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Farmer’s Day- The Imagery and Allegory of Nature in the Quran

By Sadaf Azhar

The Holy Quran is rich in imagery and uses metaphors and similes frequently to explain ideas and draw parallels. Nature is a recurring theme in the Quran, from references to the universe and skies to topography and natural catastrophes. For December 18th, Farmer’s Day, we will focus on how the Quran uses the metaphor of gardens, fields, crops and land to encourage gratitude, concentrated efforts and mindfulness of Allah.

The Imagery of Blessings

In verse 22 of Surah Baqarah, we are invited to observe how Allah has spread the earth out and brought forth fruits from it as a provision for us. The same earth produces a mind boggling, colourful array of grains, vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers that help sustain us and our animals through nourishment, medicine, and shade. It is from these very plants that we are able to build our dwellings, clothe ourselves, arm ourselves with tools and furniture and even communicate though paper.  If we take heed, our hearts are like the earth and each of us is given a unique combination of intellect, emotional intelligence, skills and talents that enable us to act in myriad ways to benefit ourselves and others in order to earn Allah’s Pleasure.

Similarly, in verse 141 of surah Al Ana’am, Allah points out the variety of plants- trellised and un-trellised, palm trees, crops, olives and pomegranates. What He warns us against is excess or waste because when we overindulge or over spend out the bounties Allah has given us, we deprive either others or ourselves. Gratitude for the blessings of Allah in the form of food and fodder He has given us and moderation in consumption and charity is emphasised.

The imagery of crops is also used to explain gratitude. In Surah Al Baqarah (verse 155), Allah has promised to test us with the loss of wealth and crops, to see which one of us remains steadfast and grateful even in adversity. Why are crops mentioned particularly? One reason is probably because of the effort, time and resources invested by the farmer in tilling, sowing and harvesting. The loss of an individual farmer is in terms of lost effort and sustenance, but it also affects others in the society because the farmer’s efforts help nourish and sustain others as well. Food, clothing and shelter are basic needs and if these remain unfulfilled then we cannot aspire to higher ideals or commit ourselves to bigger causes like Dawah and Jihad. The loss of crops, therefore, hits us at a basic survival level.  Likewise, in a barter economy, wealth was counted in terms of trade-able goods and these included livestock. A farmer tends to both crops and livestock and these two blessings of Allah are the primary source of our sustenance.

Surah Al Kahf also uses the parable of the two gardens to denote how we should always be grateful to Allah for our sustenance. Allah can completely destroy our flourishing gardens and ready to be harvested crops overnight, so be mindful of Him.

Strikingly, The Quran uses the image of fields to denote another blessing- our wives. In verse 223 of Surah Al Baqarah, Allah has referred to wives as ‘place of cultivation’ which can be enjoyed. If properly cared for, the fields can benefit us immensely by providing sustenance and shade for us , our animals and the society around us. Similarly, if Allah chooses to bless us with righteous wives, they provide  contentment, emotional and moral support and through them Allah swt increases our progeny and provivsions.

Parables of Rewards and Charity

Allah has explained in verse 261 of Surah Al Baqarah how our rewards can be multiplied if we perform deeds with the intention to please Allah swt alone and in accordance with the Shariah. A single seed can bear 700 grains alone. Likewise, Allah can ensure the outcomes of our deeds have far-reaching positive effects across time, generations and space. Consider the example of planting a tree- it will continue to provide shade and food for animals and humans, to purify the air, root the topsoil and propagate far and wide till it lives! No wonder Allah has deemed plantation an act of continuous charity, for even when a tree dies, its wood provides timber for our continued use and decaying leaves provide compost for more vegetation. We hope to continue to benefit others and reap rewards for out Aakhirah even after death.

Another perspective linking charity and fruit gardens is found in verse 264-265 of Surah Al Baqarah. Here, the charity of a believer is likened to ‘a garden on high ground which is hit by a downpour, so it yields its fruits in double. And (even) if it is not hit by a downpour, then a drizzle (is sufficient)…’.  Whereas the charity of a disbeliever is ‘like that of a large smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour which leaves it bare. They are unable (to keep) anything of what they have earned.’ The downpour or drizzle is a metaphor for Sadaqah, while the land denotes the heart and rewards of the giver. When we give with the correct intention, to the people and causes whom Allah has  recommended, the Sadaqah bears ‘fruit’ in the form of manifold rewards for us and in benefitting the recipient and those around us in ways we cannot foresee. However, if our intention is faulty or we mix our acts of charity with a hurtful attitude or pretension, we lose or nullify our reward like the rock that losses its thin cover of topsoil.

