Suzie wondered what will be my next topic to blog about....
Well Suzie, wonder no longer because this post comes from you!
Suzie and L_Oman have been thinking about their fellow bloggers and I do too. I always stare at my list and run mental checks on each name. Sometimes I can't click because of time but I see the name and think about them. Offline I think about them too and hope things are going smoothly for them. You all are in my du'as literally and may they come to pass. SO I'm playing this Tag! What do I wonder about my top fav bloggers? Quite a lot actually!
First I have the most incredible base of sisters in my Private Blog Truth Hurts. They listen to me go on and on for long winded posts -mostly without complaint- and give me solid good advice to live on. Without them I'd be a blubbering shell of nothing...blubbering to myself....
Angry Muslimah and Miss Muslimah are no longer with us in the bloggingland but they are always in my heart and I constantly wonder how they are and if things are going smoothly for them yet.
Aalia from Chasing Jannah is always making me wonder ever so randomly when she's ever going to get her behind here to UAE lol. And when she gets here , if she ever does, will she really like me as much as she seems to in blogland?
Saffiyah from Shaalom 2 Salam, I wonder how her moving is going and if things are getting squared away and if her health esp in Ramadan is holding up. I wonder if she's ever written a book. I wonder if one day I'll meet this strong and amazing woman.
Umm Ibrahim from Stranger in This Dunya, I wonder how a woman with so much responsibilities and kids and so much cooking has time to write and type up such delicious recipes. I appreciate her words of wisdom but I drool over her Fudge and Lemon-Meringue Tarts wishing time would slow down so I could be more great in the kitchen.
3rd Lady always seems to have an amazing new insight to share with us on her blog and I wonder a lot about her life and the fabulous advices she gives me. I do wonder what religion she is but I'm thankful that no matter what that is she understands the Higher Power we both believe in and can relate to what I say and believe in. I wonder if she will enjoy raising a family in Polygamy or will she feel trapped as time goes on. I surely hope she can deal with it because she seems so strong and she deserves a beautiful family of her own.
Jayne with a Y.... ah my dear when Will I get to meet this unique personality? She reminds me so much of my best friend's mother growing up that I feel at home even more here in UAE. I saw a Harley Davidson shop in Abu Dhabi and I admit I did look carefully at the windows wishing I could catch a glance of perhaps her. Insha'Allah one day. I wonder when that day will come when I can hear in my own ear her particular emphatic brand of cursing and feel more like I never left USA.
Habayeb from A Learning Muslimah another one I wonder when i can meet up with this awesome lady. I'd love to have a chance to sit down in a park and chat about life. I wonder why for the longest time i thought she was local emiratian but then I got mixed up and figured she's not local.....where are you from Heb? Oh and when are you going to get more awesome songs on your playlist because I leave your blog playing non-stop while I worked around the house in Ramadan cause i love the three songs you have but then Ya Taiyba started stuttering and I was down to two until my daughter was like "I don't want this anymore turn it off!" When Heb WHEN!
Is There Food On My Niqaab .... I wonder where she comes up with her blog posts from... they are always super in content and always make me think.
Marahm, iMuslimah, My Hijab, American_Bedu, Ammena, Abez Sez and OWL I check you all very regularly and wonder if life is going smooth for you.
Last but not least Suzie of Suzie's Adventures (in Saudi), is the only blog I subscribe to in my e-mail because I want to be sure when she posts I don't miss it. Always something new and interesting that reminds me of my first days in the Middle East. What I wonder about her is when and if she will ever look deeply and reflect deeply about how to strengthen her Imaan because if she starts covering Islamic topics in conjunction with her more cultural observations then her blog will beat most of ours in my whole blogroll for content. I enjoy her posts most about her reflections on religion and hope she'll do more. I hope she continues to have a beautiful attitude towards the Middle East and doesn't become Jaded as many before her have.
I do try my best to go through my whole long list of fellow bloggers once ever week or two weeks if I'm swamped because I do love all your blogs and I wonder how you are. As I said above even if I can't click your name one day I will think of you and keep you in my du'as.
YOU ALL ARE TAGGED!!!!!
Suzie wondered what will be my next topic to blog about....
Abu Sinan-Sayf reminded me with this post how much I love reading about how people feel more free after they have tossed out old junk. It's like putting your house on a diet for a more healthier lifestyle.
Not only you have to watch what new things you feed your house (bringing in stuff) but you have to exercise your house to burn calories. Well actually YOU'RE burning the calories by carting out that junk!
