Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Things I need to do

Duhduhduuuuh.

This list is in no proper order so excuse the randomness if you will.

  1. Return dress and dye-leaked bedding.
  2. Excercise more so that I can fit into the dress (see No.1) with more ease.
  3. Wax away!
  4. Do something with the red cabbage I bought over a week ago before it goes off. Any ideas please?
  5. Mark GCSE coursework. One by one without putting it off, it WILL NOT GO AWAY.
  6. Think through schemes of work for next term before creating resources for lessons. I make it sound quick and easy! Pah.
  7. Mark all student folders, plus tests.
  8. Sort out OCR stuff.
  9. I'm forgetting something............................................... ........ ............. ......... ahuh, update CV!
  10. As of right now, look though GCSE portfolios' whilst drinking a hot mug of coco.
Sounds like a plan.

InshaAllah it will get done by this time next week. Well not No.10, that's right now. Here's hoping! Mmm. I'm offskie!

ICT PGCE, a retrospective insight.

Just in case you're wondering why another strangely random post...well, this is actually a specific reply to Sal's request (a commenter from way back in Oct) for my insight into secondary school teaching of ICT here in the UK.

Salaam,

I was just wondering if you could give me some insight into teaching ICT. I am currently into my final year in CS, and thinking of doing a PGCE. Also, did you do your PGCE at Kings?


To answer the first part of your question, I began the year long Secondary ICT PGCE (post graduate certificate of education for those of you not in the know) back in September 2006. Although this is when the official training began, a lot of unofficial training if it can be called that, took place way before Sept '06 in the form of mini teaching placements arranged by the student associate scheme people at uni. During these "extra curricular" placements I committed a number of days to supporting students and staff during ICT lessons and although my role was one of an unqualified teaching assistant, I learned tonnes from just being in a school environment.

Witnessing all the many dimensions of teaching over three years (whilst I was completing my BSc Internet & Law Hons) reaffirmed my teenage ambition of wanting to become a teacher. As a result I wasted no time in applying to my local training institution and before I knew it I was preparing myself on the latest educational and pedagogical issues concerning my subject area, ready for the PGCE interview! The interview that took place in June/July (I can't remember the exact month!) was nerve wrecking in the first few minutes but I soon breezed out, quietly confident. The years of voluntary work and preparation had paid off and I was now looking forward to my degree graduation and the start of a post graduate course!

Summary of the ICT PGCE course

As far as I know, different institutions train prospective teachers using different assessment methods: some are more theory based, some are more practical and some are a good mix of the two. In short my own training programme consisted of two training placements at two varying schools (in terms of intake of kids, locality, ethnic make up etc) with college training sessions sandwiched between the two. I was also required to complete three Master's level assignments based on theories of learning and ICT (which worked to encourage me to pursue further education). In addition to that, I was also required to maintain a folder of evidence to satisfy the CORE teaching strands. Organisation, self motivation and self discipline are key if you want to stay on top of your course without letting the paper work get the better of you.

Personally, I LOVED my PGCE year! I know lots and lots of people who have complained day in day out about their PGCE, even after they had qualified, but truthfully speaking, I found it great, must be the geek in me. I really enjoyed my training placements, had excellent mentors and a solid support network (friends and family, not to mention other staff without whom I would never have been able to get even this far) and because I managed to stay on top of my work (laziness was *N.O.T.* an option) the whole thing now seems like a doddle. Don't be fooled into thinking it's easy though, I can assure you it's nothing like that, but like I say, doing some voluntary work and a little homework beforehand will prep you up in many good ways.

At present, I'm working part time as a teacher of ICT in an all girl's Islamic school. Not something I ever imagined I would do, simply because working part time wasn't something I initially wanted to do, but I accepted this as Allah's plans. I have to admit, I actually love what I do although I am the only ICT teacher in the school and effectively the head of department all rolled in one. Prior to this, I had completed my NQT year between Sept '07 to July '08 in a large mixed comprehensive school. The year was tough. No joke. Not only had I embarked on my official journey as a young enthusiastic teacher in a department strained by lack of communication (my mentors were also quite the opposite of what I had experienced with my PGCE lot) I also managed to squeeze my marriage to the love of my life in December '07 and a two week trip to Bangladesh in the x-mas holidays! I hear you say "Whhh-aaaa-t!?!". It was fine. I mean it was megahecticlymad really, but quite fine :-D

Okay, back to the now. As for you, your degree in CS should be more than sufficient for the ICT PGCE as it is solely computer based. As far as I can work out from your post you are completing your final degree year so I hope the above insight has highlighted the importance of previous work experience of working in a school environment. I'm sure you understand that there is no point in even applying to do the PGCE if you've not yet had your own insight into teaching. The best piece of advice I can give you before you set your mind on doing the PGCE is to actually arrange voluntray placements to allow yourself to really find out what teaching is all about. Speak to staff, speak to students, visit the TDA, basically find out as much as you can before you plunge into it as it will most likely result in you making a firm decision.

^^

That I hope has answered your first question. In response to your second question, I don't want to disclose where I completed my studies (drop an email if you must know) but I can tell you it wasn't at King's. :-) I hope that my insight has been useful to you even if in a small way, let me know if your need to know any more.

Laters for now.

