Salaam alaikum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh everyone, insh'Allah you're all well and in the best of health and the highest of iman! ***Just a little reminder before I begin, and I remind myself above and before anyone else, Ramadan is LESS THAN A MONTH away! If you still have fasts you need to make up from last Ramadan, you should make them up VERY SOON insh'Allah***
I've seen this going around on YouTube, and I'm so glad that Elisa over at Before Sunrise decided to adapt it to a blog tag format! So, here it goes:
1. Are you a convert or born Muslim?
Well, since everyone is technically born a Muslim, I guess I'm both, alhamdolillah :P I took my shahada August 18, 2007 at the age of 17, the summer before my senior year of high school. I was raised Presbyterian by my parents (I think that my father was actually raised Anglican but I'm not sure...he later switched churches for convenience). When I was younger I enjoyed going to church and actually was fairly involved at certain periods of my life. It wasn't until I was older, and a year or so after I was confirmed (at 14) that I really started asking myself what it was I believed and why I believed that way. I was always very interested in world religions, but had never really studied Islam all that much until I was a junior in high school. It was in a history class that focused on current events...I wasn't really thrilled that we had to spend the entire year learning about and analysing politics in the Middle East (not a huge fan of politics...and I would have loved to move on to other regions as well, which we did...in May -_-), but I was very interested at the begining of the year when we focused briefly on Islam. Insh'Allah when my fourth anniversary comes around I'm planning on doing a more in-depth post on my choice to become Muslim.
2. What's your ethnicity, and how does it relate to how you were raised?
I am half Czech, and the other half is mostly English with a bit of French. However, both my parents are third or fourth (can't remember/be 100% sure) generation. Sometimes my mom would cook Czech food for us, that she learned how to cook from my grandma (I think?), but other than that I had a traditionally "American" upbringing.
3. Where are you from? If not from the Middle East have you ever been there, and why?
I'm from the New England region of the United States. I've never been to the Middle East (Morocco is NOT the Middle East, it's in North Africa!), but insh'Allah I'd love to be able to make hajj one day with my husband.
4. What's your favorite Arab/Middle Eastern dish?
I'm going to have to talk about Moroccan food...mostly because that's what I've been eating for the past eight months, but also because it's very tasty ^_^ Some of my favorite dishes are: kefta with cucumber, mint and yoghurt sauce, couscous (I like all kinds of couscous, but my favorite is plain couscous with melted honey and butter sauce, yeah, not too healthy but very YUM), and lemon chicken with olives and harissa. Oh, and don't forget the tea!
5. What is the most interesting or funny Arab/Islam related saying you use day to day?
Well, I say "Salaam alaikum," "Peace be upon you" a lot...but something funny that I say when I need a tissue (which is quite often, for some reason my nose does not take kindly to the climate here), I say "ana mukhnoona!"...which basically means "I'm full of snot!" I could say "bgheet kleenex" but the former is much more amusing :P
6. What's the most attractive/unattractive thing you find towards an Arab/Muslim man/woman?
Attractive (for both): Someone who sincerely strives to follow their deen, is polite and respectful, but still has a sense of humor and doesn't take themselves too seriously
Unattractive (for both): Someone who likes to make people think they are very religious/pious, but in reality they're not...and also people who have the "holier than thou art" attitude
7. What's the thing you love the most about Islam? What do you dislike the most?
The thing that I love the most about Islam is that it has the answer for everything. If I have a question about something, and I look, I will always eventually find an answer. When it's practiced as a complete way of life, it really gives you peace of mind and tranquility within your heart. Dislike? There's nothing that I dislike about Islam, just the way that certain people view Islam is something I don't like. Oh well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion.
8. What's the most interesting/embarrassing/funny thing in your house that is related to Islam or Arabic culture, excluding the Qur'an?
Not really anything...we have two prayer rugs, and some wall hangings that have "Allah" and the shahada in arabic script on them...oh wait! We have a tagine! If you don't know what a tagine is, click here: http://mosalyo.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/tagine.jpg I can't believe I almost forgot that...I use it almost every day to cook -_-'
9. Do you speak Arabic? If you do say something!
Ana smiti Ayah, wa nbgheek bzef! Bgheet nakul alftar dabba! (My name is Ayah, and I love you a lot! I want to eat breakfast now!) lol...its almost 2pm and I still haven't eaten breakfast...yay for sleeping in! (btw, this was Moroccan dialect; most other Arabs can't understand Moroccans)
10. Name all of the Islamic prophets you can off the top of your head, no cheating!
Adam, Idris, Nooh, Hud, Ilyas, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ismail, Yaqub, Youssef, Younes, Salih, Harun, Moosa, Lut, Sulaiman, Dawud, Yahya, Issa, Mohammed (Alayhum Salaam)
I tag everyone reading this who wants to do it!