With the approach of Ramadan following is a handy infograph presenting tips on how to prepare ourselves for the blessed month. Designed by Khalil Aleker for Islamographic.com.
Click to enlarge.
Ramadan is just around the corner, and we are still busy in our day to day routine. Well, this article is for the “Rush- Hour personalities”; those who don’t find much time to spend on Ramadan preparation, or are lazy enough to do so. Either way, if you just start working from the first night of moon sighting, you will still be able to spend Ramadan in an effective sinless way. But firstly, we should know the significance of the first night.
Why is the first night of Ramadan important?
It is reported from Prophet (sa):“Surely Paradise is decorated the whole year for the Ramadan to come. When the first night of the Ramadan comes, a wind called “Musira” blows from the bottom of the skies. Leaves of the trees of Paradise, and the handles of Paradise doors, shake strongly; and therefore, such a nice sound is heard that listeners have never heard a more beautiful sound than that.Thus, the Hur of Paradise appear standing at the highest point of Paradise and say:“Is there anybody who wants to marry? Allah (swt) marries him.”Then Hur says: “O the keeper of Paradise! What night is tonight?”The keeper replies with respect: “Tonight is the first night of the month of Ramadan. The doors of Paradise were opened for those from the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (sa) who observed fasting.” (At Targheeb wa’t-arheeb)
In another Hadeeth of Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, the Prophet (sa) said: “When the first night of the month of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious Jinn are chained up; and the gates of Hell are closed, and not one gate of it is opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and not one gate of it is closed. And a caller cries out: ‘O seeker of good, proceed; O seeker of evil, desist. And Allah (swt) has those whom He frees from the Fire, and that happens every night.”
It is the first night where the preparation for Ramadan begins in the unseen world. Every one welcomes Ramadan. Hell is shut down and the doors of Paradise open up for the believers. The whole year before Ramadan, a believer is caught up in the tangled web of deception created by Shaytan, trying to fight his way out of it. But, he could not find time and strength to worship Allah (swt) as it should be done. The first night of Ramadan is indeed a glad tiding for the believers to revive their Iman. In the first night of Ramadan, Allah (swt) chains up the mischievous Jinn and devils to ease His servants, so that they can take complete advantage of this blessed month, and can proceed with their good deeds or worship uninterrupted.
What to do on first night of Ramadan?
1. Be grateful to Allah (swt)
The very first thing to do on this night is to thank Allah (swt) that He gave us life, and another chance to accumulate the blessings of this month. Considering the uncertainty of our lives, we should know that we might not live up to the next Ramadan. So if, Allah (swt) has chosen us to live through this Ramadan, then one should take complete advantage of this opportunity.
2. Sale on rewards- Make the most of it!
Second step is to chalk out a plan for the whole Ramadan. Plan will include the complete time table of Salah, Suhur, Aftar, Taraweeh, Quranic recitation, Nawafil (voluntarily prayers), Lailatul Qadr, Itekaf, Extra deeds (Dhikr, Tahajjud, Dua, charity, volunteer welfare work etc). Each and every minute of our day should be planned in order to avoid any time wastage or miss out the blessings of this month.
3. Avoid T.V. “The Viral”
Third step is very crucial, i.e. to lock away our usual entertainment gadgets. Television is the most common ‘Shaytan’ inhabiting our houses. Other cyber Shaytan along with television are the shield against the blessings of this month. One might say that there are several Islamic programs on T.V. regarding Ramadan, and they seem quite helpful; but trust me, they are of no use if Allah’s (swt) blessings are tossed away from your roof top. Hence, on the first night of Ramadan, shut away your television sets in your store rooms. Islamic lectures and Fiqh of fasting could either be listened in recording, or read in authentic Islamic books and magazines. If you must watch T.V. programs, or lectures regarding Ramadan, then do it all before the first night of the blessed month. And when the first night approaches, cut off all the distractions.
4. Motivate the children to do good deeds
Our fourth step includes motivating our children. First night can be the best opportunity to think through the plans of guiding and inciting the younger members of our family for Ramadan. The elders of the house should lead the younger members, and assist them in spending their time in worship and good deeds. Special attention should be given to children who have reached puberty, and it is their first month of fasting.
It might be a very hard experience for them- especially when Ramadan is in summer and the time duration of fasting has increased. Help them to recite Quran, engage them in positive activities and focus on Nawafil. If some particular child doesn’t have a habit of prayer prior to Ramadan, then help him/her in developing the habit of praying five times a day. Try not to push them hard for extra volunteer prayers, for that would scare them away even from obligatory prayers.
