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Oct 30, 2013

POEM: Sincerely yours, from Syria

By Milaa Filza



To those whom have forgotten us,

Bismillah 

Beaten, bruised, tear-drops falling down like rockets on the floor.
I can barely open my eyes, everything feels so sore.
I try to make a sound, hoping to be found. Just a second ago she was here.
Unimaginable was the hurt when I realized her soul was gone
and I only had Allah to depend upon.
Gone she is, way up high. Memories left, of a destroyed life.
Ummi, my dearest mother, how I miss the brightness that you used to radiate.
That brightness created an astonishing light.
Words cannot explain how that caused the hurt to disappear.
So many things we had to endure.
Countless days of pain, numberless falling tears. Seemed like a never-ending rain. 

We were driven away from our homes. Forced into the cold with nothing but a cup of hope.
I can’t remember much, but I can’t forget the words she said.
‘Don’t be shy, pick a spot, any place, anywhere, close your eyes and call it home.’
That’s what I did, every night.
I just closed my eyes and counted my tear-drops that were falling
on my so-called pillow until there were no more.
Those nights are graved into my memory; I fell asleep on that hard cold floor.
 But soon time will too fade these memories away
and only a vague image of my dearest will remain. 

So here I am, all alone.
I lost the ones I love, one second, one shot. Without them, hurts so much.
The thought of my loss makes me gasp for air, if you were in my ripped down shoes,
would you still not care?
Reality hits me every day, by my side there is no one left.
They took away my freedom, isn't that also some kind of theft? 

My deen is the only thing that keeps me up.
For thee, the thought of victory might seem impossible to reach but indeed,
I know that He only says to it ‘Be’ and it is!
So my Creator is whom I trust, for indeed, I know He will never leave me.
They think that I am scared, but they should know that I only fear the Most High
and only He decides when my time has come to die.
My goal is left undamaged, as I know this hurt will too fade away.
The mercy of my Lord is bound to stay. 

They may call me a fearless dreamer, soon to be shot in pieces
yet panic does not strike me at the very thought.
In fact, it is they for whom I feel, diagnosed with the worst disease.
The eyes are there yet they are blind. The ears are there yet they are deaf.
Blood is running through their veins yet they do not feel.
Cause indeed if they could truly see, hear and feel; they would be able to see with their hearts.
So now I have to ask you, whether the disease has gotten to you too, have you forgotten about us?


Any thoughts on this poem? Please post in the comments section below :)


Oct 28, 2013

POEM: The Lord Writes Masterpieces

By Anum Ali



Bismillah 

A hundred pages lay scattered, 

Thousands of dreams dreamed, 

The Qadar of Allah overrules, 

What is not right, but so it seemed. 

Questions! 

A hundred questions the heart asks, 

Assumptions! 

Outraged assumptions, the mind conceives. 

He knows what lays best in His Master plan, 

He knows what each soul receives. 

Man may conquer oceans deep, 

Through vast skies he may ride up high. 

His next aim may shoot for stars, 

Yet, with Allah’s Will, he cannot why. 

The script may defy all logic sane, 

The mind may not rightly perceive, 

The Lord writes masterpieces, 

Only if the reader believes. 

His are the scripts of glory, 

Of men who conquered and ruled well, 

His are the scripts of fury, 

Of the blasphemous, who shamefully fell. 

He writes trials and tribulations, 

For His servants who deserve a test, 

A challenging script, heightens faith, 

Separates the loyal from the rest. 

His scripts are riddles, His twists unknown, 

His ways merciful, His graciousness well-known. 

I may tread on thorny paths, 

Fight battles I know not why, 

I know my script is a masterpiece, 

For it’s by Allah, the Most High.


Any thoughts on this poem? Please post in the comments section below :)

Oct 27, 2013

Short Story: MY WIFE IS A NINJA CHAPTER 12

By Alawiya Abdalla


Bismillah

Shaimaa

I cannot believe that I am finally going to get to see the area, which is called Hendon BY THE WAY ;) Yeah Osman finally told me it’s name! At first he was reluctant and making fun of the way I was speaking, but he finally told me.

Right now we are sitting here listening to some guy who wants to throw a grenade at his girlfriend? Or is it the other way round? I have no idea because I could not care less really. I do not listen to music, because I have better things to do with my life than listen to a bunch of people getting all depressed or EXTREMELY happy that they are in love.

GET A LIFE MAN!! That is what I say whenever I listen to the lyrics of nowadays songs. I feel like I should say something? Nah let me be polite the guy who is giving me a ride FOR FREE.

Black, black, black and blue beat me till I’m numb
Tell the devil I said “hey” when you get back to where you’re from
Mad woman, bad woman,
That’s just what you are, yeah,
You’ll smile in my face then rip the breaks out my car!!!!!!!!!!!

Okaaaaay I should say something!!

“Errm, excuse me. Can you put this music off please?” I try and tell him over the loud speakers and his awful singing voice.
He does not seem to hear me, you see now I am left with nothing but using my stick. No, not to hit him but to poke him! That is right I carry a stick to poke whenever I want to physically ask for something from him (I know it’s not respectful and all that but what is a girl to do?)

“Excuse me can you put the music off please?” I tell him while poking him on his arm so I can get his attention
IT WORKED! He put the volume down and turned to face me WHILE DRIVING. HELLPPPP!!!
“WHAT THE? Would you stop poking me with that already!” he said in an angry tone.
“Well, I tried talking to you but the volume was so high and you were “singing” so you couldn't hear me” I tell him innocently.
“What’s with the air quotes, I could sing you know! And what do you want??” He asks furiously OBVIOUSLY not happy that I am suggesting he cannot sing.
“I don’t listen to music and this song has offensive words in it, so if you don’t mind to switch it off that would be most kind” I say politely.
“Offensive??? Grenade is offensive to you? And why is that? Girl who uses the phrase 'most kind'” He asks mocking the way I am speaking.

“Well. First of all he sounds so depressed and deluded AND stalkerish. Secondly he said say Hi to the DEVIL as if they are friends or something, that is Shirk!” I reply.
“What’s Shirk?? Bruno Mars is sick man what are you talking about?” He asks me.
“Shirk is when you don’t believe in Allah (SWT) and the singer is a sick man? I'm sorry I didn't know that” I feel sorry for my comments, poor guy!
“Sick as in great! Not like your DISEASE sick!” He explains to me.
“Ooooh! Why would you call someone sick when you’re supposed to call them good I don’t understand!” I ask him feeling confused at this new way of talking.
“It’s a slang, you wouldn't understand it since you talk all weird and stuff” He replies.

“Anyyywaayyy, I wanted to ask why doesn't anyone pray in your house?” I wonder because I can understand why people who are not Muslims would judge me but why them!
“ I'm gonna have to explain that to you later cuz we’re here” He stops the car and parks it.

I get out of the car, and I immediately feel so amazed at how clean this place really is.

“Look at the streets, doesn't anyone throw anything on the floor?” I ask in amazement as I see NOTHING on the street.
“Ok. Rule number one. Don’t say stupid stuff like look at the streets or look at the clean windows” He tries to explain his rules to me before I interrupt him by saying

“OH YEAH LOOK AT THE CLEAN WINDOWS”

“You’re not listening!!” He grabs me from my arm and takes me aside, and then I realize that HE GRABBED MY ARMS??
“Don’t ever do that again otherwise I'm left with no choice but to use my slippers” I warn him.
“I'm not gonna even attempt to ask you about “the slippers” JUST LISTEN. Rule number two. No eye contact with me, as in no walking next to me like I know you or something. Do you understand?” He finishes explaining his rules to me.
“I do understand, but don’t you ever touch me again. Do YOU understand?” I explain MY rules to him too AHA.