Finally, note that the Arabic word for Paradise translates literally as ‘gardens’.  This image is associated with a cool sense of calmness and relaxation, a place where our senses revel. But a garden must be tended and it can be further improved by our good deeds. Helping children ‘add’ to their worldly garden by telling them how worship and good deeds add to the height and density of the garden is very effective in motivating them towards ‘earning’ their place in the Aakhirah.

The Quran mentions a number of other plants, fruits and vegetables. Note that Paradise is signified by shady trees and the Lote tree, whereas the trees of Hell are thorny with bitter fruit. The lesson for us is to take heed from the farmer and be careful of how we ‘till, nourish and sow’ in this world so as to reap the fruits of our labour in the Hereafter.

 

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The Islamic Stance on Forced Marriages

By Ammar Awais 

Forced marriages – fairly common in our society – create unhappy unions that result either in bitter separations or lifelong misery. While both men and women can fall victim to forced marriages, it is more often the women who are forced, coerced, or pressured into accepting a husband against their will. On the other hand, if a woman expresses her interest in a man as a potential husband, it is typically frowned upon, and considered immodest and “un-Islamic”. In reality, as we shall explore in this article, Islam not only gives each person the liberty to choose their spouse, but also adopts an uncompromising stance against forced marriages and outlaws them completely.

Reasons for Forced Marriages

Societal pressures and considerations are perhaps the most common reason for forced marriages. In some families, marrying outside one’s caste or ethnicity is considered unacceptable. In other cases, the financial status of a prospective spouse is unduly prioritized over other important factors. Parents could also seek to benefit, such as attaining a higher social standing, by marrying their son or daughter into a more influential or wealthier family. Moreover, parents are sometimes hesitant to reject a marriage proposal for fear of vengeance or severing of ties by the other party, even if their own son or daughter is against the wedding. It could also be that the parents are simply biased against their son or daughter’s choice of spouse, and wish to marry them off elsewhere to stay within the bounds of conventionalism.

Prohibition of Forced Marriages

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has prohibited forced marriages in these words: “Seek the permission of women with regard to marriage.” (Nasai) The Prophet ﷺ further clarified that neither the previously married woman nor the unmarried one can be forced into wedlock: “A woman who has been previously married should not be married until her permission is asked, nor should a virgin be married without her permission.” (Abu Dawud) Regarding an orphan girl, he stated, “…If she refuses [marriage], the authority of the guardian cannot be exercised against her will.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)

It is, therefore, clear that a woman, regardless of her age or prior marital status, cannot be married off without her consent. Once, someone opined to the Prophet ﷺ, “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, a virgin may be too shy to speak.” He replied, “Her consent is her silence.” (Ibn Majah) Her silence must not be misinterpreted, however. A woman could also be silent because she is too hesitant to reject a proposal and disappoint her parents or go against their decision. Hence, parents must take care to attain their daughter’s unambiguous consent, and discuss any favourable proposal with her in detail, rather than leaving her with no choice in the matter.

It is true that parents often have their daughter’s best interests in mind and that her Nikah is generally not valid without her guardian’s presence. However, neither of these can be used as a pretext by the guardian to override her will or dismiss her choice for a husband. As the Prophet ﷺ declared, “A woman without a husband has more right to her person than her guardian…” (Muslim) Parents must, therefore, act as facilitators, guiding their daughter and advising her, rather than imposing their decision upon her.

Legal Consequence of Forced Marriages

A marriage that lacks the consent of either spouse is invalid as per Islamic law. This is proved by no less than three incidents during the time of the Prophet ﷺ as follows.

