UPCOMING WEBINAR.

Habibi Halaqas is proud to bring you webinars on various topics that are relevant to your life. Click here to see what our next webinar is going to be on!

WEBINAR RECORDINGS. Listen to our archives.

Listen to our past webinars on topics such as niqab, jealousy, hijab, Muslim woman leadership, Qur'an, marriage, finding a spouse, fiqh of menstruation, beauty and more!

Donate to Habibi Halaqas!

Please donate to Habibi Halaqas so sisters around the world can continue to benefit from it, in sha Allah.

Download Islamic wallpapers, cards and E-books.

A collection of beneficial books, videos, picture reminders and more!

Jun 30, 2011

GEMS: DESIRES FROM THIS WORLD TO NEXT



Hasbiyallahu la ilaha illa Huwa ‘alaihi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rabbul ‘Arshil ‘Azeem

(Allah is sufficient for me. I have placed my trust in Him, He is Lord of the Majestic Throne)

---

Allah will grant whoever recites this seven times in the morning or evening whatever he desires from this world or the next.

(Ibn As Sunni, Abu Dawud Sahih)

Jun 29, 2011

Encouraging The Men in Their Hijab





By Maryam Abd Al Ghafur

Usually, when people think of men and hijaab, they think of men being free from hijaab, and of men commanding women to wear yards of fabric while they themselves have no clothing requirements that are ordered for them by Allaah Subhana wa Ta’alaa and Rasul Allaah, sall’Allaahu alayhe wa salaam.

That would be an incorrect assumption. Men, too, have requirements of clothing, beyond that of being covered from navel to knees, and as women who are wives, mothers, and sisters by blood, daughters, and sisters in religion, it is our duty and responsibility to teach, remind, and encourage them in what is proper for Believing men

The Glorified said,

The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin [on the people] Al-Ma’roof (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid [people] from Al-Munkar (i.e., polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden]: they perform As-Salaat [Iqaamat-as-Salaat] and give the Zakaat, and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” Soorah at-Tawbah, ayah 71.

The men have been commanded not to let their lower garments trail below the ankles. [1] And what is the fashion these days, the fashion of the polytheists, of those who follow the whims of designers and actors and musicians more closely than they do the knowledge and wisdom of those who submit to Allaah? To wear the pants loose (good), exposing the underclothes, coming to the tops of the shoes or lower than that (not good at all!) And we will find that many of the Muslim men know the hadeeth of that which is below the ankles is in the Fire, but they persist in this.

Women can help the men, by reminding the adults in their sphere of influence, and buying the appropriate lengths, or hemming, (or giving needle and thread to the sons and nephews!) the trousers, jeans and otherwise. Who do we worship? The fashions of men change from season to season, year to year. The words of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allaah grant him peace and raise his station, these are immutable.

My dear and noble sisters in the religion, the only religion that has been completed and perfected and approved by Allaah, this is from our responsibility to the other half of humanity. We can do so, we must do so, with knowledge, with kindness, with patience; the same characteristics that we look for in husbands, in fathers, in a’immah. Don’t let them face the punishment because we did not care enough to not nag, but warn and advise, in the best of ways.

There is another issue of hijaab for men that we have even more influence over, and that is the issue of the beard. How many women see the beardless faces of newscasters, actors, Hollywood, Bollywood, and Dollywood, and say, “Oh, he’s cute! “ How many women say that they don’t want a man with a beard, because it is rough and scratches? But the beard is from the hijaab of men. Just as for a woman to not wear hijaab is a shame and proclaims to all who see her that she does not know the religion and does not fear Allaah as He deserves to be revered, for a man to not wear his beard is to proclaim that he, too, is woefully ignorant. Did you know that there was a time in the Muslim world when to fully show to the people that a man was a fool, he was made to shave off his beard, so that his humiliation was complete? And now we see men with luxuriant mustaches, facial stubble, or, worst of all, as hairless as women and proud of this! Women are hairless, and this is not a shame, but rather from a woman’s beauty, Men who are not able to grow the beard are not shamed, because this is how Allaah has fashioned them to be. But the ones who choose to disregard and disobey the injunction of growing the beard and trimming the mustache, of being opposite of the Jews and Christians, this is a wrong, a willful disobedience that women can help to rectify, bi’dhnillaah. “It’s just a beard. It’s just one thing.”

My sisters, all of the Believers have been commanded to enter into Islam completely. It was just one sujud, or the refusal to obey just one commandment from Allaah, that caused one jinn to earn his name of Iblees and to become a shaytaan, the most evil and the worst of them. Just one. And for that, he is cursed by Allaah, he will enter into the Fire forever, and he is not our friend, our well wisher. He is our enemy, encouraging and advising us to disobey Allaah. Let us be his enemy, and encourage and advise to obey Allaah.

Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakatuhu!

[1] There is a strong difference of opinion on this issue

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)



Jun 28, 2011

The Believer's Fortress Part 1




By Sabiha Iqbal

Perfecting your friendships


During the Abbasid Caliph, a great scholar, Waqidi, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated this incident.

Like many of the scholars, he had few friends, but they were people whom he loved dearly, whose company reminded him of Allah, subhaana wa ta'aala and whose trustworthiness was unquestionable. He beautifully described their friendship as one soul in three bodies.

One day before Eid, aware of the fact that they had no money to spare; his wife said that he should strive to gain money to buy the children new clothes for Eid. He decided to write to one of his friends, a Hashemite, requesting his aid.

His friend, without question, sent him a sealed bag which contained 1000 dirhams. Before he had the chance to open the bag, a messenger from his other friend came, saying he desperately needed financial help. He gave him the unsealed bag from his Hashemite friend. Feeling guilty about returning home empty handed, Waqidi retired the mosque for the night. The next morning however, his dear believing wife praised his altruism to his friend. Not long after this, his Hashemite friend arrived.

“Tell me the truth,” he said, “what have you done with the bag of money which I sent yesterday?”

At which point, he explain the previous day’s occurrences.

