlas.com/ (nice selection of hijabs, abayas/sets, salwar kameez, tunics, caftans, and more. Ships from US, very good prices.

http://www.al-muminat.com (islamic clothing for women)

http://www.quickbizsites.com/desertboutique ( Also located in Kuwait but ships worldwide! islamic clothing, accessories, home decor, jewelry, audio, and  more)

http://www.modestyisbeautiful.com

http://www.dar-us-salam.com/ (great prices on books, audio, etc)

http://www.astrolabe.com/ (large US based online Islamic store offering, audio, games, videos)

www.soundvision.com

Hmmm……this is all that I can think of for now. Insh’Allah I will update as I discover new sites. Feel free to email me your own favorite sites if you would like to have them added.

May Allah accept our efforts, forgive us our sins, and make these links be of benefit to many. ameen!

**”I have never had any problem with any of these sites. However, use these sites at your own discretion. I am in no way responsible for anything that occurs at these sites. I do not necessarily agree with the content on external sites. I do not own any of them and all rights are reserved to the proper owners.**





Noggin To Broadcast 24/7

8 12 2007

I recently read on the Noggin website (which my three year old frequents) that Noggin will begin broadcasting 24 hours a day beginning on December 31st.

I’m quite dissappointed in this decision. One of the things that has impressed me about Noggin is the fact that it only broadcasts from 6am-6pm. Thus, parents who like to park their kids in front of the tv only have the ability to do so for 12 hours vs. allowing them to sit there all night as well. Oh, of course, the parent’s can flip over to sprout or some other 24 hour cartoon network once 6pm rolls around. However, Noggin ending at 6pm meant that Noggin was not going to support that lifestyle. It promoted (to a degree) spending evenings with the kids.

My real issue here is probably not the fact that we have 24 hour cartoon channels for preschoolers. My issue is not even that we have television programs that essentially wake up with the children and put them to bed (yes, Sprout has a good night show to get kids ready for bed).

My issue goes back to the lifestyle we are promoting and God forbid, living. I seriously hope and pray that parents are not utilizing a 24 hour cartoon network for their children.

Many studies have proven that children need human interaction. Sitting in front of the tv all day (and now all night) does not provide this. It is no wonder that this generation of children have alarming obesity rates and social problems.

Hopping down off my soapbox now….





Halloween: Harmless or Haram? An Islamic Perspective

31 10 2007

Every year, on the evening of October 31st, millions of children across
North America paint their faces, dress up in costumes, and go door to
door collecting treats. The adults often decorate their houses with
ghostly figures, carve scary faces on pumpkins, and put candles in them
to create “Jack-O-Lanterns.” Unfortunately, among the millions of North
Americans indulging in this custom, many are also Muslims. This article
will shed some light on the significance and origins of Hallow’een, and
why Muslims should not participate in it.

Origins of the Hallow’een Festival

The ancient Celtic (Irish/Scottish/Welsh) festival called Samhain is
considered by most historians and scholars to be the predecessor of what
is now Hallow’een. Samhain was the New Year’s day of the pagan Celts. It
was also the Day of the Dead, a time when it was believed that the souls
of those who had died during the year were allowed access into the “land
of the dead”. Many traditional beliefs and customs associated with
Samhain continue to be practiced today on the 31st of October. Most
notable of these customs are the practice of leaving offerings of food
and drink (now candy) to masked and costumed revelers, and the lighting
of bonfires. Elements of this festival were incorporated into the
Christian festival of All Hallow’s Eve, or Hallow-Even, the night
preceding All Saint’s (Hallows’) Day. It is the glossing of the name
Hallow- Even that has given us the name of Hallow’een. Until recent
times in some parts of Europe, it was believed that on this night the
dead walked amongst them, and that witches and warlocks flew in their
midst. In preparation for this, bonfires were built to ward off these
malevolent spirits.

By the 19th century, witches’ pranks were replaced by children’s tricks.
The spirits of Samhain, once believed to be wild and powerful, were now
recognized as being evil. Devout Christians began rejecting this
festival. They had discovered that the so-called gods, goddesses, and
other spiritual beings of the pagan religions, were diabolical
deceptions. The spiritual forces that people experienced during this
festival were indeed real, but they were manifestations of the devil who
misled people toward the worship of false idols. Thus, they rejected the
customs associated with Hallow’een, including all representations of
ghosts, vampires, and human skeletons – symbols of the dead – and of the
devil and other malevolent and evil creatures. It must also be noted
that, to this day, many Satan-worshippers consider the evening of
October 31st to be their most sacred. And many devout Christians today
continue to distance themselves from this pagan festival.

