We Are As American…

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…as apple pie bean pie!

I cook barbecue chicken, chili, mac and cheese. In Ramadan I never fail to have a big feast with turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, candy yams, and all the other traditional American holiday foods San the roasted ham. When I’m feeling ethnic I make tacos or order  pizza!

My daughters  ride horses and camels.

They are involved in many sports like swimming, Taekwondo, Karate, and gymnastics.

They are bilingual

They love adventure!

They go to the zoo

and museum

 They play Uno and Connect four.

They ride bikes and Green Machines.

They have sibling rivalry! It drives me nuts!

Most of all they have a GOOD FATHER who loves and looks after their well being.

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We are American expatriates residing in Saudi Arabia. Many people have raised families abroad. We do no smoke, drink, do drugs,or engage in criminal activity or immoral behavior. Our daughters are as dear to us as our sons. As Americans in Saudi we are not expected to conform to the cultural norms of this society. We are not Saudi, we are American.

We know the value of proper upbringing of children. Children, are a trust given to the parents. Parents are to be responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgement. Parents are essentially responsible for the moral, ethical and the basic and essential religious teachings of their children.

Islam sees that if  parents fulfill their duties towards all children in terms of providing them with necessary training, educational backing, moral, ethical and religious education, this will definitely lead to a more caring child, a better family atmosphere and better social environment and awareness. The father is the shepherd over his family, protecting them, providing for them, and striving to be their role model and guide in his capacity as head of the household. 

There is no need to be concerned about my husband raising any of his children. He cherishes them all and would be the last person to cause intentional harm to them.

Muslims please do not admonish me by telling me it’s haram to post images. I do not usually publicly post pictures of my family and I seek refuge in Allah with His total words from the every devil, vermin and from the evil eye.

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I’d Be More Concerned If We Didn’t Get Tested!

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You know I have been pretty fortunate, rather blessed my whole life. Masha’Allah. I think that right now is likely the lowest point I have ever been in, at least in my adult life, as a child I had it all but I’m sure my parents struggled. Many have expressed ‘condolences’ (?) for our situation, and many have us in their thoughts and prayers. I appreciate all of that. However, I honestly don’t think things are as bad as they may seem (but please keep us in your prayers). As a matter of fact, our test is pretty light compared to the test of others. Yet, the favors and blessings of Allah are many!

Right off hand, I can name two. 1. Neither my husband or I have seen our families in years (my husband 7 and me 10!). He got to spend about 3 months combined this year with them. 2. My mother recently retired and said for me to get her a visa and she will come help me out with the kids, cuz she doesn’t want her baby wearing herself out 🙂

So we just have to keep in mind that life is a test and that their are many benefits to being tested by Allah.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.

And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)”

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:2-3] 

This is my family room. It’s empty. No AC. No furniture. However, I have my family and all the Praise is Due to Allah!

According to a saheeh hadeeth: “The greatest reward comes from the greatest trial. When Allaah loves people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it gains the pleasure of Allaah and whoever complains earns His wrath.” 

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2396; Ibn Maajah, 4031; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani.

We don’t have a dining room in the new Villa (we had 2 dining rooms in the old one!), so we eat at this little table in the kitchen. Did you here that? We EAT! Who am I to complain? Masha’Allah!

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabiroon (the patient).

Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’

They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones”

[al-Baqarah 2:155-157] 

My girls don’t have their Fulla bedroom set anymore and since we only have this one little heater to share, we just all sleep in one room on the floor (we have 3 bedrooms but they are all empty). I could have been left homeless, but I have a roof over my head! Masha’Allah!

“Allaah has shared out your attitudes among you just as He has shared out your provisions. Allaah gives worldly provision to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He gives religion only to those whom He loves. So whoever is given religion, Allaah loves him…” (Narrated by Ahmad, 3490; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 714).

Remember that BIG BEAUTIFUL Majlis that we had in the old Villa? We sure did enjoy it and were able to host many families there this past Ramadan for iftar. With this majlis, I’ve had to be more practical. No more parties for me. This is now my classroom/library/office. This is the room that Allah has given me the means to provide for my family in.

Allah has provided so well for my family, while my husband has been out of work, that we have not had to borrow since I have been working (mind you we borrowed often even when my husband was employed). I did not think much of it at first until recently, when I got two emails in the same day concerning two different sisters in Riyadh who were in need. The second thing that made me really ponder the fact that the provisions are from Allah, is the fact that since he has been back, he hasn’t found anyone willing to pay him the same rate that I get paid. Masha’Allah

I don’t make a whole lot of money. I haven’t been able to replace the toys we gave away (and if you know us then you know that our house was like a toy store…masha’Allah). However, the boys still find ways to entertain themselves, just by looking out of the window…and what do they see?

Men working…

…and worshipping! That’s what they see!

