Tajikistan: No Hajj, No Hijab, and Shave Your Beard

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November ’64

 

“It is nearly a year since he has been gone. On so many days – his birthday, an anniversary, watching his children running to the sea – I have thought, “But this day last year was his last to see that.” He was so full of love and life on all those days. He seems so vulnerable now, when you think that each one was a last time. Soon the final day will come around again – as inexorably as it did last year. But expected this time. It will find some of us different people than we were a year ago. Learning to accept what was unthinkable when he was alive, changes you. I don’t think there is any consolation. What was lost cannot be replaced. Someone who loved President Kennedy, but who had never known him, wrote to me this winter: “The hero comes when he is needed. When our belief gets pale and weak, there comes a man out of that need who is shining – and everyone living reflects a little of that light – and stores some up against the time when he is gone.” Now I think that I should have known that he was magic all along. I did know it – but I should have guessed it could not last. I should have known that it was asking too much to dream that I might have grown old with him and see our children grow up together. So now he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man. I must believe that he does not share our suffering now. I think for him – at least he will never know whatever sadness might have lain ahead. He knew such a share of it in his life that it always made you so happy whenever you saw him enjoying himself. But now he will never know more – not age, nor stagnation, nor despair, nor crippling illness, nor loss of any more people he loved. His high noon kept all the freshness of the morning – and he died then, never knowing disillusionment.
“…he has gone…
Among the radiant, ever venturing on,
Somewhere, with morning, as such spirits will.”*
He is free and we must live. Those who love him most know that “the death you have dealt is more than the death which has swallowed you.”

Jacqueline Kennedy, Look, November 1964

9 Ways to Lower Your Daily Stress

By Fariha Jasin Mansur

Stress has unfortunately become a normal part of our lives. In modern society, it is one of the silent culprits that affects anyone. A little might not be too bad for anyone, but continuous stress can cause negative effects on your mind, body and overall life.

stress statistic data showed that 77% of people in the U.S. regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress.  Long-term stress can cause headache, acne, chest pain, high blood pressure, fatigue, teeth grinding, depression, anxiety etc.

Making use of stress management methods is essential to take charge of one’s own health and mind. Although it is not an easy job, managing stress is a prerequisite to living a healthy and happy life. I have suffered from stress for a long time without realizing it, so to help manage your own stress, here are 9 practical tips that helped me keep stress at bay:

1. Exercise regularly

Exercise is one of the most effective treatments against stress. Not only does it reduce stress levels, but it can also reduce fatigue, improve concentration levels and the physical ability to fight disease. Research shows that doing exercise in the morning on an empty stomach has a greater impact than at other time. If you feel a lack in energy, you can eat a few dates to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Exercising every morning for 20-30 minutes is a great way to start your day. There are many different types of exercise to choose from, so do whichever is suitable and enjoyable for you.

Start with small changes

Exercise does not always have to be a specific workout; it can include any activity that increases your heart rate, so try being active whenever the opportunity arises. For example, make it a habit to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk/bicycle when traveling short distances instead of riding a car.

Our Prophet Muhammad  was reported to walk in a fast pace, now known as a power walk. In a hadith, Ali  described Muhammad’s  vigorous way of walking:

“When he walked, he lifted his leg with vigour. He did not drag his feet on the ground like women do. When he walked, because of the speed and force of the legs, it seemed as if he was descending from a high place.” [Tirmidhi]

In another hadith about the Prophet , Abu Hurairah  narrated that:

“I did not see anyone walk faster than him, as if the earth folded for him. A few moments ago he would be here, and then there. We found it difficult to keep pace when we walked with him, and he walked at his normal pace.” [Tirmidhi]

Remember that if you take exercise as a chore, after sometime you could lose interest or find excuses not to do it. Therefore, try to encourage your family members to join you, as any activity done with others tends to be more enjoyable.

2. Do breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are another excellent antidote for stress. When you feel really stressed out, try this for 5-10 minutes:

  • breathe in with your nose for 5 seconds
  • hold your breath for 3 seconds, then
  • slowly breathe out through your mouth for a count of 7 seconds

This breathing exercise will calm your body and you will start to feel relaxed. Just remember to breathe with your belly, specifically your diaphragm (the muscle that sits just below your lungs), rather than your chest, for more efficient breathing.