5. Charity is the best policy
Fifth step will be regarding Zakat and charity. As it is the month of blessings, we should try to give away as much charity as possible apart from Zakat. On the first night of Ramadan, sort out your clothes, shoes and other useful accessories that are extra than your usual need, and are in good condition, give them out in charity. Preparing Suhur and Aftar for others can also be the best charity.
6. Ramadan resolution for a big revolution
Sixth step can be very significant, where one can make a resolution, an oath to him/herself. It can either be a tiny thing or a much bigger promise depending on the stamina and level of Iman. That resolution can include the commencement of any virtue; letting go of any bad habit (sin), or taking up any good habit starting from this Ramadan till the rest of your life. One bad habit left, or one good habit added every Ramadan could lead to a revolution in one’s life. And if, every person of this Ummah starts practicing this, it can yield a much bigger result on a mass scale.
Inhibiting clarity, it hides the reality
As fog, deceit attempts to fade actuality
The liar for a while takes refuge through it
Forgetful of the consequent falls into a dreadful pit
Destined is the sun to soon clear the entire way
This has to happen today or some other day
The fog does go away one day
Leaving the liar’s life blue and gray
Futile is it to find contentment with lies
When in the end the truth is destined to rise.
I am a physician but I am unable to find a job yet. Should I think that it is my destiny and stop searching for jobs?
As far as destiny is concerned, the word “destiny” means, “has been pre-ordained for you”- not to find a job. But you are not sure whether it is your destiny not to find a job forever.
A Tawakkul and true reliance on Allah (swt) the Almighty and how you put your trust on Allah (swt) is by following their means: You apply for a job here or there in several places, acquire higher degrees, get your internship and meet with people. This is called following their means.
Then why put your trust in Allah (swt) that He has saved something for you better than what you expect, but you don’t know it and that’s why you keep trying. But, you quit because you know it is your destiny. How do you know that it is your destiny? This is similar to the person who claims that since Allah (swt) has already pre-ordained my fate/destiny, whether I enter heaven or hell, why shall I worship? Why shall I do or I restrain from certain things? It has been decided already.
That will be true if you have already an assurance about your fate, but that you cannot know. The Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Everyone should work hard and follow their means; everyone will find it easy to achieve what he has been created for.”
In addition, the Prophet Muhammad (sa) has guided us to some supplications and invocations that would facilitate to find a job, and increase in one’s provision.
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِىْ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِىْ الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“Our Lord, give us a good reward in the life of this world and a good reward in the life of Hereafter.”
The word reward will cover job, provision, wife, children, progress, and success here and here after.
The Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “As long as you are assisting others, Allah (swt) will be assisting you as well. You fulfill the needs of others; Allah (swt) will fulfill your needs as well.”
There is a good difference between teaching Deen and making your child love Deen. Teaching comes very easily; you have to instruct your children to pray, greet with peace, to be honest at all times, and to avoid all kinds of sins. They will practise it as long as they are under your supervision, but it cannot be guaranteed in your absence. In order to make them really want to do the righteous acts you have to instil love for the Deen in their hearts.
Don’t scare them with imaginary beings.
It is the most common practise in our society that, as adults, we are prone to scaring kids using imaginary beings with some horrible made-up names. It temporarily solves the problem, but in the long run, it will not do any good. First of all, it will make your child feel deceived when he or she will discover that a scary being as such never existed. Then, it will make your child think that it is alright to lie; and then, they might lie to you as well for small and big matters. Lastly, they will never get to realize the Greatness of Allah (swt).
Instead, tell them about Allah (swt), the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious. If it is about finishing their homework, tell them that since Allah (swt) has blessed them with the opportunity to study at a school, they should thank Him by finishing their school work. If you want them to finish their food, or eat a particular dish they don’t like, tell them about how Allah (swt) will be pleased if he or she eats the food Allah (swt) has blessed your family with.
Increase their trust in Allah (swt)
Increasing your children’s trust in Allah (swt) will help to make their perception about the Judgement Day, the existence of Hell and Paradise stronger. Start doing it from a very young age. Each time they are worried, tell them that Allah (swt) is with them at all times. When your children are afraid to go to school because you will not be there, let them know that even though you can’t be there, Allah (swt) will be looking after them. This makes the existence of Allah (swt) more real to children, and they start feeling protected by Allah (swt).
Make them realize their value in the sight of Allah (swt)
We all know and must believe that Allah (swt) loves each one of us more than anyone else in this world. Children will only know that when they will persistently hear from their parents. Also, for this reason, you need to avoid taunting your children about something they are not good at, or scold them unnecessarily.
Let your children know that Allah (swt) loves them more than you do or anyone else does. Make them realize the blessings Allah (swt) has showered them with. Let them know that the happiness they receive is by the blessings of Allah (swt), and that is only because they mean a lot to Allah (swt).
