10 Green Quranic Verses On The Environment


environment verses from quran
Carbon free revelations: Muslim or not, these 10 Quranic quotes on #EcoIslam will really make you think about greening your lives.

For Muslims the Qur’an is the ultimate green-guide. Believed to be a sublime revelation with remarkable ideas, this divine scripture is scrupulously read by Muslims for spirituality. But it is not limited to only that. In the Islamic faith, faith in the environment is on par to good faith towards humanity and indeed God, since Muslims believe He created all. The Qur’an therefore, doesn’t just link belief in One God (Tawheed) to being nice to plants and keeping a pet. The Qur’an glorifies nature and wildlife as an earthly heaven, a mirror to the lush forests of Paradise above.

Ethics and equilibrium are key ingredients to peace (salaam) and even vegetarian living. Here are 10+ key quotes from the Qur’an that show what #EcoIslam is really about.

1. Anti-Corruption Police

Living a balanced, moderate life is easy to say, harder to follow through. Even Muslims-the wealthier, western Muslims-have a difficult time living purely ‘off the land’. Yet this doesn’t detract from the verses:

“…And do not desire corruption in the land. Indeed, God does not like corruptors. ” Qur’an 28:77

“…And do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” Qur’an, 2:60

 

Think about it
How many forms of corruption are there? Crime, political fraud, illegal banking systems, theft, rape. Sound pretty major don’t they. Now add to that list littering, deforestation, toxic waste and pesticides. Sure, these are hardly equivalent to murdering but in the long run, these things take human lives too, a fact. That is what the Qur’an is alarming readers about.

 

Corruption in our country, here in England, is when we see landfills galore and then expect it’s someone else’s job to sort out. Corruption is when there are homeless people in our towns and we walk past hoping that it’s they who won’t see us.
In the end, when we don’t restore these things to harmony we only end up polluting our own little bubble of survival. That is why God says our catastrophes are self-inflicted; “corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by what the hands of people have earned”. As if to give a wake-up call, people are told these catastrophic processes can heal and eliminate social and natural disorders, but through belief in God and respect for nature.

“…So… let them taste part of (the consequences of) what they have done that perhaps they will return (to righteousness).” (Qur’an 30:41)

2. Call Yourself A Human?

“Indeed, We (God) offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant. (Qur’an 33:72)

In Arabic the word for earthling is Khalifa (خلِيفةً) pronounced kha-leaf-ah. This is a magnificent word with multiple meanings like deputy, guardian, ‘friend of Earth’ and viceroy, although it all boils down to Stewardship. Human beings are the most intelligent beings on earth so it makes sense that we have the responsibility to care for our planet, to give it a hug and a health check now and again .

“And it is He (God) who has made you successors (khala’ifa) upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 6:165).

Notes
Interestingly, this idea of humans being ‘successors’ or stewards resonates in the Bible, particularly in Exodus and Corinthians. In the well-known Genesis verses the earliest humans alive are taught to sow and reap from the fields, in order to understand the functionality of earth and be in awe of its beauty. The Torah too instructs its followers with a job description similar to a noble janitor.

Muslims are supposed to hold this responsibility deeply. We are not the masters but we have been given a short-term trust. Anyone who creates corruption and pollution abuses their power and has violated this trust. Such a person fails as a Human and needs to earn the title back.

3. Ending Poverty

“And you do not encourage one another to feed the poor.” (Qur’an, 89:18)

There are so many modern ways to end poverty. I really believe there is enough man-power, resources and the all-important funding (you know, moolah) to end poverty the world over. But for personal and political reasons, we might donate £5/$5, give our Islamic “tax” (zakat) to a charity once a year, and think that’s enough. It is good, but it is not enough.

I hear so many apologies from Muslims like ‘you can only give to Islamic charities’ and ‘donate to the masjid first’ but that’s phoney etiquette. In the order of priorities under the Islamic social system, human life comes first, then preserving faith and then community. These principles overlap so that you cannot have one complete without the other.

Many orphans around the world are waiting for a kind person to sponsor them.

“No! But you do not honour the orphan.” (Qur’an, 89:17)

Honouring orphans? An orphan is without a father to financially support him/her. By giving a monthly amount you improve the lifestyle of a young person, you give a life. You also raise their status because you’re sponsoring their education, their food, their home. Without your provision another child potentially dies. God is saying that most people do not really care. Remember those priorities: Life.

