Thursday, December 30, 2010

Can you understand Arabic, Bosnian, or Somali? Here's a work at home job for you!

As salaamu alaikum I love to help people find at home work and in the past I have focused on finding jobs where people can translate Arabic at home. Well here is a job for those who can understand Arabic and/or some other languages. I hope you enjoy!

Multiple Foreign Language TPV Verification Agent

Work at home as a Verification Agent. Foreign languages needed: Arabic, Armenian, Bosnian, Cantonese, Chinese, Farsi, German, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Somalia, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Yugoslavian.
Help VoiceLog fight telemarketing fraud and make money from home using your computer. As a Verification Agent, you will listen to recordings of sales calls to determine if the sale is valid or if there is evidence of sales fraud or undue customer confusion.
This is a contract position which is paid by the number of recordings reviewed. You work from your home using your computer and Internet access. VoiceLog will provide the necessary training and software.

Minimum requirements include:

  • You must be conscientious, accurate and detail-oriented, able to follow instructions and be computer literate. Your English skills should be good to excellent
  • Pentium-class computer with a minimum of 1 Gigabyte of RAM and capable of running Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, sound card, speakers and printer
  • High speed Internet access - DSL, ISDN, cable or satellite (regular dial-up not acceptable)
  • Able to type/transcribe with accuracy
  • Strong listening competency in any of the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Bosnian, Cantonese, Chinese, Farsi, German, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Somalia, Russian,
  • Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese or Yugoslavian
Third Party Verification Agent Application
If you have additional questions, please email: applicantquestions@bsgclearing.com

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Review: Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash

MashaAllah this is a really fantastic cleanser. I have been looking for a face wash that is 100% natural. I have been trying to get my husband on board with face cleansers (vs just soap) so it had to be not too flowery or complicated either. Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash seems to fit the bill.

You can find it at iHerb.com, first time shoppers can use code SAK105 for $5 off

It has a castile soap base with Organic Tea Tree Oil and Awapuhi and a host of other good, natural ingedients. It contains No alcohol, artificial detergents, artificial color, synthetic perfumes or synthetic ingredients. Fragrance is a big deal for me, why would I buy a face cleanser that makes my face react?

We've been using it daily for a few weeks and I have noticed that our pores seems to have shrunk and are not as visible mashaAllah. Highly recommended. It is very economical too as one pump is enough and you can buy refills. Refills are great too so you don't have to throw out the plastic pump each time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Free Creative Arts and Crafts Lesson Plans and Activities for Kids

As salaamu alaikum





I stumbled upon lots of free ideas, lesson plans and activities for kids, homeschoolers, classrooms, etc.

Please check out Roselle Paper and Crayola for Ideas.

Don't miss the link for the free Dream Makers Language Arts Lesson Plan on the Crayola site

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I don't miss...

  • fights with my son about getting up in the morning
  • rushing him through breakfast
  • hearing the words "we're gonna be late!" for the umpteenth time
  • feeling like i don't see him all day
  • then taking 2-3 hours to do homework when it should only take 30 minutes, b/c he'd rather be playing
  • then turning around after that and having to start dinner and usher him off to bed
I was getting worried that Zubayr was going to grow up angry and maladjusted, just a wild and unsettled kid, but I think he really just hated going to school, he has his usual moments but this whole summer and now with him not going to school he is much, much better mashaallah

and I think it's funny Firefox didn't give me red squiggly lines under "umpteenth" I guess that officially makes it a word now :D

Friday, September 17, 2010

So, we begin...


We started homeschooling Z (DS7) just this week. Not sure how it will go, but he was pretty insistent that he did not want to go back to Islamic school. So, here we are! Make dua for us

Friday, September 3, 2010

Painting Class

My six week Intro to Painting class is over. It was so great to leave the house for just a short little while. Well, I have 3 under 7 can you imagine how excited I was to have a date with myself for 2 hours painting, mashaAllah.

The first three to four weeks we worked on a value study where we painted a still life in gray scale. First we had to sketch it directly onto a canvas which ended up being harder than I thought. It brought back memories when i used to tote around my sketchbook everywhere, it's so therapeutic you can obsess and be a perfectionist about something and no one's feelings get hurt.