“Fair enough” He answers me before he walks WAY ahead of me, so I would not be able to catch up.

I start walking thinking to myself he’s not gonna leave me all alone, he’s just embarrassed to be seen with me that is all.
I take the surroundings around me. Subhanallah, these people must work really hard to get this place looking like this. I see small shops that are called newsagents and next to it I see a place called Tesco.
I guess that’s a supermarket? I put my hands on the glass to take a look inside. Yep, it’s a supermarket! Oh how I wish I could go in to take a look.

HOLD ON A MINUTE! It says half price on a pork scratchings. Is pork a a…..hold on let me take my dictionary out, I take a small dictionary out of my pocket and start searching for the word pork.
Pork..pork…..AHA! Pork is a gastronomical name for meat from the domestic PIG? ew ew…..

“ASTAGHFURULLAH, PIG!” I say it out loudly without realizing.

Yep, this is what I was afraid of. Meeting face to face with pigs, euuughhh.
I start walking faster to get far away from any sights of pigs or WINE! I was so preoccupied with how clean and modern London is compared to Cairo, that I forgot about all these other things that exists here.
I calm myself down and remember that I am not here to judge, I am here to find a way to send my family the much needed money that they want.

So I simply walk along the street, I take in everything around me. Subhanallah, everything is organized! I mean look at the way people are always forming queues, so everyone gets their turn. In Egypt, you have to know Karate to get to the front of any queue!!

As I was walking I spot Osman sitting on a bench trying not to look my way, and at that moment an idea forms in my head. He is forever teasing me and annoying me, so why not get my revenge by calling out his name so EVERYONE knows that I am with him.

I chuckle to myself at the idea *making my evil grin underneath my Niqab* READY…STEADY….GOO
“OS……” I get interrupted before I put my plan to good use, well sort of!

I see a little girl who dropped her teddy bear, while she was in her pram. I can see the look of concern in her eyes, as her mother did not notice that the teddy bear was gone.
And the little girl was in no position to cry or protest, as she was juggling drinking her milk from her bottle and looking out for her poor teddy. Subhanallah, us women are always juggling!

So I decided to get it for her, I mean my heart is breaking for the little girl!!……….what could possibly happen??

Osman

I just informed ninja not to communicate with me in case people think I am with her or something!! I do not wanna be seen ANYWHERE near her.

My dad better appreciate all this, and he BETTER reward me with not only the £100.000 but a new car too.
Nobody is allowed to wake me up that early, I have got a terrible hangover from last night but I will do anything for this nightmare to finish. I WANT MY BED BACK! Plus I am not having the fun I was expecting!

I made sure I was walking ahead of her, WAY ahead of her so she could not catch up but the hangover got the better of me and I decided to sit down on a bench to rest my sore head.
I was sitting down with my hand on my head, when I looked at the time and saw that it was 9:30.
GOD, THAT’S TOO EARLY!! I should be in bed asleep, where I do not have to think about today or tomorrow or the fact that I have put myself in a very tricky situation with Kevin.

Every time I think about it I feel like I wanna throw up from fear, I mean he reassured me that I do not have to do anything but be the guy on the look out.
That does not make it better though! What am I gonna see??? What would I witness? I know I do allot of bad stuff, but beating up innocent people?? I cannot do that!
I push the uneasy feeling aside and I suck in the fresh air to clear my mind. I decide to turn to my left and check on crazy girl to see what is she up to.

She looks like a crazy person, checking the shops with such manic eagerness! Oh gosh what is she doing? Did she just put her hand on the window to look at tesco from inside? WHO DOES THAT?
I look at her and I fight the urge to laugh, the way she is looking is innocent and cute in a way.

CUTE??? NAH CUTE AND NINJA DON’T GO TOGETHER??

Freaky, yes that is what I was trying to say. Freaky and freshie like. CUTE! I think it is the hangover talking here mate.

I do not know why but I turn around to take another glimpse to see what is she doing. This time I see her backing away in horror at something she saw, she takes out a book and she starts shaking her head in disgust and starts walking.
How come I never realized how entertaining she can be?? This is like a comedy show FOR FREE MAN.

OH NO SHE SPOTS ME!! I am just gonna pretend I cannot see her so I turn to the other side. I look back again and I see that she got distracted by a little girl. PHEW!! THAT WAS CLOSE.
She FOLLOWS the little girl and her mum to the bank??? What is she doing man? Should I follow her or should I stay put to avoid embarrassment?

Minutes passed and she has not come out yet, so I go there to see what is going on.

Khalifa

I booked an emergency appointment with my private GP, hopefully he will be able to shed some light on what is going on with me.

I have an inclining of what it could be, but I do not think that is possible. I do not know a Barawani person who has this disease, so it is probably nothing.
I think I am just too overstressed, with all the money problems I am having. Yeah, that is got to be it!
I do not have time to think, I need to get there as fast as I can. The only problem is I do not remember which car keys belongs to which car!!
I do not want to arouse suspicions with my wife, and I do not want the neighbours to see me either as they might tell my wife.
I quickly realize that I have no other choice, and I go through the set of keys that was in my hands. One key fits in the Mercedes Benz, and I get in it and get out of the house as fast as I can.

I cannot shake the feeling that it could be that disease. That would be the end of me, I am struggling enough as I am and adding this to the equation would be a disaster to my current situation.

Shaimaa

I followed the little girl to give her the teddy bear. I enter this really posh place, and I look around and realize that I am in a bank.

Subhanallah, look at how the people are forming queues! I snap out of my trance as I see the lady behind the reception desk giving me inquisitive looks.
I spot the little girl and her mum and I make my way to them.

“Excuse me madam” I politely call the girl’s mother.

She turns around, and immediately feels startled by me. OH HERE WE GO AGAIN I think to myself.

“Yeees?” She replies suspiciously.
“Erm, your daughter dropped her teddy bear and I wanted to retrieve it for her” I hand her the teddy bear.
“Fanks” She replies with a word that I do not recognize.
“Fanks? What does that mean?” I ask her feeling puzzled.
“Yeah, fanks for bringing this back?” She replies getting impatient at my presence.
“OOOH YOU MEAN THANKS. Oh then you are most welcome madam” I reply cheerfully. I am sooo getting the hang of this language.

The lady just walks away even more surprised at me. Oh well, at least the little girl is happy I think to myself as I make my way out of the bank.

I turn around and I see Osman glaring at me.

“Oh, you frightened me there” I inform him.
“Oh I did? Why are you in a bank for?” He asks in an angry tone.
“Well, that poor little girl dropped her teddy bear and I went to get it for her. Maskeen she might cry without it” I explain the very delicate situation to him.
“Fine, now let’s get out of here. Everyone is looking at you” He says in an annoyed tone.
“Aright alright, relax a little” I try and calm his nerves down.

He looks at me for a second and then he starts laughing!!

“What??” I ask puzzled.
“Look at the black wall behind you, you can almost be invisible standing next to it” He says while holding his belly from all the laughing business.
“That’s utterly and completely rude. Excuse me, but I'm totally going to walk past you and ignore you” I tell him as I try and wriggle myself away from him.

