Saturday, May 05, 2007

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Posted at 5/5/2007 8:14:43 pm by zremmas
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Sunday, November 13, 2005
The Almaghrib Experience

Asalam alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

The class Rules of Engagement was changed to The Code Evolved. Alhamdulillah it was taught by Sheikh Yaser Birjas.

It's nearly impossible to sum up the incredible 6-day class in one blog entry. There are a few things which are ingrained deeply though. So here are the top 10 moments of TCE (although every moment was incredible) (disclaimer: I purposely did not include any notes as I am unable to rank them in amazing-ness.)

  • 10: Strawberry short-cake.
  • 9: Scouting for a snack machine at UofM (a group of former UofM sisters and outoftowners hunting for a candy/drink machine, getting a bit lost and dashing back to make it in time for the lecture.)
  • 8: Not feeling like chicken tonight. (All the almaghribers- ages ranging from 16- 60- stood up with their elbows out, saying these awe-inspiring words in unison...while flapping. =P)
  • 7:Swings in the playground (Alhamdulillah!! Swings are awesome anywhere. Swinging with cool Almaghrib-Mubeeny sisters is even more awesome. =) )
  • 6: It is better to have studied under a chandelier than a candlelight.
  • 5:Sheikh Yasir reciting Ghuraba. (MashaAllah...I can still hear it.)
  • 4:Sheikh Yasir leading us in salaah.
  • 3:Bonding with my Mubeenys over chunky chocolate cookies.
  • 2:The Fragrance of the Child story. (Sh. Yasir reached into his pocket and pulled out a very tiny thing. I couldn't see it from where I was. He said, "this is a little clip from my daughter's hair. When I opened my suitcase, it was right there... the first thing I did, without thinking, I smelt it. The fragrance of a child is really something else for a parent..." He continued with his stories until he had us all nearly in tears.)
  • 1: Realizing how little we truly know.

  • Posted at 11/13/2005 10:35:06 pm by zremmas
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    Wednesday, August 31, 2005
    Rules of Engagement

    Islamic Code of Ethics
    Memphis, TN
    Sept 16-18;23-25
    Be there...

    Posted at 8/31/2005 11:46:38 pm by zremmas
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    Saturday, April 30, 2005
    They would lay down their lives in an instant...

    This entry is so overdue.

    My friend and I were reviewing for our Seerah exam. As we flipped through Ar Raheeq Al Makhtum, we would point out important events and observations. We digressed as we started talking about how Medina is still reminscent of his(saw) presence. That when you walk down the paths, and through the fields... you realize, that he (saw) was here. SubhanAllah, she felt that... I sighed, making du'a that I could go someday.

    When I used to listen to stories of the sahaba, the love and sacrifices they made for Islam, and RasulAllah(saw), it was always astonishing. They would give up their lives, their comforts, be tormented for someone who was previously a noble, trustworthy man, yes... but some of them did not even know him before the call of Islam. As I read more and more of the seerah, I began to understand.

    During the Second Pledge of Aqabah, Abul Haitham At Taihan, interuppted and said "O Prophet of Allah! Between us and the Jews, there are agreements which we would then sever(by signing the pledge)! If Allah grants you power and victory, should we expect that you would not leave us, and join the ranks of your people(meaning Quraish)? "

    He(saw) smiles and replies : "Nay, it would never be; your blood will be my blood. In Life and death I will be with you and you with me. I will fight whom you fight and make peace with whom you make peace."

    SubhanAllah!! No wonder his companions were so loyal to him, he was loyal to them!! That type of sincerity, love, leadership, wisdom... sadly was buried with RasulAllah(saw). Even in english it softens the heart, and makes you almost cry. The arabic will blow you away. How do you miss him, although you've never met him? It is only his wisdom, and beauty that you've felt faint and faded whispers of...yet you love him more than any other man. No wonder the sahaba would lay down their lives in the blink of an eye to protect him, and to preserve Islam...

