Wednesday, December 1, 2010

81 ways to win your Wifes Love! 61-81

61. Cook a dish for her.
62. Designate a nice, clean, spacious area in your home for the two of you to pray at night whenever you can.
63. Women love flowers. Make a trail of them on the floor leading to the gift you made for her.
64. Give her a nice massage when she least expects it.
65. Send your wife a text message out of the blue with a message of love.
66. Send your wife an email without a reason.
67. Go out on a date or a get-away for the weekend in a nice location, preferably without kids.
68. Do something for your wife’s family, whether it is a gift, or a chat with her teen brother who needs mentoring, or whatever. It will get you lots of brownie points.
69. Do not keep reminding and demanding your rights all the time.
70. Shop groceries for her and call her from the store and ask her what she needs for the home, for herself or for her to give to people as gifts.

71. Ask her if she would like to invite her female friends over for ladies only get together and arrange for the dinner.
72. Ask her to send gifts to her parents and siblings.
73. Help her parents pay off debt. Send her poor relatives some money.
74. Write love notes or poems and place them in the book she’s been reading.
75. If she tells you something she had just learned from the Qur’an or Hadith, do not dismiss her or ridicule her effort, instead listen to her and take her word.

76. Plant her a kitchen garden with all kind of herbs she needs for cooking.
77. Adopt a kitten for her if she likes.
78. Update her PC or laptop with a new one or get her a new mobile phone.
79. Learn to do a special massage technique and surprise her with your new expertise.
80. Teach your children to respect and honor their mother.
81. Be humorous with her when she makes a mistake in the kitchen (like when she put too much salt or burnt her baking).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

81 ways to win your Wifes Love! 41-60

41. Help her to find and build her inner strengths and skills.
42. Respect that she might not be in mood for intimacy, stay within Halaal boundaries.
43. Help her take care of the children.
44. Give her gifts with your tongue, be an artist with your compliments.
45. Sit down and eat meals together.
46. Let her know that you will be traveling or returning from travel, give her sufficient notice.
47. Don’t leave home in anger.
48. Maintain the secrecy and privacy of the home.
49. Encourage each other in worship.
50. Respect and fulfill her rights upon you.

51. Live with her in kindness, goodness, fairness in good and bad times.
52. Kiss your wife, foreplay, don’t jump on her like a bull.
53. Keep disputes between the two of you, don’t take it outside.
54. Show care for her health and well-being.
55. Remember you are not always right or perfect yourself.
56. Share your happiness and sadness with her.
57. Have mercy for her weaknesses.
58. Be a firm support for her to lean on.
59. Accept her as is, she is a package deal.
60. Have a good intention for her.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

81 ways to win your Wifes Love! 20-40

21. Get rid of routine, surprise her.
22. Have a good opinion of each other.
23. Have good manners, overlook small things, don’t nitpick.
24. Add a drop of patience, increase during pregnancy, menses.
25. Expect and respect her jealously.
26. Be humble.
27. Sacrifice your happiness for hers.
28. Help at home, with housework.
29. Help her love your relatives, but don’t try to force her.
30. Let her know that she is the ideal wife for you.

31. Remember your wife in Du’a.
32. Leave the past for Allah, don’t dwell on, dig into, or bring it up.
33. Don’t act as if you are doing her a favor by working or providing, Allah is the Provider, the husband is the carrier of the sustenance to the family.
34. Take Shaitan as your enemy, not your wife.
35. Put food in your wife’s mouth.
36. Treat your wife like she is the most precious pearl that you want to protect.
37. Show her your smile.
38. Don’t ignore the small things, deal with them before they be come big.
39. Avoid being harsh-hearted.
40. Respect and show that you appreciate her thinking.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

81 ways to win your Wifes Love! 1-20

81 ways to win your Wifes Love!

1. Make her feel secure, don’t threaten her with divorce.
2. Give sincere Salaams.
3. Treat her gently, like a fragile vessel.
4. Advise in private, at the best time, in the best way and atmosphere.
5. Be generous with her.
6. Warm the seat for her, you will warm her heart.
7. Avoid anger, be in Wudhu at all times.
8. Look good and smell great for your wife. 
9. Don’t be rigid or harsh-hearted or you will be broken.
10. Be a good listener.

11. Yes for flattery. No for arguing.
12. Call your wife with the best names, cute nicknames, and names she loves to hear.
13. A pleasant surprise.
14. Preserve and guard the tongue.
15. Expect, accept, and overlook her shortcomings.
16. Give sincere compliments.
17. Encourage her to keep good relations with her family.
18. Speak of the topic of her interest.
19. Express to her relatives, how wonderful she is.
20. Give each other gifts.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

etiquettes of the husband p.4

Showing respect and kindness to your wife's family is showing respect and kindness to her. And this applies even after her death, on the condition that it is not accompanied by an act forbidden in the Religion, such as intermingling of the sexes or being in privacy (with them).

Too much joking will lead to (your family having) little fear (of disobeying you) and a lack of respect for you. So do not joke too much with your wife.

Be considerate that fulfilling the conditions which you promised to your wife during the pre-marriage agreement is a matter possessing the highest of importance and priority. So do not neglect that after getting married.

When you lecture your wife or reprimand her or simply speak to her, choose the kindest and nicest of words and expressions for your speech. And do not reprimand her in front of others or in front of your children.

It is not proper for you to ask your wife to look for work outside of the house or to spend upon you from her wealth.

Do not overburden your wife with acts that she is not able to handle. Consider, with extreme regard, the environment she was raised up in. Rural service is not like urban service, and the service of a strong woman and her preparation for it is not like the service of a weak woman.

