16 March 2010
02 March 2010
Well...Sunday was an eventful day for me, alhamdulilah!!! I became the new Mrs. Ahamed!! I'm so happy and feel so blessed by Allah (SWT)! It almost didn't happen tho...
LAST Sunday (not this past one), we were going to get married, and when I told my parents, my stepfather was furious. He said we must not take our marriage vows seriously since we want to get married so quickly. He also said that if I get married I have to move out (I'm living with my parents). We tried to explain how things work in Islam (get married first, quickly, to avoid any haram- prohibited- activities, such as pre-marital sex; holding hands; hugging; etc). And, that I can't move yet for a few reasons (one being financial, as it costs extra to move than it does for just your month-to-month bills, and one has to save that up along with paying their current bills; not to mention it'd be too stressful while I'm in classes). He said we shouldn't get married then. My mom told me to go ahead and get married and just not tell my stepdad....so that's what we did this past Sunday.
I have been grinning from ear to ear since then. I am just so happy, and I praise Allah (SWT) for His many blessings He has bestowed upon me. Allah (SWT) is truly akbar!
A little background on my husband: His mom is from the United Arab Emirates and his father is from Nigeria. My husband, however, was raised in Saudi Arabia, by his parents, and with 10 siblings. He is very strong in his faith, and just an amazing man, masha'Allah. He is very affectionate, loving, polite, intelligent, funny, talented, etc. He speaks 7 languages, masha'Allah, and helps me with my Arabic. He is very patient with me. Ha, I so love this man! Allahu akbar!
So, I just had to share my happiness with everyone!
16 February 2010
It has been a while since I posted a blog, but that is because I've been very busy, masha'Allah. As mentioned before, the Islamic Ummah Club became official this semester at my college...alhamdulilah! Well, I've been busy with classes and with the club. Oh, and a social justice retreat that I attended as well. So, let me try to catch you up on everything, insh'Allah.
First, I'll talk about the retreat. The retreat was organized by many of the colleges in PA, and was held in Altoona. It lasted from Friday until Sunday and we learned about social injustice in America. We learned about oppression, and how to become an ally for non-privileged group, etc. Let me explain about the privileged classes. In America, we have different classes...whether based on race, gender, socio-economic class, religion, etc. Some classes are considered "privileged" (i.e. caucasions; men; affluent; Christians; etc). Most of us fit into at least one of the privileged classes, but we can learn to be allies with others in the non-privileged class. For example, I am white, that is the privileged class I fall into...but, I can be an ally to those that are not white, by doing things like speaking out when someone tells a racist joke. That's just one small example. I watched a movie on how entertainment (particularly hip-hop, but any sort of media as well really), really oppresses people...with the language; the misogyny; etc (what I really found interesting about the movie was it pointed out that the people that own hip-hop labels, or magazines, etc tend be older, rich, white men). We also discussed how to be more effective leaders by being and teaching tolerance. Anyhow, it was an excellent experience, and I met so many wonderful people. Later, in another blog post, insh'Allah, I will tell you about the game we played called "Archie Bunker's Neighborhood"...right now I'm pressed for time and want to tell you the rest of what has been going on.
Last month I was interviewed for the school newspaper about the Islamic Ummah Club, masha'Allah. The article was printed in this month's school paper. Alhamdulilah, the article, overall, was wonderful. The writer did a fantastic job, I think, masha'Allah. However, there has been some issues with the article...not because of the writer...but because she also talked to the President and VP of the Christian Student Fellowship Club, and quoted them as well. What they had to say was not very flattering. The Pres of the CSF, when asked if he would ever be willing to work with the Islamic Ummah Club on multi-faith projects/fundraisers, he said no, they would never work with us. The VP (and Student Gov't Senator) commented that he thinks the IUC will lead people away from God and "to hiding explosives under their jackets." He also said that Muslims are afraid of "their" God and that we are out to make our God happy...he stated "I don't know what that entails, but one thing is martyrdom I think." First, let me say, I am VERY glad the writer put this in the article. In the beginning of the article, I am quoted as saying the purpose of the club is to help educate non-Muslims about Islam and to help overcome these misconceptions. These quotes clearly illustrate the reason we established this club. Secondly, I am sure they are not the only ones on campus that believe these things about Islam...however, most people will just keep it to themselves instead of saying something aloud....so this gives us the chance to bring these issues out in the open so we can address them, masha'Allah. I'm pleased to say that the SGA (Student Gov't) Pres and VP both have apologized to our club (even though they had nothing to do with the quotes) and said they are reporting this to the Ethics and PR committees on campus. The PR person also told me that they will be printing a public apology to the club and all Muslims in next month's paper. A small group of us from the club approached the VP of the CSF and we explained to him that Islam does not teach, nor condones, terroristic acts; and I personally invited him to our meetings (although I seriously doubt he will ever come).
