Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hijabed running

Finding proper running attire for a hijabi is a never ending quest. Running isn't a sport known for modest apperal. Runners tend to peel off layers as it gets hotter, ending up in short shorts and a sports bra. For hijabis, that's not really an option, unless you're running inside on a treadmill. And, I'm not a big fan of teadmill running. I prefer the great outdoors, and running in road races. Running slowly, I should hasten to add, but still running never the less.

I'm constantly adding and subtracting pieces from my wardrobe. This past weekend, I went running shoe shopping (yaay, new shoes!), and found what may be the perfect hijabi running shirt, at least for a person my size. It's a men's Mizuno Renegade VI XL long sleeve shirt, very very lightweight, in grey with green stripes. They had the same shirt in white with blue stripes, but alas, white tends to be a little see through. The best part is that it was clearenced. $19.99, huzzah! *side note* While searching for a picture to add to this post, I found a bunch more of this style. *must...stop...self...from...buying...more*

I like to shop in the men's section for shirts instead of in the women's section for one reason - fit. Women's sports tops tend to be very fitted, tight across the chest, and stop above the hips. Men's shirts tend to be looser all around, AND if you buy them large enough, they hang down to mid-thigh. If you're like me, you'll have to shorten the sleeves, but it's better than running in a long sleeve cotton shirt. I'd been doing that recently at the gym. Yuck! The sweat clings to the shirt, you get stinky, and you're never cool.

Here's my current running outfit:

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Lycra Al Amirah in black or grey from HijabWorld - while the lycra is much better than cotton (wet soggy mess), it's still a little hot. I may expirment soon with wearing a buff as the underscarf part

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Mizuno Renegade VI shirt

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Black and Grey Capris from Target. Because I have such short, stubby legs, at my current pants size, capris are as long as regular pants for me. inshaAllah when (if) I lose weight, I'll fit length wise in regular sports pants.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Aaaaand, my new babies, my new shoes - Mizuno Women's Inspire 3. I *heart* them. My feet *heart* them. My toes *heart* them. I picked out my last pair of shoes myself. Baaaad idea. I didn't know anything about overprotinating, supinating, support, control, and whatnot. I picked out what was comfy on the clearence rack of DSWs. If you're considering running, do yourself a favor and head over to a specialty running shop. Have a knowledgable salesperson fit your feet and get a shoe that supports your foot type. Your feet will thank you.

If anyone out there is a hijab-ed runner, drop me a line. I'd like to find other muslimahs out there who run.

Friday, February 23, 2007

To do:

Must write a post to enter in Umm Zaid's the sisters' space blog carnival.

Need topic ideas. I am currently obsessed with running/exercise. And I love dhikr. Hmmm...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


A word of advice:

Never make up a dozen prayers in a row and then go out for a run. My thighs still hurt 2 days later.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Random Musing

I'm on a roll today blog posting wise.

There are a few muslims out in blogistan who reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nzingha and almiskeenah are both on my daily blog list. My hat, er scarf, off to them. The husband lived in Saudia when he was younger, and dreams of moving there someday. I'm a big fan of independently moving around and driving myself. I don't think I would do so well there.

But...I was thinking today. If there was a women's only gym in Mecca or Medina, I could definately live there. Being able to pray 5 times a day at the Prophet's masjid or in the Haram, and then going off to exercise...now that would be the way to live!

Missed Salat

Making up missed prayers according to the Shafi'i madhab

Calculating how many missed prayers I have to make up

How to Offer Makeup Prayers

One can offer make-up prayers at any time, even at times when prayers are normally forbidden.

Nawawi on making up missed prayers: scholarly consensus

Make up prayers of a new convert

Burn baby burn

My mind works in weird ways.

I wish I had read this piece from Umm Zaid that has the most important piece of advice a convert can ever get. Astaghfirullah, being regular with salat is not something that has come easily to me. But, alhamdulilah, I finally buckled down last night and calculated all the prayers I need to make up. If you're not regular about prayers, sit down and figure out how many you missed. You'll probably be shocked at how quickly they add up.

So, after maghrib, I made intentions to make up one missed maghrib prayer. After that one, I was starting to get in a groove. So I did another...and another...and another...

And this is where my mind starts working in weird ways. After quite a few rakat, I was starting to feel a burn in my legs. After the prayer, I headed off to the Y to run for awhile. While I was chugging along, I thought "I wonder what kind of exercise benefits we have in salat? It's a little bit of strength training and stretching, with all the prostrating. I wonder how many calories one burns?"

