What did I do today?
We all should have more days that give that deep sense of satisfaction. The good feeling that comes with investing in yourself and getting good value for your money. I was blessed to have such a day today.
It was at the SMD Tijaarah Tea for Muslim women entrepreneurs(Muslimahpreneurs) organized by @sherrys_Mamas_Delight
First we had to introduce ourselves and businesses, then renew intentions to dedicate it all to Allah (the Enricher). I liked that the setting was relaxed and so it was easy to get comfortable. Factors like age, success and profession posed no barriers. This facilitated learning from one another.
There was so much to learn! The lady behind SMD – Shariifah Yunus, a culinary artist and instructor, gave a passionate talk about her experience as a Muslim woman starting and running a business, confidence, positioning, advertising and lots more.
Next up was the session by Ameenah Imran, a seasoned and dedicated student of the deen, who took us through transactions that are forbidden in Islam. Making sure our business is based on halal (lawful) is very important. We also learnt about permissible transactions, putting Allah first and of course I was motivated to take learning about rulings and other fields of knowledge in Islam more seriously.
The last talk was about product photography by the creative Roqeebah Olaoniye- editor, photographer and legal consultant ( @roqeebah). She patiently coached with practical demonstartions us on how to get the best of apps and photos to sell our products and services. It was such a trove of treasures!
In between , we had breaks for Salah( prayers). Question and answer, with interactive sessions shed more light on issues. Ideas were flying about ready to be caught by the open-minded. Tea and lunch were welcome treats, all made with SMD natural tea and spices. The tea, burger and Ofada tasted so good. You should try cooking with them too.
I am glad to have made the acquaintance of business owners and budding entrepreneurs whose interests ranged from crafts, health, travel services to food businesses.
Supporting each other in growth and development was a priceless lesson. As women, we should build each other. And as Muslim women, we must treat each other with honour accorded to sisters.
In all, I met new people, reconnected with old friends and took away a zeal to run a successful business enterprise.
The àmì on the author’s name made me translate the title into Yoruba subconsciously and there! I got a loose idea of what the book was centred on – Àbíkú.
However , nothing prepares you for the twists and turns, the suspense and carefully woven tapestry of this work, the ending that is as unexpected as it is beautiful. All of this makes Stay With Me such a fantastic piece.
The plot mirrors common but rarely discussed experiences. In it, you are made to feel the pressure, frustration and all other emotions of a childless couple in 80’s South West Nigeria.
You feel the pain of betrayal, the rawness of deception, the calculation and misguided love in the ties connecting Akin and Yejide to Funmi, Dotun, Moomi and other characters. Witnessing the darkest side of each’s persona still does not make you judge them. Such is the candour of Ayòbámi’s presentation.
Perhaps what made this book so striking is the familiarity of the setting.
It is amazing how the author manages to incorporate so many themes in a concise and enjoyable read. Among them are life in Nigeria’s military era; escaping poverty to middle class through education; retaining core aspects of cultural heritage nonetheless; dedication and sacrifice of mothers; sickle cell disease and mental health.
It provides insight into the overwhelming importance placed on having biological children, how this leads to desperation, unforseen circumstances and uncontrollable consequences that defy best laid plans. Societal expectations are seen to be more stringent on women. Even self-proclaimed feminists are not spared.
P.S I would love to know more about Akin. For me, he was the most layered and interesting character.
Imagine going to Eid prayers knowing there is no food to celebrate with. Other families would cook and serve delicacies and you have to tell your family it’s another day of hunger.
Allah asks Muslims to consider those who have less than they do. Not just to invite them to Eid feast but give them a chance to cook their own. Give them dignity.
It is not like regular Zakat that can be paid in different forms of wealth including cash.
This one is specifically food just as that of Eid-al Adha is specifically meat.
The Prophet legislated a Sa’a (four double handfuls) of date ,barley, wheat and dry yoghurt.
( Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)
You can use the staple grains available in your part of the world if these foods are not found there.
Allah has made it a purification for the fasting Muslim and good for the poor. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud).
For in our faith, giving is not one-way. A thing for the haves to look down on the have-nots. It benefits both the giver and the given.
These raw foods are to be handed to the poor to do as they wish.To give them control and make it feel more than a just a ‘handout’. Avenues like this ensure wealth redistribution and by extension, social justice is achieved in Islam.
