Khadijah. Just saying her name instantly inspires me to want to be a stronger Muslimah, to sacrifice more, to discover her hidden strength and beauty she gave to her husband.
Khadijah. Who was this amazing, strong, beautiful, brilliant, pious and noble woman? I don’t mean who was she in the Seerah text, but who was she? What was it like to be her friend, what events shaped her life? What would it have been like to sit down with her over a meal and talk? What kind of advice could she tell me about marriage, Mr. Right, and living until your last breath is gone, all for the sake of Allah?
It is because of her that our Deen begins with a legacy that starts, after Rasullah, with a woman. After the Mercy of Allah (glorified and exalted be He), it is because of her sacrifices that we are Muslims today. She gave everything she had, all that she owned, from her hands, heart, and soul for Islam.
But to appreciate this beautiful opportunity she had, we have to go back to a very significant moment in time. That moment is when she asked her maid servant to inquire about the young man who was working for her to see if he was available for marriage and would consider her. A man who had a beautiful character and was honest, hardworking, trustworthy and produced amazing results for her business.
Khadijah, may Allah’s Mercy be upon her, asked about Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for marriage.
She initiated the communication.
She sent someone on her behalf to find out if he was available for marriage.
And it was because she asked, that she got that blessed answer.
And with that answer, was the beginning of one of the greatest stories of love for all times, and also one of the greatest examples of a true Muhsina and Mu’mina.
A woman older than him, previously married with children, was inquiring about a younger bachelor, from one of the best tribes in town. The honor of his acceptance wasn’t just hers alone. It was his too. He was going to marry one of the most beautiful hearts in all of Mecca. A woman whose heart would sacrifice everything she had to support him and Islam.
Today, you’re probably wondering when and how you will get married. You go to school, maybe then graduate school, and after this begin a career. As time passes, the pressure begins to set in to get married. But out there in the world, you see many single and available brothers that you could consider as a Mr. Right potential.
What I want you to realize, is that many Mr. Right potentials, have no idea you’re available for marriage, ready to settle down, have time for a husband, or willing to accept him for where he is right now in his career and education. After all, few brothers in their early 20s will have enough income saved up for a luxury wedding, vacation, apartment and car all at once. But I meet sisters who tell me that this isn’t the main issue, that they can wait while he builds his career and financial situation.
How is he ever going to know that you don’t mind letting him build things up over time? After all, he is living under the impression of the same cultural status that you are.
I recently surveyed the brothers on our Practimate list and told them I was teaching you to be proactive, similar to Khadijah, in finding a husband, by sending a third party to inquire on their behalf, whether a mahram or a trusted friend. I asked them if they thought this was weird, desperate or something they would consider offensive.
Their responses broke the common myth!
One brother said,
“It will be more helpful if the word is “out there” in an appropriate manner. I feel like the present times are a bit in transition where old systems are failing (the waiting game) and new systems are coming into play, and we are held up between the two. For my parents’ time the waiting thing worked as it had the right setting from every perspective…”
Another brother said,
“A girl needs to put all the “games” aside and just be real with people. If that means that she tells her family about the brother…so they can talk with him, so be it. In fact, if a sister’s family or someone she knows came to me telling me that a sister is interested in me, I would at the very least check it out; I would take the opportunity seriously. Khadijah sent someone to speak with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) about marriage…she took the initiative, this also shows that a women is strong and willing to take charge when needed. The sister has to be a REAL, genuine person, down to earth (for it to work.)”
In general, the idea of you sending someone, respectably speaking, to inquire with tactfulness, and in a good manner – not a “I have a friend who likes you” mentality, but again, with maturity and modesty, is something a mature man, ready for marriage, will appreciate. Only 1% of the brothers who responded didn’t agree with my recommendation. And it’s not that he disagreed, just felt that men should be more pro-active themselves, if they really want to be married.
So why not pursue Mr. Right like Khadijah?
Sadly, we have ignored this example (and others) from Islam of women sending a “messenger” to inquire on their behalf about marriage. That they were proactively involved in the marriage process. Sisters accuse others of being desperate when they let others know they are looking to get married. Families believe that a daughter must be sought after and it is shameful for a daughter and her family to approach a man for marriage.