Monday, 28 December 2009

An '08 flashback

Salaam all

Apologies for the long break, I have been so utterly rushed off my rather big feet, it's UNbelievable! Will hopefully fill you in with all my latest shenanigans soon iA. Until then check out a snap of some of my 2008 "notes to self" I found in an old mini notebook. VOWS?! Wth was I thinking writing that down! I'm struggling to think wtheck I wrote that down, I think I wanted to possibly pen a few words down words myself to make our wedding vows unique, but alas it never happened :-( The list by the way, was penned down just before the hubs and I "officially" got married here in the UK (we were already Islamically married in Dec '07) and a couple of days before our honeymoon in megafantastic Malaysia :-) Again, another story for another day!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Hip hip!

The past couple of months have been so jam packed: unbelieeeevable!

Firstly, the dissertation stress . Now OVER. RIP! Yippeeee!

Second, the hubs you may well remember, passed his ACCA back in the summer and finally graduated in November! Here's a snapshot of the things we got up to in his honour:

A month straight after this, my younger and youngest sister graduated too! This time in Radiography, not ACCA! MashaAllah, I'm so proud of her achievements, especially since what we've been through recently after losing our beloved father to cancer. She really deserved a good spoiling session, and she got one!

A couple of days after this celebratory event, my best friend and I finally got to see each other after months! But in all honesty, we didn't really get to have a proper catch up (not unless you count the drive down on the motorway!) as we spent the day at the NEC Arena checking out the "latest" high street slash designer trends in the Clothes Show. I quote latest as if I'm being totally honest, the clothes on most of the rails are the stuff I've already seen down in London, so a little naff really. Anyhoo. A good time was had. Many bargains were too, had, lol, another post mebbe.
Love it! :-D

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Where does the time go?

Do you ever have a day when there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done? Catch up with family, work, friends, drama serials, reading, shopping etc etc...and the list goes on! Recently time has been such a precious commodity to me whereas six months ago I was getting restless with too much time on my hands! I was going through my academic diary today when I realised that a course I teach to my Year 10 students (aged 14-15) was only but already half done! I know it sounds so odd, but I was shocked to realise that although we had got through a lot of work in the past three months, there was still so much left to finish! Alhamdulilah, I am glad that the girls I teach are now eager to do very well, although they h.a.t.e.d the course and probably me as well, when we first met! *sigh* I just want to get EVERYthing done before the xmas holidays as I know time will fly by ten times quicker when we enter the new year! SCARY!

On a less scarier note (I hope!) I've managed to change my blogger background to something a little more personality full...excuse me if I fail to make sense yet again! How cute are these owls man! Haoow!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Whoopsie!

Apologies in advance to all those affected by the craziness of my blog template recently. Thanks to My Getaway, I have just become aware that comments were somehow mysteriously disabled! :-( This has now been fixed but it also means that I have no fancy template, plain old boring stuff. But hey, it gives me no troubles, YET anyway!

Ciao amigos!

Fatty x

I ♥ ... Monsoon dresses




Ooh la la!

Golden times

Just today, my mother-in-law (from here on I may refer to her as the MIL) were reminiscing over the by gone times. She was reminiscing about her tiny newly born baby boy with the red lips who was passed onto her by the midwife, wrapped up in a woolly blanket, cute as a button. This baby boy is now my husband and her 26 year old married son. How time flies she sighed. I remembered how my mum and dad always thought us five siblings grew up too quick and too soon, how they wished they could stop us from growing up beyond the age of 10 so that we could all stay at home and continue with the good times we all shared (although, realistically this 10 year old business could not work, how could we all be the same age, huh, heehee!). It's so sad isn't it, when your parents realise you're no longer their little child anymore and are in fact fully grown adults, living in the big bad world. That said, I think most parents will always see their child as that little baby they held in their arms or the little cute toddler good as gold.

*huge sigh*

That will be one of us one day, looking back as parents that is, inshaAllah.

Anyway. The hubs has earned lots of brownie points this week. Not only did he save me a chore by scrubbing the bathroom, head to toe, floor to ceiling, on the eve before Eid, he also very generously rewarded my uni efforts with a blingBLING watch! It's huuuuge, seriously HUUUGE!
I love it, although between you and me it's a little too much on the bling and size factor. I'm sure I'll get used to it though!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Hey hey hey!

Salaam world

Firstly - EID MUBARAK, albeit a late one! I hope the past few days have been full of amazement and joy for you all iA.

Secondly - hey I'm back! Not really a cause for celebration in itself, but I'm back STRESS free!! Well kinda! Dissertation/thesis and it's 15,000 words content is now done and dusted and luckily for me, I submitted it last Thursday/Day of Arafah - which basically meant that I could celebrate Eid properly by relaxing and chilling out instead of feeling anxious every minute of the day! I feel ten tonnes lighter after having submitted it and just look forward to getting back to my normal life, without any final university hassle. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I've absolutely hated doing my Master's year, but the past six months have been really strenuous. Alhamdulilah, it is now over and I can begin a new chapter in my life, or at least carry on with the previous one!

Thirdly - I've changed my blog layout. I was getting a little tired of seeing the old plain white and green one although as effective as it was, my blog needed a new lick of paint to bring it back to life! Hope you like it :-D

Fourthly - what fourthly?! There in't one my lovelies! LOL! Allah swt truly is the most compassionate and kind, the most just and the most forgiving. I've truly appreciated His kindness over the past week and more. Leave you with that.

Much love

Fatty.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The one about nothing much

Hey, hello, salaam, namaste

No, I won't break into a flashy Bollywood number if that's what you're fearing!

