Worth-it Travel with Fam

AsSalam Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

So last month, I traveled to the East with my parents for a 3-week vacation. It was a wonderful experience although we were trapped in a typhoon during the tour in the last week. Basically I’m blogging these to share ideas in case you want to go for a vacation and explore new places.

First week: Philippines

According to our dear friend Wikipedia, “The Philippines is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.” (See more here in Wikipedia)

I stayed in Manila, which is the capital city of the country. Phlippines by the way is a non-Islamic country. Christianity or Roman Catholic is the most practiced religion there. People practicing Islam are less than 10% and they are living mainly in the southern part of the country. This explains why it was so rare to see hijabis around me. Nevertheless, it didn’t make me feel awkward at all. It made me feel protected even. My heart is jumping for joy whenever I see people wearing hijabs around me. My family, who are not Muslims by the way, are so supportive of me wearing my hijab and regarding food preferences Alhamdulillah.

Searching for halal foods was a challenge but there are halal restaurants nearby and some supermarkets in the mall are selling halal chicken or beef. I preferred to eat at home because the dishes cooked by my mother is the best. I spent almost everyday eating seafoods.

There are no prayer rooms in the mall so I used the breastfeeding stations/rooms for praying. It’s a perfect spot because they are making sure each cubicles are clean, the space is big enough for me to do my prayers and most of the time it’s quiet because all babies are feeding. Haha. I just had to talk nicely to the person in charge to allow me. I tried using fitting rooms before but some are a little bit small and doesn’t give me enough space to do Rukoo.

Second week: Singapore

It’s not my first time to go to Singapore, I think 3rd or 4th, and I will keep on coming back there if I have the chance. In Shaa Allah. Singapore is a very small country but it has so many nice places to visit. On top of that, I always love to be in Singapore because there are many Muslims, hijabis everywhere! Masjids and halal restaurants are easy to find. The malls have food section that offers halal foods and best thing is they are separating the utensils used for halal and non-halal foods. Alhamdulillah!

Cutlery is STRICTLY for HALAL food consumption ONLY.  I am so happy!

This photo was taken in  Changi Airport. This airport always amazes me because it is so beautiful, clean, organized and always have new things to look forward to.

Ma Shaa Allah!

Most of the time, I was staying at my brother’s home. I was making the most of my time playing with my so adorable nieces. We went for a weekend staycation in a hotel though near the airport. In case you will be coming here, Capri by Fraser hotel residences is a good place to stay for a weekend private bonding with your family. This hotel is near the airport but a little bit far from the famous tourist spots. Within the area is a mall which has halal foods and outlet shops for brands like Nike, Clarks and so on.

Third Week: Back to Philippines for a tour

The last week of my vacation was spent back in Philippines but out of the city. We travelled by land for 8 hours going to the North. It was almost ruined because of the typhoon but Alhamdulillah we were able to visit some places and the beach!

Notice the clouds, they are about to cry! Haha. I’m out of the sandbox! Yey! Unfortunately this photo doesn’t give justice to the real beauty of the beach. SubhanAllah!

They have this sand dunes experience but I was so scared to do it. (My 62-year old aunt did!) I just jumped in this truck to have this photo taken. Lol

A week ago, I came back here in the sandbox and I was welcomed with a 42 deg C temperature! Let me go back to the beeeeaaaccchh!! Lol.

Alhamdulillah for the safe travels and fun adventures with the family.

I am looking forward to another travel and top of my list now are Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and Jordan. In shaa Allah ❤️

 

 

My Ramadan-Eid Update

AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

Yey! I finally got time to lay my hands on my laptop and write something here in my blog after being M-I-A for quite sometime. Well, I intended not to write anything during Ramadan as I mentioned in my previous post and I got so busy fixing things after the Eid. Unfortunately, couple of days ago, I was having high grade fever due to viral illness, I think. I’m self-diagnosing here. HAHA. Well, because I didn’t have any significant clinical symptoms to worry of except that I think my body didn’t tolerate the 45-50 degrees Celcius temperature nowadays here in Saudi. It is way too hot to go outside during daytime! And when we opt to go out at night, there is humidity that makes us sweaty and sticky! Yikes! But don’t worry, I am feeling better now,  Alhamdulillah.

By the way, Eid Mubarak everyone!

I hope that everybody achieved their Ramadan goals and enjoyed Eid Al-Fitr celebrations!

May Allah accept our good deeds, forgive our transgressions and answer our prayers. Amin Ya Rabb!

May Allah make us reach and experience more Ramadan ahead. Amin Ya Rabb!

Late last year, my husband and I moved to a new apartment and we chose to live near a masjid because we love hearing the Adhan and the prayers. The masjid is a 3-minute walk from our building. So during the Ramadan this year, it was so easy for us to go for Taraweeh and Tahajjud. Alhamdulillah.

