Are You Falling in This Trap?

character

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Among those deceived people maybe the one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or keep a check on his sins. But if he does a good deed, he remembers it and relies on it.

This is like the one who seeks Allah’s forgiveness with his tongue, i.e. by words only, and glorifies Allah by saying Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) one hundred times a day. Then he backbites about the Muslims and slanders their honour and speaks all day long about things that displease Allah.

This person is always thinking about the virtues of his saying Subhan Allah and La ilâha illâ Allah but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, those who lie and slander others, or those who commit other sins of the tongue.

They are completely deceived.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

Running out of Patience? A Quick Reminder!

 

 

patience

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Oh feet of patience! Keep going, for what remains is only a little. Remember the sweetness of worship and the bitterness of striving will become easier for you.

Oh you who are patient! Bear a little more. Just a little more remains. Patience is that the heart does not feel anger towards what is destined for you and the mouth does not complain.

If a man’s patience is stronger than his whims and desires then he is like an angel, but if his whims and desires are stronger than his patience then he is like a devil.

If his desires are stronger than his patience then he is no better than an animal.

There is no joy for the one who does not bear sadness.

There is no sweetness for the one who does not have patience.

There is no delight for the one who does not suffer.

And there is no relaxation for the one who does not endure fatigue.

Happiness is attained by three things:

  • Being patient when tested.
  • Being thankful when receiving a blessing.
  • And being repentant upon sinning.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

 

[True Story] Children are Allah’s gifts

 

true story

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I have three children Alhumdullilah. Two of them are 13 and 9 years old. After a gap of 9 years I had my third child. Now why did it take me nine years to have the third one? Well my second child was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of one. His treatment was both emotionally and physically quite a challenge for me but by the grace of Allah he recovered at the age of 6. I was so scared of having a third one that I kept on asking people who had three children that how they managed. After a lot of research one evening I was getting ready for maghrib prayers at my parents place when I told my mom about my desire to have another baby. I told her to pray for me and we both offered dua. From that day on I realized the power of praying. My third child is a joy for all of us!

She does not have severe colic issues like my first child and she sleeps at night!!! When I looked at her for the first time in detail I was simply astonished. Allah Ho Akbar!

How Allah creates all the features of a human in such a tiny face! The hands and the feet, the lines in the palm…..everything is so beautiful.

I never knew that I will be enjoying my baby so much. She reminds me of the blessings of Allah. My elder children are so caring towards her that I feel my little one has more than 2 parents!

I am not a young mother and my bones are not that strong anymore! But I am much more mature and experienced than before. Hence I am calmer and do not loose hope and temper that easily.  Looking after my baby is my first priority and it does not bother me that I cannot continue my job because of the baby. I feel less threatened when someone points out my mistakes.

I used to feel very insecure when people used to give their expertise on bringing up children when I became a mother for the first time.

I think I am stronger in my faith too and therefore do not get hurt when offered opinions and myths. I listen to everyone, acknowledge their opinion but then research the information online and act accordingly. I am more grateful to people around me who offer a helping hand.

When I became a mother for the first time I was so overwhelmed with information coming from so many people around me. Some would criticize me while some would make me feel very guilty when there was a problem. I really wish people would stop being so critical towards first time mothers.

We don’t realize how stressed out a mother is for the first time. She is physically tired, emotionally disturbed and going through a brand new experience.

She needs a helping hand, someone to encourage her, give her positive feedback and support her when faced with a problem. In our society she is often faced with a totally different dilemma. Grandparents start with stories like “in our times” we did so and so and some even present the most horrific pictures to a new mom who has just started motherhood. Some criticize everything she does and makes her feel worthless. On top of that many consider her of no use as she stops working and is not earning money anymore.

This is not the right way to treat these mothers. They are tired, haven’t had sleep and are new to motherhood. The least people around her can do is help her and not create more problems for her. By now for me, Allah is the best help I take refuge in. I look for duas and Islamic ways of soothing my child. There are some wonderful sites with so much help and tips. Islamic songs and lullaby’s are easily available online. I have downloaded KidsGoApps on my mobile for Islamic songs, alphabets, nasheed and lots of other things to keep my baby entertained when she is upset.

My request to experienced moms, please share only positive things with new moms. You can warn them and give them solutions but don’t share unpleasant experiences. For example, if your baby was colic and you had a very tough time, don’t share it with a new mom unless she asks for help. Even when she does, give her helpful tips and encourage her to focus on the positive side. For example, tell her it is just a phase that will soon be over.

New moms, read, study and talk to other mothers to get as much information as you can. Record it in a journal so that you have a reference book that you can use when faced with an issue.

