Saving Middle East.

The new Gregarion Calendar has started (it has nothing to do with Muslims, since we follow the Islamic Lunar calendar ) – and I have decided (if even for a little while ) to rise from my imposed hibernation. Is … Continue reading

Guard your modesty ~ oh muslimah.

I hear sisters who don’t wear hijab, but feel they are better than the sisters who do wear hijab, but with make up, tight clothes, hair showing etc ~ to them I say, follow what your Allah has ordered you to do first.  Dress how he has asked you to, cover your aura how he has instructed you, and leave the judging to Him, for HE alone, has the right to judge anyone. Do not use this cause, as an excuse so as not to embrace a part of the muslimah’s identity.

Remember, shaitaan lurks around every muslimah ever so zestfully … His ultimate goal is to lure her into sin. The graver the sin, the more the reward for him.

For sisters, who wish to embrace the hijab but have been fighting their own little battle between, pleasing the world and pleasing Allah ~ encourage them.  May they find peace in the path chosen by Allah for them. Ameen

For sisters, who are drifting (just like the sister in the below video) ~ make dua, lots of dua, that Allah swt makes her nafs stronger than the whispers of the wretched shaitaan.

Mislead by Traditions and Ignorance.

It was in the blessed month of Ramadhan, that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. (Peace and blessings be upon him)

The first word uttered was ” Iqra ” ~ meaning “READ” or RECITE.

Read: to understand the meaning of written symbols
Recite: to verbally repeat from memory (read aloud)

Muslims, young and old, have been encouraged to seek knowledge ~ to broaden their horizons with reference to this beautiful deen of Islam.

Sadly, muslims, are too preoccupied in hoarding worldly knowledge so as to attain higher degrees in science, maths and engineering, so as to attain better salaries and fulfill their worldly desires  ~   while totally neglecting to seek knowledge of the one book, that will eventually, be the ONLY source of “respite” and intervention for him/her in his/her grave !!!!

Because, parents have been idly following traditions, they prefer their offspring to continue doing so. The Asian upbringing is not the best, to say the least. We demand our children, not question, any traditional values ~  Centuries of misinformed people, who never once tried to “understand” and “apply” what the Quran preached ~ what the hadiths enlightened us with, never reached so many more of us. We have been swimming in a tide of bidaah and we fiercely support them !! We are a naïve lot and what’s worse is that we are an arrogant lot, at that .

The one who guides us to the righteous path, has to be lamented, his motives, questioned and his image, tarnished.

This is how low we have stooped. We, the ummah of Rasool Allah, sallallahi wa sallam 😦

Here is an example of a ‘top notch’ bidaah.

23 rakaahs of Taraveeh in 7 minutes !!!!!!

Now that we are aware of how the situation is over there, Can I request ANY aalim in this country/state/city to please reach out to our brothers and sisters and guide them in the right ways. I am sure, these people have good intentions but have NEVER researched their own religion. Instead they have accepted age-old traditional practices.

May Allah swt give them hidayah and guidance. Ameen

The Stroller

The advert said, ‘designed for comfort and safety of your precious little one’

Six months later, mom asked,

but where would the baby bag go ?

but where would little johnny’s rattle go, his bottle go, his bibs go, his pacifier, his teddy, his cap, his socks go ?

and his bag of toys ?

and where would the gift box for Anna’s party go ?

and what about the laptop, spare sandals, grocery bags, baby blanket, and what not !!

DSC_1886

A year later …….

Introducing the efficient way to carry it all !!  minus the baby 🙂

the stroller

Just to clarify, We have three children, and our strollers, were homes on wheels to our boys, only when they slept 🙂 The rest of the time, they were used for carrying just about everything under the sky 🙂

Tight Jeans & Muslim Women !

tight jeans

Either I’m living in a very confused time or there are a whole lot of confused women, swarming around in the malls dressed as a hybrid between, wanting to please their parents and wanting to go on a date  !!

not hijab hijaab

Tight clothing, hijab and muslim women (in public)  ~ just don’t go hand in hand. PERIOD !! (Ofcourse, You are totally at liberty to wear anything at home)

However, this generally happens, when women/girls either don’t know

  • Why they wear hijab
  • what is real hijab or
  • when they are trying to please ‘themselves’ while keeping Allah swt, somewhere in the picture.

Well sisters, I got some REAL news for you !!  Who do you think your kiddin ???  Surely, not the one who already has your intentions listed out.  I totally respect the parents for guiding these children towards hijab but I fail to understand, why parents don’t explain the importance behind the hijab.

Unfortunately, the media has symbolized hijab as a piece of cloth, worn to cover the hair. However, Hijab is far greater than just a piece of cloth. There are several aspects of Hijaab ~ the first one being the intention and the next being humility, hijab of the eyes, hijab of how one speaks, hijab of how one walks, and so on so forth.

