Creating an Islamic Themed Home

In the , the home is considered a sanctuary where followers can relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. While not every home can have an extra room dedicated to prayer, there are a few things you can do to create an Islamic themed home. Cleaning up clutter and airing out the home can help free you up to focus solely on your prayer time. Choosing Islamic music or verses from the Koran will also add to the religious atmosphere in the home.

Creating an Islamic themed home: Clean up

An Islamic home is usually clean and well-ventilated. Cleanliness is especially important to the Islamic faith because the prayers are performed on the floor. You would not want dirt or dust to prevent you or your family from being able to concentrate on your prayers. Start decorating your Islamic themed house by thoroughly cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming the entire home. If you have throw rugs in your prayer room, take them outside and beat them with a large stick to get all of the dust out before vacuuming. Whenever possible, use natural cleansers like baking soda, vinegar, and warm water instead of chemical products. Try to remove as much clutter as possible from the home. Seeing physical clutter laying around can lead to a cluttered mental state as well, interfering with your ability to pray and commune with Allah.

Creating an Islamic themed home: Air it out

Nature and air are also very important to faith in an Islamic themed home. Place potted houseplants or flowers around your house, especially in the prayer room. Adding a specific area dedicated to nature, such as a rock garden, can also help you stay grounded and connected to nature whenever you are in your Islamic home. To improve ventilation, open the windows whenever possible and air out the home. Light can also give the appearance of a more airy house, so look for areas where you can open curtains or even add a skylight and brighten up your rooms.

Creating an Islamic themed home: Add some music

The right music or audio can help give your home more of an Islamic feel. Music from Muslim artists will add to the religious atmosphere of the home, along with providing musical entertainment for you and your family. To display your faith even more, you can buy audiobook versions of verses from the Koran and let those play throughout the day. Installing a home stereo system with speakers that run through the entire house will allow you to hear your Islamic audio choices in any room of your home.

Don’t Panic over Meltdown: Are Market Declines a Good Time to Buy?

Around the world, investors are wringing their hands, perhaps even losing sleep, over the recent downturn in the stock markets. It’s a natural reaction – no-one likes to lose money, even if it’s only on paper.

The credit crisis being blamed for the current slump shows no so signs of abating, with some pundits forecasting that we may not see a recovery until 2009. You may be frustrated and wondering what it all means. That’s OK, you’re not alone: even the world’s most preeminent financial thinkers are scratching their heads over how this crisis was allowed to happen, why an apparently short-term problem is now entering its second year and what the eventual fix will look like.

But you have to ask yourself the all-important question: Are you investing for the long term? Most investors are and experts have some simple advice: Don’t worry, for this too shall pass.

Remember when?

If you’ve been in the markets for a while, you probably remember the dot-com crash in the early 2000s or the very short-term stock collapse post-September 11, 2001. Those with longer memories can probably cite other similar examples, such as 1987’s infamous “Black Monday” when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 22%.

It’s really the same old story: markets go down, but eventually recover. Charts dating back to the 1950s show a steady rise in stock markets worldwide, with the occasional blip.

Market volatility is a reality and selling when things get a bit choppy will mean missing out on future returns. Studies have shown that investors who jump in and jump out of the markets, depending on how things are going, will inevitably lose out on the performance side.

If you use a financial advisor, pick up the phone and ask questions if you have concerns. That’s their job. “The handholding that we did between 2000 and 2003, it’s here again,” says Manulife Securities advisor Neil Bocking.

Time to buy?

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, many believe market “troughs” are in fact a good time to increase your stock or mutual fund holdings.

“There are good buying opportunities in a market like this because some people have to sell because they don’t have the cash, and they are facing redemptions,” says fund manager Anne Gudefin of Franklin Mutual Advisors.

Even if you’re not comfortable buying at this point (and that’s understandable), doing nothing is also a good option. Assuming you a diversified mix of stocks, bonds and cash, your portfolio will be fine, just be patient.