There is nothing in the obligation of a woman's service to her husband that negates his assisting her in that regard, if he should find the free time. Rather, this is from the good manners of living between the spouses

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

etiquettes of the husband p.3

The woman is the head of the household, the one responsible for it. So do not attempt to meddle into affairs that do not fall into your area of duties and responsibilities, such as the food and the order of the house.

Beware of scolding your wife or blaming her for a mistake she committed, in the presence of others, even if they are your own children. For indeed that is an act that goes against correct behavior and it will lead to raising anger in the hearts of people.

If you are forced to place punishment upon your wife, then let it be by staying away from her at bedtime. And do not boycott her except that it is done within the household. And avoid using foul language, insulting her, beating her and describing her with repulsive names. For these matters do not befit an exemplary husband.

Having jealousy and caring about the modesty of your wife is a praiseworthy thing, which shows your love for her. However it is on the condition that you do not go to great extremes in this jealousy. For then at that point, it would turn into something worthy of no praise.

When entering the house, do not alarm your family by entering upon them suddenly. Rather, enter while they are aware of it, and greet them with Salaam. And ask about them and how they are doing. And do not forget to remember Allaah, the Mighty and Sublime, when you enter the house.

Beware of spreading any secrets connected with the intimate encounters you have with your wife, for that is something restricted and forbidden.

Constantly maintain the cleaning of your mouth and the freshening of your breath.

Guardianship of your wife doesn't mean that you can exploit what Allaah has bestowed upon you from taking charge of her, such that you harm and oppress her. 

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

etiquettes of the husband p.2

The relationship between the spouses must contain one singular and specific nature. And it cannot be this way unless the couple begins demolishing all the obstacles and impediments that stand between them. For example, the husband should not feel timid and restrain himself from drinking out of the same cup that his wife drinks out of.

There is no human being that is perfect. So there is no doubt that the husband will see things in his wife that does not comply with his natural disposition and preferences. If these aspects are not in opposition to the fundaments of the Religion or to the obedience of the husband and his rights, then at that point, he should not try to change her personality so that it complies with his natural preference. 

And he must always remember that for each member of the couple, there will be an aspect of ones personality that conflicts with the others personality. And he should also remember that if there are some characteristics that he doesn't find pleasing in his wife, then indeed she has other characteristics, which will definitely be pleasing to him. 

Do not let Ramadaan be a barrier that impedes you from showing affection to your wife, such as by kissing her. But this is so long as you are able to refrain yourself, since what is forbidden during the days of Ramadaan is only sexual intercourse. 

Do not chase after the errors of your wife and recount them to her, for too much blaming and reprimanding will worsen the relationship between the two of you, and it will pose a threat to your marital life. So overlook your wife's easy ability to make mistakes, and make her falling into them seem like something small. 

If you are able, do not hold back from providing your wife with good clothing and food, and from being generous in spending money on her. This is of course according to the extent of your ability. 

Do not give little importance to implementing the punishment required for any acts in opposition to the Religion, which your wife has committed, whether it is in the home or outside it. This should be the main reason that causes you to become angry, thus no other reason should affect you (besides this one). 

What has been stated previously does not mean that you should leave matters alone until that result comes to happen. Thus, whenever you realize that a matter is left alone, weigh it with seriousness and determination, without being too harsh or rude about it. 

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Etiquettes of the husband p.1

Etiquettes of the husband: 

It is not from the deficiencies, but rather from good manners, that the husband shares in the responsibility of specified matters, such as the mending of garments or what is similar to that. 

It is appropriate for a man to not restrict himself from serving himself. This is since the wife takes care of the household affairs. So therefore, it is from good manners that the husband extend a helping hand to his wife in the house, during times of necessity, such as when she is sick, pregnant, has given birth or similar to that. 

The exemplary husband is he who cooperates with his wife by bearing good relations and showing kind manners (to her), according to the full extent of the meaning contained in these (last) two expressions. Truly, the husbands who are best at working alongside their wives are the best of mankind in the view of Islaam. This good way of living between the spouses must be deeply imbedded into the daily marital life, even at the time of divorce. 

Beware of characterizing the relationship between the spouses with over-seriousness! For indeed characterizing the family life with a militaristic nature amounts to one of the causes for failure and bad results. 

From the kind and noble manners of the husband is that he complies and assents to the requests of his wife, so long as they are not forbidden in the Religion. And being luxurious in food, drink and clothing is at the entrance of matters forbidden in the Religion. 

The husband should specify a time in which he can play around and pass free time with his wife. 

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ten tips...

No one ever thinks about the characteristics of a Muslim husband. It is always what a wife should do for the husband…and the list never ends; home management, tutoring, ferrying the kids, caring, cooking, cleaning, washing, working, you name it, she is doing it. So what about the brothers?
Our beloved Prophet SAW was not like this. So, why should the men of this Ummah? It is quite interesting. So I thought I’d share it with you!!!  What a Muslim husband should be like…

1. Dress up for your wife, look clean and smell good. When was the last time you went shopping for the best clothing? Just like the husband wants his wife to look nice for him, she also wants her husband to dress up for her too. Remember that the Prophet (PBUH) would always start with Miswak when returning home and always loved the sweetest smells.

2. Use the best names for your wife. Call your wife by the most beloved names to her, and avoid using names that hurt their feelings.

3. Don’t treat her like a fly. We never think about a fly in our daily lives until it ‘bugs’ us. Similarly, a wife will do well all day – which brings no attention from the husband – until she does something to ‘bug’ him. Don’t treat her like this; recognize all the good that she does and focus on that.