In a race to be accepted and appreciated by western society, our girls have drifted towards the aesthetic values of hijab rather than the true meaning of humility. Clearly some of the requirements of Islamic clothing for the muslimah is that her dress, not be transparent, too tight so as to reveal her figure and also not something that can be associated with men’s clothing.

I watch in disappointment, while young oblivious muslimah girls prance around in flocks in their shockingly appealing shirts, tight jeans and tall sandals with colorful bling studded mobiles but ofcourse, donning a contrasting scarf to go with it. One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out the chaos running in those tender brains !

For sisters, who are new to Islam, please take your time. Don’t be in a rush to adopt the hijab. Kindly study the religion before you embrace the dress code. Allah swt has bought open your hearts to this beautiful religion, surely he will make you see hijab as an extension of yourselves. It will become a part of your personality very soon. inshallah.

Quite honestly, it is something that comes so naturally to us, once we get accustomed to it and it is surely, not there to make tasks, difficult for us women.  Allah swt would never enforce something difficult for us to bear. He has made deen so simple for us to practise and he has kept women, so well protected, provided we live within our simple deeni boundaries.

May Allah swt protect our ummah and make us stronger and bring us closer together ameen.

 

Market Day at Arabian Ranches 2011

We have already entered the fair (events) season, with the first one being the Arabian Ranches Market Day which was held on the last Friday of October. I was participating in the popular Arabian Ranches Market Day, last year, but this year, my schedule was too tight with the inlaws visiting us from Saudi and all the transformations I am working on at home presently.

 As always the Market Day was excellently organized.  We spend a lovely afternoon finding some amazing stuff and enjoying all the activities organized. Not only did we have over 100 stalls selling clothes, shoes, decoration items, cds, electronics, toys, books, games,  furniture and heaps of many more things, but we also had stalls for games, face painting, rodeo rides and ofcourse tons of more activities. I managed to click a few lovely photos which I am sharing here.  As a community, Arabian Ranches, always amazes me with friendly and mostly helpful residents. 

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Needless to say, I bought myself a heap of lovely stuff from the table top sales !

 

 

Flea Markets in Dubai

Actually, its rather the lack of flea Markets in Dubai !!
 
I know, some of you may have totally different opinions about friends and making “real” friends in the blogosphere, but I have been fortunate enough to have bumped into some very thoughtful and creative friends thru the blog world. Its always a joy when you “meet” someone who is practical, creative, has the same hobby as yourself, and is a mom ! One such friend and I, have been enjoying exchanging a bunch of links.  What links ? you ask ? 
 
Well, one of the most fullfilling feeling I get, is when I see an old piece of furniture get a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint or a new fabric to cover up old spoils. Things like how you can reuse, recycle or refurbish a room are abosolute joys to me. I used to virtually spend hours dug in, links into links into links ~ lost in a beautiful world where common people like myself are making a difference, one object at a time. One such fantastic site is :http://betterafter.blogspot.com/ Amazing transformations here.
      
(This transformation is an absolute joy from “three boys“. Kindly follow the link to view the other amazing projects too. )
                                            
And another one of those “viewing” passions, is the Flea Markets in America.  Its amazing to visit just a few of them on the web and feel so enchanted by the vast variety of different period furniture, clothes, suitcases, antiques and what not.  It is a such an eye candy just visiting those booths with a cocktail of items from jewellry to boots to a swing !
                                             
In Dubai however, things are different. Being a melting pot of cultures, nationalities, languages and traditions, people of different mentalities feel certain inhibitions towards using second hand stuff. There is a large population of labourers and maids from India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Philipines, indonesia, Ethopia and a few other countries too.  Then there are the clerical workers, mostly Asians again but not very handsomely paid for their 6 days a week, 10 hour a day job ! If anything, such sales would benefit them the most.
 
One of the most generous groups of people in Dubai are the super affluent locals (Emarati’s), who would generally handover their clothes and accessories to their drivers and maids, while the furniture is traditionally changed every year and the old ones are simply “dumped”. Thats right, you read it right, dumped by the dumpster !  They would generally consider it below their dignity to sell it in the second hand market. 
 
There is a large second hand market in Dubai which caters to mainly furniture goods. Some of the shops in Karama are the favorite haunts for new lower income asians to pick their furniture from. One of the things I love about Dubai ~ theres a place for everyone to find what they’re looking for, be it food, accomodation, grocery or clothes.
 
Ofcourse the advent of “Foreigners” ~ aka Americans, Europeans, Australians, and New Zealanders did bring about the concept of garage sale or yard sales in Dubai. What with ads for garage sales in the Jumeirah and Mirdiff areas in the 1990s and ofcourse with the boom of the property era, areas like the Greens, Marina, Lakes, Arabian Ranches, falcon city ~ have all followed the traditional annual spring cleaning followed by garage sales. These sales are generally community based run by word of mouth or a flyer on the community market notice board or an advert in the local classified section of Gulf News.  They are so popular especially coz nearly everyone is benefiting from them.
 