There are a lot of great places to get money for your goodies and of course it's always acceptable to do this especially if it cost you a lot to gain the product. But sometimes because of emotional attachment we don't throw stuff we should. This is akin to a fat person NOT dieting because they are comfortable in their skin and are afraid of change. But to move on to better things in our lives and to be more healthy for sure we must get rid of even the emotional things that are really not usefully everyday. Just keep the bare minimum of mementos if you MUST. Like one baby dress and booties for each child. Scan important art and papers into your computer to keep on a skinny little CD file I guarantee it takes less space that way.
But back to getting rid of things. Abu Sinan-Sayf mentioned E-Bay and many commented that they just gave stuff away and I want to reiterate this fact that it IS a form of Charity to do so. Sure you may get $500 for that sofa set but I promise you there are poor peope who would kiss your feet if you gave it to them for free. They'll keep it lovingly until it's in tatters and they are forced to BUY something new which will probably take over 10 years for most families. You have let a family be happier than they would have been for a WHOLE 10 YEARS! Powerful Charity right there. Donate your CDs to friends, Blankets and clothes to relatives or shelters.
In UAE all my donations of clothes go first to my neighbors then if I feel they wouldn't need it I send it with my husband to doll it out between the poor Indian and Pakistani workers in the workshop he visits. So then they take it home on their vacations to their families and children. The toys I give to them are ones in good shape that my kids are bored with or haven't played with in over a month. Other kids would be happier with them. or sometimes you just get too many of those annoying happy meal toys and have to do a sweep-out.
So even if you are in the C/D/F scale of poverty you can still do powerful charity. They feel good, you feel good and your house will look awesome slimmed down and roomier!
My four finger stand up tall,
Reaching up to touch it all.
What will I reach?
Perhaps a fuzzy peach?
Perhaps a pink butterfly?
Glittery, twinkling to my eye.
Many thing I want to learn,
In my seat I twist and turn,
A joyous laugh,
A gentle bath,
Nightly to sleep I go,
Wake to four and say hello.
-Brandy A Chase (c)2008
(My daughter turned FOUR on Sept. 18th and her cousin turned 2, same day)
I was reading Habayeb's blog about this subject of using hands over thikr beads. She makes very good points that on the day of Judgement our body parts will speak of what they were made to do by us and if it is good then Allahu Alim we get more reward. One can always make the argument that you are moving the beads with your hands too but as Habayeb also points out you do concentrate more using your hands to keep the counting correct.
I have spent lots of time approx the equivalent of two months trying to find a finger system that works that I can do on one hand because the right hand is favored. I wanted a system that I could keep track of each 33, and each 100. Finally success to the point where I prefer it to my beads. My hands after all are always with me never to be lost or (inshallah) broken and scattered across the floor to roll under a table.
Here is a picture I've made showing my counting method:
As you can see I start with the index (1st) finger and touch each digit part. The top finger pad, the middle link, the lower section of the finger, then the pad right under the finger on the palm, then touch the center of the palm. I follow this along each finger in turn until i get to the thumb. As it is missing a digit link I touch the top of the thumb by the nail, then the finger pad, then the middle digit, then the ball of the thumb under it, then the center.
This completes a count of 25, five counts per finger line. Easy to remember. To do 33 you follow the hand around once then do the index again and the middle finger to the third digit. Then for the next 33 start over at the beginning of the index. To do 100 you do the full hand 4 times. Easy-peasy. It's my method and I'm not changing it for the world. Try it and see if you like it too! If not tell me what is hard about it and if you have a better system let me know too.
Stepping on the front edge and ripping the velco closures open...
Rolling the grocery cart over the edge and jamming the cart...
Kids stepping on it and tripping me...
This is my reality with the abaya. I love my abaya and I beleive in wearing the abaya to cover the awrah but I agree that the style can be varied.
In Lebanon the trend is to wear the abaya exactly at ankle length. To wear it longer than that is "HARAM!" and you will get looks and clucks of disproval. I have seen some women wearing it at mid calf even but when I tried to wear my short abaya at knee length it was promptly removed from my closet by my mother-in-law as a disgrace. The norm is a full length button down abaya usually having pockets (alhamdulliah) and sometimes collars and shoulder-pad (which I removed). I use the word "trend" because it is not fully an islamic adhearance. But having not known anything different and the whole country pretty much like this you just start to follow -blindly. They follow the rule that to drag one's clothes is haram because of arrogence. So those who drag are seen as arrogent and they justify this further by pointing at their wealthier sisters from the gulf who drag and can afford to buy new abayas if theirs get too dirty or ripped. Normally under this ankle length abaya is a long skirt (ankle length too and not showing too much under the abaya hem --now now ladies be proper!) and under that some bloomer style pants going to just below the knee or also down to the ankle. They then stuff the bottoms of these bloomers into their knee-high stockings or socks to keep them from view. The result is visably stocking ankles and then shoes. The stockings get me rilled up because some women wear beige which is the same color as their skin or so sheer you can tell their skin color under them...both of which don't adhere to islamic womens dress code of covering skin color. So this is Lebanon.