Keep a bulletin board in your room where you can pin up important things like vaccines, solid food chart etc. Of course this is time consuming but once you do this everything will be organized and right in front of you. You won’t have to call a friend again for a recipe or tip. So take out time once in a while and keep everything in place for future use. Important phone numbers should be saved in your mobile phone.

One last lesson that I personally use and find it very handy, when the baby is crying too much and you can’t handle it, give the baby to a responsible person and move out of that room. Drink a glass of water or eat something if you are out of energy. Go to a quieter room for two minutes, calm yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing your best. The baby will cry because that is the only language she knows. Once you are back to your baby you will have more energy to deal with the situation.

And remember one thing…….this is the best gift Allah has given you. Enjoy it! Nothing like a baby’s smile and for me when my baby cries for me I feel so important! I do not regret going back to work or not being able to cook a perfect meal!

 

 

Tips to Become Allah’s Beloved

good people

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Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings the most benefit. And the most beloved of deeds, according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificence is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim or relieve him of distress or pay off his debts or keep hunger away from him. It is more beloved to me that I walk with my Muslim brother in his time of need than I stay secluded in the mosque for a month. Whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults and whoever suppresses his fury while being able to execute it, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the day of standing. Whoever walks with his Muslim brother in need until he establishes that for him, Allah will establish his feet firmly on the Day when all feet shall flip. Indeed, bad character ruins deeds just as vinegar ruins honey.” (At-Tabarani; reliable)

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

The Secret to Life that Everyone Knows but Nobody Uses

 

way_of_life

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The more you get into skincare, the more complicated it gets. There is seriously a step-by-step program to get your skin out of acne-land and into clear territory. At least, that’s what my latest purchase of skin products claims.

So, it is time to bring out the cleanser, the toner, the moisturizer and so on and so forth for coaxing your skin to become smoother, cleaner, clearer and under control.

I wish it was that easy to clean and clear out my heart from all the garbage gathered in it over the years. It’s a one-step program, though. Put one step on your Nafs (your base desires) and put your next step into Paradise. However, stepping on your Nafs is like trying to pin down greased lightning. In other words, it slips out of the way and out of control.

The beautiful thing is that it’s your effort that counts. Put in the best effort, and the results are not in your hands.

Purification of the Nafs and the soul is Allah’s (swt) job. Doing the struggle is our job.

Funny enough, it is the same with skincare. We cannot force the products to work. The function of the products and the way our body responds to them are not in our hands either, which is good. Just imagine having to physically push the moisturizer into the skin and make the skin absorb it and then make it soften the skin. You get my point, I hope.

So, what’s the secret?

The secret to unlocking the door to a blessed life is…it’s possible to do it. It’s within reach. It’s right there, and it’s yours.

That’s really all there is to it. It’s only our own self that gets in the way, with its inclinations towards laziness, indulgence and entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with having a slow/lazy day, indulging in a treat or entertaining yourself, but if you allow them to stop you from practicing Islam, then it’s a problem.

Action plan for revitalization

Usually, by the time we realise we need to work on our hearts, they are quite dead. If your day goes by and you don’t feel the need to open the Quran, it means you are being fulfilled by the distractions of this world; therefore, you are not seeking the goodness of the afterlife. The principle in play here is that the very things that seem difficult to us (focusing in prayer, making heartfelt supplication and reading the Quran with understanding) are the things we need in order to get out of this rut.

Fortunately, the very routine that sucks us into a monotony of soul-breaking activities can be set up in such a way that it benefits us. Take up three simple things in your life:

  1. Miswak (brushing with a tooth-stick)
  2. Sleeping the Sunnah nap after Dhuhr prayer
  3. Sleeping early after Isha prayer, getting up on time for Fajr prayer and not sleeping after the Fajr.

These things will bring Barakah (value, goodness) into your life.

How to follow the action plan?

It’s easy enough to figure out, which habits of yours hold you back from making the most of your real potential as a Muslim.

The key here is to find that one good habit that you can use to chip away at the road block of heedlessness. It can be a recitation of a certain Surah of the Quran, or a recital of a supplication, or a lecture series/book you are really into.

Find that one thing and hold on to it with both hands. Don’t engage in it mindlessly. Do it every day within a set time slot, and do it with your heart. If you don’t or can’t do something new in your routine, do something you already do with heart, with feeling and focus.

How do I know it is working?