An educated child has more opportunities so God exclaims, honour them! And remember the saying (Hadith) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that anyone who supports an orphan will live in close proximity to him, in heaven.

Another point in poverty, inheritance. Endless troubles are created because people who don’t understand the Islamic inheritance laws fight over who gets what. This is ‘unIslamic’, leading to more social inequity. God tells believers to discard the love of wealth and to be fair in giving people their due,

“[But] you consume inheritance, devouring [it] altogether,” (Qur’an 89:17).

Action plan – Some of the ways to end poverty

  • You could set up a standing order to your local charity
  • Ask your masjid to give one month’s donations to the poorest in your neighbourhood
  • Sponsor an orphan – if you want to know how please comment
  • Start a ‘buddy’ system where you ‘babysit’ an impoverished teen for a month
  • Petition your local council repeatedly to support and house the homeless-they are not a burden; you can do this anonymously

In Islam charity is prioritised to the most needy and the closest. If there is a single mum on your street who can’t pay for her weekly shop, that is where you donation should be headed. If a child you know lives below the standard, can’t afford school supplies or can’t even pay for school dinners, that is your obligation too. So you see, ending poverty globally is a challenge that can be done, but keep looking to your own neighbourhoods first.

4. Preservation of Water

Another way of ending poverty is to provide clean water where it’s needed. This doesn’t have to be a burdensome task. Ask your friends/family to chip in £5 for a community well abroad, your home country perhaps. Tell people to reuse their plastic bottles and donate the cost (£1) to your well-fundraising. Save water in your own homes by fixing leaky taps and request that the masjid caps water usage to limit wastage.

Water is a huge life-providing theme in the Qur’an. God talks about how He creates life through water then sustains it by streams, the rains, rivers and oceans that are homes for so many creatures.

“And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen.” (Qur’an, 16:65)

In the Qur’an, God uses the analogy of life and death for Muslims to recognise the value of water. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that one day people will wage war over rivers of gold. He was talking about water. We have taps that fill our basins with gold, but we cannot afford overflows while people wait for the rains. Third-world countries in desert climates are counting on us to give the cost of our water to them.

By starting something simple like a well-fundraiser you kickstart a chain reaction that will motivate others to do the same. People will call your mosque a Green Mosque for following the prophetic Eco-Wudhu and preserving water. Whomever receives your well/water-pump will be able to plant crops, fruits and trees for generations.

“And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest.” (Qur’an, 50:9)

As water is another natural creation, Muslims believe it belongs to God and nobody can monopolise it. Water is for sharing and there is enough water for all.

5. Gardens of Paradise

The Qur’an contains lots of horticultural information which science has reaffirmed by more than 90%. Like previous revelations in the Gospels and Torah, Quranic plants are mentioned in detail with the medicinal properties of herbs being highlighted. God speaks about His creative design and the nutrition available from natural produce as an encouragement to eat healthily:

“And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees – of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” (Qur’an, 6:99)

Among the plants mentioned in the Qur’an there is garlic, grapes, pomegranate, herbs, dates, ginger, olives, lentils, onion, cucumber, figs, mustard, a variety of trees including the cedarand the acacia flower.

What do we learn from this? Plants are already part of our diet so there’s not much impetus to start talking to trees but we could always take it a step further.

The Eco Muslim

  • I am pro-gardening and will always encourage readers to grow something. Anything. At the least, your pot of ‘wildlife’ will encourage pollination and eco-systems.
  • Cut a tree, plant a tree. For every bouquet of flowers you give, plant flower seeds; at least once a year, sponsor a sapling in Palestine; grow fruit trees with your kids. Grow stuff man!
  • Build an eco-system by filling hanging baskets with luscious compost or peat.
  • Needless to say, increase your intake of heavenly greens and fruits.
  • Finally, take time out to appreciate the beauty of meadows and foliage around you. These moments of reflection count as worship for Muslims, they are moments of connection to the Creator. But you can take it however you want. Gratitude is the key.

6. Treating Animals With Dignity

“And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are]communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” (Qur’an, 6:38) http://quran.com/6/38

God uses the word ‘community’ (umma) to describe the similarity between people and animals. We have our social groups, animals have theirs. There is a beauty and majesty in the innate construct of swimmings shoals of fish or flocks of birds dancing in the skies. Muslims reflect, where do penguins learn parenting skills? How do baby turtles know to head to water? For Muslims, this answer is divinely inspired.

