Faith, Writing

Noah Ark

 

Image result for Noah Ark

 

People at the time of Noah, laughed at him building a ship in a city where there was no sea, not even a river. Why you are wasting your time? They mocked; gathering all the children to laugh at their wise who for them had lost his mind. Noah didn’t give up; he kept building and building. One day the ship was ready; apparently, it was the most amazing ship at that time. That day, something much more awful, much more destructive, much more terrifying happened. Was it something like a Tsunami, something like any of those torrential hurricanes, or was it an earthquake with a magnitude of 10 or more? Whatever it was, something unbelievable, unexpected, did happen. But now ship floated saving those believing souls.

It’s the story of faith, hope, and reward.

Do you know that Noah Ark has become such an inspiration that a group of people have already constructed a similar craft to remind people all over the globe of the story of Noah’s unthinkable and unsinkable ship?

I hope you would enjoy watching this video; it’s very interesting.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

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Faith, life, Writing

The journey of the lifetime 3

 

Image result for hajj 2018

 

Last year I wrote about Hajj under the title of the journey of a lifetime, I will leave the links at the end of my post so you can check them if you like.

These days Muslim Pilgrims are on their way to Makkah and this is why the memories of my Hajj journey become fresh again. In my previous posts, I explained how it was so hard for me to leave my boys who were at that time about 4 and 6 years old, even though I left them with my mother. On the day I went with my husband to Cairo International airport, I wept deeply from my heart and my friend, who was waiting for us there, hugged me tight trying to soothe me though I knew it was even harder for her because she also left her daughter who was younger than my boys and she was pregnant in the first two months. She knew about her pregnancy when we got all the documents of hajj done. I told her to postpone hajj: ‘You can apply next year. Hajj is a hard journey. You’re responsible for this pure soul growing inside you,’ I said trying to persuade her to change her mind but she said she wanted both and she would go for Hajj. And we went.
When I decided to write this post, I thought of sharing one of the very funniest moments that happened on that journey. On the day of Arafah, one of the main rituals in Hajj, we spent the day praying, making supplications and reading Quran. Food and water were available to everybody all the time. But we didn’t expect to have ice cream too. One of our friends was dead tired and was just having a nap when we discovered about that ice cream surprise. Her friend wet her lips with some yummy vanilla ice cream. She got up immediately and told everybody that she thought she was dead and was having ice cream in heaven. I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard her tale but I also thanked my Lord that I wasn’t next to her that day or else I wouldn’t be able to concentrate in any of the rituals.

 

There were lots of those funniest moments but I think one in enough this time.

By the way, my pregnant friend did well in Hajj and gave birth to a beautiful girl on her due date.

Wishing you all the best,
Nahla

Herewith my last year Hajj posts:

The journey of a lifetime!

The journey of a lifetime/2

I hope you will like this song too.

 

 

 

Faith, Islam, Muslim celebrations, Personal, Writing

The journey of a lifetime/2

We arrived at Jeddah airport.

It was December; the best month for a nice weather in Arabia!

The airport was packed with people! This was expected because of the enormous number of pilgrims arriving from different destinations at usually similar times. Long, very long, queues of people were waiting to get their passports stamped, to get their luggage, and to get on a suitable transportation travelling to Makkah.

Later on, we were on our way to Makkah! We were revising our information about hajj rituals. Actually, what I studied at school or learned from my parents about hajj was mainly the basics. That’s to answer what, why and how. But there should be something else! Once I started my self- reading, thinking, and contemplating, I realised that the whole rituals of Hajj are symbols of higher transcendental meanings!

We start hajj by wearing white simple garments which symbolise equality, simplicity and purity! Can this be a reference, or is it better to say, a reminder of how this life began and how it will end? Life is not just for money, position, fashion, jewellery, makeup or hairstyle. There should be other significant meanings of life! It’s time to remember that you are not better than me and I am not better than you! We are equal and the only thing that would make us better before God, is our righteousness; our full submission and strong faith. Remeber, this is how we used to be at beginning of the Creation!

And we end hajj with farewell tawaf or final circumambulation which symbolises not only the end of this spiritual visit but also the hope for a new start when we are expected to revive our faith and regain the standards of humanity which we may have lost in our busy material life. We end our journey by remembering that we have been living as guests in this life and one day we will leave. But can we leave the host’s house without saying thank you? Thanks for the generous hospitality; for all the blessings we have been enjoying in this world! Can we leave without asking for forgiveness and support especially when we believe that we are asking the Most Gracious and Merciful?

We enjoyed every part and moment in Hajj. The beginning, the end and everything in between. It was a marvellous journey! We experienced hard as well as good times! We got lost, we got pushed, we got what was unexpected, we fell ill, we made good friends, we laughed, we cried, we helped and were helped, and finally we made it!

That was not everything!
We would not leave without visiting the Madinah or the Prophet’s city which welcomed us with a cool soft breeze, drizzly rain and smiley faces shown everywhere congratulating the visitors for being there!

