Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's been ages

It's been ages and much has occurred in the last few months :)

Things were hectic...SO here's to 2010 for all its been and could have been as we look forward to 2011....
PS I thought I'd share this stunning pic!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jummah Mubarak!

“Allah's Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: 'You will indeed follow the ways of those before you, hand span by hand span, and an arms length after another. Even if they enter into a lizard’s hole, you will follow them.’ We (the Sahaba) asked, ‘Is it the Jews and the Christians?’ He replied, ‘Who else!’” [Bukhari]

We see the fulfillment of this prediction all around us. Muslims imitate non-Muslims in their dress, in the greetings that they use, in the holidays that they celebrate, in their modes of entertainment and even in their definition of right and wrong. It used to happen in the past that defeated nations would start worshipping the gods of their conquerors, believing them to be more powerful and thus responsible for their conquest. Muslims, especially their leaders, seem to be suffering from an inferiority complex at least as powerful as this.

In 637 CE Jerusalem offered a truce, provided that the Khalifa come himself from Madina to sign the treaty. Umar (radi Allahu anhu) set out for Jerusalem with a slave and a camel. The slave and he would take turns riding the camel and they also gave the camel time off from carrying either passenger. When they approached Jerusalem, Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was walking and had to cross through muddy ground, as a result of which his feet and clothes got mud on them. When Umar (radi Allahu anhu) entered Jerusalem, he was holding the rope of his camel leading it and his clothes were patched and muddy.

Abu Ubaidah (radi Allahu anhu), the commander in chief of the Muslim army and himself a very pious man, suggested that he change his clothes so that the people of Jerusalem, accustomed to the pomp and grandeur of kings and emperors, were not dissuaded from handing the keys of Jerusalem over to him. Umar (radi Allahu anhu) hit him hard on the chest and reminded him that they had been a disgraced nation. What had brought them honour and elevated them was Islam; should they seek honour from anything else, they would surely be humiliated again. “The only way for success is the way of the Holy Prophet” he said.

When the people of Jerusalem saw Umar's simplicity they started crying. Another narration states that the books of the Christians foretold 14 patches on the clothes of the person to whom the keys of Jerusalem would be handed. Hazrat Umar's clothes had 14 patches on them.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Soccer Craze to Ramadaan Phase

Its time to overcome the soccer craze and and start the Ramadaan phase...
When I grow older

I will be stronger

They call me the mu'min

Just like the sunnah way

The Sunnah way .... The Sunnah way

Give me sehri

Give me roza

Give me reason to go to jannah

See the muslims at the masjid

Read taraweeh

Just like the sunnah way

The Sunnah way .... The Sunnah way

Out of the darkness

Islam came the furthest

Our Nabi worked hardest

He accepted ... no defeat

When I grow older

I will be stronger

They'll call me mu'min

Just like the sunnah way

The Sunnah way .... The Sunnah way

Oh ... oh .... Oh .... Oh ... oh

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tonight the ink will dry on the final page of yet another book... Tonight one can say we begin a-new, an opportunity to mould from now the life we wish to articulate

Alas these new foundations cannot weather the storms of a tailwind we chose not to confront.

To all those I have harmed or hurt, To all those I have ignored and cast asideThe ones I forgot to console, the oppressed that I cast a blind eye on
The men and women who asked and I rolled my window up
The children I didn’t give from what I had, knowing they did not
To the friends who became foes, through no fault of their own
To my parents, who gave all that a child ever needed

To all these and then the Ummah...I ask that you forgive me for my shortcomings and forgive others that come short of you

Allah SWT, the All Forgiving takes mercy on us and forgives us.

May the Almighty Allah عَزَّوَجَل accept all your Dua'as and shower His Rahma’t & richest blessings upon you and your families.

May Allah عَزَّوَجَل forgive us for all our sins we have committed in the past and strengthen our hearts with Imaan and love.

May Allah عَزَّوَجَل accept our Dua’as, our efforts and good deeds for the past year, keep our Muslim Ummah stronger than before while we strive everyday to perfect it and stay united- INSHA-ALLAH!!! Please make Dua’a for all our Marhoomeen family and friends, the sick & destitute, the weak & oppressed who are suffering all over the world.

Let us make Dua’a for our Muslim Brothers and Sisters that are facing hardship and difficulties wherever they may be situated around the world.