I wanted to try out acrylic paint, it ended up being sort of frustrating as it dries so quickly, oil is much slower and forgiving.

So here is the end result, I'd like to upload clearer pictures when I find my camera, it's around here somewhere hiding with my missing eyeglasses.

I managed to erase some of the lid when putting in my background, opps!

Next we tried a picture in color, we were told to pick something one color. All I had was Everyday Food Mag so I ended up with a plum :D

InshaAllah I will finish it next time as I signed up for another session. The classes feel a little rushed and there's a lot left out, it's a park system's program not prep for art school, so just having fun, trying to rediscover an old hobby, inshaAllah

Sunday, August 22, 2010

WAH Arabic freelance translation job

As salaamu alaikum
Sharing a little Ramadan cheer, hopefully here are some blessings for someone

I have updated my website page where I post WAH Arabic freelance translation jobs
found a good one hope you enjoy:

I don't speak Arabic fluently but I know many who do. Periodically I search out work at home jobs that are looking for freelance Arabic translation and post for you all to benefit. Hope you enjoy, if you've found this page useful please share with others!

The page has become popular since first listing it so I'll continue to search for translation jobs .
Want to make a couple hundred today translating Arabic from home??

Read here!

hey P.S. there's a link at the bottom of the article to share, please do, I worked hard on this post so please don't copy and paste :D

Saturday, July 31, 2010

An Easy Indian Food Iftar!

Finally a really easy Indian dish as far as time and effort goes. I love love love Indian food but I stopped cooking it some time ago, too much prep, too many steps. I'm sure if that is your main way of cooking you just fall into a rhythm and a system, but I just want it once and a while. So, I was so happy to find this slow cooker recipe.

This will be great for Ramadan, here on the east coast I think it will end up being a 18 hour fast, I am trying to rely on the freezer and crock pot more this time around

Crock Pot Chicken Vindaloo
Prep Time: 10 mins Total Time: 5 1/4 hrs min Serves: 3

Ingredients

          o 3 tablespoons vinegar
          o 3 garlic cloves, minced
          o 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger
          o 3/4 tablespoon curry powder
          o 1 tablespoon ground cumin
          o 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
          o 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
          o 1/4 teaspoon hot pepperground
          o 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
          o 2 tablespoons olive oil
          o 1 cup tomato sauce
          o 1 cinnamon sticks
          o 1 small onions, chopped
          o 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, quartered
          o 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

   1. Puree first 10 ingredients in a blender.
   2. Pour into the crock pot, add tomato sauce, cinnamon stick and onion and mix well.
   3. Add chicken and turn to cover.
   4. Cook on low for 5 hours.
   5. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
   6. Serve with rice or rolls, enjoy

I made this on a day I was just  dragging my feet about cooking, being the lazy chef that I made some mods:
I used frozen chicken thighs instead, I didn't start it until 1pm so I turned it up to high for 5 hours instead of low. I didn't put anything in the blender, just dumped it all in the pot, I didn't have any more curry powder on hand so I subbed with garam masala, instead of using plain tomato sauce I just recycled some garden style veggie spaghetti sauce, and I subbed hot pepper for black pepper hoping the kids would try it (they didn't).

It came out great, mashaallah, I only had to step in a stir b/c the thighs were frozen, once they loosened up a bit I could coat them with the sauce. When they came out the meat was falling off the bone, the way I like it mashaallah! The only dh feedback I got was that breasts might be better b/c with the thighs you can get a lot of rubbery fat parts from the bone. Eh, I don't mind so much since the darker meat is so much cheaper, but I'll give it a go next time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Finished Reading: The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for ChangeWelcome to "Finished Reading!" Where I'm so darned happy to actually complete a book I'll go ahead and blog about it, hooray!

