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Just curious - how many muslims are on mumsnet?

(1000 Posts)
Galvanise Sat 01-Dec-12 00:21:53


I know mumsnet has a wide and diverse population and I tend to recognise some MN usernames as regulars. Just intrigued to know how big/small a community it may be.

Of course, I respect that there may be those who do not wish to even identify themselves for various reasons - which is fine too.

I am not asking for 'religiousness' levels or any vital stats! Nor is this a muslim-only thread or an 'no non-muslims' thread.
If you really wish to tell me that you are not a muslim, that is fine too smile

<Waves enthusiastically to all muslims and non-muslims> smile

crescentmoon Tue 05-Feb-13 14:50:32

im currently reading this book at the moment though...

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed.

(Traditional swords & sorcery fantasy with an authentic middle-eastern spin)

really cool book, its a new take on the whole genre for me and i thought id read everything. Doctor Adoulla Makhslood - 'the last great ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawatt' also loves cardamom tea. if any of your relatives are into this it would make a nice present.

now back to religion talk wink

crescentmoon Tue 05-Feb-13 14:55:54

(when i said 'into this' i didnt mean cardamom tea lol)

HardlyEverHoovers Wed 06-Feb-13 19:51:33

mmm, cardamom tea, it's also nice in coffee.
Does anyone on here make their own clothes, abayas and things?

peacefuloptimist Wed 06-Feb-13 21:24:11

Salams. I get my abayas made for me. If I do buy ready made ones I get them altered as they tend to be huge! I always wonder how slim sisters cope.

Just wanted to ask what are people's views about state education versus Islamic school versus home schooling. I know it can be quite an emotive topic so would love to hear the reasons why people have made a particular choice.

I haven't completely made up my mind yet - have got a lot of time to decide as ds is just a baby. I was educated in state schools from primary to university and have had negative as well as positive experiences. Although on the one hand I think well I survived it and benefited from the quality of education and opportunities available to you attending a state school but on the other hand it makes me feel sick to think of my child facing discrimination because of their religion.

I remember in secondary school looking forward to finally learning about Islam in religious studies when I was 14. But in the first lesson the teacher started off by saying "we hear a lot of negativite things about this religion in the news do any Muslims want to defend their religion." It just killed my excitement. Imagine at 14 being asked to defend your religion in front of your whole class (at that time I didn't even know what negative things she was talking about as I was not really in to current affairs) and feeling like a total failure for being unable to do it. A Muslim friend of mine told me that in her history class whilst learning about the crusades her teacher called the Muslims repeatedly terrorists whilst looking straight at her. I know these incidents are rare but I know how it can upset and confuse you. However I feel like if that didhhappen I would be more able to kick up a fuss about it then my parents were as I understand the system better. Hmmm I am still undecided. And views?

BlueOrange Wed 06-Feb-13 23:11:16

Salaam, getting late....

So will be quick.

I would also love perspectives on islamic schooling and home schooling, though my kids will be attending state schools. Reason being that there are no islamic schools around here and i work, so cannot home school.

As for reading, a book called patience and gratitude by ibn qayyim al jawziyyah. It is a translation, but an excellent one.

It got me through a very tough time in my life. I would say every muslim should read this to help them through trials and tribulations. I cannot praise it enough. I have found one on amazon. Dont know if the link below is exactly the same version as i have, as my copy has a blue cover

I urge all the sisters to read this book. Will try to find the blue cover book link tomorrow. Allah has said that He will test us all, and this book is very powerful in reminding us how to be patient.

crescentmoon Thu 07-Feb-13 15:06:03

salams hardly i wish iknew how to make my own clothes just because sometimes i just dont get the maxi dresses, maxi skirts, abayahs etc that id like to buy. iv really hated the trend recently of maxi skirts with huge slits, or transparent maxis. even when i do find the clothes id like theyre not in the colour id like or the style. i go to muslim fashion blogs often just to get some ideas and tips on where to find stuff online. iv often, after reading a review, gone straight onto online shopping just because its a faff traipsing around the shops looking for the nice stuff. i really dont like the gulf abayahs because they are so voluminious but its like high fashion there. i did like these ones though by roselle couture featured on the website. especially the one with green and purple. but where would i wear it? also has shopping links, sometimes when im not doing anything i just go through the links one by one to see whats out there. im not really into gemstones and rhinestones type abayahs but i love dress/maxis with detail.
iv actually posted these blogs before but i do really like them...