His friend bowed his head and paused, before saying: “Yesterday when you sent me a message and asked for help, I had no money except this sealed bag. I sent it to you and wrote a letter to our other friend, seeking his help. He sent me my own sealed bag and I could not understand the matter till you just explained it to me.”

These three friends, who deeply loved one another for the sake of Allah were willing to sacrifice their own needs for one another. They split the money amongst themselves to spend in the way of Allah, subhaana wa ta'aala.

Let’s pause a second.

When your friends ask you for help, do you give them less than you are able? Even though you know that by Will of Allah, you are guaranteed a warm meal and a bed when you go home at night?

Forget money. When was the last time you made an effort to arrange a unique gift for them? Or give them a full smile, a real hug and not a half hearted effort? To them your full attention when they speak to you? To meet them on time and fulfil your promises?

The believers who truly love one another for the sake of Allah are given the guarantee of Allah’s shade on qiyaamah, because this love is based on the deep and unshakeable love of Allah Himself. This is an act of ibadah, and true nourishment for the individual’s soul and the society at large.

You probably remember at school when the ‘popular’ people had the most ‘friends’. But you must also remember these people were subject to gossiping, backbiting and continuous fallouts. Often. The more people you know; the less friends you have. We’ve reduced the term ‘friends’ to people who we have worldly commonalities with, and who desert us when we are of no worldly use to them.

By no means does this mean you unrealistically restrict your interactions, or avoid opportunities for da’waah and righteous company. It does mean however, that, as with any act, you think through your intention and seek to perfect how you fulfil the essence of your purpose.



The obligation of righteous company


Ibn Kathir narrates an instance during the life of the noble Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, where nobles of the Quraysh asked him to sit with them and discuss the message. The Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam always eager to give da’waah, was willing to take the invitation, despite an additional clause. He could not bring with him his ‘weak’ companions, the early Muslims who were of a low status and minor influence in the Makkan society.

Allah subhaana wa ta'aala stopped the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, in his tracks… “And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; no obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.” (18:28)

What a profound verse indeed. Contentment, we know, comes from submission, this is the definition of Islam. Allah also tells us. “Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured (gain tranquility).” (13:28)

This company cause one to remember Allah. They seek His Face and pleasure, and their inspiration is jannah. They don’t soothe your calamities through distractions of the dunya, rather; they remind you of the reward of all rewards - Jannah inshaAllah!

What is so profound about this verse is that the Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the best of mankind…is ORDERED by Allah subhaana wa ta'aala to keep good company. So really, when we think we can take on the whole world alone, when we think bad company won’t affect us…who are we kidding?!

Ibn Abbas said: “No one may taste true faith except by this (building relationships for Allah’s sake), even if his prayers and fasts are many. People have come to build their relationship around the concerns of the world, but it will not benefit them in any way.”[1]

Righteous friends are your fortress, they are a mercy from Allah subhaana wa ta'aala. The word friend in Arabic, rafiq, comes from the word mirfaq, which is something you rest upon.

Do you value your company?

In Part 2 we’ll talk more about the crucial nature of seeking good company and those awkward situations where you don’t want to leave behind those who need you.

[1] Abu Dawood and at-Tirmithi

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)
 

Jun 27, 2011

Missing That Warm Fuzzy Feeling




By Amal S

This time, I just had to write about it. This was the third time, the third time I had tried offering a ‘poor’ person food, and the third time it backfired.

Let me take you on previous journeys.

Last Ramadan, there was a homeless person on the main street in my neighbourhood whom everyone loves. I went to buy him a sandwich and give it to him, but he kindly and politely refused. There was something wrong with the ingredients, I think he didn’t eat or couldn’t eat one of them. That plan didn’t work out. Okay I thought, at least I tried - it’s my intention that counts.

This year, at a bus stop on the way to university, I saw a homeless man and a McDonalds across from him. I was in the process of memorizing from Juz Amma at this time (around Surah #107) and the ayah was in my head, and I saw this as an opportunity to act upon the ayaat I was memorizing alhamdulillah.

And does not encourage the feeding of the poor. (107:3)

So I come out of McDonalds with muffins etc. to find out that the man is gone! Subhan Allah! Anyway, I accepted that was the way it was meant to be, and ended up giving the muffins out to friends.

Recently, I had another similar incident. I was making my way to the grocery store, and I was walking very briskly and on a mission, so quickly that when a man outside the quick grocery store said as-salamu ‘alaykum, the speed I was walking at didn’t even allow me to stop – I could barely turn around and just zoomed forward, and couldn’t reply. But as I turned into the shop entrance and by now had slowed myself down, I remember seeing a blur of a man standing with something in his hand. I felt bad. Not only had I missed his salaams, I thought he was begging. At this point I was memorizing further into Juz Amma and the theme of charity is everywhere. I bought him a bag of groceries – bread, a sandwich, ready made pasta, granola bars – and as I saw him upon departing from the shop, I greeted him, and said ‘sorry I don’t have cash but you can take this’…he was selling some magazine and kind of politely said that he just needs to pay the rent. I felt really awkward and scurried away before he barely finished his sentence.

Subhan Allah! And then at this moment, with the two previous incidents flashing in my mind, I couldn’t help but just laugh at myself. I was finding this funny. Why was I never able to properly and completely feed a poor person!? I thought as I crossed the street, and I thought some more. And I realized insha Allah it was as if I had fed a poor person because I had the intention and put the money forth. What difference would it have made if he did in fact accept the food? I might have felt extra good that he would be smiling and saying thank you, and get a warm and fuzzy feeling with a sense of accomplishment. But as we are told, we give for the sake of Allah and not for anyone’s thanks so this really opened my eyes into how our hearts and minds, intentions and actions should be.

Anyway, things turned out for the best. My dad was returning for a trip last night and could give him the prepared food I bought.

So I hope you can take a few lessons from my diverted plans:

Feed the poor – for the sake of Allah
Do a good deed without expecting thanks
It’s okay to laugh at yourself
Apply the ayaat you know into your life – The Qur’an came as guidance to be acted upon. “(Saying): we fed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you” (translation, Ad-Dahr 76:8-9)

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)

Jun 25, 2011

Makeup Basics 101: The Face – Brushes




The cosmetic section of the face is now complete! Before moving onto other areas, let’s take a look at the common brushes for the skin, their fuses and application techniques.



