Friday, March 23, 2012


My new word is dumb but since it is Friday and I would rather hang out with friends than think up catchy post titles, Frienday stays. I had tons of fun with special ladies today.

The morning started with calling my hadith study buddy at 6 a.m. to practice for our Arabic exam. Then after a short stint back in bed, I had coffee with a bestie at her house followed by a lovely walk with my dear friend and apparent doppelgänger (sometimes I am mistaken for her mother but we won't talk about that) after work. This leads us to the exercise portion of this post.

What do you mean you can't tell us apart?
I don't know if you're aware or not, but Minnesota has been whack-a-doo warm all winter. We didn't really have a winter at all, and March has crushed tons of long-standing high-temp records with the average so far coming in at around 30 to 40 degrees above normal for this time of year. It's freaky but I am trying to push the fear down and just exploit the glorious 70-degree weather. 
We walked around my friend's neighborhood today and just chit-chatted about nothing. It was real nice. I didn't have my phone and didn't take pictures, but it wasn't that kind of a walk. You can see this Wednesday's post for that. It was a 40-minute walk so I am giving myself extra credit today.
A++ Jessica!

Health Tip of the Day: Try going meatless and use portobello or other mushrooms instead of steak for a great Philly-style sandwich. That's what we're doing tonight!

**Super-Bonus Tip** (since we got extra credit today): Cut a "bad" ingredient in half in a no-cook recipe, such as the sugar or oil (or both) in a salad dressing or marinade. It will likely taste the same and you can save calories and fat for cookies and cake you were going to eat anyway!

In addition to memorizing ahadith (see last post) I also need to practice reading Quran and know the translation for my Arabic 7 (GASP!) final exam on Sunday. I selected some verses from the 50 I need to study for the test to share with you today.

I listened to these in the car on the way home from my friend's house and I am also practicing reading them tonight. I think they are good verses because they tell the story of Adam and Eve (Hawa in Arabic) but clarify that both were responsible for eating from the tree, not just Eve, as some might say.

Note: The Quran can only be written or read in Arabic. Anything else is a translation or better yet, an explanation of the verses but cannot be called "Quran" because other languages can't convey the nuances of the original language and the Quran is protected by Allah from ever being changed—Millions of people have memorized the entire Quran in the original Arabic. It's amazing and a true miracle. 

Here's the Arabic along with one of the translations (Sahih International) available on

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."

And He taught Adam the names - all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, "Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful."

They said, "Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing,
the Wise."

He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed."

And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate before Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. [Jessica's note: Iblees is Satan]

And We said, "O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers."

But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said, "Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time."

Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.
I will leave it to the scholars/mufassireen to explain these verses but I think we can all get the general idea here.

I like how the angels are put in their place when they question Allah but can't answer when he asks them to tell the names of all of creation. I feel some hope for humanity when reflecting that even though mankind does mess things up a lot, we were chosen over the Angels and given what they do not have—intellect and free will. Alhamdulillah. May we use both to benefit ourselves in this life and in the hereafter.

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