Tag Archives: Allah

My Favourite Books of 2015

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I know what you’re thinking. It’s already February and I’m still speaking about 2015. Well; that’s what happens when you’re late and you cannot catch up on things 😉

To be honest, I wrote most of this at the beginning of January, then I didn’t have time to edit it, and I had a lot of things to do -school related- still do, but I need to this. I really want to share with you my top 10 of 2015, and I would love to see you do that too ❤

Without any further delay, let’s start this.

2015 was a good reading year for me. I’ve managed to read a total of 50 books ( or more: 52 or so). I’ve read many English books, a lot of Arabic ones, and one French book sadly, which will be in this list. Also,  I discovered new authors, and I was a bit open to new genres and new choices.

Little Women

I love this book. I watched the movie a very long time ago, and really wanted to read it.  I actually started it at the end of 2014, and I’m glad I did. This is a beautiful, just a beautiful story about family, sisters, love, life and the things that matter. It reminds me of me, my sisters, my brother , and my family.  It’s simple, clever, and I recommend this for sure. One more thing..  is that I want a friend like Laurie ( who is one of my favorite characters ever)  😉

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It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be

This book is a must read book. The title is capturing. It’s very easy to go through, and you’ll definitely enjoy reading it. It made me love reading nonfiction again.

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رحلتي مع غاندي

This book came when I really needed it, i.e. when I read this book, some things were happening, and there were some passages of it that really spoke to me, and helped me. It may not be the greatest book written in Arabic, and I may have some/many notes about it, but I loved it. I’m also a “Khawatir” fan, so it makes an absolute sense 😉

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Animal Farm 

This is a book that makes you think, and link events together with historical ones. This is a very good piece of literature. I think George Orwell is brilliant, and I can’t wait to read more and all of his work. You should too (this is not an order of course, but a kind of demand :p )

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

This book is a celebration of language, and its beautiful aspects. Of course, I knew the story before reading this. I actually read the Arabic version ( a concise one), and maybe a French one as well when I was really young. But this reading was entertaining and just beautiful ❤ loved it ❤

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Philomel Cottage

This Agatha Christie’ short story is amazing. It takes less than an hour to read, and it is GOOD. I read this as a part of this Halloween Stories Collection, and I’ve read other ones (mostly by Stephen King..), but this one is the best. I started it and couldn’t put it down. Many people don’t like this, but I can’t see why…, because I love it, obviously. This is a perfect example of a short book ( very short) that is rich in the content.

*A spoiler:  You’ll get surprised by the ending.

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Les Fourberies de Scapin

This is my only French read for the past year. I wanted to pick this up since I was 15 or 16. We had it in our bookshelf for a very long time. I finally had the chance to read it, and it didn’t disappoint me for sure. This was funny and creative, though it was not as funny as Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which I read back when I was 14, and which made me laugh so hard. But for this one, I liked it. It was rich in the content, and it’s an easy quick read. I definitely recommend it.

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To Kill a Mockingbird 

This does not need a justification. I’m happy that I finally read it. I actually found it in our university library, and borrowed it without a second thinking. Atticus is one of the best characters that I’ve ever read about. I loved the characters, the writing style, and the themes. This book does worth all the hype that has been around it for the past 50+ year.  I think I’m going to reread it soon insha’ALLAH, because it deserves to be reread. I also think you need to read it.

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Horses of God

This book is one of the best books that I’ve ever read. This is a book that can change your views on certain things. It can change your ideas on certain people, and makes you see life in a different way. I actually worked on this book in my BA thesis, along with its adaptation. I’m so happy and proud that it’s by a Moroccan author. This book is originally written in French, and it was translated into English. I read this book 4 or 5 times last year, and I’m diffidently going to reread it. If you want to read this book, read it with a critical mind, and try to understand the characters. This book is about poverty, terrorism, identity, Morocco, you and me; it’s about humans, and it’s good. Go and read it;  I think you’re going to love it.

