Sunday, October 28, 2007

guess what?

i had a halal subway..
cause for celebration people..
mmm a chicken subway, i have dreamt of such an experience, and the dream became a reality, subway is turning halal, it was so exciting to read the halal sign outside the subway just round the corner from the town hall.

my next one will be turkey breast...

so cool yipeeeeeee

Sunday, October 21, 2007

its funny how the day can start so well, and things are going according to our plans, yet in the midst of things realisation can hit us and remind us of the life we live and that suddenly one day those whom we love may no longer be a phone call away.

on friday afternoon, i rushed home to clean the house, my mum was coming back from Dubai, and for a whole 10 days it was me and the boys, so the house standard was not up 2 scratch of course due to the boys...

whilst scrubbing away at the kitchen floor, the phone rang, i answered and was happy to hear my uncles voice all the way from Libya, although he thought i was thabet (people always mistake our voices!!!!).

he didnt actually sound to good, and he asked for my dad, to which i told him he wasnt available, so i was the one to recieve the news of the passing away of my grandmother.

inillah wa inna illyhee raj3oon (to allah we belong and to him we return).

it was as if some one had thrown a bucket of ice cold water over my head, i went numb, and i didnt know how to react, 00kitty was sat in the kitchen with me and thank god she was there as i was alone at home and it felt good to have a friend to break the news to.

i think the fact that i had to inform my father caused me more stress and prevented me from breaking down and crying. its not an easy thing to tell some one that there mother had returned to her creator.

i sit here typing away with tears in my eyes filling up ready to unleash onto my cheeks, tears of sadness, partly for my father and partly for missing out on years of not living with her or growing up with her in my life due to the political situation and for that i always curse a particullar so called 'leader'.

my memories of my grandmother i will cherish for a long time and each time i remember her i smile, never have i heard a harsh word from her, all she offered where smiles and the last few years of her life she became even more special as she was the last living grandparent.

i couldnt have asked for a better grandmother may allah have mercy on her soul.

i pray that Allah swt accepts her efforts of the life she lived, that he grants her jannah and that i am not denied seeing her in the after life.

Hajja Fatima you will forever be in our hearts and your memory will live on.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

on Tuesday i had an informal appointment at the BBC, it was a Muslim/Media networking event an opportunity for journalists and Muslim guests to make links and exchange information.
i was invited as a trainee counsellor, they wanted Muslims from different sectors of the community, and it was a chance for us to question those behind the media on anything we wanted.

i did the mistake of eating before going, which i regretted as soon as i saw the buffet, food glorious food and all halal :)

i arrived at the reception desk and ticked my name off and signed in and was taken to the BBC canteen where the event was being held.

i had actually arrived early, i was contemplating on sticking to the stereo type of being late for everything, but i guess the point of this event was to shatter stereotypes.

every one had name badges, name badges always make me laugh for some reason, and its always funny to watch people bend slightly to read my name and then pronounce it, laugh and then ask if they had pronounced my name correctly, to which hardly any one ever gets right even after telling them how to pronounce my name.
but i am pro name badges, they make life that much easier, i think every one should wear name badges, it would prevent future awkward situations from happening, like when you see some one you haven't seen in donkeys years and you completely forget there name yet they remember yours, and worse when your with some one and your expected to introduce them, having name badges would prevent the embarrassment of forgetting peoples names.

if i ruled the country i would introduce this as a law :)

we where expected to mingle, walk around introduce ourselves to one another, i saw 2 sisters sat down so i zoomed in on them and forced my presence on them, they where really nice and where very embracing, what peeves me off are uppity sisters, those who will not make efforts with people they don't know so end up giving 'strangers' the cold shoulder.

I'm glad to say these sisters where quite the opposite, they where also in the social field, and we got talking about culture versus Islam and soon enough had others joining us, the first being the weather man!

pretty funky dude, really bubbly and the conversation began about the weather lol but that didn't last long, we soon got talking about food and that soon led to culture v religion which funnily enough led onto the conversation of alcohol!

he was saying that he knew quite a few Muslim lads who drank, and how many Muslim country's allow alcohol, he mentioned Mali and Qatar, so in his opinion it depends upon the country's definition of Islam.

