Archive | General Health RSS feed for this section

Parenting After Brain Injury Part 2

20 Dec

Today marks my 2 month walkiversary and it feels good to have my independence back. I’m so grateful to be home with my family and most importantly my daughter. My family are the most amazing support network anyone could ask for. They understand when I can and can’t do something, when I feel tired, my feelings and emotions, although they don’t fully understand it’s great that they know to just let me be me and whatever is going down is a part of who I am. A lot  more has happened in my life than I’m letting on and I have shared various details with very close friends or trustworthy people who I know won’t let me down. I’m a member of various stroke survivor websites and groups online. I often find some people giving up, swearing, having enough and sometimes wishing the stroke finished them off. I understand it, I really do although not once, alhamdulillaah (praise be to God), have I ever had that thought. In fact I shared a little more on a group today and this was a part of what I said in response to someone feeling sorry for me:

I couldn’t be happier with my life right now. Yes it’s hard but it’s been such an incredible experience and I wouldn’t swap it for anything else. I’m in early days compared to most people here. Stroke was August 1st. Was in rehab for 3 months. Been home almost 2 weeks and trying to be a mum to my now 19/20 month old baby girl. I haven’t been happier in life i don’t think. God bless me and my family 

I honestly don’t regret any of what I’ve been through in the last four to five months. Obviously we can’t regret a stroke because it’s not like we have control over it and it wasn’t a choice, especially in my case where I was born with something that has changed mine and my family’s life, probably for forever. As incredible as the journey has been, I don’t wish this hardship on anyone else. I’m in contact with some patients from rehab, some have been discharged and others are still on the unit, one in particular was messaging at 4am because of insomnia due to pain and I was awake because I was reluctantly co-sleeping with my toddler which basically meant her head was actually on my head for part of the night and I had to keep changing sides because she was all over the place. Anyway, I thought it’d be nice to share how I felt about my position in life right now. I could have been a lot worse than I am so I am grateful for that and so much more. If you think your life is bad, take a look at someone whose life is currently a little worse or harder than yours and be grateful. Your challenges in life could have been worse.

Speaking of challenges; my daughter. This post is after all, about parenting. I mentioned the first time my daughter saw me. The very moment and how I felt. My family could see that seeing my daughter made me happy although noone knew the pain I was feeling. It was a bittersweet. The most bittersweet feeling a person could ever have. I loved her and loved seeing her, in fact, I loved everything about her. All her “perfect imperfections”. If you’ve ever stayed in hospital for three or more days you’ll quickly discover magic fm is the favoured radio channel amongst most, if not, all hospital and ambulance staff. That song played whilst my daughter was visiting and thinking back to that moment, those words kinda fit. Seeing her was so sweet but the pain was what was bitter. After every physio session and after every false alarm to the toilet, I’d get back into bed and I’d be at an angle. I’d have to shuffle so I  was straight and more often than not I’d have to try to slide myself up the bed using my limbs which didn’t work properly at the time. Sometimes I’d just quit and be like ‘you guys are on your own right now, you shift me’.

My daughter came to visit me one time and I mimed round and round the garden like a teddy bear on her whilst my other sister said the words, hoping it would remind her of the relationship we once had. She wasn’t having any of it so I stopped and told my sister that was enough. They hung around for a few hours and as usual that was great. My daughter was very well behaved on most days and  the nurses absolutely adored her.

Pretty soon, I was told I was getting a wheelchair. I imagined a regular wheelchair but this one was a little funkier, comfy and had a neck and head support like Professor Stephan Hawkins’ one minus all his other gadgets. They started me off slowly. I had to sit in the chair (I make it sound so sinister) for an hour a day. ‘Easy’, I thought. The first day I did almost two hours and then the nurses made sure it was just an hour after that but pretty soon it was getting exhausting.  It wasn’t a matter of just sitting in a chair and that was it. I had to concentrate and put effort into sitting up. I’d have to actively think and try to engage the muscles in my core and force myself to sit straight. I couldn’t slump or relax, I had to pay attention to my posture and position. The moment I stopped concentrating, I would flop to the left but this never happened, I’m pleased to say. Unless I was demonstrating it to my family.

So how was I able to get from bed to chair I hear you ask. It was an amazing piece of equipment called a rotastand. Okay, it’s not that amazing and I only ever used it when I was in the Royal London hospital, but me and that thing were close! I truly believe having to lift myself on it engaged my core which helped strengthen my muscles and made sitting easier. Particularly on the day when I  had nine trips to the toilet and six of those were false alarms. Woohoo for the three that weren’t! I also had an Occupational Therapist who gave me my first test and established I only had to work on my higher level thinking so I made that hour in my chair fly by whilst doing sudokus, wordsearches and crosswords. I quite like crosswords now and the metro puzzle page was my best friend on weekday mornings at breakfast in rehab.

When my daughter first saw me sat in a chair she was less anxious around me, she was taking her healthy baby snacks from me and talking a little. She seemed less frightened of me. I was in awe of her when she was walking. I was, and am, so grateful. Occasionally, I’d cry tears of joy, thanking God that my child was okay. She was and still is, my most prized possession. I was so happy when I saw her each day. The pain was always there but my heart was filled with an abundance of joy and gratitude. I had to be patient, very patient. This was a long road (even longer than I initially thought). It was as if seeing me sat in a chair was one step closer to ‘normal’. My family were amazing at making me feel normal and really made me feel so proud of myself for being able to sit. They too, were very proud of me and happy because I could have died several times, I could have been paralysed but Thank God for His endless mercy, He made me able to progress, kept me safe and in good health. My memory was intact as was my intelligence, ability to understand and more.

There was one day where I felt nasty… you have bed baths and sadly that doesn’t include washing the hair. I asked when I could wash my hair. Turns out the nurses had to check with my doctors because the stitches, or rather, staples from my craniotomy were still in my head and that’s my biggest scar. First we had to establish if they could be removed and then when I could have my hair washed. Taking the staples out was painful and the sound was disgusting. I remember thinking surely being stapled couldn’t have hurt that much because I don’t remember that pain but cutting them out with clippers was loud painful and it was grazing my head. A while in I told the nurse to stop, she just finished throwing everything  away and told me she was nearly finished when I bucked up the courage to endure the pain. As soon as she was done clearing up I told her she could carry on. What can I say, I’ve always had terrible timing, ha.

One day, towards the end of my stay there, one nurse insisted on giving me an actual shower, up until now I had been told I was allowed to because of my trachiostomy, the tube and being hooked up to oxygen. This lovely nurse said she’d put a towel around my neck and my first shower in five weeks felt like the ultimate spa treatment. I felt amazing, I felt so clean and refreshed. That first shower was just days after Eid and I was slightly gutted I wasn’t squeaky clean in time for Eid and also gutted i missed Eid prayer in the park. Anyway, everytime I transferred from the bed to my chair it took one or two nurses, a whole bunch of unhooking and hooking me back up once I was settled into the chair. I even had to make sure my external bladder was with me at all times. I’ll never forget the day my physiotherapist hooked it onto his pocket and was so casual about it. He hooked a pee bag to his trousers. Gross. Even if it was mine. Still gross. But they’re used to it I suppose.

