Alcohol ~ Halal or Haram ~ 2

This post is actually a part of the  previous post of Wine being Halal or Haram in Islam.
There are scores of authentic Islamic sites which will explain the position of Alcohol in Islam.
The Learned  Dr Zakir Naik himself, has explained elaborately why Alcohol is haram for Muslims.
His explanations are par excellence.
However, for all those of you, who “assume” that you know how to handle your alcohol aka “Keep my liquor down”, please tell me, do any of the following images show you how much respect you gain in this state of intoxication ?
 
The excuses are endless like, “I drink to release stress, drink only socially, drink very responsibly, drink to ease my worries, drink to forget my worries”  ……. I can jot down a dozen excuses why people prefer drinking. But the basic reason, that I believe in, is that they are simply following what Shaitaan is whispering to them. They are slaves of their habits and they are puppets to peer pressure.
 
Any one with an ounce of sense is not going to consume something that is going to cause his body harm (in the long term or short term in large quantity or small quantity ), embarass him becoz he now feels “released” enough to do leave behind his social inhibitions and could possibly cause harm to others around him (socially, physically, mentally)
 
It is purely disgusting to see women, disgracing themselves ~ all in the name of “having some fun”  !!

It all starts with having a good time !

Until it ends in such a shameful state !

There is no dignity left in either of these pictures ~ ONLY DISGRACE.

How easy do you think, it is, for a man to take advantage of her, in the state she is in ??? And then who’s to blame ???

How do you think these women deal with themselves in the mirror the next morning ???
 
They have even coined a term for this term. WASTED !!!! Exactly that and still dont realize that they are “wasting” that precious life.

This poor dude is now vulnerable to anyone who wishes to throw a prank at him. Who is to blame for in this situation ?????

Havent we heard that “like a million times before ?????   One of the many denials !!

ruined the moment ~ ruined your reputation forever !

And they still think that drinking is civil !!! that one CAN drink “responsibly” (yes, ofcourse I have heard THAT a hundred times )

So drunk that he does not have any realization of where he is …

so drunk that he does not realize he is floored with the can !!!

There are scores of pictures, that I can post here, but some of them are just so explicit and disgusting that I cant get myself display them ~ even if it is just to get my point across and show you that there’s a HUGE reason why ALCOHOL IS HARAM in Islam. Do you really need any more reasons ?? I have a dozen pics more if you need more reasons !!

Do you realize how easily one slips from being very conscious to being sober to be tipsy to being totally drunk and do you realize how deadly this condition can be and IS, if your behind the wheel ???

Ask her, and she’ll tell you :-

 Such a beautiful and promising girl’s life is a struggle today. She is not the only one ~ there are hundreds like her whose lives are destroyed forever, but she is an inspiration, none the less.

Thousands of lives are lost thru out the world when some drunk fool decides to drive his car back home !  So many families suffer, so many homes destroyed forever … … . . .

This is a poem by Caroline :-

A poem to get you thinking about the consequences of drink drivingI went to a party,
And remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mum
So I had a sprite instead.

I felt proud of myself,
The way you said I would,
That I didn’t drink and drive,
Though some friends said I should.

I made a healthy choice,
And your advice to me was right,
The party finally ended,
And the kids drove out of sight.

I got into my car,
Sure to get home in one piece,
I never knew what was coming, Mum
Something I expected least.

Now I’m lying on the pavement,
And I hear the policeman say,
The kid that caused this wreck was drunk,
Mum, his voice seems far away.

My own blood’s all around me,
As I try hard not to cry.
I can hear the paramedic say,
This girl is going to die.

I’m sure the guy had no idea,
While he was flying high,
Because he chose to drink and drive,
Now I would have to die.

So why do people do it, Mum
Knowing that it ruins lives?
And now the pain is cutting me,
Like a hundred stabbing knives.

Someone should have taught him,
That it’s wrong to drink and drive.
Maybe if his parents had,
I’d still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mum
I’m getting really scared.
These are my final moments,
And I’m so unprepared.

I wish that you could hold me Mum,
As I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say, ‘I love you, Mum!’
So I love you and good-bye.

DRINK DRIVING KILLS

Caroline

Need I say more ????