I tend to obsess about things. My current obsession is fitness for the love of fitness. So naturally, I'm now obsessing over how many calories one burns while making salat, lol.

My legs are really tender today. I know it's not just from running, since it hasn't hurt like this since waaaay back when I first started running in 05. The combination of salat and running was an excellent workout. What a wonderful extra benefit we get from worshiping our Lord!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Is SunniPath Sufi-influenced?

I mini ranted about the censoring of Sunnipath on certain internet forums awhile back. Seems like I'm not the only one who has run into this. Too bad I couldn't post this on said forums without it getting deleted.

From Sunnipath via Travellers on the Path of Knowledge:

Is SunniPath sufi-influenced and lax
Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

1 - I was talking the other day with someone about online Islamic sites and I brought up SunniPath. The other party acknowledged how the word on SunniPath is that it is Sufi-influenced and too lax about innovations and sinful sufi methods that exist. What is your answer to this? I know people shouldn’t worry about the opinions of others but you have to defend so people can feel comfortable having SunniPath as a teacher.

2 - As far as the actual general rulings of SunniPath go, there are also misconceptions about them as well. Some feel that your answers are too “modern” and don’t have a tendency to be on the safe side like islam-qa, askimam, and other Islamic sites do. That they aren’t god-fearing. What is your response to this?

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Is SunniPath Sufi-Influenced?

SunniPath believes that Shariah-grounded spirituality is the very essence and core of the guidance that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) came with. Ths is the understanding of mainstream Islam, and the way of the scholars of all four Sunni schools.

Are We “Modern” and “Lax”?
We follow the principles of giving legal verdicts and religious guidance, and our answers are according to relied-upon positions within mainstream Islamic scholarship, as explained by classical and contemporary jurists (fuqaha).

We strive to promote deen in the lives of people through our answers, and to encourage them to pursue the ways of seeking to perfect their submission to Allah. This often requires encouraging or guiding people towards caution and taking the stricter opinion; at other times, however, this calls for making people aware of a dispensation. At all times, however, we try to do our best to frame our answers in a positive rather than negative way.

As for being godfearing, we believe that this entails not just blanket-caution, but striving our utmost to give the answer that is best and most beneficial–in that it best promotes the good for the person and for society given the case and circumstances.

If there are specific answers that are erroneous, we urge people to tell us. We will, insha’Allah, hasten to correct the mistakes. After all, the truth is most deserving of being followed.

And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

God is beautiful and loves beauty

The Patient One

And be patient in adversity:for, verily, God is with those who are patient in adversity.Al-Anfal 8:46, tr. Asad

If you are wholly perplexed and in straits,have patience, for patience is the key to joy.Rumi, Mathnawi I:2908, tr. Helminski

Declare your faith; live by it

From the Daily Star via Mind, Body, Soul.

In the name of Allah , the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful:

A person who counts himself among obedient servants of the Lord must testify to faith in the One God and to acceptance of his prophet (Muhammad, Jesus or Moses, peace be upon them all, depending on the religion one follows sincerely). That person must live according to that faith, and go out from the world with faith in hisheart. He protects faith by renewing it daily.

The Creator plants the seed of faith in everyone. If a person mistreats this gift, then he loses everything - the world and the hereafter. He runs to anywhere that he finds material benefit. One’s words may say one thing, but the intention can be something else, and his actions in life becomes worldly. He may forget his faith easily and drop the lifestyle that Allah and his prophets are ordering.

It’s not enough just to say, “I am a believer.” There are people who claim they are believers. But it is only words if they do not look at how they are living and adjust their actions according to intentions, asking why they are living and what is the purpose of life.

Why go to work? Why sleep? Why eat? Why pray? If we don’t know the answer, our actions cannot reflect and support our faith. Holy Prophet Muhammad said, “There is no difference in the Presence of Allah between Arab and non-Arab, except for those who have more taqwa (awareness of God’s presence throughout one’s life).” Those who have taqwa are in higher stations and are closer to their Lord. That’s what we have to run after.