I remember being so proud of myself for getting out of bed. That rotastand was my best friend. It’s so sad. I saw a rotastand in rehab about a month or two after getting there, is it sad that I got excited?!

Everyday after seeing my daughter in the Royal London was progress for me. Seeing her motivated me and it gave me something to work towards. My recovery was getting faster, I was constantly laughing, joking and sometimes, up to no good.

I had always wanted to homeschool my daughter, being a teacher made me quite snobbish about schools and I frowned upon them. I didn’t know how long I’d be in that state, I didn’t know if If’d ever be remotely like my old self, i didn’t know if I could teach again. So I made plan, I told myself if I have no choice then I’ll put my daughter into school, reluctantly. She wasn’t attending playschool or toddler sessions yet, I was just looking into them before my stroke. I had to wait until she was a little more sociable and comfortable playing in the park because for me, that was a good indicator for how she’d be interacting when it comes to other children.

I wrote a note to my family telling them to enquire about a preschool near us that I mostly approved of. My family initially though I didn’t know my daughter’s age but I explained there was a waiting list and I need to apply just in case I wasn’t able to do what I planned. My daughter’s happiness was everything to me. Seeing my parents happy and grateful I was alive was everything to me. My dad is one of those soft and quiet guys, he is rather panicky if anything happened to his loved ones, especially his children and I’m the youngest in my family. I remember being very concerned about my dad and how he was feeling. I made sure he was always happy, smiling and okay. At the time he was in charge of looking after my daughter whilst I was in hospital since I was with my family when it all happened. I wrote a note for him on one occasion, “Always be happy and always smile for (daughter)”, it read. I folded it and stuck it in his pocket. No matter what happened to me I wanted to make sure my daughter was surrounded by love, laughter and happiness. This particular event happened before I found out my dad did CPR on me and was the first person to actually save my life, by God’s Will, of course.

As mentioned in my previous post, despite being through the worst of it all and surviving, my coughing would cause such bad headaches and being suctioned numerous times a day would cause so much pain I would turn beetroot red and felt like I might die on two particular occasions.

My family had continuously told m how brave and strong I was to endure what I had. Sever times my family wouldn’t complain of their pains or ailments because it was no comparison to what I had endured. Now though I can say this. My family were grieving, for the first three weeks of me being in hospital they were the strong ones, they had to be brave, my dad got so choked up about it he didn’t really talk to others for a good week or so. One of my sisters was ready to prepare for my funeral, another one was ready to raise my child the way I would have wanted. My family consistently showed patience and perseverance during that time. They had each other and their belief and faith in God. They prayed so hard and a close and strong family became even closer and even stronger. During that time I was just me. I did nothing. In fact, I pretty much slept through the whole thing so I didn’t have to be strong or brave, everything was being done to me without my knowledge so I just lay down and chilled. The time when I had to be strong, in my opinion is when I went to rehab from September 13th onward. That’s when I was grieving, not that I had lost anything but I had to come to terms with what had happened to me and how to go about getting through the next stage and not giving up. Truly, God is great, if I didn’t have my baby girl, I don’t know if I’d have been as motivated or determined as I was.

I now know and say, my daughter is my kryptonite. She is my one true weakness. She can break me. Yet she also has the ability to build me up again… Kids are great. They are a blessing and a gift from The Almighty ❤

Advertisements

Parenting After Brain Injury Part 1

18 Dec

As mentioned in my previous post, in the years that I’ve been away from blogging, I got married and had a child. Alongside my full time job of teaching primary, baking wedding cakes part time, I was a mother to the most amazing little girl (I know we all say that but it’s true) she made me so happy in every way and she was breastfed so we had a very tight and close relationship. She was skeptical of new people, just like her mama. Being my first child, I wasn’t one of those worry wart mamas because I had plenty of experience with my many nieces and nephews. Motherhood came easily to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d share news of her first tooth, second, third, fourth and so on, when she crawled, learnt to walk and just about everything on facebook. I felt gutted when she was teething one time and I didn’t notice. My poor baby was playing up and I couldn’t figure out why. We were extremely close, went to the park, crawled through our first tunnel together and went down slides (well she did, I watched and cheered her on). Mama got very tired lifting her up because she could only crawl up steps at that point and park steps were not brilliant. Mama was hoping she would be multilingual so she was learning Arabic. At age 15 months, that’s when my madam’s life changed. Her mama put her into bed and then suddenly she was gone. Madam woke up confused and silent in my sister’s bed the following morning. They were both awake and the feeling of trepidition hung over them. Someone had to stay with my baby girl whilst my parents were with me in hospital as well as some of my siblings, their husbands and the older children. At this point I had a head drain and was on life support due to not being able to breathe on my own and having a partially collapsed lung. My family are simply the best, someone was by my side consistently for the entire four and a half months and in the early days, overnight too, calling whilst I was in critical care, taking it in turns to pray over me, play Qur’aanic recitation and play audios of my daughter. It’s true what they say, people in comas can hear so talk to them and make it count.

There were times when I was highly sedated and agitated, failing to calm me down, the doctors and nurses let my sisters into calm me down and only these audios and sounds would help me. I distinctly remember hearing Qur’aan and my sister say “Focus on the words” whilst the other played audios of my daughter. This resulted in a strange dream where my entire family were there and it focused on my sisters’ and mine role as a mother to our daughters and everyone in the dream being worried about my daughter because she was the youngest of the granddaughters. It makes sense to me now but even at the time it was an extremely emotional and touching dream (it was a you-had-to-be-there kinda thing).

As I previously mentioned, my daughter was the last thing I was thinking about and when I woke up properly, my first memory was the two lovely, chirpy and giggly physiotherapists asking me to sit on the edge of my bed. I didn’t know at the time but as soon as I had woken up I was able to communicate by writing to my family. I was telling them everything and asking questions.  Apparently one of the first things I did when I came to, post coma was ask for my daughter. My signal was doing to pigtails on my head with my hands and somewhere along the lines, in my dreams(?) I remember saying “Bring (daughter) to me she can make me better.”, the spookiest thing about that is  my sister quoted those exact same words to me. So did I dream them, write them or say them?? Either way, you get the point. That girl means the world to me and she was always in my thoughts.