This is the night where Allah عَزَّوَجَل requests the Angels to close our record books for the past year and the following for the coming year is written: Our Rizk for the Year The names of those to leave this world The names of those who will be born The difficulties and the good to come upon us in the world…

May the Almighty in his infinite mercy grant us all forgiveness, grant us our Dua’as and Heart’s Desires, Inshallah AameenRemember the Ummah of Nabi (SAW), the sick, weak, oppressed as well as my family & I in your pious Dua’as!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Stranger - think about it

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. >From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mum taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger... He was our storyteller.

He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mum would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.) Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?....We just call him 'TV.' (Note: This should be required reading for every household!)
He has a wife now....we call her 'Computer.'
Their first child is "Cell Phone".
Second child "I Pod "

Monday, June 14, 2010

Red Rose - Interesting Take

A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away.

As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars."

The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose." He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers.

As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother." She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother's house.


Moral: Don't Send Artificial Loves to your parents. Give them the respect and courtesy they desire. They are your most precious Treasure, Care for them. Allah Forbid, if they leave this world then one can do nothing but regret.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Please Support - All Eyes are on Us

Assalamu Alaikum

Please help support our sisters in France by wearing your Hijaab / head scarf to all the French games at this year 2010 World Cup.

France has banned the hijaab in all public area’s. Show your support at the games, especially the French games.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Young. British. Female. Muslim.

Thousands of young British women living in the UK decide to revert to Islam - here are some of their stories...

From left: Sukina Douglas, Catherine Heseltine, Aqeela Lindsay Wheeler, Catherine Huntley and Joanne Bailey Sarah Harris

It’s a controversial time for British women to be wearing the hijab, the basic Muslim headscarf. Last month, Belgium became the first European country to pass legislation to ban the burka (the most concealing of Islamic veils), calling it a “threat” to female dignity, while France looks poised to follow suit. In Italy earlier this month, a Muslim woman was fined €500 (£430) for wearing the Islamic veil outside a post office.

And yet, while less than 2 per cent of the population now attends a Church of England service every week, the number of female converts to Islam is on the rise. At the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, women account for roughly two thirds of the “New Muslims” who make their official declarations of faith there – and most of them are under the age of 30.
Conversion statistics are frustratingly patchy, but at the time of the 2001 Census, there were at least 30,000 British Muslim converts in the UK. According to Kevin Brice, of the Centre for Migration Policy Research, Swansea University, this number may now be closer to 50,000 – and the majority are women. “Basic analysis shows that increasing numbers of young, university-educated women in their twenties and thirties are converting to Islam,” confirms Brice.

“Our liberal, pluralistic 21st-century society means we can choose our careers, our politics – and we can pick and choose who we want to be spiritually,” explains Dr Mohammad S. Seddon, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Chester. We’re in an era of the “religious supermarket”, he says.

Joanne Bailey Solicitor, 30, Bradford
“The first time I wore my hijab into the office, I was so nervous, I stood outside on the phone to my friend for ages going, ‘What on earth is everyone going to say?’ When I walked in, a couple of people asked, ‘Why are you wearing that scarf? I didn’t know you were a Muslim.’
“I’m the last person you’d expect to convert to Islam: I had a very sheltered, working-class upbringing in South Yorkshire. I’d hardly even seen a Muslim before I went to university.
“In my first job at a solicitor’s firm in Barnsley, I remember desperately trying to play the role of the young, single, career woman: obsessively dieting, shopping and going to bars – but I never felt truly comfortable.

“Then one afternoon in 2004 everything changed: I was chatting to a Muslim friend over coffee, when he noticed the little gold crucifix around my neck. He said, ‘Do you believe in God, then?’ I wore it more for fashion than religion and said, ‘No, I don’t think so,’ and he started talking about his faith.

“I brushed him off at first, but his words stuck in my mind. A few days later, I found myself ordering a copy of the Koran on the internet. “It took me a while to work up the courage to go to a women’s social event run by the Leeds New Muslims group. I remember hovering outside the door thinking, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ I imagined they would be dressed head-to-toe in black robes: what could I, a 25-year-old, blonde English girl, possibly have in common with them? “But when I walked in, none of them fitted the stereotype of the oppressed Muslim housewife; they were all doctors, teachers and psychiatrists. I was struck by how content and secure they seemed. It was meeting these women, more than any of the books I read, that convinced me that I wanted to become a Muslim.