i told him that in Islam there are differences of opinions, and its healthy to have this, some one had mentioned the 4 school of thoughts as an example, but what i told him was essential was that the fundamentals stay the same and there are no differences of opinions when it comes to this, he asked for examples, so i told him not associating partners with god, believing in prophet Muhammad as well as all the other prophets, accepting his sunnah etc.. prayers, fasting, paying in alms etc...

abstaining from alcohol, not commiting adultery or fornication etc.. all aspects that are not arguable in Islam, to which he pointed out those countries that are deemed Islamic yet allow for certain things such as alcohol.

so i told him of my opinion that really there is no such thing as an 'Islamic country' not even Saudi, Muslim countries, yeh i suppose, but not Islamic, as of yet not a single Muslim country bases its laws completely on shariah.

i thought the word shariah might open up another avenue of conversations and i am always weary of talking about shariah as my knowledge in this matter is not up 2 scratch, but surprisingly it didn't, instead the topic lead onto the quran and accepting it as word of god, and then that lead onto the fact that he knew 100% that his neighbour was committing adultery, so he turned around to me and asked : 'so according to the quran, would i be responsible for the stoning'

loooooooool, well what do you say to something like that?

i told him that he was taking matters very superficially, it wasn't a case of blood thirsty people wanting any excuse to stone, if anything Islam places barriers to prevent stoning such as having to have 4 witnesses which is near to impossible unless you publicly act out!!!

the encouragement in Islam to hide sins and not indulge in talking about your own sins or others, the matter of sitir (covering each others faults etc..).

the conversation then ended when some one else came and introducded themselves and we began talking about Muslims perceptions of the media.

it was a great night, and i enjoyed myself thoroughly, and it was great meeting journalist, producers and directors, and it was encouraging of the BBC to hold such events.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

at the moment I'm swimming in post, if i was to tip all the post onto the floor it would reach above my knees.

here in Britain we have been experiencing a postal strike, basically no post because the post man is depressed.

that means that at my work place we haven't had letters delivered to us for the past 2 weeks!!! now considering how we deal with 4 major hospitals in Manchester as well as health centres, as well as private therapy, we really cant afford to have our post delayed even 2 days never mind 2 weeks.

hence the reason why i am swimming in letters.

post man pat is soooo over rated, i think the last time i saw our post man smile was hmmmm never!
ok so i know they have issues and probably the pay is horrendous etc etc etc but i think if it may have disastrous affects on peoples health then exceptions should be made, not impressed in the least.

so annoying....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

praying in congregation with your fellow Muslim sisters or brothers is infinitely an amazing experience, and i didn't realise how much i have missed this feeling this Ramadan until the 27 th night, i hadn't prayed tarawih at a mosque at all this year, instead praying at home every night and although it has been very tranquil for me and spiritually uplifting in its own way, praying with friends and fellow brethren of the faith is a completely different experience.
i had planned to spend the majority of the night at the mosque and all day i was extremely excited, and entering the mosque that night my heart was beating so fast and it hit me that i had missed coming to the mosque for the amazing night prayers.

walalhi i felt so emotional, and seeing friends and fellow sisters who i am used to seeing on a weekly basis at the Tuesday circle really brought tears to my eyes, for some reason i saw every one in a different light and i felt touched by every one presence,
i know this must sound really soppy and maybe even exaggerated but i swear that's how i felt, and if i could choose to be any where at that particular moment i don't think i would have changed my place and would have chosen to be praying at the mosque with my groupies :)

i guess i felt emotional at the thought of Ramadan ending which sadly at the moment is packing its bags and it feels like already a vast emptiness is descending, i always feel a sense of sadness when the last day of the fast ends and maghreb approaches, knowing that there will be no tarawih prayers, i swear the atmosphere changes.

Ramadan is training for the soul, it is a rejuvenating and re-energising of our eman, a polite reminder as to how we have been living our lives and what needs to be changed, and a break away from the habit that is life, but defiantly Ramadan is supposed to be continued through out the year.

i pray from the bottom of my hear that the candle of iman that was lit during Ramadan continues until the next Ramadan, for who knows whether we will live to see another blessed Ramadan.

eid mubarak dearest bloggers, Allah swt is congratulating us through his gift of eid for the hard efforts we hopefully put into Ramadan, may eid be a joyous occasion that will fill your hearts with happiness and a zest to continue the Ramadan spirit.
3aseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeda oh how i love you...