Now imagine my disgust and my nose sticking up in the air (just a bit!) at coming to U.A.E. and seeing hems all over the place from ankle length (Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptians) to almost bridal train length. Black cloth mopping the floors as they go. I watched them stunned, their dresses didn't get sucked into the esscalators and they glided off. I thought them arrogent and stupid for dragging perfectly good abayas all over the filthy ground. My mother-in-law would tsk til she's blue in the face. (umm and she did when she came here.)
Then researching for this post (where I planned to slam these arrogent gulf sisters for dragging) it took me 5 google tries before I came up with a fatwa about abaya length and I was shocked but the back of my mind always knew this to be right.
It says from a hadith that an abaya should not only be long and trailing but it must be so to cover the feet completly. I was naturally just stunned. Yet again I felt this to be right. I always wore black thick socks so no one could see my stockinged feet.
Here is the article with the hadith for your own viewing:
Ruling On Women Clothing
Written by Muhammad Taftazani
Saturday, 05 April 2008
Trailing the Hem of a Garment for a Woman Hadeeth No. 460 from Silsilah Ahadeeth as-Saheehah By the Muhadith, Allama, Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Nasir ud-Deen al-Albaani
"On the authority of Umm Salamah : that when the Messenger of Allaah -SallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – said what he said about trailing the hem of a garment for the woman.
Umm Salamah mentions: then I asked: O Messenger of Allaah! How should we trail the hem of a garment? He said: Trail it by a hand span. Umm Salamah said: But the feet become uncovered! Then he said: Then trail it a forearms length."
I (al-Albaani) say: In this hadeeth there is a proof showing that the feet of a woman are 'Awrah (i.e. those parts of the body that must be covered) and this was a matter that was well known amongst the women at the time of the Prophet sall'Allaahu alayhi wasallam.
Since, when the Prophet said: 'Trail it by a hand span,' Umm Salaamah said: "Then the feet become uncovered" and from this, one feels that she knew that the feet are from the 'Awrah. It is not permissible to uncover them and the Prophet - SallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam - reaffirmed that for her and that is why he commanded her to trail her garment a forearm's length.
In the Noble Qur'aan there is a reference to this fact and that is the saying of Allaah Ta'aala: ((And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment )) Soorah Noor: 31
Shaykh al-Albaani was asked a question regarding trailing the hem of the Hijaab for the woman: "Is it a condition that it should trail by a hand span or a forearm's length?"
The shaykh answered by saying: "This condition is if the clothing of a woman was like the clothing of the women in the past, i.e. because the women before used to only wear a Kamees (long dress) i.e. like a thobe. This means they did not wear a sirwaal (like pyjamas) nor socks, nor anything that would cover her shins nor her feet, except this long kamees which used to be dragged along the floor, which is generally known as the Abaya. Nowadays if a woman wears socks or perhaps a long sirwaal, even though this is not common, then it is sufficient for the jilbaab to cover the top of her feet. It is not necessary for the hem of the garment to be dragging along the floor except in the situation when she cannot find, from her clothing, the likes of a sirwaal or socks etc. because, verily the Messenger - alayhis sallam- ordered her to lengthen her garment fearing that anything of the 'Awrah of her feet or shins be uncovered. So, if they are covered with clothing or socks and over the top of them is the long Jilbaab then it is not necessary, in this situation, for the hem of the garment to be dragging along the floor.
Questioner: May Allaah reward you The Shaykh: May Allaah preserve you. Questioner: So it is understood from your speech, that there is no problem if the shoes become uncovered or some of the socks are shown? The Shaykh: No, I said to you that the Jilbaab should cover the top of the feet. Then you also mentioned shoes, the condition for the shoes is that they shouldn't be decorated, because nowadays most women's shoes are decorated. Questioner: May Allaah reward you The Shaykh: May Allaah preserve you. Taken from 'silsilat Huda wa noor' - tape no. 565 at 21.49 mins.