Our Arabian Ranches Market Day is a huge hit, and you’d find everyone selling and buying toys, clothes, shoes, stuff, that kids have outgrown, or lost interest in, grown up, and sometimes, even unwanted “gifts” !!  People from all walks of life, are seen buzily buying and enjoying the family time together becoz the management sets the school ground as a family day park  for the residents, putting up food stalls and bouncing castles for the children.
                                                              
                                            
For a long period of time, The Feline Friends garage sale was hugely popular. You had people lining up from early hours of a friday morning in the sultry heat, hours before the gates opened at the factory outlet in Al Quoz where they would temporarily pile up heaps and heaps of clothes, toys, shoes, furniture, house decor and so much much more into a dozens of mini mountains. Word spread amongst the labour community and these became very popular. With designer trousers going for dhs 1 !!!!! why wouldnt it !
Now these sales are a rare event in some villa courtyard in Al Barsha, maybe once every couple of months but definetly nowhere close to the amount of stuff and crowd as it used to attract before.
 
                                        
I have been an ardent visitor to the FF Garage sales. It gives me tremendous satisfaction knowing that I have not blown away 3 workers salary on a single branded handbag or an entire years salary of one labour on a pair of branded sandals !! Its truly a joy, knowing your putting in your bit by trying to recylcle and reuse. For whatever reason, those sales are not held anymore, unfortunetly.
 
Generally folks living in villa’s, leaving the country for good, would initially give away most of the things to their maids and helpers and sometimes put up a “Leaving Country” sale. If your lucky, you could hit jackpot. Years back, I remember, I heard of one such sale from a friend of a friend of one Mary who was then running the scrapbookers network in Dubai and when she was leaving her house she put up a sale,  although I was late in attending it, I remember, feeling like I was in a crafters paradise !!!!  
For someone who was looking for clothes, purses and cooking utensils, her crafters scrapbooks or rubberstamps would’ve meant zilch, but to someone who saves for every copic marker, it was BIG !!
 
You’d be amazed at what is seen lying in the bylanes of Umm Sequeim or Jumeirah or Nad Al Sheeba !! To the westerner who cannot even come close to imagining, to what extent the Rich are Rich here, a close up of their garbage bins, is a good place to begin from 🙂
                                         
I remember, in the 2008 economic melt down, we remember, seeing a group of maids rumaging thru a heap of garbage bags in one of the communities of Ranches. On a closer look, I saw one of the maids toss a handbag behind which I recognized was a PRADA. No not the fake ones. Having been gifted the original thing, I knew how to differentiate them.  There were 11 such designer bags in that garbage bag !!!!!!!!   There were several such garbage bags scattered everywhere…  Naturally, they belonged to some filthy rich but unfortunate lady,  who had to leave the country in haste lest she get stuck in the jail for defaulting on her bank loan payments, decided Prada was not worth her freedom !
I was super happy some time back, when they started a flea market, in Safa Park, jumeirah. In the summers, they kept it in the adjacent school auditorium and it was attracting a crowd and people were leaving happy with their shoppings and vendors were not too unhappy too with their sales. It is a good platform. Unfortunetly, I feel they have not really marketted themselves well and I feel, alot of vendors are now bringing stuff from India etc trying to sell it there. Not alot of people are aware of them in the different areas of Dubai. Look them up here at : Dubai Flea Market. Dubai Flea Market
 
I know, there is one store in a small mall in Satwa, where ladies (the super rich class )  who if they wish to give away their “Original & Only Designer ” handbags, scarves, accessories etc can put them up there and they sell them for a relatively good price instead of dumping them in the bin. Imagine a Versace or a Channel, visiting something close to the dump !! Criminal, isnt it ????
 
In my experience, I have found, one good option in selling and buying second hand goods in Dubai is Dubizzle. Thats an online market, where, you just register without having to pay any fees. I have sold my ikea egg chair and a fax machine thru dubizzle and was amazed by the spontaneous response, I got. I never thought it was so popular but I suppose, online shopping has finally caught up in Dubai.
                                        10.1 Flea market,Athens
 
Ofcourse for those of you, who are interested in a good reading, dont forget to join the second hand books fair, that feline friends hold with the Arte Market at Times Square. Imagine a good book, and the proceeds goes in the upkeep and the feline neutering programe.
 
I still feel, there is a huge market here for selling used goods, not necessarily for workers but there are so many many, low income families who would benefit too. Having a proper flea market could and would answer alot of problems. Its a way, in which your trash is going to benefit someone. A hole in a sweater may mean a good bye from you, but for someone who decides that a 20 dhs sweater may be too steep a price,  would be overjoyed to have yours for free or even if it is for dhs 1 or 2 !! Please remember, what you give, (eventually after completing the whole circle) , returns to you.  
 
If you have enjoyed this article or benefitted from it, kindly leave a comment. I would appreciate it alot.
 
Naush
 
Photograpsh: courtesy Google Images.