Friday, December 27, 2013


Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Exposure is a POWERFUL thing. It can cause dissatisfaction, greed, misery, materialism, divorce, corruption, and great haraam. However, handled with care and forethought, exposure is the key to positive outcomes, halal pursuits, and pleasure in the most simple things.

Part of the reason children like the things they do is simply due to exposure. If they are exposed to TV, music, video games, amusement parks, and shopping as forms of recreation, then they will be the things they choose from, along with the things they have seen through those media. You will find them constantly wanting the things they have seen advertised or in the shop windows. You will find them often inactive and considering Wii a viable form of sports.Rather than sit and talk face to face, they will communicate via the latest app, be it Whatsapp, Instagram or the ever present Facebook. Bad exposure results in parents hearing those awful words from their children, "I'm bored. There's nothing to do," because they always require entertainment from an external source.

However, when you expose your children to nature, playing in the park, making things out of mud, cooking, crafts, knitting, sewing, building things, growing things, physical activities and games, pretend role playing, and reading to learn about real people, places, and situations, you will find them choosing from those things as forms of recreation.The larger their repertoire of skills, abilities, intellectual and physical outlets, the more healthy, balanced, and competent they will be. Good exposure results in parents finding that their children are never bored; rather they don't have time to do all the different things they'd like to do.

When we were preparing for a trip to Makkah to meet up with my oldest friend and her family, my 7 and 10 year old daughters got out their knitting book and knitted a handbag and a phone cover for her youngest daughter - my namesake - Mai. They also knitted a purse for her older sister. We made them gifts of homemade coco-mint lip balm and honey and orange body bars. I baked them brownies. They don't think about having money to buy gifts for others, they think about what they can make - a gift made with love and thought and real effort on their part, maashaa Allah.

Exposure is something that can be done on a larger scale when socializing with other families, too. We went to the park and had knitting lessons. We had a monthly girls gathering where we cooked something healthy and delicious. We crafted rag rugs. We had theme nights where everyone dressed "prairie" and we cooked prairie food and learned about life back then for the pioneers.

I talk about my eating philosophy with friends and acquaintances, but it is never simply that. I feed them. I show them that you can eat halaal, tayyibaat, truly healthy and nutritious food that tastes wonderful, without compromise. I expose them to foods that are simple to make, so if they say they love them, I can give them the recipe and they can make it themselves easily with few ingredients.

Exposure is also da'wah. In sharing my thoughts and struggles publicly, I expose others to a positive approach to life's tests. I can expose them to better knowledge and understanding of Allah and His Perfection,  and how that can be applied in real-life situations, bi idhn Illah ta'ala.

So, consider the power of exposure, and seek not only to expose others to good and positive things, but also to ensure that you are being exposed to beneficial things... for this life and your ultimate success in the aakhirah inshaa Allah.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Parenting Posts

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

I have always posted my writing on parenting here, but in an effort to restructure and keep things relevant, I will be posting them on the Healing Earth blog from now on inshaa Allah. Raising our children is a key element in healing them, ourselves, and the earth. We must teach and model for our children how to heal themselves - which is only possible and successful through Allah, subhaana wa ta'ala, and His clear Guidance.

Therefore, the latest posts can be found over on Healing Earth blog, specifically:
Homeschooling and The Parenting "Nothing," and Some Healing Strategies for Children, bi'idhn Illah ta'ala.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Theme Ayah and Ayah of the Moment

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

You know how some shows and people have a theme song and how the words of a song might pop up in their minds when triggered by something? Well, audhu b'Illahi min dhaalik (I seek refuge with Allah from that)! However, I usually have a theme ayah or an ayah from the Qur'aan that fits the occasion. It stays with me and plays itself over and over in my mind and on my lips, maashaa Allah. These ayaat have different purposes at different times in my life. Sometimes they are a reflection of what is going on around me. Sometimes they are pure medicine for me. This is just one way that the Qur'aan is a part of my life and I make it a part of others' lives.

Some examples of this are:

- When I hear foolish, vain, or unpleasant speech, I recite ayah 35 from Surat an Naba:

لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا كِذَّابًا {35}

which reminds me that in Jennah we will not hear such things...and hopefully reminds those around me that such speech is not pleasing to Allah.

- When I hear someone reciting the Qur'aan very quickly, without care or in an attempt to just "get through it,"  I recite ayah 16 from Surat al Qiyamah:
 لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ {16}

 - When we discuss hypocrisy and insincerity, I recite ayaat 10-12 of Surat al-Qiyamah:

يَقُولُ الْإِنسَانُ يَوْمَئِذٍ أَيْنَ الْمَفَرُّ {10}كَلَّا لَا وَزَرَ {11} إِلَى رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمُسْتَقَرُّ {12}

- When I witness bad behavior, I simply recite ayah 38 from Surat al Muddathir: 
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ {38}

- When my patience is tested, I recite ayah 12 from Surat al Insan:

And as for a theme ayah, well this past month my heart and mind have been preoccupied with major issues that a sister who has a large piece of my heart is facing. All that I could keep reciting is ayah 3 from Surat At-Talaaq:

وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا {3}
I recited it during my Umrah and it has been my theme ayah ever since. In fact, I recite it so much and it is such a visible medicine to me, that my daughters are now on the bandwagon reciting it around the house as well, maashaa Allah. 

And you know what? It enables me to cope with life with constant remembrance of Allah and models to my children how they can do so as well.  It feels great to make these connections, in my life and that of my children. It feels greatest to respond with Allah's perfect words, rather than my own. Al hamdul'Illahi Rabbil aal ameen!