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Turn Your Bathroom Into A Talking Point

American Standard Bidet Set

Why would I need a bidet you ask? Well, bidets are very simple to use and the best way to improve your bathroom hygiene and ensure a clean, healthy well-being.  Did you know that the medically recommended way to clean the genital region is warm water? Bidets are incomparably hygienic and good for the environment. They are finally making inroads in US households.

I had only seen bidets on T.V. and had never seen one up close until I reverted to Islam as all Muslim households either have a hand held watering can, sprayer or bidet. Bathroom hygiene is incredibly important in Islam for a number of reasons.

Recently I posted an Instagram video about the Advanced Clean A.C 2.0 SpaLet Bidet with Remote Control and much to my surprised, Almost all of the readers that commented stated that the first time they saw a bidet was when they traveled overseas. Most of the bathrooms around the world are equipped with a bidet – even in so-called “third world” countries. They are surprisingly few and far between in the United States. Why is it that Americans have shunned the bidet?  Americans never seemed to warm up to the bidet.  However, bidet seat sales in the U.S. have increased by double digits every year for the past five years. Today, new technology and intuitive design have convinced many U.S. homeowners to invite the bidet into the privacy of their bathrooms.

I didn’t grow up with a bidet and had the misconception the bidets were only for the rich. Boy was I wrong!  You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars to enjoy the addition of a bidet into your bathroom. Not only is the Advanced Clean SpaLet Bidet affordable but it can change your bathroom experience while promoting a healthier and cleaner lifestyle that elevates the bathroom experience for the whole family. Who doesn’t want that, right?

My household has been using The Advanced Clean SpaLet Bidet for a week now and it’s the topic of most of our conversations. My family agrees that one of the features they felt made it to first place on their list is the 4 nozzle positions that is personalize by a click of a button.  In at second place is the adjustable water pressure which allows you to adjust both the position and pressure in order to provide you with the most comfortable experience possible. Third favorite feature is the remote control, as you don’t have to try and see the controls next to you as with other products on the market.

Bidet with remote control

 

The Advance Clean A.C. 2.0 Spalet Bidet offers a wide array of features such as

  • 2 self-cleaning nozzles for independent front and back cleaning. The nozzles are rinsed with water before and after each use and features a shutter that covers the nozzles when not being used.
  • Adjustable heated seat that you can calibrate to your preferences.
  • Adjustable water pressure which allows you to adjust both the position and pressure in order to provide you with the most comfortable experience possible.
  • No need to fear the jolt of a cold splash as the bidet has adjustable water temperature
  • Deodorizer with easy access charcoal filters which uses active charcoal to reduce the odors in the bowl. Operation begins once the user sits down on the seat and continues for 5 seconds after the user stands up.
  • 1-touch power save (8 hours)
  • One-push Removable Seat for easy bowl and seat cleaning
  • Antibacterial protection is applied to the seat, cover, nozzles and control panel to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
  • Feminine Wash which is very effective for maintaining feminine hygiene during menstruation and pregnancy.
  • A slow close seat and best of all, the lid is detachable with one easy click for thorough cleaning.
  • Wireless remote control

 

American Standard Bidet

When it comes to benefits, bidets seem like a no-brainer, it’s the ultimate cleansing experience.

Are bidets common to your culture or religion? If so, tell us where you are from and share your personal story and the cultural practice(s).  If not, would you be open to it now since you’ve just heard about all the benefits of bathroom hygiene?

This is a sponsored post written in partnership with @American Standard.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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The Difference Between Hajj and Umrah

hajj

 

Every year thousands of Muslims from around the world take part in a spiritual pilgrimage called Hajj and Umrah. They are both important religious journeys for all Muslims. Let’s discuss what are the differences between Hajj and Umrah.

 

Hajj

 

Hajj is a pilgrimage that all Muslims are obligated to take as long as they are physically, mentally, and financially able to undertake the journey. It is compulsory to visit Kaaba, the house of God, at least once in a lifetime. Every year, 3-4 million pilgrims from across the world make the major pilgrimage to Mecca, making it the largest single gathering of people on the planet.

 

This journey is so important that Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and has greater religious significance than Umrah. It is one of the most spiritual and rewarding acts and deepens one’s connection with Allah. Once completed, all past sins will be cleansed and Jannah (paradise) can be reached.

 

Hajj must be undertaken at a specific time of year in the last month of the Islamic calendar, Dhu’l-Hijjah. The pilgrimage takes place once a year from 8th to 12th in Dhu’l-Hijjah, taking at least 4-5 days to complete, and cannot be performed in any other month or time of year.

 

During Hajj, Muslims perform a number of different religious rituals and acts of worship to demonstrate deeds of obedience and submission towards Allah. These rituals begin the same way as Umrah but Hajj continues with further travel and more complicated rituals. These rituals involve:

 

  • Ihram – pilgrims must be in a state of Ihram – a state of cleanliness and intention in which they must not participate in sexual activity, fight, or commit sin, and must wear white garments which symbolise purity, equality, and unity.
  • Tawaf – this involves circling the Holy Ka’aba in Masjid Al-Haram, the most sacred site in Islam, seven times.
  • Praying two rakat
  • Drinking Zamzam holy water
  • Sa’ae – passing between the Al-Safa and Al-Marwah mountains seven times to remember the trials of Hajar.
  • Travel to and stay overnight in Mina.
  • Mount Arafat – pilgrims go to the plains of Mount Arafat to hear the Hajj Khutbah sermon, the last sermon by Prophet Muhammad, and pray Asr and Maghrib prayers.
  • Stoning Shaitan – Muslims travel to Muzdalifah to perform a symbolic stoning ritual in which pebbles are thrown at three walls known as jamarat which symbolises how Shaitan (satan) tried to tempt Ibrahim.
  • Muzdalifah – pilgrims stay overnight in the open air to symbolise equality in the eyes of Allah regardless of race, colour, and status.
  • Qurbani – the sacrifice of animals and livestock during Eid ul Adha commemorates the sacrifice and obedience of Ibrahim when Allah asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his son for him.
  • Taqsir – men shave their hair off and women cut off a piece of their hair.
  • Ghusl – ritual washing of the whole body in preparation for prayer.

 

 

hajjpacakges

Umrah

 

Umrah, like Hajj, is a pilgrimage to Mecca, but unlike Hajj, is not compulsory, only recommended. Hajj is of lesser importance than Hajj as is not one of the pillars of Islam. It is, for this reason, known as the lesser or minor pilgrimage.

 

Umrah also differs from Hajj because it does not have to be carried out at a specific time of year. It can however, be performed any time of the year or month except at the time of Hajj.

 

However, like Hajj, Umrah is an act of total spiritual cleansing and strengthens one’s connection with Allah through rituals which remember the trials of Hajar, Prophet Ibrahim, and Prophet Muhammad.

 

Hajj and can be completed in a much shorter time within 2-4 hours. There a couple of rituals which are carried out in Umrah and Hajj.  They include Ihram – the state of cleanliness, Tawaf – circling the Holy Kaaba, praying, drinking Zamzam water, sa’ae – passing between the mountains Safa and Marwa seven times, and Taqsir – shaving the head for men and cutting a piece of hair for women.

