Search Results for: rahila ovais

20 Lessons I Learned in 20 Years of Parenting

By Rahila Ovais

20 Lessons I Learned in 20 Years of Parenting

Ever had a job where you had no previous experience or training; didn’t come with an instruction manual, and people’s lives were at stake? Well that’s parenting!  Here are some of the lessons I have learned while on the job.

  1. If you are not going crazy, you are not doing it right.

  2. Never argue with your husband in front of the kids. Remember you and your husband are a team. When it comes to parenting, you are only strong if you work with each other.

  3. Schedule regular date nights with your husband to keep your sanity.

  4. Whatever you do, never ever compare your kids with other kids. Also important is to never compare your parenting style with other parents. We are all being our best and doing the best we can for our families.

  5. Your kids are not a reflection of you. You will parent each child the same way yet they will all still grow up to their own personality; cherish that.

  6. No secrets and no lies should be the standard.

  7. Set certain expectations in stone.  In my home, it was important for me that the kids learn Salah and Quran before any other extracurricular activities. My parents won’t even let me have breakfast until I prayed two rakats of Fajar no matter what time I woke up.

  8. A family that prays together stays together.

  9. Take lots of pictures of your kids when they are young. You will be glad you did that when you are old.

  10. Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids

  11. Be friendly with your kids but you don’t have to be their best friend.  You job is to be a parent first.

  12. Spend the first ten years of parenting establishing your authority because if you don’t those next ten years will really suck.

  13. It is your circus and those are your monkeys, take responsibility.

  14. Kids do not remember what you taught them; they will remember what you are.

  15. If you want to grab your kids’ attention just try sitting comfortably and open a chocolate bar.

  16. Being a mother means developing “the look” that stops misbehaviour in its tracks.

  17. Don’t confuse “what works” with “what is right”.

  18. Actions speak louder than words. Enough said.

  19. You will learn a lot about yourself when you become a parent. For example how can you go through an entire day with only two hours of sleep.

  20. Don’t waste time trying to be a perfect parent raising perfect kid; love, nurture, cherish and happily live the time you have together.

 

About the Author: 

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

World Hijab Day: Feb 1st, 2016

By: Rahila Ovais

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For this World Hijab Day we asked our fellow team members a few questions on Hijab? See their insightful answers below:

1. What does the Hijab mean to you?
2. How do you feel when you wear the Hijab?
3. When did you start wearing the hijab and what lead you to making that decision?
4. Were your family and friends supportive? What did they say?
5. What reactions did you get when first starting to wear the hijab?
6. Have you ever had any negative attention while wearing the hijab? Please explain.
7. Have you have any positive attention while wearing the hijab? Please explain.
8. Have you had any funny comments or moments while wearing the hijab?
9. If you could say what you wanted to non-Muslims regarding the hijab what would you say?
10. Lastly, how do you feel about the hijab being recognized as ‘oppressive’?

Erum Zehra

  1. Hijab is an essential part of my attire and expresses my identity as a Muslim woman.

  2. I feel complete and comfortable when I wear Hijab.

  3. I started wearing Hijab after I went for ziyarat at the shrine of prophet’s grandson Imam Hussain, the great martyr. The visit reminded me of the sacrifices given to preserve the true essence of our religion. Adopting Hijab was a way of accepting and practicing this true essence.

  4. Yes, they were supportive and happy.

  5. To be honest, I didn’t care about how people were reacting. I was focused on making Allah happy and that made me happy too.

  6. Not any I can remember.

  7. Yes, women have come up to me and said Masha Allah you do Hijab.

  8. I don’t recall any

  9. Hijab is a part of several religions including Christianity and Judaism.

  10. I find my Hijab to be liberating and protective at the same time. It is so much more than a garment and it’s certainly not oppressive.

