Monthly Archives: July 2008

Importance of Prayer

One of the fundamental basics of our religion is prayer. We observe the five prayers, for no other reason except that Allah SWT has commanded us to. It is important to recognize that Allah SWT has told us to pray and explains to us why we should do so:

 

 

 

“Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I, therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance”  (Qur’an 20.14)

 

“Verily, the prayer keeps one away from the great sins and evil deeds.” (Qur’an 29:45)

 

“The first matter that the servant will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” (At-Tabarani)

 

“If a person had a stream outside his door and he bathed in it five times a day, do you think he would have any filth left on him?”

The people said: “No filth would remain on him whatsoever.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said :

“That is like the five daily prayers: Allah wipes away the sins by them.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Let It Go

We just got back from Meijer (invariably our favorite store due to the fact that it is open at all hours of the night and day, which is fitting seeing as Hub-Bub works the night shift.)  This Meijer we go to has become our Little Neighborhood Store, complete with everyone knowing our names (especially since we are the only visitors at 3 in the morning when all the floor cleaners are out running their big, aisle-wide machines as we duck and dodge to try to stay out of their way.  I know they are aware of our real names, but I’m pretty sure they probably come up with some pretty creative names for us, too, at those times when they’re just trying to finish and go home.)

Anyway, the experience was not too bad of an ordeal, seeing as it was my first time using the WIC coupons.  The lady in the “self-checkout” area was super helpful and very nice .  I had to come to her about a million times seeing as I had to pay with a check and also then ring up the WIC stuff in a seperate transaction, but she was very polite and kind to us. 

I love when I meet nice people in positions that normally are filled by grumpy jerks.  This reminds me of a little incident that occurred last year.  Before I get into the whole story, I have to point out something:  This did occur an entire year ago, and I like to think that I have grown enough between then and now to where this kind of thing would no longer affect me. 

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the disclaimer out of the way, let me explain what happened:

My husband and I had been shopping at this Meijer and made it to the self-checkout line before realizing we forgot the bread.  My husband went back to get it for us, and as I began to check out my items, the screen started yelling at me to “remove all items” from the scanner.  Well, I hadn’t put anything through yet, so there weren’t any items anywhere, except for what was in my cart.  So I’m looking around and I can’t figure out why it’s telling me to remove items.  I’m hitting cancel, cancel, cancel to no effect until a lady pops up and says to me, “Ma’am, it’s your checkbook.”  So I’m like, “oh.”  And I move it off the scanner.  I start scanning everything and throwing it into bags, until I come to the bottle of iodine. 

The whole reason for going to Meijer that night was to buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.  My ridiculous cat had been spraying in the corner of the living room, and I’d found a homemade “recipe” online for removing the odor from the carpet (as opposed to buying the $50 per gallon professional stuff – which, I found out later, DOESN’T stain your carpet an orange-green color (they never mentioned that part in the homemade recipe.))  Part of the recipe required a small, minuscule amount of hydrogen peroxide.  But when we got to the store, then my husband insisted that we also buy iodine because it is much better for cuts and abrasions than hydrogen peroxide, even though it is red and looked suspicious to me.

However, once I scan it, I realize it costs $8 for a bottle, so I decide I don’t want it.  But there is no “Cancel Last Scanned Item” button anywhere on the screen.  So I say ‘forget this’ and I hit “cancel order” instead, just to delete the whole darn thing and start all over (without the $8 iodine).  Well, I’m hitting “cancel” again over and over and it’s not doing anything.

So then (and here is the whole point of the story right here) the hey-it’s-your-checkbook lady comes waltzing over and says:  “Okay, chicky, what’s the problem here?”

Chicky?  CHICKY?

Just at that moment my husband shows up with the bread, and I am suddenly ferociously mad, I mean, smoke-coming-out-of-the-ears mad, cause this snappy thing just called me “chicky.”  So I tell her in this really controlled voice that I don’t want the iodine.  She reaches in front of me to grab the bottle, punches some numbers, and then walks away without another word.  I am so mad. 

My husband sees my face and helpfully says:  “What’s your problem?”

Me:  “She just called me ‘chicky’.”

Husband:  “She called you ‘chicken?'”

Me:  “No, she called me ‘chicky.'”

Husband:  “So what?”

So we pack everything up and I stare her down with an evil look (which she doesn’t notice, which makes me even more mad) and then I am screaming about this all the way back to the car.  Husband is like:  “How is that a big deal?”  I try to explain to him how “chicky” is an insulting word to me as a woman, but I can’t find the male-equivalent of “chicky” so I’m having a hard time proving my point. 

And he, with the voice of reason, says:  “Well, if you want to delete an item, you have to ask them to delete it for you.” 

He is either completely missing the point, or he’s simply having fun messing with my head. 

Then he adds, “If you were so mad about it then why didn’t you say something, instead of complaining about it all the way home?”

I lifted my chin slightly and declared that I am above that sort of behavior, so even if someone says something rude to me, I am not the type of person to say something rude back to them. 

Then he started calling me “chicken.”  Eventually this led to me not talking to him for about 20 minutes.

So here is the question I am posing to my readers:  “Chicky” is offensive, is it not?  And the way she said it, too – “Okay, CHICKY, what’s the problem NOW?” like I am just causing all these back-ups in the system by wanting to delete an $8 bottle of iodine.  Do I not have the right to be a little upset?