And so, many beautiful, smart, educated and talented women are waiting and waiting for Mr. Right to knock on their father’s door. And in the silence of a new beautiful day, when no one is looking you may feel sad and despair. Of course, you know all things are in the hands of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). Of course you know that there is reward in sabr, but you are like everyone else on the planet. A desire to marry, and one day to begin a new family. So rather than judgment and a discussion on the ideal bubble we all “should” be living in:
It’s time to re-examine our value system, and not forbid or look down upon something approved of and practiced by the best man on the face of the earth, and our Mother for all believers, one of the best women in human history.
The re-examination process, begins with you.
If you are ready to consider an alternative option for seeking out Mr. Right, then first, I want to mention that there are rules to this pro-active approach.
Here are some guidelines to follow if you are considering being the pro-active person in initiating marriage dialogue.
1) Never initiate something without having a wali or mahram having complete knowledge of what is going on.
This protects you and the potential Mr. Right from ending up in a situation not pleasing to Allah (glorified and exalted be He). You want to go through this process in a halal and dignified manner.
2) Send someone you trust to ask on your behalf, without initially revealing your identity.
This way, you know if the brother is even available before revealing your personal information. One brother mentioned in the survey responses, that it’s great to give a brother a heads up that someone is interested, because if he is talking to another sister already, then he can let the messenger know, and if it doesn’t work out, he can come back and also let her know.
If he is interested, then have your “go between” share who you are, and ask the brother how you and your wali can contact him – but communication should always go back to your wali or mahram.
3) Pray istikharah.
We ask Allah (glorified and exalted be He) to guide us daily every time we say “Ihdina Siratul-Mustaqeem” in Salah, but we are also blessed to have a special du’a just for making decisions.
The reality is that many brothers out there desperately want to get married, but feel there are so many hurdles to overcome to get there.
The first hurdle, is fearing rejection. Women tend to think men always have their act all put together, but they have their own batch of insecurities and fears. It may make things easier for a man to consider you when he already knows you are interested. And if he isn’t, he will be more confident in pursuing the right person for him in the future.
And what about you? Doesn’t this put you on the line to face rejection. Of course it does, but you have two choices. Do nothing, wait and handle the challenges of just waiting, which is fine if this is the path you want to take. Or do something, be pro-active, possibly meet your Mr. Right and handle the challenges of asking.
In every other area of ‘ibahadah, we don’t sit down and wait for it to come. For Hajj we save, for money we work, for knowledge we seek it out. Marriage doesn’t have to be an exception.
Because Khadijah asked, you could too.
Courtesy: ProductiveMuslim Ltd.
Not everyone has the luxury to take a month off from work for Ramadan. In fact working during Ramadan maybe better for your Dunya and Akhirah.
The Job haters
Are you doing a job you hate, just to pay the bills? Perhaps Ramadan will be a big wake-up call for you. You might realise you want more personal time, or want a job with more meaning.
In the current job market we have to be grateful for what Allah SWT has given us, but that does not mean we have to settle for less. If you feel stuck in your current job, Ramadan might just provide you with the inspiration to make different choices.
Can you use Ramadan to think about what it really is you want to achieve? Maybe moving to part-time work is an option for you? If you look into your finances then you may find you are actually paying for a lot of luxuries that are no longer as attractive as they once were.
If you have a long commute to work, how can you utilise this time? Which single Ramadan goal can you tackle before you start your working day? If you are in the car, then Islamic lectures are a great option. If you are on the train, then my advice would be to get rid of the daily newspaper and replace it with your Mushaf or Qur’an on yourMP3 player. For those who have to take a short bus ride, why not replace the rush hour squeeze, with a walk to work? That way you can ensure you get some exercise during Ramadan, and take care of your health.
The Last Man Back
For business owners like myself it is difficult to take extended periods of time away from working. However, organising your business goals for this month can help you to free up time for personal Ibadah. Also, much of the work can probably be automated or outsourced to assistants, and Ramadan might just be the catalyst that pushes you to get an e-mail auto responder, or to hire more staff.