1) Abdullah bin Abbas narrated: “A virgin girl came to the Prophet ﷺ and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet ﷺ allowed her to exercise her choice.” (Abu Dawud)

2) It was narrated from Khansa bint Khidam that her father married her off after she had been previously married, and she was unwilling. She went to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and he annulled the marriage. Then she married another man called Abu Lubabah bin Abdul-Mundhir. (Nasai, Ibn Majah)

3) Aishah narrated that a girl came to her and said, “My father married me to his brother’s son so that he might raise his own status thereby, and I was unwilling.” She said, “Sit here until the Prophet ﷺ comes.” Then the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came and she told him. He sent word to her father, calling him, and he left the matter up to her. She said, “O Messenger of Allah, I accept what my father did, but I wanted to know whether women have any say in the matter.” (Reported by Nasai)

It must be noted that in each of these instances of forced marriage, the Prophet ﷺ did not ask for the woman to be divorced – he simply declared the Nikah to be baatil or invalid, implying that the Nikah never occurred. Furthermore, he did not ask the woman for any proof or evidence regarding her lack of consent to the marriage at the time. Nor did he blame the victim by inquiring why she did not speak up or came to him before the Nikah. These teachings of the Prophet ﷺ are far from being implemented in Muslim societies today. It is also unfortunate that hardly anyone speaks up for the Shariah ruling on the invalidity of forced Nikahs to be made part of our legal systems.

Choosing a spouse is one of the most critical decisions in a person’s life. Moreover, in our society today, remarrying following divorce or widowhood is far more difficult – especially for women – than it was in the Arab society at the Prophet’s ﷺ time. Hence, it is all the more important to have either spouse’s consent to the marriage for a happy life. Parents must ensure that their daughters can freely discuss any marriage proposal with them and that the parents are easily approachable, and empathetic towards the daughter, if she has a prospective husband in mind.

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Change Begins With Knowledge

by

Rana Khan and Amal Hanif

The recent gruesome crime in Sialkot shook up the cores of many all across Pakistan. It made us question: ‘What kind of working relationship exists between the management and employees of the country’s industrial sector?’ ‘What kind of social conditioning is happening of the youth at home and schools and next via media/ society/ economy that can create such frustrated beasts to evolve?’ ‘Do we have the slightest clue about what Islam commands about violating other people’s honour, lives and property even if they have wronged us?’ ‘Where is the judicial system?’ ‘Where are the law enforcers?’ ‘Does a common man fear Allah (swt) when he/she becomes witness to a public barbaric act?’

This act of shame occurred right after the inauguration of the esteemed Al Qadir University on the 29th of November 2021.  The chairman – also the Prime Minister of Pakistan – Mr.Imran Khan at the momentous occasion rightfully observed:

“Our youth is confused at the moment. On one hand it looks at the technological progress of the Western world, and on the other hand when they see us, they feel we’re backward and have been left behind. And this is a huge temptation; when a society progresses we blindly start copying others. Our country lacks proper research and doesn’t give our youth the opportunity of informed choices.”

Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, shared a great insight as the guest of honour. He highlighted:

“It is something to really think about, that in the illiterate Bedouin society of 7th century Arabia, in a land where there was not a single library, much less a university. In a place and city of Makah where less than 1% of the people could read and write. Allah (swt) chose to begin Quran’s revelation, with the word ‘Iqra’ which means to read. What an amazing choice…!”

“Allah (swt) is indicating that change must begin via knowledge. Change must begin via education. You will only change when you have that education, when you know what to do and how to do it. And that is why our Prophet (sa) became the greatest leader, mover and shaker via the knowledge Allah (swt) bestowed upon him. Knowledge was what transformed our Ummah from being a backward paganistic society in Arabia from ruling the world. From China to Andalus, Islamic civilization became the global leadership.”

According to the chairman, Al Qadir University also wishes to incorporate the concept of Tarbiyah in their educational institute and hope this university becomes an emblem of the revival of the long lost tradition of obtaining knowledge in the Islamic world. A huge leap in the right direction!

Top 4 things you need to know about Al Qadir University:

1) Their mission:

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.” (Al Imran 3:190)

Al Qadir university strives to put this verse into effect by enabling individuals to ponder upon the signs of Allah (swt) present in this universe, which is the foundation of self-discovery and inventions. They aim to revamp the current leadership and management standard in light of Islamic teachings and establish the example set by the Prophet (sa). The students will consequently reach their full potential, develop their character and ultimately be able to serve Allah (swt) and His Creation with innovative thought and action.

2) The Campus:

Their campus is about 80 km away from Islamabad. It’s situated on main Grand Trunk Road, in Tehsil Sohawa, District Jhelum. Located in a valley, the research center and character building resource offers a wholesome environment and breathtaking views. The property is encircled by hills with assigned spaces for plantations. It’s classrooms and computer labs are equipped with advanced apparatus providing the students an exceptional educational experience.