NO USE, he is still standing there. I guess I am going to have to wait until he finishes laughing?
“I'm sorry I'm sorry, let’s go” He says wiping tears from his eyes.

But at that moment, someone enters the bank and yells
“GET DOWN THE LOT OF YOU”

And he seems to be holding a shiny thing in his hand. HA!!! He’s holding a gun!!!

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I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Oct 25, 2013

Magic: The Deadly Kufr (Part 2)


By Anum Ali

Part 1

Bismillah

In Part 1 of this article, we looked at how magic evolved. Let us now see the present situation of magic and how to safeguard ourselves from it.

Magic Today 
Chaos Magic, or Chaos Magick, is a school of magical tradition that uses belief systems to create and modify magical methods. There are various forms of magic, some color-coded such as red for combat, taught under Chaos Magic. Black magic is the branch of Chaos that deals with death, destruction, and severance (cutting ties of relationships). Voodoo is an African religion, the followers of which form bonds with the dead and seek their council to foresee and regulate affairs of the present and future. Since the Islamic belief negates power of the dead, it is elaborated that voodoo is a connection with devils, not dead spirits. This devil-soothsayer bond is the very same that the Qur’an describes from the time of Prophet Sulayman.

Illusionists and magicians of the entertainment industry also fall prey to a lot of controversy. Performing larger than life illusions to imitate godly powers, replicating prophetic miracles such as raising the dead and walking on water, are simply innovations and shirk which carry equal punishments.

The moral and religious decline of people, particularly in South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, contributes to widespread plague of dirty magic. There is a case in every family, almost, or a conspiracy that some relative or the other pays people to inflict curses.

Effects of Magic 
Since magic is done through Shayatin, it is essential to know Shaytan’s strategy of ruining people. According to a Hadith (4:2167) in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah, the closest and dearest of emissaries that Shaytan embraces is the one who succeeds in separating a man and his wife. The separation occurs as one of the spouses, or both, imagine that the other spouse is ugly, ill mannered, or deceiving. Additionally, there are spells that can inflict disease, failure, and misery upon a person or a group of people such as a family.

Safeguard 

It is essential to realize that Allah is the All-Powerful and sorcerers and Shayatin cannot do as they please unless by Allah’s Will. Allah allows their magic to harm a person either to test his faith, or to punish him for an evil deed. Having realized why magic affects people, the best ways to safeguard oneself is to strengthen one’s faith in Allah, and to seek His repentance for all misconduct, intentional or unintentional.

Additionally, Allah has revealed in Surah An-Nahl that Shaytan is powerless in front of strong believers who cherish faith and approach no one for help but Allah. Muslims who turn to others to seek help, for instance the supposedly good sorcerers who counter black magic; these Muslims symbolize a compromise in trusting Allah and hence rob themselves of His Mercy. Allah has provided the cure so easily in the Qur’an. Surah Al–Falaq and Surah Al-Nas are titled to be Mu’awwidhatayn (the two for seeking refuge). They are regarded as permissible ruqyah (recitation for healing or protection) against magic. Reciting them regularly is a prophylaxis, a preventative measure, against Shaytan’s trickery, evil of Jinns, and of men.

Unfortunately, people underestimate the power of Allah’s words because they are immaterial, concise, and easily accessible. Instead, they rely on self-proclaimed saints, mystics, sorcerers, and other entities who give them amulets, written prescriptions, and potions to cure the effects of black magic. Obviously, they are fraudulent remedies, the seeking of which put individuals out of the fold of Islam because they commit shirk when they seek another entity’s help.

Remember, what comes to you, good or bad, is from Allah. Accept it, instead of whining that a negative event is an effect of black magic. Even if it is, only a strong faith, repentance, and ruqyah are enough to solve the matter.

References
-- Image http://adrovoncrow.deviantart.com/art/Black-Magic-58897811
-- What is Voodoo? Understanding a Misunderstood -----Religion http://www.huffingtonpost.com/saumya-arya-haas/what-is-vodou_b_827947.html-- ----Fatwa no. 446 Alifta http://www.alifta.com/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=119&PageNo=1&BookID=7
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Please post your views on this topic in the comments section below :)


Oct 23, 2013

“Let’s play again Mama” : The importance of play in a child’s upbringing- Part 3

by Amina Edota

Part 1
Part 2

Bismillah

Toys/ Activities to Nurture a Child’s Development 

“You are your child’s favourite toy;

You don’t need to fancy toys and there are no rules to play.”


The best and most effective toys are those that are selected based on age appropriateness and developmental levels and interests. It is important to give children toys that help them learn while having a great time. A lot of toys can be open-ended, making them usable in different ways. Educational toys will help children learn through play.

Blocks, for example, are great toys for children of all ages. Blocks made of wood are one option, but shoe boxes, cereal boxes, plastic bowls, and paper bags filled with crumpled newspaper and taped shut can also be used. These simple blocks are best for children ages two and under, while wooden unit blocks are good for ages two and up.

Engaging toys are often homemade or readily available items such as fabric and cardboard boxes-the options are practically limitless.When choosing materials for toys, it is important to consider the children’s communities and cultures as well as safety of the children.

Some of the stages of learning and some ideas for toys/activities that can help children learn in those stages are as follows:

Birth to 2 Years old

Learning & Development: Children learn mostly through exploration of their environment. The young explorers learn more about body language and gestures during this time and begin to learn how to talk.

Playtime/ Toys: Talking to them and using body language in front of them can help them learn. Toys that talk is also a great idea. Colourful toys that are easy to grasp, things they can taste, hear, smell, and touch will provide needed stimulation.

Adults also serve as play things. Finger plays, song/rhymes, mobiles, toys that make gentle noises and toys with different shapes and textures give more learning opportunities.

3 to 5 Years

Learning & Development: They use their imagination and learn through what is known as socio dramatic play. They are full of stories and experiences they can draw on. They also learn how to control movements more and how to speak even more.

Playtime/ Toys: Since imaginative play is very important, toys that help them with their imaginative play will help them to develop and learn even more.

6 to 8 Years

Learning & Development: Children usually learn more by investigation. They are ready for more formal styles of learning at this stage. They are able to learn patterns and to make decisions. They should also get involved in play that is a bit more structured, though they could still do with some socio dramatic play.

Playtime/ Toys: Toys that promote learning by investigation, such as games and puzzles can be very helpful to children of this age.

Finally

Children use their five senses to learn things. As they go through the different stages of growing up, they are learning different things at each level and in different ways. They explore, experiment, and build confidence. Play on an appropriate level allows them to learn on their own and to begin to understand many different concepts that they will end up using as they grow up.


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! 


References 
Child Education in Islam by Abd-Allah NasihUlwan
Parenting Skills Based on the Qur'an and SunnahByDr.Ekram&Dr. Mohamed RidaBeshir
The Muslim Parent's Guide to the Early Years (0-5 years) by Umm Safiyyah bint Najmaddin
Using Toys to Support Infant-Toddler Learning and Development by Gabriel Guyton
http://myprservices.com/kids/educational-kids-toys-child-learn. Accessed 26/01/2013
http://www.zerotothree.org; Accessed 25/01/2013

Oct 21, 2013

Forgiveness in Islam

by Um-e-Usman

Bismillah

February was a dedicated month for love almost globally, at least for the first fortnight. People were in LOVE! Hearts, red roses, chocolates and acknowledgement of our love and care for those around us.