Annie Leonard, former Greenpeace activist, has traveled to over 40 countries researching where our waste goes. Her 20 minute film The Story of Stuff, is an internet sensation receiving over 10 million views. She now has several other films including the latest, The Story of Cosmetics. It explains what goes into making all the wonderful Stuff we consume and what happens along the way of the entire lifecycle of a product, from extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. The message is: Stuff is so cheap because the Earth and local communities (and the global community) pay the real the price, we are subsidizing our own future to buy cheap good and let industry get away with murder (sometimes literally).

I was excited to see The Story of Stuff in book form, even happier to see it at the library on the New Books shelf. I thought it was going to be a quick engaging read, but it is so jammed packed with information that I felt like I could get college credit for reading it. First you learn a little more about Annie Leonard and see that she is not just some fast talking hippie on a mission, she is very educated and experienced in her line of work. Next The Story of Stuff takes each piece of the video and expands on it greatly. It is a very eye opening read! Every item in your home, your cosmetic kit, your craft bin, and kids toy box will have you wondering how much damage did this one item cause just to land in my home and be used for a short time?? She also explores the issue of is all this Stuff even making us happier? Not surprisingly the answer is No. Human beings are most happiest when we return to what is important, a strong sense of community and a link with nature.

I have to admit at times it was hard to get through the whole book, 352 (100% recycled) pages, as it can make you feel that things are very bleak in this day and age. But Leonard, who buys nothing new and lives near friends in Berkley who pool resources, does offer alternative ways we could be going about doing things, highlighting groups, innovations, laws, simple lifestyle changes and choices that are better. Overall, I highly recommend The Story of Stuff, its going on all around us!


P.S. Check out out Virginia Sole-Smith's 6 Part Questions for Annie Leonard

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Company Letters

A little while ago I realized that making small steps to become more healthy, more green and closer to the Islamic principle of taking only what you need was good just for me and my household. Alhamdulillah, making lifestyle changes is still good to do, for the hasanat inshaallah, for the awareness, but on the larger scale me switching to organic fruit is not going to solve the problem of large scale destruction that business and industry gets away with. So I decided to add writing to companies as part of my going green toolbox along with trying to buy used and detoxing my home. I want to know what they have to say for themselves. Alhamdulilah the Story of Stuff and No Impact Man both helped me to understand that we cant buy our way to a healthy planet.

so heres a round up of my first installment of writing to companies, I hope by publishing these that I can help someone choose whats best for their family and health. didn't think to copy the forms I filled out online but will for next time

Rubbermaid, June 2010
I wrote Rubbermaid telling them that I was disappointed to discover my food storage containers were made from #7 plastic, which contains BPA. I asked if I would be getting a refund or exchange since I did not wish for my food to be stored in plastic that will leech this hormone disrupting chemical. I knew the answer would of course be no but was surprised to see a defense of this chemical as "safe". I will be replacing these with glass only inshaallah

Reply:
BPA has been used safely in the manufacture of thousands of products for
years and its use fully complies with U.S. Food and Drug Administration
and other historically stringent public health regulators in the
European Union and Japan.  There have been no reports of illness
connected to BPA. There have been no recalls on our products.
For information regarding Bisphenol-A and our products, please visit our
website, www.rubbermaid.com and click on the link located near the right hand corner, "Learn about BPA". Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address your concern.
my reply:
thank you for your reply. I will be avoiding your company's products from now on, since your company is clearly not up to date on researching the materials that go into its products, or on the concerns of your market:
http://blogs.consumerreports.org/safety/2010/01/fda-expresses-some-concern-but-fails-to-ban-bpa-.html
the National Toxicology Program, concluded that BPA  was of “some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures.” 
Material that leeches chemicals associated with these things are never "Safely used"?

Stop and Shop:
same issue, BPA, but different response. I wrote them saying I was concerned that the organic oranges I get from their store are in a #7 plastic bag and, hard as it is to give them up, I am considering no longer buying them if they can't offer a bulk option or switch to a less toxic plastic.

Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns about Bisphenol A in our products specifically the bag of our Nature's Promise oranges. We understand that concerns have been raised about the safety of Bisphenol A (BPA).   The Food and Drug Administration recently revised their assessment on BPA and have announced that they are working with the National Center for Toxicology Research to fund in-depth studies to answer key questions and clarify uncertainties about the risks of BPA.