How have you all been? Me? Well, it's just turned past 08.35 am and I'm writing my first blog of the day having showered and made up Fajr. Not even had breakfast yet and I wasn't even meant to be here, like, right here, typing this as I MUST get my literature review done by tonight. When I say done, not done DONE, but 75% done as the hubs has promised to unleash his wrath if he comes home to not find it done. I don't know why I'm feeling kinda apprehensive. Maybe because I have a deadline to meet in less than a months time ARRRRGGH! lol It will be alright inshaAllah. I'm so last minute.com. Really stinks.

Anyway. I did warn you that this post would be about nothing so don't be surprised when you see the next part of this useless post:

What a crazy picture right?!! It was taken in England, early 1900's and shows the apparently eccentric Lionel Rothschild (yaa, eldest son of Nathan Rothschild, y'know, the Zionist Jews) riding in zebra and carriage to Buckingham Palace in his attempt to prove that zebra's can become tamed animals! Crrrrazy man! LOL! I came across this while I was looking up the Natural History Museum where the hubs and I are hoping to visit on our trip to London later this week. The zebras really do add a touch of exocticness to an otherwise mundane and regular activity! Truly captured by the picture!

Leave you with it!

Fatty.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Static but on track, I hope.

Hello/Salaam/Ola/Aye up World

Hope you're all fine and doing well. I've been off the radar for a while, busy busy with work and life outside the blogosphere, yes, seriously, I have got one one y'know! In the time that I have been away though, I have been constantly lurking through blogs that I enjoy reading and have been kept quite entertained by them. I mostly did this when I was suppose to be working on my thesis/dissertation but didn't because I've gone back to being a part-time time waster. Hence the post title.

Life is moving on, full on, firing on all cylinders kind of full on, yet, I feel still/static/in the same place as before, although I am fully aware that I have moved on and am continuing to move on so may levels.

I think the main issue for me right now that is making me feel static is my thesis deadline. The original deadline was 15th Sept which then got extended to 15th Oct and only a week and a bit ago, I found out that my caring and generous tutor wanted to grant me more time as she doesn't want to add to my workload and stresses. I was hoping to get it out of the way and done with for the October deadline as it would mean an end to all my Master's assessments, not to mention feeling relieved after submitting it. In our meeting a week ago though, my tutor was concerned that I would be over burdening myself, and with what has happened in my personal life plus the addition of being in employment, she asked me when I would want to hand it in. I have to admit, I was feeling really lucky to have such a wonderfully understanding tutor and was really touched by her generous act. However, despite feeling so overwhelmed by the good news, I decided to turn down her offer of six months (deadline date would be in May/June next year) and instead decided one month's extension would be more than enough. My new deadline date now stands on 27th Nov. My tutor, recognising how well I had done over the year, told me that I should consider the six months offer as it could mean that I will come out with a Distinction overall if I was given extra time. But for now, I just want it done with. Just a pass will do, a merit would be a bonus :-)

So there. The epic update on an epic project. Pray for me people, I just want it done and pass with okay to good marks. I get bored easily and so can't seem to spend too long on the same thing, not good when writing 15000 words on a project. Hmm. :-S

Anyway. Moving swiftly onto more simpler and happier things:

I gave myself a haircut yesterday. Don't worry I didn't chop all my waist length hair off (yup!). I just gave myself a fringe/bang over! I've always wanted one and the last time I got my hair cut at a salon, I got an over grown fringe which I have never maintained since. So yesterday, I went to the bathroom and tried to remember the steps the hairstylist on this video took, keeping in mind the look I wanted to achieve. See below.



The end result was something I'm quite happy with. The hubs and my mother in law (MIL) all seem to like it although the corners of the fringe are a little hmm, lets say raggedy! I'm hoping my hair stylist in my hometown can easily fix this next week when I visit my family up north. Word of warning to anyone contemplating doing the same: have a back up plan ready in case it goes drastically wrong. Alhamdulilah, mine didn't (I don't think!) but in case it did go wrong, I would've swept it all back as normal so no harm done, or noticed! Hah!

Another positive thing. I've decided to cut all the crap out of my diet, okay, well most truthfully speaking. This means, no more take outs scoffing greasy fried food: chips, fried chicken, fried fish etc. I'm attempting to practice control on what I allow myself to eat, because at the end of the day, you are what you eat. I don't want to suffer avoidable illnesses later in life because I couldn't keep a leash on my temptation control! Although Allah (swt) is the greatest planners of all things :-) More to be said on this later...

As for now. I'm back. Not gone for too long. Tapping my fingers to this song (pah, lame I know!)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Food Fetish: Pickled Beetroot

So yum. Oh my God. So so so so so so deliciously mouthwatering, saliva inducing yum. I know it sounds like I've become more of a loopy Lou than before, but this stuff is seriously addictive! I'm just munching on a couple of slices right now even though it's lunch time! Sooo good!

Friday, 25 September 2009

For when one is stinking rich...



Note to self:
When you make it big and have more sense than money, this is what you spend your money on. Okay? Yurrp. Until then, look all you like but DO NOT touch the debit card!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

29 fasts+1 Eid.

