I woke up at the ringing of the alarm yesterday. Usually I don’t keep an alarm, for I wake up at 5:30 everyday, all my life. But I had a lot of things to do yesterday, and so I kept the alarm for 4:30. In dubai, during summer, at 4:30, the sun will be out, and by 5:30, it will be shining brightly on you. And in winter, it will be dark even at 7. I felt like turning over and pulling the blanket over my head when the alarm went at 4:30, but the busy schedule of the day kept me
awake. I don’t jump out of bed when I wake up, even if I’m late. I will just lay in bed and go over the activities I have to do that day, and set the time for each activity. It will take five minutes. I then get up and go according to the schedule ( although in most cases it won’t go according to the schedule!! 😉 ). Friday was a weekend day, and so hubby and his brother will be at home. Hmmm… so cooking breakfast will take around 1 hour. Cutting onions – 5 minutes, cutting ginger, garlic, tomato, chillies and potatoes – 5 minutes, sauting all of these – 10 minutes and by that time I can make a dough for the chappathi, … goes my schedule. I said it was a busy day, ‘coz we were having some guests. I had to make my house tidy, cook lunch for the guest and the usual daily chores – washing, bathing, looking after my hubby’s niece for some time when my co-sister takes her bath, and a lot more jobs. But according to the time schedule, I still had one hour left before the guests arrived. Weekend days are the most busy days for me.

All these thoughts crossed my mind while I was still in bed.
I got up and went to the kitchen to start the job. At 6 o’clock, I’ve finished preparing the breakfast. Hmmm…, half an hour late. I asked my mother-in-law about the dishes we should prepare for lunch. There was prawns and mutton in the fridge, and so we decided to prepare prawn roast, mutton curry and ghee rice ( all are Indian dishes).
There were a lot of plates and other vessels in the basin, and I had to wash them all. The bottle of dish washer liquid was empty and so I took the big bottle to refill the small bottle. We were using the lemon flavored liquid, and so it was yellow in color. I kept the big bottle on the kitchen table, as I had no time to keep it in the shelf. After completing the washing, I started preparing the lunch.
I have sliced the 4-5 onions and was sauting them for the prawn roast when my MIL came to help me in the kitchen. I started cutting the mutton for the curry.
“The oil is not enough for the onions to be sauted.”said my MIL.
“Ok, mummy, can you pour some more oil in it?” I asked.
She took the oil and poured in it and was stirring it when she gave a loud cry. I looked up at her.
“Oh, Najeeba, I’ve pured the dish washing liquid instead of the oil.”
I’ve kept the liquid near to the bottle of the oil, and she took the wrong bottle! Oh, God!
I had to do all the work again. I started it again. I sliced the vegetables, mutton and everything needed for the roast, curry and rice and started with the cleaning. I swept the whole house and has started moping when MIL asked me to take the chillies from the fridge. I ran to take it, as time was flying and we had only a couple of hours before the guests arrived. While running, I stumbled over the porridge my co-sister had made for her baby. The porridge was spread over the entire hall! I got very angry with myself and all others in the home, and felt an anger towards the guests too. I started shouting at myself, and also at hubby. I could not shout at my MIL, co-sis or Brother-in-Law.
My husband understood my situation, and asked me take some rest, and have a bath. According to him, bathing cools down one’s “mind and body, heart and soul”. I did as he asked, and that did make some effect on my anger. By the time I finished my bath, hubby has cleaned the porridge from the floor and cooked some new porridge for his niece. Thanks a lot to him. I resumed my work, and when the time the guests arrived, I was panting -and the house clean and tidy, the lunch ready along with two to three deserts and I was happy to receive them.

After they left, I just revised the happenings of the day. Apart from mummy pouring dish washing liquid to the onion and me kicking the porridge pan, there were many things that wasted my time. Like the bottle with the turmeric powder fell from my hand and it was spilled on the cooking range. The bed sheet I was putting on the bed tore when I pulled it tight. The water overflew on the floor when I was filling into the kettle. And so many. All because I was not concentrating on the work I was doing, rather, thinking about the works I have to do. Less concentration made my busy day even an more busier day.


