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The pursuit of muscle

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Umme Ayman; Lessons From a Story of Strength, Resilience and Faith

A few weeks ago I was told a story of a woman of great strength and resilience. It was a name I knew but never before had I reflected on her story like I did in our Seerah class in Al-Miftah.  The story was of a 9 year old slave girl of African descent bought by an Arab named Abdullah and hence inherited by his son; the Prophet of Allah (SAW); this girl, originally called Barakah Bint Tha'labah came to be known as Umme Ayman and was of great - perhaps greatest - service to Islam.  We all know the story from here. The Prophet's (SAW) mother passes away and this girl, brings a 4-6 year old from Abwa to Mecca to entrust him to his grandfather. She takes care of him and dedicates her youth to his upbringing. At 40 something she marries upon the Prophet (SAW) insisting and her husband dies. She marries again (Zaid Bin Haritha), and this time her husband is martyred while she lives on even after the caliphate of Umar (RA). While the story may make you go 'wow', when you human

The Ending of Surah Duha: A Reflection

Every time I came across a commentary on Surah Duha, people only talked about the first 8 verses and not the last 3 ones. And I have often pondered upon this and have reflected upon the need of these 3 verses in the same surah as the first 8.  Why is it that Allah thought to remind the Prophet (SAW), and through him, us, that we should be kind to the beggars and to the orphans, after He counted all our difficult times and then His favours upon us?  After thinking about this for a long time I would like to present my humble reflection on the last verses and why they are included in this surah.  Think about this, what is the one excuse we give to people (or to ourselves) who are harsh, bitter and rude? We blame their circumstances, their past, 'actually, she has led such a difficult life that she has become bitter'. Haven't we all heard statements like this?  This is why Allah is telling us to be kind in this Surah after he counts all the times we have bee in trouble (and hav

To All Homeschoolers

This post is a special one for the all the homeschoolers out there wondering if they are doing the right thing. For all of you struggling or fighting against norms and trying hard to take charge of your own learning. This is to address the question of whether any good university will accept you or not. This is to tell you of my own homeschooling journey.  Let's cut to the chase, I began my homeschooling journey when I was 11 years old. I just straight up dropped out of school and never went back after my summer vacations. It was a mutual decision between me and my parents. Why we opted for this is a story for another time, for now, just know that where I am today after leaving school, I wouldn't be here had I been going to school. I wouldn't have possessed the set of skills I possess now.  When we quit school there was indeed a backlash. People would say to our faces that our parents had stolen our childhood and I as an adult would now like to question them that 'do the

PALESTINE and the establishment of an apartheid state

How was the Democratic State of Israel established? When talking about Palestine and Israel most people forget to discuss a very crucial event, the expulsion of the Jews from Palestine under Ceaser in 1 CE. Jews since then believe that God has promised them a return to Jerusalem and it is their Holy right to rebuild the temple of Solomon, ruined by Nebuchadnezzar and then Ceaser. This belief and the belief that a Jewish only state should exist in Palestine is a brief summary of Zionism.  The temple of Solomon existed where the al Aqsa compound stands today. Zionists believe that rebuilding it will pave way to the arrival of their Messiah, who we call the Dajjal. And that's what they plan to do, they have been digging under the Al Aqsa compound for quite some time now in attempts to weaken its foundations- so that its fall can be blamed on the smallest of natural disasters. They also hope to find the Ark of the Covenant lost 3000 years ago which contains some miracles from the earli

In Review: Meeting Muhammad (SAW)

I had to write this review around a month ago, but better late then never. So here goes... We have all studied the life, character and the actions of the Prophet (SAW) at some point in our lives. I felt truly inspired by his character. The events from  his life that we came across on social media, through a class, through an elder were nothing short of beautiful. But I did not know that I was missing on a true connection until this Ramadan. Earlier, I did find the character of the Prophet (SAW) very inspiring, very motivating but rarely did I laugh and cry while learning about him.  This Ramadan I watched Yaqeen Institute's series on Meeting Muhammad(SAW). Spread over 30 episodes which were uploaded daily in Ramadan, it was the most beautiful and insightful series on Seerah that I have watched yet. Not even the books I have read could take me so deep into the life, the actions and the reasons behind those actions of the Prophet (SAW).  Starting from the physical appearance of the H

The Return: Short Story

A few days ago I learnt that the people who were displaced from Palestine during the Original Nakba could never even visit their country again. But their children and grandchildren could.  The background of this story is a similar one. Yousef returns to Palestine to fulfill his father's dying wish... 'It should be right here,' I whisper to myself. I can feel hope and raw emotion filling up my chest as I turn the corner.  The hope is the first to go away, the raw emotion stays, grows, claws at my heart.  I run, down the street and back up again. Could I have made a wrong turn, could I be in the wrong block?  But the tree is there, that tree I'd recognize anywhere, the tree I had seen many a times when my father had shown me pictures of his neighborhood. 'This is our local graveyard Yousef, this is where my parents are buried, this is where I want to buried, with them,close to them,' he had whispered, as his hand traced the edges of the picture in his lap.  And th