I have news for you. You will never get a celebratory fanfare with the spotlight on you and a big screen with ‘you did it!’ on it, with confetti falling on you, and the crowd screaming in delight (you get the picture) – you will not get it in this life for anything Islamic you do. It’s not like you will pick up the prayer beads and suddenly your heart will undergo a permanent transformation for the better. Be realistic. That little flutter in your heart, when you finally connect with the words you speak, while going over those prayer beads? Awesome. Just don’t make it the aim of your worship. The aim of worship is not to experience enjoyment. It is to humble ourselves before Allah (swt).

To give a direct answer to the question: love is a verb. It means, when you care about someone, you give them importance by doing things for them. In this scenario, it means you express your love to Allah (swt) by dedicating your life to Him.

The very fact that you are bringing Islamic activity into your life means that the change for the better has taken place.

Any last words?

We usually expect Islam to ‘fix’ our lives and make them harm-proof the moment we act upon it. That’s not the purpose. Life is hard and it will remain so. However, there’s a big difference between simply existing and going with the flow and actual living for achieving something.

Whether it’s softening skin or softening hearts, the same rule applies. We just have to remember it.

Seven Tips to Discipline your Inner Self

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  1. Seek Refuge from Shaytan

As soon as you get a negative thought about someone, realize that Shaytan is playing with your mind. Don’t let him win. Instead, ask Allah (swt) to protect you from him.

  1. Focus on the Facts

When something happens that you do not understand or like, understand the facts. By taking a colder look at the facts, you will see that the situation is lot less dramatic than you originally thought.

  1. Analyze your Interpretation

How are you interpreting the facts? This is usually what is triggering your negative emotions-except that you have added this interpretation yourself, and that you can choose to have an empowering interpretation instead.

  1. Don’t make people into villains

As difficult as it may feel, let go of the idea that someone else in your situation is the enemy who is out to get you. Stop making others wrong and yourself right.

  1. Avoid Playing the Victim

By choosing to put yourself into the role of the innocent victim, you are avoiding taking responsibility for your situation. Instead, be proactive and look at what you can do to make the situation better.

  1. Make Excuses for Others

The Sunnah encourages us to think good of others and make excuses for them whenever possible. In fact, Hazrat Umar (rta) said: “Do not think badly of a word uttered by your brother when you can find a good interpretation for it.”

  1. Take Responsibility for Yourself

Allah (swt) has given you freewill-  no matter how difficult a situation may appear to you, it is entirely up to you how you choose to react. Remember-  the test of life is not what happens to you, but whether you deal with it in a manner that is pleasing to Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) give me and you the Tawfeeq to implement these tips. Ameen.

 

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

Successful Parenting and You: Golden Tips to be at Finger Tips

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Allah (swt) has granted great status to parents- not only because they bring the children in this world, but they are raising future Muslims. Children are the responsibility of parents, and Allah (swt) will ask about that responsibility on the Day of Judgement. Parenting is not an easy job, and can’t be learned from any book- one can learn it from experience only.

Respect

Mostly, the word ‘respect’ is associated with elders only. But, children also have the right to be respected.

Sometimes, parents scold or shout at their children in front of friends and cousins. In such situations, children face shame and humiliation. Parents can scold their children, but everything has a way to be done.

“Don’t yell at your children, when you yell the message is lost. Speak calmly for words to be heard, and they’ll retain the message better”. (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Give respect to your children to gain respect. When children feel respected, it boosts their self-esteem.

Love

All parents love their children, but only a few express that love. Parents should express their love to children by actions live kissing, hugging and complimenting them. One can learn from Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) behaviour with kids also. Prophet (sa) also said:

“He is not from us who does not show mercy to the young, and does not honour the old.” (Tirmidhi)

Comparison Is Not Good

Parents compare their child with children of the same age group. This shouldn’t be done. Every person has its own abilities and talents. The comparison may lead to wrong way. They should encourage their children for doing good things and build their confidence. What happens next after this comparison is a child starts to copy others- instead of discovering his/her hidden talent and polishing own skills.

“As parents, we must learn from our children and guide them in daily lives. Parenting goes both ways- it’s a give and take relationship”.  (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Give Attention

Sometimes parents complain that my child doesn’t pay attention to whatever I say. He/she does not bother to listen. I think, somewhere, it is their fault because a child seeks full attention of parents which they fail to give. This often occurs when mothers are helping their young children to do homework, their finger of one hand is on a copy of child, and the other hand is on a smart phone.

Also, elders don’t listen to younger ones whole heartedly; or do not let them complete because they are taking a lot time to convey their matter. Parents should give full attention to their children, and let them talk. They should spend quality time with them indulging in activities like storytelling, cooking their favourite food, playing games.