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For the Love of ALLAH

This is a 50 page book, and it’s the best book that I’ve read this year. Essentially, this book  is about Salat, and how to do it properly, and why you should do it. I love praying and I think of it as a daily talk with ALLAH, 5 times a day, if it’s not more, and this book made me love it even more. This book makes you understand Salat. I read it last Ramadan, and I feel happy to have done that. It is very important for me as a Muslim and for you too if you are Muslims. It’s very helpful for the non-Muslims as well, if you want to understand our practices and way of living, and understand Islam and its values the right way.

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That’s it. I hope you loved reading this post, as mush as I loved writing it. Talk to you soon insha’ALLAH.

 

2015: Last months in a review

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Salam dear friends,

So like I’ve said before, a lot had happened in the past months, and I feel the need to share it with you.

Well, 2015 was a good year for me in many levels. Even when the bad things happened; they were there so I could learn a lesson, so I can check where I am and be honest with myself, and so I can value what I have.

In 2015, I tried to know new things and be open to new experiences. I met some wonderful people that I’m very proud to know. I also learned more things about myself.

2015 was a happy for most of it, but i also was a very hard time for me and my family.

Couple months ago,  my father got sick and he needed to have a surgery. It was a very normal at the beginning,  because it was a common one. He went to one of the doctors after seeing many others,  this later gave him a medicine that shouldn’t be given and did not give him the right instructions.  My father’s situation got complicated,  and he went to this doctor, he didn’t do nothing for him and give this negative pessimistic message that’s made him lose hope and for the first time in my life, I saw my dad, my hero, losing hope, not sleeping, loosing weight, and looking very tired all the time. My father is my rock, and in that period,  I saw my rock loosing its brightness. Me, my sisters, my brother and my mom had the most difficult period maybe in our life. We prayed a lot and made a lot of duaa. Many of my friends were there for me, making duaa, asking doctors, and assuring me that everything will be OK,  and it did. ALLAH was/is there,  and in that period, I knew the greatness and the mercy of ALLAH like I never did, and it felt great.

In that period,  I discovered my strength as well as my weakness. I discovered how strong I can be for others,  how strong I can appear to be;  but I also discovered how weak I can get without those people in my life. I cannot live without them, just can’t.

What I learned from this is that:

📍Always believed in the greatness of the Almighty ALLAH.

📍 These are tests and reminders of what life is about.

📍 Always do good, be better, and spread love and happiness.

I will keep this short. I know I’m late in tackling this, but I’m finally did it. It’s very important for me to share this with you dear friends.

Talk to you very soon Insha’ALLAH 😊 ☺ 😊

 

 

Things to do after Ramadan

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Salam dear friends,

Happy Eid to all of you 🙂

Another Ramadan has gone, but the blessings and the benefits of this holly month stay always with us 🙂

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So, what can we do, as Muslims, after Ramadan to keep the spirit of this month??

Here are six things you can do to keep that spirit  🙂

Fast Six Days in Shawwal.

It’s a beautiful way to maintain the spirit of Ramadan and to gain Ajr

Make Up for Missed Fast Days

It’s very necessary to fast the days you weren’t able to fast in Ramadan. I do advice you to do it immediately after Ramadan, in Shawwal.

Observing optional fasting after Ramadan

It makes you ready for the next Ramadan, and it’s also good for your health and soul.

Keep on Reading, Reciting, and Reflecting on the Quran

One of the best things ALLAH gives us is the Quran. It’s a beautiful gift. Try to read it, understand it, and apply it.

Take a Good Care of the Poor and the Needy

One of the purposes of fasting Ramadan is to feel what the poor people feel, and to be able to help them. Make it your goal for this year. You’ll feel so much better.

Keep On Performing Dhikr a Lot 

There is nothing better than being and feeling close to ALLAH, talking to him, and remembering him.. Do not stop this after Ramadan. Ask Almighty Allah for forgiveness. Optional night Prayer is also a good way to keep your heart and mind close to ALLAH.

Ramadan is a new chance for you and me to start over. Try to use this time to be a good human, and to do good things.

Talk to you very soon insha’ALLAH 🙂 🙂 🙂

#NotInMyName: Islam and I.

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Salam dear friends,

This post is for all the people who want to know the real Islam, the real Muslims…#NotInMyName.