Humility

Taariq bin Shihab reports that when Umar (RA) was traveling to Shaam, Abu Ubaydah bin Jarraah (RA) was accompanying him. When they arrived at a point where they had to wade across, Umar (RA) alighted from his camel, removed his leather socks and threw them over his shoulders. He then took hold of the reins of the camel and waded through. “O Ameerul Mu’mineen!” Abu Ubaydah (RA) said, “Are you doing… that?! Do you also remove your leather socks, throw them over your shoulders, take hold of the reins of the camel and then wade through?! I would not like the people of that city (where we are headed) to see you like this.” “O, Abu Ubaydah! Had anyone other than you made such a statement, I would have made him a lesson for the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW). We were once amongst the lowest of people, but Allah gave us honour because of Islam. As soon as we start to seek honour in avenues other than that in which Allah has granted us honour, Allah will then humiliate us.” [Mustadarak al-Hakim (1/130) No. 207]

 

A brilliant lesson for all of us here. I notice around me, people with little knowledge who are riding very high in the skies of pride
I notice around me, people who have forsaken their lord for worldly comfort and praise, riding very high in the skies of ignorance
I notice around me, people who have little to nothing to loose, still not of humility and I wonder which sky are they waiting for ??
Why has man grown so tall that he only aims for the skies ??
Why does man not bow his head in humility and realize his gratitude towards his CREATOR ??
And then when he is confronted with the tsunamis and scale 8 earthquakes ~ does he not realize that he is but only smaller than the minutest ants crawling before the mercy of his CREATOR ??
No even then, he feels he escaped becoz he was intelligent, he was fast, he was lucky !
Little does he realize, he was spared to teach him a lesson !
Alas ~ but what good ??
Humility is fast leaving from the roots of this world……..
Have you forgotten that you, like your great grandfather Adam (alai salam) came from what ??

Abaya without Hijaab ? ? ? ?

Eid Mubarak to all my brothers and sisters who visit my site so often and delight me with their presence.

I hope everyone likes the new theme for the site ! Although, I love the birds but dont exactly like the idea of them mingling with a heart inbetween but that was a part of the theme so I had little to no choice in that.

Eid in Dubai is always a grand and lavish affair ~ with all the malls hosting lots of color and decorations for their guests. Dubai is exceptionally busy with the GCC crowd ushering in, in this season.

Watching little girls flaunting their beautiful new dresses with gold and silver ruffles and streamers. Young boys with their Ben10 gadgets and chic looking clothes feeling all-so-speacial are all part of the Eid charm. Cinema halls seem endlessly booked out  !!  People crowding in long queues for taxis and young boys in their starched clothes at all the coffee cafes ~ just some of the many scenes in the malls.

However one of the more unusual but saddening scene was also this :

It is not the first time that I witnessed this confused generation and thankfully, its not a common site, however this particular time, I really felt compelled to write about these sisters who seemed oblivious of the world around them. I would not like to highlight which region these sisters were from ~ “THAT” is rather irrelevant to me, atleast ~ but perhaps that is exactly the statement they seemed to be making.

What was hard to digest was :

  • what was the purpose behind wearing an abaya without a hijaab ?

  • Wearing so much gold cladded bling on the shoulders ?

  • Having their chest open ~ revealing exactly what needed to be veiled !!!

  • They have already failed the real reason behind wearing the hijaab and the abaya. So why bother continuing ??

One wonders what and where do such women fit in ? Modern women ? Muslim women ? Religious women ? Show-off Arab women ?

Honestly , “THAT” did not so concern  me as well, becoz I think, they are virtually fooling themselves into believing that they are following Islamic values. My best guess is that they are trying to be identified as “belonging to a certain region”.

And again, they are attempting to fool people around them, that they are Muslim Arab women. When in fact they are barely clinging onto to either identities !!  Hence I called them the confused lot.

I still simply fail to understand, the purpose behind wearing the Abaya in the first place !! There cant be a customized version of the abaya or hijaab if your not covering the body and head.

Frankly, I pity them and I pity the generation they will be misleading … … … Two generations down the line, I dread the outcome … …  Till then May Allah give them hidayah ~ Ameen.

ps. this amazing digital drawing is courtesy Ms.Ayesha of Mnawrah. You can find her gorgeous works of art on Flickr as well as DeviantArt under the name of Mnawrah.

One minute for a muslim !

Ramadhan Mubarak to all of my dear brothers and sisters. May Allah swt accept all our duas and ibadaat especially during this holy month. Ameen. I have been MIA due to several reasons, one of which is also wanting to focus more on my ibadaat. (Sadly, I am one of those, who decides to “JUST” check on my messages on the various blogs/fb/messengers etc sites ~ and before, I know it, I have already “wasted” hours !!!! Therefore, this ramadhan, I decided to limit my “checking” time on the internet ~ Hence this message is primarily for me and then for all my brothers and sisters.)