Don’t shun them for wrong deeds
When you catch children doing something wrong, don’t shun them or isolate them. Instead ask them to repent and rectify their mistakes. Explain to them why it is wrong to commit a sin, or to go against the commandments of Allah (swt); and that Allah (swt) is the most forgiving if they decide not to repeat their mistake.
Rewards are more effective than punishments
It is very easy to punish your children, and punishments will eventually stop your children from doing the wrong act; but better than this is to reward them for the good deeds. By rewarding, you will increase the chances of them going good deeds again.
The reward does not have to be materialistic all the time. You can juggle between rewarding with a toy, chocolate, their favourite food, reading them their favourite book, playing a game with them that they enjoy or simply encouraging them with words.
Do what you preach
‘Do what you preach’ is the most important rule that parents forget to apply when teaching their children anything. Children learn more from your actions than from your words. If you tell them that we are not supposed to lie, then you should be careful of not lying as well. If you ask them to perform the prayers on time, then they must see you doing the same.
Allow open and friendly discussions
You can only expect your children to take you seriously, if they have that trust that you are not trying to boss them- but rather, you care for them. Take some time out every day to sit and talk to your children. Let them be open enough to discuss their doubts and confusions, especially when it comes to the Deen. Do your best not to show your irritation even if you do get irritated by their questions. Of course, there always have to be this certain boundary that you will have to maintain; but, as long as, they are really serious about asking a question, you don’t have to be too hard on them.
Randomly tell them prophetic stories
I have heard this complaint from a lot of parents that their kids enjoy listening to stories; but whenever they take that opportunity to tell them Islamic tales, they quickly lose their interest, and the whole purpose of telling that story gets destroyed.
My advice is to start the story in a general manner. You don’t have use the name of the Prophet right at the start of the story. Start with telling the story and try to grasp your child’s interest with the whereabouts of the story. Whenever we are telling kids stories of the Prophets, we focus more on their names and less on the moral of the story; whereas. children are always more interested in what the story is all about. So, once you have gained the attention get to the name of the Prophet.
Introduce them to the words of Allah (swt)
Making your children learn and memorize the Quran is an excellent act. But, along with that make them understand the meaning of the verses they recite is important. Quran has covered all topics related to our lives. What could be a better way to educate your children than with the words of Allah (swt).
Instilling Deen in your child’s heart is easier said than done. But, if you do it with pure intentions, Allah (swt) is sure to help you. May Allah (swt) be pleased with all the efforts you put in to bring up a pious offspring. Ameen.
What is the best way to respond to those who criticise you? Sh. Omar Suleiman gives a beautiful answer in this short clip.
We all know that we live a limited time, and we all have 24-twenty four hours in a day to do our chores. But, we need to ask ourselves, whether we are doing justice with our time. Are we doing something productive on daily basis?
We need to reflect on how we are utilizing time. Unfortunately, nowadays, our minds are focused on material things, and we have worries about this world. The things we plan for these 24-twenty four hours that have nothing to do with our souls and internal self. For instance- most of us are preoccupied with shopping and upgrading our possessions. If we have a car, we need to get a better car. If we have a shelter, we think about getting a better home. These material riches have occupied our mind so intensely that we do not have time to think about own selves, and participate in real good (which will benefit us in this life and hereafter).
Spending hours on entertainment and playing video games on weekends, is actually a waste of our time. In week days, students are obsessed with grades and their homework. Working men have worries for promotions and salary raise. House wives are excessively indulged in their household works. Obviously, we all have duties and responsibilities in different roles, and we can’t ignore them. But, the point here is that we need to adopt a moderate way of doing things, rather than obsessing ourselves with worldly tasks. Even while doing physical work- we need to redirect our hearts towards Allah (swt) believing that He is the best disposer of affairs (Al-Wakeel).
“…Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” (Al-Imran 3:173)
We must spare 10-20 minutes daily and think about our possessions and blessings. Instead of thinking that we have less, or we need to upgrade our possessions, we need to thank Allah (swt) for what we have. We should also realize that material things do not give eternal happiness to anyone. So, we should stop running after them. We should also spend time with our families and good friends; and indulge ourselves in positive discussions with them. We should remind ourselves and internalize that we have limited time. So, we must add to our cart of deeds rather than the shopping cart. Helping a poor or an elder person is a productive thing. We need to take out time for prayers and charity- even at work. Speaking up to Allah (swt), and doing good deeds, will not only facilitate us in managing our time effectively, but it will also lead to peace of mind that we all are searching and struggling for.
“Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad 13:28)
Surah Asr gives solution to our time management in following words,
“By Al-‘Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss.” (Asr 103:1-2)
This article serves as a reminder for us to rethink about what we are doing, and what will be the consequences in this life and hereafter. It’s really time to make positive changes in our lives.
