Friday, April 22, 2011

Today is Earth Day - Simple Ways to Make a Difference

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.

There are MANY ways to go green & help the environment.  Below are just a few ways.  You can find many more by doing a Google Search.  WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING?  COMMENTS ARE ENCOURAGED!

1. Unplug electrical items from the wall.  The EPA says that 10-15 percent of home energy loss is caused by “vampire,” or phantom power loads—electricity consumed by electronics when they are powered off yet still plugged into an outlet. Everything from a clock radio to a DVD player sucks phantom power, raising electric bills and wasting resources. By remembering to unplug all electronics or using a power strip to cut the power of multiple items, you’re saving the environment and your budget.

 2. Make your own cleaning products. Using environmentally safe cleaning products made at home saves money and ensures toxic chemicals will not leak into the earth, sacrificing drinking water quality and causing harm to lakes and rivers. With a refillable spray bottle and a few common household pantry items, most anything can be effectively, and safely, cleaned. Recipes for environmentally friendly household cleaning solutions can be found by visiting

3. Properly insulate your home. Heating and cooling systems are costly to operate and emit harmful greenhouse gasses. Making sure your home is sufficiently insulated from air leaks will prevent costly energy consumption.

 4. Switch your shower head. There was a time when “low-flow” showers meant having to sacrifice water pressure. Thankfully, the advancement in shower head technologies means there’s no reason to not make this simple, and cost effective, change. By replacing your current shower head with one bearing the EPA WaterSense Label, the average household could save 2,300 gallons of water each year.

5. Plant a tree. Trees are not only beautiful, but they help reduce greenhouse emissions by taking in harmful CO2 gasses. They are also natural weather barriers during peak heating and cooling hours, and can increase property values. For advice on tree planting and care, talk to the friendly people of Graf Tree Care in St. Charles. Graf employs four certified arborists among their staff of 11 and are dedicated to the care and preservation of trees.

  • Pay your bills online. If every house in the United States did this, we would save 18 million trees every year.
  • Make the most of your reusable bags - bring your own reusable bags to the store to spare the use of plastic bags. They now come in all different types of patterns and colors, so being green can be trendy.
  • Green is beautiful. There are many beauty and personal care products that are good for you AND the environment. EcoTools and Physicians Formula are great brands that offer many varieties of products that are kind to both Mother Nature and your body.
  • Your four-legged friend wants to reduce their carbon footprint too! Use biodegradable plastic bags to pick up pet waste.
  • Clean green by making your own environmentally friendly cleaning solution or find one of the many choices available now in your local store. 
  • Ditch the bottled water.  Buy a water filter and filter your tap water into re-usable bottles.
  • Get with a group of friends or gather your family and pledge to clean up your block, your neighborhood, a highway, a stream, a park, etc.

Earth Day posterFigure out how to make every day Earth Day. 

1. Turn off the lights! And the screens, printers, etc. I know this seems like an obvious one, but it is amazing how many empty rooms still have lights on, and how many electronic devices that are rarely used are left perpetually on--just in case.

2. Don't print. Try your best to solely use electronic documents during Earth Day. How many documents have you printed just so you could read it and throw it away? How many sheets of paper are wasted from printing gone wrong--printing too many copies, or printing an entire 50-page document when you only needed to read a couple pages? But if you must print...   

3. Use both sides of paper for printed documents. Why use double the paper, when you can cut your waste in half immediately? This is a great policy, particularly for internal documents and drafts. Another paper-saving option for printing of drafts and internal documents is to use a smaller font and wider margins to maximize the use of the paper.

4. Offset your carbon footprint. Give something back to the environment on Earth Day. Workers consume resources all year. On Earth Day, plant a tree or three to give back to the Earth and make sure that the planet's natural resources are not exhausted.