Finally, we were on board but this time flying to Cairo. Looking forward to seeing the kids, hugging them and telling them about this journey of a lifetime!

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Faith, Family, Muslim celebrations, Personal, Writing

The journey of a lifetime!


First of all, this post is about my own experience and I have not thought about writing a systematic guide or knowledge which can easily be obtained by a double-click on google.

This is about my pilgrimage journey! Hajj

Ten years ago my husband and I went to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage). I know by heart that Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and once you can afford to make the journey; physically and financially, then you must go. It’s the journey of a lifetime. A Muslim can perform it at as many times as he/she can afford.

Honestly, I did not think about going to Hajj at that time. Why? Because it was common among all people I know to plan to perform hajj later in their life. Apparently, when we become older with less or free from responsibilities; at the time when we decide to live life wisely and thoughtfully. And (this may be a new information for you) but some Arabic countries did not permit people to go to hajj unless they are over 50 and in urgent medical cases they would allow a young relative to accompany and look after the old pilgrim. This may have been changed now! Or may not!

At that time, we were already in the UK. My boys were 7 and 5 years old. My husband had just finished his postgraduate studies and started his academic career. I was about to start my postgraduate studies too. But sometimes we are destined to go through unexpected plans that would turn out to be better than our long-term ones!

This was what happened to us. How?

One year before we went to Hajj, some friends sent us an email explaining the full details of the expenses and documents required in case we would think about going the year after. My husband was very encouraged and determined. He said: “we have the money, are young and healthy, so it’s time to perform hajj!” He started making comprehensive inquiries. We did not wait long as everything had been arranged and confirmed smoothly. I was excited but the only and first thing I asked about was; what about the boys? Our friends decided to leave theirs, who was much younger than ours, with their family in their home country. I had never left my sons with anyone before even with my own family except for a few hours! I thought to take them with us but my husband and other friends advised me not saying” it would be very hard for them besides they would have a great time with my family in Egypt” And that how it was! We arranged two flights one to Egypt and another to Jeddah.

After spending a few days with family, we were on our way to the airport to get our flight to Jeddah. I was happy; extremely happy, because it was no longer a plan or a dream but real! we were on our way to perform this fifth pillar! But I also could not stop crying thinking about my boys. I prayed with my whole heart: “Ya Allah, this is for your sake, please make this easy for me and take care of my sons!”

Then we were flying to Jeddah to start our hajj rituals in Makkah!

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Faith, Personal, Writing

Do you know what is right?

Why choosing the wrong?

We are humans.
Humans are not perfect.
Humans do mistakes.
Therefore humans are supposed to do mistakes,
to learn from them and do their best to be better.

This is a logical thinking!

Sometimes we do the wrong because we do not know what is right or we do not bother asking  about the right thing? This can be the case of a mother who starts giving her kid unsuitable food, at an early age, thinking that she is helping him/her grow up quicker and healthier than others. It is not until the symptoms of her baby’s illness become obvious that she realises her mistake  and then runs to see the doctor. Then, she would admit that she was  wrong and if she was wise and sane enough she would not follow the same course of thinking.

This is a mistake!

However, what about you know that this is wrong and you choose it?
There is always a student who cheats at his/her exams instead of studying hard, a witness who gives a false testimony instead of telling the truth, a shopkeeper who sells an out of date food instead of keeping  them away, etc…..
Can these also be mistakes though with full intention and understanding of doing a wrong deed?

What I am totally sure of is that if even we choose doing what is wrong, we will receive indirect reminders or warning messages about how far we are going downward or towards the wrong direction. This can be a direct punishment; e.g the student’s exam papers are marked down and he got a fail. Or an indirect one, for his cheating might not be discovered but he might have an accident on his way back which he would soon links to his wrong deed!
The reminder or the message might come late, but it would surely come.
Some people may call this karma and i believe it is a message from God to awaken our conscience and see our response. We are totally responsible for our own deeds and if you believe in the day of resurrection, you would also believe that we will be as asked about them.

One day my friend told me that she and her son went to have lunch in, though a very nice fish and ships restaurant, but not that expensive. She intended to be smart and parked her car in a free parking space for a leisure park customers. The restaurant was not inside the leisure park and she knew she was doing wrong but “how would they know?” She thought. When coming back, she was fined for illegal parking! She admitted that their lunch on that day was the most expensive one in her life. Then she told her son that this was a lesson for both of them if you what is right why choosing the wrong?

What if she was not fined, I think she would follow her smart thinking till another disaster happened!

Is it not better that she got this message early and learned the lesson?

I have lots of other real stories happened to me as well as others I know that would fill a book. These stories would help us understand and listen to those early warnings before we get used to what is wrong till we believe it is right. But then we will be lost.

I think the message of one is sufficient.

Will we do what is wrong again? Will we keep our conscience fast asleep and ignore the divine message?

I wish we all would listen to our conscience and understand God’s reminding messages!

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla