Isn’t it Ironic?

This look is familiar.

When I do it they say it’s oppression but when they do it’s protection.

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My veil, your mask

I’m a new niqabi and its ironic that I started wearing the veil right round the time folks started donning masks to protect against H1N1, a.k.a. swine flu.

There are two types of masks: surgical masks are designed to keep your germs in, while N95 respirators are designed to keep germs out. So, if you want to ward off the virus by wearing a mask, you would wear the N95 type.
According to William Schaffner, a professor at Vandebilt University School of Medicine:

“…masks that are worn properly tend to be uncomfortable, it will fit snugly over both the mouth and nose, which can make a person feel warm and even claustrophobic…an N95 respirator, which must be properly fitted to form an airtight seal against the skin, can make it hard to breathe.”

I’ve got a friend who used to wear niqab and had difficulty breathing. Praise God, I haven’t experienced that. I believe that some types do make breathing difficult and surely Allah did not intend that for his servant.

In any case, it never dawned on me that my thin piece of fabric could even begin to protect me against the dreaded virus. Then today I came across an article that says there are doctors who say women do not need to wear medical face masks to guard against swine flu if they instead wear a suitable veil. I’m not sure what they mean by “suitable”. In any case, I pray that my veil protects me (and others) from not just H1N1 but diseases of the heart.

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That cartoon said it all but I forgot to say…

Please forgive me. I forgot to acknowledge the cartoonist from yesterday’s post.

It’s Saudi Gazette’s own “Shaf”. Click here and browse through previous Ma’alish by Shaf cartoons.

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It’s Ramadan: Eat, Drink and be Muslim

“and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance)” [al-A’raaf 7:31]

From the first time I observed Ramadan, I had no idea of its history and great blessings.
The only thing I knew was that going without food made me appreciate food and other aspects of life in a way I never had. Some people are not in touch with their bodies, eating whatever is in front of them and later regretting it (or not). For me, with my first Ramadan, I knew that a small amount of food for iftar could satisfy me and it certainly made me more grateful than a lavish or large amount of food.

But many born into Islam seem to have developed a culture of feasting in Ramadan that deeply disappoints me। If you are invited for iftar you will find a spread fit for a king when all you really want is a simple meal, the kind our prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleihi wa salaam) wou
ld eat. You appreciate the company and sharing a special moment. But your host insists that you eat more and more and you feel obliged to satisfy him at the expense of your observance of the sunnah itself.

The prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleihi wa salaam) said: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight। If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2380; Ibn Maajah, 3349. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1939).

How many women spend more time in the kitchen in Ramadan than any other time of year। Shouldn’t they be spending more time in front of the Qur’an and behind the imam in prayer than any other time of year? Here’s a picture that says it all:

Allah acts as a witness of that hard work she does in her kitchen to please her family and guests, but he also sees that family and those guests eating in excess and leaving that woman to clean up the subsequent mess and begin preparing the next feast, all at the expense of her prayers and reading Qur’an। How many women are working full time outside the home these days and still trying to keep up with such unislamic demands during Ramadan?

Is not Ramadan, a great month for contemplation? Then we should contemplate this:
Al-Haakim narrated that Abu Juhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The more people eat their fill in this world, the more hungry they will be on the Day of Resurrection।”

Allaah knows best।

I did not inherit Islam, I reverted to this way of life in my mid twenties. I came to Islam via life experience (the school of hard knocks) and simple layman’s logic. Along with a growing faith, it is that simple layman’s logic that has kept me committed to this way of life. It is that logic that confirms in my heart that Ramadan is not about a five course meal at sunset or spread out through the night. It is that simple logic that tells me it is wrong for anyone to discourage my efforts to eat more than the simplest of foods in Ramadan. I understand Ramadan to be the month of prayer and simplicity, so let us save the feasting for Eid ul Fitr.

note: The title of this post is an adaptation of a King James biblical phrase “eat, drink and be merry”. Simply being Muslim makes me merry!

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