You cannot always be a people pleaser.
I was always among those who cannot deny or say ‘No’ to people; and end up creating lots of stories to get away from the situation.
Being helpful is nice and right indeed, but letting yourself down in order to make others happy is not the right thing to do.
I usually agree to do something, because I don’t have enough emotional courage to refuse. But once I agree, I find myself in real distress and burn all of my good deeds by back biting.
One of my colleagues and a good friend guided me in this regard; making me realize that I have a right to say ‘No’ to things that I find inappropriate. Self esteem and self respect are the two basic elements which make up our whole personality. Being helpful and kind is necessary to feel content, but feeding our own respect is way more necessary.
Therefore, I would suggest don’t let yourself get knocked down by thinking what people might think; be courageous and uphold your personal views.
Be firm on your decision, yet humble. You don’t need to be rude, or use harsh tone to say ‘No’; you can be polite and consistent.
Take ‘No’ as a powerful tool which may help you in using your positive energy in a right way.
Be firm, not defensive or overly apologetic; raise yourself, raise your esteem!
Cephalopod shellfish, such as the Squid and the Octopus, have reactive swimming systems based on hydrodynamic propulsion; in other words, the ability to expel water at very high speeds.
Engineers are trying to further develop speed technology by seeking inspiration from these abilities of Cephalopods.
Almighty Allah (swt) created a very special system which cephalopods can use when they need, or want to increase their speed. This system, which engineers have examined with admiration and attention, works perfectly. The reactive swimming systems of these creatures are a result of special body structures Almighty Allah (swt) created, especially for them.
What are the body structures that make Cephalopods special?
There is a thin layer of skin that surrounds the body cavity where the organs are placed called a coat. Cephalopods accumulate water inside them via the muscles found underneath this skin layer, and then they swim by strongly expelling this water. The water taken inside the coat wall is squirted outside with the help of a conically shaped pipe. The working of the system is like that of the kickback principle used in the production of space vehicles- in other words, rocket systems. This force occurs as a result of the cone – like opening, surrounded by many muscles, closing very fast. With the help of the squirting pipe, Cephalopods can swim as they wish, do sudden moves and arc.
From Shellfish’s Water Expulsion Systems to Generators
Assistant professor Kamran Mohseni from the Space Engineering Department at the University of Colorado has designed new generators by getting inspiration from the water expulsion system used by Cephalopods to be able to move under water. These designs help vehicles that will be used under water to maneuver better at low speeds.
Submarines with Safe Maneuvering Mechanisms
It is a must that vehicles used under water have safe maneuvering abilities, especially under difficult conditions. Manned or unmanned- submarines that will have such a mechanism will provide the opportunity to explore in greater detail ecosystems all over the world from underwater volcanoes to the cold depths under the ice pack in polar regions. The hydrodynamic designs of current vehicles make it difficult to maneuver at low speeds and in narrow spaces; and to get close to somewhere or stand in place in open fields. Therefore, the speed of vehicles with such qualities has to be very low.
Capsules equipped with a similar system are expected to help doctors diagnose certain diseases by being placed in the digestive systems of human beings. Thereby, this matchless art of engineering of Almighty Allah (swt) could bring benefits to humanity in the medical field as well.
There is no doubt that Cephalopods cannot create such a detailed mechanism, which human beings can only replicate after months of research, in their own bodies. Almighty Allah (swt), Who creates all things in one piece and in its proper place, created these beings with the most suitable system to protect themselves, and tend for their own needs. In one verse, our Lord Allah (swt) reveals as such,
“Do they not see that We have created for them of what Our Hands have created, the cattle, so that they are their owners?” (YaSin 36:71)
On the globe, not a single soul has the same fingerprint, as far as we know. And, not a single soul has the same iris print- if you can call it that- as far as we know, Subhan’Allah. Allah (swt) says in order for you to recognise one another- we kept you different. Subhana Rabbi’al ‘Ala. That is the creation of Allah (swt); He says everybody is different, so you can recognise each other.
Look at the term ‘Lit’arafu’. Imagine if a thief had to steal and we were all the same, we would rather just lock up the next person. In fact, no one would know who stole from whom, because we would all be looking the same, Subhana Rabbi’al ‘Ala.
So, if we sit and think about it, it’s a blessing; that is why never ever be upset with what Allah (swt) has put you, or what Allah (swt) has given you, or where He has placed you; never be upset. If you are big, huge, fat, and you weigh a lot, someone, somewhere will be attracted to you, you will also find a husband. Don’t worry. There are some men who don’t like that which is thin and skinny and bony. So, Alhumdulillah, Allah (swt) has created different people with different taste.
