Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter...Brrrr and Phew!

Just so you know, when winter comes it can get quite cold here in Madinah. However, once you get out your sweaters, warmer clothes, and light jackets the weather will turn warm again and you will find yourself sweating. It is much safer to wear layers, so you can shed the cardigan or sweater if you need to cool down. Even though we had some rain this past three days, the temperatures were still very warm and the usual days are still around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit when the sun is at it's zenith. So, simply put, prepare to shiver for a few days, and sweat for others on and off throughout the winter months...and don't get excited at the first cool days and think that the cold weather is there to stay for the winter months.

Al hamdul'Illah for the blessing of coolness and rain in these months!

Moving again

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

It is a common thing here to have to move, even if you are comfortable in your home. We know of people whose landlord just told them that they wanted the place for someone else and they had to leave. Our landlord informed us that he wants to build on our roof, so by April we would have to move. In any case, we found several very nice apartments here in Aziziya, all within SAR 20,000 to 25,000. However, we ended up renting a brand new, 5 bedroom, 3 bath apartment for SAR 25,000. It has a two entrances, a men's majlis, women's majlis, kitchen, and 5 rooms that can be used as bedrooms or, in our case 3 bedrooms, a school room, and a play room. Al hamdul'Illah.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Many people assume that living in Saudi Arabia, and particularly Madinah, means that all the books available here are Islamically correct and compliant. However, that is far from the case. There are wonderful collections of ahadeeth and Islamic texts that are all used by the Jami'ah students and scholars for reference, but there are many others that are incorrect, unchecked, and deviant.You either need to know your books, so you can purchase those that will truly be beneficial knowledge, or ask someone to advise you what to buy. That said, Islamic books are well worth buying here - particularly if you are buying Arabic ones or from Darussalam - as they are cheaper and the selection is exhaustive maashaa Allah.

When it comes to English books and fiction, it is quite a different story. There are Arabic translations of the totally unsuitable and un-Islamic Twilight series, Harry Potter, and more. The same books, as well as others dealing with Western families with divorce, boyfriends, and various other typical subjects, are available in English. In addition, there majority of books have pictures, images, photos, and can even be of Christian influence. We have seen children's Islamic books that talk about Muslim children doing ballet, having Christmas decorations, and celebrating secular holidays. It is not easy to find a good variety of non-fiction books for children and young adults here and many of the school and story books have spelling and/or grammar errors.

Should you want to order books, the place we use the most is The Book Depository. They ship worldwide for free and we have always received our shipments, maashaa Allah. You can find a very good collection of books there, usually cheaper than buying them here, and can select books more suited to your needs. Of course, there is always as well, but you have to pay shipping for the books, which can be very expensive.

Barak Allahu feekum.