Foundation



  • Stippling Brush – My #1 pick for liquid foundation. It has white bristles that are less dense than the top of the brush and it extends past the black bristles. Basically you are getting an ‘HD’ look as it is ‘pixelating’ the effect on your skin. (think more pixels = clearer look, much like TV) Using this brush properly can give you an airbrushed look.
    • Take a dime-sized amount of foundation and place on a flat palette or the back of your hand and lightly dab the stipping brush into the liquid foundation. The foundation should not even come close to the black bristles. Lightly dab all over your face until the foundation is blended.

Do NOT swirl the stippling brush. This is a common mistake that many make!
    • MAC #187, Sephora #44, Sigma F55, E.L.F cosmetics Stippling Brush

  • Foundation Brush – Traditionally meant for liquid foundation, I personally use it for mousse foundation or primer. Whatever your product of choice, place a small amount on the back of your hand and dip in the foundation brush. Using downward strokes, apply the foundation. This brush uses more foundation than the stippling brush, but with patience and care it will give you a great look!
    • Lancome #2, Annabelle A-25, MAC #190



  • Concealer Brush – Used to apply liquid/cream concealers to the face. It is best when it is a synthetic brush. Simply take some concealer on the back of your hand (or you may use directly from the pot, but be sure to wash your brush and no sharing!) and dip the concealer brush in the product. Apply a very thin layer of concealer to the discoloration. If more is needed, build the color by repeating.
    • e.l.f. Studio Concealer Brush

  • Kabuki Brush – An essential for mineral makeup! Dip the brush in the mineral powder and apply to the face in a circular motion. It is the circular motion that makes all the difference!
    • Bare Escentuals Full Coverage Kabuki Brush, Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki - F80, Sigma Hollywood Glamour Retractable Kabuki,






Blush/Finishing Brushes

Blush brushes are often called blush/powder brushes. They have multiple uses including using them for finishing powders.

  • Regular/Round brushes – Now some may disagree, but most round blush brushes do the same job. Some are bigger, some are smaller, but in the end they do they same thing. Whether cream or powder, lightly dip your favourite blush brush in the blush and beginning at the apples of the cheeks, stipple or swirl on the colour. Blush is about preference more then technique, so just try it out!

  • Flat top brushes – Same as above but no swirling.

  • Angled blush brushes – Better for contouring which we will explore in more detailed articles.

As always, keep coming back to Habibi Halaqas for more information on beauty basics. Leave your questions below and I’ll do my best to get back to you! Until next time ladies, happy makeup-ing!



Jun 24, 2011

You Are Not Alone





By Seema Muhammad Belushi

Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has given us two precious gifts that of our parents with a lot of love and mercy in their hearts for us. In our father Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has given us someone who works hard to keep us safe and away from worries of the life. In the same way Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has given us a mother whose love and warmth helps the child to develop into a better human being.

These two great figures are in reality the most “Precious Gifts” for any child. Those people are the lucky ones who have the love and companionship of their parents. Those who have lost their parents feel the deprivation and the empty space in their lives after they are gone. In particular the “unmarried” sisters, as for them living a lonely life are not always easy.

Unfortunately we live in a society where it is important for a girl who is not married yet to have the presence of the parents in her life for there is no substitute for them even if she has many other relatives. But that is not always the case. Once the girl is all by herself she faces the biggest challenges in life. It is during this time when she has to face the biggest truth of life that is she has “nobody” who really cares for her.

There are sisters who are alone in life, unmarried, and who have no choice but to lead such a life. It is hard to live such a life, but it is not always impossible to do so. There are many girls like that who live alone but even then lead a flourishing life. I know of one such sister Aliya who was left all by herself after her parents passed away:

“My parents died seven years ago within a span of six months between each other. During this time I got to know my relatives closely after living with them for sometime. I instantly knew that they did not want me in their lives as for them I was nothing but just “a burden.” This thought hurt me a great deal but I did not lose hope. During this inflexible phase in my life I only remembered Allah subhaana wa ta’aala. I asked Allah subhaana wa ta’aala to give me strength. I had completed my education but did not have any work experience. I loved reading as a child and during the lifetime of my parents I had started writing for some local children’s magazine and newspapers. I started writing again for the different magazines which increased my knowledge and eventually helped me financially. Today I live alone but am satisfied with my life. Now when I look back at life I feel Allah subhaana wa ta’aala had given me the prospect to become a responsible woman when my parents were still alive so that I may become self-sufficient when the time comes. This is the reason that after my parents death it was very easy for me to acclimatize to my new life and face the different challenges boldly.

It’s depressing but the truth is a woman who is single and alone is not easily welcomed in the society because she does not have a father or guardian which makes it hard for her to lead a normal life. But with determination and power this problem could be resolved just like in the case of sister Aliya. She also says that if she had not acknowledged the fact that she can help herself get through this stage of her life instead of feeling sorry for herself which could have made her weak and dependent on her relatives she would not have been in the place she is in today. “Allah subhaana wa ta’aala knows that when my relatives had shown me their true color that one thing gave me the might to do something for myself.”

Now this is just a story of one sister. There are many sisters like that, which makes me think about how Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is the lone provider and the real custodian for all. Sister Farah who is in her forties shares her story: “My mother passed away when I was in my late twenties. My father had already passed away years before; her death came as a shock to me as I was very close to her. After her death I went to live in with my brother and his wife. But after some days I could feel the change in their attitude towards me so I decided to get a place of my own. I was a trained school teacher so I took up the job of teaching permanently. At first I faced a lot of resistance from my relations who said whatever they desired about me just because I was a woman. Alhamdullilah today I am happy and comfortable with life that Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has helped me in every step I had taken. I do feel sorry about the way women are treated in our society in particular when they have no guardian.”