4. If you see wrong from your wife, try being silent and do not comment! This is one of the ways the Prophet (PBUH) used when he would see something inappropriate from his wives (R.A). It’s a technique that few Muslim men have mastered.

5. Smile at your wife whenever you see her and embrace her often. Smiling is Sadaqah and your wife is not exempt from the Muslim Ummah. Imagine life with her constantly seeing you smiling. Remember also those Hadeeth when the Prophet (PBUH) would kiss his wife before leaving for Salah, even when he was fasting.

6. Thank her for all that she does for you. Then thank her again! Take for example a dinner at your house. She makes the food, cleans the home, and a dozen other tasks to prepare. And sometimes the only acknowledgment she receives is that there needed to be more salt in the soup. Don’t let that be; thank her!

7. Ask her to write down the last ten things you did for her that made her happy. Then go and do them again. It may be hard to recognize what gives your wife pleasure. You don’t have to play a guessing game, ask her and work on repeating those times in your life.

8. Don’t belittle her desires. Comfort her. Sometimes the men may look down upon the requests of their wives. The Prophet (PBUH) set the example for us in an incident when Safiyyah (R.A) was crying because, as she said, he had put her on a slow camel. He wiped her tears, comforted her, and brought her the camel.

9. Be humorous and play games with your wife. Look at how the Prophet (PBUH) would race with his wife Aisha (R.A) in the desert. When was the last time we did something like that?

10. Always remember the words of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH): ‘The best of you are those who treat their families the best. And I am the best amongst you to my family.’ Try to be the best!

In conclusion: Never forget to make Dua to Allah Ta’ala to make your marriage successful.

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Friday, October 22, 2010


It should also be realised the husband is required to be faithful in marriage as the wife must. The punishment for adultery of a married person, male or female, under the Shari’ah is death. The fact that the punishment may not be applied in this world, does not make the sin any less in the sight of Allah. A sin that is not expiated in this world is after all going to follow a person to the grave.
Therefore the husband should not fail to follow Allah’s command in the Qur’an:

"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: verily this will be most conductive to their purity (and) verily Allah is aware of all that they do."[Qur’an 24:30]

Those married men who cruise around in their cars looking for school girls to pick up are surely disgracing themselves, and forfeiting all right to require chastity of their wives.
If for some reason, the husband cannot manage with his first wife but does not want to divorce her, he is not prohibited from contracting another marriage, provided it is done in a legal and honorable way.

The permission to marry more then one wife at a time is however conditional:
".......if you fear you cannot do justice between them, then marry only one." [Qur’an 4:3]
This condition is often taken very lightly in some countries, where polygamy has long been a social custom. No words in the Qur’an, however, are without meaning, this verse should not be taken lightly. A weak husband will not be respected and will not act fairly between his wives, whereby, his marrying more then one is likely to lead to injustice, constant disharmony and the break up of his family. This is not in his interests or theirs or in the interests of the Muslim Ummah.
If having married more then one, however, a husband finds his heart inclining to one at the expense of the other, he is warned that this inclination should not reach the stage of neglect of the needs of the other wife:
"And you will not be able to treat your wives with equal justice however much you desire it.
But do not incline towards one to the exclusion of the other, leaving her as it were in suspense."
[Qur’an 4:29]

This warning against injustice is strongly reinforced by the Hadith in which Abu Hurairah (raa) reported the Prophet (saws) as saying:
"Whoever has two wives and does not treat them equally, shall come on the day of resurrection with half his body hanging down." [Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah]

Monday, October 4, 2010

What does it mean to be a husband?

What does it mean to be a husband?

Becoming a husband will change your life – for the better, of course! The very special relationship between spouses is a wonderful and humbling experience: your wife is the person that you have chosen to spend and share your life with, through all its ups and downs. When things go well, she is there to celebrate with you; when things go wrong, she gives comfort and support. She does not judge you on your failures and is all too often working behind the scenes to ensure that your life together runs smoothly.
The bond shared by a husband and wife is best summed up as follows:
“They are your garments and you are their garments.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:187]
So, what does it mean to be a husband? How should a husband behave and how should he treat his wife? The Qur’an shows us the standards expected from an ideal Muslim husband, the most important of which are summarised below.
In Islamic custom, men are regarded as “guardians” of the family – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) has made them stronger and they are expected to expend of their means to provide for the family. This does not mean that they are superior to women; rather they are expected to act as protectors and providers:
“Men are protectors and maintainers of women.” [Qur’an 4:34]


Above all, a husband’s duty is to provide for his wife and family. This means food, clothing and shelter according to his means. A husband is also expected to bring financial security to the relationship as women have no financial duty to the family.
A husband should protect his wife from harm and provide support and comfort. She should be treated with respect and kindness.
“House women wherever you reside, according to your circumstances, and do not harass them in order to make life difficult for them.” [Qur’an 65:6]
An exemplary husband spends time with his wife and enjoys her company. He smiles and shows affection. Although there are times when intercourse is forbidden, and this includes Ramadan, do not let these times become a barrier to affection.
A husband is responsible for his wife’s Islamic education. If she comes from a family where this has been neglected, then he must find a way to ensure that she is educated about Islamic customs and to encourage her to adopt Islamic principles. He may choose to teach her himself. Of course, if your wife’s faith is on a par with yours, then undertaking further Islamic study together and escalating your faith is a wonderful thing to do as a couple.
Although the husband is regarded as the head of the family; this leadership is not in any way expected to be a form of dictatorship, resulting in the suppression of your wife. Consult your wife regarding family matters and take her advice if it is sound. Follow the Qur’an and Sunnah in ensuring that your family behave in an Islamic way.
“All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian who is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards.” [Bukhari]
The wife is the head of household, although it shows good manners to help with household chores, especially when your wife is sick, pregnant or has recently given birth. Show appreciation for all she does for you and in the household.