29 fasts later, Eid finally descended down upon us. This Ramadhan was unlike no other and certainly different in every sense of the word. Hope you lovely readers celebrated Eid in the best of spirits with your beloved families like I did. My dad was and is still sorely missed, it's been a month exactly since he was last with us, but inshaAllah, he is now in the best of companies and at the highest station of jannah, ameen :-)

So hey, a big Eid Mubarak to every single one of you reading this. Hope you all made the best of it for this year. I've been super duper busy this week. I started work on Tuesday, day after Eid and have finished today for the week. Watch this space for more random ramblings on working life, heehee (I love it really!)
Much love

Fatty.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Is The Qur'ān A Shapeless Book? [article]

One of the long-standing objections levelled against the Qur'ān by its non-Muslim critics is that it appears to have no regular form or structure. It is said that its verses follow one another with little sense of interconnection and its sūrahs seem to have been arranged in a sequence based on the crude principle of diminishing length, the longest coming first and the shortest going to the end. Almost every sūrah, it is complained, is riddled with unsettling shifts of scene, address, and subject and one cannot with any amount of certainty predict what is going to come next. It is concluded that the Qur'ān is, at best, a remarkable compilation of unrelated passages, or a book of quotations. That though it is full of pearls, the pearls are lying in a promiscuous heap.

The actual words used by those who have raised this objection are much more stern and caustic. We will not quote them, partly because they may be found in any book written on the Qur'ān by any critic of Islam and partly because their pungency does not add to the gravity of the objection. We shall only note that new as well as old orientalists have made the point often and that for all the difference in their approaches to the Qur'ān, they are all agreed that the Qur'ān completely lacks anything of the kind of orderly arrangement. Some of them have actually tried to rearrange the Qur'ān either chronologically or according to some other self-devised principle.

The response of Muslim scholars to this objection has been, generally, concessive. They grant that the Qur'ān does not have the arrangement of a well-planned book, but then, they say, it was never meant to have one. The revelation of the Qur'ān, they point out, was completed in twenty-three years and during that period the Qur'ān dwelt on such a large number of diverse subjects that no act of compilation could have given it greater unity and coherence than that it now possesses. The Qur'ān, they say, dealt with the lives, activities, and problems of a whole nation for a long span of time and so any objection based on the concept of a research thesis is bound to be misplaced. Read the rest here.


Monday, 14 September 2009

Food for thought

Dear recipe writers and readers in general

Thank you to those of you who have been posting fab recipes for some really delish food for iftar and sehri. They really are so inspirational, and it's wonderful seeing a diverse range of recipes from all over the world especially during the month of Ramadhan. We're such a mixed fabulous bunch and there is so much to be learned from each and every one of us, if we want to that is. Remember, to learn is to share. Yaa, I think I just made that one up. So profound hey?! Hah :-P

Anyways, thanks to dear Aimie@The Knot, the hubs and I treated ourselves to a midnight indulgence (that's sehri to be precise actually) a few nights ago. Suffice to say, the recipe was great and the dessert was delishishousness, yeah, just like that (I think hunger is making me lose my marbles, just read the post title!).

Yumminess.
Yumminess with Wall's vanilla ice cream.

Sweetness and Light

A boy after my own heart. I really do heart the source of these beautifully mesmerising images. How adorable. SubhanAllah.

A boy holds candy in his hand as he reads the Quran in a mosque during Ramadan, in Amman, Jordan on August 22, 2009. (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji (JORDAN RELIGION SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Quote of the day:

Do not ask Allah to guide your footsteps, if you are not willing to move your feet. ~ Unknown.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Laylatul Qadr - Night of Power [article]


The Dome of the Rock, or Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, one of the holiest sites in Islam, is seen on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through festive lights for Ramadan on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

On the blessings of Laylatul Qadr

The Night of Power is a very important occasion in Islam. Everyone is asked to live it and to enjoy it. This Night is a night of Mercy, a night of Blessing, a night of Peace and a night of Guidance. It is a night of Unification between the finite world of ours and the Infinite Universe of the Unseen. Anyone who is interested in attaining the Mercy of Allah will strive very hard to look for the Night of Power. Anyone who is interested in receiving the blessings of Allah on the Blessed Night will work very hard to enjoy the Night of Power. Anyone who is interested in attaining peace of mind, peace of body and peace in society, he has to look for this Night and to live it.

The month of Ramadan contains the most blessed month of the year, since it contains Laylatul-Qadr, the night when Allah (SWT) chose to reveal the Holy Qur’an.


“We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein descends the angels and the Ruh (Jibrail) by Allah’s permission with all Decrees. There is peace until appearance of dawn” (Al- Qadr 97:1-3)

Worship performed in this night brings more reward than the worship performed in one thousand months. Allah also says about this powerful night in Surah Dukhan

“Ha. Mim. By the book that makes things clear. We sent it down on a blessed night (the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan. For We (ever) wish to warn (against evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom, by command, from Our Presence. For We (ever) send (revelations), as a mercy from Thy Lord for He hears and knows (all things).” (Surah Dukhan 44:1-6)

Salmaan (RA) reported that on the last day of Sha'baan the Messenger of Allah (SAW) addressed them and said

"Oh people, there comes before you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night greater in virtue than one thousand months; (LAYLATUL-QADR). It is a month in which each day should be observed by fasting, this has been made obligatory by the Almighty Allah."

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (SAW) said

“Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

In search for Laylatul Qadr

Allah (SWT) has hidden the knowledge of its occurrence from His servants out of mercy for them so that they can increase their actions in the search for it during these honorable nights, by praying, making dhikr, reciting the Qur’an and supplicating an so they grow and increase in the nearness to Allah (SWT) and His reward. Allah (SWT) also kept it hidden from them as a test for them to distinguish who amongst them struggles and makes an effort to find it and who is lazy and negligent. This is since whoever constantly strives for something, he will exert himself in his search for it and trouble himself in finding it and achieving it.