Particular concern has been raised about the health implications for infants and very young children.  Stop & Shop no longer sells any baby bottles or sippy cups that contain BPA.  Please visit this link, http://www.hhs.gov/safety/bpa for the recommendations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services for parents of young children.

As to the use of BPA in the epoxy resin used to line aluminum cans, please know that we are working with our suppliers to transition from the use of BPA in can linings.   However, BPA has been used in small amounts in the epoxy resin used to line aluminum cans since the 1950s.  It is still the industry standard and it will take time for this transition to occur.

In the meantime, please be assured I have forwarded your comments to our Corporate Office and merchandisers for their consideration.

Thanks, again, for contacting us.  We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
Nubian Heritage:
I love these soaps and was so happy to find them on iHerb.com.
my email letter:
Hi, I would like to know what sources your palm oil in your soaps is  from. I am concerned with using palm oil that is not grown sustainably, like the palm oil that comes form Indonesia. What can  you tell me about your products
Thanks!

Reply:
Thank you for your inquiry. We purchase our Palm Oil from a supplier with organic farms in South America that specializes in sustainable agriculture. Thank you for contacting us.
This made me happy :D If you have never ordered from iherb.com check them out, you can use code SAK105 for $5 off your first purchase. 

Similac:
I called them to ask what their Sling Pack was made out of that I got as a freebie when I had my son in October of 2009. I took a while but they confirmed that it is PVC. I will be sending it back, along with another diaper bag from 2006 and  a letter explaining why I protest the use of PVC. I got this idea after reading the book The Story of Stuff in which Annie Leonard describes receiving a PVC freebie and getting a flack for protesting it.

Also I just mailed off some teethers I bought from Little Tikes that were made of PVC with the same letter.

Hope this wasnt too long, I hope to keep up the habit as its proving very enlightening and motivating to me, will share more inshaallah

Do you write companies? Why or why not?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A 7 Day Menu #1

When I make a menu for the week my life is soooo much simplier, when i fall off track and have nothign prepared we end up eating alot of pizza and junk, which is nice sometimes but not how I want it for a full week. Alhamdulillah My zawj volunteered to go veg two nights a week, instead of the one we had been trying before, Allahu Akbar!

Day 1 (Veg) Spinach Ricotta Pie with Feta, Chicpea Burgers on the side, no bun

Day 2 Balsamic Chicken Thighs side: rice and red lentils with cilantro and tomato if available seasonally. if not then lemon juice and salt

Day 3 (Veg) Soup and Sandwich night! Summer Squash Soup with leftover Chicpea Burgers from day one. Replace the combo of water and bullion with chicken stock, who needs the MSG?. Buy Squash organic as squash is a crop that is most likely to be GM.
Side for the soup: Basil Cheese Breadsticks (might make 2)

Day 4 Spaghetti with meat sauce, (easy for a break) use left over breadsticks for the side (if there are any!)
to make meat sauce I brown 1/2-1 pound ground beef with fennel seeds, then just dump in spaghetti sauce with veggies, if there is alot of grease i will drain it, but if a little or more I will just leave it in for flavor.

Day 5 BBQ Chicken Sandwiches in the Crockpot sorry lots of sandwiches, im in that mood.
with a salad before serving and oven baked sweet potato chips on the side.
will be throwing in some drumsticks to show up later

Day 6 - Whatever, usually we end up eating out of the house one day a week.

Day 7 Kid friendly- BBQ chicken drumsticks from day 5 spicy-sweet slaw and homemade mac n cheese (below). please use organic canola oil on the slaw or it will be GM.

Homemade Mac N Cheese

Category:   Pasta
Style:   American
Special Consideration:   Kids
Servings:   3-4

Description:
Here is an easy recipe for the kids.
Zubayr gives this the double thumbs up, the highest so far in his rating system. He says its better than the box mixes so that's what we are sticking to for now, one less thing to buy makes it easy
Easy Kids Meal or Side
no need for a box mix

Ingredients:
pasta, shells, wagon wheels, elbows
cheddar cheese, a handful or two grated (can wait to grate)
milk
2 T butter

Directions:
Make pasta according to package directions, drain but do not rinse, you need to keep the heat
while hot add in the butter and diver it with the pasta.
Grate the cheese while the butter melts then throw on top of pasta
while stirring add a small splash of milk

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Whole Lotta Cloth Diapers at .01!