If you are just starting up your business then it is probably not the best time go away for a month, however, you can plan events and workshops for after Ramadan, and spend time this month on marketing. Marketing is flexible and will fit around your Ramadan schedule. Yet marketing can be one of the biggest drains on your time, so the more effective you can make it, the more time you will gain in your week, InshaAllah.
Finally, if you are just starting out with your business ideas, no need to put them on hold simply because you are fasting. Ramadan is a wonderful time to network, get support – and even do some much needed market research.
The One Allah Loves
n this current economic climate more of us are facing job uncertainties. If you finding yourself unemployed then this can be turned into a blessing – an opportunity to attach yourself to the Masjid, or visit your mother who complains she never sees you! Allah SWT loves those who he tests.
Through our trials we are reminded to be grateful for what we were once blessed with. It also forces us to acknowledge how rich we actually are. You may find you have more time for your kids, or to help with Da’wah work. Being unemployed gives you the time to fulfil the rights of Allah SWT, and fulfil the rights of people. It is an obligation that we all have, but the one who is being tested may find that they are the most productive.
May Allah SWT help you to use this time for His sake, and bless you with future employment, Ameen.
“The guy who designed this ball never played football.”
“The worst ball that I have seen in my life.”
So says everyone from Iker Casillas to Robinho to Fabio Capello. Former Liverpool striker Craig Johnson even wrote a passionate 12-page letter to Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, on how the Adidas ball “could ruin the game as we know it.” Trashing the Jabulani has become something of a sport in its own right, with wildly mishit shots celebrated with resounding cries of “Jabulani!” in pubs and living rooms around the globe.
Now it turns out there is a very real scientific basis for all the moaning. NASA’s aerodynamics people at the Ames Investigation Centre managed to get some MLS players to kick a very dusty Jabulani around to what sounds like a soundtrack from a 1970s instructional video. The tests confirm what everyone has been saying: Jabulani’s scanty 440-gram weight, coupled with the high-altitude conditions in South Africa, means when at speeds of 44 mph or more the ball becomes susceptible to something called the “knuckle effect.” That’s aerodynamic shorthand for “it swerves all around like crazy at high speeds because of the air flow on the seams and stuff,” which isn’t so bad when you get goals like this.
Adidas has yet to respond to the new scientifically based criticisms, and Sepp Blatter and FIFA are meeting in September to discuss the horrible aftermath left in Jabulani’s zig-zagging wake. What’s really frightening though is that we now know World Cup footballers are apparently as adept at noting erratic aerodynamic patterns as NASA’s rocket scientists. Be afraid.
Source: Yahoo News
There are lots of reasons why a project might not be going well or may even fail. When your boss wants to know why, there is a world of difference between offering an excuse and providing a legitimate reason. In truth, most excuses only make your manager more upset and put the blame on you. Here are 10 common excuses which I read in Tech Republic and would like to share with you all
1: I didn’t understand the assignment
Not every boss has great communication skills. And yes, having a manager who is not good at explaining what needs to be done makes life difficult. At the same time, using your boss’ inability to explain things as an excuse for not doing them just does not fly. If an assignment does not make sense, it’s your responsibility to find out what really has to happen. And if you find yourself in this situation more than once, it is a sign that you need to be extra careful when working with this particular person to get things fully understood.
2: The deadline was impossible
We all know this situation: A manager hands you an assignment with a deadline attached to it. You tell the manager that the deadline can’t be met and you’re told, “I don’t care; make it happen.” When the deadline is missed, you say, “But I told you the deadline was impossible!” and the boss is still angry. The disconnect here is that simply saying that the deadline is not possible is not good enough. As soon as the boss tells you to do it and you passively accept the ridiculous deadline, you make it your responsibility to meet it.
Your best defense is to negotiate a better deadline, and to do that, you need a project plan. The fact is, you always should be able to paint a picture of what a project will entail with some broad strokes anyway, and it is fairly easy to assign some rough estimates of the time to make each step happen. When you show your supervisor that even the most optimistic rough draft of a plan that omits a million minor details shows that it will take three months and they are demanding three weeks, guess what? It is now your manager’s responsibility to deal with the deadline issue. You have turned an opponent into an ally, and no sane boss can hold you accountable for the bad deadline anymore.