The signs of the Night of Al-Qadr include
1. The sun rises early in the morning without rays.
2. Rain may fall either during the night or during the day of that night.
3. During night the sky will be lightly foggy.
4. The sky will be slightly lighted without reflections and without rays.

Allah (SWT) discloses the time of the occurrence of the Night of Al-Qadr to some of His servants through signs and signals, which one is able to see, Just as the Prophet (SAW) saw its sign that he would be prostrating in mud on its following morning. So it rained on that night and he prayed the (following) morning (Fajr) prayer in mud [Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-'Uthaimin in his book Majaalis].

Based on the saying of the Prophet (SAW), this incredible night falls in the last ten nights of Ramadan,

"Search for the Night of Al-Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And it falls in one of the odd nights more likely than on the even nights, based on the Prophet's (SAW) saying

"Search for the Night of Al-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan." [Al-Bukhari]

And it is closer to the last seven nights, based on the hadith of Ibn 'Umar (RA) that

“Some men from the Companions of Allah's Messenger (SAW) saw the Night of Al-Qadr in a dream during the last seven nights (of Ramadan). So the Prophet (SAW) said: 'I see that all of your dreams agree that it (the Night of Al-Qadr) is in the last seven nights. So whoever wants to search for it, then let him search for it in the last seven nights.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And it is also based on the hadith in Muslim from Ibn 'Umar (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said

"Look for it in the last ten nights. But if one of you becomes weak or is unable, then do not let the remaining (last) seven nights overcome him."

Amongst the odd nights in the last seven nights, it is closest to the twenty-seventh night due to the hadith of Ubay Bin Ka'ab (RA) who said

“By Allah, I know which night it is. It is on the night that Allah's Messenger (SAW) commanded us to perform the Night Prayer. It is on the twenty-seventh night.” [Muslim]

The night of Al-Qadr is not specified to one fixed night throughout all the years. Rather, it constantly changes. So one year it could occur on the 27th night for example and on another year it could occur on the 25th night, according to Allah's Will and Wisdom. What directs us to this is the Prophet's (SAW) saying

"Look for it (i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) when there remain nine nights, when there remains seven nights, or when there remains five nights (i.e. 21st, 23rd and 25th respectively without mention of the 27th)."

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr said in Fath-ul-Bari "the most strongest opinion is that it is on an odd night in the last ten nights and that it constantly changes."

11 things to do on Laylatul Qadr

Watch this and learn like I did!

Ramadhan close-up [article]

Salaam readers

I've been meaning to write a post on Ramadhan in general for some time now but more specifically regarding the Night of Power, or Laylat al Qadr. So at long last it is here. I hop
e you find it as informative and inspiring as I did, also please excuse me if it is some what sparse. I've copied and referenced what I have found personally useful.Refs for both posts. Jzk.

Officers of Malaysia's Islamic authority use a telescope to perform "rukyah", the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan, in Teluk Kemang, south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 20, 2009. Muslims scan the sky at dusk in the beginning of the lunar calendar's ninth month in search of the new moon to proclaim the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk. (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad)

The word “Ramadan” is derived from "ramadha" which literally means "intense heat". There are a number of possible reasons for such a name including
  1. When the Islamic months were enforced the month of fasting coincided with the summer months of intense heat

  2. The second reason which has been mentioned is that due to fasting the temperature within the stomach increases, again the element of heat is a factor behind the actual naming of this month

  3. It has also been said that "RAMADHAA" is one of the names of Allah (SWT). If that is the case then the month has acquired the name due to the fact that Allah (SWT) burns away accumulated sins and eliminates then from the list of unlawful deeds. Once again the burning sins cannonades "HEAT". However, it should be acknowledged that this reasoning is not wholly reliable

The month of Ramadan is a season of divine blessings, a month of purification and it is meant for annual renovation of inner-spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen their imam, purify the heart and soul and remove the effects of sins. During this blessed month fasting is obligatory on all able-bodied Muslims and it is a time to maximize the acts of worship, minimize all mundane activities and refrain from all forms of sin. It is also recommended that one performs Umrah once on any one day of the month as this is a sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

  1. Hasan (RA), the grandson Holy Prophet (SAW) was born on the15th of Ramadan, three years after Hijri
  2. The Holy Qur'an was revealed on the 27th night of Ramadan from the "Lauhe Mahfooz" (the 7th heaven) to the 1st heaven
  3. The first battle in Islamic History, the Battle of Badr, took place on the 12th of Ramadan in the year 2 AH
  4. Victory of Makkah took place on the 18th of Ramadan in the year 8 AH
  5. Sawdah (RA) married the Holy Prophet (SAW) in year 10 AH
  6. Zainab Bint Khuzaima's (RA) married the Holy Prophet (SAW) in the year 3 AH

On some of the benefits of Ramdhan

  • Allah said in the Qur'an in Surah Al-Baqarah


"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong)."( Al-Baqarah 2:185)

  • Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (SAW) said

“If anyone omits his fast even for one day in Ramadan without a concession or without being ill, then if he were to fast for the rest of his life he could not make up for it.” [Bukhari]

  • Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (SAW) said that Allah (SWT) the Majestic and Exalted said

“Every deed of man will receive ten to 700 times reward, except Sawm (fasting), for it is for Me and I shall reward it (as I like). There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts: one when he breaks the fast and the other when he will meet his Lord.” [Muslim]

