Monday, August 31, 2009

Toward a higher level of fasting

It is Allah’s mercy, may He be glorified, that He placed no restriction on our eating and drinking during the rest of the year as long as what we consume is (i) Halaal, (ii) Tayyib (nutritious and clean), and (iii) not to be extravagant. We can eat or drink at any time, choosing from a wide variety of cuisines and delicacies: meats, dairy products, spices, herbs, leafy greens, fibers, staple grains, or frutis and vegetables, in whatever combination we like, because indeed the list of Halaal food is endless while the Haraam is only a restricted few.

The fact that Allah has made fasting obligatory is also a mercy from Him. Man’s nature is such that he takes for granted all good things that are easy to access and abundant in supply. He demeans their importance, and many a time, misuses them for his selfish needs.

Fasting from dawn to dusk with a conscious effort to abstain from sins of the tongue, ear, hands, eyes, or heart re-charges our faith and piety every year. Standing in prayers late at night while repenting our sins makes us more conscious of Allah throughout this month.

Think about it this way: Had this fasting not been obligatory, how many of us would have voluntarily fasted 30 days without any break? How many of us would have voluntarily listened to the Qur’an in prayer at night? How many of us would have willingly given a fixed portion of our wealth in charity to the needy? An honest answer shows us where we really stand as weak humans devoid of discipline and self-control. So definitely the obligation of fasting in Ramadan is a great mercy incurred upon us.

Muslims’ attitudes during Ramadan can really be divided into three types:

Only hunger
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned this type of a person who leaves his eating, drinking and conjugal relations with his spouse, but does not give up indulging in sins like lying and backbiting. For example, you will see such a Muslim greet Ramadan with an attitude of dread, instead of excitement. They look forward to Eid with desperation as Ramadan goes on. You will notice them deliberately missing Taraweeh because “it is not Fard!,” lighting a cigarette as soon as the Maghrib adhan goes off, then missing the Salah in the Masjid as they stuff themselves to the hilt with food. Ramadan, to them, is a burden they cannot wait to offload from their backs. “Many a person who fasts, gets nothing from his fasting except hunger and thirst.” (Ibn Majah, Ahmad)

For more read

Fasting in Ramadan provides a month of health benefits By Dr. Ashraf Ali

Muslims all over the world fast during the month of Ramadan just because it was ordained to them by Allah and not for any other purpose. However, this month-long fasting period has spiritual, religious, social, physical and economical benefits.

The most important issue is that fasting in Islam is not absolute fasting (i.e. fasting all day), which harms the body immensely. Instead, fasts last during the day and one is free to eat and drink at night. In other words, there is a mere re-scheduling of meals so that breakfast is advanced to Suhoor (just before dawn), lunch is skipped, and the fast is broken at sunset. Therefore, abstention from eating and drinking is only for about 12 to 14 hours in most parts of the Muslim world. This abstention brings a wealth of health benefits to the human body.

Rest and Rejuvenation

The entire digestive tract from the mouth down the stomach, liver,pancreases and intestines is at rest during the fast. Any organ which is rested this way has time to repair and renew itself for sustained work with renewed vigor.


The food we consume gives us life-sustaining nutrition as well as toxic by-products which are excreted in urine, stool and sweat. The detoxification process is undertaken by the liver which has ample time to catch up with its pending work in this 12–14 hours of fasting.

Prevention of cell choking

Each cell in the body is a chemical factory. By the constant supply of digested products, the cell gets ‘choked’, and fasting gives it ample time to clear pending work and escape from this ‘choking’.

Weight loss

Fasting leads to modest weight loss which results in a host of benefits like improvement in blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnola, atherosclerosis, heart diseases, lung diseases, obesity, digestive disorders, fatty liver, infertility, hypertrighlyceridermia and prevention of heart attacks and strokes.

However, these benefits only come to those who adhere to their fasts the way it has been laid out in the holy Qu’ran and Ahadith and not to those who fast all day and feast all night, as fasting in Ramadan has widely become these days. Islam’s prescription of month-long fasting - if done correctly - can act as an insurance against the obesity pandemic threatening society of late.

Tuning and Toning

During fasting, every day the glycogen storage in the liver gets depleted during the day and replenished in the night. Similarly, the dormant fat in the body cells gets renewed. This dormant fat is committed into active participation of energy generation.

Mental acuity and stamina

Fasting also improves mental acuity as well as increasing the physical and mental stamina of the fasting person. The more athletes practice, the more stamina they acquire. Fasting works the same way; making the body get used to working without the instant gratification provided by food and drink.

Doctor’s advice

Kindly break your fast with some fruit or fruit juice for instant energy, drink water and take a small, bland and easily digestible meal like porridge. Take your usual night meal, and do not make your Suhoor too heavy or too light. Make sure to drink water at regular intervals. –

Can you count on face masks to defend against the A(H1N1)?

While the sales of face masks and respirators have surged worldwide, their effectiveness in protecting the wearer against an airborne virus, such as A (H1N1) is limited.

This year the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health is recommending the use of surgical masks in crowds to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus. Moreover, it has revised its national plan for communicable diseases, under which the health minister has said that pilgrims will be required to wear face masks in order to reduce the risk of flu transmission. Moreover, certain district municipalities, apart from stepping up food safety, have placed a condition on barbers to use disposable gloves and wear a face mask.

The question, however, is what constitutes a ‘mask’ and how helpful they are in protecting against the virus. Dr. Essam Mousa, an internal medicine consultant in a hospital in Jeddah, has recommended “any kind of three-layered masks” for protection against the infection.

However, Dr. V. P. M. Mustafa, the medical director of a local polyclinic in Jeddah, said the effectiveness of masks in protecting against the infection is not ‘100 percent guaranteed’. “Because the mask does not stick to the skin, there is a gap between the mask and the skin, through which the virus can enter,” he said. The virus can still make its way through your fingers touching your nose or mouth, which may have earlier touched infected hard surfaces like door handles, food counters and supermarket trolleys.

While not recommending the general public to wear masks, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the effectiveness of respirators and facemasks in preventing the transmission of A(H1N1) or seasonal influenza in various settings is not reliably known. The CDC also says that the use of a facemask or respirator (e.g. N95) is more likely to be of benefit if used as early as possible when exposed to an ill person and when the facemask or respirator is used consistently. For more read here.

What happens when you experience a personal swine flu scare?

One of the most heart- wrenching experiences parents can go through is to see their children sick or in pain. It started with my daughter running a mild fever that we did not take too seriously. Right away I made Aya, our seven-year old-daughter get comfortable in bed with lots of rest and quiet time. We gave her the usual remedies: fever medication, fluids, chicken broth, and vegetable soups.

At around two A.M. the next morning, when the whole house was asleep, I was awakened by the sound of Aya vomiting. When we rushed to her side to hold her and clean her up I noticed that her body was extremely hot. I immediately gave her fever medication but she vomited that too. My husband bought suppositories from the nearest pharmacy to give her and we rubbed her forehead and limbs with cold, wet towels.

The next day Aya kept vomiting and I was afraid she would get dehydrated so I took her to the hospital. The doctor advised that I continue giving her Tylenol suppositories and additional suppositories to stop the vomiting and to run a stool analysis to detect any intestinal bacteria or parasites. At home we continued with the prescribed treatments but she was just getting worse. She was exhausted and her fever persisted even after we had given her two suppositories to bring it down.

I took her back to the same hospital the following day with her lab results. The doctor said her stool analysis test was completely fine and they could not detect any intestinal infection. When he checked her and found that she had nasal congestion and a sore throat he told me to go the main lab and get an A (H1N1) - or swine flu - test done.

When I heard that my heart skipped a beat. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind as I started blaming myself and questioning where I took my children. I let them go to the beach and play and swim, I took them to a pet store. Could she have caught something from there? The doctor told me not to worry and to take the test to be on the safe side. For more read here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Award, Award and Award!

Yay! I'm soooooo happy to share with you all the Awards I'd received from: AMW, Hajar & Nadia, respectively. Alhamdulillah.

I have to really apologize to AMW and Hajar, coz I'm putting up their awards sooooo late. But anyways, better late than never. I was soooo busy that time.

I thank you three sisters soooooo much, you've made my day :D

Ok, so let me do it in order:

First comes AMW's Amazing Bloggers Award, it's amazing how she describes my humble blogs, gee thanks for all the praise Brandy *blush*. You can read it here.

Second comes Hajar's Beautiful Girl's Award

And Third comes Nadia's Freakin Fabulous Blog Award

To give the Amazing Bloggers Award is the sole right of AMW, as this is part of her 2009 goals featuring each month an Awesome Blogger SHE finds that is doing A LOT of work online to help their sisters or has a very interesting blog. So, I have no right to award this to anyone accept AMW herself as a gesture of gratitude.

The Beautiful Girl's Award I give to all my Blogger Pal's and Followers, of course I don't have to mention the whole list.

The Freakin Fabulous Award goes only to selected five, I'm sorry, as per the rules.

Rules of the Award:

  • List five current obsessions.
  • Pass the award on to five more fabulous blogs.
  • On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.
  • When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well.
  • Don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by leaving a comment on their blog.

My Five Current Obsessions:

1) Blogging. Yeah I like to blog. I love the blogosphere. I love my blog Pals. Ah! this blog experience is one of the best things that's happened in my life.

2) Reading Blogs. Woah! there are just soooooo many fabulous people with fabulous blogs out there, it's hard to stop myself from reading there posts. Most of the time I feel glued to my screen LOL.

3) Makkah and Madinah. I sometimes doubt if I'll ever leave this place. LOL I'm sooooo obsessed with these two places that I dread even thinking of leaving them sometimes, I want to keep clinging to them.

4) To the words detective, sleuth, mystery, adventure LOL. I'm sooooooo obsessed that sometimes I think if I'd been a boy I'd definitely go for a forensic degree.

5) The PC games.

I’m giving this award to the following fabulous bloggers:





Muslim Girl

UPDATE: I received another award from Hajar.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Benefits Blog: What did the Prophet eat for Iftar?

Looking at the surfeit of food on our Sufras, the sumptuous Suhoor banquets at five-star hotels, the mouth-watering Iftar meals advertised by restaurants, the supermarket trolleys piled high with goodies and the frequent fisticuffs that break out outside Fool-Tamees shops during Ramadan rush hour, it would be understandable if a stray observer concluded that Ramadan is about indulgence, not denial.

It never ceases to appall me how much time, energy, expense and effort is spent in preparing, consuming, serving and clearing up elaborate meals in the name of “maintaining Ramadan traditions.”

It’s no secret that harried housewives and working women have resorted to outsourcing traditional Ramadan fare, and rather than going through the elaborate ordeal of conjuring a multi-course homemade meal every single day, they simply pay someone to supply it. After all, Ramadan “traditions” must be maintained, never mind the cost.

It makes me wonder: Who taught us the tradition of the over-laden table and the distended stomach?

It was certainly not our Prophet (peace be upon him) whose Sunnah we are obligated to follow. Doesn’t it strike us as hugely ironic, that even as we make Ramadan resolutions to improve our acts of worship, and strive to develop Ittiba’ (practice/following) in other areas of our lives, we tend to conveniently overlook this aspect of the Prophet’s life – his moderation to the extent of abstinence in indulging his appetite?

Are we the Ummah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said: “The offspring of Adam fills no vessel worse than his stomach. Sufficient for the child of Adam are a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air?” (Musnad Ahmad)

Going by the statistics, which state that cases of acute indigestion and a host of other digestive disorders increase by almost 48 percent all over the world at the beginning of Ramadan, it certainly doesn’t seem so.

For curiosity’s sake, let’s take a look at some of the things the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have broken his fasts with:

1) The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to prefer breaking the fast with dates, and if he did not find any, he would then break it with water. For more read here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadhan Mubarak!


a month of Allah's Mercy ......
A month full of Blessings and Bounties .....
Month of Redemption, Forgiveness and Repentance
A month of Prayers, Qur'an, Charity, ....
Devotion and Patience ....
A month of Reflection and Self-training and the best
Night (Laylat al-Qadar) is in it; which is better than a 1000 month.

May Allah(SWT) enlighten our hearts with the Qur'an .....
May Allah(SWT) gather us together under His Shelter, on that Day when there will be no shelter except for His .....
May Allah(SWT) help us to gain the Blessings of Ramadan ....
May Allah(SWT) make us from those who He redeems from the hell fire....
May Allah(SWT) grant us forgiveness for He is The Most Gracious ....
May Allah(SWT) gather us and our loved ones together in Firdaus al-A'la....
And May Allah(SWT) accept our prayers, fasts, charity and other good deeds ...... Ameen ......

Wishing You All A Blessed and Fruitful Ramadan .....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Are you ready for Ramadan?

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” (Qur’an, 2:183)

Ramadan is fast approaching and it is about time we pick up the pace and prepare for this month in the right way. How do we prepare for a very important meeting for example? We spend time planning and drawing up a schedule to organize what needs to be done beforehand so that we are ready for the big day. Ramadan requires more dedication than that.

Usually people are excited and zealous in the start to make the best out of this blessed month but many begin to slack off and wither down soon. Not setting the right foundation before Ramadan begins is one reason for that. Let’s remember that witnessing another Ramadan is a great blessing and mercy of Allah that many have been deprived of this year. So many people passed away last year. They are not with us this Ramadan and they do not have the chance that we have to do good deeds and seek forgiveness.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an that the purpose of fasting is to become Muttaqoon – those who have Taqwa. Taqwa means piety or being conscious of Allah Almighty. It means to avoid sins fearing His punishment and do good deeds hoping for His reward. Think about it, do we become like that or even close to that quality at the end of Ramadan? If the answer is yes, then Alhamdulillah, we have Insha Allah made benefit out of Ramadan. But if the answer is no then we have missed the whole point of fasting!

One reason for this sad reality is that people are not ready for Ramadan when it begins. Stocking our refrigerator with food for Suhoor and Iftar is not the real preparation of Ramadan. Fasting is a worship that we do in obedience to Allah’s commands seeking His pleasure. We strive to become more righteous and get closer in our relationship to our Lord.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it...” (Al-Bukhari, 3/31, no. 118)

Here are some tips that can help in our preparation Insha Allah, click here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Muslims in Britain throng to hear Sudais

LONDON – Unity was the focus of Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Imam and Khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, in his message to leaders of various Islamic organizations Friday evening at the Regents Park Central Mosque.

The Imam, famous for his beautiful recitation of the Qur’an, urged Muslim leaders to hold regular meetings to exchange ideas between them. He expressed hope that the coming Ramadan will be an occasion to bring people together. He congratulated Muslim organizations for their efforts towards Muslims in Britain.

“The news of your excellent work reaches us over there in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques,” he said.

Al-Sudais urged Muslim leaders to engage and reach out positively with Britain’s official bodies, local councils and government offices. He questioned why Muslims avoid the political scenario of the country.

“We do not have any hidden agenda. So why are we Muslims not proactively involved in politics of this country?” he said.

He exerted Muslims to be patient and have confidence in Allah and the truth that they are holding on to while trying to guide the society.

Earlier during the day, the Imam delivered the Khutbah and led Friday prayers to a 10,000 strong congregation at the Islamic Cultural Center Mosque here. He called on Muslims living in non-Muslim countries to be the best ambassadors of their religion.

On Wednesday, while launching the second expansion of the East London Mosque, Al-Sudais gave a brief speech that can be summarized in 10 points to nearly 5,000 listeners.

1. He spoke about Tawheed (the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah in His Lordship, His Names and Attributes and His Divinity) and the importance of following the Qur’an and Sunnah. He said, as mentioned in the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as a role model and a mercy for the whole creation.

2. He reminded Muslims that they are an Ummah of Akhlaq (good character). They must cooperate and help each other in righteousness, and not in sin and aggression. Such cooperation should be with Muslims as well as non-Muslims and this is part of the Islamic character. He said Muslims should always be peaceful with all human beings.

Islam is a religion of the middle path. He recalled how the Prophet (peace be upon him) would visit the Jews and look after his neighbors.

4. Muslims should be united, he said. And this unity should be on the basis of the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

5. Muslims are an Ummah of knowledge, he said referring to the importance Islam has placed on education and learning.

6. He mentioned about upholding family ties and bringing up children well. The importance of hijab and the dignity of women was also addressed.

7. Al-Sudais called for Tarbiyyat As-Sahih – imparting and nurturing others on correct teachings.

8. Islam is a religion of Da’wah and Muslims are an Ummah that gives Da’wah toward Allah. People should be invited to Allah with wisdom. He said we are not an Ummah of terrorism and that we should call people to the truth.

9. The Imam stressed on being respectful to parents and also on protecting and safeguarding children’s rights. Children should be given proper education, he said.

10. Sheikh Sudais, lastly, said Muslims were also an Ummah that repents to Allah. He said Ramadan was fast approaching, which is a month of Tawbah (repentance) and seeking forgiveness. He advised everyone to repent to Allah for their sins.

Sheikh Sudais is very popular and loved by almost everyone in the community. Large crowds surround him at every function and organization he visits. He was overwhelmed by the response he received after the Friday prayers. He said this was indeed a sign of love and a bond of brotherhood that binds people not only of this country but also people from different parts of the world. – SG

Are you jealous of what others have?

Hasad (jealousy and envy) is among the most destructive emotions which a man may develop toward his fellow human being. With Hasad, a person will wish evil for others and will be happy when misfortune befalls them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned against envy by comparing it to fire that completely burns the wood. He (peace be upon him) said: “Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.” (Abu Dawood)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the ‘shaver’ (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith…” (Al-Tirmidhi, No. 2434)

Hasad can take a person into disbelief because he may conclude that Allah has not been fair with him, while Allah is the Most Just. The person may forget all of Allah’s mercy and blessings bestowed upon him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “They are enemies of Allah’s bounties.” When asked, “Who are they?”, he replied: “Those who envy people for what Allah has given them of Bounty.” (At-Tabarani)

Allah through His Absolute Wisdom gave some people more wealth, intelligence, beauty, strength, and children than others. Discontentment comes from the slave’s ignorance of his Lord. If he recognizes his Lord with the attributes of Perfection, he would not be discontent and as a result would not develop Hasad. A believing Muslim should be content with what Allah has destined for him. Imam Ibn Qayyim said: “It (contentment) opens the door of peace and security for the slave.”

“Allah favored some of you over others with wealth and properties… Do they deny the favors of Allah?” (Qur’an, 16:71)

For more read here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

French pool bars Muslim woman for 'burquini' suit

PARIS – A Muslim woman garbed in a head-to-toe swimsuit — dubbed a "burquini" — may have opened a new chapter in France's tussle between religious practices and its stern secular code.

Officials insisted Wednesday they banned the woman's use of the Islam-friendly suit at a local pool because of France's pool hygiene standards — not out of hostility to overtly Muslim garb.

Under the policy, swimmers are not allowed in pools with baggy clothing, including surfer-style shorts. Only figure-hugging suits are permitted.