For all the women who are ‘alone’ out there should know that in reality they are not the only ones who are alone in this life but there are many like them in this world. If you are a knowledgeable/educated woman you can always work and lead a normal life. After the parent’s death life becomes hard for a single woman but it does not become unattainable. To lead a pious life sister you have to help yourself - do something for yourself. Don’t lose hope.

Truly, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)

Jun 23, 2011

Hadith: Be Mindful of Allah and Allah Will Protect You





On the authority of Abu 'Abbaas 'Abdillaah bin 'Abbaas (radiAllaahu anhumaa) who said : One day I was behind the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) [riding on the same mount] and he said :

O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be Mindful of Allaah and Allaah will protect you. Be Mindful of Allaah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allaah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah [alone]. And know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allaah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allaah had already prescribed against you. The Pens have been lifted and the Pages have dried. (related by Tirmidhi who said it was a sound hadith).
Another narration, other than that of Tirmidhee, reads :

Be Mindful of Allaah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognise and Acknowledge Allaah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will Remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that Victory comes with Patience, Relief with Affliction, and Hardship with Ease.

Explanation of the Hadeeth

The virtues and outstanding traits of 'Abdullaah bin 'Abbaas (radiAllaahu anhumaa) are more than can be enumerated, and the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) supplicated for him and said : "Oh Allaah! Grant him understanding (fiqh) of the Religion and teach him the Interpretation", and he also supplicated for him that he be given Wisdom twice over. And it has been narrated that he [ibn 'Abbaas] said that he "saw Jibreel (alayhi as-salaam) twice", though this narration is mursal and is not established. And Ibn 'Abbaas (radiAllaahu anhu) is the Ocean of Knowledge of this Ummah, and its Learned Scholar. And the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) considered him to be worthy of carrying a Legacy/Advice from him despite his small age, and so he said to him : "Be Mindful of Allaah and Allaah will protect you", and its meaning is "Be obedient to your Lord, ordering whatever He has ordered and forbidding whatever He has forbidden".

And his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement : "Be Mindful of Allaah and you will find Him in front of you" means "Perform your actions for His sake out of His obedience, and let yourself not be seen to oppose or disobey Him, then you will find Allaah with you in times of difficulty", as happened to the three men who fled to a cave to seek shelter from torrential rain, whereupon a huge rock descended upon the entrance to the cave and sealed it. So they said to one another : "Look to the pious actions that you have performed [in the past] and ask Allaah ta'aalaa by them, for verily He is the only One who can save us from this." So each one of them mentioned a good action that they had performed previously, purely for the sake of their Lord, so Allaah removed the rock that was blocking the entrance to the cave, and they were free from their imprisonment, and their story is well known from the Saheeh [of Muslim]. [Note: This story shows that one of the permissible, and indeed recommended, forms of Tawassul, or seeking Waseelah to Allaah, is through the good actions that one has performed.]

And his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement : "If you ask, then ask Allaah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allaah [alone]" guides us to having Trust and Reliance upon our Protector, and that we should not take any Ilaah (object of Worship) except Him, and that we should not depend upon or be attached to anyone other than Him in all our affairs, no matter how small they may be. And Allaah ta'aalaa has said : "And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him" [at-Talaaq, 3].

So according to the degree by which a person relies upon other than Allaah ta'aalaa in his desires and by his heart, or in his hopes, then proportionately he has turned away from his Lord to those who cannot hurt him nor benefit him. And similarly in the case of Fear of other than Allaah, and the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) emphasised this when he said : "And know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allaah had already prescribed for you", and similarly in the case of harm. And this is the essence of Eemaan in Qadr, and having eemaan in it is obligatory, the good of it and the evil of it. And once a Believer has conviction (yaqeen) in this then he sees no benefit in asking from other than Allaah or seeking help from them. And similar to this is the answer of al-Khaleel [Ibraaheem] alayhi as-salaam, to the question of Jibreel (alayhi as-salaam) when he was in the air having been thrown towards the Great Fire : "Do you have any need ?" to which he replied : "As for from you, then no. As for from Allaah, then definitely."

And his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement : "The Pens have been lifted and the Pages have dried" further emphasises what has preceeded, and there is no contradiction with that by way of abrogation or change.






And his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement : "And know that Victory comes with Patience, Relief with Affliction, and Hardship with Ease" informs him [Ibn 'Abbaas] to take note that Man in this World will be presented with trials and misfortunes, especially the Pious, due to the statement of Allaah 'azza wa jall :

 And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabireen (the patient ones) 156. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly! To Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return." 157. They are those on whom are the Salawaat (blessings) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones. [al-Baqarah, 155-157]

and Allaah ta'aalaa has also said :

Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning. [az-Zumar, 10]

Summary :

That it is allowed for two people to be seated on a mount if it does not over-burden the animal
That if one takes care about Allaah's Rights, then He takes care of him
That if one takes care of Allaah's Rights, then He helps him
That one must ask of Allaah only, and seek His help only
That we cannot be harmed or benefitted by anything or anyone, no matter how large they are in number or strong they appear, except by that which Allaah allows
That what Allaah has allowed in our destiny will definitely occur
That one should remember and take care of Allaah's Rights in times of ease, and Allaah will take care of him in times of difficulty
That Victory comes with Patience
That relief comes after suffering
That ease comes after hardship

--

Allaah (subhaana wa ta'laa) said: O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribaa (usury example: Interest, Loan with Interest) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers. (Al-Baqarah 2:278)

And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger. (Al-Baqarah 2:279)














HH Exclusive: Preparing for Ramadan E-Book

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.
________________________________________________
Habibi Halaqas presents
Preparing for Ramadan E-Book
7 Essential Tips to help YOU prepare for Ramadan

________________________________________________


Enter your email address below to obtain 
your copy of Preparing for Ramadan E-Book NOW !


A sample page from this E-Book can be seen below:



Enter your email address below to obtain 
your copy of Preparing for Ramadan E-Book NOW !

Jun 22, 2011

7 Steps To A Happy Marriage Part 1


By Rubina Siddiqi

Among His Signs is this that He created for you mates among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put Love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”(ar-Rum-30:21)


What is Marriage?