Imagine if the whole world had the same taste. So if you are dark, some people like dark people; if you are light, some like light. Do not ever be depressed with yourself ever. It is against the gratitude to the Creator Himself. No matter what colour eyes you have, or the type of hair you have or if you don’t have any hair at all, because you are bald now, Alhumdulillah, thank Allah (swt) for that. Wallahi, there are certain people who are attracted to those who are bald, Allahu Akbar.
This is Allah’s (swt) plan. He has kept it in such a way that it is amazing. And, He says I have created you in different levels, different sizes, different shapes, different likings, different inclinations and so on. One man’s food is another man’s poison. That is a saying that we have leant since we were young. If you would like to translate it- sometimes you have food in some area that might taste so nice to the people of that area, whereas a visitor coming there will not be able to put it even close to his mouth, Allahu Akbar. That is a literal translation and it can happen, and this is why there are different dishes- you have the Indian dish, you have the Malay dish, and so much more Masha’Allah. May Allah (swt) grant us from the food of Jannah Insha’Allah- because that will definitely be something standard for all of us according to our liking, Insha’Allah. We ask Allah (swt) to grant us understanding.
Look at the beauty of the levels that Allah (swt) has created us with. Don’t ever be depressed or question why Allah (swt) made you this way. And, this is why Allah (swt) says that He has chosen who will be male and who will be female, Allahu Akbar. Don’t ever question the decree of Allah (swt). ‘Ya Allah (swt), why did you make me a male?’ Don’t be upset with Allah’s (swt) decree if He made you a male, He made you a male, in order to test you as a male. If you are a female, your test is different. There are different things that Allah (swt) has to test you with.
World cup vs. Jannah cup
There is one thing about paradise that really fascinates me. I mean there are so many descriptions of Jannah in the Quran, right? Rivers flowing and cups being offered. I used to wonder why are cups being offered and Allah (swt) says “cups that are placed”- what’s the point in that? You ever throw a BBQ, you ever go to somebody’s backyard and they are throwing a BBQ party; and they buy those cups from like Walmart and Cosco, serving drinks and whatever. Right? That’s a little homely party. You have to go, pour your own drinks. Have you ever gone to an expensive restaurant? Like at a really elite restaurant, you got to pay 50-fifty bucks just to sit down. What do you see on the table before even you get there? Cups. Those 1400 years ago, Allah (swt) knows how we think. Allah (swt) says water flowing, rivers flowing. Have you ever been to a lobby of a very expensive hotel? What do they have? Have you ever been to the CEO’s office of a corporate executive at the top floor of New York City? What do they have? Artificial water fall.
Do you dream of a heavenly vacation?
Same thing Allah (swt) has described. You must have seen a commercial where they tell you to go take a vacation in the Bahamas; or take a vacation in you know Hawaii or something- escape to paradise, it says. What do they show you? A Palm tree, water, drinks, relaxation; these are the pictures they show you on TV commercials. What is Allah (swt) describing? He talks about waterfalls, trees, fruits, drinks, people reclining and relaxing, enjoying each other’s company. And, you are looking at that and going, wow. These guys made a commercial about escape to paradise, and it’s like they read the Quran and made that. Allah (swt) knows who He is talking to, He knows what we want. Now look at this, I don’t even care about what religion you are, everyone has to get, especially men and even women, older and older. There is one thing in our head.
It’s programmed, we can’t even get rid of it; it’s the love of a beautiful house. You go through a nice neighbourhood, what are you going to do? Wow, that’s nice. Look at that yard, oh my God, did you see that one? People can’t help themselves, I don’t care what religion, what background you are from- everybody has desires to save up and have a stable place to live. They don’t want to live on rent, they want to own a place, want to have a nice house, want to have it just the way they like it.
Allah (swt) offers an eternal beach fund property
It’s incredible. He says I will give you a house. And it will have, what’s the most expensive real estate in the world? Beach Fund Property, Manhattan is one of the most expensive cities in the world. What’s the most expensive part of Manhattan? It is anything that looks over to that water- the higher up, the more expensive. And Allah (swt) puts houses on top of mountains, mansions; they overlook the entire garden, they overlook the water fall; these are the things that Allah (swt) has put inside our psyche. He wants us to desire these things in this world. So that when he talks about these in a much superior version in the next world, then we truly want them there. We say, if this mansion can exist here, oh my God! What does Allah (swt) have for me there? If these beautiful vacation spots like the beaches in California, the Canyons in Arizona, you know, the water falls in Niagara. If that can exist here, what does Allah (swt) have for me in the Akhirah? What amazing things is He going to give me?
