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[Reader Discussion] Restoring Ties with Family and Friends

[Reader Discussion] Restoring Ties with Family and Friends
Image credit: ProductiveMuslim doodler Aneesah Satriya

Every month, we host a ProductiveMuslim reader discussion where you can share ideas and tips to help each other become more productive. Last month, readers shared many interesting ideas on how to have a relaxed and refreshing weekend.

The theme for this month’s discussion is restoring ties with family and friends.  Continue reading

[Surat Al-Kahf Series – Part 4]: What Are You Doing With Your Dreams?

[Surat Al-Kahf Series - Part 4] What Are You Doing With Your Dreams
Image Credit : ProductiveMuslim doodler Aneesah Satriya

Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching the end of this series. Please fasten your seat belts and make sure your seats are in the upright position. On behalf of the cabin crew, I would like to thank you for taking this journey with us and hope to see you here again soon. 

Okay fine, I use humor to hide my true feelings, and today I have a tiny heartache because I’m really going to miss talking about Surat Al-Kahf. On a lighter note, while researching the final story, which is about a king named ‘Dhul-Qarnayn’ (the man of the two horns), I found out that a possible reason for his title is his hairdo: two ponytails that looked like horns (that cheered me up honestly!) [See Dr. Yasir Qadhi’s lecture on Surat Al Kahf].

Others say it’s because he reached the two ‘horns’ of the sun, east and west. In fact, there are many interpretations of his title and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows best which the true one is. It’s his fascinating story that concerns us most since we are asked to read it every single Friday for the rest of our lives. Continue reading

The Forgotten Blessing: Giving Your Parents the Proper Treatment They Deserve

The Forgotten Blessing: Giving Your Parents the Proper Treatment They Deserve“Ali, please come downstairs and eat”, calls Haleema, his mother, for the third time. “In a minute MUM, I’m busy, you’re so difficult.. gosh.. just leave me alone!” followed with a loud slam of the door.

How many of us are guilty of this? It may not be the exact same words, but in some way we have all disrespected our parents, which they certainly do not deserve. Today’s youth have lost respect for their parents who worked so hard to raise them. It has become the “norm” to scream at our mothers. We make derogatory remarks and sometimes pretend like we cannot hear what they’re saying.

Just take a second to step back and reflect: the one who taught you how to walk, eat, speak – you consciously CHOOSE to ignore her? Continue reading

9 Practical Tips to Rebuild Our Ties of Kinship This Ramadan

9 Practical Tips to Rebuild Our Ties of Kinship This Ramadan - Productive MuslimNever has a religion emphasized the importance of maintaining the ties of kinship and building strong bonds with one’s relatives/family than the religion of Islam. With verses revealed on this topic, and many ahadith narrated about this virtue, it is ironic to see Muslims today far from this practice and not upholding their ties of kinship.

With the breakdown of the traditional ‘big’ family structures and mass migration of Muslims from villages to cities and various countries, we’ve lost touch with our relatives and our kin and unfortunately, by default, we’ve cut our ties of kinship.

Ask yourself, how many of your parents’ brothers and sisters do you know very well? What about their children? What about your grandparents and their relatives?

We must clarify that the ties of kinship meant here is not simply narrowed down to your immediate family members and a few uncles/aunts whom you commonly speak to, but anybody that is part of your family tree is considered a kith and kin that we must keep in touch with. Continue reading

Striving to Achieve a Productive and Peaceful Relationship with Your Mother-in-Law (Part 2)

Striving to Achieve a Productive and Peaceful Relationship with Your Mother-in-Law (Part 2) - Productive Muslim“My mother’s coming for two months,” your spouse says, gleefully, then turns to embrace you. There is a sinking feeling, even though there shouldn’t be. All of a sudden, your sense of autonomy, purposefulness and passion are all drained. I married you, not your mother, you think to yourself, but don’t actually say it. “Inshaa Allah,” instead you respond. However, your heart tightens, and you ask God to give you the strength to endure another visit.

All too often, the mother-in-law-daughter relationship is fraught with tension and resentment. Seldom do we encounter examples of these two women really thriving in their relationship. In the first article in this two-part series, I suggested ways for you to organize your kitchen and other parts of your home to improve the relationship. Continue reading