Monday, April 23, 2007

Life in Toronto...

Assalam Alaikum Everyone,
Well, alhamdulillah we made it to Toronto. It has taken a week or so to get settled and get the new place set-up. Alhamdulillah we are out of the house in Winnipeg. For those of you who don't know (maybe I have never mentioned this before) but before I was Muslim I had bought a house... of course with a Mortgage. When I reverted I tried to sell it to get out of the mortgage but it wouldn't sell. I decided to fix it up a bit more and then try again knowing I would be moving to TO in the spring. Alhamdulillah it sold, and now we are renting a place. The reason I am mentioning all of this is because I can say with total certainty that Allah has blessed my marriage and life now being out of a house that has interest. We are happier, there is a different feeling altogether that I can only describe as being from Allah (SWT) and I totally believe it is because we are now living in an environment totally (insha'Allah) halal. I know that there are fatwa's that state you can own one house and one car, but the Qur'an says we as Muslims shouldn't take interest. I notice the difference-- I mention this in the hopes that it will give others the strength and encouragement they need to come out of interest they have.

The picture above is from a website of Anja Islamic Fashions. It is a company I am working for a little bit here. The sister that runs it is a convert who had gone to school to study fashion. Alhamdulillah now she is devoting herself to designing Muslim women's fashions that are modest but contemporary. She offers a range of things from skirts and tunics to albayas and matching hijabs etc. It is really beautiful well thought out attire. I will post the website and insha'Allah she is going to have it completely up and running soon. The sketches are of clothing she actually has made. I will try to remember to mention when the site is done. She is also hiring a webmaster, fashion consultant and seamstresses. If you live in TO or in the TO area and are interested let me know via a post and insha'Allah I will let you know how to contact her.

I haven't really met any sisters here yet. I have visited various masjids but there aren't ever sisters there. I should say Alhamdulillah as the best place for sisters to pray is in their home, so insha'Allah they are all getting the most of their possible reward, but I would love to meet some people to study Islam with. I did meet another revert at the Friday khutbah. She has the same name as I do, and is really wonderful mesh'Allah.
The masjid I am close to has a great bookstore and I am blessed by Allah (SWT) to be so close to so much knowledge right at my fingertips.

I had quite the experience the other day. I went to a mosque in a different area of town to pray the isha prayer and an Islamic school was just getting out. There were children everywhere. I sat down waiting for the prayer noticing I was getting whispers and stares from all of the young girls. One of them approached her mom who then told me that she asked if infact I was Muslim. She couldn't believe it because I was white.
After the prayer the group of about 10 young Muslim girls all stood in a huddle and then surrounded me. They were so curious as to what this white girl was doing there and how was I indeed Muslim?
We chatted for a while and as I was putting my shoes on overheard them making comments about my white skin, and light coloured eyes.
It gave me mixed emotions as I left. Part of me couldn't help but smile in the humour of it all, and enjoy the fact that I got to spend some precious moments with a group so such wonderful girls mesh'Allah, but part of me was saddened that they would think that Islam is a religion of only Arabs and South Asians. That they didn't know that their religion has the power to impact everyone and that it was not bound by race.


Anonymous said...

Salamou aleikoum girl, InshAllah I'll visit yu when I am in Toronto. Maybe in June, if you are available of course ;)
I would like to know about this designer sister, because my soon to be fiance ;) does web design, he may be interested to work with her. I'll talk to him about it, see if he's interested. Ciao! xox

Anonymous said...

Salams sister. I grew up in Toronto and was use to seeing a lot of sisters at the various masjids we use to go to, so Im suggest you keep going to different mosques and Im sure you'll see them.

Sonmar said...

Salam 3alikom

"I know that there are fatwa's that state you can own one house and one car, but the Qur'an says we as Muslims shouldn't take interest."

I thought every Muslim is free to own as many houses and cars as he/she wants :), that what I believe, and was surprised when I read ur statement.
Anyway, when a Muslims intends to own a house, he/he will start facing a dilemma, even though if he/she lives in an Islamic country. Allah forbids Riba (usury), because it is rip off. However, there are many Islamic banks in Islamic countries, those banks are worse than western banks in terms of overcharging people. What they did is that changed the traditional way of riba and came up with a new ways (not like the traditional riba) but with higher rate of interests. I blame the governments because they allow these banks to be name Islamic banks. Even if the new way of mortgage is not haram (forbidden), I’m certainly sure that Islamic shari’a (low) never ever advice to do what the Islamic banks do, so it not fair to attribute the hell that the Islamic banks do to Islam.

Islam offers alternative solutions for mortgages but the problem is that Islamic banks do not want to apply them. and the Islamic government do not care about that.

I live in Edinburgh, UK, and would love to buy a house, but I cannot, though some banks here give Islamic mortgages (like the one in the Islamic banks :))

Anonymous said...

Salam Jenny,
I am from winnipeg and saw the anja site. I actually placed an order because I really liked the products. I however have not heard anything from anja. I do not even know if she acknowledged my order yet. Could you please look into this for me since you have the connection to her. I emailed her site but not get a response. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaykum Sis.,

Wasn't sure how else to contact you. There is a sisters' charity event coming up that may interest you.

Please do pass along the info to other sisters as well - it's for a good cause:

SISTERS' NIGHT OUT - (Female-only) Banquet and entertainment. Benefit to help the homeless through Islamic Relief Canada.

WHEN: Saturday, 28 March 2009 (Doors open at 4:30 pm - buffet starts at 5:30 and ends at 6:30 pm). Doors close at midnight.
WHERE: 7600 Kennedy Road, Markham (Milliken Mills Community Centre)
TICKETS: $20 pre-paid (no tickets at the door). PAYMENT DEADLINE: March 7th 2009. All event profits go to Islamic Relief Canada for their work helping the homeless. Payment is by TD Bank deposit or transfer. Contact Sr. Hajar Machado or tickets at or 416-490-9587 to buy tickets.

Buffet banquet with entertainment. A chance to have a fun night out with friends and make new ones (at your table, on the buffet line, etc.). No men will be present so sisters who wear hijab can feel comfortable not wearing it at the event and dressing up. There is no dress code, but most sisters get decked out (semi-formal to formal attire). Annual event - draws a diverse range of sisters of all ages - always loads of fun.

- Night opens with buffet dinner.
- A presentation by Islamic Relief Canada about what they do and what the funds from the event will be used for.
- Talent showcase.
- Break for maghrib prayers.
- Dance: Sisters night out is an inclusive Muslim event. We understand that sisters accept different rulings on music and dance. The last part of the night (from 8:30 pm onward)
will be for those sisters who are accepting of music and dance among sisters. Music will be upbeat/danceable tracks in a number of languages (English, Urdu-Hindi, Arabic, Persian, Swahili, etc.) - lyrics are pre-screened for vulgarity and inappropriateness.
- Doors close at midnight
fi amanullah,
Umm Haniyyah