  • The last third of Ramadan is the time for the release from Hell-fire, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said in the Hadith reported by Salman Al-Farisi:
"O people, a great and a blessed month is approaching you. In this month there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Allah has made fasting during its daytime obligatory and prayers at night commendable during this month. Whosoever will do a voluntary good deed during this month, it is as if he performed an obligatory good deed at another time and whosoever will perform an obligatory good deed, it is as if he performed seventy obligatory good deeds at another time. This is the month of patience and the reward of patience is Paradise. This is the month of kindness and charity. In this month the believer’s provision is enlarged. Anyone who will give food to a fasting person in this month, it will bring forgiveness for his sins, will save him from the hellfire and he shall have his reward without the person who is fed losing any of his reward….The first third of the month of Ramadan is the time for Rahmah (Mercy), the second third is for forgiveness, the third is for the release from Hellfire…"


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Pic of the day - Ramadhan 2009

A Pakistani Muslim arranges food stuff for Iftar, a time to break the fast, on the first day of Ramadan, as a child looks on at a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Hooow cute, and just how gigantic are those serving bowls! :-D

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Iftaar special

A short and small showcase of my latest culinary delights. I have to admit, I do feel like I've come a loooong way in this field as only last year, I was struggling to make anything edible for my first iftaari with the hubs and co. Seriously, we were living off shop bought stuff everyday when the MIL was away in 'desh, I thought I'd never learn! Feel kinda proud.

Yesterday's iftaar. Home made chicken ceaser salad with olives and grilled halloumi. Everything was either baked or grilled including the breaded chicken and croutons :-)

Today's iftaar. My first ever attempt at making sun blushed tomato hummus with fried red onions! T'was yum!

Here's how we wrapped it up. Home made falafels (mixture from a pack) with kebabs, halloumi and salad. Gorg.



And now I'm off to sleep so I can forget about the pounds! Heehee. Laters.

09.09.09


Fajr prayer in Malaysia. SubhanAllah.

P.S. How schweet is the date too!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Robbed x2, punked x1

Salaam peeps

Wow, what a smashing start to the day the hubs and I had this morning! Lame I know :-P While I was over sleeping, tyring to catch some zzz's, I got a call from the hubs at 8.30 am saying that our car had been robbed! ROBBED!!! Before he could say anymore, I imagined glass on the floor, on the seat, glass, glass glass...but luckily there was none of that interesting televised like drama.

Unfortunately for the hubs, the one day he forgot to lock the car resulted in a thief opening the door and helping him/herself to our Tomtom (sat nav)! Fortunately though, it was just the inside of the car the thief was interested in and so our bikes kept on the side of our house were left unrobbed (a word?!) :| But guess what folks - it wasn't just our car that got robbed, oh no! My father in law's car also got robbed and now he too is one Tomtom short! That's two gone in one household! But unlike the hubs, my FIL is actually quite careless when it comes to looking after his things and never locks his car anyway so we were totally unshocked (if that's a word) when he broke the horrid news to my mother in law and I. Looks like the thief was on some sort of Tomtom rampage :|

Really makes me feel quite crap knowing that it was probably someone from the neighborhood who was keeping a close eye on us/our things and that we're still none the wiser as to who the culprit is. The gits! The hubs did say though, that some fingerprints were left on the windows so hopefully the police will be able to trace the chor (Hindi for thief) down, if the fingerprints aren't mine that is :S
Me a month before our Alistair Aygo got robbed! 'scuse the bushy brows and the over excited cheesy grin hah. I still can't drive btw. Hmph.

So, the other thing then. Read the following very carefully:

DAVID BLAINE TEST

This is amazing but creepy!

Think of a letter between A & W

Repeat it out loud as you scroll down

Think of an animal that begins with the letter

Repeat it out loud as you scroll down

Think of a person's name that begins with the last letter in the animal's name

Now count out the letters in the name using the fingers of the hand you're not using to scroll down

Take the hand you counted with and hold it out in front of you at face level

Look at your palm closely and notice the lines on your hand

Do the lines take the form of the first letter in the persons name?















Of course they flipping don't!! Now smack yourself in the head, get a life, it's Ramadhan so go do some Zikr!



Yes, I too got punked. Ishtoopit text message! Ishtoopit me! Shame on me. :-P

Friday, 4 September 2009

Small catch up

Salaam all & Ramadan Mubarak

Hope that you're all in good health iA.

As you may already know, this Ramadhan will be like no other for my family and I. What began with the entire family welcoming Ramadhan together, will now sadly end with one family missing, forever gone. It really feels like a part of our bodies has disappeared, incomplete and almost dysfunctional without it, or him rather. Yet, with Allah's rahmat and mercy, we continue to trod on. Determined to happily accept Allah's will as our fate as we believe in Him and His promise of the hereafter. InshaAllah only He can ease our pain and keep us on the right track towards Him and His beauty, Ameen. Thank you once again to all my dear sisters and readers who may or may not have stopped by to offer their condolences, really does offer comfort.

Well. Looks like we've almost reached half way in Ramadhan. It really has gone by super quick. Whilst catching up with other sister's blogs, I've come to notice how some of you make a short list of goals which you want to attain by the end of this glorious month. It made me realise how I haven't done the same and got me thinking of possibly doing one too. In short I think the following will be something of an achievement for me:
  1. Reading my prayers/salah on time.
  2. Doing more dhikr. Whether that's reading the Qur'an or tasbih, doesn't matter.
I did start off Ramadhan with the intention of completing the reading of the Qur'an but it doesn't seem very likely any more. I've had to take a female break and this has already impeded my reading. Not to mention the tonnes of work that has now piled up: dissertation plus preparing school work for my new job starting immediately after Ramadhan. Hmm, sounds like I'm making excuses right. :| We'll see inshaAllah.