Did you know who first ate the forbidden fruit in heaven? Well, what a question to ask! Every one knows its Eve, and she made also included Adam in the sin. We all have read those verses many a times:

Genisis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

This is the biblical version of who ate the forbidden fruit. Some of us, Muslims, also believe it that way. I’ve seen many people, including some scholars, also put it this way. But is that the truth, according to Qur’an? Is it Eve who ate it first, and then gave it to her husband?


Qur’an 2:34 And behold, We said to the angels: “Bow down to Adam” and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith. 2:35 We said: “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.”2:36

Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: “Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood – for a time.”

So no mention of Eve eating the fruit and then giving it her husband. Let’s look at another verse about the same subject in Quran.

Quran 007:019 “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.”

007.020 Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: “Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live forever.”

007.021 And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser.

007.022 So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: “Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?”

007.023 They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.”

007.024 (God) said: “Get ye down. With enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood– for a time.”

007.025 He said: “Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die; but from it shall ye be taken out (at last).”

No mention of Eve eating the fruit, and then providing it to Adam. Well, there is one more part of Adam and Eve in Eden, in Quran. That’s described below.

Quran 20:116 And (remember) when We said t to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves to Adam.” They prostrated (all) except Iblees (Satan), who refused.20:117 Then We said: “O Adam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So let him not get you both out of Paradise, so that you be distressed in misery.

20:118 Verily, you have (a promise from Us) that you will never be hungry therein nor naked.

20:119 And you (will) suffer not from thirst therein nor from the suns heat.

20:120 Then Shaitan (Satan) whispered to him, saying : “O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?”

20:121 Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves the leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray.

20:122 Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance.

20:123 (Allah) said:”Get you down (from the Paradise to the earth), both of you, together, some of you are an enemy to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery.

 

So who ate the fruit first? According to the Quran, both of them ate it, but it doesn’t say who ate it first. If Adam and Eve where on earth, I would have no doubt about Adam eating it first, because I think men are more capable of climbing trees and plucking the fruit than women. But in heaven, you don’t have to do all that.

Quran 55:54 They will recline on Carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the Fruit of the Gardens will be near (and easy of reach).

So you don’t have to climb or throw stones or use a long stick or do anything to pluck the fruit from a tree. You wish, and the wish is granted. Wow! Masha Allah! So no way of putting the sin on Adam. What about Eve? May be she has eaten the fruit first. And may be Adam ate it first. But, Allah, The All-Knowing never said that to us. Do you know why? May be because He foresaw something – if He put the blame on Adam, the whole men will be blamed, and if He put the blame on Eve, the whole women will be blamed! That’s the human nature. Allah, The Almighty, never wanted his slaves to be blamed for the sin Adam and Eve did. Everyone’s sin is their own, and not others’. Isn’t that great of Allah?
Just suppose this situation: Your husband comes home from office, a little angry with official problems. You get to make a coffee for him, and somehow the sugar added becomes more than usual, or less than usual. And he starts shouting, “Oh! This women. Why on the earth were they created? Just for eating the forbidden fruit and kicking us out of heaven!……”
How would you feel? You are blamed for Eve eating the fruit. Allah, The All-Knowing, foresaw this situation, and so didn’t tell us that part of the story.
Now the forbidden fruit is not the big issue in Quran – about who ate it first. Because Allah, The Almighty, have already decided to create men and women on earth.

Quran 2:30 Behold thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said “Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.”

So, humans were meant for earth. Then why did Allah, The Almighty, put them in heaven first, and asked them not to eat the forbidden fruit? Well, I don’t know about that, ‘coz I don’t have any knowledge except what Allah, The All-Knowing, have given me. But with my little brain that Allah have given me, I guess it is to give us an illustration of what the Iblees or Shaitan can do to us. He can take our heaven away from us, like he did to Adam and Eve. He is good at whispering evil in us, like he did to Adam and Eve. There were enough fruits in heaven not to make Adam and Eve hungry, but still they went and ate the forbidden fruit. It was not because they were hungry that they ate the fruit, but because Iblees tempted them. We have enough blessings of Allah on earth, and enough of halal things to do, to eat, to drink but still we go and get into haram things. Just as Iblees made Adam to eat the forbidden fruit.
So, beware of Iblees, else it will be you who eats the forbidden fruit next.

This is one of the most beautiful poems I’ve seen. Take your time to read it.
Re-reading brings in more meanings than the first time reading.

Let Us Sit Down and Believe For A While: Sr. Anam

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Small Step, Big Leap

June 25, 2008


“Umma, look at this photo, its the corn field in the farm.” I was browsing through the photos we took from a farm in Khorfukkan, and I called my mom when I reached this photo. The farm belonged to our neighbors when we were in Fujairah. They are also from Kerala, India. “Its their own farm, taken on contract for 5 years. Its around Dirhams ( currency of UAE) 2,00,000 for five years.” I explained.
“How much land is it?” Umma asked.
“Oh! I forgot to ask that!”
I really have forgotten about the area of land. It wasn’t much, not as much as we had around our home. But there was corn, tomatoes, cabbages, cucumber, mint, mangoes, mulberries, datepalms and many other grasses which are given as food for animals. and there was also goats, hens and a cat… pussy cat :).
“Do you know how Jaleel-ka got this farm?” Umma asked me.
Well, I haven’t tried to get into details of the history of Jaleel. Jaleel was our neighbor in Fujairah, now the owner of that farm. Well, the -ka means brother in Malayalam, usually we add it when we address males elder than us, and a -tha when we address females elder than us. The -tha means sister. Jaleel’s wife was Husna, and we called her Husna-tha. Plus four boys, and their family became a big happy family!
Jaleel and Husna have been our neighbors for about 10+ years, and they are still there in Fujairah. Umma and Baba( my dad) settled in our homecountry, India, when Baba got retired from his job. That was around 4 or 5 years ago. I came here after my marriage two years ago,
“He was a poor fellow when he came to Fujairah some 20 years back,” said Umma, “and a very careless fellow. Never went for any job, and if he got some money from anybody, just went to play cards.”
“Then how did he become the owner of the farm?” asked Nawaz, my brother, who was also with us, listening to the story. To own a farm for 5 years he needed Dirhams 2,00,000!
“One night, he was playing cards with his friends, when suddenly, the police appeared,” Umma paused, “there were 29 of them, playing cards.”
“Then?”
“Police saw all of them and caught them, except Jaleel-ka. He acted as he was sleeping. The police kicked him two or three times, left him there when there was no response from him and went to station with the rest of the 28 fellows.”
Playing cards is not an offense in most places, but it is against the laws in middle-east. Especially when cash is included in the game. You can be sure of a few months or years in prison.
Umma continued with the story.
“When he was sure the police have gone, he got up. The next day, he went to the station and inquired how to free his friends. The head of the station demanded Dirhams 28,000, thousand for each of them. Jaleel-ka came out of the station, and started begging. He asked for money from everyone he saw on his way, regardless of their nationality, religion or anything. He got Dirhams 38,000.”
Hmm…. Cool guy, I thought.
“He went to the station, freed his friends and started business with the rest of his money – the 10,000.”
“Well, do you know his qualification?” I asked.
“Not more than 2nd grade. And Husna-tha is a fifth grade pass out.” Umma replied. “But she is a woman with strong will power. She took license and now she does major of the household activities, while Jaleel-ka runs his business.” Umma continued. “He started a vegetable shop and then, with his hard work and determination, it grew into a big vegetable business. Now, to get fresh vegetables into the market, he started this farm also.”
Isn’t that a great work? A small step from the ditch to a big leap into the business world.
Here comes the snaps from his farm:
The mango tree with lots of flowers on it.
and Husna has been calling me to their home ever since. I kept nagging my hubby asking him to take me to Fujairah, until he agreed and we all – me, hubby, hubby’s brother, hubby’s sis, her hubby, their daughter and hubby’s cousin went for the Fujairah trip. Our plan was to go to Khorfukkan beach, but when we reached our neighbors home, we changed the plan and decided to go to their farm so that Neha(one year old hubby’s niece) could see some animals. That was how we got the photos of the farm.The tiny mangoes on a branch.
Hubby’s niece in the cucumber section.
Notice the cucumber on the plant.
Neha near the grass farm.
The cabbage farm.
The water for the farm is pumped from a well into this pond.It is then made to flow into the canal which takes the water to different parts of the farm.

Tagged!!!

June 19, 2008

Thanks a lot sis, for your comment, American Muslima Writer

The Rules
1. On your blog, post the Rules & Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post
4. Post 10 things you have HOPE for in your life.
5. Tag six more blogs with links
6. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to tag others!

Memoir:

Silent Princess with Thoughts Clearly Loud.

I hope:

1. World become a better place to live in

2. People have less problems when it comes to food, shelter, religion and education.

3. Women be more respected.

4. I become a better muslim girl.

5. My family, friends and relatives have a happy life.

6. I have a good family with lots of kids.

7. I educate and upbring the kids and make them good Muslims who strive for the betterment of the world.

8. I get a good job where I can put my capabilities for the well being of the society.

9. I get a low rent apartment in Dubai, Deira, AED 25,000 PA for a 2 bedroom hall (impossible??!!). 😉

10.Last but not the least, I die as a good Muslim with Shahada as the last words on my tongue.

TAGGED:
Stranger in this Dunya
Myriad of Ideas
…the insights…
Passionate Burning

Climbing Walls
Shahrazad

Mirror and friends

June 18, 2008

Mirror and friend – what do they have in common? There is a proverb in malayalam – If you got a friend indeed, then you won’t get a mirror, in need. Well, I sometimes wonders why those old people put it with mirror and friend, they could have put something better than mirror for a friend – like eyes, hands, legs, tongue, etc. These thoughts come into my mind usually on the saturdays or sundays that comes after an exam, during my college life, when you sit simply and have nothing to do. Those days are really boring, you have got know exams, assignments, homeworks – nothing to do, until the next semester commences. Then you wish if you had those nothing-to-do weekends back! Thats what I said in my second post – you wish everything were here if there is nothing, and when you get it, you wish it was gone! Human mind!
It was on one of those nothing-to-do days when one of us wanted to have a mirror in our apartment. There were nine of us – all girls, doing our graduation and staying together in an apartment. Most of us had small mirrors with us, but that was not enough, especially while dressing, to get a full view. So we thought about it and decided to buy a big mirror, if and only if our budget allowed it. We started spending less on our mobiles, snacks, cool drinks – and everything we thought unnecessary. We wanted to have an elegant looking mirror in our room. We went to different furniture shops to find out the best in quality and cost. At last we found one, and bought it home.
I am a person who doesn’t care much about my looks. I don’t use the mirror except for combing my hair, and while combing I concentrate only on the hair. The hair done, I turn away from the mirror. I don’t usually use creams on my face, or kajal in my eyes or any other cosmetics, except some Vaselineor a lotion of rose water and glycerine on dry and windy days. I find some of my friends standing hours infront of the mirror, applying creams on their face, combing their hair, giving the final touches to their scarf or hijab, pinning their shalls, and what not! But I never thought a mirror necessary for these activities. I do most of it without a mirror.

Well, there I was living peacefully and happily, when they ( including me) bought the mirror and found the place near my bed to keep it. It was at the foot of my bed, and so while lying in my bed, I was able to see myself in full view. Whack! What a boring scene, to look at your face all day! At first I found it difficult, to see myself laughing, giggling, crying and shouting all the day. But then I got used to it, and started looking more into the mirror to see myself more. And thats how the problem started.
One fine morning, when I was looking at myself into the mirror, I noticed a dark spot on my face. I went closer to the mirror, and there it was – a dark color under my eyes, on my cheeks. I called Sumi, my roommate and showed her the spot. But she didn’t notice anything new in it at all!

“Oh, that was there all time. And its not that dark to be noticed!” she said.
I was angry with her for not giving me any proper explanation or advice.
“Sumi, tell me the name of something to apply on my face to make that spot disappear.” I begged her.
“Ok, if you insist, I’ll give you a cream. Apply it at night, before going to bed.” She said.” But I assure you, there is nothing to worry about it.”
I wasn’t assured with her words, and so I started using the cream. I didn’t notice any changes for the first one week. I decided to change the cream if it didn’t show any effect after applying for one more week. After two weeks, on one morning, when I looked myself in the mirror, I was shocked. The dark spot has widened and become darker! I called Sumi, and asked her what to do. She sat by my side.

“Hey, Najee, I have told you already that there is nothing to worry about those dark spots. But you didn’t listen to me. Now, after applying the cream, you have become fairer, and so the dark spot darker and wider. Please understand that. There was no dark spot on your skin. But when you keep looking into the mirror, you keep looking expecting to see some thing on your face, and then you imagine that there is something. That’s all.”
I didnot think she was right, but I had to promise her not to look too much into the mirror, and not to use any creams on my face. I turned my bed away from the mirror. Now that I couldnot look into the mirror for a long time, I forgot about the spot. I stood infront of the mirror only for doing my hair.
Now, I have got no time to watch myself in the mirror, with the duties of a housewife. And so the dark spot has never become a problem. But I learned that friendship is better than a mirror at hand – may be better than our hand, legs, eyes etc. I don’t know about that 🙂 !

