27 July 2011


I'm liking the casual-but-smart look these days.. perhaps it's a sign that I'm getting old.. :( Anyway, here's an outfit idea for you: 

24 July 2011

NHS Tips For Ramadan

With ramadan around the cornor, I thought I would post some health tips for fasting that I found on the UK's National Health Service website.

Here are some helpful FAQs (taken from here):

These answers have been put together by medical experts and Islamic scholars and researchers.

1. Should a person with diabetes fast?

People who have their diabetes under control, either by their diet or using tablets, may fast. However, their GP may require them to change their medication to help them take tablets outside fasting times. Those who need insulin to control their diabetes should not fast.

2. I get severe migraines when I don't eat and they get worse when I fast. Should I fast?
People with uncontrolled migraines should not fast. However, managing your migraines is possible with the right medicine and certain lifestyle changes. Ask your GP for further advice on controlling your migraines.

3. Should a person with high or low blood pressure fast?
People with well-controlled high blood pressure may fast. Their GP may require a change to their medicine to help them take tablets outside fasting times. Someone with low blood pressure who is otherwise well and healthy may fast. They must ensure they drink enough fluid and have enough salt.

4. Is fasting harmful when a woman is expecting a baby? Must pregnant women fast?
There's medical evidence to show that fasting in pregnancy is not a good idea. If a pregnant woman feels strong and healthy enough to fast, especially during the early part of the pregnancy, she may do so. If she doesn't feel well enough to fast, Islamic law gives her clear permission not to fast, and to make up the missed fasts later. If she is unable to do this, she must perform fidyah (a method of compensation for a missed act of worship).

5. Is Ramadan a good time to quit smoking?
Yes. Smoking is bad for your health. Ramadan is a great opportunity to change unhealthy habits, including smoking. Find out more about stopping smoking.

6. From what age can children fast safely?
Children are required to fast upon reaching puberty. It isn't harmful. Fasting before this age is tolerated differently depending on the attitude of the parents and the child’s general health and nutrition.
Fasting under the age of seven or eight isn't advisable. It's a good idea to make children aware of what fasting involves and to practise fasting for a few hours at a time.

7. Can I use an asthma inhaler during Ramadan?
Muslim experts differ on this issue. Some say that using an asthma inhaler isn't the same as eating or drinking, and is therefore permitted during fasting. In their view, people with asthma can fast and use their inhalers whenever they need to.
But other scholars say that the inhaler provides small amounts of liquid medicine to the lungs, so it breaks the fast. They say that people with poor control of their asthma must not fast until good control is achieved. Some people with asthma may opt for longer-acting inhalers so that they can fast. See your GP for further advice.

8. Can I swim during fasting?
Yes, but do not drink the water. A bath or shower or swimming has no effect on the fast. But no water should be swallowed during any of these activities as that would break the fast.

9. Can a person fast if they are getting a blood transfusion in hospital?
No. A person receiving a blood transfusion is advised not to fast on medical grounds. They may fast on the days when no transfusions are required.

10. I am on regular medication. Can I still fast?
If the medicine needs to be taken during fasting, do not fast. If this medication is required as treatment for a short illness, you can compensate for missed fasts by fasting on other days when you are well.
If you are on long-term medication then you could talk to your GP about whether you could change your medication, so that you can take it outside the time of the fast.
If your disease is unstable or poorly controlled, do not fast. Those who are unable to do the missed fasts later, due to the long-term use of medication, should do fidyah.

11. Does a breastfeeding woman have to fast?
No. Islamic law says a breastfeeding mother does not have to fast. Missed fasts must be compensated for by fasting or fidyah once breastfeeding has stopped.

12. Can a Muslim patient take tablets, have injections or use patches while fasting?
Taking tablets breaks the fast. However, injections, patches, eardrops and eyedrops do not break the fast as they are not considered to be food and drink (though there are differences of opinion among Muslim scholars on these issues). Islamic law says sick people should not fast.

13. Could dehydration become so bad that you have to break the fast?
Yes. You could become very dehydrated if you do not drink enough water before the fast. Poor hydration can be made worse by weather conditions, and even everyday activities such as walking to walk or housework.
If you produce very little or no urine, feel disoriented and confused, or faint due to dehydration, you must stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. Islam doesn't require you to harm yourself in fulfilling the fast. If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated for by fasting at a later date.