Already the special last days have started and I wished to share some very beneficial information with you’ll.

I am, by no means, a perfect example, but as much as possible, we should try and use this month to make dhikr, voluntary prayers in addition to the Fard Salaats and charity ofcourse.

My children often ask me what they should supplicate during the “long” hours when they are banned from playstation and computers during this month and I found this wonderful site which had excellent comprehensive supplications which I, printed and  distributed amongst my boys to recite and gain knowledge by reading the meaning and gain hasanah’s by reciting the arabic quotes.

I am sure if you tried something similar for yourself and your children, it will benefit you greatly. inshallah.

Here is the link from where I have borrowed it :-

http://islamicemirate.com/articles/worship/2834-what-can-you-do-in-one-minute.html

There follows a list of things that can be done in one minute, by the permission of Allaah:

1. 1. In one minute you can recite Soorat al-Faatihah 3 times, reciting rapidly and silently. Some scholars said that the reward for reading al-Faatihah is more than 600 hasanahs, so if you read it 3 times you will, by the permission of Allaah, gain more than 1800 hasanahs – all of that in one minute.

2. In one minute you can recite Soorat al-Ikhlaas (Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad) 20 times, reciting rapidly and silently. Reciting it once is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’aan. If you read it 20 times it is equivalent to reading the Qur’aan 7 times. If you read it 20 times in one minute each day, you will have read it 600 times in one month, and 7200 times in one year, which will be equal in reward to reading the Qur’aan 2400 times.

3. You can read one page of the Book of Allaah in one minute.

4. You can memorize a short aayah of the Book of Allaah in one minute.

5. In one minute you can say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god except Allaah alone with no partner; to Him be dominion and praise, and He is Able to do all things) – 20 times. The reward for saying this is like freeing 8 slaves for the sake of Allaah from among the sons of Ismaa’eel.

6. In one minute you can say Subhaan Allaahi wa bi hamdihi (Glory and praise be to Allaah) 100 times. Whoever says that in one day will be forgiven for his sins even if they are like the foam of the sea.

7. In one minute you can say Subhaan Allaahi wa bi hamdihi Subhaan Allaah il-‘Azeem (Glory and praise be to Allaah, glory be to Allaah the Almighty) 50 times. These are two phrases which are light on the lips, heavy in the balance and beloved to the Most Merciful, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

8. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When I say ‘Subhaan Allaah, wa’l-hamdu Lillah, wa laa ilaah ill-Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar (Glory be to Allaah, praise be to Allaah, there is no god except Allaah, and Allaah is Most Great)’, this is more beloved to me than all that the sun rises upon.” (Narrated by Muslim). In one minute, you can say all of these words more than 18 times. These words are the most beloved words to Allaah, the best of words, and they weigh heavily in the balance of good deeds, as was narrated in the saheeh ahaadeeth.

9. In one minute you can say, Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (there is no strength and no power except with Allaah) more than 40 times. This is one of the treasures of Paradise, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. They are a means of putting up with difficulties and of aiming to achieve great things.

10. In one minute you can say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah approximately 50 times. This is the greatest word, for it is the word of Tawheed, the good word, the word that stands firm. If these are the last words of a person, he will enter Paradise, and there are other reports which indicate how great these words are.

11. In one minute you can say Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdih, ‘adada khalqihi, wa ridaa nafsihi, wazinata ‘arshihi, wa midaada kalimaatihi (Glory and praise be to Allaah, as much as the number of His creation, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne and as much as the ink of His words) more than 15 times. This words bring many more times the reward for other forms of tasbeeh and dhikr, as was reported in saheeh ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

12. In one minute you can seek the forgiveness of Allaah more than 100 times by saying “Astaghfir-Allaah (I seek the forgiveness of Allaah). The virtues of seeking forgiveness are no secret, for it is the means of attaining forgiveness and entering Paradise, and it is the means of being granted a good life, increasing one’s strength, warding off disasters, making things easier, bringing rain and increasing one’s wealth and children.

13. You can say a few brief and concise words in one minute, and Allaah may bring about some good through them that you could never imagine.

14. In one minute you can send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 50 times by saying Sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (May Allaah bless him and grant him peace). In return Allaah will send blessings upon you 500 hundred times because one blessing brings ten like it.

15. In one minute you can motivate your heart to give thanks to Allaah, to love Him, to fear Him, to put hope in Him, to long for Him, and thus travel through the stages of ‘uboodiyyah (total enslavement to Allaah). You could do this when you are lying on your bed or walking in the street.