 

Mona Ismaeil

1. Hijab is my outward expression of my deepest self. It is my protection, my identity and my devotion to Allah (swt)
2.  I feel empowered, protected and very confident. I know that I am an embarrassed of my deen and I wear it with pride. I want to be that go to person for when people have questions. I want to have open and honest dialogue about the beauty of hijab and in turn the truth about women in Islam.
3. I was 22. I felt that the hijab and a stronger connection with Allah (swt) was missing from my life. It was just time to put it on.
4. They were all very supportive. It was something i really wanted to do and my Muslim and Non-Muslim friends alike respected that.
5. I actually received many positive reactions. I feel I received more respect.
6. I think I am one of the “lucky ones” I have actually not received any negative attention.
7. Many people (especially Non-Muslims) start off with “I love your scarf”, “you look so beautiful”, etc. I like to accept those compliments in a very welcoming manner hoping to initiate dialogue about hijab.
8. Someone asked my husband if he had ever seen my hair.
9. Hijab truly is a beautiful thing and in all Faiths there is a form or another of head covering for women. Let’s focus on what we have in common as human beings and less on what makes us different. Ask questions to increase knowledge, not to ridicule. Open your mind to understanding us and we will open our hearts to sharing what we are all about.
10. It’s actually the total opposite! Having full control over how much of your body someone sees is incredibly liberating. Hijab gives a Muslim women so much power over herself.

Rahila Ovais

  1. To me, hijab is not just that piece of cloth covering my hair. When I first decided to don the hijab, It took a complete overhaul of my closet. It’s a constant reminder of what it means to be a Muslim. It’s a continuous prompt that I must also always make sure of all the little things that are required of me, to pray on time, not to indulge in gossip, not to lie, not to listen to music to name a few.  Hijab is my identity now. No one has to wonder and ask me what my background is or where I am from. They see me as a Muslim and that is enough.

  2. Donning the hijab has made me more confident, more self assured and contrary to popular belief, it has given me more independence. I feel protected.

  1. It has been about five years since I started wearing hijab. Before I started taking hijab I used to look at all other hijabi sisters with respect and admiration and wished I could be as strong and brave as them, I used to ask them to pray for me too that Allah gives me Hidaya (guidance). Inspiration came to me in many ways. I had attended a lecture during my last pregnancy and the lecturer described how a woman when she gives birth becomes as pure as the baby. The way she described it gave me goose bumps and sent chills down my spine. I wished I had been enlightened earlier.

  2. It was interesting to note that my coworkers were more supportive than family! My family is a reflection of modern day Muslim. It is a general opinion on my husband and in-laws’ side that we don’t have to dress a certain way to be identified as a good Muslim. I agree with this to a certain level. Wearing a hijab does not really qualify you as a Good Muslim but for me it has certainly enabled me to learn more and practice more of my religion without imposing it on others around me.

  3. I remember the first day when I walked into my work with my hijab on, I was ready for a few weird looks and a lot of questions. It was to my uttermost surprise that there were no weird looks; in fact most of my coworkers complimented me. Few had questions, like what made me decide to wear hijab after all these years. To them my answer was simple “because I have to, my religion prescribes it for me, and because I want to set a good example for my girls and if not now then when”.

  4. Alhamdolillah I have never encountered any negative attention due to hijab.  Most people are genuinely interested in learning more about hijab.

  1. During an event at work, I couldn’t believe how many pleasant encounters I had. There was this Egyptian lady, when I greeted her in the morning, she automatically replied with a Salam. Another Muslim Pakistani gentleman said Salam and automatically lowered his gaze while he spoke to me. Yet another older Muslim lady, who had met me before in my non-hijab wearing days had a hard time recognizing me, nevertheless when she did she said “MashaAllah you look good. Pray for me too”. I replied “In sha Allah, you never know when you will be inspired and Allah will grant you Tawfeeq (inspiration)”.

  2. Once I was walking with my co-worker on a particularly windy day, I quickly learned wind is NOT my friend especially when I was wearing a silk scarf!

About the Author: 

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

How (NOT) to Teach Your Children to Play Ludo

By Rahila Ovais

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I am sure all moms from South Asia are pretty familiar with the board game Ludo; the beloved family amusement in life before internet and computers. It was our favorite entertainment during  summer breaks, family sleepovers or power outages through long winter nights; where everyone is an expert on the rules of the game, always bending the rules to favor their own move. For those of you who don’t know what Ludo is please refer to the game rules here.

Over this past winter break in an effort to keep the kids entertained with a new activity every day and after ruling out Scrabble and Taboo, we decided to have a game of Ludo one night with my kids; MJ 19 years old, MJ2 13 years old and DJ who is 5 years old. You all can probably already imagine how the night went given the ages of the players.