"After four years, in March 2008, I made the declaration of faith at a friend’s house. At first, I was anxious that I hadn’t done the right thing, but I soon relaxed into it – a bit like starting a new job. “A few months later, I sat my parents down and said, ‘I’ve got something to tell you.’ There was a silence and my mum said, ‘You’re going to become Muslim, aren’t you?’ She burst into tears and kept asking things like, ‘What happens when you get married? Do you have to cover up? What about your job?’ I tried to reassure her that I’d still be me, but she was concerned for my welfare. “Contrary to what most people think, Islam doesn’t oppress me; it lets me be the person that I was all along. Now I’m so much more content and grateful for the things I’ve got. A few months ago, I got engaged to a Muslim solicitor I met on a training course. He has absolutely no problem with my career, but I do agree with the Islamic perspective on the traditional roles for men and women. I want to look after my husband and children, but I also want my independence. I’m proud to be British and I’m proud to be Muslim – and I don’t see them as conflicting in any way.”

Aqeela Lindsay Wheeler - Housewife and mother, 26, Leicester
“As a teenager I thought all religion was pathetic. I used to spend every weekend getting drunk outside the leisure centre, in high-heeled sandals and miniskirts. My view was: what’s the point in putting restrictions on yourself? You only live once.
“At university, I lived the typical student existence, drinking and going clubbing, but I’d always wake up the next morning with a hangover and think, what’s the point?
“It wasn’t until my second year that I met Hussein. I knew he was a Muslim, but we were falling in love, so I brushed the whole issue of religion under the carpet. But six months into our relationship, he told me that being with me was ‘against his faith’. “I was so confused. That night I sat up all night reading two books on Islam that Hussein had given me. I remember bursting into tears because I was so overwhelmed. I thought, ‘This could be the whole meaning of life.’ But I had a lot of questions: why should I cover my head? Why can’t I eat what I like?

“I started talking to Muslim women at university and they completely changed my view. They were educated, successful – and actually found the headscarf liberating. I was convinced, and three weeks later officially converted to Islam. “When I told my mum a few weeks later, I don’t think she took it seriously. She made a few comments like, ‘Why would you wear that scarf? You’ve got lovely hair,’ but she didn’t seem to understand what it meant. “My best friend at university completely turned on me: she couldn’t understand how one week I was out clubbing, and the next I’d given everything up and converted to Islam. She was too close to my old life, so I don’t regret losing her as a friend.

“I chose the name Aqeela because it means ‘sensible and intelligent’ – and that’s what I was aspiring to become when I converted to Islam six years ago. I became a whole new person: everything to do with Lindsay, I’ve erased from my memory. “The most difficult thing was changing the way I dressed, because I was always so fashion-conscious. The first time I tried on the hijab, I remember sitting in front of the mirror, thinking, ‘What am I doing putting a piece of cloth over my head? I look crazy!’ Now I’d feel naked without it and only occasionally daydream about feeling the wind blow through my hair. Once or twice, I’ve come home and burst into tears because of how frumpy I feel – but that’s just vanity.

“It’s a relief not to feel that pressure any more. Wearing the hijab reminds me that all I need to do is serve God and be humble. I’ve even gone through phases of wearing the niqab [face veil] because I felt it was more appropriate – but it can cause problems, too.

“When people see a white girl wearing a niqab they assume I’ve stuck my fingers up at my own culture to ‘follow a bunch of Asians’. I’ve even had teenage boys shout at me in the street, ‘Get that s*** off your head, you white bastard.’ After the London bombings, I was scared to walk about in the streets for fear of retaliation. “For the most part, I have a very happy life. I married Hussein and now we have a one-year-old son, Zakir. We try to follow the traditional Muslim roles: I’m foremost a housewife and mother, while he goes out to work. I used to dream of having a successful career as a psychologist, but now it’s not something I desire. “Becoming a Muslim certainly wasn’t an easy way out. This life can sometimes feel like a prison, with so many rules and restrictions, but we believe that we will be rewarded in the afterlife.”

Catherine Heseltine - Nursery school teacher, 31, North London
“If you’d asked me at the age of 16 if I’d like to become a Muslim, I would have said, ‘No thanks.’ I was quite happy drinking, partying and fitting in with my friends.
“Growing up in North London, we never practised religion at home; I always thought it was slightly old-fashioned and irrelevant. But when I met my future husband, Syed, in the sixth form, he challenged all my preconceptions. He was young, Muslim, believed in God – and yet he was normal. The only difference was that, unlike most teenage boys, he never drank.
“A year later, we were head over heels in love, but we quickly realised: how could we be together if he was a Muslim and I wasn’t? “Before meeting Syed, I’d never actually questioned what I believed in; I’d just picked up my casual agnosticism through osmosis. So I started reading a few books on Islam out of curiosity. “In the beginning, the Koran appealed to me on an intellectual level; the emotional and spiritual side didn’t come until later. I loved its explanations of the natural world and discovered that 1,500 years ago, Islam gave women rights that they didn’t have here in the West until relatively recently. It was a revelation.