My Wonderland

June 16, 2008

I don’t think many of you have heard the place Kerala, the farthest tip of India, floating above the Arabian Sea. The majority of Keralites (or Malayalees, as their mother tongue is Malayalam) follow the Hindu religion and hmmm… I don’t know if muslims or christians come second. I live in a small village in Kerala, by the side of (my) river, Thutha.


Now in dubai, I sometimes feel running away from this traffic, ambulance sirens and lots of people, to that quite kingdom of mine. There are about 300 houses belonging to our same family – so anyone you meet on the street gets to be your cousin, uncle or aunt! There are no houses without farms, where they grow bananas, coconut palms, mango trees and so many others of which I don’t know the English names.Hmmm…..did u see my brothers and cousins? Evening brings all of them to our compound, along with a cricket bat or football and a lot of noise! Its the time for Umma(my mom) to shout at them for messing with her plants, for Baba(my dad) to shout at them for breaking the glasses of his car, for sis-in-law to shout at her kid for not obeying her! Plus the shout of the playing team!
And here is my nephew(now in Ohio) – a small man with big aims!!
Coming back to my village, its in a remote place of Kerala. I wouldn’t have been blogging here, if my Baba never got his job in UAE. There were only three of us in our village who has passed the high school exam the year I passed the exam! One of the other two is now a teacher in a local school in my village. Don’t know about the third. But now, the conditions has changed a lot, and there are so many students doing graduation and post graduation. What I love most about Moorkanad is the river that flows through it. During the rainy season, I just like to sit and watch the overflowing river, with trunks of trees, coconuts, banana trees and bamboo floating on it. 

And when rain stops, kids get out of their homes with fishing rods – and our dining tables will be filled with freshwater fishes! I too have gone fishing when I was a kid, but without much success. I and my brothers were looked upon as some sort of expatriates in our village – as we didn’t know fishing, swimming and many games they played. My family returned back from UAE when my younger brother was some 10 years old, and has lived in Moorkanad since then. As he lived near the river for some years, my younger brother has his “masters” in fishing and swimming! He can catch a fish without a fishing rod – he keeps his hand motionless in water, and catches a fish when it comes close to his hand. Wow!! Marvelous that was!
Its June now, and as I said in my earlier post, After School Days, school and rain starts with June. In the local TV channels, you can see the ads of umbrellas along with that of school bags, books, pencils, pens and other school items. Its a beautiful scene to see kids around 4 or 5 years old go to school with multi-colored umbrellas and new uniforms.


I was one of them some 20 years back. But not with new umbrella! I went to UKG in Fujaira, UAE. On a sunny April morning. So umbrella was one of the things I missed when I lived in UAE. There are many things I missed with my life in UAE – the lullabies of my grandparents, the long night secret chat with cousins and many more. There are also so many things I gained – good education, understanding of multi-culture and yeah, the curiosity to know how people from other countries lives, thinks, acts, …

Ok…back to the rains now. I love the view of mother earth just after the rain. With tiny droplets of water on the leaves and flowers, shining with the new sun that comes after the dark, cloudy monsoon days.
You can see small tips of grasses popping out from the ground. Birds in search of food after the hungry, cold, rainy days. The insects that come out of the mud after their pupa life. Forgs and lizards waiting their turn to catch these insects for dinner. There are many post-rain sights.

In this lonely apartments in Dubai, what I miss most is my village. We don’t have much visitors here, and we don’t visit others much. Its same in Dubai, as well we my in-laws home. But in our home, we always have visitors. One reason for so much visitors is that Baba has difficulty in walking, and so he cannot go out to visit others. He has also got so many friends. Friends and relatives always come to visit him. So in Dubai, I feel very lonely, when hubby go to work. He leaves at 8, and comes around 5:30. I tried for a job , but I think Allah hasn’t kept one for me, at least not till today. I sometimes feel very depressed, ‘coz I am not able to put my knowledge or abilities into some use outside my home. Thats when the thought of Moorkanad brings a smile in me, as Wordsworth says:

 

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.