 

The Main Differences Between Hajj And Umrah Are:

 

  • Importance – Hajj is of higher religious importance as it is compulsory and a pillar of Islam, whereas Umrah is advisory and a minor pilgrimage.
  • Timing – Hajj must be carried out from 8th-12th of the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah and Umrah can be carried out any other time of year.
  • Rituals – Umrah involves Ihram, Tawaf, sa’ae, and Taqsir. Hajj takes longer and involves all of these rituals as well as travel to Mina, Mount Arafat, stoning Shaitan, stay in Muzdalifah, and Qurbani sacrifice.

 

While there are differences between Hajj and Umrah, both are religious pilgrimages to Mecca and important experiences for all Muslims to partake in. Both pilgrimages are incredibly rewarding and spiritually cleansing acts and deepen one’s understanding of the trials of Hajar, Ibrahim, and Muhammad, and strengthen a believer’s connection with Allah.

 

For more information on Hajj and Umra Express, visit the links below.

Hajj and Umra Express is the UK’s favourite Hajj and Umrah tour operator offering a range of Umrah and Hajj packages prepared and designed with you in mind.

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4 Reasons We Need Women’s Retreat

As a busy working mom, I know how hard it can be to get away.

Between my work responsibilities, children, grandchildren, housework, and my volunteer efforts, there is little time to no time for me. It’s hard to image taking additional time to go away for a retreat. Yet my responsibilities and busy schedule are exactly why I desperately need a retreat.

Here are 4 reasons Why We Need Women’s Retreat;

1. We need to let go. To retreat means to leave our normal occupied position and go to a place of safety, quiet, and seclusion. Women are caretakers and givers. A break from caring for our loved ones and focus solely on caring for yourself so you can return refueled and rejuvenated.

2. We need to spend time doing what we love. An opportunity for women to go for what they want. Some want to lay back and do nothing while other want to revel in the outdoors. A women’s gathering grants you guidance by providing tools and practices to support you. Gaining knowledge needed to help you navigate life, relationships, careers and everything else.

3. We need to see and learn new things. Disconnect to Reconnect and carve out space to think deeply, connect to our fitra selves and connect with sisterhood. In a retreat, we learn to break free from old mindset, unravel tight places and create a life we love. Get the soul tuned up and ignite the spark you need to set you on a new path with courage and conviction.

4. Because we need each other. When women gather they are inspired by one another’s stories and reflect on their own. Women who seek connection with themselves, spiritually and their community are empowered to take action in their own life in this world.

You’ll return recharged, realigned with personal purpose and vision. You may go expecting a different outcome but be surprised by the new experiences that seem to happen when you ignite the power of sisterhood.

 

“When a woman is relaxed and rested, she is the most resourceful, receptive, creative, and in tune with her Feminine Soul.” ~ Sara Avant Stover

 

I’m hosting the Rediscovering and Reawakening Your True Self Retreat on July 6-8, 2018. This intimate women’s weekend is a chance for you to catch your breath, reconnect with yourself, and find a more loving and sustainable way to be in the world. You can then reach your dream to live a peaceful, connected, harmonious life, and share that energy with others. focusing on topics we Muslim Women want to talk about. The retreat is designed for you to get the most out of your stay and focus on your specific goals and interests and achieving the perfect balance of mind, body, and soul while staying in a quaint Country Inn.

The retreat combines adventures of the body (trail hiking, and yoga) with adventures of the spirit (art, and meditation) as well as halal food prepared daily by the Guesthouse chef. Our speakers are

Yasmin Essa

HC, AADP, Holistic Health/ Life Coach/Educator/Public Speaker

Suzy Ismail

Published author and speaker on diversity, Islam, family, marriage, gender relations, women, youth & other topics

Halimah DeOliveira

CEO of Be You In HD, International Speaker, Published Author, Coach and Philanthropist

Glory Ali

Founder of Muslim Travel Rocks, Speaker, Business Coach, blogger

 

You can expect a group of experienced speakers who are excited to share tools and tips to help you tap into the transformative power of self-care to nourish and replenish your mind, body, and soul.

Join your sisters in a relaxing quaint Country Inn in the foothills of the Cockaponsent State Forest in Connecticut, where you will have the support, time and guided activities to help you reconnect with your fitra-self.

The power to give yourself what you need lies in your hands!

During the Rediscovering & Reawakening Your True Self Retreat on July 6-8, 2018 our speakers will lead you through a comprehensive process of aligning your thoughts, prayers and daily routine with your goal of leading a fulfilling, energized life. This women’s weekend is a chance for you to catch your breath, reconnect with yourself, and find a more loving and sustainable way to be in the world. You can then reach your dream to live a peaceful, connected, harmonious life, and share that energy with others. You’ll leave with the tools and confidence of how to take better care of yourself.

Give yourself the gift of relaxation and joy, invite creativity back into your life, and transform your future by claiming your voice.

Sign up as a commitment to yourself!

Your time is now!

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delaySAJDA a new emerging Muslim App

muslim mobile app

Millions of Muslim across the globe can now download this real-time muslim mobile app that is making an impact on Salah. delaySAJDA is a mobile-first app that is using the power of our cell phones to calculate the allowed and forbidden times of Salah. Meet the developer who is trying to change how we use technology in our daily prayers. I had the opportunity to interview the developer of Delay Sajda. Here is what he had to say.

 

“Scholars have agreed that there are three times during the day when we are forbidden to offer any prayers, including make up prayers. These times are: when the sun rises up until it is above the horizon by the length of a spear (~12 minutes), when the sun is at its zenith (~7 minutes) and when the bottom of the sun’s disc touches the horizon until it sets (~7 minutes). During these times, no obligatory (farz)*, essential (sunnat), optional (nafal) and missed (qaza) prayers, and no prostration (Sajda-e-Tilaawat and Sajda-e-Sahv) are permitted.”

 

MTR: Tell me about yourself.

Jawed: My name is Jawed Aikal, originally from Pakistan, and now residing in Central New Jersey with my wife and four children. I have a master in Software Engineering from New York Institute of Technology and I work as Applications Manager at a major law firm.

MTR: What ignited the spark in you to start the App for delaySAJDA?

Jawed: I pray just like everyone else. Sometimes on-time and sometimes late. I had a general idea, again just like everyone else, that during sunrise, sunset, and zawal (solar noon), salah (prayer) was not allowed. While sunrise and sunset for any city is usually available on our cellphones, I haven’t seen zawal time anywhere. So, I had to calculate it manually. But that’s only part of the problem. Upon further research, I discovered that there is more to it in Shariah around those three forbidden times. I devised numerous mathematical formulae to calculate these times. This was, however, cumbersome on a daily basis, to say the least. Alhamdulillah, Almighty instilled a desire in my heart to put my education and experience to some use, and build a mobile app for myself and all of my brothers and sisters in Islam.

MTR: What was your mission at the onset?

