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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!)

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“What really happened?”

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“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.

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

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

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From another angle it reads “FTake the tube out”

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

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“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

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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.

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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.

Benefits of Grapes

23 Jan

Grapes are brilliant and I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t like them! Admittedly I don’t think I like them in their dried form (raisins and sultanas) but I’m working on it… eventually… inshaaAllaah… baby steps…

I’m quite fussy when it comes to grapes. I don’t mind seeds but I have to say crunchy, crispy grapes are the best. I know I like crunchy and crispy foods but honestly, squidgy, over-ripe grapes aren’t the same. Unless they’re Italian grapes. Italian grapes are quite large and tend to come in bigger bunches, sadly supermarkets don’t really stock them as far as I’ve seen. They’re also sweeter and juicier.

I’ve had grapes for breakfast on numerous occasions. The best way to have them, I think is sliced in half (green and red/black grapes) with a drizzle of honey and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. And you can top it with a tiny amount of fresh corriander or parsley if you want. Of course you can just have it as a snack too. I sometimes add watermelon, galia melon, yellow melon or honey dew melon to the mix if I have some handy.

Grapes are also mentioned in the Qur’aan, Allaah says:

وَجَعَلۡنَا فِيهَا جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ۬ وَأَعۡنَـٰبٍ۬ وَفَجَّرۡنَا فِيہَا مِنَ ٱلۡعُيُونِ

And We have made therein gardens of date-palms and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein. (Ya-Sin 36:34)

Ibn al-Qayyim writes that the Prophet salallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam was reported to have liked eating grapes and watermelon. Allaah knows best if he salallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam them together but that’s not the reason why I eat grapes and melons together, in fact I didn’t even know of this quote until very recently and I’ve eaten this combo since about 2010 (strangely specific…)

#
A few more detailed health benefits of grapes:

  • Migraine. Home remedy for migraine is ripe grape juice. Should be taken pure (no additional water) early in the morning. (That’s the strangest thing, I’m pretty sure I’ve craved grapes several times when I’ve had a migraine in the past but I neever knew this!)
  • Blood cholesterol. Pterostilbene , a compound present in grapes helps lower the cholesterol level. Saponins in grape skin prevents the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Grapes can enhance brain health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Kidney disorders. Grapes reduce the acidity of the uric acid and help eliminate the acid from the system thus reducing the pressure of the kidneys.
  • Heart disease. Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood which prevents blood clots thus reducing heart attack incidents. Antioxidants in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels.
  • Indigestion. Grapes prevent dyspepsia. They cure indigestion and irritation of the stomach.
  • Anticancer properties. Resveratrol acts as anti-inflammatory. Effective in breast and colorectal cancers. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins have properties of anti-proliferate which can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents.
  • Prevents cataract. Flavonoids in grapes reduce the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract apart from age related problems, heart disease and cancer.
  • Macular degeneration is age related loss of vision. Studies suggest 3 servings of grapes daily to lower the risk of macular degeneration by over 36%.
  • Asthma. Due to the high assimilatory power of grapes, moisture present in lungs increases. Grapes have therapeutic value for asthma.
  • Breast cancer. In a recent study, purple colored Concord grape juice helps prevent breast cancer. Experiment was conducted on laboratory rats. There was a significant reduction in breast tumor mass after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis.
  • Fatigue. It’s not the dark grape juice that gives an iron boost it’s the light and white grape juice that prevents fatigue because it replenishes the iron content in the body. So go for the light and white grape juice for boost not the dark one.
  • Antibacterial activity. Red grapes contain antibacterial and antiviral properties to protect you from infections. Its antiviral property is effective against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.

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:

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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.

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Benefits of Raw Honey

12 Jan

Honey is a natural cure mentioned in the Qur’aan, Allaah says:
…There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is a healing for men…
(Qur’aan, 16:69)

The following image was produced by Oasis Advanced Wellness

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Additional benefits of raw honey:
• Harmonize the liver
• Loaded with ‘good’ bacteria including Acidophilus
• Neutralize toxins
• Blood pressure
• Relieve pain
• Anti-Cancer properties
• Wipe out toxins that cause diarrhea
• Calm the nerves
• Digestion
• Anti-Allergenic
• Anti-Inflammatory
• Expectorant
• Laxative
• Ulcers
• Sedative
• Anti-Toxic
• Anti-Anemic
• Fever-Reducing

Honey Has Treated:
• Chronic Bronchitis
• Diabetes and blood sugar issues
• Asthmatic Bronchitis
• Bronchial Asthma
• Chronic Rhinitis
• Cholesterol
• Allergic Rhinitis
• Sinusitis
• Nerve Damage

Honey Throat Remedy
Symptoms: Course, Dry Cough, Hoarse throat
• Apple Cider Vinegar
• Raw Honey
• Water

Instructions: Gargle

Raw Honey Vitamins
• Vitamin A
• Beta-Carotene
• All of the B-Complex Vitamins
• Vitamins C, D, E and K
• Minerals magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper and manganese

Enzymes & Other Health Promoting Substances
• Raw honey contains live enzymes (these help your body break down foods and undigested particles)
• Proteins
• Carbohydrates
• Organic Acids
• Hormones
• Anti-microbrial factors
• Anti-biotic factors

Additional information was found from the following website and it contains other beneficial information: www.bee-pollen-buzz.com

Health of a Muslim

7 Jan

The information below has been taken from a khutbah delivered by our elder brother and Ustaadh (Teacher) Abu Khadeejah during December 2012. 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. Abu Khadeejah explains the importance of one of the two bounties which Allaah has blessed us with, that is, good health.

