Self Love and The Muslimah 1

Salam Alaikum
I hear and read stories about women who stay in abusive relationships i.e. marriages, friendship. It sometimes makes me wonder if we truly love ourselves. Why do we accept abuse if we love our-self? Having little or no self-love isn’t uncommon among Muslim women, we might not necessarily talk about it, but this affects us.

Allah says: “And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 70]

Self-love refers to the act of valuing one’s own happiness and well-being. Self-love is a kind of acceptance that can be described as an unconditional sense of support, caring and a core of compassion for the self. It might also be considered a willingness to meet personal needs, allow non-judgmental thinking, and view the self as essentially worthy, good, valuable, and deserving of happiness.
Some individuals may believe that they are unworthy of love due to a lack of success in their chosen professional field, or certain personal characteristics that they perceive to be negative or flawed. Trouble with relationships (marital, friendship, family) may also lead some to feel as if they may never experience close friendship or love, which can lead to spiraling negative thoughts that have negative effect on the ability to love the self

Why Is Self-Love Important?
Self-love is an important component of self-esteem and overall well-being. It is generally difficult, to feel content without first being able to love and accept the self. Researchers have discovered that the practice of self-love is associated with a multitude of benefits, such as greater life satisfaction, increased happiness, and greater resilience.
People with high levels of self-compassion have been shown to often be able to overcome difficult life events, such as divorce, with more ease than those who are harder on themselves. The ability to affirm oneself has also been associated with improved problem-solving abilities and decreased procrastination
The risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety can also be decreased through the practice of self-love. This practice can also increase one’s optimism and may be helpful for stress reduction, especially in the face of various life challenges.

Self-love can also lead to improved relationships. And research has shown that practicing self-love and self-compassion is likely to improve well-being in the context of interpersonal relationships. People who have self-compassion and practice self-love generally report feeling happier and more authentic in their relationships, and thus, they may be better able to assert their needs and opinions. Further, those who practice kindness and compassion on a personal level first may be better able to show kindness and compassion to others and are generally more likely to do so, as the ability to care for and love one’s self generally indicates that one will experience a greater capacity to love and care for others.
Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfilment through our own efforts.

Self-love is not narcissism
Self-confidence is not arrogance
Self-esteem is not pride

As mothers, we are responsible for instilling confidence, self-esteem and self-love in our kids, when we abuse them (emotionally or physically) we are stripping of the fiber of their being and this could lead either to an inferiority or superiority complex or other emotional problems, If you do not love yourself, how then do you instil this concept into your kids?

Reference:
http://www.goodtherapy.com

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Productive Apps -Apps That Keep Me Going!

I am not a typical phone application (App) crazy person, but I’ve come to love some of them that keep my life simple and productive. I always look out for ways to ease everyday stress and be more productive with my time.
Following a hadith which says: “Not a single dawn breaks out without two (2) angels calling out. “O! Son of Adam, I am a new day and witness your actions, so make the best out of me because I will never come back till the day of judgement”.
Each and every one of us needs to guard our time jealously to attain success.
Here are some of the Apps I use daily on my mobile phone and hope you find them useful.
• Pocket
This app allows you to save pictures, articles, videos and much more. See what you like, just click to save and view later, it’s as simple as that! It also has recommendation section based on your selection of topics most pleasing to you. I am using mine on an android phone and equally have it on my laptop which syncs to harmonise all content. You can download free from Play Store.

• Amazon Audible
The app is one of my favourites! Since I’m a bookworm, I love to get through a lot of reading within a short time. But where’s the time to read all paperback? Hence, the reason I decided to subscribe for Audible so that I could get to listen to my books on the go. Brilliant, isn’t it? You need to subscribe for a monthly fee whereby one is given one credit to get any book from the Audible store after the end of each month. Do give it a try. There is a 30-day free trial- what more could you want?

• Andro Money
Andro Money is one of the best personal finance management and expense tracker on android. There’s a free one on play store, but I’m using the Pro one. It’s been just incredible. Just give it a go and I’m sure you’ll not regret it.

