Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Role of a Muslimah in society

Assalamualaykum W.W,
Recently, I have been thinking about how muslim women are perceived in society. These thoughts were provoked when I was asked how I would like to contribute in society. Being a woman who wear hijab and purdah I thought the contribution I could make was very little, however the recent course of events in my life have completely changed this opinion for me.

After spending 8 years studying Islamic Theology, I came to point in my life where I wanted to contribute to society but I did not know how my voice could be heard or how anything I could do could possibly make a difference in my life. Little did I know that the oppurtunity would come right to my plate without me realising. After my graduation, I wanted to keep myself busy so I applyed for a teaching job in a school and Alhumdulillah I got it. This was the start of my journey to becoming something I never thought I could be.

Now being only 6 months into the learning journey, I can already feel the effects of my hardwork within the lives of my students. It it truly a very rewarding and satisfying feeling. Teaching made me more confident and driven. I learnt to put in all my effort into what I as doing. Being a part of a child's learning journey is beautiful, as what I teach would mold the child's personality. This can also be quite a daunting and pressurising feeling and I was often scared that one mistake from my part could affect a child's impression on their religion.

After going through this experience, I realised that the reason muslim women are known to be anti-social and hostile is partly because we do not make a effort where we can to integrate into society. It is our duty to make our religion look like the best religion. It is our duty to portray ourselves to the world in the best manner. We need to go out into the world and contribute. We need to be driven and motivated, then only will we see the fruits of our efforts. W cannot sit at home, reading the news and then complaining about the opinions of people who probably have not even had a good encounter with a muslim woman. We need to be good  ambassadors of our religion. 

One example that really strikes me is the example of Fatima Fahriya, who was the first person to get a university built. She was not motivated but she saw a vision, which benefits the whole world even  today. We cannot sit back and expect the world to change. We need to be the change. We were not sent to this world to be complacent and settled. We were sent to work hard in the path of Allah. The only way we can change the perspective of how people see muslims is if we live among these people and work among these people, within the laws and boundaries set by the shariah. Our religion was not made hard for us, but we are making it hard for ourselves. We need to live our lives with a clear vision and focus, and not allow the news to distract our goals. 

This life is so short and we are running out of time. All we have in this world is time and it is up to us to use it wisely. We will be questioned on every minute we waste. I am not saying that we all need to start teaching, but the only message I want to put across is that do what you can in this world for your religion. Benefit people as much as you can, whether its through your words or whether its through your actions. Go out of your way to help people. Show to people that you are following the best religion. Have pride in your identity. Be clear, thorough and efficient in what whatever you do.
This is my sole reason for starting this blog. I don't want to limit the contributions I make to society within the four walls of a school. I want to do everything I can possibly do to make a difference. Every big thought or idea starts with small baby steps. I know by experience that starting something is the hardest bit. I have just done the hardest bit, 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Revision tips/ Studying tips

As the exam and hard core revision time is coming up, I have decided to do a post on revision tips and techniques. Everyone has different ways of studying. This post shall mention a few techniques, which have helped me and the people I know.

1. Make your notes presentable. Make your notes look neat and organised. Having messy notes that are all over the place will only put you off revision. It will also allude you into thinking that you have a lot to do. Having a good presentation would motivate you.

2. Make your notes fun and colourful. Having colourful notes helps you enjoy studying.

3. Make a revision timetable. Spread out your work and set a specific amount for each day. Make a timetable from at least a month before so in this way you will be stressing less with last minute revision.

4. Use a checklist. Make a list of all the topics you need to cover. In this way you will avoid missing things out and you wil be able to keep track of your revision pace. Also, try to keep a checklist for each day by setting targets that you want to achieve by the end of the day.

5. Use your mornings wisely. Personally, the amount of work I do in two hours in the morning would probably take me up to double the time if I try doing the same work in the evening. Be a early riser and try getting most or all of your work done whilst your mind is awake and alert. To help you wake up early, make sure you have a fixed sleeping routine.

