Ramadan Is Not The End Goal

Ramadan Is Not The End Goal

Don't use the celebratory spirit of Eid as an excuse to return to your old life.
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Ramadan has come to an end this weekend with the celebration of Eid al Fitr. Although we've established good habits this month and engaged in extra prayers and good deeds, some still think that once it's Eid, they can revert back to their old lifestyle and take up their previous sins.

That is not the end goal of Ramadan.

Now that the blessed month has ended, we should take into account the positive changes we've made and continue to implement them into our life. We put our life on hold for Ramadan so we could understand that life should not be all-consuming. So why give that progress up? This month made you acknowledge the fact that worldly aspirations, hopes and dreams should not be at the forefront of your mind, eating you alive in a whirlwind of "busy living." With the mercy of Allah (SWT), you were able to pause your hectic lifestyle and dedicate your time and efforts to what really matters: the "akirah," the eternal life after death. So, don't demean your hard work and go off the handle, devoid of self-control.

Continue with your positive habits. Step by step, day by day, tell yourself you're going to make this day the most successful one you can. Then do it again the next day, and again, the third. Keep taking each day as it comes as though each day is your last. And if you reach out to Allah (SWT) for support, I promise you, it will become easy over time. This Ramadan, you tasted satisfaction in tranquil silence, found serenity in your prayers and felt solace in your newfound connection with the Almighty — all of which will endure, as long as you choose not to substitute it with the sinful passing pleasures of this world.

Even if you find yourself slipping back into your previous ways, and there's stagnant progress, here is one easy, foolproof advice that you can keep up with for the rest of you life:

1. Pick one bad habit you have, and drop it completely.

2. Then, pick one good habit you want to adopt, and do it every single day.

Whether your bad habit is binge-watching movies and shows or even something more serious acts like drinking or drugs, just select one, and drop it forever. Kick it out of your life. Deny it the power it held over you. Ignore it, hate it and treat it like it has betrayed you and ruined everything because it is what led you astray to begin with. If you truly put the bad deed in perspective and face it with the animosity it deserves, then you will not falter in giving it up and never doing it again. From there, you will progress.

As Ḥaḍrat ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ūd (ra) narrates, the Prophet (pbuh) has said:

التَّائِبُ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ كَمَنْ لَا ذَنْبَ لَهُ

“The one who repents from a sin is like the one who has not committed the sin”

Now, choose one good habit you wish to adopt. This can be anything — as simple as doing dhikr for five minutes or more every day or even something Islamically required on a daily baisis, like completing your five daily prayers every single day. Whatever it is, adopt it, learn to love it, listen to inspirational talks about it, tell your friends and family you're going to do it so they support you or, better yet, do it with you. And then actually do it, every single day. If you build from there and set your sights on completing this one new habit religiously, it will eventually become habitual, so you won't struggle to fit it into your busy life. Before you know it, it will become a regular part of your day, transform who you are and impact your identity as a believer.

These two, easy changes in your life will turn it around for the better, so take advantage of the celebratory spirits of Eid to make a graceful transition to a new lifestyle post-Ramadan. Remember the mercy of our Lord, raise your hands in dua and promise Allah (SWT) that you will not let this golden opportunity go to waste. You will better yourself, you will succeed and you will see Him in the akirah with a glowing smile on your face, because you will have sincerely earned your way into Jannah.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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'Baby, It's Cold Outside' Is NOT About Date Rape, It's A Fight Against Social Norms Of The 1940s

The popular Christmas song shouldn't be considered inappropriate.

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The classic Christmas song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" has recently come under attack. There has been controversy over the song being deemed as inappropriate since it has been suggested that it promotes date rape. Others believe that the song is another common example of our culture's promotion of rape. You may be wondering, where did they get that idea from?

The controversy has led to one radio station, WDOK, taking the song off the air and banning it from their station. Some people believe that this song goes against the #MeToo movement since it promotes rape. However, people are not considering the fact that this traditional Christmas song was made in the 1940s.

People are viewing the song from a modern-day cultural perspective rather than from the perspective of the 1940s. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written in 1944. Many people have viewed the song from the perspective of our cultural and social norms. People believe that the song promotes date rape because of lyrics that suggest that the male singing is trying to stop the female singer from leaving, and the female singer is constantly singing about trying to escape with verses like "I really can't stay" or "I've got to go home."

When you first view the song from the perspective of today's culture, you may jump to the conclusion that the song is part of the date rape culture. And it's very easy to jump to this conclusion, especially when you are viewing only one line from the song. We're used to women being given more freedom. In our society, women can have jobs, marry and be independent. However, what everyone seems to forget is that women did not always have this freedom.