Thankfully, I feel that my newfound patience stemming partly from my desire to be a good role model for my child, and also due in part to the knowledge I’ve gained from Islam, has enabled me to conquer this type of pettiness in my life and no longer react in such a spiteful and angry manner.  However, I should recognize that I am the one still writing about this when it happened one full year ago (September of 2007 to be exact).  I may have found some new patience, but I think I still have some work to do in the “Let It Go” department…

WIC-itty Wack

So today I made it to my WIC appointment.  For those who may not know, WIC is the federally-funded food assistance program for the State of Michigan.  It is income-based, which means I probably could have taken advantage of it months ago, but I guess I just wanted to wait until I knew I needed it.  I feel slightly ashamed about needing the help.  I don’t know what it is; I suppose it is the social stigma linked to those services that was affecting me.  It wasn’t an easy decision.

It also wasn’t easy to sit in that waiting room.  I waltzed into the clean, quiet office early, having ate a nice, healthy breakfast of Cinnamon Toasters (see post titled “Name that Cereal!” from July 30, 2008) and leaving the house with an extra 15 min to spare in case there was any difficult traffic.  My appointment was for 8:30 am and I proudly signed myself in at 8:23, carrying all my required documentation in a crisp, white envelope.  I sat down to read the enjoyable novel I’d picked out from the library (mostly to keep myself from picking up any baby-related items, although I did happen to glance through the pamphlet titled:  “Should Pregnant Women Wear Seatbelts?”  The answer is “yes,” in case you were wondering.)  My name was called, and I was asked to fill out some forms. 

As I was filling out my paperwork (recording the number of alcoholic drinks I have per week, and whether or not I eat/chew inedible objects such as cigarette butts or cotton balls), I noticed a few moms coming in the door.  I was asked to step into the back to be weighed, and when I came back out a few minutes later, the entire waiting room was chock full of screaming kids and flustered parents.  I tried to make my way back to my seat, stumbling over building blocks and trying to avoid stepping on tiny fingers.  Once I sat down in the blue, plastic folding chair, I opened my book to try to drown out the noise. 

“Oh yes, she is a screamer!”

“Mine has been gassy lately.  Has yours been gassy?  Mine just has been burping alot, and big burps, too.” 

“Jasmine, stop.  Jasmine, STOP.  Jasmine – no, Rick, she can do it on her own.  Let her do it on her own.  Jasmine, stop.”

“Mom!  Don’t go, Mom!  Mom, don’t LEAVE me!”  “Hunny, I’m only going for a minute, just wait here with daddy.”  “NOOOOO!!!”

I started to panic.  A small glimpse into what I was in for.  I was the only one in the room sitting there with a book in my lap instead of a bouncing, twisting, snotting, whining baby.  No stroller, no car seat, no bottles, no baby bag.  Just me to take care of.  And I didn’t need to be burped, nor was I gassy, nor was my vocabulary limited to various screams and whines, so I was fairly easy to take care of at that.

As I came back out to the waiting room after my office visit, I sat down in one of the few accessible seats, squeezing between a mom with a grumpy one-year old and another trying to balance her baby and her clipboard on her lap.  As soon as the first mom got called up to the desk, another lady came up to me – “Is this seat taken?”  She was carrying her newborn in a car seat carrier, had the diaper bag on her shoulder, the paperwork in her hand, and standing next to her was a bright-eyed little girl, her little fist holding tightly onto her mom’s shirt to help her navigate through the busy office. 

“I, uh, I don’t know, uh, she got called up, it looks like she went over – ” and I paused, as the lady looked at me in desperation.  When I looked in her eyes and saw the stress built up behind them, I suddenly came to my senses and offered her my seat.  

“Here,” I said, “you can have mine.”

She said, “thank you” and quickly unloaded her belongings onto the chair next to me as I scooted over to the seat in the corner by the far wall, taking my itty-bitty purse (it’s honestly the size of a deck of cards) and my book with me. 

Suddenly the room appeared much different to me than it had before and as I listened into the conversations about gas and baby formulas and diapers, I heard the soft camaraderie forming amongst the parents.  I heard their reassurances, their friendly advice, the helpful information spreading from one to another.  It wasn’t just a bunch of mothers rattling on about their kids – it was a room full of support and guidance, caring, nurturing parents starting out, doing the best they can to raise their kids in the best environment possible.  Maybe I felt ashamed to be accepting food assistance, but I never would feel ashamed of sitting in that room with all of those women and men who were so open and willing to share with each other a little moment of their personal lives.

As I walked toward the door, a lady held the door open with one hand and held her smiling baby boy in the other, and as they walked down the hall ahead of me, he looked at me and smiled, and suddenly I didn’t feel scared about becoming a first-time mother.

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom from the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasalaam): Continue reading

My Personal Story

All my life I have believed in God.  In Catechism classes, I enjoyed learning about the stories of Jesus.  I would apply the lessons from the parables about Jesus to my own life.  Daily prayers were also important to me; at night when I would recite my prayers, I would thank God for everything and ask for blessings.

As I got older, I began to ask more questions about the traditions of the religion.  There were many aspects of Christianity that I didn’t fully understand, Continue reading

Women in Islam

This is a super sensitive issue all over the world.  The negative treatment of women in some countries is highly publicized, and often portrayed as being the fault of Islam.  This is the same as suicide bombers using Islam to promote and justify their violent acts, when in truth, most of what is happening around the world is political, not religious.  Injustices such as forced marriages, women being denied access to knowledge or refused access to mobility, and keeping women out of public office are not doctrine from Islam.  Not only do the media portray all of these things as being “Islamic,” but also the countries that claim to be run by Islamic laws truly are guilty of these things.  So it is hard for anyone to gain an understanding of what Islam and Islamic law really is about.

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Five Pillars of Islam

There are five pillars of Islam. The term “Islam” means “submission to God.”  There are five “pillars” (as they are called), or five basic duties, or acts of worship, every Muslim must do.
1.    Shahada
2.     Salat
3.    Sawm
4.    Zakat
5.    Hajj

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