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MYMUSLIM

FOR THE WOMEN OF FAITH

& HONOR

MAGAZINE

LEARN THE SUNNAH OF EID

RAMADAN CRAFTS for KIDS

12 WAYS TO MAKE EID SPECIAL FOR KIDS

5 QUICK IDEAS FOR SUHUR

PLUS:

10 TIPS

Ramadan REMINDERS, Shukr COUPON CODE, recipes and MORE...

For a Healthier RAMADAN

Ramadan: Time for Change PREPARE your HEART

MAKE a PLAN


Letter from the Editor Ramadan is a true time of change and reformation. Ramadan is a time of reflection. It is a time of acknowledging and being grateful for the blessings Allah (swt) gave us. Ramadan is a time to stop, to slow down out busy schedules, and think about the purpose of our lives. Have you felt how quickly another year has passed by? Have you reflected on the past year and what came along with it? Ask yourself; is the com-

ing month just another Ramadan? A burden on me and my routine? Or is it a time for change? Stop for a moment and reflect on your life, your character, your dealings with others, and most importantly, your connection with Allah. Check your heart and prepare it for Ramadan. Cleanse your heart from grudges, hatred, and envy. Then plan your goals: what do I need to change in myself? What do I need to work on? Make a checklist. Maybe

there are some Sunnah prayers you don’t normally pray, but want to add to your daily schedule. Maybe there are certain duas you haven’t memorized but want to learn. Maybe you want to improve your character. Try to make changes and improve yourself and ask Allah for help. Make dua to him to make you steadfast and consistent on your plan for change.

Sincerely , Aysha-Anastasia Izg

www.mymuslimveilmagazine.com


CONTENTS

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WELLNESS 10 Tips for a Healthier Ramadan

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By Kelthum Bel-Fadhal

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RECIPES Algerian Harirah Soup By Kelthum Bel-Fadhal

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5 Quick Ideas for Suhur

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By Sadaf Farooqi

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EXTRAS Sunnan of Eid By Rania Siddiq

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MOTHERHOOD

Ramadan: a Spring Cleaning of the Heart

12 Tips to make Eid special for your Kids

By Juli Herman

By Natalja K

REMINDERS

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STYLE Eid Deals

Ramadan: Time for Change Ramadan: a Cure for Diseases of the Heart

Eid Cards By Nida Mujahid

By Aapa

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Ramadan Décor By Khadija Annette

By Kelthum Bel-Fadhal

FAITH

CRAFTS

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VOICES

Ramadan: Don’t Waste Food

Empowering Lives

By Rania Siddiq

By Nabeelah Naeem


“ May the light that we celebrate at Ramadan show us the way and lead us together on the path of peace and social harmony.”

May This Ramadan be as bright as ever

WRITERS:

Contributors

PUBLISHER: MY VEIL

Kelthum Bel-Fadhal

Umm Aliyah

Aysha-Anastasia Izg

Aapa

Nida Mujahid

aysha@mymuslimveilmagazine.com

Sadaf Farooqi

Natalja K

CONTACT US:

Juli Herman

Rania Siddiq

info@mymuslimveilmagazine.com

GRAPHIC DESIGN:

Aysha-Anastasia Izg

www.mymuslimveilmagazine.com


Quran; [2:183] “O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation.” Ramadan is here once more with the Grace and Mercy of Allah Almighty; for the delight of our heart and the salvation of our soul.

WELLNESS

This is the month where we Muslims must restrain (syam means to abstain , to restrain) from eating or drinking and intimacy with the spouse, from dawn to sunset. Those aspects take care of the physical aspects of fasting; however there are profound spiritual and emotional dimensions to Ramadan. Fasting is another way to bring yourself closer to Allah. During the period of Ramadan we are encouraged to multiply our act of worship: prayers, charities, reconciliation, forgiveness, positive thinking, increasing du’a (invocation), strengthening friendships and family ties, sharing food with neighbors and needy people when breaking fast...

10 TIPS for a Healthier Ramadan

Ramadan is a beautiful and a unique time for repentance, spiritual elevation and the eagerness to please and grow closer to our Creator as we know so well the rewards of fasting when done sincerely for the only sake of pleasing Him! As our Prophet (peace be upon him) explained in a hadith (saying).

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet said: Allah the Majestic and Exalted said: "Every deed of man will receive ten to 700 times reward, except Siyam (fasting), for it is for Me and I shall reward it (as I like). There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts: one when he breaks the fast and the other when he will meet his Lord" (Muslim).

By Kelthum Bel-Fadhal

This Ramadan try these 10 healthy tips to make the best of your fasting and avoid the common mistakes.

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But fasting is not an easy task and like the many endeavors that we want to achieve in life we need to be prepared and ready for it.

RAMADAN SSUE 2012


1- Fasting three days of every month: Abu Zharr al-Ghafari reported: "The Messenger of Allah ordered us to fast for three days of every month-that is, on the days of the full moon (the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the lunar month). And he said: 'It is like fasting the whole year.' " This is related by an-Nasa'i and by Ibn Hibban, who called it sahih. It is related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would fast on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of one month and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the next month. He would also fast for three days at the beginning of the month, or on the first Thursday and the next two Mondays of the month. Health wise, fasting few days a month is a great way to detox the body and be ready to fast Ramadan. Fasting allows our organs to cleanse and detoxify for better health and energy. However if done only during Ramadan, the first days of fasting can be quite difficult and depending on your state of health painful. So following the Sunnah (way of the Prophet) and considering fasting three days in Sha’ban, the month prior to Ramadan, is very beneficial. Keep in mind that the last days of the month of Sha’ban should not be fasted depending on the hadith (saying of the Prophet) the last three days should not be fasted , in another narration it is the second half of Sha’ban.

2- Prepare spiritually and emotionally for Ramadan: We eagerly welcome Ramadan! It is a month of great rewards for our worship and expiation of sins; a time when Allah opens the gates of Paradise.

become one of your main concern during the sacred month.

4- Plan on cooking healthy dishes for Ramadan: Avoid cooking greasy, fatty and very sweet dishes for Ramadan, in many cultures Ramadan has become a time to indulge in some gastronomic goodies and other culinary process but it should not. I too love to cook and bake but I do reserve Ramadan for simple, healthy and nutritious dishes. It is more likely that you will feel in shape for taraweeh (night prayer during Ramadan) and not sluggish or bloated as would a food rich in fat and sugar do to you. And you will feel healthier and stronger through the month and after. Another benefit is less time in the kitchen and more time for ibada (worship).

