Thursday, July 23, 2015

Da'wah to my parents

If we were given a beautiful gift like a pair of diamond earrings or a brand new luxury sports car, by default, we would like to show the world what we have. When there is something given to us, normally we do not just keep it hidden and stored away from others so nobody can see it! We want to share with people and show them the beauty of what we own! Similarly, once we are blessed with the gift of Islam, we should feel the urge to share this huge blessing with everyone we know and don't know! 

When I became Muslim four years ago, I was so full of zeal and joy that I wanted all my family members to know that Islam is the truth! Coming from a Chinese background where I was raised as a Christian, who later was forced to become a Buddhist, I wanted my parents to know about Islam so they would understand how true the religion is! Of course Allah guides whom He wills and giving dawah to my parents and family members truly was not as easy as I thought it would be. Rather, it was very difficult. I do admit though, my ignorance added to the challenge of conveying the message to them. I was trying to tell them about Islam instead of showing them Islam and what you need to know about me is that prior to Islam, I had bad manners and was a very rude person. I was very selfish and I also would go through many different phases in my life. My parents thought my reversion to Islam was just another phase but I wanted to prove them wrong! My uncle had been feeding them a lot of lies about Islam and he was always saying rude things and turning my parents against me. I know he was just worried about me but he did more harm than good. Subhana'Allah Allah took his life a few months after I had reverted and it brought me closer to my parents and from then on was when my journey to giving dawah to them truly began. 

Prior to my uncle's death, I would often just preach about Islam and try to send them things that would tell to them about Islam and how Isa (Jesus, aleyhi salam) was not the son of God and I even tried to make my father read the Qur'an in Chinese ! All of this did not work and it only caused more problems between us. After some time, I moved away to America to be with my husband and the distance made my relationship with my parents much stronger. I started learning more about Islam and how to preach by good manners and good deeds instead of just with speech as Allah says in the Qur'an :  

"And who is better in speech than he who (says: 'My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness),' and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and) invites (men) to Allah (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: 'I am one of the Muslims.'" (Quran, Fussilat: 33)

"Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided." (Quran, an-Nahl: 125)

I remembered that Allah often mentioned the importance of treating parents with kindness and gentleness and that was something I had never done before with my parents. I never had a close relationship with my mother because she sort of just had this "I give up on her" attitude with me because of all the things I put her and my father through. I was a true rebel before Islam, so I tried really hard and asked Allah for assistance to help me with my manners towards my parents. I asked Allah to soften my heart towards them and Alhamdulillah, some how , some way, I started to treat my parents with more respect and good manners. As Allah says in the Qur'an.

"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.'(Qur'an al Isra 17:23)

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.  His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.”  (Quran Luqman 31:14)

 So I really tried to exercise these verses whenever I had to deal with my parents. Every time I went home to visit, I would try my best to go above and beyond and show them with my manners what my religion has taught me. I would bite my tongue (sometimes literally) to keep my mouth from talking back or saying rude things and I kept telling myself there was no room for failure because I am trying to represent the deen of Allah to my parents. I kept thinking that one wrong move, and they would change their perception of Islam forever. I am representing Islam and my actions and speech are crucial. Although this put a lot of pressure on me, I knew that good things don't come easy and I really needed to work hard to change their idea of me, and Islam. I kept working at it slowly and steadily and by the Permission of Allah, I saw my parent's attitude towards me slowly start to change. They became more pleased with me and happy with me! Something that was very rare in my non-Muslim days. We argued less and even my mom is more careful with her words around me. I can even wear abaya and hijab with them and go out in public with them and my mom tells her friends how proud she is of me with my huge change. This is not to boast, Allah knows best my intentions, but I wanted to share this as an example to let other knows that it IS possible for our parents to accept us and our religion, it just starts with us and our actions. We must be wise and learn how to deal with our parents. 

My relationship with my parents has change a complete 180 and all because of Allah the Almighty. How important it is to read the Qur'an and reflect upon the verses and to truly know what is expected of us as Muslims? Had I not come across these verses and reflected upon them, I would still be treating my parents with an attitude that was displeasing to Allah. The key to giving dawah to your family is not just through speech, because our parents always have this "talk is cheap, actions are louder than words" mentality so we should show them through our actions because they hold a heavier weight. Making lots of duaa and being sincere to Allah and understanding the importance of spreading the deen in a kind, gentle way is something that must be done in order for success. I still struggle with my attitude sometimes , and that is normal since I am only a human being, so do realise that you are not perfect and you will have your moments where you slip, but ask Allah for forgiveness and tawfeeq and get back up and keep going. This journey is not an easy one but hopefully our parents will see the beauty of Islam and decide to follow us together to Jannah insha'Allah.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My favourite Ayah.

" Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." (1:162)

Before Islam, I never really put much thought into what my purpose of life was. I only cared about living the moment, and I didnt care who it was for as long as i did it for me, myself, and I! I didn't know there was a deeper meaning to life and I definitely didn't think of living my life for someone or sacrificing any part of my time and effort for anyone. But that all changed when I became Muslims. Everything suddenly had a purpose. It didn't all fall into place right away but as I learnt more about my religion, the more I started to understand the true meaning of life. 

I chose this verse because it reminds me of my purpose in this life. Whenever I forget or I am finding myself buried too deep into this dunya, I remember this very and it brings me back to reality. It reminds me that everything I do is for Allah alone and that there really is no point of existence or doing anything when it is not done for Allah and His Sake. 

Many people try to find their purpose in life and they will go to lengths to find it, even if it means doing things that could harm their bodies, mind, and soul. Some people think life is all about money and status, others think it is all about doing humanitarian work and raising money for charity organizations and trying to make a difference in the world. Surely, there is nothing wrong with the latter, in fact, it is highly encouraged, but it means nothing when you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Imagine doing even the smallest of deeds such as smiling or giving salams to a sister? Or doing a bigger deed like raising money for charity or feeding orphans? In Islam, you get rewards for every small and big deed you do if it is done for the sake of Allah alone. This verse is powerful and a beautiful reminder and it also preaches tawheed. It is one of my many favourite verses and it really makes an impact on my heart every time I read it. Alhamdulillah for the gift of guidance, the gift of Islam, where everything you do, has it's sole objective and that is to worship Allah alone, seeking His pleasure alone. 

What is your favourite ayah ( i know there are more than one, but one that really sticks out to you and why?) 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Seeking Help.

I decided to create an online community for the youth!

So here it is ! The big sister - little sister initiative goes something like this! Living in this world as a young muslimah is very difficult these days! So much temptations and trials that we all face and sometimes it can just be so overwhelming and difficult! Sometimes you just want someone to talk to and not judge you and you just want some advice and support that you can't get from your own friends and family! We totally understand that which is why we are here! We are a bunch of big sisters who are here to help and just be that big 'ol sis that you wish you had! Some of us are reverts and born muslimahs and have been through just as many struggles as you are going through now! We can definitely relate to your struggles and we are here to help for the sake of Allah! You don't have to be a hijabi, practicing, or a student of the Qur'an to talk to us! We are just a bunch of sisters looking to reach out to someone in need! OPEN HUG POLICY! We leave all the judging at the door and for Allah! Don't be shy ! 

Follow us on Instagram @thebigsisterlittlesister 
Facebook: The Big sister little sister 
Tumblr and send us an email at

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why dawah is important

The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) has said: "Convey from me, even one verse." (Bukhari)

When I was living in my world of ignorance, I knew nothing about Islam. For nearly 20 years of my life, I never had a clue about Islam or who Muslims where. I thought that most hijabis were all Indians or Pakistanis and that they all were hindus or sikhs! I was trapped in my ignorant bubble and my life only revolved around the gym and social parties. I was completely clueless about Muslims and I had never spoken to one in my life (or so I thought). Had Allah not put my husband in my path, I feel like I would have been living my life full of ignorance (Allah Knows Best) not knowing what the true religion of Islam was. As I look back, I realised that I must have known a handful or more of Muslims (by their names and ethnic background) but I never knew a thing about Islam because they never outwardly showed that they were Muslims or because they just never talked about it. Perhaps they were afraid that if they mentioned Islam, I would have turned my back and fled (because of 9/11) or maybe they just did not know the importance of spreading Islam and conveying the message of truth. 

So here I am, writing to you all about the utter importance of spreading the gift of Islam. After Allah guided me to this beautiful religion, I realized just how important it was for me to share this beautiful gift with others. I think that educating non-Muslims, and even Muslims about the true Islam is extremely important. Not only are there many people who do not know anything about Islam and Muslims but there is also a huge misconceptions about the religion which has been circulating the world (thanks to the media). Many non-Muslims learn the religion through watching unreliable news channels and reading anti-Islam websites on the internet. But the only way others can learn about Islam is from Muslims who understand and practise the religion according to the Qur'an and Sunnah! Therefore making it very important that we must continue always educating ourselves about our own religion and to lead by example through our character and manners. 