    Posted at 4/30/2005 12:06:26 am by zremmas
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    Monday, April 18, 2005
    More lambs...

    Sacrificial lambs
    in rows awaiting slaughter
    for name, for fame, for honour
    to retain, or attain acceptance

    Let the utopian dreams
    all the pieces turn to dust
    and scatter in the breeze

    Its ok
    They were only a delusion
    Had we reached out
    to attain them
    they would not be
    all we had imagined ...

    Every so often on a
    soft summer day
    when the breeze comes my way
    no wonder I think,
    this almost feels like utopia

    Posted at 4/18/2005 7:59:53 pm by zremmas
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    Thursday, April 14, 2005
    To be or not to be ... a lamb

    Whethere or not I am a sacrificial lamb, or lamb of another variety ...I am surely not a poet. Despite that, here is an attempt I made. Enjoy...

    *Part One*

    Fleece as white as snow
    Hoping the inside will never show
    I am a lamb
    That I am

    Upon weak little limbs, I stand
    Fear of not fulfilling the demands
    I am a lamb
    That I am

    Now shorn skin of piety
    I am sacrificed to society
    I am a lamb
    That I am

    *Part Two*

    I am not a lamb
    No, I'm not
    I stand apart from the crowd
    Voice my beliefs aloud
    Stand tall, unbowed
    (before mankind)
    But fall in humility
    Soley before Rabee
    Wholey before Rabee

    I am not a lamb
    No, I am not
    Do you doubt me
    because of my stature?
    Oh foolish one
    Does that really matter?

    Posted at 4/14/2005 6:03:01 pm by zremmas
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    Sunday, April 10, 2005
    Feigning Content

    Contentment with little, and gratitude for what you have are virtues. Despite realizing their importance, and not being very worldy, in my heart these virtues always seemed a bit out of reach. I'd feign content, so that perhaps I wouldn't be counted amongst the ungrateful ones. I was content that I was alone surrounded by people who didn't understand, and didn't care to understand. I was content in the incredible amount of effort it took to make myself get up(no, not get up for fajr =P), and get through the day- without completely breaking down. I began to realize, this act I was putting on... might fool others. They'd think I was passive, patient, and could adapt well to change and bear the pressures of being a sore thumb.

    But it was just an act. How long would it go on? Even if it went on forever, I was never at peace with myself. "Oh woes me!!" ( I didn't say it, but I sure thought it)... "Oh pooooor me!!! Having to put up with all of this wretchedness, this terrible lonliness." Pretty pathetic, huh? I would pray to Allah(swt) to get me out of this situation...every night with tears brimming my eyes and a choked sob in my heart. "Oh woesssss me!! Allah(swt) make my situation better!!" (I poke fun of myself a bit, but I was really in pain, its only in hindsight that I realize what was going on.)

    Alhamdulillah, He(swt) did. I didn't get to run away to Yemen/Egypt to be an alimah. I didn't make a clique of muslimahs. I didn't get married to a brother(that's the best thing since sliced bread), and get a muslim community.

    Nope, but my situation got better,Alhamdulillah. I still live in the same area, with basically the same people, with a pretty non-existant muslim community. So how has my situation become better?

    I began to let go. I realized if there is a problem that I cannot change, then I must at least change my attitude about the problem. If for no other reason than to stand to live my life(however long or short) and not desperately seek refuge from it (my own life!).

    I really had to magnify everything that was beautiful to me, even here, in nowhere, America...and readjust the focus on things which I disliked. It might sound a bit "tree-hugger"-ish, but I would walk outside and simply breathe in the fresh air, and take in the smell of wet soil after a rainy day... feel the sun on my face. Bring everything back to the basics things in life, so that I could count my blessings and not that which I have been denied. There is so much wisdom in looking at the hardships of others. It makes you realize your own blessings. So what if I'm not surrounded by practicing sisters, Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal. That is definately a great thing to have, but for those of us who don't... you learn to live with it... There are people who do not have homes, or families, or food, or love. Some do not even expect these things in the near future. That helps readjust your focus. That helps make the contentment sincere. Not just feigning, but really being grateful to Allah(swt) for all that you DO have.