16. In one minute you can read more than two pages of a useful book that is easy to understand.

17. In one minute you can uphold the ties of kinship by calling a relative on the phone.

18. You can raise your hands and recite any du’aa’ you wish from the books of du’aa’, in one minute.

19. You can say salaams to and shake hands with a number of people in one minute.

20. You can forbid an evil action in one minute.

21. You can enjoin something good in one minute.

22. You can offer sincere advice to a brother in one minute.

23. You can console someone who is depressed in one minute.

24. You can remove something harmful from the road in one minute.

25. Making the most of one minute motivates you to make the most of other periods that would otherwise be wasted.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

A fun July weekend.

July is always a month of celebration in our household. Not only is it celebration coz school’s out, but coz we have 3 huge occasions. Sam and I took our vows on 5th. I was born on 16th, and sawaab, our middle man, arrived in this world on 29th !! Now how special does it get than that ! 

We dont celebrate birthdays etc so last weekend, we took the boys out for movies at Mall Of the Emirates. Yep, its the Transformers part3. I’m not exactly a great fan of 3D, but it was shocking to see that the place was swarming with people. All seats were being sold like hot cakes. So we just had the 3D ones available. Its been ages since we saw a movie and eversince the boys, we’ve only seen the Toy story or Terminator kinda ones !! May be one of these days, we’ll just sneak into one of the Indian movies leaving the boys with their bazookas and car stunts in their theater ! May be, who knows ! Not that, that they’d miss us anyways 🙂

Ok, so back to Transformers. The movie was good. There’s a term we use in slang hindi for a movie as such “paisa wasool” which means, the movie was worth every penny. Ofcourse I love GM cars and the corvettes and cadillacs were simply amazing. The stunts and graphics were mind blowing. Watching in 3D also kinda made it more “REAL”.  We had a blast with the movie and annoyingly I was the one, super excietedly saying awesome or wow or whatever when the stunts took place, while Bilal was simply glued to the movie with ONE expression ~   Talk about being childish 🙂

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Oh yeah, the boys had been craving for some Dubai ski fun, and its really been a long long time since their last visit so we decided to drop them over there too. Now for all those of you who may be interested. There’s a superpass available at Dubai Ski for dhs 200, which gives the child 4 of the major attractions in addition to the snow park. I think, it was totally worth it. The boys could not have enough fun.

They were too tired to go else where for a meal so we settled for chinese in the food court on the first floor. Wow, I was totally exhausted by the time we were home. But amazingly the boys just got so fresh once we were back home, Jumping into their study (I call it gizmo cav, these days) rushing to switch on their computers and PS2 and back to tapping keys and rocking joysticks and whatever till the wee hours of the night ! What I would’nt give to have that kinda energy !

I’m so glad that the summer is going smooth with their swimming and their guy friends visiting us frequently. Every year, I get stressed before the summer holidays worrying what i have to plan for the boys, to keep them occupied. This is the very first year, when they have taken charge of what they’d like to do and I think, they are enjoying it and I think, thats all that counts.

See ya folks ! Hope you all are enjoying you summers too.

Second Umrah 2011

I know, I havent been around for so long. Alot of events have happened, since March 2011. One of which was samie’s surgery and the other was our Umrah. I think, I’ll dedicate both of these different posts with pictures. However in the middle of all this, one thing that was sorely neglected, was the boys’ studies. Just havent been able to give them the kind of attention, I used to give them.

Last year, after sam’s operation, we wanted to perform Umrah.  I believe, Umrah/Haj is the best way to reinforce our deen and emaan, provided finances are available. Samie has been in relatively good health, except for the swelling in his right lower abdomin, which has been giving him cramps recently.  We decided to perform the Umrah while the boys had their spring holidays of 10 days. So on 30th March, we visited Jeddah and the additional joy, was that Sam’s sister, sheema was joining us with her family too for a couple of days. The trip per se, was tiring but the joy and calm and satisfaction is truly beyond words.

On the first day we arrived, we rested and since we were in Ahraam, performed our Umrah in the evening after Isha. The crowd was huge. BaituAllah was blessed with thousands upon thousands of pilgrims as always.  I dont remember a moment in our tawaaf’s around the Kaaba, when I was not crying like a baby in repentence, in gratitude, in sheer joy, feeling like, what have I done to deserve this huge gift from Allah swt !! Surely He knows best. Inspite of all the overwhelming feelings, I remembered to pray for every single person I had known !! All of my Ummah, all of my newly reverted sisters and brothers and all those specially chosen dae’s by Allah. I was so overjoyed that I remembered to make duas for  absolutely everyone from family, relative, neighbours, friends, collegues and even for the taxi driver who had dropped us !!! 