• 24Me
How do I stress the awesomeness of this app? I love it. It’s a personal assistant in your phone tracking all your to-do that could be tagged under personal, household, work and many more additions to suit your need. You can also track your events. A complete P.A. at your beck and call! It can be downloaded free from play store on an Android phone.

That’s it for now. I’m planning to do a second part soonest, in sha Allah. Do have a lovely day.

Author- Raheemah Odusote
http://www.indulgencereading.com

Beetroot Strawberry Smoothie

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Salam alaikum.
I am not sure what I like the most about this smoothie, the taste or colour!!
It looks and taste yummy.

Nutritional Value:
It contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and soluble fiber .

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Ingredients:
1. 1 medium size beetroot
2. 6 Strawberries
3. 2 Bananas
2. 1/2 cup of homemade almond milk

Cut the beetroot into chunks and pour in a smoothie blender, add strawberries, banana and milk.
Blend together

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Dropping Your Bad Baggage

Salam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuhu
For some time I could feel my iman was quite low. like most Muslims, sometimes my iman is high Masha Allah, other times its low and I struggle to raise it up Astagfirullah.
Today I got a good dose of iman booster Alhamdulillah after attending the peace and unity convention.

A statement one of the scholars made reminded me about how I needed to drop some bad baggage weighing me down, in order to raise my iman back up. Our sins are like bad unwanted baggage weighing us down, diminishing our iman and threatening the hereafter.

I thought to myself how will you drop this specific baggage and I remembered few years ago during Ramadan, I made a list of what my biggest sins to me were, the ones I was conscious of and struggled with. And I told myself Insha Allah I am determined to stop doing so and so and do so and so instead, seeking Allah’s help. Alhamdulillah Ramadan is usually a time many of us experience high iman and a good time to start some good deeds and stop some bad deeds.

Looking back I must say Alhamdulillah, sometimes we think leaving it is so hard or our family and friends will protest or everyone does it, thinking about other reasons and telling ourselves nonsense, justifying it, and continue. Sometimes I tell myself, well am going to start doing so and so when I get married, but sincerely this is us following our nafs.

Allah SWT does not change the condition of a people until they change it themselves.

And I thought to myself it’s time to drop another baggage. We are constantly picking and dropping baggage, what we pick and drop is really important and we have to be watchful of it.

So if you are like me striving and struggling to get better, below is a few tips to help:
• Make a list
• Repent and seek the forgiveness of Allah
• Be determined never to go back to it
• Have faith that Allah SWT will make it easy for you
• Read the Quran, hadith, beneficial books, magazines etc
• Chose good company: It is better to be alone, than be in the company of bad people, and it is better to be in the company of good people than to be alone.