Nonetheless the woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, complained of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in a "burquini," a full-body swimsuit, in the town of Emerainville, southeast of Paris.

She was quoted as telling the daily Le Parisien newspaper that she had bought the burquini after deciding "it would allow me the pleasure of bathing without showing too much of myself, as Islam recommends."

"For me this is nothing but segregation," she said.

The issue of religious attire is a hot topic in France, where head-to-toe burqas or other full-body coverings worn by some Muslim fundamentalists are in official disfavor.

France is home to western Europe's largest Muslim population, estimated at 5 million, and Islam is the nation's second religion after Roman Catholicism.

A 2004 law banning the wearing of Muslim head scarves at public schools sparked fierce debate. That legislation also banned Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in public classrooms.

French lawmakers recently revived the issue of Muslim dress with a proposal that the burqa and other voluminous Muslim attire be banned.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative, backs the move, saying such garb makes women prisoners. For more read here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

5 tips for blogging your way to success By Megan K. Scott

Blogging can bring you personal satisfaction, give you an outlet for expression, help you connect with others and even assist you with leveraging a business. Along the way, you may even come across a little fame. Here’s how:

• Blog about what you are passionate about, said Jennifer McLean of blog search engine Technorati. Coming up with fresh and interesting content is easier. And if you’re only blogging for money or fame, readers will pick up on it, she said.

• Make sure you post frequently, said Gretchen Rubin, who blogs about happiness. “That is a sign of vitality on a blog.” And have a clear idea of what you are blogging about. Blogs do better when you have a focus.

• If you are an aspiring author, show that you have a loyal following, said Brooke Warner, senior editor at Seal Press. “When someone says I get 25,000 unique visitors a month, we pay attention,” she said. “They have readers and either their story or writing is really good.”

• Develop your unique voice. Powell, who blogged about cooking all the recipes in a Julia Child cookbook, had a “unique hook — nobody else had done that,” said Ellen Gerstein, vice president of marketing for John Wiley & Sons. She also brought a lot of humor to her blog.

• Spend time on marketing, said Darren Rowse of, a blog with tips for bloggers. With millions of blogs afloat on the Web, writing posts isn’t enough to attract followers, he said. Focus on writing guest posts for other blogs or networking, for example. –

Dubai’s glamour doesn’t have to come at an exorbitant cost

Dubai has earned itself an unlikely spot amid the world’s ritziest — and priciest — beachside hot spots. Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and David Beckham have all been spotted partying in this opulent Arabian playground, where one hotel boasts rooms starting at $1,000 a night.

That doesn’t mean you need to be a rich oil tycoon to afford this sunny desert boomtown, however. Here are some tips to get you started. And yes, despite the tough neighborhood (across from Iran and down the coast from Iraq), it’s totally safe.

Getting around

The blast-furnace heat and humidity make long daytime strolls unrealistic in summer, when the mercury can approach 120 degrees. Even during the pleasant period from October through May, you’ll likely need some sort of transport.

Until the Dubai Metro opens in September, your best bet is one of the ubiquitous sand-colored taxis. All are metered and cheap by Western standards. Fares start at 82 cents (3 dirhams), but beware the $5.48 (20-dirham) surcharge from the airport. Drivers are generally honest and, like most people you’ll meet, speak good English.

Another option is a seat on the double-decker buses operated by Big Bus Tours. The hop-on, hop-off tickets are not cheap — a one-day pass costs $60 (220 dirhams) for adults and $27 (99 dirhams) for kids — but the tours are an efficient way to see the sprawling city’s highlights.

Historical sites and museums

Dubai is rightly known as an unabashedly modern city of gleaming high-rises and extravagant shopping malls. That makes its rare historical sites all the more special.

Start your visit at the Dubai Museum, housed in the renovated Al Fahidi Fort in the Bur Dubai district. Exhibits depict activities such as pearl diving and date farming that shaped life in the region before the discovery of oil. Tickets are a bargain at 82 cents (3 dirhams) for adults and 27 cents (1 dirham) for kids.