The other thing I wanted to mention was that today we had our first fundraiser. It was a bake and food sale. It went wonderfully, alhamdulilah! We had rice and (halal) beef; we had couscous with chicken; naan and hummus, and an assortment of desserts. We sold out of the entrees...and early on! So, insh'Allah, the next time we have a food sale, we will have to make more food. :) I was so excited about how well it turned out. We made almost $300! Allahu akbar!
So, that is about everything for now. I wanted to update you all on what has been going on. May Allah (SWT) continue to guide and bless us all, Ameen.
19 January 2010
Ya Ikhwani! We are in need of your assistance. Our country has been hit by an act of nature that has left our people with countless deaths, homeless, without water, food, blood and medication.
All of our hospitals have crumbled, we have piles of people in the streets dead. Some people have had to have their limbs removed without aesthetics. Makeshift hospitals are being made with tents but there are not enough doctors or medication for the amount of injured.
The smell of dead bodies has risen in the entire city, the people have become desperate of the situation.
(cont'd. at the link)
15 January 2010
I am sooooo excited!! Our Islamic Ummah Club has FINALLY been approved and is an "OFFICIAL" club on campus. Alhamdulilah! Allahu akbar!!! Really...all praises are for Allah (SWT) for making this possible. :)
*btw, "ummah" means "community" for any non-Muslims reading this*
I was also contacted today by a writer for the school newspaper. She would like to do an article in next month's paper, on the club. Alhamdulilah! What a great way to get our name out there to the student body, to let others know that this club now exists.
There's so much I want to see this club accomplish, insh'Allah. So far, here are the things we hope to do this semester:
1. Establish a prayer room on campus for ALL faiths.
2. Have monthly Islamic Info Tables set up, with free Qur'an give-aways, as well as bake sales.
3. A t-shirt sale, with two designs to choose from (one Islamic theme, and one Religious Tolerance theme).
4. Set up a website to also sell the shirts.
5. Help donate items for the Haiti relief efforts.
6. Sponsor a needy Muslim family in the local community.
7. Have dinner at La Kasbah Moroccan restaurant again (during spring break).
8. Take a trip to Philly and visit some historical sights, and shop at some Islamic stores.
9. Have a guest speaker on campus at the end of the semester, to talk on the similarities between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
10. Participate in the annual Amani Festival; a multi-cultural celebration.
11. Have a car wash as a fundraiser, on campus.
I have been so busy trying to get this together. It's a lot of work, masha'Allah. But, I am loving every second of it. It's a great feeling of accomplishment, just having the club approved, and to know we can now move forward with educating others about Islam. Insh'Allah, this club will be successful, and the semester will be great.
I just had to share this wonderful news.
For anyone that is interested, we have a FB group page here:
12 December 2009
I am a full-time college student. On my campus, there are different student clubs/organizations. A few months ago, as you may know, I wanted to have a fundraiser for "Pink Hijab Day" (to raise awareness for breast cancer...the money would have gone to the Susan G. Komen foundation). I was informed that since I was not part of a student club/organization, I was not authorized to hold a fundraiser on campus. Soooo....
I asked about having an Islamic club on campus, and was told to go ahead. So, I have been working on that since October. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of Muslims on campus that are helping out. We finally have gotten approval from the Student Government Association, to become an "official" club. We still need approval from the Dean of Student Services, but I don't think that will be a problem, insh'Allah (Allah willing).
One of the first orders of business we are already working towards is having a Prayer Room established on campus, for ALL faiths. As a Muslim, it is obligatory for us to pray five times a day, but there is no quiet area for us to do so on campus. I am also sure that the Christians, Jews, etc would like to have a quiet room where they can pray, read their Holy Books, and/or meditate as well...without causing a distraction to anyone else, and without being distracted by anyone. We have already started working on a petition. Insh'Allah, we will be able to get it approved.
