Dealing with Insomnia

Apr 11 - insomnia

By Amber Saleem

Causes and Symptoms

People suffering from insomnia can notice its symptoms during the day: lack of concentration, confusion, memory lapse, emotional instability, daytime sleepiness, and/or anxiety.

Causes of insomnia differ from person to person. Most common causes are excessive stress and anxiety, tension, anger, physical pain, constipation, over-eating before going to bed, excessive intake of coffee or tea, and anger.

Home Remedies

  • Drink a cup of warm milk with honey. It will act as a tranquillizer.
  • Mash a ripe banana, add roasted cumin seeds and mix gently. Eat this before going to sleep.
  • Make your own oil by mixing half cup of gourd juice with half cup of sesame oil. Apply on head and massage for at least 5-7 minutes.
  • Boil 375 ml water with 1 tsp of aniseed and cover it to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and drink it as hot tea.
  • Ensure intake of calcium, magnesium and vitamins found in green leafy vegetables, bananas, almonds and figs.
  • Exercise helps prevent insomnia. Do such exercise as cycling, walking and jogging, making them a part of your daily routine. However, do not exercise close to your bedtime.

A Diet Plan

  • Eat a good breakfast that contains sufficient protein, calcium and vitamins.
  • Try to use less fat in lunch.
  • Do not eat spicy or heavy foods for dinner.
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
  • Try to avoid junk food, tea, coffee, caffeinated cold drinks and chocolates.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Use a comfortable bed and pillows.
  • Take a bath before going to bed.
  • Don’t watch television before your bedtime.
  • Turn off your cell phone when going to sleep.
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills which can affect mental health.
  • Dip your feet in water for 10-12 minutes. It will help induce good sleep.
  • Ensure consistent sleeping and waking hours daily.
  • Read a book to relax yourself.

Concept of Punishment in Islam

Apr 11 - Concept of punishment

By Asim Ismail

Punishment is a word with negative connotations. However, when seen from an Islamic perspective, it brings about a paradigm shift in the word itself. Amazing, isn’t it? This is why we say Islam is the solution to every problem! Now, let us see what guidance Muslim educationists and scholars offer us regarding punishment.

It is strongly believed and recommended that the reason for punishment remains one of the following four:


If a child misbehaves at home, the entire family will be disturbed. In order to avoid this, parents can punish the child by excluding him/her from some activity.


This is to stop the child from doing something wrong. Example: give the child an esteemed position and then take it from him/her as a punishment. This will make him/her realize that a mistake has been committed.

Recompense (Badla)

A judge can use this form of punishment. However, for small children, parents should find out the reasons which led the child to a wrong action.

Correction (Islah)

Islah should be done gently. Example: If a child’s writing is not good, don’t tell him so bluntly. Instead, say: “I hope your writing will become better from today.”

If you look at the aforementioned four reasons, each one of them has a long-term positive effect on the child’s life.

As we know, the best example for all mankind is Prophet Muhammad (saw). Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

Let us see how the Prophet (saw) dealt with someone who had committed a mistake. If a person had lied, he would not say: “Kazabta” (“You lied”). Instead, he used to say: “Akhtata” (“You made a mistake”). Subhan’Allah! How beautifully were we taught to deal with others! How are we dealing with each other in this day and age? Just think about how far we have drifted from the Sunnah.

Going back to the topic, there should not be a uniform punishment for all, as it may not work effectively for all the children. Punish according to the nature of the child. Let us see what Muslim educationists and scholars have to say on this subject.

  • Al-Qabisi, in the fourth century AH, was of the opinion that only Allah (swt) is flawless. Humans can make mistakes; therefore, punishment can be given. For children, however, Qabisi explains that excuse is Wajib because of four reasons: age, child’s play, small mind and lack of sense of differentiation
  • Ibn Khuldoom, in the eighth century AH, advocated that severity with children is not allowed. By being strict, we do not get to the root of the problem. Instead, it pushes the child in his cocoon. He shuts himself up and withholds his feelings. This forces him to become two-faced: he will be different inside and outside. Just to come up to your standards, he will pretend to be what he is not. This will generate hypocrisy in him.
  • According to Ibn Taymiyyah there are two kinds of punishments:

1)      Duration of punishment till the work is completed;

2)      In case it is a mistake, punish once only.

It is very rightly said: “Children need trained parents, as much as they need loving parents.”

Lastly, we all make mistakes, and if Allah (swt) starts punishing us for every single mistake we commit, there will be no one left on this earth. If we want ourselves to be forgiven, we should start forgiving others. The Prophet (sa) said: “Have mercy on those who are on the earth, and the One Who is in heaven will show mercy to you.” (Abu Dawood)

This article has been compiled from a workshop titled “Concept of Punishment in Islam” conducted by Mr. Asim Ismail ( at “Reflections” school.

Book Reviews (Dajjal Issue)

Apr 11 - reviews

“Let us be Muslims”

Author: Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi

Publisher: The Islamic Foundation (UK)

Availability: Marif-e-Islami Bookstore, F. B. Area, Karachi

Pages: 311

How often do we read through the information on the five pillars of Islam? We study it as part of our curriculum during various stages of our education. Sometimes, we take up a certain aspect of one of the pillars that interests us and delve deep into it. However, this particular piece of work stands out from the rest of the books on this theme by its unique approach to all the pillars of Islam: Shahadah (testimony of Iman), Salah, Saum, Zakah and Hajj. In addition, Islam and Jihad have also been discussed in detail.

Each chapter deals with the particular set of instructions specific to that pillar. It also goes beyond that and divulges how that pillar should bring about a change in one’s life – and collectively, a change in the society comprising practicing Muslims. So, for instance, one can learn the reasons behind the uniqueness of the Kalimah, blessings of congregational prayer, etiquette of giving Zakah, and the ways of how Hajj can renew one’s self and society.

Originally written in Urdu by Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi and titled “Khutbaat”, the text has been rendered into English and edited by Khurram Murad.

“Enjoy Your Life”

Author: Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi

Publisher: Darussalam

Availability: Darussalam bookshops 

Pages: 592

Today, the shelves of bookshops offer overabundance of books by famous authors on self-improvement and building of excellent interpersonal skills. However, the mostly western authors of such books focus only on attaining the worldly happiness. “Enjoy Your Life” will give you much more than that – besides instructions for establishing successful worldly relationships, Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi offers advice which will benefit you in the hereafter also. This book, a result of twenty years of serious study, is packed with excellent examples from the Prophet’s (sa) life, stories from Islamic history and thought provoking anecdotes from the author’s life.