On the Deira side, head to the colorful old souk (market). Follow your nose first to the spice market, where you’ll find great deals on saffron as well as non-edible aromatics like frankincense. Continue to the covered gold souk. It’s worth a visit just to ogle the wares. If you are buying, ignore the touts at the market’s entrance and be sure to haggle hard once inside. For more read here.

Diet centers offer a nutritional revolution

She’s so skinny now! I think she lost 27 kilograms in six months. And all she ate was the food delivered from a diet center,’ a 14-year-old girl exclaimed to her friends at the gym I’ve joined for the summer. The conversation piqued my interest and I shamelessly eavesdropped as the girls discussed the merits of the program that their friend had subscribed to. “She barely exercised. She just avoided any junk or fast-food and only ate the meals that were delivered to her place.”

The sense of awe in the girl’s voice was unmistakable.

“Exercise is really important. But it isn’t sufficient to achieve the desirable weight. Not if I’m going to down four slices of pizza and a large coke right after my 40-minute workout,” one of the teenagers realized. By the end of the discussion, all three of them had decided to subscribe to the same diet program.

The health center these girls were talking about and other such establishments have flourished remarkably in the Saudi market since their arrival in the late nineties. Their key product is selling a healthier lifestyle via providing a healthier diet, through specific diet charts.

The main reason behind their popularity, several people claim, is the growing awareness of health-management and weight-consciousness. “Especially younger generations are very particular about their weight and appearance,” notes the manager of one health center in Jeddah in an interview with Saudi Gazette. However, this trend in weight-control is offset by the fast-food culture, which has led to obesity, cholesterol problems, and other health risks, added a gym instructor.

Diet centers with their calorie-limited and nutritional menus are the solution to this fast-food epidemic, according to most advocates of this trend. While some centers provide off-the-shelf and ready-to-go items including low-calorie sandwiches, pastries, and salads, other establishments recommend a consultation from their in-house dietician first. The dietician designs a specific weight-management program for the client based on their weight, height, medical history, and exercise routine. For more read here.

Al-Sudais launches second expansion of London mosque

LONDON – Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, Imam and Khateeb of the Holy Mosque of Makkah, launched the second expansion of the East London Mosque in the presence of thousands of worshippers on Wednesday. “I volunteer for the second extension of the East London Mosque,” said Al-Sudais while unveiling the plaque of the foundations for the second phase of the mosque which is located in Whitechapel, London.

After unveiling a plaque, the Imam of the Holy Mosque of Makkah, led the Maghreb prayer and gave a short speech to a congregation of over 5,000 people.
In his speech he mentioned among other points that Muslims should be proactive positively in their communities and work for all humanity. He also mentioned that they should work to look after their families and that the community at the East London Mosque should trust the committee to build a community for the future.

The East London Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in London. In 1910 some notable Muslim figures decided to build a mosque in London and established the London Mosque Fund. Initially, a small room was hired for Friday prayers. However, in 1926 the Fund had grown to a sizeable amount and a ‘Deed of Declaration of Trust’ was made. For more read here.

Swine Flu

Keep hard surfaces clean, advises visiting A(H1N1) researcher.

Claiming a total of seven victims to date, the death toll of swine flu in the Kingdom has reached an all-time high in comparison with the rest of the Middle East. Strategies to curb this pandemic are being introduced every day by the authorities. The “Infection Control Lecture on Swine Flu”, organized at the New Jeddah Clinic Hospital on Wednesday, was therefore timely and offered an insight into the world of medical professionals that are on the frontline of the anti-swine flu movement.

Dr. Mani Srinivasan is a prominent medical personality in the US, who has been working extensively with the swine flu research team. He delivered a simple yet effective presentation on the phenomenon of swine flu, focusing mainly on its vaccine and treatment.