Jawed: The mission was, first and foremost, to revive a forgotten Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alaih Wasalam (Bukhari:548, Muslim:1371 and 1373). Secondly, to inspire Muslim ummah to make our salah complete by appreciating its rules, etiquette, and regulations. Thirdly, to generate a perpetual source of income to benefit various humanitarian causes in the US and around the world.

MTR: What problem are you solving and for whom?

Jawed: We all perform salah. It has specific rules and guidelines around timing. The calculations are detailed and cumbersome. Why not leverage our cellphones to calculate the allowed and forbidden times automatically for us?

MTR: How is the mobile app used?


Jawed: Simplicity is the main theme. Everyone knows traffic light signal of red, yellow and green and their notification purpose of stop, warning and go, respectively. This app uses the same universal idea. The cellphone screen will turn red when you are not allowed to pray. It will turn yellow as a warning that the forbidden time is closely approaching within 5 minutes. At other times, it will remain green, signaling that you can pray as usual.

MTR: How can our readers get their hands on the app?

Jawed: The delaySAJDA mobile app is available on both App Store and Google Play for $1. The 50% of the proceeds will go towards humanitarian causes in the USA and around the globe insha’Allah.

MTR: What’s your favorite part of this kind of work?

Jawed: The belief and understanding that every minute of my day and night while I am putting effort into this beneficial work for the ummah, it is counted as ibaadah (worship). The religion can be so easy. All we have to do is straighten up our niyyah (intentions).

MTR: How is delaySAJDA collaborating with the community?

Jawed: The feedback, suggestions, and recommendations from family and community in large have been breathtaking. Having 50-50 partnership with Allah helps me give back to the community what Allah graciously provided in the first place.

MTR: What was the most important part of your journey?

Jawed: The faith. Reciting Prophet Musa’s dua, “Rab-bishraa lee sadri, wa yassir lee amree” (Translation: O My Lord, expand for me my chest, and ease my task for me), helped me strengthen that faith. Although I work in app development, I have been in management for over a decade. I couldn’t have developed this app without His help. He has been very kind and generous. I didn’t plan it as such, but Apple published the app on the Day of Arafat, and Google published it on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal. Is this a sign? Absolutely!

MTR: What are your future plans for delaySAJDA?

Jawed: There is always room for improvement. While mandating that the mobile app remains easy-to-use and focused, I will insha’Allah continue to enhance it with feedback from our esteemed user community.

Jawed Aikal is inspired by ibaadha and a passion to help millions of Muslims across the globe to complete their salal according to Sunnah.

Download delaySAJDA today!

Blog

Muzbnb The Future Of Muslim Travel

 

 

Muzbnb is a new travel start-up, that is tapping into the halal travel industry and providing a much-needed faith-based home stay servicing Muslim travellers.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Hadi Shakuur, CEO of “Muzbnb”. Here’s what he had to say…

 

MTR: Can you share with our readers the story of how Muzbnb came about?

 

Muzbnb: Muzbnb was born out of a desire to create something innovative to serve our community. It is a faith-based homestay network started by a group of entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C.

 

“These are trying times for Muslims in the US and abroad and this company can serve as a beacon of light and hope that we (Muslims) are still here, still creating, still thinking about the sanctity of faith – not just ours, but faith in general.”

 

 

MTR: Who are the founders and what sets Muzbnb apart from your competitors?

 

Muzbnb: Muzbnb was founded by Hadi Shakuur and Muhammad Oda. Muslims have particular things to consider when traveling, like Where to offer Prayer, Where to find Halal food, Finding religiously acceptable events/activities, and finally Locating Muslim friendly lodging.This platform is something that we hope will alleviate the undue discrimination Muslims have faced when traveling, and also allow Muslims to travel and explore freely.

 

We will have search filters that highlight homes that are:

Close to Mosques or halal eateries,

Stocked with Qurans or Islamic literature,

Equipped with dedicated prayer spaces,

Alcohol-free + Drug-free,

Safe for women traveling alone,

Child-friendly, and much more

 

“We want Muslims to feel comfortable and accepted while traveling. Guests can also expect to experience a non-Islamophobic stay — feeling completely welcome from check-in to check-out!”

 

 

MTR: What problem do you solve for Muslim Travelers?

 

Muzbnb: We want Muslims to feel comfortable and accepted while traveling. Guests can also expect to experience a non-Islamophobic stay — feeling completely welcome from check-in to check-out!

MTR: How are you changing the future of the Muslim Travelers?

Muzbnb: There are sites that cater to Muslims globally, but the housing market remains untapped. We were expecting a positive reaction and the support has been incredible! We receive daily messages from people all over the world eagerly awaiting our launch. Our goal is simple: to encourage travel, adventure, and the building of a global community where Muslims feel comfortable and accepted while traveling. Our big dream is to create a global movement centered around experiences and culture of the diverse community we represent. We hope to be a sanctuary for all faiths to be welcomed as they explore and travel the world.

 

 

MTR: How can Muslim’s join Muzbnb?

Muzbnb: It’s easy to sign up with Muzbnb. Just go to www.muzbnb.com and click on “Get Started – Sign Up.”

MTR: How do our readers host their homes on Muzbnb?

Muzbnb: You can host your properties on our site with the click of a button. And the best thing, it’s free to sign up and list your property! You can easily select dates and set preferences for your homes. You can post shared or private rooms, entire houses, villas, boats and more.

MTR: Are there any conditions to being a host home?

Muzbnb: Begin by creating a profile for your place with all relevant information. Make sure your home stands out with detailed information, beautiful photos and a reasonable price. Host also have the option to showcase the unique amenities their home offers, making it a guest’s dream.You will also set the dates that your home is available for rent, house rules and further specifications.

Once a guest comes across your listing, they’ll request to book your place for specified dates. When a guest sends you a reservation request, you’ll be prompted via email, sms, or dashboard message.You will then be able to message the guest, getting to know them better and eventually make the decision to accept or reject the request. If you accept, you will make plans to receive the guest according to our Host ethics guidelines. Your guest arrives! This is where your superb hospitality is on full-display. Show them what you’re made of! Everything you’ve done previously should lead up to a smooth stay for your guest. All guests pay electronically before their stay so no need to collect any money. Your payment is automatically deposited into the account of your choosing 24 hours after your guest’s check-in date. Muzbnb charges 7.5% host service fee on each reservation.

MTR: What is the primary message you want to convey to your customers?

Muzbnb: Our service is meant to be inclusive. I’ve heard stories from my Muslim brothers and sisters of discrimination and difficulty they have faced when traveling. We hope Muzbnb can help alleviate some of those issues when traveling. On that same note, Muzbnb isn’t just limited to Muslims. Our platform is open to be used by all those who support the Islamic values of hosts and travelers. Unfortunately we live in a time where Muslims are under extra scrutiny. This is why there is a need to create safe spaces globally for Muslims.

 

“Our is to encourage travel, adventure, and the building of a global community where Muslims feel comfortable and accepted while traveling. I want to be a part of creating a global movement centered around the experiences and culture of the diverse community we represent. I truly believe that this can be a sanctuary for all faiths to be welcomed as they explore and travel the world.”