5- Breaking the fast: It is Sunnah (way of the Prophet) to break the fast with an odd number of dates. Salman ibn Amir Dhabi related that the Prophet, peace be upon him) said: Break your fast with dates, or else with water, for it is pure (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi). After the break of your fast, prefer eating a warm soup (refer to the recipe for Harira for suggestions) and avoid drinking too much water at once as it will be quickly absorbed by your organs and your intestines in particular and let you feeling lethargic and full. Eating a warm soup will balance your hunger and the warmth of the soup matching the body’s own temperature will result in a good digestion. You can accompany it with some traditional savories (like bourreks, samosa etc..) that you baked or steamed rather than deep fried.

Al-Bukhaari (1899) and Muslim (1079) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” It is a beautiful time to make peace with those who wronged you, to ask forgiveness to those you may have wronged to make tauba (repentance) to Allah Almighty, and gladly and heartedly contemplate on the infinite Mercy of Allah who makes it even easier for you to grow closer to Him the Most High.

6- Enjoy suhur:

3- Prepare for Ramadan to avoid unnecessary stress:

Drink water through the time between maghrib (sunset prayer) and suhur (pre dawn meal). Have some water handy in your bedroom to drink at night (always cover your drink and say bismillah). You can calculate your ratio of water intake you need with this simple calculation:

Plan your month of Ramadan accordingly. If you can afford to eliminate activities for this month to the next month such as a routine doctor appointment, mundane activities etc...then do so because it will give you more time for ‘ibada (worship). For example, plan your grocery shopping in advance too so it does not MY MUSLIM VEIL

There is a blessing in eating a small meal before dawn. Again avoiding fatty, greasy or sugary food is best. You could have another soup with some sort of protein and carb, some choose to have a regular breakfast, other like myself don’t do too well with those options; so I usually drink water and have some dates, or have a coffee with some dates dipped in tahini which keeps me full for a while .

7- Keep your body hydrated:

your weight in pound / 2 = number of water intake in oz

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For example; 180/2 = 90 oz so about 11 cups of water knowing that there is 8 oz in a cup. Drink in several occasions through the time you are not fasting and revive the Sunnah (way of the Prophet) by sipping three times. Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) that, 'Do not drink water in one breath like a camel. However, drink it in two or three breaths. Say 'Bismillah' and when you move the glass, praise Allah (The Exalted) by saying 'Alhamdulillah.''

8- A good night sleep: Sleeping well is important for your health. Although I have come to question the standard 8 hours sleep that is often recommended by health experts; sleeping as early as possible in order to wake up for suhur is recommended. Because of the summer time isha (night prayer) and taraweeh will be too so considering taking a nap between Dhuhr and Asr will bring additional rest. Keep in mind however that napping after Asr in makrooh (disliked).

9- Keep Exercising: If you already have established a routine exercise in your daily life do not stop during Ramadan; consider exercising after maghrib (sunset prayer) or better yet after fajr (morning prayer) for more rigorous exercises... If you haven’t experienced the benefit of a routine exercise yet, then start with Ramadan by taking a walk after or before taraweeh to ease digestion and increase oxygenation.

10- Thrive to read Quran during Ramadan: Make a committed effort to read and study Quran more than you usually do. Learn tajweed (rules of reciting Quran) if you can because it will make reading and memorizing Quran easier. Loving Quran and enjoying its wisdom everyday will strengthen your inner self. Quran will heal your heart and calm your mind. Abo Umaamah related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Read the Qur’an, for verily it will come on the Day of Judgment) as an intercessor for its companions.” [Muslim] RAMADAN SSUE 2012


Algerian Harirah Soup RECIPES

By Kelthum Bel-Fadhal

Harira is a traditional dish for Ramadan, often served as an entry for family and guests. It is a classic through North Africa and may vary from country to country and household to household. Every housewife has her own personal recipe that she passes on from mother to daughter. But the basics are the same: a blend of healthy vegetables, lamb or goat and ancient spices thickened by ground grains such as freek, bulgur or millet. The Mediterranean cuisine where the North African cuisine belongs (Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian and Libyan cuisines) is one of the

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healthiest cuisine on earth. It gets its inspiration from different cultures throughout History and one of them being the contribution of the Moors (Muslim of North Africa, of mixed Arab and Berber descent. In the 8th century they established a civilization in North Africa and Spain (Andalusia; 7561492)).The Moors complimented the Mediterranean diet by adding among other things new aromas and spices such as: cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, mustard, ginger, cloves and saffron as well as a variety of lemons. The beauty of this soup is that it is quite flexible (like many things in

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the North African cuisine) you can add more or less of the vegetables you like and spices to fit your preferences or whatever is in your pantry and this makes it tastes a little different each time so you could get a new soup: getting all creative in the kitchen! Because of the use of spices such as cumin packed with great health benefits and cayenne pepper and nutritious vegetables full of antioxidants like sweet potatoes; this earthy soup is a healing potion in a bowl! Like my friend told me once; once mastered this delicious soup becomes a classic in your kitchen because everyone will be asking for it!

RAMADAN SSUE 2012


Serving 7 to 9 persons

1 tsp coriander

Ingredients:

1 tsp thyme powder

1 pound of lamb with bones

1/2 tsp red pepper or cayenne pepper

1 big onion 3 garlic cloves 1 big sweet potato or 2 medium

1/2 tsp turmeric for the finishing:

3 big carrots or 5 medium

1/2 cup fine bulgur or ground millet

2 zucchinis or half a celery

1 tbsp dried mint

1 can (15 oz) of tomato sauce

Using a pressure cooker, saute the meat in a bit of cooking oil for few minutes. Then add the chopped vegetables and the spices, herbs and salt. Then add 2 to 3 quarts water (8 to 12 cups). Let it cook for about 40 min or until the meat is fully cooked, counting after the whistle starts.

2 potatoes 1 head fresh cilantro 2 tbsp sea salt 1 tsp of cumin 1 tsp cinnamon MY MUSLIM VEIL

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Take off the meat from the pot and using a hand blender, blend the soup until liquefied. Then rinse 1/2 cup of fine bulgur or ground millet if gluten is a concern for you. Add either one to the soup, the meat previously removed and the dried mint, let cook for another 5 to 10 min counting after the whistle of the pressure cooker starts. Adjust salt. Serve warm with bread or bourak (North African samosa) and a plate of sliced lemon for those who like lemon juice on their harira. May Allah Bless our Month of Ramadan, Ameen.