EDCO has made it easy to do curbside recycling. Items that are accepted for recycling are paper products, including computer paper, catalogs, junk mail, copier paper, phone books, grocery bags, gift wrap and envelops, even if they have “windows”; cardboard, including food packaging such as cereal boxes, cake-mix boxes, frozen food boxes, egg cartons and soda/beer carriers; all beverage containers marked “CA Redemption Value” or “CA Cash Refund”; plastic containers labeled #1-#7; aluminum and tin cans, liquor bottles, empty aerosol cans, pie tins, glass jars and bottles. See the full list here. Just drop the recyclables in the blue bin and put it on the curb on trash day.

Ditch your Dryer:
We pay a lot of hidden taxes for the wonderful sun that we get all year long, why not put some of that instant solar power to work and reap the reward of sun-fresh clothes. The dryer takes a lot of energy to run, so start out trying half-time loads, hanging the clothes out to dry when they're damp, then eventually go all the way and ditch that dryer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Excerpt from my Interview with a Muslim College student about Prayer

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.


Sister Marwa: Describe to me the experience of praying Jama’a, together, with the rest of the sisters, standing in line, all of us standing in line, doing the same thing at the same time, listening to the same voice. How does it feel like? The experience of praying with sisters, shoulder to shoulder.

Sister @pril: It has a different feeling than when you’re praying by yourself. It’s like we’re all coming together for the same thing. We’re all coming together for the same prize. It’s like if you really believe in a charity― let’s say you organize a breast cancer walk―you might get a few friends together, but once you organize a large group, it has a larger impact. It has a much stronger fleeing. You feel very unified. We’re all Muslims. We all believe the same thing. We’re all doing the same thing. It has a very strong feeling. It also creates a bond because after we get done, sometimes we hug each other. It’s not like how Christians pray at church. We’re touching each other. You know? We’re touching each others’ feet. Our shoulders, our elbows are touching. You’re very close to somebody.  We’re all standing. We’re all doing the exact same thing. It’s a very good feeling inside that we’re all sharing in the same thing, at the exact same time because you never know when you’re going to pray with these sisters again.  We all die. We’re all going to die. You just never knew when someone won’t be there the next week.  Even ourselves, we might not even be here tonight. You really have to appreciate what’s going on right now. Focus on right now.  And it’s just a really good feeling being with everyone doing the same thing at the same time. It just has a louder voice, to have everyone do the exact same thing.

Women Wearing Perfume Outside

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman. | April 19, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Categories: Islam, women | URL:
 In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful...

The imaam, Aboo Daawood {d.275) collected in his Sunan (#4174) that Aboo Hurayrah encountered a woman who was wearing perfume, and the tail of her garment was dusty.  He said, "O servant of al-Jabbaar!  Have you come from the masjid?"  She said, "Yes."  He said, "And you have perfumed yourself for that purpose (i.e. praying in the masjid)?"  She said, "Yes."  He then said, "I heard my beloved Abul-Qaasim (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) saying:
"The prayer of a woman who wears perfume to go to the masjid is not accepted until she returns and takes a bath, like the bath of janaabah (after sexual intercourse, i.e. a full bath)."
Understanding the Hadeeth:
[1] The hadeeth was also collected by Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others, with a weak chain because of 'Aasim ibn 'Ubaydillaah.  However, it is strengthened by another chain found in Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah (1682).  The latter chain is also weak, however they strengthen each other and thus the hadeeth is considered authentic, classified as: hasan lighayrihi[1].  Ibn Khuzaymah considered the hadeeth to be authentic.  Al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Saheehah (1031).

[2] The statement, "like the bath of janaabah" specifies that the intention is not to just remove the perfume from the place it was applied, but rather a full bath must be taken.

[3] Some people may misunderstand the hadeeth to be specific to women who go the masjid for prayer, however this is clearly not the case.  The mention of the masjid is not restrictive in this hadeeth, and the ruling applies to women going out anywhere.  Since the masjid is a place where the men have been encouraged to dress well for and wear perfume, then it is not disliked for the smell of the perfume to be in the masjid.  So the problem with women wearing perfume to the masjid is the distraction they would create and the potential fitnah that would ensue.  This is the 'illah (reason) for the prohibition.  Thus, if this is the ruling for being around the best people, the people who pray in the masjids, the people whom Allaah has praised in His Book as being those who truly believe in Him and that they are men who are not distracted by trade, then how much more does the prohibition apply to the most evil places, the gathering sites of the wicked (fujjaar), the most despised places on earth to Allaah...!!  So it as if he was using the masjid as an example of the best case scenario, where one would never imagine someone acting upon his desires and chasing after a woman... so then if it is not allowed to wear perfume in such a place, then what about the places where illicit behavior is very common!