I have been shown sheets of paper with my scribblings on them, me asking for my daughter and underlining her name thrice (indicates importance to me). Anyway, after leaving ITU, I was on the neurophysio ward and maybe a week later… I felt ready, I wanted to see my baby girl, to hold her, hug her and kiss her despite being bed ridden and really only being able to use my right arm and hand to write. I was in bed, had a catheter, cannulas, a nasogastic (NG) tube feeding me via my nose and going directly to my stomach, I had a tube coming out of my neck from the tracheostomy hooking me up to oxygen and about half my head was shaved in a couple of places. I was in a gown and in an unfamiliar place whilst looking extremely unfamiliar. The day had arrived, in walked my baby girl holding my eldest sister’s hand with back up in the form of my eldest nephew to help keep my daughter calm, hot on her heels. My sister picked up my daughter and showed her mama. She said it, she called me mama, she knew who I was, this was easy! But oh no, it was far from easy…

My daughter was clinging for dear life on to my sister screaming her head off like she was pleading not to go to this strange being in bed who she knew she recognised clearly. I kissed my hand and placed it on her cheek, that was the closest to a kiss I got. It hurt. It hurt so bad. I cared about her whilst I was in pain and agony and having a stroke, I dreamt of her in my coma and when sedated. I cared for her and loved her so much and that was the affection I got in return. I was already hurting physically, coughing up secretions hurt my head and being suctioned directly from my neck by nurses made me turn beetroot red as my family described and it felt as if someoene was tearing my soul from me but my body was physically fighting to stay on the bed. Twice I wrote “Please don’t let me die”, once i was through the worst of it. On top of all that physical pain, I was struck with this emotional grief. My daughter didn’t like me anymore. Forget loving me, she didn’t even like me. But I had to muster the strength, courage and bravery from somewhere. After surgery I had a smile plastered to my face and I maintained this smile. I had to be strong for her, I had to be normal for her. I put my feelings aside and just played the typical Mama role, I asked if she was brushing her teeth yet, she was 16 months old by this time. I pretended to not be affected by her reaction, put it aside and did what I knew best; be a pestering mother!

Seriously, the doctors who saved my life and the nurses and therapists who looked after me whilst I was at The Royal London hospital have mine and my family’s eternal gratitude. I can’t wait to go back and visit them. Despite the threat to their lives I was a top patient (their words, not mine!)

25508129_10156027930138223_1277945532128337768_n

“What really happened?”

25395796_10156027930023223_7474820159848170782_n

“Why is it not safe?” – Something about risks before/after my final surgery. I was eavesdropping on a conversation between the doctor and my family. He then spoke to me directly but that was a waste of time because I don’t remember a thing, ha.

25395808_10156027930443223_4463561362861925570_n

“Sajdah ash shukr” – prostrate to God and give thanks – clearly I was happy ❤

25442778_10156027930368223_8650425877479908635_n

*shrug* But I was apparently frustrated when nobody could understand this.

25396111_10156027931193223_946361129761396537_n

From another angle it reads “FTake the tube out”

25399059_10156027930583223_1284700073842721972_n

“Where are my family? Tell them” This may have been when I was being moved or taken to surgery. I don’t know.

25396049_10156027930538223_7625872405351522071_n

“Soooooooo good. Badass” – describing my doctors LOL – this was also based on what I was dreaming about and later…. I was actually trying to kill doctors by strangling them and grabbing their lanyards… haha, oh dear… My Mum was saying I was offering to bake them cakes one moment and trying to kill them the next, it  was funny at the time, if you weren’t a doctor treating me

25446448_10156027929853223_7455066437683589848_n

Asking for my daughter and where she is. I was too out of it to remember the answer or who I asked or writing this.

My Stroke Story

17 Dec

So here goes, my stroke story and all the questions answered about what happened that day and the days that followed. The only time I’ve had to talk about it was with medical students, doctors, therapists and patients in rehab and then of course with my friends. The dates I didn’t know until my family had told me…

Late on July 31st 2017 I had a migraine and I decided to sleep it off with a nap. My then, 15 month old daughter should have been asleep by then, and I guess, I’m incredibly grateful she was still awake. Apparently my head was hurting so bad  I asked my eldest sister to deal with her (I was thankfully at  my parents’ home) because I didn’t have it in me. After waking up from my nap, I chilled and watched the food network ( I don’t remember this) and then took my daughter up to bed. Tucked her in and got myself ready for bed (at this point it was gone midnight and we were now on August 1st). I suddenly felt my migraine come back with a vengeance, it was showing no mercy and I just couldn’t cope. Something was wrong, I knew it. No migraine cool strip, painkiller or cup of tea was going to touch this pain. I knew I needed help. I went straight down to my parents’ bedroom and started banging on the door “Help me, help me!” I pleaded. They opened the door, I told them I had a really bad migraine and they had to call an ambulance immediately. They were both abruptly awoken from sleep and naturally moving slowly (it feels a lot slower when you feel like you’re dying of pain!) They lay me down on their bed (good move), the lights went on and I yelled something along the lines of “Why would you do that??!” I was clearly photosensitive by now. As I lay on the bed I kept telling my parents to call an ambulance and I was getting frustrated that it felt like things were going so slowly and my pain and symptoms were progressing too fast. My neck was stiff and my shoulders hurt, I felt like I was going to throw up, I lost patience with the pain and waiting for someone to call the ambulance. I grabbed the bedside phone and diallled 999 myself. “Ambulance!” I demanded and then gave my name and address (I think) I then handed the phone back to my Dad because I couldn’t speak anymore. Without much notice, out the vomit came, some in the bin and loads all over the bed and floor. I apologised for making a mess and felt a warm trickle of blood on the surface of my brain. I knew it was blood but nothing else clicked. and that was my last memory. My parents and family have filled me in on the unclear bits. Apparently I was muttering a prayer which my Mum could just about make out. It was the du’aa for forgiveness and one which all Muslims should recite every morning and evening. I also apparently asked my parents for forgiveness and then I passed out. My Dad had to follow the emergency service’s instructions to give me CPR (Go Dad! Super proud of you!!) I was only taking one breath for every six I should have been taking.  I can only think I must have thought I was dying but all I remember thinking was my baby girl is upstairs and someone should go to her (I was expecting her to come out the bedroom and follow me as she normally would if I left her) I also remember putting her into my bed in case she woke during the night and needed me. I figured if I was ill it would be made easier for me. My next memory was being asked by two physiotherapists to sit on the edge of the bed.

Now, I wasn’t alarmed waking up in hospital because I could hear things throughout and I was having some very bizarre dreams. By the time I reached this point I had three brain surgeries (including open brain surgery or a craniotomy). The  first procedure was on August 1st, a drain was inserted into my head to drain the blood from the cerebrofluid. Around this point I was put into a medically induced coma, intubated and all the rest of it. I was also unable to breathe independantly  due to a partially collapsed lung. I needed to be aspirated due to swallowing/choking on some vomit and it entering my lungs. I was in a coma for approximately 4/5 days and on life support before being slowly weaned off 100% oxygen. On August 8th, an embolisation was done but it failed (the weirdest thing about this was I knew because I heard the doctors say this and I relayed the message to my family (who were already informed by this point but couldn’t understand how I knew. I do remember writing “they screwed up” and that a doctor told me??) this procedure actually made me bleed more Finally, on August 9th I had the craniotomy just behind my left ear. The scar is huge but thankfully hidden by my hair! I didn’t know I had a stroke until my physiotherapist on the neurophysio ward told me. This was probably around August 20th – 25th I’m guessing. He didn’t sugar coat it either but then again I assume he thought I knew already. He just told me that the part of the brain where my stroke happened was responsible for movement and balance. Yes you science nerds have guessed it. It was on my cerebellum. I didn’t freak out hearing this because what I felt on my brain before passing out now made sense. My parents were naturally trying to protect me so down played it when I asked them. I say asked but I was actually writing everything at this point because I had a tracheostomy and thus had a tube coming out of my neck and I was hooked up to some oxygen this was finally removed on September 6th which was the day I could talk and eat again (I also had an ENT doctor or two examine me via my nose and neck using a fibre optic camera to try and figure out why I hadn’t been able to make any sounds since I was on ITU. My speech and language therapist discovered this and I eventually discoverd – by hearing the first ENT Dr who examined me, ask for a second opinion from the registrar because he thought my left vocal cords were paralysed – and they were. It turns out it was possible for me to speak because my right vocal cords were compensating. They told me about the AVM (arterivenous malformation) and how it was basically a tangle of veins and arteries on the surface of my brain which ruptured. I then asked for one of my sisters to come and explain it all to me. In fact, almost 5 months on and I’m still asking my family about what happened in the time that I was unconscious. It turns out AVMs are congential (you’re born with this rare condition) and it’s not hereditary (I asked how I can be sure my daughter doesn’t have it and if I could and should have her screened). For now, madam is doing just fine, thank God and I may give screening a thought when she’s older. My AVM was the primary issue which led to a secondary subarachnoid hemorrhage (the actual stroke). My sister also told me they found two other bleeds on my brain which didn’t surprise me and now I can talk I can explain why – I felt them a few days prior to the main event.