My main worry was Sam. I had been such a pain for the kids thru out the air travel, making sure the boys did not let sam carry any of the luggage but thankfully Sam complained of no pains thru out the Tawaaf and sahi. I did my sahi with Sheema.  The tiny book that I carried with the english translation and proper pronounciation made it easy to connect and “FEEL” what I was begging of Allah for.

This time, all the boys including Sam, decided to go bald naturally becoz  it is Afzal.

For those of you’ll who plan to visit or wish to know more about what to expect in a similar travel to Mecca, apart from sheer exhilaration. I must advise you to really wear comfortable slippers or sandals, carry a small bag to keep your slippers in everytime you visit the haram and try to leave atleast 20 minutes earlier than the salat time so as to find a place as forward as possible. In every corner of Haram, you will find abundance of drinking water “the blessed zam zam” so dont worry about water. Please remember to wear clean ~ comfortable clothes as opposed to silkish or synthetic fabrics. Ofcourse we wish to be presentable in Baituallah but one must also consider the heat especially since we women wear an abaya. 

I wish to share my beautiful experience in the most supremely majestic of all places in the world with you. Please do share if you have had any experiences as well.

Here are just some of the pictures of that memoriable trip :

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Child Marriage !!

 

Observe the expression on the girl's face sitting on the right ! Priceless :)

A six-year-old boy told his father he wanted to marry the little girl across the street.  

The father, being modern and well-schooled in  handling children, hid his smile behind his hand.    
   ‘That’s a serious step,’ he said.      

‘Have you thought it out completely?’  

‘Yes,’ his young son answered.  

‘We can spend one week in my room and the next in hers.  It’s right across the street, so I can run home if I get scared of the dark.’                

‘How about transportation?’ the father asked.
 ‘I have my wagon, and we both have our tricycles,’   the little boy answered.

                
The boy had an answer to every question the father raised.                

       Finally, in exasperation, his dad asked, ‘What about babies?  When you’re married,  you’re liable to have babies, you know.’

‘We’ve thought about that, too,’  
the little boy replied.  
             
         ‘We’re not going to have babies.                
Every time she lays an egg,

I’m going to step on it!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxo
 
        NOW THAT’S BIRTH CONTROL-!        

Is it too late ?

Once, a group of people were traveling on rocks at night. A voice came from the sky that whosoever picks up the rocks will regret and whosoever doesn’t pick up the rocks will regret. Now, the people were confused. How can this be? Whether you pick up the rocks or not, you will regret!

Anyway, some people picked up the rocks and some didn’t. In the morning when they reached their homes, they saw that the rocks turned into diamonds. Now, those people who didn’t pick up the rocks started regretting saying, “If only we had picked up some rocks.” Those people who did pick some rocks also started regretting saying, “Why didn’t we pick up more rocks?” Both sides ended up regretting.

Dear Muslims, this same incident will take place with us on the Day of Judgment. Those people who spent their time in useless things will start regretting by looking at those who achieved a great position in Paradise by spending their time in the way of Allah (SWT). Now, those who did achieve a position in Paradise will start regretting by looking at those who did more than them and are higher in status. “Alas! If we had only done more to please Allah (SWT).”

Allah (SWT), the Majestic said: “And could you but see when the guilty shall hang down their heads before their Lord: Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard, therefore send us back, we will do good; surely (now) we are certain.” Noble Qur’an (32:12)

Back to school comes with a package …

Back to school has become a trendsetter. It actually means, get ready armed with new, stationery, books, uniforms, shoes, school bag, pencil case, lunch bag/carrier and probably a couple of other things which I hav’nt been indulging in.   Probably more than my boys, I enjoy the whole thing about “Back to school”. Although it reminds me of how it used to be when we were kids and appreciated the new school bag which would actually live for that entire 10 months period or the shoes that we would so carefully polish for the first month or so.  But even without the memories, I completly enjoy the process of filling up the kids bags with goodies (as I call them) 

And now that school has commenced in full swing, one of the jobs that keeps me busy for a good couple of hours in the night is and which incidently also reminds me of how my dad used to sit over the short weekend we had, ” back in those days” : covering/laminating books !