my personal style icon is sheikha mozzah of qatar, i like how she takes haute couture and modestifies it. she probably has a team of people who dress her and i wish i had access to someone who could take the designs i liked and figure out how to do the same thing! i think its great hardly you can make your own abayahs and dresses i wish i could do the same or have access to someone like that!

as for education peaceful and blue, im in different minds about it on different days. i know for sure though iv had a good education i dont have the inclination or temperament to home educate. so its always been a toss up between types of schools. most days - say 70% - im happy with state school but some days i do wonder. but i had a good education alhamdullillah and i wouldnt go back and change my experiences and challenges, i think its made my deen more robust and i have to give that same thing to dc as well.

nailak Thu 07-Feb-13 17:17:10

Which one of you sisters was in ilford? i am planning to start halaqas again soon in a friends house if u wanna come.

nailak Thu 07-Feb-13 17:19:06

crescent, would you wear the stuff that Sheikha wears? do you think it is modest?

crescentmoon Thu 07-Feb-13 20:11:50

Salams naila, I would wear most actually with abit of tweaking to hijabify them.

Full Scarf instead of turban,
wrist length instead of 3/4 length sleeves on some,
A size larger so its not as fitted!

Of her outfits its mainly the drapes of fabric, the folds, the cuts, the colours and textures that I find interesting. hardly if you have a secret talent along those lines let me know. naila I think even abayah designers are heading in that direction anyway. Check out the other blogs. I like inayah collections raspberry red abayah that the hijab revival sister reviews.

nailak Thu 07-Feb-13 21:24:51

yeah i liked the blogs, i would wear that stuff probably, just sheikhas clothes looked sooo fitted! lol I have never been that in to fashion, i was a bit of a chav before lol

BlueOrange Thu 07-Feb-13 23:05:34

Salaam all. Found a link where u can download the entire book for free that i mentioned earlier called patience and gratitude - this time its the one with blue cover! Its a beautiful read and quite a short book too.

Highly highly recommended! Go to the following link.

Scroll down the page - the third book is patience and gratitude. Click download book. Save target.

Inshallah i hope others benefit from this book the way i did.

There are also loads of other books in that link if interested.

BlueOrange Thu 07-Feb-13 23:17:52

Just been scrolling through other books in that link provided above and found some books about our prophet's wives. Have not read the books, so do not know about the style of writing or whether its an easy read. Will attempt though inshallah and report back!

crescentmoon Fri 08-Feb-13 07:31:02

Jazakhallah khair blue il definitely download and read that book on patience and gratitude. Thanks so much for searching and putting it up for us.

crescentmoon Fri 08-Feb-13 08:09:13

naila nor was I much but i just love dig Mozah's take on glamour. the turban style of headcover is also an option for women who find the hijab is too much to take on, i dont think its either full khimar or dont even bother with hayah/modesty at all! theres people on both sides of the hijab/dejab debate who think like that. i thought it was Sheikha's own stylists who redesigned those pieces but actually reading on it the brands themselves are the ones who do the work to her needs. she shows how to do elegance without doing sexy - what do other sisters think?

nailak Fri 08-Feb-13 09:00:36

NoNe of us were born with hijab on our heads so how can we judge lol, people have different understandings and go through different stages.

And yes I see what you mean about being stylish and modest.

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 08-Feb-13 12:35:57

Thanks blueorange for the recommendation, actually have that one on my shelf and it really is a lovely little book. I am now reading this:
and finding it just sooo lovely. After reading the Martin Lings biography I still had the feeling that the true nature of our Prophet (pbuh) was veiled from me, and I worry that in truth, I don't actually love him more than my own family sad but I want to, and I think this book is what I need. It really opens your eyes to the blessing that Allah bestowed in every cell of his body (pbuh). It gives a deeper understanding of him than you tend to get these days, and is well referenced with notes explaining whether the hadith used are strong or weak.
As an aside, I had the honour of seeing Martin Lings speak, just a few months before his death, may Allah widen his grave and grant him the highest place on Jannat. He was awesome!
I was talking to my husband about reading Islamic books, and he reminded me that it is a form of dhikr, and I really needed that reminder, as I struggle to do much more than a daily minimum of dhikr of the tongue, and struggle even more to keep my concentration in what I do, so reading for me is a dhikr that I know my mind is fully engaged in, alhamdulillah.