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance. Translated by Fahrat Abass Abu Yahya
So by all this we can see that covering the ankles AND FEET is required for women. This also explains more to me why my Emeratian friend in Dubai told me they are taught from very young to consider the ankles as something "Ay'b" so show even among other women. I now have lost my arrogent thoughts that these floor moppers were doing something "HARAM" and have now feel duely educated that I and indeed Lebanon are in the wrong. Yet as this shiekh points out wearing socks and shoes that cover properly are sufficiant too yet the hadith says to lengthen the garment. To Lebanon's defence though you do NOT want to be draggin' your hems down Lebanon's dirty sidewalks, especially on a rainy day, ESPECIALLY in the poorer sections of the country like SABRA MARKET where filth and old blood from butchers and only Allah knows what kind of najasa (impurities) are on the streets. I don't even like my shoes to touch the ground there much less drag my dress which I will later pray in.
Which leads me to my next question: If you are dragging to follow the sunnah how do you know when you are praying that there is not filth on your abaya which invalidates your prayers?
Question2: If you are not wearing socks then how can you lift up your abaya to walk up stairs without men seeing your awrah?
So although now my opinion has changed alhamdulliah, still, I trip with ankle length abayas, I would be a walking disaster if I dragged my mop.
I was recently thinking "How poor am I?" I tried to think of a scale and used the American grading scale for my example.
: Normal: Can afford international plane tickets at the drop of a hat (C+), Middle Class Citizens (C), Struggling to keep up appearances of Middle Class but not in debt or under 1,000USD debt(C-)
: Struggling: Can afford home, food, has clothes on back, under 5,000USD* in debt (D+), can only afford home, basic foods like rice, meats, veggies, has clothes on back rarely new though, between 5,000USD to 8,000* USD in debt (D), can only afford studio-one room home, basic foods like rice and meats, gets constantly second hand clothes, between 8,000USD and 12,000USD* OR not in debt but still reduced to basics (D-)
: Poor: Living at the basic means, studio or shack, rice and sometimes meats and veggies, always needs donations of food and clothes, heavily in debt 10-20,000USD* or living in a region of extreme poverty (F+), Living at basics but unable to provide anything for family (F), Starving, stick house, over 25,000USD* in debt, not able to provide for self much less family (F-)
A lot of my current stress came from the fact that someone had illegally used my bank account to buy purchases in Illinois, USA while I slept unknowingly in Al-Ain, UAE. My bank account shows MINUS $500 in the hole. On top of that I got another $100 overdraft charge. So my card had to be renewed and flown to me across the world and I had to fill out all these papers and my account is frozen until this is cleared up. I thought it was a completely weird but random accident. I mentioned this to my doctor though and she said that was interesting because another of her patients experienced the same thing. I thought hmmm... very odd. The next day as I was buying my daughter a little cupcake on the way home from Jummah I saw an article as I was browsing the headlines.
break into UAE credit network to fund US purchases
"- Abu Dhabi // An international investigation is under way to find hackers
believed to have stolen information from financial servers in the UAE to
make fraudulent credit and debit card purchases in the US. The scheme came
to light after a number of employees at the US Embassy – and a handful of
other US citizens – had unauthorised purchases show up on their credit and
debit cards in recent months, prompting the embassy to issue a warning on
"Visa told her that the intrusion had happened “at the processor level”,
which she said suggested that computer hackers had penetrated the electronic
records of organisations that acted as middlemen between merchants and credit
card companies such as Visa and MasterCard...........
"The case has also prompted concerns that security measures designed to
protect personal financial information may be too lax in the UAE.
Numerous establishments in Abu Dhabi print customers’ full details, such as customer names, entire card numbers and expiration dates, on receipts. Many countries, including the US, have laws requiring such details be truncated to prevent
sensitive information from being stolen...........
"“The hackers sell data to anyone who cares to buy,” said Mr Johnson. “They
might advertise it on the internet, and then resell it further down the chain.
Hackers could be from Eastern Europe, for example, and sell their stolen data to
people who make clone cards in Latin America.”.............
"Recent years have seen an increasing number of credit card and get-rich-quick schemes in the UAE, which have wrested millions of dirhams from residents.A Middle East manager for an anti-fraud division of a large international bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there had been a rise in so-called “skimming” incidents at ATM machines. Under a typical skimming scheme, criminals rig ATM machines with card-reading data and cameras to steal pin codes. They then compile the information to make clone debit cards............"
Man did I buy that paper in a heartbeat! I ran back to my car and exclaimed to my husband, "I WAS FRAUDED!!!" I showed him the article (click the headline above) and read it to him as we drove home. It was amazing that such a big company like VISA couldn't protect it's bankees. One of the largest companies in the world had hacker problems and I was one of it's victims. If it wasn't for this article I would have thought it a random illegal use. Not part of an international investigation. Amazing.