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Shaan Meran Abdullah November 28, 2006

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar LA ILAHA ILLLLLLLL ALLAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”

Had you been in another place, if you hadn’t heard how those words were said, with such determination, you might have thought you were at an Eid celebration. But this was me, doing what my best friend calls my “birthing mantra” in the heat of Labor. And concentrating on these words is the only thing I focus on till that baby is born.

Shaan, my fourth son, was born this way.

The morning of my induction I went with my best friend to the hospital while my husband took our other three sons off to school and later joined us there. If things went well, I would have the baby by the time the boys got out of school and we wouldn’t have to worry about finding somewhere for the boys to go.

Things started off fine. Then all of a sudden I got a really bad contraction that wouldn’t stop and my stomach tightened up and wouldn’t stop. At the same time the nurse rushed in and said that the babies heart rate had dropped dramatically. She urged me to my side, then the other, and lastly on all fours on the bed. Finally, after a momentary scare, the baby’s heart rate normalized. But I was this close to having my first c-section. The nurse later joked that the baby must have grabbed his umbilical cord and made himself dizzy for a sec. Shame on you baby, you scared momma!

Soon after my doctor arrived and broke my water. My labor, like my previous one started to go really full throttle. And my friend and I warned them if I got to 6, make ready cause it wouldn’t be long afterward.

With my third son I went from like 7 to 10 cm in a half hour and the baby ended up flying out into the nurses arms. Out like a football, my friend tells my son when she retells his story. He always smiles at this point.

Most of my labor I have a “Birthing Nasheed” playing that I burned with my favorite nasheeds that have Allahu Akbar, or Bismillah or something along those lines in them. I sing along with the songs in the beginning. And my nurse remarks at one point how beautiful they are, “I might even convert to Islam,” she says with a grin. Towards the end I go into my full “birthing mantra” and swing back and forth. Somehow making myself dizzy helps get thru each intense contraction.

As it gets real intense, I know I am getting close. And soon I feel the urge to push. I am eager for this, because once you get to start pushing you no longer have to fight your contractions. I am checked at this point, which is probably my least favorite one cause you are in such pain and the last thing you want to do is lay down while someone checks you. I am 9 with a lip, not there yet, so I have to endure a couple more excruciating contractions.

Finally my doctor tells me its ok, even with the lip, push and follow my urge the next contraction. She didn’t need to ask me twice. I bear down and with one or two pushes, the baby’s head is out! She tells me to stop to suction and then all the baby is out. My legs are shaking and I am cold. But I am relieved. And as they lay my baby on my chest. I can’t stop saying “Alhamdulillah” over and over again. The pain I went thru is but a faint memory as I look into the eyes of this miracle Allah has just given me.

After a while under the heating lamps, my son is wrapped in a blanket and given to his dad. He bends down over the baby and whispers the words of the Adthan into his ears,“Allahu Akbar, AllahuAkbar…”

This is one of the hardest things I have done in my life, but with the help of Allah I made it thru.

Indeed, Allah is Great!

***I submitted this as part of the MUM LOVES ME birth story contest…while I didn’t win…they said they will post all of our submissions on their site.

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YaSin: Heart of the Quran

For the Muslims like me whom Arabic is not their native tongue, the challenge to understand the Qur’an is harder.  But Alhamdulillah, nowadays we are blessed with many English translations of the meaning of the Qur’an and tafseer, or commentary of the Qur’an;  as well as many other resources such as online lectures and articles.  All these things together help us to really appreciate the magnitude of what the Qur’an is saying and the awesomeness of Allah’s words!

One thing that I have found that over the years has helped me to understand the Qur’an better is to every Ramadan to chose a part, surah, or theme to study more in depth.  While it is equally important to recite the Qur’an in Arabic, studying this way helps you to internalize more what its saying, what Allah is telling us.

For example, one year I studied Juz Amma with some friends.  We used the Touched by an Angel series by Muhammad AlShareef. 

This year I got a Ramadan Reminder that encouraged me to read Surah Yasin.  Having never fully studied it, I broke out my Muhammad Asad translation of the meaning of the Qur’an and started reading.  Now, years after coming to Islam, and with more knowledge and understanding under my belt, this Surah blew me away!  No wonder its known as the “heart of the Qur’an”.  This surah is an intimate heart to heart talk between Allah and His created (us).  And its content is important for us to reflect on now while we are still alive, not just when someone or we are dying.

