Travel Morocco

Vol 3- Issue 4 MoroccoMorocco is one of Africa’s most popular travel destinations. No matter how well-seasoned a traveler you are, you’ll find plenty to see and do. Fine Atlantic and Mediterranean beaches, desert excursions, wondrous imperial cities, Islamic landmarks, Roman antiquities, resort facilities, mountain villages, oases, and towering sand dunes are just some of the wonders you can expect to find in Morocco.


Tourists coming to Casablanca expect to find a romantic town, as depicted in the classic film of the same name. The biggest must-see of Casablanca is the new Hassan II Mosque. Place Mohammed V, also known as Place des Nations Unies, this square in the centre of Casablanca is one of the nicest examples of French colonial architecture.

Casablanca was founded by the Portuguese as Casa Branca. It was never a very important town, until the French came to Morocco in the beginning of the 20th century. They started to develop the axis Rabat (their capital) – Casablanca – at a high speed, which gave Casablanca its position as the economic powerhouse of Morocco.


Built next to a site of the tragic earthquake of 1961 that killed 15,000, it exhibits a totally different city culture and architecture from the rest of the country. So it is no wonder that especially for tourists the streets have been made wide and straight, houses are low and hotels have been constructed between the city and the beach. For many visitors, it is a functional, open, and beautiful change from the more typical cities.

The fish market of Agadir has been turned into the surprise tourist attraction. Agadir is truly an important fish city, serving both African and European markets.


We are bewitched by the spell of the place and its people, folk artists to their very souls, who have only one aim in view – to make a stay in their city as entrancing an experience as possible. With its world-famous square, Jamaâ El Fna, the beacon city of the Almoravids was founded in about 1070.

The first Almohad sovereign, Abdelmoumen, began the construction of the Koutoubia mosque. The Badi Palace has long been regarded as a wonder of the Muslim world.

Other marvels to be found in the Red City are the Dar Si Said museum, containing much quintessential Moroccan art and displaying a glittering array of gold and marble ornaments.

Novelties of Morocco

Camel trekking

You can discover the Waddi and the Desert on the back of a dromedary (the faster one- humped brother of the two humped camel), while spending the evenings camped out under the ‘hotel of 1000 stars.’ The sunrise is a mystical experience. You can rent a helicopter from Marrakesh or spend your days following the ancient trade routes on the back of a camel.

Carpet shopping

Buying a Moroccan carpet can be a pleasurable shopping experience. Offer the seller a little less than what you’re willing to pay as your opening counteroffer to his first price. Once you enter into negotiations, you can walk away at any time, but if you agree on a price, then you’ll have to buy (walking away after accepting a price is against the rules).


The art of making silver jewellery is a very ancient Moroccan tradition. The silver jewellery comes in many shapes and sizes, such as Berber Bedouin bracelets, earrings, anklets, and necklaces. Among the most popular are heavy solid silver bracelets with deeply-etched designs, which originate from the tradition of carpet making, where the extra weight of the bangle would help accelerate the hand holding the shuttle over the loom.


Leather ware has been a highly prized trade item since the 16th century. Thousands of different types of leather are available, found stretched out on the straw to dry in the sun. Leather is used to make handbags, travel bags, and satchels to mention but a few of the uses. These will be styled by the leather workers with gold-leafed designs and other colors to produce Arabic and geometric designs.

Metal framed lamps are traditionally covered with leather before being hand painted to produce an original lighting effect for your house.

Olive oil from Djemaa El Fna

Morocco has an ideal climate for the olive tree. Surrounding the walled city of Marrakesh, the olive trees give shade to the sun baked ground. Marrakesh and the Djemaa El Fna Place is where you should buy your olives. Olives are ready to be served with every meal, either as an appetizer or with your main course.

The Imlil orange stand

Oranges are one of the natural products in Morocco. Irrigation is always a problem in the arid environment to swell the fruit. As you drive through the production areas in the valleys surrounding Marrakesh, check out the length of the sprinklers.

Wood carving in Essaouria

Wood carving is a product that you will come across throughout Morocco. But on the Atlantic coast, the Moroccan town of Essaouria is the centre of craftsmen, shaping everything from tissue paper holders to elegant tables and desks. Here the craftsmanship is on another level – the beautiful mix of the sweet smelling dark brown oil, which is used to protect the carving, and the fine workmanship will give you a present that you must take back home.

Permitted and Prohibited Methods of Contraception – Part III

which_method-HUBThe Viewpoint of Scholars

In 1988 a Fiqh council held in Kuwait issued certain resolutions regarding the methods of contraception. These were based on the fact that one of the objectives of marriage, according to Shariah, is to reproduce and preserve the human race. It is not permissible to undermine this objective, as it goes against the teachings of Shariah, which call for having many children.