“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’aan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided” [al-Nahl 16:125] 

The only way that Islam spread through to the lands and reached us today is because of the dedication of the Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam). Him (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) and his companions (radiaAllahu anhum) worked day and night to spread the beautiful message of Islam. So we have no excuse. We should not be afraid of society and the media and we should never have to water down the deen or cater to the non-Muslims and keep quiet. There are many individuals out there (like how I once was), who are trying to seek the truth and find that true religion. Many individuals already believe in one God, they just need to learn about Islam so they are able to find Allah and turn to Him alone. I really encourage all the Muslims who practise Islam and who follow the Qur'an and Sunnah with the understanding of our pious predecessors, to take dawah more seriously and to reflect upon the countless rewards that Allah promised to the one who guides one to Islam (by the Permission of Allah). 

With regards to the reward, the Prophet (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) has said: "Whoever guides (another) to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." (Sahih Muslim) Also, "By Allah, if Allah were to guide one man through you it would be better for you than the best type of camels." (Bukhari, Muslim)

As a revert, I truly understand the importance of spreading Islam and showing others this beautiful gift. I see how my parents and old friends who are in such darkness and truly they lead a life full of worry, despair and unhappiness. It really makes me feel sad to know that one strives so hard for this dunya and that in the end all their efforts are being wasted because they do not know their purpose of life. I know many reverts can relate to me because they see how their family suffers in their ignorance. That is why it is really our duty as Muslims to show others Islam through good manners and kind words and insha'Allah Allah will guide them just like how He guided me because of someone else's good character and kind manners. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Struggle is Real. - Me, my niqab & life.

 "Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried?" (Qur'an 29:2) 

It has been nearly 4 years now since I took my shahadah in March of 2011 and I must say, it has been QUITE the journey! I have encountered more tests and trials now than I ever did when I was not a Muslim. Subhana'Allah! I am not going to lie, but it's been a struggle. A struggle to stay patient with things that come my way, a struggle to live as a Muslim in the West (mainly America) and not be judged for the way I dress, a struggle to find that balance and middle path, a struggle to not become complacent and too relaxed with my Islam. Everything has become a struggle. I never faced such hardships prior to Islam, probably because I would just run away from my problems and drown myself with things that were temporary and harmful. I never faced my problems when I was a non-Muslim and I chose to always rush things and run away from them at the same time. I have learnt a lot in the last 4 years and   the S T R U G G L E is real.    

Lately, I have been really struggling with my niqab. With all that is going on around the world and all the Islamaphobia, I can't help but to feel like a victim. Living here in the US has not been easy for me, especially since I am in a small remote town where Muslims are few and if there are Muslims, well, let's just say, they aren't the type of companions I would like to keep. I didn't know what to expect when I moved here. A small town in the South where there are no masjids or any halal restaurants or markets! The only masjid is 30 minutes away and that masjid is NOT welcoming AT ALL (with the exception of one or two older ladies). Perhaps it was my niqab that made them feel like I was an "extremists." These are the type of sisters I am referring to in my previous post "Sisterhood" where I talked about the good sisters who always make you feel loved and welcome, and then the other ones who just ignore you and pretend you are not there and because of this, I refuse to go back to the masjid (another reason is because the men and women love to congregate at the front of the masjid after ever Jummah prayer?? Like what ? Are we in high school on lunch break? Allah Must'aan). This was NOT what I expected. Poor innocent me 4 years ago, thinking that ALL Muslims were friendly, loving, caring, and welcoming *eyes widening* ...I was sooo wrong. And I write this because I want all born Muslims and reverts to know that YOUR actions, YOUR character, YOUR manners MATTER. Allah has not stressed the importance of GOOD MANNERS for no reason. Your good manners makes or breaks a Muslim's heart and I speak from experience.