It is given for every member of the family iincluding newborns. In the Prophet’s time , it was given for servants and slaves. It is important that it be given before Eid.
In some countries, this program is highly organized where you drop money for one Sa’a or more and this is used to purchase foodstuff to be given to the poor. But in others, you might have to measure out the foodstuff and identify people to give.
Get your plans in place if you are able. Time is running out. If you are not able, don’t worry I hope someone gets it through to you. May Allah enrich you so you can be among the givers next year.
Due to a change in eating habits, some find teeth care confusing. Should I brush before Sahur or after?
Because many also are eating late into the night, time for brushing gets blurry.
Our Prophet disliked people who ate onions and leeks (and other strong-smelling foods) into the mosque so as not to make others uncomfortable. This symbolizes how important oral hygiene is.
He loved the miswak , derived from a root of the Arak tree, used as a toothbrush regularly.
Avoid too much sugars and add more fruits and veg to your diet.
Try hard to brush more than twice. Just don’t swallow toothpaste! Couple this with regular flossing and a mouthwash (remember, alcohol-free)
Push yourself to see a dentist.
So our smiles can be bright and our breaths fresh.
“The smell of the mouth of a fasting person is dearer to Allah than the smell of musk.” Hadith
Let us stop using this as an excuse to treat our teeth bad.
Remember, cleanliness is a huge part of our faith and the mouth is not exempted from this.
Too many wrong things happen. Much of the ill-will that pervades our environment is as a result of grievances sprouting from injustice.
“Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better protector to both (than you). So follow not your lusts, lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witnesses or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is ever well acquainted with what you do.”
(Surah Nisa Q4: 135)
A peaceful world is not sustainable without fairness and justice. For our own good, we have to push for this.
Through charity, we try to correct society’s unfair distribution of wealth. Let this not stop in Ramadhan but be part of your daily Purpose.
If you have got real clout and power to change things, please do so.
If you can write or speak and move decision-makers , do so.
You can donate and fund positive impact.
You can sit, walk or run. You can fly.
Anything to improve the status quo.
If you are weak, at least reject it in your heart.
Just don’t sit on the fence, aloof, unconcerned.
The world has always been a place where evil and violence exist but never before do events get witnessed by millions without being physically present. Thus it is difficult to ignore what is happening around the world.
Behind the statistics and headlines are people like you and me, most of whom just found themselves at the receiving end of evil.
Remember the Grenfell Tower Fire victims.
The Portugal forest fire.
The China nursery attack.
The Bangladeshi landslide.
The refugees of generations, the ones at sea, the ones in camps.
The unjustly imprisoned.
The sick whether in hospital or on sick beds (or mats)
The victims of war and conflict.
Those affected by famine, drought, disasters(natural and man-made).
The citizens who under oppressive governments.
The women and girls trafficked as work or sex slaves.
The animals that suffer cruelty.
The nameless victims of all kinds of atrocities.
Remember all men, women and children who endure suffering and pain for no reason.
Think of them.
Be aware of going -ons around you.
Do what you can to help them.
Even if all you can do is pray.
For we are all siblings either of faith or humanity.
If you fall into any of the categories exempted from fasting, it is very easy to fill disconnected. It is worse when the people around you are not understanding and they judge you for eating and drinking. Somehow, they make you feel less of a Muslim. But there are so many other avenues to gaining reward. These would help you avoid wasting the whole month.
- Focus on Allah as He is the One who truly understands.
- Feed a fasting Muslim. It not only gives you immense reward but can be a Fidyah (if you absolutely can not fast)
- Be patient especially if it is a pregnancy or a serious medical condition. Remember that any difficult situation a believer experiences is a source of expiation of sin.
- Make Dhikr your companion.There are too many easy words of remembrance that will increase your scale of good.
- Join Iftar gatherings to feel that sense of community so rare outside this month.
- Help prepare food for others.
- Perform Tahajjud, make endless dua, seek the night of Al-Qadr, don’t miss Tarawih.
- Sadaqah -Charity
- Listen to sermons and learn from them. Make sure they are from sound scholars who use evidences from the Quran and Sunnah.
- Have a healthy diet. It is not an excuse to engorge yourself.
- Avoid anger, backbiting, foul and vulgar language.
- Use the time till next Ramadhan to treat your condition and try to fast next time if it is safe to do so.
May Allah reward you as you strive to do your best at worship.