“Religion wasn’t exactly a ‘cool’ thing to talk about, so for three years I kept my interest in Islam to myself. But in my first year at university, Syed and I decided to get married – and I knew it was time to tell my parents. My mum’s initial reaction was, ‘Couldn’t you just live together first?’ She had concerns about me rushing into marriage and the role of women in Muslim households – but no one realised how seriously I was taking my religious conversion. I remember going out for dinner with my dad and him saying, ‘Go on, have a glass of wine. I won’t tell Syed!’ A lot of people assumed I was only converting to Islam to keep his family happy, not because I believed in it.

“Later that year, we had an enormous Bengali wedding, and moved into a flat together – but I certainly wasn’t chained to the kitchen sink. I didn’t even wear the hijab at all to start with, and wore a bandana or a hat instead. “I was used to getting a certain amount of attention from guys when I went out to clubs and bars, but I had to let that go. I gradually adopted the Islamic way of thinking: I wanted people to judge me for my intelligence and my character – not for the way I looked. It was empowering. “I’d never been part of a religious minority before, so that was a big adjustment, but my friends were very accepting. Some of them were a bit shocked: ‘What, no drink, no drugs, no men? I couldn’t do that!’ And it took a while for my male friends at university to remember things like not kissing me hello on the cheek any more. I’d have to say, ‘Sorry, it’s a Muslim thing.’ “Over time, I actually became more religious than my husband. We started growing apart in other ways, too. In the end, I think the responsibility of marriage was too much for him; he became distant and disengaged. After seven years together, I decided to get a divorce. “When I moved back in with my parents, people were surprised I was still wandering around in a headscarf. But if anything, being on my own strengthened my faith: I began to gain a sense of myself as a Muslim, independent of him.

“Islam has given me a sense of direction and purpose. I’m involved with the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, and lead campaigns against Islamophobia, discrimination against women in mosques, poverty and the situation in Palestine. When people call us ‘extremists’ or ‘the dark underbelly of British politics’, I just think it’s ridiculous. There are a lot of problems in the Muslim community, but when people feel under siege it makes progress even more difficult.
“I still feel very much part of white British society, but I am also a Muslim. It has taken a while to fit those two identities together, but now I feel very confident being who I am. I’m part of both worlds and no one can take that away from me.”

Sukina DouglasSpoken - word poet, 28, London
“Before I found Islam, my gaze was firmly fixed on Africa. I was raised a Rastafarian and used to have crazy-long dreadlocks: one half blonde and the other half black.
“Then, in 2005, my ex-boyfriend came back from a trip to Africa and announced that he’d converted to Islam. I was furious and told him he was ‘losing his African roots’. Why was he trying to be an Arab? It was so foreign to how I lived my life. Every time I saw a Muslim woman in the street I thought, ‘Why do they have to cover up like that? Aren’t they hot?’ It looked oppressive to me. “Islam was already in my consciousness, but when I started reading the autobiography of Malcolm X at university, something opened up inside me. One day I said to my best friend, Muneera, ‘I’m falling in love with Islam.’ She laughed and said, ‘Be quiet, Sukina!’ She only started exploring Islam to prove me wrong, but soon enough she started believing it, too.

“I was always passionate about women’s rights; there was no way I would have entered a religion that sought to degrade me. So when I came across a book by a Moroccan feminist, it unravelled all my negative opinions: Islam didn’t oppress women; people did. “Before I converted, I conducted an experiment. I covered up in a long gypsy skirt and headscarf and went out. But I didn’t feel frumpy; I felt beautiful. I realised, I’m not a sexual commodity for men to lust after; I want to be judged for what I contribute mentally. “Muneera and I took our shahada [declaration of faith] together a few months later, and I cut my dreadlocks off to represent renewal: it was the beginning of a new life. “Just three weeks after our conversion, the 7/7 bombings happened; suddenly we were public enemy No 1. I’d never experienced racism in London before, but in the weeks after the bombs, people would throw eggs at me and say, ‘Go back to your own country,’ even though this was my country.