Ma salam

Outspoken: The Power of a Woman’s Voice

Muslim women should be seen, not heard” is a belief that – if not spoken outright – is implicitly understood and reinforced constantly. “A woman’s voice is ‘awrah” is another catchphrase that is floated around commonly and used to shame Muslim women who stand up for themselves in any way. “Women who speak are fitnah!”
If anything, one common trait amongst all the wives of RasulAllah (SAW) – besides being of those who were guaranteed Jannah – was that, in their own way, they were incredibly strong women who were never afraid to stand up for themselves or to speak out. Juwayriyyah bint al-Haarith (RA) was the daughter of an Arab chieftain – making her, in essence, a princess of sorts. When her father’s tribe waged war against the Muslims and were defeated, they captured prisoners and spoils of war as was customary at the time. Amongst the prisoners was Juwayriyyah (RA), who was the prisoner of Thaabit ibn Qays. Despite the fact that Juwayriyyah’s husband had just been killed in battle, rendering her a widow and captive, she was nonetheless both courageous and intelligent. She immediately began to arrange her own ransom, reaching an agreement with Thaabit that she would ransom herself for nine measures of silver.
She also arranged it so that she was given a meeting with Rasool Allah (SAW). With her head held high and her dignity undiminished by her circumstances, she addressed him with an eloquent and powerful speech:
“O Messenger of Allah! I am Juwayriyyah, the daughter of al-Haarith, the leader of his people. You are not unaware of what has befallen me. I am a captive of Thaabit ibn Qays, and I have bargained with him to ransom myself for nine measures of silver – so help me to free myself!”
In these brief words, Juwayriyyah (RA) established herself as a woman of intelligence, dignity and of faith. Her very first words made it clear that she had accepted Islam – why else would she refer to him as the Messenger of Allah? – and called attention to her situation by emphasising her former position as the daughter of a leader, and her current position as a prisoner. She made it known that she was not helpless and idle and would not allow herself to remain a prisoner. This not only ensured that everyone present was aware of the fact that she had taken pro-active measures, but also called upon Rasool Allah’s sense of honour, compassion and generosity to assist her.
Indeed, this small speech was all it took to guarantee freedom not only for herself, but also for her entire tribe. Rasool Allah (SAW) was so impressed by her that he immediately told her, “Would you like something better than that?”
Quick-witted as ever, Juwayriyyah (RA) didn’t simply accept, but rather asked, “What is it?”
Rasool Allah (SAW) said, “I will pay your ransom and marry you as well.”
Her answer was swift. “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!”
And with that, she was included amongst the ranks of the Mothers of the Believers. Not only that, but due to her acceptance of Islam and her position as the wife of Rasool Allah (SAW), she also secured the freedom of her entire tribe, as well as bringing them closer to Islam. The power of her words – of her voice – was clear.
Unfortunately, it’s common today in many Muslim cultures and communities to find that women who speak up, whether in defence of themselves or for a specific cause, are penalised for voicing themselves. Their modesty, their piety and even their personal lives are often targeted, sometimes with crude insinuations made. It is appalling that these accusations are thrown around at women who are doing little more than following in the footsteps of the heroines of Islam – the wives and daughters of Rasool Allah (RA), his female Companions and the great female scholars of the Tabi’een.
In a time when the Muslim Ummah is besieged on numerous fronts – militarily, economically and socially – the example of Juwayriyyah (RA) is one to be told to every Muslim man and woman, reminding us that no matter what situations we find ourselves in, Allah I helps those who help themselves. In Juwayriyyah’s case, it was her pro-activeness, her quick mind and her courage that changed her from not only prisoner to princess, but also into a woman of Jannah. By modelling ourselves on Juwayriyyah (RA), we will discover that one of the greatest tools for changing our less-than-ideal circumstances is complete trust in Allah I while never backing down from the numerous obstacles that will inevitably be in our paths.
Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. (Ar-Ra’d:11)

Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a young woman who finds constant inspiration in the lives of the Sahabiyaat and other great women in Islamic history. She hopes that every Muslimah is able to identify with the struggles of these inspirational women and follow in their footsteps to become a part of a new generation of powerful Muslim women.

http://www.sisters-magazine.com/2015/11/05/outspoken-the-power-of-a-womans-voice/

How Did They Do It?

Were they ever tempted?
Did they ever fall short?
Did they ever wonder and doubt?
Why is my faith so weak?

Did their women all wear Niqab?
Did they all achieve their goals?
Was the world any better?
Or were they just simply better?

Were they ever frightened by the might of the enemy?
Or were they ever scared of speaking the truth?
Were they this victimized?
Were they superhuman?

Were they very much and felt outnumbered?
Did they dispute amongst themselves often as we do?
Were they united?
Did they all have a common goal?

What did they do for leisure?
Was it sports, music, poetry or folklore?
Did they have more than a day and night?
How come they did achieve so much?
How come 24hrs seems so short?

I’m going crazy here,
How did the Sahabas do it?
Where did we go wrong?
Questions begging for sincere answers

Do you know the answers?

