Category Archives: Health and Lifestyle

Does Your Dog Bite?

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Changing My Life With Fitbit Charge 2

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

So it’s been a long, LONG time since I discussed my health and fitness regime on my blog…

Probably because it went down the drain and has been needing a reboot for quite a while so in this post I’m going to talk about my new fitbit charge 2, how fantastic it is, how well it’s worked for me Alhamdulillah and why maybe you should probably think about buying one too.

JUST A CRAZE?

So this fitness fitbit thing has been on my radar for the past year or so, even without a TV or taking much interest in popular culture, some things like this do creep in to my view and attracts my interest, like what’s that? Does it work? Is it worth the cost?

Especially as I keep seeing them increasingly at work, who give them out as one of the prizes for taking part in certain healthy living schemes they promote to make us extra super fit uber productive workers!

But at £120 or there about’s it’s quite an expensive bit of kit, for what is effectively a digital watch if it doesn’t work so I was going to wait and see if seems to be the real deal.

I also thought it wouldn’t help me in my current stage of getting healthy, which is trying to slim down enough so I can get out and jog without too much risk of damaging my knees or getting shin splints.

Then the Mrs went and bought me one as a present…

SO DOES IT WORK?

Short answer is yes… if you stick with it. The concept is not something new, the monitoring of in-comings and outgoings has been around for decades and effectively does the same as MyFitnessPal mobile phone app but much more efficiently as you only need to enter in your in-comings, the daily exercise grind is all entered for you when the phone updates from a bluetooth connection to your fitbit device.

By seeing your steps going up and up, as well as the number of floors you’ve done or minutes exercised etc, it gives you a real sense of getting somewhere, a tamagotchi type buzz of achievement as you hit each target and smash them and keep going onward and upward.

Now if you’re going to cheat, forget to enter in that sneaky burger or chocolate bar you had at lunch, then maybe the fitbit is not for you, but if you’re willing to stick with it then by effectively monitoring you food and exercise you will quickly see where you are going wrong, what habits you need to break and what you need to work on and it’s all available to see on the phone ap or on a PC dashboard.

It even measures your sleep pattern and asks you to enter your water intake each day, these being two areas of health and fitness people often fail to monitor.

RESULTS SO FAR

So results so far, in a month and a half of using the fitbit has been losses of 10lbs, as well as some reasonable gains in muscle mass around my shoulders and arms and corresponding fat losses from my substantial waist and the rest of my body.

If you want an idea of what 10lbs of fat looks like, see the image here, or else weigh out 10lbs of butter as animal fat is about the same mass and size as butter.

The beauty of the fitbit is that it enables you to choose your own exercise regime and then monitor the results, so if you want to push the weights, there is an option for that, if you want to run or jog, an option for that and so on and so on.

Unlike with other health and fitness regimes I’ve tried, there is no where to hide with fitbit, it’s harder to cheat and if you fail you not only see it on the scales but you can see why it is on the app or dashboard.

GOING FORWARD

I can really see myself using this for a long time to come and as I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained energy, as opposed  to feeling drained and lethargic which happens when people only diet and don’t exercise.

Extra energy I’ve been able to put into studying the deen, getting into reading al-Adab al-Mufrad as well as getting into listening to lectures and reading more about my own totally unprofessional interest in psychology.

Given how quickly the fitbit has helped me slim down I can see myself being back in the gym in the matter of the next couple of months, as opposed to 6-9 months which was my previous target and getting on those running machines to target that hard to reach subdermal fatty layers and push myself to my higher goals in gaining and maintaining a more healthy body.

A healthier body has brought me more confidence, a better relationship with my family as I’m not constantly tired, except sometimes in a good post exercise good way and finally restored my confidence in being able to Insha’Allah get my body back into shape whilst I still can given my age.

If you were like me, struggling to know where to start with getting healthy, then fitbit could easily be good for you and if you only gain the benefits I have so far, worth the £120 expenditure.

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

Dr Bilal Philips – Practicing Islam in Modern Society

“There is no such thing as modern Islam, liberal Islam, Islam is Islam.”

A brilliant talk by Dr Bilal Philips on how in reality, the problems faced by the Muslims today are the same as those faced by the Muslims in the past, that the answers to our problems are in the Quran and the Sunnah, just as they have always been.

One of the best speeches from one of the best speakers out there, who has not compromised on the message in all his years calling to Allah, unlike so many other du’at in the English language.

Muhammad Tim Humble – To Those Who Defend Taweez

All praise is due to Allah alone, and may peace and blessings be upon his Messenger, and his family and his companions.

Having read the post from Sunni Path, supporting the use of ta’weez, I think that there is a need for a clear and simple response to the issues raised.