“Spending time with children is more important than spending money on them’’. (Mufti Ismail Menk)

Avoid Nicknames

Don’t call your children by nicknames like “Munnu” or “Baby”. Name has an impact on personality. If you call your child by a nickname, then avoid calling by that name in the presence of his/her friends. Sometimes these nicknames embarrass children in a gathering of friends and school.

Parents are Role Models

I heard my 4-year-old cousin saying: “Mama, I want to be like you. I want to wear earrings like you and have long hair like yours.” This shows that children follow their parents, and want to be like them. So, that’s why parents should be careful of their actions and words in front of children- because these little ones are great observers as well.

 

 

Top Five Thoughts to Forgive Anyone

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How can you forgive someone when it seems too difficult? Try considering the following:

 

  1. It is the fastest way for you to get Allah’s (swt) forgiveness; ask yourself this question from the Quran- Do you not want that Allah should forgive you?
  1. It will free you from the pain- for holding onto bitterness makes you suffer. If you find their mistakes too big, remember that by definition, forgiveness is when they don’t deserve it.
  1. Forgiveness is the quality of the people of Taqwa. Do it for yourself if you want to be a person of Taqwa who enters Jannah.
  1. You want people to forgive you. You need others to forgive your mistakes instead of settling the score because you want peace on the Day of Judgement.
  1. What if they die tomorrow? Would you still feel angry, or would you feel regret for how things ended? Make peace with them now when you still have the choice.

 

May Allah (swt) make forgiveness easy for us. Ameen.

Transcribed for hiba by Anoshia Riaz

 

 

 

 

Parenting – Create Loving Homes for Your Children

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For raising our children to become responsible and well-groomed Muslim youth, we, as parents, have to put forth efforts into development of their character and personality. Since home is the first nurturing place of every child, it is of utmost importance to create within it a supportive atmosphere, which will facilitate the stability and confidence of our children. The following tips will help you to build loving homes for your children:

1. Trust comes first

Parents and children should have a relationship based on friendship and trust. No matter what age they are, our children need guidance from the inside of the home, not the outside.

We cannot be sure of the motives of people giving them guidance from outside; thus, they should feel confident enough to seek guidance at home, without feeling the need to look for outside sources.

2. Home Safe Home

Home should be the most comfortable place for your children. If they are not comfortable staying home for studying, playing and relaxing, they may look for options out of the home, which can become a negative influence on them.

3. Be the problem solver

Trust your children. Give them as much space, as they are comfortable to share with you. If they have a problem, listen to them and help solving it- instead of making a big issue of it, which would encourage your kids to hide from you their other problems.

4. Befriend their friends

Know the friends of your children for ensuring that they are in a good company. Let your children invite their friends to your home, so you can keep a watch over them and get to know them.

5. Keep a hawk’s eye

Keep parental controls over social media, technologies, gaming and mobile phones. There are more wolves out there than you can imagine.

6. Stay tuned to their life channel

Never be overly confident that your child is the purest person on earth. It may happen that our children fall in bad company, which affects them in ways we could not have dreamed of.

7. Family’s day out

Limit the time your children spend with their friends and increase family outings to compensate for it. Sleepover at any friend’s place must be a big ‘no’.

8. Their life, their choice- Accept!

Accept your children’s choices, whenever possible. Often they are not wrong in asking what they wish for, whether it is their career choice or even a prospective spouse.

9. Matured rightly? Time to marry!

Encourage your children to marry early, as that helps in character building and assuming a responsible attitude towards life. This is encouraged also in the Sunnah. From our surroundings, we can see the repercussions of doing the opposite. If you are against early marriage, your child may find an alternative in the form of a girlfriend or boyfriend outside the home. Thus, it is wise to marry your children, both boys and girls, when you are sure they are mature enough to think rightly.

10. Home is not a place, it’s a feeling

Don’t build a luxurious and lavish house for your children, indulging them with the material goods of this world. Instead, make loving homes for them, guide them with advice and nourish them emotionally, so that they are ready to face the adverse environment of today’s society.

 

 

Tips to Get Closer to Allah (swt)

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Some tips to get closer to Allah (swt) are:

Call out to Him

Make Dua to Allah (swt). When you take one step towards Allah (swt), He will take ten steps towards you. So, ask Allah (swt) to help you get closer to Him, and to accept all of your actions.

Some good stories must stay untold

Do more secret good deeds. Hide rather than publicize your good deeds. Without the watchful eyes of people, it will be easier to purify your intentions, and do things for the sake of Allah (swt).

Death is running after you

Remember death. Death is the only thing guaranteed in life; so remember where you are heading. Imagine lying in your grave; imagine the angels questioning you; and imagine standing in front of Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement.