When the sun sets, the angels wrap up another page for that day. They close it, seal it and it’s gone. Whatever our intentions and actions were, we cannot change anything from yesterday. The angels closed that page until Judgement Day. “How did I live today? What did I do? Where did I run? What did I earn? Did I earn only this world? Or did I earn for life hereafter? Or I didn’t earn either one of them?” If we earned the world, and if Allah gives a chance later, maybe one day we will spend that gain in the way of Allah on something for Paradise. We were created as “Ahsani taqweem,” the most perfect creature on earth. If we earned neither the world nor eternity, then shame to us.

We have no guarantee that we will reach tomorrow. If Allah gave both strong spirit and strong physical form and we waste them in questionable places, we will regret later. Every breath is a chance given for another life. Once it’s ordered for us not to inhale the air, we go out with whatever we collected in life. If someone collected material only, he cannot take it with him. Everyone goes empty handed to the grave. If a person runs after empty goals, then he will find emptiness in the grave. If one
runs after something valuable for hereafter, he will find that value in the grave.

And what is of value? To have declared one’s faith, and to have lived by that faith. If you testify and you live according to faith, there is no worry. But if you are claiming and not living according to that faith, then you may not remember to hold onto that faith when the angel of death comes. In the end, many think that the doctor (or the president) is going to help. But that doctor and president are themselves in need of help.

Sheytan gives value to worldly attractions. Be careful. We must not see beauty in what Sheytan is directing. Beauty and value is in what Allah and his prophets ordered. That is Hakk (the Truth). What Allah and his prophets forbid, that is ugly and haram (forbidden). If admiring something forbidden, the heart is with Sheytan, not shining with faith. With faith, wrong things become apparent and you will live
what you believe.

Even if Sheytan makes you dizzy and you aren’t faithful throughout your lifetime, when the death-rope is around your neck, you may say, “Well, I didn’t live according to my faith, but at least let me go out with the faith.” When the angel of death comes, unexpectedly or not, the angels record the last words that come into your heart and out from your mouth.

The chance is given to us in this life to testify to faith and we must live by it. Billions
of people sitting in their graves are wishing that this breath of life would be given back to them once more, just to come to this life momentarily and to be taken away again _ just one breath of life to be given to them to declare their faith.

Sheykh Abdul Kerim al-Hakkani al-Kibrisi is the imam and spiritual leader of the Osmanli Naks-I’bendi Muslim Dergah in Sidney Center.

Friday, February 9, 2007

From the Author of American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion

I used to be a fan of Muslim Wake Up, and an excited progressive. Then I joined the PMU (progressive muslim union) mailing list, and found that their big tent wasn't quite big enough to accomidate someone who identified strongly with more traditional interpretations of the faith.

I haven't visited MWU in ages, but on a whim today I decided to, thankfully. Paul Barrett, the author of the new book "American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion" that I had previously blogged about has a selection of his chapter on Imam Siraj Wahhaj up. Take a gander:

There may be no better place to take the measure of African-American Islam today than at Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn, N.Y. Formerly a clothing store, then a junkies’ shooting gallery, Taqwa sits at the busy intersection of Fulton Street and Bedford Avenue. In the mid-nineteenth century, free blacks had helped settle the area, now known as Bedford-Stuyvesant. In the 1930s, a new subway line from Manhattan encouraged African-Americans to move to the neighborhood from a crowded and deteriorating Harlem. As the number of blacks in Bedford-Stuyvesant tripled over the next three decades, most whites fled for the suburbs. Housing projects and crime went up; businesses disappeared. Today some blocks are starting to gentrify, but much of the area remains bleak.

At one o’clock one summer Friday afternoon, the jostling to get into the mosque and find a space to sit was getting intense. The imam was in town and would be delivering the khutbah. Some 500 men crowded into the windowless main hall. Among them were cab drivers and security guards, ex-convicts in do-rag stocking caps and merchants wearing embroidered West African robes of crimson and gold. There were school teachers, municipal clerks, and mobile-phone salesmen. Most were American-born blacks, the rest immigrants from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. Their shoes were stored in green plastic bags set on long shelves near the door. They sat on dingy gray-striped carpeting laid to indicate the qibla, or direction of prayer toward Mecca. The walls, painted mustard yellow and green, were bare except for a torn poster of the holy city. Invisible from the main hall, a small group of women in headscarves and ankle-length dresses entered through a side door. They sat in a separate room connected via closed-circuit TV.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Opening: Understanding Surah Fatiha

via Seeker's Digest:

The recording of the first Course Lens live event we had last weekend, The Opening: Understanding Surah Fatiha with Shaykh Sohail Hanif, is now available. You can view it here

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Content of Character

My favorite blogger, Sunni Sister, has finally gotten a computer and is back! As a prelude to her blogging manifesto, she has posted a number of ahadith from Sheikh Hamza Yusuf's translation of Sheikh al Amin Ali Mazrui's "The Content of Character." This book is definately on my to read list.