A legal contract, a union of the heart and soul, a promise made to cherish each other come what may . A journey of partnership very dear to the traveller ready to take on the challenges ahead.

Beautiful thoughts, cherished feelings and everything perfect. This is what in my humble opinion we all feel when we enter into this holy bond of love and companionship. But gradually somewhere down the road as life takes its regular course, this relationship which should be the most important priority often takes a back seat. Of course love remains but the spark goes out. Not because we don’t care but maybe because our focus shifts to kids, work, other responsibilities etc. We sometimes look for one particular secret ingredient that will make our marriage a success. Alhamdullillah Marriage is not like a dish where one secret ingredient will enhance it. Rather it is a lifetime of sincere efforts from both sides that will help in making it a success Inshallah! Leo Tolstoy is quoted as having said “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.”

I am no expert but based on my experience and having seen some beautiful examples of elders here are some thoughts.

1) Listen to your spouse truly and sincerely:

When we really care for someone we have to listen to what they are trying to communicate verbally as well as what is not being said. Even few minutes of effective listening make a big difference. It is like saying to your beloved - I hear you and I am interested.

2) Love, care for and respect your spouse:

Be affectionate towards your spouse. Be kind, gentle and caring.

Anas ibn Malik narrates; “I saw the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, making for her (Safiya) a kind of cushion with his cloak behind him (on his camel). He then sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiya to put her foot on, in order to ride (on the camel).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Both spouses should try their best to care for the others feelings and be loving towards one another. When you see good, even in small matters, appreciate it. When we take each other for granted and disregard our spouse’s feelings, we may begin to think that little gestures do not matter. But in reality they do matter, a simple thank you, I love you, a caring glance or a surprise gift could mean a lot if backed by the sincere desire to appreciate your spouse or make them feel cared for.


3) Be supportive of each other and encourage the good in one another:

Respect each other and members of the family like your in laws. Having ill feelings and showing them towards each other respective parents directly hurts your spouse and indirectly your marriage. In spite of differences, if love and respect are maintained through a spirit of being forgiving, your marriage will be strengthened and become a source of Allah’s blessings and His forgiveness of our flaws. Marriage is that balance actively created by two individuals whose focus is holding each others hand and being supportive if they stumble.

4) Honesty and trust between the spouses:

The foundation of a healthy marriage is honesty and trust between the spouses. Always be honest and truthful of our concerns and feelings towards each other. Trust is the key we should never lose and we should always have faith in our partner so that they do not have to justify every move.

Abdullah ‘Ibn Amar Ibn’ ‘Aas (radi Allahu anhu) relates that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: The whole world is a place of useful things and the best thing of this world is a virtuous women (wife).

5) Cooperate and consult with your spouse:

Big or small decisions, when you make them together and with the spouse’s approval, that will make a big difference. Unity in all decisions increases love, trust and the spirit of operating as a team. When decisions are made together, both parties are shareholders and equally likely to embrace the consequences of the outcome. Our spouse is our closest companion and as such can be the best adviser in critical matters. We should strive to complement one another, doing what each one is best at with the goal of furthering the collective objective. This includes simple matters such as helping the spouse in household matters or more involved such as financial needs and responsibilities.

Narrated Al Aswad, “I asked Aisha: What the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam used to do at home. She replied, “he used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

6) Abstain from negativity:

At times during an argument or disagreement, we focus on finger pointing at what the other has never done for us and sometimes even bring up past mistakes. This causes unhappiness and frustration. In an argument, if one party remains calm, restrains their anger and refrains from the desire to “win” the argument, its positive effect will immediately help the situation. Its best to return to the matter in a cool state of mind and resolve the issue at stakein logical manner and in the light of what our deen requires of us. Often arguments can be over inconsequential matters, always calmly weigh the pros and cons and then decide whether this was ever worth arguing about. Avoid ever raising your voice as this can only make matters worse.

“And be moderate in thy pace and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubts is the braying of the donkey.” (Surah Luqman Verse 19)

7) Admit mistakes and be forgiving:

If you have made a mistake, accept it. Do not let ego get in the way.

Allah’s messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever has an atom’s worth of kibr (pride and arrogance) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So a man said: What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes? So he replied: “Indeed Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Kibr is to reject the truth, and to despise the people.” (Sahih Muslim)

Denial of error results from ego and false pride and is Shaitan’s best tool to come between couples. Have a generous attitude, be understanding of mistakes and accepting of apologies. Learn to give and not just expect. One golden rule, resolve differences before going to bed.

Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) relates that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: Let no muslim male entertain any malice against a muslim female. He may dislike one habit in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing. (Muslim)

To be continued with a few more important aspects including the role of our Deen.

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)


Jun 21, 2011

Giving Others Their Rights


By Maryam Abd Al Ghafur

The Qur'aan is the Speech of Allaah Subhana wa Ta'Alaa to His ibaad, to His slaves. In it, He warns the slaves away from what He dislikes for them and encourages the slaves towards what He likes for them. While only the Muslims believe in it, every word, every letter, and only the Muslims follow what is in it, it is not reserved only for the Muslims; it is for all of the Children of Adam, alayhis salaam.

In the Qur'aan, Allaah 'Azza wa Jall, has a warning for those who want and demand full measure when it comes to them receiving anything but are less stringent when it comes to them giving to others. Allaah is al-'Adl, the Just; His is the perfect Justice. People fall short, but we have a responsibility to fulfill our bonds, our promises, our words to the best of our ability, while having mercy on those around us when they are not able to give what they have promised.

This is especially important in the family base, the wife and husband. We demand our rights from each other, rights given to us by Allaah Ta'Alaa, but if we fall short, well, we aren't perfect. We tried; isn't our trying good enough for the other person?