Note:
Niqab: Veil
Sahabas: Companions of the Prophet (SAW)

Author: Sino

DIY: Indulgence Body Scrub

DIY: Indulgence body scrub

Skin in need of a little love? Try a body scrub.
The skin is the largest body organ, and it can absolve about 60% of what you apply on it. The outer layer of the skin is covered in dead skin cells. Body scrubs buffs and polishes the skin, gently removes dead skin cells, cleans the pores of dirt and oil thereby unclogging pores and expose your skin’s underlying healthier layers.
Besides feeling wonderful, body scrubs have several rejuvenating benefits for the skin. It helps reduce cellulites, clears pimples/acne, reduces scars/stretch marks/hyper pigmentation, give gorgeous glow, tones, soften, smoothens and maintains healthy skin.
DIY body scrubs work as well or even more than store bought scrubs, which sometimes have some foreign addictive.

Body scrub has 3 primary ingredients:
1. The Exfoliant: Basically the “scrub” in the body scrub that helps buffs and polishes the skin. Sugar and salt are the most common, others include oatmeal, coffee grounds etc.
Salt: Great for relaxing muscles and detoxifying. Sea salt, Epsom and table salt are all great for the skin.
Sugar: Slightly gentler on the skin than salt. You can use either brown or white sugar, but brown is preferable.
Coffee grounds: The caffeine have some benefits for your skin. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it causes blood vessels to constrict, so it can temporarily reduce varicose veins and cellulite. Intriguingly, experiments have shown that caffeine applied to the skin of mice makes them less likely to get skin cancer… but we don’t know yet whether this works for humans.
Oatmeal is the gentlest of the exfoliants. It is an emollient, meaning that it softens and hydrates your skin. People have used it for decades as an effective home remedy for dry, itchy skin.
2. Carrier Oil: Also called a base oil, the oil in a homemade body scrub holds the mixture together, and moisturises your skin. I.e. coconut oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil, grape seed oil and my favourite rosehip seed oil.
3. Essential oil: Essential oils are oils that carry the essence of the plant, great for the skin and can also be used as a fragrant.

Others include the addictive like, i.e. cocoa powder, milk, honey, lemon juice, herbs, green tea, fruits (cucumber, pawpaw, pineapple etc.) powders like turmeric, gram, sandalwood and cinnamon etc.
Coffee sugar scrub:
• ¼ cup carrier oil
• ½ cup sugar
• 1/3 cup fresh coffee grounds
• Few drops of essential oils

In a medium size bowl, combine the carrier oil, sugar, coffee grounds, and essential oil mix well.
Can be stored in air tight container i.e. jar

Chocolate indulgence body scrub:

• ¼ Cup Carrier Oil
• ½ Cup Brown Sugar
• ¼ Cup Cocoa Powder
• Few drops of essential oils

In a medium size bowl, combine the carrier oil, sugar, cocoa powder, and essential oil mix well.
Can be stored in air tight container i.e. jar

Using the body scrub primary ingredients guide, you can whip up different body scrubs based on ingredients you can easily find.

DIY: Protein conditioner

Hello, Salam Alaykum

What are protein conditioners?

Protein conditioners are hair conditioners that strengthen and reconstruct the hair structure with hydrolyzed proteins, as well as conditioning and sealing ingredients. You should look for products that explicitly say protein, reconstructor, or strengthener.

Benefits of protein conditioner:
In my quest for a healthy long hair, i did a lot of research on DIYs [Do it yourself]hair treatment and protein treatment is one of the most important treatments for hair.
Hair is comprised of 70% keratin protein. It’s stored in the innermost layer of the hair. Protein is responsible for hair’s strength and structure.
A protein-based conditioner can strengthen damaged hair and replenish protein lost through regular maintenance such as shampooing and styling.
A proper moisture protein balance is important for the overall quality of your hair. One without the other leads to breakage. Conditioning with protein deep conditioner biweekly or monthly can help you maintain balance.

