Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ethnic Chic

Dishdasha Couture...

While many in the West mistakenly believe that all Arab men dress alike, Ford and Al Sabah know differently. They understand that the dishdasha has every bit as much variety in quality, cut and price as the Western suit. To the Arab men, the thobe or national dress is the epitome of comfort, elegance and style. ... It is highly versatile, with many variations. In the UAE, the nationals prefer tarboosh on their round- neck dishdasha. In Kuwait, the dishdasha features a high chinese collar, while Qataris prefer to wear their national dress with long, pointed collars. These days, it's possible to have a whole selection of all these styles irrespective of where you hail from. And while most Arab men prefer their dishdashas white or beige, shades of black and brown are popular during winter, and there are many other colours and styles to choose from. So there is plenty of room for Ford and AL Sabah's bespoken couture, even service to manoeuvre in the lucrative and highly affluent Middle Eastern market.

Here are some hip dishdashas:

Friday, December 19, 2008

After Hajj

Visiting Masjid Al Nabawi...

In the days and weeks after Hajj, pilgrims take advantage of their travel time by visiting the city of Madinah, 270 miles north of Mecca. The people of Madinah provided refuge to the early Muslim community, when they were being persecuted by the powerful Meccan tribes. Madinah became a center for the growing Muslim community, and was home to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions for many years. Pilgrims visit the Prophet’s Mosque, where Muhammad (pbuh) is buried, as well as other ancient mosques, and the many historical battle sites and graveyards in the area.
Pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia are required to leave the country by the 10th of
Muharram, about one month after the completion of the pilgrimage.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The fifth Pillar: Part four

The Hajj Journey...

Day One: The 8th Day of Dhul-Hijjah
On the eighth day known as Yaum Tarwya the pilgrim put on his Ihram and head out of Makkah to Mina(the tent city). He spends the whole day and night in Mina involved in prayer, preparing himself to set out to 'Arafat. He prays Dhuhr and 'Asr shortened two Rak'ahs each, Maghrib three Rak'ahs and 'Ishaa shortened to two Rak'ahs.


Day Two: The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah
This day is known as Yawm 'Arafah, after praying Salaatul-Fajr in Minaa, the pilgrim waits until just after sunrise, then he heads out of Mina to Plain of 'Arafah which he should enter around noon. In 'Arafah he prays Salaatdh-Dhuhr and Salaatul-'Asr joined and shortened. He should then wait in 'Arafah until just after sunset, then set out to Muzdalifah (an area between 'Arafah and Minaa). There he should pray Maghrib and 'Ishaa together with 'Ishaa shortened, then spend the rest of the night in prayer and sleep.

Jebel Arafah

Plain of arafah


Day Three: The 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah
This day is known as 'Eid al-Ad-haa. The pilgrim should pray salaatul-Fajr in Muzdalifah, then leave Muzdalifah for Mina shortly before sunrise. In Mina he collects seven small stones and heads for the largest Jamrah. As he throws each stone at the Jamrah he should say Allahu Akbar. On completion of the rites of stoning he should clip or shave his head and take off his Ihram. He should then go to the place where animals are kept and slaughter an animal if he is making a Hajj
Qiraan or Hajj Tamattu'. After that he goes to Makkah and makes seven circuits of the Ka'bah known as Tawaaf al-Ifaadah, then returns to Mina and spends the rest of the night there


Ramyi Jamarat

Day Four: The 11th day of Dhul-Hijjah
On this day he should pray Fajr in Mina and wait until after Dhuhr then he should head for the three Jamrahs. On the way there, he collects enough pebbles with which to stone all three of them. He should start with Jamratul-Oolaa then al-Wustaa and al-Aqabah

Day Five - Day Six: The 12th & 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah
He does as he did on the 11th and, on the completion of the stoning, he is allowed to return home. Before leaving the vicinity of Makkah the pilgrim should perform the farewell Tawaaf known as Tawaaf al-Widaa'

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Fifth Pillar: Part three

There are three types of Hajj: Hajj at-Tamattu', Hajj al-Qiran and Hajj alIf rad.

Hajj Al-Tamatt'u is the most recommended one.
In this type, one is to perform 'Umrah during the Hajj months (i.e. Shawwal, Thul-Qe'dah and the first ten nights of Thul-Hijjah) and to perform the Hajj in the same year with a sacrifice slaughtered in Mina on the day of Eid AlAdh'ha (The 10th day of Thul-Hijjah) or during the days of Tashreeq (i.e. the 11th, 12th and 13th day of Thul-Hijjah). The pilgrim may remove his Ihram garments and resume his normal activities between 'Umrah and Hajj. It is necessary to make the Tawaf and the Sa'i twice, the first time for 'Umrah and the second time for Hajj. We describe in the following the sequence of the Hajj journey.

Entering the state of Ihram...

