Al-Gheebah (I hope I understand)

Bismillah irahman iraheem

Narrated by Imam Ahmad the Prophet (Saw) said “When the Day of Resurrection comes, Allaah will gather all creatures in a single plain so that the announcer will be able to make them all hear his voice and the watcher will be able to see all of them, then He will call them in a voice that will be heard from afar just as it is heard from nearby: ‘I am the Sovereign, I am the Judge. None of the people of Hell should enter Hell if they have any right due from any of the people of Paradise, until the score is settled, and none of the people of Paradise should enter Paradise if they have any right due from any of the people of Hell, until the score is settled.’” Sahi Bukhari

There are plenty of guides and rules out there concerning new Muslims. Within the last month (yes it's a full month tomorrow, ALHAMDULLILLAH!!) I have read lists and lists of things that need to be considered, they range from "take it easy" via "learn your prayer and supplications first" to "the best way to start Islam is with hijab".

Some things were really useful, some felt rather harsh instead of welcoming. (But I understand that not a single one advice is given in a mean spirit or with harm in mind, rather the opposite! I would not receive any advice or guidance if nobody cared.)

However, all advice I received was concerning rules in Islam, they dealt with what is halal, what is haram, what is good, what is bad, what I can keep and acquire, what I must change and get rid of.
All this was well received, thought about and hopefully properly understood and sincerely pray that I'm on my way to become a halfway acceptable muslimah with help of these rules and guidelines.

Nevertheless, I truly, truly, TRULY wish I had one big advice that came right on top of these guides, warnings, advices and lists for new muslims, and that would have been on what is considered "Gheebah" (slander and backbiting) inclusive the consequence, what is the harm for the other and oneself, and how it is avoided. In particular for new reverts.

I understand that from an islamic point of view, gheebah is rather a straightforward matter: saying somethings about someone that would make that person hate you or being very hurt is considered gossip if it is true, and slander and backbiting if the things said are untrue. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
With that in mind, I couldn't pick with what I would consider worse if that person that was talked about is myself!
I believe that Gheebah starts in one's heart and mind (and in fact, the translation of the arabic word means "that which is unseen, itseems") and indeed it is just a little step from thinking a thought to uttering it or writing it down (which is even worse because, often written things cannot be easily erased. Cyperspace is more persistent than the good old fashioned engraved marble slate!)
Someone who thinks something odd or bad about another person, family, town or even country (how often do people think and say bad about inhabitants of a certain country/practitioners of a religion) would act differently towards this person, even in slightest things.

How often in the last couple of weeks have I seen, assumed on and judged certain behaviour and other things in and outside the ummah that made me almost turn away from Islam because I thought it bad behaviour (which probably is, but it's certainly not on me to judge, and MOST CERTAINLY not to pass on to other people that most likely never even want to hear about that kind of stuff).
Judgement needs some attributes that I surely do not have such as insight (I am just a wee beginner), knowledge, just to name the most important ones.

Back to Gheebah, which is very much the result of bad judgement, on so many levels. And arrogance, think about it, everytime I say or write something about another person that might hurt this person in some way, I try to put myself higher than that person. I consider myself better.
Truly, even if you just THINK something that might hurt the other person, put them in a bad light or even in a way that they are not at all, Sheytan goes "GOTCHA!"

Now back to the new muslim stuff... sorry if I keep rambling and jumping points. But people engaged in dawah will probably agree if I just throw this statement into the cyberspace: Most muslims (not necessarily just the reverts) turn away from Islam because they observe behaviour from others, assume, judge, then consequently think bad or lower of the people concerned. They even speak it out, complain to authorities and write books about it (and isn't it Gheebah to write a book that hurts muslims in faith and heart?).
And eventually they think they are better than muslims, can practise better Islam, and finally break away from the faith.

Considering all this and a lot more that is just too late to write down this evening, I wish I realized earlier the importance of gheebah in thought and speech in the life of a new muslim.

Narrated Abu Burdhah al-Aslami : "The Prophet {s.a.w.s} said : "O community of people, who believed by their tongue , and belief did not enter their hearts, do not backbite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in the open for everyone to see, even if he hid it in the innermost part of his house." Sunan Abu Dawud : Book 41, Number 4862, Sahih Suan Al Tirmidhi

paintings of the German Sister Aischa

The Hadith I had in my inbox today:

Narrated Said bin Abu Al-Hasan (Radi-Allahu 'anhu):While I was with Ibn 'Abbas a man came and said, "O father of 'Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures." Ibn'Abbas said, "I will tell you only what I heard from Allah's Apostle(Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam). I heard him saying, 'Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.' " Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn 'Abbas said to him, "What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and anyother unanimated objects."Volume 3, Book 34, Number 428

Subhaanallah, I have just come across this beautiful website with Sister Aischa's paintings. She is a revert herself currently living in Italy with her husband and child. Mashallah, her paintings are so beautiful! I know what I will be saving up for:)

Sister Aischa has kindly agreed for me to post some of her paintings on my blog, jazhakallah kheir!
the first one is my favourite, it's for kids and the stars glow in the dark:) guess i'm a bit childish then, at least in taste!

link to Sister Aischa's website where her paintings can be mail ordered:

cool lecture from VOI this weekend :)

if that guy knew that what the shape of a coca cola bottle means he wouldn't hold it like that

two interesting views on hijab

funny dilemma

So everyone who is passing by or even reading this blog, knows by now that I have moved.
The new place is smaller but the area is very nice (the "Beverly Hills" of Wellington, lol) and the neighborhood secure. There is even, to the delight of the cat, a little stretch of bush with tui and bellbirds, circadas and possums behind the house. Alhamdulillah!!
(I will have joy with Pixie's night time gifts of stick insects and crickets:) )

The first day was very busy with cleaning, unpacking, arranging furniture and sorting things out. There was quite a storm outside and I was just taking something out to the car, opened the door and my eyes immediately fell on something that the storm blew onto the front steps: a pair of men's underpants.