I should also admit that when I was finally with it, I thought a year and a half had gone by and genuinely thought I was 30 years old. I only figured out the date and year by reading the date on the cannulas put into my forearm.  After I was decanulated (trachy tube out and able to speak, breathe and eat on my own and also catheter and nasogastric tube out the next day), I was shafted to my local hospital for a week where I waited to go to a specialised rehabilitation unit. I was in rehab for 3 months from September 13 to December 11th. I was finally able to walk unaided on Friday 20th October and my wheelchair was officially taken away! Although I practised walking with a frame and walking stick in PT sessions, I skipped these two stages in reality, I also impressed my physio by stretching my quadricepts whilst standing, apparently it was like a rehab patient first for him. If you haven’t noticed, I’m approaching my 2 month walkiversary (it’s a thing since 2 seconds ago).

My remaining stroke symptoms:
-Left 4th nerve palsy/ diplopia – temporarily corrected using prisms on my glasses – likely i’ll need surgery soon
-Cognitive fatigue (I didn’t know it was a thing until my rehab physio told me after
I turned up to my session tired immediately after a psychotherapist session which consisted of loads of mental tests)
-I’ve started to lose bits of my short term memory over the last 3 weeks
-I’ve got chunks of my memory missing in the couple of weeeks leading up to the stroke
-Numbness all on my right side with pins and needles and tingling
-Loss of sensastion and temperatures on my whole right side
-numb tongue (was 100% but slowly getting better currently last 1/4 numbness left
-Loss of some motor ability in my left arm/hand
-I walk funny
-Sometimes my left leg joins in and does silly things
-Peripheral nerve pain since the end of August (right side)
-A tracheostomy site which is overgranulated and not healing as fast as it should
-Some loss of hearing in right ear

My hand is starting to hurt and I’m getting tired so I’m gonna leave it here for now. Thanks for reading and well done for surviving that long. The stroke is mostly why I’m aiming to be the paleo woman I was a few years ago. Being in a bed and immobile for most of the time, combined with foods can make a person… out of shape and I need the strength, energy and fitness to be able to look after my baby girl, bake and maybe go back to teaching. I can’t remember if I stated it on my previous blogs but I’m a cake baker and decorator, I launched my own home business back in October 2011 – before I went paleo. Here’s a cake I made for my therapists, doctors and nurses at my rehab unit 2  weeks before I was discharged:

rehab cake collage

In case you hadn’t guessed the name of my  business is Crumblicious Delights. I specialise in wedding cakes so I gave the cake a wedding theme and included my date of admission to discharge in rehab on the bottom tier in Roman numerals and the name of the unit on the top tier RNRU (Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit). I know I’m paleo and bake unpaleo things but they’re not usually for me and remember I started baking before I went paleo. I have just set up an instagram account specifically for this blog, litera;ly just now @paleostrokesurvivor and Twitter is back up @GFSalafi

All praise is due to God I’m not paralysed at all and I’m alive! God is good! ❤

Remedies from the Sunnah Part 2

15 Dec

It’s finally here!! I do apologise from the bottom of my gluten free heart. I have been busy lately and also struggling with food.

So… Health and the Sunnah!

Ibn Qayyim said: After guidance the next blessing is our health.

We need to fulfil our duty with our health and being healthy is from the Sunnah.

We learn that for every disease there is a cure:

“…There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.” Bukhaari 7,582.

Thus, there is no such thing as an incurable disease (except old age).

We learn that eating healthily is from the Sunnah:

Four Aayaat relating to this in the Qur’aan:

  1. “O mankind, eat which is halaal and tayyib …” (Al-Baqarah, 2:168)Ibn kathir explains this as meaning that which doesn’t harm the body or harm your mind.
  2. “Eat from what Allah has provided you as halaal and tayyib, and fear Allah in whom you believe.” (Al-Maa’idah, 5:88)
  3. “So, eat of the spoils you have got, halaal and tayyib, and fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” (Al-Anfaal, 8:69)
  4. “Eat from the good things (tayyibaat) We have provided to you, and do not exceed the limits in it, lest My wrath should descend on you…” (Taa-Haa, 20:81)

So now we have the commands how can we do this? Let’s take a look…

Importance of Breastfeeding:

There ate three Ayaat in the Qur’aan relating to this:

  1. “Mothers (should) suckle their children for two full years, for one who wants to complete the (period of) suckling…” (Al-Baqarah, 2:233)
  2. “We commanded man (to be good) in respect of his parents. His mother carried him (in her womb) despite weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years…” (Luqmaan, 31:14)
  3. “…His mother carried him with difficulty and delivered him with difficulty. And his carrying and his weaning is (in) thirty months*, …” (Fussilat, 41:15)

*here 30 months includes the minimum period of pregnancy, that is 6 months and the maximum period for suckling a child, that is 2 years. So 6 months plus 24 months is the full two years.

As we all know that breastfeeding an infant increases intelligence, immunity, decreases risks of diabetes, obesity, risks of infections, asthma, allergies etc.

However, what the World Health Organisations (WHO) and other similar organisations don’t tell you is that if you don’t breast feed your baby you are putting them at risk of exposing them to the above diseases. For instance not breastfeeding your baby and switching to bottle feeding increases the risk of diabetes and obesity. This message, when put this way is more alarming. (As a side note, have you seen how many formula milks contain soya amongst other rubbish? I had a look out of curiosity!)

Wean your child correctly:

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said: “A child should be given only milk until their teeth appear, because their stomachs are weak and unable to digest food. When the baby’s teeth appear, his stomach has grown strong and is able to be nourish by food. Food should be introduced gradually.” Book: Tuhfat al-Mawdood bi Ahkaam al-Mawlood. 16th chapter.

Do not force feed them into eating when they are not ready. Instead wait another week and try again until they are interested in food.