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.

Furthermore, Ibn al-Qayyim said if one looks at the medicine of Allaah and that which Allaah has sent to his Messenger salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam compared to the medicine that is practised by the people and that which they have found and invented. Then there is no doubt for anyone with any intellect and any knowledge of the Creator that there is no comparison between the two. That is, that which Allaah has sent down as a cure then there is no comparison between  that and that which the people have invented.

Imaam adh-Dhahabee said it is compulsory upon every Muslim to seek nearness to Allaah by way of every means that he is able to muster and gather together.
So a person must exert himself in fulfilling the commands and acts of obedience and after this he must keep away from that which Allaah has forbidden. The most beneficial means and the most successful path of nearness to Allaah for a person is to mainitain good health. And to treat sicknesses because the affiair of good health is something that is sought in the legislated supplications and acts of worship.

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.

Imaam as-Sa’dee says about this hadeeth that in general it encompases all illnesses whether hidden or aparent. There is a medicine that combats those diseases and illnesses either by prevention (preventative measures that bring about immunity), by curing the sickness completely or reducing effect of that sickness. In this there is an encouragment, from Allaah upon the tongue of the Messenger of Allaah salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam to learn the cures of the body just as you learn the cures of the heart.

The foundations of medicine or good health and well being are as follows:
1. Controlling and managing ones nourishment that one puts in their body (so that a person does not eat unless he has an appetite to eat)
2. That you completely digest the food that you have previously eaten
3. That you research, investigate and seek out the most nutricious foods available (in accordance with the state of particular lands, people and prevailing conditions)
4. That a person should never overeat so he becomes full as that will harm him and place a burden upon his digestion.

Ibn al-Qayyim said, over 700 years ago, that a person may eat and eat and that eating will bring about illness upon his body because he eats beyond his capacity. To the point that he damages his heart. Something that we see happening now, one our Scholars in Islaam spoke about it centuries ago!

Imaam as-Sa’dee says a person should take to limiting the range of food that he eats and the amount he eats. He said watch your diet and avoid harmful amounts of food so you do not eat more than what you need. Avoid food that causes harm or eating food at certain times when it will cause harm. Then if possible he should expel that which is harmful from his body. In this way he attains the desired result and this is all without immediate recourse to drugs.

There is a hadeeth where we have been told if a person is sick or upon a journey then it is written for him, that is his deeds are written as if he was healthy or a resident. This means when a person becomes sick, that blessing of good health that Allaah has given him, it has been withdrawn from him. For example, he may have taken the means that have led to that benefit and that bounty from Allaah being taken away from him.
So, if he was righteous and worshipped Allaah plentifully when he was in good health, then it will be written for him when he is sick as if his deeds were when he was healthy.

The Prophet of Allaah, salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam said Your health before your illness. Which means take account of your health before your illness. How? When Allaah gives you good health, try to maintain it, don’t abuse it and in that time when you have good health, worship Allaah and performs acts of worship that would be difficult for you if you were sick.

Ibn al-Qayyim also mentions that illnesses are caused by consuming more food before the previous meal has been digested. And this is one of the diseases of our era, an example being obesity. In a hadeeth, the Prophet salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam said (paraphrased) That the best of mankind is my generation, the those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then he mentioned that there will become people who will become fat upon the land. Eat and indulge beyond what they need and harm themselves and unable to worship Allaah because they have brought illness upon themselves.

This is something that we see today. Scientists are discovering that people can be obese and malnourished at the same time. How can someone be big, overwight, eat so much food yet be malnourished in this day and age when we have so much food available?? It’s simple, they’re not eating good quality food or food with good nutritional value
Ibn al-Qayyim even talks about excessive foods which are slow to digest and complex in their composition. That is, that they contain many ingredients and I’m sure you’ll agree! Even the most basic of foods contain added preservatives that cause us problems yet have nothing good to add to our bodies.

In this day and age, filling ones belly with these foods has become a habit. Some of the illnesses that result from this come to an end slowly and others, more swiftly. We need to be moderate and only take what we need. We need to maintain a balance of quantity and quality and then the body will benefit instead of consuming large amounts of foods. Attention should be given to quality, not quantity.

We’re told in a hadeeth that a person eats to maintain the uprightness of his spine. We shouldn’t be the sort of person who eats and finds it difficult to worship Allaah as a result of overeating as it brings harm to the body, heart, limbs and internal organs.

We know from authentic hadeeths that our body has a right over us. We need to preserve our body so you can preserve our ibaadah, read the Qur’aan and not fall asleep. So we can make Hajj and Umrah without illnesses and harm which we have brought upon ourselves. Our body is a means for us to worship Allaah.

No matter how difficult it may seem now, a person of eemaan does not give up hope. Trust in Allaah, do not despair. Do not become inattentive or unaware of two affiairs: good health and free time.

You can download this audio lecture for just 75p by following this link inshaaAllaah. In case you’re not familiar with Salafiaudio.com it’s probably worth you buying audio credits, that way you can just download one item at a time. If you pay by debit card there’s a minimum purchase requirement. It’s worth browsing the site inshaaAllaah as there are so many beneficial lectures there.

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