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Nana Bee Scribes

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Fit to Win

jogThroughout my studentship in the University, there has been no time I smiled at my results as much as I did after my second semester; well, so far. As a novice to the University system, as well as being a person who had been away from the class environment for a period long enough to enter a new leap year from the leap year before, I found so many activities difficult. It was a struggle and a war I couldn’t fight without tears or consolation from my kins. Even with that, it still was an arduous experience.

In my first semester I didn’t care about results. I just wanted to have “Cs”; having heard what “D” stands for and look like. D , to me, was the beginning of failure. (Need I say that C isn’t a good result? If you are about to go in there to make wave, let “B” be your pass mark.) My worries compounded on my Matriculation day. I received a test-script and my score was, in all sense, depressing. If I hadn’t prepared for the test, if I didn’t study like a student should, I wouldn’t have being bothered. But failure after work always presents a form of sadness incurable! I was sad for the rest of the day. I retreated to my room and stopped the celebration I allowed myself to relish with my colleagues earlier on. I was bothered now, about how I had written the answers to number 3 under question 5, incurring poor scores for myself.

I started to talk to a colleague – one of those whose brilliance would forever shock you, as they never make efforts to study to know, to them, it just comes easy like breathe. And here is the deal my friend. The fit to make you lead the rest. The exact way I helped to keep my mind open whenever I wanted to study.

That colleague of mine, told me to quit the “non-stop” read style I had imbibed and relax awhile. “The body and mind needs some exercise before it should be put to work each time. Do something to keep your mind at home and all the day’s stress.” He would say.

Of the numerous ways to exercise, I chose jogging. I made it a duty to jog after fajr (dawn prayer) every morning before each day’s routine. And alas, it was the best choice I ever made. Though I felt pains and was discouraged right from the scratch, but my goal was my drive. I believed so much in what this colleague had prescribed and wanted to see how it worked.

As I made progress with assimilation, I found that some other mates had joined in exercising every morning too. Only that majority thought I just wanted to keep fit. Deep down however, I knew I wanted to win. And I did win. i checked my second semester results and I gave gratitude to the almighty, for helping choose the fit style to study.beginners-page

Are you fit? Do you even exercise at all? To stay healthy, keep in good shape or have a clear mind? Muslims are far from the word “fail.” They are people who know how to grab the Bull by the Horns! They seize the opportunities life presents them and make efforts to get better, each day.

DON’T FORGET TO STAY FIT!

 

Silent Approvals

 

 

Salat is a means of communicating with Allah. As Muslims, it is expected d that salat is observed 5 times a day; asides the voluntary salat like nawafil (extra prayer after certain obligatory prayers), tahajjud (predawn/midnight prayer observed best in the third part of the night) and a few other prayers offered to seek Allah’s counsel, to ask Allah for particular needs e.t.c. It is important to note, however, that the compulsory salat which are offered 5 times a day are to be observed at their appropriate “times.”

There are certain conditions to salat that one would learn alongside the art of observing the salat. Though a lot just pray, without the required practice that should be ascribed to the prayer, it is worthy of note that Salat is a tool for communicating and linking with Allah. In other words, your heart should feel more than your body should bend, kneel and succumb to the act of worship while you are doing it. You shouldn’t feel as blank as you were or same as you felt before embarking on the Salat journey.

As I observed my nawafil this afternoon with Maryam observing hers by my side, I also prepared my mind to observe Salatu Dhuhr with her after our individual rounds of nawafil. We could pray the obligatory salat together as a congregation because there was no male present in the house. She finished her nawafil before me and then instead of sitting to wait for me to finish mine so we could observe dhuhr together, she got up and made another round of prayers.

I knew we should pray together but thought she changed her mind. It was not until I remembered that the voluntary prayers to be made before Salatu Dhuhr could be four rakaat that I figured she wasn’t making the actual salat yet. She was offering two extra rakaat to sum up her nawafil to four. I made two more rounds of nawafil myself and then, there she was on the identical prayer rug we were both using, awaiting my closure for my nawafil so we could pray Salatu Dhuhr together.

Without exchanging words, we stood up to pray together with our feet touching and our heart in the direction of our creator. Together, we encouraged each other in good by observing the voluntary and later the obligatory salat in unity, without much more than “Silent Approvals.”