The problem comes when both parties are excusing themselves and are no longer as willing to overlook the foibles of the other. That isn't love, it isn't mercy, and it certainly isn't conducive to finding tranquility and mercy in each other. The home becomes a sour place, the very walls are grating on one's nerves, and the sleep is not fulfilling. The food fills the stomach, the bed rests the body, the sexual intimacy takes care of the urge, but a feeling of dissatisfaction has crept in and lingers. There is an indefinable 'something' that is missing.

As an experiment, whether you are married or not, try this for one week: Give, to those whom you spend the most time with, without expecting anything in return except Allaah's reward for His obedient ibaad. If you are married, let the first words to your spouse be "Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullaah". Let those be the last words that you say to your spouse at night. Whether married or not, when you first see someone in the course of the day, smile at them. If they ask something of you, do it for them, without grumbling or excuses, and after, ask if there is anything else that you can do for them at the time.

One week. Seven days. Give to others the full measure that you want in return. Think on it, then thank Allaah.

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)

Jun 20, 2011

POEM: Thank you my Angel


Where do I start when writing a poem for an angel?
An angel so special, so sweet..
I have to tell you, I’m thankful to have a hero by my side, my halo, my light.
Always living in the dark but with you, all of a sudden there is more than just night.


Allah has sent you to me,
Blind at first, but now I see..
Together forever we will be.


I’m proud to have you in my life,
You inspire me to hope and dream.
Angel with a broken wing, I would be lost without you, a throne without a king..


Hamdoulillah there are still friends like you,
There isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do.
You are beautiful in every single way,
Doesn’t go a day by, without mentioning you in my pray.


You are sweet, honest & sincere,
An angel living on planet earth,
Someone I wish I was worth.
You always know what to say, one call could make my day.


You’re the only one, who can cheer me up when I cry,
Without you, I wouldn’t know how to survive.
I know I can be stubborn and a little bit naïve,
But it’s you, on who I can lean.


Together we will hang on,
From sunrise until dawn.
Months, years no matter how long.

A soul mate is what I have found,
and I love you for the sake of Allah without a doubt.

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)





Jun 19, 2011

Makeup Basics 101: The Face – Blush


by Aisling Douglas


The purpose of blush is to make us look more youthful and to highlight the cheek bones.

There are two major types of blush – cream and powder –and a ton of colours. Although I’ve been wearing makeup since I was about 14, only recently have I started to actually wear blush. Now that I know how to apply it properly, it actually adds to the overall look instead of adding red clown cheeks (just think of the 80’s – the entire decade loved heavy blush).

Cream vs Powder Blush

Which one is better? Well in all honesty, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Generally, powder blush is easier to apply for beginners. That isn’t to say that cream is difficult either.

Cream will give you a more ‘dewy’ look. Think of a look like Jennifer Lopez. It will also add a little more ‘shimmer’. A powder will give you a more matte look, but a powder with shimmer can give you the glitz you crave!



Application: Cream – Use foundation brush or a contouring brush and stipple the cream blush lightly on thi apples of your cheeks and blend backwards towards your hair. You don’t want a ‘stripe’ along your cheek, so be sure to blend. Start with a very small amount and build it up until you get the colour you desire.

Application: Powder – Take your favourite blush brush (there are many, just try out a few) and start on the apples of your cheeks and in a circular motion work your way backwards. Again, start off with a light amount and build up to the colour you would like. And as always, blend and blend, then blend some more!

Product Recommendations:

Keep coming back to Habibi Halaqas for more information on beauty basics. Leave your questions below and I’ll do my best to get back to you! Until next time ladies, happy makeup-ing!

Jun 17, 2011

Me and My father





أنـــــا وأبـــــي

Me and My Father

وأنا عمري 4 أعوام : أبي هو الأفضل

When I was 4 Yrs Old : My father is THE BEST

وأنا عمري 6 أعوام : أبي يعرف كل الناس

When I was 6 Yrs Old : My father seems to know everyone

وأنا عمري 10 أعوام : أبي ممتاز ولكن خلقه ضيق

When I was 10 Yrs Old : My father is excellent but he is short tempered

وأنا عمري 12عاما : أبي كان لطيفا عندما كنت صغيرا

When I was 12 Yrs Old : My father was nice when I was little

وأنا عمري 14 عاما : أبي بدأ يكون حساسا جدا

When I was 14 Yrs Old : My father started being too sensitive

وأنا عمري 16 عاما : أبي لا يمكن أن يتماشى مع العصر الحالي

When I was 16 Yrs Old : My father can't keep up with modern time

وأنا عمري 18 عاما : أبي ومع مرور كل يوم يبدو كأنه أكثر حدة

When I was 18 Yrs Old : My father is getting less tolerant as the days pass by

وأنا عمري 20 عاما : من الصعب جدا أن أسامح أبي ، أستغرب كيف استطاعت أمي أن تتحمله

When I was 20 Yrs Old : It is too hard to forgive my father, how could
my Mum stand him all these years

وأنا عمري 25 عاما : أبي يعترض على كل موضوع

When I was 25 Yrs Old : My father seems to be objecting to everything I do

وأنا عمري 30 عاما : من الصعب جدا أن أتفق مع أبى ، هل ياترى تعب جدي من
أبي عندما كان شابا

When I was 30 Yrs Old: It's very difficult to be in agreement with my
father, I wonder if my Grandfather was troubled by my father when he
was a youth

وأنا عمري 40 عاما: أبي رباني في هذه الحياة مع كثير من الضوابط، ولابد
أن أفعل نفس الشيء

When I was 40 Yrs Old: My father brought me up with a lot of
discipline, I must do the same

وأنا عمري 45 عاما : أنا محتار ، كيف أستطاع أبي أن يربينا جميعا

When I was 45 Yrs Old: I am puzzled, how did my father manage to raise all of us

وأنا عمري 50 عاما: من الصعب التحكم في أطفالي، كم تكبد أبي من عناء لأجل
أن يربينا ويحافظ علينا

When I was 50 Yrs Old : It's rather difficult to control my kids, how
much did my father suffer for the sake of upbringing and protecting us

وأنا عمري 55 عاما: أبي كان ذا نظرة بعيدة وخطط لعدة أشياء لنا ، أبي كان
مميزا ولطيفا .