Last week, a professor that teaches "Comparative Religions" asked if I, or someone from the club, would be willing to talk to his class about Islam. I said I'd ask around. Well, I was nominated as the one that should give the presentation. I did so earlier this week...it took an hour (would have been a bit shorter, but had technical difficulties with the PowerPoint equipment). I was very nervous...especially when I walked into the class and seen this guy that had basically interrogated me a few months back about why I was Muslim. Afterward, students asked q's (including that one guy...he asked quite a few), but alhamdulilah, nothing that I couldn't answer. Another professor that also teaches "Comparative Religions" saw the outline I had used for the presentation, asked if I would be willing to do a presentation for his "Comparative Religions" class next semester. I said sure, insh'Allah. (ha, turns out, that same professor will be my Philosophy professor next semester, as well, lol).
I am blessed, alhamdulilah. All this has got me thinking though. For a while, I have been contemplating wantint to write sisters that are incarcerated...and insh'Allah, one day visiting them, and having halaqas (study groups) if I can get approval for it. Well, another sister suggested we both become female Muslim Chaplains. This has been playing on my mind a lot. If you look further back in my blogs here, you will see that I had considered going to school for Islamic Studies, at an Islamic university. I pushed the idea to the side after a while. But, here I am again, masha'Allah...wondering if maybe I should follow this path. I will have to do some research, but maybe I could still major in Psychology, but then get a minor in Islamic studies. Being an actual chaplain requires 6 years of school...so I was thinking if I just minor in Islamic Studies, I could still be able to assist in some manner, at the female prisons, but without having to do all the additional schooling, insh'Allah.
I am also left being conflicted about my relationship with my fiance. He is Muslim as well, masha'Allah...however, he is not as strong in his deen as I would like. This has become more of a problem lately, for me. I've tried to discuss it with him, but it's like he doesn't really take me (or Islam) seriously. I am far from perfect...but, I want to continue to strive to be a better Muslim. So, I am stuck, not knowing what to do...I love him...but I have to (and do) love Allah (SWT) and Islam more.
Well, that is it for now, I just wanted to post an update on what's going on, since I haven't really done a blog post in a while.
29 October 2009
Yesterday was Pink Hijab Day for breast cancer awareness. A few sisters and I, at my campus all wore pink hijabs. I also had a table set up with breast cancer informatin, along with informatino on Islam, alhamdulilah! See...I'm trying to start an Islamic club on my campus...there are quite a few Muslims that attend the college, and I have come across misperceptions that non-Muslims have about Islam. I figured, insh'Allah, this will be a good way to establish dialogue between the Muslims and non-Muslims to help clear up some of the misperceptions. To set up a club and have it become "official," I have to have at least ten students interested in being members, and a faculty member that wishes to serve as an Advisor.
I figured Pink Hijab Day would be the perfect time to get news out about the upcoming club and to gain "potential members." Alhamdulilah....I had over 35 people sign up for the club yesterdaay!!!! Allahu akbar! AND...a Professor stopped by the table and said she wants to be the Advisor! Yeah! Allah (SWT) is truly wonderful!
Insh'Allah, I hope to have a guest speaker in November. I know a sister that went on Hajj and she had told me she'd be willing to speak to the group about her expeirence at Hajj and to share her pictures with us. :) I also hope to have a small Eid celebration on 30th Nov (we don't have classes the week of the 27th), insh'Allah. If anyone has any suggestions on what I can do for that, please let me know!! This is my first Eid al-Adha, so I'm not sure what all would be a good idea to do for the celebration.
The other big task that I'd like the club to accomplish is to set up a prayer room on campus. This can prove to be a bit difficult. I had previously spoke to one of the faculty about this and was told it would not be possible due to space limitations. However, I am thinking....insh'Allah, if I can get a petition started and enough people sign, something can be worked out. The prayer room would be for all major (Abrahamic) faiths, not just the Muslims (I figure I'd have a better chance of getting an "okay" if I make it available to everyone). The idea actually came from a brother that stopped by the table yesterday...he said at another school he had been to, they had a prayer room, and one section had Bibles and was for the Christians, another section had Torahs for the Jews, and a third area had Qur'ans and prayer rugs for the Muslims. I think this would be a good idea, and insh'Allah, proposing a room such as this would more likely be okay'd by the higher-ups on the campus. There is a Christian Fellowship Student Club also on campus, and I was considering contacting the President of that club to see if he (and his club) would be interested in joining the petition efforts for the prayer room.
If anyone has any suggestions/ideas/opinions/etc, feel free to let me know.