And then there is the other side of the picture; the grimmer side where the love is forgotten. Sometimes, people make mistakes. What follows is the messy mix of anger, tears, screams, blame game and sometimes broken hearts and relationships. We all are prone to error, breaking promises or forgetting special occasions. We have all been there and pleaded to Allah silently in our hearts for the other person to forgive and forget. But when we are wounded, we want the whole drama with it and the diva treatment as well.

If we do not forgive someone who wronged us, how can we expect Allah to forgive us on the Day of Judgement. Forgiving another person who has caused any type of harm is one of the bravest things we can do. It makes us more humble and stronger against shaytan’s plots. Forgiveness is one of the virtues which will help elevate our status in Jannah inshaAllah. Qur’an says :

The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, 
his reward is upon Allah. (42:40) 

To forgive someone who has hurt us is not an easy task, but it definitely liberates one’s soul! It makes us realize the inner peace which was missing from our lives because too much space was taken in our hearts by our spite for others!

The life of our Prophet sal Allahu alaihi wassalam and his companions radi Allahu anhum were filled with instances where they forgave people who not only caused them physical harm, but emotional pain as well!

For instance, Abu-Bakr radi Allahu anhu forgave Mistah, who was one the slanderers of his beloved daughter Ayesha radi Allahu anha. Mistah was the cousin of Abu-Bakr and he used to financially support the young man. When Abu Bakr radi Allahu anhu came to know of Mistah’s scandalous remarks about his daughter, he promised not to continue supporting him financially . But Allah reminded Abu-Bakr radi Allahu anhu,


Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want and those who migrated in the path of Allah. Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? 
Indeed Allah is oft-Forgiving, most Merciful. (24:22) 


Abu-Bakr radi Allahu anhu understood this message and not only resumed his help but increased it as well. 

This particular example highlights the characteristics of the companions of the Prophet Sal Allahu alayhi wasallam. Adults in the family permanently sever ties with their brothers and sisters just because of minor arguments. We have this great example of Abu Bakr radi Allahu anhu who not only forgave the slanderer of his pious daughter but also resumed helping him!

For a society to function properly, kindness plays a vital role. Forgiving others helps heal the wounds and restore relationships. Healthy relationships put down a stable foundation for a good moral society.

Let us try to make amends with each other. We all are humans and we all make mistakes. Do not get angry. Let us take that first step and be the braver person and ask for forgiveness first. Before victimizing ourselves, we should also look at our weaknesses and realize that other people have some too.

Let us all pray to Allah that He helps us become more humble and make our hearts softer for others and fill it with more emaan. Ameen!


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below!

Oct 20, 2013

Short Story: MY WIFE IS A NINJA CHAPTER 11

By Alawiya Abdalla

Bismillah

Shaimaa

We both just stood there waiting for the other to add something to the awkwardness that filled the air after Fifi asked “where do I think I was going”

“It’s none of your business where I was going if you ask me in that tone” I felt myself thinking it but instead I said -
“No where, just going to explore the area that’s all”
“Dressed like that??” She asks disgustingly while scanning me from head to toe, what is up with everyone scanning me!!!!!

“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” I ask her in astonishment and looking at myself to see if I was naked or something!
“What’s right about it?? That’s the question” She replies with a rhetorical question.
“Alhamdulilah there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not showing any flesh!” I answer her feeling very surprised at these people’s way of reacting to my clothing.

“Do you think you can just leave this house looking like that? This is a respectable neighbourhood, we don’t want no Taliban looking people coming out of our house” She says venomly.
“TALIBAN?? Exaggerating much?” I ask her sarcastically.
“Listen you. I allowed this whole thing to happen because my son is in love with you, I'm warning you not to defy my orders from now on” She mutters the words like daggers.
“I don’t take orders from anyone but Allah” I respond to her threats.

At this moment My uncle Khalifa appears at the stairway, looking like he just woke up.

“What the hell is going on at this hour?? Fifi why are you up?” Asks Uncle Khalifa, looking blurry eyed as if he just woke up.

“Look what you and my son brought home! SHE wants to leave the house looking like this AND at this hour” She says while gesturing with her hand up and down to make a point of how I look like.
“Fifi what are you doing at this hour?” Asks Uncle Khalifa again??
“Did you NOT hear what I just said??” Replies Fifi in an annoyed voice and looking at him like he has lost his mind or something.

All he does is just stare into space! And this seems to agitate her even more.

I interrupt the silence and I say -
“I’m going, Salamu Alykum” I say it while opening the door and closing it really fast before she gets a chance to reply.

I get out the house to be greeted with a VERY cold breeze, walah it looked very sunny from the inside. I guess I should have expected it since we are in the middle of September but it is freeeeeeezing.

So I rub my hands together to try and warm myself, even though I put on my very Egyptian jacket AKA very light for this type of winter! But what is a girl to do ey?
As I was rubbing my hands I see an old lady looking at me, I smile at her and then remember that she probably cannot see me with my Niqab on.

But surely she can make out that I'm smiling right? NOPE SHE CAN’T because the next thing that comes out of her mouth is -

“SWEET JESUS!!” She says it with her eyes wide open.

OH COME ON!! What is these people’s problem?? Since I got here I am greeted in the same way! Is a piece of clothing that unsettling to them?
I make my way forward quickly before she starts fainting or something. I take quick steps towards what looks like a bus stop?
I sit on the bench, I am SITTING waiting for the bus! Subhanallah there is definitely NO SITTING policy in Egypt. Actually it is not a policy, it is just….well….You just HAVE to be at the front of the queue, otherwise you will be CRUSHED before you even get to dangle on the bus!

I was day dreaming and comparing Egypt and England, when I spotted the 83 bus coming coming to a stop near me.

The door opened and I saw people coming off the bus from the middle of the bus, so I figured from the look of the bus driver that I am supposed to get IN the bus from the front.

So I get in and looked at the bus driver to give me a clue of what I need to do! But No clue so far and it has probably been 40 seconds or something.

The English looking driver stares at me, and after what seemed to be like a minute gone he says.

“What do you want lady?”
“Errm, I wanna go into town. What do I need to do?” I ask dumbly.
“Are you having a laugh or something?” He asks looking at me up and down.
“No Sir, I wanna know how much is the bus fare to get me into the central of the town. And also what is this area called?” I ask him hoping he’d be kind enough to give me the answer.

“EFF OFF AND GET OFF THE BUS” He tells me loudly.
“Eff off? What does that mean?” I ask.
“You know, F**** off?” He says smugly.
“OH! Astaghfurullah!! I'm getting off this very rude bus right now” I answer not believing that I got to hear the first swear word from England, and I KNOW what that means!
“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” He tells me before shutting the door when I got off.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY??? If getting on the bus proved to be so challenging, how is finding a job gonna be like?
I head back to the house feeling defeated already, but I quickly pull myself together and I plan to wake up my “husband” to take me around.

I will just do a little threatening of showing my skin, that will sure make him jump out of bed and ready to take me out in no time :D

Khalifa

This is not good! This has been happening to me lately and now I really need to go to my GP and ask for a referral  I cannot even bring myself to say the word, I know what it could be but I just cannot bring myself to believe it.