Nailak you don't sound like a chav!
well crescent the shiekha and blogs that you posted are a bit flashy for my liking! My style is more scruffy student hippy boho! I do make my own clothes (not all, but all abayas, some trousers and anything else I fancy patching together) It's not much of a talent, I'd like some lessons to improve, but it is a way of being modest in my own style. My abayas are fairly plain (have done a couple of tiered dual fabric ones though) but in shapes I find modest but not sacklike, and nice colours. Currently alternating between an emerald green one and a deep purple one. You can also then easily make them pregnancy and breastfeeding friendly.
I fancy trying to make this lovely dress for the summer, to be worn with cardigan and hijab obviously!

I have mixed thoughts on home schooling and state ed blue orange, I don't think there is a right answer, every situation is different. At the moment I can't imagine sending DS off into an environment where Islam isn't the centre of his day. At the moment he goes to the mosque with his dad a lot, hears Quran all the time in the house, prays with us (in a fashion) etc etc. I'm happy for him to have non-Muslim friends (he has lots on non-Muslim family as well of course, who he loves) but I fear that at school he would learn a completely different culture. I'm not saying it's the wrong thing to do, in fact maybe by the time he gets to school age he will be ready for those experiences.

How do sisters with children at school deal with these issues?

crescentmoon Fri 08-Feb-13 12:42:50

"How do sisters with children at school deal with these issues?"

thats why im only 70% happy....

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 08-Feb-13 13:08:02

Can you describe to 30%?? smile

crescentmoon Fri 08-Feb-13 15:03:16

ok bismillah....

well, theres a hadith (that i find it really hard to get the references on sorry) but it seems well known amongst both shias and sunnis....

"play with your child for seven years, then teach them for seven years, then be their friend for seven years, then let them go as you have discharged your duty with Allah".

i think this sunnah can be followed in a homeschooling family but not in a family whose kids go to school because if you say 'i will let them play and do what they like until age 7' then unfortunately your going to look like a family that doesnt give a crap about their child's education in those first few years. or their child's behaviour.

this is a potential problem specific to the UK education system, the german, swiss systems start formal education at age 6/ 7, not age 4/5 (reception) as we have here.
i know sisters who do homeschooling for this reason ALONE that the state school system would stress their child out too much and they will put them in school at year 3. and there is some research behind that here...

generally in most muslim cultures: our kids start off very indulged, acting like little heathens in the masjid running around, playing, climbing, talking while people pray etc, we say to each other 'let them play'. from age 7/8 slowly, gradually, we try and inculcate the pillars and values of Islam in them so that by the time they are adults they have the self discipline necessary to practise the deen away from family, when they move away to uni, start a job, a family etc.

but many people do it the other way around, when their children are young they are strict then gradually as they get to pre teen, then teenagers, they give them more and more freedom and leeway. so as things start to ease up on their non muslim friends as they enter puberty 'don't take it to heart theyre just teenagers', 'hey, what do you expect, they are teenagers (shrug shoulders)', we start teaching 'the angels record your actions from now onwards'.

ok this is my funny take on it...

so we have in mind this schedule...

the child is the master for the first seven years,
then a slave for the next seven years,
then a vizier for another seven,
then we let them go.

but others have in mind another schedule....

the child is the slave for the first seven years,
then a vizier for the next seven years,
then the master for another seven,
then they let them go.

littleducks Fri 08-Feb-13 16:09:09

Yes, that Hadith is well known (but I couldn't give a source blush either). We tried to implement it but I'm very English and the community here is not one that accepts children running around and playing like some do. I definately expect them to sit still for an hour or so, when they were little with millions of puzzles and snacks but now just with a own and paper to draw. I think it has done them good to be able to attend to an activity for that long.

It's hard to know if we got the balance right as both mine are still under 7. I might change my kind as they get older.

We taught them to read English and Quran from 3or 4. I know some people don't think this fits in with the ethos but it worked for us and you can lots of 'learning' in a fun format. Ds was small and we had Arabic letter flash cards, I would ask him to drive his cars to the letter cards one by one for example.

We moved areas before dd starting school as I wanted a multicultural school that got good results. We do have odd issues, I don't let her dance on stage for example and the school clearly thinks I am mad!

I will consider Islamic school for secondary with the other options.