3: A valuable resource was not available
A good part of a manager’s job is to ensure that the team has adequate resources in the form of time, money, and equipment. If you are missing a critical resource, your manager needs to know now — not when the project is late or has failed — so that he or she can fix the problem immediately. When you tell your boss ahead of time, it’s not an excuse — it’s asking for help to solve a problem. When you tell your boss after it’s too late, it becomes an excuse and the failure is on you.
4: The requirements shifted
We all know that requirements get changed constantly. All too often, projects undergo the “gold plating” process long after deadlines and success conditions are determined. That being said, it is really bad form to use this as an excuse for failure. It’s up to you to nip these changes in the bud as they come up. With each new requirement, you need to show how it will affect the possibility of meeting deadlines and the defined success conditions and either move the goalposts as the requirements change or don’t allow the change. If you allow new requirements to be added without changing deadlines, you have effectively made it your responsibility to meet the new targets.
5: I have personal issues
We all have personal issues that come up from time to time. But if your personal issues are affecting your projects’ success, you need to either deal with them or get some help with your work. If things have gotten to the point where your boss is asking you, “What is going on here?” it’s too late. Explaining your non-work issues at this point is just going to make your boss even more upset. But if you explain that you are having some troubles as soon as you see they are affecting your work, your boss will be able to make the needed adjustments. Most supervisors would rather shift resources or expectations than try to force someone with an outside issue to be 100 percent.
6: I don’t have enough time
If you do not have the time to do something, no amount of money, motivation, or resources can make it happen. If there is too much on your plate, you need to get rid of some of it or let your manager know you are overwhelmed. If you don’t get any relief, it’s your manager’s problem, not yours if deadlines can’t be met. But like so many of the other situations listed here, it is your responsibility to make it clear that there is a problem as soon as you can, so that adjustments can be made.
7: I don’t know what went wrong
Some projects just fall into a rut and never get out. When you’re doing the project post-mortem, there is no single thing anyone can point to and say, “This is what messed the project up.” All the same, when a project is off the rails, everyone is usually aware of it, even if they don’t know why. This kind of situation can be embarrassing. After all, how can you know that the project is blowing up but not know why? Usually, it’s a case of “death by 1,000 paper cuts.” The project lead had a bad illness and lost a week of time, the servers were down for a day due to hardware failure, the QA person had a death in the family, and so on. All of these reasonable issues can add up to a critical amount of lost work. All too often, we think that if you just keep pushing, maybe the mystery problems will go away and the project will get back on track. But it never actually works out this way. If a project is going south, you have to let people know, even if you don’t know exactly why, so they can adjust expectations.
8: We ran into blockages
Workplaces are filled with people who have different, sometimes contradictory, goals. For example, you might need the QA team to test your application but another team’s project has priority, so your application does not get tested until long after your deadline is missed. These kinds of work blockages happen all the time. If you can’t get the situation sorted out yourself, determine how much delay you will suffer and what your options are and present them to your manager. Armed with that information, your manager will be able to make a decision from there or possibly get priorities straightened out.
9: The only copy of the work got destroyed
If your work is stored on a computer, you have no reason in the world to have only one copy of it. Not only should you be making regular backups, but they should be on different devices in different locations. Back up local files to the network server or work on the network and allow the IT department to handle things. If you think your boss will give you a free pass because the only copy of a critical file was on your laptop, which no longer works after you dropped it, you are dead wrong. In reality, using the “no backups” excuse will have your boss wondering whether you can be trusted with any more projects at all. Back up your work, and you will never have to tell your boss that the dead thumb drive has your only copy of the project.
10: The dog ate my homework
Sometimes, inexplicable events come up that keep you from getting things done. These things happen. Does your boss want to know that your project is late or won’t be done satisfactorily because of these kinds of random issues? Of course not. But sometimes, there simply is nothing that can be done about it, especially when it comes up at the last possible moment. Just roll with the punches on this one.
It doesn’t matter how terrific and risky the situations but a “Job is a Job”.
A film crew working for the National Geographic publication set-up on southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier after landing on the glacier, close to the volcanic eruption on Sunday.