It’s a sad reality that animal rights are grossly violated throughout the Muslim world. Violence like hunting for skins or tusks means that several animal species are extinct. Imagine those animals were ethnicity groups, could you really accept all of Europe or south-east Asia being wiped out? I don’t think so.

In many countries animals are needlessly killed or eaten without health considerations. For true Muslims, both actions are illegal. This is why pork is unlawful (haram); it’s very unhealthy. A few animals cannot be consumed under Islamic law and all animals have to be raised with dignity, with the exception of an attack (think poisonous snakes!)

The city shepherd

I know that Muslims know their faith is about being kind to animals. But what about a chicken’s lifestyle prior to being slaughtered? What about treating cats with love so they are not scared? What about giving back what is taken from them – ? Like what, you ask. Lemme tell you:

The Bee and the honey it makes: A whole chapter in the Qur’an is dedicated to bees (An-Nahl, 16:68-69), elevating the magic involved for turning nectar into honey. People are not supposed to disrupt honeycombs or knock down ‘live’ hives. In this instance, giving back would involve planting yellow coloured flowers to help bees collect nectar or supporting a bee farm.

Zabiha animals: In Islamic law animals like cattle and poultry are lawful to eat because they are healthy and they have been made by God to be consumed (see Mai’dah, 5:4). For an Islamic slaughtered the animals needs healthy grazing without hormones, given tenderness with freedom to roam and then prepared for slaughtering (zabiha).

The Zabiha method involves covering the animal’s eyes and reading God’s name (takbir) to help the animal submit. Without good health, the animal may be Zabiha but it will not be lawful (halal) to eat.

Muslims do not have to eat meat. Vegetarianism is an option in Islamic law and eating less meat is the best diet.

Doing more: Request your masjid to sponsor an endangered animal which students can get updates on (how cool would that be?). If you know a cosmetic company tests on animals, don’t use it. It might not save hundreds of animals or shut the company down but at least you’re not contributing to a monster process. You are the one with the ethics.

7. Eating Wholesome

“Eat and drink from the provision of Allaah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” (Qur’an, 2:60)

Halal food actually tastes better. There is more attentive cooking involved in a halal meal then a take-out, try it, invite your self to a Muslim friends’ flat.
A strong Islamic rule is to eat in moderation and drink in moderation. Food tech (home ec) lessons were right, wholewheat is better, 5-10 portions of fruit/veg a day is optimum, and 6-10 glasses of water is ideal.
The Sahaba diet: Muslims fast for 30 days of the lunar year. For the remaining months, a balanced diet is required with the occasional fast to keep the body in check. The Companions (sahaba) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, lived in poverty but they chose to maintain healthy lives. Many of them had strong muscles and toned bodies, ready to dig and build for others. Laziness in exercise and strength is therefore not an option.
All major faith groups have some form of “consumption control” because binge-eating spoils the human spirit. Science tells us that the body is designed to fast so Muslims feel they have a headstart in this soul-food.

Islamic etiquette tells Muslims to follow a formula concerning food: We say God’s name when eating (bismillah), we always eat with our right hand, we eat slowly, chew slowly, eat smaller portions, sip water 3x, sit for eating and drinking, we share our food and cover all uneaten food.

How to eat

  • Go vegetarian for a month every year to improve your diet
  • Your body is not a bin so stop filling it with junk food
  • Recognise Zabiha vs. Halal: Zabiha is Islamic and Halal is organic. You need both
  • Keep to your ethics by checking food labels-support poorer countries and buy more local
  • Don’t bother with fancy diets. Make a food chart of what you should be eating and follow that 52 weeks of the year

8. Patching The Ozone

The ozone “hole” over the Antarctica is a phenomenon whereby the stratosphere is thinned out (it’s not really a hole). It’s caused by refrigerants: CFC’s, halons and freons. These have been banned since the 1970s but we still lose a few percentile of ozone each year, and the increased thinning means the earth is losing its protective layer.

Islam’s 14-hundred-year-old book mentions the atmosphere in embracing language:

“And We made the sky a protected ceiling (canopy), but they, from its signs, are turning away.” (Qur’an, 21:32)

“It is Allah who made for you the earth a place of settlement and the sky a ceiling and formed you and perfected your forms and provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord; then blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds.” (Qur’an, 40:64)

Finding a band-aid
God has wrapped the earth with atmosphere and people have burned it away. Restoring it requires global diligence and commitment to neutralising toxic gases/radiation. It is asking a lot from billions of people yet I believe it is the only way to go about it.