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When I was a kid, I knew I was a Muslim. Of course, when you’re seven (or less), you don’t really understand what does it mean to be a Muslim. I started learning what my religion is about, and what ALLAH asks me to do. I feel blessed for the fact that I was born and raised in a Muslim family.

My father taught me how to pray, he taught me that a part of being a Muslim is praying 5 times a day, and I got used to it. In fact, it’s a daily habit that makes me feel blessed, and happy. My mother gave me the Quran, and told me that this book that I’m holding is my way of living, my constitution, and since then I made it my companion… I’m not saying this to convince anyone of the reality of Islam… Islam talks for itself. It does not need me or you to make it “good” or “pretty”.

Why I’m telling you this ??

Again, I’m not here not to convince you, or make you accept me as a Muslim… No, No.

I’m telling you this to make you know that as a Muslim, I was raised in a very normal way… To make you aware of the real Islam, the real Muslims.

As a Muslim, I was taught to believe in Adam, Jesus, Ibrahim, Moses, Lot, Mohamed ( and the list is long), and that without believing in them my Islam is not complete.

As a Muslim, my father did not ( ever… never) make a difference between me and my brother.

Islam gives me as a girl all the rights that I need and want… I don’t need no one to tell me what my rights are, cause I already know them, I already have them.

Don’t bother yourself and feel sorry for this poor Muslim girl who lives in a “prison” as you call it, who suffers, who’s been treated as a ” slave”, and who can’t go the school, or work or even talk, isn’t that what you’re trying to convince every single person in your society, in my society, in the world ?? Well, you did it, congrats.. But, I don’t think that people will keep on believing you anymore.

Do not judge Islam and say that it is a religion where women don’t have equal opportunities (equal rights);  just because some countries don’t give women the right to study, to work, to drive, to vote, or simply to choose… This is that country’s problem, Islam has nothing to do with it.

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As a Muslim, I was taught that killing is a crime.

Why should I be punished for the things that some ignorant nonhuman -who think they’re Muslims- did.. I don’t think I should.

I take my religion very seriously, I consider it as my way of living.. But you don’t see me killing people… This is because that as a Muslim (a real one) I was taught that if I killed one person it”s like killing the whole nation, the whole world.

There are people who make “the hate of Islam” their career; they keep all day talking about the same old topic: Islam is danger. What they mean is that if I saw a christian or a Hindu passing by,  I’ll change the way, I’ll curse and I’ll even kill… Really ?? Well, thank you for making me know that deep deep inside me, there is a criminal, a monster, a nonhuman.

And what Makes it even worse is that people believe them, people are now afraid of Muslims. What they forget is that Muslim are ordinary people who live in an ordinary way..We don”t have a different blood color.  Our prophet Mohamed (peace be upon Him) dealt with other people from other religions in a beautiful way that can be described in this verse of the Quran “To you be your religion, to me be mine.”  Just take a look at the life of the prophet, and you can draw a picture on how he dealt with different religions, You’ll see that “tolerant” is the perfect word to describe it.

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As a Muslim, I start the day by saying: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم  ” b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi”, meaning: In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, we say that too if we want to eat, to go out, or to do any other daily activity… Our whole life is based on mercy.

As a Muslim, I’ve learned that respecting others is an obligatory.

As a Muslim; I was taught that smiling to other people is a charity.

As a Muslim, I was taught that we all have equal right.. There is no difference between black and white; woman and man; rich and poor.

As a Muslim, I was taught that I have to treat others the way I want to be treated.

As a Muslim, I was taught to love my parents, my sisters, my brothers, my neighbors, my whole society.

As a Muslim, I was told to read, to collect information, to have an open mind.

As a Muslim, I was taught that I should not talk about a person behind his back.

As a Muslim, I was taught to not spread information, before making sure it’s right, and true.

You made it a fact that Muslims are terrorists, that Islam is a religion of terrorism; and it’s wrong.

Before saying that Muslims are terrorists, read the Quran, understand it, then talk.

Before telling me that I’m a terrorist, ask terrorists to which religion they belong.

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Do not judge Islam based on the actions of some Muslims.

Not because some people who call themselves Muslims commit such horrible crimes that I should be seen as a criminal.