Alhamdulillah for Islam.

Aisha Harun (Nana bee)

 

My “Shoki” fever toppled!

It’s quite pathetic that the circumstance that envelope the youth of today are usually triggered by trends set by people who are of a particular status in the society. Gone are the days whereby an individual’s daily activities- norms, values, behaviors were determined by the origin he is from; culturally, ‘socially’ or religiously. Talking about the influence an individual gets socially, it may be his immediate social environment, or how he is socially influenced on a national or universal level (which used to be a rare occurrence.) Today, however, a youth’s steps, dress sense and speech are usually in one way or the other in the direction of the western ideology. One of these ways include “music and dance style”.

My problem with the generally accepted dance styles – which of course isn’t usually as a result of any form of con-censorship amongst the youth, started with “shoki.” As it was getting wide spread amongst the Nigerian youths, I heard about the dance but never saw a vivid display of it. The first time I eventually saw a person do the shoki dance I got irritated. The guy was displaying to his friends by standing on a spot, teetering and doing a slow bounce like a spring expanding and contracting. He also covered one eye as he gyrated, which was what actually crowned my irritation. What sort of a dance would require that you cover an eye?!

As Muslims, we have been given prior information by the Prophet (pbuh) about “dajjal”, the anti-christ. Virtually everyone, including non Muslims know that he is one eyed and that one of the logo of the “illumati” is to display an eye in solitary to their satanic gods (as the case may be.) If ‘shoki’ requires that one eye be covered, then it only refers to one thing; the way of the shayateen. I was able to convince only a few people with this point of mine while I felt a high sense of repulsion towards this dance. Majority never thought it meant anything. To them, it was just for the fun and amusement. As ‘shoki’ was dwindling amongst the Nigerian youth, there was yet another coming on the way; the ‘dab’dance!

Each dance style adopted in the society almost always originate from a musician via a musical video. The likes of “yahoozeh, azonto, etigi e.t.c. were functions of musical videos later taken up by the youth. The dab dance wasn’t an exception. For me, the olamide song “oya dab!” was the first I heard of it. I saw styles of it on Instagram but later saw a vivid display of it in an episode on jenifa’s diary.

Musicians are people whose lifestyles are different from ours as Muslims. They drink, sometimes smoke, go to club and flirt with women. A layman would naturally just dance to their tunes without any consideration but am average Muslim is and should be far from a layman. If being a Muslim means that you pray five times a day, fast and try to avoid certain things regarded as prohibited in the Quran, then your mind should gravitate you towards the details of whatsoever trend you are falling victim of. No musician gets his inspiration from the Quran. They don’t go to the places they go to help you, their followers get closer to Allah. They only do what they do to divert you to their path; the path of shaytan.

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (I.e. music, singing, e.t.c.) to mislead (men) from the path of Allah, the verses of the Qur’an) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire)” Suratu Luqman verse 6.

I once heard a story about a sheikh who was a part of a team making ruqya for a particular person not long ago. This victim at some point started talking, but it was obvious it was the demon in him talking through him. He said certain things that the sheikh had never heard of, nor understand until years later when he heard the same words in a song by one of the local Yoruba musicians. This story had been on my mind since I heard it and it only confirmed what I already conceived in mind; the inspiration for music is from shaytan.”

The dab dance didn’t bother me much as i never thought it would be widespread like the other dance styles. It seemed boring and un-attractive but i was wrong. I also did not think Muslims would adopt the insane dance until I saw a tweet with the photo of certain northern girls in hijab dabbing! What craze? This dance seemed rather classless but they do it with so much commitment that you’d think it earns some score for them.

For the sake of avoiding claims of proselytizing, I wouldn’t request that anyone stops this, rather I would ask if the person knows why (s)he is dabbing and the story behind it.

Dab is said to have originated from Atlanta hip-hop scenes and also from individuals who snort cocaine discreetly from their elbow, acting as though they were sniffing. Whatever the origin of dab is, asides the aforementioned, it is certainly not in association to Islam nor the acts of any of our predecessors, not alone the prophet. In an hadith, the prophet instated that “whoever acts like a set of people is one of them.”