It started with little things like forgetting to put the key in my Jaguar, when I tried to open it the other day. I kept trying to open it with my Mercedes car keys, and I got very agitated when it did not work. I told myself that it happens to the best of people, and that I should not worry about it so much.

But then I find myself getting quiet and staring into space frequently for no apparent reason, wondering what is going on around me or repeating questions to my employees or in this case my wife!

Could it be that I have……No it cannot possibly be it. Well, I hope it is not because it would be a disaster for my family and myself.
No need to make myself all paranoid, I am sure there is a perfectly good and reasonable explanation for this behaviour. Meanwhile I really do not feel like dealing with Fifi right now!!

“Why did you let her go out looking like that? We live in Hendon!! This is a posh area and we are surrounded by Jews khalifa. They might just be calling the police right this minute” She reminds me.
“It’s a free country, let her do what she wants” I tell her in an dismissive way that seems to make her more angry.
“You and your weird ways of protecting her! Arrghh I don’t understand you” She tells me in a loud voice which triggers another episode of staring into the air.
“KHALIFA!! ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?? WHAT’S GOTTEN INTO YOU THESE DAYS?” She says it thinking I am doing this on purpose, but all I am feeling is confusion and frustration.

I walk away without saying a word to her, to escape the questions and the drama. But as I climb the stairs, I hear the front door opening and I hear Fifi laughing at someone but I do not bother to check who it is as I get busy with calling my GP ASAP!

Osman

I am sleeping off last night’s bender. To be honest I drank more than usual to make myself forget and prepared for what is going to come.
The deal with Kevin did not go as I expected it to go, turns out he does not want me to sell weed as I had hoped. He wants me to be in his other business, to be precise he wants me to be in the loan shark business.

I was not happy, and I told him that I am not willing to beat up people to cough up the debts they owe him! I might be a lot of things but I am not a merciless thug.
Of course Kevin did not like the fact that I am refusing his offer very much, so he blatantly told me that I should not have come and asked to join his team in the first place. That now I know what is really happening, he could have me beaten up or worse killed to protect himself.

So after a lot persuasion, he agreed that I can just guard and be on the look out while his men carry out the work. The idea makes me want to heave but there is nothing I can do right now, and that is why I spent the night drinking and NOW I am paying the price!!

I was in deep sleep when I felt something poking me!
“Good morning Osman, can I talk to you?” Asks ninja while poking me with something.
“OUUUCH, STOP POKING ME” I order her feeling like my head is going to explode.
“Ehem. I just wanted to ask a favour” She says politely
“What time is it” I ask half opening my eyes to stop the sun from hurting my eyes since she decided to open the window ALL THE WAY.
“It’s 7 O’clock in the morning, time to get up and freshen up to see what Rizq door Allah has opened for us today” She replies cheerfully.

“OK, first of all what is Rizq and second of all ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH?” I ask her trying to work out if she is actually joking or is that statement for real.
“Oh sorry, Rizq means means everything a person makes use of, for example, the money he earns, the clothes he wears, the roof over his head….” She blabs something which I cannot be bothered to hear as I start to close my eyes again.

“Ehem, excuse me Mr Osman. You need to wake up this minute” She demands.
“And why should I do that your highness?” I say sarcastically at her way of speaking.
“Because I need to have a tour of the area, and the bus driver thinks I'm “having a laugh” as you all English people put it” She says it seriously.
“And that is my problem because???” I ask her thinking when is she gonna get lost man.

“You’re my husband right? I mean you’re my PRETEND husband and I desperately need to find a job to support my family back in Egypt. It would be really kind if you could help me” She explains politely AGAIN.

“Look ninja, NOBODY wakes me up at this ungodly hour because EVERYONE knows I come home at 4 o’clock in the morning so NO ONE dares to wake me, but I’ll let this little blip pass from you as you’re new and all” I explain the house rules to her.

“Ermm why did you say ungodly? That’s haram you know” She reminds me.
“NOOO?? REALLY? AM I GONNA GO TO HELL?” I ask her with an exaggerated surprise to my tone.
“In fact yes you will” She replies in a serious tone.
“Look I'm gonna go back to sleep, and you can leave me alone right now Okay?” I tell her as nicely as possible.

“Fine, since I'm gonna stay in this room all day I’ll have to take off my clothes because it’s too hot to stay in one room for a long period of time. I hope you don’t mind” She informs me while getting ready to take her clothes off.

“ALRIGHT ALRIGHT!! I’ll get up, but only for today. I swear to god if you do this again I'm not responsible for what I'm gonna do” I get up quickly at the thought of her getting undressed.
“Jazakallah, you won’t regret this” She tells me appreciably.
“Yeah Yeah whatever” I reply.

I get in the shower, to try and cure my hangover and as I try to get out of the bathroom to get dressed I see ninja ducking beside the bed so she doesn't have to see my body and I start laughing at the sight.

“You’re not gonna be trouble are you? You’re not gonna cause a scene?” I ask her feeling anxious at the thought of taking a freshie around town.
“Me? Trouble? I will certainly not be any cause of trouble I can assure you” She replies still hiding.
Oh I'm soo gonna regret taking this particular freshie into town let me tell you!!!

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Oct 18, 2013

Magic: The Deadly Kufr (Part 1)

By Anum Ali

Part 2

Bismillah 

The roots of magic can be traced way back in history until before the time of Prophet Sulayman (Solomon), peace and blessings upon him. An explicitly declared kufr (disbelief) by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in the Qur’an, that continues to plague the world through human beings who sell their soul to the devils (Shayatin). Sorcerers know of spells that can separate a man and his wife, cause physical harm, ruin social and financial affairs, and create hurdles in the way of one’s happiness and success. The knowledge of Qur’an and Hadith; however, is very essential to realize that sorcerers are powerless unless their magical antics are allowed to harm a human being for the purpose of testing faith. Self-defence exists for those who seek to find it in the Wise Words of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam.

Origin of Magic: Harut and Marut of Babylon & Prophet Sulayman
Surah Al-Baqarah in the Qur’an narrates the origin of magic in the city of Babylon (Babil in Arabic). During the time of Prophet Sulayman, but before his prophet-hood  the devils used to ascend to heaven and eavesdrop on conversations of the angels. The angels talked about future events on earth that had been planned by Allah’s Will. These events were news concerning incidents, accidents, deaths, lives, and other unseen matters. With this secret knowledge, the devils would descend back to Babylon and convey the affairs to fortune-tellers  These fortune-tellers would then narrate the knowledge of the unseen to the people who would consider them as all-powerful folk of great knowledge; hence, committing shirk.

The bond of trust between the devils and fortune-tellers began to malfunction as the devils began to lie and make up false news. Their deceitful words, trickery, and curses were recorded in books by the people. Two angels, Harut and Marut existed in human form at that time and were vested with responsibility from Allah to test and try the people by leading them to the source from where they could learn magic. Whenever a man would approach the angels and ask them to teach him magic, they would first explain that magic is a form of disbelief (kufr) and should not be learned unless one wishes to provoke the wrath of Allah upon himself. They openly revealed that they were planted as a test for the people by Allah. If however the person continued to insist, they would direct him to a place where Satan met him and taught magic.

When Prophet Sulayman was sent as a Prophet, he collected the books from the people and had them buried under his throne, hidden from sight, never to be used. A death penalty was ordered for any of the Children of Israel who claimed that the Jinns knew of the unseen.