As per the rules, the one who rolls the highest number on the dice goes first and you need to roll a six to get your pieces out of their giant square boxes. Well lo and behold, the little one rolls a six, talk about beginner’s luck!  Not just one six but three times! At this point MJ2 claims DJ must have a trick up his sleeves to be able to roll out sixes every time; she is now determined to find that out by hook or crook. After several cheating attempts she gets her way. Meanwhile MJ still hasn’t been able to roll a single six! She claims that she does not cheat like MJ2.  This in turn makes MJ2 furious and an argument takes place which requires referee intervention. (Kindly note: a normal Ludo game does not require a referee) MJ makes MJ2 lose a turn as payback for cheating; there is another argument and intervention where DJ then draws a map on a paper outlining the order of each player’s turns.

Another rule of the game is you must take out one of the opponent’s pieces in order to enter the pathway to your corresponding “Home”. You can do this by landing on top of an opponent’s piece.  The piece that is taken out goes back to the corresponding player’s giant square box and the player has to roll another six to get it out. For example, if you roll a four and your opponent’s piece is 4 squares in front of you then that piece goes back in.  Again DJ having beginner’s luck is able to keep taking his sister’s pieces out! In fact at one point, he rolls a four and MJ2’s piece is one square ahead of him and he insists that the piece needs to be taken out as it is in his way!  MJ loses her patience at this point. This time, along with intervention there is a lot of begging and babying to get them to continue to play.

By this time the beginner’s luck for DJ has worn off and MJ2 rolls the dice where now she can take his piece out.  DJ does not accept it, claiming she can make one of her other pieces go and leave his alone; MJ2 insists she has to take his piece out to enable her to go “home”. (Rule: if you cannot take out an opponent’s piece before reaching your corresponding “Home” section and you have no other moves available, you will have to go through the entire board again).  We are all at the height of frustrations, trying to explain the rules to a 5 year old and 13 year old (over their yelling and screaming, between fits of laughter). MJ and MJ2 still argue about the rules and little DJ pitching in where he could.  Emotions running high and voices even higher to the point where nani has to interrupt her prayers and come back to intervene.

 In the end, DJ having his patience maxed out, simply messes up all the pieces on the board, claiming the win as he was the only one who had all his pieces out (while all others had only one or two or no pieces out); a full ten minutes of entertainment!

I couldn’t help but reminisce this is exactly how the games used to turn out when we used to play during our summer breaks, family sleepovers or power outages through long winter nights where everyone is an expert on the rules of the game, always bending the rules to favor their own move.  What mattered most in the end was the laughter over ice cream with chocolate sauce after refusing to speak to each other for two hours.

About the Author

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

39 Things I Learned in My 30′s

By Rahila Ovais

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2015 marked the year when I celebrated the last of my birthdays in my 30’s.  Besides the fact that I still cringe and cry every time I discover a new grey hair; my 30’s were the years when I really embraced aging.  Being a young mom, I spent my 20’s in child rearing and career building. Now that I approach the big 4-0, I can honestly say that my 30’s were the learning years. Here is a list of things I have learned……

  1. Allah has perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patience and it takes a lot of faith. But it’s worth the wait.

  1. Believe in the power of prayer with conviction.

  1. Before you judge other people’s actions, ask yourself “Have I been in this situation before?” If not, don’t judge!

  1. Learn to always mind your own business.

  1. Hurt me and I may forgive and forget, I may even turn another cheek, but if anyone hurts my family I will turn around and bite.

  1. Don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t”.

  1. I am not a morning person but oh the wonders you get to see when you wake up early.

  1. “Kill them with kindness; bury them with smile”.  Smile when taking a compliment; also when being criticised. Smile when you don’t have an answer.

  1. Worrying doesn’t improve anything.  Most problems get worse if we take them too seriously.

  1. Don’t undermine yourself by comparing with others. You are in no competition with anyone.

  1. Envy is a waste of time; you already have all you need.

  1. Do not change your own hopes and wishes to make others happy.

  1. A handwritten greeting card, a handpicked wildflower bouquet or a home-made cake; these are the things that matter.

  1. Take lots of pictures of your kids when they are young, they grow up too fast but do not forget to make memories in the process.