The price for paradise
In order to get Jannah, to get paradise, what are the simple things we have to? Is it something very complicated? What should we do to achieve eternity, bliss, and perpetual happiness? Do you ever get tired or bored in Jannah?
No, you would never get bored in Jannah- that’s one of the joys of Jannah. You have beautiful company in Jannah. You know, when in this world, we take a vacation- especially we take a vacation with the family, kids might love it, it’s a nightmare for parents, because they take care of everything and this and that; when people get together for a break, like you know Christians get together for Christmas break.
World is not a wish-granting factory- Jannah is!
Maybe families get together for Eid break or something, fights break out, arguments happen; this is supposed to be a time for celebration, but at the best celebrations when you are with others, what happens? Arguments, right? Oh God, this is supposed to be a happy time, what happened here? People are crying at weddings and things like that. Then, here Allah (swt) says, in Jannah, one of the great joys of it first of all, boredom is taken away; second of all, you get whatever you want; third of all, Gil, this ill feeling towards each other is eliminated, we are not even capable of it in Jannah. You can’t even say something that hurts somebody else’s feelings. It’s gone.
So, you only have this beautiful relationship, you know how sometimes husband and wife get into arguments, and they don’t even know where it came from. Like, they are both confused; like how did we end up here, how did this conversation even start, why did it get so nasty? Allah (swt) will take that ability away from us in Jannah. We can only have wonderful conversation, I have something I am looking forward to like being at peace all the time. You know when people are happy, they sit and say: “Man, I wish life could be like this all the time, and they know it’s not going to be; they know round the corner, a problem is awaiting them; something’s coming- whether its physical, emotional- something is coming, just to know that there is nothing problematic coming.
Transcribed for Hiba by Sana Mohsin
In the development of materials to be used in the production of strong impellers in jet engines, the mother-of-pearl’s structure is imitated. 95% of the mother-of-pearl on the inner layer of many shellfish’s shells is chalk, but mother-of-pearl is 3,000 times stronger than chalk- thanks to its composite structure. When this structure is examined, it is seen that microscopic tablets, only eight microns (1 micron=10–6 meters) in width, and one half of a micron in depth, are arranged as layers. These tablets are a dense, shiny crystalline form of calcium carbonate. But, the combination of these tablets is only possible with a silk-like sticky protein.
This combination ensures a two-way hardness. First, the breaks that form when a heavy load is placed on the mother-of-pearl, naturally moves along the thinnest layers,; yet they change direction when they try to pass the protein layers. This distributes the applied force, and thus, a complete break-up is prevented. A second strengthening factor is that the protein layers tighten along the cracks when a crack is formed. By means of this tension, the energy that will resume the break is dispersed.
This special damage decreasing structure of the mother-of-pearl has become a subject of research for many scientists. The fact that matter in nature has gained resistance with such intelligent methods points to the existence of the Owner of a superior intelligence. As can be seen from this example, Allah (swt) shows us His existence and the evidences of the superior strength and mightiness in His Creation with His infinite knowledge and intelligence. Therefore, the praise for the order here is for Allah (swt), as it is in all things. In one verse, Allah (swt) reveals as such,
“To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. And verily, Allah He is Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.” (Al-Hajj 22:64)
The superior creation in Bats teaches us how to be safer in our cars
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have conducted studies on a robot, which has “smart ears” to find its way via eco-location (using the sound waves emitted by some creatures to detect things such as the distance or size of an object) just like a bat. Jose Carmena, from the informatics faculty of the university, and his co-workers have named this robot as “RoBat.” A sound source that acts like a mouth and two fixed sound detectors were placed on RoBat. Then the robot’s mouth was arranged to spread sound waves (echos) just like in bats.
In the design of RoBat, other characteristics of bats were also considered to utilize the echos in the best way possible. Bats move their ears to determine the frequency intervals of sound waves, and in this way, they easily overcome the obstacles in front of them and find their prey and catch it. RoBat was also equipped with such ultrasonic detectors to have a perfect mechanism like that seen in bats.
By means of such sound detectors, designed by inspiration from nature, it is thought that roads and highways will become safer one day.
However, the leading car manufacturers of the world are using ultrasonic detectors that are activated when the vehicle is put into reverse gear. The driver is, therefore, able to recognize how close he is to another car or object standing behind him, thanks to these detectors.
These superior beings, of which we can give a few examples, and which serve as an inspiration to the technological advances of the 21st century are only some of the works of Allah (swt), Who creates all things without prior example and in a perfect manner. In the Quran, Allah’s (swt) name “Al-Badi (One Who creates without example)” is revealed as follows,
“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth.…” (Al-An‘am 6:101)
It is our fault as parents, when our children begin to panic, have self-doubt and are unable to express themselves. I say this because- in this challenging and fast paced world, children are not given the necessary attention from home to make them confident enough to face the challenges of the outside world. The home is the first port of attachment of every child and when it is damaged, their confidence is largely affected.
