Happy July 4th!

4 Jul

Happy July 4th to all Americans and everyone else. Here is a prayer for this occasion taken from the Quran (2:286).

Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector. Help us against those who stand against faith.


Quranic Verse of the Day – Waiting Period for Married Women to Marry Again

4 Jul

First of all, apologies for ignoring this section. Here I go through the Quran, citing verses of interest. I have travelled a lot, lately, and have not been keeping up with my blog. In this post, I will briefly discuss the topic of Iddah (in Arabic)/Iddat (in Urdu) which refers to the time period for which a married woman needs to wait before she marries again after the death of her husband or her divorce.

33:49 tells us that if the marriage has not been consummated, there is NO waiting period. This is in contrast when the marriage has been consummated. For a widow, the Iddat is 4 months and 10 days (2:234 – 2:235):

And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind – they, [the wives, shall] wait four months and ten [days]. And when they have fulfilled their term, then there is no blame upon you for what they do with themselves in an acceptable manner. And Allah is [fully] Acquainted with what you do.

There is no blame upon you for that to which you [indirectly] allude concerning a proposal to women or for what you conceal within yourselves. Allah knows that you will have them in mind. But do not promise them secretly except for saying a proper saying. And do not determine to undertake a marriage contract until the decreed period reaches its end. And know that Allah knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.

For a divorced woman, the waiting period is 3 monthly periods (2:228, 65:4):

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease.

Thus, we can see that the waiting period for divorced women (3 monthly periods) is shorter than that of a widow (4 months and 10 days) and there is none for a woman who was married but never touched by her husband.

[33:49, quran.com, Translation: Sahih International]


O You who have believed, when you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, then there is not for you any waiting period to count concerning them. So provide for them and give them a gracious release.

Is this the right thing to do?

3 Jul

With Ramadan comes a new schedule in our compound. I am not too comfortable to adopt it outright. In fact, I find it quite dismissive of the true spirit of Ramadan. Well, here is what is happening.

Fajr (beginning of dawn at which the fast starts) in Riyadh occurs at 3:40am. Maghrib (sunset at which the fast ends) occurs at about 6:50 pm. Keep in mind these timings shift slightly from day to day as the days become shorter.

Many folks that I know off are not sleeping at all during this time. They do the Iftar (sunset meal), do the Taraweeh prayers which end at about 11pm and then stay awake until 3am when they have their Suhoor (Fajr meal). I agree there is quite a short window between when the Taraweeh (optional prayers during Ramadan) prayers and Fajr. To be exact, it’s about 4 hours. For those that don’t do the Taraweeh, this window is larger since you can sleep after 8:50pm after Isha (the usual last prayer of the day). In fact, most of the kids that are awake until 4am are not doing Taraweeh. They can go to bed much earlier. Many of the kids who stay awake until 4am are not doing any Ibadah (worship) during the night anyway. They are on their video games and Facebook. I haven’t ventured into the markets in Saudi Arabia but I have heard its a party out there between Iftar and Fajr. Even our dentist scheduled our teeth cleaning appointments at 9pm but I said, “no thank you – I will have them outside Ramadan”. The parents and kids then sleep late into the afternoon. Some sleep until 4pm or later.

Now lets calculate:

Time from when you wake up until 7pm if the person is getting up at 4pm = 3 hours.

If you are waking up at around 2pm, the awake time for when you were fasting= 5 hours.

Do you get the gist? You just turned a 15.5 hrs. fast into quiet an easy feat ranging from 3 hrs. to 5hrs. Many people can comfortably sleep for 10-12 hrs. without consuming any food. So if we could program our fast around our sleep time, we can definitely dampen its’ impact.

Isn’t Ramadan supposed to make us thirsty and hungry and understand how it feels to be poor who don’t have food like we do? Well, what about if we are sleeping? Are we feeling the pain of the less blessed?