3) The academics offered:

Presently, it offers a BS (Hons) degree programme in Management. This a four year degree comprising of 8 semesters. Along with that, the university has multiple minors to choose from, namely Seerah, Islamic Spirituality, Islamic Economics, Education and Tarbiyah etc. The curriculum is greatly interactive consisting of discussions and well-tailored lesson plans. Additionally, based on present day scrutinized research, it provides experiential learning through real life scenarios and case studies. The students will be able to connect and debate with international scholars and benefit from their impeccable skills of communication, innovation and collaboration.

4) The team:

The faculty consists of highly educated and qualified professors who have previously been affiliated with prestigious universities such as LUMS etc. From Data scientists to educational trainers, Al Qadir’s illustrious academic personnel appear to be experts in various fields with their experience ranging from about 20-35 years.

Their board of global advisors include renowned Islamic scholars of the west who serve as advisors and professors to the Islamic studies programme at Stanford and George Washington University. Additionally, it encompasses other notables such as the founder of Ibn Haldun University, a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and multiple authors of best-selling books from all over the globe.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger (sa) said: ““Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.”.”(Muslim)

Keeping Allama Iqbal’s vision of “Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”, Al Qadir aims to present the society with morally upright intellectuals who will be able to faithfully lead the Islamic world, in sha Allah.

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Eclipses – A Great Phenomena

Welcome to the fourth bit of a six-part-long series on all things space! Each month, a new article featuring a fascinating aspect of space will be uploaded. From asteroids to comets to stars – anything and everything will be included! Read carefully, for when the series comes to an end, there will be a SuperTrivia to test your knowledge on space. Happy Reading!

Have you ever heard of eclipses? They are one of the greatest phenomena in our universe –one that scientists are constantly studying and trying to understand.

There are two types of eclipses experienced on earth. One is the “lunar eclipse”. This can only take place on the night of a full moon. The moon is constantly orbiting the earth, and the earth is constantly orbiting the moon. Sometimes, they orbit such that the earth comes between the moon and the sun. We know the moon gets its light from the sun, but since the earth is now between the sun and the moon, the moon is unable to get its light from the sun. This means a dark shadow falls on the moon. When this occurs, we say it is a partial lunar eclipse.

Occasionally, when the moon, earth and sun are completely aligned, a total lunar eclipse takes place. Some of the sun’s light manages to reach the moon since the sun is bigger than the earth, but it passes through the earth’s atmosphere. This filters the color of the light, and the moon appears red.

The other kind of an eclipse is a solar eclipse, and it happens when the moon, while orbiting the earth, comes in between the sun and the earth. In a total solar eclipse, everything goes black almost as if it was nighttime. In a partial solar eclipse, the entire sun is not blocked. Instead, a ring of sunlight can still be seen from behind the moon.

Total eclipses are rare, only because Allah has designed the universe such that every celestial body orbits only on its due course. Eclipses are harmless, but if movements of the stars and planets was not coordinated, who knows how many dangerous incidents of a nature similar to eclipses would take place? Allah ensured that nothing even deters by an inch, otherwise, catastrophe would break lose on earth. These are just one of the few signs of Allah’s Glory and Majesty, that show how perfect and worthy of worship He is.

 

By: Hamna Salman

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Aayan Anis – a Teenaged Fish Keeper

Aayan Anis is a fourteen year old fish keeper based in Karachi, Pakistan.

Hibakidz spoke to him to discover more about his hobby, and here is what he has to say…

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your business?

My name is Aayan Anis. I am studying in Grade VIII in Generations School (S.I.T.E) and I am 14 years old. I own a small business of breeding and selling fish.

How did this idea occur to you?

I have been interested in animals from the starting I think. Keeping animals and pets is my hobby. I have kept 4 different animals at my home. Slowly by watching YouTube videos I got to know about breeding them and making a whole setup.

When exactly did you begin this?

At the age of 11 I saved up EIDI money and bought an aquarium, at that time I did not have much experience so my elder brother helped me. I started with 1 pair of fish and slowly bought more pairs as I made progress.

Have you come across any challenges till now?

Yes, I once faced a challenge when the first time my fish gave birth. The baby fish suddenly started to die, but as usual I searched on YouTube and got to know that I was overfeeding them. Since then Alhamdullilah things are going fine

What are a few things that you learnt from this journey?