Furthermore, one of the signs of the last hour is the approach of the Anti-christ which could be closer than we may think it is. He would have followers; which is already an attestation today as many are preparing his welcome party, doing all sorts of dance styles involving covering one of the eyes in one way or the other, of which dab is not an exception. The question to be curled from this is: are you preparing a welcome party for the Anti-christ too? If not, why do you dab then?! To follow the crowd or follow the Rasul?

Aisha Harun (Nana bee)
July, 2016

In the Light of the Qur’an

2 days ago, I woke up with a heavy heart. Usually, when I sulk over something the night before, I usually wake up feeling gloomy. This day however, I had no sad thoughts on mind the night before. Not particularly.

A friend of mine was getting on my nerves and I had been trying my possible best to avoid any form of argument with her. My only reaction to her attitude was that I wasn’t paying her any attention whatsoever. She knew i wasn’t pleased with her and so she stayed on her lane too, not willing to discontinue her actions that got me on the edge. As I forgot to set an alarm and turned in late, I didn’t wake up early. This friend whom I wasn’t on good terms with, was the one who woke me for sahur. I wouldn’t have felt bad if she had woken everyone; as it wasn’t just me she wasn’t on good terms with, but she woke only me. That realization made me feel worse. I didn’t know how, but I felt like a real bad person.

As if that was not enough, the thoughts of the Syrians and the rest of the Muslim world under oppression filled my head. I was just thinking of them as i got off bed and moved around. I had sahur in a low spirit that day and there you go my reader. Your guess is just right. It was the major factor that prompted the poem I posted the other day!!!

Contrary to my penitent feeling the day before, I woke up happy yesterday. Unlike some people, I am not a person who wakes up edgy but being happy? I am just usually normal. No highs no lows. I was however happy yesterday and it bothered me. I didn’t sleep with a sweet thought on my mind. I didn’t speak with any close/old pal or fam right before bed and sahur wasn’t enough reason to be amused. Besides, it was as I hot out of bed, right before I even started doing anything.

I searched my heart for a while and then let go. I told myself I didn’t need to bother unnecessarily if I couldn’t figure out why I was happy. After making my meal, and all other activities necessary, I sat to eat and the same thing that crossed my mind while I was preparing sahur crossed it again. Why do you feel joyous Aisha? And you know what? After some spoons of the meal I figured out what it was.

Since the commencement of ramadhan I have been experiencing some sort of discomfort or the other. Maybe not discomfort, but allow me to use the word. I have classes on the first days of every week from 10 till six! I have group works and strenuous assignments and by the time I returned, I would have been worn out. Sometimes, I just call my parents and act like a child so they can help me laugh it off or give me assuring words. It’s not been easy 😂😰. However, since the 11th I have been getting stronger and used to the game. My body system was adjusting better and I had to step up my spirituality. Though I used to read Quran less often as I was tired majority of the time, I was getting better.

That night before yesterday , I had a headache and decided to rest before ishaa, but it seemed as though I was going to sleep off. I decided to observe ishaa and then turn in once and for all; immediately after ishaa. As I prayed, I decided to be a bit patient and recite a page if the Quran before a sleep. “Just a page and you can rest your head” I thought. And that I did. I recited a page and then another until I raked through a juuz. The headache hadn’t gone but I let myself stay up with the Quran patiently. Then, Snooooze!

I figured out as I ate that the Quran I read the previous night had filtered my heart. It was what made me feel delighted for no reason. If it were something else, I would have known the instance I awoke but it never occurred to me that it could have been the Quran. Subhanallah! How less we think of Kalamu-llah! Asni marveled at the realization, I made a mental note to make my #Day14 out of it and here we are! I hope you pick a lesson or two from it. i.e.
√ in your relationship with people, always be the better one.
√ let Qur’an help restore joy into your heart

Sorry I can’t elaborate 😴😴😇

“…verily in the remembrance of Allah, do heart find rest.” Quran 13: 28.
#RamadhanDiaries #NanaBee #Day14IMG_20160613_202513

From Heart to Tongue

“On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-
Khudree (ra) who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw)
say, ‘Whoso- ever of you sees an evil,
let him change it with his hand; and if
he is not able to do so, then [let him
change it] with his tongue; and if he
is not able to do so, then with his
heart — and that is the weakest of
faith.’
[Muslim]”

Yesterday, during taraweh, a lady in the row in front of mine had a yellow pull-over on, and it had all over it, bright faces of Smiley staring from every angle of the cloth. Being that Islam shuns observing salat with clothing that has inscriptions or drawings of living things on it, I felt the urge to tell the lady that it wasn’t permitted to wear such an outfit to the masjid. But then, you can’t just tell someone something just anyhow. People usually find offence in corrections, especially when it has to do with matters of worship and religion as a whole. I could only look on; preparing to say something and then back off eventually.