RAMADAN SSUE 2012


5 QUICK IDEAS for Suhur

By Kelthum Bel-Fadhal

One important dimension of Ramadan is suhur: the meal that we muslims are encouraged to eat before fajr in order to provide us with some fuel and avoid us feeling cranky and weak during the fasting day. Prophet Mohammed (saw) advised us to eat suhur because of the blessing it has. It is narrated by Anas bin Malik,( may Allah be pleased with him) that the messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Take Suhur, for there is a blessing in it". The other good part is that the preparation of suhur does not have to become hectic or time consuming with those five quick ideas!

CHICKEN KEBAB

1.

For those who enjoy eating meat; you can choose to have chicken kebab. To make the process fast and easy marinate the pieces of chicken the night before in some lemon juice and spices of your choice and keep them refrigerated overnight in a Ziploc bag. The acidity of the lemon will break down the meat and will fasten the cooking time. Broil your kebab in the oven 10 minutes on each side or until brown or just cook them on a stove using a skillet. You can accompany the kebab with some yogurt and bread. This meal will make a good source of protein.

AVOCADO SPREAD

4.

DATES DIPPED IN TAHINI

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BARLEY SOUP

3.

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From far my favorite suhur quick idea is dates dipped in tahini. This healthy suhur is incredibly fulfilling and keep you from feeling hungry longer. This simple treat is commonly enjoyed in the Gulf countries often using date syrup with tahini and bread. Dates and tahini are a great sources of fiber and tahini contains a great amount of copper and manganese. It is also a source of omega 3 and 6.

Another quick idea that is healthy and nutritive is to make an easy spread using avocado. Just smash 2 or 3 avocados with a fork, add a bit of fresh lemon juice and olive oil and eat it with bread or to create gluten free alternative, enjoy this spread with a veggie tray of carrot, celery, and broccoli. Avocado contains an important amount of monounsaturated fat, it is rich in B vitamins, and in vitamin E and K and is getting noticed for it great health benefits. 10

- Another quick idea is barley soup or al-talbina that can be made by cooking the barley in a pressure cooker until it becomes very soft or until getting a consistency like pudding (count 5 cups of water for 2 cups of barley , cook for about 30 minutes). This can be done the night before, when it is time for suhur just warm up the soup, add a cup of milk and let it boil for couple of minutes. Add honey and couples of spoons of coconut oil as well as cinnamon or any other nuts to fit your taste. Refer to the prior Issue of My Muslim Veil for more information on the nutritive benefit of barley as well as recipes.

HARIRAH SOUP

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Finally, a good option would be to prepare enough of the soup or Harira for iftar to last for suhur. It will make a quick and satisfying meal for your next suhur!


By Aapa

And those to whom knowledge has come see that the (Revelation) sent down to thee from thy Lord - that is the Truth, and that it guides to the Path of the Exalted (in might), Worthy of all praise. Sura Saba Ayat 6 We get excited about Ramadan. Sometimes we get a little frantic with the pre-Ramadan shopping. It is the most exhilarating of all Muslim months. I did a couple of web searches and found a plenty of information on how to prepare for Ramadan. The list is endless. It would take me a year to read the material that is available in English translation alone. These are the precious days when we can seek forgiveness. We can seek trees being planted in Jannah ( Paradise) for us. We have an opportunity to do good deeds and they multiply by the hundreds. We become more cognizant of the blessings of Allah, the Most High.

I am always stopped by non-Muslims and questioned during these blessed days. The questions are always the same. How do you do it without drinking even water? I do it because I am striving to please Allah, The Most High. And after what He has given me, this is nothing.

helping us understand the immensity of the Word.

Why did I select this ayat (verse) to write about Ramadan. Iqra (read). The Blessed Word.

This Ramadan let us simply reflect on the fact that we have the gift of the Quran. Let us not try to make radical changes. Often in life when we want to make major changes we get discouraged easily and give up. I am going to be in a receptive mode.

We all want to have that special connection during Ramadan. We want a metamorphosis that will last forever. What do we do to change ourselves? How do we know that we have changed? How do we define change? One of the beauties of Islam is its simplicity. Our Creator Knows His Creation. He gave us the Quran in increments. It took twenty three years. That is a lot of information to assimilate. It makes us contemplate our decisions. We have to be grateful to our scholars for

We have the iftar ( breaking of the fast) parties. It seems at times we do nothing but party. There is such a cornucopia of food everywhere. And in the last few days we seem to be satisfied with a glass of juice and a date. I personally love the midnight snack-feast. You finish prayer and sit around the masjid (Mosque), happy.

I read some words earlier this year. Allah, The Most High, can take the Quran away from us. It is His Mercy upon us. These words hit me like a lightning bolt.

The Truth has been presented to me. That is enough to make me prostrate. The Book that reveals to me how He wishes for me to live has been preserved letter by letter. Let me rejoice in that alone. InshaAllah, as we read the Quran this Ramadan we can contemplate on the Truth. If we take one of the elements of the Truth and carry it with us for the rest of our days it is a good thing. Continue with the earnest salat (prayer). Make dua with all your heart. Be more generous with your sadaqa( voluntarily charity) and zakat (obligatory charity). But, know that the Word of Allah is a Blessing we take so lightly. We need to be mindful of the universe it opens up to us. As you fast please contemplate on the truth of the Quran. As you hold the Word of Allah in your hands think of the responsibility we have in upholding the Truth.

It is during Ramadan that we often feel the sense of community the most. When you break the fast in a group of Believers it is almost overwhelming emotionally. You are not alone. You are a member of an international community that has been around for quite some time.

May Allah, The Most High, forgive our sins and send His blessings upon us. Allah is the Truth. It was in Ramadan that He gave us the Mercy of His Truth. Let us rejoice in praising Him for loving us enough to give us His Truth. His Word. Let us walk on the exalted Path seeking Him.