Fight existing organisations that pollute the most and get politically involved to shake up government awareness. Environmental action is always on the agenda but not many have the courage to follow-through. Nuclear plants and factories have protected legal rights to emit certain amounts of pollution and waste, we cannot always defeat those. But doing our individual part can collectively heal the “hole” in the sky over the years.

9. Understanding The Creation

After reading such a variety of information from the Qu’ran, it’s time to look at #EcoIslam ideas as a whole. The Qur’an is a book for thinkers and is open to anyone not afraid to read. This is what the Qur’an also says…

The Art in Design (and the Design in Art)

“Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky and makes it flow as springs [and rivers] in the earth; then He produces thereby crops of varying colours; then they dry and you see them turned yellow; then He makes them [scattered] debris. Indeed in that is a reminder for those of understanding.” (Qur’an, 39:21)

Tectonic plates and mountain ‘pegs’

“And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided,” (Qur’an, 16:15)

Travelling on sea

“He released the two seas, meeting [side by side]; Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses.” (55:19-20)

Weather patterns

“And it is He who sends the winds as good tidings before His mercy until, when they have carried heavy rainclouds, We drive them to a dead land and We send down rain therein and bring forth thereby [some] of all the fruits. Thus will We bring forth the dead; perhaps you may be reminded.” (7:57)

“It is Allah who sends the winds, and they stir the clouds and spread them in the sky however He wills, and He makes them fragments so you see the rain emerge from within them. And when He causes it to fall upon whom He wills of His servants, immediately they rejoice.” (30:48)

“It is He who shows you lightening, [causing] fear and aspiration, and generates the heavy clouds.” (13:12)

All these verses are amazing starting points for activism. Environmental welfare is described as something sacrilegious, beneficial for us, and so naturally Muslims are going to act on them, right? I mean, to say that being The Eco Muslim is a spiritual act is laughable for many but I see it as a real integral part of my faith.

By reading these verses it should at the very least make you aware of Islam’s harmonious core. Living as socially responsible and exemplary human beings is one of the Islamic commands of God.

10. Respecting The Creator

So Who is God? “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.” (17:110)

A world without God
No belief at all is like saying there’s no morality or no social code: the system cracks. In Islam, Quranic warnings describe a world where there is no authority and the ego becomes the ultimate religion. Such a world inevitably destroys itself and becomes destroyed. These final days are described in various Quranic verses.

If a person has no belief, one has to question where the morality comes from. Logic tells us to respect nature because it’s the source of our food, health, livelihood. It’s our planet. All things come from the ground and The Eco Muslim policy is to walk on this ground without damaging it.

Appreciating the universal system, from quarks to quasars, the Qur’an says be a thinker, reflect, meditate. It’s good for your own health. Respect others, pass the good vibes on.

Finally, regardless of your faith, ask yourself: have I improved my life and the lives of those around me?

Peace + eco-jihad.
Zaufishan, The Eco Muslim

10 habits of highly effective Muslim wives


by Swami Stream
Source: http://www.muslimworker.com,http://www.muslimvillage.com

After my husband wrote the “10 Habits of Highly Effective Muslim Husbands,” he thought it would be interesting to add the other perspective.

So, I made a list of 10 habits that my husband has commented on over time that has produced positive changes in our relationship.  He is right, the first year of marriage is really about adapting and compromise.  We are shown our terrible habits (how did our parents put up with us?) and overtime you do fall into a groove.

But, don’t get too comfortable in your routine.  Adding some spice and maintaining some good habits will make a very successful and enjoyable marriage.  Some of these habits are similar to the “Muslim Husband Habits” but, some are just for us, girls.

  1. Stay Healthy and Get Outside!

    This is by far the most important habit a Muslim Wife can do to make a successful marriage.   Before marriage, my husband and I were both active people.  He was an extreme biker and I played basketball for almost 10 years before we met.  After marriage and the onset of chores, work and family obligations, time for staying healthy was becoming low on our priority scale.

    Over time, we both forgot the initial attraction we had for one another – an active, healthy lifestyle.  An active lifestyle brings many benefits from  clearing the mind from trivial matters to enjoying each other’s company in a different way.

    As we have brought the active lifestyle back into our lives, we both realize we learn a lot about each other through activity.  For example, on our hikes we see the other person’s stamina and determination, in playing basketball, we see our competitiveness side, and in our daily walks we see each other’s stillness and appreciation for nature.

    It is by far a crucial aspect of our relationship and one that really keeps us connected, alhamdulillah.

