Yaum means Day. Today is Yaum ul Arafah. It’s the ninth day of Zil Haj (according to the Lunar Calendar). The day after is Eid ul Adha, a major Islamic holiday. It’s the second day of Haj (the pilgrimage to Mecca which is binding on all Muslims who have the means to do so).
Fasting on this day is an expiation for two years.
Today is a day of Mercy from Allah. Your prayers are answered. Last night I asked Son to tuck away his phone for a day, and concentrate more on prayers, and dua. Son is addicted to his iPhone. It’s a mega tussle to get his attention once he is on his iPhone.
The Muslim image is distorted before people of other faiths. In the western world the media has painted a horrific view of Muslims. In spite of that more, and more people are reverting to Islam. Reverts used to change their names to Muslim names, but nowadays they keep their previous names. Probably the main reason is that they fear rejection, and hate in the eyes of their friends, family, and at their work places.
I feel saddened that while others are accepting Islam, many people who were born Muslims are not worthy of it. They are only in name Muslims. Their actions bring a bad name to Islam.
Son with his wife and baby M has gone to Galveston. They did their level best to take me along. I refused. I have been so many times there, I didn’t feel like going. D in law enjoys fireworks. It doesn’t matter if she has seen them previously. She likes them immensely.
Monday is my day of Tajweed. My teacher, and I connect through Zoom. I have asked my teacher to allow me to watch when she is with the other students. This way I’m constantly revising what I have learnt earlier. Today I wished I wasn’t online. One of the new student was very rude.
We are on camera, when we (the students) are reciting our lessons. This way the teacher see the way we pronounce the words, and she corrects us. The new one didn’t want the camera. She insisted on no camera. The teacher corrected her on a word, to which she said she was going to say the word as she was taught by her previous teacher.
Our teacher tried to explain to her that since her way , and the student’s earlier teacher differed, it would be best if she continued with her previous teacher. The student was adamant that she won’t go back, but she would continue the way she was reciting. It was an ugly confrontation, and I felt terrible watching it.
No one is perfect, and learning never stops. Your life ends, but learning goes on.
It was last year when Nola (daughter) suggested that I should take Tajweed classes, to take steps for the betterment of my Akhira. Akhirah is the term used in Islam to describe the belief in everlasting life after death. Muslims regard life on Earth as a test from Allah, to prepare them for eternal life. Importantly, though, Muslims believe that Allah will not test them beyond their limits.
Better late than never I had to decide to learn the proper way to recite the Quran. It should be understood that the Quran is originally in Arabic. All over the world people like me (if they want) learn to read it the proper way.
My daughter gave me a number to call. The lady didn’t respond. Nola then talked to someone else on my behalf. After a few days lapse this one replied. Nola put me on the phone. Days went by waiting if the lady would add me to her Tajweed class. Nothing happened.
I decided to call my present teacher Gul who lives in Saudi Arabia. Every year I join in for her Dora Quran during Ramadan. I asked her if she could teach me Tajweed. She agreed, and so my days of struggle began. It is a Herculean effort to learn the proper way to pronounce the written words of Quran.
In front of camera, with the teacher watching me, my brain would get addled. From which area of the mouth, or throat the letter should come out, my 🧠 would decide to go fuzzy. Whatever I had memorized would altogether disappear into the realms of stratosphere, leaving me with complete loss of memory. Shamefaced I would stutter. I was feeling a complete failure thinking maybe I should give up. I developed a low opinion of myself, coming to the conclusion that I was a dimwit.
Prior to the beginning of the past Ramadan the teacher was having an acute shortage of time, so she decided to take the Tajweed class of all the participants at the same time. My opinion of myself took a one eighty degree turn. Masha’Allah! After listening to the others, I wasn’t the complete failure I thought myself to be.
I’m in complete awe of those who are reverts. How do they manage?
One of my favorite thing to do is reading. Nothing serious — something light to read so that I can immerse myself into forgetting my troubles, and my worries. To breathe, calm myself into believing that the world is not a terrible place to live.