“I’m not trying to shy away from any aspect of who I am. Some people dress in Arabian or Pakistani styles, but I’m British and Caribbean, so my national dress is Primark and Topshop, layered with colourful charity-shop scarves. “Six months after I converted, I got back together with my ex-boyfriend, and now we’re married. Our roles in the home are different, because we are different people, but he would never try to order me around; that’s not how I was raised.
“Before I found Islam, I was a rebel without a cause, but now I have a purpose in life: I can identify my flaws and work towards becoming a better person. To me, being a Muslim means contributing to your society, no matter where you come from.”

Catherine Huntley - Retail assistant, 21, Bournemouth
“My parents always thought I was abnormal, even before I became a Muslim. In my early teens, they’d find me watching TV on a Friday night and say, ‘What are you doing at home? Haven’t you got any friends to go out with?’
“The truth was: I didn’t like alcohol, I’ve never tried smoking and I wasn’t interested in boys. You’d think they’d have been pleased.

“I’ve always been quite a spiritual person, so when I started studying Islam in my first year of GCSEs, something just clicked. I would spend every lunchtime reading about Islam on the computer. I had peace in my heart and nothing else mattered any more. It was a weird experience – I’d found myself, but the person I found wasn’t like anyone else I knew.
“I’d hardly ever seen a Muslim before, so I didn’t have any preconceptions, but my parents weren’t so open-minded. I hid all my Muslim books and headscarves in a drawer, because I was so scared they’d find out. “When I told my parents, they were horrified and said, ‘We’ll talk about it when you’re 18.’ But my passion for Islam just grew stronger. I started dressing more modestly and would secretly fast during Ramadan. I got very good at leading a double life until one day, when I was 17, I couldn’t wait any longer.

“I sneaked out of the house, put my hijab in a carrier bag and got on the train to Bournemouth. I must have looked completely crazy putting it on in the train carriage, using a wastebin lid as a mirror. When a couple of old people gave me dirty looks, I didn’t care. For the first time in my life, I felt like myself. “A week after my conversion, my mum came marching into my room and said, ‘Have you got something to tell me?’ She pulled my certificate of conversion out of her pocket. I think they’d rather have found anything else at that point – drugs, cigarettes, condoms – because at least they could have put it down to teenage rebellion. “I could see the fear in her eyes. She couldn’t comprehend why I’d want to give up my freedom for the sake of a foreign religion. Why would I want to join all those terrorists and suicide bombers?

“It was hard being a Muslim in my parents’ house. I’ll never forget one evening, there were two women in burkas on the front page of the newspaper, and they started joking, ‘That’ll be Catherine soon.’ “They didn’t like me praying five times a day either; they thought it was ‘obsessive’. I’d pray right in front of my bedroom door so my mum couldn’t walk in, but she would always call upstairs, ‘Catherine, do you want a cup of tea?’ just so I’d have to stop. “Four years on, my grandad still says things like, ‘Muslim women have to walk three steps behind their husbands.’ It gets me really angry, because that’s the culture, not the religion. My fiancé, whom I met eight months ago, is from Afghanistan and he believes that a Muslim woman is a pearl and her husband is the shell that protects her. I value that old-fashioned way of life: I’m glad that when we get married he’ll take care of paying the bills.

I always wanted to be a housewife anyway. “Marrying an Afghan man was the cherry on the cake for my parents. They think I’m completely crazy now. He’s an accountant and actually speaks better English than I do, but they don’t care. The wedding will be in a mosque, so I don’t think they’ll come. It hurts to think I’ll never have that fairytale wedding, surrounded by my family. But I hope my new life with my husband will be a lot happier. I’ll create the home I’ve always wanted, without having to feel the pain of people judging me.”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Finnish Journalist Experimenting With The Veil

The sight of a woman wearing an entirely black abaya dress complete with its veil became the center of attention in the Itkeskus mall in Helsinki, the biggest city in Finland. No one knew that the person behind the niqab was not a true Muslim woman, but a journalist, a non-Muslim from the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, one of the leading newspaper in the Scandinavian region.

The name of the journalist is Katja Kuokkanen. She purposely disguised herself as a Muslim woman because she wanted to feel herself how it is like to wear the Islamic clothing's complete with its veil in the midst of the society in Finland which is still foreign to Islam, how does it feel to be stared at with a strange and terrified gaze from the people around her.
Kuokkanen wrote about her experience and feelings during and after she put on the niqab.