With that I shall conclude and inshaaAllaah the next part which you won’t have to wait long for I hope, we will look at fasting and praying and the benefits of each briefly.

Six Occasions when du’aa is accepted

18 Jul
Taken from the audio “Six occasions when du’aa is accepted” by Abu Khadeejah Abdul Waahid. These are notes created from the audio which can be downloaded here.

Du’aa is an act of worship and you must fulfil 3 conditions:
1. That you have Tawheed and eemaan (Believing in Allaah and worshipping nothing but Him)
2. You are sincere in your act of worship
3. Your act of worship is in accordance to the sunnah

6 individuals whose du’aa is not accepted:

1) One whose earning are haraam.

This can be through dealing with interest, stealing, oppressing others and deception and the purchasing and selling of haraam food/drink such as pork, alcohol etc.
It even includes breaking a contract. For example, taking on a new job and saying you will stick to the contract but then later you go against the contract and still take the money from the job.

Abu Huraira (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam as saying: O people, Allaah is Good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allaah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying:

“O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Taiyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (legal) foods which Allâh has made legal (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits, etc.], and do righteous deeds. Verily! I am Well-Acquainted with what you do. (Al-Mu’minun 23:51)

And He said:
“O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah – Islaamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship. (Al-Baqarah 2:172)

He then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair dishevelled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication): “O Lord, O Lord,” whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted?

Saheeh Muslim, The Book of Obligatory Alms, No. 2214

It’s important at this stage to look at what you earn your money from and find out if it is halaal or not. Does it involve fitnah, dealing with the aforementioned things, does it promote evil things or encourage them, are you accepting and allowing something which breaks the laws of Islaam etc? (This is advice to myself first)

2) The one who asks Allaah for something haraam.

For example, asking Allaah to make sinning easy for you such as making it easy for you to steal something, or asking Allaah to make it easy for you to start slandering someone, perhaps by looking for a fault in someone and then using this fault to create a lie against them.

3) The one who abandons enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.

This is an obligation upon all Muslims, to encourage good and forbid evil.
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said: “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith”.
(Muslim)

Hudhaifah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted”.
(At-Tirmidhi)

4) The one who implements exaggeration.

For example, one who creates acts of bid’ah in their du’aa such as screaming, wailing and shouting so they can be heard by other. Or do not be from those people who take part in congregational du’aas as this goes against the Sunnah. Note that this is in reference to those groups of people who sit and make dhikr in unison.

Allaah says in the Qur’aan:
Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors.
(Al-A’raf 7:55)

Also, don’t call upon anything or anyone other than Allaah for it is Shirk! And Shirk will invalidate your du’aa.

5) The one who is heedless in his du’aa or inattentive.

Under this category we have the people who turn away from the Deen (Islaam) and neglect the obligatory actions that Allaah has commanded us to do such as praying. Thus a person is disobedient to Allaah. Yet this person who does not thank Allaah in times of ease yet when he is going through hardship he will happily cry out to his Lord seeking His help.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said:
“Whoever is pleased that Allaah answers him in times of hardship and grief then he should supplicate to Allaah plentifully in times of ease.” (At-Tirmidhi)

“Remember Allaah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty” (At-Tirmidhi)

When we supplicate to Allaah there is no waiting list or queue, Allaah hears our du’aas and it is a direct link between us and our Lord. We shouldn’t ask “How will I know if Allaah will listen?” because this is from the people who show inattentiveness.

6) The one who contradicts the sharee’ah rulings.

Under this category are three types of people:
i) the one who remains silent about his evil wife and refuses to divorce her
ii) the one who lends money to somoene without witnesses
iii) the one who gives money to a foolish person

(Recorded by Al-Haakim and Imaam Dhahaabi authenticates it)

Furthermore, Allaah says:
And give not unto the foolish your property which Allaah has made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice. (An-Nisa 4:5)

So, before we seek to call upon and ask Allaah for favours and if we wonder why our du’aas are not being answered we must look towards ourselves and we need to make sure that we do not fall into any of these six categories. And Allaah knows best.

Finally, from some of the etiquettes for making du’aa, one should seize the opportunity of time, situation and circumstance in which prayers are answered or more likely to be answered:

1. Between adhaan and iqaamah
2. At the time of rainfall (or the person who is in the rain)
3. During the last third of the night
4. An hour on Jumu’ah – the last hour after ‘Asr
5. Whilst travelling
– father aginast his son
– traveller
– the one who is oppressed
6. Night of Decree – Laylatul Qadr

Therefore, if a person avoids falling into the first six categories and they make du’aa during the times where the du’aa is more likely to be accepted then there is more of a chance of their du’aa to be accepted.
May Allaah keep us firm upon the Qur’aan and Sunnah, grant us sincerity in all our (good) actions and protect us from any bid’ah (innovations in the religion) aameen

Remedies from the Sunnah Part 1

15 Jul

Bismillaahi walhamdullillaah Wassalaatu Wassalaamu ‘Alaa Rasoolillaahi, Ammaa Ba’d:

Yesterday I attended a workshop run by our beloved sister Umm Sara who runs the website Health means Wealth. The workshop consisted of cures for diseases as mentioned in the Qur’aan and Sunnah as well as scientific research and evidence from many health experts around the world and authors of numerous books. We touched upon ways to detox the body, in fact this took up quite a large part of the workshop from what I can recall, and the essentials needed for life. We also learnt about personal hygiene (for women) and children. In this post I aim to write up all my notes and share with you all the benefits the attendees took from this workshop. There is a lot to mention and some things like detoxes may require their own posts. Over the next week or so everything should be blogged and there will of course be several parts detailing this workshop. May Allaah bless it, all those who were responsible in making it possible, the attendees and those who will benefit from the notes.

We began the workshop by renewing our intentions. It is important to have the correct intention with anything we do. Likewise, we should have the correct intention when we seek to improve our health. For example, we should have the intention to have good health in order to improve our acts of worship.

When we carry out actions we should ensure that they are according to the Qur’aan and Sunnah. The prophet ﷺ said his actions approved of the importance of tawheed (worshipping Allaah alone and attributing no partners with Him) and staying away from bid’ah (innovations) and shirk (polytheism or attributing partners in worship alongside Allaah).

Furthermore, we should look to follow the companions in all that we do as we know from an authentic hadeeth that the Prophet ﷺ said that the best of his people are his companions, those who came after them and those who came after them. Thus the first three generations of Muslims are the ones who we should strive to follow as they are good examples for us.

Evidence for this is when Allaah says:

So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allâh will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. (Al-Baqarah 2:137)

and

And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination. (An-Nisa 4:115)

It is essential to have good manners and having the correct belief in Allaah. When it comes to seeking remedies and cures, people fall into two errors:

1) They say they will make du’aa and not take any remedies, as Allaah is the curer.
We know that this is wrong as it opposes the sunnah which states we should do both. That is, to take a medicinal cure and to make du’aa

2) The people say the cure came from a remedy only and this is shirk. We take a medicine and with Allaah’s Will we are cured as Allaah has control and power of all things and nothing will happen except that He wills it to happen. If He willed, a medicine could also not cure somebody.