    Whatever it is that I don't have, is nothing in comparison to what I do. I have no room to complain. If there is a problem that I can't change, or am not willing to actively take part in changing it, the least I can do for my own happiness and gratitude to my Lord(who is most deserving), is be grateful. Like Dave Ramsey says when people ask him how he is doing, verily in truth he answers, " I am better than I deserve."

    We sure are Dave... we sure are.

    Posted at 4/10/2005 10:29:45 pm by zremmas
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    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Tashnuba Age 16.

    Jamaica, NY 11427

    The following information was recorded on April 05,
    2005. All information was recorded first hand from the
    parents of Tashnuba:

    Two weeks prior to March 24th Tashnuba a 16 year old
    high school student who attended Environmental Studies
    High School in Manhattan was visited by two detectives
    from the local precinct. The detectives came without
    warrants and spoke to Tashnuba’s mother. The
    detectives were identified by Tashnuba’s mother as one
    being Pakistani female and the other white American
    male who were both in civilian clothing. Tashnuba’s
    mother told them to come back when her husband was
    home, but the detectives insisted on talking to her
    and coming inside the house. They did not show her any
    warrant or any paper. Tashnuba’s mother sincerely let
    both detectives in. The detectives came in claiming to
    investigate Tashnuba’s absence from school while she
    never been to school since September 2004. Tashnuba’s
    mother explained that Tashnuba would be doing home
    schooling and will be obtaining a GED due to problems
    arising at school with her Islamic dress code and the
    school’s dress code. The male detective asked if
    Tashnuba had plans to go to Saudi Arabia. The female
    detective then proceeded to search the house and
    entered Tashnuba’s room. There the detective searched
    through Tashnuba’s belongings for more than one hour
    without any warrant. The next day Tashnuba’s mother
    received a phone call from the female detective who
    fabricated to Tashnuba’s mother that Tashnuba believed
    in extremist beliefs and promoted concepts like
    suicide bombing. Tashnuba made it very clear that she
    was pro-life and was against such concepts. The mother
    said she didn’t raise Tashnuba with such concepts.
    Tashnuba validated the fabrication made by the
    detectives and reaffirmed that she believes in a
    peaceful and pro-life religion.

    On March 24th Tashnuba was visited by two agents at 5
    AM in the morning. Her mother was approached and the
    agents told her they were from INS. Special Agents:

    Wai Tak Ng - Tel #: 646 – 335 – 7728
    Peter Decivces - Tel #: 646 – 773 – 8483

    came without any form of warrant or paper. They
    claimed they were from the Immigration and Customs
    Enforcement agency. The agents approached the mother,
    who did not speak English fluently, and requested that
    she sign a document (the father was not home at that
    morning). According to the mother the document was
    permission to only ask Tashnuba questions. The agents
    told her mother that the reason they were taking
    Tashnuba was because of a political asylum case and
    that her case was dismissed because she did not show
    up at her appointment date. According to Tashnuba’s
    mother there were about ten to twelve agents who came
    into the house and searched through the house for
    almost two hours. They confiscated Tashnuba’s
    computer, her reading materials including personal
    journals, notebooks and her mother’s cell phone. The
    agents insisted they take 16 year old Tashnuba alone
    with them to Federal Plaza and not her mother because
    of Tashnuba’s four month infant brother. Even though
    Tashnuba’s brother and sister were evolved in the same
    political asylum case only Tashnuba was taken and
    detained. She was held at the Plaza for eleven hours,
    from 7AM to 6PM. In tears Tashnuba’s mother said that
    at the Plaza Tashnuba was not questioned about her
    immigration but threatened that if she did not comply
    her brothers and sisters would be sent to foster homes
    and her parents would be deported back to Bangladesh.
    After being threatened Tashnuba was asked if she was
    part of any terrorist organizations and interrogated
    her about her beliefs and conviction in Islam.