The resolution stated:

(1) It is not permissible to issue laws that limit the freedom of couples to have children.

(2) It is Haram to remove the ability of men and women to have children (known as sterilization) as long as there is no need to do so according to Shariah principles.

(3) It is permissible to use temporary means of contraception, in order to increase the gaps between pregnancies, or to stop them for a limited period of time, if there is a valid Shariah reason for doing so. This should be based on the couple’s estimation and with mutual consultation and agreement subject to the condition that this does not result in harm and that the means is acceptable according to Shariah and will not damage any existing pregnancy.

It is permissible to engage in Coitus Interruptus (Azl), if a person does not want a child. It is also permissible to use a condom, if the wife gives her permission for that, because she has the right to full enjoyment and to having a child. The evidence for this is the Hadeeth of Jabir ibn Abdullah (rta) who said: “We used to engage in Coitus Interruptus at the time of the Messenger of Allah. News of that reached the Messenger of Allah, and he did not forbid us to do that.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Although that is permitted, it is, nevertheless, Makrooh (intensely disliked) The Prophet (sa) said about Coitus Interruptus: “That is the secret burying alive of infants” (Muslim).

An-Nawawi said: “Coitus Interruptus means intercourse, in which, when ejaculation approaches, the man withdraws and ejaculates outside the vagina. It is Makrooh in our view in all circumstances and with all women, whether the woman consents to that or not, because it is a means of preventing offspring. Hence, in the Hadeeth it is called ‘the secret burying alive of children,’ because it cuts off the means of producing offspring, like killing a newborn by burying him or her alive. With regard to it being Haram, our companions said that it was not forbidden.”

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said: “What Muslims should do is to have as many children as they can, because this is the command issued by the Prophet (sa): ‘Marry the one, who is loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers before the nations [i.e., on the Day of Resurrection].’ (Abu Dawood)  Increasing the number of children increases the size of the Ummah, and being of great numbers is a source of pride, as Allah (swt) said, reminding the Children of Israel: ‘And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in man-power.’” (Al-Isra 17:6)

Great numbers of Muslims would lend the Ummah pride and strength, not poverty and hunger, as some might think. If the Ummah increases in number, relies on Allah, and believes in His promise: “And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah” (Hood 11:6), then Allah (swt) will make things easy for them and will grant them sufficient means from His Bounty.

Regarding the use of birth control pills, Fatawa Al-Marah Al-Muslimah states that a woman should not take them, unless the following two conditions are met:

(1) She should have a reason for it, such as being sick and unable to bear a pregnancy every year, or being physically weak, or having other reasons, why getting pregnant every year would be harmful for her.

(2) Her husband should give his permission, because the husband has the right to have children. This must also be done in consultation with a doctor, in order to find out, whether taking these pills will be harmful for her or not.

If these two conditions are met, then it is acceptable for her to use these pills, but that should not be on a permanent basis, i.e., she should not use the type of birth control pills that prevent pregnancy permanently, because this is preventing progeny.

Concerning the harms caused by contraception, Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen said: “Birth control pills a number of doctors say are harmful. Even if we do not know this from the doctors, we realize that preventing something natural that Allah has created and decreed for the daughters of Adam is undoubtedly harmful. Allah is Wise, and He has only created this blood, which flows at certain times for a reason. If we prevent it with these medicines, that is harmful without a doubt. It may also be a means of damaging the womb, and a means of causing nervous disorders. This is something we must beware of.”

Shaikh ‘Abd Al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz was asked: “What is the ruling on removing the uterus, in order to avoid having children for medical reasons, which are either present, or may occur in the future and have been predicted by medical and scientific means?”

He answered: “If that is necessary, then it is acceptable; otherwise, it should not be done, because the Law giver urges us to have children and promotes that, in order to increase the size of the Ummah. But if there is a necessary reason, then it is OK, just as it is permissible to use means of contraception for a limited time for a legitimate Shariah reason.”

The same applies also to the use of the coil. It has been proven that this contraceptive method causes harm, especially when it is used continually. It is known that the woman, who has a coil inserted, has an increased flow of menstrual blood, and her period may come twice a month, which causes an iron deficiency in her body. Some women may become anemic and suffer from infections of the uterus. Also, a woman can become pregnant with the coil in place.

Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “With regard to Azl, some of the scholars regarded it as Haram, but the view of the four Imams is that it is permissible with the wife’s permission. It is permissible for the spouses to agree on family planning, so long as that is not permanent and subject to the condition that the means used do not harm the woman.”

