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Wanderlust Muslim

My Journey To Discovering The World

To celebrate or Not to Celebrate?

Not this season!

A brilliant post for Muslims and non-Muslims during this time of the year.

Lone Wolf

I’ve come across an Islamic statement recently that has touched my heart. I’ve probably seen it before but didn’t pay much attention to it. I guess that’s what happens when you can’t really relate to the situation.

Hasan al-Basri, may God have mercy upon him, was asked:

“Why do you appear unconcerned with what people say about you?”

He said, “When I was born I was born alone, when I shall die I will die alone, when I am placed in my grave I will be alone, and when I am taken to account before God I shall be alone. If I then enter the Fire it will be alone and if I enter Paradise it will be alone. So what business do I have with people?”

Recently I have been trying to change myself, to better myself for my Lord. It’s surprising that in this day and age we have people who look down at those who are practicing. It’s not said but its felt, and I feel like that has a stronger effect.

It may just be in my culture but I find that we are expected to look a certain way, to act a certain way, to please certain people. You hear “what will people say, what will they think”

I am not cruel or rude to anyone, but yet I am expected to please them in other ways. What does it matter if I am not dressed like a Christmas tree all the time and if I don’t have make-up on all the time?

I remember a short while after I got married during Ramadan, we were going to an iftar party. I was told to wear make-up because someone was going to be there. Don’t get me wrong, I like getting dressed up for special occasions, but not during Ramadan. I was fuming, I have never felt like this before and because I was a new bride I felt like I had to hold back my thoughts. I couldn’t understand why I had to please this someone?

As I look back, I say to myself, who are they for me to please them? How will their opinion benefit me?

We should look past what others think and say about us and focus more on what Allah thinks about us.

I always ask myself “If I die tonight, can I look at my Lord and justify my actions”

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Helpless

I don’t know what to do, what to say.

I feel so helpless.

I think of the innocent children, whose lives have barely begun.

I think of the parents, like all parents, they just want to protect their children, keep them safe.

I think of the elderly, who have seen their homeland crumble to pieces right in front of their eyes.

I think if it was to happen to us would the world sit back and watch?

What if we were in their shoes, what would we do?

What do I say?

What do I do?

Because crying is all I am doing right now

 

Pray For Syria

Pray for Palestine

Pray for Peace

Pray for Humanity

Pray for THE WORLD

 

Makeup

I started wearing proper makeup when I first started working years ago. In the beginning it was a small amount of blusher and eyeliner. Eyeliner was my best friend since high school. I remember one morning waking up late, rushing to school with nothing on my face. The amount of people who though I was ill! It’s amazing what a small black line under your eyes can do for you.

My skin started to get worse after I started working. I have always suffered with spots but this was different. I felt horrible my confidence was so low the only solution was foundation.

I can’t even think of the amount of different foundations I went through. I found my skin kept changing so the foundation I was using was just wrong for me.

I remember my first real foundation, not the cheap collection 2000 ones our mums buy on our trips to the chemist.

It was L’Oréal’s mineral powder foundation. The first time I used it my skin was clear and everyone kept complementing me. Once the spots started coming it just wouldn’t sit right it made me look cakey.

I wouldn’t step out of the house without makeup, my sister once told me maybe you need to let your skin breath, give the foundation a miss. I snapped, “You don’t understand what it feels like to have bad skin”

I wasn’t the best Muslima at the time, I would miss my prayer during work hours and come home and catch up on them.

It’s after I got married that I started to realise what I was doing was wrong. There were many empty rooms in my office and my colleague were more than happy for me to pray. It took a while for me to register that my makeup wasn’t helping me either. But that was harder than me taking a 5 min break to pray.

I was so conscious about my spots and marks I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing no makeup. I made up so many excuses in my head to try and justify it. It was until I came back from Hajj that I actually stopped wearing it to work. I had spent 3 amazing weeks on a journey of a life time and not once thought about wearing makeup. I stood in front of the Ka’ba for my Lord, I stood as he created me, no make-up or fancy wear. Why modify something that has been created by the best.

I woke up on the first day back to work tired from the journey but more depressed because I was missing Saudi so much. I looked at Hubby and said “I’m not going to wear any make up today” Hubby kind of shrugged his shoulders and said “OK”

That day went by quick, everyone was asking how my journey was and I was re-telling stories over and over again. But no one seemed to question why I had stopped wearing makeup, what a relief! It was always playing in the back of my mind throughout the day. Every time I would go to the toilet I would shock myself when I looked in the mirror, I just wasn’t used to it. My work colleagues just assumed I was really tired from the journey and some of it was true.

I had managed to get through the day and I felt so happy. I came home looked at Hubby and said

“I don’t know what I was so worried about, If Allah can accept me like this why can’t everyone else?”