  1. It’s never too late to do anything you want.

  1. Life would be boring if everything was perfect.

  1. Patience is needed with everyone but most importantly with ourselves.

  1. Men are from earth, women are from earth; just deal with it!

  1. Before making a choice, always ask yourself the most basic question. “Can you sleep at night with the choice you made?”

  1. Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. You will miss them a lot when they are gone.

  1. The best person who can help you out of your problems is the one you see in the mirror.

  1. There is nothing wrong in being the first to apologize. It is equally important to accept an apology wholeheartedly.

  1. Nothing should stop you from standing up for what is right; sometimes  being kind is more important than being right.

  1. “Honesty is the best policy”. Never cheat or lie.  My mom did a fine job of teaching me that, now I can not lie to even save my life.

  1. Express gratitude. Be the first one to say “thank you”; people will always remember that about you.

  1. Keep your sense of humour.

  1. Age is just a number and grey hair happens; this is your time to be creative with it.

  1. If time permits, volunteer you time for others.

  1. Holding on to grudges takes a lot of energy.  Forgive often and wholeheartedly.

  1. The key to being happy is to expect nothing from others. You are in-charge of your own happiness. Go buy those goddamn 4 inch heels if that’s what will make you happy!

  1. Teach your kids to enjoy the wonders of life. Spend time outdoors in nature and marvel at the sunsets and full moons together.

  1. When life gets crazy, do something normal. And if life gets too normal, do something crazy.

  1. You children will become who you are; so be what you want them to be.

  1. Write down all the funny things your kids say when they are young. They will be all grown up in the blink of an eye.

  1. Save that last piece of chocolate for yourself.  Sometimes there is nothing wrong with being selfish.

  1. You will eventually become your mother, be proud of it.

  1. Take all the learning opportunities that arise when you are trying to teach your kids.

  1. Keep your promises.

  1. Life is a circus; It’s a balancing act and a juggling routine. Have fun!

 

Share the lessons you have learned as part of growth?

About the Author: 

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

Recipe of the Week: Butternut Squash Soup

By Rahila Ovais

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Try this wonderful and easy butternut squash recipe!

Ingredients:

1 medium sized butternut squash, cubed

Few sprigs of rosemary

1 small onion

1 medium carrot

3-4 celery stalks

One inch piece of ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 tsp nutmeg

 

Method:

1.       Toss the butternut squash cubes and rosemary sprigs with olive oil, some salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 350 degrees

2.       Meanwhile heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot and sauté the sliced onions, carrots and celery until tender, then add the grated ginger

3.       Add a liter of water and let simmer

4.       Once the squash is roasted, remove from oven and add to the pot, let cook for another 20-30 minutes

5.       Add the freshly ground nutmeg, taste and adjust seasoning if desired

6.       Puree the soup in a blender in batches until smooth and return to pot to simmer

7.       Serve garnished with some roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh rosemary leaves with garlic toast or croutons.

 

 About the Author:

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

Home School? Public School? Private School?

By Rahila Ovais

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According to a new study from the Fraser Institute, a growing number of Canadian families are choosing to home-school their children.  21,662 Canadian children were registered as home-schooled students in 2012, an increase of 29 percent over a five-year period; however there might be more kids who are home-schooled but not officially registered.

Personally, I feel that our kids need to equally and actively integrate in the main-stream society we will live in. This means raising strong-willed kids who value their religious and moral principles enough to not give in to peer pressure.  Sending our children to an Islamic private school does not mean we have done our part in raising righteous Muslims. Whichever method of schooling we may choose, as a parent, we must continue teaching our religious, moral and ethical values at home. And let’s not forget, children do not learn what we tell them, they learn what we do.

Are you considering best options for choosing a school system for your preschooler? Then read on…

Home School

Pros

Nothing can beat the convenience of learning at home, no commute to school and less peer pressure. Children get individual attention and parents have freedom to customize learning to their child’s interests and learning level giving them more opportunity to focus on family and religious values.

Cons

It takes a lot of discipline to home school.  Not to mention the parent’s sacrifice of their time and their career. Home-schooling comes with a number of limitations such as;

  • Limited exposure to social connections, less opportunities to form peer relationships.