Time passed on after the death of Prophet Sulayman, and gradually all scholars and folk who knew of the secret of Prophet Sulayman’s throne passed away. Satan appeared in the form of a human in the new generation and informed the people that a treasure lay under Prophet Sulayman’s throne. Myths and legends and movies address “Solomon’s Treasure” as well. The books of magic; therefore, were retrieved. Satan falsely persuaded the Children of Israel to think that Prophet Sulayman was a sorcerer and his gifted miracle of communicating and controlling Jinns and animals added to the evidence. The people therefore, began to learn magic from these books.

Selling the Soul to the Devil
A person who teaches, learns, and practices magic has sold his soul to the devil and Allah’s curse is upon him. This fact can be elaborated from the narrative of Harut and Marut of Babylon in the Qur’an. Whoever insisted to learn magic was directed by Harut and Marut to a place where they were asked to urinate on a pile of ashes. As the person would do so, the shining light of faith within them would depart from his body and he would see it fly away until it disappeared into the heaven. A black smoke, described as Allah’s anger, would descend and enter his ears and the rest of his body. The learner of magic learns from the Shayatin and his affairs are conducted by them. He invokes Shayatin, instead of Allah, to carry out actions to harm people. This is a perfect equation for shirk i.e. associating partners with Allah and hence, kufr.

In Part 2 of this article we shall look at magic in the present world and how to safeguard ourselves from it.

References
-- Image http://adrovoncrow.deviantart.com/art/Black-Magic-58897811
-- What is Voodoo? Understanding a Misunderstood Religion http://www.huffingtonpost.com/saumya-arya-haas/what-is-vodou_b_827947.html
-- Fatwa no. 446 Alifta http://www.alifta.com/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=119&PageNo=1&BookID=7


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Oct 16, 2013

“Let’s play again Mama” : The importance of play in a child’s upbringing- Part 2

by Amina Edota

Part 1
Part 3

Bismillah

You are your child's very first and favourite playmate

Best of Playtime


Playtime is fun, special and important for the development of children. Any activity can be playful for young children and can offer multiple opportunities to learn. Adults should therefore be ready to offer the right support and challenge the young ones. It is also important to remember that play is an indispensable part of a child’s upbringing and it is ultimately their future.


11 Points to Note about Play

1. Means to good health: Children, through active play and adventures, can be engaged in what can make them strong and healthy.

2. Learning through play: Through stories, role play and other methods , they can be taught about worship, history, culture and general education.

3. Skill building: Play is a good means of building thinking skills, curiosity and the ability to ponder over the signs of creation such as the clouds and animals. Children learn other life skills through play.

4. Good observation: Children’s responses to different situations while in play can be used to discover their interests and therefore help in nurturing them the right way.

5. Suitable play: Children should be allowed to play in an age appropriate manner so as to keep them stimulated. It is also important to create stimuli in their everyday activities since children learn from the environment.

6. Blessed play: Islamic teachings can be incorporated into play in as many ways as possible; and all activities should be started with Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.

7. Joining in: Participating in play activities with children can help open their minds; shape their personalities and develop positive aspects of their nature. An adult can make a big difference in how a child learns through play.

8. Every moment counts: Play can be fun and beneficial for both adults and children. When a child is engaged and notices the enjoyment of the adult, he or she will only want to play more - increasing learning opportunities. Such moments can also create positive memories.

9. Being spontaneous: Play should not feel like a huge burden or task. It should consist of a burst of excitement flowing around shared by everyone. Spontaneity adds to this excitement.

10. Being a good model: While playing, the adult(s) should set a good example - gentle mannered and patient especially while correcting the young ones. This will make it easier for children to imbibe later in life.

11. Every child is unique: Children are born with an individual way of experiencing the world. It is therefore important to use a suitable play approach to match each child’s temperament. And it is just as important to provide a range of resources as well as learning opportunities for each child, as some may have special skills or needs.


Stay tuned for Part 3 which will deal with toys and activities that nurture development inshaAllah.

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below!



References
Child Education in Islam by Abd-Allah NasihUlwan
Parenting Skills Based on the Qur'an and SunnahByDr.Ekram&Dr. Mohamed RidaBeshir
The Muslim Parent's Guide to the Early Years (0-5 years) by Umm Safiyyah bint Najmaddin
Using Toys to Support Infant-Toddler Learning and Development by Gabriel Guyton
http://myprservices.com/kids/educational-kids-toys-child-learn. Accessed 26/01/2013
http://www.zerotothree.org; Accessed 25/01/2013

Oct 14, 2013

An Islamic Look At the Benefits of Breastfeeding

By Umm Halimah


Bismillah


Unlike in the past, a woman now has to make a conscious decision about whether to breastfeed or formula feed her child. However, as with everything in life, the decision can be made clearer when looking through the lenses of Islam.

According to Islamqa.com, a site headed by Shaikh Muhammad S. Al-Munajjid, there is no difference of opinion among the scholars that breastfeeding is among the rights of a child. Traditionally, this breastfeeding can be from the mother or a suitable wet-nurse. If looked at as being part of a child’s rights from his parents, breastfeeding is indeed a serious matter. In fact, Allah even mentions in verse 233 of Suratul Baqarah of the Qur’an that a father is obligated to spend on the woman who breastfeeds his child even if she is a wet-nurse. It is truly a miracle and blessing from Allah that women are usually equipped to feed their children from themselves and provide them with the best nourishment, free of extra costs. Additionally, a woman would be performing a good deed inshaAllah by giving her child his/her right.

Benefits
In addition to the Islamic benefits of breastfeeding, modern science has now proven the many benefits of breastfeeding to both mothers and babies. Due to these findings, there has recently been a campaign in the United States and elsewhere aimed at encouraging women to breastfeed their babies at least for the first few months of life. The following is a list of benefits for the baby:
  • Breast milk is easy to digest and sterile 
  • Complete Nutrition (breastmilk changes to suit the child’s age) 
  • It is always the right temperature 
  • Boosting of the immune system and passing on of immunity 
  • Reduction in many illnesses such as stomach and intestinal troubles, allergies, diabetes, ear infections, etc. 
The baby is not the only one benefiting from breastfeeding. The mother and even greater society can benefit from this practice. As a mother of two children who spent most of the last 4 years involved in breastfeeding, I can attest to many of these benefits myself. The following is a list of some of the benefits women can expect from breastfeeding for themselves.
  • Reduction of blood loss after delivery 
  • Promotes uterine contraction (back to normal) 
  • Helps in loss of pregnancy weight by sharing your calories with baby 
  • May reduce risk of osteoporosis in addition to ovarian and breast cancers 
  • No mixing, bottles, or heating required (No middle of the night bottle making) 
  • Excellent bonding for mother and baby 

Challenges
Although there are numerous benefits to breastfeeding, we cannot ignore or discount the possible complications that may accompany the effort to breastfeed. Many women who try to breastfeed give up very early on due to these challenges. I believe it is imperative for a woman to get as much information and support on breastfeeding before and after her baby is born. The beginning can be very rough but with the right help and perseverance, it can quickly get better and become quite rewarding.

Not breastfeeding may have the opposite effects that breastfeeding has such as an increase in stomach/intestinal discomfort for baby and a weaker immune system, etc. However, we do acknowledge that some people may have circumstances that would make breastfeeding very difficult or impossible. Therefore, care must be taken to give baby the best nutrition possible. In our effort to raise healthy, righteous children we must always be sure to also make du’a to Allah (May He be Glorified and Exalted) that he guides us and makes the straight path easy for us.