6. Use highlighters. My textbooks wnd notes are filled with highlighting. Highlight the main and important points, as this would help you remember them and focus on them more.

7. Use post it notes. Use these for keywords that you need to learn. Stick them on your mirror or your wall so that you familiarise yourself tw these words. Stick them to your computer or laptop screen, to ensure that your looking at them often.

8. Finish your revision from a week before the exam starts.
This will help you avoid last minute revision and make you panic less. In this way you would not be staying up all night before the exam. Rather you will be fresh and alert by having a good night sleep.

9. Try practice questions and past exam papers. This will familiarise you with the types of questions you may get in the exam. Often there are repeated questions in the exam, which have already been used before. This will also help you get an idea of how much you know and how much you still need to concentrate on.

10. Go through past tests that you may have had. This will help you see where your past mistakes were, therefore you will refrain from making the same mistakes in the future.

11. Take regular breaks.
Don't work constantly without taking breaks. This will only put you off working.
12. Make mind maps. 
This is a technique that a lot of my teachers have advised. This really helps when there is a lot to revise.

I hope this post is helpful. These are just a few tips so feel free to add more in the comments.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

How to deal with a cold or a flu....

This post is a continuation from the previous post, which dealt with precautions to avoid a flu. Now I shall mention a few things that can help to deal with a flu or a cold.

1. Use steam inhalations.

2. Stay at home and rest.

3. Drink lots of fluids.

3. Gargle salty water.

4. Use a water bottle to keep warm.

5. Drink chicken soup.

6. Throw your tissues away to avoid germs.

7. Drink hot tea.

8. Avoid drinks with caffeine.

9. Dont cover your sneezes and coughs with your hands.

10. Eat healthy food.

11. Don't smoke.

12. Wash your hands often.

Thank you reading this post. Comment below any tips that you have with regards to dealing with a flu or cold.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

How to prevent a cold/flu

Living in England can be a very big disadvantage during the never-ending Winter. Recently, I have constantly been hearing people falling ill with the cold and flu. I myself suffer from the cold or flu at least twice yearly. therefore, I decided to do a post regarding this dreadful, tear-jerking virus that has been going round. I initially wanted to do one post on this topic, but due to the fact that this topic is so vast in itself; I shall be splitting this topic into two sections.This post shall be about some precautions that can be taken to avoid catching the cold/flu. My next post, which I shall post very soon will be about how to deal with the cold/flu when you already have one. The things I shall be mentioning are mostly things that have worked with me, or have been advised by professionals in this fields, or things that i have found out through research.

1. Practice good hygiene. Washing your hands regularly is the key way in fighting germs and bacteria off your hands. This will avoid transmitting cold and flu viruses. Also, avoid touching your nose and eyes, as this is where cold and flu viruses are transferred, which usually causes an infection. Keep household surfaces clean at all times, and make sure the things that come to contact with your hands the most, are constantly kept clean.

2. Get vaccinated

3.Consider supplements if needed. For example, if your body has a lack of vitamins ensure that you buy them from your local pharmacy, as this would help keep your immune system strong.

4. Keep as healthy as you can. Try to ensure that your meals have enough vitamins and minerals. Eat your five a day fruits and vegetables. Eat leafy, green vegetables, as this really helps in boosting up your immune system. Try to eat food with a lot of phytochemicals in them.

5. Control stress levels. Research has shown that people with higher stress levels, have a weaker immune system. Chronic stress does affect your immune system and makes you less resistant to infections.

6. Exercise regularly. Taking a walk, even on a cold day can really boost up your immune system.

7. Stay warm.

8. Don't smoke. Smoking can block your airways and therefore make you more vulnerable to infections.

9. Drink lots of fluids! Staying hydrated helps to maintain your body system. It also helps to cut down on symptoms.

10. Take precaution beforehand. A cold and a flu usually starts with a fever. Ensure that you do not wrap yourself up when you have a fever. Keep yourself cool. Washing your feet in cold water usually bring your temperature down.

Those are the ten important things to take care of during the winter season. Thank you for reading this post. I shall soon be posting on how to deal with a cold/flu if you do get one.