I was crusuing ebay looking at cloth diapers, my newest obsession, and found a seller with a whole lotta cloth diapers on ebay. They are all starting at .01  and many with free international shipping! They are all in one style with an insert included in the auction.


I just bought a lot of pre-owned diapers, I was happy to get 10 for $3.70 each with shipping, but the catch is I'm still defunking them! I will go try to grab some new at the same price. Happy Hunting!

~View the ebay listings here~

update:


Ok check this out I just won a diaper for one cent $4.99 shipping from this other seller (click to go to auctions!, no competition so i got on the first bid, i saw other getting for 26 cents or a dollar. IT coming from Hong Kong I dont know how its so cheap I hope no kid missed school to make it, LOL. So Im willing to be the guinea pig if you all want to stay tuned. Oh and please ignore the "this diaper will bring you happiness and blessings" ummm I think that's a tad shirky as its written ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nice Khutbah, Imam urges living within your means.

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
I really enjoyed this Khutbah (islamic sermon) I came across on Saudi Gazette. Frugal Living, az-zuhd, simplifying, etc is always a favorite subject of mine, enjoy!

Keep away from extravagance and live within your means, urges Makkah Haram Imam

MAKKAH/MADINA – Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohammed Aal Talib, Imam and Khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah advised Muslims to be mindful of Allah Almighty and fear Him.
In his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Aal Talib said Islam is the religion of justice and fairness (Qist), balance and moderation. It is distinguished by these principles in all aspects and areas of thought and action.

He said that Islam came with a message of justice and equity in all matters concerning human life. Sheikh Aal Talib warned against and denounced a conduct that contradicts its principles – that is, extravagance (Israf). He said extravagance is a shameful trait and a perverse conduct that contravenes Islamic Shariah. The Holy Qur’an has squarely condemned extravagance at no less than 23 places and has deplored a similar conduct known as “Tabdheer” or wastefulness at several other places.

Sheikh Aal Talib said Israf or extravagance is exceeding the permitted limits and whatever is spent or consumed in other than its rightful place and manner is “Tabdheer.” Allah strongly dislikes those who are extravagant and the Qur’an has said in several verses that the Hellfire will be the abode of those who are extravagant. In other verses, Allah said the extravagant people will face eternal doom.

Sheikh Aal Talib quoted the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying: “Eat, give alms and wear clothes, but without excess (Israf) or arrogance (Makheelah).” He said that Allah described the lot of many nations that were destroyed for being extravagant and their destruction came as a result of their committing excesses. It is a sufficient condemnation that extravagance is deprecated and described as the attribute of the Satans and extravagant people are included among the followers of the Satans. Allah describes the squanderers as brothers of the Satans and the Satan is well known for his ungratefulness (Kufr) to Allah.

Islam disapproves of extravagance but at the same time it does not approve of miserliness – what Islam calls for is moderation and a balance in spending and consumption.
This means spending on the absolutely essential necessities to support life in what is known as “Kafaaf” – not being in need to ask for help from others, narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor and providing money to be spent in beneficial channels for the public and private good which benefits all. Sheikh Aal Talib said extravagance is going beyond the limits either by indulgence in excessive luxury or by exceeding the permitted (Halal) to the extent of stepping into the domain of the forbidden (Haraam).