Friday, October 05, 2007

the other day i cooked iftar, quite an occasion i tell you!

it was a case of having to wake up early and do some shopping, every thing was going well until i ventured into the butchers shop.

i saw one of my neighbours so got chatting to her, it was her turn to be served, all the time at the back of my head i kept thinking 'what am i going to order?' i swear i had no idea of the quantity or even the name of the meat, silly i know but i never buy meat this was a first for me.

so i decided to call my mums friend, this is how the conversation went:

me: sallam

lady: wallykum asallam, how are you?

me: I'm fine hamdullilah, hope you and the girls are well

lady: hamdullilah there good

me: ok khwalah, maneebeesh nakhid min wagtik (i dont want to take much of your time) I'm at the butchers and i want to buy la7am (meat) for sharbah leebeyah (libyan soup) lakin wallahi manee 3arafa rasee min reejlayah (i have no idea what im doing) whats the name of the meat?

lady: laughing (i so new she would) walahi habeebty la7am a7mar (red meat)

me: red meat??? will he understand me if i say to him red meat?

lady: inshallah

me: i thought it was called habrah

lady: that's Libyan he wont understand you.

me: oh ok, any way jazakh allah khairn

yep so i was even more confused, so i decided to take my chances and make a fool of myself, so when my turn came i approached the bearded brother, coughed, smiled and said i would like....

before i even completed the sentence, a lady starts shouting 'why you go and serve her before me, Ive been waiting all dis time' hands on hips, sucking her teeth.

to which i turned around to her and said 'i don't think so, i will have you know i was waiting in line, you on the other hand have appeared from now where'

so the result was a dirty look thrown my way and the butcher not wanting any trouble decides to serve her, so obviously shes putting in her order all the while i am staring at her side profile, after a minute of me staring she decides to turn around to me and says' ladyyyyy why don't you beat me up?'


me: beat you up? ladyyyyy your not worth it

my god the reaction was hilarious, she was completely offended by my words, started huffing an puffing, then looks me up and down and says:

'what do you mean not worth it? I'm worth beating up, why not? who do you think you are?

me: with a smile on my face, how dare you push in front of me and all these other people who where waiting? your attitude and manners are completely disgusting'

with that she took her bag of chicken legs and left the shop...

so again i approached the man and i told him, 'i would like umm ummm diced meat pleat'

man: diced meat?
me: yes....

man: ok, how much?

me: aaaaaaaaaaaaaah what do i ay what do i say, 'ummm a handful'

man: handful?

me: yep (trying to sound confident, aware that many eyes where watching me)

man: a kg of meat

me: yes that sounds great

yipeeeee i made it, i managed to buy meat

Monday, October 01, 2007

last year Ramadan on radio Ramadan i dedicated a programme to discuss woman and the mosque, and it proved to be a controversial topic, i blogged about it, a whole year has passed and the opportunity came up for me to join in a discussion about Islam and culture focusing on the topic of woman and mosques.

I'm doing the children's programme, i guess they didn't want me to get into topics deemed 'controversial', a friend of mine is doing programmes on another radio Ramadan in another area so she invited me over and i happily agreed to stir things up hee hee.

a question was asked whether we had encountered any experiences of culture clashing with religion, and of course i had to talk about being banned from a particular mosque for the soul reason of being a 'woman'. the topic then moved onto mosque committees and i said that i didn't see a problem in woman sitting on the mosque committee, and it took literally seconds for a caller to ring up the radio, it was a lady who had a bone to pick with my opinions.

basically she said that it is not right for woman to sit on a committee for mosques as it is wrong for woman to lead men (who said anything about leading???) plus no woman should have an opinion as her husbands opinion is more than enough and she should be happy with all that he says, and he is her spokes person and this should be applied for all woman!!!!

plus woman should stay at home, they have no need to leave the house, and if they need to pray they can pray in the comfort of there own homes, and a woman should not leave the house even for education!!!

some one shoot me

how bizarre, i always get dumbstruck when i hear such ignorant views, and when i asked the lady where her opinion where from she said it was what she has been told all her life and she added 'its not culture its religion'?????

well i don't know what religion she seems to follow but mine certainly has given me my rights for education, praying in a mosque, having a life for crying out loud!!!

what peeves me of is that Allah gave me my rights yet culture and certain MEN are intent on taking it away, how rude!!!