It is not easy bringing our heaven and earth together. Unless you are a scholar or a student of deen, it is sometimes very challenging to connect our faith to every day life. In the last post we covered Retox.
Photo by livnir available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
In this one we would like to share some of the highlights from The Guru in You: A Personalized Program for Rejuvenating Your Body and Soul by Cameron Alborzian.
It is an amazing book, we do not know the authors faith, but many of the questions he asks and the spiritual path he shares overlap with Islam and the Prophetic way. Below is most of the table of contents, can you make a connection?
- We become attached to the material world. First step towards happiness is intention (niyah)
- The practice of nonviolence, kindness towards ourselves and others.
- The practice of detachment, allowing what nature intends for us.
- Letting go of excess, knowing when enough is enough for the perfect amount.
- Posture, practice, and the pursuit of inner beauty.
Here are some of the highlights that we got from browsing the book.
Questions to ask ourselves
- Do you fill your life with constant chatter and entertainment?
- Am I constantly eating or drinking (even if its soda)?
- Do I constantly watch TV or films?
- Am I always in front of a computer or phone?
- Am I constantly watching everything that passes by on the street?
- Am I constantly listening to music or talking on the phone?
To detox the author says we don’t need products, just drink hot water for several days. Here are some more nuggets.
- With the above examples, when our senses our stimulated our breath goes out of balance.
- Our stimulated senses induce attachments and desire.
- We love our opinions, we love having them. Learn to listen to difference of opinion.
- Detachment. eg when watching a a game, rather than hoping one side wins, just enjoy the game. You will be less drained from the experience.
- Enjoy friends company. You don’t have to fill silent gaps with meaningless chatter. It is good to have silent moments.
- The author shares a great example of attachment. We apply for a job. We see that we have a perfect fit.. We see ourselves in that role. We are attached to it, and then crushed when we don’t get it. Detachment means telling ourselves that experience may not pan out as we would like, another one is around the corner, nature (God) didn’t intend it for us.
- If we are attached to getting an object (maybe a car or whatever) detachment from goods and objects when you don’t get them means there may be a better time to get that object or it may be beneficial to not have it all.
- A great example he share which we can put into practice, is going to a bakery where you love the smell and are tempted to try out the pastries. Instead we go, take in the aroma, but control ourselves. The next time we go again we can up the ante, but each time you are in control. The key takeaway is we don’t need instant physical gratification.
- What happens when we become fearful of not getting something. Fear leads to desperation (not inspiration).
- We need spiritual freedom, a fully realized state, beyond material, mental, and emotional limits.
- Practice non-violence towards self and others. In self talk this means avoiding ‘I’m not smart enough, I won’t ever find success, I’ll never get married.”
- Cultivate sexual energy. The practice of guarding and cultivating our sexual energy and finding that balance of extremes of frustration (not having sex) versus excess.
It is hard to encapsulate a wonderful book like this, bu hopefully it gives you a flavor.
Do you want to look awesome on your wedding day? If so you should consider a complete body Detox.
Photo by istolethetv available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
If we follow Prophetic ways detox should come naturally. Of course for Muslims the month of fasting in Ramadan is the best detox. Given our modern lifestyles we found something to compliment our busy and crazy lives. We came across a great book on the subject titled RETOX: Yoga*Food*Attitude Healthy Solutions for Real Life by Lauren Imparato. Here are some of the highlights from the book.
- Go for nutrients over calories. eg if for lunch you have a choice of beef over chicken, although both have protein and most health conscious people will opt for chicken, instead go for the beef. Why? Beef has more iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamin B. Another example is for a snack if you have a choice of a 100 Cal snack bar, or a 300 Cal Avocado, opt for the the Avocado for its Omega 3’s.
- Nutrients feed dells, cells construct you, so watch what you eat and drink. Processed food is bad, fast food even worse. Make H2O your beverage of choice.
- Your body needs 72 hours (3 days) to fully process everything you ingest. So the body is constantly working to digest and metabolize, so it too needs a break. Try to leave a 10-12 hour break (fast) between dinner and breakfast.
- Follow the 2/3 rule. Make 2 out of 3 meals healthy. Make 2 out of 3 things on your plate to be pure nutrient.
- Nourishment is not about dish but ingredients. Instead of fries or other fried food, order a side of greens when eating out.
- Don’t mix proteins (this was a new one for us). Have only one protein in your meal. eg have a veggie starter and then fish for main course. Mixing proteins adds additional stress to the digestive system. So forget the combination Kabob or the Lamb/Beef Gyro.
- When you buy fish, make sure it is Wild and not farm raised. Beef should be grass fed.
- Drink tap water (not ice water)
- Watch out for Asian restaurants that use MSG.
- Mexican restaurants avoid the fried foods and go for eg a Fish Taco.
- With Pizza have a salad
- Go light on hummus and yogurt based starters. Falafels are fried, so opt for anything grilled.
- Sugar is an inflammatory agent. Sugar is associated with expansion headaches. Cut out sugar of all sorts to allow your body to neutralize.
- Also watch out for too spicy, fatty, foods and focus on water, mint, ginger.
Depending on your level of knowledge you may find these tips helpful or not. But here is what we find amazing in the book.