“...What do we do to change ourselves? How do we know that we have changed? How do we define change? One of the beauties of Islam is its simplicity…”

Ramadan: Time for Change MY MUSLIM VEIL

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


Ramadan By Sadaf Farooqi

a Cure for Diseases of the Heart The heart is the hotbed of our Islamic faith (iman) and belief (aqeedah). It is also the seat of our lowly desires and base lusts. Indeed, it is the heart that forms the basis of all our good deeds, since it houses our intentions, as well as that of our bad deeds, since it houses the desires of our base self, and harbors the whispers of our accursed enemy, Shaitan (Satan) and his army from among the men and jinn. “The one who whispers in

the breasts of mankind. From among the jinn and mankind.” [114: 5,6] During the month of Ramadan, we experience a welcome spiritual rush that gains momentum as the MY MUSLIM VEIL

month wears on, since the desires of our body, such as hunger, thirst and sexual urges, are stumped by fasting during the day and by the night-time ritual of supererogatory prayer. All Muslims throughout the world join in this month-long festival of worship and good deeds. Even the lazy procrastinator who finds it difficult to awaken for Fajr ( morning prayer) during the rest of the year is able to eagerly offer all prayers on time during Ramadan because of the sheer blessings and mercy that Allah descends during this holy month. Ramadan gives believers a chance to focus on the good deeds of the heart; cleansing it from rust accumulated on it after a year of sinning, slipping on the path of piety and harboring grudges against people who do 12

them wrong. It also allows believers to nourish the faith in the heart and rectify the belief (aqeedah) that resides within it, by removing any adulteration caused by minor traces of shirk (such as Riya). Similarly, the renunciation of desires during the whole month, with prime focus on recitation of Quran, supererogatory night prayers, dhikr (remembrance) of Allah and sadaqah (voluntarily charity), results in the heart being “washed” clean of the spiritual “dirt” that accumulates on it during the remainder of the year.

Avarice – negated by charity and hunger We have absolutely no restricRAMADAN ISSUE 2012


tions on eating and drinking throughout the rest of the year, except to stay within what is halal ( permissible) and to avoid extravagance. In Ramadan, when we temporarily abstain from what is permissible and focus on giving to others, we learn to negate the avarice within ourselves and to look beyond our own needs.

Lust/Sexual appetite – diminished by fasting and night prayer During Ramadan, husbands and wives cannot indulge in otherwise halal (permissible) marital relations except only at night, with worship schedules and pre-dawn meals further putting restrictions on them. Fasting during the day entails that they exercise more caution and control. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would abstain completely from his wives during the last ten nights of Ramadan, isolating himself for exclusive, devoted worship of Allah in the masjid ( mosque).

Sloth and laziness – negated by waking up early and sleeping less during the night

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Ramadan whizzes by like a whirlwind, with each part of the day pre-planned for execution like clockwork. Meals, worship, essential chores/studies/office work, and daytime napping/ siesta – the days and nights follow each other closely as we go through the necessary parts of the routine. Even the most diehard couch potatoes often become efficient time managers in Ramadan! We cannot miss any obligatory prayers due to procrastination or laziness, nor can we afford to miss any meals on their prescribed time. Ramadan is a refresher course in time management for everyone, from schoolgoing teenagers to office executives.

Sins of the tongue – curbed by being conscious of Allah during the fast Since fasting during Ramadan increases the believer’s consciousness of Allah, he becomes more wary of indulging in sins of the tongue, such as lying, backbiting, slander and gossip. Timepressed to accommodate the extra worship and prayers into this month’s tight, back-to-back schedule, Muslims should try to avoid all useless activities that

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nullify good deeds, including idle television viewing, pop literature reading, excessive socializing and random Internet surfing. Each Ramadan, we get a chance to re-connect with our Creator and hence, should consider each minute of this month a kin to a gem - not to be wasted in pursuits that dominate our busy lifestyles otherwise during the remainder of the year. We should also ask Allah to grant us in this month the guidance to focus on those deeds of the heart that are invisible but more important, on which lays the foundation of our outer, more apparent deeds. These are sincerity of intention (ikhlas), trust upon Allah only (tawakkul), acting upon the light of authentic knowledge of Deen (noor) and a complete cure from the dangerous diseases of the heart. Yes, the heart becomes diseased when not cleansed, by harboring dangerous ills that can seriously nullify outer good deeds. These are nifaq (hypocrisy), kibr (arrogance), riya (doing righteous deeds for the approval or pleasure of others besides Allah), hubb al-duniya (love of the world over the Akhirah), and jahl (ignorance). Let us focus on cleansing our hearts this coming Ramadan, by turning to Allah in exclusive worship and prayers, insha’Allah.

“..Ramadan gives believers a chance to focus on the good deeds of the heart; cleansing it from rust accumulated on it after a year of sinning, slipping on the path of piety and harboring grudges against people who do them wrong. ..”

RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


Ramadan By Juli Herman

Spring Cleaning Spring cleaning is a time to toss out the junk, scrub the filth, and start anew. Come to think of it, isn’t this what we should do in Ramadan? Isn’t Ramadan the time when we should declutter, decorate, and develop our spiritual hearts? In the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be sound, all of the body is sound and which, if it be diseased, all of the body is diseased. This part of the body is the heart.” (Bukhari, Muslim) Allah has prescribed for us an intensive yearly training, during which we should spring clean our hearts. After all, the main purpose of fasting in Ramadan is to inculcate taqwa (righteousness), and taqwa resides in the heart. The spring cleaning of the heart comes in three steps; declutter, decorate, and develop. Declutter

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of the Heart

Imagine if you never get any breaks from school or work. You would be drowned in never- ending work and assignments. Now imagine if Allah never gives us a break from the whispers of shaytaan (Satan). It would be harder for us to fight them. Ramadan is a month where Allah has locked up the shayaateen (devils), and this allows us to assess the state of our nafs (soul) in their absence. If we think Ramadan is hard, think about Allah’s mercy in giving us this ‘break’ so we can recollect ourselves without the constant whispering of the shaytaan (Satan) in our hearts. This is the perfect time to declutter! When we declutter, we reassess our possession and sort them into piles; a throw-away pile, a giveaway pile, and a keep pile. In this process, reprioritization and scrutiny are involved. We reassess what we can do without and what we want to keep. In the case of our hearts, reprioritization may include