Nothing is sweeter than His own name

Find out Allah’s (swt) names and attributes. The more you know about Allah (swt), the more your heart will become attached to Him. Also, learn about the life of the Prophet (sa) and his companions; this will increase your love for them, and ultimately, your love for Allah (swt).

Keep Allah (swt)-loving company

Find good friends. The Prophet (sa) said: “A man will follow the religion of his close friend; so let each of you look to whom he takes as a close friend.” It is critical to surround yourself with friends who will help you get closer to Allah (swt).

Connect with the Quran daily

The Quran contains Allah’s (swt) words to us, which is medicine for our soul. Set aside time daily to read the Arabic and translation- even if it’s a small amount, and reflect on the meaning.

Speak your heart in Salah

Understand what you recite in Salah. The prayer allows you to speak to Allah (swt), but it will only deeply affect your heart when you understand what you’re saying. Learn the meaning of the words, and think about the meaning as you pray.

May Allah (swt) give me and you the Tawfeeq to implement these tips. Jazak’Allah Khair.

 

Transcribed for hiba by Saneya Qadir

First my Mother- Forever my Friend

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The Holy Prophet (sa) said: “Paradise lies under the feet of mother.” This Hadeeth highlights the importance of a mother, and the role of a mother in a child’s life.

A mother is not only the gateway of paradise for a child; rather she is a ray of hope in all problems.

She pulls a child out from all the difficulties, and enables him to transcend all the barriers, and cross all obstacles.

 

I experienced a serious problem a few weeks ago. I was bullied for being short. My classmates used to make fun of me and call me “Choti Auntie (short-heighted woman).” As a result, I became increasingly conscious about my appearance, and became quite self diffident. I talked to some friends about it, and they told me not to worry about it. Their satisfying words did not satiate me completely- as the thought of being physically defected had made a niche in my mind.

 

All the other thoughts of positivity could not pass through this barrier of self doubt. My mother is an extremely conscious lady. She observes all the family members to find out whether they are okay or not. She had been noticing my odd behaviour. I had not been eating well. I had been skipping meals, and staying quite doleful. She observed my condition for a week after which she made her move. After Fajr, my mother called me and asked me to go for a walk. I declined at first because I was not in the mood. She persisted and I gave in. We went to a park near our house for the walk. We walked for about five minutes after which my mother finally spoke up.

 

She asked me why I had been too different recently. “School stuff and stress!” I replied in an impassive way. She persuaded me, and finally convinced me into telling her why I was so upset. I told her about being bullied. I explained that I had become the laughing stock of my class fellows because of my short height. She listened to all my complaints with concern. I started to cry and she began to console me. I realised that day that the only shoulder which can offer me satisfaction and calm my inner storm is that of my mother.

 

She explained how people become jealous of your abilities, and point out flaws in you to let you down. Her soothing words made me re-think about my behaviour for the past few days, and I reached the conclusion that I should not waste my time thinking about the flaws. Her words instilled a positive spirit in me.

 

It is strange how a mother’s love and her kind words can cure the incurable wounds easily.

The status of mother has been raised because of the affection she showers to a child. Specifically, the bond between a mother and daughter is unique, and cannot be put into words. We face many problems in our life, and the sole remedy is Mother. Respect and love her and cherish those lovely mother-daughter moments. Do not feel low or uncomfortable due to the mean and rude remarks of others; rather keep your self-esteem high and fight all odds.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma- irresistible, satiating, and oh so delicious!

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Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 1 chicken breast piece cut into thin strips
  • ¼ tsp. ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp. all spice powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • ½ tsp. black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp. white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. dry crushed coriander
  • ½-1 tsp. red chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp. yogurt

Mix all the above ingredients with chicken pieces, and leave for marination for at least ½ an hour.

For the pita bread dough

  • 3 cups refined flour (Maida) i.e. 24 tbsp.
  • Water for making the dough (1 to 1.25 cup)
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • Pinch of sugar

For the pickle

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp. black or white pepper
  • ½ tsp. red chili flakes
  • 2-3 tbsp. white vinegar

For the sauce

  • 5 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. crushed garlic
  • Salt as per liking
  • ½ lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. white pepper powder

Mix all of the sauce ingredients.

 

How to make:

The Pita bread

  • In a cup, add the sugar and water, and let the sugar dissolve. Then, add in yeast and keep aside for 10-ten minutes.
  • Add salt in flour, and make into dough using the yeast mixture.
  • Apply a thin layer of oil on your prepared dough, and cover with cling film /large bowl. Leave for at least ¾ hour.
  • Once your dough is proofed, make round pita breads with a rolling pin. Dust your work surface with flour to prevent dough from sticking. If the dough is sticky sprinkle some more flour.
  • Cook your pita bread on a girdle. As soon as you transfer your pita bread on the girdle, cover it with a pan’s lid for 5-10 seconds.
  • Remove the lid, flip your pita bread and drizzle oil around it.Once your pita bread is cooked, remove it from a girdle. Make sure that it doesn’t get chapatti like brown spots by continuously flipping the pita, while cooking.