There is a hadith regarding women’s praying at home than going in the masjid that goes:

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A woman’s prayer in her room is better than her prayer in her courtyard, and her prayer in her cabinet is better than her prayer in her room.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 570; al-Tirmidhi, 1173. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/136). 

But why did I go to the masjid for Taraweeh and Tahajjud? Definitely not to show off people that I am praying, instead because I felt it is more beneficial for me. I searched and read different fatwas about it and here are some I came across with.

There is nothing wrong with a woman praying Taraweeh or other prayers in the mosque, with the congregation of men, especially if that will be more effective in encouraging her to offer a lengthy prayer, and will help her to do that regularly, even if offering prayers – both obligatory and supererogatory – at home is better for her – in principle – than her offering prayers in the mosque. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

What is the Islamic ruling on a woman praying Taraweeh in the mosque? 

He replied: The basic principle with regard to a woman’s prayer is that her home is preferable and better for her, but if she thinks that there is an interest to be served by praying in the mosque, so long as she covers herself properly, because that is more motivating for her, or because she can benefit from listening to lessons, then there is nothing wrong with that, praise be to Allah. It is also good because of what it involves of great benefits and encouraging people to do righteous deeds.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: 

It is better for her to pray Taraweeh at home, but if praying in the mosque is more motivating for her and helps her to focus better, and if she prays at home she fears that she may neglect her prayer, then in this case the mosque may be better. 

I had a permission from my husband as well to pray in the masjid. There was no issue regarding the mixing of men and women because the masjid has totally separate areas  and entrances for both. In fact, I was so happy during those times because I found a new friend, an old woman, who admires the reverts a lot and taught me of some things regarding prayer which I didn’t know from before. And Allah سبحانه و تعالى knows best.

So during the last few days of Ramadan, we went to Makkah for Umrah and visited Masjid An-Nabawi in Madinah. Alhamdulillah, Allah facilitated our travel. As expected, it was so crowded but Alhamdulillah it is indeed a great opportunity to be able to come back there. Our travel went smoothly except for the journey in the plane from Jeddah to Madinah where we experienced air turbulence, (just like the last time we travelled that we ended up in the airport’s clinic, Fasting + Air Turbulence + Motion Sickness). I was holding the vomit bag in my hand the whole time! It reminded me of the roller coaster ride I had when I was a kid which ended my love for rollercoasters. I hope this will not end my love for airplanes HAHA.

We stayed for 3 days in Makkah. We were there when the news about the foiled terrorist attack happened. I didn’t hear any blast because the hotel we stayed is away from the area but I noticed a lot of police cars and fire fighters’ siren more than the usual. It got me scared a little bit but my faith to my Creator Allah is greater. I know that He will not let any harm happen especially in the Al Masjid Al Haram.

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May Allah facilitate for every Muslim to come here and do Umrah and Hajj. Amin Ya Rabb!

We headed to Madinah one day before the Eid and stayed there for 4 days. Ahhh. the peace and tranquility of the city of Madinah, at last away from the noisy and busy life.  Hearing the Adhan and prayers from there give me a feeling of calmness. How I wish I can live there. The beauty of the Masjid An-Nabawi is really making me feel so delighted, overwhelming happiness it is.

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During the Eid, the people are already praying in the street and the lobby of the hotel where we stayed. The masjid was packed with worshippers. Children are all dressed up and they all looked adorable! As a revert, I only have my husband as my Muslim family so I was so happy when we celebrated it in Madinah. We celebrated with the Muslim Umma. Alhamdulillah!

Forgive me for my flight of ideas and so unorganized post. I really don’t have enough time to sit because I’m still busy taking care of the things left at home when we went for vacation and I am still trying to have enough rest and recuperate from my illness for I will be traveling again next week, somewhere in the far east and my much loved place  In Shaa Allah. 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Post before signing off

Two days before the month of Ramadan starts In shaa Allah. 

Allahuma Balighna Ramadan!

I have read a lot of beautiful reminders from the blogs I follow and I’m sure they will be helpful for me this coming Ramadan, Jazakum Allahu Khairan to all of you. May Allah reward you for your good deeds. Ya Rabb!

So let me have this last post before I take hiatus from blogging for a month.


I still have one pending Blue Sky Tag from Ashley of Muslimah According to Me (One of the blogs I always follow because she writes beautifully and her blog is so informative!) Thanks for nominating me! And because I know everybody is busy preparing for Ramadan, I will break the rule once again by not nominating anyone. lol

So here are my answers to Ashley’s questions:

1.Favorite breakfast food?

-Pancakes with overflowing pancake syrup! lol

2.Which ayah/surah of the Qur’an really goes to your heart?

-A lot! but I remember when I was new to Islam, I cried a lot when I read Surah Al-Qariah. 

3.Most interesting place you’ve ever visited?