So-oo-o. Tomorrow, as in at 1.00 am I will get to see the hubs after almost a week! He's driving from home to my mum's and should get here around 1ish, inshaAllah. Really looking forward to seeing him and getting his cuddles. Two weeks of staying at home every day has kinda regrettably put a strain on my relationship with my mum and sisters to the extent where I feel I need a break before it hits a lower low :| Women and hormones eh. I don't know when I'll be coming back to revisit, probably when things calm down and the dust has settled. A week maybe two, who knows.

Okay, well, before I begin ranting and raving I shall wrap this up in time. Have a great weekend ladies and make the most of this glorious month!

*wave*

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Duas please

I feel awkward writing this post so I'll try make it short.

Please make dua for my dad who breathed his last breath on 24th Monday, August at 5.45am. He had been battling with t-cell lymphoma since March this year but there was only so much even a strong soul like my dad could take. He left home on Friday to go to A&E and never came back.

Alhamdulilah, all my siblings and mum were around him every single day and he managed to leave the world with Allah's name on his lips. His janazzah took place on the same day and he was buried here in my home town around Asr time, following a packed janazzah full of all his local friends, pakistani and bengali.

It's a very difficult, testing and sad time for us all but with the Almighty's grace, we find consolation in the fact that Allah granted our's and our dad's wishes for him to leave the world peacefully with his family around him. We stopped asking for his hayaat ever since we realised that it would be selfish of us to ask the Almighty to extend his life when it was clear my dad was well on his way to the Almighty.

He passed away on the third ruza, on a Monday, the day our nabi was born. He was fortunate in several ways Alhamdulilah, it truly is amazing. InshaAllah he will be granted the highest level of jannah.

My family are coping relatively well, I think. Considering we've never had to deal with the death of a close family member before, I'd say our faith in Allah's master plan keeps us ticking. Please pray for sabr for my family.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Latest finds

Being the bargain hunter that I am, I came across these great little jewellery pieces on Sunday. The hubs and I were meant to be visitng the Banksy exhibition, again, but we decided against it after witnessing the mad 4.5hours waiting queue!
Instead, we walked around in the sun and lined our bellies with grub and drinks before hitting the shops until our feet felt sore :-DSo, here are some of my latest bargain finds:
The rings, brooch and bangles cost less than a tenner from Accessorize! I was fortunate enough to find what was left of a good sale :-) and the GORGEOUS earrings were a steal at a little less than £2.00!

Now that's what I call recession busting :-D

5 things about me - tagged

Thank you to Skye over at Muslimah-in-Aus for tagging me a few weeks ago...got round to it eventually :-)

Okay so here goes:

  1. I chew my food very slowly. I can't help doing something I've done for as long as I can remember! I like biting and chewing on something as small as a cumin seed to properly munching on a bite-ful of a chicken burger. Inevitably, it takes almost forever for me to finish a meal- but hey, apparently this way of eating is healthy as it's good for you to break your food down to aid digestion and plus because it makes you feel fuller quicker :-)
  2. I like thick and well groomed eyebrows and it's a look I'm working on. My eyebrows haven't been threaded in a couple of months now and they are growing back as bushy as a pair of caterpillars! I've been tempted to have them threaded on a number of occasions but have so far resisted the temptation.
  3. I feel a sense of peace and calm whenever I pray and remember the Almighty. Sometimes I end up sobbing which also relives me of whatever anguish I'm feeling. I love it and wish to indulge in my obligation even more iA.
  4. I can roll my tongue inside my mouth and look quite freaky at the same time! :-D
  • I love bargains. I hate buying things at full price, unless it's a gift for a dear one. I feel like I've been cheated when I pay something at full price for myself and often run the following thoughts in my head "why are you paying for something at full price when you know you're going to kick yourself for it!". So inevitably, I spend an awfully long time looking around, casually browsing for a real good bargain. Even if 20% off is a good enough excuse to buy something worth it! Anyway, this can often be a double edged sword in the sense that it can lead to me buying zero items or on a profitable day (hah) I can end up coming home with things that I don't actually need and so justify the purchase (to myself) by singing the "I'll need it one day" mantra :-D
Who to tag:

Aimie, Queen, White Orchid, Constructive Attitude and finally Ms.Mango! Plus, anyone who wants to take part!

My baby's done it!

Salaam dear readers

How are we all today? In good spirits I hope :-)

Something quite amazing happened yesterday and I feel this event alone deserves a whole post of it's own.

*Warning: Sick bucket may be required.