This general application of the hadeeth seems to be what Aboo Daawood understood when he gathered the hadeeth in his Sunan and entitled the chapter: "The Chapter of What has Been Reported About Women Wearing Perfume Outside"

[4] A similar hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (#444) forbids women from attending 'Eshaa' Prayer in the masjid if they have been affected by bakhoor (burned fragrances, like incense).  It is also to be understood in light of point #3.

[5] The hadeeth shows that the Companions used to enjoin the good and forbid the evil with women who were not in their family.
[6] The hadeeth also shows the practical implementation of tathab-but (being certain before acting), since Aboo Hurayrah asked the woman, "And you have perfumed yourself...?"  Notice that he did not assume that the scent was hers without asking.

And Allaah knows best.

Allah is too Generous to go Back Upon a Thing He has forgiven! [Tirmidhi]

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.


The Prophet Muhammad
{Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Salaam} said:-
"If anyone transgresses and receives punishment in this world, 
Allah is too just to repeat the punishment of His servant in the next.
 And if anyone transgresses and Allah conceals it and forgives him,
He is too generous to go back upon a thing
He has forgiven."!!
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith # 1023.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marriage in Islam - set of 4 YouTube videos

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tip Tuesday - Week #2 (Chewing Gum on Clothes & Whiten White Clothes)

 As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.

To remove chewing gum from clothing, put the clothing in the freezer for an hour, then pick off.

To whiten your whites, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes with a large slice of lemon.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Mother’s Advice to Her Daughter :: Pearls of Wisdom

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.

Note: The speech that forms the main content of this article is over 1400 years old, from the pre-Islamic period. The advice in the article is certainly out of date and one-sided, but there is much wisdom here if you look it as mutual advice for how the husband and wife should treat each other. So both partners should serve one another, please one another, protect one another, etc.

Abd al-Malik (Radiyallaahu ‘anhaa) said:
When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi.
She was made ready to be taken to the groom, her mother, Umamah came into her room to advise her and said:

  • “O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you posses these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.
  • “O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.
  • “O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you.
Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you:

  • “The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah.
  • “The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.
  • “The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.
  • “The seventh and eight of them are: take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.
  • “The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.
  • “Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy.
From Jamharah Khutah al-’Arab, 1/145

Friday, April 1, 2011

How to Create a "Grab My Blog" Button (VERY EASY)

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! I hope this finds you close to Allah & in the best of health and Iman.

Have you noticed that grab buttons are everywhere these days? Grab buttons are images usually intended for use in a blog's sidebar that link to another site or blog. In short- it's an ad. Grab buttons are the ultimate way to show your support and to spread the word about something you dig. Here's an example of my own spiffy grab button which you may, of course, grab (wink wink)...

Now how do YOU get one? Well, I'll tell ya!

1. Choose the image you'd like to use as your button. I'd make it no bigger than 200 pixels wide so it fits on the average sidebar.
2. Upload your cool new button to the image hosting site of your choice. (I use Photobucket, but it doesn't matter.)
3. In another tab, log into your Blogger account and go to the Page Elements page. Click on "Add a Gadget" and select HTML/JavaScript
4. Copy and paste the following code in the text area:

5. In Photobucket (or wherever you chose to store your button), copy the URL or direct link and paste it in both places where the code says YOUR BUTTON LOCATION.
6. Replace the words YOUR BLOG ADDRESS with...your blog address. :)
7. You can change the size of the box below your button by adjusting the numbers 4 (rows) and 22 (columns). You don't have to, but I just thought I'd let you know.
8. Build your blogging empire!


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