The only places I would like to go back again and again and again, Makkah and Madinah In shaa Allah

4.What are your hobbies?

-reading books, baking, eating and sleeping haha

5.What word/phrase drives you bananas when people use it?

-not a word but this hand gesture the Arabs are using which means wait hehe

Wait

6.When do you do your best writing for your blog?

-whenever something comes into my mind

7.Which of the five daily prayers is your favorite?

-Fajr prayer

8.Where would you rather live, city or small, rural town?

City (City of Makkah and Madina) 

9.Your favorite summer fruit?

-Watermelon, although I get annoyed with the seeds hehe

10.What are you currently reading?

-I’m finishing now the Biography of Abu Bakr RA

11.What was you “dream job” as a kid?

-Doctor


I have decorated our house a little bit for the Ramadan. I bought these lanterns in a cheap shop while the candle holders are from before. Don’t worry, I am not forgetting that Ramadan is not for feasting but more of doing ‘Ibadaah.

Two years ago, I went to a symposium about preparation for Ramadan and I remember one of the things they talked about Ramadan divided into three parts – the first ten days, the middle and the last ten days. I will leave you with this:

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Image from QuranReading.com

Let’s spend this Ramadan as if it’s the last. Let’s give our best shot and aim to collect a lot of hasanats (credit for good deeds) In Shaa Allah!

May Allah accepts our fasting, good deeds and ‘Ibadaah. Ya Rabb!


P.S. I might go to Makkah for Umrah and visit Madina, In shaa Allah. If you have any specific dua you want me to ask, just email me through my contact.

Ramadan Mubarak! ❤️

Giving up is NOT an option!

It’s been quite some time since I started learning the Arabic Language but I’m still having difficulty. I know I cannot perfect it in an instant but sometimes, or should I say most of the time, I am feeling so hopeless already. Despite the fact that I am married to an Arabic-speaking man, we don’t have enough time to sit and discuss every details of the Arabic Language like a teacher does in school. Besides, I feel bad if I will take his time to take rest after his stressful work. But of course, I know he is more than willing to help me to learn. I can feel his support by providing for me books, computer programs and he is  always ready to answer whenever I have questions. Alhamdulillah.

Basicallly, I am learning this language without a formal class. I started watching videos in YouTube and then I tried to complete the Rosetta Stone, a computer program for learning different languages. I liked it at first but eventually I stopped because I thought it’s better to learn the language with the Qur’anic words because my sole purpose of learning Arabic is to be able to read the Qur’an and understand it. In Shaa Allah.

I am not good in online classes. I feel sleepy and bored. I don’t feel the hype or excitement when no human is around me, moreover, my eyes cannot tolerate to stare in the laptop screen for long time. I tried the Madinah Arabic program in YouTube but unfortunately I was not able to finish it.

I looked for a teacher who I can have a one on one class but it’s a little bit pricey that’s why now I’m back to studying myself online. It’s difficult for me but I don’t have other options. I came to the point when I just cried and felt sad. I felt my tongue just twisted and I was mispronouncing the letters.

I have basic knowledge in Arabic, I can read but in a slow pace. I can write as well but I always have the problem in spelling especially in the long and short vowels. I guess because my native language doesn’t deal with that. I want to increase my vocabulary as well so I can understand the Arabic words that I am reading. In shaa Allah.

I need to organize myself and put more effort in studying the Arabic Language. I feel guilty that I have wasted a lot of time already. I want to know which class best suits me. I have to step my foot forward and stop procrastinating because Allah will question me at the end. Astagfirullah . May Allah forgive me.

I will be so happy to know your studying tips for learning Arabic Language. I know each of us are different but who knows, maybe it will be good for me as well. Guess I have to try and try until I succeed. In shaa Allah.

May Allah increase me in knowledge and make it easy for me in learning the Arabic Language. Ya RAbb!

P.S. Can you mention some fatwa regarding reading the Qur’an along with the reciter from my ipod (a recorded audio) with the intention of getting used to the  words and as a reading practice? Is it permissible or forbidden? Jazakum Allahu Khairan. 

Have you?

AsSalam Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu my sisters and brothers in Islam!

Have you ever tried the Islamic Online University of Dr. Bilal Philips specifically the Free Diploma? What do you think of it and the courses in it?

Jazakumullahu Khairan!

A glimpse

Today I was clearing up my phone’s photo albums to save up some memory and I came across with these precious photos. It was indeed a blessing that Allah عز و جل facilitated for me an opportunity to visit the Holy Masjid of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Please don’t think that I am showing off for posting this, instead, I just want to share the experience I had and I am asking Allah to bring all the Muslims in the Holy City of Makkah and Madina. Ya Rabb!

I will not tell much details about our trip but if you want to ask some things, it will be my pleasure to answer you if I can. In shaa Allah.

