Saturday, December 31, 2011

After a delightful dinner by Miss Amina, the girls and I went to the town octagon (Dunedin doesn't have a town square but instead, an octagon) to watch the annual new year's fireworks show. As this is my first time  to celebrate new year's in Dunedin I was quite impressed with what I saw especially considering the fact that it's a relatively small city. Nonetheless, us girls enjoyed ourselves.

Happy New Year everyone!
xox Sha

2011 in Retrospect

I can’t believe we’re entering 2012 in less than 24 hours! I’m excited to start a brand new year and open up fresh pages in a chapter of my life, inshaAllah. I would normally say that the year has gone by really fast. Not this time though. 2011 was a long and arduous year for me but it has also been undeniably unforgettable.

2011 has been the year of many firsts. I lived by myself for the first time and learned to take on more responsibilities. I wore niqab for the first time. Took part in Hijabi Fashion Week. Hosted a 30 Day Photo Challenge. Attended Maher Zain’s sold out concert. Attended a winter wedding. Went to a World Cup rugby game. 'Colours of My Life' was featured in a magazine. I met a number of inspiring people such as Imam Suhaib Webb, Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, Imam Afroz Ali and Ustadh Mustafa Davis. I also explored Melbourne and Doha - yup, you guessed it - for the first time. 

Come to think of it we’ve done a fair bit of travelling as a family this year. It’s a huge deal considering everyone’s various commitments. Although I really enjoyed the relaxing holiday we had near Pangkor Island and the lush time we had in Doha, I feel we were incredibly blessed to have another opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia for an Umrah pilgrimage, alhamdulillah. This time we went during the middle of a smouldering Arabian summer and I discovered that no matter how many times I go there I will always fall in love with the city of Madinah and the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

Faith Friday: Salawat

Friday, December 30, 2011

"Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet:
O you that believe! Send your blessings on him, and salute him with all respect."
(Holy Qur'an, Surah Al 'Ahzab, verse 56)

The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa salaam) said : 
"Increase your recitation of salawat on me on Friday because on this day Angels present themselves to me. There is no servant of Allah who recites salawat upon me, except that his voice reaches me from wherever he is". The Companions asked, "Even after your death?" "He replied, "Yes after my death too, because Allah has made it Haraam upon the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets".
{Recorded by Imam Tabarani (r) as narrated by Abu Darda (r)}

How can we benefit from saying the salawat?
Umar radi Allahu anhu said, “Duaa is suspended between heaven and earth
 and none of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa salaam)”
{At-Tirmidhi, Hasan Al-Albani}

More benefits and virtues of the salawat

When Poetry and Islam Come Together

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A poem based on An-Nawawi's 40 Hadiths
Cleverly and beautifully said, mashaAllah!

This line is my favourite (if I can even choose!).
Which one is yours?

Style Sunday: Cinnamon

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Faith Friday: The Struggling Muslim Series - Islamophobia

Friday, December 23, 2011

Question 1:
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Sha :)

Recently I came across a blog whereby there's a page exclusively questioning about our religion; Islam (The page is labeled as "A few simple questions for Muslim visitors"). After reading the whole page, I was furious but somehow I calmed myself down, Istighfar a lot of times and reminded myself that the long-written blog entry was written by a non-believer. And it's clear that non-believers (the blogger is a Christian) will never believe anything that we believe in our Holy Quran and that's how they'll write to channel in their skeptiscm towards the Holy Quran and Islam.

But then I thought, what if, one day I meet someone like the blogger in real life (and not through the internet) and what will I answer if he asks me the presumed-"few simple questions"? Will I get to answer all his skepticism towards Islam without being twisted and confused by him back? Or will I fail defending my religion and let him leave, rejoicing his false opinion on Islam and let him have the thinking that what he believes in all this while is true? Will the knowledge that I have which is in my opinion is quite insufficient (since I'm still learning too) will able to make him at least to try to re-think of all the things he doesn't believe? Sis, have you ever encountered this situation before? And do you have any advice for this?

JazakAllah Khair,

Question 2:
AsalamuAlaikum Sha,

I had this experience of one my colleagues talking wrong about Muslims. At that moment I was just doing my work and didn't understand clearly, so I just kept silent. What do we do at such circumstances? It really hurts to work in such an environment. Can you share if you ever experienced such situations.

Thank you,


I Graduated!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I graduated yesterday!
 (subhanaAllah wa alhamdulillah)
You are now looking at a graduate with a
BA in Communication Studies (First Class Honours)
*happy dance*

I can't wait to post more pictures of the event. For now I want to share some videos of the graduation procession that is uniquely Otago. Dunedin has a Scottish heritage so Otago University graduands usually parade down the city's main street, George Street, with the university's Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, lecturers, members of the University council, fellow classmates and family members whilst being accompanied by the sounds of Scottish bagpipes.

2-in-1 Hijab Tutorial: 2-Layer Hijab

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Salaam lovelies, 

Some of you have been asking me for a hijab tutorial for a quite a while.
I'm in the midst of packing up 7 years' worth of things in my house.
I did this video really quickly yesterday, just for you,
so please excuse my no-make-up-face.
Think of it as an early Style Sunday post.
There are 2 styles in this tutorial and I hope you like them.

xox, Sha

I Care About Them.. Do You?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Visit the ICARE website
Show some love at ICARE's Facebook Page
Watch videos from ICARE's YouTube channel

Find out why the rest of the world cares about Iraq.

Mr. Bus Driver

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Auckland, November 2011
Mr. Bus Driver would read his book at every opportunity he had. 

"Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him." - John Locke 

Faith Friday: The Struggling Muslim Series - The God of the 21st Century

Thursday, December 01, 2011

One of the hardest things about faith is often mistaken as being the simplest aspect.

Belief in the Oneness, Greatness and Uniqueness of God, and His right to be worshipped unconditionally and undividedly. Otherwise known as tawheed

As a person who was born into a Muslim family I was able to grasp this seemingly simple concept quite naturally, alhamdulillah. To a certain degree there are advantages to this but when something is handed to you on a silver platter you tend to take it for granted. I don’t know what it’s like to not believe in God but I do know what it’s like not to know who He is. I know what it’s like not to understand His importance in our lives.

I have asked myself, “The human mind sees what it wants to see. Does God really exist or do I believe in Him because that’s what I want to believe?”