    Tashnuba was then taken to Pennsylvania and held there
    at a youth detention facility at the following

    Berks Family Shelter Care Facility
    1243 County Welfare Road
    Leesport, PA 19533

    Till today she is being held there. Tashnuba who
    believes in wearing the Islamic veil the “nikab” is
    not allowed to wear the dress code at her current
    detention center. This violates her ability to
    practice her religion.

    The parents proceeded to contact an immigration lawyer
    to free their 16 year old daughter. The lawyer listed
    below was given $2,500 in advance and promised her
    release but the lawyer refused to show up on the first

    Brian J. Tucker
    212 – 840 - 0050
    1501 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036
    Suite #1819 or #1918

    The lawyer to date refused to directly communicate to
    the parents and said Pennsylvania was out of his way.
    According to the lawyer the judge has stated that the
    lawyer needs to provide evidence that she’s not a
    terrorist. Any inquiry made by the parents about the
    case was angrily rejected by the lawyer. The lawyer
    would not return phone calls and seems uncertain in
    representing Tashnuba’s case for the next hearing
    scheduled Friday, April 8, 2005.

    Upon her recent visit Tashnuba’s mother said she saw
    Tashnuba after two weeks and she was very upset.
    Officer and supervisor at the facility:

    Trish Peppy

    allowed the mother to see Tashnuba and speak to her.
    This was the first time they were allowed to speak to
    her and she told them of what events had taken place
    in the last two weeks.

    The family has been torn by the abduction and
    detention of 16 year old minor Tashnuba. Tashnuba’s
    family now live in fear. They are unable to sleep at
    night and keep all their doors and windows locked.
    They are even afraid to step outside. Tashnuba’s
    father said that it is a very difficult state for
    anyone to endure, to watch their child being taken
    away from them and not hear from them for more than
    two weeks. Tashnuba’s father believes his family is
    being singled out as Muslims like all the other Muslim
    Americans who have been harassed after September 11th.

    May Allah(swt) protect her and preserve her, ameen...

    Posted at 4/6/2005 8:02:00 pm by zremmas
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    Tuesday, April 05, 2005
    Nothing else would ever feel the way this does...

    A week ago, I had to get the oil changed. As I was checking out, the man at the register asked me," Have you ever read the Bible? Or thought about becoming a Christian?" Usually this is towards the middle of a conversation, but this time it begun with it. I told him, " I have and it just didn't make sense to me." I explained a bit further. He said he understood, but he could never worship idols the way I did. Obviously he had a warped understanding of what Islam is. I clarified.. we worship Allah, Al ilah, The Diety... the Creator and Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth, and all that is in it. The All Merciful, The All Seeing, The All Hearing, the Creator of Jesus, the only Diety worthy of worship.

    After he asked a few more questions. and I answered, he asked that I should meet his wife and stay in touch. I hope I do get to meet her.

    During English class, we were talking about the Rennaisance. The teacher was explaining that when King Henry viii decided to seperate from the catholic church (mostly so he could get a divorce without the pope's approval), calling the new church, "The Church of England", and created protestantism. She explained that although they kept alot of catholic rituals, they didn't have saints, or include Mary(ra) in their churchs. They were "purifying the religion, so it was just you, God and Jesus." Right, you God and Jesus. I spoke up... that it is blasphemous even according to Christ's teachings. Christ told the people to worship God, he himself called out to God, Allah(swt) niether begets, nor is he begotten. Why would you call out to Christ instead of calling out to the God of Christ. She saw my point...she moved on.