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The beautiful view from my hotel room.

My husband and I went here last year during the holy month of Ramadan. Personally, I would like to live here. The surrounding is so serene and it keeps my heart at peace. SubhanAllah!

Luckily, there was an exhibit going on there last year when we went. I don’t have any idea if it is still open nowadays but I hope it is because it is so beneficial.

They had an exhibit of the 99 Names of Allah, The life of the Prophet Muhammadﷺ and the Holy Qur’an.

We were able to see the old hand-written Qur’ans with pure gold used as ink, written in deer skin and in different sizes! Here are some of the snaps.

I’m sorry my photos don’t give justice to the beauty of the Qur’an. They are so magnificent when  you will see it for real. Ma shaa Allah!

 

 

The Blue Sky Tag!

 

I am so happy that I have been in this community of Muslim bloggers for quite some time now . I am learning a lot through reading the blogs I follow, most of them are enlightening and they remind me of the things to be a better Muslimah.

I want to thank Shukrallah Blog  for tagging me! I love her blog a lot and it is one of the few I am always looking forward to visit. She writes incredibly and everything is just so interesting! ( I have started reading from the old posts as well 😉)

The rules for the tag are as follows:-

* Answer the 11 questions given to you.

* Nominate and tag 11 people.

* Give 11 questions for your nominee.

Here are my answers to here questions:

1. Who inspires you?

A lot of people inspire me. My family, my husband and all the people who deal with hardships with beautiful patience and never losing trust in Allah.

2. How do you feel about Ramadan approaching?

I am so excited for Ramadan! This is will be my third Ramadan In shaa Allah. I can feel the hype of everybody here in KSA because Ramadan is just around the corner.

Alahumma ballighna Ramadan.

Oh Allah let us reach the month of Ramadan.

3. Where is your favourite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?

Basically, living in Saudi Arabia restricts me from going out alone whenever and wherever I want unless my husband is available to drive for me. (I’m afraid of taking taxi alone and my husband will not allow it either.)

I prefer to stay in the park with my husband chitchatting and having a cup of tea while watching the children play or sitting along the Corniche looking at the sea. (if the weather permits!)

4. What is your talent?

This is a difficult question for me! Haha. I’m still in the process of discovering my “hidden” talent I guess. 😅

5. Choose an inspiration quote that always picks you up.

There is a verse in the Qur’an that I always keep in mind.

InnAllaha Ma’ As’sabireen

“Verily, Allah is with the patient” [2:153]

I chose this because life in this world is not a resting place, it is a testing place. May Allah grant me and all the Muslims patience in everything. Ya Rabb!

6. Which would be harder to give up, tea or coffee?

I kinda gave up drinking coffee after being married to an Arab who prefers tea and hates coffee! Now, I’m in love with tea though I will still drink coffee once or twice a month. (from twice a day!)

7. Is there a book or documentary that really changed the way you thought about something?

After reading the stories of Prophet Muhammad SAW, the stories of the Prophets AS, The biography of Umar Ibn Al Khattab RA and Abu Bakar RA, I realized who am I to complain of petty things and whine over nonsense stuff. I am far from being like these righteous people, but knowing their lives made realize that the challenges I am facing now are nothing compared to what they’ve been to. Their stories are reminding to have patience, never to loose trust in Allah and to bear a good character always.

8. What’s more important to you, your home or your career?

I gave up my career and I miss it sometimes (when I feel bored haha) but I am happy giving my full time to my husband. Alhamdulillah for everything! ❤️

9. How long have you been blogging for?

I used to blog nonsense things 10 years ago when I was still studying but I have forgotten about it. Recently I decided to start blogging out of boredom! Eventually, I became always eager to read new posts from the blogs that I follow because they are helping me with my religion and inspires me a lot.

10. Which country are you from?

Pearl of the Orient but I am living now in Saudi Arabia (for 6 years).

11. What du’a do you seem to make the most?

I am asking a lot of du’a but most of the time I am asking Allah not to let my heart deviate from the truth after He has guided me and all the muslims.

Also the du’a of Prophet Zakariyah when he was asking a child:

Rabbi hab lee mil-ladunka thurriyatan tayyibatan, ‘innaka Samee’ud-Dua.

Oh my Lord, grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.

Thank you for reading! I want to break the rule by not nominating 11 people (because I only know a few and I guess everybody has answered questions already.) HAHA.

I will just post my 11 questions here and it will be my pleasure to be reading your answers!

  1. What are you currently reading now?
  2. How are you preparing for Ramadan?
  3. Where is your ultimate dream place to go?
  4. What is your favorite food?
  5. What is your favorite dessert?
  6. Do you have a pet?
  7. What is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?
  8. What do you think about wearing black abayas?
  9. What kind of hijabs do you wear?
  10. Have you experienced or seen a sandstorm?
  11. Where are you now?