The Chicken

  • Drizzle a bit of oil in a pan and add your marinade, turn the flame to medium and cover your pan.
  • Once the chicken is tender and all water has evaporated, take the chicken out in a dish.

The Pickle

  • Cut vegetables into thin strips.
  • Heat vinegar in a pan on low-medium flame.
  • Add pickle ingredients and stir.
  • Once the vegetables are soft, keep aside.

The assembling of Shawarma

Your hard work and patience is about to pay off.

  • On two butter papers place pita bread and spread the sauce all over it.
  • Place 3-4 thin tomato slices vertically in the center of the pita.
  • Next, place the pickle, then chicken and then some more pickle.
  • Now add in more sauce (and if you like then any other available sauce, as well.)
  • Make it into a roll and wrap with butter paper.

And voila! Your Chicken Shawarma is ready to be devoured.

 

‘Allahu Akbar’- Do we really mean it?

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We hear the phrase “Allahu Akbar” being used and misused daily. Some use it to declare the Glory and Enormity of Allah (swt), while some misuse it to legitimize their own personal animosity towards certain people.

When we use certain phrases much frequently, such as, Allahu Akbar, Subhan’Allah, Alhumdulillah, and Masha’Allah, we lose the true essence of these phrases, and use them as a sheer habit.

 

When we say “Subhan’Allah”, it means we are declaring His Exaltation and His Glory. When we say “Alhumdulillah”, it means we praise Him for all the blessings He has bestowed up on us. These phrases are much more than a set of words. They are a part of our faith in Allah (swt). Similarly, Allahu Akbar is much more than just two words. Even if a whole book is written on these two words, it would not do justice to what they truly contain.

 

Allahu Akbar – Social Media is a liar!

Social Media is full of negative content that shows the world that “Allahu Akbar” is used mostly when people of sick and twisted minds kill others

. Muslims who are true in faith say Allahu Akbar when they are startled by His miracles up on the earth; when they are frightened by disasters and calling for His help; when they are scared and weak; when they are joyful and at their peak; when they announce their love and trust in Him.

 

Who is the Master of the miraculous galaxies- Allahu Akbar

Allahu Akbar means Allah is the Greatest. Earth is approximately 85,345,714,285,714,286 times bigger than an adult human being. Earth’s sun is so large that 1,300,000 planet earths could fit inside the sun. The star Eta Carinae is over 5,000,000 (five million) times larger than our sun. Star Betelgueuse is 300 times larger than star Eta Crinae.  VY Canismajoris is a billion times larger than our sun.

The galaxy we live in is called “Milky Way”. It has all these stars and planets within our solar system. There are 300 billion suns within our own galaxy.

If we can travel at a speed of 300,000 km/sec, it would take us 100,000 years to reach the end of our galaxy. This is not all.

 

We have a neighbour galaxy which is called “Andromeda”. It is twice in size compared to our galaxy. There is another galaxy called M81, which is 60 times bigger than our galaxy, whereas galaxy IC01011 is 600 times bigger than our galaxy. Remember, that each galaxy has billions of suns million times bigger than our sun, which is 1,300,000 times bigger than our earth, which is 85,345,714,285,714,286 times bigger than a human being. But this is not all; the way stars and planets make galaxies, similarly galaxies make clusters. We live in “Virgo” cluster which has more than fifty four 54 galaxies. Clusters together make “super clusters”.  Our super cluster is known as “Local Group Galaxy Cluster”, which has 100 clusters in it approximately. The number of super clusters in the “observable universe” is estimated to be 10 million. The diameter of observable universe is 93 billion light years. One light year equals to 10 trillion kilometers. This is only what is observable to us. This is the Creation of The One, The Only, Allah (swt).

 

The Power of His Right Hand

Allah says, “They made not a just estimate of Allah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He, and High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him!.” (Az-Zumar 39:67)

Recall what is explained above, and imagine it in Allah’s (swt) right hand. This is the meaning of Allahu Akbar – Allah is the Greatest! How can we be arrogant? We have no control over anything. He has all the Power and Control over everything. Allahu Akbar – Allah (swt) is the Greatest! This is just a small fraction of Allah’s (swt) Might. This is what our weak minds can collect and imagine. Allahu Akbar – Allah is the Greatest! Whenever we say Allahu Akbar, we must understand what it truly means; and once we comprehend, we must fall in prostration immediately.

