Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.
Our home is not typical of homes here...well, the actual house is perfectly common, but how we live in it is not. This is our ladies sitting room/family room.
This room, and how we live in the house in general, is strongly influenced by Rasool Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He sat on the floor, ate on the floor, and disliked decorations and worldly things. To that end, we made the floor seating, kept the color plain, and chose natural, soft colors of terracotta fabric and sage green walls. All four bedrooms have plenty of empty space, as we all sleep on the floor on simple mattresses with just the necessary storage to keep clothes and things organized.
The thing we have the most of is books and kitchen things. We have the books because knowledge is paramount, followed of course with action, da'wah, and patience. As for the kitchen things, we cook and entertain groups of up to 40 - 50 people at times and we don't use disposable items so we have enough stainless steel platters, bowls, cups, and cutlery to accommodate everyone...and a few big pots! We have hand woven mats made from date palm leaves that we put down on the floor when we eat and large stainless steel platters so that several people can eat from the same plate.
We have no television, no fancy bought rugs, wall units, coffee tables, although we have computers (of course) and a CD/tape player for playing Qaidat an Nooraniyah tapes, Quran, and lectures.
It is 5 miles/ 8.29 kilometers from our house to Masjid an Nabawi.
Our little "escape" to get in touch with fresh air, camping, and nature is no further than our front courtyard - our "khayma" or tent. We sometimes have a barbeque and eat dinner out there on pleasant evenings. As a fun treat, we all camp out in the tent on weekends. It is used as a clubhouse for hubby and his friends from the Islamic University of Madinah and his colleagues from Taibah University. We even piled about 30 girls and women in there on one of our monthly girls' reading club nights.
Our little planted patch of green with three date palms, has benefited from some permaculture practice. We spread two bales of straw on
the sandy, cracked, and dry-looking soil that the date palms, a lemon tree, and some
fragrant bushes are planted in.
We also set up a compost heap. The
straw has turned everything around, subhaan Allah. It retains moisture
and keeps the moisture in the soil, so things are growing like wildfire
out there now, mashaa'Allah. We have planted melons, all the date seeds
that fell last year have started shoots (too many of course, we will
have to take them out eventually and give them away or plant them
There are no worms here, but another University
professor brought some in and gave us some, so we introduced them to our
compost heap about two weeks ago. Inshaa'Allah, it will be something to
behold how they get on in there. For all the extreme heat and aridity,
our little patch of green has become the "place to be" for families of
sparrows and busy little bees buzzing
from flower to flower in the date spadix.
This post has been a long time coming, and perhaps you will like or dislike our lifestyle depending on your tastes and preferences, but I ask that you please say upon seeing this glimpse, "Mashaa'Allah, tabaarak Allah" (With the will of Allah, and with His blessings).
Barak Allahu feekum, dear readers.