It is our duty as parents to imbue confidence in our children in order to make them productive human beings. And, this must start from a very tender age so that they bloom with confidence and can aspire to fly high. When a child is loved and accepted for who he/she is, they develop confidence which enrich their productivity level. Such a child is capable of coping with external challenges, and can live life to its fullest.
The following are few tips that would help us, as parents, to play our roles in enhancing confidence in our children from an early age:
We should begin to prod our children gently as heavy-handed method of parenting would damage their confidence. I know that there are some parents whose deeds develop confidence in their children, but the truth is, they are the minority. I pray that we serve as role models for the kids in our lives; teaching them through example how to be confident, and achieve great feats in this life and the hereafter. May Allah (swt) bless our efforts, and guide our children to be the comfort that we desire. I pray they grow up to be the apple of our eyes. May Allah (swt) help us to be parents who would raise confident children that would be a blessing to this Ummah. Ameen.
My heart was numb, nothing felt right,
I stayed awake all through the night.
My time flew, but I knew,
I am living a life that was not true.
My eyes were shut, my music loud;
I felt alone, even in a crowd.
I searched around, but could not find-
A moment in life to give me pride.
I sat one day staring at the wall;
Till I heard a call, just down the hall
Hayya Al As-Salah ; Hayya Al As-Salah
Hayya Al Al-Falah; Hayya Al Al-Falah
The words were pure, I could not ignore;
I bowed my head, down on the floor.
I found my soul; I thought I had no more.
I knew at once, this was right, my first step into the light
I found solace in my solitude; I made Sujood in gratitude.
Subhana Rabbi Al Aala………Subhana Rabbi Al Aala
Everything will end, let us not pretend;
So come to the Deen, oh my friend.
It was a usual bright morning, and I was standing in the main foyer. Suddenly, cold wind touched my skin, and at once I uttered Alhumduillah! Thanking your Creator also provides you with an essence of happiness.
“Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:28)
Smiling and laughing all the time doesn’t make you happy. Following are the ways which will help you to attain happiness in this world and in the hereafter.
Ponder and give thanks
You think about the loss, and do not give thanks for what is with you. Ponder upon yourself, your household, your good health and you will find yourself genuinely blessed by Allah (swt).
Think of the people who are less privileged, count on your blessings and give thanks to your Creator.
“And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An- Nahl 16:18)
The past is gone
The ingredient for happiness is to avoid lengthy meditation on the past. Recalling the past, reacting to it and being sad are stupidity and madness. Be courageous and embrace your present with much enthusiasm and live it; and surely He is sufficient for us and is the best disposer of affairs.
“…And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed.” (Al-Maidah 5:23)
Patience and prayer
Be patient, no matter how difficult the situation gets, and the path gets darkened- happiness and ease comes with distress and hardship. When fear engulfs you, and sadness surrounds you, rest and tranquil your soul through Salah.
“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer). Truly! Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.) (Al-Baqarah 2:153)
Consolation from the stricken
Look around- do you find any other afflicted being? Every home has a weeping story. You should take consolation from those stricken with adversity, and try to live happy with what you have.
“Or think you that you will enter paradise without such (trials) as come to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken….” (Al-Baqarah 2:214)
Make a pleasant drink from the lemon
When an adversity befalls on you, try to look at the bright side; take out every possible positive aspect. Don’t let people or situations ruin your happiness. When a person hands over a cup of lemon to you, add a cup of sugar to it, and when he presents a snake to you, take its priceless skin and leave the rest. Being happy is all in your hands.
Greed and love for Paradise
If you are eager to gain Jannah, you will definitely refrain yourselves from wrong doings. Ignore all the negatives of your life, and try to lead yourself with the formula of “Sabr and Shukr”; you will feel peace and happiness within yourself.
Remind yourself of the paradise, the width of which is as that of the heaven and the earth.
“Peace be upon you for that you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!” (Ar-Ra’d 13:24)
These ways will make your life easy and full of happiness Insha’Allah.
The hummingbirds’ heart beats approximately 1,000 times per minute normally, while during heavy activity, it beats 1,200 times per minute. Because of their extremely high metabolisms, these birds consume an extraordinary amount of energy. They were created with special feeding methods using which they supply themselves with energy.
The hummingbirds’ primary nutrition source is the nectar of flowers. While feeding, they stand in place, quite differently from other birds. Clapping their airfoils at least sixty times per second in a figure-eight configuration, they hover in the air and they take in nectar from the flower without moving their bodies.