The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) as a husband

There can be no better role model than the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) himself. There is much information and guidance laid down in the Ahadith and the Sirah (biography of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎)), which is of benefit to all husbands who endeavour to be the best they can be. And the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) encourages them to be the best that they can be:
“From among the believers are those that have the kindest disposition and are the kindest to their families – such are those who show the most perfect faith.” [Aishah (Radhiallâhu anha)]
“The best among them are those that are kindest to their wives.”  [Bukhari and Muslim]
Aisha (Radhiallâhu anha), wife of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎), related that he was pure and clean in thought and deed. He helped in the home, especially when Aisha was ill, and he was not ashamed to show his love for his wife. He sought her opinion and he spent time with her, often “playing games” – Aisha recounts that they sometimes had races. The Prophet never regarded women as second-class citizens.

Getting on

Naturally, there may be times when your marital relationship does not run smoothly. It is a part of life, and overcoming difficulties together is an important part of marriage life.
You should not dwell on aspects of your wife’s personality that you may not like. If they do not go against Islam, then do not try to change them. Equally, she will find traits in you that are less pleasing to her. It is important to work around these and to focus on each other’s good points.
Remember also that Islam does not give a man the authority to beat his wife. Domestic violence occurs in all societies and should not be tolerated. Some Muslims give their religion as an excuse for their actions but this is not the case. Husbands, who abuse their wives, whether physically or mentally, are merely weak and quick to anger. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said:
“He is not strong who throws people down, but he is strong among us who controls himself when he is angry.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Ultimately, both husband and wife have the right to be treated with kindness and tenderness by their spouse and the right to intercourse and enjoyment of one another. For a truly successful marriage, however, you should make time to pray together and make Du’a to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Happy Marriage

Tips to ensure your wife’s happiness
We should all strive to be the perfect husband, yet as human beings we are not perfect and are, therefore, prone to making mistakes. Likewise, our wives cannot be perfect and by expecting them to be so, we are merely setting ourselves up for disappointment. Knowing how to act when you have made a mistake and learning to forgive your wife for hers is essential advice for a realistic marriage. A happy marriage needs to be constantly worked at and nurtured by both spouses. Read on for some ways in which you can bring contentment to your wife.

Your wife is the closest person to you in the whole world, yet many of us show our best side to people outside the home. We make such an effort to impress and to make the right impression, yet we do not do this at home. Who is most deserving of your best side? Surely it is your spouse.
Muslim men are required by the teachings of the Qur’an and the ahadith of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) to show kindness to their wives. Smile when you return home, speak kind words and use positive language. Praise your wife when she pleases you and show gratitude for all she does for you. Make the most of her best points and do not dwell on those aspects of her character that may be less pleasing to you.
“A believing man should not have any malice against a believing woman. He may dislike one characteristic in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing.” [Muslim]
Unfortunately, some Muslim men, who do not have a full understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah, believe that it is acceptable to use violence against their wives. Islam allows a symbolic beating but using an item that will not bring harm, such as a toothbrush or a handkerchief. You are not permitted to try to control your wife, intimidate her or act violently towards her. This is termed as abuse and it is punishable by law. It is also a shameful act, committed by weak individuals who are unable to control their anger.

Become your wife’s best friend, not just her husband. Spend time together doing things that you both enjoy. Share your interests and your thoughts. Be open with one another and show that you can be a trusted confidant.

Sense of humour
Have a sense of humour. Smile, have fun. Ensure that your home is a happy place. Life is hard enough so let in a little humour to ensure that any challenges you face do not get you down.

Personal appearance
Take care with your personal appearance. Keep yourself clean and make an effort to look good for your wife. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you no longer need to make yourself attractive to her now that you are married.

Sexual relations
Respect your wife’s likes and dislikes and stick to what is halaal. Remember that foreplay is an essential part of intercourse and that intercourse is not over until your wife has been satisfied too. Do not pressure her to do anything that she does not feel comfortable with.
Never reveal your bedroom secrets to others. Intimate acts between a husband and wife should remain private.

Muslim men are told:
“Provide for them (your wives), the rich according to his income and the poor according to his means, the provision according to the custom, this is an obligation for those who act kindly.” [2:236]
Men are advised to spend generously on their wives and family, yet live within their means. Give to your wife before she needs to ask you for anything, yet do not be wasteful.

Although Islam tells us that household duties are usually the wife’s responsibilities, a little help goes a long way. The Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) helped his wives and sets a shining example to us. Don’t expect your wife to do it all. An offer of help will be greatly appreciated by your partner, especially when she is unwell. Most of all, show your wife how much you appreciate everything she does for you.

Consulting your wife on family, household or financial matters will help to cement your relationship. Listen carefully and consider her opinion. Feeling that her views are important to you will help your wife to feel valued and increase her trust in you.

Respect for family and friends
Treat her family and friends respectfully. Pay them visits and invite them to your home. Help them out when they need it. They will do the same for you. Take time to get to know them and learn to love what your wife loves about them. Your wife will love you all the more for it!

Be careful of what you say. In the heat of the moment we often say hurtful things that we don’t really mean. A spiteful word or insult may stay with your partner for a long time. Let your anger die down first. Wait until you are alone and do not bring shame upon yourselves by arguing in the company of others.
Do not bring up past arguments or mistakes. Reopening old wounds only leads to bitterness. Leave them in the past.
Finally, always settle an argument before going to sleep. Do not allow your anger to persist into the following day as this will only make matters worse.