Wealth and children are a trial by means of which Allah tests His slaves, to know who will give thanks for them, and who will be distracted from Allah by them: 

“And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and that surely, with Allaah is a mighty reward”

[al-Anfaal 8:28 – interpretation of the meaning] 

This is the very thing my husband is being tested with. I have all of my children and for the first time in many years, my own income – Masha’Allah. My husband on the other hand has to fight an unfair system set against him to get his daughter. As a result he has lost all of his wealth and can not accept a job as long as he is fighting this case. Do not feel sorry for him, because he doesn’t. his losing his job has actually been one of the best things that ever happened to us. Working in Saudi is not the same as working in America. We now are much mor flexible and able to pursue oter opportunities. Masha’Allah.

Remember the words of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

 “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.”(Narrated by Muslim, 2999).

So if calamity befalls a Muslim, he must say Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return), and say the du’aa’s that have been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

How wonderful are those moments in which a person turns to his Lord and knows that He alone is the One Who grants relief from distress. How great is the relief when it comes after hardship. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

 

“but give glad tidings to As‑ Saabiroon (the patient).

156. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’

157. They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones” [al-Baqarah 2:155-157]

 


Umm Adam’s Message To The Black Woman

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This is in response to the ABC News Nightline special and all of the rukus it has created, about why 42% of Black Women are single. I’d like to take this opportunity to make a modest proposal to The Single Black Woman. After reading my message, the next time some dude ask for your 7 digits, tell him to contact your father. That is a great way to weed them out!

I have read several discussions related to this topic. Almost everybody has had something to say. Some have even made some very good points. However, not one person (that I am aware of) has said what really needs to be said. The truth hurts and I know that many will not agree with what I will say. Others will agree, but still not change a thing.

The solution to this problem is to JUST SAY NO!  No to seductive clothing, to hookups, to premarital sex — no to anything less than someone getting to know you with the INTENTION of marriage. I believe the promiscuous American dating scene is definitely preparation for spinsterhood, not marriage. Non-committed romantic relationships ought to be absent from any person’s life. We all need to be real about this.

Dating is a non-committed form of emotional promiscuity, where one is romantically involved with someone whom they have no certainty (and often no intention) of marrying. In most homes, it does not require the blessing or permission of the parents, and it is often unsupervised and unchaperoned. Dating most often includes “going with” and breaking up with numerous people. This is done supposedly to help the young person become accustomed to romance and relationships with the opposite sex. It is supposed to be a psychological necessity for a healthy long-lasting marital relationship.

Dating was introduced though the moral decay and corruption of the society.  For African Americans it stems deeper than that. Slavery didn’t give us many options. However, we are no longer slaves and we should be held to higher expectations.

Dating  encourages immoral behavior and  discourages marriage. The evil consequences and misery caused by such relationships are obvious to anyone who observes real life.

As cultural historians Alan Carlson and Beth Bailey put it in the Mars Hill Audio Report, Wandering Toward the Altar: The Decline of American Courtship, prior to the early 20th century, courtship involved one man and one woman spending intentional time together in order to get to know each other with the expressed purpose of evaluating the other as a potential husband or wife. The man and the woman usually were members of the same community, and the courting usually was done in the woman’s home in the presence (and under the watchful eye) of her family, most often Mom and brothers.

However, between the late 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s the new system of “dating” added new stages to courtship. One of the most obvious changes was that it multiplied the number of partners (from serious to casual) an individual was likely to have before marriage.

University of Chicago professors Amy and Leon Kass have edited a collection of essays titled Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying. One of the best essays is Beth Bailey’s “From Front Porch to Back Seat.” Bailey writes that until the beginning of the 20th century, dating as we know it did not exist. If a man wanted to get acquainted with a woman, he came calling at her parents’ home. He sat on the porch or in the parlor, drank lemonade, and perhaps listened to the young lady play the piano — all under the watchful eyes of her parents.

Courtship power, in the era of calling, belonged exclusively to women — to mothers and their daughters. When a girl reached a certain age, it was her mother who decided which young men would be allowed to call on her. As the young woman grew older, she herself was allowed to invite young men to call on her — provided, of course, that they had been properly introduced at a dance or dinner party (at which other mothers had controlled the invitation list). Extended family and friends might also bring eligible bachelors to call.

Young men who broke the rules and called without permission soon discovered that the daughter of the house never seemed to be “at home.” Thus, it behooved a young man to do everything in his power to impress a young woman — and her mama — in order to secure that all-important invitation to her home.

Though, there is no concept of courtship in Islam as it is practised in the west, this is very similar to how things are culturally done here in Saudi Arabia. The couple, however are not permitted to be alone in a closed room or go out together alone. As the the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,  “when a man and a woman are together alone, there is a third presence i.e. shaytan (the devil). This is a society where marriage is expected. It’s the norm. Dating is not openly done, it is shunned upon. The West make fun of the Islamic way of marriage,  in particular arranged marriage, yet the irony is that statistically arranged marriages prove to be more successful and lasting than romantic types of courtship and/or dating.