  2. Listen and Be Supportive

    One of the best things a Muslim Wife can do for her husband is be supportive.  We all know the famous story of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him; after receiving revelation, he came straight home to his nurturing wife, Sayyidina Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her.  She wasn’t on the phone with her girlfriend nor was she too busy on the computer, she was ready to comfort and listen.

    For me, this starts as soon as your husband comes home through the door.  Greeting your husband with a salaam, a smile and a hug is sure to set a peaceful atmosphere right away.

    A Muslim Wife is attentive to her husband’s needs.  If he is holding something in his hands, like groceries, take them from him, hand him a glass of juice or have some fruit or snacks readily available.  These small gestures show simple kindness and goes a long way.

    If your husband had a hard day at work, the initial greeting will soothe him.  Thereafter, if he needs to vent about his boss or co-worker, listen to him.  A good listener asks questions, makes good eye contact and reassures with nods and affection.  Initially, take his side!  If things are said that you don’t agree with, wait until a better time to give advice.  The first initial response he is looking for is support and kindness from his wife, even if he is wrong.  Thereafter, of course you can give advice and guide.

    Another tip – remember names of people your husband says.  A week later after the work problem is over, simply ask your husband, “Is everything okay with Michael, now?” He will be happy that you really listened by remembering names.

    So, lend a good ear and your hearts will come closer together.

  3. Be Creative – Change is Good!

    We like to change things around in our apartment every season.  This is as simple as changing the furniture into a different position, changing hanging pictures or de-cluttering old knick knacks.

    Over time, my husband and I have become minimalists.  We like the clean counter-tops, things put away in drawers and cupboards, and we have a new distaste for random objects.  So, we minimize every season by giving away clothes, dishes and books.

    We also change our “usual” eating spots at the table and seating in the living room.  We change our chores around too.  I usually cook and he washes the dishes, but lately we have been cooking together and then sharing the dishes too (I soap while he rinses).

    We have about four or five home-cooked meals that we both enjoy and we basically just rotate them week to week.  But, after a while we add a new dish to the mix.  I’ll learn something new from mom or a girl friend and surprise him with it one night.

    Small changes creates new growth and stimulation to your relationship without falling into boredom and we always feel like “we’ve just moved in” every time we change things around.

  4. Engage in Good Conversation – Learn New Things

    Engaging in meaningful dialogue that does not consist of talking about family, friends or every day matters can boost your marriage.

    Very easily we can fall into talking about what’s happening in our lives right now, which is fine and needed.  However, your relationship truly grows and tests new boundaries when you learn new things and share them with your spouse.

    My husband shares new things he is always learning from blogging, marketing and computer stuff.  To be honest, this is foreign to me.  But, it is something that he is motivated by and by listening to him I have learned a lot of interesting things about it (and he has convinced me to write this article for example, lol.)

    It’s nice to talk about the books or articles I’ve read and thought about with my husband so I can gain his perspective, learn about him and enrich my own.  At times, when we disagree on a topic, our persuasive strategies kick in, allowing for a good debate.  :)

    When other temporary things fall away that make you happy – a good conversation can last a life-time.

  5. Be Alive and Excited about Life

    Do you remember the first time you met your husband?  Probably one of those awkward meetings or something.  But, I remember both of us being alive and happy.  We tried to look our best and be interesting too.  I don’t remember either of us letting all of our problems out!

    I’ve met a few sisters in the last little while that exude a certain kind of sadness or worry or fear that they don’t even realize that they exude.  They actually walk around with a frown!

    They might have a problem or concern that of course makes them look and feel a certain way, but over time if the sad state continues it can really dampen the best of relationships.

    Yes, the honeymoon phase (they say it’s the two year mark) can reach it’s end – but it doesn’t have to!  If you find yourself bored and sad, then it is really up to you to make a change in the relationship.  If you are seriously upset about something, then seek help!

    There are so many things to be excited and alive about in the world!  You might need a change in your circle of friends (who really do have a big influence on how you see and do things) or you might need a new hobby or need to get outside and get fresh air on a regular basis.

    Being energetic and happy and willing to try new things with your husband is an important aspect of marriage.  Being grumpy and unmotivated can lead to a whole bunch of problems for both of you.  Find a new friend or a new hobby or a new book and get excited about life.  Your husband will notice the energy and cheerfulness in you and you could change the atmosphere of your home and relationship just by changing your mood.

  6. Have One Good Girl Friend (Or Mom) – Share your Problems with Grace

    There are some things that you just need to tell a girl friend because she will just understand and some things you can only tell your husband and it is important to know the difference.