To born Muslims and converts who are reading this, please PLEASE please, whenever you see a niqabi sister, a half-hijabi sister, a sister who isn't dressed very modestly at the mosque LOOK AT HER AND SMILE AND SEND SALAMS. Even if they don't respond or they look at you weird, send them SALAMS and do yourself a favour! Anyway, so because I don't have any Muslim support here, it has been very difficult to keep my emaan strong. Sometimes I feel extremely pressured to take off my niqab because of the constant uncomfortable stares and all the negativity it brings. Now, when i first started wearing niqab, I followed the opinion that it was fard but with some more extensive research, I follow the opinion that it is mustahab (highly recommended). Some of you may say "ohhhh, she is not 'Salafi' anymore! she became so relaxed and secular" (LOL!) well to those who think this way, May Allah guide you on the straight and moderate path and give you all a better understanding of the deen ameen, AND, before you judge others, judge yourself first because on the Day of Judgement, Allah will do the Judging, not YOU. Sadly, I shouldn't even have to explain myself but with the amount of extremism out there these days, you really need to clarify yourself or else you will be called an innovator and a modern Muslim!
Anyhow, do not get me wrong, I love the niqab and I think it truly is liberating and makes me feel free, none of that changed, but ironically enough, it is not my niqab that oppresses me but it is the non-Muslims (and even some Muslims) and this society we live in that really oppress me. I feel sad most of the time when I wear my niqab in public because people automatically look at me with evil eyes and total disgust. They look at me like I am filth thus it is extremely difficult to try to give them da'wah. Yes, you can smile through your eyes and say "hello, how are you," but the type of americans here, already have a preconceive notion about "people" who are dressed like me, and the door is automatically closed before it can even be open. Maybe I am wrong and others have had different experiences, but for me, this is what I have experienced and this is how I feel because I first hand experienced it with people. Alhamdulillah, Allah sends me one or two rare gems from time to time who are extremely friendly and intelligent and who actually treat me like an actual human being . I write my true feelings about how I feel with my niqab mainly because I know there are many sisters out there who struggle with the same issues. Depending on which state or country you live in, it is very difficult and many of us face extreme challenges with our niqab. Surely, we can definitely say that we feel like strangers and instead of detracting attention from ourselves, we are in fact attracting more attention to ourselves! I know there are many sisters out there who have the "I don't care what other people think" mentality and I truly commend these sisters and wish I had their courage. I used to have this courage, but as I spent more years here in the US, without many companions to help encourage me, without any halqah circles to help me increase my emaan, and without any strong support from Muslimahs (because there just aren't many here at all who follow the Qur'an and Sunnah) you kind of just become complacent and lose that zeal you once had. The struggle is real.

I know many sisters struggle with the same feelings I have and even though there are many times you feel like giving up, just remember to push on a little bit more and remember that Allah is with the patient and He WILL reward us! There are manyyyyy times I felt like giving up, and I admit, I feel like giving up daily because I feel like my situation will never change and I will be stuck here forever, but then I remember, nothing is forever and Allah is most Wise. We do not know what Allah's Wisdom is but we can only try our best to trust Him and continue to struggle and hope for the best. It is hard to stay positive in today's society - no kidding! Muslims are always being the target and the media is trying to turn the whole world against us! They will never win, Allah is our Wali and they have no protector. I need to keep reminding myself first and foremost before I can even remind any of you! I felt the need to document my feelings and experience in this post because I really needed an outlet to express myself! I just wanted to remind myself and all those sisters who struggle, that there is hope and there is always light at the end of the tunnel! Patience is the key to success (but exercising patience is so hard right?! Subhana'Allah). If we do not continue to proceed forward then we will never find that light, so we must keep going and keep pushing through. Often there are times I just lose hope and feel despair with all the things I struggle with. I feel as if nothing will ever change and that I will not be blessed with good news with any of my affairs. But then I think about all the small blessings and then I think about the Mercy of Allah and how He chose Islam for me and that this life is only a test. It is only temporary and whatever struggles and hardships we struggle with, it is only temporary and it will pass. Even though we may feel like it will never pass, Allah's Promise is always true and as my favourite saying goes ..." This day shall pass"! Just keep reminding yourself that the struggle is worth your akhirah and we all want to be neighbours in Jannat al-Firdaus and Allah will never burden us with more than we can bear.. Allahu Akbar!

Allah tests all His servants with tests that are specifically catered to the individual and their weakness. Tests are not meant to destroy us but they are supposed to help bring us to a level that we were not once able to be at. Tests are supposed to bring us closer to Allah because He loves to hear His servants beg to Him for His Help, His Guidance and His Mercy. 

So I leave you with these inspirational verses from the Qur'an and I hope that you can choose a few and read them each day over and over and write them somewhere and post it on your wall:

"O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient" (2:153)

“So lose not heart nor despair…” [Al ‘Imran 3:139]

"O you who believe, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful " [Al ‘Imran 3:200].

“…Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” [az-Zumar 39:10]

“…and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [al-Anfal 8:46]

“…but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say, when afflicted with calamity: ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return’ – they are those on whom [descend] blessings from their Lord, and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance” [al-Baqarah 2:155-7]

“We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient).” (Surat al Baqarah, 155)

“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Sabirun (the patient)?” (Surat A’le Imran, 142

“You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah….” (Surat A’le Imran, 186

“And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allah is Severe in punishment.” (Surat al Anfal, 25

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars….” (Surat al `Ankabut, 2-4). 

“Who has created death and life that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Surat al Mulk, 2)