We know that Allaah is the Curer and the proof:

“And when I am ill, it is He who cures me; (Ash-Shu’ara 26:80)

We learn that du’aa is an act of worship. As Muslims we should have firm faith that the entire Qur’aan is a cure. We know that every remedy is made more powerful by adding to it the recitation of Qur’aan.

There are four main ways of how we should use the Qur’aan as a cure and they are as follows:
1. To place your hand over the area of pain or on the head and to recite the verses
2. Spittling into water (for drinking regularly) or olive oil (used for magic as stated by sheikh ‘Ubayd Al-Jaabiree – this was something discussed later in the workshop but I have added it here for your benefit inshaaAllaah)
3. Reciting and spittling over something
4. Recite, spittle into hands and wipe hands over as much of the head and hands as possible.

There are authentic narrations where specific ayahs and surahs are mentioned and favoured when it comes to performing ruqya, even though the whole Qur’aan is a cure. The specific aayahs are:
1. Recite Surah al-Faatiha seven times
2. Surah Baqarah is used against magic
3. Ayatul Kursi
4. The last two aayahs of Surah Baqarah
5. The last three surahs of the Qur’aan (Al-Ikhlaas, Al-Falaq and An-Naas)

An important hadeeth about performing ruqya concerning 70,000 people who will enter Heaven without reckoning as mentioned in Saheeh al Bukhaaree, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 606: Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Nations were displayed before me; one or two prophets would pass by along with a few followers. A prophet would pass by accompanied by nobody. Then a big crowd of people passed in front of me and I asked, Who are they Are they my followers?” It was said, ‘No. It is Moses and his followers It was said to me, ‘Look at the horizon.” Behold! There was a multitude of people filling the horizon. Then it was said to me, ‘Look there and there about the stretching sky! Behold! There was a multitude filling the horizon,’ It was said to me, ‘This is your nation out of whom seventy thousand shall enter Paradise without reckoning.’ “Then the Prophet entered his house without telling his companions who they (the 70,000) were. So the people started talking about the issue and said, “It is we who have believed in Allah and followed His Apostle; therefore those people are either ourselves or our children who are born m the Islamic era, for we were born in the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance.” When the Prophet heard of that, he came out and said. “Those people are those who do not treat themselves with Ruqya, nor do they believe in bad or good omen (from birds etc.) nor do they get themselves branded (Cauterized). but they put their trust (only) in their Lord ” On that ‘Ukasha bin Muhsin said. “Am I one of them, O Allah’s Apostle?’ The Prophet said, “Yes.” Then another person got up and said, “Am I one of them?” The Prophet said, ‘Ukasha has anticipated you.”

It refers to the one who asked for ruqya to be done on them, but if you have tried to do it yourself but if, for example, magic overcomes you then going to a rakki (one who performs ruqya) then it is ok, as long as you tried and you don’t go for every small illness rushing to a rakki or if someone performed it on you due to you being ill this is a form of du’aa then this does not remove you from the 70,000 as explained by Sheikh ‘Ubay Al-Jaabiree and Allaah knows best.

The Truth About Unfermented Soy and Its Harmful Effects

19 May

Please read and share this article, The Truth About Unfermented Soy and Its Harmful Effects

via The Truth About Unfermented Soy and Its Harmful Effects.

When I initially discovered I could be sensitive to gluten I mentioned it to someone who observed a paleo diet on her facebook page. We then got talking and I mentioned other trigger foods for my mucusy throat for example, rice. Obviously we know rice does not, or rather, should not ordinarily contain gluten so it was apparent that grains were also a problem for me and thus I embarked upon a three month paleo course. Putting the label ‘paleo’ aside, the diet (that is a way of eating for life, not a diet to lose weight!) meant I was simply eating clean. Good food that came from trees, plants, the sea and animals – yum!

During these three months although I had one-to-one support the entire time I wasn’t always able to understand what I was doing and why. For example,  abstaining from all grains. This weekend I did some research and now I finally understand. This article is an excellent starting point.

Admittedly, it was some recent problems I had that made me look into this more and sadly, also the fact that despite that I cook for myself and never ask anyone to out their way for me, for some strange reason other people speak of my dietary needs as if I am some kind of burden on them. Don’t feel sorry for me, my life is better this way, I know what I’m talking about.

In other news, I did a York food test the other day so I should have the results within the next ten days. This should show what allergies I have. I’m hopeful to get some answers but I’m also very nervous at the thought of nothing showing up.

Why Soy is Not Healthy

23 Feb

The following is one of the many beneficial blog posts I’ve found recently that for me, have busted the myth about soy being good for us. I have a problem with some grains, particularly rice and recently I thought some of my problems were due to potatoes. However, I do know I’ve consumed some soya products so I’m wondering if I’m falsely accusing potatoes. Anyhoo, this is taken from Wellness Mama:

I’ve gotten several emails lately, asking about various forms of soy and if it can be healthy or not.

If you don’t feel like reading the rest of this post, the answer can be summarized in one sentence: Soy is not healthy, it can cause health problems and it’s widespread use is destructive to the planet… don’t eat it! 

Want to know why? Read on…

Soy is a legume, and as such, has the same harmful components that other beans do, but there is more. Some other harmful properties of soybeans are:

In addition to being harmful to our bodies, soy production is harmful to the planet and to livestock who eat it as well. Almost all soybeans grown today are genetically modified and “Round-up ready.” They contain a gene that allows them to be directly sprayed with pesticides without dying. There is some evidence that this gene can mutate and create a pesticide-like toxin in the body.

This mutation means that soybeans can be (and are) sprayed with large amounts of pesticides and herbicides during their cultivation. In addition, soybeans strip the soil of many nutrients, leaving soil depleted. (On a personal note, I live in an area where soybeans are grown, and have witnessed first hand how much the soybeans are sprayed during their growth and how harmful these chemicals are to other plants and vegetation)

Animals who are fed soy can suffer many of the same health consequences as people who consume too much soy, and these harmful properties are then passed on in their meat.

What about Asian Countries Where Soy is Consumed In Large Amounts?

I often get this question when I talk about the negative properties in soy. It is assumed that people in Asian countries consume a lot of soy, and since they are thin, soy must be healthy.

It is important to note that people in these countries do not consume as much soy as we assume they do. In fact, in most places, soy based foods are served as a condiment, not a main course and not as a replacement for animal protein. In addition, these foods are fermented or traditionally prepared, which minimizes the harmful factors.

In many countries, soy based foods are consumed with seaweed containing foods or traditionally made broths, which both have high nutrient concentration and can help mitigate the harmful effects of the soy.

An Inferior Protein Source

Besides the lectin and phytic acid in soybeans, they aren’t the complete protein source they are touted to be. Like all beans, they lack the amino acids Methionine and Cystine. While they are often promoted for being able to provide Vitamin B-12 to those eating a vegetarian diet, the Vitamin B-12 in soybeans can not be used by the body and actually cause the body to need more B-12.

As I often say about grains a beans: there are no nutrients in these foods that can’t be found in higher amounts in meats, vegetables and healthy fats, so stick to those and avoid the lectins and phytic acid!