A few years back I clicked on a movie. I rarely see a movie. For a movie one has sit for an hour, or two, or more. If the movie turns out to be a drudge, one is disappointed through, and through.
A month back, I started reading a book. As I read the story, I realized the characters seemed familiar. I realized it then that I was reading the book on which the film was made. The book is Me Before You, and the film name is the same.
It happens rarely that a movie turns out as marvelous as the book. Most of the time a lot of changes have been done to the original, and I’m never happy with the movies made from original books. I mostly forget the gist, and name of movies seen by me. The book My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult is hard to forget. The movie has a different ending from the book.
I was in luck. After reading Me Before You, I got to read the the second one After You, and then the third one Still Me. Finally the story of Louisa came to an end. I’m now hooked on Jojo Moyes the authoress. I have just finished another book of hers The Girl You Left Behind. The beginning is set in France when the Germans have taken it. One hopes never to encounter the hardships, and misery suffered by the masses in wars.
I’m now looking for The Giver of Stars, but haven’t found it.
Last year I learnt how to grow roses. It’s so easy. Just take a few cuttings. Remove the thorns. Rub rooting powder, and plant them in pots. Once the roots come out, you can plant them in flower beds. I got a total of fifteen new roses from the three purchased. I gave away a few to my daughter, some to neighbors, and the rest I planted for myself.
When we moved into our present home, there was a lovely shrub bearing fragrant white flowers in the backyard. In February 21 when the weather turned Arctic, I lost most of my plants like lichees, cherries, date palms and avocado. The white flowers shrub got burnt down by the cold weather. Recently I found out it’s name. It’s called Arabian Jasmine. Miraculously it grew again.
Last year I had tried the rose technique with it. It failed. This year I tried again. I took two cuttings, and put them in a plastic glass filled partially with water. Masha’Allah both the cuttings have grown roots, and there are green leaf shoots too. I’m waiting for the roots to grow longer, then I will Insha’Allah plant them in the ground.
Some plants are hardy like the Setcreasea. The other name for this plant is Purple Queen. It may wither with cold weather, but renews itself once warm weather comes along. It’s a very forgivable plant. You can neglect it, and it will stay. It propagates easily, that’s an amazing trait.
I have always loved to have geraniums, specially red ones. They are so eye catching. I met with zero success with them. The Pakistani counterparts I had were hardy. They never withered away. Here buying them is useless. I never could fathom why they dried. This year I didn’t buy any. What is the use if they won’t survive? It’s just money wasted.
Son has got me two Azaleas, one Gardenia, and a huge pot of Mums. The Gardenia, and Mums were my birthday gifts. Gardenia was from Son, and the cold weather hit it hard. The Gardenia was in the entrance to our home. The plant turned brown. I waited for it to renew itself once Spring came along. It remained the way it was. I couldn’t throw it away. I planted it in the ground in the front yard. Finally it showed signs of renewing. Here it is :
My indoor bamboo wasn’t happy indoors, but it didn’t survive the cold weather either once I transferred it outside. I looked to see every time I was outside. I detected new shoots, so I divided it. Two are inside, some remain in the ground, some are in pots out on the patio, and this one is in the front yard.
What happened in Sri Lanka (there are gruesome images on the web) should be an eye opener for Pakistani politicians. Whoever comes in power does nothing for the country. The only thing everyone of them is interested is his own self, becoming so rich that they can buy islands for themselves elsewhere in the world.
The Pakistani rupee is becoming worthless. The ones in power keeps on diminishing it’s value year after year. Now it’s two hundred to a dollar. People like me who live on their earnings from home country will be destitute if the rupee power keeps on plunging down.
Pakistan is an Islamic country, and the majority of the people are Muslims, but most of them are only Muslims in name only. In thoughts, and deeds some of them are the worst one can find elsewhere. These are the ones who bring bad name to our great religion.
My favorite You.Tube videos are the ones about those who convert to Islam. In many of those videos the converts disclosed that they had a terrible view of Muslims before their conversion.
One can only hope that someday the ones in power will follow the true edicts of Islam, and do something for the people rather than filling their coffers.