Sheikh Aal Talib pointed out that the warning against extravagance does not mean abandoning the permitted good things of life. He cited the verse ordering Muslims to wear their beautiful clothes when going to the mosque and to eat and drink without excess because Allah dislikes extravagant people. Sheikh Aal Talib said that as Allah disapproves of extravagance, He also disapproves of miserliness and hoarding money (including gold and silver). Allah warned that those who amass gold and silver and do not spend them in Allah’s Way will receive painful punishment. The Khateeb said niggardliness is among the most despicable attributes that a Muslim could have. He stressed that what is required is moderation – neither extravagance nor miserliness.
Sheikh Aal Talib said extravagance leads the society to dissolution, recklessness and away from dedication and hard work. Also, it creates anger among the poor and sows the seeds of enmity and hatred among them against the rich when they see them wasting money while they are in dire need of even the bare necessities. Matters might aggravate so much that poor or those with limited income start vying with one another to imitate the rich and keep pace with them in their spending and extravagance. Hence, the economic balance turns topsy-turvy at the level of the society or even that of the nation, as is the situation in the society today.

Sheikh Aal Talib said that we see people today spending beyond their means and mostly on luxuries and on ostentatious display at the expense of the real needs. Some go to the extent of taking loans not to meet their needs but for purchasing the luxuries and to imitate and keep up with the rich. They spend lavishly as the rich do and are always in a race to imitate the rich until they fall into the debt trap.
Sheikh Aal Talib stressed that taking loans should be for meeting one’s needs and not for luxury that cannot be afforded by the person. He emphasized that the Ulama strongly disapprove of taking loans for things that are not needed.
Aal Talib criticized the huge number of shops and markets especially those dealing in women’s wear and also expressed shock at the money which is spent in what people do not actually need to the extent that “our societies have become big consumer societies and our homes have become showrooms for all that is produced by the world’s factories and are marketed by the companies.” He added that advertisements have played with people’s thinking to the extent that one wonders if women were created for nothing but for the marketplace.

Sheikh Aal Talib criticized the lavish spending and great extravagance that is seen in parties and on occasions like wedding parties. He stressed that a wise person must not allow himself to be carried away by the desires and whims of feeble-minded people in his family and those around him because he is responsible for them and for running the affairs of his family.

Sheikh Aal Talib said the Arabs during the pre-Islamic (Al-Jahiliyah) period used to spend lavishly and throw banquets in order to show off so that people would talk about that and praise them in their poems, but Allah forbade such extravagant practices. Aal Talib asked: “Has this attribute of the Jahiliyah – showing off and going beyond one’s means to win people’s praise – returned?”

Sheikh Aal Talib mentioned the extravagant consumption of water and electricity in a country in which there are no running rivers and water and rainfall are scarce. The same applies to other countries of the world as the water resources are dwindling and wars might break out over water. He said wasting water and electricity deprives others who are in dire need of them. He said moderation or economical and fair consumption of water even in making ablution (Wudu) and seeking to win Allah’s pleasure is a must. He said a Bedouin requested the Prophet (peace be upon him) to show him how to make ablution. The Prophet (peace be upon him) showed him the sequence of Wudu and insisted that a Muslim must wash each part not more than three times because if he does so he has committed an excess. The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized that a Muslim must not use water extravagantly even in ablution and even if he happened to be beside a running river.

Sheikh Aal Talib said people must advise one another to spend and consume with moderation and warn against extravagant habits. He said this comes under the advice to do good deeds and enjoining virtue and preventing vice.

Don’t misuse your body parts

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Bari Al-Thubaiti, Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet’s Mosque spoke about the importance of different body parts and the necessity to thank Allah for them.
In his Friday sermon at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina, Sheikh Al-Thubaiti said Allah has created the different body parts (like the limbs, heart and sensory organs including those of hearing and sight, among others) in a perfect manner. Man cannot do without any of them. To imagine how important sight is, he should close his eyes and try to go about doing his daily chores.

He will realize how difficult it is to discharge them. So he must thank Allah for these organs and show his gratitude to Him by keeping them away from committing sins and doing good deeds with them. If he does good deeds, like walking to the mosque to perform prayers in congregation, Allah will reward him. But if he uses his limbs, for example, to commit sins, he will be punished for that.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to perform prayer late at night and he used to stand for long hours performing Qiyam Al-Lail until his feet got swollen. When asked why he did so when Allah had forgiven his previous and future sins, he said: “Shouldn’t I be a thankful servant?”