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analyzing what we are preoccupied with at the moment in our life. Is your indulgence in interior decorating taking you away from grabbing opportunities to learn the deen (religion)? Is your career stealing much-needed time from your young children who are growing up too quickly? Are you too active in the community that you are abandoning the rights of your families or your health? Major scrutiny of the heart can be as simple as thinking about why you get so bothered when your family doesn’t appreciate all that you for them. Are you doing it for their appreciation, or are you doing it for reward from Allah? When someone points out that you’re wrong, why do you bristle so much? Is your ego puffing up? And why is it that when you do realize you’re wrong, it’s so hard to admit it and say you’re sorry? Are you in need of more humility? Once you zero in on those junk languishing in your heart, list them

RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


on paper. That ego needs some deflating. Those grudges need to be trashed for sure. The jealousy need to be scrubbed out with steel wool, and that anger need to be doused out. List your current priorities, based on the reprioritization process. In the physical spring cleaning of the house, we can easily chuck the ‘throw-away’ pile. Not so with spring cleaning of the heart. It’s not that easy to get rid of our vices and shortcomings. It can be a lifelong process. So be aware of this and take it in baby steps. Look at your list. Pick one or two items on the junk pile to work on. Focus, and diligently strive to tackle them. Out of His mercy, Allah has provided many ways to cleanse our hearts; istighfaar, repentance, and doing good deeds. So, along with striving consciously to work on your shortcomings, increase in seeking His forgiveness through du’a (supplication), dhikr (remembrance), increasing in good deeds, and repenting. There can never be too much istighfaar, because we sin day in day out.

hearts? Pick a naafil (extra) prayer you don’t regularly do, and add it to your regiment of five daily prayers, and commit to it until it becomes a regular part of your salah (obligatory prayer). Or, learn a new du’a (supplication) or dhikr, and incorporate it into your sujud (prostration during prayer) and post salah routine. Maybe your attire doesn’t completely fulfill the requirements of hijab (covering). Well, you can work on loosening up those clothes when you go outside or lowering your hijab so it covers your chest. In fact, if you feel inclined, you can even start wearing the niqab (face veil)! There is no limit to beautification of the heart. We are always in need of selfdevelopment. Furthermore, it’s Ramadan. Allah has multiplied the reward for good deeds in this blessed month, so have a field day, grab

Decorate Don’t stop with the istighfaar just yet. By decluttering, you have done takhliyah, the process of emptying the heart of things that corrupt it. Now, you are ready for tah7liyyah, the process of beautifying the heart. After the decluterring is pretty much under way, you may feel compelled to place a small pot of African violets on the window sill, to give the house a fresh spring look. Or you may feel the urge to take out that new pastel tablecloth and give the dining room a new look. Similarly, the heart, which is now somewhat cleaner than before, is ready to be beautified. This will help keep those junk away, as there will be no space for them with all the new decorations you will be placing. How can we beautify our MY MUSLIM VEIL

all those opportunities for good deed as much as you can! Aim for the stars so that maybe you’ll reach the sky. Don’t forget to ask for Allah’s help in all of this, for nothing can happen without His will.

Develop Believe it or not, 30 days can be over just like that. Before you know it, Ramadan is over. Remember about aiming for the stars? Well, this is the time when you will be dealing with the power of gravity. It will pull you down. The Ramadan atmosphere is gone, the shayaateen (devils) are let loose, and you have to deal with them again. As human beings, we will slip somewhat, but if you aimed high and strove hard in effort and du’a (supplication) during Ramadan, hopefully you won’t land too far from the stars, and maybe even land higher than where you were last year! 15

Even though the blessed month of Ramadan has left, keep the spirit of Ramadan alive in your heart. Be vigilant in keeping it free of clutter, and keep those decorations intact! Realistically, because we went all out in the decorating department, we may not be able to keep all of them in place. Shaytaan (Satan) will try to grab all those decorations off the shelves. So, hold on to one or two, and be consistent with them. Eventually, as we keep this up, we will be able inshaallah to regain those lost decorations. It’s easier to clean a greasy stove right after we finish cooking, because the grease is still wet, as opposed to waiting till the grease has reproduced into cold and sticky globs. It’s easier to clean the toilet bowl everyday than to wait until an unsightly ring stares us in the face. So make sure you keep up with seeking forgiveness on a daily basis, to keep those black dots to a minimum. Follow up an evil deed with a good deed. Allah has provided so many ways to erase sins, out of His mercy. Take advantage of these cleaning agents. If you start to slack and think, “Oh, I’ll work on this when Ramadan gets here,” remember that you may not live to see the next Ramadan. So be vigilant and work on maintenance, for before you know it, if you are fortunate, the next Ramadan will be just around the corner. If you have been diligent in decluttering, decorating, and especially maintaining, you will meet the new Ramadan with fervor and embrace it with new goals. With each Ramadan, we should be improving in our iman (faith), akhlaq (character), worship, and relationship with Allah and His book. May Allah enable us to climb higher in selfdevelopment with each Ramadan and take us in our highest state of iman. Ameen. Juli Herman is currently a student of Al Huda Institute, homeschooling mother of four, and part time freelance writer striving to balance fulfilling the rights of Allah and the rights of His creations. She can be found occasionally blogging at juliherman.wordpress.com. RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


REMINDERS

Don’t Waste FOOD Ramadan is the month in which every day, from sunrise to sunset, we abstain from eating and drinking. We break our fasts at sunset with the Iftar meal. Unfortunately, the case for many of us is that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Especially at masjid (mosque) and when we are invited for Iftar, we pile our plates with enormous amounts of food and we can only eat a tiny amount of the food we have taken. The rest ends up, yes you got it, in the trash can. Every year it’s the same thing: piles and piles of food are thrown away every night after Iftar.