    It is very easy to get so comfortable with our husbands that we share some  things with them that they really could be spared.  There is a certain kind of respect and dignity a husband needs to have.  And, sisters, there is a certain level of respect and dignity he also has for you, too.

    I have seen too many times, sisters complaining about other sisters, their clothes or their characters to their husbands.  Please don’t do this!  Sharing secrets or worse the flaws of other sisters to your husbands is a big no-no, especially if the sister confided in you.  Even though you and your husband are a pair, your sister friend should not feel that everything she tells you is going straight to the husband!

    This is not only gossip and forbidden in Islam, but boring and undignified to your husband.  Instead, having a good girl friend or even your mom or someone else you trust provides an excellent outlet to let out frustrations that can dampen a marriage or a husband’s mood or respect for you.

    In the same vein, sisters should not tell other sisters their husband’s secrets!  It’s okay to seek advice but not in a way that can make your husband lose respect in front of your friend.

    Your husband can be your best friend and will be with you to the very end, inshaAllah.  It is not worth it to lose your husband and what matters to him over a friend who no matter how close they are, can end up not being there for you in the end.

  7. Dress Up and Smell Good – Take Care of Your Outward and Inward Appearance

    Finally, after years of searching for the “one” you are married!  You look into the face of your spouse and you think, “so it was you” that I was meant to marry.  And, the marriage chapter of your life begins.

    Marriage is “half our deen” and now that there is this one man in your life, this is your chance to make it everything you’ve ever dreamed of.  And one fun thing a Muslim Wife can do is simply dress up and smell good.

    I always think it’s interesting that sisters (and brothers) can be “frumpy” in their homes but as soon as they step out of the door they dress up and go all out.  Very often we dress up for the world (strangers who we don’t know or at our workplace) and sometimes we just let ourselves go in front of  family and our spouses.

    I think it’s great that couples get so comfortable with each other that they can stay in their pajamas all day.  But, sisters, simply dressing up and smelling good can really uplift your husband’s appreciation of you and may make him dress up and smell good for you too.

    If you are a stay-at-home sister/mom, yeah you can stay in your pajamas all day – but if you know your husband is coming home at 5:30, then change into something nice and put on some perfume at 5:00!  :)

    Taking care of personal hygiene and working on yourself inwardly is sure to add to your overall character.  Reading Quran, catching up on a Islamic lecture, praying and making heartfelt dua’a all add to the beauty of you.

    So, strike a balance between the outward and the inward appearance of you and watch the positive benefits come into your marriage and family.

  8. Be Affectionate – Don’t Hold Back Your Love

    I think culturally, many sisters can bring a lot of baggage to their marriages and it is not our fault because it’s the way we’ve all grown up.

    Some of us have been too immersed in Western culture and seen all the movies that we have expectations of our husbands to act a certain way or we are the complete opposite where we have been so sheltered that marriage and the thought of living with a boy (when you are married) is strange and almost – wrong!

    And, it is strange.  All of our lives, sisters grow up in the homes of parents only to leave them (quite suddenly) to live with a complete stranger (most people only know each other for a short while before they get married.)

    But, the truth of the matter is that marriage is a noble sunnah that is one of the most beautiful aspects of our deen.  And, one of the best things a Muslim Wife can do is to be affectionate, even if it has to be learned over time.  This is your husband now.  The one man that you married and will be married to for ever, inshaAllah.  Be affectionate with your husband, whatever that means to you, and the affection will lead to a closer and more connected relationship.

    Human touch, whether it be holding hands or a hug, leads to Mercy (Rahma) in relationships whether it is with your husband, sister friends or even your parents.  So, be affectionate often and reap the benefits.

  9. Go the Extra Mile – He’ll Notice (Hopefully)

    Going the extra mile means doing something for your husband that goes above and beyond what he expects of you.

    If he asked you to make a meal for his family, it means you go all out and make the dishes with care and effort.

    If you are going out for a special day, it means you take time to find the right outfit and perhaps wear it a bit differently than he is used to.  It could mean sending him a random text message to say you are thinking of him or a random e-card.

    It could mean spending extra time listening to him talk to you about his concerns without you changing the subject.  It could mean baking home-made cookies, inviting him on a special day you have planned, making him a gift or cleaning his desk space.

    It could mean wearing earrings if you normally don’t at home, or giving him free time to work-out or for his hobby, or even helping him get ready in the morning with a packed lunch with a nice note inside.