When I was 55 Yrs Old: My father was far looking and had wide plans
for us, he was gentle and outstanding.

وأنا عمري 60 عاما: أبي هو الأفضل

When I became 60 Yrs Old: My father is THE BEST

جميع ما سبق احتاج إلى 56 عاما لإنهاء الدورة كاملة ليعود إلى نقطة البدء
الأولى عند ألـ 4 أعوام .

Note that it took 56 Yrs to complete the cycle and return to the
starting point "My father is THE BEST" !

فلنحسن إلى والدينا قبل أن يفوت الأوان ولندع الله أن يعاملنا أطفالنا
أفضل مما كنا نعامل والدينا .

Let's be good to our parents before it's too late and pray to Allaah
that our own children will treat us even better than the way we
treated our parents .
 
I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)
 

Jun 16, 2011

Importance of Rewarding Your Kids

I decided to book a holiday for all my kids, as a reward for fasting and enduring the long hours and the heat during the month of Ramadan. Little did I know I was in for a surprise… Whilst I was thinking about all the nice places we will be visiting in Disneyland Orlando, my kids interrupted my flow of thought -“Mom we have something to tell you...”- I will let you know what they said shortly.

Parents tend to focus more on inappropriate behaviour, and rarely praise or reward good behaviour. Failing to realise that enforcing positive behaviour/efforts, leads to more good behaviour and happy confident kids!

In my upcoming articles, I will be discussing ways to reward our kids without being excessive. We need to give praise in the right way, in the right amount and for the right things.

Are you more likely to praise your kid, for winning than for trying hard? The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam praised and encouraged the sahabah in a positive manner. Ibn Abbas tells us that throughout the many years he lived with the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, he never once scolded him. The Prophet’s method of parenting was through praise and reward. He always adopting a positive mental attitude. This is the principle we need to adopt, when designing a reward system for our kids.

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam also tells us “whatever I order you to do, do it as best as you can. And whatever I forbid you to do, avoid it completely” – (Bukhari). It’s clear from this hadith that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam did not want to burden us.

“Whoever comes with goodness, for him there will be ten (goodness) like it, and whoever comes with an evil, he will not be recompensed except with the like of it” (Q6:160). Allah is so generous that He rewards good intentions that have not been carried out. Applying this principle to parenting, means we should focus largely on encouraging positive behaviour.

Rewarding a kid for good behaviour, increases the chances of that behaviour re-occurring and helps to decrease negative actions. Ignoring bad behaviour and rewarding good causes the kid, to lose interest in inappropriate actions that do not provide a reward/satisfaction. To develop this system, simply create a token economy using points and a reward chart. This helps in developing and encouraging good behaviour in your kids.

- Khafayah Abdulsalam of www.umuka.com

to be continued.....

Next: 6 ways to reward your kids

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)

Jun 15, 2011

Conditions For The Acceptance of Actions





Source : Six Conditions of Ibaadah , By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen

Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen (d.1421H) - rahimahullaah - said, “Sincerity (ikhlaas) towards Allaah means that the person desires by his worship closeness to Allaah the Exalted and reaching His Abode of Nobility (i.e. Paradise), such that the servant must be sincere towards Allaah the Exalted in his intended purpose. He must be sincere towards Allaah the Exalted in his love. He must be sincere towards Allaah in his exaltation. He must be sincere to Allaah the Exalted outwardly and inwardly. He does not seek anything with his worship, except for the Face of Allaah the Exalted and reaching His Abode of Nobility.” [1]

Stated al-’Allaamah Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen (d.1421H) – rahimahullaah, “And in order that it will be known – O brothers – that al-mutaaba’ah cannot be actualized, except when the action is in agreement with the Sharee’ah in six affairs:

The First: as-Sabab (reason, motive); So when the person worships Allaah with act of worship that is accompanied by a motive that is not legislated by the Sharee’ah, then it is an innovation that is rejected back to its doer. An example of that is when some of the people commemorate the twenty-seventh night of Rajab under the pretence that it was the night in which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) ascended. So tahajjud (the night Prayer) is worship. However, when it is accompanied with this motive, it becomes an innovation. This is because this action of worship is built upon a motive that has not been confirmed in the Sharee’ah. And this description – the conformity of the worship to the Sharee’ah in motive – is an important affair that clarifies many innovations from amongst those that are thought to be from the Sunnah, yet they are not from the Sunnah.

The Second: al-Jins (type); so it is inevitable that the act of worship be in conformity to the Sharee’ah in its jins (type). So if the person worships with an act of worship whose type is not legislated, then it is not accepted. An example of that is if a man were to slaughter a horse, then this sacrifice would not be correct, because it has opposed the Sharee’ah in the type. So the blood sacrifices cannot be done, except with cattle, grazing livestock, camels, cows and sheep.

The Third: al-Qadr (quantity); so if the person increases in the Prayer that is obligatory, then we say that this is an innovation that is not accepted, because it opposes the Sharee’ah in quantity. With all the more reason, if the person prays the noon Prayer for example as five units, then his Prayer is not correct by agreement.

The Fourth: al-Kayfiyyah (manner, mode); so if a man performs ablution, and he begins with washing the feet, then he wipes his head, then he washes his hands, then his face, then we say that his ablution is null and void, because it opposes the Sharee’ah in manner.

The Fifth: az-Zamaan (time); so if the person slaughters in the first days of Dhul-Hijjah, then his blood sacrifice will not be accepted due it opposing the Sharee’ah in time. And I have heard that some of the people slaughter sheep during the month of Ramadaan in order to draw closer to Allaah with blood sacrifice. So this action in this manner is an innovation, because there is nothing with regards to drawing closer to Allaah with slaughtering, except for blood sacrifice, gifts and the ’aqeeqah. As for slaughtering in Ramadaan along with the belief that one will attain the reward of slaughtering, such as the blood sacrifice in ’Eedul-Adhaa, or slaughtering for the sake of meat, then this is permissible.