Practicing contraception is really a judgment call. Only husband and wife can decide, whether they mean to limit their family for selfish reasons (such as a luxurious standard of living, freedom in mobility, or pursuit of a career by the woman), or there is a genuine problem behind their decision. Whatever the reason may be Allah (swt) knows every soul’s deep intentions.

Dealing with Copy/Paste Culture

Hafsa Ahsan presents to teachers the plagiarism detection ‘tool-kit’ for safeguarding the work of their students from copy/paste culture 

This trend is, perhaps, as old as it is new. With the increasing knowledge and know-how of the Internet among the youth, there have been many pitfalls, which sometimes seem to outweigh the benefits of new technologies. A copy/paste culture among students is one such consequence of unlimited access to information, which is seriously undermining the education system in more than one way.

Gone are the days, when an assignment was actually worked upon, books were consulted, and then the final thing meticulously written down neatly. Now, an assignment is tackled by logging onto the Internet, putting in some key phrases in the search engine, surfing relevant web pages, and then combining their content to produce a coherent printed material. It goes without saying that such an assignment has no list of references in the end. Ask most students, why they didn’t put it, and chances are that more than half of them will express their ignorance about it.

However, even more astounding is the fact that in most cases, teachers fail to detect such blatant plagiarism, and students, who engage in copy/pasting, are actually given higher marks, much to the dismay of those, who work hard on their assignments. Thus, the latter students are termed as nerds and encouraged to take the shortcut of copy/pasting. These students then also stoop down to the same level for ensuring that they get a good grade.

A copy/paste culture undermines the teacher-student relationship as well. Students, who get away with plagiarism, actually look down upon their teachers as being inferior to them. They see their teachers as technologically incompetent, simply because they have failed to detect that the work of their students is ripped straight off the Internet. And those students, who get lesser marks, simply because they didn’t or couldn’t copy/paste, respect their teachers even less.

So how to put an end to this? The author has some humble suggestions for the teachers. Firstly, the teacher can have a discussion in the class at the start of the term, explaining what he/she considers as plagiarism. If told from the very beginning that copy/pasting from the Internet will be heavily penalized, students will be more careful. In that case, they won’t take the teacher to be an Internet novice, who can easily be fooled. In this regard, “The student’s guide to avoiding plagiarism” ( can be distributed and discussed with the students.

Moreover, a teacher can make the students do some rigorous class work before giving home assignments. This will ensure that the teacher has a good idea about the skills level of each student, including their way of expressing themselves, grammar and punctuation, vocabulary, knowledge of current affairs, etc. The teacher can then use this knowledge to detect plagiarism – an assignment that digresses too much in structure and expression from class work has definitely been copied. There are also some specific characteristics of a copied assignment, which give it away. These characteristics have been listed at (

Teachers can also make their own use of search engines. Putting certain sentences or some key phrases from the assignment in the search engine will turn up the location from where it was copied. He/she can also make use of some well-known websites, offering free essays and term papers, and conduct a search there to find out, where the assignment was copied from. Once the teacher has a collection of web pages, he/she can then take a printout and show it to the student before penalizing him/her.

For the above purpose, specialized software “Plagiarism Prevention” is available on the “Turn it in” website ( All that teachers need to do is simply copy and paste the assignment in the software, if they suspect it to be copied off the Internet. The software will search its database of term papers, web pages, and essays and turn up the results. Any copied material will be highlighted and linked to the original website. Even though the software is not for free, it is definitely an investment worth making for any school.

Also, teachers can benefit from a unique, yet effective way employed by the International Relations teacher of this author to ascertain the authenticity of the assignments. On the day of the examination, when the answer sheets were distributed, he gave the students fifteen minutes to write a short summary of the book review that was submitted to him during the semester. Naturally, those who had copied the review from the Internet without even going through it, let alone bother reading the book, were stumped.

A possible technique can be to introduce the concept of a list of references. It isn’t entirely a sin to quote from a good article or research paper, if it is properly credited to its original author at the end of the assignment. Students can be taught to put quotation marks around the text, which they have copied, or put in separately in textboxes, when they are formatting their assignments in Microsoft Word. Such assignments give a good impression of being thoroughly researched and worked upon.

Another way of preventing plagiarism is giving specific assignments followed by short presentations. With assignments like “write a note on genetic engineering” students are more likely to have a field day on the Internet copy/pasting material. A specific assignment like “What do you think are some of the disadvantages of genetic engineering?” is much more likely to have students thinking more and relying less on the Internet.

And finally, there is a comprehensive “Plagiarism Stoppers: Teacher’s Guide” (, which deals with detection tips, offers preventive measures, and lists essays and term papers websites that every teacher should know about.