To thank Allah for one’s body parts, a person must use them in what Allah has ordained and keep away from what Allah has forbidden. Sheikh Al-Thubaiti warned that on the Day of Judgment every body part will be asked to explain what its owner made it to perform – whether it was for doing Halal or Haraam.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Garden Mysteries and a Sewing Machine

I dont really have much of a garden to speak of yet. I did kill all the tomatoes I tried to raise from seed, but my lettuce I planted from seed is doing OK. Its been a month since I planted them, I guess I'm expecting to have a full blown salad by now, hmm so clueless.




Here are some othering things mind boggling me in the garden, how did my cherry pepper plant end up outside of the planter??




And what is eating my basil?



Here is a nice little maple tree, sequestering CO2 and minding its own business. It is too close to our neighbor's fence and I know when we leave the landlord will get rid of it, so I'd like to find a medium sized container and try to dwarf it. I've never tried that, any tips?







Finally check out the sewing table my zawj brought home, someone was throwing it away so he grabbed it.
So of course we had to find a machine to go with it! Not sure if this will end up being a good buy  but its a start: We found an old Kenmore machine, its super heavy! Its so heavy i think it must have cast iron parts. The box is a little smelly, like mildew, so perhaps there is some water damage. I haven't had a chance to test it or look it up much, but hey it was half off day at Goodwill, cant go wrong there really ;)




Saturday, June 12, 2010

Handmade Party Favors (For Eid!)

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
Hey ladies hoping we can all continue to share ideas how to green up our Eid celebrations inshaAllah. Today was my latest exercise in forcing myself (and family) to be more social, we held a little party for my 7 year olds first grade class. We don't celebrate birthdays, but many kids around him do, so we wanted to do something fun for him so he didnt feel left out from that. The play place we went to took care of the party favors so that got me thinking again about the favors for Eid. It crossed my mind to look up crochet favors, who knows maybe there will be something to get started on early.

So here you go here are somethings I found:

 Photo Gallery from Martha Stewart I love love love #6 Tea and Cookies box and #31 Teacup with Tea but more for the grownups, #32 the fabric scrap goody bags look great to avoid plastic.

Ideas for the girls: links go to patterns for sale on etsy,
crochet mini wallets
some free ones here
crochet flower bookmarks
crochet tea and saucer! might take some extra time but hey its Ramadan its all sadaqa!

would love to look for some more but kids are starting to cry!
Any more ideas anyone??




Sunday, May 30, 2010

The earth is from the Shuhood

"That day it will declare its information about all that happened good or evil." Surah 99:4

Ibn Kathir explains with regards to this particular Ayah: The earth is from the Shuhood (witnesses) for or against you. That those places that the people committed sin in, then the earth will bear witness against you and as for the places that the person has done righteousness in, then the earth will also be a witness for you. It's either a witness for you or against you. So this particular matter shows us that the earth itself will testify and it will speak with regards to that which had taken place upon it. 

more here
 


"A young heron sits dying amidst oil splattering underneath mangrove on an island impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, along the the coast of Louisiana on Sunday, May 23, 2010." (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


Following the story of the BP oil spill has just clinched it for me that I'd really like to drop out of this destructive culture. I don't need a factory farm cow to die for my leather handbag or a toxic leaching brand new cell phone. I don't need ecosystems and native communities to perish for my electric bill. I'd like to grow my own, make my own, be off the grid and support people who do the same. It would mean, in the long run, totally transforming my family's lifestyle as it is now, but I really want to strive harder for this, inshaAllah.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is there such a thing as Self-Sufficient Living?

Bismillah Ar Rahmaan Ar Raheem
As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

Lately I have been very into the topic of "self-sufficient" living. I follow lots of sites and blogs about environmental issues so Im sure this has been slowly leading me there, mashaallah. It also happened one day my family went over to Barnes and Noble and zawjy navigated us over to the DIY section, right next to the collector's section. Z got comfy with a huge Lego book, Uthman found a guide book for Matchbox car collectors, he loved that! and zawj started looking at woodworking books. I looked up and saw this glorious bunch of books and was instantly hooked. one was The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Another that caught my eye: Homesteading: A Back to Basics Guide   and at zawj's suggestion I was gushing over books on how to make my own socks and wishing I could knit.

