Friday, September 29, 2006

Top 10 Bad Habits During Ramadan *

Number 10
Eating too fast and too much at iftar

Number 9
Driving recklessly to the masjid and blocking cars in the parking lot

Number 8
Getting angry quickly toward the end of the day or end of the month

Number 7
Being generous to strangers but not even talking to relatives and in-laws

Number 6
Rushing through taraweeh just to complete the Qur'an in 30 days

Number 5
Fasting just to feel hungry, without involving your mind and heart

Number 4
Fasting from food only but indulging in haram activities

Number 3
Fasting by day and sinning by night

Number 2
Observing Ramadan as a cultural festival without Islamic knowledge

Number 1
Fasting but not praying

* May Allah reward all those who contributed to this top-10 project. Oh, not contributing by practicing bad habits, but participated in brainstorming this list or recording it...

Feel free to distribute/share our contents for any non-commercial purposes.

Ramadan Related Posts:
Story #1
Story #2
Story #3

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Hijab Story 3: Hijab in American Public School

Asma 10 years old story: Hijab in public school in America

Project details

More Stories

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Kid Reading Quran

Someone sent this video, ma-sha-Allah.

Want your children to be a "Hafiz" (someone who memorized the Quran)? Start from now, learn it yourself first. It takes two generations to raise a kid on Quran.

Download MP3

Tags: Quran, Muslim, Children, Islam.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ramadan & Me

Tags: American Muslim Islam Ramadan Ramdhan Fasting Taraweeh Iftar Love Allah

Related Posts:
Story #2
Story #3
Top Ten Bad Habits During Ramadan

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Organic Produce

Three ways to eat organic on the cheap

1- plant it,
2- find it in your friends back yard ;)
3- buy it in your local farmer's market or local growers.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Organic Spinach Vs. Non Organic

Following up with the deadly spinach.

NPR's All Things Considered's story dated September 18, 2006 is about Organic Company Disputes Tainted Spinach Claim

Picture from

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Natural household products

Got this in an email, it's by

Cost-effective Household Products
Olive oil: Use to lubricate and polish wood furniture (three parts olive oil to one part vinegar; or two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice).
Potatoes: Halved potatoes can remove rust from baking pans or tinware - follow with a salt scrub or dip the potato in salt before scrubbing.
White vinegar: Cleans linoleum floors and glass (from windows to shower doors) when mixed with water and a little liquid soap (Castile or vegetable). It cuts grease and removes stains, and removes soap scum and cleans toilets (add a bit of baking soda if you like). Pour down drains once a week for antibacterial cleaning. Add to water in a spray bottle to kill mold and mildew.
Tea tree oil: Can be added to vinegar/water solutions for its antibacterial properties. Use it to kill mold and mildew, and on kitchen and bathroom surfaces instead of chemical products. Add 50 drops to a bucket of water to clean countertops and tile floors.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Livinghalal Food Safety: Spinash Warning

This is mostly for US viewers...

Take from FDA News

FDA Warning on Serious Foodborne E.coli O157:H7 Outbreak
One Death and Multiple Hospitalizations in Several States
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing an alert to consumers about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in multiple states that may be associated with the consumption of produce. To date, preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak.

Based on the current information, FDA advises that consumers not eat bagged fresh spinach at this time. Individuals who believe they may have experienced symptoms of illness after consuming bagged spinach are urged to contact their health care provider.

“Given the severity of this illness and the seriousness of the outbreak, FDA believes that a warning to consumers is needed. We are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local agencies to determine the cause and scope of the problem,” said Dr. Robert Brackett, Director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

E. coli O157:H7 causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. To date, 50 cases of illness have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 8 cases of HUS and one death.

At this time, the investigation is ongoing and states that have reported illnesses to date include: Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.

FDA will keep consumers informed of the investigation as more information becomes available

Related Links by LivingHalal:

Are Dangerous Bacteria Lurking Inside Your Organic Produce

Why don't we suffer from E. coli all the time?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Top-10 list Muslims good at in Ramadan

Assalam alaikum,

This is a time sensitive project, we need to finalize this top-10 list before Ramadan.

I'd like every one's inputs, so we can share the rewards.

We want to come up with the top 10 common mistakes in Ramadan that we should fix.

I have so far six listed, please add, remove, reorder or comment.

10 things Muslims are good at in Ramadan... but in-sha-Allah, not this year.

1- stack up food and spend all day cooking and all nights eating
2- making a mess in the masjids at iftar time
3- fighting for our egos for when should Ramadan start or end
4- fasting but not praying
5- take a vacation from masjid except for the 27th night
6- refraining from halal and beneficial food but indulging in haram or harmful stuff (gazing or smoking)

Okay... let's start.

May Allah reward us all.