    The ideas are endless and with a bit of extra time and effort, your husband will appreciate the little details you’ve paid attention to, inshaAllah.

  10. Say “Thank You” – Be Grateful for Small and Big Things

    One of the hadiths that scare me to death is the one that says, “The majority of hell is made up of women who were ungrateful to their husbands.” Yikes!

    So, say thank you every night to your husband before you go to sleep for anything and everything that he has done for you.  Don’t overlook things you have got used to like him buying groceries, helping out with dishes, listening to your problems or simply going to work everyday.

    Remember the big things and the small things and soon all small things will turn into big things for you, inshaAllah.

    Thank him sincerely: “Thank you for helping with the dishes because it really cuts the time out I have to spend in the kitchen.” Rather than simply saying thank you, explain yourself to him and tell him why it’s important to you and that you noticed.

    He will feel happy that he could help and may make him feel like doing it even more for you!  Most importantly, give thanks to Allah, most Generous, and He will increase your marriage even more, inshaAllah.

Parting Thoughts

This list is a reminder first to myself before I send them to you.  All of these are from experience of being married for almost three years now.  You may agree or disagree, but these are just some things that have helped the both of us over time.

And, we are always learning and growing and making mistakes, alhamdulillah, it’s all part of the journey.  Feel free to share more insight or your own tips with us in the comments below.

InshaAllah, may Allah pour blessing upon blessing into all our marriages!  Ameen!

The Midday Nap (Siesta)


MID-DAY NAP
Known as Qailulah in Islam

A short mid-day nap (Qailulah) is a Sunnah.  The value of this mid-day nap in total body relaxation has been appreciated recently by scientists.

Not only does a mid-day nap give relaxation to the body in day time but it is also very conducive to sleep at right.

Relaxing once during the day is very conducive to total relaxation and sleep.

It should be appreciated that insomnia is a “powerful stressor in itself”.   The Sunnah of short mid-day nap may, therefore, be practiced as a remedy for sleeplessness.

Furthermore, the sunnah is not necessarily to sleep during the day but to lie down for some time to relax.  This is exactly what is required for proper relaxation according to the modem scientific investigations.

So Why Nap?
reduce stress! Siesta-loving persons are more relaxed. They usually score better on stress tests than others who don’t take a shortnap during the day.
The risk of heart disease is shown to be greatly reduced by regular 30 minute naps.
-Naps greatly strengthen the ability to pay close attention to details and to make critical decisions.
-Naps taken about eight hours after you wake have been proved to do much more for you than if you added those twenty minutes onto already adequate nocturnal sleep.


Timing Is Everything!
A nap should be about 15 to 30 minutes in duration. If you nap longer than thirty minutes, your body falls into deep sleep, which is difficult to wake from and when you do, you’ll feel groggy

If you are severely sleep-deprived and must nap longer than 30 minutes, then you shouldn’t sleep less than an hour and a half, which is a complete sleep cycle. WARNING: Don’t expect to be fully alert until at least an hour after that nap.
A 15 minute nap is enough time to turn the nervous system off and can recharge the whole system!
If you are going to nap in the middle of the day, BE CONSISTENT and make a habit of napping everyday. An irregular napping schedule might disrupt your internal body clock. Napping only on weekends is like dieting or exercising only on weekends to make up for a week of overeating.
Brief naps taken daily are healthier than sleeping in or taking very long naps on the weekend. Be careful about taking that long nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon- you may find it hard to get to sleep that night and getting up on Monday to start the new week.
Late afternoon napping isn’t healthy- it delays your falling asleep time in the evening and begins to shift your biological clock.

Is There An Inborn Tendency To Nap?
Research indicates that the human body is inclined to rest in the middle of the afternoon as well as at night, even after adequate nocturnal sleep. A heavy lunch does not make you sleepy, it simply unmasks the physiological sleepiness that’s already in your body. The “post-lunch dip” in alertness occurs whether or not food is consumed. Our natural sleep pattern is biphasic: We have a significant drop in body core temperature and alertness at night, and a similar but smaller drop in the middle of the day. It’s then that you need a nap the most, especially if you have slept poorly the night before.

 

SLEEP POSTURE

The posture one adopts while sleeping reveals a lot about the personality of the person, his attitude towards life and so on.

Lying down in bed relaxes the muscles of the body and the degree of relaxation is determined by the sleep posture adopted by the person.