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References:
1. Sherin Binti Kunhibava, 2008. A.S. Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A Blessed Pregnancy: Enjoying & Understanding Pre-pregnancy, Pregnancy & Post-partum Care with Reference to the Qur’an and Sunnah.
2. Why Breastfeeding is Important. http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/why- breastfeeding-is-important/index.html
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Oct 13, 2013

Short Story: MY WIFE IS A NINJA CHAPTER 10

By Alawiya Abdalla

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

Bismillah

Shaimaa

I feel soo relieved that my plan has worked! on the way over here I started asking my uncle questions about Osman. I was asking him about his likes and dislikes, but I was more interested about the DISLIKES if you know what I mean.

My uncle mentioned that Osman is very rude when it comes to any skin related illnesses, so I instantly thought up something about that.

I could not really think of any names for any conditions, but I figured since he is so vain he would not dig up on my diagnosis! And the reason I say vain, it is because well……THE GUY IS THE WORD VAIN ITSELF.
He looks vain, he talks in a vain manner and he reeks vanity. Just looking at him and his wavy dark hair, his carefully selected designer clothes, WHICH I know because we had a very expensive store in Egypt that sells shirts that would cost a whole year’s wage.
So I know a thing or two about designer clothes, I look at his features and I see a handsome but very shallow guy. If I was not into religion and Allah fearing men, I was probably gonna fall for this person.

What kills it though, is the way he looks at you from head to toe which would put off any sane girl straight away, the guy is so bait!! Whatever happened to subtle looking forget about lowering the gaze with this human being!
I had to lie even though I hate lying, and all I could have done is tell him to back off. But we are sharing a room together, and this way it will be safer for me knowing that he finds me repulsive as memories of that night keeps haunting me till this day.

I did that to protect myself from him, I know I can get through this ordeal safely. Now all is left for me is to figure out HOW IN THE WORLD AM I GONNA survive sleeping in my Niqab for a WHOLE YEAR!
And then an idea popped in my head like a switch, all I have to do is sleep with the covers on top of me. Seriously I see alot of my friends sleeping that way, and I used to make fun of them.
However, the very same thing that used to make me laugh is the same thing that will solve my sleeping problem. Mr I am so vain will not even bother check on me, because he is so into himself and disgusted by me.

“PERFECT” I say that to myself with a big grin.

Osman

I cannot believe that I am gonna do this after waiting soo long to be trusted by Kevin. Kevin is a drug dealer, a hit-man and a loan shark all rolled in one.
I was introduced to him by Amber, apparently they were more than just friends back in their high school days. But now they are just friends.
I always used to buy my weed from him, but never thought that he knew Amber and it was just pure accident that I found out that they are friends.

Anyhow, since I found out Amber knew Kevin form way before, I was trying to make her talk to him to convince him to make me a dealer.
This was gonna be my new thing to do because I was bored, I thought of this to keep me busy before “project ninja” came along.
I was actually kind of relieved when Kevin said that he will think about my request. I thought to myself that he will not actually AGREE to it, as he does not really know me that well.

But now I am actually about to do the biggest thing I have ever done in my entire life! Smoking weed is something but to be a drug dealer is something else entirely!!
I do not know why I am feeling a mixture of anxiety and excitement about this? I think the fact that you cannot mess around with Kevin is what is scaring me the most. Once you are in it, you cannot POSSIBLY get out of it.

Well, all these feelings of anxiety have to buried because I am here now, and I am ready for it.

Khalifa

“Seriously Fifi, you’re making a big deal out of nothing” I try to calm her down.
“A big deal? IT IS A BIG DEAL. DIDN'T YOU SEE WHAT SHE’S WEARING??” She yells.
“So? She’s entitled to what she wants to wear! Why does it bother you so much?” I ask this question to reason with her.
“I agreed to this marriage unwillingly so my son can stay with us here. But that clothing is something else Khalifa! What are we gonna tell people? What will they say? OZZY my only son who can get the prettiest and the wealthiest girls in the world marries THAT?” She rambles on to make her point about hating Shaimaa loud and clear.

“Enough Maafayle! What’s done is done for Godsake! And keep your voice down. She might hear you! She’s still our guest and my son’s wife” I say it with such anger that I have never experienced before, and almost believing that Shaimaa is my son’s wife for real!

“Maafayle??? She put a spell on you too?? THAT’S IT YOU GUYS ARE FINISHED” She tells me feeling startled at the mention of her name.
“Fifi I'm not asking you to treat her well. I'm TELLING you” I warn her.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into you and your son lately?? No one cares what I think anymore” She says it to me in a sad tone to try and make me side with her.
“ I'm going to sleep, because I can’t be bothered with your drama anymore. And I suggest you do the same” I end the conversation.

As I turn around to go upstairs to my room, I see Osman running to go out in a hurry. I feel FURIOUS that he made Fifi see this, as the first thing that comes out of her mouth upon seeing this is

“I guess you didn't realize she was that hideous underneath that thing she was wearing ha?”
“Errm actually, I'm going out to get some stuff so me and her can party if you know what I mean” He replies with a wink.
“Uff! Disgusting! She’s making you buy these stuff isn't she? Little miss innocent” She argues and still not accepting the situation.
“I gotta do what the Mrs asks me to do ma. Seriously I gotta run. BYE” He dashes outside before I get the chance to speak to him and tell him off about this!

Before I go back upstairs, I see my wife huffing and puffing to herself and I wonder to myself if this whole thing is gonna work with her being against Shaimaa like this! And I think about telling her the truth for a minute before changing my mind again. She must never know about my inability to generate income anymore!

I will never hear the end of it, and she will start looking down on me and WORSE. She might leave me and take my son with her.
As much as they give me grief, I cannot imagine my life without them so I am just gonna have to keep my mouth shut and let this plan run it is course.

Shaimaa

It is bright and COLD when I woke up on my first day in England. I slept like someone who has been doing cartwheels all night!! I was that tired Wallah.
I take a peek from behind the covers to check that Osman is no where to be seen, and I see him sleeping in the sofa bed. I get out of bed and tip toe to the en-suite bathroom, and I immediately shut the door.

I take a shower as quickly and quietly as I could to avoid waking Mr Vain. I finish the shower, quickly scan the room to see if he woke up.
I run back inside the room and dry myself and put on my Niqab as quickly as I can. Boy this feels like a mission! But I keep reminding myself that it is necessary.
After I finish mission get dressed as fast as I can, I sit on the bed scared to death to go downstairs in case I run into Fifi.

What is with the name??

I decide that I WILL go downstairs to grab something to eat and get out of the house to explore London. I do not know how, but I will figure it out somehow Inshallah.
I go downstairs to see what is waiting for me, and I thank Allah that there is no one at this time. It is 6 o’clock in the morning by the way, and I take my compass out to check where the Qibla is so I can pray Fajr.

I pray Fajr in their large living room, and when I finish I take a look around the room and I can see how rich this people really are!
The sofas are fantastically beige and comfortable, although not very child friendly! And when I raise my head I see a HUGE chandelier above me.
These people really spent time and effort to decorate their home Mashallah. After going around to check the house, I enter the kitchen to fix myself breakfast, and BOY is the kitchen huge?