Doing this regularly is good for a healthy body and mind. Studies have shown that doing a similar breathing technique while meditating for as little as 8 minutes a day can slow down the negative effects associated with ageing.

3. Eat right

Most people do not realize it, but food can also affect stress levels. Certain types of food and drink can increase stress levels, such as fast foods, butter, cheese, meat, shellfish, sugar, tea, coffee, and soft drinks.

This does not mean that you have to avoid them completely, but you should consume them in moderation.

Remember that Allah  says:

“… And eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” [Qur’an: Chapter 7, Verse 31]

Some people like to drink tea or coffee when they are stressed from their studies or work. It may feel refreshing for a short time, but they also contain certain neuro-stimulators like caffeine and theo-bromine, which are proven to increase stress levels.

Fortunately, there are also some foods that can help relieve stress, particularly foods with a high vitamin and mineral content. These include fresh vegetables and fruits, yogurt and green smoothies. Eating fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, sardines and tuna three times a week, can also help reduce stress levels.

4. Sleep well

Sleep is a vital part of our life. To reduce stress-inducing hormones, a good night’s sleep is exceedingly important. When you are tired and not well-rested, your stress hormones increase. You can easily remedy this by sleeping 7-9 hours per night.

However, the best quality sleep occurs in the early part of the night, which is in accordance with the sunnah of the Prophet  who advised us to sleep right after ‘Isha salah. Sleeping around 9-10 pm also makes it easier to wake up for Fajr. However, if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall back asleep, get up and pray tahajjud. Also if you get chance, take a short power nap after Dhuhr.

5. Laugh

They say laughter is the best medicine and not only is it good for the body, but also for the mind as it can reduce stress hormones. So whenever you get a chance, try to enjoy the blessings of a good laugh. Of course, a lasting smile (also sunnah) can be just as beneficial, as your brain is tricked into being happy thereby releasing stress-relieving chemicals. You could also try other activities that make you happy, like reading a book, baking, or taking a walk.

6. Enjoy the company of family and friends

The lonelier you are, the more you will attract negative feelings. Keep in touch with your family members and close friends to feel better and spread some love. A study from the University of Michigan found that chatting released hormones involved in bonding, which in turn reduced anxiety and stress, thus making the participants happier.

So to reduce stress, enjoy some time with your family and friends by doing any kinds of activity, for example, go for a picnic, a bike ride or just chat. Not only will it help reduce your stress levels but also help to build a strong bonds between each other.

7. Take advantage of your free time

In our busy life, we need some time to enjoy ourselves. You can use your free time in a productive way by doing something to serve your community, or simply relaxing and listening to Qur’an recitation, a lecture by your favorite lecturer, or reading any hadith or Islamic book.

This way you can increase your knowledge and faith, and also help calm your daily struggles. It is a necessary asset in the life of a person who wants to live stress-free. When you learn about of the struggles the sahabah made for their religion or how difficult it was for them initially to even pray five times in a day, a person can easily see that their struggle is small compared with that of our Prophet  and his sahabah.

I read an article where a sister mentioned that she had a special place in her house where nobody is allowed to disturb her, not even her children. She went there everyday for some time to praise Almightily Allah  as if she was in a cave. Having a similar dhikr zone in your own house is an excellent way to make time to connect with Allah  and enjoy some peaceful moments.

As Allah  says in the Qur’an:

“… and seek from the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah often that you may succeed.” [Qur’an: Chapter 62, Verse 10]

8. Manage your time well

To manage your time properly, identify your ‘MITs’: most important tasks; and do those first everyday to get them out of the way. You can also develop a routine based on your regular tasks, so you can focus on the tasks that need more attention. There are many apps available to help you, such as 30/30 or Todoist.

If boredom is the reason for your stress, then simply use that time for learning or understanding verses of the Qur’an, or even try to memorize it. As Ibn Abbas  narrated that Prophet Mohammad  said:

“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” [Bukhari]

9. Be content with what you have

Most of us are not satisfied with what we have. You might be stressed about not getting that promotion, or unsatisfied with your job/salary, or tensed with your children etc. Remember that there are people dealing with harder situations that yourself; some are homeless, jobless, or without children.