- Share a meal at least once per day.
- Talk to someone you love every day.
- Take one minute each day to connect to your breath and thoughts.
We’re not scholars, but isn’t this Sunnah, it’s the way of our Prophet (SAW)? InshAllah with your spouse and family this will come naturally, but if doesn’t then try to make it a practice. It is hard to summarize a book in a short blog post, but we hope you find this useful. Anything you would like to share?
Whether you are Newly married or married for a long time, it is nice to be able to getaway to a far distant land to charge (for a honeymoon) or recharge your relationship (say an anniversary). Having privacy and time to get to know each other as well as discover new cultures, food, and places makes it very exciting. In no particular order, below are the top 10 picks by Perfect Muslim Wedding for the most romantic places in the world. You may disagree and that is ok, we would love to get your addition to the list.
Here are some great photographs of these Romantic Muslim Destinations.
Ko Yao Noi, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Photo by Azlan DuPree x available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
Medina, Saudi Arabia
Marrakesh, Morocco worlds largest tannery
Istanbul, Turkey across from the bay
Cairo, Egypt with the Pyramids of Giza in the background
Granada, Spain (The Alhambra in the background)
For more details checkout our Perfect Muslim Wedding Honeymoon Guide.
Just because you are married does not mean that married life has to be boring. As with any relationship you have to put energy into it, otherwise all the daily chores of life take over. The most important decision you will ever make is who you marry, the most important investment you make will be that in your spouse. Here are 37 fun, affordable date night ideas for husbands and wives.
Photo by Azlan DuPree available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
- Play your favorite board game
- Cook a meal together
- Take bike ride or hike together
- Go on a picnic
- Pray with your spouse, pray for them.
- Write a poem for each other and read it to them
- Have a pillow fight or play wrestle (guys you have to be gentle)
- Work on a scrapbook together to capture memories
- Plan a vacation together (the joy is in the planning)
- Flirt with your spouse eg in a restaurant or coffee shop
- Visit the farmers market together
- Play Frisbee in the park or mini-golf
- Look through old photo albums and other memorabilia to recount good memories
- Go for a date to Costco and taste the free samples
- Water the garden or wash the car, any excuse to get the hose out and have a water fight.
- Watch the stars at night by lying together in the backyard and name a star after your spouse.
- Play in the snow, rain or leaves.
- Park your car in the garage and bring your laptop and LCD projector to simulate a Drive-in movie.
- Play hide and seek in the house with the lights out and a flashlight.
- Use old photos to make an online or hardcopy photo montage
- Create a scavenger hunt for your spouse
- Attend a local festival (film, home, flower, garlic…)
- Take a test-drive with your spouse in his or her dream car.
- Drive to a location where you can see the horizon and the sun setting
- Give your spouse a full body massage without expecting anything in return
- Find small reasons to give gifts on an ongoing basis and when least expected
- If your spouse is ok with surprises book a dream vacation
- Write hand-written love notes on Post It’s or on a nice quality paper
- Give a gift of a free Spa visit
- Call, text, record a video from work or from a business trip and tell your wife how much you love her.
- Take a walk together and just shoot the breeze
- Tell her or him all the things you appreciate about them
- Go to the park and play on the slide, swings just like the old days.
- Play footsie under the dinner table or at a restaurant
- Sing to your wife, dance with her in the privacy of your home or hotel or…
- Blindfold your spouse and kiss their erogenous zones
- With a sincere look in their eyes magnify their look and love for you.
Here are 10 more pieces of advice continued from our previous post.
1. Forget about marrying the right person and more about becoming the right person.
2. Humor is an awesome icebreaker for tension.
3. Dress up for your spouse.
4. Listen to understand, not to counter.
5. Commit to your marriage 100%.
6. You will be attracted to many other people in your lifetime, but never let the window through which you see the other become the door with which you exit your marriage.
7. Not everything needs to be said.
8. You don’t have to divulge everything of your past and present, but never hold secrets.
9. Pray together.
10.Love and appreciate the whole package
During times of stress and conflict it is easy to default to cliches. However, they can be very harmful. Here are several don’ts and do’s.
You should definitely avoid saying the following:
- “You’re wrong.”
- “I told you so.”
- “I’m not In the mood.”
- “You are a mama’s boy.”
- “Am I beautiful?”
- “Calm down, relax.”
- “What is wrong with you anyway?”
- “Stop being so sensitive.”
- “Are you done?”
- “I have had enough.”
- “Is That What You’re Going To Wear?”
- “What are you thinking about?”
- “You’re doing it wrong.”
- “It’s a guy thing. You wouldn’t understand.”
- “Do you think she’s pretty?”
- “I hate you, your parents, your family.”
- “You are your mother.”
- “You should ask my mom how to cook.”
- “It’s all your fault.”
- “You never…”
Things you should say, often:
- “I’m sorry, I take full ownership, and it won’t happen again.”
- “I am the luckiest man/woman to have you in my life.”
- “To me, you are the most beautiful/handsome woman/man in the world.”
- “I am so blessed that you are my wife and mother to our children.”
- “You are the best husband and father in the world.”
Featured photo by Azlan Dupree available under Creative Commons Attribution License