14. Can I fast while I have dialysis?
People on peritoneal dialysis must not fast and should perform fidyah. Haemodialysis is performed about three times a week and causes significant shifts of fluids and salts within the body. Such patients must not fast and should perform fidyah.

Also check out this neat meal plan that they put together for suhoor and fatoor. Somehow, I think sticking to it would be easier said than done :/

20 July 2011

Full time abaya-wearers in the West

For a while last year I toyed with the idea of wearing an abaya but in the end I decided against it. Obviously, in Saudi Arabia pretty much all the women wear abayas or jilbabs of some sort so I was wearing a black abaya and black shayla for 3 weeks on our recent trip to umrah - boy was that hard! I have been to Saudi Arabia for 5 or 6 weeks at a time before but never did I miss my wardrobe so much!

I have to say kudos to you young ladies who give up your 'normal' clothing to wear the jilbab/abaya full time outside of the house because it must be bloody hard. I have never really thought about it before but I genuinely hope that every Muslimah living in the west who decides to wear an abaya for the pure sake of pleasing Allah (SWT) receives abundant rewards in this life and the next. Seriously, I have a new found respect for abaya-wearers for not conforming and putting their religion and desire for modesty first. I know people who say that what you wear does not reflect your religiosity and I kind of agree; what I will say though is that to wear an abaya/jilbab every single day requires serious jihad al nafs (" jihad of the self") that deserves so much more reward than a girl like me who just dresses modestly with a headscarf. Allahu a'lem.

15 July 2011

Outfit Idea: Slouchy Florals

An outfit idea for a hot but not that hot summers day :) I'd say leave the belt out and cardigan open to keep it modest.
Brown Scarf

12 July 2011

Makkah & Medinah - A Recent Trip

(*EDIT* OK so I was having a bit of a rant when I wrote this the first time so I have made some changes to make it less crazy.)

If you were curious as to where on earth I have been for the last 3 weeks, I went to Umrah alhamduliAllah. I haven't been for the last few years and my oh my has there been some changes.

A lover of lists, I thought I would compile one giving you my view of the pros and cons of Makkah and Medinah.


- The current extension work of Masjid Al Haram. It's really about time. Only thing is is that it was due to finish last year and they are still only about half way though.

- The removal of old, rundown buildings, hotels and shops in the vicinity of the haram in Makkah

- A noticeable reduction in the number of beggars in both Makkah and Medina, especially children who have been deliberately mutilated for the purpose of begging.


- The ZamZam "Grand" Hotel in Makkah. Wow. It's the most ugly building I have ever seen. It looks like a tacky version of the Big Ben and looks so out of place next to the Haram. I really don't advise anybody to waste their money on that place - it is not a 5 star hotel (though it charges as one) no matter what anybody says. The rooms are bad, the service is awful and the hotel has a 4 story mall at the bottom of it full of western shops - very spiritual indeed.

- Women have the smallest fraction in the courtyard in which I did not get to pray a single jama'a prayer in because you have to be there an hour in advance to even hope of getting a place. To add insult to injury, the whole expanse of the roof space is reserved for men only apart from in Hajj season. HOW is that fair..????!! Just look at the amount of space they get while we are cramped away in cornors of the mosque with screaming bloody children.

Look at the size of that roof space..

- A general lack of common courtesy and increasing selfishness amongst Muslims. When did it become a taboo to say please, thank you, excuse me and SORRY?

- Pervs. Anything that breathes and they will look. It's ironic and disappointing given their proximity to the ka'ba/masjid al nabawi.

- OK so I know that it is socially acceptable for Arab men to hold hands and everything but can you just please stop..? :)

**Having said all of this, I still want to go back to Makkah and Medina all the time and leaving them is the most painful experience. The spiritual peace that you attain from simply viewing the Ka'ba is amazing and far outweighs my childish complaints. This post is simply for a bit of banter and to give you an idea of my take on certain aspects of these two holy places.**

(Top pic from madinamakkah.blogspot.com)