 

 

Blog

Ramadan Initiative

The “Ramadan Initiative” is a facebook event where Muslims are encouraged to reach out to their non-Muslim friends, neighbors, co-workers and others to help spread peace, love, and mercy by sharing food during the holy month of Ramadan. I have had the pleasure of interviewing one of the founders of this incredible initiative.

Muslim Travel Rocks: I’ve been partaking in the Ramadan Initiative for two years now and absolutely love sharing treats with my co-workers during Ramadan. “How did the idea come about?”

Azra Baig: The Ramadan Sharing Initiative was started a few of years ago, a couple of weeks prior to the start to the month of Ramadan in 2015 during a discussion with a group of Muslim women. We were at the end of a class at the Islamic Society of Central Jersey in South Brunswick, NJ and we were having a conversation about world news and how Muslims and Islam are predominantly portrayed negatively by the media and the daily news coverage which has unfortunately helped shape a negative perception of Muslims and the religion of Islam. We discussed how individually, Muslims need to do their part and battle the stereotypes and misconceptions that are portrayed in regards to our faith and practices.

The upcoming month of Ramadan gives Muslims in America and around the world an opportunity to share a little about themselves and their faith and be the true example of who a Muslim is and what are faith is about by sharing kind gestures such as having our non-Muslim friends over to open the fast together or by sharing food with neighbors or co-workers.

 

Muslim TravelRocks: Who started the Ramadan Initiative?

Azra Baig: Several of the women in the class stated that it has been their tradition to reach out to their non-Muslim friends every year during Ramadan to share food and give gifts. In that moment of discussion, with the support of my friend, Saima Iqbal, it lead to the idea to start an online initiative to encourage all our Muslim friends, near and far across the country and around the world, to have everyone reach out to their non-Muslim friends, neighbors, co-workers, people in the community by sharing some food such as dates, cookies, candy or chocolate and making people aware it is Ramadan or the month of fasting.

 

Muslim Travel Rocks: Allahumdillila, the Ramadan Initiative has spread over the years.  What do you hope to accomplish?

Azra Baig: These acts of kindness are a way to battle the negativity and misconceptions, and a way to help spread peace, love and understanding among one another. There has been a wonderful response to the Ramadan Sharing Initiative. People have been happy to share their experiences on the Ramadan Sharing Initiative Facebook event link. They have posted the many creative ideas, pictures of various foods and gifts shared with others and the many positive thoughts and experiences.

I am grateful to everyone who has supported this initiative and hope to continue to encourage small acts of kindness during the month of Ramadan, one plate full of food at a time, spreading peace, love and understanding.

 

 

 

What are you waiting for! Head on over to “Ramadan Initiative” facebook event and start sharing the love. Use hashtag #RamadanSharing when posting.

Blog

Why We Should All Experience Canada In The Winter

winter adventure

While most people run away from the cold winter months, there are those that embrace it and head outdoors for some winter adventures. For as long as I can remember I have always look forward to the first snowfall. I would wait until the sun went down, put on my winter gear and walk around my neighborhood. There is something magical about walking in the snow.

I would normally stray away from cold destinations as I am always complaining about being cold, however, I decided to opt out of the warm destination and experience a week in Ontario, Canada. We headed to Collingwood Ontario for a week of outdoor adventure.

 

 

Collingwood did not disappoint us in the least. Abdou and I have never skied so we decided to take a Newbie Sky Lesson at Blue Mountain Ski Resort. We paid $89.00 CAD per person which is about $67.75 USD and included rental. They also have snowboarding newbie lessons as well. The lessons consist of 5 stages. At each stage, you have an instructor that will teach you every aspect of skiing one step at a time. Once you mastered the first stage the instructor would then move you on to the second stage and so on.  The best part of this is that if you wanted to stop and go get a hot chocolate or grab something to eat, you could stop and then come back to the stage you left off at.

For those of you that have some experience or are pros, there are several terrains you can ski at. There are 6 ski lifts for experts and 7 beginner lifts for those of us that are just starting out. The trails are marked with signs from easiest, more difficult, most difficult, most difficult (Experts Only).  Lift tickets cost $68 CAD which is about $51.77 USD for adults, youth/seniors pay $51 CAD and children under 5 pay $10 CAD.  Ski Rental is $48 CAD about $36.54 USD for adults and children under 12 pay $35 CAD which is about $26.64 USD.

After our day of ski lessons, we unwind by walking around The Village and enjoying a nice dinner. The Village has a ton of restaurant and shops. They even have live entertainment and numerous activities, great for children and adults. Defiantly a place to check out and the views are amazing, especially at night.

 

Day 2 of our outdoor adventure consisted of Snow Shoeing at Scenic Caves. There is about 15 km of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. All trails are marked specifically for either or and are great for families, first-timers and experts as well. Since I went during a weekday I paid $15.00 CAD which is $11.42 USD, this includes snowshoe rental. Weekend Trail Pass tickets are $20 CAD for adults, children under 6 years old are free and seniors/youth pay $16 CAD.

Scenic Caves has over 450 million years of history. The caves were shaped and sculpted by glacial ice and weathering. During the summer months, you can explore the caves. They are closed during the winter. It’s recorded that there were nine villages of native people living along the Niagara Escarpment.

Since I had never snowshoed before I was super excited to venture off. I was told by the attendant that the snowshoes have spiked so if I was going up a hill or down a hill, I should walk with my toes and this will keep me from sliding or falling. Point taken, so with map in hand, I ventured off to the Lookout Trail which was 1.5 km.

There were other people around but they soon vanished out of sight as we all went on different trails. I started on my trail and was taking back by the views. As you make your way through the trails you will see 100-foot high maple, oak and beech trees. Not to be cliché but I felt one with nature. As I reached the top of Lookout Trail, the view was breath-taking, overlooking the Georgian Bay. I could even see the resort we were staying at. During the summer and fall, you can actually zip line down to the Paradise trail.

Next, I headed to the Nature Trail and the Suspension Bridge Trail. The Suspension Bridge is Southern Ontario’s longest suspension footbridge, at 420 foot. I was a bit intimidated by the bridge, none the less I made my way over the bridge. The view was spectacular though I have to admit, once the bridge started to move a bit I did get a bit frighten and made my way across hastily.

My day at Scenic Caves was one I will always remember. There is so much to do here all year around. I am definitely looking forward to returning during the summer to learn more about the caves and history of the natives.

Day 3 We explored Down Town Collingwood. My husband and I enjoyed walking down the streets and wandering into various shops. As we strolled down the streets we admired the architect on some of the buildings. In the early 1850’s Collingwood was a shipbuilding town. This attracted many people and soon beautiful homes and buildings were built. If you are into architect, the town has a walking tour where they discuss the building design and architect who built the town.

One thing that stood out to us the most was the hospitality. Not only were the shop owners welcoming and friendly but the people of this town were so friendly. I can honestly say the Canadians are one of the most welcoming and friendly people we have had the pleasure of meeting. We love talking with the locals and that’s how we learned about the Elvis Festival. One of the shop owners told us about a yearly Elvis festival held in Collingwood. Over 30,000 Elvis fans attend the festival every year. How cool is that! The town is not only full of history but all hosts various festivals. This is definitely a four-season destination.