Muslima or not, I was thinking, Houston we DO have a Problem (one that I never had before)!

Totally shocked I closed the door again and sat down to ponder my options...

Let's just say I just pick it up and throw it in the bin, and pretend as if nothing has happened. This would be like just taking someone's property and destroying it (and they looked quite expensive. From far away - of course). And what if the neighbor who I assumed belonged this item of clothing knocks at my door asking for his underpants...???!!
THAT is out of question.

I could just take it and stuff it into the neighbour's letterbox. But what if someone sees me with some man's underpants stuffing in someone's letterbox? And what if that wasn't the right letterbox??
Cross THAT out.

OR I could try to be really helpful and just ask the neighbors if it was their underpants. Would I take them with me or say they are still on the steps of my front door waiting to be picked up? What sort of single woman that's just moved in goes through the neighborhood asking who's men's underpants these are??
Forget THAT one, very quickly.

ALTERNATIVELY I could just leave them there and wait for the storm to take it away. But just when I thought about this, it started raining -no chance of soaking wet man's underpants getting carried away. SIGH....

So I chose to phone a friend who started laughing out loud at my little dilemma and suggested to wait until nighttime and throw the embarassing item of clothing over the fence to the other neighbors, passing on the buck. Lol, I haven't thought of THAT before!

What would any of you have done??

.... to be continued.. inshallah!


ok, so nobody is really interested or lost internet connection in a blizzard, never mind. Here the time saving short and sharp version of how it ended:

As I did a little dua about this "problem" the neighbor's wife knocked at the door to drop a parcel off (it was a mailorder of the holy quran in arabic, alhamdullillah) and introduced herself (well, she said nice to meet you but she didn't say her name, so still don't know what her name is, lol). A brief glance towards the steps showed me that the underpants have disappeared and another brief glance showed that they were stuffed into the pockets of her sweater.

Subhanallah, however small the dillemma is, Allah swt makes an effort to sort it out - if you ask him:)

farewell for now


As Salam Aleykum wa barakahtullah my friends

I will not have internet access for a while, hopefully I will get it back next week, inshallah
Please do feel at home here on my wee little blog, you are welcome to stay and discuss.
I have just come across this interesting article that was written for muslim teenagers, but I think it does apply for everyone else too, alhamdullillah

Enjoy the reading and leave me a comment if you enjoyed it (or not)


no joke. really.

thanks Amy

Amy Says:January 9, 2010 3:08 AM
And regarding black shrouds... I hate wearing black--in fact, I practically never wear it. That goes for jilbabs, jackets, scarves, all of it. I have one black abaya that was a gift, I wear it sometimes but only with a very brightly colored scarf. And on the rare occasion I wear a black headscarf (my boss one time thought there was a funeral or holiday or something because I was wearing black one day and he'd never seen me in it before) I usually pair it with fairly bright clothes to balance out.

Wa aleykum aslam Amy:

oh so true, I HATE black. It depresses me. Although it makes me look slimmer, lol. Better start off with a more optimistic color for my blog, it's here to stay for a while, inshallah!

addendum: the only black i would probably wear with delight would have fancy little skulls on it... BUT.... i think there is no such a thing as an Emo- or Grunge muslim, lol! That's quite an oxymoron. But the thought makes me smile :)

packing my things

time to start packing my things for the move next week, I was so disorganized! It's a good occasion to sort things that I keep or throw (such as statues and pictures) this is one of my favourite pics in the house, it is (aptly) in the bathroom. Keep it or throw it?? That's not really a bad picture, is it?

I wish...

After almost two weeks, I wish I actually had someone that can relate to my situation, and does not want to marry me off to some crazy control freak, put me in a black shroud and let me suffer from ingrown eyebrows. What's wrong with people?? Being muslim does not mean being detached from the world that we live in, it is a way to deal with it. That's how I see it and that's ONE of the reasons why I became attracted to Islam. Not for becoming a breeding hen.

Being a muslim does not mean to switch your brain off and just sit at home having no life, not really being in this world due to an obsession for the next. Still, this world needs to be taken seriously, it has tests, and muslims are here to worship Allah Subhaana wa ta'aala and do GOOD in this world, not to make things difficult for themselves and others. After all it is Allah's creation and not to be despised or disregarded for. Enjoy it's beauty, do not restrict it for others.


"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."
Al Hujurat, 49: 13

my first photoshop project

still more practice needed, lol, but I'm getting there, inshallah!

more decisions....

My life feels a bit like a game of monopoly. So my boss gave me a bottle of sauvignion and a music voucher for good performance (lol!) last week, but what to do with it?

1) give it to someone I like

2) give it to someone I don't like

3) buy the Beyonce CD, drink the bubbly, since both go so well together

the hijab discussion

So, was I foolish enough to ask Allah subhaana wa ta'aala for a lenient answer to my hijab problem. As usual I get my answer some way, and this week it was through this Saturday's VOI TV lecture by Abu Hamzah. But... Ya Allah! was I set straight...

Grab a cup of tea (or hot chocolate) and enjoy some New Zealand scenery together with some truth, alhamdullillah! for I have found the online version together with a nice add on from Harun Yahyah