As taraweh is known to be the only congregational salat (though voluntary) that people observe in part or full changing positions every now and then, this lady for some reasons ended up beside me. The rows grew shorter and there were shuffles here and there. I turned during the course of one of the rakaat, and realized we were side by side. Banter!

Earlier on, i had changed the situation with my heart; which is the weakest. I didn’t want her to feel bad or act all “is-it-your-business” so I didn’t tell her anything. But then, Allah brought her all the way to my row and so I couldn’t watch on anymore, I just had to tell her. After that round of salat, I did tell 👀 and guess what? She responded with normalcy. She acted like someone who doesn’t mind what you say as long she’s learning something new. And to me, ir was “Alhamdulillah!” I practically used two ways to correct her; my heart first, then my tongue.

___
Knowledge is a lifelong activity that has no beginning nor end, as we humans can never know it all. We need to open our minds to opportunities for learning or imparting.
Remember, when some of the dwellers of hell are instructed to go into it on the day of judgment, they would request that Allah allow them go with certain people, who saw them engage in misdeeds in the world but never corrected them nor called their attention to the path of guidance.

May Allah guide us all aright.
🐝😀 #Day4 #RamadanDiaries #nanabeeIMG_20150618_231158

During the “Godly Hours.”

During jumuah today, my phone rang, and it of course divided my attention. While it was ringing continuously, I couldn’t help but think who the heck it was that was calling at such a “Godly hour!” I thought of the fact that it was totally wrong to have left my phone on at the masjid but I couldn’t do a thing to stop the ringing. Lucky for me though, my ring tone is a quiet kind of tone and so the casualties included myself and just the people closest to me at the musallah.

This evening, I bumped into a meeting; late. I was informed late and as such had to rush over there. Despite my hurriedness, I didn’t forget to put my phone on silence immediately I got seated. It just came naturally; subconsciously. I didn’t relate that action to that of the masjid until the phones of about two people rang at the meeting, I wondered why they left their phones on ‘ring mode’. Couldn’t they let us have it quiet in the meeting room? And then -*seriously Aisha? You did same at the masjid* – goes my inner-voice.
In life, we take our deen with levity than we do every other activity in our lives. We dress properly to please people rather than to please God. We walk the way we walk and act shy the way we do for the sake of people. We forget our manners while eating or even having casual conversations with others because those manners do not appeal to the people around us; which shouldn’t be so.

It is imperative, dear reader, that we are conscious of every activity in our lives as regards the view of Islam on each of those activities. May Allah guide us aright.

Bananas and Eyeliner

WhiteIt was a Thursday and I was just getting back in. It was a busy day and the evening that followed was even more hectic. I went shopping and was tired and ravenous by the time I got back; around 7:30 pm 🌚.

Weeks ago -before the Thursday evening- I was Ill. I was on medication and took afternoon naps quite often as a result. One afternoon,after my nap, I got up to observe solatul asr and then after I said my tasleem, still on the prayer rug, my eye traveled far off to my pillow. I was realizing for the first time that there were flowers beneath the pillow. I got up abruptly and picked them. It was the sweetest thing I had seen in a long while. Wondering who could have put it there, I came to a conclusion. It could have been Fareedah – whom it’s most likely not – or Kawthar. Yes! Kawthar! It has to be my bestie!

I ran all the way to her room and hugged her. She was almost confused. She asked me why I beamed that much and then I asked “did you put the flowers under my pillow?” Of course she did. And believe me, flowers go a long way.

They were fresh flowers still embedded in their original fragrance that I almost refused to dispose them after they wilted.