A Note on Fermented Soy

If you are going to consume soy, it is least harmful in its fermented state. Foods like Tempeh and Miso have some health promoting properties and many of the harmful anti-nutrients are fermented out. These are fine in moderation. Just look for ones that have been traditionally fermented. (I, the Gluten Free Salafi have not investigated fermented products. a) I don’t have time and b) I’m not too bothered. For me it’s easier to just refrain from all stuff although I have had soya containing products lately hence by I think I’ve wrongly accused potatoes of being my problem. I’m sorry dear spuds, really I am!)

Soy is Everywhere!

If you stay away from tofu and soymilk, you might still be consuming much more soy than you think!

Practically all processed foods contain some form of soy. Even some canned tuna contains a soy protein as part of the broth! (Hey woah, GFS here and if I buy tinned tuna it’s in spring water only. Or at least that’s what the tin says only to me tinned tuna tastes like metal, Gack). Check the foods you buy for these ingredients: Soy lecithin, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, texturized vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein or any other phrase containing the word “soy.”

Foods containing any of these ingredients contain soy and all the harmful components that go along with it!

What are your thoughts? Do you consume soy? Have you in the past? Tell me below! (Wellness Mama wants to know but if you wanna comment here then feel free, I’m not fussed and it would be interesting to see what readers thought. Alternatively you can email me or drop me a message if you have my personal details).

How To Maintain Eemaan During Menses

20 Jan
Every month, most women have a menstrual cycle which lasts approximately 3-5 on average but can continue for up to 10 days in some circumstances and this may be the norm for some women.
During the early days of the menstrual cycles or the few days or week or two leading up to it many women may suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). There are many different symptoms and they vary from person to person and can even change each month.There are numerous symptoms which can be physical, psychological or behavioural and below the most common are listed:

Physical:
Feeling bloated, menstrual cramps, tenderness or soreness, back pains particularly in the lower back, dizziness, weight gain, feeling tiredPsychological:
Mood swings, crying for little or no reason, feeling depressed, feeling angry, feeling paranoid, restlessness, increased levels of stress

Behavioural:
Loss of appetite or craving for ‘comfort’ or sugary foods

Personally, I believe a good clean diet can help elevate most, if not all of these symptoms and inshaaAllaah, if you don’t do this already then in the future you will see the benefits of doing so.

However, this post will focus on discussing how to maintain your eemaan during the menstrual cycle so we will put diet aside for the moment. As already stated, symptoms of PMS can occur leading upto the menses and during this time a woman can still worship Allaah so things don’t usually seem too bad. Once the cycle begins, acts of ibaadah (worship) such as fasting and praying cease as we have been commanded by Allaah and His messenger salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.

If a woman is devout and worships Allaah regularly, prays her obligatory prayers and the sunnah prayers, she fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, she recites the Qur’aan daily, prays tahajjud regularly and makes dhikr often then when she is suddenly not praying or doing any of these actions, it is not unusual for her to feel like she has been distanced from Allaah a little.
Now combine this lack of worship with a bad mood, anger, physical pain, tiredness and so on. She may begin to feel depressed and this is not uncommon. During these days of ‘darkness’ or depression, which remember, can last up to 10 days for some women, her eemaan may decrease. Allaahul musta’aan.

It is therefore important for the Muslim woman to know what she can and can’t do when she is on her menses and to do as much as she can to maintain her eemaan and avoid becoming depressed or in a state of anxiety.

The following is a list of things I recommend a menstruating woman to do and each one has been successful for Muslim women, alhamdulillaah:

1) Make du’aa – just because you’re menstruating it doesn’t mean Allaah stops hearing you, it doesn’t mean that this direct conversation from you to Him is suddenly no longer available. Allaah can hear us all when we call upon him and we ask from him.
Download and listen to this audio by Abu Khadeejah to learn more about the six occasions when du’aa is accepted and there is a lilttle more information to benefit from inshaaAllaah.

2) Remember Allaah and make dhikr – We should be doing this regularly anyway. When we do daily chores we should get into the habit of making dhikr. Even when we’re walking to the shops and so on, we need to keep our tongues busy with the rememberance of Allaah. Saying SubhaanAllaah, Alhamdulillaah, Allaahu Akbar, seeking Allaah’s forgiveness, saying Subhaanallaahi wa bihamdi hi, Subhaanallaahil adheem and so on. There are so many rewards to gain from these small supplications.
Download and listen to this FREE audio by Abu Talhah Dawood Burbank rahimahullaah on the benefits of Dhikr

3) Recite the Qur’aan or read from it – There is a difference of opinion amongst the ‘ulema is a menstruating woman can physically hold the Qur’aan with her bare hands, if she can recite from the Qur’aan and so on. We normally find that it i mostly a cultural thing whereby people say a woman cannot hold the Qur’aan and they forbid her from doing so and from reading it. Further down this page there is a book called “Regulations of worship during menses” by Muhammad al-Jibaly and you can buy it from the Salafi Bookstore. In this book it discusses the evidences for and against the permissibililty for a woman who is mentrusting to handle the Qur’aan. In conclusion, they say that it is permissible for her to touch, hold and read from the Qur’aan. If you don’t have this book already, then I advise you to buy it inshaaAllaah, it’s only £5.95 and there’s a direct link for it below the image.

4) Read books – There’s plenty of authentic ones to buy

5) Download and listen to authentic audios via Troid, salafiaudio and so on.

6) Listen to the recitation of Qur’aan, you can even listen and read the translation on youtube, so many of us can do this via our mobile phones so we don’t even need to be sat at a computer.

7) Read the tafseer of the Qur’aan, try to understand it if you don’t know Arabic

8) Wake up for tahajjud – whether you used to do it before or not. I know you can’t pray but this is a time when we know there is a great reward in worshipping Allaah. We know du’aas have a better chance of being accepted if they are done during the last third of the night. Sometimes you might spend the night tossing and turning so if you’re awake anyway, you may as well be upright, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.
Learn more about tahajjud prayer here.

8 points have been mentioned for now but there are many more beneficial things a woman can do to maintain her eemaan and to make herself feel better. Below, there is a quote from a sister who has experienced many of the symptoms of PMS and with her permission I am able to share her experience in maintaining her eemaan so you can see how easy it is. I have heard a few sisters say similar things and there has always been great benefit for each of them.

“I find that it is easier for me to wake up during the night and then stay awake after Fajr. This is the time when I prefer to recite Qur’aan when the house is quiet and I won’t be disturbed or called away and look after those who depend on me. I normally do this but when I am menstruating I become very irritable and I tend to have a short temper. Not praying used to make me upset. Towards the end of my menses I would become impatient because I just wanted to start praying already, I felt like I lost my relationship with Allaah.