If you make a mistake, admit it and ask for forgiveness. Be prepared to forgive your wife’s mistakes too. Honesty is essential in a relationship. We ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) for forgiveness, so why not our spouses too? Forgive each other and move on.

As a husband, you should be your wife’s greatest supporter. Encourage her in her activities and give her a shoulder to lean on when she is upset. Be a counsellor and a source of inspiration to her when things go wrong.
If you have married a wife who has ambition, it is up to you to let her know that she does not have to spend her life doing housework. There have been many well-known women scholars and many women have played important roles in Islam. Allow your wife the freedom to accomplish her goals in life and your lives will be all the richer for it.

Islamic education
Help your wife to grow as a Muslim. If she was less practising than you prior to marriage, then teach her the basics of Islam, Islamic rules and Sunnah. Teach her to pray and spend time praying together. Make du’a for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) to bless your marriage. You can encourage your wife to attend lessons or Islamic social events (halaqahs) in your community or at the masjid.
If you are on a par in your worship then devise ways in which you can further your Islamic knowledge and commitment together. This will strengthen your relationship with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) as well as with each other.
If you have married a woman who has recently converted to Islam then you will need to be patient. Offer support and encouragement and help her with her understanding of Islam but do not try to force the pace of change. A change of faith and lifestyle is a lot to adapt to straightaway. Let her take her time and to adopt new aspects of Islam as she becomes comfortable with them.

Nurture your relationship
Keep your relationship fresh by surprising your spouse occasionally. Give little gifts, flowers or send a card. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) told us that giving gifts increases mutual love. What better reason do you need?

Make your marriage an act of worship
Finally, remember that by marrying you are completing half your deen. When both spouses strive to please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), their marriage becomes an act of worship. This will please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and He will reward you with happiness and stability in your marriage.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to Fast Healthily During Ramadan

With the fast of Ramadan upon us, we thought it might be useful to look at ways of trying to maintain a healthy diet whilst fasting. Fasting for 12 to 24 hours or more can lead to dizziness and fatigue and a lowering of metabolic rate as a means of conserving calories or energy. Here are some simple guidelines to make sure that your diet remains balanced and healthy during this fasting period:

Don't skip breakfast

Even though the thought of sleep may be far more appealing than waking up to force down some food, don't skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For years, research has shown that breakfast (the breaking of the overnight fast) provides the essential nutrients and energy needed for concentration while keeping hunger symptoms like headaches, fatigue, sleepiness and restlessness at bay. In addition, it also gets our metabolic rates up and going - it is therefore vital to ensure an adequate intake at breakfast time.

Eat a wide variety of foods

Especially now, when your daily intake is limited to two meals per day, you need to put extra effort into including foods from all the food groups. Our bodies need at least 40 different nutrients every day to ensure that we grow adequately and maintain good health. Although most foods contain more than one nutrient, no single food provides all the necessary nutrients. Moreover, foods have benefits that can't be replicated by a pill. It is thus important to eat a wide variety of foods every day, so as to ensure that we get all of these nutrients. The way to ensure variety, and with it a well-balanced diet, is to select foods each day from each of the five food groups:

Breads, cereals and other grain products
Fruit and vegetables
Meat, fish and poultry
Milk, cheese and yoghurt
Fats and sugars (these contain very little nutrients and are high in calories and therefore their intake should be limited).
Use low glycaemic (GI) foods at breakfast to help control blood sugar levels

Carbohydrates are now classified according to their glucose response or glyceamic index. The GI measures how fast the carbohydrate of a particular food is converted to glucose and enters the bloodstream. It therefore tells you which carbohydrate foods satisfy hunger for longer. The lower the number of the GI, the slower the food is converted to sugar and the better it is. Selecting low GI foods therefore helps maintain normal blood sugar control, minimizes hunger pangs and satisfies appetite without providing excess calories. Also, by controlling blood sugar levels, you prevent excessive eating binges as a result of low blood sugar levels. Click here for a list of common food products and their actual GI values. Remember to include low GI foods at each meal, and to avoid eating high GI foods on their own, but rather to mix them with low GI foods, which will give an intermediate GI overall.

Be aware of your cooking methods

By making small changes in your cooking habits, you can create great-tasting foods that are also healthy for you. Although special recipes are an important part of family tradition, many of those treasured favorites have too high a fat content for today's generation of health-conscious cooks. You do not have to give up those old favorites - convert them! Here's how:

Always trim off all excess fat from before cooking or use veal, venison, chicken and Soya as lower fat options. Remove poultry skin before or after cooking. Choose light meat (breast) instead of dark meat (leg, wing).

Cut down on fat intake during cooking wherever possible:
cook onions in a small amount of water or even vegetable stock rather than oil or butter
use non-stick frying pans and non-stick sprays (like Spray 'n Cook) rather than oil or margarine if frying
bake, grill or roast foods rather than frying
cook roasted meat or poultry on a wire rack so that the fat can drip off
vegetables should be steamed or boiled with as little cream or margarine as possible
when preparing rice, noodles and other grains, season with herbs, spices and broths rather than added fat
prepare soups, gravies and sauces in advance, so that they can be refrigerated and the layer of fat that forms on top removed
experiment with herbs and spices to add flavor and zest to low-fat cooking. Herbs, such as basil, bay leaf, oregano, or rosemary adds distinctive flavors and colors to meat and vegetables. Spices, like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg enhance the sweet taste of foods, and seasoning blends, such as chili powder, curry powder provide a complex array of flavors

Avoid taking in too much salt
Use garlic, dry mustard, pepper, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes to add flavor to meat and vegetables
Add sliced lemon or lemon juice to white meats and fish
Use herbs and spices instead

Make healthy changes to recipes
Use your regular recipes, but start cutting the fat in half. If a recipe calls for cream or whole milk, use evaporated or fresh skim milk. If a recipe calls for a whole egg, use two egg whites, etc.
Eat enough carbohydrate foods - especially those rich in fiber

These foods provide the body with energy. They are often incorrectly labeled as fattening and unnecessarily limited. They are rich in vitamins belonging to the B group, and are an excellent source of fiber. Bear in mind that hi-fiber foods have a greater effect on satiety than their low-fiber counterparts. Examples of foods high in fiber include brown rice, whole grains, fresh fruit and raw veggies.