    Reflecting on these experiences, it seems like maybe they understand the concept... but for some reason aren't responsive to the call. It's almost alien and foreign to them. Anything other than Tawheed , worshipping only and only Allah(swt)... relying on Him for my needs, believing that only He has the power to grant me something or deny me it, yielding that if only He was pleased with me and everyone in the world were not that I would be okay- anything other than that... it would eat at my conscience and my soul. I could not pray to Jesus(ra) to save me, or Mary(ra) to redeem me, or Ali(ra) to help me, or Muhammad(pbuh) to grant me what I desired. My soul would not accept it and my heart would condemn me. Like a foreign object found in the body, it would be rejected and my soul would pound the walls of such a hypocritical shell. When I know that none can save me if Allah has forsaken me, and none can forsake me when my Lord has saved me... then there is no way that even the tip of my finger would accept pleading to anyone other than Him and Him alone.

    It seems like such a simple concept. It's amazing how its been corrupted... I don't understand because the awesomeness of Allah (swt)'s power and ability is apparent in everything around us and everything inside us. and we don't even see all of it. Why must people set up limitations for Him?

    Verily, He guides whom He wills. May He guide us, and keep our footing firmly on the straight path to lead us to Jannah, and His pleasure, ameen.

    Posted at 4/5/2005 10:23:57 pm by zremmas
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    Saturday, April 02, 2005
    Ode to My Beloved Papa

    As my mother bore the responsibility of carrying me within her womb for nine months, and aiding in my sustenance through her body, so has my father cherished and continuously maintained his responsibility of my care from the moment of my birth till now. Whether it was physical, emotional or spiritual needs he has been my rock to lean on, and a true supporter and maintainer in every sense of the word.

    Although sometimes it is his solidarity which has pressed me at times and tried my patience or even my sanity, I remind myself that the jewels put through the most extensive polishing are the most beautiful. Whether we agree on the path I take throughout my life or not, it is obvious from his voice, his demeanour, his gentle manner, and sometimes his aggressive manner that it is out of sincere love and concern for my well-being... in the dunya and akhira. My father is away right now, and I feel his absence more than I ever have before.

    You will never appreciate the silent sacrifices your fathers make for you until you feel the pang of sacrifice yourself. But as we may feel some doubt or hurt in making the sacrifice for someone else...our hearts may question it, our nafs may try to pull us away from it, know that your fathers do not think twice about it. The smile upon the face of their daughter, or to see her successful means more to him than any worldly pleasure of his own.

    Conversely, the affections and praise, the happiness of my father is second only to the hapiness of my Lord. I have been blessed incredibly with a father who not only loves me naturally because I am his daughter, but because he has understood my emotions, personality and temperment. He takes all of these into consideration and never assumes that I am like other girls my age. My father doesn't spoil me, and Alhamdulillah I see his wisdom in not doing so and am a better muslimah for it: it has taught me patience and helped stifled my nafs' excessive urges for possessions in the dunya.

    My father used to be a professor of biology and loves to talk about it which works out quite well, because I am a biology buff as well. We also like to sit down during dinner and just discuss what is going on in our lives and things that are important to us. Alhamdulillah I am glad that the relationship with my father is this way, because I can have other friends, but only he can be my father.

    "Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood - he and I will come (together) on the Day of Resurrection - and he interlaced his fingers (meaning in Paradise)." (Reported by Muslim)

    I hope that as he has helped me and pushed me towards the straight path and attaining jannah, that I can be a path to jannah for him as well.

    Posted at 4/2/2005 1:35:14 am by zremmas
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    Next Page

    Asalam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu

    Welcome to our blog !

    This is the joint blog of Hijabified* & zremmas. InshaAllah we'll post beneficial articles, ayah, & experiences upon which to reflect. =D

    so... have fun.

    Hijabified* ~ A Muslimah trying to get back her spirituality and inner peace in the US.

    Zremmas ~ "But those who fear Allah and keep their duty to their Lord (Allah), for them are built lofty rooms; one above another under which rivers flow (i.e. Paradise). (This is) the Promise of Allah: and Allah does not fail in (His) Promise. "(Surah Az-Zumar:20)


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    "My similitude and that of the life of this world
    is that of a traveler who took a rest at mid-day
    under a shade of a tree and then left it."
    (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim)

    Ayah for 4/21/2005
    "Verily we have given you a manifest victory."[48:1]

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