My name is Kaoutar, I’m a Muslim, I want peace, tolerance, and respect… No war… No violence… No terrorism.

My name is Kaoutar, I’m a Muslim… When I meet you, I’ll begin with saying السلام عليكم:  As-salamu alaykum… This is our way of greeting, and it literally means: “peace be upon you”.

My name is Kaoutar, I’m a Muslim, I’m proud to be a Muslim, and I’m NOT a terrorist.

I’m ashamed that still in the 21th century, where information is more available than anytime before, I’m still defending and explaining my way of living to others… I’m still explaining what the second-largest religion in the world is all about.

I wonder when it will come the day where I will say the word “Islam”, and every one will get it with no need to explain it…

Maybe, someday, maybe, one day…

a MUSLIMM

5 things to know about Eid al-Adha…

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Salam dear friends,

Today, we celebrate a very important Islamic day: It’s Eid al-Adha, meaning “Festival of the sacrifice” or “the Feast of Sacrifice” , also called as the “Major Festival”.

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A lot of you won’t understand what this Eid is all about.. I’m going to share with 5 things you need to know about Eid al-Adha… Enjoy 😉

I’ll begin by saying: Eid Mubarak to all of you… What I just said is routine greetings used during the observance to offer best wishes 🙂 😀 🙂

1)_ Eid al-Adha begins on the 10 day of Dhu’l-Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar. It occurs at the conclusion of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

 

2)_ Muslims all over the world who can afford it , sacrifice a sheep (sometimes a goat) as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to ALLAH.

 

3)_ Eid al-Adha commemorates when ALLAH appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to kill in place of his son.

A version of the story also appears in the Torah and in the Bible’s Old Testament.

 

4)_ This festival usually starts with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers, dressed in their best clothes, and thanking ALLAH for all the blessings they have received.

 

5)_ We share out the meat among us, family, and the poor, who each get a third share.

 

This Eid is an occasion to share love and care between all the Muslims 😉 Enjoy the rest of the day, visit your family, and be happy…. Happy Eid to all of you 😉

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You need to know: Laylat Al Qadr

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Salam dear friends,

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Laylat Al Qadr is a very important night in Ramadan… It is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims. Today, I want to share with you 10 things you need to know about Laylat Al Qadr.

1)_  It is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan.

2)_ The Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon Him) did not mention exactly when it would be.

3)_ This night is told to be around the last ten days on Ramadan, mostly in on one of the odd nights (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th).

4)_ It is variously rendered in English as the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures.

5)_  It is the  night when the Quran was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon Him)  from ALLAH.

6)_ Laylat Al Qadr is a good time for prayers to be answered. Muslims welcome this occasion with study, devotional readings, and prayer.

7)_ Good deeds performed on that single night are equal to those performed over a thousand months.

8)_ It is the holiest night of the year, so believers are encouraged to stay awake the entire night, and pray for blessings and forgiveness.

9)_ Muslims will take advantage from this night in different ways. Some will pray as much as they can, others  will read the Quran all night, while some people will sit with their hands raised, and with  their tears falling from their eyes as they ask ALLAH forgiveness… If you want my opinion, do all those things: pray, read Quran, and ask forgiveness 😉

10)_ Some Muslims participate in a spiritual retreat called itikaf, where they spend all ten days in the mosque reading the Quran and praying.

For us, Muslims, the month of Ramadan is a  particularly spiritually important time. I think one of the reasons why we don’t have a specific time for Laylat Al Qadr is to make the whole month of Ramadan a time for forgiveness, changing, and caring.

Hope what I just said or wrote was useful… Talk to you soon Insha’ALLAH 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

 

 

Ramadan: To do list

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Ramadan: To do list

Salam dear friends,

More than 10 days have gone away, but you still got time. The time to do great things… Ramadan is the right time to make life worth living 🙂

So, here are 10 things that I think we should do in Ramadan…

1_ Read Quran daily…. It’s the best thing you can do.

2_ While reading the Quran try to understand what it is about, learn lessons, and remember the greatness of ALLAH.

3_ Make Duaa, a lot of Duaa… Remember your loved ones, people in your entourage, and people who really need our help. 