 

Day 4 was for relaxation and sleeping in. While in Collingwood, we stayed at the Living Water Resort & Spa. We started our morning off by attending an Aqua Groove with Pool Noodles fitness class that was given by a resort staff member. Did I mention that the resort offers free fitness classes all week long for all ages? The class was a water-based cardio class that kicked my behind but was so much fun.  After lunch, we made our way to the Living Shore Spa on the resort property and indulged in a 45-minute Aquapath Adventure.  We started off by standing under a series of waterfalls in a cave-like benches. Followed by being rained on, splashed on and we totally loved every minute of it. Then we stepped into a Eucalyptus steam bath then headed to a Detoxifying Mineral Bath.

Next, we headed to the River Walk, which was a small pool composed of 2 water trenches that have pebbles on the bottom for your feet. One side of the pool was filled with warm water and the other filled with cool water. Our favorite part was the large mineral tub, meant to replenish mineral in your body. It felt like we were in the rain forest, swimming under a waterfall. We ended our Aquapath Adventure at the Exfoliation Tub with a coconut, lemon and sea salt scrub. This was the best $65 CAD we have ever spent. In all honesty, this was the best spa experience and it was really romantic.

We ended our night by having dinner at the Lakeside Seafood & Grill. The restaurant is very modern and had a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Food was fresh and totally yummy.

 

Day 5 lead us to Ice Caving with Free Spirit Tours. We have been anticipating this day since we booked our trip and it totally exceeded our expectations. The Ice Caving Tour cost $70 CAD per person which is $53.29 USD. Now let me begin by saying that we were under the assumption that we would be walking into the batman cave and wondering around. Well, this was totally not what we expected and definitely one winter adventure not to be missed. The tour company picked us up at our resort which I thought was a nice touch. Driver then picked up another couple and drove about 20 minutes away to explore the Niagara Escarpment caves. We arrived at the location and strapped on our snowshoes.

We were led by the tour guide into the woods to Metcalfe Rock which is over 300 million years old. As we made our way to the first cave, our tour guide pointed out trees that were over 500 to 700 years old. This was pretty amazing. Much to our surprise and the other couple with us, we were shown a little opening where we were to enter the cave. Now, I am by far not little so my first reaction was Ummm, there’s no way I will fit in the opening. After being reassured that I would fit, we one by one climbed over the rock and slid into the opening.

We worked as a team during the tour. Each person was responsible for helping the person behind them make their way. We got on our hands and knees and crawled backward where we came out to a cave. Here we were able to stand up and walk around.

During our expedition, we climbed on rocks, pushed ourselves up with our legs and most importantly relied on our team to help us along the way. At times my anxiety kicked in but our tour guide kept me going. He was the most kind and patient man. When I had doubts he encouraged me. When I was scared, he reassured and made me push through my fears. There is no doubt that this experience was exciting, exhilarating and nerve wrecking at times. Did I tell you that I have a fear of the sensation of falling?  I don’t like the butterflies I get when I’m about to fall. If it weren’t for that, I think I would have been less nervous about ice caving. I ended up with some bruises on my knees however, I wear my wounds proudly. I made it out alive and concur my fears.

Canada is filled with tons of exciting winter adventures from snowshoeing to ice carving, we enjoyed every minute of it. The Canadian’s are one of the friendliest people we have met. We were overwhelmed by the kindness of the people of Canada who made us feel at home. I was a bit disappointed that we did not find any Mosque in the area however we were happy to have found Halal food at the local Supermarket, Fresh Co.

What’s your favorite winter adventures in Canada?

Disclosure: All activities and accommodation were self-funded. Recommendations and opinions are my own.

Blog

5 Things You Might Not Know About Canada

You’ve been warned “Gas in Canada is purchase by the liter not by the gallon like in America.” I normally pay about $2.39 per gallon in America, while Canadian’s pay about $11.10 per liter. We paid double the price for half the gas. We will never complain about gas prices again.

“Don’t forget to wear your Toque”, we were told by our concierge. What the heck is a toque I asked my husband? Our concierge must had seen the look on our face and pulled out a toque and gifted it to us. It was what we Americans call a knitted hat… After having a good laugh, I put on the toque and wore it proudly.

Canadian’s are brilliant! They got rid of their pennies. America should follow in their footstep. Any thoughts on how they will now refer to a penny pincher?

Canadian’s say “Eh” at the end of a sentence as in a form of a question to seek confirmation or assertion. Example, “We’re going to dinner, eh!”

Canadian’s are one of the friendliest people hands down. We ran into a couple at an event we attended and after telling this couple how we had the most horrific road trip as we went through two snow storms and how I am now traumatize, they offered to give us their address and phone number in case we run into bad weather on the way back home. Who says that? Canadians do…They know just how to make people feel welcomed.

Travel

5 Must Pack Foods For Healthy Travelling

Travelling isn’t an excuse to eat poorly. As Benjamin Franklin said: ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’ Your body will thank you for treating it right, your mind will thank you for clear energy and clarity that comes with eating well, and your wallet will thank you too for being prepared. I also recommend finding a hotel or rental to stay in that has access to at least a mini fridge.

Lemons or Limes: One of the best things you can do for your body is to drink fresh lime or lemon water. Everyone (especially me) talks about the benefits and deliciousness of lemon water, but what about lime water? First of all, it tastes great. My personal favorite recipe for an uplifting, invigorating limeade is 16 oz of water, juice from 1/2 a lime, and 2 tsp of stevia, mixed well. Be careful though, not all stevia brands are created equal. Some of the conventional brands have sneaky ingredients. Stevia is a green leaf (looks like mint) and you want a brand that only includes the plant, without other sneaky sugar subs or sugar alcohols. I personally love and trust the SweetLeaf brand because they are organic, don’t use any alcohol in their distillation process, and don’t have any sneaky ingredients that will irritate your gut. Btw, for those who will ask what’s better, limes or lemons, the answer is they are both awesome. Use them both, they are pretty similar. Lemons pack a bit more vitamin C, while limes pack a bit more vitamin A and calcium. Enjoy.

Avocado: Avocados are easy to pack and pack a whole lot of healthy fat. They are great alongside any meal, or as a snack.

Boiled Eggs: Boiled eggs are great for traveling because they are easy to pack and they pack a powerhouse of nutrition.

Fruit and veggies with peels such as bananas, oranges, cucumbers, carrots are a great thing to pack as they won’t go bad. They are loaded with vitamins, enzymes, and fiber.

Ginger: One of the easiest, cheapest, and most powerful ways to benefit your body: fresh ginger root. Awesome for your tummy, your overall digestion, your immune system, your sinuses, and so much more.

O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship. (Qur’an 2:172)

Blog

My Bucket List

Most of us have a bucket list, from simple personal goals to crazy adventures. I started my bucket list as a teenager. Over the years it has grown and rightfully so. This may sound weird to some but when I think of my bucket list; my goal is not in crossing off the list but rather in keeping it growing by adding new adventures and experiences.