I struggle to understand this concept of spending your fast by sleeping through most of it. Doesn’t God say this in the Quran [10:67]:

It is He who made for you the night to rest therein and the day, giving sight. Indeed in that are signs for a people who listen.

I can’t help but find this concept of sleeping through the fast and staying awake during the night to be very bizarre and not in sync with the true spirit of Ramadan. In fact, I find it very similar to what the Jews did during the Sabbath. God didn’t want them to catch fish on Saturday so they would leave their nets on Saturday and collect the fish on Sunday. I feel that we are doing something similar when we align our sleep cycle with our fast.

Questions and opinions welcome!

Happy Ramadan 2014

3 Jul

Two night – two room stay in Makkah: SAR 2000

Car fuel spent on a round trip (1400 miles) from Riyadh to Madinah to Makkah (and back): SAR 205

Food eaten at the mall in Clock Tower, Makkah: SAR 300

Breaking fast at Al-Masjid Al-Haram: Priceless

FJ and TJ in front of Masjid Al Haram, Makkah getting ready for the first Iftar of Ramadan 2014.

FJ and TJ in front of Masjid Al Haram, Makkah getting ready for the first Iftar of Ramadan 2014.

One thing that Saudi Arabia lacks totally….

18 Jun

…is volunteering. Well, perhaps it is a big sweeping generalized statement but that is what I am finding true, now that when I am trying to find volunteer opportunities for my rising high school senior and junior girls. I have contacted the Red Crescent chapter of Saudi Arabia. I have contacted the Saudi Ministry of Labor hoping that they would have some work regarding the new maid helpline they just planned to open recently. I have asked my husband’s hospital (it is no longer my hospital because I have stopped working there after the baby). We asked the King Faisal Specialist hospital but one keeps on getting routed and rerouted but can’t really find anyone who knows anything remote about volunteering. I think it’s really sad if there are no venues for people who would like to volunteer their services.

As they say, an idle man’s mind is a devil workshop and if you live in a country which doesn’t have any volunteering opportunities, what do you do with your teens that are bored at home? Our house is extra strict anyway and I do not consider Facebook stalking of friends or strangers or Snapchatting any valuable activity so my teens do have more time to kill on their hands. Cooking and sewing are fine later on in the evening but it would be nice to do something useful for all the day hours that we have on our hands.

Grandma J (FJ’s mom) is looking for volunteer opportunities in Pakistan while we concentrate in Riyadh. USA is not a possibility right now but if we do go there in mid-Ramadan or later, we will Insha’Allah look over there too.

I hope and pray we stumble upon something soon so that we may make our kids’ time more productive, Insha’Allah and Amin.

Euromaidan’s Protest in Front of 10 Downing Street in London

25 May

On a recent stay over in London, I came across this protest by Euromaidan protesters in London. It was staged in front of 10 Downing Street, the PM’s office. I stopped and took some pictures. Euromaidan is a Ukrainian group asking for Russia to step out of Ukraine and to stop stealing it’s land.







Spring Break 2014 – PHOTOS

19 Apr

Dear Readers, I was MIA for the past two weeks since our family was on a spring break. AISR had closed for a week and after combining that with the two weekends, our family went to Pakistan with a stopover in Dubai. MashaAllah! Here are some pictures:

Baby Jays ice skating at the Regency Hyatt, Dubai.

Baby Jays ice skating at the Hyatt Regency, Dubai.


The legendry Hotel Atlantis, Dubai


Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world


The multinational crowd at the Dubai Mall


Musician performing at the Dubai Mall


Waterfalls at Dubai Mall


Water fountain show at the Dubai Mall next to Burj Khalifa


PAF airbase MESS, Lower Topa, Pakistan


View from the PAF airbase, Lower Topa


A lunch course of lentils, chicken and bread at Lower Topa


View of Islamabad from Daman-e-Koh, Islamabad


Musician performing at Daman-e-Koh, Islamabad


Faisal Masjid, Islamabad


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