  • Limited extra-curricular opportunities, access to school clubs and teams, etc.

  • Limited access to resources available at schools including equipment, libraries, etc.

Education is also limited to parents’ knowledge and research abilities.  Constant interaction with family members may seem overwhelming.

Public School

Pros

Reputable schools are better recognized by higher educational institutions. Vast assortments of resources are available at schools including equipment, libraries, school clubs and teams.  Exposure to variety of different teachers over the years teaches kids other interpersonal skills.

Cons

A major concern is the large class sizes at public schools which also brings too much peer pressure or socialization. This can also have a conflict with religious and moral values. Public schools have “One size fits all” approach which means kids do not get the individual customized learning as in home school. Although, public schools also offer Individual Education programs (IEP) to combat this issue.

Private School

Pros

Enrolling your kids in a private school may give parents additional involvement in their children’s education than public schools. There are a variety of alternatives to choose from, such as all girls’/ boys’ schools, boarding schools, Montessori, Religious schools, schools with gifted programs, and schools for troubled teens. Each of these offers a specific focus on your child’s individual needs.

Most private schools offer smaller class sizes and discipline and homework are top priorities. Many schools offer IB, AP and international exchange programs, further enhancing your child’s education and opening doors to more opportunities. Private schools offer prestige and are highly regarded by higher education institutions around the world.

Cons

The leading apprehension when considering a private school is the cost of a private education which often requires a significant financial commitment from parents, ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 per year (boarding schools are most costly). However, financial aid is available at many schools in the form of loans or tuition relief.

What experiences do you have with the different types of schools? Which would you suggest and why?

 

About the Author:

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

How to Keep Your Kids Busy During the Summer

By Rahila Ovais

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As the end of the school years is fast approaching us, I bet most moms are fretting already about how to keep their kids busy during summer vacations; especially if you don’t have any plans to go out of town during this time.  Since this year’s summer vacation will start in the midst of Ramadan, it presents us with an excellent opportunity to get the kids to brush up on their Islamic studies. Besides reciting Quran everyday as part of their Ramadan activities they can also

  • Memorize a new surah a week
  • Learn a new duaa a week
  • Learn the 99 names of Allah
  • Read a new story of a Prophet a day
  • Read a chapter a day of Prophet Muhammad’s life story
  • Check out Sukainaz CraZy Creations for some fun Islamic arts and crafts

 

At the end of Ramadan there will of course be Eid parties and get-togethers with family and friends, leaving us with lots of time to enjoy the rest of the summer;

  • Visit a local farm for berry picking and other adventures like corn maze, farmer’s market etc.
  • When the heat is on, there is nothing better than to visit a water park/splash pad or hit the beach or go swimming at your local pool.
  • Have a picnic or two; you don’t even have to go too far.  Little kids would be happy to have a small picnic in their own backyard.
  • Take the kids to a zoo.
  • Be a tourist in your own town and visit a historical site or visit a public garden or take advantage of museum discounts.
  • There is lots happening in the city during summer; attend a free event or go to the most popular summer festivals or check out a neighborhood festival.
  • Watch a movie under the stars

Check out more summer activities ideas here: http://muslimmoms.ca/10-fun-and-frugal-summer-activities-for-kids/

About the Author

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

Ramadan In the Workplace

By Rahila Ovais

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Our Prophet Muhammad (s) said, narrating it from Allah:

“Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for me and I shall reward for it.”

Ramadan is not just about fasting it involves a lot more effort than refraining from food and water. Eating only between the times of dusk and dawn, extra prayers, late nights and a heightened emphasis on patience and virtue are all part of experiencing the holy month. Those born and raised in Muslim countries know that society adjusts to a different work schedule during Ramadan.  Being a minority in Canada, we don’t have that kind of flexibility but we can still plan ahead.  Here are some quick tips for employees to follow during Ramadan.

Discuss with your employer:  

It is best to have a dialogue with your HR or direct manager about any adjustments you may need. Employers can’t always accommodate flexible working requests, but maybe they will be more understanding if you take the opportunity to discuss and explain.

  1. Once it is determined when Ramadan is approaching, let your employer know that you will be fasting. Explain that during this time working through lunch hours, finishing earlier and coming into the office earlier may be preferred.