Before delving into the points made in the article, I would like the reader to consider the following questions:

We regularly hear people defending ta’weez that contain the Qur’an and Allah’s names and attributes, but what do you think about the following:

■ Ta’weez that contain the names of shaytaan?

■ Ta’weez that contain the aayaat of Allah written backwards?

■ Ta’weez that contain symbols associated with the worship of the shaytaan, such as the so-called star of david, and the pyramids?

■ Ta’weez that contain illegible writing?

■ Ta’weez that contain pictures of the human body with words and symbols written over the top?

■ Ta’weez that contain the aayaat of Allah scribbled and not given proper respect?

Ta’weez that contain nothing except tables of numbers?

These are the vast majority of the ta’weez that we open every single week, with most of them issued by imams, scholars, and so-called ‘pious people’. Now you have to make a choice between one of two things; either you defend these ta’weez, claiming that they are actually ‘Qur’an’ or that it is permissible to disgrace the words of Allah by scribbling them, or the reader has no choice but to admit that these ta’weez are by consensus of the scholars, haraam.

I estimate that I have opened somewhere between 500 and 1,000 ta’weez in my course of being a raaqi, and at the current count, less than ten of them contained clear Qur’an or the names of Allah, with nothing else written on them. In reality, this is just another example of the magicians hiding behind respectable scholars and their opinions.

We say to the people who make these so called ta’weez from the Qur’an: would you let the sick person simply print a page of the Qur’an and tie it around his or her neck? By Allah, you would not allow it. Instead, they have to use your ‘special’ writings, which they are not allowed to see or open, and often have to pay money for. If you really hold the opinion of ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him), why don’t you allow the people to print a copy of aayat-ul-kursi from quran.com and tie it around their necks? It is the greatest aayah in the Qur’an, so why would it not protect them whilst your secret writings and scribbles can protect them? Has Allah given you something greater than aayat-ul-kursi, or is it that you seek help from the shaytaan? Where did you learn what those numbers and symbols mean? Why don’t you share your books with us that tell you how to ‘cure’ someone with pictures of the pyramids and the star of david?

My brothers and sisters, these people hide behind legitimate opinions, in order to confuse you and take you away from the path of Allah. Let me give you an example:

■ The Sunni Path post quotes those who allow ta’weez:

Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Ata’, Mujahid, Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr, Ibn Sirin, ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Abd Allah ibn `Umar, and others (Allah be well pleased with them all). [Musannaf, 5.439]

How many of you looked at that list of people and believed them all to be from the companions? By Allah, there is only one companion mentioned in that whole list; all the rest are from the generations who came after them.

Furthermore, all of the narrations from that companion are weak. They contain Muhammad ibn Is-haaq, who is someone whose narration is not accepted unless he clearly states that he heard the hadith directly from his teacher (the Arabic term is: mudallis), which in this case he did not.

So, let me say explicitly that there is not one single companion from the companions of the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and may Allah be pleased with them) who allowed ta’weez of any kind, whether from the Qur’an or not!

■ Let us quote the author of the Musannaf in full:

“The Chapter of those who allowed the hanging of Ta’weez”
“The permissibility of this was reported from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Ataa’, Mujaahid, Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, Muhammad ibn Seereen, ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, and ad-Dahhaak and IT IS NOT AUTHENTIC from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, ad-Dahhaak, Mujaahid, and Ibn Seereen, and the rest are authentic.”

The author himself says that there is no companion who this is authentically reported from, and that half of the taabi’een mentioned are also not authentic. This is in the very same passage that the author of the post quoted – so why did he choose to stop just before the part where the author says that it isn’t authentic?

So out of that long list, we are left with ‘Ataa, Abu Ja’far, and ‘Ubaydullah – three people, none of whom were companions of the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and even their view says that the permissibility is limited to that which is from the Qur’aan alone!

On top of that, the very same book (al-Musannaf) mentions other narrations which state that all ta’weez are haraam, even if they come from the Qur’an (authentically narrated from the companions Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn ‘Abbas, Hudhayfah, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, and Ibn ‘Ukaym – may Allah be pleased with them all). Why didn’t the author include those narrations? Is it perhaps because he doesn’t want you to know?

Even if we accept some or all of the narrations from people who allowed ta’weez, these people are talking about writing a simple aayah of the Qur’an, or some of the names of Allah, clearly and in a way that can be understood by everyone who reads it.

Don’t be fooled by statements such as ‘the vast majority of the scholars’ and ‘it is mentioned in such-and-such a book’ – anyone can write words like these. Why don’t we talk about something quantifiable, and say ‘the vast majority of the companions, if not all of them, considered ta’weez to be haraam, in all of its forms’.