4_ Forgive, Forgive, and Forgive: this is the right time, if you couldn’t do it now, you’ll never do it.

5_ Keep relationships stronger… Check on your relatives, friends, and neighbors. 

6_ Give in charity.. It does not need to be huge or even money… Give clothes, books, do some volunteer work, and remember even your smile is a charity on itself.

7_ Give an advice to someone, a good one… They will need it.

8_ Don’t watch movies, series, soap operas… Watch programs that will give you a push, make you learn, and help you.

9_ Take a good care of your health… Don’t eat a lot, and do some physical activities.

10_ Improve yourself. Make the change you think you need. 

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 Ramadan only comes once a year, make sure you make use of it.

If you think that we should add something to this list, share it in the comments. 🙂

Talk to you soon Insha’ALLAH 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Ramadan: my favorite time in the year

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Ramadan: my favorite time in the year

Salam dear friends,

It’s Ramadan,and I’m so happy for having the chance to spend it with my family, in my country at home…It is the month of forgiveness, sharing, loving, and caring … It is simply my favorite time of the whole year 🙂 🙂 🙂

Today, I want to show you why I consider Ramadan as the best time in the year 🙂

The ninth month in the Islamic calendar is the time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship… Muslims have been fasting throughout it for more than 14 centuries. In this month, we as Muslims observe a lot of changes. In this month, we focus on the soul;trying to be more spiritual and more close to ALLAH.

 

In Ramadan, people try to change as far as they could. We try to do things in different ways; we like to have different attitudes; and we act in a very positive way, you can notice that in our streets and even in our houses, and neighbourhoods. We also try to think in a way that helps us to improve ourselves. Ramadan makes me more proud to be a Muslim.

    Ramadan is the month of second chances, we as Muslims try to forgive others, forgets what they did to us in the past and all the conflicts that we had with friends and family. We want in this month to turn the page; forgive and ask forgiveness.

When you think of Ramadan; you think of organization. We organize our life in a beautiful way. There is a specific time for everything. Ramadan is also a month of development, we think in how we can change our society and make it a better place to live in.

I wish every month of the year was Ramadan; or was like Ramadan. It will be nice to see people act like they usually do in this holly month. It will be great to see family gather together and forget all kind of problems they have as they usually do in Ramadan.

In this month, Muslims actually feel as a unit. We all want the same thing and we all celebrate it in almost the same way. We like to be with each other and be a part of this big family that we all dream of. Muslims all over the world fast with a heart full of faith and a mind full of hope.

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The month of Ramadan is the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar. We should take the chance to be better, act better and think better.

Ramadan Kareem everyone ❤

To My Dad

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Yes, I’m a little bit late.. But, it’s never too late for saying: I love you dad

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I really feel blessed for having a father like mine…He’s great, simply great 🙂

So, why I love you dad ??? You have the right to ask 😉

My dad is not just an ordinary father, he’s my friend. The man I can trust. The one I can tell what’s happening in my life.

He is the one that makes me want to be better, and better… 

He supports me in every crazy decision I make… OK, not “every” but most of them.

He believes in me, which is the best thing anyone could do for you.

My father is the person who criticize me, without me being annoyed by his way of criticizing.

I can share with him my thoughts and feelings, and that’s super good.

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There are many reasons why I love my father, but I can not state them in one post.

What I can say is that : I love you daddy soooooo much… Happy father’s day 🙂

To Mom

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Salam dear friends,

This is for my center of Gravity: Mom

I love you…

No, love is a little word to describe how I feel towards you.

I miss you…

No, Missing in not the word to show what I feel when I’m not with you.

I love your smile, and you know it.

I love your charm, and how you show it.

I love your words, and the way you speak.

You’re my light, my only star, and my daybreak

I love to make you proud and happy

I want to see you proud and happy

I cry when I see you cry.

You are my sun and the sky.

Have you ever seen beauty?? Well, you did not see Mom.

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My mother is ill. She had a herniated disc. Today, she did the surgery, and I really hope she will be OK. If you read this, I hope you will  remember her in your prayers. Love you Mom