I kept this all in mind and consulted my good friends Google and my local library's online catalog and ended up placing on hold a couple of Homesteading books that are considered the best to read (according to bloggers :P ). Hooray for free mashaallah. I tore into them and have so much I'd love to share even just from reading the introductions, but I gotta backtrack just a wee bit before I can do that.

First what is Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency?
Ok we'll just ask Wiki, makes it pretty easy:

"As of 2010 the term may apply to anyone who follows the back-to-the-land movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life. According to author John Seymour, 'urban homesteading' incorporates small-scale, sustainable agriculture and homemaking.

Seems pretty clear, but I still gotta clarify

When sharing with anyone about this topic I'd so much rather use the term "Sustainable" vs Self-Sufficient" SubhanAllah as a Muslim I never want to be decieved into thinking I could ever be "Self-Sufficient". I do understand that people who are into homesteading don't necessarily mean they feel they can exist apart from God, but rather are focusing more on independence from the government and global circumstances but you never know what will lead you to kufr, audhobillah. Alhamdulillah, by Allah's permission I also started reading Ibn Taymiyyah's Essay on Servitude   and there is a whole section about Sufficiency. So before sharing anything from those other books I'd like to share from the Kitab and Sunnah first:

"As for al-Hasb, which is what suffices, it is Allaah alone, as Allaah has said:
'Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (i.e the hypocrites) said, "Verily, the people have gathered against you (in the form of a great army), therefore, fear them." However, it (only) increased them in Eemaan, and they said: "Our Hasb (i.e. one who sufficies us) is Allâh and how fine a trustee (He is)."(Aali Imran 3:173)

Allah also says:
O Prophet! Your Hasb (i.e. one who suffices) as well as those who follow you of the believers, is Allaah".  (Al-Anfal 8:64)
...
He also said:
"Is not Allaah sufficient for His 'abd?..." 39:36

We also have some beautiful examples of supplications the Prophet made to remind us that we are not to strive towards thinking we are self sufficient:
‘Allaah is Sufficient for me, none has the right to be worshiped except Him, upon Him I rely and He is Lord of the exalted throne.’ (seven times morning and evening)

‘O Ever Living, O Self-Subsisting and Supporter of all, by Your mercy I seek assistance, rectify for me all of my affairs and do not leave me to myself, even for the blink of an eye.’

Jazak Allahu Khair thanks for reading I hope to share more with you inshaallah

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our Little Garden - Lettuce

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

This year we finally started a little garden. We have a modest sized back yard. We took advantage of the cheap composting bins our county offers, they hooked us up with the Earth Machine, mashaallah:


at some point we can get some nice soil from it inshaallah, but for now we are just using bagged organic mix we got from the hardware store. The boys like to dump the kitchen and yard scraps into it

 We are growing organic heirloom lettuce, we got the seed as a freebie last year from Earthbound Farm, and organic tomatoes, we got the seeds from eBay.

Here is our little lettuce grow one week in. The tomatoes are still sprouting in their little plastic box, not much to show there:

I used to have a garden with my dad and it was so fun I hope the boys enjoy growing some food this year inshaallah

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mother's Footstool with Reclaimed Cherry Wood


I haven't had much time to start too many projects although I have some homemade recipe posts to put up soon inshaallah. Here is one from my zawj mashaallah.

Hubby is an aspiring woodworker. I asked him to make me a footstool for feeding the baby in the same shape as the Medela Nursing Stool. I had that stool for my first and the slant really helps to keep the back aligned straight when nursing, otherwise you are hunched over, repeat 8-12 times a day and it gets pretty uncomfortable. He wanted to start working with harder woods than pine but cost is a big issue with nicer woods. He found a 70's style end table on the curb in good condition and brought it home, stripped the paint and had some nice cherry wood to make this stool. He put inlayed mahogany stars for an artistic touch. He is using this photo as part of his interview for woodworking school, he's on his way now to Boston in the snow, make dua for that :)