Finalized Version


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Single & Mixing: Organic Blackberry Peppermint Tea


1 Organic peppermint tea bag.
1/2 cup organic blackberry, blueberry, or raspberry.
organic raw honey to taste.

Mix everything in a blender

Monday, September 11, 2006

Salmon for Life

Salmon for Life
By Abu Abdulllah Smarte

I love eating salmon. There's nothing more satisfying to my taste buds than biting into a piece of barbecued salmon with seared glaze. So, there I was one day sitting face to face with my prepared, and soon to be digested, feast in a quiet section of an upscale restaurant - a true salmon lover's dream. As I lunged forward with my knife and fork, it happened. Introspection. The one word that a connoisseur of fine food dreads since, ideally, nothing, not even thoughts, must stand between the food and the grumbling stomach. I am not sure when introspection struck. It may have been sometime between my hasty grab for the cutlery and my lunge towards the salmon with a salivating, wide-eyed, and a deranged expression on my face. In any case, I had to stop my forward attack and retreat beyond the trench, formed by the gap between me and the ledge of the restaurant table. Ok, I told my introspective self, let's just deal with what's on your mind so I can satisfy my biological urge for the grilled-to-perfection salmon.

Life nearly anywhere today is accented by a constant struggle between what one should do or how one should act as a Muslim and the expectations of our society. For example, the prospect of praying on a regular basis may, for some Muslims, result in a conflict between what they should do, i.e. pray, and the expectations of the society, i.e. spending the lunch time socializing and making weekend plans with your co-workers while being oblivious to the afternoon prayer time. Or, staying away from places where there are Islamically unlawful activities being practiced, e.g. a bar, and declining a boss' personal invitation to a party at the local sports bar. So, what does all this have to do with a salmon, you ask? Well, one of the key steps to formulating the right decision given a plethora of choices is knowing and recognizing your priorities. You would not be reading this article if you had a budget presentation to the board of directors due in an hour. Nor would you be reading this article if you had left something frying on the stove. Recognize what and when to prioritize. As a Muslim, the responsibility to the Creator always takes priority over all other aspects of life. Responsibility to the Creator generally entails being aware and observing the commands and laws of the religion. So, kindly excusing yourself from lunch with your co-workers for 10 minutes as you go and pray or graciously declining your boss' invitation (and perhaps even suggesting an alternate venue) would be indicative of a Muslim recognizing his or her priorities. But, you ask, remember the salmon? Ok, ok. Let's bring this around to the salmon before it gets too cold to be of any culinary value. One of the most remarkable things about a salmon's life is its fantastic journey to its mating grounds where it lays its eggs. A salmon reaches these mating grounds by traveling hundreds of miles upstream, against rapids and short water falls. Many salmons die in this arduous journey. Some may die while struggling to reach their mating grounds by attempting to jump against a short water fall and landing on rocks and others may die due to fishing or natural predators. However, these real and ever-existing dangers do not discourage a salmon from ever attempting to reach its mating grounds. The salmon recognizes the importance of reaching its mating ground and prioritizes it over all other things. Its focus remains unwavered even at the cost of personal safety. It may be worthwhile for a Muslim to learn a lesson from his or her counterpart in the water- both often times swim upstream, each in their own environments; both may jeopardize valuable things in the process of achieving their goals; and both must maintain focus and prioritize their life in order to succeed.

As I cut through the fine exemplar of prioritization and focus, I can't help but feel a new admiration for the salmon. Perhaps I need to come here more often to learn from this sage, one that not only induces deep introspection but also a torrent of digestive juices .

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bless that little voice!

Click on play to start


Muslim Kids in America

Our bigger project is exploring the issue of Muslim identity as minority.

This is a good read, a personal experience.

Tags: American Muslim Kids public school minority selfesteem hijab salah peer pressures, صلاة الصلاة مسجد 禮拜 Salat

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Hijab Stories 2: East Asian Born Muslim

Umm Abdullah's story: Hijab in East Asia

Project details

More Stories

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Laundry Can Be Rewarding

Doing Laundry

Connect: You can make children a part of this everyday task in ways that are fun for you and your child.

Watch and listen: Look at your child to see what he or she is interested in. Is your baby curious about how the clothes feel? Does your toddler like to take clothes in and out of the laundry basket? Is your preschooler interested in sorting clothes by color?

Curiosity is an important part of mastery. It's the desire to know. And the nice thing about it is you never get there. It’s not like you ever get to the point where you know everything or you’ve mastered everything.

Jack P. Shonkoff, MD
Dean, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University


For your baby

Just because your baby doesn’t talk, doesn’t mean he or she isn’t learning language. Follow your child’s gaze to see what seems to intrigue him or her. Try to see this experience through his or her eyes. Then talk to your child about what they’re watching or what you’re doing: “Now I’m putting the clothes in the washing machine…or “here goes the soap” or “you’re watching the clothes spinning in the dryer.” Children whose caring adults connect language to their everyday experiences learn to speak, communicate and read better.
For your toddler

If your toddler likes to take clothes in and out of the laundry basket, have him or her help you put the clothes into the washer and dryer. Ask questions like “Can you find the pants and put them in the dryer?” Or, name colors together. These activities can be fun and help build language and thinking skills.
For your preschooler

If your child likes to sort things, have him or her make piles of the light clothes and the dark clothes. Older children can also help by finding matching pairs of socks, or finding all of the shirts to put into a pile for folding. These activities can build math and cooperation skills. Feeling useful also helps children feel good, which encourages them to continue to want to be helpful.

These tips were developed for Born Learning by Mind in the Making, a project of the Families and Work Institute and New Screen Concepts.

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Alhamdulillah, featured on has featured the summer rewards clip.

So far, it has received over 1000 views (yes, not big if you compared it to the Internet traffics, but if Allah accepts that's enough).

Thank you for all your feedbacks and encouragements, may Allah reward you all.