These ahadith are a representation of another reason I am muslim - the focus on good character. Islam tells us to be good people. It's unfortunate so many muslims forget this. Again, I marvel at the possible future we would have, if only muslims lived Islam.

The Messenger of Allah, sallalahu aleyhi wa ‘ala ahlihi wa sahbihi wa
salaam, said:

“Keep God in mind wherever you are; follow a wrong with a right that offsets it; and treat people courteously.” (Tirmidhi)

“Love for humanity is what you love for yourself.” (Bukhari)

“After obligatory rites, the action most beloved to God is delighting other Muslims.” (Tabarani)

“Should you ever become eager to mention another’s faults, recall your own.” (Rafi’i)

“If your good deeds delight you and your foul deeds distress you, you are a believer.” (Diyya)

“Abandon desire for this world, and God will love you. Abandon desire for others’ goods, and people will love you.” (Ibn Majah)

“The most virtuous behavior is to engage those who sever relations, to give to those who withhold from you, and to forgive those who wrong you.” (Tabarani)

“True spiritual excellence is devotion to God as if you see Him; and though you do not see Him, you at least know that He sees you.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

“What enables people to enter Paradise more than anything is piety and good character.” (Tirmidhi)

“The majority of man’s sins emanate from his tongue.” (Tabarani)

“The servants God loves most are those most sincere with God’s servants.” (Imam Ahmad)

“May God have mercy on a servant who spoke well and gained good, or kept silent and avoided harm.” (ibn al Mubarak)

“Consider well contentment, for it is a treasure without end.” (Tabarani)

“A person has done enough wrong in his life if he simply repeats everything he hears.” (Muslim)

“Veiling the thoughts of the faithful is akin to restoring life to the dead.” (Tabarani)”

“God veils the faults of anyone who suppresses his anger.” (ibn Abi ad Dunya)

“Whoever has no shame before others has no shame before God.” (Tabarani)

“The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

“A person’s spiritual practice is only as good as that of his close friends; so consider well whom you befriend.” (Tirmidhi)

“Speak the truth even though it be bitter.” (ibn Hibban)

“Fulfillment is not plenty of goods; rather it is self-fulfillment.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

“Gentleness never accompanies anything without enhancing it, nor is it ever removed from anything without demeaning it.” (Bayhaqi)

“Beautiful Islam entails minding one’s own business.” (Tirmidhi)

Monday, February 5, 2007

Advice our modern muslim rulers could take to heart

It's funny where an internet rambling can take you.

Today, it started with the quiz "Which Arab Leader are you?"

My husband and I are both Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen by the way. Two peas in a pod, politics wonks to the end.

This lead to a discussion on different forms of economics and politics, which leads my husband talk about his favorite subject - islamic economics.

Which in turns leads to the topic of distribution of wealth.

Which leads to my husband mentioning the 5th rashidun caliph. I'm like, huh? There are 4. So, I get to learn about Caliph Umar ibn Abdel Aziz (717-720), who had some pretty cool ideas about equality of different races in the muslim ummah and the taxation system.

Finally, as I was attempting to google this Umar (there's not much out there on him online that I could find), I come across this gem from Imam al Ghazali from the Wikipedia's page on Caliph.

This is suppose to be from his "Nasihat al-Muluk" or "Advice for Kings," that he wrote to a seljuq caliph. I don't have the book to check for sure. If it's inaccurate, please let me know.

Every muslim in a leadership position should read this and take it to heart:

1. The ruler should understand the importance and danger of the authority entrusted to him. In authority there is great blessing, since he who exercises it righteously obtained unsurpassed happiness but if any ruler fails to do so he incurs torment surpassed only by the torment for unbelief.

2. The ruler should always be thirsting to meet devout religious scholars and ask them for advice.

3. The ruler should understand that he must not be content with personally refraining from injustice, but must discipline his slave-troops, servants, and officers and never tolerate unjust conduct by them; for he will be interrogated not only about his own unjust deeds but also about those of his staff.

