Monday, March 28, 2016

New website: muqarraboon.com

As salaamu alaikum. As many of you know, and some of you don't...we love the outdoors! Over the years we have hiked and camped in different parts of the UK (Scotland, England, and Wales), Saudi Arabia, and the US (too many places to list). We've even hosted camping events for Muslim families.

Now we'd like to take these years of fun and experience, combine them with religious knowledge and share them with your sons (don't worry, a program for girls is in the works).

Please visit: muqarraboon.com to learn more about this first of its kind Islamic summer camp.


يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ
Allah will raise in rank those of you who have iman and those who have been given knowledge.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Thoughts and feelings from Healing Earth

Someone asked about our thoughts and feelings since moving to Healing Earth Farm in July 2015.

Mai (the Mama):

When I said we were making hijrah to Allah, I meant it in a very literal sense as every change and move in a Muslim's life must be towards Allah. As we are here solely for His worship, Alone, then our aim must always be to improve and increase that worship and knowledge of Allah.

Living on our farm, we see Allah's signs all around us, day and night making it impossible to stop words and thoughts of praise and gratitude for His power and blessings upon us. Sunrises, sunsets, winds that scatter, velvet skies showcasing every star and the vastness of Allah's unfathomable universe leave our minds, hearts, and senses overflowing with the words subhaan Allah, al hamdulillah, masha'Allah, la hawla wala quwwata b'Illah, and Allahu Akbar!

I believe that this “survival test” is the most excellent way for us to truly connect to Allah with complete understanding of tawakkal and tawheed. We realize that we are helpless and our striving can come to nothing if we don't correct ourselves and our aqeedah. We work hard, we try different things, we face constraints, and even what would be considered poverty in the Western world, but being steadfast in faith and worship, knowing that Allah's plan is perfect and that only He can sustain and give us success, is exactly where our success lies. So in starting from scratch, being pioneers, finding solutions to meet basic needs, we are improving our Deen in ways that a regular, 9 to 5 mainstream living just doesn't do.

Our children never appreciated sunshine the way they do now after three or four days of snow and freezing weather that they have to brave to feed the animals, and find a way to get them water or keep it fluid so they can drink. Things never thought about are realized, learned, appreciated, and the simplicity of the living is so much closer to that of our pious predecessors – radhi Allahu anhum. We use Allah's daily blessings to live. We use a sun oven for some of our cooking, solar panels for energy, simple passive solar positioning for water tanks, etc. When the water tank spigot is frozen, we scoop up pots of snow and heat it for washing and the animals' drinking water. All the necessary things are there but Allah sends them in different forms. So if someone gets a cough or other ailment, we have a variety of herbs naturally growing on our land that can treat it. We don't need to look elsewhere or buy conventional medicine, alhamdul'Illah.

It is also a joy to see the children get involved in the care of the animals and pore through the books on animal care, wildflowers and fungi, growing food, building with cob, and making use of our recipe books to cook things for the family, maashaa Allah, Allahummah Baarik alayhum. We have seen different aspects of them, different talents and skills, and independent proactiveness that has surprised us. They have researched to find out what was wrong with two of our animals and treated them, with reliance on Allah as Ash-Shafee. They even set up a little chicken hospital for a chicken that was suffering from the cold and looked near death, putting her in a separate cage in the coop and nursing her to wellness, masha'Allah.

I feel grateful every day and understand the importance of always purifying our intentions and keeping Allah's pleasure and service as our goal. We have been asked so often, “What will you do about water without a well? How will you earn a living? How will you live?” We say, “Who can give us water? Only Allah. Who can give us sustenance? Only Allah.”

We can plan from A to Z, but only Allah's Plan will be executed. So, the answer is simple. We will strive to obey Allah, to love and worship Him, to make His pleasure and Jennah as our clear and direct goal. We will beg His forgiveness for our shortcomings, failings, and sins. In return for this, Allah will provide everything in the most perfect way, and in the most perfect proportion. So we focus on doing exactly what our Creator has instructed us, and trust in Him ALONE for every single thing.

Al hamdulillahi rabbil aal ameen.

Khulood (12):

Living on a farm is exciting, interesting, and educational. I've learned so many important lessons since we started living here. I think that the most important one that I keep seeing examples of is that we cannot do anything without Allah. We have to rely on Him completely and without Him nothing will happen.