I believe everyone should have a Bucket List. Let go of the, I can’t afford to travel mindset. Flights are the priciest part of your trip; don’t fear there are ways to get cheap tickets. Check out my recent blog on How to Save Money on Airfare. Looking for affordable accommodations, TripAdvisor and Expedia are my go to.

My bucket list is a mix of adventure and spiritual journey. I plan on crossing two off my list in 2017. We can dream right?

River rafting through the Grand Canyon, USA
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Go on a Spiritual Journey through the Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque),Istanbul Turkey
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Discover another hidden chamber at the Pyramids of Giza, (lol just kidding) I want to witness the last standing Wonder of the World
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Gaze at the Northern lights , Iceland
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Discover 7,000 years of history in Malta
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Visit the Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain
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Walk around Marina Bay,Singapore
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Explore the ancient City of Petra, Jordan
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Walk the Great Wall of China
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Go on a Safari,Kenya
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Spend the last 10 nights of Ramadan in Egypt
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Ice fishing, Canada
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Visit the Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dubai
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The world is full of amazing experiences waiting to be had. What’s on your bucket list?

Travel

Muslim Packing Guide

Muslim Packing Guide

We have put together a Muslim Packing Guide to help eliminate the stress of packing and get you back to focusing on enjoying your travels.

Step 1: Gather Important Travel Documents

Rule of Thumb always leave copies of your passport and itinerary with friends or family.Passport/Visa- Photocopy of first page of your passport and drivers license
Birth Certificates
Vaccines and Medical History (many countries require immunizations for entry into the country)
Travel Itinerary
Cash, Credit card, Foreign currency
Register with you Embassy and most importantly know where your Embassy is located at your destination

Step 2: Prepare Your Carry-On Bag

Travel Prayer Mat
Compass or Prayer App
A change of clothes (in case your luggage is lost)
Smartphone/mobile and charger
Tablet and charger
International travel adapter and converter
Headphones/earbuds
Digital camera and batteries
Travel pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs
Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, pain and fever relievers, prescription drugs

Step 3: Pack Your Toiletry Bag

Personal Toiletry (double bag all of your toiletries in a zip lock bag)
Sunscreen and Lip balm (choose one with SPF of at least 30)
Sunglasses (it’s important to protect your eyes)
Insect repellent
Anti-Diarrhea medication, mild laxative, Antacid, Band-Aids, Antihistamine, Motion sickness pills or bands

Step 4: Pack for your Trip

Rolling Suitcases or Travel Backpack (every traveler is different, pick the one that suits you the best)
Daypack For Daily Sightseeing (perfect for keeping all your stuff in one bag)
Comfortable Walking Shoes
Appropriate clothing (pack for the weather in the country you are visiting)
Sealable plastic baggies (perfect for water activities)

I hope this packing guide has been useful. Now that you are done packing, go forth and enjoy your next adventure!

Travel

How To Save Money On Airfare

We all know that when it comes to airfare, it’s indisputably one of the most expensive components of any travel plan. Rates change daily and usually without notice. The good news is, there are still a few tricks left when it comes to finding airfare you can afford. Now a days the hassle of searching might be less labor intensive than you realized.

Try these simple tips when planning your next vacation

Step 1:

Clear your cache- Airlines track your behavior via cookies so make sure to clear your cache prior to looking for cheap flights. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.

Step 2:

Use search engines- Most of us go straight to Expedia and TripAdvory which are great site, however my all-time favorite right now is Scottscheap flights. Scott Keys does all the leg work for you. He will search for great flight deals and emails you with instructions on how to book. I mean, how great is that!

Free subscribers only get 1/3 of the deals he finds online while premium subscribers get them all. For Premium, you can choose to subscribe Quarterly, Annual, or Semiannual for a low fee. On average he emails about 2-3 deals each day to the premium list for USA/Canada.

Step 3:

Be flexible with your dates- Identify the cheapest day to fly out. Most airlines only offer their best discounts for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Booking flights during the weekdays can save you money. Airlines can’t afford empty seats on flights and lower fares to encourage off-peak booking. Try changing your dates from a Wednesday to Wednesday rather than a Sunday to Sunday. This can make a huge impact on the price of flights.

Step 4:

Don’t fly direct- By working various airlines you can take advantage of several offers. Don’t rule out flying from an alternative airport and mix and matching airlines can also save you money. Compare pricing to make sure you got the best deal. Check out Elena from Muslim Travel Girl’s “How to save money on your flight ticket”. She breaks it down for us in this video.

Step 5:

Search ticket prices as one person- Warning don’t search for multiple tickets in a single purchase. Airlines show the highest ticket price in a group of tickets. For example if Seat A1 is $200 and Seat A2 is $300, the airline will charge you $300 per ticket. No worries, you can pick your seat at the checkout process or when you check in at the gate.

Trying one of these tips could lead to hundreds of dollars in savings. Booking the best airfares is a combination of doing your research, being flexible and timing. So start searching online for deals, and pinpointing the lowest fares available.

Have you tried any of these tricks and tips? Which of them have worked best for you?

Halal Food

Halal Food Guide In Bugis Singapore

Bugis is one of the best tourist destinations in Singapore. Think of London and you’ll get people recommending you places like Hyde Park, Regent Street, Portobello Road, Mayfair etc. In the same way, Bugis is one of those must-go experiences when you’re in this sunny lion city. And for Muslims, this place is just a haven for us.

Before we get to the food, one important thing you need to know is that Singapore’s oldest mosque, Sultan Mosque, is located in this area. Or more specifically, at Muscat Street. So you can shop and eat all you want and not worry about where to pray.

Bugis is quite a large area, but easy to walk around, don’t worry. Here, you can find a plethora of world cuisines, besides local fares. In the mood for Korean food? Bugis has it. Japanese? Yep, Bugis has it. British? Oh, most definitely.

This list is by no means exhaustive. But it should be enough to whet your appetite.

1. Local Malay
The typical Malay food spread is rice with a few dishes. However, we do have rice and noodle one-dish meals like nasi goreng (fried rice), mee bandung (noodles in spicy thick broth with egg and chicken/seafood), mee soto (noodles in chicken broth) etc.

Two recommended restaurants in Bugis to get your local Malay dishes are Hajjah Maimumah Restaurant and Mamanda.

Credit-Hjh-Maimunah-Restaurant
Credit-Hjh-Maimunah-Restaurant

Hajjah Maimunah is a popular, laid-back eating house, and is often noisy and bustling. You’d often see large groups of family or friends having their meal here.

Credit-anythinghalaldotcom
Credit-anythinghalal.com

Mamanda, on the other hand, is the upscale cousin. This place prides itself in serving royal Malay cuisines. Though some of the dishes here can be found at Hajjah Maimumah, there’s a refinement to its taste.

2. Local Indian
Indian food needs no introduction, but if you’re in Bugis, a visit to Zam Zam Restaurant is a must. This restaurant, located opposite the Sultan Mosque, is almost always recommended to tourists.