However, we see there supposed to use Rama“...Remember the are people on the other dan as an opportunity to Sunnah of the extreme of living where increase in our reward, Prophet (sws) and fill they cannot even afford improve in our actions your stomach 1/3 with and relationship to Alenough food to break food 1/3 with water their fasts. How can we lah, and become better and leave 1/3 for air..” Muslims overall. So let’s possibly throw away food the way we always improve in this aspect as do? When Allah has blessed us with well inshaAllah: be grateful to Allah so much food, what a pity it is that for the food He gave us and don’t we show our gratitude by throwing waste food or drink. away what He gave us. Especially at the masjid (mosque), Ramadan is not just about staying people have this habit of wasting. away from food and drink in the day Many masajid (mosques) offer free time. That is not the purpose. We are Iftar and dinner every night for the

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Muslims to break their fasts. However, many of us feel the urge to take as much food as can fit on one plate, even two plates. Even though we cannot eat all of it, we still take it. There is that greed that I see every Ramadan. There is that greed to take as much as food as we can. Do we perhaps feel that the food will run out, so we have to take as much as we can right away so that there is no possibility of us being hungry? Do we perhaps want to make sure that the people at the end of the line will not get any food? Do we perhaps want to make sure the children have enough to eat, so we pile both our plates and theirs? Do we perhaps have a strong desire to make sure no trashcan remains empty of food? It makes no sense to me why on earth we must take more than we can eat. Everyone tries to make some Ramadan resolutions right? Some of us want to stop watching TV; others want to stop listening to music. Let’s try this one too: Don’t waste food and drink. In case you are not sure how to go about taking food without wasting, this is how it goes: RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


REMINDERS 1. Allah the Most High said, “…And eat and drink and be not excessive (therein)…” (alA’raaf 7:31) Al-Qurtubi commented upon this verse:

In case you are not sure how to go about taking food without wasting, this is how it goes: 1. Get in line 2. Wait patiently for your turn, don’t push or shove to get ahead. 3. When you reach the food, I know it’s hard, but take less than what you usually eat at home for an average dinner. After fasting, our stomachs should not be processing so much right away since they have been at rest all day long. Contrary to popular belief, even though we have not eaten all day, we cannot “make-up” all that “missed” food at dinner time. And if your children are little, don’t feel the need to pile their plates either. Give them a moderate amount of food: not too much, not too little. 4. If you or your children still feel hungry after finishing eating, then go back to the line and take a little more. I highly doubt this will occur, because a little bit of food is enough to make us feel full after fasting. (and by the way, note that I said if you still feel hungry, then take a little more food. I didn’t say if you feel you are not fully bloated then take more food to make sure there is no space left for air) 5. Remember the Sunnah (way of the Prophet) and fill your stomach 1/3 with food 1/3 with water and leave 1/3 for air. On the authority of Al-Miqdaam ibn Maadiy-Karib who said: I heard the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, saying: “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.”[Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa'I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih] InshaAllah, if we all do our part, we can stop this despicable practice of wasting food and drink. Take a moment, make the intention for yourself, teach your family and friends as well, make dua( supplication) to seek Allah’s help, and just do it. MY MUSLIM VEIL

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“...In eating little there are many benefits. From them that a man becomes of sounder body, of better memory, purer in understanding, (requiring) less sleep, and lighter in (his) soul…’’’ 2. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The son of Adam does not fill a container worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to take enough morsels of food to keep his back straight (keep him able-bodied). And if it is necessary, then a third for his food, a third for his drink, and a third for his breath.” 3. Do not put in your plate more than you can eat. Leftovers could be thrown out, it shouldn’t, and wasted. Put smaller portions twice rather than one large portion that you will not eat. The Prophet SAWS did not approve of leaving any food in a plate since as he SAWS said ‘You don’t know which portion is blessed‘. Food is a blessing of Allah, to misuse it is contrary to Islam. Do not forget the poor and the needy who do not have the portion you are throwing away.

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Ramadan Decor You can try to make these Décor ideas with your kids, which will make them even more excited about meeting the special guest-Ramadan. CRAFTS

Patchwork Star Materials     

decorative paper, 2 sided glue string scissors hole punch

Directions 1. Cut paper into squares, 8 pieces needed for each star. In the star pictured the squares at 5" x 5". 2. Fold two opposite corners inward till they meet in the center then crease the folds. The piece should then be in a kite shape. 3. Repeat with the remainder of the pieces. 4. Place two kite shape pieces side by side. Opening up the wings of each piece so they are straight up. Glue both sides together. Glue all the remaining pieces together. Hole punch one of the star tips and add string to hang. Décor Ideas by Khadija Annette www.khadija-annette.com www.ramadanjoy.com

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


White Paper Strands Materials   

Computer Paper Scissors Sewing Machine

Directions 1. Stack 2-3 sheets on top of each other and fold in half 2. On the fold draw your shapes 3. Cut the shapes 4. Open the shapes up keeping them stacked and then machine sew down the center. You can sew a single large one, a few one after another on a strand or sew lots to form a garland. Cut the machine threads long so you can use the thread for hanging. Create the shape by folding open the individual papers of the shape.

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


EID CARDS with your kids

By Nida Mujahid

With Ramadan and Eid just around the corner. Summer is a wonderful time to help the kids get busy making greeting cards for family and friends!

What you need is :    

Blank greeting cards Stencils Acrylic paint Craft sponges

How its done : 1. Decide on your stencil , colors and layout. 2. Stencil one design at a time and let it dry before you do the next.

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


3. If your kids are old enough to make their own stencils ,they can trace any design onto a blank stencil sheet and then cut out your design with a craft knife. 4. Use embellishments or gems to finish off… be as creative as you want.

You can write the dua for breaking fast : “Zahabadh-dhama'u wabtallatil-'urooqu, wa thabatal-ajru inshaa-Allaahu.” (The thirst has gone and the veins are quenched, and reward is confirmed, if Allaah wills.) and for greeting each other on Eid: “Taqaballahu minna wa minkum (may Allah accept from us and you ).”

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


STYLE

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Eid Finds 22

RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


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Eid is a day of celebration and excitement; a day of meeting other believers and attending Eid prayers. Part of the festivity of the day is dressing up in nice new clothes. Everyone enjoys dressing up on Eid, young or old, male or female. And it is no secret that Muslim women in particular love dressing up for Eid. However, sometimes Muslim women tend to get a bit carried away when dressing up and they forget to observe the rules set by Allah (swt) regarding the Hijab. A woman’s dress before non-Mahram (non-related men) should not be tight, see through, or flashy such that it attracts attention. However, it is perfectly fine to dress up in your gorgeous outfits, cover up in front of non-Mahrams, and show your clothes at women’s gatherings or among your family. A great place to look for good outfits when shopping for Eid is Shukr Online. Shukr offers a variety of clothing in different colors and styles, without compromising the modesty. Shukr Online sells clothes for both men and women, for special occasions or every day wear. The best part is that Shukr is offering our readers a free headscarf with every $100 purchase. Also, there are many other options for dressing nicely but modestly. So there is no need to turn to disobedience to Allah (swt) just because we want to look good. InshaAllah as we plan our outfits for Eid, let us all keep in mind the rulings Allah (swt) has set regarding our clothes and let us all strive to stay in obedience to Him.