  2. Ask your supervisor or HR if they will allow you to continue working during lunch time or take a shorter lunch break for praying or use part of your lunch break to take a short power nap, so you can leave earlier.

  3. Discuss with your employer the possibility of not having power lunches.

  4. Ask the employer if very physically demanding tasks can be scheduled for you after Ramadan. If no accommodation can be made and your work is extremely physically demanding say a construction worker under a beating summer sun, consider the fatwa about not fasting for those days when you are scheduled for such kind of work, and then replacing it later. The Qur’an clearly specifies that people are not to make themselves ill by fasting.

  5. Advise your employer early on in Ramadan that you will be taking 1-3 days vacation at the end of Ramadan for Eid celebrations, but that you are willing to make it up when others are away for Christmas or New Year Holidays.

  6. Many companies allow employees a certain number of paid hours to volunteer in their community. Ask and schedule yours during Ramadan for extra blessings.

Tips to manage your work day

1.Balance your work day. Save your morning hours for meetings, intellectually demanding tasks that require concentration and save other routine tasks for later in the day.

2.It is advisable to let your colleagues and managers know that you are fasting.  So that if you do get a little irritable they wont be wondering why you are not your usual self.

3. Be well-organized about your eating and sleeping habits when you are not fasting. Don’t stay up late at night.  Remember that your employer has a right on you. Staying up all night and then falling asleep on the job the next day infringes these rights.

4.Hydrate well at suhour and after iftar to avoid dehydration during fasting. Severe dehydration can lead to people passing out on the job, posing a danger for yourself and others

5.If possible avoid committing yourself to evening functions or to travel away from home for business.

6. If possible, don’t schedule yourself during night shifts so you can focus on Taraweeh and Tahajjud.

About the Author:

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

Iftar Etiquette

By: Rahila Ovais

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The Prophet (s) said:

“Whosoever fasts experiences two joys. He is joyful when he breaks his fast, and is joyful because of his fasting when he meets his Lord.” [Sahih Muslim]

After experiencing the pangs of hunger and thirst (more than 18 hours this year in Toronto), Iftaar is a time of happiness and refreshment. In many cultures, fast is mostly broken with dates, a light soup with bread or small side dishes. As breaking the fast is followed immediately by the Maghrib prayer; in many parts of the world, including Canada and the US, breaking fast is observed in congregation in mosques and homes.  Here are seven  important adaab of iftar to keep in mind.

  1. Narrated by our Prophet Muhammad (SAW): “Break your fast with a date, or with water because it is pure.” [Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi]

  1. The following two du`as are recommended to be recited when breaking the fast:

  • Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa alayka tawakkaltu wa ala rizq-ika-aftartu:  O Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You and I put my trust in You and I break my fast with Your sustenance [Abu Dawud]
  • Dhahab az zamaa’u wab tallatil urooqu wa thabat al-ajru Insha-Allah:  The thirst has vanished, the veins have been wetted and the reward is established – Insha-Allah. [Abu Dawud]
  1. The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said;  “My nation will remain in goodness as long as they break the fast as soon as it is due.” [Muslim]

  1. It is offensive and unhealthy to stuff the stomach with food after fasting. The Prophet (s) said: “Enough for a human being to have (from 3 to 9 mouthfuls) that prop up his spine and, if he must have more [in his stomach], then one third of food, one third of water, and one third of air.”

  1. Avoid foods that cause bad breath (such as garlic and onions), belching and gas, out of respect for the mosques and those who attend them.

  1. In most cultures the hours before iftar are spent in the kitchen preparing extravagant amounts of foods thereby missing the opportunity of asking from Allah in one of the most precious times.  The time after Asr’ prayers and before sunset have been advised by our prophet as ‘time to ask for what you wish from Allah and Glorify Him’

  1. While inviting friends and family for iftar party, we must also bear in mind the above and avoid idle talk before iftar. This time should be dedicated to duaa and recitation of Quran.

 

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said;

“There are three people whose ‘Du’a’ is not rejected; the fasting person until he breaks the fast, the just ruler, and the oppressed person, whose Dua Allah lifts above the clouds and opens unto it the doors of Jannah, and Allah says: “I swear by My Honour, verily I shall assist you, even though it may be after some time.” [Ahmad and Tirmidhi]

 About the Author:

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.