The Islamic Perspective

Iman (faith) is the foundation of Islamic society, and tauheed (the
belief in the existence and Oneness of Allah) is the essence of this
faith and the very core of Islam. The safeguarding of this iman, and of
this pure tauheed, is the primary objective of all Islamic teachings and
legislation. In order to keep the Muslim society purified of all traces
of shirk (associating partners with Allah) and remnants of error, a
continuous war must be waged against all customs and practises which
originate from societies’ ignorance of divine guidance, and in the
errors of idol worship.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) issued a stern warning: “Whoever
imitates a nation is one of them!” (Abu Da’oud). Muslims should heed
this warning and refrain from copying or imitating the kufar in their
celebrations. Islam has strongly forbidden Muslims to follow the
religious or social customs of the non-Muslims, and especially of the
idol-worshippers or those who worship the devil. The Prophet (s.a.s.)
said: “By Him in Whose hands is my life, you are ordered to enjoin good
and forbid evil, or else Allah will certainly afflict you with torments.
Thereafter, even your du’a (supplications) will not be accepted.”
(Tirmidhi). From an Islamic standpoint, Hallow’een is one of the worst
celebrations because of its origins and history. It is HARAM
(forbidden), even if there may be some seemingly good or harmless
elements in those practises, as evidenced by a statement from the
Prophet (s.a.s.) “Every innovation (in our religion) is misguidance,
even if the people regard it as something good” (ad-Daarimee.). Although
it may be argued that the celebration of Hallow’een today has nothing to
do with devil-worship, it is still forbidden for Muslims to participate
in it. If Muslims begin to take part in such customs, it is a sure sign
of weak iman and that we have either forgotten, or outrightly rejected
the mission of our Prophet (s.a.s.) who came to cleanse us from
jahiliyyah customs, superstitions and false practises.

Muslims are enjoined to neither imitate the behaviour and customs of the
non-Muslims, nor to commit their indecencies. Behaviour-imitation will
affect the attitude of a Muslim and may create a feeling of sympathy
towards the indecent modes of life. Islam seeks to cleanse the Muslim of
all immoral conducts and habits, and thus paving the way for the Qur’an
and Sunnah to be the correct and pure source for original Islamic
thought and behaviour. A Muslim should be a model for others in faith
and practice, behaviour and moral character, and not a blind imitator
dependant on other nations and cultures.

Even if one decides to go along with the outward practises of Hallow’een
without acknowledging the deeper significance or historical background
of this custom, he or she is still guilty of indulging in this pagan
festival. Undoubtedly, even after hearing the Truth, some Muslims will
still participate in Hallow’een, send their kids “trick-or-treating,”
and they will try to justify it by saying they are doing it merely to
make their children happy. But what is the duty of Muslim parents? Is it
to follow the wishes of their children without question, or to mould
them within the correct Islamic framework as outlined in the Qur’an and
Sunnah? Is it not the responsibility of Muslim parents to impart correct
Islamic training and instruction to their children? How can this duty be
performed if, instead of instructing the children in Islam, parents
allow and encourage their children to be taught the way of the
unbelievers? Allah exposes these types of people in the Qur’an: “We have
sent them the Truth, but they indeed practise falsehood” (23:10). Muslim
parents must teach their children to refrain from practising falsehood,
and not to imitate the non-Muslims in their customs and festivals. If
the children are taught to be proud of their Islamic heritage, they
themselves will, insha Allah, abstain from Hallow’een and other
non-Muslim celebrations, such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas,
Valentines Day, etc. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) said: The Final Hour
will not come until my followers copy the deeds of the previous nations
and follow them very closely, span by span, and cubit by cubit (inch by
inch). (Bukhari). Islam is a pure religion with no need to accomodate
any custom, practise or celebration that is not a part of it. Islam does
not distinguish between “secular and sacred;” the shari’ah must rule
every aspect of our lives.

“You must keep to my Sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided
Caliphs; cling to it firmly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every
new matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misleading.”
(Bukhari)

“When the people see a person committing a wrong, but do not seize his
hand to restrain him or her from the deed, it is likely that Allah will
punish them both.” (Abu Da’oud, Nasa’i, Tirmidhi)

“Whoever imitates a nation is one of them.” (Abu Da’oud)

What to do on Halloween.

We have established, beyond doubt, that the celebration of Hallow’een is
absolutely forbidden in Islam. It is HARAM. The question arises as to
what to do on this night. Muslim parents must not send their kids out
“trick-or-treating” on Hallow’een night. Our children must be told why
we do not celebrate Hallow’een. Most children are very receptive when
taught with sincerity, and especially when shown in practice the joy of
their own Islamic celebrations and traditions. In this regard, teach
them about the two Islamic festivals of Eid. (Eid-ul-Fitr is fast
approaching, and this is the perfect time to start preparing them for
it.) It must also be mentioned that, even Muslims who stay home and give
out treats to those who come to their door are still participating in
this festival. In order to avoid this, leave the front lights off and do
not open the door. Educate your neighbours about our Islamic teachings.
Inform them in advance that Muslims do not participate in Hallow’een,
and explain the reasons why. (Give them a copy of this flyer if needed.)
They will respect your wishes, and you will gain respect in the process.
“A person who calls another to guidance will be rewarded, as will the
one who accepts the message.” (Tirmidhi)

Finally, we must remember that we are fully accountable to Allah for all
of our actions and deeds. If, after knowing the Truth, we do not cease
our un-Islamic practises, we risk the wrath of Allah as He himself
warned us in the Qur’an: “Then let them beware who refuse the
Messenger’s order lest some trial befall them, or a grevious punishment
be afflicted upon them!” (24:63). This is a serious matter and not to be
taken lightly. And Allah knows best. May Allah guide us, help us to stay
on the right path, and save us from all deviations and innovations that
will lead us into the fires of Hell.

-By Br. Feyoun Khan