Strange how you can love playing with paper, scissor and glue and yet when you have to cover books which by the way is a very lame way to do books, can be so exhausting and back breaking. I know scores of parents all over the globe are involved in doing so but I wonder what they must feel, when I, atleast enjoy part of the process, being into alter art and all that.

Here’s a pic of some of the heaps of books being and having to be covered. Sitting on Eman’s desk in the study room.

A Mess on Eman's desk

    In fact, I think this just gave me an idea, I think I should actually make a tutorial of how to cover books for all those first time moms and dads !!

Back to school in Dubai 2010

One never knows what to expect but if we place our trust in the Almighty, then you know that you are in safe hands. 6 month back. we were totally uncertain of where we stood; no clue as to what was in store even remotely and yet, our belief and faith paid off. The kids started school this monday. It was a day of apprehension and anxiety.

Buddy and sawaabi were going to use the bus the first time in 8years. I was a bunch of nerves constantly reminding myself that they would be ok ! Its strange how I generally underestimate my boys ! Well, my main concern is how sawaabi loves to go back and forth even before he climbs onto the bus. He is one restless soul !

The morning started around 5:30 and atmosphere in the house was like that it had been hit by a hurricane …. We were rushing the kids thru the morning routine of brush, bath, dress, breakfast, shoes and bags. Although it seems simple but ask any parent and you know exactly what goes into that morning rush hour. So anyways, now we have Buddy and sawaab leaving at 6:30 followed by Eman leaving at 7:00 with Abba. And then, I have the entire 4 hours to hybernate !

Heres just a couple of pics of the morning :

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A Stranger in my home.

A while ago, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger…he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?…. .. .
.
.
.
.,
,
,

We just call him ‘TV.’

(Note: This should be required reading for every household!)
He has a wife now….We call her ‘Computer.’
Their first child is “Cell Phone”.
Second child “I Pod

this fantastic piece was taken from Facebook notes of Ameen Melhem Salhab

The Special Mother.

I found this poem on a fellow bloggers site. It was posted there because she is a mother who knows the pain.   I hope it touches you as it touched me

The Special Mother
by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.

This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.


As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.


“Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.”


“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”

Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.”

Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles.

“Give her a handicapped child.”


The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”


“Exactly,” smiles God.


“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.


“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off she’ll handle it.”


“I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of it’s own. She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”


“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”


The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”

She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.”

God smiles.

“No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”

God nods.

“If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see–ignorance, cruelty, prejudice–and allow her to rise above them.

God smiles.

“A mirror will suffice.”

An incredible pregnancy & birth story-part-1

march 2002

I think the  toughtest trial that I had in our marriage was when I was carrying Eman five months.  I was diagnosed with a complication termed Placenta Previa.  Its the worst situation a pregnant mother can be in.  I had Bilal who was just 3yrs old,  Sawaab was barely 5-6 months old and already I had been admitted twice to the hospital due to excessive bleeding.

Bilal attended Nursery school in Mankool and we managed to keep Sawaab at Matilda’s house at Gold souk for the day. She obligded because she knew we had a difficult condition at our hands but … I was restless,  in agony. My precious little baby of 5 months was left at the mercy of someone we barely knew but surely trusted,  strange how that sounds !!

I remember while I was in the hospital, I worried and worried about Sawaab and Bilal endlessly. I was prescribed complete bed rest and occasionally when I’d stroll past the ward and briefly meet the other patients.  It would be a ritual to ask the new comer why they were there and what was wrong.  I met a pakistani female who had very high blood sugar and had lost a previous baby who was a still birth. These are times that we realize that the world is also full of couples who cant conceive inspite of their best efforts and treatment. This girl religiously followed her diet and probably had a sugar count more accurately monitored by herself than the nurses.

 Compared to her, I was a wreck. I’ve always been a junk food freak and never really concerned too much with my appearance or what that food did when processed inside me. Her heart fell off when I told her my medical condition and she quized why I was so bothered about the children at home and not at all worried about the life inside me. I remember telling her very promptly that the children outside were my responsibiity becos Allah swt had already got them in this world thru me, but the one inside was Allah swt’s problem.  If “HE’ willed, my feotus would survive and if it was in my best interest, he would’nt. My faith amazed her. At that point, it wasn’t really my faith, thinking back, I feel it was simply a maternal instinct  to be with her young ones.

 That time, was a time, I also understood, where my relatives and friends stood and what their limitations were. It took me many years to forgive them and perhaps one day, I might even forget it. But for now, it is still fresh.

Sam used to visit me briefly becoz he used to keep both my little precious darlings waiting ‘alone’ at the entrance of the hospital with only the security guard who would casually look after them.  He had made it very clear that babysitting was not his responsiblitiy which I completely agree with.