Ingredients:
1 egg
3 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon carrier oil i.e coconut, olive, castor, grapeseed e.t.c
1 tablespoon honey
Few drops of your favourite essential oil [My favourites are lavender and mint]

How to:
Whisk egg including the yolk in a bowl
Add mayonnaise, oil, honey and essential oil
Mix together
Apply on hair and leave for 30 minutes
Rinse with cold water
Shampoo and apply a leave in conditioner.

Voila, pretty easy right.

Adopting A Healthy Eating Lifestyle.

Living a healthy lifestyle comprises of a whole lot this includes diet, exercise, self-medication etc. I will be focusing on just the eating aspect of it. HEALTH (a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, according to the WHO).
Health is one of the greatest favour Allah has bestowed on us. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mounted the pulpit, then wept and said, “Ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness and health, for after being granted certainty, one is given nothing better than health.” Related in Tirmidhi
My health consciousness started while I was in the university, at first my friends didn’t understand why I decided to stop taking carbonated drinks except for malt drinks as part of reducing my sugar intake, they just assumed I had started my iye yi (over sabi sabi) again.
I remember when my mum always complained about Fanta/Coke been too sugary and insisted on diluting it with water, I always told her it wasn’t too sugary, she was probably just getting old and doesn’t like sweet things. Fast forward to some months later after staying off, I was very thirsty and had to take a cold bottle of Fanta, it was too sugary I had to ask why Fanta had increased its sugar content, of course Fanta didn’t increase its sugar content my taste buds adjusted.
Having a healthy eating lifestyle is more important than “dieting”, sometimes when people diet they find it hard to stick to it, but having a healthy eating lifestyle means you are changing your eating habit completely.

Healthy Eating Tips:
 Swap the unhealthy food with healthy food: swap sugar with honey or date (honey should be taken in moderation, although honey is better, it still contains calories), Coke with freshly squeezed fruit juice or zobo etc.
 Reduce oil intake: Fry with little oil, reduce fried food intake. Boil, steam and grill.
 Eat right, moderately, and in the right proportion: “A man does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat enough to keep him alive. But if he must do that, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink and one-third for his air.”. Related in Tirmidhi
 Reduce your salt and sugar intake: you don’t need that soft drink. The Coke, Fanta, Pepsi etc. are of no healthy use whatsoever, except you’re hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar) and in an urgent need of glucose (sugar). A nice bottle of delicious water, or green tea or zobo drink will do, and the body appreciates it more.
 Don’t turn your stomach into a dustbin, by just dumping all sort of stuffs in it, really don’t!
 Eat of the good things which We have provided for you.” (Quran 2:172) “Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth.” (Quran 2:168)
 You don’t have to eat only cooked food, you can add some salad to that mountain of rice, for some added benefits.
And it is He Who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and date palms, and crops of different shape and taste (its fruits and its seeds) and olives, and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in taste). Eat of their fruit when they ripen…” (Quran 6:141)

I know it’s not easy, but your body will thank you for it, it’s easier to fast and perform tahajud when healthy. May Allah make it easy for us all, Amin.

Seeking Forgiveness From The Most Merciful.

In the creation of humankind, the divine attributes of forgiveness, mercy and kindness are also manifested

Human beings are created good and pure with a natural awareness of good and evil. Humans have human desires and Allah created us with the ability to control these desires,according to divine laws or turn them loose and follow them blindly

Allah created us knowing we would disobey him, and He taught us how to repent, and purify ourselves.

In human kinds, disobedience and turning back to God in repentance, the divine attributes of total forgiveness and infinite mercy become manifest.

Prophet Muhammad informed us saying “If you did not commit sins, and turn to Allah seeking his forgiveness, He would have replaced you with another people who will sin, ask Allah’s forgiveness and he would forgive them.

Never fall into despair, no matter how great your sins are.
No matter how great our sins are God can forgive us if we turn back to Him in sincere repentance

Allah’s mercy supersedes his wrath.
Allah could have created mankind like angels, incapable of sinning. However that was not his wish

So whatever sinning you are committing, seek forgiveness with sincere repentance and NEVER despair of Allah’s mercy.

He is Ar Rahman.