This is what she wrote¦
The black niqab made from chiffon material sometimes dropped and covered both of my eyes. At one time, I tripped and hit the shoulder of a guy in an ethnic goods store. The man gesticulated apologetically - in the usual slightly absent manner.
Then, he looked at me and realized that I am a woman dressed in a black abaya-niqab, the dress specific to Muslim women. Suddenly, the man nearly bowed and renewed the apology. I think he is an Arab, through the dialect when asking for the apology. I had never been regarded with such great respect before.

From the ethnic store, I headed for the Metro station. When I got onto an orange metro car, I received an unexpected reaction. A drunken man shouted to his three equally wasted friends in the crowded carriage:
'Hey, that is one hell of a sight!' the drunken man yelled.
Hearing that scream, the other passengers skillfully avoided looking at my veiled face. But suddenly a middle-aged woman said to me, 'hey, you dropped your thing,' while giving me my hairpin that had dropped on the seat behind me. I could not say thank you to the woman as I could not decide whether I could speak Finnish and blow my cover.

Next, a young Somali girl who worked as a shopkeeper, helped me fix my veil. She said that it was unusual for a Muslim woman in Helsinki to wear the dress like I was wearing. The Somalian girl also said that she, as much as possible, tried to abstain from wearing an all black clothing. She considered the color black as dramatic, attracting a lot of attention. Cheerful multi-coloured scarves are better, she said, adding that in Finland Muslim women are allowed to decide themselves how much of their face they want to cover.
And at the Itkeskus mall, I noticed many people staring at me with a strange or even frightened look. A young man with a can of cider in his hand loomed up from behind a column and almost spilled his drink in panic.

I began to get myself used to wearing the abaya and veil. I myself begin to get used to the garment. It was light and yet warm, though it was difficult to see properly from behind the veil sometimes.

Then, I decided to drop in to a flea market located in the car park on the roof of the adjacent Puhos mall. On the Turunlinnantie pedestrian crossing, I suddenly met an elderly Somali woman who says in a quiet voice: 'As-Salamu Alaykum' , an Arabic greeting used by Muslims which means 'Peace be upon you'. I was touched by her greeting. I do not usually have any contact with Muslim women. The same is repeated many times: Muslim women of different ages and from different ethnic origin wearing various styles of niqab greeted me using words that I do not understand at that time, but I eventually found out that the utterance consists a prayer for prosperity and safety.

Later on, another man was hanging out at the door of an ethnic store and shouting: 'Hello! Hey! Wait!' I did not wait. I felt that a fully-covered Muslim woman would not respond to such a call as she always look after her honor very much.
Some hours later, I decided to take the Metro back into town, to the downtown Kamppi Center.

Usually I have to run away from eager cosmetologists or hair stylists who are badgering me with their sales pitch at the mall. Not this time. If you are wearing an abaya-niqab, you are left in peace.

Along the course, the journalist was reflecting on her experience throughout the day, on the reactions of the people towards the abaya and veil that she donned and she herself felt that wearing the abaya and veil was not as bad as many people think. She then without hesitation affirmed that wearing the abaya and veil, 'is absolutely not bad at all. If you wear it you would feel peace.'

This story becomes an irony at a time when the European countries are racing towards banning the jilbab and niqab. Those who are imposing the restriction should be reading this story of the journalist from Helsinki, so that there should no policy of prohibiting the jilbab or niqab, which originally was imposed due to the Islamophobia attitude of the western society.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Money has very little to do happiness, otherwise all the rich would be blissfully happy and the poor totally miserable. Money can buy medicines but not health, acquaintances but not friends, servants but not faithfulness, food but not appetite.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam has very aptly said that riches are not from an abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind."

With all the scientific and technological advancement, man is still living a life of continued misery and unhappiness. Everywhere we look we find turmoil and confusion, people don't know how to solve their problems, how to achieve true happiness. Most don't even know what their function is in this cycle of Creation.

If we want to achieve true happiness then we have to look towards our Creator and Source of happiness where the Almighty says in Surah Asr: “ By the token of time Man is in loss, except such as have faith and do righteous deeds and join together in the mutual teaching of truth and of patience and constancy.” As long as we attach our happiness to material things it will always elude us.

Simplicity is the key that opens the door.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


*hijacked, shot...bewildered!