4. The ruler should not be dominated by pride; for pride gives rise to the dominance of anger, and will impel him to revenge. Anger is the evil genius and blight of the intellect. If anger is becoming dominant it will be necessary for the ruler in all his affairs to bend his inclinations in the direction of forgiveness and make a habit of generosity and forbearance unless he is to be like the wild beasts.

5. In every situation that arises, the ruler should figure that he is the subject and the other person is the holder of authority. He should not sanction for others anything that he would not sanction for himself. For if he would do so he would be making fraudulent and treasonable use of the authority entrusted to him.

6. The ruler should not disregard the attendance of petitioners at his court and should beware of the danger of so doing. He should solve the grievances of the Muslims.

7. The ruler should not form a habit of indulging the passions. Although he might dress more finely or eat more sumptuously, he should be content with all that he has; for without contentment, just conduct will not be possible.

8. The ruler should make the utmost effort to behave gently and avoid governing harshly.

9. The ruler should endeavor to keep all the subjects pleased with him. The ruler should not let himself be so deluded by the praise he gets from any who approach him as to believe that all the subjects are pleased with him. On the contrary, such praise is entirely due to fear. He must therefore appoint trustworthy persons to carry on espionage and inquire about his standing among the people, so that he may be able to learn his faults from men’s tongues.

10. The ruler should not give satisfaction to any person if a contravention of God’s law would be required to please him for no harm will come from such a person’s displeasure.

Can you imagine what kind of world we would live in, if our muslim leaders would strive to enact even one of these pieces of advice? SubhanAllah!

NYT: Tariq Ramadan Has an Identity Issue


I knew there was a reason I liked this guy:

Ramadan’s favorite Muslim philosophers are the late-19th-century reformists Muhammad Abduh and Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, who tried to revive Islam under Western colonial rule by rational interpretation of the holy texts. They were skeptical of religious tradition, accumulated over time, and looked for core principles in the Koran that spoke to reason. For them there was no contradiction between scientific reasoning and their Muslim faith. And female emancipation or democratic government could be reconciled with the original principles of Islam. Both had lived in Europe. Both were harsh critics of colonialism and Western materialism. In Ramadan’s words, “They saw the need to resist the West, through Islam, while taking what was useful from it.”


But what exactly are his politics? Ramadan explained to me what shaped his political understanding: “In my family, resistance was a key concept, resistance against dictatorship and colonialism. When I was 18, I started to travel to southern countries, in Latin America, India and Africa. The people I met were often leftists. The liberation theologists in Brazil were very important, resisting in the name of religious principles. I was at home with this discourse. I was also close to the Tibetans and spent one month with the Dalai Lama. It was the same philosophy, spiritual commitment and resistance, in their case against Chinese colonialism. Perhaps because of these personal experiences, I started to read the work of my own grandfather, who used the Scriptures, the story of Moses, against British colonialism. He was saying in the 1940s what the liberation theologists were saying in the 1960s."

Must set asside some money to pick up his new book.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Keep your tongue moist with the Rememberance of Allah (swt)

Abdullah ibn Busr (ra) narrated that:

A man came to the Prophet (saws) and said, "Oh Prophet of Allah, the laws of Islam have become too much for us. So, is there one thing that we can hold on to that would be inclusive (of many other things?)"

He (saws) replied, "Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah, most Exalted, Sublime."

Sahih hadith from Ahmed

SubhanAllah. I was on the bus last night, and getting a little bored of the NPR newscast playing on my ipod. I turned it off, and rummaged around in my purse for something else to keep me occupied. I pulled out "Remember me and I Will Remember You." The preceeding hadith is the first thing in the book after the table of contents. SubhanAllah.

We will often say that Islam is a complete way of life. There is an answer for everything, and as such, there are a lot of rules to follow. I know I will often feel overwhelmed by it all. SubhanAllah, I'm not alone. Even at the time of our blessed Prophet (saws), people felt that all the rules, all the requirements, were too much to bear. How did the Prophet (saws) respond? By berating them? No! By pointing them towards God. Remember God! SubhanAllah. Verily, with God people to find rest.

Sa'd ibn Abee Waqqas (ra) narrated that:

We were with the Prophet (saws) and he asked us, "Is one of you incapable of earning a thousand good deeds every day?"

So one of the people in the audience asked, "How could we get a thousand good deeds?"

So he (saws) said, "Whoever glorifies Allah one hundred times, a thousand good deeds are written for him or a thousand of his bad deeds are removed."

Recorded in Muslim

SubhanAllah (Glory be to God)!