Now the Thursday.
On getting back that day, I was wondering what I would eat. I had no plans for the evening except to prepare a meal later on; after stocking, observing salat and resting. But I needed something. I fasted on this day and couldn’t particularly wait for long before getting something genuine to fill my tommy; fruits been my topmost requirement.

As I dragged myself along with the groceries into the room, I saw two alien items. There was a pencil wrapped up in a note on my bed and a bunch of bananas on the table. Yeah 🙂 here we go with the topic of this post. I saw bananas and an an eye-liner! I just thought the eyeliner was a pencil or a pen; my bad! ;(

First I picked the eyeliner. To get a bit personal here, I am pretty simple with girlie stuff. I seldom line my eyes (kajal/kohl) and gloss my lips. I am of the opinion; framed mostly by the religion and its teachings, that a woman should go out without unnecessary exposure of beauty. What I didn’t state earlier, however, was that a bunch of my friends and I, discussed getting an eyeliner each a few days before. No one was ready to go buy them so we just let it go. But there it was; a newly acquired eyeliner waiting for me on my bed with a note!

I checked the note and the writing was faridah’s. She wrote me a short note on how beautiful I am and that an eyeliner is nearly insignificant but still could be a bit of a companion at times. I never saw her write and I was totally swept off my feet. It was incredible!

The bananas however had no notes on them but a nylon bag. Boyyy! I was so famished I didn’t even care who brought them. I rather devoured the bunch and when I got halfway I paused. Now who brought the bananas???

In the end, I found out that Kawthar brought me bananas on her way back from class. Speaking with faridah to show my gratitude, she said that Kawthar was stealing me away and she was going to counter her anyway she could. The eyeliner and the poem were just pre-ambles. Lol. It was funny and magnificent at the same time. I felt like an important piece. Kawthar laughed too and replied that she would intensify her efforts at winning me over. But me? I laughed at it all. They were not fighting over me. They were rather showing love in the most astonishing way coz it seemed like a competition. I was the one to fight for them. For the love from wonderful friends should never be underestimated or taken for granted. And till this day Alhamdulillah, I still have these wonderful ladies; with love, in my life.

Grrrrhhhh… I hope it was a bit fun reading this. I couldn’t hit all nits and grits but it’s still all good. Isn’t it? 😞😛😜😝

P.S. for zaynab Adediran
With love,
Aisha Harun (Nana bee)

Catching them young -2

 

My mom would step on the paper and I would sigh and then go to sleep. At least, I had an assurance that no one would talk about whatever offence I had committed, ranging from using my food money to buy unnecessary toys, playing outside till maghrib with the neighbors’ kids or going to Madrasah late; non of which my dad tolerated.

One day, after I had slept, my mum stayed up till my dad returned. She already told me that night that I wouldn’t get away that time. I thought it wasn’t going to happen as I had not only done my trick but also persuaded her not to tell on me. But no! The ‘eyelash’ thing didn’t work and that was like the last time I did it. All those while, I never told my parents about it. Why would I even tell on myself anyways? But I think I told my brother and sister, just in case they were in trouble and needed a way out of getting lashed. 😑 bad sister yeah? 😖😖

Things changed like they always do. We started attending a different Madrasah which used to be at night. Though we still attended the evening madrasah, I was withdrawing bit by bit from the latter already. So my brother kept on with two while I just faced one – the night Madrasah. It was safe and my dad knew most of the cleric there but their style of teaching was a bit different.

On Wednesdays (if I am) we listen to lectures by one of the brothers that taught us. They talked about different topics ranging from salat, obedience to parents, relations with people and all that. It was in this Madrasah I was being called “Iya Uche (cat)” as in one of my previous posts. One day however, they did talk about puberty and salat.

According to what was said by the Alfa, “if you are yet to attain puberty, there is no sin recorded for you whenever you committed a crime”; which was what I picked from that day’s lecture. As i wasn’t matured yet, i was one of those it was applicable to. I just kept thinking of it and it seemed so dazing. Like I get to lie and not get purnished by Allah?

That night I skipped Isha (the night salat) and when my mum asked “Aisha shoti kirun – Aisha, have you observed your salat?” I said yes! Whow yeah? Just one lecture and I had already swayed to another land. I started calculating how many years I would have left before I attained puberty. I was going to be free from obligations for a while and it sounded cool to me. That habit of skipping salat, lying and stuff didn’t last long coz my conscience and forgetfulness soon took over but at least I still swayed!