Finally, we say to the author of the Sunni Path post and his supporters: Do you know why some of the scholars allowed ta’weez from the Qur’an? Because it is the uncreated speech of Allah, and therefore cannot be considered shirk. Would you like to share with the brothers and sisters what you really believe about the Qur’an that we read, and that you claim to write on the ta’weez?

Allah knows best, and all praise is for Allah alone, and may peace and blessings be upon our messenger Muhammad, and his family and his companions.

Evolution of Adam Saleh, Deen Squad, IAmKhaled & Fouseytube

Assalaamu alaykum,

The reality of the disgusting Muslim Youtube celebrity scene, how much is hidden in terms of their behavior and we’ve got young teen sisters looking up to and admiring these guys, chasing them down the street when they visit London.

Parents please be careful.  Adam Saleh, Deen Squad, IAmKhaled, FouseyTube and the rest of the Youtube Muslim celebrity circuit, just because these men (and some women) are apparently Muslim doesn’t mean they are good or allowed for your kids to follow on social media, check the Youtube feed of your family and if you are finding these people on there then you need to sit them down and talk to them.

These people are shaiateen, leading the masses astray, mini-dajjal types with girls and women literally chasing after them thinking they are something special but they are hiding their true selves, they are playing with and leading astray thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of youth.

They are destroying our youth, destroying your children and by not speaking out sooner we have been letting them do it.

Assalaamu alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Jordan Peterson – How to Improve Yourself Right NOW (and Why)

Assalaamu Alaykum,

I have a strange hobby, actually I have a few of them but this one I am discussing today is picking up interesting text books on subjects I know little or nothing about and starting to read, to see how much I can understand and where I don’t understand the topic what I need to learn to get there and doing so.

I am not claiming to be some sort of genius or anything, but it just helps me grow in understanding as a person and I might then read about this subject for a few weeks, months or sometimes longer.

So whilst studying English at college I used to browse the library and from this I developed a casual interest in psychology which unlike many other subjects has stuck with me since.

So no formal training or education, just a passing interest but one which I find often helps me relax from my daily life and also in understanding the world and though sadly it’s something which with marriage I had to slow down with and sometimes stop at times because with marriage, kids, life etc you have to prioritize your time, still it interests me.

My favourite teacher and speaker in this field at the moment is a man called Prof. Jordan Peterson who brings a whole other element to psychology which can often be aloof and distant from the concerns of man’s daily life in that he brings it down to a practical level.

Actually, that’s not really true. He brings the average man or woman up  to a level they can understand basic psychology which is a much better way of teaching and helps you ask important questions about yourself, your life, how you got to where you are and how you can get to where you want to go.

How did this happen and how can I stop it happening again?
How do I improve myself and what is the most efficient method of doing so?
Where do I want to be in x years and how do I get there?

I’ve reached a point in my life myself where these questions are reaching a greater degree of importance, I am conscious of time, that I have to work smart and not just work hard so for a while you’ll probably start seeing more and more posts on psychology and related fields popping up on this blog.

Hope you enjoy this short video and find it as beneficial as I did where Prof. Peterson some practical steps on improving your life, and why you should start doing so right now. Good advice for a natural procrastinator like myself.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Gingerbeardman Does Gingerbreadmen

Gingerbeardman does not often bake gingerbreadmen but when he does, they are the best tasting gingerbreadmen around…

Here showing is some of the ‘wonderful’ icing ihram and kaaba inspired design work for our Eid al Adha themed gingerbread biscuits.

Eid Mubarak to you all from Gingerbeardman and family!

Younus Kathrada – Where To Next For Western Muslims?

“We already have those among us who are sympathetic to the LGBTQ supporters…who knows what’s next!”

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr narrated:

“The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him) said: “My Ummah will face what Bani Israel faced step by step, even if one of them approached his mother publicly (sexually) there will be one of my Ummah who will approach his mother.

And verily the Bani Israel divided into seventy two sects and my nation would divide into seventy three sects, all are to hell except one (sect).“ We asked “which one is saved?” the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Those who remain on which I and my Companions remain” (Tirmidhi)

Abu Salamah, and Abu Huraira narrated:

“The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “My Ummah will face what Bani Israel faced step by step, even if one of them approached his mother publicly (sexually) there will be one of my Ummah who will approach his mother. The people of Israel divided into 72 sects, my Ummah will divide into 73 sects, all of them are in the Hellfire, and one of them is in Paradise.” We asked, “Which one is saved?” the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The one that is on what me and my Companions are on today.”” [Sunan ibn Majah, Kitab Al Fitan]

~ Post originally by Younus Kathrada