1 female fish gives about 6 fry approximately at a time in every 30-45 days, this depends on the health and age of the fish. You need to be sharp-eyed to spot the baby fish in the tank or else the parents will eat their young as the baby fish are no less that 2 or 3 mm long. The fry are very fast and delicate swimmers, so I have to be careful I don’t hurt them and scoop them out of the tank.

 How much are you approximately able to earn through it?

I have kept a dozen of guppies and I earn approximately Rs. 5000 a month.

Are your studies affected by this work?

No, Alhamdulillah my studies are not affected as I am capable of managing my time productively. In a day I give around 15 minutes for feeding the fish. I do most of the maintenance of the tank fortnightly, on weekends.

Has someone been your inspiration?

I was just inspired by the idea of keeping a living creature and taking care of it and found fish to be the easiest. My YouTube algorithm started showing me videos about fishkeeping and I was fascinated by the beauty and elegance of this wonderful creation.

 Do you plan to continue this as a proper business in the future?

No, I don’t think I will be continuing this as a PROPER business, more of a side business, Inshallah as I am also interested in electrical engineering. I hope that Allah will guide me through what will be best at that time.

 If someone wishes to buy fish from you, how can they contact you?

They can email me at: aayananis08@gmail.com, I can share my contact number over there if they are interested.

 

Hibakidz wishes Aayan a successful fish keeping business!

Interview by: Amal Hanif 

 

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Seerah Trivia – Life In Makkah After Receiving Prophethood

Say, [O Muḥammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (3:31) How much do you know about your Prophet’s life in Makkah? 

Q1: In 610 AD, the Prophet (pbuh) was meditating in a cave when angel Jibril appeared and he received the first revelation. The name of the cave was:

A. Thawr 

B. Safa

C. Marwa 

D. Hira  

 

Q2: When the Prophet (pbuh) openly preached the message of Islam on Mount Safa for the first time, how did the Makkans react at that moment?

A. They readily embraced Islam

B. They asked him to migrate elsewhere and carry out his mission 

C. They cursed him and the crowd dispersed, paying no heed to what he was saying 

D. They planned to spy on him and figure out whether what he was saying was true or not

 

Q3: The Makkans began persecuting the Prophet (pbuh) and the converts. Every Qurayshite family punished their men or women who had converted, be it rich or poor. Some of them were tortured beyond human endurance. The first Muslim female martyr was: 

A. Sumayyah Bint Khabbat 

B. Umme Aiman 

C. Safiyya bint Huyayy

D. Zunairah al-Rumiya

 

Q4: Life in Makkah had become extremely difficult so some of the companions migrated to Abyssinia to seek refuge. The Makkans sent two envoys to speak to the King, and bring them back. The two envoys were:

A. Abu Lahab and Abu Jahal

B. Ikramah and Khalid Bin Waleed

C. Abu Sufyan and Umayyah Bin Khalaf 

D. Amr Bin Al Aas and Abdullah Bin Abi Rabiah

 

Q5: An economic and social boycott against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Banu Hashim and Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib except for Abu Lahab and his children was imposed by the Quraysh. Muslims spent this duration in: 

A. Shi’b Abi Talib (Valley of Abu Talib) 

B. Shi’b Abdul Muttalib (Valley of Abdul Muttalib)

C. Taif 

D. Yathrib 

 

Q6: On the way back from the trip to Taif, the Prophet (pbuh) halted at a place and prayed Fajr. A band of Jinns heard him reciting the Quran; they listened with great interest and accepted Islam that morning. This incident came to be known as:

A. Event of Shaqqus Sadr 

B. Event of Nakhlah

C. Event of Israa

D. Event of Aqabah 

 

Answers: 

Q1) D

Q2) C

Q3) A

Q4) D

Q5) A

Q6) B

 

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Our Prophet Our Honour

The old lady who threw garbage on the Prophet (SA) 

The great messenger, the final of all the messengers of Allah s.w.t brought goodness to all people, yet they found faults in him, calling him a magician and made fun of him. What did he do? Did he fight back? Did he call them a bigger name…No, He was silent, he was focused, and he kept on calling with a smile on his face.

He was the man who taught us forgiveness. He had forgiven so many who harmed him.