Monday, 17 February 2014

My skincare regime

I have had a very bad past experience with eczema, which lasted for the first 16 years of my life, until I started following a good skin regime. I had tried everything possible, from various steroids to different emollients. Nothing at all seemed to work on me, until I decided to accept that this was the fate of my skin condition. However, when I got used to a good skin routine, which I carried out daily without fail, my skin condition improved. Today, Alhumdulillah I have no eczema on my body or face.
It took me a while in finding the perfect moisturiser, cleanser and toner for my skin type. I experimented with a few products until I got to the perfect combination of products which best maintain my skin. This routine works best for me, there may be some products in my regime, which do not suit other people’s skin type. I have dry skin, therefore most of my products are aimed to keep my skin soft and hydrated.

Daily Products
Carrying out my skincare routine in the morning helps me wake up and feel fresh. It also motivates me for the rest of the day.

Initially, I wash my face with the Simple facial wash. This feels very light and moisturising on my face. I use this product daily, as it has no harsh chemicals, which may cause adverse effects on my skin. This product lasts long and is easy to massage your skin with, as it glides over your face smoothly.

After patting my face dry, I use the Simple cleanser on my face with cosmetic pads. This product is my favourite in my entire skin regime. It gives a nice cool feeling on your face, which is absolutely perfect every morning. This product plays a major role in helping my skin recover from breakouts. I highly recommend this product more than any other product. It also gives your skin a natural, radiant glow. It is perfect for removing face makeup. Rather, than investing on makeup removers, I would recommend this product for daily cleansing and makeup removing.

Thereafter, I use my Simple toner, with cosmetic pads to close all open pores, which may result in outbreaks. I have experimented many toners on my face and this toner has worked best for me. This step is not essential for everyone. Most people miss the toning step; however toning has improved my skin, which is why I make sure I tone daily.

Finally, I moisturise my face with Vitamin E illuminating moisture cream in the morning. However, before going to bed I use the Vitamin E night time moisturiser. This is the most important step in my regime, as I have very dry skin. This means that I have to take time out to moisturise my skin efficiently. These moisturisers are great, as they are not too heavy on my skin and at the same time they keep my skin moisturised throughout the day. After using these products I noticed a huge difference with my dry skin issues.

Weekly Products
I exfoliate my face weekly with the Clean & Clear Exfoliator. This thoroughly cleanses my face, and leaves my skin soft and clear.

I do not apply makeup on my face daily, therefore my skin does not require a thorough cleanse with a foamed cleanser, but I do apply makeup probably once or twice a week. If I apply face makeup, I need to ensure that it is removed properly, before I retire to bed. The product that has worked the best for me is the Simple foamed cleanser. This works best for removing all traces of foundation, powder etc.

In order to remove eye makeup I use the Simple eye makeup remover. I have only recently started using this product. So far it has worked well for me.

Miscellaneous Products
Besides the above mentioned products, there are some products which I do not use on a daily or weekly basis. Instead I use these products, when I am travelling or when I do not have the above mentioned products available. These products are used very rarely.

I use Nivea cleansing wipes when I am travelling, to remove my makeup. These wipes do not give me any adverse effects on my skin. They remove makeup quickly and leaves a cleansed surface on your skin. I would not use these daily, as using wipes do tend to irritate the skin.

I also use the Vitamin E face mist, which is an essential for travelling. I use this product when I feel tired or when my face feels dehydrated. This product instantly gives my face moisture and leaves my skin fresh. This is definitely one product which I would always keep as part of my travelling essentials.

This is my complete skin care regime, which I have followed for the past year. This has really helped my skin condition. For anyone out there who has eczema, I would really advise to not give up on finding the cure. Different things work on different people. The skin condition will improve one day. Jazakallah for reading this post. I hope it is beneficial for those people who are looking for a good skin routine.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Time and being Productive

By time, (103:1)
Indeed, mankind is in loss, (103:2)
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. (103:3)

After looking at this Quran ayah, it becomes evident to us on how important time is in our religion. If we look at the five pillars of our deen, we can see that they are also at a fixed time. For instance, salaah has a fixed time and amount. Similarly Ramadan and hajj is also in a fixed month. This is a constant procedure that has been carried out for the past 1400 years without fail.