I urged the doctors to release me but they were very adamant that it would be a suicidal mission to let me go. I persisted but in vain.  The doctors know best and they knew that in my condition, resting was the best precaution. the damage was already done and all they could do was to keep me going till the baby was ready to come…. but I did’nt realize that … or perhaps I was in denial.  The idea was to keep me in the hospital till the baby arrived …. for 3 onths in the hospital !!!!! I missed the boys so much. I felt quilty. I felt anguish. I felt some how I was being punished. And most of all I felt helpless. I was caged and all those whom I cared for the most were suffering becoz of me. 

Finally the last straw, on the 5th day, early morning, sam arrived in the morning and as much as he did’nt want to tell me, he said that Sawaab was very sick .. I must have been sitting on hot lava. I protested with the doctors that I needed release.  The senior consultant came for round in the afternoon and when I told him my end of the story, although he was compassionate, and tried his best to convince me, then persuade me to stay back, finally he gave in but not before knocking some fear and sense in my head. He told me with a stern face in a voice I’ll never forget

” If we let you go now, the next time ONLY your body will be coming back to us”

I remember feeling some amount of realization for the first time. He was serious ~ My condition was serious although I walked and talked and felt absolutely no pain.  My uterus was a time bomb. I had a previous scar  in my uterus and my placenta was edging it.  Only when we have fever, we seek medication. If we have a headache or some body part ache, a paracetemol, tylenol or panadol is all we look out for.  When we hear ‘Cancer’ we are terrified and seek urgent attention. My doctor had tried to convince me that I was making a mistake but I was a determined mother who had immense faith in Allah. No physician came before that faith, but the physician came after the faith.

I was asked to sign a form which stated clearly that my situation was explained and clarified and in the event that if anything should happen to me, the health officials would not be held responsible. Little did I know …. I was signing my suicide note……

The power of words.

Froggies

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took
heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them.

Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path. The power of words… it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way.

 Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.

Author Unknown

A Devastating Lesson for Parents.

Benjamin Spock was my bible when Bilal was born , I followed every word to the T !  Becoming parents does not come naturally especially when we live in a nuclear family without having a family support system around to advise us not to mention how even people who have stayed in a community, dont even know who their immediate neighbours are !

Alot many lessons are learnt the hard way. Today I can recognize the difference between a sinus and a viral infection. But I learnt it the hard way. I know exactly the symptoms of a salmonella infection ~ unfortunately it came at the price of a horrible experience.  I know what combination of foods can cause an allergy in my boys and what is the medication I need for them. Every child is different and I know what works for my boys by experience.

For the ten plus years that I have been a mom, often we get into our routine of how and what to expect. This part of the world is relatively safe. We worry about the driving but where do you not ??? Beside that, we never really worry about holding the shopping trolley constantly while shopping, lest someone just picks up and takes off with our little bundle of joy.  Infact most of us are reminded to carry our handbags or purses on ourselves rather than just leaving it in the shopping carts …  thats how safe it is.  Infact where else could you find a cleaner who’s salary is dhs 700, finding and returning a bag with dhs 55,000 !!!!! But of course thats not always the case. There are the occasional episodes of burglaries generally done by groups or gangs which have come to Dubai for a short period just to carry out a dozen or so, such burglaries and vamooz !!

Sometimes, we as parents get a wake up call, sometimes a jolt and sometimes sheer shock by some of the unfortunate events that take place around children. I can think up of a few after which I had suddenly turned very vigilant around the kids.

1.  It was one of the most gruesome things I had ever heard. The flight from Dubai to New Delhi had landed, a mother and her young daughter were hurrying down the escalator to the immigration counter, what happened next is so shocking. Somehow the platform on which the young girl was standing on, broke and she began to fall in, within seconds, the child was being pressed by the people behind and machinery. I remember not wanting to read the entire article in the newpaper becoz it broke my heart, to think that the mother had to watch how her precious little one was being sliced and minced. It is awful for a mother or any parent to have to witness such a way to loose their child. Ofcourse the goof up  lay in the faulty escalator which had not been repaired and whats worse ? Passengers were allowed to use it !!! Did New Delhi Airport Authorities accept their mistake ? I doubt… But who’s loss was it ? Ours … the parents.

Lesson learnt : We have to keep yelling at the kids to keep up with us and not run around. Especially Sawaab, since he has this thing for running on escalators.    When they were younger, I made sure I held their hands tightly but now I have again become careless, letting them go up and down at Mall of the Emirates, food court. ok, point noted, I have reminded myself that I have to be more vigilant.     