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


EXTRAS

Sunnan of Eid

By Rania Siddiq

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


It’s that time of year again, Eid season is near! The days where Muslims gather together, family and friends get to see each other, children play together, gifts are passed all around, and happiness is everywhere. Unfortunately, in all the hustle and bustle on that day, many of us tend to forget the sunnan (plural of Sunnah) of Eid. InshaAllah, if we can do just a bit of research and learn the sunnan of Eid, we can fill that day with blessings and reward. In Islam, there are two holidays, or Eids: Eid al Fitr, which comes on the first day after Ramadan. Eid al Adha, which comes on the 10th Day of Thul Hijjah. These are the two holidays in Islam, so we should really try to make them special for ourselves especially if we live in nonMuslim countries where Eid is not celebrated by majority of society. Before Ramadan: *Pick your clothes to wear so you have time to order them online, go shopping, buy jewelry, or anything else that is timeconsuming so that you can maximize your time for ibadah (Worship) during Ramadan and avoid hassle in the few days before Eid. *Pick nice good clothes, this is a holiday after all, and it is from the Sunnah (way of the Prophet) to fine clothes on the day of Eid. *Decorate the house with lights/ other decorations so you can maximize on ’Ibadah (worship) time during Ramadan. The Night before Eid: *Decide where you plan to go for Eid prayer, if you have not done so already. *Take out everyone’s clothes (chosen from before), and iron them (Hijabs included). *Take out everything, and I mean everything: shoes, jewelry, scarf pins, socks, hair clips, the works. Set these all out on top of everyone’s Eid clothes so there is no running around and searching for things on the morning of Eid.

*Make/buy any sweets that you want to eat on the morning of Eid al Fitr. *Clean the house whether you will have people coming over or not. *Sleep extra early so you can wake up early! If you want to have Henna on, put it on during the daytime, not night, before Eid. Charity on Eid Al-Fitr There is an obligatory charity due for Eid Al-Fitr, called Sadaqatul Fitr. The translation of a Hadith transmitted by Ahmad and Ibn Maja tells us that the Ibn Abbas (ra) said: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) made Fitr Charity obligatory on the fasting person to purify him of his obscene talk and absurd deeds during the fast and also to provide food to the needy. Whoever distributes Fitr Charity before Eid Prayer, it will be accepted as Fitr Charity. Whoever distributes it after Eid Prayer, his Fitr Charity is just like an ordinary charity. The Fitr Charity can be given a day or two before Eid. It is preferable for the head of the family to give it on behalf of all the members of the household. The Morning of Eid: *Turn on the Eid lights, if you have them, to give an extra special feeling that today is a Holiday. *Get ready before going to Eid prayers. The Sunnah (way of the Prophet) is to take a bath, apply scent (for men), brush your teeth with a miswak, and wear nice clothes (as mentioned before). *Another Sunnah (way of the Prophet) is to eat something sweet before going to Eid al-Fitr prayer. On Eid al-Adha, the Sunnah is to eat something after returning from prayers. Again, if you want to make some food yourself, do it the night before not the morning of Eid! Or pop by a sweet shop. (Be sure to wake up extra early if you plan to do this before Eid al-Fitr prayers) Eid Prayers:

“...Getting the whole family to say Takbeer together on the way and listening to everyone say it at the place of prayer is an amazing experience and adds to the special feeling of Eid…”

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According to the Sunnah, Eid prayer should be performed in the open and should be performed outside of town. It is extremely sad that some women think that they should not attend Eid prayers if they are menstruating. This is very untrue. The translation of a Hadith (saying of the Prophet) tells us that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “On the days of both the Eid, all women including the one in menstrual condition should be brought to the place of worship so that they may join the Muslims in prayer and supplication. However, women in menstrual condition will not join the prayer” (Bukhari and Muslim) *The Sunnah is to go to the place of Eid Prayer by foot and come back by foot. Of course, if you live far, it is not possible to follow this Sunnah and driving would be a much better idea. In following the Sunnah, keep saying Takbeer (Allah is the greatest) excessively on the way to the Eid Prayer, and keep doing it until the Imam sits on the Minbar (rostrum). *Getting the whole family to say Takbeer together on the way and listening to everyone say it at the place of prayer is an amazing experience and adds to the special feeling of Eid. For Eid al Adha, the Takbeers start on Eid day and go on

“...Pick nice good clothes, this is a holiday after all, and it is from the Sunnah to fine clothes on the day of Eid…”

through the days of Tashreeq (That would be the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th of Thul Hijjah) The words for Takbeer, as transmitted by Ibn Abu Shaiba in Arwaaul Ghaleel Lil Albani, are: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Laa Ilaaha Illallahu wallaahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Walillahil Hamd God is great, God is great, there is no diety worthy of worship except God, and God is great. God is great and to God is all praise. *There are no voluntary prayers before or after Eid prayer. *After the prayer is complete we should say, “Taqabbalallahu minna wa minka (minka for male and minki for female)” (May Allah accept from us and you) to each other. *Return home from Eid prayers following a different route than the route you took to get there. Miscellaneous issues regarding Eid Prayer: If Eid happens to fall on Friday, it is better to perform both the Eid prayer and the Jumu’ah prayer. However, leaving the jumu’ah prayer and praying Dhuhr as normal is acceptable if you prayed the Eid prayer. If a person is not able to attend the Eid prayer in gathering with everyone else, he or she should pray two rak’ahs by himself or herself. MY MUSLIM VEIL

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RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


MOTHERHOOD

12 TIPS

To make

EID special

FOR YOUR KIDS

By Natalja K

Eid-Al-Fitr (feast of Breaking the fast)”, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan as a three day celebration. Muslims around the world are looking forward to this special occasion, which calls for a grand celebration. But it is the young ones from our ummah, who truly deserve a real Islamic holiday festivity. While fostering children’s love for Islam, which inshaAllah is a top priority on every Muslim family’s agenda, we, the adults, must make Eid the best day for our kids. If Eid is not a special day, then what other day is worthy of that? Prophet, peace be upon him, said “For every people there is a feast and this is our feast.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari: (vol. 5, no. 268).]. Also, after seeing the people of Madina celebrate two pre -Islamic holidays, Prophet, peace MY MUSLIM VEIL

be upon him, as reported by Anas ibn Maalik, said “Allâh has given you better than those feasts: the ‘Eid-ul-Adha, and ‘Eid-ul-Fitr”, thus emphasizing to take special care of the Eids. Let’s look into some of the ways to make Eid a memorable day that will make your kids have cozy feelings every time they remember this holiday many years past and into their adulthood. To create the best Eid and the best Eid memories for the kids, the holiday needs to be larger than any other festivity, fun, and consistent – make family traditions. Make arrangements to tackle all human senses ( visual, smell, touch, taste, audio ) and don’t forget to grab a camera to capture the moments.