In worldly matters, look to those below you to be humbled (looking above you triggers jealousy and ungratefulness), while in religious matters look to those above you to get inspired to reach a higher level of taqwa.

You must always be thankful for what Allah  granted you. You might think that what you want is better for you but He knows what is truly best for you. Allah  might be giving you what you need or He may be testing your iman so that you may call upon Him and increase in piety. The path you are on is the right one for you, even if you cannot see that right now.

Stress cannot solve your problems, but it only causes more, especially to your health and social life. So, be happy with what you have, be patient, try to do your best and ask Allah for guidance.

Allah  said: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” [Qur’an: Chapter 2, Verse 152]

In reality, it is difficult to avoid all sources of stress as we encounter a myriad of situations on a daily basis, but do not let stress control your life. Try to make a little time everyday for your health and well-being, as they are blessings from Allah .

I hope these tips have inspired you to take initiative to actively reduce stress in your life. If you have any other stress management tips please leave them in the comments below.

Source: http://productivemuslim.com/lower-your-stress/

LET’S LEARN FROM JAPAN

1 – Did you know that Japanese children clean their schools every day for a quarter of an hour with teachers, which led to the emergence of a Japanese generation who is modest and keen on cleanliness.

2 – Did you know that any Japanese citizen who has a dog must carry bag and special bags to pick up dog droppings. Hygiene and their eagerness to address cleanliness is part of Japanese ethics.

3 – Did you know that hygiene worker in Japan is called “health engineer” and can command salary of USD 5000 to 8000 per month, and a cleaner is subjected to written and oral tests!!

4 – Did you know that Japan does not have any natural resources, and they are exposed to hundreds of earthquakes a year but do not prevent her from becoming the second largest economy in the world? –

5 – Did you know that Hiroshima returned to what it was economically vibrant before the fall of the atomic bomb in just ten years?

6 – Did you know that Japan prevents the use of mobile in trains, restaurants and indoor

7 – Did you know that in Japan students from the first to sixth primary year must learn ethics in dealing with people –

8 – Did you know that the Japanese even though one of the richest people in the world but they do not have servants. The parents are responsible for the house and children –

9 – Did you know that there is no examination from the first to the third primary level; because the goal of education is to instill concepts and character building, not just examination and indoctrination. –

10 – Did you know that the rate of delayed trains in Japan is about 7 seconds per year!! They appreciate the value of time, very punctual to minutes and seconds

11 -. Did you know that children in schools brush their teeth (sterile) and clean their teeth after a meal at school; They maintain their health from an early age –

12 – Did you know that students take half an hour to finish their meals to ensure right digestion When asked about this concern, they said: These students are the future of Japan. ‪#‎TeamFAAKHIR‬

Raising money for Syria.

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu. 

I am sure you guys are all aware of the condition Syria is in right now. Our brothers and sisters need our help. We are one Ummah and it is our duty to help them. So please if you can donate on the link provided below then please do if not then reblog so others may be able to. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi). 

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,” and He held His two fingers together to illustrate. [Hadith] 

Jazakumullahu Khairan for your generosity. May Allah reward each and every single one of you 

Donate through this page: http://www.justgiving.com/Rumena-Islam5 or you can donate by texting to 70070: “RUME64” (please bear in mind the maximum you can donate by texting is £10 at one time). 

1,200 words per minute

 

  

 President Kennedy was known for being a fast and voracious reader.

As Mrs. Kennedy once said, “He’d read walking, he’d read at the table, at meals, he’d read after dinner, he’d read in the bathtub…He really read all the times you don’t think you have time to read.”

In fact, JFK could read 1,200 words per minute. Check out this letter from JFK’s press secretary, Pierre Salinger, discussing JFK’s talent.

-from the JFK Library 

J.

 

 “I dont think people should forget President Kennedy and all of his effort that was made for two and a half years. You know, it is just going to be forgotten or ended, or is some way to be found to keep going in some seed that he planted? You know, maybe it will be taken up by some young boy who’ll be like he was in his Harvard days. After all, that’s when he wrote Why England Slept. That’s where he sort of started. And maybe he’ll plant a seed somewhere. Then someone like President Kennedy will come along. And those are the kind of men who are going to save the world. ”

– Jackie’s press conference after Harvard turned down the original site JFK chose for his presidential library. This speech was given after November 22, 1963.