The Sixth: al-Makaan (place); so if a man performs i’tikaaf in other than a mosque, then his i’tikaaf is not correct. And that is because the i’tikaaf cannot occur, except in the mosques. And if a woman says, ‘I wish to perform i’tikaaf in the musallaa (place of Prayer) in the house,’ then her i’tikaaf is not correct due to opposition of the Sharee’ah in place. And from the examples of that is if a man desires to perform tawaaf. So he finds that the area of tawaaf has become too confined and he finds that whatever is around it has become too confined. So he starts to perform tawaaf from behind the mosque, then his tawaaf will not be correct, because the place of the tawaaf is the house.

So the act of worship cannot be considered a righteous action, except if two conditions are fulfilled with regards to it, the first is al-ikhlaas (sincerity) and the second is al-mutaaba’ah (following the Prophet). And al-mutaaba’ah cannot be fulfilled, except with the six affairs that have been previously mentioned.” [2]

Footnotes:
[1]: Refer to Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (7/112) of Ibnul-’Uthaymeen.
[2]: Refer to Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/253-254) of Ibnul-’Uthaymeen.


Jun 14, 2011

6 Power Questions to Ask Yourself

by Manal Khalife

Almost all of us have an area of our lives where we feel stuck. Where we are reluctant to make changes or move forward in a situation. Out of fear or discomfort or confusion. Whatever it is, whether it's switching careers or seeing a therapist, or even feeling stuck because of not having a car, the reason many people get stuck like this is because we ask ourselves the same questions over an over in a never ending loop. For the most part, we don't even ask questions, we just tell ourselves a phrase or statement over an over.

"I'm stuck at home all the time because I don't have a car."

"I can't do anything because I don't have a car."

"Why can't my husband get me a car?"

I'm using this example, because it was something I was stuck on for several years. Being a stay-at-home mom with no car was like torture to me. And it didn't help that I continually had these thoughts that did not help me make the best of my situation or move forward. Believe it or not, these were some of thoughts that kept me suffering from depression. This helplessness loop.

A couple of years back, I learned that you need to start asking better questions. Questions that would pull you out of that 'stuck' place, that would help you to see the situation from a different angle, and eventually get you out of the mental loop.

There are loads, but I do have my favourites. I find that it's best to ask yourself these "power questions" on paper or in a journal. If you ask them in your head, you risk having the old questions and statements interfering, and you'll end up either confused, or right back where you started.

Here are 6 power questions to ask yourself when you feel stuck:

1. How is this better for me?

Over the years, there has been a lot of attention on keeping a gratitude journal. Looking to what you are grateful for is always a good thing. And it's easy to do...when you're in a good mood and things are going your way! That doesn't always happen though. I find when I get in a pessimistic funk, especially when I haven't had enough food or sleep, it's harder to focus on what I'm grateful for. Asking myself "How is this better for me?", though, really helps me to separate the good from the not-so-good, and appreciate that there is goodness in this situation, even if it is not always the first thing I see.

This question gets you to see that despite your ideas about the situation, this is where you were meant to be at this point in time, so you might as well squeeze as many lessons, gratitude and blessings out of it as you can.

2. What's in my control?

This question was a turning point for me. It's so simple, and clear, but before I'd ever asked myself this question, everything in my life was someone else's fault. It was because of something someone else did or said. Or because of the weather and on and on. Blaming everything and everyone else, but never taking a good look at what I could do to change the situation.

When you ask yourself, "What's in my control?" your mind automatically searches for an answer. It starts to sift through the situation looking for things that you could change, however small that might be, and helps you to start making conscious choices in your life, rather than just letting things happen.

3. If nothing was stopping me, what would I do?

We all have certain dreams we've either left behind, or "forgotten", and often it's because of some resistance we have inside. I don't have enough money or that will never work for me, or I don't have the skills, etc. The real reason these dreams get 'lost' is because we feel the limitations are too great to overcome, so you put the dream aside and try to substitute it with something else.

The bad news: The dream never dies. It only intensifies. The good news: You can uncover and overcome the resistance and get the dream back.

Get yourself in a quiet space, and ask yourself, "If nothing was stopping me, what would I do?" and just write and write and pour your heart out onto paper. Some of it won't seem to make sense, but don't censor yourself, just continue to write until you 'get it'. This writing exercise is one I've gone back to over and over again over the past couple of years, and I always seem to see something I hadn't fully grasped before.

4. What is the ONE thing I can do today, that is the least amount of work, that will make the biggest difference? (80/20 rule)

This one is perfect for those days when you feel completely overwhelmed. What I like to do is write down everything on my mind, look it over, and choose which ones are the MOST important and will make the biggest difference, and then ask myself which one requires the least amount of effort. It's called the 80/20 rule. What will make 80% difference, using just 20% effort?

This will often help you get out of a stuck situation, by eliminating solutions which may have seemed obvious to you, but were too much effort involved, or solutions you hadn't even thought of yet. This one will really help you move forward.

5. What else could this mean?

This one is especially helpful in relationships. Often, we get hurt because of someone else's actions because we attach a certain meaning to it. She did xyz, because she doesn't care about me. Or if he loved me, he wouldn't leave his socks on the floor.

Yes, that might be one way to interpret the situation. But since you can't really know someone else's motives, you are only guessing. So, you might as well make it a good guess.

Brainstorm, and ask yourself, "What else could this mean?" A good rule of thumb, is that for every negative meaning you come up with, you have to come up with a positive one. This gives you a balanced view, and can cool your anger or hurt in a heated situation.

6. What would my 110-year old self advise me?

This one is awesome. It needs a little bit of quiet reflection, but it is well worth it. Once I discovered my 110-year old self, I feel like I want to visit again and again, and get some wisdom from her.

When I first did this exercise, I even got an answer to a question I'd been confused about for several years. Try it out, you will be surprised!

What did you learn about yourself with these 6 power questions?

About Manal: After beating her lifelong battle with depression, at age 28, Manal Khalife became a life coach and EFT practitioner. She now shows you how to live depression-free via her personal development blog.

I'd love to hear your views on this article. Please tell me in the comments section below :)