Remember your fruits and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables add colour and variety to the menu. They are often termed our "protective" foods as they help the body fight off sickness and disease. This is because they are rich sources of a variety of vitamins and minerals. An added benefit is that they are relatively low in calories and also contribute to our daily fiber intake.

Drink sufficient fluid

Always include water in your diet and limit your intake of caffeine-containing beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic and will not provide adequate hydration.

We all know that maintaining a balanced diet by eating healthily has a vital influence on your well being. Try following the above principles so that this fast period does not sway too much from the principles of good nutrition.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Ramadan Nutrition and Workout Plan for Success

The Ramadan Nutrition and Workout Plan for Success: Men

By Rehan Jalali, C.S.N.

I am frequently asked, “How can I workout and eat properly while fasting?” Most people see the blessed month of Ramadan as a time when they will lose strength and muscle mass; some think they can only “maintain” themselves during this month, while many women actually gain weight! If you use some of the strategies I am about to share with you, you can make some of your best gains during Ramadan. It’s all about maximizing nutrient uptake, maintaining proper hydration, and modifying key fat-burning and muscle-building hormones in your favor–and of course PREPARATION — if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail! Plus, how can you truly maximize this month spiritually if your body is sick, tired, and your mind isn’t sharp?

First of all, let’s look at what happens to your body during Ramadan. While you are fasting, you become more dehydrated at rest – but actually less than if you had exercised aerobically for over an hour (so exercise causes greater dehydration for that time period versus fasting). Your main metabolic fuel source for bodily function during fasting is mainly fat, which is a good thing. So the goals during Ramadan are to maximize metabolism (even though your metabolism will slow down due to less frequent meals); preserve and enhance as much lean muscle mass as possible (which will inherently increase metabolic rate and allow you to burn more calories at rest); and maximize your workout (both cardio and weight training). During Ramadan, depending on your goals, I really recommend that you limit cardio to 2 days a week at the most. This is again to preserve as much lean muscle tissue as possible. There is actually research showing the health benefits of fasting. It is truly a physical purification. According to a study published in the reputable European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers concluded “no detrimental effects on health have as yet been directly attributed to negative water balance at the levels that may be produced in Ramadan.”Other research has actually shown cardiovascular benefits of fasting during Ramadan — that is, IF you can avoid the IBS. No, that’s not irritable bowel syndrome – it’s the dreaded Iftar Binging Syndrome! It is vital to eat moderate to small meals even after iftar.

Training Times

Ok, enough of the background, let’s get to the meat of it! I am going to set the record straight here. The best time to do a weight-training workout is NOT while fasting. This can create way too much muscle breakdown and cause a significant rise in the catabolic hormone cortisol. Training while in a state of dehydration can decrease strength significantly. In fact, research indicates that dehydrating a muscle by as little as 3% can cause a 12% loss in strength. Training while you are fasting can actually be more detrimental than beneficial! The best time to weight train during Ramadan is after taraweeh prayers at night. This will ensure that you will have several meals and plenty of water in your system before going to the gym. This will also allow you to consume your all-important post workout meal or shake which is essential muscle growth which leads to fat loss. If this is too late then the next best time to weight train is about 1 hour after iftar before tarawih prayer. You could do a short but intense 30 minute workout. The best time to do cardio work for maximum fat loss is before suhur – yep, that’s the truth. Of course, most people I know will not want to get up at around 3:30am and do cardio! If you CAN pull this off then the best thing to do is get up and drink plenty of water with a cup of coffee, green tea, or oolong tea, wait 30 minutes and perform 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio work like a brisk walk on a treadmill. If this is out of the question for you, then the next best time to do cardio is approximately 30-45 minutes after a “light” iftar (I will define this shortly). Short, high intensity cardio like sprinting is actually great to do during Ramadan. It takes less than 10 minutes and provides maximum benefit in terms of fat burning and lean muscle preservation! This isn’t “driving Miss Daisy” cardio – it’s very intensive: an example would be sprinting for 20-30 seconds at full speed (like a crazy dog is chasing you!) and then walking for one minute. Do 4-5 cycles like that and you’re good! Start slow, of course, and work your way up.

So now you know when to train, it’s time to learn what to eat and drink (think water, water, and more water!

Suhoor (The Pre-Dawn Meal)

For suhoor, it is imperative to drink plenty of water, eat a good blend of protein, carbohydrates, and essential fat. That’s right, “good fats” have many fat-burning and muscle-building properties, and their importance is even greater during Ramadan. Some good suhoor foods include:

•Egg whites (1 yolk)
•Chicken breast
•Cream of wheat
•Protein shake
•Raw, dark Honey
•Raisins or dates
•Fibrous vegetables –This will help increase the feeling of fullness as well.
•All natural peanut butter
•Flax seed oil – A great and tasty brand is Omega Swirl from Barleans –There’s a version for Women as well. (
•Olive oil – preferably extra virgin (which means it’s cold processed and the essential fatty acids are preserved)
•Plenty of water
It is important to take a solid multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement with suhoor as well to make sure daily minimum requirements of key nutrients are met. One good source for women is the Women’s Blend by Super Nutrition and a good one for men is Opti-Pack by Super Nutrition. Taking extra vitamin C and vitamin E can also be helpful. A great product is Emergen-C from Alacer. It is very important to watch your sodium intake at this time as high sodium can cause greater dehydration plus increase thirst during the day – not good for fasters. Avoid high sodium foods like soups, sauces, condiments, gravies, high sodium bread products, and canned meats. Of course eating fried foods and heavy oil items can cause heartburn and problems for you all day so it is best to avoid those if possible!