I pray all my Sunnahs everyday and try hard not to miss them and I found that when I wasn’t able to pray I used to waste time instead or treat it as if I was on a ‘break’. I didn’t realise it then but it was the worst thing I could do. Instead I decided to wake up for tahajjud as this was something I used to do. Instead of making wudhu and praying I just sat up and made du’aa for a while. Then I did some dhikr. I wasn’t too tired so I decided to read a few pages of Qur’aan until I got tired and wanted to rest. I went to sleep and when I woke up I felt quite energetic and in a very good mood. SubhaanAllaah, it’s amazing how even the smallest amount of worship can make you feel good. For me, it was better than abandoning all acts of worship completely. The next night I felt very tired so stayed in my bed and just did some dhikr, I woke up that morning feeling quite content. The third night I was too tired and felt unwell but I knew I had a good intention and I know my body has a right over me so I decided to stay asleep. I learnt that even if I don’t continuously worship Allaah or make dhikr regularly, even the smallest amount can have a positive impact on my day.

I woke up after the  third day still feeling content because I know Allaah wanted me to rest and I didn’t feel guilty after already making attempts to maintain my eemaan. Alhamdulillaah this is something I try to implement each month and I advise other sisters to do the same.”

So there we have it. It seemed like very little effort to this sister but the impact on her was greater than she expected.

The book I mentioned earlier concerning the evidences to say a woman can read from the Qur’aan during menses:

51jfrb6OExL._SL500_AA300_

You can buy this book from the Salafi Bookstore for £5.95 by clicking here.

May Allaah grant all the Muslim women success, sabr and ease during the monthly cycle. May He have Mercy on us and make it easy for us to remember Him during times of hardship and ease and make us from those who do righteous deeds no matter what state we’re in and grant us Jannatul Firdous. Allaahumma aameen!

Sisters: Islamic Health and Well Being

20 Jan

The information below has been taken from a khutbah delivered by our elder brother and Ustaadh (Teacher) Abu Khadeejah and it is from the first of his series of lessons for sisters held on Saturday mornings. He quotes the works of Ibn al-Qayyim, Imaam adh-Dhahabee and Imaam as-Sa’dee and makes references to hadeeths from the Prophet Muhammad salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam and quotes some of Allaah’s beautiful verses and having Tawakkul in Allaah’s cures in their various forms.

Some of this was mentioned in the previous audio from which notes were written in this post and I’ve repeat those points below and include further information from the titled audio.

Ibn al-Qayyim  mentions that since health is one of the most precious favours that Allaah has bestowed upon his creation once a person has entered Islaam, then it is fitting that whomoever is granted a portion of this fortune of good health, that he cherishes it and he preserves it against harm.

Imaam Al-Bukhaareee narrated from Abdullaah ibn Abbaas radhiAllaahu anhumma that the Prophet Muhammad salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam said that there are two bounties regarding which many of the people have become neglectful or that they are unaware and neglectful – that is, having good health and free time.

Ibn al-Qayyim also mentions that the foundations of medicine (medicine of the body) is of three types or of three basic fundamentals:
1. The preservation of health
2. A diet that avoids that which causes harm to the body
3. Removing harmful matter from the body.

In the past, when a person became sick, we would look at what he ate in order to find out what caused him this harm. We also know that as Muslims, Allaah has 99 names that have been revealed to us and from those names is Ash-Shaafee, The One Who Heals. So we should call upon Allaah by this name when we seek to be cured from some illness.

From Aaishah radhiyallaahu anhaa, the Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to visit a sick person he used to say: Remove the harm, O Lord of the people. Heal for you are the healer. There is no healing that avails except for your healing. A healing that leaves behind no ailment. (Bukhaaree and Muslim).

So this hadeeth contains a seeking of a cure from any illness such as terminal cancer, diabetes, obesity, paralysis and so on. Allaah is the One who cures the diseases of the hearts such as rancour, hatred and forbidden desires.
Ibn al-Qayyim mentions that diseases are of two types, diseases of the heart and the body. The diseases of the heart are cured by acts of obedience and worship. There are two types of diseases of the heart: shahawaat (desires, those to commit sin such as fornication, stealing, lying, gambling etc) and shubahaat (doubts brought by the disbelivers and innovators by putting doubts in your mind about Allaah and the Sunnah and these are cured by seeking knowledge). And of course the sickness of the body is cured by eating good and refraining from eating harmful things.

Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

وَإِن يَمۡسَسۡكَ ٱللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ۬ فَلَا ڪَاشِفَ لَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۖ وَإِن يَمۡسَسۡكَ بِخَيۡرٍ۬ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬

And if Allaah touches you with harm, none can remove it but Him, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things. (Al-An’am, 6:17)

*It is narrated in the Saheehayn that the Messenger of Allaah salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam said: “Allaah has not sent down a disease except that He has also sent down its cure.”

*Abu Hurairah: Allaah’s Apostle said, “If a fly falls in the vessel of any of you, let him dip all of it (into the vessel) and then throw it away, for in one of its wings there is a disease and in the other there is healing (antidote for it) ie. the treatment for that disease.”(Bukhaaree).

Hadeeth in Abu Daawood from Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas: That whomsoever visits the sick person and his time of death has not come yet and he says in his presence the following seven times: “I ask Allaah the Magnificent, the Lord of the Magnificent throne to cure you” Allaah will cure him from that illness.

The power of du’aa should not be underestimated.

Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ‌ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعۡوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ‌ۖ

And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor) (Al-Baqarah, 2:186)

Allaah also says:

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانِ مَا هُوَ شِفَآءٌ۬ وَرَحۡمَةٌ۬ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارً۬ا

And We send down from the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the Zaalimun nothing but loss. (Al-Isra 17:82)

Abu Khadeejah states that that from the means that bring about cure is the Qur’aan itself. That is, reciting it, reading it, pondering over it and understanding it. He then adds that the Qur’aan should not be written down and put around your neck (like a tawees or as an amulet, this is a bid’ah) – when you go to the Doctors and he writes you a prescription you don’t take the prescription home and put it under your pillows! Rather, you take the medicine, similarly, you recite the Qur’aan. Read the translation and tafseer if you do not understand the Arabic language.

Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ قَدۡ جَآءَتۡكُم مَّوۡعِظَةٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّڪُمۡ وَشِفَآءٌ۬ لِّمَا فِى ٱلصُّدُورِ وَهُدً۬ى وَرَحۡمَةٌ۬ لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ

O mankind, indeed there has come to you an admonition from your Lord and the cure for that which is in the chest and a guidance and a mercy for the believers (Yunus 10:57)

Allaah also says:

قُلۡ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدً۬ى وَشِفَآءٌ۬‌ۖ

Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing.(Fussilat: 41:44)

There are cures mentioned in this audio as well as supporting evidences but for now inshaaAllaah I will conclude this audio here. InshaaAllaah, the cures from this will have their own posts and will have the following titles listed below. The posts will contain information from other sources such as Ibn al-Qayyim’s book on the Prophetic medicine and other benefial sources. Please look out for the posts, links will be added below once they have been created inshaaAllaah.
Sisters: Raw honey is a cure
Sisters: Raw milk is a cure
Sisters: Zam Zam is a cure
Sisters: Ruqyah is a cure best done on yourself

You can download this audio lecture for just 75p by following this link inshaaAllaah

*These quotations are mentioned in the audio but contain different sources and were either taken from the previous audio or as referenced.

A_sw_KRCAAAyo13.jpg large