2. When such an incident happens closer to the house, the victim has a face and that can be traumatic. When we were staying at Abdullah Shaibani building, this was an incident where a 6 – 7 year old jovial boy called Yousef, was playing football with his friends in the school ground. The school was Chouefat School in Dubai. Unfortunetly the buses were parked within the  premises of the school. The child went to fetch the ball which had gone under one of the buses and at that very moment the bus driver started the bus. Apparently the bus went over the chest of the child. He died shortly after.

I clearly remember, sitting in shock after I heard what had happened. This child was my immediate neighbour. I had seen him several times. He had a younger brother and sister as sweet as angels. I remember the stream of visitors that the family had for days together and as much as I wanted to,  I could not gather the courage to approach the mother for months. I felt too devastated to. I feared it was me, who would burst out crying becoz I am the week one. The mother was inconsolent. What can you tell a mother, who has lost her little son all for the silly mistake of a fool !!!  A Child becomes a part of our body, almost like a limb. Her loss was so immense that I remember just praying for her for months together.  She must have been so devastated. She never woke up from the nightmare ,  She was now living the nightmare.  I remember Samie telling me one day that yousef’s father had told him that they were happy for yousef becoz they knew he was in Paradise. They had found a way to live on. Months later the mother and I became good friends.  Yousef is an angel and he is one of God’s own chosen ones. 

3. Just recently about how a 4 1/2  year old child was forgotten in the back seat of a school bus in the morning becoz she slept off. The driver dropped all the other kids and later parked the bus and left to return after 3 hours to find the child lifeless. She died due to heat. How do such things happen, why do such things happen ? We as parents are the ones who pay the price. Our children are soo so important. And inspite of taking all or most, of the precautions,  tragedy happens.

Lesson Learnt : To make sure the authorities take transportation seriously and ensure the safety of every child. I dont know how was it possible that an attendant was not in the bus while the kids were being dropped over to the school !! 

4. A few years back, a father was leaving for work in the morning in his four wheel, the mother rushed into the villa to fetch something without realizing that she had left her 3 year old child unattended at the gate of the house. The child must have approached the car and without realizing the father put the car in reverse only to crush the child. ( This was a time when reverse alert systems had not been introduced. )  What pain and agony he will suffer all his life ? The child was too tiny to spoted in his rear view mirror and having the windows up and airconditioning switched on just meant he could’nt hear her screams and most importantly, it happened all too suddenly in a flash ! 

Lesson learnt : Get down the car to make sure the kids are either in seats with seat belts or make sure they are secure at home.   

5-This incident had been narrated by my husband to me, about how two young brothers were playing cops and robbers in one of the villages in India. ( People can have licensed or even unlicensed guns in their homes in small towns for protection from Bandits, dacoits etc ) The boys found the real guns and were excieted, while one of the guns was devoid of bullets, the other was loaded and did not have a safety latch to it. What happened next was inevitable. The young boy took an aim and hit his brother straight on his head. It is a hit that probably traumatised him forever.

6-In 1999, we stayed in Abu Dhabi for 11 months. Bilal was just 8months when we moved there. In those days, Abu Dhabi had plenty of skyscappers.  One of the most frequently heard stories was about how accidently children fell from balconies or windows by mistake and carelessness.

I know there are scores of sick people out there in the world who deliberatly do nasty things to little children but these were just some incidents that were mistakes. They should’ave never happened. They could have been easily avoided. Someone somewhere made a mistake but we as parents bore the brunt. These tragedies changed our lives forever.   We were the loosers. We lost our precious child. I know each parent must’ ave asked himself,    “Why me, Why my son/daughter ?  

How can we go on in life without him/ her. Life can’t move any further. Its over. There is nothing left worth fighting for.  Nothing feels right, nothing feels close to good. where is my child ? Just one more hug .. just one more kiss ..

There were so many things I wanted to tell him, so many experiences I wanted to share, so much laughter we have been stolen of.  Why cant things be like before ?

It is such a devastating loss. Nothing and no amount of time can heal the pain.  The loss is ALIVE constantly even when we carry on our lives like a robot …  the pain is still hurting.

Please wake up  parents.  Please realize how fragile life is for our young one.

I hope you use some of these incidents to wake up and check your ownself if all the precautions have been taken.  

In a later post I might want to share with you’ll about the mishaps that happened with my kids.  

Till then … be safe and keep them safe.