Some points of interest in this Surah:

  • ‘Revealed in the early part of what is termed the “middle” Mecca period (probably just before Al-Furqan), this surah is almost entirely devoted to the problem of man’s moral responsiblity and, hence, to the certainty of resurrection and Allah’s judgement: and it is for this reason that the Prophetshabab_saw called upon his followers to recite it upon the dying and in prayers for the dead (cf.  several traditions to this effect quoted by Ibn Kathir in his commentary of this surah).’  (The Message of the Qur’an, Translated and Explained by Muhammad Asad)
  • “Its main theme is the assertion of the principle of Tawheed, oneness of Allah, and its objective is to draw attention to Allah’s magnificient creation and to call people to prepare for accountability to Him.  It can be divided into an introduction followed by three distinct parts…the first part relates a story of a town where messengers came, the identies are irrelevant, the message of the story is what’s important; the second part offers evidence of Allah’s omnipotence and magnificence; and the final part deals with two of the most fundamental religious principles:  resurrection and judgement.”  (A Thematic Commentary of the Qur’an, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali)
  • The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)said, The heart of the Qur�an is Ya Sin. No one recites it, seeking Allah and the next life, except that they are forgiven. Recite it for your dead.� [Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Nasa�i, Ibn Maja, and Hakim, who deemed it rigorously authentic (sahih)                   [source:  qa.sunnipath.com]
  • Imam Ghazali explained that it is called the �Heart of the Qur�an� because the soundness of faith rests on accepting the Resurrection and Standing before one�s Lord for Reckoning, and this Sura affirms these meanings in the most emphatic of ways. Others said that it is because it affirms all the central bases of faith emphatically.  [source: qa.sunnipath.com]
  • Anytime Allah swears by something you should take NOTICE, and in the first few verses of this surah Allah swears by the Qur’an itself, and what’s more is Allah swears by it to confim the legitimacy of Muhammad as a Messenger of Allahshabab_saw

From my reading, the following ayat stuck out:

–  Ayah 30 “…oh the regrets that [most] human beings will have to bear!…”  in the footnotes of this ayah it talks about how most people will bring about thier own spirtual deaths.

-Ayah 68 …Speaks about how as we grow older we decline in our abilitiy, yet we do not contemplate that we have had the free will and time to make moral choices, but choose to wait till we can no longer use this unique gift…will we not be grateful?

-Ayat 35 and 73 Allah reminds us of his favors, and then asks “…will they not, then, be grateful?…”  Being grateful for things does a lot for one’s soul and mental health. 

-Ayah 77 reminds us that we all started off as a liquid, and that it was Allah that brought us from something that we disgust into a being capable of thinking and arguing.  And some have the audacity to argue with Allah!  Think over that for a second, the miracle of creation, be grateful…think of some sci/fi movies it could have been so much worse for us LOL, but Allah blessed us with the abilities and choices we have

-Ayah 83, this ayah struck with such power as I read the whole surah, it is the perfect ending, and it reminds us of the true reality.                          

“Limitless, then, in His glory is He in whose hands rests the mighty dominion over all things; and unto Him you all will be brought back!”

Some links for Surah Ya-Sin:

  • A beautiful recitation of Surah YaSin
  • Another recitation by a young boy here:

 

Don’t Forget!!!

-Recite the Qur’an in Arabic as much as you can, and if you don’t know then invest some time into learning how to read during Ramadan.  And then each year evaluate your progress and push yourself farther.

-Study the Qur’an in your language.  Either pick a part, Surah, or theme to study in depth during Ramadan…really take time to reflect on it and let it inspire and change you for the better.

And Finally…the Qur’an should be seen not as a book studied over a month, but a book that is a life-long study.  You will never read or contemplate it too much.  And you can do nothing but benefit from your efforts.  It will both guide you and bring you closer to Allah. 

***If anything is wrong in what I mentioned above, please forgive me, and if there is anything of benefit it is from Allah.

 

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Check out the new Native Deen video, MashAllah Awesome as always and just in time for Ramadan 🙂
“Ramadan is Here”
(Insh’Allah, that means an album is not far behind)

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Ramadan Kareem

Insh’Allah I hope everyone has a Blessed Ramadan

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