There was an old lady who constantly threw garbage at him when he passed through streets of her neighborhood in Makkah. What did he do? He ignored her for he knew she was an elderly lady and this is the time to ignore. He never said a word to her or complained to anyone else.

One day when the garbage was not thrown in his way, he decided to find out what exactly happened to the old lady, so the prophet entered her home after seeking permission. He asked the lady what was wrong and if she was sick. The lady was shocked that the same man whom I constantly insult, and this insulting was not by mere utterance of words it was not by drawing cartoons, it was by actually throwing defecation (faeces from animals and animal filth) at him. Something as dirty as it could be, throwing it on a man who is the most noble of all the creatures of Al Mighty, highest of all creations, the most noble of all the messengers. Look at his reaction. He kept praying for this woman and one day when the opportunity arose, what did he do? He seized it by the will of Allah swt such that she was surprised to see that Muhammad (pbuh) had come to inquire about her health and the way he found out about her sickness was because the evil that comes from her on regular basis did not come that day and she took Shahadah bearing witness that Muhammad is the last and final messenger from Allah swt.

How many of us are quickly angered when someone insults us without looking back at how prophet Muhammad (pbuh) dealt with it
 He prayed for them
 He continued his work making sure that he delivered the message the best way he could.
This was Muhammad (pbuh).
May peace and blessings be upon him.
And may we be among those who truly follow him, those who learn a lesson.

 

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International Space Station – Mankind’s Greatest Innovation

Welcome to the third bit of a six-part-long series on all things space! Each month, a new article featuring a fascinating aspect of space will be uploaded. From asteroids to comets to stars – anything and everything will be included! Read carefully, for when the series comes to an end, there will be a SuperTrivia to test your knowledge on space. Happy Reading!

As discussed last month, scientists are always on a mission to uncover new facts. Doing so on land is easy, but in space where gravity is zero and there is neither oxygen or water, things get a little difficult. To make their job easier, fifteen countries worked together to make the International Space Station.

The space station flies 400 kilometers above the earth, and is fast enough to circle the globe in ninety minutes! Although the ISS is the largest object sent by humans into space, at its full capacity only six people are allowed to be inside. However, it once held thirteen people for a few days during crew changeovers.

What exactly do the astronauts do up there? Well, in the International Space Station (or ISS), there are astronauts from different space agencies – such as NASA – who perform experiments. Power, data and cooling facilities are available.

By sending astronauts to the ISS, NASA is able to examine the long-term effects of space on human health. This is well help them understand whether humans can survive on Mars or the moon. The crew aboard the ISS also carries out regular maintenance and repair work, and sometimes even have to space-walk to do so. The station is controlled by two main mission control centers located in Moscow and Houston. These centers also assist the crew aboard the ISS.

Did you know it is possible for you to spot the space station in the sky? It appears brighter than the star, Venus, and so is easily visible by the naked eye. All you have to do is download the NASA app, enter your city/town and it will tell you when the space station will appear in the sky. You won’t even need a telescope!

The ISS is just one of the amazing advancements humans have made in recent times. Up until fifty years ago, nobody could have imagined such a feat being possible. It just goes to show the creativity and innovation Allah has blessed us humans with. Our ability to think and learn is what makes us Ashraf-ul-Makhluqaat (Best of Creation), and is a gift from Allah. Therefore, our brains must be used wisely, and to the best of our capabilities, for both religious as well as secular matters. Only then, will the human race prosper.

 

By: Hamna Salman

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The Gem of Knowledge

“What a waste of time!” Samrah Apa turned off the mobile screen in anger. Ali and Hannah looked up at their older sister from their game of Jenga.

“What happened?” Mom called out from the kitchen, sensing Samrah Apa’s agitation.

“I hate it, when girls show off their beauty, as if Allah (swt) never gave them a brain!” Samrah Apa exclaimed.

Hannah touched her head and screamed back: “I have a brain!”

Ali grinned ear to ear cheekily: “Do you? You have just lost all the games we have played!”

Samrah Apa glared back, as her eyes spewed fire: “We were not sent into this world to sell beauty soaps, hair dyes, and whitening creams!”

Ali could sense one of Samrah Apa’s stories were up ahead and tried to excuse himself: “I just remembered that I had a project about the scholars of Egypt, which I had to research and turn in. May I be excused?”

This is an excerpt from the print issue.

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Name of Allah Infograph: Al-Bari