Professor Andrew Hurley, who conducts studies as a life sciences behavioural ecologist at Canada’s Letbridge University, and has done extensive research on hummingbirds, discovered a very important property necessary for this being’s survival. His study was published in the magazine, “Journal of Current Biology”.
“’A hummingbird can compensate for the energy which it consumes very fast in the same way. Its alimentation time… in close relationship has great importance in this success. While feeding, it is very important not to lose time and energy by tending to flowers without nectar.’”
Allah (swt) has created a miraculous specialty for hummingbirds’ vital needs. These tiny birds, which in some cases are little bigger than a finger tip remember when and from which flowers they took nectar. English and Canadian scientists arrived at this conclusion by analyzing three male hummingbirds alimentation time from eight artificial flowers in Canada’s Rocheuses Mountains. Nectar was pulled from eight artificial flowers by the hummingbirds under observation, followed by a ten minute break, and nectar was pulled from the other four artificial flowers followed by a twenty minute break. It was observed that the hummingbirds which had pulled nectar followed by a ten minute break returned ten minutes later and those who had pulled nectar followed by a twenty minute break returned twenty minutes later.
These tiny birds, which in some cases are little bigger than a finger tip remember when and from which flowers they took nectar.
These beings, which are bound to take nourishment in order to obviate their high energy requirements, do so without spending unnecessary time and effort by means of their excellent memory which Allah (swt) bestowed upon them as a great blessing. Although, they take nectar from hundreds of flowers, they remember which flowers they visited, and they do not burden the same flower again. After an interval of time later, the flowers refresh their nectar. It is very important for hummingbirds not to lose time by visiting dried flowers. It is more efficient to remember which flowers have more nectar than other flowers.
Prof. Hurley determined that hummingbirds learn how long it takes for the flowers to replenish their nectar, and thus, never go back to a dried flower. His research brought to light that these birds have the ability to remember the replenishment timing of at least eight flowers. Hurly commented: “Hummingbirds act as they have eight different stopping places in their brains.” (Hurly’s Hummingbird Research Makes Headlines)
Prof. Hurley, who encountered this remarkable memory performance of the hummingbird, decided to conduct a similar research among his class students. As a result of this research he commented that “Instead of nectar, I gave them sugar. Although my students’ brains are 7, 000 times bigger in comparison to a hummingbird, they could not duplicate the same performance as this small bird and they had difficulty in remembering the minutes of giving sugar. (Hurly’s Hummingbird Research Makes Headlines)
This tiny bird which weighs only three grams, and has a brain 7,000 times smaller than that of a human being, is nonetheless capable of remembering the nectar replenishment times of about to eight different flowers; how can this tiny creature remember something which has been demonstrated to cause difficulties for adult humans? Evolutionists cannot answer these kinds of questions with claims of “mutations”.
After all, it is a bird, capable of the conscious recognition that it will die if it uses its energy in a fruitless search for food in order to sustain its high metabolism? And can it then decide to improve its memory as a necessary solution to its problem? How does this tiny bird know exactly how long it takes for a flower to refill its supply of nectar, and furthermore, how does it know exactly which flower to return to and remember its flight pattern back to that flower? How does it differentiate between the different flowers?
The evolutionists, who claim that life arose due to circumstance and mutation, cannot answer these questions. The only answer to these questions is that the hummingbird acts with the inspiration provided to it by our Lord, Almighty Allah (swt)
The evolutionists, who claim that life arose due to circumstance and mutation, cannot answer these questions. The only answer to these questions is that the hummingbird acts with the inspiration provided to it by our Lord, Almighty Allah (swt), Who created all things flawlessly. It is Allah (swt) Who created the hummingbird, and the hummingbird acts with His inspiration in order to live; Allah (swt) has created all the conditions for all living things by which they may not only continue to survive, but thrive. It is Allah (swt) Who gave to the hummingbird the ability to remember when and to which flowers it should return to, and it is our Almighty Lord Who alone possesses the infinite power to create all things in their perfection. Allah (swt) gives life to all things, and sustains all things, from the universe itself, to all the human beings who have ever lived or will live until the Day of Judgement, from the plants, to the tiny hummingbird, in which we can surely see a Sign of His omniscience and omnipotence.
Allah (swt) declared in the Quran that,
“And no (moving) living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterus, grave, etc.) All is in a Clear Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz – the Book of Decrees with Allah).” (Surah Hud 11:6)
Allah (swt) inspires the hummingbirds as to how, when, and from where it will take its sustenance. He creates all the living beings that are on the Earth and in the sky in each moment. Every breath is taken by His permission. He knows every vital process in every living being’s bodies because it is He Who Himself created those processes. All the living beings act at the direction and inspiration of Almighty Allah (swt).
“I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth).” (Surah Hud 11:56)