As dating became standard operating procedure (in the west) for conducting courtships, the consequences were far-ranging and sometimes tragic. First, Bailey says, “Dating moved courtship into the public world, relocating it from family parlors and community events to restaurants, theaters and dance halls. At the same time, it removed couples from the implied supervision of the private sphere — from the watchful eyes of family and local community — to the anonymity of the public sphere.”

Second.Thus, Bailey says, dating “not only transformed the outward modes and conventions of American courtship, it also changed the distribution of control and power in courtship … shifting power from women to men.” Men, not women, were now the “hosts,” and men “assumed the control that came with that position,” Bailey says.

Whereas in the old days men had to wait for women to invite them to their homes, now women had to wait for men to invite them on dates. In the 1920s, etiquette books advised men that it was NEVER acceptable to call upon a young woman without obtaining her permission to do so. By the 1950s, the shoe was on the other foot: Girls were warned to NEVER invite a boy to her home or anywhere else; to do so would be an infraction of the rules, and put boys off. Third, Bailey writes, dating “moved courtship into the world of the economy. Money — men’s money — was at the center of the dating system.”

Today, I can only think of one socially prescribed form of conduct that helps guide young men and women in the direction of matrimony…. People still get married — though later, less frequently, more hesitantly, and, by and large, less successfully. For the great majority, ‘friends with benefits’ is as much as they can hope for.

However, Islam lays its social structure on the basis of a permanent relationship between  man and a woman in the form of a family.

Consequently, to preserve this marital relationship, it forbids all forms of temporary relationships between a man and a woman. Pre-marital relationships in Islam are not considered respectful for neither the man nor the woman, nor is it constructive for the concept or the building the family or the Islamic society.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… Wed them with the permission of their own folk and give them their mahr (dowry) according to what is reasonable; they should be chaste, not adulterous, nor taking boyfriends…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:25]

In his commentary on this aayah, Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Muhsanaat [translated as “chaste”] means that they should be pure, not indulging in zinaa (unlawful sexual conduct), hence they are described as not being musaafihaat, which means promiscuous women who do not refuse anyone who wants to commit immoral acts with them. Regarding the phrase wa laa muttakhidhaati akhdaan (‘nor taking boyfriends’), Ibn ‘Abbaas said: ‘al-musaafihaat means those who are known to commit zinaa, meaning those who will not refuse anyone who wants to commit immoral acts with them.’ Ibn ‘Abbaas also said: ‘muttakhidhaati akhdaan means lovers.’ A similar interpretation was narrated from Abu Hurayrah, Mujaahid, al-Sha’bi, al-Dahhaak, ‘Ataa’ al-Khurasaani, Yahyaa ibn Abi Katheer, Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan and al-Saddi. They said: (it means) lovers. Al-Hasan al-Basri said: ‘It means a (male) friend.’ Al-Dahhaak also said: ‘wa laa muttakhidhaati akhdaan also means a woman who has just one boyfriend or lover with whom she is happy. Allaah has also forbidden this, meaning marrying her so long as she is in that situation…'”

We ask Allaah to keep us far away from that which is forbidden, to protect us from all that may earn His wrath and to keep us safe from a painful punishment. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

My Students Praying On Time!

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These boys drive me crazy in class, but I was so happy to see them get up and pray, on their own after the iqaama was called. They sped things up at the end, because the doorbell rang.

Great Way To Start The New Year!

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The thing I like most about where I live, is that it is directly across from our neighborhood Masjid. My daughter filmed this today during Salatul Jumauh. I can hear the athaan (call to prayer) and every prayer loud and clear. Masha’Allah!

It Rarely Rains In Sunny Saudi Arabia

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However, it started to pour down after the race. Listen closely around 1:40 as the announcer makes the dua that is made at the end of gatherings.

Subhaanaka Allaahumma wa bihamdika, ‘ash-hadu ‘an laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa ‘Anta, ‘astaghfiruka wa ‘atoobu ‘ilayka.

Glory is to You, O Allah, and praise is to You. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but You. I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You.

Reference: Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, At-Tirmithi and An-Nasa’i. See also Al-Albani, Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/ 153.

Aishah (RA) said: “Allah’s Messenger (SAW) did not sit in a gathering, and did not recite the Qur’an, and did not perform any prayer without concluding by saying … (then she quoted the above).” This was reported by An-Nasa’i in ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah (no.308), and Dr. Farooq Hamadah graded it authentic in his checking of the same book, p. 273. See also Ahmad 6/77

My Neighborhodd Masjid (Mosque)

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This is one of at least 5 Masajid in my vicinity. However, it is not like in the States where you can cop an attitude with the administration of the main masjid in the area and open up your little store front for you and two of your brainwashed buddies to make a jamaat, while everyone else prays Jumauh togther. The neighborhood masajid are for the 5 daily prayers BUT NOT for the Friday Sermon and prayer (Jumuah). There is a main masjid in every vicinity that you must attend so that all of the jamaats unite in one congregational prayer on Fridays.

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