Looking back at those times later on, I just thought, “one has to be very careful with kids and teaching them things about the deen and beyond. They pick up the slightest of things and before you’ld realize it, it could have gotten out of hand. The Mallam who taught us about puberty and salat never knew there was one lazy girl waiting for such so she would unleash her unknown whims of ‘no obligatory acts till I am mature’. My mum didn’t always ask me what new thing I learnt from my friends which could have perhaps brought about my telling her of the ‘eyelash-in-a-paper-thing’ and so many others like that.

Children are the most sensitive of the human species and they need whoever is taking care of them to be as sensitive as possible as well. Do not let your children get trained from outside. Rather, be their trainer and confident. Be their friend first, then their teacher. Be soft in your speeches to them before you introduce a bit of harshness, if you would at all. And then, make lots of duaa, for that is one key thing in keeping the light of iman in their hearts as they journey through childhood. May Allah in His infinite mercy assist us all, as parents, guardians, siblings, folks, etcetra, in “catching them young”.

I hope it was worth your time.

Yours,
Aisha Harun

IMG_20160301_003647

Catching them young

IMG_20150715_002625Catching them young

I should have been done with this piece a long time ago, but as it is, by the will of Allah, I am just delving into it. Need I say that my procrastination game is so strong? . . .but then, I pray everyday for the change in attitudeDil 20150423_120922 towards responsibilities such as this one. Ameen.

I am writing this now, more because a little girl inspired me at the masjid yesterday evening. We were observing magrib and she, beside her mother, joined in the salah. She is about 3 to 4 years of age. She got up, folded her arms over her chest and stood to attention in the presence of Allah. There were other kids her age running around, but she didn’t seem to be drawn by their scurs. And then I remembered I had an unwritten article. Which is this. 🙂 All thanks to her

As a child, I grew up in a multicultural environment. Born to a Muslim family with practicing parents, paranoia was an issue on a standby. My mom never lets us out unless necessary and my dad would always come home from his shop to check on us. By then, we were 3 kids in all. Since the Madrasah I attended was in the same compound I lived in, things were even simpler. Our movements could be monitored promptly without difficulty.

My mom was literally, by then, a housewife. I can’t remember a lot of things but I do remember an evening- one of the evenings my mom goes to visit my grandma- my mom locked us in. As we were already used to it, we just stood by the window, looking out at the other children running around and neighbors passing by. And then came my dad, on his routine check on his beloved offspring. He came to us by the window and had a little chat with us. My brother used to be quiet as a child more often than I used to be. So he just watched on as I conversed with our father. I later on, told my dad to recite the longest chapter of the Qur’an “Al-baqarah”. He was a bit sceptical, but he did. He recited it on and on and I listened. I liked it. Later on he started trailing off, pausing and then starting off from different points. I understood it wasn’t easy as he took a long time reciting it. As maghrib approached, he excused himself and went to the masjid to pray. What an evening?!

Later on, before growing into my teen years, I transferred school. In my JSS1, I was one of the shortest and smallest girls in class so I moved with the small girls. However, these girls were though small, a bit more exposed than I was. They talked about movies and street fights and I just listened along smiling when necessary, but listening most of time. I learnt some new things and I would talk about one; relating to this article. One of the girls taught me what to do whenever I do not want my parents to remember something i.e. whenever I did something wrong and they wanted to scold me for it. She said I just needed to pluck a few of my eyes lashes, wrap it in a paper, and ensure they stepped on it. I tried it and I think it worked; a few times.

Whenever I did something wrong and my mom says “I would report you to your father when he gets back” I got really scared. Just a yell from my dad once made my brother pee in his pants. Dad can be all tough when a child does something bad. As I had learnt a new style of making my mom not tell, I started practicing this act. I would pluck my eyelashes and wrap it in a paper and place the paper close to the threshold. Waiting patiently for my mom to step on it. But wasn’t that some sort of shirk?

Watch out for the concluding part of “Catching them young” which I would post soon, in sha Allah.

Yours,
Aisha Harun

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