 

Adventures of the Travelling Muslim Moms; Part II

By Muslimmoms.ca Team sunset-landscape--colors_19-135709

Here we are again with more “funny” stories from the travels of our Muslimmoms.ca Team. If missed our first segment, be sure to check it out on our website! Enjoy Adventures of the Travelling Muslim Moms; Part I.

Enough is Enough!

We went to India with a 5 year old and a 1 year old. On the way back, I packed about 15 diapers in my diaper bag. My daughter started to have terrible diarrhea one hour into the flight. I changed her diaper 45 times throughout the journey. Funny part was: there was another baby with diarrhea and air hostess said that their diaper supply is finished as well, so if either of us need more diapers, we would have to take it from other parents. Alhamdollilah we didn’t need any extra 45 was enough. This was NOT funny at the time! -         Bushra Aafaqi

The Mystery of the Great Suitcase Switch

My story is so sad it’s funny! When I accompanied my husband to travel to Canada two weeks after getting married, we stopped over in London UK for our “honeymoon” for a week. We had packed just one suitcase for our stay in London and the rest of the luggage was locked and stored at a family friend’s place. Trouble was discovered once we landed in Toronto, and I decided to finally unpack all my luggage! I opened one of our largest suitcase (which I knew had contained most of newly made bridal outfits) only to discover it was full of some old cotton western clothes! At some point in our journey from Khi, PK to London, UK to TO, we had lost our luggage, instead picking up someone else’s identical suitcase full of junk!!!! It’s been 22 years and to this day, I sigh when I think about this incident. The worst part?! That suitcase also contained my mom’s black and gold Kashmiri shawl which she was given at her wedding! Okay I am going to go cry myself to sleep now! -         Rahila Ovais

I am Woman, Hear Me Ignore You!

Mine would be before I got married. I was working for a TV channel in Dubai and when I boarded my flight, the head of the news department, and my boss was also on board (I’d fought with him to get my vacation). He was at the peak of his career and loved to brag. The entire cabin crew was fawning over him. I was seated next to him because he did not want a mother/child sitting next to him on our two hour flight. Anyways, once we settled down he proceeded to tell me that he had to go to Islamabad to interview the PM. That was my cue to start heaping praise on him, instead I told him he would probably need to rest and took out my book to read, ignoring him for the rest of the journey. Needless to say, I could not last long at the channel! I still find the whole episode funny… especially when I returned and my colleagues shook their head in dismay at my having wasted a golden opportunity to ingratiate myself into the inner circle and fast track to promotions! Absolutely no regrets! -         Aaisha Zafar Islam

Not Without Our Luggage!

We travel to Pakistan every year. We are a family of 5 so when taking international flights we are allowed a luggage allowance to 2 pieces per person. Of course being typical Desi’s we always travel loaded with gifts and every knick knack on the planet. Heaven forbid I won’t be able to find the exact shoe to match my outfit in the entire city of Karachi so I must travel with at least 10 pairs of shoes. Every year, it’s a joke(a rather painful one) that we all squeeze in to a minivan with 8-10 suitcases, get off at the airport where everyone stares at us, some with disdain some with sympathy and understanding. Since our kids were too small to help us move the trolley,s my husband and I would have to take turns to actually move 4 odd trolleys through the airport until we check in. Needless to say, our toughest ordeal is actually getting to check in, the 18 hour flight is a piece of cake in comparison! -     Muneezah Jawad

Hello? It’s Nature Calling!

I enjoy travelling with kids by air and by road. We usually take road trips to the US with a bunch of friends so we have a decent group with kids. 
The funny part of these road trips are when we get sms’s or calls for a pit stop when someone’s kids want to go to washroom in the middle of now where. Everyone starts searching for a nearest Rest Area or a fast food chain to stop at. Once we all had to stop on a road side to accommodate one such incident. The hilarious part was all 5 vehicles standing with hazard lights on and every other car would stop by to check if all was well. Poor family and kid were very embarrassed. Until now we recall that one incident of a sudden emergency… when nature calls you have to answer! -         Rumina Rizvi