 

Exclusive Interview with Ustadh Asif Uddin

Hiba Magazine conducted an exclusive interview with Ustadh Asif Uddin who was on a visit to Pakistan recently.

Ustadh Asif Uddin is a graduate of Business and Information Technology from the University of North London. He further pursued a Masters in Information System at Brunel University. He has been heavily involved in Dawah from the time he was at university. He is a keen student of knowledge and has studied the Islamic sciences in Mauritania, Egypt, and Qatar, and continues that journey today. Ustadh Asif gives weekly circles on Aqeedah and Tafseer and is a lecturer for Sabeel (Muslim Research and Development Foundation) and Chief Editor at Islam21c.com.

The interview was conducted by Talha Arif, a 15-year-old student of L2L Academy, on behalf of Hiba.

You can listen to the audio of the interview below:

 

How to Increase your Child’s I.Q Level?

 

Image Courtesy www.clipartkid.com

 

Intelligence quotient (I.Q) is a globally accepted score, or standard showing the person’s ability to understand the world. However, in short, I.Q is the way people perceive the world based on their understanding of the subject, backed by their information and knowledge gained through communication – reading, talking, and writing – and through observing.

 

Raising smarter children is, perhaps, the concern all parents are living with. With an ever-competitive and an ever-evolving world, parents want their child to know the world and the way to live in it; thereby using their own intellect and wisdom to take necessary decisions at the right time to lead a successful life.

 

Often times, parents do not realize the need to raise kids with a higher I.Q or with a mind that can decipher signs to make a worthwhile meaning out of it.

While, most parents are willing to make their children an example for others- enthusiastically making an effort to teach their children whatever they know. However, much more has to be done to broaden the child’s mental horizon. This article will look at ways through which parents can raise their child’s I.Q level.

 

Conversation

Parents often believe that talking about everything with their children is not appropriate. However, any time is a good time to converse with your child about topics and issues of life you think are important, or which will affect your child in the future. Talking with children from an age when they understand words and simple concepts of life will build their vocabulary, help them talk better, and realize the world they live in. For instance, when the child is three to four years old you should talk to the child about cleanliness, about wearing neat clothes, about going early to bed, about the moon, the sun, and the stars. However, this conversation should be as simple as ABC, thereby telling the children what you mean without you sounding too mature for them to understand your content.

 

 Children become confident when parents talk to them. Since, children reply to this conversation- they use their mind to think of answers, and use observation to know more about what to add to the conversation.

Have you ever wondered why children living in a joint family system are more confident? It is because of too many people (apart from their parents and siblings) are talking to them every day. Talk to your child as if you are talking to an adult but in a simple language. It is the parent’s words, which creates a child’s personality.

 

Read with them, Read to them

Reading, among all modes of communication, is by far the most important tool in making your child confident and intelligent. Colorful books with illustrations and lots of information, stories, facts, and comics, give a child the sense to see things, learn, and implement in life. Helping your child develop a reading habit is a gift the child will treasure for life. Sit with your child for half an hour or an hour – depending on your availability and the child’s mood – and read to them, or read them books they are fond of; Asking them questions on your own- as you read to them- will also help the child in thinking out of the box. All bookstores have a children’s section. You can buy books covering all genres and topics, in all sizes for your child so they can read, learn, and accumulate information in their mind that will help them as they grow up. For toddlers, books about shapes, colors, sizes, alphabets, things, and other concept books a must-read by parents.

 

Memory Test

Having a good memory is also imperative for having a strong I.Q. When reading books to your child, ask questions from the content they have read the same day, or a few days later, to check how much your child has retained in mind.

Some children take time recollecting memories from the past, while others talk to their parents about the past on their own. Do not worry if the child has trouble memorizing things as a memory, like a language and writing, develops on its own.

 

Never get Angry

Children have a weird temper. They have their moods, and you cannot change them. Do not get angry if the child is not focusing on a task. Give the child time to adjust, or use a different strategy. Lure them in studying, playing, or talking by giving them an incentive of a chocolate or taking them out for a walk once they finish the talk. Never get angry with them, or they will lose the motivation to learn.

 

Math and Numbers

When talking to your child in everyday conversation, build the child’s mathematical and numerical skills. This may increase the I.Q- since every part of life has mathematics and numbers involved in it. Teach the child numbers from 1 to 100, or when playing with them ask them the number of toys they have. Moreover, make the child learn to read and tell time since it is all numbers-based.