Credit-guidegeckodotcom
Credit-guidegecko.com

They are famous for their briyani rice, done in the Hyderabadi dum style. Basically, it’s a style where the rice and meats (choice of mutton, beef or chicken) are cooked together, with the meats often buried under the rice when served.

3. Local Chinese
Credit-cavinteodotblogspotdotcom
Credit-cavinteodotblogspot.com

Encik Tan at Bugis+ Shopping Mall would be a good place to try local Chinese dishes. Wanton Noodle, Fish Soup Noodle and Fried Carrot Cake (not a literal cake; it’s a noodle dish that’s sweet-savoury) are the more popular local Chinese dishes to try.

4. Korean
Credit ABC-Korea
Credit ABC-Korea

There’s a few halal Korean food options in Singapore, but in Bugis area, there’s only Jinjja Chicken. This is a fast food restaurant, so you are treated to street foods you’d usually see in Seoul, like marinated chicken wings, jjajangmyeon (black paste noodles) and steamed or fried mandu (dumplings).

5. Japanese
Credit-danielfooddiarydotcom
Credit-danielfooddiary.com

Seriously, you’re so spoilt for choice in Bugis. Personally, I love The Ramen Stall. There are a few Japanese food outlets in Singapore but The Ramen Stall is where you’ll find almost authentic Japanese dishes.

Choose from a plethora of ramen (their spicy Volcano Ramen comes highly recommended!), sushi and sashimi platters, tofu, fried dishes and many more!

6. French
Credit-anythinghalaldotcom
Credit-anythinghalal.com

Well, you’ll not exactly find French cuisines here but La Marelle is a French-themed fantasy cafe. They are famed for their cakes and also sandwiches. So if croissants and baguettes are French enough for you, this would be a good place to chill and take in the whimsical atmosphere.

They also sell items from, well, La Marelle ( hence the name of the cafe) so you can find cute and pretty bags and stationery.

7. Turkish
Credit-spiceroverdotwordpressdotcom
Credit-spiceroverdotwordpress.com

There are a few Turkish joints but Alaturka takes the cake for me. Or maybe it’s because I’m just in love with their desserts, particularly the sweet baklava (filo pastry with pistachio and honey). The food is delicious too, but serving is quite generous, so make sure to go on an empty stomach and with company.

8. Swedish
Credit-cavinteodotblogspotdotcom
Credit-cavinteodotblogspot.com

Perhaps the only halal Swedish fare in Singapore. Fika Cafe & Bistro first launched in Bugis, and became so successful and well-received that there are now 3 outlets in Singapore.

Must-try items from Fika are the Swedish meatballs and Smörgåsbord, a mini buffet mix of cold and hot dishes that is good for two.

9. British
Credit-Have-Halal-Will-Travel
Credit-Have-Halal-Will-Travel

Seems like we don’t have to travel all the way to UK to get some authentic British pub grub. If you’re in Singapore and craving good ol’ fish and chips, head down to The Mad Sailors.

Other must-try items are their Bangers and Mash, English Fry-Up and beef pie.

10. Mexican
Credit-Have-Halal-Will-Travel
Credit-Have-Halal-Will-Travel

Halal Mexican is hard to find in Singapore, so bless the souls who opened up Afterwit – Mexican Taqueria, who are also the geniuses behind The Mad Sailors. Yeah, seems like these guys are keen to bring the world to the streets of Bugis.

So get your Mexican fix here for classics such as tacos, burritos and quesadillas that are generously padded with mouthwatering fillings.

11. Others
There are just too many places to list where you can have your tummy filled, but here are some others worth checking out also.

I. Vietnamese
Pho 4 All

II. European / Western
I Am…

& Why…

Hyde & Co.

Krave

The Lab

Wilder

III. Burger Bar
{working title}

IV. Bakery / Dessert Bar
Cake Love SG

Fluff Bakery

Follow J.J. on Social MediaHalal Food Guide In Bugis Singapore
Twitter: twitter.com/halalstaysg

Instagram: www.instagram.com/halalstaysg/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Halal-Stay-SG

Blog Travel

Make your trip more meaningful with these 5 tips

1. Immerse yourself in the Culture –The only way to truly appreciate a destination is to become part of the local life and connect with the land and its people. Learn the basic lingo such as hello and thank you. Locals will appreciate you making the effort to do so. Go to the local Masjid and interact with fellow Muslims. You never know where a simple introduction or question may lead to.

2. Travel with Family and Friends– There is no greater reward for travel, than having those experiences with your loved ones. Traveling as a family or with friends brings both adults and children together and you’ll cherish those memories for a lifetime. Spending time together increases learning opportunities, builds trust and establishes long lasting relationships.

3. Learn Something to Remind you of your Trip- Most of us take vacations to enjoy a break from your daily routines. Why not take up a local cooking class, learn a local custom, or find out about local recreation and head there. Imagine the surprise and delight your family and friends will get when you serve them an exotic dish that you have learned to prepare in one of your travels or you pull out a scarf you made in a silkscreen printing classes .

4. Give back– Add a volunteer aspect to your trip by visiting a local Charity. In Islam, charity is one of the five pillars of Islam and should be a way of life practiced by the whole family. If the entire family cooperates in performing acts of charity, their rewards will reinforce and increase each other. Even small good deeds can have a tremendous positive effect on others in this life. I recommend volunteering with Islamic Relief. They are an international aid agency with locations world wide.

5. Support local business- Hire local guides; go down to the local markets instead of buying duty free or at your resort. Local artisans make their money through tourism, it’s cheaper and it’s handmade and authentic. Plus you get to meet the people.

DUAS

Dua upon returning from a journey

اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ ، وَإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنْقَلِبُونَ ،

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ فِي سَفَرِنَا هَذَا الْبِرَّ وَالتَّقْوَى ، وَمِنَ الْعَمَلِ مَا تَرْضَى ،

اللَّهُمَّ هَوِّنْ عَلَيْنَا سَفَرَنَا هَذَا وَاطْوِ عَنَّا بُعْدَهُ ، اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الصَّاحِبُ فِي السَّفَرِ ، وَالْخَلِيفَةُ فِي الأَهْلِ ،

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ وَعْثَاءِ السَّفَرِ ، وَكَآبَةِ الْمَنْظَرِ ، وَسُوءِ الْمُنْقَلَبِ فِي الْمَالِ وَالأَهْلِ

اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ ، وَإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنْقَلِبُونَ ،

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ فِي سَفَرِنَا هَذَا الْبِرَّ وَالتَّقْوَى ، وَمِنَ الْعَمَلِ مَا تَرْضَى ،

اللَّهُمَّ هَوِّنْ عَلَيْنَا سَفَرَنَا هَذَا وَاطْوِ عَنَّا بُعْدَهُ ، اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الصَّاحِبُ فِي السَّفَرِ ، وَالْخَلِيفَةُ فِي الأَهْلِ ،

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ وَعْثَاءِ السَّفَرِ ، وَكَآبَةِ الْمَنْظَرِ ، وَسُوءِ الْمُنْقَلَبِ فِي الْمَالِ وَالأَهْلِ