In the semifoetal position the person lies on his side with arms and legs partially folded.  The limbs are not kept in an exactly opposed position.

In terms of physical comfort, in this position it is possible to turn from side to side without undoing the set configuration of the body position.  It is supposed to be the best position in terms of physical comfort.  It has, therefore, been considered as the best position for relaxation.

According to an old proverb the kings are known to prefer to sleep on their back, the rich man on his stomach and th ewise man on his side.

These abovementioned observations bear testimony to the superiority of sleeping in semi-flexed position on one side.

The sleep position which was adopted by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is a Sunnah and is scrupulously adopted by devout Muslims.  He used to lie on his right-side with limbs slightly flexed, right hand below his cheek and facing towrds Kaba Sharif.  This position is similar to the semi-foetal position described above, and, obviously in the light of the existing knowledge about sleep posture, is the position adopted by a highly balanced person psychologically.  It is also the best posture for relaxation, both physical and psychological.  Adherence to this sleep posture should therefore, contribute a lot to total body relaxation.

Islam is a complete religion- A way of life- No wise person would live without it….The sunnah of Muhammad [Peace be upon him] is a complete guidance to life!!!!

Benefits of Smiling


The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “To smile in the company of your brother is charity. ” (Bukhari)
It seems that nothing has more power to elevate a mood than the impact of a genuine smile. The benefits of a smile extend not only to the recipient of the warm gesture but also to the smile’s originator.  “A smile is a little curve that sets a lot of things straight.” Here are some of the many …..
1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive– People are spending millions on cosmetic products and procedures to make them look better.If you want to look better, try adding a genuine smile. Its cheaper and mush more attractive.The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.

2. Smiling Changes Our Mood-Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.

3. Smiling Is Contagious-When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them.

4. Smiling Relieves Stress-Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action.Smiling helps to promote release of a “feel good” group of hormones called endorphins. These are the same group of hormones responsible for the runners high you hear so much about. If you don’t have time to get to the gym for a hard run, try adding a smile  to boost these natural, stress relieving hormones.

5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System-Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.

6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure-When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?

7. Smiling is medication-Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug and leads to a healthier immune system.Various studies conducted over the years have shown that smiling can boost the functioning of the immune system. This may help to reduce your risk of developing everything from the common cold to chronic diseases such as cancer. Could there be a less expensive medicine than this?

8. A smile inspires others-When you smile you also send a positive message that can potentially change someone else’s mood for the better. The person you graced with your smile may go on to pass the kindness to someone else. Who knows how far your original smile will travel?

9. Smiling promotes Success -Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.When you smile, you appear confident and capable. Given the choice between two equally qualified job candidates, the smiling candidate is going to be perceived as being more of a team player and easier to work with. Who do you think is more likely to get the job offer?

10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive-Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.

Smile..!!!…It does not cost a cent and can make a persons day!

“It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown”.

The greatest reason for smiling is because it is a sunnah [practice] of our Beloved Messenger of Allah [peace be upon him]!!!. The Messenger of Allah[Sallalahu Alahi Wasallam] had a smiling face and advised us to entertain our guest with a smiling face and good conduct. To smile is an act of charity!

Health Guidelines for The Month of Ramadaan


This article provides useful advice on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadhan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadhan.

During the holy month of Ramadhan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadhan is an ideal time to normalise one’s weight.

In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.

Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates).

Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).

Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.

The foods eaten should be well-balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.

AVOID

Fried and fatty foods.

Foods containing too much sugar.

Over-eating especially at sehri.

Too much tea at sehri. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.

Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.

EAT

Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.

Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.

Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.

Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.

Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.

DRINK

 

As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.

CONSTIPATION

Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling.

Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti.

INDIGESTION AND WIND

Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods, add ajmor to wind-producing foods.

LETHARGY (‘low blood pressure’)

Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with “low blood pressure”. This tends to occur towards the afternoon.

Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.

Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadhan. They should consult their doctor.

HEADACHE

Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with “low blood pressure”, the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.

Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep.

LOW BLOOD SUGAR

Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.

Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at suhur (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.

Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.

Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor.

MUSCLE CRAMPS

Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods.

Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.

Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor.

PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, GASTRITIS AND HIATUS HERNIA

Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadhan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend upto the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.

Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadhan.

KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquids to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation.

JOINT PAINS

Causes: During Ramadhan, when extra salah are performed the pressure on the knee joints increases. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.

Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salah with ease.

Dr. Farouk Haffejee
Islamic Medical Association of South Africa – Durban
Courtesy: http://www.everymuslim.net