Sweet baby pie, also known as the hubs, got his results yesterday at 5.20am and alhamdulilah is now a fully qualified ACCA accountant!!! He has completed all his exams, icluding the last two which he sat in June and has not only just passed, but passed with flying colours mashaAllah! Neither of us knew what to expect as the last two papers he sat were the most toughest he had sat yet. The ACCA website was incredibly jammed as ACCA hopefuls the world over were all attempting to log on at the same time to check their results. When I finally managed to log in I quickly saw the words "Pass" "Pass" and gave out a little "ahhh you've done it" scream as the hubs continued scanning the page! My in-laws were over come with joy and called half of Bangladesh to let their families know of their son's success, mashaAllah it was a great feeling :-)

I am so incredibly proud of him and it really is so heart warming to finally see the fruits of his hard labour. When the hubs and I met all those many years ago (around 5 years ago now!), he was just starting off the ACCA course and now, all those many years later - he's done it :-D InshaAllah it will give him a new uplifting courage to go on to do even greater things and to make his, and our dreams come true. Even I feel free-er knowing that he is now stress free in that department and that we can now both move on in making our dreams come true iA :-D

To celebrate, I booked us a table at our local Slug & Lettuce (no I'm not kiddin'!) and yaa, indulged in some gorgeous food. The hubs even by that point still couldn't believe he had done it and was generally in shock, so conversation largely centred on work, ACCA, and work. Blah.

Yes, that is lettuce of some sort. And no, those fried things are not slugs, but king prawns! Haaoww! :-)

Oh well. My baby's done it! Well done you!


Friday, 14 August 2009

I'm procrastinating , again

Hey 'sup people?

  • I came across this article just now and it made me chuckle. The kids on the face of it are just asking awkward questions, but I actually think they're quite deep and profound!
  • Check it out here :-)
  • So the past few days, well since Sunday night actually I've been quite busy with family as my only sis-in-law and her hubby paid us a visit. It was cool having them round as we rarely see them but gosh, it's awful having uni work to do at home while the family's around. They left yesterday which has freed me up quite a bit :-)
  • Oh also on Sunday, the hubs and I checked out Bristol's Islamic Fayre. The weather was beautiful, hot and sunny which perfectly complimented the days activities in a pro-halal environment. We heard nasheeds, with live performances by Khaleel Mohammed, ate great halal food and ice cream, drank lots of cool slush while sat on the clean green grass. We even indulged in a spot of joy riding on the bumping cars lol and yaa generally had a great day out. We also promised to come back to the fair with our future kids so that we can chase them round the park and also put them on a donkey ride! InshaAllah :-)
  • I also laid my eyes on some fore arm sleeves which I had only ever seen on the web. At £3.50 though, I did think they were a little over priced but hubs bought me a black and white pair anyway. Just earlier today I realised that they are indeed cheaper on the net and would've been a bit cheaper in places like Birmingham - grrr! But what the hey ho! I'm so penny wise and pound foolish, hah!
  • Talking of covering up, I'm really in search of a piece of chest/cleavage covering garment that I came across earlier this year on an American website. The piece was triangular shaped and covered the collar bone and chest area, sort of like a pyramid shape. Stupid me, never bookmarked the so-hard-to-find web page and so have failed to track it down ever since :-( I ask you dear sisters to please post a link if you know what I'm talking about! It just seems to have disappeared! I would be ever so grateful :-)
Okay, I'm leaving this one here.

xx

This is one post you shouldn't really read

Salaam readers

How are we all today? What's new in your world? What things have you been upto? What have you read, watched, laughed or frowned at recently? Why all the questions hmm?

Well. It's been a number of days since I was last blogging and although there is tonnes to say, it's just not happening. Maybe it will treacle out, in dribs and drabs . Oh boy. Brace yourselves, this is gonna be yet another random post!

What am I doing right now:
  • Sipping tea and eating cow biscuits. They're not really cows m'dears.
  • Feeling annoyed for not being able to pray and read the Qur'an on a Friday. I wasn't expecting to be hit by the cycle again, but what can one do.
  • In relation to the previous point, one should and could make the most of the days when one is in a state to read and pray instead of feeling annoyed and self pity for one's own self.
  • I'm not listening to music - WHY NOT!! Not like me at all *reaches out to play Lighthouse Family*
  • Trying to "write a story" about the data I collected for my 15,000 word dissertation. So far it's not progressing at the rate I need it to. *brainwave needed*
  • I'm thinking writing a blog is great. GREAT. gReAt. Yup.
Jumma Mubarak all and have a smashing day. I'll be back later with some more randomness!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

My Islamic Way of Dressing: Tagged!


Right, onwards and upwards with this iA.

First of all, hello, salaam and welcome to my new readers/followers. I can see that you're all from various parts of the world, which may I add, is hugely exciting! I look forward to reading your contributions, either on here or on your own blog, iA :-)

Okay soo...The lovely Lela has tagged me with the Islamic Way of Dressing tag where I will show you'z all how I dress on different occasions. Simple enough.

This is me on a casual/smart day out. I like to keep the look unfussy, chic and elegant with an edge. Don't know if I'm there yet but I do try, although I don't want to give off that impression! Hahaha! My look mostly consists of a dress/long top with a pair of jeans (usually skinny), teamed with a matching hijab and a pair of cute shoes.

On very special occasions, I will usually wear a traditional Indian outfit. ^ I am wearing a saree (belly covered!) with a matching hijab. I love sarees as they are sooo chic and give great overall coverage, if worn carefully!

I love shoes. Pumps are a necessity of mine. Style and comfort = must. The one below is gorgeous :-D
Around the house, I usually wear a kurta/kaftan type top with trousers or jeans. Don't have the luxury of walking around in my slumber gear anymore, now that I live with my in-laws!
I also like wearing cute casual dresses. I have one very similar to this:
Some days though, I enjoy wearing cotton salwar kameez, esp when the weather's hot.

Another staple is the long cardigan or a long jacket/mac to cover the bum etc.



Well well. Who to tag? I send this out to everyone and anyone who would like to showcase their daily, Islamic inspired, dress style!

:-)