آيِبُونَ تَائِبُونَ عَابِدُونَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُونَ

allaahu akbar, allaahu akbar, allaahu akbar, subḥaan-alladhee sakhkhara lanaa haadhaa wa maa kunnaa lahu muqrineen, wa innaa ilaa rabbinaa la munqaliboon allaahumma innaa nas’aluka fee safarinaa haadhal-birra wat-taqwaa, wa minal-‛amali maa tarḍaaa, allaahumma hawwin ‛alaynaa safaranaa haadhaa waṭwi ‛annaa bu‛dahu, allaahumma antaṣ-ṣaaḥibu fis-safar, wal-khaleefatu fil-ahl, allaahumma innee a‛oodhu bika min wa‛thaa’-is-safar, wa ka’aabat-il-manẓari, wa soo’-il-munqalabi fil-maali wal-ahl aayiboona taa’iboona ‛aabidoona li rabbinaa ḥaamidoon
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. How far from imperfections He is, The One Who has placed this (transport) at our service, and we ourselves would not have been capable of doing so, and to our Lord is our final destination,

O Allah, we ask You for piety (Birr), and fear of You (Taqwa) in this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please You,

O Allah, facilitate our journey and let us cover it’s distance quickly. O Allah, You are The Companion on the journey and The Successor over the family,

O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the difficulties of travel, and from having a change of hearts and being in a bad predicament, and I take refuge with You from an ill fated outcome with wealth and family.

We return, repent, worship and praise our Lord.

DUAS

Dua when leaving the house

اللَّهُمَّ إني أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَضِلَّ أَوْ أُضَلَّ ، أَوْ أَزِلَّ أَوْ أُزَلَّ ، أَوْ أَظْلِمَ أَوْ أُظْلَمَ ، أَوْ أَجْهَلَ أَوْ يُجْهَلَ عَلَيَّ

allaahumma innee a‛oodhu bika an aḍilla aw uḍalla, aw azilla aw uzalla, aw aẓlima aw uẓlama, aw ajhala aw yujhala ‛alayy
O Allah, I seek refuge with You lest I should stray or be led astray, or slip (i.e. to commit a sin unintentionally) or be tripped, or oppress or be oppressed, or behave foolishly or be treated foolishly.

DUAS

Dua when undertaking a journey

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا، وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ، وَإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنْقَلِبُون

subḥaan-alladhee sakh-khara lanaa haadhaa, wa maa kunnaa lahu muqrineena, wa innaa ilaaa rabinaa la-munqaliboon

Glory to Him who has brought this [vehicle] under our control, though we were unable to control it [ourselves], and indeed, to Our Lord we will surely return.

Blog

5 Places to Visit in Historic Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love offers tons to see and do and get this, it’s FREE. That’s right you heard it right it’s FREE.

 

Start your day by visiting Independence Visitor Center.  The center has loads of City Tour information. Walk through the Creation of a Nation exhibitions and The Roots of the Underground Railroad exhibition for some great historical facts.  Make sure to stop by the Fun Zone to dress up in Colonia Era clothing and pose for a picture. Before exiting the building make sure to get your free ticket to Independence Hall as tickets are required for admission. Arrive early as tickets are often gone by 1pm during the busy season.

Next stop is The Liberty Bell, Located directly across the street from the Independence Visitor Center.  Be prepared to go through a security screening at the main entrance. The Liberty Bell is known as the worlds most famous symbol of freedom. As you make your way to the Liberty Bell, you will learn some interesting facts and the myths surrounding the bell.

 

 

Directly across the street from The Liberty Bell is Independence Hall. Check your tickets to see what time your scheduled tour begins. Make sure to arrive one hour prior to your guided tour as you will have to go through security screening. National Park rangers will guide you on your tour. Have your cameras handy as you will see the original chair where George Washington sat in and the original inkstand used to sign the Declaration of Independence. You’ll make your way over to the display of the original draft of the Constitution.

Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

 

By this time the kids are ready to burn off some energy so stroll on over to Signers’ Garden. Located across from Independence Hall, children can learn military drills along with some marching and musket skills.

Grab a bit to eat at the oldest market in America, Reading Terminal Market. The market is filled with restaurants, bakeries, fresh produce, and so much more. Head over to Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialty for a variety of Middle Eastern halal food as well as some amazing smoothies. If Indian-Pakistani food is more your taste then make your way to Nanee’s Kitchen. They sell gluten-free, vegan, and Halal meat dishes. Be sure to pick up some cookies at the Famous 4th Street Cookie Company.

Don’t miss your prayers, head over to the United Muslim Masjid located at 810 South 15th Street.

Islamic Quotes and Hadith

A Path to Jannah

Narrated AbudDarda’:Kathir ibn Qays said: I was sitting with AbudDarda’ in the mosque of Damascus.A man came to him and said: AbudDarda, I have come to you from the town of the Apostle of Al-lah (peace be upon him) for a tradition that I have heard you relate from the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him). I have come for no other purpose.He said: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.

Blog Community Travel

Would you believe this Mosque is located in Maryland

I first heard of the Diyanet Center of America by my friends who had stop there for Jummah prayers as they made their way to a convention. When I arrived they spoke about one of the most beautiful mosque they had ever seen in the USA. Everything they were describing couldn’t be found in Maryland, no way. I had to see for myself, so I immediately put it on my bucket list.

Let me first start by giving you the 411 on the mosque. The Center was built by the Turkish-American non-profit organizations and the Turkish Government. It’s located in Lanham Maryland and opened its door on April 2, 2016. The Center is built to feature the Classic Ottoman style of architecture. While the mosque serves as the focal point, it is surrounded by the Culture Center, Fellowship Hall, Guest Houses, Residential Homes, and a Sports Center.

Don’t know where to start don’t worry, these are signs posted all over to help us navigate around the Center.

We started our journey at the Culture Center. There we met with Camil, the center’s Event Coordinator. She was kind enough to give us a tour of the Center. As we began our tour she explained that the Center took two years to complete and cost a whopping $150 million to build. The materials and the labors were all brought in from Turkey.

The Culture Center has an auditorium where lectures, events, and classes take place. It also houses an Exhibition Room, Art Studio, Conference Room and a Gift Shop which we were disappointed to hear it only opens on the weekend. I really wanted to buy some authentic Turkish decorations.

Our next stop was the Fellowship Hall which includes a Turkish coffeehouse that offers traditional cuisine, however, it’s only open on the weekends. There is also a Social Hall that can be rented for social gatherings such as weddings and engagement parties.

Next, we walked over to the Residential Houses. The houses display three traditional Turkish architects from three different time periods.

We eagerly made our way over to the mosque. Often referred to as “The Heart of the Center”. The mosque is built in the style of sixteenth-century Ottoman architecture. We were mesmerized as we walked into the courtyard. We couldn’t help but feel like we were magically transported in time.

Our final stop was at the Sports Center. The Sports Center houses a Turkish Bath, swimming pool, fitness center, and exercise room.

If you are in the Maryland, Washington D.C. area be sure to stop by and visit Diyanet Center of America. Truly a must see!

Which Mosque is your all-time favorite?