Iftar (Sunset Meal)

This is a key time for rehydration. The wisdom in Islam is never ending. We break our fast with dates and water but if you investigate this nutritionally, you will see that dates are very unique in their nutrient content. They contain very high levels of potassium (much more than a banana), a key re-hydration mineral and a special carbohydrate blend that enhances hydration above and beyond water alone. They contain a special blend of glucose and fructose for short and long term energy. They also have a special nutrient called beta D-glucan that is a soluble fiber that can enhance satiety and digestive health. So basically when you eat a date and water for iftar your body gets hydrated again much faster than with water alone (this is a complex topic but I don’t want to bore you with the details – You can think of dates and water as a very advanced form of Gatorade®). In fact, clinical research published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition entitled “The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future?” concluded that “dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.”

You should also eat some quality protein at iftar time as well. I would first recommend three dates. For men, I recommend a meal replacement protein powder like Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori and for women, one scoop of a protein powder like Pro-Blend 55, Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori, and Low Carb protein from MRM. Of course, drink plenty of water – in fact, keep a water bottle with you at all times after sunset! Then 1-1.5 hours later have a food meal (or follow the schedule above for cardio). Then during taraweeh, depending if you pray 8 or 20 rak`at, have a protein bar (like Power Crunch) or ready-to-drink protein shake in the middle (not while you are praying of course!); or you can have another small protein and complex carbohydrate meal after the 8 rak`at. If you have a protein bar, drink plenty of water and then go train for about 30-45 minutes. For women, you can actually do 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weight training at this time. For men, you can take a BCAA (branched chain amino acid) product like BCAA-G from MRM before, during and right after the workout to preserve lean muscle. After the workout, also have another nutrition shake with plenty of water. Eating small meals at night can trick your body into speeding up metabolic rate (not to mention increase nutrient absorption and stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels). Your body loves homeostasis and wants to maintain a certain balance – you literally have to shock it constantly to lose fat and gain muscle over the long run! There is so much wisdom in “Eat and drink but not to excess” and we should try and follow that especially during Ramadan.

Sample Ramadan Meal Plan for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

*This plan is for a 170 lb MALE, please adjust amounts for bodyweight


•Eat 6-8 egg whites (with one yolk)
•One bowl of plain oatmeal w/cinnamon, raisins and a banana
•1 teaspoon all-natural peanut butter or olive oil or flax seed oil (1 tablespoon Barlean’s Omega Swirl)
•Plenty of water (16-24 oz.)
•Opti-pack by Super Nutrition (one pack) multi-vitamin/mineral

•Three Dates and a Nutrition Shake (Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori)
•Plenty of water

Following these simple workout and nutrition tips can really help you make great gains during this blessed month. May Allah help give us patience and strength in this month and throughout the year and make us strong mentally, internally, spiritually, and physically!

Top 5 Healthy Foods to eat During Ramadan

1.Dates – They contain a unique blend of glucose and fructose and have a very high potassium content (about 64% more than bananas). They have a nutrient called beta-D-glucan which is a soluble fiber that has health benefits and can increase the feeling of fullness.
2.Raw, Unfiltered Honey – This contains many phytochemicals and flavonoids that can enhance health. Honey is very good for increasing energy. It is an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, ORAC tests show it has the highest level of antioxidants of virtually any natural food on earth! It even has anti-bacterial effects. Take 1-2 tablespoons daily.
3.Fish – Eating fish regularly can have positive effects on health. The fish oils EPA and DHA have been shown to improve brain function, enhance cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation among other things. Some of the best fish are cold water wild salmon, orange roughy, deep sea cod, sea bass, ahi tuna, mahi mahi, and tilapia.
4.Figs – They contain key mineral such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They are also a great source of fiber and can support healthy blood sugar levels. Figs are an alkaline food which means they help balance the Ph of the body making it less acidic.
5.Olive Oil - Contains omega 9 or oleic fatty acids. It has been shown to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). It also seems to have some antioxidant effects. Look for extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed). Cooking with it can lower some of its benefits. Add it to food after it is cooked!
Happy Healthy Ramadan!

*The content of this article is for information purposes only. Please consult a physician before starting any nutrition, training, or supplementation program.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ramadan And Weight Lifting

Ramadan & Weight Lifting: How to Maintain Muscle &  Strength
By Mahdi

Weight lifting can be hard during Ramadan. Especially since it falls during the warmer summer months this year and the following ones. This post will teach you how to train and what to eat for best results during Ramadan.

What Is Ramadan? The 9th month in the Islamic calender is the Ramadan. All practicing Muslims drink and eat nothing from dawn till dusk. The goal of fasting is to teach you patience, discipline, modesty & spirituality.

Ramadan stresses prayers, fasting, charity and self-accountability. You want to gain awareness and empathy for the poor. Practicing Muslims pray 5 times per day, including at dawn and dusk.