Ihram is the intention of the person willing to perform all rites of 'Umrah, Hajj or both when he arrives at the Miqat. Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Miqat. It is recommended that the one who intends to perform Hajj makes Ghusl (a shower with the intention to purify one's self), perfumes his body, but not his garments, and puts on a two piece garment with no headgear. The garments should be of seamless cloth. One piece to cover the upper part of the body, and the second to cover the lower part. For a woman the Ihram is the same except that she should not use perfumes at all and her dress should cover the whole body decently, leaving the hands and the face uncovered. The pilgrim should say the intention according to the type of Hajj. For Hajj Al-Tamatt'u one should say: "Labbayka Allahumma 'Umrah" which means "O Allah I answered Your call to perform 'Umrah". It is recommended to repeat the well known supplication of Hajj, called Talbeyah, as frequently as possible from the time of Ihram till the time of the first stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah in Mina. Men are recommended to utter the Talbeyah aloud while women are to say it quietly. This Talbeyah is of the form:
"Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La Shareeka Laka Labbayk. Inna-alhamda Wan-ntimata Laka Walmulk. La Shareek Lak." (Here I am at your service. O my Lord, here I am. Here I am. No partner do You have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are Yours, and so is the dominion. No partner do You have.)

Performing Umrah...

Tawaf: When a Muslim arrives to Makkah, he should make Tawaf around the Ka'bah, as a gesture of greeting A1Masjid Al-Haraam. This is done by circling the Ka'bah seven times in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the black stone with Takbeer and ending each circle at the Black Stone with Takbeer, keeping the Ka'bah to one's left. Then the pilgrim goes to Maqam Ibrahim (Ibrahim's Station), and performs two rak'ah behind it, close to it if possible, but away from the path of the people making Tawaf. In all cases one should be facing the Ka'bah when praying behind Maqam Ibrahim.

Sa'i: The next rite is to make Sa'i between Safa and Marwah. The pilgrim starts Sa'i by ascending the Safa. While facing the Ka'bah he praises Allah, raises his hands and says Takbeer "Allah-u Akbar" three times, then makes supplication to Allah. Then the pilgrim descends from the Safa and heads towards the Marwah. One should increase the pace between the clearly marked green posts, but should walk at a normal pace before and after them. When the pilgrim reaches the Marwah, he should ascend it, praise Allah and do as he did at the Safa. This is considered one round and so is the other way from the Marwah to the Safa. A total of seven rounds are required to perform the Sa'i. After Sa'i, the Muslim ends his 'Umrah rites by shaving his head or trimming his hair (women should cut a finger tip's length from their hair). At this stage, the prohibitions pertaining to the state of Ihram are lifted and one can resume his normal life.
There are no required formulas or supplications for Tawaf or for Sa'i. It is up to the worshipper to praise Allah or to supplicate Him with any acceptable supplication or to recite portions of the Qur'an. Although it is recommended to recite the supplications that the Prophet, salla Allah-u alaihe wa salam, used to say during the performance of these rites.
It must be noted that 'Umrah can be performed by itself as described above at any time of the year.

The Fifth Pillar: Part two

Hajj Obligations...

An adult Muslim of a sane mind, an able body and having means to bear the expenses must perform this act of worship once in his/her lifetime. There should be peace on the way to Mecca and there should be no hindrance or restriction in traveling to Mecca. Hajj is not obligatory for children, the sick, and those who are unable to bear the expenses for Hajj.

There are specific months for performing the Hajj and are called “Months of Pilgrimage.” These three Islamic months are Shawwal, Ze-Qa’d and Dul-Hajj. During these three “Months of Hajj”, one prepares for the pilgrimage, attains good morals, and completes other physical conditions for the pilgrimage. All the essential duties of the pilgrimage have to be completed between 8th and the 13th day of Dul-Hajj. Additional tawaaf (circling around the Ka’ba), however, may be performed until the end of the month of Dul-Hajj.

There are three basic pillars for performing Hajj:

1.To enter into state of “Ihram” and have the intention to perform the pilgrimage.

2.To stay at the field of “Arafat” on the ninth of Dul-Hajj If someone cannot go to the field of Arafat even for a short time then his/her pilgrimage will not be complete. He/she has to perform the pilgrimage again the following year.

3.Additional circling of the “Ka’ba” that is done after the stay at the field of “Arafat” and performed from the tenth to the end of the month.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Fifth Pillar: Part I

On the Road to Hajj..

Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj was made obligatory in the 9th year of Hijra. The Holy Prophet sent off 300 Muslims under the leadership of Hazrat Abubakr Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him) to Mecca so that they could perform Hajj. That was the year when it was banned for the Mushrikeen (those who associate partners with Allah) to enter Ka’ba. It was also made unlawful to perform Tawaaf (circling of Ka’ba) with naked body. The following year, 10th Hijra, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) announced a head of time he himself would perform Hajj that year. He led tens of thousands of Muslims to Hajj that year and demonstrated to Muslims how to perform all the rites and rituals of the Hajj.
This Hajj is known in history as Hajjatul Wida’ or Farewell Pilgrimage because this proved to be the last Hajj the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) performed. At the end of this farewell pilgrimage, the divine revelation that had started some 22 years ago came to an end with the following verse of Surah Al-Maidah:“This day have I completed My commandments for you, and have brought to its fullness the favor that I have bestowed upon you, and have chosen Islam as your religion”.Hajj is an act of worship just like Salat (five daily prayers) and Sawm (fasting in the month of Ramadan). Muslims from all over the world gather in Mecca in the last month of Muslim calendar and worship Allah. Hajj is a special worship that lasts for several days. This is an occasion that brings Muslims of all countries, colors, and races to one place – the Ka’ba. This is a unique opportunity of worshipping Allah collectively in a large gathering at one place.

Friday, November 7, 2008

La Donna Fashion House

La Donna Fashion House creates also gorgeous Jalabiya. These are my favorites but there are more to see here.