1. Adults, if you are able to take 27

off from work, you should – it’s your holiday, too! Kids should make appropriate arrangements to take a day or more from school ( make sure tests are re-scheduled, homework etc. taken care of)

2. Wake your family up gently with hugs and kisses.

3.

Have Eid nasheeds (islamic

songs) softly play on the background while you serve an amazing breakfast.

4. Talk about how happy you are to be together as a family and thank Allah for all the bounties he has given you. Review etiquette of the Eid prayer and reason behind it – have a mini family halaqa

RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


5. Get your beautiful new clothes on and attend Eid prayer

6.

After Eid prayer, go visit your family and friends, especially friends of your kids. Be sure to exchange gifts: it could be anything - from extravagant to a fun goody bag, or a box of home-made cookies you and your kids baked together for this occasion. Prophet, peace be upon him, encouraged people to exchange gifts, as gift-giving is one of the good manners that maintains and strengthens relations between the giver and the recipient. Al-Bukhaari narrated that Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "The Messenger of Allah , peace be upon him, used to accept gifts and reward people for giving them."

7.

Invite family and friends to your house or a venue for an Eid

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celebration, or organize a joined celebration.

8.

Decorate the house with Eid posters, balloons, lights, anything that will make it look different and joyful. Engage your kids to help you do it.

9.

No celebration takes place without a cake ! Bake a special Eid cake or Eid cupcakes – search a design/recipe online and if you want to make a family tradition, make that same special cake every year ( make sure your family loves it before you commit to this long term baking relationship!).

10. At the Eid gathering, create an agenda with age-appropriate games. Take a lead and make play organized. Chose games that are fun, with prizes or other small rewards. You can make up an Islamic trivia, or, for example, make a competition for the best recita-

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tion of the surah Fatiha if your kids know it. You can also offer some small sports competitions or other games – opportunities on the web are limitless.

11.

Food, definitely have some good food on the table. If you can’t cook, then cater – Eid is the day to spend if your family can afford to, inshaAllah.

12. On the remained of the Eid days, if you are done with all the visitation, you could take your kids to an amusement park, take a small trip out of town or do something out of the ordinary that will make everyone go “wow!”. Those were just some of the ideas to make Eid special for your kids (and for you, of course ). Nobody knows your family better than yourself, so let your fantasy unwind and be on the way to create the most amazing Eid moments and memories ever!

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POEMS

Ramadan is here Its time to cheer Ramadan Mubarak! Don’t eat from morning Till night Just hold your hunger With all your might Feel like the poor feel Then when it is time To break your fast Think about how long you fasted And think about the poor They are still starving So thank Allah for the food He has given you!

By Zaynab Malik, 7 years old MY MUSLIM VEIL

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“If you educate a boy, you educate an individual. If you educate a girl, you educate a community.” VOICES

By Nabeelah Naeem

Empowering Lives

Women are our first teachers and caretakers. They are often first to sacrifice their time and energy for their family and community. But when it’s their education that they sacrifice to become caretakers, this can hurt the very people they’re taking care of. In poverty-stricken areas, circumstances often force girls to sacrifice their education and dreams to take care of the household. Hence women make up two-thirds of the 795 million illiterate adults worldwide, according to UNESCO. The first person this hurts is the woman herself. Without an education to fall back on or skills to stand on her own feet, she’s vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. According to the International Center for Research on Women, about 10 million girls younger than 18 are married worldwide yearly. Those who become widows – like Fairouz, a young mother of three that Islamic Relief workers met in Palestine – are illequipped to survive. More than 115 million widowed women worldwide live in poverty, according to a study by Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. Education is valuable in itself, but for a family living in poverty, perhaps the most practical effect is that it can help ease their living situation. So how can we help women and families become economically self-sufficient? Easy: MY MUSLIM VEIL

Financially empower those who have the closest perspective of the family’s needs—the women. Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "A woman acts for the people.” (Tirmithi) By giving women the necessary knowledge and tools, they can become economically empowered, and then they can reinvest into their family. An activist Bono said to the New York Times in a 2005 interview: "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Give a woman microcredit, she, her husband, her children and her extended family will eat for a lifetime." Through microfinance, individual borrowers receive small loans to start their own businesses. A small amount—equivalent to a week of coffee—goes a long way, helping people lift themselves out of poverty. This kind of minimal loan helps low-income households boost their own income and build permanent local institutions that benefit the entire community. Just by sacrificing a couple of dollars, we can empower those who put the needs of others before theirs. Sacrificing a couple of hours can do the same thing. Samira Malik, Islamic Relief USA’s Revenue Manager, does just that. At her job, she serves humanity year-round, but she gives extra hours during the busy hours of Ramadan—sometimes 10 hours a day, seven days a week. During those hours, she’s crunching numbers to empower small businesswomen

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like Fairouz. “I know the work I am doing will benefit someone whose circumstances truly warrant a complaint,” Malik said. “There is gratification in knowing what I do every day is of benefit to someone else.” Even though Fairouz and Samira live thousands of miles apart, their lives are interconnected. Fairouz got married right after high school and was widowed when her children were still young. Unemployed, she did not have enough money to make ends meet. Islamic Relief helped Fairouz start her own business by providing her a sewing machine and support. With the help of donors, Fairouz now has a reliable income and can provide for her family and give back to her community. “We are so thankful for everything,” she said. “I have hope that I can get back to school now, and insha-Allah I will. Allah (God) provides.” One loan at a time, together we can help women, who account for 60 percent of the world’s hungry, according to the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council. “Who will loan Allah a beautiful loan so He may multiply it for him many times?” (Quran, 57:11) RAMADAN ISSUE 2012


1

in

seven people will go to sleep

HUNGRY TONIGHT. -United Nations World Food Program

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