The Islamic calender is 11-12 days shorter than the solar year. This is because it’s a lunar calender, based on moon cycles. That’s why the Ramadan migrates through the seasons. Example:

Ramadan 2009: 21st August – 20th September
Ramadan 2010: 10th August – 9th September
Ramadan 2011: 1st August – 30th August
Ramadan 2012: 20th July – 19th August
Ramadan 2013: 9th July – 8th August
Ramadan during the summer is harder: longer fasts and shorter feeds. Weight lifting gets harder too because you can’t drink during the fast. And your nights are shorter which can cause sleep deprivation.

Common Mistakes During Ramadan. Lack of planning is the biggest mistake you can do during Ramadan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Make a plan for your diet, training, job, sleep. More errors to avoid:

Not Training. You won’t lose much muscle & strength if you stop weight lifting during Ramadan. But you’ll tend to stick to your diet less. And this can cause more muscle/strength loss and fat gains than not lifting.

Not Eating Healthy. Lots of people gain fat during Ramadan. The main reason for this is that a lot of the Ramadan foods are high in sugars & fats. Example: harira soup, often served with bread/dates.

Not Eating Enough. Food is energy. If you don’t eat enough you’ll lack energy at the gym and won’t recover well. You must focus on caloric dense foods to get the most out of your feeding window.
Not Sleeping Enough. Short nights can cause sleep deprivation. This can kill your motivation to go to the gym. Consider naps.

Popular Fasting Myths. I highly recommend you get a copy of Eat Stop Eat. It has all the research regarding fasting and its benefits. Some myths:

Metabolism Slows Down. Studies show that fasting doesn’t decrease your metabolism. And more frequent meals don’t increase it neither.
Muscle & Strength Loss. Fasting doesn’t cause muscle loss. You’ll most likely feel stronger & more aggressive training fasted.
Low Energy. You’ll have energy if you eat enough during your feeding window. Productivity will increase since you’re not wasting time on food.

When To Lift Weights During Ramadan. Train fasted: 2 hours before you break your fast. This way you can eat several times post workout to help recovery. You also maximize your feeding window since you don’t spend it training.

You should feel stronger and more aggressive training fasted. If you don’t: you’re not eating enough food during the feed. Or it’s psychological.

Predators in the wild only hunt when they are hungry.

- Ori Hofmekler, The Warrior Diet.

How to Lose Fat During Ramadan. Fasting improves fat loss. You can get away with more carbs than you would usually, without gaining fat. Tips:

Get Stronger. Strength training prevents muscle loss. Keep lifting weights and work at getting stronger. Check StrongLifts 5×5.
Eat Healthy. Eat whole, unprocessed foods 90% of the time. Ground round, chicken breast, tuna cans, oats, rice, pasta, bananas, eggs, …
Drink Water. Avoid coffee & green tea: they’re diuretics. Drink water to avoid dehydration. Aim for 1 gallon between dawn & dusk.
Avoid Junk Food. Lots of people gain weight during Ramadan because they gorge themselves with foods that aren’t healthy. Avoid.
Avoid Cardio. You can’t drink water during the fast so cardio or HIIT is a bad idea. Stick with lifting only until Ramadan ends.

How to Gain Weight During Ramadan. Gorging yourself with food goes against the spirit of Ramadan. Meet your daily caloric needs but don’t be a pig. Tips:

GOMAD. Drink 4 liters whole milk per day. Spread your intake between dawn and dusk. Read the GOMAD guide for more info.
Eat Caloric Dense Foods. White paste is the best food you can choose: 250g contains 1000kcal. Try also: rice, mixed nuts, bananas.
Get Stronger. The fastest way to build muscle mass is to get stronger. Squat heavy & frequently. Check the StrongLifts 5×5 routine.
Make Liquid Meals. Digest faster than solid meals. Drink lots of whole milk. Make smoothies: banana, oats, plain fat free yogurt, milk.
Drink Water. Milk is 87% water so you won’t need to drink that much water on top of your daily gallon of whole milk.
Use Fitday. Track everything. Aim for +5000kcal/day. 1 gallon whole milk and 500g pasta per day equals 4500kcal.

Ramadan & StrongLifts 5×5. Training fasted works if you eat well during the feeding window. Thirst can be a problem if you’re used to drinking a lot or if it’s warm. Best is to cut down your workout time. Tips:

Train Fasted. Train 2 hours before breaking your fast. This way you can eat several meals post workout to help your recovery.
Switch to 3×5. Do 3×5 instead of 5×5 on all exercises (Deadlift 1×5). Keep doing the StrongLifts 5×5 routine 3x/week.
Drop The Assistance Exercises. Do Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Press, Bench Press, Inverted Rows only during the Ramadan period.

Example Ramadan Training & Diet Plan. The length of fast/feed changes as the days go by and depending on the season. In 2009 these are the starting and ending times of Ramadan in Brussels, Belgium:

First day: 21st August 2009: 4:22am – 8:57pm
Last day: 20th September 2009: 5:32am – 7:50pm
Ramadan gets easier as the days go by since the fast gets 2 hours shorter. Sleep deprivation can be problem and will kill your motivation. Consider naps. Example schedule during Ramadan:

7pm: lift weights. 3-4 compound exercises for 1 hour max.
9pm: break fast. Proteins & carbs. Pasta, tomato sauce, ground round.
10pm: proteins & carbs. Example: tuna, brown rice, pineapple.
11pm: light pre-bed meal. Cottage cheese, berries, ground flax seeds.
11:30pm: bedtime
3:30am: breakfast: eggs, veggies, meat. Back in bed after 1st prayer.
7am: wake up, get ready for work
1pm: 30mins nap
5pm: 1 hour nap pre-workout
While Ramadan is challenging this summer with the short feeding times, don’t let it get into your head. You can progress regardless.