P.s Don’t get me wrong I haven’t given up wearing make all together. My guilty pleasure is watching make up videos and reading reviews.  I still like to doll myself up for special occasions, but I do wudu before I paint my face

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My small collection of makeup. I now look forward to special occasions so I can put a bit of slap on ;P

Surah Hajj (22) 18/11/2015

e-halqa

bismi_65

With the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Sura 22 (Hajj)

Hajj a universal gathering

Verse 27:”And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways;

This call to the annual Hajj originates from the instruction to Ibrahim (AS) and has gone on for generations. The call is a universal one to Mankind and is truly a mixing pot with a comprehensive example of diversity. From every nook and corner representation is found and is an ideal opportunity for Muslim dialogue and initiation of planned coordinated support for areas of need in the Ummah. We have unfortunately lost that dimension of the Hajj (see Sura 9 Verses 1-3)

Continues tomorrow…InSha Allah

Salaam/Peace

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Buy Books For Syria

I am a bookworm! Books have always had a close place in my heart!

A fan of fiction, there is nothing better than curling up in bed on a cold rainy day and letting your mind go someplace else.

When I was younger and had more time I could easily get through a thick book in a matter of days. I struggle now that I’m married, it’s hard to find the time.

Back in the summer I was working in London for a short period. I loved it purely because it meant I had time to catch up on my reading during my daily commute.

Unfortunately our local shopping centre lacks good book stores. Apart from WHSmiths there really is nothing else.

Which is why whenever we make a trip to Milton Keynes shopping centre I try to make a “quick” stop at Waterstones.

Yesterday’s shopping trip was a rushed visit, with winter days we find shopping in MK very hard as they have no prayer room. We have to make trips back and forth to our car to pray.

We always start at John Lewis and make our way down to Debenhams/Zara.

Today I had no intention of going into Waterstones. I always end up spending so much time browsing through the many titles they have to offer. But today both me and hubby instantly stopped when we saw the sign. “Buy Books For Syria”

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Buy Books For Syria – Waterstones & Oxfam

With everything that has happened recently I thought, nah this can’t be right. Someone’s going to get fired!!

When we went in I was surprised, there on a small table near the entrance was a stack of books. The display information stuck up from the middle of the pile. What made me smile was the small handmade cut out letters around the display information. It read “SYRIA”

100% of sales prices goes to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

With everything going on recently it’s nice to see that some people haven’t forgotten the true victims of this modern day war.

Within the pile are some well-known titles like –

  • One Day by David Nicholls
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wanderland by Lewis Carroll  Make sure you get down to your local Waterstones and pick up a book for Syria!
  • Unfortunately the Buy Books For Syria are only available in store. It’s been going on since 1st October and their goal is to reach one million pounds!

I actually managed to find a book on my reading list! The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Yes I know I am so late!

Unfortunately the Buy Books For Syria are only available in store. It’s been going on since 1st October and their goal is to reach one million pounds!

Make sure you get down to your local Waterstones and pick up a book for Syria.

For more information – https://www.waterstones.com/blog/buy-books-for-Syria

 

Aziziyah

As we had a shifting package the first part of our journey began in Aziziyah. Aziziyah is a small town close to Makkah. On a normal day it would be a 10-15min car journey to the Mosque but during the busier times (Hajj & Ramadan) it can take up to 30-45mins. Nowadays it’s harder and more expensive to stay in Makkah from the beginning of your journey, which is why they have shifting packages. We had a look at a few non-shifting packages and they were asking for £1000 more for each person. Thinking about it logically you would pay £1000 more for a hotel in Makkah to only be staying in your room for a few nights, as majority of the Hajj rituals take place outside of Makkah.

We stayed in a small 9 floor, quad sharing room, hotel a few minutes away from the main road. The rooms were relatively clean, with 4 single beds a large sharing wardrobe and a bathroom. Men and women were split but we were on the same floor as our partners, which made life very easy. I was lucky enough to be sharing with a sister that I knew from before, and elderly Bengali aunt and a young Pakistani sister. I couldn’t have asked for a better group and our Mahrams (male chaperones) were all in one room too.

On the first day we were up before Zuhur and were slowly getting ready to go down and see what was on the menu for lunch. During our stay in Aziziyah the group provided breakfast, lunch and dinner for us at the hotel. Breakfast was served after Fajr, lunch at 12.30pm and dinner at 8pm. It was a Bengali hotel so the menu was pretty much rice and curry for lunch and dinner. We decided we weren’t too keen on the food and went out to eat. Not a lot of people attempted to eat out while we were staying in Aziziyah, either they were afraid of getting lost or couldn’t bare the heat. The main road was about a 5 minute walk away from our hotel and had many different food options. We tried the Kudu, McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Inn and Amigos Pizza, the best was probably Amigos. If you have tried Asian pizza, this is pretty much the same, thick crust packed with lots of toppings!

Jeddah (The Hajj Terminal)

We landed after Maghrib and knew beforehand the process at Jeddah airport would be a long one. I think it took us about 6-7 hours from when we landed to when we got on the coach. We went through many security checks and were moved from once place to another, this made it feel like the time was going quicker, and at least we went stuck in once place for 6 hours! From the airport it took us 4-5 hours to get to our hotel, we had to go through a few check stops and food stops. The government provide free food packs for Hajj pilgrims, which normally consists of water, biscuits, cake and nuts. We also had to stop to get our Hajj wristbands. The wristband were to help us in case we got lost or involved in an accident. As we got to our hotel a little before Fajr, our group decided that we would rest and go to do our Umrah later that night when it had cooled down. Everyone was shattered and had no energy to do it then. We prayed Fajr had breakfast and went straight to sleep.

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