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 08-Feb-13 20:29:04

I think it's very interesting about the 3 stages of raising your children. I had heard that hadith, but I do think you can interpret 'play with them' in many different ways. As you said littleducks you can do lots of learning through play.
I've experienced in my husbands native country, and also in mosques here how different the attitude to young children is, from the English attitude. I find some of the behaviour of the children quite awful, and the discipline very lacking. That said, these same children turn into polite and personable teenagers, so perhaps there is something in leaving them to it when they are little. I really see what you mean crescent about the Western model of giving gradually more freedom. It doesn't really seem to make sense, whereas gradually giving more responsibility does.
Certainly with DS at the moment I don't see the point in a lot of discipline, as I don't think he is yet intentionally doing anything wrong, he is normally just exploring (by tipping talcumpowder on the floor, breaking my phone etc etc), and distraction seems to be the best solution!
However, I do feel I need a certain level of behaviour, just so I can take him places and not feel embarrassed!
One thing I've noticed when we have families over, is that the kids come straight in and start taking toys off the shelves etc. They are of course welcome to play, but I think children should ask first, and will teach mine that they need to ask before doing anything other than sitting quietly in someone elses house. How do others feel about this? AIBU wink

nailak Sat 09-Feb-13 01:16:02

i would be happy if kids come and treat my home like their home.

I also see a lot of muslims from agr of 5 expect there kids to do fromal learning of qaida.

Crescent what you say makes a lot of sense mashallah

crescentmoon Sat 09-Feb-13 01:20:02

mashaallah littleducks i think you have a good balance. it is seen as 'english' isnt it to try and give the kids routine and structure. though there is a big strand in modern parenting of 'child led' also. iv also lived in lots of places where they dont tolerate children running around and playing as some do. i thought 'let them play' when we pray or read quran, but not when it comes to behaviour outside the home so much. then it becomes really bad dawah if your kids are the only ones asking for chocolates/ sweets, drinking fizzy drinks, running around the restaurant, being up past their bed time. as i used to do as a child.

except in the mosque. there is something inbuilt in children to run around in the masjid i think - it must be because of the wide open carpeted space. theres always a game or two or running race going on it seems! i laugh at it because i used to do the same thing as a child running around the hall. i think i have a high tolerance but one time even i was annoyed at a little girl, around 3/4 years old, who used to walk down the line when we prayed in jumaa brushing past everyone's faces when we were in rukoo (bowing). she could reach our faces then you see! i was really annoyed it broke my concentration but now when i remember i laugh at it! but to anglo converts it would seem really undisciplined!

with my dc i was abit on the 'let them run wild play' wink until i realised that i was doing them a really big disservice.if ds1 and dd dont do their homework their teachers will think they come from a home that doesnt care about their education - so i hassle them more than their friends who were homeschooled had. who were taught 'by playing' with the option that if they didnt want to then not to force them as they are young. i cant be like that with mine, im not a tiger mother nor hot housing them (yet!) but i have started the 'your not getting up until you finish that page!'.

crescentmoon Sat 09-Feb-13 01:32:32

yes mashaallah naila i would also be happy if kids come and treat my home as their home. but i wouldnt let my kids do that in someone elses house! i get them to share their toys, let the other dc choose first, let their friends have the last treats etc but when we go to someone else's house i make sure they stick by me and ask permission from me for things before they ask the other mother.

they do get angry with me about that though! not ds2, he's too little but the older ones say 'why do you make us share but not make them share!'. im always saying 'let them eat it il buy you one later on way home', i think it is good tarbiyah though! one of the things that make me so happy about my dc is that they are generous by nature - they get it. and that they dont grab at other kid's things.

iv always found madressahs that teach from age 5 also never younger. first thing i look for when we move actually! but my children have different qaida books from the different madressahs they ve been too - some teach alif fatha aa (arabic way), others alif zabar aa (urdu way!).

littleducks Sat 09-Feb-13 13:08:40

Our madressa starts at 3 and has a huge waiting list for the preschool class. It requires a lot higher staff;children ratio though, so I can see why many centres would start later. All the teachers are qualified nursery teachers and incorporate EYFS curicullum style learning; Children give a doll ghusl in a bucket and act out the rituals of hajj with a ka'ba made from a big cardboard box and throwing rolled up newspaper as stones.

They also teach arabic phonetically so not 'alif' and 'jeem' but 'uh' and 'juh' (kindof I cant describe it properly).

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