Symptoms and contagion

The symptoms of swine flu, Dr. Srinivasan indicated, are similar to the regular flu or cold. These include a scratchy throat, runny nose, fever, body ache, and in rare cases, diarrhea, and these normally last from five to seven days, on average. He explained that the swine flu virus spreads in the same way as ordinary colds as the mode of transmission is droplets.

So if someone sneezes or coughs without covering, the virus can infect anyone within a three-foot radius. He also elaborated in certain trends as far as susceptibility to infection is concerned, with pregnant women, toddler and patients suffering from chronic illnesses of the lungs, heart, kidneys or liver being the most susceptible.

Prevention is better than cure

According to Dr. Srinivasan’s research, the swine flu virus can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours, whereas its life period on soft surfaces is as short as 20 minutes. Therefore, it is imperative to disinfect all hard surfaces regularly including floors, wood or metal furniture, and door handles.

He also stressed on personal hygiene to avoid contracting the infection. “Either hand-rubs with alcohol or soap and water should be used on a regular basis. Currently, there are no studies to show which method is better,” he explained.

Hand sanitizers are an alternate to soap and water where these facilities are unavailable, and he added that all dirty tissues must be disposed immediately after use. For more read here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

YAY I Made A Century !

Alhamdulillah I made it to my 100th post. I'm so delighted :)

I started blogging last year in May ( ok so this is a 2 in 1 celebration, because I'd forgotten the date ). Well I knew about blogger, blogs, and blogging. But I could never think of posting one myself. I always used to go like "What will I write about? ... Who will read it? ... Will people even bother to read mine???? " LOL. I'd always admire other peoples blogs and think "What great writers" . And I used to think that writing a blog post requires so much skill and creativity.

And so I'd never dare to start one though I knew it was free. And I'd always had the fear of neglecting it. Frankly, when I started this blog I'd never thought I'd make it to 100.

But something suddenly happened, I'd received an e-mail talking about blogging and how to write articles and how people got rich doing it LOL. Well of course I had no intention of making money, but it suddenly struck me why not start a blog for the sake of Allah, like I'd been receiving Islamic e-mails, so why not start a blog for that.

And so I registered on blogger and started blogging
Islamic Q n A, yeah that was my first blog and I was very happy about it. And then I made the other blogs Common Misconceptions, Islamic Tidbits, Prophet's Medicine, and my private journal.

Now that I'd started blogging, the big question was "How do I get people to visit it? or How do I find readers?". I felt so lonely. So I sent out e-mails to my family and friends to let them know about my blogs so they could visit it and let their friends and colleagues know about it. Also the e-mail that I'd received mentioned that if I'd want more readers then I'd have to visit other peoples blogs and be an active commenter on them. I was like OMG how am I ever going to leave comments and be active on others blogs. Like I'm a person who is sincere I just can't leave an insincere comment on someones blog just because I want them to visit mine.

So I googled for other muslim or Islamic blogs on blogger and that's how I came across all the wonderful blogger pals ;). And so began my blog journey :). Then I started reading other sister blogs often and I got ideas from them about what else I could write and so I started this one.

This blog experience has been one of the best thing that happened in my life. I mean like it really makes the world so small, if it hadn't been for this I'd never had known so many nice sisters out there. And I can never forget those tags and awards :) that were given to me by my sweet sisters. And of course the 39 faithful followers on the side, yeah how can I forget them when I never thought anyone would want to follow me. There's only one wish I have "I WANT TO MEET ALL THE AWESOME BLOGGER PALS IN PERSON INSHA ALLAH" :)

And so this journey continues, hope I'm able to post many more things beneficial and otherwise ;) ... let's see where that goes ...

Oh! I'm really sorry I forgot to say please enjoy the treat, I hope there's one for each one of you ;)

PS: Those sisters who have access to my private blog, please visit it for a private party inside ;). If you don't I'm sorry I'll be forced to delete U :s