In 1944, one of the social norms was that women had curfews and were not allowed to be in the same house as a man at a later time. It was considered a scandal if a single woman so much as stayed at another man's house, let alone be in the same room together. It's mind-blowing, right? You can imagine that this song was probably considered very provocative for the time period.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is not a song that encourages date rape, but is actually challenging the social norms of society during the time period. When you listen to the song, you notice that at one part of the song, the female states, "At least I can say that I tried," which suggests that she really doesn't want to leave. In fact, most of the song, she is going back and forth the whole time about leaving stating, "I ought to say no…well maybe just a half a drink more," and other phrases.

She doesn't want to leave but doesn't really have a choice due to fear of causing a scandal, which would have consequences with how others will treat her. It was not like today's society where nobody cares how late someone stays at another man's house. Nowadays, we could care less if we heard that our single neighbor stayed over a single man's house after 7. We especially don't try to look through our curtain to check on our neighbor. Well, maybe some of us do. But back then, people did care about where women were and what they were doing.

The female singer also says in the lyrics, "The neighbors might think," and, "There's bound to be talk tomorrow," meaning she's scared of how others might perceive her for staying with him. She even says, "My sister will be suspicious," and, "My brother will be there at the door," again stating that she's worried that her family will find out and she will face repercussions for her actions. Yes, she is a grown woman, but that doesn't mean that she won't be treated negatively by others for going against the social norms of the time period.

Then why did the male singer keep pressuring her in the song? This is again because the song is more about challenging the social norms of the time period. Both the female and male singers in the song are trying to find excuses to stay and not leave.

On top of that, when you watch the video of the scene in which the song was originally viewed, you notice that the genders suddenly switch for another two characters, and now it's a female singer singing the male singer's part and vice versa. You also notice that the whole time, both characters are attracted to one another and trying to find a way to stay over longer.

Yes, I know you're thinking it doesn't matter about the genders. But, the song is again consensual for both couples. The woman, in the beginning, wants to stay but knows what will await if she doesn't leave. The male singer meanwhile is trying to convince her to forget about the rules for the time period and break them.

In addition, the complaint regarding the lyric "What's in this drink?" is misguided. What a lot of people don't understand is that back in 1944, this was a common saying. If you look at the lyrics of the song, you notice that the woman who is singing is trying to blame the alcoholic drink for causing her to want to stay longer instead of leaving early. It has nothing to do with her supposed fear that he may have tried to give her too much to drink in order to date rape her. Rather, she is trying to find something to blame for her wanting to commit a scandal.

As you can see, when you view the song from the cultural perspective of the 1940s, you realize that the song could be said to fight against the social norms of that decade. It is a song that challenges the social constrictions against women during the time period. You could even say that it's an example of women's rights, if you wanted to really start an argument.

Yes, I will admit that there were movies and songs made back in the time period that were part of the culture of date rape. However, this song is not the case. It has a historical context that cannot be viewed from today's perspective.

The #MeToo movement is an important movement that has led to so many changes in our society today. However, this is not the right song to use as an example of the date rape culture.

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11 Products To Ensure Your Home Is Extra Cozy This Holiday Season

To make sure your house is extra cozy this year.

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The holidays are officially here, and what better time than to start decorating your house and upping your holiday wardrobe game? Prepping your house for the holidays can be a special tradition, no matter who you share it with. Having these 11 products on hand will get you feeling extra cozy this holiday season.

1. Holiday candles

You best be heading to Bath & Body Works ASAP or pulling a few out of last year's stockpile. Nothing says cozy like a delicious smelling candle.

2. Festive stockings

Whether you have a fireplace or not, stockings add that festive touch to any home around the holiday season.

3. A Sherpa throw blanket 

These are all the rave this year, and there's a reason. Placing one of these blankets in your living room will add a decorative touch, as well as being the perfect thing to cuddle up with.

4. String lights

Colored or white, string lights add a warm and cozy vibe to any area. Hang them all over the house for extra coziness!

5. Mini Christmas trees

These are so cute and affordable, it's hard to not have one in every room.

6. Holiday scented hand soaps

While you're picking up the candles, be sure to stock up on enough holiday hand soaps to deck the bathrooms with.

7. Holiday pajamas

Bonus points if you get matching ones with your family or roommates.

8. Decorative holiday signs

You see them all over Pinterest, so why not invest in your own?

9. Christmas socks

If you're anything like me, you have a pair of socks that matches almost every holiday. Christmas is no exception.

10. Holiday coffee mugs

What's better than waking up on a snowy, December day and drinking your coffee out of a Christmas mug? Nothing.

11. Holiday tablecloth

Get your dining room feeling festive as well with holiday tablecloths or table runners.

With these 11 products, your house will be feeling cozier in no time. Happy holidays!

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