Therefore, it is also essential for us to bring in a procedure for our daily lives, with our ibadah and humane activities. This will help us save time and also help us run our daily lives in a smooth manner. We often complain that there is no barkat in time and that we do not have time to fit in certain actions into our daily schedules. However, the reality of the situation is that if we stay organised with time and not waste time in futile activities, there would be time for a lot more productive things.

Below I shall mention a few tips from my personal experience that have helped me stay at the top of things and have helped me in running my day smoothly.

1. Initially, we must ensure that we wake up early for Fajr salaah. What better way can there be of starting our day other than in the worship of Allah. Thereafter we must spend 10 minutes in praying surah yaseen. I cannot emphasize enough on how much these two things help in running your day smoothly. If we pray surah yaseen with full conviction that it will help us in getting our needs for the day completed, then without doubt your needs will be completed. This is one action that will never let you down, no matter how bad of a situation you are in. After carrying out these two essentials, make sure you have a good healthy breakfast. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, as it will give you energy and concentration that will last you throughout the day. Therefore, make sure you wake up 15 minutes earlier, giving you time to prepare a good, healthy breakfast.

2. Pre-plan your day from the night before. This will ensure that you wake up knowing where your day is heading. It is better to stay alert  than to stay oblivious, on what you need to get done throughout the day. For example, get your outfit for the day ready from the night before, as this saves you from hassling on what to where first thing in the morning. Set alarms for activities to be carried out at fixed timings from the day before. This helps you in keeping in track of time. Make to do lists daily or weekly and tick off the things that you have completed. This will avoid you from forgetting about things that need to be done.

3. Get the things that you dread done first. This is the best advise I can possibly give when it come to doing things that are difficult. Once the difficult tasks are done, you would tend to feel more relaxed and calm throughout the day. It would reduce stress and you would feel a sense of accomplishment. Never leave tasks last minute. This would only cause you to panic more and mess up more on the task. You would end up not giving the task enough effort and concentration that it requires.

4. Do not waste time in futile activities. For example, do not spend two hours talking to a friend on the phone when you have an assignment to hand in the following day. If you really do need to talk on the phone, then do it while your cleaning, so in this way you are not wasting time and you will also not feel guilty by the time you end the phone call.

5. Keep your workplace organised! I don’t know if its just me but when I see my workplace nice and neat, I actually feel like working. Make sure all your work is filed and labelled, as this will avoid you losing work. A messy and unorganized atmosphere does nothing but put you off working.

6. Do things in groups. Do not decide to do everything in one day, as this would just end up in you feeling awfully stressed and tired by the end of the day. If you have a lot to get done, divide the jobs into groups and then carry out each group on a different day. For instance, if you have lots of cleaning to do, set one day of the week for all the vacuuming and set another day for all the recycling. If you have an assignment to do, then set one day for research, one day for writing a draft version and another day for the final neat version of the assignment, rather than doing the entire assignment in one day.

7. Wake up early and sleep early! This is the key to having a productive day. I personally think that I can get work that takes up to 4 hours in the evening done within 2 hours if I do it in the morning. Waking up early helps in giving you more barkat in time. Also, the Prophet (S.A.W)  had a habit of going to sleep straight after Esha salaah, therefore we should also try and adopt this habit. Adopting this habit brought in lots of benefits into my life. I started getting good sleep and it helped me wake up earlier. Waking up earlier starts your day off really well, as it avoids you panicking about being late. It give you enough time to have breakfast. It helps you carry out all your morning activities calmly and keeps you boosted for the rest of the day.

Well, that is the end of my first post. These are the tips that have always worked for me. I hope these tips are beneficial. Jazakallah for reading this post. Comment below on tips that help you stay organised and productive so that I may benefit from you wonderful people out there.