Anyway’s I look for something to eat, and I only find “special K” cereal and I wonder to myself how “special” this cereal really is!
I start eating it and I quickly realize that it is in fact NOT special! It is really tasteless. I check the back of the cereal and I read that it is for DIET!!!
I DO NOT DO DIET!!! But I have no choice in that matter as there is nothing in the cupboards. I finish eating my breakfast and I put on my shoes to explore the area.
I open the door, and before I could step outside I hear a voice saying

“Where do you think you’re going?”

I turn around and see Fifi looking at me up and down in a disgusted manner, and I close the door and look directly into her eyes to show her that I am not intimidated even though I am a little bit TERRIFIED of her :S

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Oct 11, 2013

POEM: FORGOTTEN PURPOSE

By Anum Ali




Bismillah 

Created for a purpose, forgotten what it was, 

Blinded by desires, 

Living an outrageous fraud. 

Man continues to exist, stubbornly, outrageously so, 

Disconnected from the Creator, 

Unbothered by tomorrow. 

It does not come light, the exegesis, 

Of Heaven and Hell in the Qur’an, 

It is no simple ordeal, to put up a fight with Shaytan. 

Coupled with worldly glitz and glamor, 

He appeals to Man with antics fun, 

The fall of Man are prayers unsaid, 

The doom of Man are deeds undone. 

“It is not our fight!” Proclaim some men, 

“We shall live to tell the day off.” 

Each deed shall speak for him, 

And Man will pay each cost. 

The cost of compromising, 

What was obligated. 

The penalty for denouncing, 

The purpose for which Man was created.



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I'd love to hear your views on this poem. Please tell me in the comments section below :)

Oct 9, 2013

“Let’s play again Mama” : The importance of play in a child’s upbringing- Part 1

by Amina Edota

Part 2
Part 3

Bismillah


''Play is truly the work of childhood''

Three year old Hamza called after his mother, his soft voice filled with excitement. ''Mama, Mama....'' he repeated, his voice getting louder. She turned briefly to look back at him even as she prepared to head out of the play area. Their play session, though very fulfilling, had sapped the little energy she had left in her, and she was already thinking about some of the house work that needed to be done before prayer time or before the baby wakes up. She was trying hard to pay attention to him.

''Yes Hamza dear!'', she managed to reply as calmly as possible.

''Let's play again, Mama! Pleasssssse!'', Hamza said.

That stopped her in her tracks, she slowly turned around smiling and with a heart full of love walked over to where he was standing and gave him a big hug. He hugged her back, as she reflected on the last twenty minutes they had spent together. While Mama was ready to put her feet up, Hamza was only just getting started.

Children are undeniably a source of joy and happiness in every home. They cause chaos, mischief, laughter and bring smiles to faces around them. They can be messy, loud, difficult and very playful; yet open, forgiving and cheerful. We have been commanded to give priority to our families and children. They count as valuable investments for the present as well as the future; and ultimately the hereafter.

One single notable characteristic of all children is that they are quite playful. They love to play, naturally have a lot of energy, and are very physically active. Playing has many benefits in the life of a child, especially active play. While many parents and adults may consider playing to be nothing more than meaningless activities or a waste of time, it is in reality such activities that help children develop their intellectual function and thus making it an important part of the learning process.

Did you know that research shows that the experiences during the first five years of a child’s life have a major influence on his or her future successes and general aspects of a healthy rewarding life?

What then can be more important than investing resources and time into knowing how to effectively utilise the early formative period and even beyond?

Each one of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock; a woman is the shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. 
(Bukhari and Muslim) 


To Play or not to Play 

Playing is the means by which children learn - how they experience their world, practice new skills, and internalize new ideas. It is therefore the essential ''work of children''.

We have many examples from the life of our beloved Prophet Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam, who was fond of children and would often be found playing with them. There was time he was seen crawling on his hands and knees while Al-Hasan and Al-Hussein were riding on his back and he used to say:

''The best riders are you and the best camel is yours.'' 
(Sahih Muslim) 

In another narration, it was reported that the Prophet Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam used to line up the sons of Al-Abbas (Abdullah, Ubaydullah and Kuthayyir) and say:


''Whoever reaches me first, I will give him such-and-such.'' So they would race towards him and jump on his back and chest, kissing him.

(Ahmad) 



To be continued In Sha Allah......


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below!

Oct 7, 2013

Resolving conflicts in the workplace the halal way - Part 2

By Arty

Part 1

Bismillah

We continue the discussion of suitable ways of dealing with and preventing conflict in the workplace.


5. Replacing evil with good
After remaining patient, making dua, putting our ego aside and voicing our opinion in the best manner, we might still find ourselves in conflicts with those who just like to cause trouble. It seems that every work place has at least one trouble maker, who, no matter how hard you try to make peace, will continue to cause trouble. As believers, we should see our interaction with such people as a test for us and the best way to pass it is to do what is pleasing to Allah. Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala asks us in the Qur’an to replace evil with good.

And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; ... [Surah Fussilat 41:34] 

We also see from the Qur’an that when the sons of Adam alayhi salaam argued, Abeel tried to avoid the argument as much as possible, yet Kabeel insisted on taking the conflict to a higher level and even threatened to kill his brother. In spite of this threat, Abeel responded with good. Abeel understood that his reward was with Allah subhannahu wa ta’ala. He told Kabeel:

Said [the former], 
"Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. If you should raise your hand against me to kill me - I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah , Lord of the worlds. " [Surah Maidah 5:27-28] 

6. Forgiveness 
Forgiveness also goes a long way in resolving conflicts. A conflict does not end until one or both parties forgive each other. Once you forgive each other, you are able to move on and work out solutions together. A believer should also remember that by forgiving others for the sake of Allah, he or she is earning the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala. Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala tells us in the Qur’an.

... and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Surah An-Nur 24:22] 

7. Maintaining Integrity
As believers, we should build a reputation as a person of integrity. Integrity is a quality that everyone recognises and appreciates regardless of religion and race. Prophet Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, was know as ‘Al Amin’, the trustworthy, even before he received prophethood. While the Quraish were fighting him in Mecca, they still came to him to keep their trust. If we are known in the workplace as being someone of integrity, a certain respect for us will still remain in times of conflicts. I have personally experienced this with one of my previous supervisors. The supervisor was known for having a short temper and for raising her voice and even sometimes using foul language, yet whenever we disagreed on something, she still showed me some respect. It was as if the supervisor did not feel comfortable yelling in my presence. Respect for each other makes it easier to exchange different points of view. However, this respect only comes as a result of maintaining integrity, of being honest, trustworthy, hardworking, of staying away from office gossip and of sincerely wanting good for others. To sum it up, we have to be ‘the bigger person’ as one author puts it in her article:

“Resolving conflicts should start with you being the bigger person and not playing into games or traps set by others. Try making a fresh start with the person or persons with whom you do not get along. Keep everything professional, but also be cordial and polite. Pay compliments and engage in conversations that allow the other person to be heard. Bring everything to the table and see if your differences can be resolved.” (2) 

Most of the steps taken in maintaining one’s integrity are actions that are beloved by Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala and part of the sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wa salaam. Therefore, for the believer, resolving conflicts in a ‘halal’ way is a win-win situation. It helps him or her establish an atmosphere of peace at work while at the same time earning the appreciation of his coworkers and of His Creator.


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below!


References:
(1) Bukhari
(2) http://www.livestrong.com/article/230684-how-do-i-resolve-conflict-with-coworkers/