The widespread notion that electronic plagiarism is impossible to detect is nothing more than a myth. It is very possible to detect copy/paste attempts and penalize them; however, this can be achieved only if the teachers themselves are a little tech-savvy and dedicated enough to make their students do their own work.

The Truth about Lying

bsr005Want to take a day off from the office? Lie that you are not well. Want to miss that deadline? Lie that you had forgotten. Want to be late for work? Make the excuse that there was a traffic jam. These thoughts, which translate into actions, show that Satan will not spare us at all.

As survey shows, lying at the workplace is very acceptable. According to the Aziz Management Communications Index, more than a third (37%) of British bosses believe that it is acceptable for their employees to tell white lies to customers, while nearly half (46%) think that telling untruths is acceptable to safeguard the company. Although the survey is limited to the UK, it would be safe to presume that the situation would not be much different in this part of the world. This certainly rings some alarm bells for all of us.

What the Quran and Ahadeeth tell us

When reality is put side by side with the teachings of Islam, one is taken aback by the intensity of the warning from Allah (swt). Allah (swt), the Exalted, says: “Truly, Allah guides not him, who is a liar and disbeliever.” (Az-Zumar 39:3)

In another verse, Allah (swt) states: “O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” (At-Taubah 9:119)

The words of the Prophet (sa) also show that lying will never lead to salvation. The Prophet (sa) said: “Indeed, truthfulness leads to Al Birr (righteousness, and Al-Birr leads to Paradise. A man keeps on telling the truth, until he becomes a Siddiq (truthful person). Lying leads to Al-Fujur (wickedness), and Al-Fujr leads to the Hellfire, and a man keeps on telling lies, till he is written as a liar before Allah.” (Bukhari)

Abu Hurairah (rta) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “The signs of a hypocrite are three: whenever he speaks, he tells a lie, whenever he promises, he breaks it, and whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.” (Bukhari)

Truth leads to success

Honestly – who doesn’t know that lying is a sin? We all confess that we have lied to get out of a tight situation to the extent that we have got used to it and do not believe that there is a way out. If this is an echo of your mind, then you are probably taking a defeatist approach. It is possible to be truthful as well as successful.

Our dearest Prophet Muhammad (sa) was an honest man to the extent that he was known As-Sadiq (the truthful) and Amin (the trustworthy). When Khadijah (rta), a successful businesswoman of Makkah, assigned Prophet Muhammad (sa) to do some business for her, she found more profits and blessings than she was used to. Her servant also told her about the good manners and honesty of the Prophet (sa).

New research by the Institute of Business Ethics shows a relation between success and ethical environment. UK companies with an explicit commitment to ethical business were found to have produced profits an average of 18% higher than those that did not.

So how do we break the lying habit?

1. Reexamine your level of Iman (faith)

Is it important to you that you stop lying? Do you believe that truthfulness will benefit you in this world and in the Hereafter? Are you convinced that lying eventually leads to Hellfire? These are just some of the questions that you can ask yourself.

2. Make prayer

The earnestness of doing something is reflected in the kind of prayers that we make. One of the prayers of the Prophet (sa) was: “O Allah! Purify my heart from hypocrisy, my deed from any kind of showoff, my tongue from lying.” (Baihiqi)

3. Fix your own penalty for lying

This penalty can be in cash or in kind. Give something to charity or keep reminding yourself that you did something wrong today.

4. Read up on examples of people, who were ethical and successful

Reading about the Companions of the Prophet (sa) and modern day success stories of ethical companies will provide you with the much-needed encouragement and guidance.

5. Assess the consequences of lying

Draw up or think of all the direct and indirect, long term and short term consequences of lying. If you can logically figure out the disastrous effects of lying in this world and the Hereafter, it may be enough to control the ‘fibbing habit,’ Insha’Allah.

6. Remember that truth leads to peace of mind

According to a Hadeeth of the Prophet (sa): “Leave what appears doubtful to you and adopt that which is not doubtful to you, for truth is peace of mind and the lie is a means of doubt.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Advantages of telling the truth over lying

  • Telling the truth reduces medical expenses by keeping your blood pressure in the normal range.
  • If you tell the truth, you don’t have to worry about what to say, when you get caught.
  • If you tell the truth, you don’t have to learn any fancy ambiguous words to mislead people.
  • If you tell the truth, you get practice telling the truth, which can pay off, when telling the truth is really hard.
  • If you tell the truth, people have a chance to find out about problems, while there’s still time to do something about them.
  • If you tell the truth, it’s easier to sleep at night.
  • If you’re known as a straight shooter, fewer people will ask you to shoot crooked.
  • If you tell the truth often enough, when you say something, people are more likely to actually believe you.