Offline – I’tikaf

I’ll go offline for a few days, inchaallah, Practicing I’tikaf at home – a retreat from regular life, to take advantage as much as possible from the sacred time of these last days of fasting …

wishing you all most blessed last days of Ramadan, “nia safiyaa” and may He shower you with His mercy and bounty for all and everything.

My private therapy room – the prayer mat

“And to Allah ˹alone˺ bows down in submission whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth of living creatures, as do the angels—who are not too proud to do so.” (Qur’an 16:49)

We pray five times a day – in Ramadan even more (especially during the night.
Each mandatory prayer takes about 5 minutes – a moment of devotion, inner contemplation, realignment and reassurance.
If properly done, with the right intention and concentration, this is a moment of deep relaxation – a bit like meditation, even deeper. The movements are similar to Yoga’s “sun salutation”, but focused solely to our Creator.

We do it wherever we are. Outside on the naked ground, but normally on a little rug, a prayer mat.
You can find them in a million of different styles, in each’s Muslims home, folded up in every room.

It is just a little piece of rug. My favorite one is beautifully weaved. I put it wherever I am, making sure to be clean (after the mandatory washing Wudu) and properly dressed.
I put it to face the direction of Mecca and then the paryer begins “Allahu akbar! (God is the Greatest): 5 minutes of withdrawal from everyday life in the morning before sun rises, at noon, in the afternoon, at sunset and in the night.

These moments are not only prayer, invocation, obedience, expression of gratitude and devotion, they are as well meditation, purification, a moment of guidance and inspiration, of therapy and self-discovery, that gives new fuel and recharges our batteries.
Subhan’allah, I love this little oasis of mine, full of peace adn blessings. This mobile and flexible place of comfort that allows me, at least five times a day, to make a clear statement, to mark off my private space and to have a little break wherever I am. Alhamdulillah.

(Text excerpts from a blogpost from 2008, still valid…)

“So glorify the praises of your Lord and be one of those who ˹always˺ pray” (Qur’an 15:98)

“My Lord! Make me and those believers of my descendants keep up prayer. Our Lord! Accept my prayers.

(Qur’an 14:40)

Some older articles and inspiration and DIY tutorials and about the role of prayer rugs here

Allahumma taqqabbal minni oua minkoum.

Observe the prayer from the decline of the sun until the darkness of the night and the dawn prayer, for certainly the dawn prayer is witnessed by angels. And rise at the last part of the night, offering additional prayers, so your Lord may raise you to a station of praise.
And say, “My Lord! Grant me an honourable entrance and an honourable exit and give me a supporting authority from Yourself.”
(Qur’an 17:78-80)


The Bees

“And your Lord inspired the bees: “Make ˹your˺ homes in the mountains, the trees, and in what people construct,

and feed from ˹the flower of˺ any fruit ˹you please˺ and follow the ways your Lord has made easy for you.” From their bellies comes forth liquid of varying colours, in which there is healing for people. Surely in this is a sign for those who reflect.” (Qur’an Sura An-Nahl 16: 68,69)

A few days ago, a wild bee colony visited us and decided to stay. We keep already bees, but never so near on the campus. So off we are now, together with teachers and students, to beekeeping and learning more about these wonderful animals, subhanallah.

Spring is in full colour and there are signs of Allah’s magnificence and of the beauty of His creation everywhere.

Full moon is just over and half of the holy month of Ramadan as well. Mashaallah.
Time to re-adjust, re-define and re-focus spiritual goals for the second half of the month and most important time of the year.

Inchaallah, may Allah bless you and yours, accept your intentions, fasting, prayers and good deeds. May He shower the worlds with His mercy, facilitate our goals and ease our burden. Ameen and salamou aleikoum.

For teachers and parents of deaf children

As a mother of two hard-of-hearing-children, I have the immense pleasure to promote the invitation, shared by a dear friend from the Humboldt University Berlin.

A digital conference to present a program that will help us, inchaallah, to better help deaf children develop empathy, emotional intelligence and a deeper understanding of inner feelings that are sometimes so hard to express (in sign language):

Invitation to a Digital conference

“THE MIND READERS – A new training program to promote deaf and hard of hearing children’s Theory of Mind”

more on our work on deaf-education and inclusion here.

Time to put things back to “RESET”

One week until Ramadan,
… the blessed month, the tenth of the year we try devote totally to worship, faith, Source, God.

Time to make To-(wanna)-Do-lists and to set the right frames and priorities.

Time to focus on the inner work of body, mind and soul in religious terms.

Time to detox, to detach, to calibrate back to a clean, clear, healthy, sane path.

Time to totally immerse in God’s word and holy scripture, the Qur’an.

Time to concentrate on the real important things in this world and the hereafter.

Time to submit, to ask for forgiveness and purifcation.

Time for family, for service and sharing.

Time to noursih and strenghten our fitra (natural inner alignment with the divine).

Time to benefit from the holy blessed atmosphere all around.



“I’ve been in a place

where my visionary mentality

has been questioned and doubted,

where I felt very alone in my ideas

and visions for the future.

I felt different than everyone else,

and maybe you can relate to this feeling,

but this is the battle that most visionaries

face as they head on their

journey towards success in life.

It is a blessing to be gifted

with innovative ways of thinking,

but with many beautiful things,

there is a “”curse,”” that comes

along with it,

and the difficult part that you face

when you are stepping outside

of the tight box, you have been trapped in,

is the loneliness that comes

with it at times.

We live in a world

that is obsessed with “fitting in”

doing and achieving things that

go according to the rules

of society,

and when we pursue something

much BIGGER,

when we have a deep vision,

it puts us on a path that

isolates us,

but continue dreaming,

continue being that innovative thinker,

with new ideas to share with the world.

Those moments where you feel so alone

in your own world of imagination and creation

will be the moments that you appreciate

because it will shape your success

in the most brilliant way.

People will join you,

People who align with your values

and dreams,

Your tribe,

Your family,

Other visionaries like you

who have felt that they were alone too.

The truth is,

it is not a curse as much as it is a gift,

because opportunities are born

out of struggle and obstacles,

so really, it is another blessing

at the end of the day.

Be the innovator

and visionary that you are

Every day,

And keep walking no matter what they say.”

from Regan Hillyer