I love living on a farm. I love the animals, the plants, the different types of weather, and everything else. After it snows or rains, we get so pleased and excited for sunshine and warmer weather again. This makes me think of the well-known ayah,

{Verily, after every hardship there is ease}5 Ash-Sharh

I've learned some important survival skills as well, such as melting snow for water when the tanks are frozen and we have no other water source.

Living on a farm is a learning experience with ups and downs and smiles and frowns, similar to a roller coaster.

Ahlaam (10):

Life on a farm is peaceful – from feeding the rabbits, chickens, and dogs to cleaning the barn. We have three dairy cows and a little heifer calf, sheep, meat rabbits, guard dogs, 17 hens, and one noisy rooster. I think living on a farm is fun and lovely.

Shuayb (3):

My jobs are feeding the rabbits, feeding the dogs, tilling with Daddy, hanging up my laundry and taking it off the line, and eating vegetables. I like to eat spaghetti and meatballs and do flips. When we slaughtered our goat, Meza, I asked for Meza “burglars” and meatballs. I go outside and jump on the trampoline, ride my bike, dig in the dirt, and chase the chickens with a stick. I got cut by tin and my hand was hurt on a tire, then Allah healed me – He took my hurt off.  

Shariyf (the Daddy):

Al hamdulillah wa Allahu Akbar! I've never felt so relaxed and anxious at the same time. It's hard to put into words what I feel in my heart and mind. Allah has put me in the best situation by putting us here on the farm. The fitnah of the city isn't an issue for us, nor is the distraction of living a 9 to 5. I've seem my family grow in ways I couldn't have ever imagined. I get to spend hours upon hours with my family, al hamdulillah. I often think of death, and it motivates me to do more! My legacy isn't the land or the animals, my legacy is the character of my family...and I see it before me now. I ask Allah to make us a shining example of His perfect Deen!

Jumada al-Ula 1437/February 2016

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah! We have been extremely busy this past month. Although we didn't accomplish our planned goals, we were still productive.

Snow and Ice turned 4 months in February. They are steadily growing and learning their job as livestock guardians. Our dogs are 3/4 Great Pyrenees 1/4 Anatolian Shepherd. These dogs are naturally nocturnal, so our livestock is protected from coyotes, mountain lions, and and any other predator that may be lurking in the dark.


All of our livestock has been bred, and we're expecting lambs around the first week of May. 



Al hamdulillah, Tess gave birth to a beautiful heifer, named Azalea, on the 14th of February. We're not sure of the exact time, but know it happened sometime right before fajr (the morning prayer before sunrise). Jersey cows are known for birthing ease, and we are very grateful for this.




A new home/location for the rabbits. All 3 of our does have been bred to "Dutch Buck". 






On the 15th, my daughter's father-in-law, Kristopher Delgado came to visit and do some farm work. It was pretty nice to see my son-in-law, Hasan Delgado, even though he didn't do to much work, lol.






Tess is now producing 5.5 gallons of milk per day. She is a superstar. She has nice teats, udder, and is no problem milking. 



Al hamdulillah, we were able to find 2 new cows to add to our herd. Daisy and Freesia are A2A2 Jersey cows. If you don't know about A2A2 milk, I implore you to read about it. In fact, here's a link: https://www.a2milk.com/faq/

For years we have suffered when drinking milk, until we started drinking raw milk, especially A2A2 milk! Now we drink it like there's no tomorrow. 






Although we have a milking machine, we have to hand milk to get the cows to "let down" before we can connect the extractors. Did you ever wonder how we get the milk from the barn to the refrigerators, and what shareholders receive their milk in? We use 5 gallon stainless steel milk cans, and good ol' fashion Mason jars. 




Our cow share program started on the 27th, and now local people can get farm fresh raw milk. My mother-in-law (the real Queen of England) graciously bought us a milking machine, solar refrigerator/freezer, solar panels, and battery. Now, quick extraction and adequate storage is no longer an issue. May Allah bless her with the best blessing and protect her with the best protection. 




 

Lastly, our neighbors let us borrow their tiller so we can start preparing our garden beds. Although we need a tractor for the size garden we plan to have, we are blessed to have good neighbors who are always willing to help us, may Allah bless them with the best blessing and protect them with the best protection.


 
Please check back in a day or two for, "thoughts and feelings from the farm". Barak Allahu feekum. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Slight delay

February has been a very busy month for us! We're just putting together the recap of everything that has happened. Please check back tomorrow for the latest update.