 

Train the Mind

The child’s mind needs a parent’s constant nurturing, and the best way after reading to them is to make them play with block toys. Lego is perhaps the best toy available. It gives children an opportunity to use their creative skills and imagination to build anything they want. Let the child build whatever comes to mind for its makes the child confident.

 

Never Criticize

Criticism and disapproval kill the inside of a child. Even a child has built a strange object with Lego, or has drawn doodles on paper that makes no sense, always encourage them and motivate them and appreciate their efforts. This is the only way to make them believe in themselves. Self-belief is the only way any child can attain greatness in life and parents are the ones who can introduce this in their child.

 

Let them Do it!

Often parents want to complete their child’s entire task. When the child is able to walk, hold things, and have understood basic concepts of life- let them complete simple tasks. These include tying shoelaces, putting toys in one place, putting up shirt buttons, wearing socks, combing their hair, drinking water from the glass, drawing, climbing up and down on a bed, or sofa, and so on. Giving the child the room to complete tasks, and appreciating once done, will be a morale booster.

 

Bring Home the Bacon- The Islamic way!

Image Courtesy www.bestlessonsofmylife.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Islam upholds certain distinct values, singling it out from all other prevalent religions present upon the globe. Among these values stands the prominent issue of choosing career. Making money is the need of every human being on the globe, irrespective of the religion to which they belong. Denouncement of career or jobs would only make the survival more problematic.

An acute moment in life of a Muslim is to opt for the suitable career. One does not have to follow the norm of society, but actually interpret the multiple sides of that particular career to determine its relevance in religion. The selection must be parallel to Islamic injunctions, incapable to impair productivity of Muslim, and possess sufficient potential to raise levels of a person in Hereafter.

An ideal case would be to select an option in career that would benefit the entire Muslim Ummah, as well as, provide sustenance to the individual himself.

Following are a few steps that must be followed by an individual when making career decisions:

 

Career-lifestyle match

A person will never be productive enough in his job- unless he puts his heart into that task. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses- with particular focus on the subjects you enjoy. Carefully weigh the implications of certain career on your lifestyle, then contrast those with the kind of lifestyle you desire; pursue the chosen field if these go hand in hand. Cast aside if they don’t.

 

Consultation

It is highly important for one to consult elders when making grim career-oriented decisions-  that ought to have far-reaching consequences upon one’s life. Since career building matters to yield long term results, one shall always consult with parents, guardians, teachers and fellows prior to making any decision. They will provide sincere and experienced thoughts about the issue, helping in acquiring a more reliable and beneficial decision

 

Halal-Check

A mandatory condition for all considered career opportunities is that, they must serve Halal income.

Abu Hurairah (rta) said: “The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: ‘if one of you were to carry a bundle of firewood on his back and sell it, that would be better than asking a man who may or may not give him something.”‘ (An-Nasai)

Working to earn a Halal earning is a religious obligation in itself, apart from the other basic obligatory acts- like fasting, Hajj and Zakat.

Material pleasures may come and pass eventually, but the earning means are recorded in the Deed Book, for eternity. Islam does not even deny the manual labour when it comes down to earning.

Therefore, whatever career you choose, evaluate the Islamic limits, and whether the profession falls within the premises of Islamic guidelines.

 

Connecting Career with Ibadah

When a person opts for any career, particularly Muslim, he must have a religious perspective in sight, too. That would mean that he must only go for the career that would allow him to follow teachings of Allah (swt), and remain steadfast to Islamic laws. This will be then imputed as a good deed, Insha’Allah.

“Shaytan (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahsha (evil deeds, illegal sexual intercourse, sins etc.); whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (Al-Baqarah 2:268).

This point also implies that an individual must choose a profession that would benefit the Ummah directly or in the long run.

However, from a larger perspective, align your intentions with the pleasure of Allah (swt). Let Him know how you aim at using wealth from the endeavors you make, and how you want this career to be a source of worldly fulfillment in conjunction with success in after life.

 

Seek Allah’s (swt)Assistance

All human efforts are meaningless- unless they are in accordance with Allah’s (swt) commands, or seeking His pleasure. Humankind, as frail as it is, is always at the risk of attaining wrath of Allah (swt) through the actions attempted in ignorance, or in complete senses. In order to reduce the probability of falling under Allah’s (swt) disgrace, be assured that you follow His commands. Refer to Him in all matters, and make Him your confidant for He truly is the only One to show correct path.

Thus, we conclude this topic with the belief that-  no matter what profession we choose, we need to stand on firm-footing about its placement in Islam- along with imploring for Allah’s (swt) help constantly. The sound repercussions of such career would clearly be felt throughout one’s life.